Ken Ham: The Horse’s Smile

This showed up a couple of days ago at the blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. It’s titled Do You Smile Like a Horse?

Don’t make the same mistake we did when we first saw it. We read it as “Do you smell like a horse?” It’s a good example of creation science from the man who is famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Horse-lovers (and there are lots of them here in Kentucky!) might be interested in new research from the University of Sussex on horse facial expression. Apparently, according to this new research, “horses use a wide range of facial expressions as social cues — much like humans do.”

We know what ol’ Hambo is thinking: “I ain’t no kin to no horse!” Well, he never explicitly says that, but you know how he thinks. He describes a bit of the research:

Reportedly “both horses and humans modify their facial expressions roughly the same way — by using facial muscles to contort the nostrils, lips, and eyes. Horses also express themselves through their ear position, like cats and dogs.” Researchers, however, have yet to tie horse facial movements with different contexts to determine if an expression is positive or negative.

Hambo doesn’t give his readers any sources — all they need is Hambo — but here’s a news story about the research at the University of Sussex: Why the long face? Horses and humans share facial expressions. And here’s the paper published in PLOS ONE : The Equine Facial Action Coding System. Let’s keep reading from Hambo’s blog:

In a creation worldview this new research makes sense. God created many animals with the ability to communicate with one another through facial expression, gestures, or song. Communication can be used to attract a mate, defend territory, warn others, or sometimes simply to be sociable. It should be no surprise then that horses, which are highly social animals, have the ability to communicate with one another. This is part of the amazing and intricate design of creation.

Nothing ever surprises a creationists, because they always knew everything. Hambo continues:

The researchers are observing the horses in the present and drawing conclusions based on what they are directly seeing. So stating that horses make facial expressions for communication is simply observational science.

That’s as far as Hambo thinks scientists should go. Everything about the past is in the bible. He tells us:

But then the researchers in the PLOS ONE journal say “The potential to make such cross species comparisons can enhance our understanding of the meaning, function, and eqolution of communicative behavior” (emphasis added). Clearly, they are trying to align such expressions with those of humans and other animals based on the belief that horses and humans are related because of progression in their evolutionary belief system. This is not observational science.

Gasp! It’s not observational science. Do those secularist scientists think we’re fools? Here’s more:

Now, the researchers didn’t go into any detail on the supposed origins of horse facial expressions, but they did mention that “social living and interacting with multiple individuals, both within and outside the immediate social group, is likely to have selected for enhanced social communication.” This is the realm of historical science, which deals with the past and is not directly testable, repeatable, or observable.

It’s obviously humbug! Moving along:

Your worldview determines your interpretation. If these researchers believe in evolution, then they will interpret the origin of facial expression through the lens of millions of years of evolution. However, if you start with God’s Word as your starting point, you reach an entirely different conclusion.

And what is that glorious conclusion? Hambo reveals it to us:

Humans, horses, and other animals do not use similar facial muscles and communicative expressions because of shared ancestry, but they do share a common Designer and so we would expect to see similarities in living things — and we observe that.

Yes — oh yes! — that explains everything! Isn’t Hambo wonderful? One more excerpt:

You can learn more about the horse kind when you visit the Creation Museum here in northern Kentucky. We have a zorse and a zonkey in our petting zoo that show visitors that horses, donkeys, and zebras are all part of one created kind, the horse kind.

A zorse! And a zonkey! Wowie! Hambo’s got hybrids — see Zebroid. That’s proof of Genesis right there! Well, they’re probably sterile, but that’s because of sin. In the beginning, everything was good.

The rest of Hambo’s post is a promotion for the Creation Museum. That’s where you need to go, dear reader.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Ken Ham: The Horse’s Smile

  1. Did Ham really say “eqolution”? If so, he needs to pay better attention to his spell-checker. (Or maybe he’s disabled it because he thinks the “spell” part means it has something to do with witchcraft.) If the mistake is instead on the part of whoever quoted him, then the same applies to that person.

    Either way, the substance of Ham’s remarks shows, once again, that he’s a horse’s something or other.

  2. Eric Lipps asks:

    Did Ham really say “eqolution”?

    He quoted that word. I’ve never seen it either.

  3. I prefer Stephen Hawking’s understanding of sin.

    “I think that computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”

  4. eqolution: Most certainly a typo for “evolution”, either made by Ham or in the PLOS ONE paper. I don’t have the time now to search the paper for the passage; I couldn’t find it in a quick look.

    Or better yet — it’s a coined combo of equine evolution.

  5. Doctor Stochastic

    The real question is, “Why is the horse smiling?”

  6. Doctor Stochastic pinpoints the issue:

    The real question is, “Why is the horse smiling?”

    Easy. The horse is amused that its own backside can speak, even if only nonsense about “eqolution”

  7. And suppose science had shown that no animals smile? Well, we always knew that, didn’t we? Animals don’t have souls. They are just organic machines put there for our use.

  8. Darwin himself has already been here, in his 1872 work, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

  9. xxicenturyboy

    I think he was trying to combine equine and evolution to make eqolution, or is that giving him way to much credit?

  10. Mr Ham: When you see one of your zorses flatten his ears back, show some white around his eyes and stamp his hoof? He’s just saying, “Ken! We’re all God’s creatures! Come stand behind me for a minute!”

    And what happens next won’t be an evolutionary herd animal defense mechanism resulting from millions of years of successful encounters with predators, no sir!

  11. One problem with Hambo’s common designer assertion is that according to the Bible humans are made in the image of God. Is Hambo saying that horses and chimps are also made in the image of God? I suppose you’d have to ask Hambo that, but it certainly isn’t Biblical.

  12. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Of course, the ass end of human and equine food tubes operate with even greater similarity, but it’s unlikely Ham will be trying to make hay with that factoid.