Ken Ham: The Biology of Noah’s Ark

We have often discussed the supreme silliness of believing that one boatfull of animals a mere 4,000 years ago could have populated every continent of our world with millions of species. But creationists insist that it’s true.

Perhaps you’ll change your mind after you read what we found at 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.

Hambo’s post is Millions of Species in Thousands of Years?

Don’t laugh and don’t click away, dear reader. What’s at stake is an eternity in the Lake of Fire, so the least you can do is take a look at what ol’ Hambo says. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis and scripture references omitted:

With the Ark Encounter opening on July 7 in Northern Kentucky, many of the visitors will encounter the concept of animal kinds, perhaps for the first time. Kind is the biblical term used to refer to groups of living things.

Pay attention, dear reader. Hambo is going to explain everything to us. He says:

All organisms reproduce “according to their kind.” In most instances, research has placed kind around the same level as family in our modern classification system.

That’s not so difficult, is it? Let’s read on:

Now Ark Encounter visitors unfamiliar with this concept might be surprised to learn that Noah took only around 2,000 animal kinds with him on the Ark — not millions of species.

Somehow, Hambo knows that the Ark contained only 2,000 animal kinds. However, because Noah was commanded to bring mating pairs, we assume that means 4,000 animals. That’s a lot of animals on one boat — truly an arkload. But was it a sufficient number of biological families? The classification of “family” isn’t precise, and what is or is not a family changes from time to time, so it’s difficult to find a list of them all. Anyway, there are at least 20,000 biological families out there. You don’t need to worry about that, because Hambo confronts the issue:

Not surprisingly, one of the many questions we’ve received about the Ark is how so few kinds could turn into so many species in just a few thousand years after the Flood.

Yes — that’s what we’re all wondering. So what’s the answer? Here it comes:

Well, there’s an answer to this intriguing question! Our research biologist Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson and the Institute for Creation Research’s Dr. Jason Lisle have just published an extensive technical answer in our peer-reviewed journal, Answers Research Journal. The model laid out in their paper “significantly advances the young-creation explanation for the origin of species, and it makes testable predictions by which it can be further confirmed or rejected in the future.”

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh — it’s peer reviewed! [*End Drool Mode*] Here’s a link to that article: On the Origin of Eukaryotic Species’ Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity.

Before you read it, take a look at the Instructions to Authors Manual for that prestigious journal. In the section on “Paper Review Process” it says:

The following criteria will be used in judging papers:

1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?

2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?

3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?

4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?

5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?

6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture?

So there you are. If you decide to read the “peer reviewed” article, let us know what it says.

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

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33 responses to “Ken Ham: The Biology of Noah’s Ark

  1. “we demonstrate that the comparison of mitochondrial DNA clocks to nuclear DNA clocks necessitates the existence of created nuclear DNA heterozygosity within the ‘kinds’ of the Creation week.”

    In other words, “poof, genetic diversity”.

  2. Remember that in the story of Abraham (sometime around 2000 BC) there is mention of three distinct species of the taxonomic family of Bovidae: cattle, sheep and goats.

  3. Mike Elzinga

    From the conclusion of Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson’s and Dr. Jason Lisle’s paper:

    Thus, speciation on the young-earth timescale is not only plausible; it is quickly becoming scientifically superior to any other explanation for the origin of the rich diversity of life on this planet.

    (Emphasis added)

    This paper must be superior to all secular scientific papers in professional scientific journals. It is published in a journal that makes sure that the titles of Dr. are in front of the names of the authors and it extoles the superiority of the “theory” in the conclusions of the paper.

    No other scientific journal does that. I guess secular science just has to throw in the towel now.

  4. It certainly meets all the criteria for a “pee” reviewed paper.

  5. All organisms reproduce “according to their kind.” In most instances, research has placed kind around the same level as family in our modern classification system.

    What research?

    And if “most research” goes there, creationists are in deep s**t, sort of like Noah on his boat, because as this article from Wikipedia notes, humans and apes are considered to be in the same biological family. But then, I’m sure they’ll use the escape hatch of “in most instances” to evacuate to safety, claiming that humans are a special case. After all, their category of “kind” means, well, whatever they need it to mean at any particular moment.

  6. Richard Bond

    I really would like to hear from creationists a rigorous definition of “kind”; in particular why chimpanzees, bonobos, the two species of gorillas and human beings are not the same kind. Then Ham’s “research biologists” might get a paper into a respectable journal with objective peer review.

  7. In other words, peer review by fools for authors who are ignorant.

  8. I wonder what family Tiktaalik was in. One that missed the boat, I’m guessing.

  9. As far as the “kind” of humans, the Bible never uses the Hebrew word “min” in reference to humans.

  10. Its easy to believe all of this Ken Ham mashup if your world revolves around a small piece of desert, a couple of dozen goats, a well and maybe a field of millet.
    Or a willingness to just be stupid.

  11. Wow! A “scientific paper”! It’s dressed up with all the relevant sections and its got numerous tables and graphs. There are dozens of references to real scientific papers and a citation to Darwin himself. Such scholarship! And the paper looks so professional! Its even got supplementary material. So modern. Gotta love those bible quotes too. What a trend setter.

