Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis USA, has no doubts about the proper classification of birds and dinosaurs. He believes that identifying birds a type of dinosaur should be rejected and labeled a compromised view, influenced by evolutionary theory. However, it would appear he has no problem considering whales and bats to be mammals despite the influence of evolutionary theory on their taxonomic placement within mammals and even subgroups of mammals.
This raises questions about Ken Ham’s logic and actions. In a recent article from Answers in Genesis, (Why Birds Are Not Dinosaur, And Why It Matters) they address what they believe is a dangerous and growing movement of Young-Earth Evolution within creationism. The article, which represents an official ministry position, argues that equating birds as dinosaurs undermines the authority of scripture and is dangerous to young-earth creationism.
But is Ken Ham himself following the authority of scripture? In previous writing and videos on my YouTube channel I have suggested that Ken Ham’s views on young-earth evolution are not immune to the influence of evolutionary theory. He has either consciously or unconsciously embraced ideas originally generated by evolutionary biologists. He has adopted secular classification systems to recognize groups of similar features among organisms*, allowing bats to be classified as mammals. Put another way, rather than insist on classifying birds and bats together as “flying things” as recorded in scriptures he has allowed evolutionary theory to influence his thinking, allowing bats in this biblical category to be associated with land animals and specifically the mammals.
If Ken Ham is willing to adopt other secular classification systems for the recognition of similar features among organisms, why object to birds being classified as dinosaurs just like whales and bats are classified as mammals? This brings to mind the words of Matthew 7:5 (ESV), “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
It’s time for Ken Ham to reexamine his views and ensure that they align with the authority of scripture. Are his views influenced by evolutionary theory or is he truly following the teachings of the Bible?
If Ken Ham is fine with adopting secular classification systems as a convenient way to recognize groups of similar features among organisms, as seem to be the case, why object to birds being including within the larger group of dinosaurs just as whales and bats are grouped within the mammals?
In the AiG article one of the arguments for why birds cannot be groups within the dinosaurs is as follows:
“Dinosaurs are land-dwelling animals. That means they were made on day six of creation (Genesis 1:24–25). Almost all birds are flying creatures to some degree, and they all have wings. Therefore, they most likely were all made on day five (Genesis 1:20–22). By saying or agreeing with the evolutionary claim that birds are dinosaurs or are most similar to dinosaurs, Dr. McLain is mixing groups made on different days of creation. Further, he is lumping groups that Adam would have been able to distinguish. Remember in Genesis 2 that God brought the animals to Adam to name. This implies that Adam was capable of both naming them and distinguishing between them by sight.”
Notice that Answers in Genesis admits in this article that not all “birds” are capable of flight. Some kinds of organisms with feathers were made by God to be flightless. If so these kinds of organisms are clearly not “flying things” and should be considered members of the ground dwelling animals and therefore created on Day 6 rather than Day 5 in the creation sequence when we are told that the flying things are created. In this sense, the group of birds is not one type of thing because some animals with feathers were created on day 5 as land animals and therefore NOT birds if birds are “flying creatures.”
According to Answers in Genesis’ logic presented in this article these organisms cannot be classified in the same groups. AiG says that flying birds cannot be dinosaurs since they are made on different days of creation. Therefore the penguin, ostrich, emu, moa, and other flightless animals with feathers are not flying things and were made on the 6th day of creation. By their logic anyone who says that moas are related to flying creatures is clearly working within an evolutionary framework rather than the AIG biblical framework.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that AiG’s days of creation argument is a valid one. In addition to problems grouping organism with feathers, why then do they not apply this logic to other organisms? I am not the first to recognize just how ridiculous this AiG argument is. The Paleologos blog has noted that AiG should also be strongly objecting to anyone who identified whales as a type of mammal. whales being identified as mammals. Paleologos has effectively shown the hypocrisy of AiG views by simply replacing dinosaurs, birds and feathers in the AiG article with the terms; mammals, whales and flippers. When doing so it becomes apparent that AiG should be rejecting the secular view that whales are a type of mammal.
At the time I read the parody piece by Paleologos I had already performed the same experiment to illustrate the hypocrisy of AiG position on birds and dinosaurs. But, instead of whales and mammals I used the example of bats and animals. Ken Ham and AiG could have written the same article berating any other YEC who dares call a bat a mammal. Surely, Ken Ham must believe that such a viewpoint is not derived from the Bible but rather evolutionary assumptions.
