Ken Ham, his "museum", Satan and child abuse
John Stear, January 2008
Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis (AiG) has issued a desperate plea for more funding, to the tune of $US400,000, to balance his (AiG's) budget. Ham has made his plea because it seems AiG, poor dears, have been under attack, mainly from that naughty Satan who, Ham claims, has been egging on the opponents of their creation "museum":
As you know, Satan's opposition increases in proportion to our effectiveness for Christ—and, praise the Lord, we have had a very effective year in 2007. And we've been attacked from all sides:
Those doing the attacking (apart from the aforementioned Satan) include TV host Bill Maher (see Bill Maher makes fun of creationist museum) and a host of other astute commentators Ham doesn't mention (see Ken Ham's Creation "Museum").
Ham has also been assailed by "picketers" who, he claims, have been "trying to frighten our guests away and prevent them from being convinced by our presentation of the Bible's trustworthiness".
I believe, and the valiant picketers would surely agree, that they, and Ham's other detractors, are merely pointing out that to erect an edifice, fill it with drivel dressed up as science and call it a museum, is the height of ignorance, a quality not lacking in the creationist fraternity.
As an example of that ignorance hearken to another of Ham's grievances:
We've even been accused of "child abuse" simply for teaching that human beings are the dearly loved, special creation of God rather than animals resulting from millions of years of blind chance! [my emphasis]
Ham claims he was once a science teacher. If so, he would know full well that evolution is not guided only by "blind chance". This is nothing short of wilful ignorance on Ham's part and completely ignores natural selection (Differential survival or reproduction of different genotypes in a population leading to changes in the gene frequencies of a population).
One of the many shortcomings of creationism is its propensity to seek the simple explanation. Granted, the simple explanation can often be the correct one. However, creationists use simplicity to sell their anti science message to children because it fits more neatly with their simplistic biblical "science". For instance, in discussing the evolution of the monarch butterfly, AiG (Ham) claims that:
Monarch caterpillars, though, feed on milkweed. However when they hatch, they're not entirely immune to the milkweed's poison and they could die from eating their food, especially as the milkweed would send extra poison to the section being eaten. To overcome this problem, the caterpillar cuts out a circular section of the leaf that has low concentrations of the poison, and take it aside to feed on while the plant is busy sending lots of poison to the wound. As the caterpillar feeds on the leaf section it had cut out, it builds its immunity to the poison. This enables it to eat the milkweed without any problems. In doing this, it also becomes poisonous itself to predators! So, the poison of the milkweed protects the monarch, and the monarch in return pollinates the milkweed!
This relationship defies evolution—how many monarch caterpillars died trying to figure out how to become resistant to the milkweed’s poison? Of course, God created it this way! [my emphasis]
AiG's contention is that children will accept such simple explanations and as a consequence they (AiG) refuse to look further among the scientific literature on the subject. Their "science" requires that difficult scientific questions are answered not by further scientific enquiry but by the simple conclusion that "God did it". See Answers in Genesis takes the easy (and unscientific) way out. Ken Ham of course is not the only offender in this regard, see also:
Creation Ministries International: Dr Sarfati and the Bunyip
Creation Ministries International - more nonsense about Koalas
I have no doubt that brain washing children with deliberate lies about the processes of science should indeed be viewed as child abuse. The likely consequences of such abuse can be seen here.