Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Curse of Ken Ham

What do Ken Ham and Stephen Colbert have in common? They both have at least one black friend! Clearly they cannot be racists.

I am not taking this out of context, either. In a post in which Ham ham-handedly (har!) tries to defend himself from accusations that he was ignorant about the racial implications of one of the Biblical theories he was promoting, he implies that he can't be a racist because last Sunday he was hanging out with a black guy. Classy.

The funny part is that nobody ever accused Ham of being racist. Rather, he was accused of promoting an idea which has a close historical association with racism, apparently ignorant of this association and its implications. I don't imagine Ham is racist (although the "I have a black friend!" retort doesn't inspire confidence...), I just think he is ignorant and intellectually lazy.


  1. Interesting that you associate Ham with Racist racist theories but then say you dont actually think he is a racist. If you actually go through the museum and read carefully, Ham actually teaches AGAINST such theories as the "curse of Ham" incorrectly used by some to teach that darker skin shades is a result of God's curse. Ham has never advocated such an idea and has always taught against it and the message of the museum teaches against racism on so many levels. Get your facts right - something a person interested in science should always do. Perhaps it is you that is lazy in your research and science.

  2. Anonymous:

    No, I think you're wrong. Anyway, it would be nice if you could provide something that backs your claim; that the "museum" actually teaches against racism, which seems to clearly contradict what is already very well documented.

  3. Woo hoo, I got my first pro-Creationist(*) comment! Rawk!

    I agree with Ernie. I need to see a picture of a display in the museum that debunks Hamite theory. Right now, we have a picture of a map showing the "Children of Ham" migrating towards Africa in the aftermath of the flood. This is uncomfortably close to Hamite theory (if the museum is not saying the children of Ham were dark-skinned, why is the arrow pointing to Africa?)

    Ken Ham probably didn't even personally work on the display in question, but it's in his museum, and that's a little embarrassing. The proper reaction would be to apologize and make it right.

    It's okay to make mistakes. Just the other day on another blog, I was listing countries with universal health care, and made the error of only listing Caucasian countries. A person of Asian descent called me out on it, I felt deeply embarrassed, and I sincerely apologized and vowed to myself to be more inclusive when talking about health care around the world. What I did not do was post a picture of me with an Asian friend to prove my tolerant credentials, because that would be douche-y as hell.

    Anyway, back to the point at hand: I'll take back what I said about Ham's inadvertant flirtation with the racist Hamite theory if I see a picture of a display from the Creation Museum that clarifies the position, explicitly saying that the Curse of Ham did not cause dark skin.

    Otherwise, I stand by my condemnation of the historical associations with this unfortunate arrow.

    (Yes, I realize the Bible refers to Egypt as the Land of Ham. So maybe that's what's going on here. I'd still be mighty careful about that. Even if you are a biblical literalist, just because something's in the Bible doesn't mean it's a good idea to put up a museum display about it.)

    (*) Not to be confused with procreation-ist, which is totally awesome...