Ken Ham believes in aliens after all (but still doesn’t get the gospel)

A Martian fighting machine battling the warship Thunder Child in the novel "The War of the Worlds." (Illustration by Henrique Alvim Correa)

You may recall that some months ago Ken Ham announced that aliens do not exist, because, you know, Bible, and even if they did exist, it wouldn’t matter because they’d all go straight to hell anyway.

"Also Bible. Sheesh, am I really the only one that reads the thing?"

“Also Bible. Sheesh, am I really the only one who reads the thing?”

Evidently, it wasn’t enough for Ham to be mocked by millions of people, Christians and non-affiliated alike, for, well, sounding a teensy bit like a mental patient who stopped taking his meds because the purple butterflies who live in his brain said it was hurting them.

So, last week, he upped the ante with this little number.

If you clicked over (which, of course you did because — be honest — you agree the infernal machinations of this guy’s brain are as morbidly fascinating as an actual car wreck), then you know the title of Hambone’s latest post is, “Who are the real ‘aliens’?”

I’m sure you can’t wait to have the great man answer that question, so let’s dive right in.

You don’t have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, as NASA and others are doing, to try to meet a (non-existent) alien. You can meet one at the Creation Museum!

Sounds delightful! And here it is.

"Well, hi there, little fella. Aren't you just the cutest, widdle... Um, whoa! Is that an inexplicably long, phallic-like protuberance on the back of your head or are you just happy to see me?"

“Well, hi there, little fella. Aren’t you just the cutest, widdle… Um, whoa! Is that an inexplicably long, phallic-like protuberance on the back of your head or are you just happy to see me?” (Photo via Answers in Genesis)

As you can see, he’s basically a rip-off of Mike from “Monsters Inc.,” except he has more of a torso and tentacles instead of arms.

Oh, also he (and he is a he. Obviously.) has what appears to be a three-foot-long sex organ sticking out of the base of his skull, for reasons I cannot begin to understand.

Nope. Nope, Mike does not have one of those.

Nope. Nope, Mike does not have one of those.

… So there’s that.

Now that we’ve, again, established Ken Ham’s decidedly un-family friendly obsession with certain, er, things, let’s continue with his post.

Yes, the alien at the Creation Museum is a fictional one—and we make that very clear—yet we use this made-up alien to explain the gospel to the real “aliens”! Let me explain.

Phew! Hambone assures us that the alien character above, which looks like something from the fevered dream of a Japanese X-rated manga artist and Pixar super-fan, is fictional. That’s a relief.

But, what’s this?! He tells us there are “real ‘aliens.'” How could that be? I know you can barely contain your curiosity, so let’s read on.

Visitors to the Creation Museum will learn why there may be water on other planets, but there can’t be intelligent beings because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe.

You know, now that he mentions it, I’m pretty sure 2 Chronicles has a reference to Adam’s transgression wreaking havoc on the peace-loving space pandas of the planet Kerfloc in Centaurus A.

"Then to Adam God said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat, cursed are all the Kerflockian space pandas because of you. And henceforth shall they be sad pandas all.'" (Genesis 3:17)

“Then to Adam God said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat, cursed are all the Kerflockian space pandas because of you. And henceforth shall they be sad pandas all.'” (Genesis 3:17)

This means that any supposed aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin. But because the supposed beings are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation.

Can’t get any fairer than that! … I mean, not without becoming slightly acquainted with even the most rudimentary concept of fairness.

What a great gospel presentation, eh, gang? “God is a cruel and unjust monster, who punishes every living thing for something one human did, and then only allows humans to escape that punishment! Sounds super-cool, right? So, you want to join our club?? We have a Triceratops you can ride!

Sigh. Here’s more:

Jesus did not become the “God-Klingon” or the “God-Martian,” as only descendants of Adam can be saved. … To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is wrong.

Yeah, yeah, we already know all this, Hambone: There are no aliens, and who cares because they’re just demon-bait and hellfire fuel anyway. But when is he going to tell us about the real aliens?

Ah, here we are:

Now, I’m not contradicting myself when I write the following, but I actually do believe in aliens!

Of course not — Ham would never contradict himself.

In fact, Christians were once “aliens.” God’s Word states, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19) Once people become Christians, they are no longer “aliens” or foreigners in this world—they are citizens of heaven!

Oooooohhhhhhhh! I get it now! So, when Ham said “alien,” he didn’t mean “a creature from another planet,” which is the sense in which he meant the word every other time he has used it on his website.

