A few days ago, to ring in the new year, I wrote a post about Ken Ham accusation that the “secular media” like the Washington Post was dishonest and intentionally spreading lies about Answers in Genesis and what they believe…not about Jesus, but about…dinosaurs.
In an article about YEC groups like Answers in Genesis, the Washington Post said that such organizations believe that (a) dinosaurs and human beings were created on the same day, 6,000 years ago, (b) had lived at the same time on the earth for about 2,000 years, but (c) that dinosaurs went extinct in Noah’s flood.
Well, Ken Ham took to Twitter, five times within the span of a single hour, to voice his disgust at how dishonest the Washington Post was: “Hey Washington Post, we at the Ark Encounter have NEVER said dinosaurs were wiped out during the Flood — get your facts right!” he tweeted. When interviewed by CBN (Christian Broadcast Network), Ham reiterated: “We don’t believe they were wiped out during the flood–that’s not what’s represented at the Ark. We believe they became extinct like a lot of other animals after the flood.”
And, as I pointed out in my last post, Ken Ham was actually correct…sort of. The Washington Post had gotten their facts wrong. It’s true, Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, in fact, do not make the claim that dinosaurs went extinct in Noah’s flood. In fact, they claim that most of them died out in Noah’s flood, but the ones Noah’s took on board with him in the ark actually survived. But, they did go extinct shortly after the flood, for the flood had caused (wait for it…) such drastic climate change, that the earth was subjected to a singular 200-year long ice age shortly after the flood—and that is what caused the dinosaurs to go extinct: the flood + the climate change and the 200-year long singular ice age in human history that the flood wrought (that apparently ended right before Abraham was born) = the extinction of all the dinosaurs.
At the same time, though, let’s face it, Ken Ham telling CBN that they believed that dinosaurs “became extinct like a lot of other animals after the flood,” isn’t really telling the whole truth of what they believe, is it? He leaves the matter of dinosaur extinction, well, rather general and hazy when he speaks to CBN. Why didn’t he just come right out and specifically articulate what AiG does believe about the cause of dinosaur extinction? Could the reason be that “massive climate change causing a singular 200-year long ice age that ended within a generation of Abraham” explanation for the extinction of dinosaurs sounds, well…just plain silly?
The Washington Post Owns Up to Its Inaccuracies!
In any case, the Washington Post revised their original article to correct their “mistake.” The new headline reads, “Now there’s a theory that Noah saved dinosaurs from the flood,” and they included the following correction at the beginning: “This article has been updated to clarify that the Ark Encounter says dinosaurs were saved by Noah’s ark from the flood described in Genesis. In fact, dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago.”
And then, in they revised part of the article to now read, “Their (creation scientists) theory is that most of the dinos were wiped out 4,000 years ago in the worldwide flood described in Genesis – except for a few that hitched a ride on Noah’s Ark. This is the version of history on display at the Ark Encounter…”
As I read the corrections, I couldn’t help but think that Vicky Hallet, the writer of the article, as well as the staff at the Washington Post, couldn’t help but crack a smile and chuckle a little. Still, I think they should have done a little more research, and explained fully what Answers in Genesis really does claim about the mass dinosaur extinction in a singular 200-year long ice age right after the flood—it would have been much more informative, thorough…and humorous.
But Ken Ham Still Wasn’t Happy
But it was pretty obvious that Ken Ham really had gotten his feathers ruffled with this whole Washington Post thing—that’s why he was squawking so loud. He also told CBN: “They really don’t like creationists talking about dinosaurs at all because kids love dinosaurs, and dinosaurs are being used to indoctrinate kids in evolutionary ideas, and we’re telling them ‘no–we can explain dinosaurs from a biblical perspective.” In fact, Ham went on to state that the whole Washington Post incident was simply one more example of the greater “spiritual battle” of the clash of worldviews.
And even after the Washington Post revised their article, Ham still went on to accuse the writer of not doing her research about what Answers in Genesis really believes about dinosaur extinction, and suggested that the only reason the article was revised was because the “issue” that he had raised on Twitter obviously had gotten traction, and thus put pressure on them to revise it. He ended with, “However, the Washington Post still did not represent what creationists teach accurately.”
And to that, I can only say, yes, the writer didn’t do her research about what Ken Ham really believes about dinosaur extinction, and yes, Ken Ham didn’t come out and openly say what he really believes about dinosaur extinction either!
I found out about both the revision to the article and Ken Ham’s interaction with CBN about the article because Ham, of course, had tweeted about it with this: “The @washingtonpost not interested in truth or accuracy now printed article re @ArkEncounter with false information.”
I don’t know what “false information” the revised article had—Ham didn’t specify. He doesn’t specify a lot of things…at least not in public.
This Whole Thing is Just Frivolous and Rather Stupid
Yes, you read the subtitle right: this is frivolous and stupid…and still, I’m taking the time to write a blog post on it. Why? Well, for one, I’m happy to realize that I’ve gotten to a place where I can read something about Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis and not immediately feel the pain and hurt I felt for the past two years, knowing that it was this kind of abject stupidity that ruined my teaching career in Christian schools. Simply put, the pain has finally gone, and my sense of humor has returned: really…dinosaurs on a boat that survived a catastrophic worldwide flood a mere 4,000 years ago, only to go extinct when massive climate change due to that flood ushered in a singular 200-year long iced age that lasted from 3800-3600 BC? And Ken Ham truly believes that arguing THAT is “spiritual warfare”? How can you not just laugh?
And yet, how can you not cry, realizing that such nonsense is being sold by Answers in Genesis as being fundamental to the Gospel itself? That’s why I wrote my book, The Heresy of Ham—not to engage in name-calling, but to clearly tell people that the kind of stuff that Answers in Genesis is putting out isn’t in the Bible and has never been part of historical Christianity.
For example, you can find in AiG’s website the following article: 10 Basics Every Christian Must Know to Boldly Proclaim a Biblical Worldview. The “10 Basics” are these: (1) God created everything in six literal days; (2) radiometric dating is flawed; (3) variety happens within “created kinds;” (4) man is unique because he didn’t evolve from apes; (5) distant starlight doesn’t prove the universe is old; (6) there was a global flood; (7) there were dinosaurs on the ark; (8) all human beings are one race; (9) suffering and death happened because Adam and Eve ate a piece of fruit; (10) the truth of the Gospel is dependent on whether or not Genesis 1-11 is literal history.
Does that sound like the teaching that Jesus handed down to his disciples? Are those “basics” of AiG the true fundamentals of the Christian faith? I’m sorry, but whatever “that” is, it’s not Christianity. And the fact that many, in fact, do think that such nonsense is Christianity is why I feel I still need to write about it—to set the record straight.
The Catholic monk Thomas Merton once wrote, “A man of sincerity is less interested in defending the truth than in stating it clearly, for he thinks that if the truth can be clearly seen, it can very well take care of itself.” That’s all we can really do: just state the truth clearly about Ken Ham and shine a light on what YEC really teaches. The truth will be able to take care of itself.
At some point in the next few months, I am planning to write a number of posts on Ken Ham’s book about the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate from two years ago. It is truly eye-opening, and rather shocking, to see how he and his son-in-law Bodie Hodge talk about what actually happened in that debate. Look for the posts sometime in February.