Pharyngula

Aww, his feelings are hurt

Poor little Ken Ham gets no respect. He sets up this fancy museum, he keeps pushing his silly ideas, and what happens? Smart people like Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, calls him a moron. Deservedly.

I don’t need to say much, though. The scathing excoriation of Ham has already been done:

You said that unicorns are real. You claim that the Beowulf story is evidence of human cohabitation with dinosaurs. You say that sometimes religious genocide is OK. You think that the government is training people to talk to aliens. You believe that evolution is a random process, a process of blind chance, which is just factually wrong. You target children because they can’t defend themselves and trust you (talk about a cowardly act). You believe if a 2-year old understands it, it must be cutting edge science. You believe that observation and measurement cannot trump “common sense.” You believe you do the type of science that you need faith to understand instead of, you know, understanding to understand. You believe…whatever the fuck this is. You employ the nanny-nanny boo-boo defense. Your ilk do not even try to publish outside of their little circle, and you set up a bogus journal to pretend that you were scholars, THEREBY AVOIDING THE DEBATE YOU CLAIM TO CRAVE. You stare at evolution, describe evolution, and then say, “It’s not evolution.”

And yet you wonder why someone with an education and responsibilities and a reputation would not talk to you? Despite this record of shame (I could have gone on and on just looking at my website alone), you have the balls to claim that you won something by [being] so catastrophically ignorant as to be not worth speaking to?

KEN, WE ARE TIRED OF TRYING TO TALK TO YOU. WE HAVE MOVED ON TO RIDICULE. THIS IS WHAT YOU DESERVE, YOU PIG-IGNORANT SLAVE.

I think Ham needs to put up another self-pitying post for each of the insults in there.

Comments

  1. #1 Robert
    November 4, 2008

    Yikes! Game, set match.

    Too bad Ham is too big a fool to realize it.

  2. #2 Wowbagger
    November 4, 2008

    Happy Jihad certainly doesn’t mince words. Awesome!

    The worst part (for me) is that Ham’s from my part of the world: Queensland, Australia. It’s very sad for us banana-benders.

  3. #3 Ted Dahlberg
    November 4, 2008

    Oh, that was good for my non-existent soul.

  4. #4 SteveN
    November 4, 2008

    He forgot the ‘piglet rapist’ bit. Google proves it’s true ;-)

  5. #5 Drekoguk
    November 4, 2008

    I’m suddenly afraid that Grendel might tear my head open like a can of Coke when I’m sleeping tonight…

  6. #6 Masks of Eris
    November 4, 2008

    Well, ‘moron’ is close, but I think ‘obtuse, ignorant, dissembling and/or deluded’ would be a more accurate scientific description of the person in question.

    Possibly even — oh dear! — the worst slur there is, namely, ‘non-rigorous’.

    Then again ‘non-rigorous creationist’ could be, in addition to repeating the same, a term for an ID fleshbeing, known to bend every which way in pursuit of rhetoric victories; while an openly Biblical cretinist would be a ‘rigor-mortis-ous creationist’ due to his permafrozen ideas.

  7. #7 Muffin
    November 4, 2008

    I think he owes the pigs of the world an apology for comparing them to Ken Ham. They may be ham, but not THAT kind of (h|H)am… ;)

  8. #8 Kirk
    November 4, 2008

    Has anyone noticed how in his press photo Ham looks like an extra from Planet of the Apes (the original one)?

  9. #9 BLT please
    November 4, 2008

    I enjoyed reading that, but now I’ve got a craving for bacon…

  10. #10 EastwoodDC
    November 4, 2008

    I needed that. I sat through part of The Duggars Visit the Creation Museum on TLC last night. I REALLY needed that.

  11. #11 Kel
    November 4, 2008

    Woah, I listen to metal and even I thought that was brutal!

  12. #12 brokensoldier, OM
    November 4, 2008

    Seriously, considering his methods and competence in both science and reason, I think Ken Ham would fit in much better as an exhibit in his own museum than as a contemporary figure. Just put him right up there in the dino saddle and let everyone walk by and see how archaic and nonsensical his viewpoints truly are. Now that would be the single, solitary shining example of accuracy in that whole museum…

  13. #13 Robert Davidson
    November 4, 2008

    Normally I wouldn’t promote here, but this is very much on topic. If you are in NYC on election night, you can hear my musical portrait of Ken Ham.

    I knew Ken Ham as a young’un in Brisbane, Australia. A New York ensemble asked me to compose them a piece, and, inspired by Palin, composed music to bring out the melody in Ham’s intonation (here’s how I’ve done it with MLK before: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=CUu1BPMdzu8).

