Thursday, February 23, 2017

Giants Versus Dinosaurs!

Ken Ham's Ark Encounter attraction has had some trouble matching the traffic that the Creation Museum attracted the first year it was open. I once commented that tourist visits to the Creationist theme park were fueled by the obvious truism that the only thing cooler than Jesus is Jesus riding a dinosaur. Last week, Ham tweeted images of the latest addition to his Ark - a diorama depicting gladiatorial combat between humans, giants, and dinosaurs. Because that's a pretty cool image too, as long as you ignore the established scientific fact that it never happened.

A new display going into the creationist Noah’s Ark attraction in Kentucky shows what appears to be gladiator-style fights involving humans, giants and a dinosaur.

Ken Ham, founder of the group that runs the attraction, tweeted images of the new diorama on Thursday:

"Exquisite design by @ArkEncounter artists for new Diorama depicting wicked population in the pre-Flood world to be installed @ArkEncounter
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) February 16, 2017"

The dinosaur is visible in the far right of the first image, which has a giant on the left apparently about to spear a human.

Ham, who believes in a strict literal interpretation of the Bible, claims the planet is roughly 6,000 years old, that humans existed alongside dinosaurs and that Noah even carried dinosaurs with him on the ark during a global flood roughly 4,300 years ago.

One of the reasons I decided to post more Ark Encounter stuff today is that I have a real beef with the media account here, which I keep mentioning in these articles and which nobody ever seems to pick up. Ken Ham does not believe in a strict literal interpretation of the Bible. He is an Ussher Chronology cultist. Any "strict literalist" who counts Ham among their number either hasn't read the Bible or doesn't understand it.

Genesis 1 gives an account of the seven days of creation, ending with God resting on the seventh day. Genesis 2 starts off with the Garden of Eden story. These are actually two separate creation myths written up by different authors, but let's just go with the literalist belief that they form a single story. Since humans are created on the sixth day in Genesis 1, the strictest reading is that the Garden of Eden story takes place sometime during that day. Ussher then seized on II Peter 3:7-10, as did many of his contemporaries:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

That's from the King James, in context. According to Ussher, this passage along with Genesis 1 means that the duration of the Earth is six thousand years, corresponding to the six days of creation. So the world ended in 1996, right? That six thousand year thing is pure interpretation. The epistle is simply stating that God is being patient with humanity, and this is not difficult for God because his sense of time is so different of that of humans. And of course, there's "as a thief in the night," above, and for that matter, "no man shall know the day or the hour," which shoot the whole idea down on literalist grounds.

Ham is basically a cultist because he believes anybody who doesn't accept Ussher without question (like, say, prominent evangelist and frequent Augoeides target Pat Robertson) is a heretic. And he really doesn't have a leg to stand on. The existence of the Earth today disproves Ussher's entire contention, and in fact there is no literal reading of the Bible that gives a solid timeline pointing to a single creation date.

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