Blasphemous Blogging: The Blog of Edwin Kagin

Blasphemy is the crime of making fun of ridiculous beliefs others hold sacred. This blog is about satire, truth, inquiry, and critical thinking. It is about enjoying life before death. It is about how some try to control many through their notions about a make believe supernatural world and imaginary rewards and punishments after death. This blog says that blasphemy is a good thing, a healthy thing, and a good antidote to harmful superstition. This blog is about freedom. Edwin.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cincinnati Proclaims February 12th, 2008 DARWIN DAY


For Immediate Release:

The Free Inquiry Group of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Inc. (FIG) is pleased to announce that the Honorable Mark Mallory, Mayor of the City of Cincinnati, has proclaimed February 12, 2008 as “DARWIN DAY.”

The Proclamation reads as follows:


City of Cincinnati


Be It Proclaimed:

WHEREAS, The City of Cincinnati has always been at the forefront of scientific research, medicine, and academia; and

WHEREAS, The City will continue to support the sciences at all levels of education; and

WHEREAS, many scientific advancements can be traced back to the work of Charles Darwin and his groundbreaking discovery 150 years ago, that living things change over time, or evolve, in response to selective pressure of their environment; and

WHEREAS, Darwin's theory redefined the direction of research and progress, and has since been the cornerstone of the biological sciences that have brought advancement in medicine, agriculture, zoology, paleontology, and conservation, to name a few, to benefit us all; and

WHEREAS, Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, and

WHEREAS, February 12 is a world-wide Darwin Day Celebration; and

Now, Therefore, I, Mark Mallory,

Mayor of the City of Cincinnati do hereby proclaim

February 12, 2008,



in Cincinnati.


hereunto set my hand and caused this seal

of the City of Cincinnati to be affixed this

7th day of February in the year Two

Thousand and Eight.


Mark Mallory, Mayor

City of Cincinnati


John Welte, Sr., President of FIG, who had requested the Proclamation, said he was very gratified to see the City of Cincinnati continue its historic support of science, reason, and free inquiry. “This is particularly important in light of the fact that there are constant attacks on the evidence of evolution by the ‘Creation Museum’ here in our area, by educators who want to allow the religious viewpoint called ‘Creationism’ to be taught in our schools, and even by candidates for the Presidency of the United States. Evolution has been clearly established as one of the most robust of scientific facts,” Welte said.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Atheist News by Edwin Kagin

KENTUCKY ATHEISTS NEWS & NOTES Date: February 08, 2008

Kentucky Atheists, P.O. Box 48, Union, KY 41091; Email:

Phone: (859) 384-7000; Fax: (859) 384-7324; Web:

Editor's personal web site:

Editor’s personal blog:

Edited by:

Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director, American Atheists, Inc.

(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)


To Unidentified Recipients:



"The ARCW has already been started by the superstitious. They call it a 'civil war of values.' The shooting has already started. They call that 'protecting innocent life.' The purpose of the war is to overthrow science and constitutional democracy and replace them with the Bronze Age myths and laws of ancient Iraq that became preserved in a collection of writings known, in translation, as 'The Holy Bible.' They regard this undertaking as 'bringing America back to God.' Loyal Americans should regard it as treason..."

-- Edwin Kagin at the

Godless Americans March on Washington

EDWIN KAGIN, National Legal Director for American Atheists will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Secular Humanists of the Low Country (Charleston, SC) on Sunday, February 17, 2008.

Mr. Kagin will speak on "The American Religious Civil War (ARCW)," the confrontation between secular, Enlightenment-era democracy and authoritarian theocratic "Bible-based" government. He has been writing and speaking on this important topic since 1995 when he first proposed the paradigm of a cultural "civil war" coming to America.

Along with wife Helen, Edwin Kagin was a founding director of Camp Quest, a summer retreat for non-believing youngsters. In addition to his post as Legal Director for American Atheists, he serves on the board of the Secular Student Alliance. He ran prominently, albeit unsuccessfully, for the Kentucky Supreme Court (1998) and the Kentucky State Senate (2000). Much of his current legal work focuses on civil liberties, Atheist civil rights and the separation of church and state. Mr. and Mrs. Kagin also host the popular new internet radio program "Answers in Atheism" (

The meeting will take place on Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 4:00 PM at Gage Hall, 4 Archdale St. in Charleston, S.C. For further information, visit the SHLC web site at or contact (Sam Moskow, President) or (Alex Kasman, Newsletter).

WHO & WHAT: Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director for American Atheists speaking on "The American Religious Civil War" at Secular Humanists of the Low Country monthly meeting.

WHEN: Sunday, February 17, 2008, 4:00 PM.

WHERE: Gage Hall, 4 Archdale St., Charleston, SC.

MORE INFO: or contact (Sam Moskow, President) or (Alex Kasman, Newsletter). Also, http://www.edwin .

(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)


“Answers in Atheism,” the soon to be award winning Internet radio call-in talk show that is family friendly and clothing optional, is pleased to announce that…..

Our guest for our “Darwin Day Show,” Thursday, February 14th, 2008 (drum roll please) will be Charles Darwin.

Richard Milner is an anthropologist / songwriter / performer. He performs his show "Charles Darwin Live in Concert" as Charles Darwin. Our producers, John and Fran Welte, have excitedly reported that Richard will be doing our show on Feb. 14. We will interview Richard as himself first. We can ask about his books and his performances. Then, when we ask a pointed question about evolution, he may well say, "Why don't you ask Mr. Darwin? He just came in." He just might then do the rest of the show as Darwin.

You can find out more about Richard Milner on his website.

And yes, we do know that Darwin’s birthday is February 12th, so save your corrective rant. We also know that February 12th is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, and of Bruno, our English Mastiff and retired Mascot of Camp Quest. And yes, we know that February 14th is Valentine’s Day (don’t tell my Helen—she doesn’t read these things—but I am getting her a burka).

