The Environment — Hambo Cares & You Don’t

It may surprise you to know that Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, is not only the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else — he’s also an environmentalist.

Hambo’s new post is Study: Earth Faces “Biological Annihilation”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

According to a new study, “biological annihilation” is around the corner for many of the earth’s species. The researchers claim a sixth mass extinction is now underway, this one caused by mankind. Of course, in a biblical worldview there’s only been one mass extinction, caused by the global Flood of Noah’s day.

Yeah, that Flood was a biggie, but we deserved it. Then he says:

I found this study interesting from an evolutionary perspective. In an evolutionary worldview, the strongest and fittest survive to reproduce while the others die off. And this is a good thing because it has supposedly given rise to the biological diversity we see today and, most importantly, to mankind.

Yes, it’s good — just like the Flood. Here’s where it gets interesting:

Yet these evolutionary scientists are decrying the mass extinction they are predicting. Why are they upset about species going extinct? If humans are the most fit and other species suffer, so what? Who cares? That’s how evolution is supposed to work.

Hambo understands us so well! He continues:

Species need to adapt and evolve to keep up with a changing world. If they can’t, well, too bad for them. In an evolutionary worldview it is inconsistent to believe that natural selection has been a good thing throughout millions of years of history but that it’s suddenly a bad thing now that we’re here.

Aha — Hambo has spotted an inconsistency in the evolutionists’ thinking. He’s so smart! Let’s read on:

But in a biblical worldview, we have a rationale for being concerned for creation. The possibility of “biological annihilation” should concern Christians and we should look into it and see what we can do to help maintain the incredible diversity of what God has created.

Huh? Yahweh killed almost everything in the Flood, and that was a good thing. Why is Hambo so worried about another extinction? He explains:

Because we have been placed as stewards of his creation [scripture reference]. Our job is to care for creation, not abuse it or ignore warning signs that something must be done.

That’s all he has to say, but we’re confused. The biggest accomplishment in Hambo’s life was building Ark Encounter, an exact replica of Noah’s Ark — a monument celebrating the divine destruction of the planet. Now he’s talking about conservation. Are we missing something here?

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25 responses to “The Environment — Hambo Cares & You Don’t

  1. “natural selection has been a good thing throughout millions of years of history”
    Only problem is that nobody believes that – on the contrary, it’s been widely recognized that it caused lots of suffering.
    Anyhow, in an “evolutionary worldview” it totally makes sense to worry about mass extinction. It’s very, very possible that Homo Sapiens won’t survive this sixth one and that ants, rats and cockroach will be the next stewards. That’s called enlightened self-interest. Of course a liar like Ol’Hambo doesn’t grasp such a concept as he only cares about his retirement funds.

  2. Bearing in mind that you yourself voted for Trump despite his repeated campaign promises — since fulfilled — to destroy the environment in every which way that he possibly could, I’d say that in this instance ol’ Hambo is the lesser of two hypocrites.

  3. Hambo doesn’t realize that what we eat might go extinct too. There is a difference between species being replaced by better adapted species and the extinction of entire ecosystems.

    Also, the biblical myth had the Ark landing on a temperate new world where everything miraculously flourished. There is no happy ending if the current situation continues.

    I do applaud Hambo’s belated attempt to convince his fellow fundamentalists that climate change and extinction are real possibilities, and that they should support measures to mitigate them. That’s a good sign.

  4. I merely call attention to the novel expression the strongest and fittest. The evolutionary expression has never included “the strongest”.

    Oh, by the way, once again a diversion from the Bible. Noah’s Flood as an extinction? A mass death, that it Biblical. But how can one ignore the Biblical device for preventing extinction?

  5. Hammibal Barfca should open a dictionary before he opens his mouth. “Is” and “ought” aren’t synonyms. Religious people are usually wishful thinkers. To them, “ought” means “is.” If it should be true, then it is. The naturalistic fallacy is the reverse that Hambo is projecting here LOL

  6. @TomS ‘survival of the fit enough’ is the most accurate maxim.