    Too bad its total b…s…. I can’t bring my self to present rebuttals. But, I would like to know why it was necessary to cite a paper which tells us when Mendel published, rather than cite Mendel himself.

  12. Charles Deetz ;)

    Now when ten year olds at the Ark Encounter ask questions, Hammy can just point at a QR code where they can download the article, and Hammy will feel like he gave a sufficient answer. Go away kid, you’re bothering me.

  13. Wow – so much complete unadulterated lying BS in one place. A load of unsupportable gibberish. They must get paid by the word.

  14. Christine Janis

    “Phenotypic change on various timescales. The wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) develops from a single cell to a sexually mature adult in less than three years, undergoing massive phenotypic transformation in the process. By contrast, over the course of 4365 years, the 37 cat species that exist today arose from a common felid ancestor—a much smaller level of phenotypic change. ”

    of course, every cat alive today also starts off as a single cell. So does every other organism. Phenotypic change during the life cycle is pretty invariant. To compare this with phenotypic change in related adult forms is, well, complete lunacy.

  15. One amusing part of creationists’ habit of reminding everybody of the “Dr.”s in front of the names of their “scientists”, is that “Dr. Jason Lisle” is in fact an astrophysicist, and so no more qualified to offer an expert opinion than your plumber.

  16. @Christine Janis
    I often suggest that the arguments against evolution are more relevant to development of the individual, and suggest that they are fallacies of composition or division.

  17. It’s cargo cult science. It apes the format and tone of actual scientific literature, but contains no actual research or scientific contributions.

  18. Creationists spend their whole lives claiming that evolution is impossible but when “super-evolution” is needed to save the ark myth, why then, it’s just fine.

    In the mental gymnastics department, creationists always go for gold.

  19. They have developed their mental gymnastics in the field of Biblical interpretation, division of literalism.

  20. Note that the Hamster avoids the verses that clearly state that 7 pairs of (“clean”) animals were brought aboard the nonexistent ark by the nonexistent Noah: http://biblehub.com/genesis/7-2.htm

  21. Christine Janis

    @ TomS. Well, as JBS Haldane noted to the woman who told her that it was impossible that humans could have evolved from a single-celled organism: “Madam, you did it yourself in nine months”

  22. @CJ
    Thank you.
    I just did a search for that rejoinder by Haldane, and I didn’t find a first-hand citation. If anyone has one, I’d like to get it.
    For example, the argument from “irreducible complexity” was brought up by several people in the 18th century as an argument against reproduction (see the Wikipedia article on “irreducible complexity”). There actually were intelligent, well-informed, serious thinkers who thought that it was impossible for a complex body could develop, and therefore individuals must have been pre-existing: preformation. (BTW, they actually had an alternative theory to reproduction.)

  23. I got to the part where they said that the diversification “obviously” involved miracles and just stopped reading. As soon as they admit their explanation requires magic, I don’t see much point in continuing.

  24. ‘Created heterozygosity’?
    But I look forward to reading the thoughts of someone who has ploughed through that Jeanson-Lisle paper in its entirety.

  25. Reflectory
    This super evolution only happens within ‘created kinds’ you know. (And it has mysteriously slowed down today.)

  26. I would be interested in an explanation involving miracles if it would be able to tell, for example, why this miracle rather than that. For example, why make vertebrate-typical eyes for humans, when there are so many different ways that humans could learn about the visible world?

  27. What’s really interesting is their new “idea” is really ‘Creation followed by evolution’. Completely breaking with ID and other creationists who say evolution doesn’t/can’t work.

  28. michaelfugate

    It is creationism in name only. It is really evolution on steroids – new species arise en masse, but through materialistic means. Things that creationists once told us were impossible like speciation and selection are now common place. How will the faithful respond?

  29. michaelfugate says: “It is really evolution on steroids – new species arise en masse, but through materialistic means. …. How will the faithful respond?”

    You’ve seen it before. The “kinds” were miraculously created with the necessary “information” for micro-evolution. But one “kind” can never become another.

  30. michaelfugate

    Did you notice that the number of created “kinds” is becoming smaller and smaller – now it is families, but in 5 years it will be orders, and another 5 it will be classes. One time macroevolution was equivalent to speciation, but now it allows for thousands of speciation events. Retreat?

  31. Techreseller

    But it is a peer reviewed paper. Accurate if your peers are 3rd graders. So the statement about peer reviewed seems to be accurate. But useless.

  32. So is this paper the coming out party for Ham and Company to endorse super-hyper-macroevolution? Given macroevolution is above the level of species, their declaration of a kind=family without any definition given for why, and the conclusions of this “research” they would be solidly in the evolutionist camp now. All that variation and speciation in only 4000 years and I wonder if they applied their model to the old Earth model and gave thought to how much divergence you could have.

    Of course the kind changes with the less familiarity a creationist has with lifeforms. Go to the creepy crawlies and sea creatures and bacteria and watch the kind approach the Phylum and Kingdom level. Even rejecting rank-based taxonomy where some families are older than whole Orders that is a whole lot of evolution!