Ken Ham: Teaching Kids Science Amounts to “Intellectual Child Abuse”

Mar 7, 2016

Photo credit: Ken Ham/Facebook

By Rachel Ford

It’s no secret that Answers in Genesis’ Ken Ham has issues with reality. His decades-long war on it is proof enough of that. But in a Facebook post yesterday, he took that animosity to new depths, describing reality-based science lessons as a form of child abuse.

Intellectual child abuse: when kids are taught they’re just animals in an evolutionary process. This morning I taught kids the creation/gospel message!

The young people today in Alabama learned they’re not made in the image of an ape — they’re created in the image of God.

The post accompanied an image of Ham speaking to “1,000 kids grades K-6” about Creationism. The irony, of course, is that Ham thinks it’s abusive to reference the facts of humanity’s evolutionary history because he claims we’re not “just animals”… but teaching children that they’re inherently flawed and deserving of ever-lasting torture is totally fine with him.


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38 comments on “Ken Ham: Teaching Kids Science Amounts to “Intellectual Child Abuse”

  • Ken Ham is self admitted science denier, indeed a profiteer from his version of Christianity, run as a business. He talks about “abuse” ! The man should not be allowed anywhere near children ! Fucking up childrens’ view of nature is a crime against humanity.

    Rant over. Others will put it better.
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  • @op – But in a Facebook post yesterday, he took that animosity to new depths, describing reality-based science lessons as a form of child abuse.

    Ham does not have much intellect, and he has no doubt heard atheists describe the mental retardations of religions, as “child abuse”, so he has just copied it and reversed it.
    He does this all the time with his trrrrroooo “creation science” and “refutations” of peer-reviewed mainstream science”.

    AIG even has their own fake copycat version of a (pseudo) “science research journal” – “reviewed” by carefully picked creationist YEC faith-head “peers”!
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  • For all the US posters, if any of us Aussies give you too much of a hard time about US gun mania, or your health care system, Donald Trump or any of the many things we find lamentable about your fine nation, just remind us that we gave you Ken Ham. I am so, so sorry.
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  • Mr DArcy:

    Fucking up childrens’ view of nature is a crime against humanity.

    Rant over. Others will put it better.

    However long this thread runs I doubt anyone will put it more succinctly or better!
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  • Alan, it’s Monday night, after a long day’s work, and I really don’t want to get angry with that YEC Ken Ham. My own view is that he is a charlatan in the Premier League, not because of his Christianity, but because it’s his bread and butter. As you say, possibly of low intellect, not that it matters whether he’s smart or not, indeed I don’t give a fig whether I’m smart or not, but the fact is he is preaching his Christian nonsense to kids as some sort of “alternative” to hard science. For that I can never forgive his deliberate misrepresentation of the scientific view of the world.
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  • And for more bad news: The Hamster appears to have found a Woo -addled Bush appointed judge to help fund his arky-ology!

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/2016/01/26/ken-hams-ark-park-will-get-tax-breaks-after-all/

    Anyway, Ham’s folly hit the skids at the end of 2014 when it turned out that he was going to lose $18 million in tax breaks from the state of Kentucky because he planned only to hire fundamentalist Christians. You know, separation of church and state and all that.

    Yesterday, however, according to Americans United:

    U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ruled that the tax-incentive program is religiously neutral and that Ark Encounter must be permitted to take part.
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  • I would bet everything I own I could put on a indoctrination in front of children and have them believing snowmen are gods in a couple of years.

    Its easy to brainwash. Its hard to undo the damage when the parents and society are part of the problem.
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  • 11
    Robert Firth says:

    This famous philosopher said it far better than I ever could:

    “Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.”

    Hypatia of Alexandria
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  • It seems to me that every so often a problem arises in the form of an inadequate attention seeker who’s so driven that she/he will go to any lengths to achieve their aims. regardless of how much harm they cause in the process; the list is long and their names are infamous.

    What causes them to be as they are I’ve no idea, I only know that at all costs children must be protected from them; but therein lies another problem, since that duty should be carried out by parents, yet here the youngsters are, en masse, listening to this religious propaganda.

    So I hate to think what they’re subjected to at home if their mothers and fathers allow them to attend such gatherings; or indeed encourage them to do so.

    But of course, those who devote their lives to being in the spotlight know instinctively, or at least learn, where their captive audiences are to be found; it’s all part of the deadly game of self-aggrandizement.

