Ken Ham and Pleistocene Park

This one is stranger than usual. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of 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 is Forget Jurassic, Now It’s Pleistocene as the Coolest Theme Park. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

You might want to start saving your money now. In only 10 years or so, you’ll be able (so we’re told) to see woolly mammoths, rhinos, cave lions, and long-extinct horses in a Siberian “Pleistocene Park”. Scientists from Russia, South Korea, and Japan (as well as Harvard University geneticist George Church) are all working towards cloning these ice age animals and then putting them into a research (and tourist) park near Northern-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Siberia.

Why would Hambo be promoting someone else’s tourist attraction? What’s going on here? He says:

According to the Siberian Times [Cloning of mammoth will be successful in 10 years, predicts head of region earmarked for their home], there are already cloning experiments underway on extinct ancient horses and cave lions. Woolly mammoths would have to be recreated from cells found in remains buried in the Siberian permafrost. Quite a few mammoth remains have been found, and a group of scientists are actively looking for more pristine samples.

Once enough intact DNA is found (and supplemented with elephant genes), it would be implanted into an Asian Elephant embryo and would be born from an elephant surrogate mother. Alternatively, Professor Church has plans to use an artificial womb in order to bypass using a surrogate elephant mother. Now of course, these would actually be mammoth-elephant hybrids, not true woolly mammoths.

Why does Hambo care? He tells us:

Now most of these news stories throw out numbers like 10,000 to 30,000 years ago for the date of these animals’ extinctions. But this is based on evolutionary assumptions and is not accurate. [Hee hee!] Looking at this from a biblical worldview, we would put Ice Age animal extinctions at roughly 2000–1800 BC.

Those scientists in Siberia are fools! He continues:

I also find it interesting that the word miracles is used here by Governor Nikolaev in this context. While it is certainly amazing that technology has progressed to the point that bringing back extinct animals may be possible, the work being done is pure operational science, being carried out by intelligent humans.

Egad — does Hambo actually approve of cloning mammoths? Let’s read on:

They are not creating new information [[Groan! — see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information] but using genetic information that already exists!

That’s Hambo’s objection? Oh wait — he has another point to make. It’s at the end:

But the real miracle on display (and which is just offhandedly accepted) is the complexity of the DNA that these scientists are extracting and working with, which obviously points to an intelligent Creator — Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:16-17).

Well, dear reader, perhaps you can explain to your Curmudgeon what Hambo was trying to say. We can’t figure it out.

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

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19 responses to “Ken Ham and Pleistocene Park

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    Just ‘Jesus as creator’ is enough to annoy the crap out of me. Jesus had NOTHING to do with it.

  2. Derek Freyberg

    Well, Pleistocene Park has got to be better than Hambo’s Plasticine Park: real animals, and no preaching.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    The actual published timeline by AIG for the ice age (singular) is comic. 350 years, separating mastodons and mammoths by 100 years.

    Click to access ice-age-map.pdf

  4. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    Ken Ham should have DNA of every species. He sure does love his made up ice age.

  5. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    Some of those sent the Ken Ham book don’t think much of it.

  6. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    I don’t what happened with that link, it was supposed to be to sentences like this “having been written to make a very simple point to (and I might argue at the expense of) the less educated and intelligent among us.” Not imbed the bloody book.

  7. I’m not aware of any standard theology in which “Jesus Christ” is the creator. But I guess Trinitarianism is as confusing to Ken Ham as it is to the rest of us.

  8. “…the work being done is pure operational science…”

    What else would it be? It’s “operational” science, being observed by human beings, which makes it “observational” science, and one day it will be part of the history of science, which will make it “historical”; and Ken’s patented BS distinctions between all these will be reconciled.

    But by then, we’ll all have been driven mad by Ken’s unique take on how science is supposed to work, rather than the way it actually does work.

  9. “the work being done is pure operational science”
    So is radiometry, Ol’Hambo, so is radiometry. You still don’t accept it.

  10. “Well, dear reader, perhaps you can explain to your Curmudgeon what Hambo was trying to say.”

    Hamster’s bottom line is always: “Goddidit, believe me.”

  11. There is first hand testimony to the existence of several extinct megafauna, Paleolithic art. Is that supposed to be better than the evidence of their remains?

  12. @TomS:

    Some creationists maintain there’s just as much firsthand testimony for their claim of human/dinosaur cohabitation, based on pictographs.

    All this demonstrates is that their instinct for Paleolithic art is as lousy as their zoology.

  13. Hambo says “we would put Ice Age animal extinctions at roughly 2000–1800 B.C.” Yes you would Ham. And all the evidence disagrees.

  14. Who on earth would open a reservation annex tourist park in one of the world’s coldest cities, where winter temperatures go down to -38 Celcius? And who would visit that remote place, apart from convicts of Putin’s regime from nearby labour camps?

  15. But there are other tourist attractions in Yakutsk. Wikipedia mentions “the only museums in the world dedicated to the khomus [a musical instrument] and permafrost.”

  16. Charles Deetz, I agree with you that Jesus had nothing to do with creation.

    However, many fundamentalists take “the Word” in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” to refer to Jesus, inseparable from the mathematically surreal deity. The Genesis claim that creation was spoken into existence is the basis for their belief that Jesus, the Word, was the segment of the god-being that deserves the credit.

  17. “The word was made flesh and dwelt among us” definitely does refer to the claim that Jesus was God, already starting to arise among some Christians as early as the eighties and nineties of the first century, when John’s Gospel was being written, most likely. A doctrine of the Trinity took some time to emerge, in all its ineffable splendor. Between the two of them – the nature of the Trinity and that of Christ, the stage was set for centuries of bloody conflict over matters that hardly any of the combatants could have defined.

    If Jesus is not only to be the Christ, the Redeemer, the Saviour, but also the Creator IN HIS PERSON AS THE SON, one is left to wonder what is to be attributed to God the Father. If He was not the creator of the Universe, his role shrinks to running interference and general malevolence, distinguished by caprice and vindictiveness.

  18. Now most of these news stories throw out numbers like 10,000 to 30,000 years ago for the date of these animals’ extinctions. But this is based on evolutionary assumptions and is not accurate. [Hee hee!] Looking at this from a biblical worldview, we would put Ice Age animal extinctions at roughly 2000–1800 BC.

    So all those creatures went extinct during the period of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, and yet there’s no mention of them anywhere in the literature of any of the several sophisticated civilizations which then existed. Behold, I show you a mystery!

  19. Hambone finally tells us that his marginally intelligent creator was some dead guy. I was hoping it would turn out to be Ganesha.