Ken Ham Mad at Miley Cyrus for Not Being As Stuck Up as He Is

Ken Ham, best known these days for losing a debate to Bill Nye the Science Guy, has always held some… colorful opinions. The best that I can say for him, really, is that at least his organization distanced itself from Kent Hovind (see Arguments to Avoid at Answers in Genesis, and Maintaining Creationist Integrity at talkorigins’s Hovind page).

But now he’s gone off in a rather unintentionally-entertaining manner against Miley Cyrus, who posed nude at Paper. In particular, Ham didn’t like this part of the article:

Although she was raised Christian, Cyrus maintains a particular contempt for fundamentalist lawmakers who rally against this sort of progressive, potentially life-saving change. “Those people [shouldn’t] get to make our laws,” she says. Those people — the ones who believe that, say, Noah’s Ark was a real seafaring vessel. “That’s fucking insane,” she says. “We’ve outgrown that fairy tale, like we’ve outgrown fucking Santa and the tooth fairy.”

except that the two instances of the word “fucking”, even when reduced to “f–king” by Fox News, were enough to give him the vapors, and he had to bowdlerize them still further.

He also has the sads because Cyrus doesn’t share his superstition (emphasis added):

The same expletive was used a number of times in the interview. As you read what she reportedly said, it becomes very obvious that it’s not just the biblical accounts of the Ark and Flood in Genesis she is dismissing, but she is rejecting our Ark of salvation—Jesus Christ.

Of course what she means is that she wants to make her own “laws”! And she uses her “laws” and beliefs to judge Christians as her aggressive judgmental attitude toward Christians is so apparent, though in reality it is really about her attitude toward God and His Word.

Um… of course. Don’t we all want our values to be represented in the law? And of course we use our beliefs to judge those around us. As for making her own laws, isn’t that what democracy is about?

The article goes on to state,

Sexually, Cyrus said she is “down with” anything. She views her sexuality and even her gender identity as fluid. “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me,” she said. “I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”

Question for her: Why not involve an animal? On what basis does she decide that?

I’ve highlighted the word “consenting”, because Ham seems to have missed it. Animals can’t give consent. Neither can children. In the latter case, it’s more complicated, but our society has come up with 18 years as a not-entirely-arbitrary dividing line between children who can’t give consent, and adults who can.

He goes on to quote a bunch of Bible passages because he’s a Christian fundie, and that’s what they do. But I think this post says a lot mor about Ham than it does about Cyrus. In particular, that he thinks of morality in terms of obedience and disobedience; that he can’t think of a reason why he wouldn’t, say, fuck a sheep if he thought he could get away with it.

It also sounds as though he’s been drinking his own Kool-Aid, and actually believes that

in her heart she knows God exists (Romans 1) […] she has a conscience (as seared as it is because of her sinful rebellion) because the law is written on our hearts (Romans 2).

Someone who’s been telling himself he’s right so hard and for so long that he’s now convinced himself that everyone knows he’s right, and anyone who disagrees with him is only doing it to be contrarian. And that’s sad.

Won’t stop me from laughing at him, though. Just, maybe, not quite as hard as I would otherwise.

The Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye Debate

I watched the debate between Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Ken Ham, director of Answers in Genesis, the outfit that runs the creation museum in Kentucky.

When I heard that Nye had agreed to the debate, I thought it was a bad idea, for all the usual reasons, and in particular that it would give creationism too much credibility: if you put Neil DeGrasse Tyson on stage with someone who thinks we can travel to mars by growing pixie wings, the latter has a lot more to gain than the former. Pixie-wing-guy gets to brag that he discussed issues with a prominent scientist, whereas Tyson has to admit that he wasn’t allowed to laugh pixiw-wing man out of the room.

And so it was last night. A man who basically believes that, as Robin Ince put it, “Magic Man done it!” got to share a stage with a man who has mountains of real-world evidence behind his assertions.

Having said that, it didn’t turn out as badly as I feared. Not so much because Nye did well, though for the most part he did. Rather, because Ken Ham did a pretty good job of explaining what young-earth creationism is: it has nothing to do with evidence (he said in the Q&A that there was nothing that could change his mind) and everything to do with believing a particular interpretation of the Bible.

It’s traditional to say that no one’s mind is ever changed by such debates, but that’s not always the case. I don’t know how many people were on the fence last night. But if any of them didn’t know what creationism was before, they do now. As stealth-creationist Casey Luskin puts it:

People will walk away from this debate thinking, “Ken Ham has the Bible, Bill Nye has scientific evidence.”

I haven’t done an extensive search, but the consensus seems to be that Nye won the evening. Yes, that’s what you’d expect from sites like Pharyngula or Friendly Atheist or Daily Kos, but Uncommon Descent, Evolution News & Views seem to agree as well. Charisma News doesn’t have any comments, gloating or otherwise. The Blaze’s comments seem about evenly split between “Ham won” and “Nye won”; given its readership, I would’ve expected it to tilt much farther toward Ham’s side.

I’m also surprised at how big a deal this was. I’ve seen plenty of these sorts of debates over the years, but typically they don’t interest anyone except the sorts of wonks who actually follow this stuff. But this one was streamed live on CNN, and covered in the Washington Post and on NPR. So it’s possible that a lot of people who haven’t thought much about creationism have now been introduced to it, and hopefully shown that it’s not science, not even close.

See also

Ken Ham Is Not Ashamed, for Some Reason

Not too long ago, in a post entitled
I Am Not Ashamed,
Ken Ham, director of that epicenter of idiocy, Answers in Genesis,
criticizes Christians too wimpy to admit that they still believe in
fairy tales. He urges all True Christians™ to embrace their
inner crazy and proudly proclaim their gullibility to the world.

AIG will lead this charge by erecting billboards with the theme of
I Am Not Ashamed
Some examples include

If I might suggest a few others:

The Bible speaks for itself on pr0n:
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
Ezekiel 23:20

The Bible speaks for itself on revenge:
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Psalm 137:9

The Bible speaks for itself on whether the Earth is round:
an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world
Matthew 4:8

The Bible speaks for itself on 401(k)s:
Take therefore no thought for the morrow
Matthew 6:34

You get the idea. I’m sure you can come up with your own suggestions.

There is one bright spot for Mr. Ham, though:

The Bible speaks for itself on intelligence:

CreoZerg Rush!

For those who, like me, didn’t manage to make it to Ken Ham’s
Creation Hebrew Mythology “Museum”
for the
Student Secular Alliance‘s
Zerg rush,
you can read the raw twit log

Some of the highlights are collected at
Attempts at Rational Behavior,
but I’m sure that more will follow.

I’m not sure who first twote that “Adam sinned so I could enjoy bacon”, but now I want that on a tee-shirt.

Local 12, a news station in Cincinnati, has a
brief story
about this, with nothing of real interest.

The MSM is obviously engaged in a coverup, since Google News doesn’t
show any reports of hundreds of baby-eating atheists raping and
looting their way through the Kentucky countryside. And Cephalopod
Überhauptmeister PZ Myers is
in on the conspiracy.

Update: 17:04: PixelFish’s LOLCreashun and Dino Haiku.