Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fear Drives Them

The other day I had a blog post by Ken Ham brought to my attention, Ken basically describes teaching creation to some 1500 kids at a church event.

It had 2 quotes that really stood out to me:
I just love teaching the children the truth about dinosaurs—that they were made on the sixth day of creation alongside Adam and Eve.
I was able to ask students to name some things that are fiction—meaning “not true.” They called out the following: "Millions of years", "Evolution", "Ape-like creatures turning into humans".
Yes, they know now these things are fiction.
He then goes on to ask the reader to pray for these children and I really wish I could, because if their parents are exposing them to this man then those children will need all the help they can get.

Ham is an intelligent man despite what you might think from his claims, he holds a degree in applied science, he taught science, he is able to run a business, etc, etc.

He is also very, very, frightened.

It's the same fear that drives so many christians to turn to full fundamentalism, the fear that drives them to defend it so vigorously, the fear that stops them from accepting scientific fact, the fear that makes  them stand on street corners and preach, the fear that makes them want to change the education standards so all children will think as they do, the fear that drives them not only to build christian theme parks but to visit them and call it "education".

The fear is... that they just might be wrong.

And that is a terrible fear indeed, especially for someone with a science education like Ken Ham, because he knows that what the bible claims is not consistent with the world we live in. He knows why carbon dating works, that tectonic plates move slowly, he knows that a flood leaves graded sediment, not stratified sediment, but worst of all... he knows that if any part of the bible were considered non-literal then ALL of the bible would come into question. Including the bits about God and Jesus and being saved...

In fact the more you know about science the worse it gets, because if the bible is even a little wrong, then its A LOT wrong.

From believing the bible is the literal word of god to believing it's an interesting book with some good ideas and some very questionable morality plays is not just a a slippery slope, but a straight drop down a shear glass wall  covered in grease.

The three things he cites that children know are "fiction" are very telling:

"Millions of years"

You have to understand that for fundamentalist christians this a scary concept, they dont just think in terms of general salvation, they want to be personally saved, and the concept that the universe has been around for millions or even billions of years means it's just possible they may have to wait a while before that happens.


This is a biggie, and atheists tend to overlook how scary this is for a person of faith. Evolution is a process of change - and change is something that should not be able to happen without the creators design, after all, cars dont drive themselves right? If they did why would you need a driver...

"Ape-like creatures turning into humans"

My personal favourite. Did god love the "proto-man" as much as he loved us? The promise of god and the bible and indeed all religions is that we are special, we are the chosen, the faithful, the few, the true... Non of those statements sounds as impressive when you understand that we all share a common ancestor. Do our closest evolutionary cousins also have a soul? will our descendents still have souls if we continue to evolve as a species?


I think, in the end, that people like Ham and others know deep down that they are wrong. They know the bible does not make sense. They know it is self contradictory. They know genesis is a really poor description of how the world came into being, yet alone the universe... but they attempt to indoctrinate as many people (children) as possible to help convince themselves they are not being self delusional.

Misery loves company and it's easier to tell yourself you not being stupid, irrational, or crazy, when you have lots of friends all agreeing with you.

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