Ken Ham



Kenneth Alfred Ham (b. October 20, 1951) is the president of Answers in Genesis USA and Joint CEO of Answers in Genesis International. A vocal advocate for a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, his cross-country speaking tours and many books make him one of the better known young Earth creationists.

Ham was born in Queensland, Australia but moved to the United States of America in 1987. He has a bachelor's degree in applied science (with an emphasis on environmental biology) from the Queensland Institute of Technology and also holds a Diploma of Education from the University of Queensland. Jerry Falwell, a Baptist preacher and chancellor of the Baptist Liberty University, granted Ham an honorary doctorate of literature in 1993.

He is married to Marilyn ("Mally") whom he describes as a "very, very submissive, supportive wife" who has "always supported me five million percent." The couple have five children. Two are married, and two live with them in Cincinnati. Ham has four grandchildren.

Between 1987 and 1993, Ham worked for the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), one of the oldest and most prominent American Creationist organizations. In 1994, he set up Answers in Genesis, a Christian ministry devoted to convincing people that Genesis, and the rest of the bible, should be taken as literally true, historically correct and scientifically accurate in every detail.

As a young Earth creationist, Ham believes that the entire universe was created about 6,000 years ago and that Noah's flood occurred about 4,500 years ago. Although rejecting Darwin's Theory of Evolution and its modern variations, Ham does accept that natural selection can give rise to a number of species from an original population, provided that all of these species are of the same kind (a term borrowed from Genesis 1:11 and elsewhere). This explains, he believes, how the small number of animals carried on Noah's ark were able to produce the biological diversity seen today. He also believes that dinosaurs co-existed with modern humans and cites (a) the existence of cave paintings which contain depictions of unidentified large animals and (b) the biblical use of the word dragon which he believes is synonymous with the modern word dinosaur. His claim that the earth is about 6,000 years old is based upon his interpretation of a number of evidences, including the amount of Helium and other gases in the atmosphere, radiometric dating results which he believes are inaccurate or inconsistent, the current proximity of the Moon to the Earth, the amount of salt in the world's oceans, as well as other phenomena. In his public talks, he has used a photo of a fossilized hat found in a mine to support his claim that ancient fossils and artifacts can fossilize faster than many scientists believe.

Furthermore, Ham believes that the existence of the Theory of Evolution in particular and the "old Earth" view of such sciences as Geology and Astronomy in general have indirectly caused the rise of humanism, racism, eugenics, euthanasia, pornography, homosexuality, family breakup, abortion, and more by increasing the influence of atheism. He expressed this strongly in the book One Blood-The Biblical Answer to Racism. He believes that by contradicting the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis the belief in an old Earth causes Genesis to be seen as allegorical rather than literal fact and thus undermines the authority of the rest of the Bible and the moral authority that he believes flows from it. Ham often holds speaking events at various churches around the nation, discussing the "relevancy of Genesis in today's world" and encouraging the religious to speak out in defense of the Bible.

Ham encourages children to "always trust God" over the current mainstream explanations for the origin of the universe when confronted with teachings that contradict a literal reading of the Bible.

"Boys and girls," Ham said. If a teacher so much as mentions evolution, or the Big Bang, or an era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, "you put your hand up and you say, 'Excuse me, were you there?' Can you remember that?" The children roared their assent. "Sometimes people will answer, 'No, but you weren't there either,' " Ham told them. "Then you say, 'No, I wasn't, but I know someone who was, and I have his book about the history of the world.' " He waved his Bible in the air. "Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked. "God!" the boys and girls shouted. "Who's the only one who knows everything?" "God!" "So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?" The children answered with a thundering: "God!"

Answers…with Ken Ham is a radio program that is broadcast daily on over 1000 radio stations worldwide. Each 90 second broadcast features commentary by Ken Ham and presents opinions expressed on the Answers in Genesis website. Archives of past broadcasts are available. An extended BB radio interview with Ken Ham is archived in the external links, below.

His arguments have not gained the acceptance of any mainstream scientific organization. In particular, No Answers in Genesis lists specific criticisms of Ham's teachings on science.

Advocates of creationism, such as Ham, have been criticized for presenting children with a false dichotomy between God and science/evolution. This was a prominent statement in the 2005 opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

One particular criticism is that Ham seeks to debunk evolutionary theory by asking, "were you there"? Talk.origins answers this question with a three point reply:

1. "Yes, because 'there' is here. Events in the past leave traces that last into the present, and we can and do look at that evidence today."
2. "If this response were a valid challenge to evolution, it would equally invalidate creationism and Christianity, since they are based on events that nobody alive today has witnessed."
3. "A more useful and more general question is, 'How do you know?' If the person making a claim can not answer that question, you may consider the claim baseless (tentatively, as someone else may be able to answer). If the answer is subjective -- for example, if it rests on the person's religious convictions -- you know that the claim does not necessarily apply to anyone but that person. If you can not understand the answer, you probably have some studying to do. If you get a good answer, you know to take the claim seriously."

Ham's beliefs and tactics have also been criticized by other Christians. Answers in Creation, an old Earth creationist website, has called Ham willfully ignorant of evidence for an old earth and said he "deliberately misleads" his audiences on matters of both science and theology. Astronomer Hugh Ross, a progressive creationist, has publicly debated Ham on the age of the Earth and the compatibility of an old Earth with the Bible.

Education, awards, and honors:

* Bachelors of Science in Applied Science from Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia
* Diploma of education from the University of Queensland in Australia
* Doctor of Divinity, (Honorary degree) 1997, from Temple Baptist College
* Doctor of Letters, (Honorary degree) 2004, from Liberty University

Bibliography:

* A is for Adam (1995, ISBN 0-89051-207-8) (Children's book)
* Creation Evangelism for the New Millennium, retitled Why Won't They Listen, ISBN 0-89051-378-3 (Online chapters)
* Did Adam Have a Belly Button?
* Did Eve Really Have an Extra Rib?
* D is for Dinosaur (1991, ISBN 0-89051-193-4) (Children's book)
* Dinosaurs of Eden (2000, ISBN 0-89051-340-6) (Children's book)
* The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved! A Biblical View of These Amazing Creatures
* One Blood—the Biblical Answer to Racism (with Don Batten and Carl Wieland, 1999, ISBN 0-89051-276-0)
* Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati (Ham wrote the foreword) (1999, ISBN 0-89051-258-2)
* The Lie: Evolution (ISBN 0-89051-158-6)
* The Revised & Expanded Answers Book (ed. Don Batten; co-authors Jonathan Sarfati and Carl Wieland) [9]
* Walking through Shadows—Finding Hope in a World of Pain (with Carl Wieland, 2002, ISBN 0-89051-381-3)
* What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? (with Dr. John Morris)Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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