When my family made its visit to the Creation Museum this year, I found the recreation of the Biblical Genesis account very exciting and stimulating. Even if I had some experiences of déjà vu, the accomplishment of Ken Ham in putting his books and ideas all into this arena is nothing short of phenomenal.
In everything, Ken Ham has been consistent. True to his beliefs, he interprets everything in the light of the Bible as a literal and as a complete work of historical writing in the modern sense of the word. As such, he agrees with the Bishop of Ussher and dates the lifespan of the universe at 6,000 years. Any evidence to the contrary gets explained away or ignored. The apparent age of the earth, the fossil record, the spacing of the continents, and pretty much anything else is explained by the (surprisingly) naturalistic forces of the Flood.
Again, Ken Ham is consistent. He is so in every way but one: the race of Adam and Eve.
By race, I mean skin pigmentation (and perhaps eye shape). In this, I was extremely disappointed. In all presentations within the Creation Museum (see the image at the top of this post), Adam and Eve are Caucasian white. This goes against Ken Ham’s own teaching. In his book, One Blood, Ken Ham wrote the following:
Noah and his family were probably mid-brown, with genes for both dark and light skin, because a medium skin ‘color’ would seem to be the most generally suitable (dark enough to protect against skin cancer, yet light enough to allow vitamin D production). As all the factors for skin ‘color’ were present in Adam and Eve, they would most likely have been mid-brown as well. In fact, most of the world’s population today is still mid-brown. (Emphasis added)
Yet here are Adam and Even, from the display at the Creation Museum, looking as white skinned as a Mormon missionary prior to 1978! Yet Ken Ham made (and continues to make) the claim that Adam and Eve were middle-brown in skin color, similar to Indians, Egyptians, and most Middle-easterners today. So why didn’t he follow through with that same claim in his own museum?
I find it hard to believe that Ken Ham simply “forgot” that Adam was supposed to be brown-skinned. He simply makes too much of that fact in his presentations. I heard him say the same thing in a talk he gave at our home schooling convention not a year before the museum opened. Certainly he even that amount of time was enough to make such corrections.
Nor do I think Ken Ham is a racist. His book, One Blood and the associated video, One Race, strongly argue against it. A racist would not argue against the “curse of Canaan” interpretation used to justify bigotry and even slavery in the past. Even less would a racist write the following:
But does the Word of God really condemn such mixes as those above? Is there ultimately any such thing as ‘interracial’ marriage?
True science in the present fits with the biblical view that all people are rather closely related—there is only one ‘race’ biologically. Therefore, there is in essence no such thing as ‘interracial marriage.’ So we are left with this—is there anything in the Bible that speaks clearly against men and women from different people groups marrying?
The answer is obvious… According to the Bible, the priority in marriage is that a Christian should marry only a Christian.
Sadly, there are some Christian homes where the parents are more concerned about their children not marrying someone from another ‘race’ than whether or not they are marrying a Christian. When Christians marry non-Christians, it negates the spiritual (not the physical) oneness in marriage, resulting in negative consequences for the couple and their children.
Even the argument that, culturally, races should not mix is refuted by Ham:
Because many people groups have been separated since the Tower of Babel, they have developed many cultural differences. If two people from very different cultures marry, they can have a number of communication problems, even if both are Christians. Expectations regarding relationships with members of the extended family, for example, can also differ. Even people from different English-speaking countries can have communication problems because words may have different meanings. Counselors should go through this in detail, anticipating the problems and giving specific examples. Some marriages have failed because of such cultural differences. However, such problems have nothing to do with genetics or ‘race.’ And ultimately, if a couple are one spiritually, and believe before the Lord that they should be joined in marriage, there is nothing in the Bible that speaks against this union. (Emphasis added)
So, as the above quotes illustrate, Ham is not a racist. In fact he is far from a racist in any way. He is so non-racist that he denies that the category of race is accurate. With all that he says per the above, I am gratified at the good reception his words receive at the conventions I attend in southern Ohio. It bodes well for the body of Christ.
Yet, still, against all that Ken has written, Adam is Caucasian in his museum and not middle-brown skinned. As noted, it cannot be ignorance, forgetfulness, oversight, or racism. I would find it hard to believe it is cowardliness. No one could write the things Ken Ham does and be a coward. Certainly no one who makes a $27 million dollar institution based on a starting point of hope and prayer could be a coward.
Unless Ham put himself under that $27 million dollar investment and then checked out the major audience of his investment. As most reviewers of the Museum have noted, the most visitors to his museum are white, middle class Americans. Could it be, consciously or unconsciously, Ham projected that those who would come to see his museum, those upon whom his $27 million dollars depended, those upon whom his very reputation relied, might not like it if Adam were not also white? Could it be he compromised in this one area in order to keep his investment viable?
I would hope not. I would hope that Ken Ham would be able to resist the fear of mammon. But bigger men than I have fallen due to that fear. It is an easy fear to resist only when you are not under it.
But even then I am disappointed in Ham if this is the case. It is not the fear Ham would have of losing his investment that would demoralize me, but that he did not have enough confidence in his own audience. I would have hoped that Ken Ham would have more faith in us white middle class Christians, not to think we couldn’t handle the fact that Adam and Eve were not a white middle class American couple. I would hope he would have that much confidence in his facts and in us.
But I can’t think of any other reason for this inconsistency. It certainly appears that Ken Ham is not prejudiced; but that he assumed that we, his ticket buying public, were. At least he was not willing to bet $27 million that we were not.