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Atlantic Magazine article on Creation Museum/Ken Ham


Marian the Librarian

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Worth a read:

theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/10/the-genesis-code/379341/?single_page=true

My favorite quotes ~

Ham is Australian—a rare sort of Australian, in that he is religiously devout and completely humorless—but he possesses a specifically American talent, one on display in mega-churches and theme parks across the country, for staging emotion-saturated high-tech spectacles. And so his museum is filled with buff animatronic Adams and sexpot Eves (plastic breasts covered by waterfalls of extremely healthy hair) and writhing snakes and flying dragons and dinosaurs much larger than the average chicken.

A full-size animatronic Noah, speaking English in a Count Chocula accent, answers questions about dinosaur husbandry.

Did he ever wake up in the morning and have doubts about the truth of the Bible?, I wondered. “No,†he said. “Show me another book in the world that claims to be the word of one who knows everything, who has always been there, that tells us the origin of time, matter, space, the origin of the Earth, the origin of water, the origin of the sun, moon, and stars, the origin of dry land, the origin of plants, the origin of animals, the origin of marriage, of death and sin,†he said.

“Lord of the Rings?,†I answered, tepidly.

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Awesome. Off to read.

(And I think I speak for most Australians when I say we've disowned Ken Ham. You can keep him. We really don't want him. We certainly don't want a teacher like him in the government school system.)

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I second uber frau. He isn't ours now and we never want him back. However, I apologise to all our American friends for dumping him on you. You don't deserve that.

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I love that Goldberg said Lord of the Rings when he was asked for the name of another work that explains everything.

It's a pithy reply, but I would have preferred he'd suggested another religious text, like the Quran or Vedas or the Popol Vuh or any other religious text from throughout history.

Responding "The Lord of the Rings" may confound Ham, but it doesn't require him to think or defend his beliefs. All Ham has to do is point out that LOTR is a modern text that is meant as fiction, and he's dismissed Goldberg's point.

But if Goldberg had pointed out all the other texts that explain everything, then Ham has a lot more he has to defend, or else call out other religions as Satanic (no doubt Ham thinks so, but openly saying so is impolitic).

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Ken Ham's answer to the Lord of the Rings snark was, “Well, there’s no book so specific as the Bible,†?

wow he really doesn't have a sense of humor. :lol:

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Oooh my favorite part of the museum was the dioramas of the inside of the ark, with the family tending to the animals, including teeny dinosaurs. The dinosaurs (according to the museum) were then MUCH smaller than the large dinosaurs we know today. Skip ahead to 1.36 for a quick glimpse of the dioramas. youtube.com/watch?v=TAwCL5uYoxY

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Ken Ham's answer to the Lord of the Rings snark was, “Well, there’s no book so specific as the Bible,†?

wow he really doesn't have a sense of humor. :lol:

the only way the bible is specific about the earth is if it was written for people of the bronze age. maybe god planned on us finding science and expects us to go past the bible. the bible does not explain anything if you know science. Hope old ham does not walk off the edge of the world.

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i love this :D i'll definitely have to read more in depth later.

personally, though, i would have suggested "hitchiker's guide to the galaxy" ;)

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Awesome. Off to read.

(And I think I speak for most Australians when I say we've disowned Ken Ham. You can keep him. We really don't want him. We certainly don't want a teacher like him in the government school system.)

All right. You already took Mel Gibson off our hands so we owe you.

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I remember science class, many years ago, (I started Catholic school in 1960) with Sister teaching about how God created the world in 6 days, and so on, and like the inquisitive child I was, I asked Sister, "How did God get it all done so fast?" and she said those words to me that I have never forgotten.. "What is time to God? It could have been days of a million years, as we now know them, or longer. " But no fundie ever seems to think that an eon could have gone by for each "day" of creation. Why not? I can totally figure evolution into the equation, too. Why do they get all knotted up?

