Ken Ham — Fossils and the Flood

This is about some research reported by Physorg a couple of weeks ago: Creating ‘synthetic’ fossils in the lab sheds light on fossilization processes. They say, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A newly published experimental protocol, involving University of Bristol scientists, could change the way fossilisation is studied. In addition to directly studying fossils themselves, experimental treatments of fresh organismal remains can be utilised to study fossilisation. One commonly employed experimental approach is known as ‘artificial maturation’, where high heat and pressure accelerate the chemical degradation reactions that normally occur over millions of years when a fossil is buried deep underground and exposed to geothermal heat and pressure from overlying sediment.

[…]

However, much maturation equipment is often limited by the use of small, sealed chambers which trap not only the highly stable organic molecules of interest to palaeontologists and organic geochemists, but also the breakdown products of less stable molecules that are less likely to be retained in fossils. Therefore, direct comparisons between the experiments and the fossils become complicated.

For example, when Evan Saitta, who recently submitted his Ph.D. at the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, ran these more traditional maturation experiments on feathers during his MSc (also at Bristol), the result was a foul-smelling fluid.

So Saitta teamed up with some others and the result was a better method, described in Paleontology. You can read it online here: Sediment-encased maturation: a novel method for simulating diagenesis in organic fossil preservation.

This has excited 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, he wrote: Fossils in Just 24-Hours? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

When you hear about fossils, it’s generally within the context of hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Indeed, a recent news article on lab-made fossils began with “fossils are certainly fascinating, but [they] do take rather a long time to form.” It later adds, “over the course of anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of years…the bones [turn] to stone.” But what did the lab-made fossils really demonstrate? [Hambo’s brackets and ellipsis.]

Tell us, Hambo — what did it really demonstrate? He says:

They showed it doesn’t take millions of years to form fossils! Scientists were able to make fossils from fresh specimens in just 24-hours — one day! [Gasp!] All it took was the right conditions (mostly heat and pressure). Scientists are hoping these quick-forming fossils will help them discover more about fossils.

But if you read the actual paper, it required a lot of heat and pressure. Ignoring those pesky details, Hambo tells us:

This research is fascinating and points toward something creationists have been saying for decades — it doesn’t take long ages to form fossils! [Wow!] Under the right conditions — which the flood of Noah’s time would have created [Hee hee!] — fossils can form quickly. And remember, to make a fossil requires a catastrophic event — the plant or animal needs to be covered quickly to be preserved.

So there you are, dear reader. Once again, Hambo has proved (to his drooling readers) that fossils aren’t old, the Earth isn’t old, the Flood was real, and all those godless, Darwinist scientists are fools!

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33 responses to “Ken Ham — Fossils and the Flood

  1. I’m pleased that Hambone is pleased. I’m not quite sure that his claims for the research are supported by the paper’s authors but given his personal philosophy of “never let truth get in the way of a good story”, why worry about small details.

    The delicious part of this and every other science story is that, as SC so eloquently puts it, it is “those godless, Darwinist scientists” who invariably conduct the research that leads to these new insights; who run the gauntlet of their peers so they can publish their findings in respected journals; and who await the judgement of the scientific community as to whether they have added to the sum of human knowledge or whether they are the “Pons and Fleischmann” of their era.

    Ironically, the equipment they used can be found in many well-equipped home workshops. I fully expect Hambone to inundate YouTube with the work of his backyard-machinist followers who will be creating fossils left, right and centre.

  2. Did they miss the point that these fossils were Intelligently designed?

  3. Michael Fugate

    So humans can make fossils faster than the Intelligent Designer…

  4. “something creationists have been saying for decades — it doesn’t take long ages to form fossils!”
    Was Ol’Hambo there when fossils were formed outside of the lab?

  5. Following up on @FrankB
    Where does the Bible say anything about fossils – such as Noah’s Flood was the cause of fossils?
    When I first heard about creationism, I expected that the creationists would take the line that fossils were not proven to be the remains of once-living but now extinct things. Why do they make work for themselves where the Bible is silent?