    8:30pm (doors open 8pm)
    Nuyorican Poets Café
    236 East 3rd Street, between Avenues B and C
    http://www.nuyorican.org < http://www.nuyorican.org/>
    (212) 505-8183

  14. #14 Robert Davidson
    November 4, 2008

    That URL came out wrong (MLK’s speech melody). Here it is really:
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=CUu1BPMdzu8

  15. #15 strangest brew
    November 4, 2008

    He is so popular that even his own folks want to sue his ass for being a naughty little cretinist…

    http://duoquartuncia.blogspot.com/2007/06/answers-in-genesis-lawsuit.html

    The dude needs humbling…and then some…actually he needs extraditing to Siberia…but that might be very anti social behaviour displayed to Palin’s neighbours…
    We could always nail the bastard up…surely even he might catch the irony in that…

  16. #16 SC
    November 4, 2008

    Well, ‘moron’ is close, but I think ‘obtuse, ignorant, dissembling and/or deluded’ would be a more accurate scientific description of the person in question.

    Are we gonna start that again? :)

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/in_which_i_have_hurt_ken_hams.php

  17. #17 Cowcakes
    November 4, 2008

    I noticed that in a sidebar under the moronically named Education Tab is a list of upcoming events.

    One of them is in Antioch, Illinois. Please, please somebody hurl the Holy Hand Grenade at this tool.

    And remember to only count to 3.

  18. #18 Saddlebred
    November 4, 2008

    I love the smell of tard in the morning.

  19. #19 TSC
    November 4, 2008

    But you must, must I say, respect his authority.

  20. #20 Russell
    November 4, 2008

    BOOYA!!!

  21. #21 Peter Mc
    November 4, 2008

    I’m alright with everything else, but you’re serious: Beowulf isn’t true?

    Shit.

  22. #22 clinteas
    November 4, 2008

    Ahhh,yawn !
    Who cares about the sad deluded fool anymore.
    Im watching Rosemary Church !

  23. #23 MPG
    November 4, 2008

    I can’t wait to see his response to this. It doesn’t take much to get Ham-I-Am throwing his toys out of the pram – ExtantDodo’s most recent YouTube account suspension was the result of another of his little tantrums (ED systematically takes apart two of his videos, including the particularly odious evolution = racism one, and Ham filed DMCAs against them).

  24. #24 Rob
    November 4, 2008

    Why isn’t evolution random? Random != evenly distributed. Mutations aren’t deterministic, what breeds isn’t deterministic, what predators get what prey isn’t deterministic, which chromosomes a gamete gets isn’t deterministic. Isn’t that the definition of random?

  25. #25 MPG
    November 4, 2008

    Oh, derp – I didn’t see he’d responded already in one of the links in the original post (damn my link blindness!). Yep, high-and-mighty as ever…

  26. #26 Graculus
    November 4, 2008

    Isn’t that the definition of random?

    No.

    And there *is* a fair amount of determinism in which predator gets which lunch item.

    “You don’t have to be the fastest antelope, just the second slowest.”

  27. #27 Rob
    November 4, 2008

    @Graculus:

    Weighted is still random. You can say which antelope woke up with a cold so isn’t in good form? Which one is going to trip?

    Just because things are statistically predictable doesn’t mean it’s not random. Look at the Gas Laws where the mass is deterministic and individuals are random.

  28. #28 Kel
    November 4, 2008

    Why isn’t evolution random? Random != evenly distributed. Mutations aren’t deterministic, what breeds isn’t deterministic, what predators get what prey isn’t deterministic, which chromosomes a gamete gets isn’t deterministic. Isn’t that the definition of random?

    Natural selection is not random, it’s defined by survival success.

  29. #29 Rob
    November 4, 2008

    @Kel:

    Again, how is that not random? Any specific failure to survive is random. It’s weighted, but it’s not deterministic.

  30. #30 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 4, 2008

    Slave? WTF?

    Why isn’t evolution random?

    Mutation and drift are random, but selection is not. Selection is determined by the environment. Makes for a very interesting mixture.

  31. #31 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 4, 2008

    Look at the Gas Laws where the mass is deterministic and individuals are random.

    Random? Only if you take quantum physics into account. If you stay classical, gas molecules are billiard balls, and laws like the conservation of energy and impulse make them completely predictable (assuming you know the initial conditions, which of couse you don’t).

  32. #32 a lurker
    November 4, 2008

    Just submitted this article to Fark using the “Fail” tag: “Creation Museum’s Ken Ham: I am not a moron. And by the way, unicorns are real, humans coexisted with T. rex, and ethnic cleansing is great if God gives his OK”

    If God wants “his” to be capitalized, he can capitalize it himself.

    /Repeal Bevets.

