You know, it's really hard to be surprised by anything Ken Ham says at this point. This is a guy whose core beliefs are that the world was created in six days 6,000 years ago, the first woman came from the rib of the first man, and eventually the son of the maker of the earth arrived here born of a virgin and was killed only to be resurrected three days later so that we could one day join him in heaven. Also, the creator of the universe is listening to your thoughts right now, deciding whether you should spend eternity with him or on fire.
I understand that this particular cosmology is also adhered to and espoused by millions of other people besides Ham, but when you strip away the cultural sanction and the sanity-in-numbers there's no denying it: it's fucking nuts. All Ken Ham and the rest of his "Answers in Genesis" acolytes do is take the belief to its (il)logical conclusion.
The only thing you can do when it comes to Ham, really, is to mercilessly ridicule him for the crap he spouts. And so here we are again, doing just that in the wake of his latest half-baked rant. On his Answers in Genesis blog yesterday, Ham banged out what may be the single most insane stringing together of words the human race has ever seen. Yeah, it's really that hilariously awful. The gist of the piece was that we should defund and shutter our space program because A) there's no life out there to be found since God only put it here on earth, and B) if by some chance there were aliens out there and we did encounter them, it wouldn't matter because they're inevitably going to hell anyway.
He starts off ever-so-subtly:
I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. Even Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” in our recent debate, happily gloated about tax dollars being spent toward this effort. And now, secular scientists are at it again.
Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions! The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!
Ham had to of course begin with a reference to the great evil of evolution, the enemy he's pursued with Ahab-like determination for years and the subject for which he owes the recent jump in his status as a pop culture figure.
But wait, there's more.
I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin—the Savior of mankind.
Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.
Go back and read that last line again because it's sincerely a masterpiece of fantastical thinking. It's almost difficult to wrap your head around that much whimsy. The fact that he sticks the landing with such absolute certitude -- it's totally wrong that potentially nonexistent beings beyond our imagination could understand a fairy tale created by people who believed in magic -- is a testament to how devoted Ham is to his delusion.
Finally, there's this:
The answers to life’s questions will not be found in imaginary aliens but in the revelation of the Creator through the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to die on a Cross to redeem mankind from sin and death that our ancestor, Adam, introduced.
It would be easy to say that Ken Ham is way beyond the pale here in his usual assault on science and scientific progress, that calling for the end of the most awe-inspiring undertaking mankind has ever been responsible for -- one that speaks to our innate and insatiable desire for exploration and discovery -- speaks volumes about the war religion has waged against knowledge and the acquisition of it for centuries. But the truth is this is Ken Ham we're talking about, and while his ridiculous opinions have been given cultural cachet recently thanks to a foolish decision to engage in actual debate with him, the reality is that he's basically no different than a homeless guy ranting at a telephone pole about the voices in his head. Ham only looks sane.
His blog post ends, by the way, with this little gem of a footnote:
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Answers in Genesis has a "research team." I'm just gonna leave that right there for you to ponder.