Ken Ham educates some kids about dinosaurs etc.

Ken Ham, perhaps the world's leading creationist nutcase, educates some school children about dinosaurs, fossils, and so on. Not sure I'd call it "brain washing", but it is, er, a little worrying!

Ken's pop quizz starts: Ken: "Next time someone says 'millions of years ago', what do you say?" Chorus: "Were you there?" It's worth playing a few times just to hear properly what they've been so well-trained by Ken to say.

An evangelical church, which intends to teach creationism as part of its science curriculum, has submitted a proposal to open a free school in Nottinghamshire.

The Everyday Champions Church in Newark handed its plans to open a 625-pupil secondary school in the area to the Department for Education last week.

The application came just a day before the DfE held its first free school conference, where education secretary Michael Gove said applications from creationist groups would be considered, with each judged on its individual merits.

According to the church, the Everyday Champions Academy will possess a "Christian ethos that permeates everything that happens throughout the school".

The church states that it believes the Bible is an "accurate" depiction of God's word, and that God is the "creator of all things".
(from TES)


Anonymous said…
All very well, but I'm not sure that the antics of an Australian based in America can tell us much about governmental education policy, especially as the school hasn't even been approved yet, and the application to start it may very well end up failing.
Martin said…
Ken Ham says most fossils are 4,500 years old. Question for Ham: Was he there?

Surely this video shows the weakness of Ham's techniques, not the strengths. Most of the children in the room couldn't recite his nonsense, put them in front of some decent science teachers and they will do just fine.
Stephen Law said…
"not sure that the antics of an Australian based in America can tell us much about governmental education policy"

That wasn't my point. Point is Ham types will certainly be trying to start such schools, and will also attempt to disguise what they are up to. Be interesting to see what Gove is prepared to allow, and just how carefully he'll scrutinize their applications.

In my view, no creationist school should be state-funded. Gove is explicit that he is prepared to fund them.
AC said…
David Colquhoun has already blogged on Steiner-Waldorf schools that are seeking government funding under the free schools system. Not creationists, but along the same lines, surely?

Regarding the video, I always find that "Were you there?" thing extremely annoying. Surely Ham can be asked the exact same question!
Paul P. Mealing said…
Most Australians are very embarrassed about Ken Ham, and I apologise to the American people on behalf of my country. (Ham and I are even the same age.)

Ham's arguments are like some politicians: they are so simplistic that anyone can follow them, and the more ignorant his audience the more compelling he is.

When creationism last raised its head in Australian politics, it was the clergy who came out strongest against it. This is a typical response. Even though it's in a science magazine, similar arguments appeared in editorials of mainstream newspapers, and the topic was dropped like a hot potato.

I've just finished reading E. Brian Davies' outstanding book, Why Beliefs Matter; Reflections on the Nature of Science, and this is one of the many terse statements he has placed in bold type throughout the text:

Christian theologians ignore the fundamentalist challenge at their own peril. It is the greatest threat to rational thought and toleration at the present time.

I believe he has a point: unless moderate theologians get into the fight, it will be seen by most people as a science-based debate and not a religious or philosophical one.

Regards, Paul.
wombat said…
The church states that it believes the Bible is an "accurate" depiction of God's word, and that God is the "creator of all things"

So that commits it to all the stuff in the OT, dietary laws, stoning etc. right? Which surely disqualifies it on plenty of grounds. Inciting hatred against witches, Jebusites et al.

What will they do when the kids hand back their history papers with with the answer to every question "Were you there?". Pass or fail do you think?

Oh and which Bible are the going to use?
The King James - nah! thats too obviously edited by Man.
Latin Vulgate? Closer?
Hebrew texts?

So they're pretty much committed to the classics which is a plus I suppose.
As a parent this makes me very sad. There is no free thought going on here. No individualism. His actions are predacious.
Coram said…
HE DID A LECTURE IN MY HOME TOWN - my religious studies class (at the time) and I went and listened. It was severely worrying, not only the conviction with which he spoke, but also the amount of people who were drawn in by it. My class and I were divided somewhat, literally down the middle, to the atheists and agnostics and liberal christians of love and science, to the crazies that were like "omg tell me more!" ... i nearly vomited afterwards ..! anyway, just started up my own blog and your own has long inspired me - this particular post i thought deserved a comment ..!
Anonymous said…
About two years ago, a friend of mine took me to a Ken Ham lecture. I walked out before the end when he started using his creationism as a platform for homophobia.

I'm a Christian, and I regret walking out. Not because I've changed my mind about him - I think what he was saying was cynical, close-minded and abhorrent, but because I wish I'd had the balls to tell him that to his face.

Looking forward to a discussion between Keith Ward and yourself later this evening in Chelmsford.
Anonymous said…
The truth is your hero Darwin was the racist and helped teach Hitler about Eugenics. Darwin also taught that when we break down the cells we will find simple components, and yet in the genes we find billions of bits of genetic info, as if created by an intelligent designer. It takes a greater faith to believe in Darwin and evolution than it does in a all powerful creator. I guess you must believe what you think you can defend you see Him face to face.