  33. #33 SteveM
    November 4, 2008

    Seems to me Rob and Graculus are doing to “random” what creationists do to “theory”, that is using two different definitions. Yes, every process is to some degree “random” in the strictest mathematical sense. But that is quite a bit different from the “common” meaning of random which is more like “everything has an equal chance of occurring”. So while it is true that the antelope that gets caught by the lion is randomly selected it is more likely that the slow and infirm will be caught more often. So not every antelope has an equal chance of being caught. It is this inequlity that drives evolution. So that is why it is incorrect to say evolution is “random” (as in “completely random”).

  34. #34 Mike
    November 4, 2008

    I find ignoramus to be even better than moron. The fact is many morons will know the word moron but the word ignoramus will leave them “dumbstruck”!

    Do these people think that if some idiot on the street declared the sky purple that we should call up our greatest minds to argue against?

    What a bunch of… damn… found a problem with ignoramus… what’s it’s plural? ignorami? ignoramuses?

  35. #35 Darth Wader
    November 4, 2008

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/top-ten/evolution-myths#paginateTop

    YEC-Ignorance In Action!

    I had never heard of young earth creationism until I visited my father and step-mother a few years ago, and they started talking about how the earth couldn’t be millions of years old because the moon is moving away from the earth. They spouted of nonsense like dinosaurs were just lizards who lived for hundreds of years (thus growing to enormous size) because the earth was more pure then.

    The idea that the earth was less than ten thousand years old was so foreign to me, I was literally stunned. It was like some amazing discovery such as the heliocentric model, but backwards.

    For quite a while I just thought they were in some sort of fringe cult, like the kinds that play with snakes or drink kool-aid. I was really taken aback when I found out how well established, and large this movement is.

    Ignorance can be a wonderful thing when it is the engine of curiosity, but it is terrible when it is the engine of further ignorance.

  36. #36 AJS
    November 4, 2008

    Rob @ 24:

    Mutations aren’t deterministic, what breeds isn’t deterministic, what predators get what prey isn’t deterministic, which chromosomes a gamete gets isn’t deterministic.

    And what the fuck has that to do with the price of twenty Bensons?

    We are dealing with a probabilistic system, not a deterministic one. Mutations are probabilistic. What breeds is probabilistic. Which predators get which prey is probabilistic, and which chromosomes a gamete gets is probabilistic. Some of those probabilities are not evenly distributed. And if you have to ask which ones, you failed already.

  37. #37 Ryan F Stello
    November 4, 2008

    The title of their blog post proves the point.

    You can’t call an institution “morons”, but you can call it “moronic”.

    Those moronic morons can’t get the basics of adjective/verb distinctions.

    Now that the grammar BS is out of the way, this tickled me from their article:

    As [AiG's Chief Communications Officer Mark Looy] told me:
    Name-calling is one of the last resorts for those with a retreating…

    That’s right, he references a member of his own organization who already agrees with him as if it gave him more support. Couldn’t even be bothered to try and force in anything literary.

    Wit, they name be not Ham.

  38. #38 BobC
    November 4, 2008

    Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, calls him a moron.

    I would add that Ken Ham should be put in prison for child abuse. It’s extremely immoral to lie to children. He’s not just a moron. He needs to be told he’s a world-class stupid asshole. His gullible followers need to be told they are worthless brain-dead scum.

  39. #39 Colin Frayn
    November 4, 2008

    What makes me laugh is that AiG actually has a page full of ‘arguments against evolution that are so retarded even we won’t use them’. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

    Which reminds us all of our dear friend Kent ‘Dr. Dino’ Hovind, who had no such restrictions. He made the AiG crowd look nearly sane. I can’t wait until they let him out again – he made me laugh until it hurt.

  40. #40 Rob
    November 4, 2008

    @SteveM:

    That’s a good comparison actually. My response to “just” a theory, is “yeah, so?”, and ditto for “it’s random”.

    There’s no need to put philosophical weight to either of those. So what if the basis for evolution is random(obviously with a bias)? What does that mean for the whole? Not much, really. Coming up with the probability functions and how they change over time is the interesting bits.

  41. #41 Crazyharp81602
    November 4, 2008

    To think– every time I talk bad about him, I get reprimanded and admonished by those who seem to support Ham over what I wrote and had to take back everything I said and apologize to everyone I offended about Ham. I really do think it is totally wrong for people, even those who seem to reject Ham’s “opinions,” to reprimand and admonish me for writing my true feelings about Ken Ham on my blog, on Google groups, anywhere because how can I treat him with respect when he goes on and on saying things that are utterly untrue, stupid, moronic, and just downright hateful, leading me to be so mad, bitter, resentful, and rightly disgusted with him that I could just shoot him even in front of his blind, gullible followers?

  42. #42 Snitzels
    November 4, 2008

    OMG… Pig-ignorant Slave is now my new favorite phrase. A scathing and well deserved round of bashing, I truly enjoyed that.