You can access the show at

Oh, yes, earlier shows are (should be—this is not a precise science) archived for your listening pleasure at

See you on the radio.



Creationists Seek Foothold in Europe


LONDON (Feb. 9) - After the Sunday service in Westminster Chapel, where worshippers were exhorted to wage "the culture war" in the World War II spirit of Sir Winston Churchill, cabbie James McLean delivered his verdict on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Evolution is a lie, and it's being taught in schools as fact, and it's leading our kids in the wrong direction," said McLean, chatting outside the chapel. "But now people like Ken Ham are tearing evolution to pieces."

Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis, a Kentucky-based organization that is part of an ambitious effort to bring creationist theory to Britain and the rest of Europe. McLean is one of a growing number of evangelicals embracing that message - that the true history of the Earth is told in the Bible, not Darwin's "The Origin of Species."

Europeans have long viewed the conflict between evolutionists and creationists as primarily an American phenomenon, but it has recently jumped the Atlantic Ocean with skirmishes in Italy, Germany, Poland and, notably, Britain, where Darwin was born and where he published his 1859 classic.

Darwin's defenders are fighting back. In October, the 47-nation Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog, condemned all attempts to bring creationism into Europe's schools. Bible-based theories and "religious dogma" threaten to undercut sound educational practices, it charged.

Schools are increasingly a focal point in this battle for hearts and minds. A British branch of Answers in Genesis, which shares a Web site with its American counterpart, has managed to introduce its creationist point of view into science classes at a number of state-supported schools in Britain, said Monty White, the group's chief executive.

"We do go into the schools about 10 to 20 times a year and we do get the students to question what they're being taught about evolution," said White, who founded the British branch seven years ago. "And we leave them a box of books for the library."

Creationism is still a marginal issue here compared with its impact on cultural and political debate in the United States. But the budding fervor is part of a growing embrace of evangelical worship throughout much of Europe. Evangelicals say their ranks are swelling as attendance at traditional churches declines because of revulsion with the hedonism and materialism of modern society.

"People are looking for spirituality," White said in an interview at his office in Leicester, 90 miles north of London. "I think they are fed up with not finding true happiness. They find having a bigger car doesn't make them happy. They get drunk and the next morning they have a hangover. They take drugs but the drugs wear off. But what they find with Christianity is lasting."

Other British organizations have joined the crusade. A group called Truth in Science has sent thousands of unsolicited DVDs to every high school in Britain arguing that mankind is the result of "intelligent design," not Darwinian evolution.

In addition, the AH Trust, a charity, has announced plans to raise money for construction of a Christian theme park in northwest England with a 5,000-seat television studio that would be used for the production of Christian-oriented films. And several TV stations are devoted full-time to Christian themes.

All this activity has lifted spirits at the Westminster Chapel, a 165-year-old evangelical church that is not affiliated with nearby Westminster Abbey, where Darwin is buried.

In the chapel, Rev. Greg Haslam tells the 150 believers that they are in a conflict with secularism that can only be won if they heed Churchill's exhortation and never, ever give up.

"The first thing you have to do is realize we are in a war, and identify the enemy, and learn how to defeat the enemy," he said.

There is a sense inside the chapel that Christian evangelicals are successfully resisting a trend toward a completely secular Britain.

"People have walked away from God; it's not fashionable," said congregant Chris Mullins, a civil servant. "But the evangelical church does seem to be growing and I'm very encouraged by that. In what is a very secular society, there are people returning to God."

School curricula generally hold that Darwin's theory has been backed up by so many scientific discoveries that it can now be regarded as fact. But Mullins believes creationism also deserves a hearing in the classroom.

"Looking at the evidence, creationism at the least seems a theory worthy of examination," he said. "Personally I think it is true and I think the truth will win out eventually. It's a question of how long it takes."

Terry Sanderson, president of Britain's National Secular Society, a prominent group founded in 1866 to limit the influence of religious leaders, fears the groups advocating a literal interpretation of the Bible are making headway.

"Creationism is creeping into the schools," he said. "There is a constant pressure to get these ideas into the schools."

The trend goes beyond evangelical Christianity. Sanderson said the British government is taking over funding of about 100 Islamic schools even though they teach the Quranic version of creationism. He said the government fear imposing evolution theory on the curriculum lest it be branded as anti-Islamic.

The Council of Europe spoke up last fall after Harun Yahya, a prominent Muslim creationist in Turkey, tried to place his lavishly produced 600-page book, "The Atlas of Creation," in public schools in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain.

"These trends are very dangerous," said Anne Brasseur, author of the Council of Europe report, in an interview.

Brasseur said recent skirmishes in Italy and Germany illustrate the creationists' tactics. She said Italian schools were ordered to stop teaching evolution when Silvio Berlusconi was prime minister, although the edict seems to have had little impact in practice. In Germany, she said, a state education minister briefly allowed creationism to be taught in biology class.

The rupture between theology and evolution in Europe is relatively recent. For many years people who held evangelical views also endorsed mainstream scientific theory, said Simon Barrow, co-director of Ekklesia, a British-based, Christian-oriented research group. He said the split was imported from the United States in the last decade.

"There is a lot of American influence, and there are a lot of moral and political and financial resources flowing from the United States to here," he said. "Now you have more extreme religious groups trying to get a foothold."

In some cases, the schools have become the battlegrounds. Richard Dawkins, the Oxford university biologist and author of last year's international best-seller "The God Delusion, "frequently lectures students about the marvels of evolution only to find that the students' views have already been shaped by the creationist lobby.

"I think it's so sad that children should be fobbed off with these second-rate myths," he said.

"The theory of evolution is one of the most powerful pieces of scientific thinking ever produced and the evidence for it is overwhelming. I think creationism is pernicious because if you don't know much it sounds kind of plausible and it's easy to come into schools and subvert children."

White, the director of the British Answers in Genesis, is well aware that the group's school program is contentious. The group has removed information about it from its Web site to avoid antagonizing people.

The group operates a warehouse with $150,000 worth of DVDs, books and comics promoting creationism, but he says he only sends speakers and materials into schools that invite Answers in Genesis to make a presentation.

White, 63, said he was raised as an atheist, and after earning a doctorate in chemistry, embraced evangelical Christianity in 1964.

He says that when he is asked to speak to science classes, he challenges the accuracy of radioactive dating which shows the world to be thousands of millions of years old and says that the Bible is a more accurate description of how mankind began. He personally believes the Earth is between 6,000 and 12,000 years old.

"Usually I find the discussion goes on science, science, and science and then when the lesson is finished one or two students say, 'Can we talk about other things?' and I sit down with them and usually they want to talk about Christianity," he said. "They want to know, why do you believe in God? Why do you believe in the Bible? How can you be sure it's the word of God?"

Dawkins feels the effect. He said he is discouraged when he visits schools and gets questions from students who have obviously been influenced by material from Answers in Genesis. "I continually get the same rather stupid points straight from their pamphlets," he said.

White is getting ready for a visit by Ken Ham, who will preach at Westminster Chapel this spring. Meanwhile he is pleased that small groups of creation science advocates now meet regularly in Oxford, Edinburgh, Northampton and other British cities.

"The creation movement is certainly growing," he said. "There are more groups than there were five years ago. There are more people like me going out speaking about it, and there's more interest. You have these little groups forming all over the place."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

2008-02-09 19:37:25



Creation Museum founder's book says Darwinism fuels racism

By Dylan T. Lovan
The Associated Press

Article Last Updated: 02/09/2008 07:25:05 AM MST

What Darwinian evolution did, I would say, is provide what people thought was a scientific justification for separation of races.
KEN HAM, founder of Creation Museum

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The founder of a popular Kentucky Christian museum that rejects evolution says in a new book that Darwin's theory fuels racism and genocide.
Ken Ham, who opened the Creation Museum last year, and co-author Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, have written Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots, arguing that the theory inspired the Nazi belief in racial superiority and the murderous policies of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
''What Darwinian evolution did, I would say, is provide what people thought was a scientific justification for separation of races,'' Ham said in an interview.
Ham is not the first to try to tie Darwin with racism. The charge has been made for years.
It came up last month in arguments over science curriculum at a South Carolina state school board meeting. In 2001, Louisiana's legislature considered a bill that said Darwin supported racist ideologies.
David L. Schultz, associate professor of biology at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, said Darwin was egalitarian and had a history of speaking out against slavery.
''Darwin was not a racist,'' he said.
Ham runs the Christian group Answers in Genesis and has already made an impact with his $27 million high-tech museum in Petersburg, south of Cincinnati.
The complex has attracted more than 300,000 visitors with exhibits that treat the Bible's creation story as natural history and contend that evolution theory is wrong because it contradicts the Old Testament. The Creation Museum asserts that the Earth is just a few thousand years old, dinosaurs coexisted with man and Adam and Eve were the first humans.
In the new book, Ham says that Darwin's theory - that natural selection caused gradual biological changes over time - puts some races ''higher on the evolutionary scale'' and others ''closer to the apes.''
''Although racism did not begin with Darwinism, Darwin did more than any person to popularize it,'' Ham writes. He further contends that the theory fanned the flames of ''ethnic superiority.''
''Stalin, Hitler and Mao were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions - and it can be shown they did this because of the influence of Darwinian naturalism,'' Ham writes.
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, a California group that defends teaching evolution in public schools, said Hitler rarely mentioned evolution.
''Darwinian evolution is based on natural selection, which means that any population can adapt to its environment,'' Scott said. ''The ironic thing for the creationists is that Hitler grounded Aryan superiority as a God-given quality.''
Ham said he came to the topic because he was upset by the unfair treatment of aboriginal tribes in his native Australia and the racism he saw in the United States when he arrived here in the 1970s. He said he experienced a backlash from some church groups after he wrote an article critical of biblical-based arguments against interracial marriage, which made him even more determined to tackle the issue.
''I got more what I would call hate mail from people, supposedly Christians in the church, than for any other article I've ever written,'' Ham said. ''So to me I just had a real burden that I wanted to educate the church on this matter.''
But Schultz called the argument ''a ploy to get evolution out of the curriculum.''
''Of course everybody's against teaching children racism, so if you call it racist, you can have it removed,'' said Schultz. He testified before a Louisiana legislative panel that took up the bill that would have tied evolution with racism. The measure was eventually stripped of any reference to Darwin.
Ham said Answers in Genesis does not advocate teaching creationism in public schools.
In South Carolina, that state's board of education approved a biology textbook that references evolution. One board member had argued that the scientific theory was used by Nazi Germany as an excuse to kill millions of people.


From reader Frank:

Subject: Re: Prayer ["moment of silence"] in schools bill

Can't we find a state legislator with the cojones to introduce
a bill requiring in our public schools a vastly more needed
moment of science instead of a moment of silence???

-- Frank


From reader Fred:


As a gun-toting atheist, you will find this story of great interest--if you haven't seen it already.

-- Fred

Subject: Minnesota Court Says Concealed-Carry Law Cannot Be Enforced Against Churches

Not covered by RLUIPA; churches can prevent cowboys from packing heat in churches / Bob

Minnesota Court Says Concealed-Carry Law Cannot Be Enforced Against Churches

Yesterday in Edina Community Lutheran Church v. State of Minnesota, (MN Ct. App., Feb. 5, 2008), a Minnesota state appellate court upheld the objections of two churches to enforcement against them of the Minnesota Citizens' Personal Protection Act of 2005. The law requires that before a church can refuse entry to someone carrying a firearm, it must post a specific sign at each entrance or personally inform each person that guns are prohibited. The law also prevents churches from banning guns in their parking lots and from prohibiting tenants from carrying guns on church property. The churches argued that the law's requirements interfere with the churches' belief in welcoming visitors, and prevent churches from limiting tenants' use to those consistent with the churches' commitment to nonviolence.

