Hambo Says: ‘Anti-Science? Who, Me?’

This is about abortion, a topic we usually avoid because it arouses so much passion. As we’ve said before, we have no desire to impose our abortion views on anyone else, and we hate it when national politics are polluted by “social issues.”

The last time we discussed the topic was over four years ago in Egnor Rants About Abortion. When discussing the Discoveroids’ view of things, we announced our own opinion, which is this:

There’s no doubt that a fertilized ovum is alive. But is it a human being from the moment of conception? We are all familiar with the unfortunate phenomenon of brain death. When the brain ceases to function, almost everyone agrees that it’s appropriate to remove life-support equipment and let the patient expire. Why? Because without a functioning brain, although the body may continue to live for a while in a vegetative state, there’s no longer a person in that body.

[…]

Your Curmudgeon’s personal belief is that a symmetrical rule should be applied to determine the beginning of human life. That’s when the brain is sufficiently developed that it begins to function — which can be determined by Electroencephalography, and which occurs somewhere during the middle of a pregnancy. … [W]hen the brain begins to function, the fetus has become a human being and abortion is wrong — in our humble opinion.

Today we have the opinion of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: So, Who’s Really Anti-Science? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Here at Answers in Genesis, we’re often accused of being “anti-science [Really?] because we reject molecules-to-man evolution and millions of years (which are interpretations that flow from an atheistic, naturalistic worldview). But we’re not anti-science — we love science and understand that science always confirms God’s Word. Observational science has allowed us to have the great technology we use today, so of course we’re pro-science. But do you know who is often anti-science? Those who support abortion.

Hambo isn’t anti-science, but maybe you are. He quotes Christine Quinn, “a board member of the National Institute for Reproductive Health” who was discussing the “heartbeat bill” which he says was “recently passed in Georgia that makes abortion illegal after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected.” According to Hambo, she said:

When a woman is pregnant, that is not a human being inside of her. It’s part of her body. And this is about a woman having full control and full agency over her body.

Hambo is furious, and he tells us:

So, an unborn baby is not a human being? What is it — a dog, a dolphin, a green bean? It has 100% human DNA (with a unique combination of information that came from both father and mother), and humans only produce humans, so the unborn baby can’t be anything other than a human!

Brilliant analysis! He continues:

So, if an unborn baby is just part of the woman’s body, then, when a woman delivers her baby, is she missing part of her body — a part with DNA unique to it? Does that part of her body eventually learn to walk, talk, and play, like a baby does? And what if a woman never becomes pregnant: is she missing part of her body?

You can’t argue with science like that! Let’s read on:

Quinn’s argument is utterly preposterous! And yet it’s a common refrain from abortion supporters. Her claims go against everything we know from biology — humans produce humans. And since an unborn child — no matter the stage of development — has 100% human DNA (nothing is added from the moment of fertilization), it can’t be anything other than a human!

In his final paragraph, Hambo takes his argument even further:

One more thing. Yes, we applaud people doing what they can to stop abortion with the so-called heartbeat bills or bills such as the one that just passed the Alabama Senate [Link omitted.] that effectively bans abortion in that state and criminalizes the procedure in nearly all instances. But, as far as heartbeat bills go, there’s no difference genetically among a human fertilized egg to the baby’s development, whether it’s one week, four weeks, six weeks, six months, nine months — all are the same unique individual at different stages of development: a 100% human being made in God’s image. Abortion at any stage is murder.

So there you are. Why wait for a heartbeat to outlaw murder? We assume Hambo would outlaw “morning after” pills, because his creation science says a zygote is fully human from the moment of conception.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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39 responses to “Hambo Says: ‘Anti-Science? Who, Me?’

  1. Which I guess makes Hambone’s favorite god (blessed be he/she/it) the greatest abortionist in the entire universe (or at least on this planet), since a substantial proportion of fetuses are spontaneously aborted.