However, according to AiG’s Ark Encounter theme park “It is quite possible that every bat is a member of the same kind… But without solid data to show that the various bat families can interbreed, we have split them into 22 kinds, representing living and extinct families.” (quote from: How many bats on Noah’s Ark? https://arkencounter.com/blog/2016/06/23/how-many-bats-were-on-noahs-ark/). In addition, AiG clearly classifies bats as a form of mammal as they place each bat kind under a list of mammals on the ark. They do consider the bat kinds to be flying things and so presumably believe they were created on Day 5 of creation rather than Day 6 as the other mammals. Applying the bird and dinosaur creating day disjunction to these groups should they not conclude they are a completely different type of organism than the land animals. Therefore, to classify a bat within the mammal clade is no less a capitulation to common ancestry assumption of evolutionary theory than to classify a bird as a dinosaur.
Let’s let AiG explain how bats are not mammals using their own words. I have done just what Paleologos has done but instead of whales and mammals I have replaced, in bold, the terms dinosaurs, birds and feathers with mammals, bats and wings and a few other organismal names. The remaining text is identical to that of the AiG article, Why Birds Are Not Dinosaur (And Why It Matters).
“One of the primary points of contention between us and young-earth “evolution” (YEE) is the question of whether bats are mammals. Many within what we call the YEE subcommunity of the young-earth creationist camp have made the claim that mammals had wings and/or that modern bats are mammals in some sense. But is this claim valid? We submit that no winged mammals have been found and that mammals and bats represent distinct groups that do not and cannot overlap.”
“Among those most prominently saying that, in some sense, bats are mammals is Dr. Matt McLain, a professor at The Master’s University. Dr. Gabriela Haynes (Answers in Genesis’ on-staff paleontologist) wrote an excellent response to some of Dr. McLain’s arguments last year. Unlike many of his colleagues in the YEE community, Dr. McLain has gone so far as to say that bats can be considered mammals. “Similarly, we can recognize bats as very similar to mammals (in fact, we could even say bats are a type of mammal) without implying their evolution. We are just saying that bats are more similar to mammals than they are to any other creatures.” While he is careful to say that he does not mean that bats evolved from mammals, there are huge problems with this statement. The most obvious one is from Scripture itself.”
“Mammals are land-dwelling animals. That means they were made on day six of creation (Genesis 1:24–25). Almost all bats are flying creatures to some degree, and they all have wings. Therefore, they most likely were all made on day five (Genesis 1:20–22). By saying or agreeing with the evolutionary claim that bats are mammals or are most similar to mammals, Dr. McLain is mixing groups made on different days of creation. Further, he is lumping groups that Adam would have been able to distinguish. Remember in Genesis 2 that God brought the animals to Adam to name. This implies that Adam was capable of both naming them and distinguishing between them by sight. There is no reason why mammals and bats should be considered similar unless it is presumed a priori that some mammals had wings. If that assumption is rejected (as it should be), there is little similarity between a chimpanzee or mouse and a fruit bat or flying fox. This fits with the scriptural implication that Adam could visually distinguish between groups.”
We could continue with the replacement of dinosaurs/birds with mammals/bats, but I think the point has been made. To those outside of young-earth creationism, bats are considered to be part of the mammal group because they share many characteristics with mammals, as opposed to other living groups. This similarity in form is attributed to a common ancestry with mammals. The same argument applies to birds and dinosaurs. Birds share many traits with reptiles, as well as with certain dinosaurs, in the same way that whales share traits with mammals, especially hooved mammals. In fact, birds have more in common with some dinosaurs than with any other living or extinct animal, which is why they can be classified as dinosaurs and the latter can be classified within reptiles.
However, Ken Ham appears to ignore the similarities between birds and dinosaurs and wants to label young-earth creationists who acknowledge these similarities as young-earth evolutionists. At the same time, he and other young-earth creationists have no problem classifying bats as a type of mammal, despite the belief that they do not share a common ancestry and were not created on the same day as mammals.
Why should YECs be concerned that the relationship of birds with dinosaurs is no different than bats and mammals in God’s economy? YECs either need to change their rules of classification to be consistent with scriptures or recognize the hypocrisy of calling out YECs who are just acknowledging that birds share enough similarity with dinosaurs such that they can be called a type of dinosaurs just as you are can recognized there are similarities between bats and mammals despite their separate origins but be okay calling them mammals.
Distinguished by sight?
Lastly, let’s go back to that quote from above and notice another odd statement.
By saying or agreeing with the evolutionary claim that birds are dinosaurs or are most similar to dinosaurs, Dr. McLain is mixing groups made on different days of creation. Further, he is lumping groups that Adam would have been able to distinguish. Remember in Genesis 2 that God brought the animals to Adam to name. This implies that Adam was capable of both naming them and distinguishing between them by sight.”
