My Christmas Ham

Yes, I’m having Ham for Christmas dinner, as a good Jewish boy should. (My dad used to call our ham dinners “good kosher ham”.)

To wit:

That’s exhibit A for “religion poisons everything.”



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    We could play the game where you substitute words for other words – like a mad lib .. the words would be:

    … and so on.

    … if I had time…

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that first sentence of his is so full of crap, I hope you don’t have your good cowboy boots on.

  3. Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    A scientific bronze star medal to PCC!

  4. Greg H
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    “This scientist arbitrarily defines religion as involving the supernatural…”


    • BJ
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      My first thought. What the hell else is religion based around? Sure, it has other stuff, but I know of no religion that doesn’t involve belief in something supernatural.

      Then again, Ken Ham is a schmuck.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Religion is an invention, so, one could try inventing such a religion.

        • Graham Martin-Royle
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 3:45 am | Permalink

          That could be an interesting experiment. Hmmmmm.

          • Kevin
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

            Scientology is pretty much an invented religion.
            Randian Objectivism is a form of atheistic individualism raised to crypto-religious, obsessional cult status.

            Both originate from writers of pulp fiction with elements of McArthyite, Cold War weirdness.

        • GBJames
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Isn’t that what Unitarian Universalism tries to be?

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            I think you’re right

            I tend to get in trouble when “I think”, so go easy please.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I think PCC(E) touched a nerve here. Poor Ham has a hurt feeling.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I sensed that as well. He must, from time to time, get a stomach ulcer.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:31 am | Permalink

        You’re just oozing sympathy, I can feel it.

  6. Frank Bath
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    There’s good ham, indifferent ham, and then there’s indigestible Ham.

  7. Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I confess, I simply can’t convince myself to believe in unicorns. I belong to the blind faith religion of anti-unicornism.

  8. Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    We will be having our Ham for dinner tomorrow. But its fun to have a small serving today.

  9. Mike Anderson
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    No free tickets to Ark Encounter for you!

  10. kelskye
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    (What follows is pointing out the obvious)
    Wow, what a terrible argument. Most arguments with three premises to draw a conclusion may have one faulty premise, Ham manages to nail all three.
    1. Science arbitrarily defines religion as involving the supernatural.
    2. (Science) declares atheism is not a religion.
    3. (Science) arbitrarily declares evolution is science and fact.
    4. (Therefore) the declaration that science is at war with religion is based on faulty assumptions.

    (1) is a faulty premise, but not really fatal to the argument. The definitions of religion that involve the supernatural aren’t arbitrary but come from the study of religions around the world, and even then there are exceptions to this.
    (2) isn’t a scientific issue but a conceptual one. One could say that the same science that rules on (1) would exclude atheism for it lacking any of the sorts of creeds or practices that religions have, but really this issue is best sorted by philosophers.
    (3) uses arbitrarily again without warrant. There’s nothing arbitrary about the acceptance of evolution among biologists any more than the acceptance of the heliocentric model of the solar system is accepted among astrologers. What scientists do is the very definition of science, and the biologists working in the field work on the paradigm.

    What’s more concerning is that the reasons that science is argued to be “at war with” religion aren’t addressed in those three statements of faulty assumptions. Ham’s view is trivially contradicted at every turn, but to think one can sweep away all the tensions between religion and science would be an act of hubris. One of the more memorable chapters of Mere Christianity was where C.S. Lewis warned against accepting the theory behind psychoanalysis even if it had good practical effects because the explanations of human nature contradicted the biblical account. That tension between how a religious worldview hits with scientific theory is played out whenever science sheds light on the nature of humanity, because religion is very much in the business of describing who we are and how we relate to the world.

    Focusing on evolution is a distraction from all the other ways the sciences have worked out how we came to be, and those tensions are repeatedly found in the wider religious community. Religious belief is rife with dualism despite this contradicting the brain sciences. It’s rife with claims of spiritualism that go beyond metaphor and against the psychology and sociology of human nature. It involves ritual that aims at changing the world through spoken or behaved practices that contradict our physical reality.

    Some beliefs (and some believers) better navigate these than others, but the tensions are always there. Hell, “scientism” wouldn’t be any sort of insult amongst believers unless they thought of basing one’s beliefs on science as being problematic in some way.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 25, 2018 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      Can fully agree, but it needs to be stressed that the results of psychoanalysis have no good practical effects. Lewis was wrong there, and probably in his thesis too, results, albeit no proof, do count.

      • kelskye
        Posted December 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, though that’s where I find the strength of using psychoanalysis as an example. It was warned against, not because of any scientific (or philosophical [Popper]) objections, but because it conflicted with a Christian account of who we are.

        I see the same thing today with regards to evolutionary psychology or neuroscience. Believers are quick to jump on findings they don’t like (and are willing to dismiss the sciences altogether – of course maintaining it’s a scientific objection) because it touches on what they consider their divine nature.

  11. Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    umm… that’s not “ham” Prof(E) that’s gristle, on it’s own (without a catalyst) it could take millions of years to break down.
    You don’t serve this ham it’s better to GIVE it a SERVE. Well it is Xmas.

