The antics of creationists are a source of mirth for those with a sardonic turn of mind. Unfortunately, there is a sinister purpose to their attempts to rewrite evolution.
“Were There Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?”, an article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic (16 September 2014), tackles the enduring myths propagated by creationism:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. A short while later, Ken Ham found 40 acres of pastureland in northern Kentucky on which to build a museum devoted to the ideology of ‘Young Earth’ creationism, which holds that the world is 6,000 years old, and which represents for a subset of evangelical Christians not only the most convincing explanation for how our planet, and the humans who rule it in God’s name, came into being, but also a potent weapon in the struggle against homosexuality and other modern ailments. What I didn’t understand until I visited Ken Ham is that his museum, which is devoted to a literal, historical reading of the first book of the Bible, is in itself a forward operating base in the conservative war against legalized abortion, gay marriage, and the belief that man is at least partially responsible for climate change (the creationists’ retort being that God will not allow man to destroy a world that he created).”
As well as running the Creation Museum, Ken Ham (who is presumably descended from Noah’s son) is also the president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis. Born in Australia where human habitation of the continent is estimated to have begun between 42,000 and 48,000 years ago, Ham was a high school science teacher who rejected what he terms “molecules to man evolution” in favour of a literal interpretation of Genesis.
Both the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis (AiG) share the same aims: to persuade a gullible public that the fauna of the world as we know it has only existed for 4,350 years, i.e. since the Flood. According to its web site:
“Answers in Genesis is … dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible. We also desire to train others to develop a biblical worldview, and seek to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a ‘millions of years old’ earth (and even older universe).”
Here is an example of its wisdom:
A: Because of the intense evolutionary indoctrination we’ve all received, most people assume that it takes millions of years for sediment – like sand or mud – to harden into rock. But given the right ingredients, this can actually happen quickly. Mixing cement is an obvious example, by the way.
Take a look at the picture of the mechanism of a clock encased in solid rock, along with sea shells. Of course, no one believes this clock was made millions of years ago. The clock was found in 1975 near a jetty at Westport, Washington. We know that there have been many shipwrecks in this area.
Obviously, the right mix of sand and other substances hardened around this clock, making it look like a clock in hard rock! There’s really nothing spectacular about this at all – these sorts of things happen all the time in different parts of the world. But the average person doesn’t usually hear about them, and thus they go on thinking that rocks and fossils must take millions of years to form.”
Ken Ham’s first-hand biblical knowledge pays dividends when it comes to raising money. The Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky in 2009 at a cost of some $27 million in private donations. The “clock in the rock” will eventually be displayed there and people will be taught “the truth about the history of the world … according to the Bible.”
On 4 February 2014 a debate took place at the Creation Museum between science educator Bill Nye and Ken Ham on the question “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?”. Ham challenged Nye to the debate after taking exception to a YouTube video in which Nye lamented the refusal of a large segment of the U.S. population to accept the theory of evolution. As might be expected, the debate was held to be a draw. But two weeks later, Ham announced that the publicity generated had galvanised fundraising for its stalled “Ark Encounter” project – a 510-foot (160 m) reconstruction of Noah’s Ark estimated to cost $73 million – allowing the first phase of building to begin. Carpenters in Kentucky are ecstatic.
On 1 May 2014 the Creation Museum hosted a special event called the “Hammer and Peg Ceremony” to celebrate the start of the Ark project. Rumour has it that Ken Ham is counting on global warming for a stock market flotation.
One of the Creation Museum’s latest acquisitions is the skeleton of an Allosaurus named Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7:12) by some of those involved in excavating its bones. They “saw him as a reminder of God’s judgment of the world and how He preserved mankind and animal kinds on Noah’s Ark.”
The Atlantic article is well worth the read. But neither it nor the Creation Museum nor Answers in Genesis explain how dinosaurs got on board the Ark or how, after 150 days, there was anything left that the dinosaurs hadn’t eaten!