A Trip with AIG to the Galápagos Islands

This is so exciting! We found it 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 post is titled Explore the Galápagos Islands with Answers in Genesis!, and it was written by Hambo himself. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

What comes to mind when you think of “the trip of a lifetime”? How about an epic adventure to a beautiful and remote corner of God’s creation — a string of islands rising out of the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador? Yes, I’m talking about the islands made famous by Charles Darwin — the Galápagos Islands — and you can join Answers in Genesis to discover them through the lens of a biblical worldview!

Ooooooooooooh! A trip to the Galápagos Islands — with Answers in Genesis! You’re not dreaming, dear reader. This is an actual post from ol’ Hambo! Let’s keep reading. Hambo says:

When people think of the Galápagos Islands, most immediately picture Charles Darwin (along with giant tortoises — and, yes, you get to see giant tortoises on the trip!). After all, Darwin made this isolated archipelago famous with his ideas about natural selection and the supposed evolution of “Darwin’s finches.”

Why in the world would ol’ Hambo be promoting a trip to such a place? He tells us:

But these islands are far from the “laboratory of evolution” that so many scientists consider them to be. Rather, they’re a tremendous confirmation of the biblical worldview and created kinds!

Aaaargh!! Can that be possible? Hambo continues:

Discover the truth about the Galápagos Islands for yourself as you snorkel in crystal-clear waters among creatures as diverse as sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, reef sharks, rays, and a whole host of reef fish. You can also see giant (and we do mean giant) tortoises, birdwatch for exotic species, explore 1,200 species within the orchid kind in an orchidarium, and so much more.

Wowie — you can discover The Truth for yourself! Let’s read on:

During this guided trip, in partnership with Living and Learning [Whoever they are!], you’ll learn from Answers in Genesis’ Dr. Jennifer Rivera and Jessica Jaworski, along with Galápagos botanical expert Vivian Rivera. It’s an exciting time of adventuring and learning in the most incredible classroom of all — God’s creation!

If the guides are all people who work for or who were chosen by Hambo, then how can you go wrong? Another excerpt:

“Explore the Galápagos Islands” next year is taking place May 28 – June 7, 2024, and registration is coming soon. Find all the details, including the trip itinerary, on our event page.

Wowie — a ticket costs only $5,999. And now we come to the end:

Space is limited, so if this trip grabs your interest [How could it not?], be sure to stay tuned and secure your place as soon as registration opens. What a unique opportunity!

You don’t want to miss this one, dear reader. And when you go, tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya!

Copyright © 2023. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

35 responses to “A Trip with AIG to the Galápagos Islands

  1. I think I’ll pass on that trip and see if I can spend a bit less on a tennis camp.

  2. Charley Horse X

    I just checked. You can purchase round trip tickets from Miami to first Ecuador then Galapogos Islands for under a $1,000. Checked prices at 4 hotels and they range from $46 to $72 per night. So figure $1500 for flights…$720 for hotel….$600 for food…total $2,820.

  3. Charley Horse X

    I just read this at AIG….The package price does NOT include:

    International airfare to and from Quito, Ecuador
    Travel insurance (required for all travelers)
    Laundry during the program
    Cost to acquire passports
    Anything not listed in “The package price includes”
    Optional hotel accommodations the evening of May 28 or June 7, 2024, based on flight schedule. So, deduct the cost of round trips as they are not included in the $6,000 paid to AIG.

  4. Dave Luckett

    Matthew 23:15, from the rubric, that is, the words of Jesus Himself:

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”

  5. 5,999, so close to 6,000. Only one more dollar to get up that little hill.

    “Missed it by that much.” –Maxwell Smart

  6. chris schilling

    Ham is still chalking the Galapogos biota up to to divine creation?
    Darwin scotched that nonsense with the two chapters on biogeography in The Origin. If Ham’s god was so busy being extravagantly creative, why didn’t He stock those islands with some indigenous mammals, as Darwin might have more sensibly asked?

    The biblical lens shows nothing in focus, yet creationists persist in holding it up to nature.

  7. Imagine being a “Dr.” scared out of your mind all day that you might say something un-Kenly.

  8. chris schilling: Of course Ham chalks the Galapagos biota up to divine creation. Ham chalks all biota, and everything else, up to divine creation.

    richard: “Un-Kenly”. From “uncanny”, that is, not to be accounted for by natural or known means. Hence, “un-Kenly”, not to be accounted for by Ken Ham. But that is the null set, by definition, because Ken Ham accounts for everything.

  9. Can you imagine blowing six grand to be cooped up on a boat at the Equator with a bunch of creationists, then come home with Covid. Oh, didn’t Hambo tell ya? Covid at no charge!

  10. doc, yeah. The cruise ship companies have been hit hard by Covid. Even antivaccers know that it’s at least very unpleasant to get it, and that a cruise ship is an excellent spreader event. So I wonder how hard Ken had to squeeze to get a special deal out of this one. Probably not very hard, and if there’s one thing Ken’s got a nose for, it’s money.

