Ken Ham: Natural Selection Is Not Evolution

There’s no way to prepare you for this, dear reader, except to warn you that you may find it to be shocking. It comes to us from the blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and for building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.

Even the title of Hambo’s post is a shock: Natural Selection — the Opposite of Evolution.

Before we proceed, pause for a moment to let the meaning of Hambo’s title sink in. The implications are staggering! All this time you’ve been thinking that natural selection is the principal mechanism of evolution — but Hambo says that’s totally wrong. The two are opposites! Don’t resist, dear reader. Let’s find out what Hambo says. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

[The author of an article] says that, “It is critical that the voting public have a clear understanding of evolution. Adaptation by natural selection, the primary mechanism of evolution, underpins a raft of current social concerns such as antibiotic resistance, the impact of climate change and the relationship between genes and the environment.” She then continues throughout her article to talk about the importance of understanding natural selection and how best to get children to think this way.

What’s wrong with that? Hambo explains:

Now, here at AiG, we would agree that a proper knowledge of natural selection is important. We spend a good deal of time researching and talking about natural selection. But natural selection is not “molecules-to-man evolution” (hereafter referred to as evolution)! It is true that evolutionists will use the term evolution for natural selection, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who believes in natural selection believes in Darwinian evolution!

This is getting strange. Let’s read on:

Natural selection removes or reorganizes genetic information, allowing different traits, such as different beak sizes (e.g., the finches of the Galapagos), to show up. Those organisms best suited to their environment survive while the others die off or don’t reproduce as well. Of course, those that thrive pass along their unique combination of genes to the next generation, skewing the gene pool in their favor. Eventually this can allow new species (such as a new species of finch) to arise. But this isn’t evolution!

No? Then what is it? If you’re expecting him to say it’s micro, not macro evolution, you’re in for a surprise. Hambo tells us:

It’s really just an outworking of the phenomenal amount of genetic variability God built into each kind of organism.

Oh. Okay. Here’s more:

Evolution requires an addition of brand-new information so that novel traits (never seen before) can arise.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh — information! [*End Drool Mode*] That’s another Discoveroid doctrine Hambo has embraced — see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Moving along:

You can’t change an amoeba into an astronaut without adding new information and new features! But natural selection can’t do that. It can remove or reshuffle information, but it can never create brand-new information. Because natural selection is the exact opposite of evolution, it can’t be a mechanism for this unobserved process.

Deal with it, dear reader. Natural selection can’t add new information. Oh, we know what you’re thinking. So does Hambo. He’s way ahead of you. He declares:

And mutations don’t add new information either.

Your Curmudgeon used to think otherwise because of research like this: How One Gene Becomes Two Different Genes. But Hambo tells us why that’s wrong:

We always see organisms reproducing according to their kind, just as it says in Genesis [scripture reference]. There is a huge amount of variety within a kind (think of poodles, Great Danes, wolves, dingoes, and boxers), but one kind has never been observed to turn into another kind, nor is there a mechanism for this imagined evolution.

Hambo is so wise! This is his concluding paragraph:

We need to teach children and teens about natural selection, but we need to do so in the context of observational science and a biblical worldview. … When we start with God’s Word, we have a proper foundation for understanding and teaching science regarding what we observe.

At last, dear reader, you know The Truth. No go forth, purged of your foolishness.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Ken Ham: Natural Selection Is Not Evolution

  1. I sense a Nobel prize in the offing for Ken Ham on this one! He’ll have them all laughing silly in the aisles.

  2. It seems Ken, and for that matter are in retreat. Ken accepts natural selection but not evolution, which is the equivalent of saying “I accept meters and kilograms but I don’t accept the metric system.”

  3. Let us not forget that, as we have been reliably told, the acceptance of natural selection within the kind of man inevitably led to various evil political and social movements in the early 20th century.

  4. Hambone says “Natural selection removes or reorganizes genetic information, allowing different traits, such as different beak sizes (e.g., the finches of the Galapagos), to show up.” Excuse me .I thought genetic mutations that are beneficial caused natural selection…willful ignorance at work.,,,,,stupid??? Some kind of cognitive disorder? All of the above?

  5. anevilmeme says:

    Ken accepts natural selection but not evolution, which is the equivalent of saying “I accept meters and kilograms but I don’t accept the metric system.”

    Ah, but you’re overlooking a vital fact. The sort of evolution you’re thinking of requires millions of years. Hambo knows there hasn’t been enough time for that.

  6. And Social Darwinism does not have anything to do with millions of years of life.

  7. Derek Freyberg

    Now what was Darwin’s title again – wasn’t it something like “On the origin of species by means of natural selection”?
    So Kenny boy proposes to redefine evolution. I don’t think he’ll succeed.

  8. Now HAM is trying to conflate (genetically ‘conservative’) natural selection with Darwinian evolution. He’s a master of deliberate confusion.

  9. Ken says, “We spend a good deal of time researching and talking about natural selection.”

    Just ‘cuz you got some beakers doesn’t mean you’re researching.

  10. Ham is just trying to reinforce his position that only a few creatures were necessary to be carried on the Ark, and that the multitude of creatures extant today (and found as fossils) “evolved” from those few on the Ark.

    Evidently the pre-flood era only included a few ancestral “kinds” of animals. Perhaps this is why it was possible for Adam to name them all.