  6. Mark Germano

    This tells me that Ham and his troop of PhDs are just not all that interested in the science of creationism. Doing an experiment like this would have been quite the triumph for creation science. Instead, they just wait around for others to do the hard work, reinterpret through their Biblical worldview, and claim victory for themselves.

    Or, more likely, there just isn’t enough brainpower and creativity at the AIG research center, and they’re just doing their darndest to keep up.

    Or, even more likely, it’s a combination of both apathy and simplemindedness.

  7. But the creationists read the scientific literature. Laboring in the quote mines To be sure, it is easier than reading with understanding. (I recall Woody Allen’s description of “War and Peace” after a speed-reading: “It’s about Russia.”)

  8. The crowing contempt and disdain for knowledge Hambo brings to the table is amazing. Apparently, for the king of ignorance, life must be good.

  9. I have once read an explanation of why, for example, the Nigerian Prince scam is so obvious – couldn’t they take in more people by disguising it to be more clever? The answer is no, it would take more work to fool more people, and most of those would eventually realize that they are being scammed. Better to make your scam dumb, to make sure that your marks will not be the sort who will think, and will take more work, and will be unreliable.
    I have no idea whether this is a real explanation.
    Of course, if you are not too bright yourself, you will find this strategy natural.

  10. Breaking news! Archaeologists and egyptologists use cutting edge IDiot science to push their borders of knowledge!

    http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/egyptian-ship-model-sheds-light-on-bronze-age-warfare-and-religion/

    “the single most important piece of evidence for a now-lost warship design

    Blessed be MOFO!

  11. Mark Germano: Doing an experiment like this would have been quite the triumph for creation science. Instead, they just wait around for others to do the hard work, reinterpret through their Biblical worldview, and claim victory for themselves.

    But many of their “research” institutions have been around for ages: ICR (1970), AiG (1994), DI (1990), all the time thumping their breasts about the really really real PhD scientists they have on board. In all that time they could have produced at least some result that, falsely or not, seems to point to creation/design. But that never happened, because: they never even tried.

  12. @FrankB
    Excellent!

    It makes me think of the Antikytheria mechanism.

  13. @Draken: “But that never happened, because: they never even tried.”
    By now, inspired by our dear SC, the situation has got even worse. Many regulars here are better at producing creacrap than creacrappers themselves.

  14. Well, for once I am disappointed in Hambo, who can usually be relied upon to go full-tilt whack-doodle in his articles. But this time, he falls well short of the mark when he merely claims

    it doesn’t take millions of years to form fossils! Scientists were able to make fossils from fresh specimens in just 24-hours — one day!

    Hambo needs to ask himself: WWAJD – What Would Alex Jones Do?, for it is not beyond Hambo’s powers of mental derangement to insist on the obvious conclusion here, viz.:

    All fossils have now been exposed as fakes manufactured by evil Darwinist materialists and the earth seeded with these phonies by a vast global conspiracy to lead astray the Godly believers!

  15. On further reflection:

    What do you suppose Hambo would be willing to pay for a brand-new authentic fossil of a Precambrian rabbit? Such an item would surely be a prize exhibit at his Creation Museum!

    And I am now entirely confident that just such a fossil could be found, and at the correct level in the stratigraphic column, at the bottom of my very own garden!

    But only if the price is right…

  16. manufacured?

    O Great Hand of Correction, once again I beseech Thee to save me from myself!

    [*Voice from above*] Behold — it is done!

  17. @Draken
    And the creationists, in their paradoxical way, insist on showing the weakness of their case by teling us about the long history of eminent creationists who have not come up with anything to compete with evolution.
    Not even the great Newton or anyone else over the centuries.

  18. Megalonyx says: “Well, for once I am disappointed in Hambo, who can usually be relied upon to go full-tilt whack-doodle in his articles.”

    And I am disappointed — not just in Hambo, but in you. Just as creationists in the past have explained away distant starlight as having been created in transit, giving the mere appearance that it originated billions of years ago, so too was the Earth created with fossils already in place, giving the mere appearance of great age.

  19. Good ol’ Hambo, making real scientific research stupid for his followers and not surprisingly drawing the wrong conclusions. Is there anything a creationist can’t falsify in their quest for Biblical authority?