  2. Dave Luckett

    On this topic, I’ll keep my peace. Nothing can be gained by expressing my uninvolved opinion on it, and there is much to be lost. On this and many other subjects I commend to all of us what I regard as both a conservative and a classical liberal principle: mind your own business, Or, as it was once put, “Get the log out of your own eye before you remove the speck from someone else’s”.

  3. Personally, I’m against abortion. As an atheist, it means less babies for me to eat. Besides, it’s wrong to kill off America’s children before their time, not until they’ve at least reached school age, where they can be gunned down in school shootings. This allows grieving communities the opportunity to come together in prayer, and entertain hopes for a better future, despite all the guns.

    There you go: two controversies for the price of one.

  4. What is the difference between a human and a non-human animal?
    We often hear from anti-evolutionists distinctions like: humans are capable of language, or having a sense of purpose, etc. Whatever. Or the anti-evolutionists object to “from goo to you evolution”. How is that compatible with zygotes being human?
    If it is a matter of human DNA, then how about an appendectomy? Is biting a hangnail cannibalism?
    OK, so it’s just a matter of yet another inconsistency for creationism. No big deal.

  5. Michael Fugate

    Cancer cells have unique DNA. 30-50% of fertilized eggs do not result in births. Sperm and eggs are alive and potential humans. Is there a contradiction in “all life comes from life” and “all life begins at conception”? It is difficult to tease apart the concern for human life from the misogyny and anti-feminism of the right. Banning something won’t stop it, but there are means to drastically reduce abortions – like sex education, empowering and educating girls, prosecuting harassment and rape, easy access to healthcare and birth control- all things the right object to.

  6. Karl Goldsmith

    From the recent rants on twitter, it seems Ken is one of those who thinks teenage rape victims should be forced to go full term and have the rapist’s baby. Like they tried to do in Argentina earlier this year to an eleven year old.

  7. retiredsciguy

    It should be clear that a driving force behind anti-abortion efforts is the desire to have the fear of pregnancy control the sexual behavior of unmarried women. It all goes back to the archaic philosophy that only men are allowed to enjoy sex.

  8. @beastwood
    Killing of a human is not murder when God does it. He is not to be judged by our standards.
    Same when our property is taken from us, or when we suffer an eternity of torture for finite sins, …
    Or when we are mislead about the age of the Earth, whether as in Omphalism, or as in the Bible.
    After all, all of us humans, from the first moment of our existence, are guilty of awful sin, and do not deserve life, property, mercy, or the truth. (Just as a man seeking a murder victim does not deserve to be told the truth about where to find his intended victim.)

  9. Karl Goldsmith

    Alabama where child marriage is legal and they are ranked one of the lowest states on education.

  10. Eric Lipps

    Quinn’s argument is utterly preposterous! And yet it’s a common refrain from abortion supporters. Her claims go against everything we know from biology — humans produce humans. And since an unborn child — no matter the stage of development — has 100% human DNA (nothing is added from the moment of fertilization), it can’t be anything other than a human!

    A skin cell has 100% human DNA too. Does that make it a human being?

    I don’t care to plunge into the thicket of abortion politics here, but Ham’s argument is ridiculous.

  11. “we hate it when national politics are polluted by “social issues.”
    That explains a lot – politics is a social issue. So is Free Market btw – economics is a social science.

    “There’s no doubt that a fertilized ovum is alive.”
    There is, because “life” is notoriously hard to define. Hence the statement (mind you, I’m not saying that I reject it) is open to all kinds of semantics. As we all (should) know semantics never can decide anything except question like “is this a proper definition?”

    “the beginning of human life [is] when the brain is sufficiently developed that it begins to function ”
    This is a pretty good definition indeed. My point is rather that other definitions are possible and that there is no way to decide between them.

    “But we’re not anti-science — we love science”
    It’s people who reject science and hence are anti- science who always need to stress how much they love it. I personally don’t. I couldn’t care less about PZ’s zebrafish and spiders, let alone that I love his work. And this is just one example.

