Ken Ham Tells Us How To Think

This is an excellent example of creation science in action, because it shows how creatinists deal with evidence. It’s from the best source possible — Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

At the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), Hambo’s creationist ministry, we find Did Hair and Feathers Come from Fish Scales? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Zebrafish are one of the most commonly used research animals in the world — the lab rats, if you will, of the fish world — and various scientific studies use them for a wide variety of purposes. Because of their frequent use, zebrafish often show up as part of evolutionary research, including a recent study comparing their scales to hair and feathers.

This is the recent study to which Hambo refers: The ancient armor of fish — scales — provide clues to hair, feather development. PhysOrg got it from the University of Virginia. Hambo says:

This particular study looked at the molecular mechanisms of scale development in zebrafish, something that had been relatively overlooked until now. The article begins with the statement,

[Hambo quotes the article:] When sea creatures first began crawling and slithering onto land about 385 million years ago, they carried with them their body armor: scales.

Hambo doesn’t like that, and he tells us:

These researchers begin by assuming that the earth is millions of years old. This is not observational science (i.e., it’s not directly testable, observable, or repeatable) but is a worldview-based interpretation of the past.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He continues:

The study’s authors claim their research shows that the “molecular mechanisms of scale development in fish remain remarkably similar to the mechanisms that also produce feathers on birds, fur on dogs and hair on humans — suggesting a common evolutionary origin for countless vastly different skin appendages.” Because these researchers start off with the assumption that evolution is true, it’s not surprising that their interpretation of what they discovered reflects this presupposed belief. They are simply interpreting the evidence through the lens of their evolutionary worldview.

Those scientists are fools! Let’s read on:

This study makes some good observations, but, because it assumes evolution is true, the interpretation of the evidence is wrong. [Hee hee!] These researchers believe that by understanding scales, we can understand how hair and feathers develop since they are believed to have a common origin. But the observational evidence we study today tells us nothing about the origin of these structures. Just because these structures share somewhat similar molecular pathways of patterning does not mean they share a common ancestor.

Isn’t this great? Hambo claims that actual evidence of common ancestry means nothing! He gives us the right way to look at things:

Creationists look at the same observational evidence — molecular similarity — and interpret it very differently. Zebrafish have scales that were designed to be scales, birds have feathers that were designed to be feathers, dogs have fur that was designed to be fur, and humans have hair that was — you guessed it — designed to be hair. These structures are not changing into anything else.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The end of his incredible post tells us how a creation scientists interprets the evidence:

Mere similarity of patterning pathways in early development does not imply common ancestry of diverse creatures and structures — that’s an interpretation of the evidence that comes from an evolutionary worldview. In a biblical worldview, such developmental similarity illustrates the work of a common Designer — the God of the Bible — not a common ancestor.

So there you have it, dear reader. Don’t be misled by evidence of evolution, like those godless, hell-bound scientists are. Follow Hambo’s method of thinking. When you start with the right conclusion, you’ll always end up with The Truth.

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

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29 responses to “Ken Ham Tells Us How To Think

  1. “But the observational evidence we study today tells us nothing about the origin of these structures.”
    No, but the observational evidence that results from radiometry does tell us that the Earth is considerably older than 6 000 years.

    “When you start with the right conclusion, you’ll always end up with The Truth™.”
    Excellent summary.

    Btw, I almost forgot: at the end of the week it’s the turn of the Netherlands to go down as there will be a blood moon. The USA is safe this time.

  2. Michael Fugate

    The researchers assume nothing – they know the earth is ~4.5 billion years old.

  3. bewilderbeast

    Have they abandoned never mentioning that the Designer is G_D?
    Or is it just the Intelligent Design guys trying to invade school science that say “We’re not saying who this Intelligent Designer is, but . . He LIVES! He LIVES . . . “?

  4. What observation is there for the center of the Earth? I know that if we assume that there is a center of the Earth, we can account for the paterns of Earthquake waves, but has anyone seen the center of the Earth, or reproduced it?
    After all, if we believe in God, we can account for earthquakes as the act of God. Psalm 60: 2 “You have made the land quake, You have split it open; Heal its breaches, for it totters.”

