Ken Ham and the GAE

Society
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

Without giving details, I need to inform the forum of an important development. Ken Ham is being invited into a dialogue/debate with me about the GAE. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially because I reference him positively in the book.

If this happens, I expect that PS will gain an immense amount of attention very quickly, both good and bad. We can expect it to be ten times more crazy than when @NLENTS and I published our review of Behe’s book. This is our warning.

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(Nathan H. Lents) #2

For certain. As much as I rag on the DI crowd, AiG and their ilk are a whole different level. Not even the same category.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #3

They have a chance to recover everything they say they care about, including an entirely literal reading of Genesis, within mainstream science. If they have been honest about their reasons for opposing evolution, they no longer have reason to oppose it.

(Nathan H. Lents) #4

Josh, be reasonable. Their opposition goes WAY deeper than that. I’m glad you’re doing this dialog, but you don’t really expect them to just abandon everything they’re about, right?

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(John Harshman) #5

What could you possibly say about Ken Ham that would be good?

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Ken Ham is no Racist
(Curtis Henderson) #6

I’m a little more pessimistic than Josh, as well. Their view of the natural world is already completely dependent on their interpretation of Genesis 1-11. I do not believe that an alternative interpretation that includes GAE will be welcome to a great majority of YEC adherents. That being said, if this appeals to even a small percentage of YECs, it will be worthwhile.

Let’s just see if Ham actually accepts this invitation. I can easily imagine him deciding that the interaction would not be a worthwhile venture.

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#7

I still see a problem with Noah’s flood. They support a global flood that wiped out everyone except for Noah’s family which creates a detectable and recent bottleneck in the human lineage. This creates the same problem that GAE tried to solve.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #8

You guys are are a pretty dejected bunch. I’m sure Ken Ham will never like the GAE, but is acolytes I’m sure will. Some of them were even at the workshops.

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#9

As far as the acolytes go, there may be hope for some. If their insistence on a young Earth and global flood is an outgrowth of their rejection of evolution then they may drop YEC altogether. This isn’t too far fetched since many YEC’s put geology and astronomy under the “evolution” heading.

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(Chris Falter) #10

Josh, I welcome the opportunity and your attitude.

Please bear in mind that AiG went deeply into debt to fund a museum that would look utterly foolish if Ham were to acknowledge any value in mainstream science. If mainstream science seems plausible:

  • the museum visitors slow to a trickle,
  • the museum dies,
  • AiG goes into bankruptcy, and
  • Ham’s career and credibility are kaput.

At some level, Ham is aware of this scenario whenever he interacts with the public. I am not trying to accuse him of bad faith or hypocrisy. I see no reason not to assume he is being as sincere as is humanly possible. However–what you are hoping for, Josh, does not fit within the parameters of what is humanly possible. IMHO.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

What exactly do you think I’m aiming for? Maybe you think I’m trying to do something different than I am?

#12

Worth a shot! After all, it’s not about getting Ken Ham to revise his views. It’s about exposing others to different possibilities.

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(Jacob) #13

One thing to keep in mind is that a Young Earth is only a part of the picture for some churches. Beyond being against evolution itself, some churches teach that the world must be about 6,000 years old anyway, but no older. All fundamentalist and many non-denominational Evangelical churches believe in dispensationalism. They believe in a fairly detailed timeline for the world, from beginning to end. Their hope for Christ ushering in a new world depends on this timeline being true. The churches where the “Left Behind” novels and talk of the “Rapture” are popular I doubt will listen to any scenario where the earth is old, even if issues about Adam and Eve have been addressed.

There are churches that might be more receptive to GAE if they don’t have a history of Dispensationalism that would be an additional motivation to stay Young Earth - I think conservative Reformed churches and conservative Lutheran churches, and I’m sure others. But if the pastor talks a lot about timelines and “Bible prophecy,” there will probably be objection to the earth being old.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

@Argon gets it.

Play chess, not checkers :slight_smile:

(Faizal Ali) #15

You’re not being serious here, right?

(Faizal Ali) #16

I suspect they’ll like the version of GAE that will exist in their minds and which says that the Bible trumps science and evolution is wrong.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #17

The problem, for them, however, is that this is a total departure from what the text of Genesis says. I was just speaking to a group of high schoolers raised on AIG last week, and they saw it very quickly.

They say it is about taking Scripture literally, and that is what GAE gives them. It gives them a far more literal and far more traditional reading than AIG. In the end they just have to choose what the trust more: God’s word or Ham’s word.

(Robert Byers) #18

Thats great . Ken Ham is one of the most famous thinkers in origin matters and represents tens of millions of North Americans in conclusions about origins. His meuseum/Ark are quite well known and put in adults/kids hearts/minds a permanent spatial opposition to the other ideas on origins.
he has made these subjects more interesting, more intellectually demanding, and surely has encouraged thousands into going into science.
They might be confused by PS stance at first however. Whose side is PS on and all that.
Maybe you can get autographs and free passes for the regulars here especially non-YEC 'ers.
Ken Ham reached, i understood, millions and millions of people who watched the debate with Bill Nye.
The greatest audience ever for a origin debate/discussion.
So your in the big leagues american stlye.

(Faizal Ali) #19

I thought the goal was to get them to accept science…?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

My goal is to do good scientific work, and be effective in engaging the public with it. There is no conflict with Gods Word and the GAE. Great selling point. We’ll have to see about Ham’s word.

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