    But also, I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like between the unvaccinated and creationists. I would predict a considerable overlap. I wouldn’t wish Covid on anyone, but still, wouldn’t it put something of a dampener on the praise-de-lord holy rolling whoop-de-do if the whole boatload of them went down with it, somewhere in the eastern Pacific?

    At least it would be a datum on the question of whether the Old Boy has a sense of humor.

  11. Ross Cameron

    Aboard the Good Ship Lolliflop:
    Noah: Turn back. Turn back.
    Motley Crew: Wassamatter?
    Noah: We forgot to drop off those weird critters at the Galapagos

  12. Eddie Janssen

    When did the Galapagos Islands originate? Did they exist before the Flood or were they created during the Flood?
    Was there any turmoil in the immediate years after the Flood or did everything happen in the year of the Flood with immediate peace and quiet after the Ark stranded on the mountains of Ararat?

  13. The mention of the many species of the orchid kind made me think of their survival under water for months of the Flood. And lots of other plants which seem to need careful tending. How about mosses? I don’t know. I’m quite ignorant about that.

  14. Dr Rivera is a trained forensic scientist, and the AiG website says that she gives teaching demos involving the forensic use of DNA.She has also written a very eloquent statement of the philosophical position, going back like so much else to George McCready Price, that uniformitarianism is an unwarranted assumption, and that historical science is dependent on theory in a way that observational science is not. She is a graduate of Liberty University (which people here will know about), Brenau University (2800 students), and Florida Atlantic University which is respectable.

    Jessica Jaworski holds a Master’s degree in wildlife ecology (University not stated) and recently wrote about climate alarmism.

    With tutors like that, how can you possibly go wrong?

  15. O Mighty Hand of Correction, I beseech you to transform “restricted by” to “dependent on”, and save me from talking impenetrable gibberish. My only excuse is scrambling of the synapses and the result of having visited the AiG website

  16. Ken seems more giddy in this one than usual I wonder$ why.

  17. Some thoughts about uniformitarianism and historical science.
    What about science of places where we have not been – remote science is like historical science, assuming that things are uniform in space rather than time? How we know about the center of the Earth – that there even *is* a center?
    And then there is micro science, which assumes that microscopes work to tell. Us about things which are too small to be seen?

  18. @TomS, interesting insight. It is of course true (and as a trained forensic scientist, Dr Rivera will be very much aware) that interpretive assumptions need to be made at a crime scene, but this is a matter of developing a good methodology, and applies just as much to laboratory as the historical science.

    I would value your opinion on this rebuttal of the philosophical argument: that creationists present uniformitarianism as an a priory assumption, whereas in fact it is an outcome of observation. We do not assume that ancient strata were laid down in the same way as the strata we can see forming now; we infer that they were since we observe exactly similar patterns of deposition, texture, and sorting. The situation is very similar to why scientists do not invoke supernatural causes; supernatural causes have been invoked for things ranging from the movement of the sun across the heavens, to above chance success in remote guessing experiments. But we can now explain the motion of the sun as part of natural celestial mechanics,while the remarkable results with card guessing turned out to have a very simple natural explanation; cheating by Professor Rhine’s research assistant. There is no philosophical objection to looking for supernatural causes, but experience shows that it’s a waste of time and, worse, a blocking off of research into what cannot currently be explained by natural means. We do not have a convincing naturalistic accountof the origins of life, but the attempt to find one has led to an enormous amount and extremely important science.

    This is a recurrent kind of argument with creationists. For example, they say that biologists assume evolutionary relationships, when in fact these relationships were suggested in the 19th century on the basis of data, and massively confirmed since then.

  19. Paul Braterman: Behold, it is done!

  20. @Paul Braterman
    Take a look at the history of science. What lead to, for example, modern geology, Not just speculation, assuming uniformism.
    I’d mention first Leonardo Da Vinci’s observations of fossils of sea creatures in the mountains. And then Nicolas Steno, who, among other things, decided that that strata had to be laid in temporal order. (Steno, by the way, was a solid theist.) And then there were arguments about the interpretations of the geologic data. As a matter of fact, uniformism was adopted as the result of competition of differing views.
    I would take an example of how it can be vindicated to reason about the past, from the study of language change, in particular, IndoEuropean languages. Without getting into technical details, there was an idea that one could explain certain features of known languages by positing certain sounds, known as laryngeals, in the earliest INdoEuropean languages. And then, a very ancient IE language, Hittite, was discovered and analyzed, and it was found to have these laryngeals. We really can learn about the past.
    Of course, as far as science about things which are not present to us because of distance: humans have walked on Moon, a helicopter is flying on Mars, etc. “remote science” has been vindicated, those heavenly bodies are really made of the same stuff as the Earth.