    The whole idea of “kinds” being ancestral to today’s animals is non-biblical in my opinion. It’s fabricated to make the bible fit reality, and it’s a rather shoddy job. The bible clearly says two of every land creature and bird, and says nothing whatsoever that would imply in any way that those animals were not the animals familiar to the people living at the time the stories were written down. The number of animals familiar to the writers was probably small enough to be plausibly contained in a huge ship. That’s it. Instead, Ham invents gospel, which should be some sort of blasphemy.

  11. Dave Luckett

    @Ashley Haworth-roberts,

    I read enough of that thread to experience genuine queasiness. How you stand it baffles me.

    They’re still repeating the old no-new-information canard! That requires cultivated ignorance, at least – more likely downright mendacity.

    Not a soul in the comments that I read mentioned the idiocy of trying to decide what “kind” means. Species, yes, there are working definitions of that. But they don’t think that species is the limit of the “kinds”. Well, what is, then? They don’t know. And if you have to keep on widening it in some cases, while narrowing it in others, why doesn’t it occur to you that you’re searching at midnight in a dark cellar for a black cat that isn’t there anyway?

    Not a soul thought to mention the idea that if “kind” is more than species, then we are the same “kind” as Homo habilis, being that we’re a damn sight closer to habilis than dogs are to foxes, or cats to cheetahs. And while we’re on cats and dogs, and how they can’t be the same “kind”, nobody mentions the fossil evidence for the Eocene miacids. Now what are they? Neither cat, nor dog, nor weasel, but with basal characteristics of all three, less developed. Less… dare I say it… evolved.

    I’ve said this before, but watching a pack of “Biblical literalists” (the scare quotes are because they’re not, actually) debate doctrine is like a story from one of my favourite old comic strips, “The Desert Peach”. Rommel’s very gay, very camp younger brother, is also in North Africa, and in command of a bunch of utter misfits, including a drug-addled protohippie. This character joined the Nazi party in 1923 as a twelve-year-old by sheer mischance (he thought it was a party kind of party) and was thus entitled to a “Party veteran” badge. He was obviously the man to front the unit, with the badge prominently displayed, when a bunch of Nazi bigwigs arrived to inspect. The inspection party arrived, but alas, the veteran had fortified himself with a massive dose of anything he could get his hands on, and was thus not merely incoherent, but actually barking mad. The inspectors immediately emulated him, of course, shouting the same mindless robotic babble at each other. They flew out, eventually, still bellowing nonsense (represented by dingbats in superbold), and their report commended the unit on its zeal and dedication to the cause.

    Watching these “brothers in Christ” quibble loudly over points of doctrine that have nothing whatsoever to do with reality is like that.

  12. “Kinds” must also incorporate the large variety of extinct animals known only from fossils. Ham claims there were dinosaurs on the Ark, but many other now-extinct creatures inhabited the world – were they represented as well? Were there early amphibians, archosaurs, etc.

    Every one of those “kinds” of now extinct creatures hyper-evolved into diverse types and then went extinct, before being noticed by the biblical writers. Perhaps Ham’s crack research team can provide a field guide to these “kinds”, and an explanation of how their descendants evolved and what caused their extinction.

  13. Whatever they say about “kinds” has nothing to do with anything in the Bible.

    It is totally, completely made up on their own.

    For example, the word “kind” is never used in reference to humans.

  14. Evilmeme has a nice comparison: “the equivalent of saying “I accept meters and kilograms but I don’t accept the metric system.”a
    Or rather the equivalent of saying “accept electricity, but not that it’s a form of energy that can be transformed into light in a bulb.”

  15. “You can’t change an amoeba into an astronaut without adding new information and new features!”

    As is usual for the willfully ignorant, the Hamster is wildly wrong with even his postulate. He clearly presumes that “less than human” creatures have smaller genomes. Here are some approximate genome sizes:

    Homo sapiens: 2.9M base pairs
    Bufo Bufo (bullfrog): 6.9M base pairs
    Amoeba proteus: 290M base pairs (100X the human genome!)
    Amoeba dubia: 670M base pairs (over 200X the human genome!)

    Hence, Hammy not only is wrong on ever single count of his claim, he is even wrong with his eye-rolling premise that he started out with!

  16. @Zetopan
    There is a response to the argument about the size of the DNA
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/why_the_onion_test_fails_as_an052321.html

  17. TomS, I often refer to the onion and other organisms with far larger genomes than ours, but I wasn’t aware of that Discoveroid post. I just read it. Wow, what an ark-load!

  18. TomS: You are actually relying on that ID word salad BS as a valid explanation? It is *THIS DEEP* (holds up both hand overhead).

  19. Zetopan, be assured that TomS only pointed at the response and did not rely on it in any way but illustrating that it was written by IDiots.

  20. michaelfugate

    I didn’t see anything in that article by the secretive Jonathan M. about information. Does DNA equal information or doesn’t it?

  21. “Now HAM is trying to conflate (genetically ‘conservative’) natural selection with Darwinian evolution. He’s a master of deliberate confusion.” By which I mean that he falsely claims that scientists equivocate the term ‘natural selection’ with Darwinian evolution.

  22. We always see organisms reproducing according to their kind, just as it says in Genesis [scripture reference]. There is a huge amount of variety within a kind (think of poodles, Great Danes, wolves, dingoes, and boxers), but one kind has never been observed to turn into another kind, nor is there a mechanism for this imagined evolution.

    That’s because “kind,” as understood by creationists, shapeshifts like a Durlan: that is, it means whatever creationists need it to mean at any given moment. If it can’t be consistently defined, anyone can always reject any instance of one turning into another.