  5. “In a biblical worldview, such developmental similarity illustrates the work of a common Designer — the God of the Bible — not a common ancestor.” Well, if so the designer is either lazy or lacks creativity. An omnipotent designer could easily have invented new pathways for scales, feathers and hair, pathways that wouldn’t appear to be of common descent. Evolutionary processes seldom invent novelties de novo, rather they typically rise by duplication and divergence. But like the DI, Ham does not accept evidence and insists on a false dichotomy of science. Nor was he there when Genesis and all of its answers were written, so how can he be certain its true?

  6. Richard Bond

    Here is a neat bit of observational science for the lying and ignorant Ham: most chickens have scales on their lower legs, but if retinoic acid (an important chemical in vertebrate development) is injected into the embryos at the right stage, they develop feathers instead of scales. Furthermore, the Brahma variety, not a different species, naturally has feathers all down its legs. Scales and feathers are very closely related.

  7. @Scientist
    Yes, indeed.
    But it is worse than that, for the creationist who wants to talk about “design”.
    It just doesn’t make any sense to say that the omnipotent has resort to design. To design is to take account of what is possible, how things interact with one another, the results of making one decision, how much time and effort the making will take. And for God, being omnipotent, the author of the ways things work, he has no recourse to design. It doesn’t make sense, as you point out, to say that God is more likely to make things according to one plan, for everything is possible.

  8. docbill1351

    When creationists reach into the crypt they often pull out stuff they published decades ago. The scales-feather connection is at least 50 years old if not older. I remember studying that in comparative vertebrate anatomy. Around the same time, good old Garner Ted Armstrong broadcasted on the AM band, “The World Tomorrow,” a holy-roller revival of news of the day. We would listen to Garner Ted most days at 2 just for amusement. One broadcast I recall was about the development of feathers from scales. Garner Ted envisioned little dinosaurs throwing themselves against rocks to fray their scales into feathers. Ah, the good old days.

  9. I smell an “intelligent dezine” trash fire going on.

  10. Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
    Thor Hanson, Basic Books, 2011 (pbk 2012)

  11. Eric Lipps

    These researchers begin by assuming that the earth is millions of years old. This is not observational science (i.e., it’s not directly testable, observable, or repeatable) but is a worldview-based interpretation of the past.

    Divine creation isn’t ” directly testable, observable, or repeatable” either, but creationists have no trouble with it, because yea, verily, brothers and sisters, it’s in the Bah-ble, which is the Word of God (another untestable proposition).

  12. Ross Cameron

    Damn, Eric, you beat me to it. Anyhow, ‘ This is not observational science (i.e., it’s not directly testable, observable, or repeatable) but is a worldview-based interpretation of the past. Could be talking about the events in Hambo`s guide-book. 🙂

  13. Let’s be clear about this. There is no reason to accept a criterion for science being “observational” in his sense. That is something that he made up in order to ignore the overwhelming science supporting more than a few thousand years.
    Actually, the real power of science is seen in what it tells us about things which are not accessible to our unaided senses.

  14. Holding The Line In Florida

    Would like to comment but too much “Red Red Wine” keeps me from a coherent response. All I can say is the Hambone keeps me laughing. If nothing else I appreciate him for that.

  15. Dang it, I can’t correct my name. Maybe I’ll just have to live with my new name that my computer made up for me. I hope that there is no real Tom S. More who is being blamed for these posts.

  16. @TomS

    Computer’s playing silly buggers with your name; thinks it’s funny to confuse you with Henry VIII’s advisor. Apropos of another recalcitrant computer:

    Dave: Open the bay pod doors, HAL.
    HAL: I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.

  17. Scots wha hae!

    shouldn’t it be ‘Ken ham tells us how not to think’

  18. @MichaelF gets creacrap wrong: scientists don’t know that the Earth is 4,5 billion years old, they assume that they know it.

    @Bewilderbeast is puzzled: “Have they abandoned ….”
    That process has been going on for a few years; it started around the same time beloved Casey the Attack Gerbil quit the ship (it isn’t sinking, because it never floated in the first place). The process is pretty well documented on this nice blog.

    @TomS: “What observation is there for the center of the Earth?”
    Or quarks? Heck, physicists can’t even directly measure, ie observe electric power. Oh, creacrappers suddenly accept indirect observations as well? Great, tons of of them confirm Evolution Theory.
    Ah, the smell of creationist hypocrisy in the morning ….

