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Ken Ham and the Humanist Manifesto
John Stear

KEN HAM ON EDUCATION!  -- Evolution -- humanists know it's a religion!
  (September 28, 2001)

Ken Ham:    Question:  Have any humanists publicly admitted that evolution is actually a religion?

Answer: Yes they have.

So what Mr Ham?   It matters nought whether Humanists or anyone else refer to evolution as a religion.  Creationists seem to think that if they can successfully label evolution a religion they will somehow disprove it.  My dictionary defines religion as, "belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny."  That same dictionary defines evolution as, "a gradual change in the characteristics of a population of animals or plants over successive generations."  Nothing there about supernatural or divine powers is there Mr Ham?

Evolution is based on the scientific method and that method requires that tests be carried out to determine whether or not the theory is correct.   There have been thousands of such tests and the current theories have passed them all.  More importantly these theories can change as new evidence comes to light.  This differs markedly from creationism which, because it is religion, cannot change in light of new evidence

Ken Ham:    The people who compiled the Humanist Manifesto built their entire way of thinking on the basis of evolution.

Of course biological evolution, by its very nature, must influence our thinking.  Whether you like it or not Mr Ham, we are the product of billions of years of evolution.  Evolution made us what we are and gave us the intellect to enable us, or some of us, to be able to separate good science from bad.  

Ken Ham:     They knew that if they could remove God from our society, this would allow people to set their own rules and justify the sinful desires of their hearts.

What are these "sinful desires of the heart" you speak of?  Do they include the desire to tell lies for your God?  Do they include the desire to delude children with your pseudo science?   Denying children a proper scientific education is, in my opinion, a kind of abuse - perhaps intellectual abuse is a fitting term - after all, you and other creationists are interfering with children's minds.

Part VI., "A Universal Commitment to Humanity as a Whole" of the "Humanist Manifesto 2000" drafted by Professor Paul Kurtz says:

"The overriding need of the world community today is to develop a new Planetary Humanism —one that seeks to preserve human rights and enhance human freedom and dignity, but also emphasizes our commitment to humanity as a whole. The underlying ethical principle of Planetary Humanism is the need to respect the dignity and worth of all persons in the world community." [my emphasis]

Tell me Mr Ham, does fundamentalist Christianity seek to "enhance human freedom and dignity"?  From my experience with fundamentalists they have aims quite the opposite - they seek to curtail human freedom and dignity, at least for those who don't subscribe to fairy tales and mumbo jumbo.  How many times have eminent scientists been ridiculed and their professional integrity questioned because they hold scientific views that don't accord with fundamentalists' narrow and restrictive views of the natural world.

Do you, Mr Ham, respect the "dignity and worth of all persons in the world community"?  The answer is, of course, you do not!   Non believers, in your fundamentalist view of Christianity, are without dignity and worth.  Yours is a religion of exclusion - excluded are all who don't subscribe to your simplistic explanations for the world around us.

Ken Ham:    Julian Huxley and his humanist friends were very clear in claiming that the evolutionary story was to be sold to the public as the foundation of the new humanist theology.

Sold to the public?  There is overwhelming evidence for evolution and it has no need to be sold.  One learns about evolution in the course of receiving a proper scientific education and having an interest in the natural world and a desire to learn how it came about.  Creationism must be "sold" because it has no scientific basis and cannot be falsified.

Ken Ham:    They knew that the long evolutionary past of millions of years, if accepted by society, would remove the Judeo-Christian God and extinguish Him from the culture.   In place of God would be the time and chance of evolution!

Therein lies one of creationism's most vulnerable arguments.  Many devout Christians support evolution.  As an example I have on my web site the testimonies of several scientists who are devout Christians.  See Are Science and Religion Compatible?

Ken Ham:    The consequence of such a belief would free people of ancient prohibitions and divinely sanctioned codes - in other words, they could do what was right in their own eyes.

If your mean and petty version of Christianity is an example of "ancient prohibitions and divinely sanctioned codes" then I'm happy to be guided in my moral behaviour by my own understanding of what is right and what is wrong.

Ken Ham:    These humanists understood that evolution was really an anti-God religion, and they said so in their Manifesto.  Scientists don't want to admit that evolution is a religion.  

Scientists cannot "admit" that science is a religion because science can have nothing to say about the supernatural.   Perhaps when scientists are required to adhere to a statement of faith then your claim might have some substance.  Just to remind you Mr Ham, below is an excerpt from the Statement of Faith creationists who work or write for Answers in Genesis MUST abide by:

"The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the Earth, and the universe." 

And further on:

"By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information."

Ken Ham:    They don't want to admit that they are actually very religious people who have put their faith in time and chance instead of the living infinite God.

Your comment concerning scientists putting their faith in time and chance demonstrates that you know little about how evolution works.   Certainly chance is an important part of the evolutionary process but creationists who ignore the role played by natural selection show they don't understand the evolutionary process.  Natural selection is the opposite of chance; chance provides genetic variation and natural selection determines which variations are more advantageous.

So you see Mr Ham, your claim that evolution is a religion is as false as your "science" and exposing children to your "science" is despicable.

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