46 thoughts on “My Christmas Ham

  1. We could play the game where you substitute words for other words – like a mad lib .. the words would be:

    … and so on.

    … if I had time…

    1. My first thought. What the hell else is religion based around? Sure, it has other stuff, but I know of no religion that doesn’t involve belief in something supernatural.

      Then again, Ken Ham is a schmuck.

          1. Scientology is pretty much an invented religion.
            Randian Objectivism is a form of atheistic individualism raised to crypto-religious, obsessional cult status.

            Both originate from writers of pulp fiction with elements of McArthyite, Cold War weirdness.

  2. (What follows is pointing out the obvious)
    Wow, what a terrible argument. Most arguments with three premises to draw a conclusion may have one faulty premise, Ham manages to nail all three.
    1. Science arbitrarily defines religion as involving the supernatural.
    2. (Science) declares atheism is not a religion.
    3. (Science) arbitrarily declares evolution is science and fact.
    4. (Therefore) the declaration that science is at war with religion is based on faulty assumptions.

    (1) is a faulty premise, but not really fatal to the argument. The definitions of religion that involve the supernatural aren’t arbitrary but come from the study of religions around the world, and even then there are exceptions to this.
    (2) isn’t a scientific issue but a conceptual one. One could say that the same science that rules on (1) would exclude atheism for it lacking any of the sorts of creeds or practices that religions have, but really this issue is best sorted by philosophers.
    (3) uses arbitrarily again without warrant. There’s nothing arbitrary about the acceptance of evolution among biologists any more than the acceptance of the heliocentric model of the solar system is accepted among astrologers. What scientists do is the very definition of science, and the biologists working in the field work on the paradigm.

    What’s more concerning is that the reasons that science is argued to be “at war with” religion aren’t addressed in those three statements of faulty assumptions. Ham’s view is trivially contradicted at every turn, but to think one can sweep away all the tensions between religion and science would be an act of hubris. One of the more memorable chapters of Mere Christianity was where C.S. Lewis warned against accepting the theory behind psychoanalysis even if it had good practical effects because the explanations of human nature contradicted the biblical account. That tension between how a religious worldview hits with scientific theory is played out whenever science sheds light on the nature of humanity, because religion is very much in the business of describing who we are and how we relate to the world.

    Focusing on evolution is a distraction from all the other ways the sciences have worked out how we came to be, and those tensions are repeatedly found in the wider religious community. Religious belief is rife with dualism despite this contradicting the brain sciences. It’s rife with claims of spiritualism that go beyond metaphor and against the psychology and sociology of human nature. It involves ritual that aims at changing the world through spoken or behaved practices that contradict our physical reality.

    Some beliefs (and some believers) better navigate these than others, but the tensions are always there. Hell, “scientism” wouldn’t be any sort of insult amongst believers unless they thought of basing one’s beliefs on science as being problematic in some way.

    1. Can fully agree, but it needs to be stressed that the results of psychoanalysis have no good practical effects. Lewis was wrong there, and probably in his thesis too, results, albeit no proof, do count.

      1. Indeed, though that’s where I find the strength of using psychoanalysis as an example. It was warned against, not because of any scientific (or philosophical [Popper]) objections, but because it conflicted with a Christian account of who we are.

        I see the same thing today with regards to evolutionary psychology or neuroscience. Believers are quick to jump on findings they don’t like (and are willing to dismiss the sciences altogether – of course maintaining it’s a scientific objection) because it touches on what they consider their divine nature.

  3. umm… that’s not “ham” Prof(E) that’s gristle, on it’s own (without a catalyst) it could take millions of years to break down.
    You don’t serve this ham it’s better to GIVE it a SERVE. Well it is Xmas.

  4. In Trinidad (where my dad did graduate school research), one popular Christmas song was “Piece ah Pork”:
    “I want ah piece of pork
    I want ah piece of pork
    I want ah piece of pork for me Christmas”

  5. Interesting move by Ham — disavowing the supernatural. I confess I didn’t see that coming. He immediately re-avowed it of course, but I guess that’s how you combine reason and faith.

  6. Ham (plus most people with similar cognitive impairment) certainly doesn’t seem capable of dealing well with the realities they try to refute. Ham’s doubly rowdy use of the term “arbitrarily” in his first sentence seems a bit, …well, capricious, whimsical, erratic, random and any of several other synonyms of his new adverb. Someone should get this guy a thesaurus.

    1. Isn’t a thesaurus a dinosaur that believes in God.
      Oops! Sorry, that’s a theosaurus.

      The idea expressed in my opening statement was inexact, erroneous, sophistical, mistaken, in error, incorrect, fallacious or untrue.

  7. Ham reads the San Francisco Chronicle? I think this tells us something. (SF/peninsula resident since 1972; and there’s nothing wrong with that!)

  8. Ah, *that* sort of ham.

    The sort someone elaborately called Vincent Price’s character in ‘His Kind of Woman’:

    Senor, You are not a pig. You are what a pig becomes. It is sometimes eaten between two pieces of bread.

    (I liked Vincent Price. He was never averse to hamming it up).


      1. Where I come from it’s called Cockney rhyming slang because of the area of London it came from.

        There is a Cary Grant film from the forties (Mr Lucky) in which they describe rhyming slang and ascribe it to Australia. It is crucial to the film’s finale since the good guys trick the bad guys by communicating with the slang and the bad guys don’t understand.


        “Porkies” (sometimes “porker”) is well understood in the UK.

        Ham originally meant the back or “crook” of the knee and then came to mean the rear thigh muscle (or hock).

        1. Ham originally meant the back or “crook” of the knee and then came to mean the rear thigh muscle (or hock).

          As in the noun and verb “hamstring” – the tendons and muscles at the back of the thigh, and the associated verb “to hamstring” (pp: “hamstrung”) meaning to sever one or several of the tendons. As a punishment this would make walking or particularly running difficult, but have a fairly low probability of killing the victim by blood loss or infection.
          It probably goes back to Anglo-Saxon, many such bodily words do – and I’ve seen it in a lot of Eddas and Sagas and translations of the likes of Beowulf.

          1. Yes. Hamstrung also has a metaphorical sense, meaning “hampered” or “blocked” as in “a mind hamstrung by blind belief in religious thinking”.

            There’s not much point in reasoning with Ham: it’s all been said before. To him, Kent Hovind et al.

          1. Oz is part of the Irish diaspora as well.
            Went to college years ago with an Australian guy on my course. His name was Bruce. Really, no porkies.

  9. Before reading the article from Ham, I was going ask how your family prepares ham (having just asked an Estonian friend for her family’s way of preparing rosolje). But, after seeing the Ham referred to, he is sickening, turns the stomach. He is such a sleaze.

  10. – Does religion not involve the supernatural? No talking snakes and bushes, no floating axes, no flying Angel’s, no dead resurrecting, etc.?
    It is called a ‘stamp contention’ (by M ‘tHart): after feminists were complaining there never was a female on stamps, while the Brits and Dutch spent generations licking the backs of their queen. A contention that needs no research, but which can immediately be dismissed as false.
    .- Atheism is simply the disbelief in God or gods. Nothing more, nothing less, how can that possibly constitute a religion?
    – Arbitrarily declares evolution is science and fact. No, it is not ‘arbitrarily’: evolution stems from observation and experiment, and a plethora of them. And it makes testable predictions, such as where (in time and place) Tktaalik would be found. But one could fill books there. That -observatio, experiment and testable predictions- is about the definition of science.
    Mr Ham is not just a liar, he ‘s neither here nor there.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *