Exposing PseudoAstronomy

March 14, 2016

“They Hate or Fear Me” — The Refrain of the Pseudoscientist

I like to argue. I was never on a debate team, but I would get worked up over things whilst growing up, in college, or graduate school over which I had no control nor power to affect. A common refrain of my father’s, in response to that was, “Harbor your emotional energies.”

Fear and hatred are powerful emotions. As soon as you use observe them in conversation, it colors the entire tone. Just the use of the terms affect your own emotions.

Emotion is also a much easier response than logical thinking. It comes from a more basic, instinctual part of the human brain than conscious thought. Rather than try to address an argument or claim with thought, it’s simply easier to say that the person making that claim hates or fears you, immediately appealing to your audience’s own more instinctual level of lack-of-thought.

That, I think, is part of why we often see that from pseudoscientists when skeptics address their claims. I saw it a lot from Mike Bara back in the lunar ziggurat days almost four years ago (see this blog post where I address the issue of manufactured “hate”). I continue to see it in other areas, such as manufactured fear by anti-GMO or anti-vaccine proponents, appealing to the emotion of fear rather than a logical argument for their position.

And tonight, Ken Ham over at Answers In Genesis (AiG) which is building a claimed replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, USA, has created a new term: Arkophobia.

I really don’t want to link to AiG, so I won’t. But the thrust of the post is this:

The bottom line with the secularist opposition? Arkophobia is so widespread because “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Secularists are in rebellion against their Creator. The fact that He has the right to tell them, through His Word, what is right (e.g., marriage is one man for one woman) and what is wrong (e.g., abortion is murder) angers them.

Secularists oppose the Ark because they are afraid of the Ark’s goal: to proclaim the everlasting gospel.

That’s right: Ham is claiming that people who are against him building this ark are against him because they hate him.

It’s so much easier than really answering why they spend millions of dollars on a theme park rather than give it to the poor, or answer legitimate questions about potential fraud in trying to get tax incentives.



  1. This is pretty standard stuff for fundies, I heard these same kind of statements from my parents all the time when I was growing up. However, having read what you posted and not Ham’s original post, I believe he’s claiming that it is God you hate and not him (Ham).

    These are not just words or some rhetorical device, rather this is what they truly believe. This is how the world works in their minds; it’s why people embrace any scientific theory that contradicts the Bible or any ideology other than fundamentalist Christianity.

    Ham is of course preaching to the choir and just reinforcing what his followers already believe. At it’s heart they believe this is a spiritual war against principalities and powers and Ham’s supporters believe he is doing the Lord’s work.

    They believe that everyone who’s not a fundamentalist Christian love’s sin, and is looking for a way to justify their unwillingness to submit to Jesus, not just as savior, but as Lord of their life as well. They don’t think you hate Ken Ham, they think you hate God and the rules he’s laid out in his word, the Bible.

    Comment by St Patrick Crocoduck (@Humorbot5point0) — March 15, 2016 @ 12:03 am | Reply

    • I got the impression that this is a sub-set of Ham’s belief (or stated belief) that those who are against him ultimately hate his god. However, I think that he’s effectively made a hierarchy and milks all these “sub-hatreds” of which that’s a part. So, we hate the ark, we hate his museum, we hate his whatever, and ultimately those are all manifestations of hatred of his god.

      Of course, pointing out that one would have to believe in his god to actually hate it, as so many others have pointed out every time it’s brought up, falls on deaf ears.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — March 15, 2016 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  2. I don’t think your snippet supports your conclusion of him believing that “people who are against him building this ark are against him because they hate him”

    He clearly states why he believes they are against the ark… because they oppose its message. That actually sounds pretty rational. Atheists in particular do oppose the message of his theme park ark, so it isn’t all that great a leap.

    There are undoubtedly many small government libertarian types who would oppose any and all government subsidies, but I would guess that the major chunk of the most heated opposition to the ark is on ideological grounds, even if folks are actually using tax incentives and giveaways as their primary arguments.

    I think his entire enterprise is wrong-headed, even if you happen to support the goal of spreading and bolstering the christian faith. So I’m not particularly on his side in anything, but in this small measure, I gotta take his side.

    Just because he’s paranoid, that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get him.

    Comment by Cyto — August 18, 2016 @ 7:14 am | Reply

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