Creationism and the Beaver

This one doesn’t have an author, but 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. Their headline is Beavers: God’s Natural Builders. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Because of the curse after Adam and Eve’s sin [Those two creeps!], life for all living things is hard: animals go extinct, fertile lands become deserts, humans endure hard labor. But God is gracious and gifted creation with natural builders to restore habitats and create ecosystems. Since April 7 is International Beaver Day [What?], let’s look at these busy builders.

You heard what AIG said — today is International Beaver Day! Whoopie! Then they say:

North American beavers leave their parents’ home, a lodge of sticks and debris in a beaver colony, when they are around two years old, and head up the waterways to find two things: an uninhabited area and a mate. Many of these young beavers die before either of those things happen, as the search in the open waters without a dam leaves them vulnerable to predators like grizzly bears and wolves — evidence of the curse. [Adam and Eve again!]

After that they tell us:

[A] new beaver couple gets to work, finds an unclaimed territory, and spends a month building a dam from the stream floor up by piling debris, rocks, sticks, and branches into a solid wall caulked with mud and shaped like a triangle. [The dam is shaped like a triangle?] With self-sharpening orange teeth (thanks to iron in their enamel), they gnaw through bark, fell trees, and whittle down branches to appropriate lengths. They’re careful to allow a stream of water to pass slowly through the dam, enabling the water on one side to expand into a pond and the water on the other side to continue in a stream as it was.

We’re all wondering: Where is AIG going with this? Their article continues:

Beavers may create new ecosystems and live on vegetation, but they aren’t always constructive to human progress. Beavers cost humans millions of dollars each year when they impede rivers and streams with unwanted dams and land flooding. In a cursed world, animals and humans will always struggle with helping and hindering each other’s “work.” But we can always appreciate God’s busy beavers as testaments to his handiwork.

So should we shoot ’em or leave ’em alone? Let’s read on:

[They] baffle evolutionists who have difficulty tracing the beaver’s origins. Beavers are semi-aquatic animals, equipped for both land and water with clear eyelids that function like goggles to see where they’re swimming. Their front paws resemble the nimble paws of raccoons while their back feet are webbed like duck feet for swimming. Their pad-like tail is like the tail of a platypus, only theirs is covered in scales like a fish.

Evolutionists are baffled, but that’s to be expected. Creationists aren’t confused at all, as they tell us at the end of the article:

But there’s nothing baffling about beavers. They are a testament of God’s creativity and design, their ancestors tracing back to day six of creation week. [That explains it.] On this International Beaver Day, consider how this dutiful rodent displays the wonders of our creative God and thank him for all the ways he’s gracious even to a cursed world.

Okay, dear reader — now get out there and enjoy what’s left of International Beaver Day!

Addendum: Y’all ignore this, but Google wants to see it: google-site-verification: googlef92f3968d8cc38dd.html

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22 responses to “Creationism and the Beaver

  1. siluriantrilobite


    Sent from my iPad

  2. christine janis

    Beaver evolution is particularly well-understood and well-documented. For most of their evolutionary history they were burrowers rather than swimmers.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Everything bad is Adam’s fault, but every fix to the bad is a creative God. Yes, so do we shoot the beaver? No answer.

  4. In what morality, eschatology, or soteriology is it ok for beavers to get eaten by wolves because Adam and Eve were naughty?

    I find Ham’s theology, even apart from the contmpt for scientific reality, an affront to moral decency. Am I unusual in this? If not, how do we turn this to advantage in discussion?

  5. After all, beavrs do not have the opportunity that we have to accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and have it all made up to them hereafter

  6. @Paul Braterman
    Nor do people who were born between The Fall and the Redemption, who lived in the New World before 1492, or those who were conceived but never born. Old-time Catholic theology had Limbo to accounnt for those (see, as usual, Wikipedia).

  7. creationist says “animals go extinct, ” Translation. Might not be a young earth creationist…Heretic !!!!….creationist then says “as the search in the open waters without a dam leaves them vulnerable to predators like grizzly bears and wolves”. Translation….wolves swim in packs when hunting and grizzly bears swim to find food….[creationist says They] baffle evolutionists who have difficulty tracing the beaver’s origins… Translation.. people who think are losers. Its all in this year old book of even older books written by Middle Eastern goat shepherds.

  8. Michael Fugate

    Doonesbury from very long ago…

  9. I say make them into hats .

  10. @PaulB wonders: “I find Ham’s theology an affront to moral decency. Am I unusual in this?”