    Infants and very young children are, for obvious reasons. the centre of attention, so could it be that that’s a period of our lives that, although the vast majority of us are keen to move on from, some are reluctant to relinguish?

    Although it’s fallen somewhat into disrepute, I think the term Arrested Development might apply.
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  • I think that in the case of Ham – Retrospective abortion should be considered…One fairly drastic way to stop his damaging meme’s from polluting young minds……Or am I being a tad harsh?
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  • rogeroney:

    How does Ham know that the image of ‘god’ isn’t in fact an ape ?
    Has he seen ‘him’ ? !!!

    A childs imagination is self stimulating, internally generating whatever it needs to satisfy its owner’s fantasies.

    One Summer day when our twin daughters were about six, as their mum came in through the front door wearing a beautiful, bright, flower patterned outfit, one of them said: “mum, when you die can I have that dress?”

    It’s at moments like that that being a parent is wonderful; but if our daughter asked that question now there would be cause for concern; she’s twenty five!

    What age is this geezer?
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  • 16
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    It’s pretty outrageous how religious apologists and the illiterate regularly hijack the language and the memes that have originated from the scientific, humanist and atheist writers and then attempt to use them for their own purpose.

    Words and expressions like child abuse, delusion, intellectual dishonesty, critical thinking, etc…

    They probably think it’s a clever move to use the opposition’s own words against them but the very context in which they use those words proves beyond doubt that they have no understanding of their true meaning. They are both utter intellectual midgets and the heavyweight champions of world wide dissemination of ignorance and stupidity.
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  • @OP – The post accompanied an image of Ham speaking to “1,000 kids grades K-6” about Creationism.

    But Ham is skilled in “translating” the word of the Bible into modern structures!

    http://www.religiousforums.com/threads/ken-hams-ark-to-be-built-out-of-gopher-steel.178479/
    Ken Ham: “Do you know what we need to do in response to the Supreme Court decision on Friday? . . . . For one, we need to build an Ark—a life-size Ark—as a sign to the world that God’s Word is true and the message of salvation is true.
    I thought of that as I visited the Ark construction site this afternoon.

    Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of [gopherwood] huge fir beams, fastened with steel plates and bolts;. .
    make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with [pitch] Behr Marquee Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel”

    I’m also amused by the pathetic nod to gopher wood with the several conifer trunks used as uprights. Like, why are you even bothering, Ken?

    I suppose with faith-interpretation-blinkers, the names can be “translated” into anything you choose!

    It’s similar to AIG’s versions of “science”!
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  • I went to a Catholic School for grades 1-8. Then we moved to Salt Lake City, UT home of THE CHURCH (Mormon Church). The LDS church-the Mormons-own the newspapers, television stations, the legislature, government, department stores, radio stations, one doesn’t realize how we children were indoctrinated 24 hrs a day. The president of THE CHURCH is called the Prophet and changes doctrine via his talks with god. In 1978 it was “revealed” that Africans-black people– were actually “worthy” of CHURCH membership and so were allowed to be brought into the fold..which helped on two counts: 1) The Tabernacle Choir never sounded better and 2) Brigham Young University a private Mormon college won its first American football National Championship in 1984–6 years after black athletes were allowed into the school and on the football team.

    I was talking with a former Mormon missionary who I have been friends with for over 30 years and was now a USAF general, Kevin. I had sent him “God Delusion” and we were whispering in his basement about his budding atheism. I can’t sing…can barely remember the first few words of popular songs–but was able to sing all four verses of a Catholic song entitled “An Army of Youth” (bearing the banner of truth–We’re fighting for Christ the Lord..) Kevin looked shocked and I said “I have NO idea why I know every word of that song!” Kevin said “It’s called indoctrination!” The US military is VERY good at this!” I was no different from a child in North Korea hearing propaganda 24/7 and NEVER hearing contrasting voices. In Utah we called it living behind “The Zion Curtain.”

    It took majoring in molecular biology, leaving Utah often to fly to San Francisco, and having secular roommates in college to learn a different way of thinking.