Invoking the state constitution's freedom of conscience clause, the court held broadly that these requirements burden a church's exercise of religious belief. It concluded that the state failed to show a compelling interest in enforcing the provisions against churches. It also held that the trial court's grant of an injunction against enforcement of the law did not violate the Establishment Clause of the state and federal constitutions. Finally the court concluded that the state's carry-concealed law is not a "land use regulation" covered by RLUIPA. Yesterday's Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the decision. (See prior related posting.)

Churches win another round on '05 gun law exemptions

A court ruling says firearms can be banned from church-owned property, and signs don't have to comply with language mandated by the state.

Last update: February 5, 2008 - 8:51 PM

Forcing churches to allow guns in their parking lots and use state-mandated language for signs forbidding firearms is an unconstitutional infringement on religious freedom, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The decision, which upheld a Hennepin County District Court ruling, means the Edina Community Lutheran Church can continue to legally ban guns with signs saying: "Blessed are the peacemakers. Firearms are prohibited in this place of sanctuary." Other churches may choose their own wording.

Parking lots, day-care centers and other charitable, educational and nonprofit facilities owned by churches also may continue to ban firearms under the ruling.

The Minnesota law permitting people to carry concealed firearms was passed in 2003 and amended in 2005. It required that any organization, business or institution wanting to ban guns use specific language stating that the building operator "bans guns in these premises."

It also didn't allow most property owners to ban guns from parking areas and space rented to other groups or businesses.

Tuesday's ruling doesn't change most of the law's provisions, including the requirement that sheriffs issue permits to carry handguns to applicants 21 and older who receive prescribed training and pass a background check.

Ben Wogsland, a spokesman for Attorney General Lori Swanson, said lawyers are reviewing the case and can't yet make a decision on an appeal.

Church leaders pleased

The Rev. Erik Strand of Edina Community Lutheran Church said he was pleased with the decision as did Marshall Tanick, the lawyer for Unity Church in St. Paul, which had also challenged the law.

"We're especially thankful that the court recognized and protected our congregation's witness to peacemaking and nonviolence in all relationships," Strand said in a written statement.

Tanick said the Court of Appeals ruled "on the broadest possible grounds. ... It underscores the importance of freedom of religion in Minnesota," he said.

In their suit, the Edina church's leaders argued that entrances to Lutheran churches are reserved for "important religious messages that can be traced to Martin Luther's act of nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany."

That argument was cited in the unanimous 32-page decision written by Judge David Minge and signed by Judges Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks and Terri Stoneburner.

"The uncontroverted affidavits before us establish that the sign provision does compel churches that wish to exclude firearms to act in a manner that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs by requiring that they place specific, conspicuous signs at every entrance to the church," Minge wrote.

Hamline University School of Law Prof. Joe Olson, a supporter of the law, said the decision is so insignificant that it's hardly worth talking about. "If they're going to be charging someone with trespass, they still have to give them notice that they're violating the policy," Olson said. "In order to effectively give notice, they're going to wind up posting signs and they can't hide them behind a potted palm."

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Answers in Atheism for February 7, 2008, CE by Edwin Kagin

“Answers in Atheism”

Thursday, February 7th, 2008 CE

7:00 pm Eastern Time.

Peter Lloyd will be the guest on the February 7 edition of “Answers in Atheism,” the new Internet radio call-in talk show sensation.

The topic will be on Peter’s new book, The Lion's Way.

The Lion's Way is a book that imagines the world without the crucifixion of Jesus and where the Roman Empire never collapsed.

Peter Lloyd promotes creative thinking at, where you can also learn his Right Brain Aerobics and hear his original songs. The website is packed with creative ideas and ways to learn creativity. Peter is a member of the Free Inquiry Group of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (FIG).

His co-author is Marco Marsan, innovation expert, author, nationally renowned motivational speaker, self-proclaimed corporate anarchist, and founder of Marco Polo Explorers. His website is

Together they have created an exciting, action drama of passion, honor, dissent, and the struggle to right society's wrongs.

For more information on this exciting program, for archived shows, and for contact information, see:

Y’all call in y’hear.

See you on the radio.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Atheist News edited by Edwin Kagin

KENTUCKY ATHEISTS NEWS & NOTES Date: February 03, 2008

Kentucky Atheists, P.O. Box 48, Union, KY 41091; Email:

Phone: (859) 384-7000; Fax: (859) 384-7324; Web:

Editor's personal web site:

Editor’s personal blog:

Edited by:

Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director, American Atheists, Inc.

(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)


To Unidentified Recipients:

Update: February 2, 2008


Thursday Night Jump Start (March 20, 2008) at
American Atheists Conference -- Rock the Night Away!
"Minnesota Freethought Band," "Kwang" and
"The Blue Rose Rocket Band"

The 34th annual national conference of American Atheists will take place in Minneapolis, MN. and feature a blockbuster line-up of famous speakers, including Richard Dawkins -- author of "The God Delusion" -- and astronomer/author Lawrence Krauss ("The Physics of Star Trek"). Before the Friday morning session begins, though, check out the Thursday night (March 20, 2008) Jump Start event at the conference venue, the Minneapolis Marriott City Center Hotel.

Rock the night away starting at 7:00 PM with the "Minnesota Freethought Band." Beginning at 8:00 PM, we'll feature the Kings of Minneapolis Rock, "Kwang" -- . And from 9:30 PM to 11:30 PM, boogie with "The Blue Rose Rocket Band." All are welcome, and there's no cover charge.

We've arranged special "shoulder dates" for the conference room rate with the Minneapolis Marriott. That allows you to arrive two days before or after the regular conference and get the exclusive rate! Check out for more details and to register on line using our secure transaction server.

We'll see you in Minneapolis for the Freethought Event of 2008!