  20. “Under the right conditions — which the flood of Noah’s time would have created — fossils can form quickly.”

    The conditions included pressures of 225 bars up (you’d need the best part of 1 km sediment for that) and temperatures from 201 C. How Noah’s Ark survived such conditions is not clear.

    And are there *any* cases where a sediment is dated from the degree of metamorphosis of its fossils, rather than the fossils being dated from the surrounding sediment? [Perhaps, in coal or oil geochemistry?]

  21. (Ofc, chlk cliffs are nothing but fossils, and are dated, or to be more exact cross-correlated, using these fossils as index, but I don’t think Ham would find such examples helpful)

  22. So if we toss Bodie Hodge, Hambo’s son-in-law, into a superheated mudpot in Yellowstone National Park- all in the spirit of scientific inquiry, of course- and he turns into a fossil within 24 hours, I guess that’ll replicate more or less the conditions of the Flood, and Ken will be vindicated.

    I wonder if the boys from “Mythbusters” would be interested in such a useful experiment?

  23. Ken Ham once again showing he lives in Stupidity Land.

    I hope one day Ken Ham will be remember as the biggest dumbass that ever lived.

  24. @ChrisS

    “So if we toss Bodie Hodge, Hambo’s son-in-law, into a superheated mudpot in Yellowstone National Park- all in the spirit of scientific inquiry, of course-”

    I’d pay to watch that!

  25. Michael Fugate

    One wonders why Ken bothers with science, when magic serves his purpose much better…

  26. There will be a time when people will be incredulous that the society with the most sophisticated science and scholarship of all time had large numbers of people who take such nonsense seriously.
    I use the word “nonsense” deliberately, for this stuff is a farrago of emptiness and contradictions.

  27. @TomS, I hope you are right, but fear that Enlightenment is not irreversible

  28. @MichaelF wonders why: “Ken bothers with science ….”
    Marketing. Even the most gullible fans of Ol’Hambo realize that “goddiddid”, “miracle” and related stuff don’t always do and that science has had some success last 200+ years. So he hopes his case will look more credible if he blares “science supports my views” on a regular base.

    @TomS is a literalist: “I use the word “nonsense deliberately”
    Indeed, creacrap a la Ol’Hambo and the IDiots from Seattle is nonsense in the most literal meaning of the word (the reference to Russell is totally intentional). It makes no sense.

  29. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    Mark Germano: Doing an experiment like this would have been quite the triumph for creation science.

    Give them time. AiG have been trying to work out the Ark Kinds since 2011. “When we are done, we will not have all the answers regarding created kinds, but we hope to have made a substantial contribution to creation research that can serve as a strong resource for future research on created kinds.”

  30. Mark Germano

    Karl, AIG’s “Determining the Ark Kinds” is a personal favorite. It’s worth giving the good people at home the rest of that closing paragraph:

    “Beyond this we pray that this information will be used to help people understand that God’s Word is trustworthy. May it be used to play
    a role in many coming to know Christ and living fully for His honor and glory. “

  31. So, they are telling us that God’s word is trustworthy, but we don’t know what it means. I have difficulty understanding the value of being trustworthy when enigmatic. We’ve had 2000 years to study the Bible and we can’t agree on the contents (Jews, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants). It’s only recently that the vitally important concept of created kinds has been discovered. And we still don’t know what it means.

  32. They showed it doesn’t take millions of years to form fossils! Scientists were able to make fossils from fresh specimens in just 24-hours — one day! [Gasp!] All it took was the right conditions (mostly heat and pressure). Scientists are hoping these quick-forming fossils will help them discover more about fossils.

    This research is fascinating and points toward something creationists have been saying for decades — it doesn’t take long ages to form fossils! [Wow!] Under the right conditions — which the flood of Noah’s time would have created [Hee hee!] — fossils can form quickly. And remember, to make a fossil requires a catastrophic event — the plant or animal needs to be covered quickly to be preserved.

    Er . . . since when does a quick burial require a catastrophic event?

    And of course, for Noah’s flood to have created the right conditions for super-fast fossilization, it would have to have occurred in the first place . . . for which, creationist claims notwithstanding, there is no evidence.