Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Doing My Part to Irritate Ken Ham

Well, since PZ's pointed out some of Ken Ham's temper tantrums, I'll do my part to provoke him a little more. So I've decided to reply to the whine of his linked from the Pharyngula post:
AiG is not even aware of any DefCon leaders who have ever visited the museum and introduced themselves to us, and also examined our exhibits and multimedia presentations.1 In fact, since virtually all museum signage has gone up in the past two weeks, if a DefCon leader has ever dropped by (e.g., by sneaking in with museum charter members when construction tours were held), he/she would have read very little text and would not have seen any of the 50-plus videos (which have just been loaded into their monitors). Yet DefCon has managed to start a national petition-signing campaign against a museum they really haven't seen (but nevertheless can still claim that the museum is a “nefarious campaign to institutionalize a lie”).
Just like I said before the release of Ann Coulter's book, we're free to complain about idiocy we anticipate. Ken Ham's a well-known IDiot, therefore we can expect more of the same.

At the core of this national campaign against the Creation Museum is DefCon's desire to turn people away from the museum and keep them from hearing what the Bible says about earth history (and how science, as we say, confirms it).

Having the opportunity to hear both sides of a controversial topic seems very American to us (especially since young people who attend public school science classes and visit science museums are presented with only one view of origins: evolution). So it begs the question: why is a group that purportedly exists to defend the Constitution's First Amendment’s right to free speech wanting to keep people from being exposed to another view?
1. They aren't restricting the freedom to hear it. They're just suggesting that people avoid obvious idiocy. Is Agony Booth anti-free speech because they give good reason to avoid watching certain movies? I don't think so.
2. What controversy?

It’s become a frequent refrain: “There are no real scientists who believe in creation.”4 The late famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that “virtually all thinking people accept the factuality of evolution, and no conclusion in science enjoys better documentation.”5

Our creation scientist page lists just a small sampling of scientists who accept Genesis creation, and then note the famous scientists who also believed in creation (some were contemporaries of Darwin):

  • Physics—Newton and Faraday
  • Chemistry—Boyle
  • Biology—Mendel, Linnaeus, and Pasteur
  • Geology—Steno and Cuvier
  • Astronomy—Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo
The caricature that there are no real scientists who believe in creation is patently false.
Well, I don't make the claim quite as absolute as DefCon some people (see Eamon Knight's comment, below), but there are a lot of problems with the retort:

1. Those scientists they list largely predate evolutionary theory.
2. It's entirely possible to be scientifically minded towards some issues and be a complete creduloid in regards to others. Just like it's possible for some people to be 'holier than thou' on some things and utterly depraved on others.
3. So what?
4. How many are named Steve?
Just ask Dr. Raymond Damadian, the famous scientist/inventor who produced the first full magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) scan of the human body. Today MRIs are utilized in hospitals and medical research institutes worldwide. Dr. Damadian will fly here to take part in the grand opening celebration of the Creation Museum in a few days.
Yeah, let's ask someone who doesn't have an expertise in the relevant field. How about we just drop all the ego stroking and talk about evidence? I think we all know the answer to that.

If you're an educator or scientist, please fill out our special feedback form and let us know of your museum support. Then let other educators and scientists know that DefCon and similar groups are trying very hard to keep people away from a center that presents the good news of Jesus Christ.

But don’t send your comments of support under the guise of multiple users. We must leave such tactics to those who have chosen to believe that there is no Creator to whom they will account for their actions.

1. Yeah, let's pretend that Internet petitions are always uniformly honest and meaningful. Or that Creationists don't engage in that behavior.
2. I find it funny that asking people not to go amounts to 'trying very hard' when Creationists typically try to pretend that unethical, unconstitutional, governmentally approved actions against our schools, like allowing coerced prayer, are nothing serious.
3. If God exists, it seems to me that everything is permissible. From what I've seen, theists like Ken Ham seem to think they can get away with anything and everything. Especially intellectual sloth. So, when are they going to actually make falsifiable predictions and test them?


Berlzebub said...

This "museum" made me finally get off my but and start my own blog. The first entry is of the museum. It's time I practice my First Amendment rights.

Berlzebub said...

Oops... That should be "butt", and not "but". Just in case a creationist who can spell happens to stumble through.

Eamon Knight said...

It’s become a frequent refrain: “There are no real scientists who believe in creation.”4....Well, I don't make the claim quite as absolute as DefCon....

Read the footnote; it's not even DefCon making that claim:

This comment is often made by callers on secular talk shows, reports AiG President Ken Ham (who is a frequent guest on such programs).

Now there's an authoritative source, no? Talk show callers! But note how AiG states it in such a way as to implicity attribute it to scientists like Gould. There's a rhetorical fallacy going on there, related to Straw Man, though not quite the same.

Bronze Dog said...

Good catch, Sir Eamon. Commencing correctitudinization...

Ryan Michael said...

Isn't intellectual sloth a prerequisite of theism? Not assuming the null hypothesis, for example.