  12. GBJames
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink


  13. Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Ham is just sore that you put the kibosh on city-sponsored bus trips to his absurd ark park and creation nauseum.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      +1 x 10^99 {style points😸}.

  14. Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    In Trinidad (where my dad did graduate school research), one popular Christmas song was “Piece ah Pork”:
    “I want ah piece of pork
    I want ah piece of pork
    I want ah piece of pork for me Christmas”

    • Laurance
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Here it is! YouTube is wonderful.

  15. tubby
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Seems like your Ham is a bit salty.

    • Zetopan
      Posted December 27, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      And yet still showing signs of badly rotting. Ham isn’t normally colored a deep green!

  16. Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Interesting move by Ham — disavowing the supernatural. I confess I didn’t see that coming. He immediately re-avowed it of course, but I guess that’s how you combine reason and faith.

  17. W.T. Effingham
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Ham (plus most people with similar cognitive impairment) certainly doesn’t seem capable of dealing well with the realities they try to refute. Ham’s doubly rowdy use of the term “arbitrarily” in his first sentence seems a bit, …well, capricious, whimsical, erratic, random and any of several other synonyms of his new adverb. Someone should get this guy a thesaurus.

    • Karst
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      a bit, well, hamhanded?

    • Kevin
      Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      Isn’t a thesaurus a dinosaur that believes in God.
      Oops! Sorry, that’s a theosaurus.

      The idea expressed in my opening statement was inexact, erroneous, sophistical, mistaken, in error, incorrect, fallacious or untrue.

  18. chewy
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Ham reads the San Francisco Chronicle? I think this tells us something. (SF/peninsula resident since 1972; and there’s nothing wrong with that!)

  19. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Ah, *that* sort of ham.

    The sort someone elaborately called Vincent Price’s character in ‘His Kind of Woman’:

    Senor, You are not a pig. You are what a pig becomes. It is sometimes eaten between two pieces of bread.

    (I liked Vincent Price. He was never averse to hamming it up).


  20. Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    A ham telling porkies.

    • Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I may have to explain that one … it’s Australian rhyming slang. Lies=pork pies=porkies. Yeah, I know, that doesn’t really explain it. You have to live here.

      • Kevin
        Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        Where I come from it’s called Cockney rhyming slang because of the area of London it came from.

        There is a Cary Grant film from the forties (Mr Lucky) in which they describe rhyming slang and ascribe it to Australia. It is crucial to the film’s finale since the good guys trick the bad guys by communicating with the slang and the bad guys don’t understand.

        “Porkies” (sometimes “porker”) is well understood in the UK.

        Ham originally meant the back or “crook” of the knee and then came to mean the rear thigh muscle (or hock).

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:47 am | Permalink

          Ham originally meant the back or “crook” of the knee and then came to mean the rear thigh muscle (or hock).

          As in the noun and verb “hamstring” – the tendons and muscles at the back of the thigh, and the associated verb “to hamstring” (pp: “hamstrung”) meaning to sever one or several of the tendons. As a punishment this would make walking or particularly running difficult, but have a fairly low probability of killing the victim by blood loss or infection.
          It probably goes back to Anglo-Saxon, many such bodily words do – and I’ve seen it in a lot of Eddas and Sagas and translations of the likes of Beowulf.

          • Kevin
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 1:21 am | Permalink

            Yes. Hamstrung also has a metaphorical sense, meaning “hampered” or “blocked” as in “a mind hamstrung by blind belief in religious thinking”.

            There’s not much point in reasoning with Ham: it’s all been said before. To him, Kent Hovind et al.

        • Posted December 25, 2018 at 2:46 am | Permalink

          Yes, in truth much of our ‘culture’ originates from ‘the old country’ …. we just don’t like to admit it.

          • Kevin
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

            Oz is part of the Irish diaspora as well.
            Went to college years ago with an Australian guy on my course. His name was Bruce. Really, no porkies.

  21. Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Before reading the article from Ham, I was going ask how your family prepares ham (having just asked an Estonian friend for her family’s way of preparing rosolje). But, after seeing the Ham referred to, he is sickening, turns the stomach. He is such a sleaze.

  22. Jim Jones
    Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    > This scientist arbitrarily defines religion as …

    ?? Which scientist? Confused.

  23. Diane G
    Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:48 am | Permalink


  24. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    – Does religion not involve the supernatural? No talking snakes and bushes, no floating axes, no flying Angel’s, no dead resurrecting, etc.?
    It is called a ‘stamp contention’ (by M ‘tHart): after feminists were complaining there never was a female on stamps, while the Brits and Dutch spent generations licking the backs of their queen. A contention that needs no research, but which can immediately be dismissed as false.
    .- Atheism is simply the disbelief in God or gods. Nothing more, nothing less, how can that possibly constitute a religion?
    – Arbitrarily declares evolution is science and fact. No, it is not ‘arbitrarily’: evolution stems from observation and experiment, and a plethora of them. And it makes testable predictions, such as where (in time and place) Tktaalik would be found. But one could fill books there. That -observatio, experiment and testable predictions- is about the definition of science.
    Mr Ham is not just a liar, he ‘s neither here nor there.

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