William Lane Craig: What is Your Response to Ken Ham?

WLC responds to Ken Ham on the Peaceful Science podcast.

WLC is a well known Christian that affirms evolutionary science (CAES). He holds a nuanced position, and does not consider himself an evolutionary creationist.

Ken Ham called out WLC as a compromiser at the end of last year, and then followed up to explain his reasoning.

How will WLC respond?


Going on soon. 77 people waiting to watch right now, so this might be a rollicking conversation! And it certainly was with quite a bit more for the show. This is one of our better episodes. Don’t miss it.

1 Like

Well that was fun.

The reason why YECs often require preconditions to engaging is because they are often asked to engage with trolls whose only purpose is to make fun of them. I would love to know what these preconditions are, but my guess would be they have something to do with reading certain works they’ve put out on their positions. Craig has demonstrated he doesn’t know and doesn’t care to know YEC positions on most issues and has blatantly misrepresented them at times, especially Sarfati. If I were Sarfati I would not engage publicly with Craig until he demonstrated an actual understanding of Sarfati’s positions and commits to not misrepresenting him.

Is that the “Dr Sarfati” who likes to play games while keeping deliberately blind to available evidence?

I would be shocked to my core if Ham took up Craig on his offer. Absolutely, utterly shocked. Otherwise, this was a lovely conversation. When Craig brought up the two castles picture, I was like, “Oh, yeah, I remember that from my childhood!” Kind of a blast from the past.

1 Like

Why not send Mr Ham a note and see what happens? :slight_smile:

And whatever he does, geez. That just happened at Peaceful Science. Feels like history being made.

1 Like

That’s not the case here. At all. Disagree with WLC if you must. I certainly do. He is no more a troll than Ken Ham is a racist.


Yes, I don’t think you two could have possibly been more courteous and kind in your invitation. I’m excited to see what happens and I hope my skepticism proves to be unfounded!

1 Like

I’m glad I got to hear this. Having posted on his Reasonable Faith forums as an open atheist quite a while ago, I got a very bad impression. So much snark, albeit none of it coming Mr Craig. But I appreciate the conversation and am happy to have my appraisal of your guest updated.

I still don’t know what to make of the arguments for God. I find all apologetics a waste of everybody’s time. If we’re honest, we should recognize that there is nothing I can say that should convince anyone that God doesn’t exist, nor would I want to if I could. There is no argument for God which circumvents the need for faith. If it were in my powers to blow smoke on the subject thick enough to confused a few believers into questioning their faith, why should I do that? Suggesting that there are bald appeals to logic which necessitate a belief in God seems disingenuous to me.


The “case here” is that Craig would destroy Ham in a debate and he knows it. That’s why he’s publicly calling Ham out and then demurring and making excuses about any more capable opponents. I noticed you didn’t rebut my claim that the “preconditions” that Craig found unreasonable were likely that Craig commit to actually reading YEC material so he knows what he’s talking about, unlike his previous public comments on YEC positions. Creation scientists have learned to do this because otherwise it’s a giant waste of time, like Jeanson’s “debate” with Herman Mays.

We specifically said Ken Ham or someone from his community. If Ken would like to send some others, we’d be up for it. If they would like a private conversation, we would be up for it. We did not even ask for a debate, but a dialogue. My bet is that they would push for a debate instead of a dialogue.

Here is the deal. Ken Ham called out WLC, and WLC graciously responded. Seems like Ken Ham is obligated to respond somehow to him.


WLC has been at this for years. There are more than just Ham and AiG around, and WLC knows this. If he actually wanted a productive dialogue with YECs he could have had it at any time. All he would have had to do was familiarize himself with what YECs actually believe instead of strawmanning them as he continues to do.

His decision to call Ham out is a publicity stunt for the book release in September, and it’s painfully obvious.

That’s just silly @BenKissling, and it is not consistent with the facts.

WLC is planning a four views book right now, and wants to include a YEC. He did not ask Ken Ham, but he did ask the key academic YEC people, and they were not at AIG. So far, they have refused. He has not ignored the most qualified YECs, but they haven’t yet been willing to engage.

That is the same situation I’m facing.

What you are missing here is that this particular situation an exchange that Ken Ham initiated. It would be bizarre for WLC to invite Safarti into dialogue in response to Ken Ham’s facebook post. Be serious.

1 Like

2 posts were split to a new topic: Welcome MarkD

I think the response in the video was well thought out and I’d like to see a discussion between the two. I like a lot of what was said, especially the integration with science comments. His tips on how to read scripture along with science was great too, however there are a lot of people that don’t read scripture that way, don’t know to read it that way, and some denominations that don’t teach it that way. That’s why you will find a lot of people that do think a beast is going to come out of the see, a dragon, and so forth and I have more examples. The Bible can be some pretty hard reading. I just think some more care needs to be taken in how that is stated as I see that to be a big gap in this discussions.