WHO & WHAT: Rock the Night Away at the Thursday Night Jump Start, American Atheists Conference

WHEN: Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:00 PM - 11:30 PM

WHERE: American Atheists Conference, Minneapolis Marriott Center City Hotel, Minneapolis MN.

FEATURING: "Minnesota Freethought Band, starting at 7:00 PM at 8:00 PM, we'll feature the Kings of Minneapolis Rock, "Kwang" -- . And from 9:30 PM to 11:30 PM, boogie with "The Blue Rose Rocket Band." All are welcome, and there's no cover charge.


(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)


HINT: Here is something it might be very nice for other organizations (like FIG) to become involved with. Edwin.




This Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at the State Capitol

Michigan Atheists will join Hard Core Atheists of Lansing to voice our objections to U.S. Congress looking to designate the first week in May as 'American Religious History Week.' Is this the first step to establish a Christian Theocracy in the U.S.?

U.S. H. Res. 888: Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nations founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as 'American Religious History Week' for appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.

This an outrageous resolution preceded by seventy-five Whearas's, many of which overtly distort American history or are obvious lies. Please note that Timothy Walberg, Michigan representative in the 7th District is among the co-sponsors.

Please join us. Your voice is important.

DEMONSTRATION AREA: State Capitol, Lansing at the east lawn at Capitol and Michigan Avenue.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 ~ 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM

Parking: There is metered parking on all streets around Capitol Square and five parking ramps within three blocks of the Capitol. Plan to arrive early as you may need to shop for a place to park.

Weather: Michigan weather is unpredictable so dress accordingly. We will demonstrate rain or shine, fair or cold.

After demonstration get-together: Kelly's Downtown, 203 S. Washington Square (2 blocks from demonstration).

ARLENE-MARIE, Michigan State Director, American Atheists Cell: (313) 938-5960

PO Box 0025, Allen Park, MI 48101

American Atheists is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for non believers; works for the total separation of church and state and address issues of First Amendment public policy.


From reader Jim. If everyone who does not share the Bronze Age views of the Arkonuts responded this well, and had the courage to do so, the American Religious Civil War would not be racking up nearly as high a the body count. Excellent, Jim. Excellent.


Dear Fellow Supporters (Theists and Non-theists) of Science and Reason,

The following article was written by Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis in response to my op ed piece in the Louisville Courier Journal. In my piece, I argued that the new creation museum in northern Kentucky is harmful to kids because it encourages distrust in science and encourages the belief that creationism is science-based. I’ve added my comments (prefaced with JW:) after Ham’s comments. I hope this sheds additional light on AIG and their $27 million monument to stupidity. Comments welcome.


Creation Museum “Educational Injustice”

Published December 5th, 2007 in Press Coverage EMail This Post to a Friend

Yesterday, I reported on an article in the Courier-Journal newspaper (of Louisville, Kentucky) about an “evolutionary evangelist” who visited the Creation Museum. The reporter wrote a quality article reporting on this visit and what the museum teaches etc.

Today, I want to share—from the same Kentucky newspaper (the largest in the state)—a different sort of piece. This is an opinion piece written about the museum by a former science teacher, now a laboratory director who resides in England. I have reprinted sections below and made some comments:

“There is a great educational injustice being inflicted upon thousands of children in this country, a large percentage of whom come from the Kentucky, Ohio and, Indiana areas. The source of this injustice is a sophisticated Christian ministry that uses the hook of dinosaurs, the guarantee of an afterlife, and the horrors of hell to convince children and their families to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. The tax-exempt ministry, Answers in Genesis, and its new $28 million creation museum in Boone County has become the de facto source of science information to thousands of Christians who are throwing away reason and 500 years of scientific inquiry and replacing it with ignorant dogma.”

This is the usual emotional vitriolic attack we see from those opposed to biblical Christianity….

JW: When this cult leader is confronted with facts, he immediately labels the criticism as emotional and vitriolic

the author tries to denigrate the Creation Museum and its message by the use of emotive language and unsubstantiated accusations…

JW: What accusations are unsubstantiated? That you teach kids that a Biblical creation is supported by science? That you are in bed with the Christian home school movement? That you are tax-free? That you practice circular logic? That you offer no scientific facts to support your faith-based world-view? What is unsubstantiated?

For this person, secular evolutionists can take millions of children and teach them they are just animals resulting from natural processes (i.e., teach them atheism)

JW: I know of no science teachers that teach atheism and your inference that all evolutionists are atheist is a lie you use to scare your already frightened flock…to suggest humans are not animals is total ignorance…It reminds me of an article I read in the London Guardian newspaper about how hippos kill more humans in Africa than any other animal…then you turn the page and read about how rival tribes in Kenya are killing each other by the hundreds…oh the irony

but Christians are not allowed to tell children the truth concerning their origins—that they were created and have meaning and purpose.

JW: So you know the truth and science doesn’t…biology doesn’t make sense without evolution…and I know many Christian who believe in evolution…who are you to question their faith? And why does acceptance of evolution mean someone has no meaning or purpose? Must meaning and purpose be defined only by your myopic perception of god? I know many atheists and agnostics who lead very full lives, contribute to society, raise wonderful children…again, who are you to say their lives lack meaning and purpose? I suggest that a life devoted to magical thinking and submission to delusional priests like you is far less meaningful and purposeful than a life based on reality, reason and the pursuit of truth.

“If adults want to believe in a 6,000-year-old Earth, that dinosaurs and humans lived together in harmony (all dinosaurs were vegetarians, you see) and that Noah saved all of the Earth’s animal species by placing them on his ark, then they have the right to do so.”

He needs to read the Bible.

JW: I have. As Chris Morris says: “…the Bible reads like the ramblings of a drugged horse.”

Noah did not save “all of the Earth’s animals species.” God sent TO Noah representatives of each LAND ANIMAL KIND. When one sees such incorrect information in a piece by a scientist, one has to worry whether the same lack of attention to accuracy is exhibited in his own research, or the research he supervises!

