Ken Ham should be on the list only because his fear fueled adherence to literal interpretation is representative of too many like minded folk.
I suggest we add Ham’s name in there just to see his reaction when he notices. Just think of all the free publicity it will generate!
Imagine if all over the Internet people started posting fake Ken Ham endorsements for all sorts of contra-Ken things. That could get pretty funny. Would he be wise enough to avoid fanning the flames by denouncing the most outrageous pseudo-quotes and thereby giving them more publicity?
There’s been many articles lately about the fact that lots of people think that satirical pseudo-news items which got their start in The Onion and Babylon Bee are real news stories. That got me thinking about various potential Ken Ham headlines:
Ken Ham Mea Culpa: “Tourist-Trap Ark Is a Silly Dare That Got Way Out of Hand. My Bad.”
Ken Ham Announces New Ark Park Expansion: “Nebuchadnezzar’s Fiery Furnace”
Ken Ham Follow-Up Story:
Carbon Footprint Calculations Scuttle Fiery Furnace Project
Ken Ham Update:
“Atheist Scientists Fabricated Global Warming Hoax in Order to Sabotage My ‘Nebuchadnezzar’s Fiery Furnace’ Park Expansion.”
Ken Ham Denies AIG Affiliation with Proposed Neighboring Theme Park’s “Solomon’s Concubine Encounter.” Calls it “Biblical but Sleazy.”
These would make pretty funny comics.
And then you resume hacking on Easter?
Exactly. (In truth, I’d probably defer until that Monday. Just to avoid offending anyone.)
@AllenWitmerMiller maybe you can collaborate with Marty Gras?
@swamidass , one of the ideas I’ve had for simplifying the artwork of such comics is setting up some standard “cartoon art templates” which could be created by a talented artist. One such template and comic strip series could be entitled “Today in Ill-Conceived Headlines” or “More Very Bad Journalism.” The cartoon would be a TV newscaster seated at his/her desk, and I would just fill in the text appearing on the studio LCD monitor above the newscaster’s right shoulder. Example news story headlines could include:
Lutheran Scientists Announce Diet of Worms Weight Loss Discovery
Wisconsin Reagan Republicans Want to Bring Back 1980’s Government-Cheese Giveaway Program: “Let’s Make America Grate Again”
Naïve Linguistics Major Marked by Diaeresis After Mexican Christmas Dinner. Goes on Noël Hiätus.
Of course, two of those examples require just a little bit of “academic knowledge” of their respective topics in order to get the joke. But that is what could make such a Peaceful Science comic strip distinctive. [To those who may be in the dark, diaeresis is the term for the two dots over various vowels in the above headlines. The mark is headed towards extinction in the English language. The diaeresis indicates that two adjacent vowels should be pronounced separately. And, yes, I was punning the words diaeresis and diarrhea.]
Another standard cartoon template could be “Today’s Bad Science Tweets”, where each frame in the comic strip could be the next tweet in an ongoing debate between two scientists, or perhaps a scientist and a theologian—or a mundane but very academic discussion between experts on some topic, culminating in the final frame with some non-expert totally misinterpreting the entire debate and tweeting an unintentionally humorous followup. I’m sure I could think of many. For example, a very serious tweet debate between Calvinists and Arminians would conclude with the words of a previously quiet observer who tweets:
“Yeah. I know what you mean. My grandmother was an Armenian who came over from the old country as a child. She was very strongly free-willed. Nobody could stand her.”
That one was actually inspired by a post-sermon comment I got from a somewhat confused and very elderly lady back in the 1970’s. (Indeed, if I ever write my autobiography, that true story could be included in my chapter to be entitled “The Hazards of Sleeping Through Most of the Sermon But Nevertheless Complimenting the Pastor After the Service.” Another actual incident from a Sunday School class in Appalachia explains my “Bad Scripture Paraphrases” chapter title. A retired tobacco farmer was sure he understood the meaning of the KJV rendering of Hebrews 1:1 when he explained “sun-dried times and diver’s manners” on the old slate chalkboard.)
Another chapter of my autobiographical tome would be “Driving on a Suspended Comedic License.”
FOOTNOTE: My joke from 2016 about then candidate Trump courting dairy farmer votes by promising to restore Ronald Reagan’s give-away program of those rock hard blocks of government surplus cheese (“Let’s Make America Grate Again”) has since then become a popular quip on those customizable roadside signs in front of some rural and small town evangelical churches.
Speaking of Marty Grass, that reminds me of my late uncle who used to say around October of each year that it was time to see Pete Moss about mulching his flowerbeds before winter.
Does this qualify as mulch ado about nothing?
re: mulch ado about nothing
Back in the Cambrian Period of the early Internet, I remember posting to a Creationist Newsgroup [Remember newsgroups?] my article about trends in Genesis 1 hermeneutics using the groan-worthy title, “Much Adieu About Ex Nihilo.”
