Archive of Critiques of the Young-earth Creationist’s Hyper-evolution Hypothesis

The Ark Encounter, a young-earth creationist’ theme park, presents it visitors with exhibits with odd-looking extinct creatures and explains that just 4350 years ago these were the common ancestors of  animal species we know today.  How and when did this transformation of primordial or created “kinds” into thousands of species happen? At present, the consensus among young-earth creationists is that Noah’s Ark contained far fewer species of land animals than exist today even when extinct animals are considered. Therefore they have concluded that the vast majority of species have come into existence, or evolved if you prefer,  since departing Noah’s Ark.  This proposal has variously been referred to as the post-flood rapid speciation, post-flood hyper-evolution,  accelerated evolution, radically accelerated diversification or hyper-evolutionary creation.

Over the past few years I have published numerous articles on this blog which have explored the hyper-evolutionary claims of young-earth views with respect to the origins of modern biological diversity.   Questions addressed in these articles include:  Is there a viable mechanism? Has rapid-speciation been observed in the past or the present?  What is a biblical “kind?”  Is this neocreationist model really just evolution by another name?  Is there any biblical evidence for rapid evolution of species?

Below are links to some of the articles, along with a short description, that explore these questions.

Ken Ham’s Darwinism: On the Origin of Species by Means of Hyper-Evolution Following Noah’s Flood– Here I take a big look at how Ken Ham and AiG are changing the landscape of young-earth creationists’ approach to biological diversity.

Is Ken Ham’s Rapid Post-Flood Diversification Really Evolution?  I look even closer at the words of AiG and Ken Ham and ask: is what they are saying different from standard evolutionary theory or is it something similar but cloaked in different terminology.

Dodging Darwin: How Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Slowly Embracing Evolution – Guest writer David MacMillan digs into how the Ark Encounter is going to present speciation within kinds and discovers that they are sliding down a slippery slope to accepting even more common descent than they already do.  What they are proposing has all the hallmarks of evolution of species over time but they try, unsuccessfully, to distance themselves from the implications of their own proposals.

The Ark Encounter’s Hyper-evolutionary Model Underestimates Speciation Rates – More than half of all the kinds of land animals that Noah preserved on the ark have already gone extinct according to creationists.  Do they deal with massive extinction rates in their estimation of speciation?

Pterosaurs and the Inevitable Road to Extinction–A Young-Earth Creationist’ View of the Rapid Loss of Biodiversity on Earth –  How could so many pterosaur species survive the Flood but leave no post-Flood record? What does massive extinction mean to creationists?

Ark Encounter Common Ancestors: The Increasing Inclusiveness of Biblical Kinds – I take a quick look at the history of how young-earth creationists have been gradually broadening the definition of a “kind” over the past 50 years and ask how inclusive a kind may become in the future.

Walking Whales On Board Noah’s Ark: The Inevitable End-point of Creationists’ Post-Flood Hyper-Speciation Belief? -Combining the observation that no whales fossils exist in Flood rocks and the evidence that ancient whales had more land animal features some YECs are willing to consider that Noah had a walking land animal on the ark that then evolved into the present day whales.

Young-Life Creationists—Who are the People that Believe they can Replace Darwin? – Here I review the present state of YEC thinking about the origins of biological diversity and then look at the credentials of the scientists who are providing the “talking points” which Ken Ham and other YEC apologists promote in seminars and magazines that shape the lay-Christians perceptions on this topic.

Chimps, Orangutans and Gorillas Evolved from a Common Ancestor on Noah’s Ark– A new exhibit at the Creation Museum purports to show how chimps orangutans and gorillas all are descendants of a common ancestor on Noah’s Ark.  An example of creationist’ move toward a hyperevolutionary model of origins.

Dissent with Modification: Young-Earth Creationists Deny and Accept Macroevolutionary Theory – An introduction to a peer-reviewed paper that explores the use of evolutionary terminology by creationists.

Xenarthrans (Armadillos, Anteaters and Sloths): Another Biogeographic Puzzle for Young Earth Creationists – Sloths, anteaters and armadillos are only known from the New World. How did they get there from the Ark and how is this a challenge for the speciation model of YECs?

