Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ken Ham's Folly meets Paleontologists

Just a few days ago the NY Times had an interesting article "Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh". The University of Cincinnati hosted the North American Paleontological Convention and about 70 members made a field trip to, what I prefer to call Ken Ham's Folly, the Creation Museum. I am surprised little kennie himself wasn't there to meet them, I might break down and see what he says on his blog about it . . . if anything.

Can we simply say that they were less than overwhelmed. I think Dr. Tamiki Sato summed it up best when he likened the museum to an amusement park. “I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed Disneyland,” she said. Did she enjoy Disneyland? “Not very much,” she said.

Little kennie did blog about the visit and he tried to put it in his usual terms

"Even most PhD scientists I find don’t truly understand the difference between observational (operational) science and historical (origins) science."
So now he calls what he . . . portrays . . . is something called 'Origins Science'? Well he did get one thing 'sorta' right when he said:
" . . . we have different interpretations because we have different starting points. The real battle is between the two starting points—God’s Word or autonomous human reasoning."
I do not in any way shape or form agree that little kennie is showing anything about God's Word. He is showing what he thinks God's Word have said to be, which is far different from actually describing God's Word. But he is half right, human reasoning is the basis for Science. But his whole argument for 'different assumptions' is pretty weak. One is based on his interpretation of what he thinks God's Word is, which is not an assumption. The other is based on the evidence, which is also not an assumption. Little kennie will say pretty much anything to make people doubt actual science. He's playing to people's emotion, not their intellect. No surprises here!


  1. I find most advocates of methodological materialism equally biased. Most (including you) seem driven by their presumptions and interpret the evidence in ways that favor their worldview, just as you accuse Ken of doing.

    An objective look at the evidence would reveal a situation where more often than not, neo-darwinian evolutionary theory predictions fail to conform to the evidence, forcing advocates to create elaborate just-so stories to cover for the failed prediction. This is not to say that Ken Ham has it right, but it is the pot calling the kettle black to point out Ken's biases but ignore your own.

  2. I disagree Brian. I'm not saying scientists cannot be biased, but the methodology tends to prevent bias from leaving one scientists lab. It's tough to be biased in favor of a poor explanation when you have to publish your work, support, results, and defend your explanations . . . then you have to open everything up and let other scientists replicate your work. Look at how many ideas have failed once it left the hands of the ideas originator, cold fusion is a wonderful example.

    Someone like Kennie Ham doesn't publish to the same level (conclusions, support, methodology . . .), he doesn't support he proclaims, and he freely admits that NOTHING he will ever find will contradict his Bible. He starts with his bias and throws it in everyone's face and refuses to even consider his literal reading of the Bible might not be all there is in the universe.

    A scientists' bias rarely survives scrutiny, Kennie's bias survives because he denies opposing views, because he ignores evidence, and because there is no requirement for him to actually support his ideas.

    You might think they are comparable, but the reality is Ken is proud of his bias, and other believers support his delusions. Still others, like yourself, accommodate and make excuses for him. When you say others can biased, you are right, but you refuse to carry it to the next step and require that he face his bias like scientists have to in order for their ideas to be supported and accepted.

    This is not the pot calling the kettle black. It's two separate things because scientists have to face their bias, while kennie wants you to join him in his.

  3. Let's see. We have a string of fossils that share a great deal. They are placed in order of their timeline (determined by the geological strata they were found in. The timeline is confirmed based on radiological dating techniques, several different radiological techniques.

    Geographically, they shared the same geographic region. In other words one or two were not from a significantly different area.

    Adding in the other evidence of biological comparative anatomy, a scientists determines that these fossils are in the line that shows the evolution of the modern day horse.

    He publishes his work, his methodology, his conclusions, and even the evidence that led him to his conclusions. Other scientists spend years going over the same work. In the intervening years, other fossils are found that also fall into the same line up. They are geological, radiologically, geographical, and even show the appropriate comparative anatomy similarities.

    In every detail the case for the original scientist being correct gets stronger and stronger. The timeline stretches for millions of years. Nothing is found that disagrees with the analysis and conclusions.

