'Insipid nonsense': Creationists battle over the existence of dinosaurs

'Insipid nonsense': Creationists battle over the existence of dinosaurs
Christian fundamentalists like Ken Ham, CEO of the evangelical group that owns the Creation Museum, believe dinosaurs were among the animals rescued on Noah’s Ark. Jeff Haynes/AFP via Getty Images
At the evangelical Creation Museum, dinosaurs lived alongside humans and the world is 6,000 years old

On September 3rd, 2023, right-wing conspiracy theorist Allie Beth Stuckey interviewed creationist Ken Ham on her Relatable podcast about dinosaurs a year after she claimed that the extinct creatures never existed.

Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis and the brains behind Kentucky's Creation Museum, which depicts humans riding dinosaurs and asserts that Earth is only six thousand years old.

Hemant Mehta notes in his Friendly Atheist newsletter, "Dinosaurs are real. We know they’re real. We have good ideas about what they looked like because their fossils sometimes include soft tissues that tell us, for example, if they were covered in feathers. We know how muscular they were and where their eyes may have pointed. Sure, some of our recreations involve filling in the blanks as best we can, but educated guesses aren’t the same as stabs in the dark. Yet even when scientists suggest we need to update our understanding of dinosaurs, Stuckey treats it as a giant game."

Mehta adds, "Stuckey could've made sense of all this through basic Google searches or by asking a paleontologist. But her career is built on passing off ignorance as insight. She’d rather ask stupid questions than discuss smart answers."

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But that is not how Stuckey's chat with Ham went down. Instead, Mehta observes, "Stuckey insisted she only 'jokingly talked about' not knowing what dinosaurs looked like in the past. (She was not joking. There is no wink to be found anywhere in her earlier comments.) She didn't directly bring up denying their existence. But when she asked Ham how he knew that they existed and what they looked like, he responded by… feeding her conspiracy complex."

Ham told Stuckey, "Well, first of all, you need to be skeptical about what they actually looked like, simply because, when they find dinosaur bones, they really only find a few. There's not that many," adding, "First of all, do I believe in dinosaurs? And the answer is yes, but let me explain…"

Paleontologist Dan Phelps lamented the willful ignorance:

Sadly, over 50,000 people have viewed the first part and 33,000 the second part of this insipid nonsense. No one would care, but [Answers in Genesis] and other Christian Nationalist organizations would be overjoyed to destroy public education and replace it with homeschooling and sectarian schools. Moreover, Kentucky Tourism is subsidizing the Ark Encounter by providing it a $1.825 million sales tax rebate incentive every year.

Watch the two videos below or at this link.

Did Dinosaurs Exist? | Guest: Ken Ham (Part One) | Ep 861youtu.be

Can Christians Be Evolutionists? | Guest: Ken Ham (Part Two) | Ep 862youtu.be

READ MORE: At the evangelical Creation Museum, dinosaurs lived alongside humans and the world is 6,000 years old

Mehta's full post continues here.

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