This is a particularly silly one from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. His article is Are Humans and Animals “Not So Different”? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Evolutionists often emphasize small similarities between humans and animals and ignore the massive differences that separate us from animals in their attempt to show common descent.
He quotes a professor of molecular biology, Nathan Lents, who promotes his new book by saying (with ellipses and bracketed material supplied by Hambo): “I’m a biologist at heart, so I look at every single thing as a product of evolution. . . . I’m always thinking of evolution. . . . [The book’s] never stated but always present thesis . . . [is that evolution] has shaped our behavior as much as it has our anatomy.”
Hambo finds that deeply troubling. He says:
Now, his statement really shouldn’t start with an explanation that he’s “a biologist at heart.” Really, he’s more of an evolutionist at heart. Nothing about biology demonstrates that everything — including our behavior and anatomy — is a product of evolution. Actually, biology argues against evolutionary ideas.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! A bold statement indeed! To support what he just said, he tells us:
The law of biogenesis states that life only comes from other life. Natural selection and mutations — the supposed driving forces of evolution — actually cause changes that lead in the opposite direction of pond-scum-to-people evolution by deleting or rearranging information rather than adding brand-new genetic information for new traits.
The so-called “law of biogenesis” is debunked in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Hambo’s perverted description of natural selection isn’t worth debunking. He continues:
Now, this evolutionist has exposed his underlying presupposition that evolution has happened, and this presupposition colors what he thinks and writes about.What if we changed the presupposition? Any one of our qualified research scientists could say the same thing as Lents, but start with a different presupposition: “I’m a biologist [or geneticist or medical doctor and so on] at heart, so I look at every single thing as a product of God’s handiwork. . . . I’m always thinking of His Word and His creation.”
[*Groan*] Evolution isn’t a presupposition — it’s a conclusion from observed facts. Quite unlike Hambo’s genuine presupposition about miracles. Let’s read on:
Now the premise of Lents’ book is that humans and animals aren’t that different. But are humans and animals really that similar? Well, first we should remember that humans always have a tendency to anthropomorphize (attribute human qualities to nonhumans) animals. … A great example of this is the “guilty” look dogs are said to give their owners when they’ve done something wrong. Well, researchers have shown that the dogs aren’t actually showing signs of guilt — they are merely trying to avoid your displeasure. And yet we often believe our dogs really do feel guilty for what they’ve done.
An utterly irrelevant point, considering all the biology we have in common. Hambo goes on:
We also need to remember that we have a common Designer. Just as we have some similarities in anatomy, we should expect some similarities in behavior. Our Creator has made life extremely complex; the more we learn, the more we are surprised by what we find. But this shouldn’t direct us to worship the creation as evolutionists are virtually prone to do. It should direct us to praise and glorify our Creator who takes great delight in what He has made.
As yes, any similarities we share with animals are the work of the designer. That’s a much better explanation than evolution. Another excerpt:
Nothing about animal intelligence or behaviors threatens biblical creation. It is obvious even to a young child that humans are very different from any animal. But what is the real difference? Is it our ability to think rationally? Appreciate beauty? Think about eternity or the meaning of life? No!
No? Then what does make us different from animals? Hambo gives us the answer:
It’s the fact that we alone are created in the image of God [scripture reference]. Unlike the animals, we are made in God’s image and are therefore completely and utterly distinct from the animals.
Of course! Why didn’t we think of that? Then, except for a promotion of his Creation Museum and his ark replica, this is how it ends:
No, we are not animals or the product of millions of years of evolutionary change. We are uniquely designed by the Creator God of the universe, in His very own image.
In other words, Hambo ain’t no kin to no monkey.
Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
“Any one of our qualified research scientists could say the same thing as Lents…”
No, Ken, they couldn’t. To say the same thing as Lents, they would have to do “extensive and rigorous research in psychology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, anthropology, and ethology”. They would have to observe nature. They have neither the inclination, facilities nor capacity for that. Looking stuff up in the Bible doesn’t cut it.
It’s true that humans tend to anthropomorphize animals. Snakes, for example, are seen as insidious and subtle. No doubt other examples from folklore could be found.