So birds and dinosaurs are made on different days but McClain is lumping these groups (I guess the author doesn’t mean “kinds” here but some larger grouping like flying things vs land animals) together which is some sort of sin because Adam would have been able to tell the difference? Umm, well of course he could tell the difference but he could also tell the difference between a bat and a chimpanzee and a mouse and a whale. He could also tell the difference between an ostrich and an eagle and a velociraptor and a sauropod. What is the point here?
The article at AiG goes on to make additional arguments for why YEEs are wrong to associate birds and dinosaurs. Their other arguments are either seriously flawed, misinformed, completely confusing or inconsistent with other statements by the organization. Overall, one of the most confusing and unconvincing articles to appear on the AiG website. And to think that this is ministry position statement, has been headlined on their website for nearly four full days (much longer than the usual 24 hour run as the primary article) and is seeking to draw a serious line through the young-earth creationist community. It just seems so unnecessary.
In the video below I discuss what we I have written above and delve into some of these other issues in this article.
I interpret this article as a statement from the ministry of AiG, which represents the views of the organization as a whole, not just one individual author. It appears to me that the first draft was written by a single person who may also have written another article about YEEs in the past month. This suggests that the agenda is driven by only a few individuals within AiG, but the entire organization must take accountability for the inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and harm caused by these articles. I question if employees like Dr. Nathanial Jeanson played a role in the review process. Did he have any editorial input on this potential position statement and approve its content? If so, it is a blemish on his work that he would allow such poor academic standards to become the official position of the organization.
*I am aware that AiG may respond that they accept “traditional hierarchical classifications of animals based on the Linnaean classification system believing that since Linnaeus was not influence by evolutionary theory that this means they are not being influenced by evolutionary theory. However, Linnaeus has limited data available to him and in many cases was wrong. The modern genera, families and broader groups that Answers in Genesis accept today are the product of cladistic analyses using far more extensive data sets. With respect to birds, Linnaeus knew nothing of the fossil record, nor genetic and physiological evidence that birds share many features with reptiles and particular dinosaurs in particular. Sure, Linnaeus, named birds as a separate and equal group to reptiles hence not placing birds inside the reptile group but given today’s data he would not likely do the same today just as he would recognize some of the plants he names fungi he would recognize as plants today.
In an early major success for evolutionary classification, TH Huxley correctly related birds to non-avian dinosaurs, and, even more impressively, dinosaurs to alligators. Linnaeus of course had nothing to say about the classification of dinosaurs, because they were not recognised until decades after his death.
But why this sudden civil war within the Young Earth community? This is one of a series, preceded by https://answersingenesis.org/theistic-evolution/theistic-evolution-not-the-real-problem/ and https://answersingenesis.org/theistic-evolution/what-about-theistic-evolution/ .What’s going on?
Paul, yeah its really nuts. I think that Ham and company genuinely think many of these other YECs are on a slippery slope. But rather than call them back they simply want to cut them off. They want to purify the movement and assure that donations don’t go their way. Maybe that is a bit cynical but Ken Ham is all about no compromise. He is calling out compromisers such as Tim Kellor and other right and left these days. It is also a personality thing. The YEC he is calling out and being a danger on ones that generally are more likely to have rationale conversations with non-YEC but I think Ken Ham believes that to talk to a non-YEC is to be influenced by a non-YEC and so he considers them all tainted. Also, Ham seems to be especially worried about the continued success of AiG and his legacy and nears a time in which he won’t be in control. He is trying to assure that AiG stays on the straight and narrow and it attempting to eliminate the competition.
I guess I misunderstood a previous post of yours where I thought you were saying that AIG allowed that birds may have evolved from dinosaurs. At any rate, I believe even some AIG associates have suggested that, or could be in the same “kind”. I also believe others affiliated with them (I’ll have to double check) have suggested that whales may once have had legs. Besides, their own museum and “Ark” displays imply a lot of evolution in various groups since the Flood. So I agree that Ham needs to think more about his own views and reasons for them, and those of fellow AIG writes, before cleaning house too far and finding himself loosing support or creating more dissention even within his own organization.
I can’t think of any YECs that have suggested that birds could be the same “kind” as dinosaurs. None even believe all the birds are of one “kind” rather they only recognize a broader classification type of “flying things” that relates them by common characteristic (common design in their wording). Kurt Wise has suggested the possibility that whales could be related by common ancestry to a land animal that was brought on the ark. I am sure that AiG will be using a future article in this series to especially call out this particular claim.
I recall a YEC suggesting in a paper a few years ago that the evidence of feathered dinosaurs was getting stronger all the time, implying that they were likely related to modern birds, even if he did not explicitly conclude that. The gist of the article seemed to be (I’m paraphrasing): “Common fellow YECs, it’s time to face the growing evidence that some dinosaurs had feathers. I’ll try to find the reference.