  21. @TomS, thanks. Once again, the language analogy is excellent. Even if we had no documents, and even regarding periods for which we do have no documents, we have no difficulty working out a language phylogeny, and to deny that this is a scientific language is just to make up a silly rule about what we choose to call “science”

  22. @Paul Braterman
    I suggest that the case of language history is more than an analogy. I have lost the reference, but I recall that computer modeling developed for studying evolutionary genetics has been used for studying change in language over time.
    This is no analogy, this is the same logic.
    Also, btw, this has been done in philology, in studying – and reconstructing the earlier forms – in manuscript tradition. Dare I point out the idea that there was a real early form of a biblical book?

  23. According to Panda’s Thumb, the ark attendance appears to be sinking, just like the ark itself would do if put to sea. This is what happens when a landlubber pretends to be a sailor man.

  24. @TomS, agreed all counts. Language trees were constructed as early as the 18th century, and both Darwin and Lyell pointed out the similarities. the logic is exactly the same, and Dennis Venema has an article in Biologos where he explicitly compares the compiling of a phylogenetic tree from DNA evidence, and from mutations in the texts of copies of ancient manuscripts. The analogy that I was drawing was between the logical situations. I don’t think anyone would be so foolhardy as to suggest that the relationship between the European and the Indo-Iranian languages does not really point to a common ancestor in any scientifically valid way, because we can’t go back and observe the process.

  25. @Paul Braterman
    The story about those sounds being proposed on theoretical grounds and then discovered in the ancient Hittite writings is covered in the Wikipedia article, “Laryngeal theory”.
    The correspondence between the declensions of nouns in Greek, Latin and Sanskrit is really striking. One can explain as borrowing the similarities of individual words, but the paradigms of nouns, hardly so. Or design?!

  26. @TomS, thanks. But I think this is closer to what I was getting at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language

    Note the early date of development of the hypothesis, but what is important for us is the way in which it emerged from examination of the data, and any claim that it was in some sense presupposed or imposed on the data is absurd. But this is exactly what the creationists do all the time

  27. @Paul Braterman
    Yes, I was emphasizing a different aspect of the study of common descent with change in languages.
    I didn’t want to deny or ignore your point.
    But these thoughts have since occurred to me.
    One is about the obvious explanation of the similarities between 1) Latin and Greek and 2) Sanskrit and Persian: that they have descended from a common ancestor. That is obvious, but I believe that there were doubters, that the reality of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European was not assumed, but took some convincing. Just as with biological evolution.
    And a contrast: Whereas there is now a clear cut mechanism known for biological change, namely DNA change; But I don’t think that it is really clear how and why languages change. Why does everybody in the new generation in a particular region drop the “r” sound after vowels? To me, this makes me argue thus:
    The idea that all of the (modern as well as dead bur recorded) Indo-European languages have a common ancestor is supremely well evidenced. One can compare that with the evidence for common descent for living species. But there are differences. The biological situation is much more strongly based:
    1) the number of species covered is orders of magnitude greater then the number of languages; and the number of biological characters is much more than the number of linguistic characters.
    2) biology treats of all living forms; linguistics chooses which languages to include as IE.
    3) it is not as clear what mechanism is involved with language change in descent; as compared with biology. We just accept that language changes in ways that seem to be without any purpose, that is, “random”.
    What I am saying is that common descent of languages is accepted, and rightfully so, with strong evidence. It is not to criticize linguistics to point out the strength of biological evidence. It is rather to realize just how overwhelming the evidence for biological common descent.

  28. @TomS, excellent stuff. I shall use it. And as a final irony, we do indeed observe mutations in the laboratory, and can deliberately speed up their frequency, giving an explanation of evolutionary change in terms of “observational science”, while we have no way of doing this for language although I do believe that linguists find that some kinds of change happen more readily than others. The Q to P shift distinguishes Latin from Greek, but also occurs independently in the difference between Gaelic and Welsh

  29. @Paul Braterman
    I just looked at my old copy of Fortson’s “Indo-European Language and Culture”. He has an extended exposition of “Phonological Rules”. I don’t know of much discussion of how and why most of those happen.

  30. “What comes to mind when you think of ‘the trip of a lifetime'”

    I don’t mean to knock the Galápagos Islands, I’m sure it’s fantastic, but how many people would say Galápagos Islands? People who aren’t smoking what Ken is smoking, that is.

  31. This is how creationists troll Darwin. Take a trip to the Galápagos Islands. Seems to me a trip to Down House would be more apropos. Probably too many Darwin cooties.

  32. “Ooh look at that big turtle, obviously created by Jesus. Darwin you big dummy!”

    “Yeah and those finches over there. What was Darwin thinking? Bwa ha ha.”

  33. ChatGPT is not run by creationists. I like it already.

    “ChatGPT, are you a creationist?”

    “No, I am not a creationist. As an AI language model, I don’t hold personal beliefs or opinions. I am programmed to provide objective and neutral answers based on the information and data that I have been trained on. My role is to provide information and answer questions to the best of my ability, without expressing personal opinions or biases.”

  34. @richard
    “What I have been trained on”
    If it has been trained on flat Earth material …
    … or on Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass …
    And I won’t go beyond that.

  35. @TomS
    When even something that is created has the sense to not be a creationist, that’s saying something.