    After living in Hawai’i which is decidedly secular–except for the occasional Kahuna blessing a new building–I was a minority among many minorities. I learned Japanese ink and rice paper drawing, native hula, bonsai, karate, had German, French, Chinese, Portuguese neighbors. No one talked about god or prayer. I keep telling people..No one is “born” Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh–we are raised that way. This seems to flummox most people!
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  • What a hypocrite, without science he wouldn’t be able to spout his drivel. From that picture, without science, no amplification, no man made fabrics for carpets, no spotlights, no plastics, …. The list continues … And don’t forget the Facebook post requires quite a large number of people who have been educated in science …
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  • Conman warns children and victims to avoid, and not to trust, people giving honest warnings and information exposing conmen!

    Nothing unusual about that! Sounds like standard con-procedure!
    Time-share scamsters would admire his technique!
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  • @OP – The irony, of course, is that Ham thinks it’s abusive to reference the facts of humanity’s evolutionary history because he claims we’re not “just animals”… but teaching children that they’re inherently flawed and deserving of ever-lasting torture is totally fine with him.

    Now let me think!
    Which would be better for my grand-children’s mental development?
    Believing in a world inhabited by evolving animals and plants,, or believing in a magically created world inhabited by devils, demons, gods, angels, and deluded Hamsters?
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  • Alan: “Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of [gopherwood] huge fir beams, fastened with steel plates and bolts;. .
    make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with [pitch] Behr Marquee Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel”

    And don’t forget the generator and pressure washer. You will need that to clean the poop……
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  • But what was Noah thinking… Mosquitoes. Why mosquitoes… Did they sneak on with the aquatic kangaroos that swam to Australia. He let the most lethal human killing genocidal insect onto the Ark, and now has the blood of millions of desperately suffering humans on his hands. I think we need a class action. Humanity Vs Noah. Send it to SCOTUS… Opps. Wrong court. They’re tainted judges,… mostly. Oh well. The High Court of the UK will do.
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  • Mr Ham believes the bible is the word of a god. Therefor everything between the covers must be true. This handicap must then be known as Ham Strung. Some day the smart kids, presently abused by Ham-sters will wake up and powered by knowledge, overcome the dogmas presented by these gullible creationists
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  • 28
    Mohamed Mehdi says:

    This is ridiculous. He is taking Richard’s argument essentially (that telling kids they’re going to hell is child abuse) and turning it for his own argument. It’s lame, shameful, and shows a deeply flawed reasoning of a man who lacks arguments and sound logic. Plus, kids don’t need stories to feel good. To a kid, knowing he/she comes from an evolutionary process that took a ridiculously long time is more impressive quite frankly than the creationist flawed and unsupported claims that somewhat we were thrown here by a perfect deity. It’s even funnier to think about this: We are created in the image of God? We are so flawed in many ways, we get sick, we can clearly see some evolutionary remnants that serve no purpose but harm us, and yet they still claim God is perfect.
    Teaching this to kids is a crime that should be punished.
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  • Lolz I can’t wait for the sun to implode and suck everyone and thing back into the nothingness from whence it sprung. At least I’ll no longer have to listen to the endless ridiculously pointless power struggles between the religious fanatics and the atheists. News flash people – you’re all going to die and nothing you do is ever going to make any difference to anything for very long. You will be gone, nobody will care about you or remember you and your pathetic sad attachment to what is nothing but but view point.
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  • Phase Nonapp #29
    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Lolz I can’t wait for the sun to implode and suck everyone and thing back into the nothingness from whence it sprung.

    Astrophysics does not work like that!

    At least I’ll no longer have to listen to the endless ridiculously pointless power struggles between the religious fanatics and the atheists.

    It seems that you either live in a country where science is respected or you don’t give a damn about the education of children!
    Political power-struggles have huge effects on laws and populations subjected to them.
    Perhaps you should go and live in Saudi Arabia for a while?

    News flash people – you’re all going to die

    This is old news! Living things have been dying since they first evolved!

    and nothing you do is ever going to make any difference to anything for very long.

    Saving children from the tormenting delusions of hell-fire and magic fairies, certainly can improve the mental health and quality of life for millions of individuals during their lifetimes – and then on – down the generations!

    Also it is quite wrong to claim that the collective activities of humans, have no long or short term effects on the planet and all the life on it.

    You will be gone, nobody will care about you or remember you

    Actually, the great thinkers who bequeathed the knowledge of science and reason are remembered for their work centuries after their deaths, but some of us will be forgotten within years or decades. There are also the notorious who should be remembered to avoid humans repeating the mistakes of the past!

    and your pathetic sad attachment to what is nothing but but view point.