JW: Sorry I didn’t say land animal kind (whatever that means). What are the different kinds of dinosaurs that were sent on the ark? How were they fed for 40 days and 40 nights? Were there any deaths or did every single pair survive? How did animals from the other side of the earth reach Noah? Was Noah really 900 years old? How did Noah find the time to identify the sex of all the animals to make sure he had a female and a male? Were there any fights onboard or did all the predators and prey all get along? Where is your research Ham? And you accuse me of lack of attention to accuracy…

“What I object to is that thousands of children, particularly the growing number of Christian home-schooled children in this country, are visiting the museum in droves, much to the delight of the museum’s founder, Ken Hamm.”

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

JW: Freedom of speech is fine. Fraud isn’t. You portray your ministry as science and it isn’t. Your own mission statement says that you reject anything that contradicts Genesis. A 6000 year old Earth is a bold-face lie and you know it.

And what right does this man have to tell parents what they can and can’t allow their children to hear concerning this matter of origins?

JW: As a former science teacher and lab director, I know quite a bit about appropriate science curriculums…you masquerade your religion as science and it is fraudulent.

And by the way, my last name is spelled with one m—“Ham.”

JW: I apologize for that…my name is spelled Jim Willmot, since you left it out of your letter.

“These kids are learning that despite a fossil record that clearly shows a progression of simple life forms becoming more complex life forms over billions of years . . .”

The fossil record does not clearly show this—evolutionists interpret the fossil record this way based on the beliefs they have to start with.

JW: Reminds me of a quote by Isaac Asimov (wrote and edited 500 books on science): “Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.” Ken, why do 99% of scientists (many of whom are people of faith) basically agree that the fossil record shows simple life forms becoming more complex life forms (with stops and starts) over periods of millions of years (3800 million to be precise)? Why are there no human fossils found with dinosaur fossils? Why are there no mammal or reptile fossils in the Devonian coral beds of the Falls of the Ohio in Kentucky?

“(the first” bacteria are believed to have established themselves approximately 3.8 billion years ago) . . .

At least he said “believed.”

JW: Belief can be based on facts and evidence as well as myths. I prefer to base my beliefs on facts, not ancient, superstitious myths.

“. . .they are taught that the first man was made from clay and that the first woman was made from the man’s rib. Instead of learning that the process of natural selection,”

Here again he hasn’t done his homework—very poor research. Just go to AiG’s website and do a search for natural selection. One will find creationists believe in “natural selection.” Also, “natural selection” is taught throughout the Creation Museum. However, “natural selection” (which can be observed) is NOT evolution in the Darwinian sense—it only operates within the existing gene pools.

JW: I never said you didn’t believe in natural selection…you have no choice since there is so much evidence to support it. What I said was that you refuse to teach children that human beings were also the result of natural selection…and to say natural selection can only operate in existing gene pools is a bold-faced lie…lots of evidence that new genes arise due to mutation, transfer, migration, etc…research supports this…it just takes longer than your 6000 year time-frame…

“. . . over 3,800 millions of years, has changed populations of organisms into the approximately 10 million species (conservative estimate) that inhabit the Earth today, they are taught the “poof” theory of creationism.”

[Again—emotive language meant to mock.]

JW: Well, if you say god created the heavens and the earth and everything else in 6 days, that qualifies as a “poof’ in my book. Sorry if you feel I‘m mocking you.

“What is particularly sad about this ministry is that because they are so fervent in their mission to get people to believe (or rather make believe) in their simplistic world view, many Christian scientists and secular scientists are playing catch-up to counter the damage they are doing.”

Obviously the ministry is having an impact and people are taking notice! That’s a praise point.

JW: A praise point? No, just acknowledging that your monument to pseudo-science is exceeding attendance projections…something that is really a crying shame.

“The obstruction of scientific information is nothing new in the history of fundamentalist theology.”

“Obstruction of scientific information”? What nonsense. Some of the greatest scientists ever (e.g., Sir Isaac Newton) were creationists. Modern science (empiricism) that built our technology, came out of a Christian basis! This man needs to do his homework in regard to the rise of modern science.

JW: I need to do my homework? The Enlightment and the Scientific Revolution occurred when organized religions relaxed their grip on the pursuit of knowledge. Galileo lived in exile the last decades of his life. Copernicus gave the go-ahead to publish his writings while on his death-bed for fear of church retribution. Da Vinci’s drawings of human dissection were burned. Hell, churches still ban birth control, even in countries with soaring birth rates and an AIDs epidemic. And are you saying all science is Christian based? What about the great Arab mathematicians and physicists? What about the Chinese? Your argument that Newton was a creationist makes no sense. The Renaissance was just getting started and everybody was a creationist because they didn’t know any better. Fundamentalism has a long history of science obstruction…just ask the genius Jim Henson…oh yeah, he died from a strep throat because of his faith so you can’t ask him. . You live in a closed circle Mr. Ham.

“What is new is the way this organization is using the power of radio (AIG is broadcast over 850 radio stations), the Internet and, now, a pseudo-natural history museum to convince well-meaning, hard-working people that science is not to be trusted . . .”

“Science is not to be trusted”?? AiG employs scientists like Dr. Gerogia Purdom and Dr. Jason Lisle. Besides, the root meaning of the word science is knowledge. Is he saying knowledge is not to be trusted?

JW: Your PhDs are just part of your closed circle. Your statement of faith (nothing is true if it contradicts scripture) negates their credentials and their research since science doesn’t work that way. And my whole article is telling people to trust science and evidence-based knowledge and not the superstitious writings of ignorant men. By the way, I heard PhD astrophysicist Jason Lisle speak at a press conference and excuse me for saying this but he has his head firmly up his ass…and it’s up there pretty far.

Certainly in that sense, AiG is warning people that the supposed knowledge of molecules-to-man evolution (based on blind faith) is not to be trusted and that real observational science actually confirms the Bible’s history.