    “If not, how do we turn this to advantage in discussion?”
    What I do is presenting them it in the form of a Creationist Law:

    1. Something bad: blame Homo Sapiens.
    2. Something good: praise the Lord.

    One of the most important strengths of creacrap is verbosity. Recently I realized this goes back to a superstition shared by Ancient Greeks, Hebrews and Early christians: the idea that words influence or even determine reality instead of merely describing them.
    So one trick is to reduce creacrap to it’s ridiculous core. The famous cartoon summarizing the Nye-Ol’Hambo debate did the same.

  11. Dave Luckett

    Uh-huh. So, they’re rodents, says AiG. That is, they’re one of a group of mammal species that has the specific adaptation of teeth that grow constantly and have very thick, very hard, enamel. They all have very similar DNA, too. And endogenous retroviral insertions at the same points, too. Curious how God just decided to do that. Was He telling us something? Or is it just another instance of His ineffable Will, His mind being as far above ours as the stars, only further, because the stars are stuck in the firmament, which isn’t much further than the peaks of the tallest mountains.

    So are the rodents all one “kind”? Was there just one mated pair of proto-rodents on the Ark? (One pair, because they’re not clean animals.) Funny how ancient Egyptians and Sumerians before 2800 BCE had already domesticated cats to keep the mice and rats down, rats and mice being emphatically not our friends.

    But let’s not go there. That would be asking questions,, which one must never do.

  12. When confronted with a creacrapper you can turn this creationist law into an instulting version.

    Evilutionist: you’re a liar.
    Creationist: I’m not a liar!
    Evilutionist: Lying is a sin. You’re a sinner. Hence you tell lies. You’re a liar according to your own belief. Why should I accept anything you claim?

    See, a creationist must believe that he/she is morally depraved because of Original Sin. But when promoting creacrap he/she must come across as a good, well-meaning person.

  13. Eddie Janssen

    I think Ken Ham and Charles Darwin agree on one very important aspect. They have different words for it though:
    ‘Curse’ and ‘natural selection’.

  14. If humanity has been “cursed” with anything, it’s jejune myths that impede some peoples’ ability to see nature and the world more clearly.

    Darwin saw the myth of divine creation for what it was, and realized it almost certainly couldn’t be reconciled with natural selection.

  15. Michael Fugate

    One can imagine that rats would have been on the Ark whether they were invited or not.

  16. But when the creationist says that it’s in the Book, when the Bible does not say anything about the limits of micro-evolution in kinds … anything about the burial of fossils … etc.
    That is not conveyed in the cartoon.
    Indeed, I can imagine the YEC being proud of the cartoon, something about wisdom and fools.

  17. @ChrisS is grumpy today: “Darwin saw the myth of divine creation for what it was, and realized it almost certainly couldn’t be reconciled with natural selection.”
    The Flying Spaghetti Monster demonstrates it can.

    @TomS: I don’t doubt it a split second. Creacrap is very comparable with a perfectly elastic collision in physics. That’s why it’s unbeatable.

  18. ‘…curse after Adam and Eve’s sin…’ gawd throws a pissy-fit and condemns ALL creatures to suffer and dies. The Chris-ANUL gawd is so nice and loving!!

  19. Is there anyone familiar with Eastern Christianity – Orthodoxy? My understanding is that they regard much of the theology about Original Sin a Latin misunderstanding due mostly to Augustine.

  20. I have noticed that MOST of the AIG articles on similar topics end this same way… with a paragraph that suddenly says something like “But there’s nothing baffling about beavers. They are a testament of God’s creativity and design”.

    Is this just the “Hasty Generalization” fallacy? Or do they just figure at this point they’ve lost the focus of their drooler and can pull a fast one on them?

  21. @Kosh wonders: “Is this just the “Hasty Generalization” fallacy?”
    No, it’s a multi-fallacy.

    @TomS: Accoding to Wikipedia (and as far as The Netherlands goes, that original Calvinist country, I’d say it’s largely correct) the equation Original Sin = Total Depravity is something typical for orthodox protestants. You’ll find that idea in the Dutch Bible Belt.
    The RCC nor the mainstreadm Protestant Church in The Netherlands (PCN) are that extreme. As far as my understanding goes (but hey, I’m a staunch unbeliever, so skepticism is justified) the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Churches is not that different; it concerns the problem of unbaptized children.
    My bet is that the difference with creationists, especially orthodox-protestants and fundagelicals, is bigger.

  22. Ham could have more helpfully pointed out that July 1, Canada Day, is the day on which all Canadian girls acknowledge the arrival of summer by waxing their beavers.