  43. #43 Mrs Tilton
    November 4, 2008

    Wowbagger @2,

    It’s very sad for us banana-benders

    Sad? Sad??!! What could possibly be more joyful than bending indisputable proof of God’s existence in your very own hand?

  44. #44 extatyzoma
    November 4, 2008

    brokensoldier #12

    “Just put him right up there in the dino saddle and let everyone walk by and see how archaic and nonsensical his viewpoints truly are. Now that would be the single, solitary shining example of accuracy in that whole museum…”

    now thats a clever idea, ken shouting ‘yee haa’ atop a hadrosaur. If hes sincere he shouldnt feel stupid, not one bit, and he’d be getting ‘hands on’ with the whole education thing, the kids would love it.

  45. #45 Masks of Eris
    November 4, 2008

    At Mike in #34: “What a bunch of… damn… found a problem with ignoramus… what’s it’s plural? ignorami? ignoramuses?”

    Ignoramuses it is, by my dictionary.

    An aig of ignoramuses.

  46. #46 freelunch
    November 4, 2008

    Moron is too nice of a description for the execrable Mr. Ham. Moron implies that he has a legitimate learning disability. He doesn’t. He’s a high priest of Ignorance who tells us that it is his duty to perform the sacrament of Lying on a daily basis. He is a man without ethics who knows where and how to manipulate those who have no idea how badly they are being played for suckers. Cincinnati, indeed. Apparently there weren’t enough marks in XXXX.

  47. #47 co
    November 4, 2008

    An aig of ignoramuses.

    I love it. They’re… aigean.

  48. #48 Glen Davidson
    November 4, 2008

    They’ve found the one thing they’re good at, blaming everybody else for their inability to understand, or to do, any science. They may as well go with their one strength, as it plays to ressentiment.

    After all, it garnered a little over $7 million at the box office this year–which wasn’t enough to pay for the whinge-binge, but it sure is a lot for a mindless self-pity wallow.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  49. #49 raven
    November 4, 2008

    Evolution isn’t random.

    E=RM + NS, evolution equals Random Mutation + Natural Selection.

    Natural selection is anything but random. The fittest genotypes in a given environment on average differently leave more surviving progeny.

    Since the environment is also constantly changing, life is constantly changing through time.

    This has been experimentally verified countless times over the last century. Anyone with moderate lab skills can demonstrate it in the lab in a few days.

  50. #50 co
    November 4, 2008

    Evolution isn’t random.

    E=RM + NS, evolution equals Random Mutation + Natural Selection.

    We know. From what Rob has posted, he knows too. He does raise a good point that someone not versed in math would argue that Gaussian, Lorenzian, Poisson, binomial, etc., distributions aren’t “random”, as they appear to have some bias about mean(s).

    Additionally, even mutation isn’t random, as there is a definite probabilistic pattern of some deletions, amplifications, point-mutations (and so on) favoring certain parts of the genome.

  51. #51 Crazyharp81602
    November 4, 2008

    To think– every time I talk bad about him, I get reprimanded and admonished by those who seem to support Ham over what I wrote and had to take back everything I said and apologize to everyone I offended about Ham. I really do think it is totally wrong for people, even those who seem to reject Ham’s “opinions,” to reprimand and admonish me for writing my true feelings about Ken Ham on my blog, on Google groups, anywhere because how can I treat him with respect when he goes on and on saying things that are utterly untrue, stupid, moronic, and just downright hateful, leading me to be so mad, bitter, resentful, and rightly disgusted with him that I could just shoot him even in front of his blind, gullible followers?

    Especially since those who reprimand and admonish me for it do the exact same thing, only worse.

  52. #52 The Perky Skeptic
    November 4, 2008

    Daniel Phelps wins the Trophy Fulla Steak-ums for this!!!

  53. #53 SteveM
    November 4, 2008

    which wasn’t enough to pay for the whinge-binge, but it sure is a lot for a mindless self-pity wallow.

    Glen, I don’t mean to go all spelling-nazi on you, you just happened to provide a convenient example of a question that has started to puzzle me; and that is the source of the extraneous “g” that always seems to pop up in misspellings of the word “whine”. I just don’t understand what happens to add an apparently silent letter; I can see dropping silents or confusing homophones (their, they’re, there) but where does that “g” come from?
    Is it rhyming with “sign”, but then there’s that “e” on the end that makes me rhyme with “hinge”.

    Oh, never mind me, sorry for the tangent.

  54. #54 co
    November 4, 2008

    SteveM: Darn Britishers. It’s been around since at least 1150 (“whine” since 1275), so it’s not as if it just happened recently.