At any rate, YECs often imply that the defining character of birds is feathers, which seems like a pretty superficial thing to get hung up about. Take Archaeopteryx. If not for its feathers, it would be (and initially was) considered to be just another small theropod dinosaur. If they are going to say, no, the feathers make it a bird, could one not by the same logic not say that it must be a dinosaur, because no modern birds have teeth?
Obviously the better approach is to look at the entire range of characters in the animals in question, which collectively presents very strong evidence that modern birds evolved from a group of feathered theropods, and in fact still are a group of feathered theropods.
Of course they could also be of the same kind. If we could do genetics on dinosaurs, we could study that. In my book I describe a way how to do that. Did anybody here read it? It is already around since 2009. Most predictions I made in my book appeared to be right.
Joel, not many YECs seem to accept that birds evolved from dinosaurs or could be in the same “kind”, but evidently our friend Peer here is one of them (unless I misunderstand him). I believe Robert Byers (the YEC who used to post a lot about “body plans”) has suggested that as well.
Most Bird-like characteristics in dinosaurs are convergences, Independently acquired, and not common decent. It is frontloading.
Could we not say that most mammal-like characteristics in bats or whales are convergences, independently acquired and not common descent. It is frontloading?
Peer, I agree with Joel. How do you define convergences, and what limits them? As you seem to avoid the term “evolution”, as in “convergent evolution.” Even if “frontloading” (whatever you mean by that) somehow survived the severe genetic bottleneck at the Flood, you still need a mechanism to let the frontloaded genetics produce adaptation to specific environments or changing environments. You also need a way to limit the extent of change, if as most YECs claim, all evolution is “microevolution” (limited to variations within each Genesis “kind”). Joel mentioned whales. Do you think “frontloading” can turn a four-footed land animal into a finned sea animal in a few thousand years or less? How? Let me guess… it’s all in your book. But again, why not at least summarize the answers here, and why no response on my reminders about your offer to send me your book?
Evolution as preached has been refuted beyond any doubt by the facts. Christians scientists should leave it and come up with theories that matches the observations.
Like Jeanson, like me. Instead of following refuted 19th century thesis, we at least try to move forward.
If you can show scientific evidence for that, than maybe we could argue for that position, too. But it has to be researched and analyzed carefully.
For dino´s and birds this has been done and shown beyond any doubt by a colleague in Germany, Dr. Junker, who wrote on it extensively:
Click to access b-19-4_dinos-voegel.pdf
If you do not understand the German language, simple check out the figures and use Deepl.
As demonstrated in my book Darwin Revisited, evolution is not a scientific theory. It is always true and cannot be falsified, because of how it was set up: Every trait shared between organisms is evidence for common descent, and every unique trait is evidence for modification. Common descent plus modifications is always true. It is pseudoscience.
Read my book. It contains a novel theory of organic change, and scientifically explains what nobody explained before. Also read our German publications.
Best regards, God bless!
Peer, you have it backward. It’s YECism that cannot be falsified, because at it’s core it is a religious dogma rather than scientific theory. We have lots of compelling evidence (such as the fossil record of microfossils, which Joel has written about, or vertebrates, and many other groups whose fossil patterns cannot be reconciled with YECism), but YECs won’t face it. Even ICR’s “RATE” project authors admitted that the amount of radio decay recorded in the geologic record does not fit YECism. The only way they could salvage their YEC views was to propose multiple ad-hoc miracles to explain the evidence, which undermines any pretense of science in “scientific creationism.”
One of the few paleontologists in your camp (Kurt Wise) and other YECs have even admitted that the geologic and fossil evidence appear to support a young earth and evolution, but they cling to their YEC position anyway because they believe that the Bible teaches it, even though many have shown otherwise, or at least that it is not not Biblically necessary.
Speaking of geology and paleontology, the geologic and fossil records belie your assertion that that evolution cannot be falsified. For example, you could show us any rigorous dating methods that show us a 6,000 year old earth. Can you cite even one? I’m not talking about critiques of radio dating, but a positive, compelling dating method supporting a young earth. Moreover, if YECism were true, the fossil record could (and would) refute mainstream geology. Show us any modern vertebrate in any pre-Cenozoic strata. Show us any rigorous evidence of pollen in any pre-Mezozoic pollen. YEC appeals to ecological zonation or hydrologic sorting don’t cut it in these cases or countless others. You can’t even find bottom dwelling modern species (such as catfish or modern crustaceans) at the base of the fossil record, where you would expect countless ones to occur if YECism were true and the fossil record were largely due to a worldwide global flood. In short, there are many ways evolution could be falsified, but you can’t point to any. Conversely, there are many ways YECism has already been falsified, but you won’t accept them. For other examples, see the following menu of articles I wrote on this topic: http://paleo.cc/ce/compelling-evidence.htm
Can you refute any of the evidence I present?