Yeah, I had just as little sense of personal shame back then as now.
I think you’re really missing the boat (ark?) with Ken Ham. The more he and his followers hate the book, then the more attention it will attract. (I’m thinking like President Trump here)
Sounds like a fun blog post for April 1st. Ken Ham endorses the GAE!
Yeah, thats a big laugh.
And I was raised to in wisdom, discern that the type of contents in this thread such as the mockery of men who take the Bible and ths gospel seriously all the way to the pride of likemindedness between atheist and theist about our very existence is proof of dishonoring God and failure.
Sorry. Someone had to say it and nobody else seems to want to come to the plate.
No one is mocking Ken Ham on this thread. It is funny because we know he would not endorse this book, so it would be obviously false. Maybe we have him wrong (do you think he would endorse?), but that isn’t mocking him. It is the idea of an impossible thing that seems funny.
Moreover, I take the bible and the Gospel seriously, so I would never mock someone for taking this seriously too. In fact, I’m concerned about Ken Ham’s disregard of the Bible, but that is a conversation for another day.
Inadvertently, you’ve demonstrated pretty well the importance of what we’re doing here. You could have just humbly made the point that they/we may have been having a little too much fun poking fun of Ken Ham and your point would have been well taken by at least some. Instead, you went full bore with the claim that it is a serious sin for religious people to even talk to atheists about big questions. You’ve given us all an important reminder about what we’re up against in this effort and for that I offer sincere thanks.
Ken Ham is extremely opportunistic to exploit any publicity he can to draw attention to his ministry. He even creates his own media events (Ham v. Nye debate) for this purpose. I expect that Ham and his staff are already planning a response to Joshua’s book to benefit from the expected publicity. The joke here, if there is one, is the idea of doing just what Ken Ham would do for himself.
Just my two-bits.
Ken Ham loved the opportunity to debate Billy Nye because it reinforced his theme that his is the True Christian Position™ while on the other side are those who defy the Bible and all that is good—and that Team Evolutionism is rooted in atheism. Sub-theme: All who aid Team Evolutionism in any way are opposing God’s good purposes—whether they realize it or not.
I don’t think Ken Ham likes to draw any attention to the fact that there are genuine Bible-loving Christ-followers who are accomplished scientists who strongly disagree with him. It is far more reassuring for him and his followers to pretend that all who disagree with his interpretations of the Bible are confused compromisers at best or evil atheists at worst.
Bill Nye fell right into Ham’s trap. He was a bit more restrained than usual in the Ham-Nye debate but everyone understood that he represented evolution and Team Atheist. In other public addresses he has been far more outrageous and he loves to mock the Bible, especially in Bible Belt appearances. (I’ve seen the newspaper coverage and Nye repeats a lot of pop Internet-myth nonsense that reminds his most Christians that he knows little about the Bible.)
Most people love a very simple “good guys versus the bad guys” narrative. Bill Nye made an ideal villain. Cordial and calmly erudite Christians like @swamidass who openly profess their love for Jesus and the Bible and who carefully explain that there is no real conflict between Biblical faith and evolutionary biology are a potential threat to Ham’s false dichotomy. I don’t think Ken Ham will ever draw any attention to appealing alternative narratives if he can avoid it. Notice how very carefully AIG deals with ID topics and authors. Ham knows that some of his supporters are also positive towards The Discovery Institute, so he has to deal with ID now and then but always to make clear that the best known ID advocates tend to affirm Common Descent—and therefore to imply, nudge nudge, that they are aiding and abetting evil evolutionism.
Ham avoids any mention of fellow YEC Todd Wood other than occasional footnotes which mention Wood’s support of “baraminology.” Dr. Wood has the audacity to admit that the evidence for evolution is compelling and many consider him a traitor to YECism as a result. I’ve never seen Ham draw any attention to the fact that Todd Wood has a competing ministry which might appeal to some of his followers.
If Joshua’s GAE book gains a wide readership and many of his supporters become aware of it, Ham may grudgingly deal with it. But until then, he will do nothing to risk drawing attention to it. Few of his supporters will buy the book and few will investigate its themes online. I doubt that the book will appear on his radar. I hope I’m wrong.
One more detail here - Ham paid for Nye to appear and debate him. I agree it was not good to promote Ham this way, but these appearances are how Bill Nye pays his bills.
And as many have noted, both men were less than extremely skilled and qualified to address evolution and creation topics. (Nye is not a biologist and Ham is not a theologian.) Unfortunately, they tended to talk past one another throughout—which, of course, often happens in public debates.
Oral debates are such a poor way to compare and contrast ideas. Nevertheless, the media and much of the general public loves them. I guess people love spectacle, whether real or imagined.