Rather, he meant, “a (human) resident born in or belonging to another country,” a meaning not used all that often in popular writing, presumably out of fear that people think you’re talking about a Ridley Scott film.

"Oh, no, no, no — I didn't mean that at all. I meant a first-century non-Jewish-born convert to Christianity. Was that not clear?"

“Oh, no, no, no — I didn’t mean that at all. I meant a first-century non-Jewish-born convert to Christianity. Was that not clear?”

Kind of like when I say, “Well that’s really dumb,” I don’t mean “dumb” in the sense that it’s incredibly stupid. I mean the archaic definition of “lacking the power of speech,” because the (click-) bait-and-switch technique Ham uses here is not physically capable of articulating itself by means of sounds and words.

But Hambone does go on to explain his full meaning. Schlongo the Alien (“Fictional alien. We-we did say it was fictional, right? Because it is. Fictional.”) is all about sharing the gospel with non-Christians. Because we know if there’s one thing Ham’s temple to reality denialism is full of, it’s non-Christians.

And because no gospel presentation would be complete without being personally assured by smug non-astronomers about what does (and most certainly does not!) exist in the unimaginable vastness of space.

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

  • Greg Carlet

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say.

  • Chris

    You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe.

    So wait, I’m confused. You know, the “bible” says Adam had dominion over the EARTH (Gen. 1:28). Every curse given was against the EARTH and its inhabitants (Gen. 3:14-19). Where does this idea that the entire extraterrestrial universe was/is affected come in? Even the moon wasn’t part of the curse, and it’s technically part of Earth!

    Man was cursed to spiritual death, that is why we needed a savior. We have no knowledge of any extraterrestrial sin occurring, necessitating (if God so chose) to devise a plan of salvation for that race. But there is nothing to preclude that from being the case.

    *facepalm*

    I’ve always seen John 10:16 as a reference to aliens, Jesus talking about other sheep not “of this pen” (Earth), and see no reason Biblically to deny their existence.

    • You’ve got it, man. Honestly, I don’t know where he gets this stuff. Sometimes I really do think there are things that he’s said so often and for so long that he honestly believes they must be in the Bible somewhere. Or he’s just incredibly arrogant. Or both.

      • Mahatma Randy

        I’m surprised he didn’t go with the “Aliens are demons in disguise, pretending to be from space in order to mislead the gullible!” That was a really popular stance when I was a kid

        • Seriously? Even I’ve never heard of that one before. I mean, it’s not any crazier than the belief that dinosaur fossils were made and buried by Satan to mislead the world; I’ve just never heard of it.

          • Mahatma Randy

            Oh, yeah. It was a riposte to all that von Danikin nonsense in the ’70s. Clifford Wilson was the first person I remember talking about it in either “Crash go the Chariots,” or “The Chariots Still Crash.” Can’t remember which book it was. I heard others use it, too.

            Though complete nonsense, his arguments that aliens were demons wearing Scooby Doo masks was at least as compelling as the arguments in favor of UFO visitations throughout the decade. (Which we now know were 99% forgeries and 1% morons)

            Though Wilson didn’t realize it, there actually was kind of a relationship. The “Hag” syndrome – where you wake up and can’t move and see a whithered old crone: that’s basically what the alien abductees are experiencing, only substitute an alien for an old witch. It’s a glitch: Your mind wakes up a moment before your body does, leaving you paralyized, which you subconsciously attribute to whatever you most fear.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            “Crash go the Chariots”. I remember reading it when it first came out. Paperback whose cover was a direct knockoff of the Von Daniken paperback that inspired it.

          • Yes, the aliens/demons view is held by Chuck Missler and Hal Lindsey. Just go on YouTube and search for Hal and aliens or you can read about it on my blog http://www.popchrist.com

            Thanks for a fun post.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay messed up my head in the Eighties. While Hal laughed all the way to the bank, I had flashbacks like a Nam Vet in a Seventies movie. Now that my head’s back together (with the help of a lot of duct tape), how much credibility do you think I give him, Bible-verse zip codes or not?