One wonders if an octopus think he or she was made in the image of its creator…. nah, I am sure he or she is smarter than ol’ Hambo.
Any one of our qualified research scientists could say the same thing as Lents, but start with a different presupposition: “I’m a biologist [or geneticist or medical doctor and so on] at heart, so I look at every single thing as a product of God’s handiwork. . . . I’m always thinking of His Word and His creation.”
“Qualified”? I’d suggest the only reasonable qualification to be applied to the word “scientist,” in the AiG sense of the term, is the prefix “pseudo.”
I’m also puzzled by Ham’s insistence that we’re all made in the image of the Lord. Since by and large we all look different, and many of us look very different from each other indeed, which particular image of God does Ham have in mind?
Hambo isn’t doing science, as much as he might pretend otherwise. He is doing nothing but religious apologetics.
But he, and many others of his persuasion have to pretend they are doing science 1) because science has earned a very good reputation over the last couple of centuries while creationists and their kin have not, and 2) creationists in actuality are doing the exact opposite of science.
In other words, they are lying again. Creation “science” and its illegitimate offspring “intelligent” design are very thinly disguised attempts by creationists to cloak their apologetics in the guise of science. Their followers might welcome the subterfuge but anyone who knows and values science can tell the difference.
Its pretty simple: science starts with evidence and seeks to explain that evidence through hypotheses, testing, and theories. Creationists cherry-pick a few facts that seem to support their a priori biblical view of things and ignore or misrepresent all of the contrary evidence. That’s creation “science” as usual. And that’s the exact opposite of real science.
“I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
“All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
“Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth”
I think the author of Ecclesiastes would have been on board with evolution had he known about it. He knows animals and people are basically the same, and that there’s not even an afterlife.
I remain mystified how we can be created in the image of something that’s invisible. Or, given the way God is normally depicted, how we know he’s got no Gillette up there.
So old Hambone thinks gawd is a yellow/white/black/brown hairy/bold S/H/it. Ok maybe not a S(he) as his book o’BS says MAN is made in its image.
Thank you for this article. I’ll be preparing my own blog post to counter some of his claims. In general, I’m quite pleased that he chose to denounce my book, or rather, a press release about it. (He doesn’t even claim to have read the book.) In the world of evolutionary biology, public condemnation by Ken Ham is among the highest praise one can receive.
Although my blog has been fairly quiet this summer as I have been finishing up my next book, I’ll start posting more soon. Check it out! http://www.TheHumanEvolutionBlog.com
Good of you to drop in, NathanHLents.
In my young and foolish 20’s, I got into a conversation about evolution with a friend’s dad, who was at the time Dean of the math dept. at a major Baptist college. His take was that he basically accepted all of the science, including human evolution, but believed that at one point God gave humans souls – which in his mind was what “made in God’s image” meant. He did not regard the bible as a literal account, but found underlying meaning in the stories and teachings, especially those in the gospels. The question of whether God used evolution to eventually create humans or just stepped in at one point didn’t particularly bother him.
I rather admired his perspective.
Each of the Hambone’s rants makes me wonder again how anyone can have such strong objections to something (evolution) about which they obviously know nothing. And as I and others here have pointed out, “intelligent design” is an oxymoron, since, if there actually were a mythical designer, they made many sloppy errors that a freshman engineering student would avoid.
Ol’Hambo writes, no doubt by accident, something sensible:
“first we should remember that humans always have a tendency to anthropomorphize”
as is confirmed every single time Ol’Hambo writes about his god. Example:
“we alone are created in the image of God”
“In the world of evolutionary biology, public condemnation by Ken Ham is among the highest praise one can receive.”
That’s the spirit, NHL.
Ed says: “His take was that he basically accepted all of the science, including human evolution, but believed that at one point God gave humans souls”
As I understand it, that’s pretty much the Catholic position today.
I’ve chatted with multiple CoE vicars who share the same view.
The problem we have here is that we’re talking rational and Hambo is talking dingbat.
Hambo countered every one of Nye’s statements with this: I’ve got this book.
Hambo will never make sense, he’ll never rationalize the real world because his world begins and ends with his book. Finito.
