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Creationist speaks at Piedmont International

The Rev. Ken Ham delivers the keynote speech at the graduation ceremony at Piedmont International University at Friday, May 9, 2014. (John Hinton/Journal)

The Rev. Ken Ham delivers the keynote speech at the graduation ceremony at Piedmont International University at Friday, May 9, 2014. (John Hinton/Journal)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Rev. Ken Ham, who received international attention in February for defending creationism during a debate with TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye, told the 2014 graduates of Piedmont International University that they must defend Christianity amid challenges to the Bible and the Book of Genesis.

He said proponents of gay marriages, the educational system and the media are negatively influencing too many churches. American religious leaders must push back against those trends to reach young adults and restore their faith in God and the Bible, he said.

“We need to understand what is happening,” Ham said. “Satan will get you not to believe in the word of God.”

Ham was the keynote speaker Friday night at the 67th annual commencement of Piedmont International University, which recently changed its name from Piedmont Bible College.

Piedmont, a private Bible school, is known for training ministers and missionaries.

Ham, 52, is the president of Answers in Genesis, an organization that operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

The organization also promotes that the Earth is 6,000 years old.

A group of 89 students received degrees during the graduation ceremony, which was held at Salem Baptist Church across the street from the school in West Salem. About 1,200 people attended the event.

Ham told the audience that secularists are changing American culture in ways that are negatively affecting many churches.

He asked why has the United States, whose founding fathers wanted to be free to worship God, turned aside biblical teachings found in the Book of Genesis.

Ham also reminded the students that they must study hard to reach their goals.

Nick Decker, 22, of Winston-Salem said he majored in Christian ministry and plans to become a pastor.

Decker added that graduating from Piedmont International is the proudest moment in his life.

Danielle Noble, 21, of Raleigh said that the academic work was difficult at the university, but it prepared her for the future.

“Now that I have done that, I can come do anything,” said Noble, also a graduating senior. “I’m ready to go out into the real world.”

8 comments

    • glasskeys

      Exactly With Ken Ham as a guest speaker you automatically know the science curriculum at this university isn’t the most rigorous. The guy puts English saddles on the dinosaur exhibits in his “creationist museum”. What a joke.

  • Vasu Murti

    In college in 1983, my friend Victor and I were dining with a friend of Victor’s over lunch in the cafeteria of the John Muir campus.

    I mentioned Hindu spiritual master Srila Ramesvara Swami’s words that biblical literalists, believing in a talking snake, a flood, and a six thousand year old universe, are at a loss to explain the age of the earth as being far greater than six thousand years old.

    Srila Ramesvara said the biblical literalists, at a loss, say God must have created the world with “old rocks.”

    Victor’s friend said, “No, they say the devil invented carbon-dating…”

    Victor, amused, said, “It seems like they (the biblical literalists) make the devil to be cleverer than God. I mean, all God did was ‘create the world,’ whereas the devil goes around inventing carbon-dating…”

    ****

    The prevailing view today is that science and religion are incompatible.

    Religion, we are told, is the shadow of the past: the last vestige of a dark, gloomy age, in which the masses were subjected to the fear of spirits, ghosts, devils, God, and other imaginary beings by ecclesiastical authorities seeking to maintain political control.

    Science, however, supposedly provides humanity with empirically verifiable knowledge — understanding the world through quantifiable observation, analysis, reduction and reason.

    Current theories in astrophysics cannot account for the formation of galaxies. General relativity contradicts quantum mechanics: these theories cannot be integrated on a sound mathematical basis.

    The equations needed to explain planets condensing from clouds of gas and dust have not yet been solved, and the origin of the solar system itself remains a mystery.

    Evolution is mostly speculation. The physical evidence from the past is fragmentary; of the one billion species believed to have existed, 99 percent did not leave fossils. In the deliberate breeding of species, there are limits to the changes one can make.

    When pushed beyond a limit, species become sterile and die out or revert to their standard design. We can induce changes in existing forms via breeding, but cannot generate new complex structures.

    If this cannot happen by man’s conscious efforts, why should it happen by blind natural processes? No satisfactory evolutionary models have ever been made.

    ****

    In an article on animal rights entitled “Just Like Us?” appearing in the August 1988 issue of Harper’s, Ingrid Newkirk, Executive Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said:

    “You cannot find a relevant attribute in human beings that doesn’t exist in animals as well. Darwin said that the only difference between humans and other animals was a difference of degree, not kind. If you ground any concept of human rights in a particular attribute, then animals will have to be included. Animals have rights.”

    Many in the animal rights movement still base their ethical system upon the Darwinian theory of evolution. This must change, as Darwin’s theory is being demolished. Michael Cremo & Richard Thompson’s Forbidden Archaeology (1993) is a step in that direction. This controversial book shocked the scientific community and became an underground classic.

    The book’s premise is that evolutionary prejudices held by powerful groups of scientists act as a “knowledge filter” which has eliminated evidence challenging accepted views, and left us with a radically altered understanding of human origins and antiquity.

    Forbidden Archaeology shocked the scientific world with its evidence for extreme human antiquity. It documented hundreds of anomalies in the archaeological record that contradicted the prevailing theory and showed how this massive amount of evidence was systematically “filtered” out. This is how mainstream science reacts (almost like a religion) to any challenge to its deeply held beliefs.

    ****

    Intelligent Design is often dismissed as a slick, pseudoscientific form of creationism.

    The philosophical or theological Argument By Design at the heart of Intelligent Design does not directly prove the existence of God… it merely infers that it’s a logical possibility.

    A Christian, Gene Carman, commented on Salon.com, a liberal website:

    “God is a matter of faith, as in contrast to fact. So, what is faith? Faith is ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…’”

    A leap of faith is required because the existence of God can neither be proven nor disproven. We’ve come to this material world to forget God.

    Madhavendra Puri dasa (Steve Bernath) of the Bhaktivedanta Institute said the Vaishnava Hindu objection to natural selection is that Darwin posited a mechanism to explain the origin and varieties of different species through blind natural processes, without any kind of intelligent direction or design.

    ****

    I don’t have a problem with the theory of evolution being taught in the public schools, as long as opponents of evolution merely poke holes in it, demonstrating that it is merely a theory which can account for some observable phenomena but not others, that the entire fossil record suggests a different take on the origins of mankind (I would refer you to Cremo & Thompson’s Forbidden Archaeology in this area), and that Intelligent Design does not directly prove but merely infers that the existence of a higher power or powers is a logical possibility.

    In biology, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe calculated the probability of proteins forming from the random interaction of amino acids — the building blocks of life. They found the odds were one out of ten to the 40,000th power. Given these extreme odds, it is hard to imagine the self-organization of matter without the deliberate intervention of some kind of higher power(s) or intelligence(s).

    ALL life is thus precious and sacred.

    Dr. Francis Crick has admitted, “the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.”

    Future scientists and science teachers would do well to approach the study of the phenomenal world with this kind of awe and reverence and respect for all life.

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