          • Mahatma Randy

            WOW! I can *NOT* tell you how glad I am to hear you say that. When I was about 13 Hal just completely destroyed me, and I was utterly convinced I was going to hell for like a year. It was the first of my several nervous breakdowns, and probably the least entertaining. My only question is: Is it just a scam, or is he legitimately that stupid? Either way, he’s pretty destructive.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Seriously? Even I’ve never heard of that one before

            Where have you been? I’ve heard it several times; during my time in-country I heard it often enough I thought it was in the Bible (or at least Hal Lindsay).

            The most spectacular version came from a comment thread on Internet Monk years ago, when the subject WAS Life on Other Worlds. Went like this:
            There are no Aliens. They are Fallen Ones come to deceive us. No, I am not a conspiracy crackhead.”

            And speaking of dinosaurs and Satan, did you ever get that packet I sent last month? The one with the pages of Kooks: a Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief dealing with the Flat Earth Society and Satan Created Dinosaurs?

          • Hey, actually, I never did get that packet. Not sure what happened. Sorry, man.

    • Mahatma Randy

      “Earth” in most ancient languages can be used interchangeably to mean “Ground,” “The world,” and “The Universe.” This is because the ancients thought the world was the whole universe. You can make a very strong argument that God giving dominion over the world to Man refers to the entire physical universe.

      I’m not defending Hamm, just pointing out a weak argument so it doesn’t get used against a creationist who actually knows something about language. (Notice how so few of them do?)

      • That’s sort of fair, but then there are things that God made in Genesis 1 over which he did not give mankind dominion. The sea and the sky, for example. Dominion over sea and sky creatures yes, but not the sea and sky themselves. Nor the sun and moon and stars.

        I’m willing to admit the young-earthers have an argument to be made, flimsy though it is, that the dominion God gave humans over animal life means THE CURSE could be transferred to them, but they have no ground to stand on for saying things like erosion and decay and even the universe’s gradual loss of usable energy can all be traced back to human sin (https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/08/20/universe-dying-and-its-because-sin/).

        Their only basis is that they think that stuff is “bad,” therefore God (who obviously agrees with everything they believe) would never have called it “good,” ergo, it couldn’t have possibly existed in the original creation.

        I say, declaring one’s opinion to be holy, divine fiat when one, in fact, has no biblical basis whatsoever for that opinion probably isn’t great theology. But that’s just me.

        • Mahatma Randy

          No, it’s not just you. The A-Number-One problem in fundamentalism these days is a lack of genuine scholarship. People read Hal Lindsey to figure out Revelation instead of reading anything about the history and symbology of the 1st Century. People insist the KJV is the authorotative word of God, despite many inconsistencies with the source, which retroactively implies that the actual original draft of the Bible was wrong in places, which argues against their own standpoint, but God help you if you even try to explain that to them becuase they’re ignorant. I use that in the literal sense, not the perjorative one.

          As to not having dominion over the sea and sky, that could mean something as simple as “We can’t fly, and we can’t swim very well, but we can eat animals who can!” (Which honestly is probably what it meant) but we have to remember the book wasn’t written for us. It was written for an ancient people with no relationship to our culture or science. You know that, of course, but they’re ignorant, so they won’t accept it.

      • Chris

        Without a scholarly study in the language, I can’t disagree, though there does appear to be a Hebrew difference between “the heavens” and “the earth” (Gen 1:1)

        I’ve been racking my brain trying to give the position the benefit of the doubt the last few days, the closest I can think of is Paul’s quote that “the whole creation has been groaning” in Romans 8:22. I still don’t see it though.

        Also, I saw a bumper sticker like this one the other day, made me think of this topic…

        http://i3.cpcache.com/product/275557647/darwin_alien_fish_oval_decal.jpg

        • Mahatma Randy

          I can’t argue. The fact is that words often have different meanings depending on usage. Also, I forgot that passage. And also meanings are simply not consistent through the Bible. What one author means when he says a concept may be completely different from when another author uses the same concept.

  • Chris Mason

    So, no salvation for the Space Duck? It’s such a majestic creature!

    • Hey, don’t come complaining to us. Take it up with the Bible. That’s what clearly says “No salvation for the Space Duck” in black and white.

      • This explains all the tights in the Duck Dodgers episode of Looney Tunes. If that’s not creatures given over to their own depravity, I don’t know what is.

  • Ok, first of all, elephant in the room. That comic in his article isn’t funny at all. What kind of punchline is that? Yeesh, given the temperament of the people at AiG, I was kind of expecting them to be a comedy riot.

    Second, where does the Bible say the whole universe and every being in it was cursed because of Adam’s sin? That’s not even Calvinism. That’s, like, CosmoCalvinism ™.