Are you going to send the chapters of your book to me that you mentioned, after I re-sent my email address?
“appear to support a young earth and evolution”; should no doubt be “old earth”
Paul, yes, thanks for catching that.
I do not very much care about the age of the earth. Even if earth would be billions of years, random mutations plus selection will not lead to evolution. Your way is not His way. Christians should unity in Him, not divide.
Except that it is His way. God makes coyotes from a shared common ancestor with wolves from mutations plus selection and genetic drift. New variation exist and must come from mutations, If you want to say that God predestined each mutation to occur that is fine with me. Natural selection was surely a secondary cause of how populations scultped the particualr set of genes and alleles that make a coyote a coyote. Again, God’s determining every genetic recombination, ever individuals reproductive success through the characters He decided each coyote would have can be described in the say way that we can describe how water carves a canyon and say that God made that canyon.
Read this and you understand how it works.
Unless you are proposing miracles for each step through time since creation then you are relying on providential mechanisms to shape organisms in which case you can’t tell the difference between design and normal providential action.
Peer, you wrote: ” They had frontloaded genetics and mechanisms to generate variation, adaptation and speciation. Never underestimate the power of Almighty God.” You keep avoiding my specific questions and giving vague replies. Please address my questions one by one, and be specific. If you can’t do that, I am sure I am not the only one to question whether you have any real evidence for whatever your “novel theory” is.
whether you have any real evidence or demonstrated “mechanisms”.
1. No matter how much “frontloaded” genetic variability existed at Creation, how was it not largely eliminated at the severe bottleneck during Noah’s Flood?
2. What specific mechanisms produce genetic variations? Do you deny that mutations are ever involved?
3. Since you dismiss natural selection, what specific mechanisms produce adaptation and speciation?
4. Previously you had a “novel theory,” but nothing you’ve said here is much different than what many other Creationists say. What is so novel about your theory?
5. What creationist groups have endorsed your book or arguments?
Merely referring to vague “mechanisms” or the “power of Almighty God” doesn’t begin to answer these key questions.
Did you send me your book chapters yet? So far none have shown up in my email.
Please refrain from the sanctimonious comments and answer our specific questions. You dismiss mutations and natural selection, despite a lot of evidence for them, yet you won’t say what other specific mechanism(s) acts on variations and brings about adaptation. General and religious comments don’t cut it. Do you have a sufficient alternative for adaptation or not? If you do, explain it already!
Peer, you say that you don’t care how old the earth is, which seems odd for a young-earth creationist, or at least anti-evolutionist. Do you not care about the fossil record or what it means either? If you studied geology and paleontology more perhaps you’d realize that the evidence for an old earth and evolution is well supported by the fossil record, and understand why, as I pointed out earlier, that record belies your claim that evolution can’t be falsified. Again, to falsify it, all you or other YECs would have to do is us some clearly out of place specimens (OOPs), such as modern vertebrate species at or near the base of the fossil record, or any pollen low in the fossil record. Indeed, why do we find pollen all over the earth today, not one spec anywhere in the Paleozoic, despite it being very conducive to fossilization, and despite (according to YECs) there being lots of flowering plants from the time of Creation. AIG admits that they cannot point to ANY well documented OOPs. Why not? Ironically, that countless millions should be found if YECism were true, but aren’t, so that effectively falsifies the YEC. Likewise, the YEC model can’t explain why the farther down you go in the stratigraphic record (i.e. the older the sediments) for virtually any group, the less like modern species the organisms appear. If you disagree, tell us what explains that?
Peer, another question you haven’t answered is what scientists support the “novel theory” in your book, even among YECs? It it is so wonderful and well supported, why aren’t major YEC groups endorsing and praising it?
I have the same reaction. I’ve said this to Jeanson many times. He demands a response but why should non YEC takes a hypotheses seriously if he can’t get anyone outside his organization to agree that its valuable and good science? To overturn the scientific consensus at least have a few people on your side first before demanding that you be taken seriously. I get it. YECs are human too. They are tribal, they have egos etc. but surely if an idea is really good and supported by evidence YECs should be able to recognize something that helps them all. I’d say work on getting your book to every YEC in that field and having them incorporate your ideas into their work before expecting to be taken seriously outside that world.
Christian scientists should back him up. His ideas are not worse than those of the evo-biologists. Many are better. You will notice that as soon as you back Him up, you will be be prosecuted because of His name. Then you know you are on His way.
Doubt I would be prosecuted:-) No his ideas have little merit since he doesn’t know what he is talking about and has been unable to defend himself against the critics.