    Let's not forget how there are no fossils of horses in North America since about 11,000 years ago. It just happened to co-incide to a local glacial period that would have wiped out most of their food sources. Plus the local human population would have been hunting more at the time as well.

    Yet horses are here. Why such a blank spot? Could it be that horses were re-introduced during Columbus and even Hernando Cortez' time? Funny how the sub-species of horses support that idea.

    So we have all that on one side and on the other we have Kennie Ham raising his hands and claiming that it only tells the Observational Science part of the story, but not the Origin Science part of the story. Kennie weaves a brief tale that ignores the geological strata, ignore radiological evidence, ignores comparative anatomy, and ignores geographic dispersion. Instead he says that each form of the 'horse' was created by God exactly as they are and that they all died off 2,000 or so years ago when Noah's Flood happened. He ignores the lack of evidence for such a world-wide flood event. And he calls it science.

    And you claim scientists are biased? Are you sure you want to stick with that story?


  5. Brian -
    Do you also find most people call it methodological naturalism? What evidence are you taking an objective look at? Specifics, please.

    Creationism rears its ugly head in our school district - Miller Text

  6. "Let's see. We have a string of fossils that share a great deal. They are placed in order of their timeline (determined by the geological strata they were found in. The timeline is confirmed based on radiological dating techniques, several different radiological techniques."

    Sorry Ted, this quote demonstrates your lack of understanding and how you have been brainwashed. The fossils demonstrate nothing and that is why they are calling the new fossil (IDA) the missing link. That has been quoted in a few articles. The Lucy fossil was discovered to be a fraud. The Pitdown man was discovered to be a tooth of a pig. How do the fossils demonstrate anything? If evolution were true, we wouldn't find a few fossils, but thousands of them in different transitional forms. You have fallen into the hoax.

    Why is it that your blog is dedicated to evolution anyway? What does evolution offer you?I mean, Creationist talk about creation because they want to show people that they can have salvation, but why do you push the theory of evolution? Does it inspire you? Will it bring you salvation? I don't get it why people are so proud to be Atheists.

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  8. Greg,
    You need to read more than just the headlines. No one in the scientific community is calling Ida 'The Missing Link'. The popular press blew it all out of proportion. Is it an important find? Yes. Does the find correspond with geological, paleontological, and biologic expectations and predictions? Yes.

    As for any and all hoaxes, who do you think exposes them? Not armchair creationists like yourself who can only read the popular press headlines, but scientists. So when you whine about the Piltdown Man you should know that scientists determined it was a hoax very early. It was the people marketing it that kept it going. It wasn't until the 1950's when forensic science was advanced enough to expose the details of the hoax did they finally give it up. You might try a little research before posting.

    As for what has Evolution done for me? How about the food on my table? The medicines I take when necessary? You do realize the beef we eat are from a subspecies of cattle that didn't exist 100 years ago? The wheat in our bread are from strains that are hardier and more drought and disease resistant because of the study of evolution. You know they say there are no Atheists in foxholes. I wonder how many Creationists there are in an Oncologist's office when offered a treatment developed, in part, through the study of evolution and biology.

    As for the rest of your post, what gives you an idea I am an atheist? If that is so then so was Pope Pius IX and Poe John-Paul II. So are the over 12,000 clergy members who support evolution (Google Clergy Letter Project). So are all of the major non-secular Universities in this country that have a biology department (Butler is a great example).

    My blog is about science and trying to expose efforts to destroy science education in this country. It is not anti-religious, unless the religion in question is attempting to damage science education. Intelligent Design/Creationism are not science and should not be taught as if they were in any science classroom in the country. That does not say I am anti-religious, what I am saying is that religion is not science, the Bible is not a biology textbook, and Genesis is a great allegorical story, but not historically accurate . . . oh yea, and the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

    My suggestion for you is to get a better science education yourself and then maybe you will have a reasonable argument here rather than a bunch of non-sequiters tossed together than make little sense.