Hambo and the Dinosaur

This seems to happen a lot — we see an article at PhysOrg, scan it, and move on, thinking it won’t be of any interest to creationists. But once again we were wrong. This time we’ll try to learn from our mistake.

The PhysOrg article we thought would be ignored by creationists is: What dinosaurs’ colour patterns say about their habitat. It says:

After reconstructing the colour patterns of a well-preserved dinosaur from China, researchers from the University of Bristol have found that the long-lost species Psittacosaurus (meaning “parrot lizard”, a reference to its parrot-like beak) was light on its underside and darker on top. This colour pattern, known as countershading, is a common form of camouflage in modern animals.


Dr Jakob Vinther from the Schools of Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences, said: “The fossil, which is on public display at the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Germany, preserves clear countershading, which has been shown to function by counter-illuminating shadows on a body, thus making an animal appear optically flat to the eye of the beholder.”

Behavioural ecologist Professor Innes Cuthill from the School of Biological Sciences, added: “By reconstructing a life-size 3D model, we were able to not only see how the patterns of shading changed over the body, but also that it matched the sort of camouflage which would work best in a forested environment.”

You’re wondering the same thing we did: What can a creationist do with that? Prepare yourself to be amazed, dear reader. We have a new blog entry from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. It’s titled Scientists Discover Camouflaged Dinosaur. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us.

After briefly mentioning the discovery, Hambo says:

This dinosaur was buried with skin and even pigments intact. This means it had to be buried extremely rapidly before it had a chance to decay. Of course, the conditions of the global Flood of Noah’s day were perfect for rapidly burying organisms. As the floodwaters washed over the continents, miles of sediment were ripped up and re-deposited in layers, trapping and burying organisms. This explains how we can find fossils with the soft parts still intact. It doesn’t take millions of years to make a fossil!

The fossil was nothing like that! PhysOrg says (with our bold font for emphasis):

Professor Innes and colleagues at Bristol had also been exploring the distribution of countershading in modern animals. But it was no easy matter to apply the same principles to an extinct animal that had been crushed flat and fossilized.

To explore this idea further they teamed up with local palaeoartist, Bob Nicholls in order to reconstruct the remarkable fossil in to a physical model which, they say, is the most scientifically accurate life-size model of a dinosaur with its real color patterns. Days of careful studies of the fossil, taking measurements of the bones, studying the preserved scales and the pigment patterns, with input on muscle structure from Bristol palaeontologists Professor Emily Rayfield and Dr Stephan Lautenschlager, led to months of careful modelling of the dinosaur.

Bob Nicholls said: “Our Psittacosaurus was reconstructed from the inside-out. There are thousands of scales, all different shapes and sizes, and many of them are only partially pigmented. It was a painstaking process but we now have the best suggestion as to what this dinosaur really looked like.”

Contrary to what Hambo says, this wasn’t a dead animal “with the soft parts still intact.” Okay, then Hambo discusses the advantages of countershading, after which he declares:

The Creator perfectly designed this little dinosaur with camouflage to protect it from predators in a fallen world.

Yes, that’s obvious. Then he gives his drooling followers some advice:

When scientists make exciting new discoveries like this, our response should be to praise the One who created everything with such detail and complexity.

Hambo ends the post with a sales pitch:

Our Creation Museum near Cincinnati has many intriguing dinosaur exhibits (e.g., a world-class allosaur skeleton) and puts them in the context of Bible history, not evolution.

So there you are. What do we learn? The lesson is this: No matter what scientists may find, a creationist leader should do three things: First, shout “Goddidit!” Then, if it’s a fossil, toss in a reference to the Flood. Last, and most importantly, stick your hand out and ask for money.

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

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15 responses to “Hambo and the Dinosaur

  1. Now, wait a gosh darn minute. God created the animals, Adam named them, and none qualified as a “helpmeet.” So God created Eve.

