This one was found 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. Hambo’s new post is titled Are the Rules of Evolution Universal? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Evolution—will it happen in basically the same way, no matter where in the universe it occurs? An article from New Scientist argues yes, saying it doesn’t matter what “operating system” (e.g., DNA) that life uses: it will evolve via natural selection regardless. But what assumptions are going into such an assertion?
Hambo deploys his keen intellect to discover the underlying assumptions, and says:
Well, the article describes evolution, which it calls “a fact of life,” in this way:
[Hambo quotes the article:] Here on Earth, organisms that just so happen to be better adapted, or “fit”, for their environment, perhaps by virtue of a fortuitous mutation, tend to survive longer and leave more offspring. The less fit leave fewer descendants and the unfit none at all. Whatever it was that made the winners fit thus accumulates in the next generation. . .
That sounds right — but not to Hambo. He tells us:
But what they’re describing isn’t evolution — it’s natural selection, the supposed mechanism for evolution. The process and the supposed mechanism are not the same thing! [What’s he saying?] Natural selection is an observable process that works on information that’s already present [Yes, probably a mutation in the genome]; evolution requires the addition of brand-new genetic information [Yes, a mutation!] to create new forms and features to turn an amoeba into an amphibian. And that’s the big (actually, impossible) problem they completely overlook in this article!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hambo is doing a weird version of the micro-macro mambo — described in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. He wants a whole new species to pop into existence all at once. The great man continues:
The article states that for “spontaneous, sustained accumulation of complexity in a system” to occur, there must be three things present:
[He quotes the article again:] There must be variation, to give raw material for change in the first place; there must be differences in fitness, to give an advantage to change; and there must be heritability, to consolidate and pass on change over time. These three things are nothing more than the preconditions for natural selection – and wherever they come together, natural selection inevitably follows.
That makes perfect sense — to us. Hambo, however, thinks it’s ridiculous. Let’s read on:
They completely overlook where variation comes from! [What?] There’s no known naturalistic mechanism that can create brand-new genetic information. [Aaaargh!!] Natural selection doesn’t do it (after all, as they state, you need the “raw material,” i.e., variation in DNA, in order for natural selection to happen!), and they can’t just appeal to random mutations. [Why not?] Mutations are mistakes in already-existing DNA and are nearly always harmful or neutral.
What did he say? Anyway, here’s his brilliant concluding paragraph:
Natural selection is an observable process. Creatures, using the incredible amount of genetic diversity God put into their DNA at the beginning, adapt to their environment. It has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution!
That was so ghastly that we can’t think of a stylish way to finish this thing. Perhaps you can help us out, dear reader.
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