This is not entirely true. I have watched his whole series Traced on youtube, and he has come independently to a very similar conclusion about mutation rates than I did earlier this century. I wrote a bit on it here : https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Peter-Borger/dp/6202315113
Did you ever read it?
Peer, mutation rates are largely moot if you don’t have a mechanism to select the mutations (or other variation sources) to produce adaptation. Since you minimize natural selection, what is the mecanhism? I keep asking you this, without ever getting a specific, evidence-based answer.
Peer, I don’t read German, but the diagrams in Junker’s paper seem to show theropod dinosaurs evolving into birds. Is that your position too? Do you therefore hold that dinosaurs and birds are the same Genesis kind, despite most YECs insisting otherwise?
If so, and you think that a theropod dinosaur can branch into penguins, hummingbirds, ducks, kiwis, owls, moas, and thousands of other vastly different bird species in only a few hundred or even few thousand years, please summarize the mechanism for that here, and explain how and why there is any limit to the variation. If evolution can quickly produce different species, genera, families, and even orders, why not even beyond that? Why do you deride the term “evolution” if (as it appears) you allow vast and rapid forms of it, even beyond AIG’s “rapid post-Flood diversification” (hyperevolution)? If you don’t consider these major changes to be “evolution” then what is it, and what causes it? Again, please stop referring us to your book and just summarize the answers and evidence here, if you have any real evidence. Have you summarized it elsewhere (even an article on-line?).
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It is just the usual scheme. It shows we are dealing with convergences not common descent.
Fact of the matter is that all observations we do on organisms fit evolution, and as such is not a scientific theory: Shared traits prove common descent, unique traits prove modifications. To top it up: Selection can be anything, like phlogiston.
Peer, in a previous post I explained a number of ways you could refute evolution, especially from the fossil record. So it is falsifiable. Why didn’t you address that? Your credibility is not helped by repeating the same assertions and vague comments rather than addressing specific points and questions I and others raise. I also explained why it was actually YECism which is unfalsifiable and unscientific, but you ignored my points on that too.
I refuted Evolution at a different level. I am not obliged to your proposal. It is easy to refute universal common descent at the genetic level. I did that in my book.
Peer, I didn’t just make a proposal, I showed how you were demonstrably wrong in claiming that evolution is not falsifiable. If you want to ignore that and keep making the same claim, that’s up to you, but it’s not how credible scientists opperate. If someone refutes a claim I make, I either acknowledge it or present counter evidence. Same for Joel and other mainstream scientists here. You say you have refuted evolution on a genetic level, but have certainly not done so here. Why won’t you at least summarize your key evidence? You keep referring to your book, and promised long ago to send it (or at least chapters of it) but so far have not done so. You said you didn’t have my email address, but I resent it, and still crickets. Aren’t you confident that your your book is sound and may influence my thinking? As I said, if you send it, I’ll read it–maybe you’ll convince me you have some important new ideas and evidence, even tho you’ve only made vague and general claims here.
I am a biologist. If it does not matter what we observe, when every shared trait is proof for common descent (or convergence) and every unique trait is a modifcation, I know it is not science. You also know that.
No credible biologist would make a comment like “it does not matter what we observe…” Yes, it DOES matter what we observe, and what we observe is are fossil patterns entirely consistent with evolution, even though if YECism were true, we could and would see lots of things contrary to it. So your comment is irrelevant to my explanation of why evolution IS falsifiable, but has not been, and instead is confirmed by the fossil record, as well as many other lines of evidence.
Likewise, no credible biologist would keep evading answers to key questions about his own book and claims, and instead keep making vague comments and repeating the same cliche’s and talking points.
Peer, your comments are so vague as to be largely meaningless. Convergence due to what? Natural selection? Some mysterious or nebulous mechanism with no apparent evidence? I have yet to hear you explain what it is, how any “frontloading” was not largely wiped out during the severe genetic bottleneck during the Flood, or what mechanism (if not natural selection) produces adaptations even if somehow the “frontloaded” genetic info survived. Maybe you do a better job of explaining these things in your book, but again, what happened to your promise to send it to me? I’ve reminded you about it a number of times in the past few years, and unless I missed something, had no response. Send the book and I’ll read it (if you lost my address, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll resend it). Otherwise, since your book and views seem to have garnered little attention or favor even among YECs, let alone mainstream scientists, why should I take the time and spend the money to buy it?
Glen, did you ever mention your email address, where I can send you the chapters of my book?
Peer, yes, I gave you my email address when you first said you’d send me your book, at least once or twice after that, and yet again just a few days ago. Any web search on my name will also bring up sites where you can find it. Here it is yet again: email@example.com. I thought you said you’d send me your whole book, but I’ll be glad to read whatever chapters you email. Thanks.