  55. #55 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 4, 2008

    He’s a high priest of Ignorance

    Arrogance of ignorance. Being ignorant isn’t necessarily an insult unless you choose to remain that way. And especially if you are arrogantly proud of your ignorance.

  56. #56 SEF
    November 4, 2008

    “Whinge” is an English word in its own right (albeit related to “whine”) – and does rhyme with “hinge” in spoken form rather than having a silent g. It goes back decades at least in the UK though I don’t know when/where it started being used.

  57. #57 Iain M
    November 4, 2008

    SteveM:
    Whinge isn’t a misspelling of whine, it’s a synonym (same root, I believe, but I could be wrong). And yeah, it rhymes with ‘hinge’.

  58. #58 Iain M
    November 4, 2008

    Bugger. I need to learn to write faster.

  59. #59 alextangent
    November 4, 2008

    It’s a rhyming whinge-binge. Whinge is a word (pronounced whinj).

  60. #60 frog
    November 4, 2008

    DM: Random? Only if you take quantum physics into account. If you stay classical, gas molecules are billiard balls, and laws like the conservation of energy and impulse make them completely predictable (assuming you know the initial conditions, which of couse you don’t).

    That’s not exactly right, as I understand it. Assuming hard-spheres (not only no quantum effects, but no Van Der Waal’s, etc), the resolution of the information required to go deterministically from any given set of initial conditions to a t >> t0 grows faster than exponentially.

    That, in my book, is stochastic. If no God’s eye view exists, given enough time, there is no real existing entity capable of determining results from initial conditions. By the principle that “if no one can ever see it — it ain’t really there”, we can deduce that it is not deterministic.

    ‘Course, Rob is just playing semantics trying to distinguish random from non-random in a stochastic process. If the ensemble is deterministic, but any particular unit is “random” — who gives a crap what word you use? Write down the math!

  61. #61 uncle frogy
    November 4, 2008

    Mr Ham I suspect is not really a moron on purpose. I heard there are such things as functioning alcoholics who seem to function for a while at least some area of there lives and still be a drunk. I think Mr Ham is a “functioning” schizophrenic whose delusions seem to hit a chord with enough people that he can make a living off of it. We only know a part of what he “thinks” is real if we knew the full depth of his thoughts he would be seen as a very ill man indeed with voices and all.

  62. #62 Timotheus
    November 4, 2008

    So….all you geniuses are positive you came from monkeys, right?

  63. #63 Nerd of Redhead
    November 4, 2008

    So….all you geniuses are positive you came from monkeys, right?

    Wrong, ignorant creationist. It was from a common ancestor to both millions of years ago. Try to educate yourself from real science books.

  64. #64 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 4, 2008

    So….all you geniuses are positive you came from monkeys, right?

    Timotheus I really hope you stay around long enough to respond.

    You just demonstrated exactly why creationist are considered the dumbest of the dumb, the most ignorant of the ignorant the most rubish of the rubes.

    Educate yourself so you don’t come off like a fourth-wit knuckle dragging troglodyte every time you open your pork hole to speak of things you at this point obviously have zero grasp of.

  65. #65 extatyzoma
    November 4, 2008

    #62 “So….all you geniuses are positive you came from monkeys”

    what is it with creationists and monkeys?

    To laymans eyes our closest common ancestor with modern monkeys was perhaps rather ‘monkeylike’ but a modern monkey might feel that the common ancestor was actually rather ‘apelike’ and be rather offended by being seen as being closer to the ancestral state.

    why cant some maverick creationist go back further and still get it wrong and say ‘so you think we came from dragonflys, so why are there still dragonflys?’

  66. #66 Gregory Kusnick
    November 4, 2008

    #4:

    Has anyone noticed how in his press photo Ham looks like an extra from Planet of the Apes (the original one)?

    To me he looks more like Alley Oop the Caveman (which perhaps explains his fascination with dinosaurs).

  67. #67 co
    November 4, 2008

    Off-topic, but perhaps some will see it:
    College Bans Nietzsche Quote on Prof’s Door
    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/11/04/nietzsche

  68. #68 Iain M
    November 4, 2008

    To laymans eyes our closest common ancestor with modern monkeys was perhaps rather ‘monkeylike’ but a modern monkey might feel that the common ancestor was actually rather ‘apelike’…

    This is something I’ve been wondering about. Why would the common ancestor necessarily look halfway between the two descendant species? Say, Species 1 diverges into A and B. So when Species A changes away from the archetype, that surely has no effect on how similar Species B is to Spp 1. But now A is equally far from 1 and B.

    And, assuming that form is dictated largely by niche and environment, a species which changes niche will adapt radically, whereas a species which stays in a similar niche to the archetype will change very little.

    So, if the common ancestor of apes and monkeys occupied a ‘monkey niche’ then it would be a lot more like a monkey than an ape, and apes have changed enough physically that they no longer resemble the ancestor any more than they do extant monkeys. And the common ancestor was similar enough to a monkey that it should be called a monkey.

