You’re about to learn something important from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title of his post is Did Hominids or Crocodiles Make Marks on Old Bones? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
I saw a story in the news recently [he links to this in Newsweek: Ancient Bones ‘Butchered’ By Our Ancestors 2.5 Million Years Ago May Just Have Been Gnawed By Crocodiles] that reminded me of the tentative nature of historical science (the kind of science that is not directly testable, observable, and repeatable because it deals with the past and how frequently the evolutionary story changes. Many fossil bones have been discovered covered in cuts and scrapes. Researchers thought this demonstrated that our supposed human ancestors (really just ape species) used tools to get the meat off. But a new study says the marks on the bones may have been made by crocodiles instead!
[*Groan*] He’s talking again about his bizarre distinction between “Operational” (or “Observational”) science and “Historical” science. We’ve written about it several times, originally in Creationism and Science. Hambo always claims that the past is unknowable — but see The Lessons of Tiktaalik. Anyway, he says:
In their study, the authors argue that just because a bone has scrapes and cuts on it doesn’t mean they were made by tools in the hands of ape-like creatures on the path to humanness. After analyzing present bones that have been trampled on or fed to crocodiles, they found that the marks on these bones are similar to the marks on the supposedly millions-of-years-old bones. The article concludes by saying,
[Hambo quotes the Newsweek article, and adds some bold font of his own:] Bones can be damaged from erosion, the sun, plant activity, scavenging, gnawing by predators, chewing by rodents, animals stepping on them, and tool use. Without having been there, it can be difficult to unravel the mystery of what actually happened to them.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] The Newsweek writer is supporting Hambo’s constant criticism of history older than the creation story in Genesis. He always asks: Were you there? The actual scientific paper appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Hominid butchers and biting crocodiles in the African Plio–Pleistocene. You can’t read it without a subscription, but we suspect it doesn’t say what that Newsweek writer said.
Nevertheless Hambo leaps upon the journalist’s words, because they validate one of his constant criticisms of science:
Therein lies the problem with historical science — we weren’t there!
[*Gasp!*] Then how can we ever know anything about the past? Hambo tells us:
Historical science isn’t directly testable, observable, or repeatable because it deals with the past (history) and we weren’t there to observe what happened. But there was someone who was there, our Creator God, and in his Word, he revealed to us what happened in the past.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] We have a reliable source of information! He continues:
We can use the history in God’s Word — in particular a 6,000-year-old universe, a global Flood, and the events at the Tower of Babel — as a framework for understanding the world around us.
Yes, yes! It’s all true! And now we come to the thrilling end:
Using God’s Word as the starting point, we know we aren’t descended from some kind of ape-like creature. We were created in the very image of God (Genesis 1:27), Adam from the dust, Eve from his side. Whatever made the marks on those old (post-Flood) bones, we know it wasn’t some creature on its way to becoming human.
Your Curmudgeon is overwhelmed! No more of that old-Earth nonsense for us! How about you, dear reader?
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