JW: Evolution is based on blind faith and science confirms the Bible? …that’s rich…transubstantiation (bread and wine turning into flesh and blood), virgin birth, walking on water, miracles, resurrection from the dead, forgiveness of sin due to human sacrifice…lots of science in these stories.

“. . .that the theory of evolution is evil and that belief in scientific theories of our creation leads to barbaric behaviors.”

Again, the typical misrepresentation of what we say in regard to the consequences of atheistic evolution. Evolution is not the cause of evil things that people do—sin is the cause. But the more people believe they are just animals, then the more they will act in accord with this, as the student in Finland recently did. Because he believed he was just an evolved animal, he decided to shoot and kill people.

JW: Evolution=belief that humans descended from animals = humans acting like animals = sin = evil = deranged teenager killing people. Therefore evolution = killing people. Sorry, but I thought you were capable of making those connections Ken. Maybe he wouldn’t have killed those people if he realized we are here for just a short time (80 years) and we should make the best of it, and it is a lot nicer if you practice the animalistic instinct of cooperative behavior, also called the golden rule, which is the foundation of all religions. 99% of all murderers believe in God. How about the pilot that killed 219 people in 1999 when he flew his plane into the sea…his last words, “I put my faith in God.” According to your logic, the example of this pilot would mean that all people who believe in God are potential murderers.

“As Mark Twain once said, ‘A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.’ Last month in England, I toured the Natural History Museum in London. (It’s free by the way.) They too have animatronic dinosaurs. However, that’s where the similarity between this ‘real’ museum and the AIG’s creation museum ends. The NHM of London has 55 million preserved animal specimens, nine million fossils, six million plant specimens and more than 500,000 rocks and minerals.

“They have a staff of over 300 scientists working on various projects to gain a better understanding of the Earth and the creatures that inhabit (or did inhabit) our planet. Is there not something wrong when thousands of people are flocking to Northern Kentucky and paying $20 a pop to see a Flintstones-like interpretation of pre-history, and yet anyone who lives in or visits London can see one of the world’s greatest real science centers for free?”

I have been to the Natural History Museum in London many times. And yes—it is free! And the reason it is free is because it is mostly subsidized (with millions of dollars) from the UK Government. Imagine what the Creation Museum could do with millions of dollars of tax-payer money! The Creation Museum was totally privately funded, and relies on the extremely reasonable entrance fees to cover the running costs!

JW: The point that I was trying to make is that the UK makes sure it’s citizens have a quality natural history museum for anyone to see for free…Kentucky’s latest contribution is a creation museum (backed by the ex-governor) at $20 a person. No wonder our state is 49 out of 50 when it comes to university science graduates. And gee, just think what government funding would do for Ham’s salary of a measly $135,000 / year (plus expenses).

And this writer is correct—the Natural History Museum in London is much bigger than the Creation Museum—they have many more specimens—far greater collections. He can mock the Creation Museum regarding its size…

JW: I wasn’t mocking your size, Ken…

…but he also said in this article that it is being noticed, and he says secular scientists are trying to do “catch-up to counter the damage they are doing.” So, if it is such a small insignificant museum, why are the secular scientists worried about it? Why does this writer spend so much time mocking the museum and giving it even more notoriety? Apparently, for a small museum the Creation Museum is making shock waves around the world! Not bad for a privately funded Christian ministry!!

JW: It matters because you are indoctrinating kids into a cult of ignorant fundamentalism that sells religion as science. I wish your ministry would whither and die on its own but unfortunately, people are only too willing to believe your 3500 year old myth (Genesis) offers a ticket to the afterlife. It is the perfect scam…you never have to deliver on anything you promise. “Shock waves around the world!” is a bit over the top, even for you Kenny.

“It seems fraudulent to me that the hard work and knowledge of generations of truth-seeking scientists from Galileo to Sagan . . .”

Sagan was an atheist! Can such a person be “truth seeking” when he had already decided there was no God and that the Bible was not relevant!

JW: Carl Sagan was one of the greatest astronomers and popularizers of science of the 20th century. He was an author of countless peer-reviewed articles and books and a NASA consultant for years. He was also an excellent teacher (I took his class in college). He was the definition of a truth seeker, leading him to the conclusion that while the Bible and other religious traditions might be helpful to some people in their daily lives (he often discussed the nature of science from a historical perspective, even a Biblical perspective…so your claim that he felt the Bible was irrelevant is again a lie) it doesn’t mean these ancient myths actually happened or that religious experience is a true phenomenon. He was fond of saying “extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence”, a true statement that completely contradicts the philosophy of AIG. He also said, “Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.” Amen Carl. By the way, there are many, many scientists, past and present, who are atheist…and the number is increasing as the fear of retribution from the religious establishment diminishes.

“. . . from Darwin to Dawkins, is now being hijacked and twisted to teach our children that the sciences of paleontology, evolutionary biology, astronomy, geology, physics, etc., are not to be trusted . . .”

This is simply not true. AiG employs a PhD geneticist, geologist, and astrophysicist (Drs. Purdom, Snelling, and Lisle) and works closely with many other scientists, including a creation paleontologist who received his PhD from Harvard University (Dr. Kurt Wise). What this writer doesn’t understand is the difference between observational science in these disciplines (which we all agree with) and historical science (when one is talking about origins—where the disagreement lies).

JW: Again, these people are creation scientists, which is an oxymoron since their whole approach to science is to prove a given instead of letting the evidence lead to the truth. You can say you have scientists on staff until you’re blue in the face, but if they offer no observable, repeatable evidence for their theories, they are fraudulent. Evolutionary biologist have tons of evidence that they use to construct theories. Your staff bends both the observational and historical science to get the result you want.

“. . . and that unquestioning faith in ancient texts is the only way to know truth. The Christian community, especially, needs to speak out against this injustice, and speak out loudly.”

If the written Word of God cannot be trusted, then there would be no Christian community!