    Third, if there were alien life forms that God held accountable for sin, why would He be incapable of forgiving and reconciling?

    I just do not get this dude. It’s like squirrels are living in his skull.

    Hmmm.

    I suppose it is possible that Ken Ham is the advance force of an alien invasion and the whole AiG thing is to throw us off the track.

    • Ok, first of all, elephant in the room.

      Don’t you mean “Ellen-phant”???

      … I’ll show myself out.

      That comic in his article isn’t funny at all. What kind of punchline is that?

      Of course the comic’s not funny. These are guys with chips on their shoulders the size of the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s kind of hard to be funny when you’re carrying around a boiling pot of vile hatred for everyone who disagrees with you.

      Second, where does the Bible say the whole universe and every being in it was cursed because of Adam’s sin? That’s not even Calvinism. That’s, like, CosmoCalvinism ™.

      LOL. Good one! But, uh, yeah, that Bible doesn’t say that anywhere. Presumably because very few of the biblical authors thought the universe was bigger than a Middle East-sized scrap of land encased in harder and a protective sky bubble called the firmament.

      Third, if there were alien life forms that God held accountable for sin, why would He be incapable of forgiving and reconciling?

      That’s the key question, and one of the reasons I really do think Ham might be more insidious than just an earnestly misguided who drank far too much of the crazy juice on his way down the road paved with good intentions.

      I mean, here we have something that the Bible is 100-percent, completely silent and neutral on. There is absolutely zero reason for a Christian leader to take an ironclad stand one way or another and risk opening themselves and the faith up to ridicule. The only reasons I can think that someone would do it anyway are 1) megalomania, 2) a desperate desire for attention and/or 3) they don’t actually care about Christianity or how it’s perceived in the eyes of the general public.

      Really, I think all three of those could apply to Hambone, but it’s the last one that scares me the most.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      That’s not even Calvinism. That’s, like, CosmoCalvinism ™.

      “CosmoCalvin” — sounds like a superhero version of Spaceman Spiff.

  • Also, a plain reading of his article clearly means alien all the way through. What’s our justification for reading the word “alien” differently at the end? I think Ken Ham just wants to conform Ken Ham’s article to modern sensibilities. Aliens are aliens. Ken Ham said it, I believe it, that settles it.

    So, Ken Ham simultaneously does and does not believe in aliens. Who are you, O man, to answer back to Ken Ham? Especially when Ken Ham’s liberal interpretation of the word “alien” undermines Ken Ham’s authority.

    • I know your post was meant to be satirical, but it actually makes a lot more sense that most young-earth arguments.

  • Shawn Osterhus

    Oh man, Ham is hilarious. I think sin terrorizes the earth. The Bible says nothing about the universe. Then again, the writers of the Bible probably thought Earth and it’s firmament was the entire space of the universe. Ham makes my brain bleed.

  • Jake Hughes

    *reads OP*
    Whelp…

    • *reads OP*

      Well that’s your first mistake right there…

  • Matthew Funke

    I know there are probably umpteen ways to read the curse, but I tend to think that God is even fairer than cursing *the Earth* for Adam’s sin; I see Him as cursing man. That’s why, in Genesis 3:18 (NASB), we see God saying, “Thorns and thistles it shall grow *for you*” (emphasis mine) — things would have been easier if you hadn’t done the very thing I told you not to do, but now, for you, man, the ground will grow thistles and thorns.

    Of course, it’s not as if I’m sure I have the right meaning. Your mileage may vary, and probably will. =shrug=

    • Yeah, Matthew, that’s how I read it, too. There’s also the fact that the Hebrew word had a huge variety of uses (including Adam’s own name). But in Genesis 3:17 it seems pretty clear the meaning is “the ground” — not “the entire planet Earth” — and the former is how most translations render it. Coupled with the next verse, as you mention, it’s pretty clear that — going from the text alone — God’s not even cursing the ground in general, but just the land on which this particular man would be farming.

      • Matthew Funke

        Sounds good to me.

    • Mahatma Randy

      There is no such thing as Original Sin. The punishments listed are (1) Death, (2) Farming, (3) Pain in Childbirth, (4) emnity between people and snakes. The Jews had no concept of original sin. the only sins are things you, yourself do. Jesus never said anything about it. Paul never said anything about it. Nobody every said anything about it until Augustine thought it up in the 4th century. It’s nonsense. It’s the greatest heresy of all time. A belief in Original Sin isn’t the kind of thing that will send you to hell, but it *IS* the kind of thing that makes your life needlessly difficult, and places a lot of strain on you.