I do not reject natural selection, I simply recognized it as a marginal biological factor unable to produce novel information. It cannot even keep the genome of sexual reproducing organisms stable. It was the “science” for the eugeneticists to eliminate the weak. To defend it as the driving force of “Höherentwicklung” is unscientific, if not nefarious. De Vries´mutation theory is closer to what we observe.
Maybe the feathered “theropods” are neither dinosaur nor bird but something else…
Anyway what is a dinosaur?
See my article here:
Hi Marc, Thank you so much for commenting and providing this link. I thought I had not seen them but then when I went to add it to my folder of papers I realized it was already there. I wish I had remembered that when I made the video associated with this post as I would have brought it up. I completely agree. In the video and in other videos I have done I have suggested this is the most logical conclusion from young-earth creationists. I see no reason not to say that God created kinds of creatures with some bird-like characteristics and some dinosaur-like characteristics. I’m just flabbergasted that AiG wants to say no such creature could exist and so defines away feathers so that flightless dinosaurs could not have them. The 5th day/ 6th day creation argument doesn’t matter either. Just say that flighted four winged dinosaur like “kinds” were created on 5th day and flightless feathered dinosaur-like kinds were created on the 6th day. AiG is creating (ha ha) a problem where there need not be one.
I think Marc does a good service to fellow YECs in summarizing the evidence of feathered theropods and am glad he acknowledges that the evidence of real feathers in some of them is strong, despite many YECs claiming otherwise. On the down side, I think the supposed “temporal paradox” has is dubious, as long as one as one properly allows the branching nature of evolution, and realizes that ancestors can continue alongside new forms; otherwise you’re back to the old canard about “if humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes (or as he mentioned, one could ask with just as little basis “if dogs evolved from wolves, why are there still wolves. I also found it very interesting that Marc’s definition of a bird (with several specific characters needed) rules out Archaeopteryx as a bird, even though virtually all YECs insisting that Archaeopteryx is a bird (even often saying as Gish liked to do, that it’s 100% bird), and not a dino-bird intermediate. That brings up another point, which is that even when one cannot know that a particular organism like Archaeopterix is an actual “transitional form,” it still shows a suite of traits making it a definite “intermediate” form (as are thousands of other fossil forms), and that itself is strong evidence of evolution. To me, all these debates among YECs about birds and dinosaurs and trying to decide which are which and how many “created kinds” there were is rather silly, since there is clearly no distinct dividing line anymore between dinosaurs and birds, making it obvious (at least to virtually all mainstream scientists) that birds are not only descended from theropod dinosaurs, but dinosaurs themselves.
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On my comment about wolves, I meant to say “as Joel mentioned” rather than “he” (which some might take to mean Marc) mentioned”.
I found the following YouTube video where Peer Borger is promoting his book while being interviewed by Doug Sharp– a YEC who wrote the book “Revolution Against Evolution” (and runs a website by that name at rae.org), and who promotes highly dubious things such as Carl Baugh’s “man tracks.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkJg3vi5Nqk
In the interview Peer talks a lot about his religious conversion, intelligent design, “genetic variability”, etc. He also makes a few comments about “transposons” and “micro RNA” being involved in generating genetic variability (with no mention of mutations), after seeming to acknowledge that there would be little variability left after Noah’s Flood. However, he never answers the key question of how genetic variability (even if produced as he says) leads to adaptation. He says early in the video that natural selection does nothing but “maintain the status quo” and later seems to dismiss it entirely, saying it has “zero” role. But again, he gives no clue as to how genetic variation, even if produced in the way he says, leads to adaptation, let alone the broad and rapid changes he implies occurred after the Flood. For example, if he is going to allow (as he recently did here) that pair of theropod dinosaurs departing the Ark somehow branched into thousands of bird species as diverse as moas, hummingbirds, and penguins in a few hundred years or so, there must be a powerful mechanism for this, especially without natural selection. So Peer, what is it? Any why do you reject any role of natural selection in adaptation and speciation, despite experiments showing that it works, and even many YECs acknowledging that it has a role?
That is an almost correct summary of what I presented to Doug Sharp. Did not know it was still on…
My work is in the tradition of my dutch predecessor, Hugo de Vries, who rediscovered Mendel´s laws. He observed that mutations (novelties) arrive just so in pupulations of flowers and simply keep coming back following mendelian genetics. Also Wolf-Eckehard Lönnig works in this tradition. No / hardly any selection is required, since novelties are generated internally by mechanisms later discovered by Mc Clintock and others. In 2004, I worked it all out to a new theory of organic change. Published in dutch, later in english.
