Ken Ham and the Bombardier Beetle

The Bombardier beetle has been a long-time favorite of creationists. All the usual websites have articles about the critters. Now it’s the turn of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. Ol’ Hambo is famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and for building Ark Encounter, an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.

Hambo just posted this at his blog: Bombardier Beetles and Vomiting Toads. You gotta admit, that’s one of his most alluring titles. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

For most insects, getting eaten is the end — but not for the remarkable bombardier beetle. These little beetles are often discussed in creation literature because of their incredible design features, including the ability to shoot a boiling, noxious gas so they can escape predators.

Yes, they’re a marvel of design. Or are they? The TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims debunks the claim that they couldn’t have evolved. But they can’t fool ol’ Hambo — the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He says:

But, according to new research [at Fox News: Study finds beetle has hugely disgusting survival mechanism], the bombardier beetle has another trick.

Hambo describes the research for us:

Researchers in Japan fed bombardier beetles to toads to see what would happen. Well, nearly half of the toads puked up the beetles anywhere from 12 to 107 minutes after ingesting them.

Isn’t this great? Hambo continues:

The hardy little beetles scurried off, apparently unharmed. It turns out that the bombardier beetle can release a nasty chemical cocktail inside the toad’s stomach (the audible “pop” of the explosion could be heard coming from inside the toad’s stomach), forcing it to vomit up their meal. The beetle is also protected by a hard shell that keeps it safe from stomach acid.

Verily, they are wondrously designed! Hambo then explains what we should learn from this:

These little beetles are an incredible example of God’s careful design in creation. But they also remind us we live in a sin-cursed world where predators eat prey and prey must try to escape. It’s a beautiful world, but it’s also a broken world, and we see both on display in the bombardier beetle.

Ooooooooooooh! Hambo is so wise!

We know you want to learn more about beetles and toads, but the rest of Hambo’s post is all about promoting his various publications, podcasts, and websites, so this is where we’ll leave him. Now go forth, dear reader, and tell everyone The Truth.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Ken Ham and the Bombardier Beetle

  1. It is devoutly to be wished that Hambo will follow up with a further article addressing the other news item available from the Fox News link he provided: Indian Frogs Discover Gross New Way to Have Sex

    Surely he can find therein yet another “incredible example of God’s careful design in creation”!

  2. Michael Fugate

    One would need to be completely mindless in choosing to inhabit Ham’s “perfect” world. Heaven, as described, has to be the most boring place ever – spending an eternity there would make any one wish they had opted for hell.

  3. So a toad vomiting a noxious beetle is an example of incredible design! Hambo’s neurons (!) are certainly wired differently. Upchucking is an ancient evolutionary invention, starting with guts in which the mouth and anus were one and the same. Among animals with a separate mouth and anus, vomiting is a good way to eliminate toxins (numerous examples), but in many birds it’s how the young are fed. Actually, the study (Fox news?!) is pretty cool, but I’ll bet there are many organisms which would vomit a bombardier beetle. Seems to me the designer didn’t do so well with dogs, cats and human babies.

  4. Prey and predator interaction is designed.

  5. Stuff the bombardier beetle. I want to know why a ‘loving’ god created disease-carrying mosquitos, ticks, fleas, lice, guinea worms, tapeworms. etc., all ‘evolved’ to attack mankind.

  6. So the beetle was well designed but the toad wasn’t? Why was the toad shortchanged in the design department? Note that the toad is a vertebrate while the beetle is an invertebrate. Is the Hamsters god an invertebrate as well?

  7. Theodore Lawry

    Ken Ham talks about a creature that literally blows noxious substances out of its rear end? I’m dying here!

  8. Evolution has an explanation for the bombardier beetle: it is the result of a predator-prey arms race. TomS is right to surmise that the arms race could have been designed. But an evolutionary arms race, designed or not, is rejected by Ken Ham. Creation alone, says he.

    What need for creating such devices in an Eden in which there was no predation? Ken Ham has the usual: “God did it that way because God.”

    Once you run into that blank flat wall, you have left rational thought behind, and once again you find yourself in… The Twilight Zone.

  9. His writing is always consistent at least.

    No evidence that doesn’t fit evolution, just straight from “here’s what it does” to “this is an example of #GawdDidIt”.

    I’ve yet to see one of these that made any attempt to provide evidence for creationism, other than that a leap to the assertion.

    And yet, stupid people are like “Yeah, just read their articles!”

  10. “anywhere from 12 to 107 minutes after ingesting them”
    Why would I be impressed? Whenever our dear SC tries to take in some disgustive creacrap it takes him only a splitsecond to puke!

    @Kosh expresses a dear wish: “I’ve yet to see one of these that made any attempt to provide evidence for creationism.”
    You’ll find evidence for square circles sooner.

  11. bewilderbeast

    And verily God The Designer said “I know! I’m going to make a beetle! And this beetle shall fire toxic stuff out of its o-ring! That’ll show anything that tries to eat it!”
    Then he looked around and there was no-one to laugh at his joke. That’s when He grew mean.

  12. @Kosh
    Consistent in their inconsistency.

  13. The whole concept of a “fallen world” is an escape hatch which makes the concept of design unfalsifiable. Every time someone points out an obvious flaw in an organism which debunks the idea that it was designed, it is suddenly ascribed to the Fallen World.

    I’m not even sure where in the Bible they got it from.

  14. Draken, you’re too optimistic. Especially IDiots don’t need a “fallen world” concept to make their crap unfalsifiable. This will do:

    1. Perfect design: goddiddid.
    2. Imperfect desigin: goddiddid.

    If you feel like getting annoyed today and especially to consume some Egnorance I recommend you to click

    If you instead prefer some mental sanity you’ll be better off with

  15. The Eye is the prime example of the obvious design. How can the creationist claim that eyes are a consequence of Adam’s Sin? Yet eyes of predators are needed for predation, and the eyes of prey are needed for protection.

  16. Ceteris Paribus

    Wow! Great science news from Ken Ham and the AIG people. Maybe the next thing they should turn their attention to is the question of why it is that all domesticated animals (mostly of the Canine or Feline persuasion) unfailingly will puke up some guts and/or other stuff just about 10 minutes after letting them into the house. Surely it is evidence of Intelligent Design.

  17. Is intelligent design falisfiable, asks Egnor (see mnbo above). My latest 3 quarks daily post shows just why it isn’t with ajuicy quote from Michael Behe himself, in Darwin’s Black Box: “The argument from imperfection overlooks the possibility that the designer might have multiple motives, with engineering excellence oftentimes relegated to a secondary role … [T]he reasons that the designer award old not do anything are virtually impossible to know unless the designer tells you specifically what those reasons are.”

    So yes, Ceteris Paribus, the designer wants your carpets puked over

  18. Let us suppose that design is involved in the appearance of something in the natural world. (How we might know that, I will not get into that.)
    If that is so, then we know that something other than God is responsible.

    Who is the designer? The one thing that we know about the identity of designers is that they aren’t the Pantokrator/Shaddai/Shabaoth.

  19. Ross Cameron asks “why a ‘loving’ god created disease-carrying mosquitos, ticks, fleas, lice, guinea worms, tapeworms. etc., all ‘evolved’ to attack mankind.”

    He didn’t. He created mankind to nourish and/or shelter mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, lice, guinea worms, tapeworms, etc.”

    Our species is so narcissistic we can’t imagine it’s not all about us.

  20. Fortunately for these toads, other beetles were designed to be eaten!