As usual, Super Bowl commercials caught a fair bit of attention this year, though there was one spot in particular for Carnival Cruise Lines that sparked an evolution debate after catching the attention of creationist leader Ken Ham, founder of the Answers in Genesis ministry, who accused the company of "blatantly using evolution" to advertise its cruises during the big game.
Creation Museum head Ken Ham speaks during a debate on evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye, not shown, at the Creation Museum Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Petersburg, Ky. (AP Photo/The Courier-Journal, Matt Stone)
The commercial, which featured a portion of one of President John F. Kennedy's speeches from 1962, focused on peoples' supposedly inherent connection to the sea. Images of ships and the ocean were shown as Kennedy's voiceover described a connection between human beings and water.
"I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea," Kennedy said. "And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came."
It was these words that led Ham to critique the company for purportedly promoting evolution, as he was heavily critical of the supposed themes presented in the spot.
"Don’t you just feel this 'personal connection?' After all, your ancestor came out of the sea and evolved by natural processes to produce you. Don’t you feel the connection?" Ham wrote on his Answers in Genesis blog. "Don’t you just want to go on one of their cruises so you can stand on the deck of a big cruise ship, look at the sea, and contemplate your accidental beginnings — and perhaps worship the sea, because it gave birth to you!"
And he wasn't done there.
"Oh — and really, you can spend a lot of money on such a cruise, but because you evolved from the sea and are just an evolved animal, and when you die you won’t even know you existed — so you won’t even remember the cruise — so what’s the point anyway?" Ham continued. "You just evolved to have an ultimately meaningless existence!"
Watch the ad here:
The creationist Christian leader went on to decry the current state of culture — one that he said is increasingly "abandoning the truth of God's word."
In the end, Ham said that he finds it "mind boggling" that anyone intelligent could believe that life and the universe were the result of an accident. Read his blog post here.