    “So, an unborn baby is not a human being? What is it — a dog, a dolphin, a green bean?”
    Don’t you love it when apologists ask questions that already have been answered? ChristineQ wrote: “It’s part of her body”.

    “the unborn baby can’t be anything other than a human!”
    Brilliant indeed – my toe nails can’t be anything other than human either.

    “And what if a woman never becomes pregnant: is she missing part of her body?”
    Yes, like I’m missing another part of my body after I’ve clipped my toenails.

    “And since an unborn child — no matter the stage of development — has 100% human DNA ”
    Just like my toe nails.

    “a 100% human being made in God’s image. Abortion at any stage is murder.”
    And Ol’Hambo’s god is the worst abortionist in history.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscarriage

    Creacrappers worship a murderer, but that’s nothing new of course.

  12. @TomS: “Killing of a human is not murder when God does it. He is not to be judged by our standards.”
    In the first place this is not science.
    In the second place this means that morals are subjective – they depend on the question if the person practicing morals is a god or a human being. So another argument, “another inconsistency for creationism”.

    As for the topic of abortion provocatus: personally I’m against abortion. I’m against boxing as well. I just need quite some more before I decide that my personal views should be imposed on the rest of mankind. Of course that’s the sort of humility creationists never display, despite the teachings of their great hero Jesus.

  13. If they were sincere about preventing abortions, they would encourage effective teaching of contraception

  14. Laurettte McGovern

    All science trembles at the searing logic of his towering intellect!

  15. Hambone says Noah is real and made a big pile of crap to show this. And at the same time states that a fetus is more important than a women when his own big book o’BS states a fetus has no worth!!! Of course the same book states the woman does not have much more worth as well!

  16. Mark Germano

    “Hambone… made a big pile of crap….”

    Ken’s crap is also full of human DNA.

  17. Perhaps these bible thumpers should take a break from thumping and read Numbers chapter 5:11-31 – wherein their sky-daddy reveals a recipe for a “morning after” potion that is then used as an adultery test.

    On a WOMAN of course.

  18. @FrankB
    I was only showing that, by the arguments of the creationists , such as
    * ridiculing development as “from goo to you”
    * borrowing arguments (from the 18t centruy) which actually are more relevant to reproduction than evolution
    * defining the difference between humans and other living things by traits that belong to independentally living unimpaired concious people
    By such rhetoric, they are undermining the humanity of the fetus.

    It parallel to the argument against eugenics, which is undermined by creationist rhetoric:
    * accepting “micro-evolution” within “man-kind”
    * arguing that without purposeful intervention, evolution leads to deteorization of the genetics.

  19. Hambo should ponder the difference between human and human being.

  20. @TomS: I wasn’t contradicitng you, but the crappy apologist counter “argument”.

  21. Michael Fugate

    How do priests and nuns justify wasting all those potential humans by vowing to never have sex? An unfertilized egg in an ovary is just as much a potential human as is a fertilized egg in a fallopian tube. Didn’t their god put those gametes there for a purpose?

    This is again the is/ought problem. Science can inform, but it can’t tell us what to do.

  22. @Michael Fugate
    This is again the is/ought problem. Science can inform, but it can’t tell us what to do.
    I assume that many creationists do not accept that philosophical principle. They try to blame all sorts of unwelcome behavior on the facts of evolutionary biology. As if their rejection of the oughts consistuted argument against the facts of biology.
    It is therefore interesting to see what consequences they are led to in rejecting evolutionary biology.

    Of course, creationists are famous for their blithe approach to contradictions. As much their signature as the emptiness of their “explanantions”. Along with their quote mining. The Creationist Triad.

  23. Michael Fugate

    It is like taking Bible versus out of context. Women have been dealing with unwanted pregnancy since there have been women. This is not a modern phenomenon and has nothing to do with sharing common descent with animals and other living things. Just like Ham’s insistence that racism started with Darwin – nothing in context.