  • ashleyhr
  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I have been involved in SF litfandorm for 40 years.

    There’s a reason why there’s a big chasm between SF and Christians.

    • Mahatma Randy

      It’s because Christian SF is generally horrible crap.

      Here, check this out http://www.republibot.com/content/editorial-why-christian-science-fiction-generally-such-rubbish

      Tyler, should you ever want to reprint that article, you have my permission.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        It’s because Christian SF is generally horrible crap.

        Tell me about it.
        Back in local fandom in the Eighties, there were two proverbs about it:
        1) “It’s gotta be Christian — look how shoddy it is!”
        2) “it’s gotta be good — all the Christians are denouncing it!”

        • Mahatma Randy

          Never heard either of them, but they’re pretty funny. There was some Christian SF in the 40s/50s, I read a little bit when I was a kid in the 70s, but have no idea if it was good or not, and can’t even remember titles. The stuff I’ve read since then strikes me as the equivalent of Stryper albums: something that exists because people feel compelled to buy it, whether they like it or not.

    • John Neumann

      Phillip K Dick was Catholic (and certain ‘Christianized’ themes came out in his works). Do you think he counts as part of Christian Science Fiction?

  • Mahatma Randy

    It actually *IS* an interesting theological question that Hamm stumbled into, though, alas, he’s too much of a lunkhead to really explore it. If aliens exist, would God have done all this for one measly little planet? And did the fall somehow affect other worlds? Personally, I’d say ‘no’ as I don’t believe in original sin. If I don’t believe Adam means my damnation, then obviously Adam causing Marvin the Martian’s damnation is even harder to accept. But assume that’s correct, then isn’t it the job of us Christians to go out and spread the Gospel to these poor damned aliens? You could make at least as good an argument that we really, really, really should be actively supporting the space program with that as the goal.

    CS Lewis’ space trilogy thoughts on this were interesting.

  • Nick Hodgetts

    If there are intelligent spiritually alive aliens in the universe, a loving God will no doubt have made provision for their salvation too. The opposite of the kind of God that Hammy worships.

    • Mahatma Randy

      Hammy has a limited imagination, and he tries to cram God into the tiny little box created by his limited imagination.

  • Mahatma Randy

    It’s not Christian, but one comment made me want to go off on a tangent about the curse applying to all nature: The Zoroastrians (Who make a cameo appearance in the Gospel) believed that God has made the universe perfect. Their Satan-figure did not have the power to create, so he simply corrupted everything.

    Thus God created people to be forever young and healthy, the devil introduced aging and sickness. God created life, the devil introduced death. God created dogs, and the devil corrupted them into wolves. (The Zoroastrians were super-obsessed with dogs) God created morality, which the devil corrupted into immorality, and so on.

    It’s not Christian, but it’s kinda’ snazzy and appealing

  • Victor Polk

    I’m still not gonna call Ken Ham an idiot. But I do rather respectfully disagree about his views on extra-terrestrials.

  • Victor Polk

    Excuse me, I was wondering that if you could give some explanations again about aliens to this article. https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/alien-life/why-couldnt-jesus-save-et/ It doesn’t have to be only biblical creation or theistic evolution, and should for theists with neutral views on biblical creation and theistic evolution.

  • Mortification240

    I don’t get how some one can’t believe in Aliens. With all of the galaxies, and all of the planets within those galaxies, how can you say that there isn’t a single intelligent life form out there?

    • Bad theology. Actually, mistaking an opinion based on nothing as theology.

  • Ham you need to get out of the psuedoscience business because you’re putting science fiction writers out of work. Leave the psuedoscience to H. P. Lovecraft and the bloody pulp era. I am pulling out John 8:44 NLV for those who want to reference Ham and other false teachers, “The devil is your father. You are from him. You want to do the sinful things your father, the devil, wants you to do. He has been a killer from the beginning. The devil has nothing to do with the truth. There is no truth in him. It is expected of the devil to lie, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” That verse applies to young earth creationists who claim to be educators as they preach pseudohistory along with pseudoscientific f**kery. Sometimes you have to let an f-bomb fly right at them and swear from the pews. This is a hard rebuke to Ken Ham.