This is getting tiring, but I would simply say to Ham: Arch anti-evolution activist Michael Behe thinks we are related to (other) animals, so take it up with him.
docbill1351: “Hambo countered every one of Nye’s statements with this: I’ve got this book.”
The one that Behe called it “silly” to read as a science book.
It’s uncomfortable enough under that big tent, and now we have, of all people, Donald Trump dividing them even more.
@Ed, SC, realthog:
From what I can tell, that’s the position of most major religions. More importantly, religious leaders who do understand a little science tend to admit that the “soul” part is untestable. IOW they realize there is no theistic or atheistic evolution, just evolution. And are fine with that.
So what does one do if one hates the idea of evolution more than one likes the idea of God? Well, one could “slouch toward Omphalos” as YEC activists seem to be doing. Or, if one is painfully aware that “scientific” creationism (the pretense that independent evidence supports one of several mutually-contradictory literal readings of Genesis) is a complete scientific failure, and is doomed to (albeit slow) failure even as propaganda, one could just pretend that evolution is “a theory in crisis,” but “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when.” Which is what happened with some groups circa 1980s. Then Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) forced them to add “don’t ask, don’t tell whodunit.”
SC: As I understand it, that’s pretty much the Catholic position today.
It’s a bit more complicated, as they, like most Christians, are still stuck with Adam and Eve and the Original Sin. There were at no time just two people on earth, so if God injected a soul into some ape-like creatures (upon which they immediately became human), did the first two commit the heinous sin? Or was that later? And it’s important, because without that Sin, there would be no need for redemption or Jesus.
They can’t answer that, of course, so they have to refer to ever-more convoluted theological meanderings now mostly referred to as sophisticated theology.
And that reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where a chocolatier tries to explain that the frog in his confectionery is “only the finest baby frogs, dew-picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in the finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and sealed in a succulent, Swiss, quintuple-smooth, treble-milk chocolate envelope, and lovingly frosted with glucose” upon which the Hygiene Squad inspector retorts: “That’s as may be, it’s still a frog!”
As far as the rejoinder that “I’ve got this book”, let’s remember that most of what the creationists say does not have as much basis as geocentrism (which they reject because they trust the scientists over what the Bible says).
FrankJ is a bit worried that things under the big tent aren’t that cozy anymore. I think that dislike of Evolution Theory is a strong enough force to keep them together.
Ken Ham asserts:
What? Not from the dust of the ground, as the Bible says humans did? Shocking! Burn the witch!
He rabbits on:
Evidently he’s never heard of gene and chromosome duplication and the separate mutation of this duplicated DNA. Or he has, but hopes his audience hasn’t.
Then the Hamster opines:
I see. In other words, there’s nothing physical or mental which actually distinguishes us from other animals, but rather our having been, unlike them, “made in God’s image.” And he knows this, of course, because it says so in the Bible, not because there’s any scientific (or, for that matter, logical) evidence whatsoever for it.
As TomS points out, their Book doesn’t say what they claim it says.
I would say to Hambo —
“Look here, Ken. You hold that “Your Book” is the Word of God. Ok, perhaps it is. I cannot prove otherwise. However, you must admit that the hand of man had an influence on what is in your book, even if it was “inspired by God.”
On the other hand, the creation of nature was in no way influenced by man. In your view, it was created by God, and God alone. Man had nothing to do with it.
So, wouldn’t it make more sense to discover the nature of the universe by studying reality directly, rather than reading about it in “Your Book” that was undeniably influenced by man?
Just sayin’, fella…
Whenever some religious nut get’s all huffy about how humans are not animals, it makes me scratch my head in wonderment. Other than our origins (I didn’t come from no monkey!) they usually don’t deny that we share all the qualities with animals that science says we do- we have cells and blood and organs; we consume and reproduce and react to threats, etc.
It seems like its just the term “animal” that they don’t like. Or maybe it’s the soul thing. But I’m not sure why they can’t just say, “humans are animals with souls” and not get so hung up on the word.
It’s like those people say they don’t have a problem with gay people having all the legal benefits of being married, but they want it to be called something other than “marriage”.