If you follow the creation-evolution debate, you’ve no doubt encountered the name Ken Ham. He’s the CEO of Answers in Genesis, the multimillion dollar organization that built the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky a few years back. (The same museum I once visited, but did not enter, but still wrote about elsewhere.) Back to Ham, I think ‘character’ is an appropriate word to describe him. And his organization’s abbreviation is AiG. Wait a minute! Isn’t that a large company brought down by unmasking fraud?
The Clergy Letter Project‘s periodic email newsletter relayed an account of how Ken Ham declared moral outrage over an encounter strikingly similar to activities he had been complicit with about a year ago. Yes, I know it’s easy to point out hypocrisy in others. So before I go any further, I will admit that there are plenty of times in my past that I’ve not “practiced what I’ve preached.”
Any way, this blogworthy item falls well within the definition of hypocrisy!
On his blog yesterday, Ham railed against the BBC for “ambushing” a member of his staff. As you’ll see if you read the link, Ham claims that his astrophysicist Jason Lisle was surprised to find that a scheduled interview on the BBC was actually to be a debate with Genie Scott of the National Center for Science Education. (I’ve not been able to track down the segment. I’m guessing that the debate was more like an interview of two people with opposing opinions. ) Anyway, on his blog, Ham summarizes the situation as follows:
By the way—the BBC has not responded to our publicist who has challenged them concerning their deception. Then again, for those people who don’t believe in God and there is no absolute authority, not telling the truth and deception would not be ethically wrong—as they have no basis for right and wrong!
So far, this just sounds like typical spin. What makes Ham’s complaints hypocritical is that he participated in a similar “ambush” a year ago. Only it was the head of the Clergy Letter Project and Dean of Butler University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Michael Zimmerman who was ambushed. He was scheduled to do an interview on a fundamentalist Christian radio show only to discover, upon going on the air, that Ken Ham was also on the line, ready to debate. When asked why neither the host nor Ham had the courtesy to inform Dr. Zimmerman that he was to participate in a debate rather than in an interview, they told him they thought he wouldn’t have accepted their offer had he been told the truth. The best part of there response (in Zimmerman’s own words) is:
When I questioned them about the deception, I was told that since the debate was to further God’s wishes, a minor deception of this sort was acceptable.
I wonder what else counts as a minor deception…
In the end, I think it’s important to keep in mind that the tactic of debates is one that works well for creationists when they rig the game. And as soon as the tables are turned, they cry foul.
Much of this account was adapted from the Clergy Letter Project‘s periodic email update and was used by permission from Michael Zimmerman.