  7. Christine Janis

    @TomS ‘survival of the fit enough’ is the most accurate maxim.

    “Survival of the fit enough” does not in fact mean what is implied by “survival of the fittest” (which was a phrase coined by Herbert Spencer a several years after Darwin published the Origin.

    The first implies “survival of the best and strongest”, the second refers only to reproductive success. In googling to find out when Spencer said this I came across this phrase in Wikipedia:

    In Darwinian terms the phrase is best understood as “Survival of the form that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.”

  8. “Survival of the fit enough” is not nearly accurate enough. “Maximalizing the chances to produce offspring” is the only accurate maxim. When you manage to do that whether your survive or not is totally irrelevant according to Evolution Theory.

  9. Richard Bond

    As usual, Ham badly misses the point. Natural selection works within species, not between them. As Richard Dawkins points out (The Selfish Gene), moles and blackbirds might compete in a trivial way for worms, but blackbirds compete with other blackbirds for far more, including, most importantly, mates. Differential reproductive success is the key to natural selection.

  10. Christine Janis

    ‘“Survival of the fit enough” is not nearly accurate enough’

    Surely that means the survival of the genetic legacy, not of the individuals.

  11. Who says evolution is a “good thing”, Ham? Evolution is just something that inevitably happens in nature.

    Is gravity a “good thing”? Sure, it’s a good thing when it keeps your dinner lying still on its place, not such a good thing when you fall down from a cliff and get severely maimed.

    Is evolution a “good thing”? Sure, it’s nice that we have evolved to be here, but it involved aeons of death and suffering. Nature didn’t care. It’s just the stuff that goes on in the world.

    Lots of species we would have found it impressive and delightful to observe, such as the dinosaurs Ham himself is so obsessed with in his museum, are no more. Is that “good”? Maybe the great Dino Demise was necessary for mammals (and hence us) to emerge as a prominent branch of life, but it has long been a human fantasy to find some “lost world” or “forbidden valley” where dinosaurs still walk.

    Loss of biodiversity can be seen, from an enlightened human perspective, as bad because we ourselves ultimately depend on a thriving ecosystem. Evolution itself offers no ethics, no “should”, no “good” or “bad”.

  12. People, I am only pointing out that the standard slogan is about “fittest”. It does not say anything about “strongest”.
    Whatever is to be said about “survival of the fittest” or variations on that, are any of you defending “survival of the strongest”? I think not.

  13. He is actually right when he says “The possibility of “biological annihilation” should concern Christians and we should look into it and see what we can do to help maintain the incredible diversity of what God has created.” Indeed, this does not depend on Hamitic literalism but is true of anyone who takes Genesis seriously (even metaphorically).

    So can we look forward to Ham speaking out against Amazon deforestation, profligate fossil fuel use, and the other drivers of the current mass extinction?

    FWIW, I think Darwin expressed admiration for Spencer’s “survival of the fittest,” while being himself quite clear (I don’t know if Spencer was) that this meant reproductive fitness.

  14. I Ham believes this, why does he have displays at the Ark Encounter claiming that we are not responsible for global warming. It’s even in the vids with Bill Nye …. “We don’t deny global warming, we just don’t think we’re causing it”.

  15. Kosh, people can and do change their minds, and there are a fair number of Christians who believe that global climate change isn’t a real thing but who nevertheless believe that humans are causing real and lasting damage to the environment. Not sure which of those categories Ham falls into, although the man’s a veteran . . . well, the word’s a swear word, so I’ll respect our host, but there are people who don’t lie, exactly, because to them, truth vs. lie isn’t even a mental category, it’s all about which words will make people have the reaction you want, and Ham’s one of those.

    On the subject of Ham’s article, once again he neatly elides over the fact that the last century has seen a whole lot of “evolutionists” working really damn hard to improve living conditions for all of humanity, to ameliorate the suffering caused by evolutionary pressures.