  24. Except when it suits them, because they think it supports their predetermined conclusions.
    But hey – we are the ones with the closed minds.

  25. By Hambo’s analysis sperm would be a “human”:
    It has 100% human DNA (and each one is a unique individual as well!)
    Since it is produced by male humans, and humans can only produce other humans sperm must be human as well!
    The “unique combination of information that came from both father and mother” that Hambo raves about? Really when a “conception” occurs not much happens. It is just mommy’s and daddy’s sperm and egg are in the same capsule.

    The mistaken belief that science claims that “conception” is the beginning of a new unique person is wrong. (commonly asserted but not specifically by Hambo here) After all we consider identical twins to be separate persons. Not only that, the occasional conjoined twins that can’t be separated (example the Minnesota Hensel twins) are considered separate persons. What “conception” really is the beginning of the 2N phase of a diploid’s life cycle. It isn’t the beginning of “life” or a “person”. The former is a continuum, the latter has no scientific meaning at all.

    (SC’s brain function isn’t too far off the mark, for me anyway)

  26. @Troy
    There is an occasional person known as a chimera. They have no idea that there is anything special about them – except that occasonally it shows up as having eyes of a different color – but their body is made up of cells of different genetics. They began as two different fertilized cells, just like fraternal twins, but at some early stage they coalesced into one.
    See the Wikipedia article Chimera (genetics).

  27. Michael Fugate

    I see the trend to abolish birthdays and celebrate conception days.

  28. Steve Gerrard

    One worthwhile distinction regarding a developing fetus is whether it can function on its own, or only while connected to its mother. An 8 week old fetus is not an independent organism. Among other things, it can’t breathe yet, which to me is a definitive qualification for the status of living creature.

  29. Celebrate conception days? Takes all the romance and sense of occasion out of it. I’m all for that!

    “Happy Conception Day, darling. You were conceived in a desultory, fairly grim coupling between your father and I. It was one in a million, really, that you’re here at all. But we grappled often enough — and we were both at the peak of our fertility and performance — we were bound to strike lucky, eventually. And here you are!”

  30. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    You don’t have to be a young earth creationist to be anti-science or unscientific (but it helps).

  31. The religious arguments are not concerned with medical facts (obviously) but have more to do with when they believe a developing human acquires a soul. That is not uniform among religions and has varied over time. I believe it has also varied in direct relationship to its use as a political tool. There is a pretty good wiki article on “ensoulment” which has a review of the history of this belief.

  32. Something which is bothering me. I have read about some preacher who is pushing a bleach as a panacea. Including sending it to Uganda, where people are forcing it on children. As far as I can check, this is really happening. It isn’t exactly ordinary househouse bleach (sodium hypochlorite) but it is bad enough (chlorine dioxide).

  33. Why isn’t exploring for oil using subsurface well and seismic data and applying the laws of modern geology observational science again?? Our civilization, worldwide, is dependent on the petroleum products produced from oil found using modern geology. Will someone please tell Hambo that his “Caddy” is hypocritical and that he should be riding a 🐪 or a🐴. There’s room in the fake ark for it to stay and 20 minutes of shoveling every day is all Hambo needs to do to keep its stall, sort of but not quite spotless. 😎

  34. @och will
    observational science is not the epitome of science.
    Science has the power to tell us about things which we do not have direct experience about. About things which are too far in space or time, too big or too little, too fast or too slow. Or just too difficult or too dangerous or too expensive.
    Befoe we had the technology and the money, we relied on “non-observational” science to tell us about space. Even today we do not have direct observaton and we cannot perform experiments on what is going on deep inside the Earth.

  35. @TomS. Thanks for telling me about all that.
    Very interesting.

  36. @OchWill has some problems with his memory: “Why isn’t exploring for oil using subsurface well and seismic data and applying the laws of modern geology observational science again??”
    Because they dare to contradict the predetermined conclusion that the Universe is about 6000 years old, of course.