  69. #69 Hap
    November 4, 2008

    #62: I don’t know, but you are definitely strong evidence of evolution – we’ve been looking for a common ancestor for people and monkeys, but not on the Internet. Oops.

  70. #70 extatyzoma
    November 4, 2008

    iain M.

    “So, if the common ancestor of apes and monkeys occupied a ‘monkey niche’ then it would be a lot more like a monkey than an ape, and apes have changed enough physically that they no longer resemble the ancestor any more than they do extant monkeys. And the common ancestor was similar enough to a monkey that it should be called a monkey.”

    descendants may look variously like or different from the original ancestral group but the name you give the group has to include all the descendents, so if the ancestors of monkeys and apes are rather ‘monkeylike’ and we decide to call them ‘monkeys’ then all the descendents including us would have to be monkeys too instead i think teh commonly used word is simians.

    If im not mistakes the tarsiers are also close to the monkey/ape branch so looks like those groups have diverged a lot over time.

  71. #71 cicely
    November 4, 2008

    But unicorns are real.

    They’re just Pink.

    And Invisible.

  72. #72 Iain M
    November 4, 2008

    I’m not sure. I think there’s a distinction between the group and the species which started the group (e.g. the ancestor of reptiles and mammals was a reptile), so that a species will ‘leave’ a group should it evolve different characteristics to the rest of the group (the presence or absence of a tail being the factor I’m thinking of here, to separate monkeys and apes)
    I’m not suggesting that the ancestral monkeys are the same as the extant animals, just that they look similar enough that the definition of ‘monkey’ still applies.

  73. #73 wobert
    November 4, 2008

    Ken Ham is the common ancestor, that’s why there are so many stupid people in the world.Witness Sarah Palin.

  74. #74 ThirtyFiveUp
    November 4, 2008

    wobert #73

    Winner of the Thread!!!!!!!!

  75. #75 BobC
    November 4, 2008

    Posted by: Timotheus | November 4, 2008 12:27 PM So….all you geniuses are positive you came from monkeys, right?

    I’m fairly certain Timotheus is a creationist. It’s hard to fake that kind of stupidity. It’s interesting that the creationists think people being part of nature is a repulsive and unbelievable idea. They are so brainwashed into believing humans were specially created to be separate from the other animals, they can’t even imagine the facts of evolution being correct. They sure make no effort to learn anything. I never met a creationist who had any idea how evolution works and why it works.

    Timotheus, just in case you return here, biologists are 100% certain that human apes share ancestors with the other ape species and with monkeys. Google “evidence for evolution from molecular biology and genetics” and educate yourself.

  76. #76 Peter Henderson
    November 4, 2008

    that’s why there are so many stupid people in the world

    I beg to differ wobert.

    Our very own Professor Norman Nevin is far from stupid:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2007/01/norman_nevin_defends_truth_in_1.html

    and pretty much believes what Ham believes. This is now one of the problems convincing YEC’s the Universe/Earth is not 6-10,000 years old and that dinosaurs didn’t live alongside people a few thousand years ago,just like in the Flintstones (Hannah-Barbera have a lot to answer for !!).

    Nevin is far from stupid or a moron (he has contributed a lot to the field of genetics). So many Christians (a lot of whome aren’t that well educated) will say “if Prof. Nevin belives it then it must be true.” ignoring all the evidence to the contrary of course. Thank goodness for Jocyelyn Bell Burnell though. Otherwise we really would be a laughing stock:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyn_Bell_Burnell

  77. #77 Bing McGhandi
    November 4, 2008

    Thanks for the mention, PZ! The surge in hits knocked my socks on their asses.

    HJ

  78. #78 Sir Craig
    November 4, 2008

    For Peter Henderson @ 76:

    On the contrary, sir: Norman Nevin, for all his accomplishments, is still willfully disregarding all the evidence in favor of his religious beliefs. This firmly places him in the “quite stupid, without a doubt” category.

    That Norman has supposedly made ANY kind of contribution to genetic research and still claim evolution is false leads me to think his research needs to be investigated a bit more.

  79. #79 extatyzoma
    November 4, 2008

    Iain.

    I know what you are saying regarding group names but it makes far more sense to always include every descendant of a group with the same name. you mention mammals, for sure mammals have unique features but if we call the ancestor of lizards and men reptiles then we by definition must be part of that reptile clade, for those stem vertebrates i dont think the term used is reptiles but amniotes, the group that gave rise to mammals at one fork and another which gave rise to the dinosaus/birds/’reptiles’.

    names and common terminology can be difficult though, most would say tuna and a shark are ‘fish’ but by that definition we would also be fish, we are closer to tuna than a shark is to a tuna, it just so happens that both have superficially similar shapes so we incorrecly ring both in the same group.