  16. Ham’s care for the environment is actually quit surprising, as most evangelicals tend to the position that we live in the End Times, and that Jahweh wouldn’t allow us to destroy ourselves. And Dominionists hold that we inherit the earth and can do as we damn well please with it.

  17. @Christine: “Surely that means …. ”
    According to whom?
    Survival is derived from Latin vivere, which means to live. It doesn’t make any sense to say that a genetic legacy lives. In other words “survival of the fittest” and “survival of the fit enough” at best are metaphors and metaphors are notoriously inaccurate.

    @TomS: “I think not.”
    One aspect of accuracy is disambiguity and even the discussion on this page, as reflected by your “I think not”, demonstrates that regarding hereditary characteristics the word survival is annoyingly ambiguous. If there is one thing you can trust creacrappers for it is abusing such ambiguity. That’s why they never use the expression “maximalizing the chances to produce offspring”. Ambiguity and lack of accuracy are their allies.
    The simple fact that you specify what “fit” means confirms this and hence that “survival of the fit enough” is not the most accurate. FWIW I suspect Darwin himself realized this and hence dropped it after just one edition.
    Of course when anyone here uses “survival of the fit enough/ of the fittest” I assume the charitable interpretation. That’s because a nice blog as this one doesn’t require a pursuit of optimal accuracy. But that’s not what you brought up.
    “Maximalizing the chances to produce offspring” never demands such explanations. Case closed.

  18. Eric Lipps

    Leaving aside the snide comment that “a nice blog as this one doesn’t require a pursuit of optimal accuracy,” a lot of confusion can be cleared up by understanding that “fitness” in a Darwinian sense refers to the production of offspring who themselves produce offspring. Mules, for example, are not fit in the Darwinian sense because they’re sterile and must be produced, over and over, by interbreeding between horses and donkeys. On the other hand, rabbits are fit because they reproduce rapidly and can keep their numbers stable or growing despite predation (including that of idiot humans seeking good-luck charms), disease and other threats

  19. Christine Janis

    @Christine: “Surely that means …. ”
    According to whom?

    According to the scientific community that I’ve been immersed in for half a century.

  20. Christine Janis

    “FWIW I suspect Darwin himself realized this and hence dropped it after just one edition.”

    The phrase “survival of the fittest” was not coined by Darwin, but was from Spencer after the first edition of the Origin, as AFAIK was never in any of the subsequent editions.

  21. One of the objections to pre-Darwin versions of evolution was the difficulty of accounting for the extinction of strong animals like dinosaurs and mammoths and their replacement with weaker animals. Darwin had to insist that there was no “climbing up the ladder”. I don’t know whether Spencer grasped that important point. Lots of people today don’t understand that.

  22. Christine Janis

    @TomS. One of the hardest things I had to do as a teacher of evolutionary biology was to get students out of the “scala naturae” mindset. They’d all swear blind that they understood the current way of thinking, but their responses to questions would show that they were completely stuck in thinking about evolution as progress.

  23. @Christine Janis
    Exactly.

  24. Ham is an appalling liar and appalling fraud.

    “According to a new study, “biological annihilation” is around the corner for many of the earth’s species. The researchers claim a sixth mass extinction is now underway, this one caused by mankind. Of course, in a biblical worldview there’s only been one mass extinction, caused by the global Flood of Noah’s day.”
    Ken Ham twisting the Bible again (and lying about scientific reality). The Bible does NOT teach that the flood (or anything from resulting from it) was a ‘mass extinction’.

    CLOSE the Ark Encounter. All those animals died in a ‘mass extinction’. None were saved.

  25. As always, one must make a distinction between an individual and a group.
    Noahs Flood caused a lot of dying of individuals, but because of the Ark, there was no extinction of species (or, in the new version, no extinction of “kinds”).