    The animals were all created before Eve, before the fall. They were living their happily vegetarian lives in the garden when Eve ate the fruit.

    Ham, however, asserts that “The Creator perfectly designed this little dinosaur with camouflage to protect it from predators in a fallen world.”

    Soooooo, God knew in advance that the animals would have to protect themselves? He knew the world would “fall?” He designed them for the fall?

    Ham, say it isn’t so!

  2. No wonder the dinosaur was crushed flat! This happened to be the luckless creature that was directly beneath when at last the Ark came to ground.

    Another glorious triumph for Flood archaeology!

  3. So is Hambo saying that God had to re-engineer all of his creation after the Fall?

  4. God was so careful to protect the poor P. against predators – in a world in which there was no carnivory – but then smashed the P. under the Flood – the camouflage didn’t help with that – despite that P.’s not having anything to deserve that. (Humans were responsible for the Fall, and then after that, for the Flood.) And then anything that was rescued by the Ark was either sacrificed by Noah (once again, P. paid the price for what humans do), or was thereafter, finally, in need of camouflage, which didn’t protect from extinction, either.
    Why didn’t God give something useful to P., like maybe wings – or maybe just not care so much in designing good vision for predators?

  5. Our Creation Museum near Cincinnati has many intriguing dinosaur exhibits (e.g., a world-class allosaur skeleton) and puts them in the context of Bible history, not evolution.
    Yes, but where does Ham get the information regarding his dinosaur models? From his bible, or from scientific studies by paleontologists? Maybe there’s a biblical appendix describing dinosaur colors, etc.

  6. Two basic problems:

    First, creationists completely ignore the problem of dating. They cram together a few hundred million years into one–the flood year. They place the mythical flood anywhere from 4,350 years ago to the KT boundary to the Cambrian “explosion” without any justification except to make things match scripture and belief. To do all this, they have to claim radiometric and other dating methods rely on “assumptions” and hence are totally unreliable. When challenged to define those assumptions they generally just remember a root canal or something and have to be elsewhere.

    Second, creationists attribute a lot of stuff to “the fall,” or original sin, for which there is no scientific support at all–its strictly a religious belief. And its one of the most evil beliefs ever created out of nothing by our shaman class.

    Ayn Rand had it right when she wrote the following:


    Recommended reading (I won’t quote it all here for reasons of space).

  7. Ayn Rand had it right

    A first for her.

  8. Christine Janis

    I just sent this link to Innes Cuthill and Jakob Vinter — hilariously Innes is giving a lecture to first year students about creationism this morning and is delighted to have the ammunition.

  9. Ed thinks there is a problem: “God knew in advance that …. the world would “fall?” ”
    Of course. God is omniscient. He just gave Adam and Eve a chance. They screwed it up.

    Michael F doesn’t understand: “God had to re-engineer all of his creation after the Fall?” Of course not. He knew in advance that Adam and Eve would fail the challenge and hence “perfectly designed this little dinosaur with camouflage to protect it from predators in a fallen world.” Before the Fall it was just beautifying decoration.
    You can’t beat goddiddid, no matter how hard you try.

  10. If this god could see into future, then why did it bother with the whole experiment?

  11. I’ve been responding to my Senegal parrot’s comments (he mutters & peeps & occasionally shrieks) with ‘I’m a dinosaur’ hoping he’ll pick up the phrase. Now I think I ought to post a picture of Psittacosaurus so he can see what his great-to-the-nth-degree granddaddy looked like😀

  12. About the Fall, I think that some of you may be interested in the doctrine of supralapsarianism. Look it up in Wikipedia.

  13. Michael F: “If this god could see into future, then why did it bother with the whole experiment?”
    God loves you.

  14. Of course, according to creationists, the entire natural world was transformed after the Fall, and again after the Flood (the laws of optics, for instance, had to be changed so that God could give Noah the rainbow sign). This, of course, makes a complete mockery of “scientific creationism” as far as science is concerned–not that it wasn’t one already.