JW: If everyone truly followed the written Word of God, it would be a very nasty world indeed. God tells us how to treat our slaves, what to do if you rape a woman, how to sell your daughter as a slave, when to stone someone to death, how you must kill those who worship other gods, etc. Check out

“There are several scientific/faith-based organizations that are doing just that. One in particular, the American Scientific Affiliation ( is a group of Christians who have reconciled science with their faith in ways that allows the pursuit of knowledge to move forward unencumbered, unlike ministries such as AIG.”

Sadly, there are such organizations with Christians who have compromised the Word of God with secular ideas—this has contributed to the loss of biblical authority of the nation and thus the secularization of the culture.

JW: They haven’t been secularized enough in my opinion. I am a believer in religious freedom, as long as it doesn’t harm people… I consider filling people’s heads with ideas like ‘people and dinosaurs were once buddies’ as harmful. But where is the condemnation of AIG from religious moderates? The silence is deafening.

“Christian home-school organizations should follow the lead of this organization when suggesting science curricula to its members, and discontinue using the creation museum as a source of any scientific information.”

The opposite is actually happening—which we praise the Lord for.

JW: I’ll bet you do, and the money keeps rolling in as your hooks go deeper and deeper and your devotees lose more and more of their ability to reason….by the way, how is the lawsuit going? You know, the one your former employer has filed against AIG, accusing you of stealing their subscribers lists?

“One other change needs to occur to keep home-schooled children from being misled by creationists. The Kentucky home-school statutes are terribly vague. In fact, science education is not even mentioned in the regulations. If a student is never taught the scientific method and how science is the best method we humans have of collecting unbiased, factual information about the natural world, and instead taught that blind obedience to an ancient text is all that is needed to lead a happy, meaningful life, how can this child ever expect to make informed, science-based decisions as an adult? These statues should be changed so that science education, real science education, is a requirement in all home schools.”

Watch out, Home Schoolers in Kentucky! Such people want to take away your freedoms and try to force on you their secular beliefs and control what you are allowed to teach students—they want your children indoctrinated in secular evolutionary humanism and to be “educated” to throw out the Bible!

JW: Excuse me for suggesting that science be a requirement of home-schools in Kentucky. What a fascist idea on my part! Again, Ky is 49th in university science grads…might want to encourage science a bit more, don’t you think?

“If the beginning of the 21st Century is any indication of how the rest of the century unfolds, we must prepare future generations of Americans for a bumpy ride. We need citizens who understand that human activity does have an impact on the environment so that methods can be developed (largely by scientists and other creative thinkers) to reduce our footprints. We need artists, scientists, politicians, teachers, etc., who seek to understand (not necessarily change) people from different cultures, so that avenues of peaceful cooperation and dialogue always remain open.”

He wants dialogue to “always remain open” as long as dialogue about the biblical creationist position is totally closed!!!

JW: Yes, I do want dialogue of biblical creationism as a science totally closed in education because it is misleading and deceptive, just like I think teaching the Holocaust never happened should not be allowed, or that pigs can fly. I have no problem if people want to discuss their faith in their churches, mosques and synagogues (there are other religions Ken). However, your cult takes your faith to another level, leading to absolutist ideas, close-mindedness and intolerance of anything that doesn’t fit your biblical world-view. What if one of your children were gay? Would you kill him or her as the bible instructs? What if your daughter was raped and got pregnant? Would you not at least consider an abortion? What if your child wanted to marry a non-Christian? These are all issues that cause real problems for rigid fundamentalists…often resulting in tragic consequences due to intolerance and dogmatism.

“We do not need citizens who are closed-minded, anti-knowledge fundamentalists who want to see the world move closer to the Biblical prophecies of an Armageddon. (AIG also believes in a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation.)”

Actually, AiG doesn’t have an official position on a particular eschatological position except accepting there will be a bodily return of Christ. AiG/Creation Museum doesn’t even talk about “Armageddon.”

JW: And why is that Ken? I thought you believed in the Bible, cover to cover? Could it be that the Book of Revelations is too wacky even for you? Are you afraid to align yourself with the true believers who think the end times is next year, or the year after? Do you believe in the inerrant description of the apocalypse or don’t you? It’s amusing that your website is all about the inerrancy of Genesis and the Bible, but when it comes to the End Times, your organization remains strangely silent. Seems a bit cowardly to me…

“Unfortunately, the creation museum in Northern Kentucky has been very successful at encouraging their non-thinking, anti-reasoning philosophy, especially among young, dinosaur-loving children. Inaction in this matter may come back to haunt us in the future.”

If we are so small compared to great museums like the one in London, how could we possibly be “very successful”? And to say that the Creation Museum (and its PhD scientists) are “non-thinking” and “anti-reasoning”—an insult meant to intimidate!

JW: Small businesses (like yours) can be successful as well, Ken. I’m sure part of you is worried about becoming too big since ministries like yours like to grow in the dark since too much light reveals too much about you. This is an old trick that most religions practice. AIG is the definition of non-thinking and anti-reasoning…you insult the human race by intimidating people into believing they are incapable of leading a moral life unless they believe in Christ and if they don’t, they are doomed to everlasting fire. I would say your ministry is far more intimidating and insulting than anything this former science teacher has ever uttered.

Does the reader really think there was a lot of logical reasoning in this Courier-Journal op-ed piece?

JW: I love when creationists question the logic and reason of their critics. Talk about delicious irony. Ride that dinosaur Kenny-boy!

Here is the link to the article:

Well—thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying. …


JW: …and how about a small donation to make sure God hears your prayer? Instead of prayer, might I suggest another option if people want to contribute to society? In the words of Robert Ingersoll, “Hands that help are far better than lips that pray.” To paraphrase, taking a child to a real science center, giving them a real science book, doing an experiment with them, or showing them the wondrous facts and theories behind evolution are far better than taking them to a pseudo-science museum. \


Edwinian video ramblings: