Ken Ham (born Born::October 20, 1951) is the president of Answers in Genesis USA, the Creation Museum, and Ark Encounter and a well-known leader, speaker and author on the subject of Young-Earth Creationism.
Early life and education
Ham was born and raised in Queensland, Australia. His career of defending Christianity and the Bible was partly inspired by his father, a school teacher who had the same passion as Ham. While in college, Ham was influenced by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb's book The Genesis Flood.
Ham received a bachelor degree in applied science (emphasis on environmental biology) from the Queensland Institute of Technology, and a Diploma of Education from the University of Queensland. He has also received four honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Divinity from Temple Baptist College, a Doctor of Literature from Liberty University, a Doctor of Letters from Tennessee Temple University, and a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mid-Continent University in Kentucky.
As an adult, Ham became a science teacher in Dalby State high school, and there he "was soon confronted with a need to defend his faith in the classroom". Ham started the Creation Science Foundation (CSF) that was at first based in his house in Sunnybank, and in 1987 he and his family moved to the United States to work at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). He remained a director of CSF until 2004.
From 1987 to 1993, Ham worked for the Institute for Creation Research, and in 1994 he co-founded Creation Science Ministries, which was renamed Answers in Genesis (AiG) later that year, a creation ministry dedicated to "upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse."
According to AiG, Ken Ham had a vision for "a creation museum that teaches the truth" since 1979, when he began his ministry in Creation Science. During the mid-1990s, after AiG was founded, the ministry began searching for land in Northern Kentucky to build the museum. The Museum was opened on May 28, 2007 at the cost of $27 million. $21 million of the cost was raised through private donations.
The aesthetics of the museum have been praised even by critics of the museum.
Debate with Bill Nye
On February 4, 2014, science "educator" and evolutionist Bill Nye debated Ham. The debate was the dominant trending topic on Twitter and Facebook and it was estimated that over 3 million people watched the debate live. It was reported in the mainstream media that because of the debate, interest and support for the Ark Encounter, which had been struggling for funds, returned, and AiG was able to raise enough money so construction could begin in 2014, even though AiG has stated that this was not the case, as it was not reasonably possible to purchase a bond after the debate.
After the completion and success of the Creation Museum, Ham and AiG started focusing on building the Ark Encounter, a life-sized replica of Noah's Ark. The plans for constructing the Ark Encounter were announced by AiG, along with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on December 1, 2010.
During the construction of the Ark Encounter, AiG sued the state of Kentucky after officials blocked AiG from receiving a sales tax tourism incentive worth up to $18 million because AiG would use the Ark Encounter to share the gospel. On January 25, 2016, Federal Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled in AiG's favor, ruling that blocking the incentives from AiG was unconstitutional and violated their First Amendment protections.
On July 7, 2016, the Ark Encounter was opened to the public in Williamstown, Kentucky. The ark cost $100 million and is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, based on the dimensions given in the Bible. The opening date, 7/7, was intentionally chosen to coincide with Genesis 7:7. The next day, Bill Nye visited the Ark Encounter upon invitation from Ham.
As a Christian, Ham believes that salvation is obtained through faith in Christ alone, regardless of their beliefs on creation. Ham denies any claim that he is any type of messiah, stating that only Jesus is the Messiah. He has criticized those who attach his name to his beliefs, stating "What I say really doesn’t matter. What matters is what God’s infallible, perfect Word says."
Ham is married to Mally Ham. They have five children and fourteen grandchildren.
Ham has published several books, including some children's books. He is featured daily on a radio program entitled Answers...with Ken Ham, and has released a number of videos on the subject of creation vs. evolution.
- Rogers, Ben (August 8, 2016). Ken Ham: A Queenslander with all the Answers. Journey - Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
- Ham, K. & Ham, S. (2008), Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World: Leaving a Lasting Legacy, New Leaf Publishing Group ISBN 9781614580720
- Ken Ham. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- History. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Rothstein, Edward (May 24, 2007). Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs. The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
- Lovan, Dylan (July 31, 2006). High Tech Museum Brings Creationism to Life. NBC News. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
- "Creation Museum hits 250K visitors". The Cincinnati Enquirer. November 3, 2007. http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20071103/NEWS0103/711030409/. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham. Answers in Genesis. February 4, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Over 3 Million Tuned In Live for Historic Bill Nye and Ken Ham Evolution/Creation Debate. "'Answers in Genesis. February 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- "Creation Museum's $73m Noah's Ark park to begin construction in Kentucky". The Guardian. Associated Press. 28 February 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/28/creation-museum-kentucky-noahs-ark-museum-ken-ham. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Ham, Ken & Looy, Mark (August 22, 2016). Media Misinformation Continues with the Ark. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Lovan, Dylan (January 25, 2016). Ark Encounter builder wins legal battle over tax incentive. WCPO.com Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Caproni, Erin (January 26, 2016). Judge rules on Ark Encounter incentives. Cincinatti Business Courier. Retrieved August 5 2016.
- Victory for AiG/Ark Encounter in Federal Court. Answers in Genesis. January 25, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Ham, Ken. Ark Encounter Opens to the Public! Answers in Genesis. July 7, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Weed, Alexis (July 8, 2016). Noah's Ark Opens at Kentucky Theme Park. CNN. Retreived August 5, 2016.
- Ham, Ken. Bill Nye Visits the Ark Encounter. Answers in Genesis. July 8, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Ham, Ken (May 15, 2008). Do All Creationists Go to Heaven?. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Ham, Ken (May 18, 2016). Bill Nye Called Who “the Messiah”?. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Ham, Ken (August 5, 2016). Dr. Andrew Fabich: “Quit Calling This ‘Ham’s Interpretation’”. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Official Biography at Answers in Genesis
- Answers in Genesis - ministry website
- Biography by Eden Communications
- Nye, Bill & Ham, Ken (4 February 2014). "Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham (video - 165:32)". YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI.