Friday, May 8, 2015

Not That Kind of Science

So Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis is back in the news again. This time around, the young-Earth creationist has announced that he will be applying his patented "observational science" method to dinosaur fossils in order to prove that they are in fact only a few thousand years old. As the saying goes, good luck with that. Ham's a kook, but he never fails to entertain with his combination of sheer ignorance and absolute conviction.

It appears that the Creation Museum’s Ken Ham hopes to use donated bones and his specially patented “observational science” to prove once and for all that dinosaurs were present on the Earth only a few thousand years ago — rather than over 65 million. Together with creation scientist Dr. David Menton, Ham says he soon hopes to publish findings from the study of the bones — hinting that what he thinks they’ll find will be world-changing.

It should be understood that Ken Ham routinely dismisses findings of paleontologists, geologists, and other scientists who look at the evidence on Earth to determine what it must’ve been like before recorded history. In Ham’s worldview, there are two types of science: historical and observational. He considers things in the present to be “observational science,” which can be seen, and when confronted with evidence for anything he categorizes as historical science, retorts, “Were you there?”

I have a question here. Ham's "observational science" is patented? It's clear from his use of the term that it refers to something other than actual science, but is the deal that Ham wants anyone who looks at anything to owe him money? I suppose revenue from that would finally get his ridiculous Noah's Ark theme park built, if anyone was dumb enough to pay him. But it sure sounds like patent trolling to me.

The other thing about Ham that has always cracked me up is that while he claims that an Earth that's a few thousand years old makes more sense in the context of the Bible, his justification is the Ussher Chronology, one of the most convoluted pieces of Biblical scholarship ever. Not only that, he believes that it is the only possible way to read the Biblical chronology. Note the following:

Ussher's specific choice of starting year may have been influenced by the then-widely-held belief that the Earth's potential duration was 6,000 years (4,000 before the birth of Christ and 2,000 after), corresponding to the six days of Creation, on the grounds that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8).

Except that's absolute nonsense. Nowhere in the Bible is any hint given whatsoever with regard to the duration of the Earth. I've read the whole thing; it's not in there. In fact, the Gospel of Matthew specifically states "but of that day and hour knoweth no man" with respect to the "passing away" of the Earth.

But there I go, using this method that I should patent called "observational reading." You know, the process by which you see shapes on a page or screen and your brain turns them into meaningful letters. I could totally own that! And if I did, I could probably retire tomorrow because the whole Internet would owe me big money.

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