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Hmm, Here's a Great Point from Creationist Ken Ham: Journalists, Please Take Note

Ken Ham of the young earth creationist group Answers in Genesis (AiG) and the Creation Museum is getting ready for his big debate with Bill Nye on February 4. But Mr. Ham took time out to reply with a post on his blog, Around the World with Ken Ham, to comments that I made.

Writing here at ENV, I had said I look forward to the event with Nye, among other things because I want as many people as possible to see how a real creationist argues, in vivid contrast to advocates of intelligent design. I'm grateful for the courtesy of Mr. Ham's answer, but even more so for an important point he makes. He frames the distinction between ID and creationism most helpfully.

As you know, by habit Darwin defenders seek to avoid a genuine debate on the scientific evidence of design in nature. When not censoring skeptics and silencing advocates of alternative views, they resort to verbal trickery. A favorite tactic is to conflate intelligent design with "creationism." Hence the phrase "intelligent design creationism," on which the Darwin-lobbying National Center for Science Education even bestows an acronym: IDC.

Equally deceptive, Darwinists use the term "creationism" to smear supporters of academic freedom. For an example, see Karl Giberson's recent article for the Daily Beast, "Creationism's Latest Trojan Horse Edges Toward Virginia Schools." Whether from laziness or dishonesty, the popular media have been complicit in misleading the public.

Mr. Ham, to his credit, helps clarify the stark difference. For him, in adjudicating a scientific debate, reading your Bible is a way of discovering evidence. That is what makes Mr. Ham a creationist. For us, obviously, in a scientific inquiry only scientific evidence counts. That is why ID advocates are most surely not creationists. Writes Mr. Ham:

The Bible is evidence -- it is evidence that enables us to correctly connect the past to the present and understand true history.

Because the ID movement ignores the Bible, its leaders will not publicly lead people to understand who the true God is.

There is more along these lines.

  • "[T]he ID movement is not a Christian movement."
  • "The ID movement is ignoring evidence: they dismiss the Bible itself as evidence!"
  • "What we believe about the age of the earth (that it is relatively young) is a consequence of our stand on biblical authority, and nothing in observational science contradicts that. You see, we use the Bible as evidence!"
  • "Again, the big difference is that AiG insists on using the Bible as evidence!"

It's hard for me to see how anyone could be convinced by this way of thinking. When I hear similar talk from some fellow Jews, I also wonder.

Be that as it may, every journalist who writes about "intelligent design" and "creationism" should read Ken Ham's clear, honest article very carefully. What a believer makes of the Bible is not a question that ID addresses. Advocates of intelligent design operate in the same realm of science that Darwinian evolution does, even as the theory of intelligent design reaches conclusions profoundly at variance from evolutionary orthodoxy. Creationism very much does its own thing.

Isn't it interesting that Bill Nye chose to debate Ham, then, where their respective views are incommensurable and no meaningful conversation is possible. Meanwhile Nye's fellow Darwin advocates mostly refuse to engage the challenge of ID where an interesting, fruitful discussion could indeed take place. And does, with an honorable minority of anti-ID stalwarts.

Mr. Ham is a polite and candid man -- much more than I can say for many of our Darwinist friends. I salute him for that, and wish him a good evening on February 4.

I'm now on Twitter. Find me @d_klinghoffer.