This is a surprising rant from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.
As so often before, ol’ Hambo is angry. We imagine that once again he’s red in the face, foaming at the mouth, and rolling around chewing the carpet. He just posted this on his blog: Oldest Stone Tools?
But before we discuss ol’ Hambo’s latest, we need to know what he’s upset about. That’s reported at the PhysOrg website: Oldest-known stone tools pre-date Homo. They say:
Scientists working in the desert badlands of northwestern Kenya have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered. The tools, whose makers may or may not have been some sort of human ancestor, push the known date of such tools back by 700,000 years; they also may challenge the notion that our own most direct ancestors were the first to bang two rocks together to create a new technology.
Interesting, huh? Here’s one more excerpt about how the age of the tools was determined. They quote geologist Chris Lepre of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Rutgers University, who dated the artifacts. He’s a co-author of the paper about the discovery, which was published in Nature: 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya. This is what he said:
[A] layer of volcanic ash below the tool site set a “floor” on the site’s age: It matched ash elsewhere that had been dated to about 3.3 million years ago, based on the ratio of argon isotopes in the material. To more sharply define the time period of the tools, Lepre and co-author and Lamont-Doherty colleague Dennis Kent examined magnetic minerals beneath, around and above the spots where the tools were found.
The Earth’s magnetic field periodically reverses itself, and the chronology of those changes is well documented going back millions of years. “We essentially have a magnetic tape recorder that records the magnetic field … the music of the outer core,” Kent said. By tracing the variations in the polarity of the samples, they dated the site to 3.33 million to 3.11 million years.
Now let’s see what ol’ Hambo thinks about this. You can already guess that he doesn’t like that stuff about 3.3 million years. That’s blasphemy! He begins by making a couple of obvious creationist points:
1. The fallible dating methods based on assumptions are not discussed — just presented as supposed fact
2. Man’s evolutionary ideas continue to change.
Ol’ Hambo is horrified at the way science keeps revising itself when new data is found. Scripture is so comforting — it never changes! Now here’s where Hambo gets interesting, and we added some bold font for emphasis:
3. Scientists recognize evidence of deliberate design in stone tools — but not in DNA!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s a Discovery Institute argument. In fact, the Discoveroids posted about this yesterday — see Stone Tools Are “Most Important Discovery” in a Half Century — and a Score for Intelligent Design, in which Klinghoffer said, with our bold font:
The tools don’t look like much — see here for a gallery of images. If you stubbed your toe on one, wandering the badlands of West Turkana, would you look down in wonder or kick it aside? Most likely kick it aside. This is not Paley’s pocket watch we’re talking about. The discrimination that they are tools was made via a design inference, and the media coverage is clear about this — they just don’t call it by that name.
Ah yes, William Dembski’s Design Inference. Klinghoffer’s essay was so predictable that we ignored it, but now ol’ Hambo is using the same argument. He says:
Interesting how they recognize the evidence of design looking at stone tools: “I have seen some of these artifacts in the flesh, and I am convinced they were fashioned deliberately.” Of course, when these same evolutionary scientists look at DNA, the most complex information system and language system in the universe, they conclude it was not fashioned deliberately but happened by natural processes!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hambo sounds just like Klinghoffer. Here’s one last excerpt from ol’ Hambo’s rant:
I’m reminded of when I’ve often had someone at a conference come to me and say something like, “But the Bible is not a scientific textbook!”
I then answer, “I’m glad it’s not a scientific textbook like the ones used in public schools and universities, as they change all the time. But the Bible is primarily a textbook of historical science — it is God’s infallible historical science that doesn’t change! It is an infallible scientific textbook.”
The bible is “an infallible scientific textbook.” Hey, that one is a keeper!
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