  80. #80 Iain M
    November 4, 2008

    extatyzoma:
    I see what you mean, that a clade’s description has to include all organisms within it, and that our ancestor obviously has to belong to our clade, so if we call it a monkey, we must also call ourselves monkeys.
    But I was using ‘monkey’ as a grade to describe animals within the clade that also share similar physiological characteristics.
    (clade = simian, but monkey ~ simian with tail, is what I was trying to say).

    Anyway, about my original point:
    If the physiological adaptations that separate a human from the monkey-like ancestor are novel, would a monkey really look at that ancestor and see something human-like? Or would it see something it would also call monkey-like?

  81. #81 Kel
    November 4, 2008

    So….all you geniuses are positive you came from monkeys, right?

    Not monkeys, apes. And I’m absolutely 100% positive that I came from an ape because I am an ape! So are my parents. So are you and your parents… just remember that the classification of humans as apes came from a creationist who lived 100 years before Darwin.

  82. #82 extatyzoma
    November 4, 2008

    iain.

    what would the monkey see? well i have no idea and i suppose we never will know either :)

    Interestingly, as we are so fine tuned to human faces/expressions we do see ourselves as uniquely distant from other apes (or monkeys) but if you have ever seen anatomical drawings of ‘naked’ apes, its very revealing (no pun intended), i suspect if you used some formalised system to compare all monkeys im sure that aside from body/brain size we probably are no more different from the other apes as one monkey is from another, if you see my point.

  83. #83 Kel
    November 4, 2008

    Again, how is that not random? Any specific failure to survive is random. It’s weighted, but it’s not deterministic.

    No, failure to survive is entirely dependant on whether you are “fittest” in order to live in the environment. It’s not a dichotomy between determinism and randomness. Randomness would mean that any creature could survive and pass on it’s genes, but they don’t.

    Think of it like admission to university. If they have a cut-off at the school of your choice of 1400, it’s not a random event if you score 1450 and make it, nor is it random if you score 1350 and miss out. The university cut-off here is the natural selector and your SAT score is your “fitness” level. Now if you score 1350 and don’t make it, it’s not random chance – you just weren’t good enough to get in. Likewise in the wild, the environment is the selector and if you don’t survive or reproduce then you weren’t good enough.

  84. #84 Gregory Kusnick
    November 4, 2008

    No, failure to survive is entirely dependant on whether you are “fittest” in order to live in the environment.

    You’re way overstating it. Natural selection, like thermodynamics, is a statistical process, predictable in the aggregate but not in individual cases. “If you don’t survive then you weren’t good enough” is not a supportable claim under evolutionary theory, because there are all sorts of non-survivable events that have nothing to do with natural selection. An alpha male who gets struck down by a meteor out of the blue has bad luck, not bad genes.

  85. #85 Kel
    November 4, 2008

    An alpha male who gets struck down by a meteor out of the blue has bad luck, not bad genes.

    There’s always that too, I’d never say that natural selection is the whole story, just that natural selection is non-random.

  86. #86 RockProf
    November 4, 2008

    I actually saw Ken Ham speak (at a church in Urbana-Champaign, IL) about 10 years ago. He truly is an ignorant SOB. It’s ironic he complains about being called names since his whole talk consisted of saying that all scientists are atheistic liars. Unfortunately, the faithful at the church, who wouldn’t know a fossil if it bit them in the ass, lapped it up.

  87. #87 coz
    November 4, 2008

    Yesterday I bought this game. It was second hand and looked as though it was never really touched, funnily enough.
    It does come with 2 rubber brains, which are kinda cool.
    I considered it my noble duty to remove it from any impressionable minds.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cozalcoatl/3002929039/sizes/o/

    Ken Ham endorsed it so it must be worthwhile right?

  88. #88 amphiox
    November 4, 2008

    #82: Your argument regarding our differences with apes and differences among monkeys is interesting but I suspect that it is actually true of all descendent groups compared to ancestral groups.

    Examples:

    The total genetic difference between a native of Stockholm and a native of Beijing will most likely be less than the genetic difference between two individuals from neighboring villages of South Africa.

    There is greater diversity among the bony fishes than all land dwelling tetrapods combined.

    All the eukaryotes put together will likely be more similar to each other than a pair of bacteria randomly sampled from a gram of common dirt will be to one another.

    This kind of relationship is a natural consequence of common descent, and is so rock solid reliable that one could virtually call it a law of evolution.

  89. #89 Rob
    November 4, 2008

    The problem with guys like Ken Ham (amongst many other things) is that even if we could build a time machine and prove with absolute 100% beyond-all-question certainty that common ancestry etc are true, they’d still refuse to believe it. These are the same guys that tried to deny the Lenski expt was an evidence of evolution after all.

