Marty McFly and the starlight problem have broken Ken Ham’s brain


It’s “Back to the Future” Day, which means three things.

One, the “Back to the Future” trilogy is being re-released in theaters, and if you do a little digging, you can probably find a free screening going on somewhere in your area today (which is cool).

Two, media outlets all over the world will be doing cutesy, content-less “analyses” of how accurate Robert Zemeckis’ “predictions” were of the year 2015 (which is annoying).

And, three, Ken Ham will post something with “Back to the Future” in the title, in a clumsy, transparent effort to drive traffic to the steaming pile of Flintstone-caliber science and shallow, fear-based theology that is the Answers in Genesis website (which is, well, just exactly what you’d expect).

In ol’ Hambone’s latest (and mercifully brief) post, he plugs a Rich “My Movies are Train Wrecks” Christiano project called “Time Changer,” which tragically, does not star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Instead, with Christiano’s trademarked subtlety, the film tells the story of a Bible professor who is sent into the future for some stupid reason, in a time machine that — given Ham’s peculiar predilections — is absolutely guaranteed to be phallic-shaped.

Meh, that'll do.

Meh, that’ll do.

What’s bizarre about this particular article is that Hambone thinks he can dispose of the starlight problem with a combination of tu quoque and what’s referred to in the technical literature as “Not knowing what the heck you’re talking about.”

From the horse’s mouth:

Actually, this is a poor argument to use for those who hold to the big bang to use because it’s self-refuting—they have a similar problem! You see, in the big bang model light has to travel farther than is possible in even 14 billion years. You see, according to the big bang model, at the beginning the universe would develop different temperatures in different places in the universe. But everywhere we measure, the universe has the same temperature—even in the most distant galaxies. In order for all of the different places of the universe to reach a uniform temperature, light had to be exchanged from one place to another. But, even in the supposed 14 billion years that those who hold to the big bang believe in, there hasn’t been enough time for light to travel from one side of the universe to the other. So for those who hold to the big bang to argue that biblical creation is wrong because of this “time travel” problem, they are really “shooting themselves in the foot” because their argument is self-refuting!

I think it’s a fair summary to say Hammy’s argument boils down to, “Well, yeah, starlight is a huge problem for the young-earth model, but that’s OK because hey — it’s also a much smaller problem for the old-earth view!” It’s basically the equivalent of a 400-pound sixth grader telling a bully he’s fat too because he can only do 12 chin-ups.

Fatty. You still have 3-4 percent body fat.

Fatty. You still have 3-4 percent body fat.

Talk about self-refuting. Get this: The way outfits like AiG make sense out of the devastating specter that is distant starlight is by mumbling a bunch of science-y sounding things until the audience is sufficiently confused (which is how they deal with most such things) and asserting that the problem exists only because it’s based on assumptions like the constancy of the speed of light and the rigidity of time.

Except that they can’t turn the starlight problem around on the mainstream view without making the exact same assumptions. Because if an inconsistent speed of light gets them off the hook for distant starlight (it doesn’t, by the way), that goes double (and then some) for the traditional model.

This is all without even mentioning the fact that what Ham seems to be talking about hasn’t really been a problem since the first “Back to the Future” was in theaters, thanks to the development of the cosmic inflation theory.

But don’t worry, Hammy. I know education moves a little slower in Kentucky. I’m sure you and your brain trust of gifted scientists will be hearing about it soon.

Tyler Francke is founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached at

  • Yo. No need to bring my whole state into Hammy’s delusions.

    • Yeah, that was mean. I take it back. I was actually born in Kentucky, by the way.

      • Really? Did not know that.

        Either way, there is an unfortunate ring of truth to what you said – heavily due, I would argue, to the fact that Ham has his “Museum” about an hour away from where I live.

        • And soon you’ll have a big, useless Noah’s ark replica, too!!!

          • Ssssh. We do not speak of the Ark Encounter.

            It’s like the Mario Bros. Movie. Pretend it doesn’t exist, and maybe it will go away.

          • The difference is that some of the principals involved in “Super Mario Bros.” like Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper, later repented of their work in the project. But our modern-day Ark builders know no shame.

          • Dude, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo went to the bar and got drunk every night after filming because the process was such an absurd mess.

            Fun fact, they were going to have then-unknown Tom Hanks play Mario, but went with the bigger name of Bob Hoskins instead.

          • I knew about the drinking except, are you sure they were getting drunk after filming?

            Didn’t know about Tom Hanks, though. Boy did he dodge a bullet.

          • Well, they went to the bar at the end of every day while filming, so they might not have been getting DRUNK, but considering how bad the process was and how horrible their directors were they probably drank themselves under the table at least a couple times.

          • Also, this is another one of the reasons I love this blog. This was a post about starlight issues and YEC, but there is still room to talk about a terrible Mario movie, dammit!

          • Darn right we can talk about a terrible Mario movie.

            1. Dinosaur kidnaps princess.

            2. Plumbers fight mushrooms + turtles.

            3. Plumbers fight dinosaur.

            4. Plumbers save princess.

            How do you screw up a story that simple/perfect?

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            “Summon the Goombas.”

          • Actually, the original draft was a lot more along the lines of the classic plot of the games – it may have even been a cartoon, if I remember correctly.

            Then, they found their directors…

          • It’d be interesting to know that for sure. Was the original draft published online or something?

          • I don’t think so. I only know of it through an interview with Bob Hoskins I read in a Nintendo Power when I was younger.

      • Dev Sorrell

        I was about to say something too. Some intelligent people come from Kentucky.. though in my experience most don’t end up staying.

  • It’s funny how the assumptions of a hot Big Bang allowed us to predict the temperature of the universe.

    You also gotta love the “maybe the speed of light was different” argument. That’s pure observational science right there. Hey, maybe the speed of light was different -yesterday-. Did anybody check?

    • I think the funniest part is that the only evidence that can be presented that the speed of light might be inconstant is that it may be slowed down when acted upon by strong gravitational forces. … But the young-earth model requires something that can speed light up. Like several million times. So, if anything, this argument only suggests the universe is even older than it appears.

      • I’m going to introduce a new diet based on mass-energy equivalence. The theoretical basis will look something like this:

        m = E / c2 where E is rest energy, and c is whatever the hell. Basically, this diet won’t change your weight, but it will allow you to assert that your past weight was whatever you want it to have been.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    In ol’ Hambone’s latest (and mercifully brief) post, he plugs a Rich “My Movies are Train Wrecks” Christiano project called “Time Changer,” which tragically, does not star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

    I think I remember that particular Christploitation flick getting snarked over at Heathen Critique.
    Let me check…