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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Answers in Genesis

Evangelist Ken Ham has devoted himself to debunking evolution in the minds of American children with the usual "does your grandpa look like a monkey?" type stuff. Ham's ministry is called Answers in Genesis and they specialise in making sure that children doubt evolution's merits (there's also a No Answers in Genesis group, ha-HAAH!).

Really though, I can't see anything wrong with Ham's approach in principle—we shouldn't expect the next generation to take our scientists' findings entirely on faith, after all. If our schools are teaching the history of evolution in a dogmatic fashion then, well, that seems wrong; evolution is a fact but, after all, our evolutionary history is just a theory. The problem with Ham's approach is that he doesn't apply the same principles of skepticism to his own claims:
Ham encourages people to further their research with the dozens of books and DVDs sold by his ministry. They give answers to every question a critic might ask: How did Noah fit dinosaurs on the ark? He took babies. Why didn't a tyrannosaur eat Eve? All creatures were vegetarians until Adam's sin brought death into the world. How can we have modern breeds of dog like the poodle if God finished his work 6,000 years ago? He created a dog "kind"—a master blueprint—and let evolution take over from there.
Remember that these are Ham's answers, and are only guesses based on the Bible. I never understood how a T-Rex could eat vegetables with those teeth, but whatever. I can't tell if he himself really believes these childish answers or if they're designed to appease the imagination of his young audience. A further sampling:
"Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked.
"God!" the boys and girls shouted.
"Who's the only one who knows everything?"
"So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?"
The children answered with a thundering: "God!"

[...] He shows his audiences a graphic that places the theory of evolution at the root of all social ills: abortion, divorce, racism, gay marriage, store clerks who say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
Gay marriage a social ill? Evolution responsible for racism? RAAARRGGHHHH!! And I really don't think God cares if a store clerk says Happy Holidays—relax. You can read more about Ken Ham's adventures in this Wikipedia article and this L.A. Times article (found the link via this post by iocaste at Majikthise).


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