    @Scientist doesn’t get it: ” if so the designer is either lazy or lacks creativity”
    Ha! The Grand Old Designer (blessed be MOFO!) realized the best possible ground plan or things would have been different (thanks for giving me the opportunity to mar Leibniz).

    “Nor was he there when Genesis and all of its answers were written, so how can he be certain its true?”
    Ol’Hambo’s god was there, the most reliable eyewitness imaginable.

    @RichardB: “Scales and feathers are very closely related.”
    This does not prove common ancestry with fish. Nothing does. You are still “simply interpreting the evidence through the lens of your evolutionary worldview”.

    @TomS: “something that he made up in order to ignore the overwhelming ….”
    Of course. So it’s totally unsurprising that when “operational science” in the form of radiometry refutes the Young Earth hypothesis that genius Ol’Hambo finds other reasons. That method is called the ad hoc fallacy. For creacrappers that’s totally OK as explained by our dear SC in the very last sentence of this blog post.

    @Holding the Line is looking for the right attitude: “keeps me from a coherent response”.
    When the topic is creacrap coherence is the last thing that should worry you, unless you’re an active scientist yourself. I’m certainly not.

    @Scots doesn’t get that and hence proceeds to explain our dear SC’s mild sarcasm.

  19. @FrankB
    One could write a book explaing fallacies using examples from creationism.
    And I am not using a tired metaphor. I think that it would be a useful book, to show actual contemporary examples, rather than repeating the same ones from the 19th century textbooks. The

  20. @TomS, part of my current project!

  21. Excellent!
    May I suggest an entry on the pair of fallacies: Composition and Division. Confusing the origin of the individual ( reproduction) with the origin of the population/taxon (evolution) or the origin of life (abiogenesis).

  22. Keep us informed about your project, PB. I myself learned to identify logical fallacies exactly in internet discussions with creacrappers.

  23. FrankB, I’m with Maarten Boudry and Massimo Pigliucci in doubting the usefulness of labelling fallacies, or at least informal fallacies.

    In order to establish, for example, that someone has committed the fallacy of arguing from authority, you have to show that the authority invoked is inappropriate, and therefore does not give good support to your opponent’s claim. But that’s what you needed to show anyway, so why not just go straight to the individual example and cut out the middleman?

    Thoughts, people?

  24. .
    @Paul Braterman — I’ve always considered labeling fallacies in the middle of a discussion to be a vain attempt to make someone seem smarter they were.

    Why go meta when you’ve got the meat of an argument to chew and digest?

    But that’s not why I came today — this is:

    \mehg-a-LAY-an \ n.

    The newly named current geologic age that started 4,200 years ago.“(Science News)

    How long ago (“supposably”) was Noah’s flood?

  25. @random, near enough spot on!

  26. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    When I read that Ken Ham article I was expecting to see the word keratin.

  27. @PaulB: “you have to show ….”
    Of course. That’s part of the deal. Exactly that is why creacrap is such a useful training ground. You could call Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy my favourite one and I started calling it as such only after I had figured out why exactly it fails. Another important point is that a logical fallacy doesn’t necessarily mean that the conclusion is incorrect, only that it isn’t justified and hence should not convince anyone. Water is wet hence grass is green is an obvious example.
    Maybe Random prefers his meat uncooked, unbaken and otherwise unprepared, but I’m a lazy chewer. If that means I have to go meta meat then so be it.

  28. What exactly is your reason for calling Paley’s analogy false? And may I plagiarise it? Most of us here find it completely unconvincing, but usually on the grounds that it just doesn’t explain anything, or (TomS) that the Omnipotent wouldn’t even need design, both of which are a little bit different from what I think you are saying

  29. Excuse me for interrupting, but my point is not that the omnipotent doesn’t need design, but that to be omnipotent is contradictory to the use of design.
    (To design entails having lack of some power and to be omnipotent entails no resort to design.) I am not making the claim that I know that God did not choose to resort to design. I am saying that it is self-contradictory to say omnipotent and designing. (Unless, of course, by “design” is meant something different – in which case it is up to those making the claim to clarify their usage.)