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I remember science class, many years ago, (I started Catholic school in 1960) with Sister teaching about how God created the world in 6 days, and so on, and like the inquisitive child I was, I asked Sister, "How did God get it all done so fast?" and she said those words to me that I have never forgotten.. "What is time to God? It could have been days of a million years, as we now know them, or longer. " But no fundie ever seems to think that an eon could have gone by for each "day" of creation. Why not? I can totally figure evolution into the equation, too. Why do they get all knotted up?

That's a similar answer to what the Minister at my parent's church gave for the same question.

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH, want some ice for that burn, Kenny?

On a more serious note, part of me agrees with anjulibai that it would have been nice for Goldberg to mention an actual religious text (and maybe even to mention a FEW examples, potentially including some that are/may be incomplete because some of the writings were lost or heavily filtered through a Christian lens, and then also pointing THAT out). But on the other hand, consider this: whatever you might think of the possibility of divinely-written or divinely-inspired texts, Lord of the Rings might be the best example of modern fiction you can use to demonstrate the fact that you don't have to be God to come up with all of that stuff. You just have to be a human being with a reasonably healthy imagination. I mean seriously, I'm in the middle of writing down all of that sort of thing in preparation for a novel I want to write and I'm nowhere NEAR Tolkien's level. So by using Lord of the Rings as his example, Goldberg has shown that not only are there other texts that do the things Ham claims the Bible does, but those texts don't even have to be religious (or scientific, for that matter) to do it.

(I'm also going to be a little pedantic and add that I'm using "Lord of the Rings" as shorthand for all of Tolkien's works related to Lord of the Rings, e.g. The Silmarillion and The Histories of Middle Earth, and I'm kind of assuming Goldberg is too because tbh most of this stuff isn't covered in Lord of the Rings specifically, but The Silmarillion and the Histories DO cover it, and it might also be discussed to a point in the appendices to Lord of the Rings.)

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH, want some ice for that burn, Kenny?

On a more serious note, part of me agrees with anjulibai that it would have been nice for Goldberg to mention an actual religious text (and maybe even to mention a FEW examples, potentially including some that are/may be incomplete because some of the writings were lost or heavily filtered through a Christian lens, and then also pointing THAT out). But on the other hand, consider this: whatever you might think of the possibility of divinely-written or divinely-inspired texts, Lord of the Rings might be the best example of modern fiction you can use to demonstrate the fact that you don't have to be God to come up with all of that stuff. You just have to be a human being with a reasonably healthy imagination. I mean seriously, I'm in the middle of writing down all of that sort of thing in preparation for a novel I want to write and I'm nowhere NEAR Tolkien's level. So by using Lord of the Rings as his example, Goldberg has shown that not only are there other texts that do the things Ham claims the Bible does, but those texts don't even have to be religious (or scientific, for that matter) to do it.

(I'm also going to be a little pedantic and add that I'm using "Lord of the Rings" as shorthand for all of Tolkien's works related to Lord of the Rings, e.g. The Silmarillion and The Histories of Middle Earth, and I'm kind of assuming Goldberg is too because tbh most of this stuff isn't covered in Lord of the Rings specifically, but The Silmarillion and the Histories DO cover it, and it might also be discussed to a point in the appendices to Lord of the Rings.)

I'm agreeing with you (re: Silmarillion et al) and proudly waving my nerd flag.

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I remember science class, many years ago, (I started Catholic school in 1960) with Sister teaching about how God created the world in 6 days, and so on, and like the inquisitive child I was, I asked Sister, "How did God get it all done so fast?" and she said those words to me that I have never forgotten.. "What is time to God? It could have been days of a million years, as we now know them, or longer. " But no fundie ever seems to think that an eon could have gone by for each "day" of creation. Why not? I can totally figure evolution into the equation, too. Why do they get all knotted up?

This is basically what I learned as a happy little Methodist as well. and that Evolution was not a contradiction.

Fast forward and suddenly I'm reading an article about a brother in law who is saying that he believes that it has to be 6, 24 hour days .... or else you aren't a real Christian. My husband and I were amazed, and thought maybe he'd been misquoted.

Um, nope... that's his story and he's sticking with it, and has become even more fundie since then.

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