    May I introduce you to scientific evidence and reasoning!
    All opinions and viewpoints are not equal, or equally beneficial to wider communities and future generations.

    It is true, that fatalism and the lack of a view of future consequences of actions, is rather sad and pathetic!
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  • Phase Nonapp #29
    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:28 am

    At least I’ll no longer have to listen to the endless ridiculously pointless power struggles between the religious fanatics and the atheists.

    You seem to have missed the point that delusional, pseudo-science. anti-science quackologist, Ken Ham, is being presented to 1000 kids as an educator!

    You also seem to have missed the point that the power struggle is between SCIENTISTS and religious fanatics – (fanatics who – now being state funded due to the voter apathy of those who cannot be bothered to listen, and fanatical religious politicians who get elected).

    @OP – The post accompanied an image of Ham speaking to “1,000 kids . . . . . .
    But in a Facebook post yesterday, he took that animosity to new depths, describing reality-based science lessons as a form of child abuse.

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  • Vicki #32
    Mar 13, 2016 at 8:28 am

    In today’s Washington Post:

    “The First Amendment does not exclude religion from public schools,” said Haynes, who co-authored guidelines on religious expression in schools that have been endorsed by dozens of groups from across the political and spiritual spectrum, including the Christian Educators Association. “It gives us the ground rules for how religion comes into public schools.”

    The Christian Edjunkators Association, thinks it can re-write the law, the same way Ken Ham thinks he can re-write science!

    It is a feature of the faith-blinkers worn by the delusional who do not care what trouble they generate for gullible followers who are misled!
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  • Apparently Ham had a brainwashing early on in his life by his Christian father before deciding that the Bible was inerrant and therefore offered the true answer rather than evolution for explaining human existence. But careful analysis of biblical scripture shows it to be riddled with logical inconsistencies as revealed by the books of Prof. Bart Ehrman – which therefore renders such scripture as, in fact, ‘errant’! Blind faith for some – such as Ham – is a mighty powerful thing!
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  • Erol #34
    Mar 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    But careful analysis of biblical scripture shows it to be riddled with logical inconsistencies as revealed by the books of Prof. Bart Ehrman

    The Old Testament is riddled with inconsistencies and myrths.

    There actually are historical records which show the NT was written / edited into the recognised “gospels”, by Roman bishops in the 4th century!

    I know there are claims that Noah was hundreds of years old, but I really don’t believe there were eye witnesses to activities of “Jesus and Co.” in 4th. century Rome!
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  • Alan – yes, Noah must have had abnormally long telomeres!

    But seriously – It’s pitiful that many people are so deeply insecure that they need to keep believing in garbage like this.
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  • ’Intellectual child abuse’™ is the charge that Richard Dawkins originally laid against Creationists when he learned they were allowed to teach creationism to children. Ken Ham’s use of this phrase therefore appears to reveal that he believes that science and creationism are equally valid. We know that this is not so, because Ken Ham clearly believes that his creation story – just one among many in the history of human fiction – is true. Why then would Ken Ham use this phrase?

    At the very least Ken Ham is using the phrase intellectual child abuse to forestall its use by others against himself. Because the phrase is equally applicable from both science and creationist perspectives on the political stage.

    That aside does Ken Ham’s charge stick? It depends on his definition of “intellectual”, which most people would interpret along these lines: from the noun intellect: Our faculty [natural ability] of reasoning which leads to objective understanding – in particular on abstract matters.

    We must ask Ken Ham: In what way does science harm the intellect, as above?

    We do not need to wait for Ken Ham’s response to put the case for science.

    A child nurtured with scientific thinking grows up to become an adult who:

    Raises necessary questions, expressing them clearly, precisely and factually
    Investigates problems, devising clear and unambiguous routes to truth
    Assesses relevant information, using abstraction skills to interpret them effectively
    Arrives at logical conclusions
    Tests conclusions against relevant criteria and standards
    Remains open-minded while recognizing and assessing assumptions, implications, and logical consequences
    Communicates effectively when proposing answers

    What, one wonders, could possibly be abusive about that?

    Peace.
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  • Stephen, you left out probably the biggest advantage of science over religious beliefs: the ability to discard a favored hypothesis in the face of conflicting evidence.
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