When you say that hardly any selection is needed because novelties are generated internally, you miss a key point. No matter where you get variations, yes, you do need natural selection, or another mechanism (which you haven’t specified) to allow organisms to adapt to their changing environments.
This is vital even for normal rates and kinds of evolution, let alone the the hyper-rapid and dramatic speciation you claim occurred after the Flood. Are you saying the variations somehow just know how to do produce all this adaptation? How? In the video you and Mr Sharp disparage “evolutionsts” for telling “just so” stories. but unless you can explain your specific mechanisms that produce adaptation, it sounds like you are doing just that.
You refer to McClintock, but I don’t think any of her findings answer these questions. Yes, she documented interesting things like jumping genes, but I believe she like most biologists of her day accepted evolution and natural selection, and that the main source of variations were mutations. And again, no matter what the sources of variations, clearly one or more selection mechanisms are needed for adaptation.
Peer, I had to chuckle at your saying that “mutations (novelties)” arrive
“just so” in populations of flowers, especially since elsewhere you accuse evolutionists of telling “just so” stories. Just what does “just so” mean? If you are implying the followers just know what mutations to produce and when, that’s pretty far fetched, and still begs the question: how? If you are just going to make vague appeals to God’s providence or power, that won’t cut it among scientists. And as pointed out several times before, even if you could show that useful variations occur at just the right time, you still have to show how they lead to adaptation, if as you keep suggesting, natural selection has little if any role.
What it is? I went back to the Bible and there I read that God sent the animals to Noah… and because God sent them to Noah, these animals could be pretty special. They were God-sent animals, you know. Not just picked from a gene pool by Noah, but sent to Him for special purposes, i.e. to repopulate the world after its complete destruction. They had frontloaded genetics and mechanisms to generate variation, adaptation and speciation. Never underestimate the power of Almighty God.
Peer, you say the animals sent to Noah were special, and implied they were frontloaded with extra variation. But in your video interview with Dough Sharp, you seemed to say something quite different. There you seemed to acknowledge that a lot of genetic variations was lost during the Flood (due to only pairs being on board), suggesting that lots of variation was somehow “generated” afterward, without saying exactly how that happened, or how it produced massive and rapid changes and adaptations in many groups without the aid of natural selection.
So which is it? Are you saying the animals debarking the Ark were special in having more variation than normal animals, or that it was all produced afterward? If the former, how and where was the extra variation stored, since for a given gene, a pair of animals would only have four alleles (one from each parent), no? Yet in many modern species there are many alleles for a given gene. Where did all the other alleles come from, if not by evolution and natural selection? I wrote an essay on this topic, which I think is one of many compelling arguments against YECism and Flood geology:
Perhaps you could read it and tell me where I am wrong. Please be specific, rather than giving more generalities and vague remarks. Thank you.
Alleles arrive by non-random mutations, and accumulate much faster than calculated using evolutionary assumptions. I suspect, as a response to the environment.
Peer, you wrote: “Alleles arrive by non-random mutations, and accumulate much faster than calculated using evolutionary assumptions. I suspect, as a response to the environment.”
Here we go again… more vague assertions. What specifically causes these non-random mutations? What produces the adaptation, if not natural selection? Just saying “response to the environment” without explaining specific mechanisms and evidence is meaningless.
I don’t understand how those non-random mutations would accumulate in populations.
Am I right to read ” a response to the environment” as natural selection? by accumulate, do you mean increase in frequency or do you mean total numbers of mutations increase over all the individuals of a population.
Yep, both is possible. Loss of information together with variation-inducing genetic mechanism go perfectly together.
Peer, you wrote. “Yep, both is possible. Loss of information together with variation-inducing genetic mechanism go perfectly together.”
First, you haven’t even explained exactly what the mechanism is. Second, you haven’t explained what produces adaptation from those variations, since you largely reject natural selection. Can you please answer these key questions, which I’ve asked several times?
Hugo de Vries Mutation Theory.
Peer, you wrote “Hugo Mustation Theory.”
First, I thought you said you had a novel theory , so why are you just referring to de Vries? Second, de Vries emphaized that sometimes large variations appear, but that does not mean that less and other kinds of mutations do not appear or are not more common, or do not play a major role (with natural selection) in evolution, as most biologist hold.
Indeed, without natural selection, variations themselves don’t produce adaptation, and that’s what you need, and lots of it in an incredibly short time frame. In view of this, it always baffled me that you and many other YECs downplay or reject natural selection, since it’s at least as important to your rapid diversification model as mainstream science, and again, has been experimentally verified. So again, what is the mechanism to produce adaptation (not just variations) in your model if not natural selection? Do you not understand the difference, or the question?
BTW, still haven’t seen your book chapters in my email.