    Their mission statement even begins with words to the effect that ‘the bible is true, therefore even though we dont put much stock in science, science still proves the bible therefore the bible is true’, and of course, Ham also seems to think being well-mannered somehow gives propagating vast amounts of bullshit some sort of credibility.

  90. #90 Katkinkate
    November 5, 2008

    Posted by: Iain M @ 57 “SteveM: Whinge isn’t a misspelling of whine, it’s a synonym (same root, I believe, but I could be wrong). And yeah, it rhymes with ‘hinge’.”

    I’ve always had the impression whine was a non-verbal sound indicating dissatisfaction, such as you’d hear from an animal (like your pet dog sitting at your feet watching you eat dinner and wanting you to share it) or a non-verbal small child/baby, and whinge was a verbal complaint with a whine in the tone. You know that whiny, sulky sound a 3 year old makes when it’s time to go to bed or have a bath, but he/she doesn’t want to. “But I’m not sleepy yet. I don’t want to.”

  91. #91 extatyzoma
    November 5, 2008

    amphiox #88.

    the amount of difference is interesting.

    i sometimes wonder just how different one org is to another and indeed how to measure that, eg is a grasshopper more different to a cricket (though note that to the casual observer a grasshopper and cricket are interchangable!!) than a herring is to a hamster, or a spider to a scoprion vs a human and a tunicate, i suspect the classical structuring of systematics barely reflect actual differences (eg the primates are considered an order as are the orthopteran insects but id hazard a guess that theres far, far more disparity withing the orthoptera than within the primates).

    let me ask you though, so in your eg of the african people being more different than the european and asian examples, is that because they are closer to the centre of origin??

    you mention bony fish, so are you saying that theres greater differences within that group than can be demonstrated between say a gecko and an elephant? thats an interesting thought(or did you meaning diversity as in species number?)

  92. #92 Peter Henderson
    November 5, 2008

    That Norman has supposedly made ANY kind of contribution to genetic research and still claim evolution is false leads me to think his research needs to be investigated a bit more.

    Again I beg to differ Sir Craig. Prof. Nevin has had over 200 papers peer reviewed and none have been found wanting, as far as I know. Neither morons or stupid people get to become members of the human genetics commission:

    http://www.hgc.gov.uk/Client/Content.asp?ContentId=661

    I’m really disappointed that Nevin has declared himself a YEC as he was always someone I had a lot of respect for.

    Here’s the committee of our local Ham type creationst organisation:

    http://www.creationoutreachministries.com/com_committee.htm

    apart from two, all the committee members are well educated with degrees (have a look at their profiles) . There are two PhDs, one’s a medical doctor and the other a lecturer in Queen’s University. These qualifications don’t come easy. It takes years of study to attain a PhD. The jobs they are lolding down couldn’t be done by stupid morons. I still find it encredible that well educated people like this can accept, without question, Ham’s utter nonsense.

    No, the creationists are now being very clever (rather than being morons) in that they are recruiting more and more well educated people to their ranks. Just look at the profiles of AiG’s main speakers in the US for example !

  93. #93 Mike
    November 5, 2008

    Everybody go and add Ken Ham as a friend in Facebook. That will be funny.

  94. #94 PeteK
    November 5, 2008

    Ken Ham has a BEEF with us? Sounds FISHy. He sounds CHICKEN to me..I wonder who’ll help save his intellectual BACON. His writings are TURKEYS, and he PORKs around a lot…

  95. #95 Steve Taylor
    November 5, 2008

    Having visited the AIG website many times , what I notice more than anything is the dishonesty (isn’t there a commandment about that?)! I don’t mean the gross perversion of science that is evident but the obvious invention of e-mails praising(advertising !!) some aspect of AIG’s work(?) ! If Ham and Co. really believed,they would know they are going to hell-if only !!

  96. #96 Jackwulf in Texasum
    November 7, 2008

    Dinosaurs in Beowulf? Yah, sure. As I recall [and verified] Grendel and his mom were described as descendants of Cain. So that obviously proves simultaneously that dinosaurs survived at least ’til the Dark Ages and that everything in Genesis is literally true… or else Christian scribes interpolated some of their theology into what is otherwise a ripping good yarn.

    Personally, I prefer to believe that the dragon in Beowulf is a metaphor for a file of torch-toting, horse-riding, cannibalistic Neandertals. It must be true, ’cause I read it in a book and saw it in a movie.

  97. #97 Jon Castro
    November 21, 2008

    How about some tasty ham and eggs for breakfast? I’ll cook the ham and you can boil the eggs.

    mmmmm!

    Jon.
    http://www.earthexplained.com

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