That definitely got views…

I appreciate this conversation and many of his responses. I’m looking forward to reading what his defense of the genre he gives Genesis 1-11 is. Who he will cite, etc. Because as far as I’ve looked into it, it seems unique and I’m interested in genre analysis.

My second pet peeve on different views of Genesis is the importance others give on understanding the cultural context of the original author and audience. It’s not a view of inspiration I’m comfortable with. Not as one of first importance anyway.

Typos :wink: And @swamidass - maybe lighten up on the ageist comments or jokes? :slightly_smiling_face: It’s not the first time, and I cringe every time, and the interviewee is flummoxed :neutral_face:

It seems that he as an academic, thinks highly of academia whether in science or elsewhere. I think it’s there that a lot of lay people may find difficulty connecting with that.

Thanks to WLC for the new vocab word - “recondite”

I did a Bible search for the word “foundation” and the word “cornerstone.” I think it would be a fascinating Bible study for anyone to do. I’m going to try to do it myself.

@swamidass, could you share this link with WLC? I did a search to check on the cartoon you mentioned and this came up right away. Maturing the Message | Answers in Genesis I can see the the earlier versions of the cartoon gave the impression that you got, and weren’t great. But I think it is helpful to be aware of that article now and the cartoon updates, because it looks like saying that creation is the foundation of Christianity is a strawman of what he believes. Instead in the article he emphasizes it as a foundation for doctrine and biblical authority. Just quoting the relevant passages below. But what I really appreciate here, and I think WLC would too, is that the Spirit puts in all our hearts a desire to see others know Jesus. When we find common ground in that, that is where we can begin dialogue and find unity. I would like to see the two of them not debate, but dialogue on this issue. WLC may be surprised to know the impact AiG has had on faith. So many people cite creationism as a hinderance to faith, but maybe Ham would share a different perspective from what he’s seen.

When I began teaching in public school in Australia in 1975, during one of my first science lessons I vividly remember a student asking, “Mr. Ham, how can you be a Christian and believe in the Bible when we know it is not true?”

I then asked the student why he would say that, and he replied, “Well, the Bible talks about Adam and Eve, but we know that is not true because our textbooks show us that we evolved from apes.”

Right then I realized that the teaching of evolution was a big stumbling block preventing those students from being receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I began to develop ways of teaching about the creation/evolution issue.

Genesis is the basis of all doctrine, including the gospel. First, I teach about the foundational importance of the book of Genesis—that the history in Genesis 1–11 is foundational to all Christian doctrine, including the gospel itself. I do this to remind Christians that they can’t defend any doctrines unless they first believe that Genesis 1–11 is literal history (as Jesus did, for instance, in defending marriage by quoting Genesis in Matthew 19:4–7).

Reinterpreting Genesis undermines the Word of God itself. However, there is another vital aspect that needs to be understood. This is vital for Christians to understand, and the biblical creation movement needs to be shouting this message “from the rooftops.”

That is, when Christians reinterpert the days of creation to fit with millions of years, reinterpret Genesis 1:1 to fit with the big bang, or adopt other positions that add Darwinian evolution to the Bible, they are undermining the very Word of God itself. And this is the issue—this is why we have lost biblical authority from the culture.

As I remind Christians, we know that Jesus rose from the dead because we take God’s Word as it is written. Secular scientists have never shown that a dead body can be raised to life, but we don’t reinterpret the resurrection as a nonliteral event. We take God’s Word as written.


Yes I’m familiar with this, and use it often with students. It has been most fun to talk with YEC homeschool kids raised on the AIG curriculum.

A question I ask them is to look at the cartoon, and find out where Jesus is. That leads to an interesting exchange. Then I ask them how they would redo the cartoon, and where they would put Jesus. Even better exchanges come there. None of them think the cartoons, as is, portray Jesus rightly.

I don’t think the latter cartoons are better, and I don’t think we made a straw man of his position. See how he describes his position:

This just isn’t true, and it seems to be in direct contradiction with:

Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. Ephesians 2:19-21

What is particularly intersting is this:

Ken Ham misunderstood the situation, like most people did, back then. He though evolution was in conflict with a literal reading of Genesis and in conflict with Adam and Eve. It isn’t. That changes the situation.

If it is Scripture that he cares about, then he no longer has need to oppose evolution.


He is the foundation - God’s Word. He is there.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.

Look at the verse in context:

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

It is the church. The foundation is clearly the Word proclaimed by the apostles and prophets. Jesus is the cornerstone of that.

It is in conflict from the point of view of many in and out of the church, including me. You are a rare exception that takes that position.

1 Like

Well that’s changing. People are learning what science really tells us and that their instincts before were wrong. That’s changing the conversation, and it’s a good thing.


This was outstanding. You and Craig were great. I really enjoyed it. Thanks to you and Dr. Craig.