Ken Ham Seeks Evidence
KEN HAM ON EDUCATION! -- Evolution--what's the best evidence?
Home Education Weekly News - March 15, 2002
Ken Ham: Question: What do evolutionists give as the best possible evidence for "molecules-to-man" evolution?
Since creationists consider evidence against evolution to be evidence for creationism, using that logic I'd say that the best evidence for evolution is the utter failure of creationists to present a testable theory or even a single coherent argument which suggests evolution might be even slightly in error.
Ken Ham: Answer: I once participated in a "debate" with evolutionists on BBC Television while I was in Great Britain. One of my opponents was a leading evolutionary scientist, Dr Steve Jones, from London University.
Why it is that creationists want to engage in verbal debates instead of written debates without time limits and no opportunity for rhetorical tricks? No, sorry, answered my own question.
Ken Ham: During the debate I said, "I'd like to ask the scientists a question. If I want to convince the public that evolution is true, instead of just generalizing the fossil record - ...
Creationists do like avoiding evidence that they can't respond to. That includes the fossil record. Well, that and everything else.
Ken Ham: ... what's something that you think is absolutely convincing that evolution is true?"
Notice that Mr Ham did not ask about "Molecules to Man," which he uses in his opening statement.
Ken Ham: Dr Jones replied, "Here's my example; it's come up in the last ten years. Two species of salmon in American lakes. And in the last twenty years
they've split into two forms, one big, one small, one goes to the sea, one
stays at home. That's the origin of species seen in our own lifetime."
And Dr. Jones answers correctly. What's the best evidence for evolution? Well, that we've seen it happen. Not unlike the best evidence for gravity is that things tend to stay more or less down.
Ken Ham: I responded:, "That's speciation, but that's not evolution in the 'molecules-to-man sense.' They're still salmon."
And they're still fish, and still vertebrates, and still chordates, and still metazoa and even still eukaryotes. Why this should be an impressive point is utterly unknown to anyone but creationists, who seem unable to explain to anyone else why we should care.
The most important point here is that Mr Ham asked a question, it was answered and then he demands that the answer somehow apply to a question that he never asked. It's a common creationist technique, a variety of the old "Bait and Switch".
Ken Ham: Then Dr Jones said, "What is evolution if it isn't - what was Darwin's book called? It was called 'The Origin of Species'."
Dr. Jones attempts to correct Mr Ham's problem, his ignorance of what the words actually mean. Mr Ham, naturally, ignores this.
Ken Ham: I was amazed, but not really surprised. The evidence he gave of speciation has NOTHING to do with molecules-to-man evolution, ...
He STILL hasn't asked about "Molecules to Man".
Ken Ham: ... since no new genetic information has been generated.
Really? How does he know? We see new genetic information daily. Any mutation that makes a new gene is "new genetic information". Creationists have their own private definition of "new genetic information" which apparently contradicts all known understanding of genetics and information theory, and which they are apparently
unwilling to tell anyone else about.
Ken Ham: Rather, this is another example of changes happening within a Biblical "kind".
Is it? Since nobody, not even Mr Ham, can tell us what a Biblical "kind" is (creationists love arguments based on words that never get defined so that they can make nonsense claims that nobody can ever check) how in the world can he know? How does he know that this isn't an example of a new kind? He doesn't. "Kind" is a nonsense word creationist bandy about. They like to pretend that it has meaning, but none of them can manage to tell us what the meaning is in any testable way.
I could just as easily proclaim that it is impossible for God to create Tzergwaps and that the existence of Tzergwaps (and the fact that we've never seen one created) disproves creationism. As long as I don't have to actually explain what a Tzergwap is or explain why it can't be created, I have an argument every bit as good as the standard creationist "kind" argument. I mean, they can't point to even one example of a created Tzergwap, can they? Nope. So they lose. I'll define Tzergap when they get around to defining "kind". After all, they made up the dumb argument first.
But let's look underneath all of Mr Ham's errors to the underlying stupidity of the question. Does anyone ask "What is the single best evidence for gravity?" No. Does anyone ask "what is the single best evidence for a spherical Earth?" No. (Well, yes, but flat Earthers make all the same errors that creationists do, plus more). Science doesn't work in "single best pieces of evidence". Science works in theories that explain the vast majority of the evidence. Good theories are not generally supported by individual bits of evidence, but by the entire mass of evidence currently known.
In this way we see that science is quite different from creationism. Creationists try to explain each new piece of evidence with a completely new hypothesis. Why are only invertebrates found at the bottom of the fossil record? Well, because things got fossilized in altitude order. Oh, then why are modern mammals found above dinosaurs? Oh, well that's differential of escape. And new "theories" will be invented for every piece of evidence presented. What we'll never see is a single, over-arching theory of creationism explaining all relevant evidence. I mean, even the explanations they've presented so far don't work. And if Mr Ham does want a "single best piece of evidence", why doesn't he do some research instead of regurgitating an anecdote from a debate years ago? Oh, right, because then he'd find out real answers and he doesn't want those. For an impressive list of some actual evidence for common descent, see 29 Evidences for Macroevolution.
We're still waiting for creationists to deal with any of it. Perhaps after they get through defining "kind" and "new genetic information" and actually propose an internally consistent, testable theory of creation, they can get around to it. But I fear that will be an inordinately long time.