Cacti Biogeography: A Prickly (Pear) Problem for Young Life Creationism – YECs talk about animals quickly speciating after the Flood but what about plants?  Plants present additional problems to the YEC flood narrative.

The Origin of the YEC Hyper-Speciation Model of Biological Diversity –  A quote from a creationists publication from 1945 suggests that their hyper-speciation beliefs go back at least that far.  However, YEC followers still generally believe that speciation is evolution.

Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution: Assessing Dr. Purdom’s Confusing Answer – Dr. Purdom attempts to explain how speciation by natural selection is not evolution with some very unorthodox interpretations.

The Great Genetic Bottleneck that Contradicts Ken Ham’s Radical Accelerated Diversification or Post-Flood Hyper-Evolution – One huge problem for Dr. Jeanson’s hypothesis that the original kinds were endowed with massive variation (heterozygosity) in the original creation is the problem of Noah’s flood which should have been a massive genetic bottleneck and thus destroying the variation needed for post-flood hyper-evolution to even have a chance of working.

Ken Ham’s Biblical Evolution: I have a Book that Says Otherwise – In the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate, Ken Ham said he had a book that proved his case regarding the age of the Earth. However that same book provides ample evidence that his hyper-speciation model is without merit.

A Creation Museum Speaker Asks:  Do Animals Evolve? A  Critique – AiG speaker Bryan Osborn explains the AiG view of what the limits are to animal evolution.   I review his general thesis by walking through some of the slides from his presentation.

Invoking Super-speed Evolution: The YEC Post-Flood Big-Bang of Bird Speciation  – How do YECs fit 10,300 bird species onto the Ark? They squeeze them into just 200 “kinds” which then rapidly evolved into the amazing diversity of birds we have today.

Ruminating of the Meaning of Noahic Kinds:  Are Ruminants Derived from a Common Ancestor?  – Are giraffes, gazelles, antelope and pronghorn all derived from a common ancestor?  Creation scientists aren’t sure but some have suggested it might be possible.  So just how inclusive can a kind be?  The definition seems to expand every time a creationist writes about it.

Testing YEC Hyper-Evolution from Common Ancestors: Comparisons of mtDNA Genome Diversity in Mammals –  Here I provide to compare how different some species of mammals are using mtDNA sequences.

Gyptodonts, Armadillos and Ken Ham’s Hyper-Speciation Model – Here I take a look at one group of strange animals from the western Hemisphere and ask if the hyper-speciation model makes any sense for this group.

A Six-day Evolutionist? It depends on what you mean by evolution –  A YEC calls themselves a six-day evolutionist? What do they mean by that?  It’s all about how he defines macro versus microevolution and illustrates a common tactic of shifting meanings in the YEC literature.

What is a “Kind”? Fox News Article Quoted by AiG Speakers Contradicts their own Definition –  Ken Ham and Bryan Osborne don’t seem to realize when they read quotes that contradict views they stated just moments before.

Did Modern Animals Evolve from the Inhabitants of the Ark?  –  This is a short article that I wrote for after visiting the Ark Encounter shortly after it opened.

Young-Earth Creationism Leads the Short-Necked Okapi to Identify as a Giraffe– Here we look specifically at how The Ark Encounter envisions the evolution of giraffes.

A Primer on Young-Earth Views of Speciation, Mutations and Natural Selection –  Here I review a recent seminar given at the Creation Museum about where species come from.

Institute for Creation Research Goes all-in on Denying the Reality of Natural Selection – ICR has been promoting a different view of the origin of species and adapatation by Dr. Randy Guliuzza.

Stranger Things–Creationist’ Views of Speciation and Natural Selection in the 1980s– I look at a home-school textbook from the 1980s to see what they were teaching about natural selection and speciation.

Consider the Lilies? Ken Ham’s Confusion over Biological Classification – Ken Ham experiences some confusion about taxonomic language.

Young-Earth Evolutionists? Talking about Hyper-speciation and Theological Implications– An introduction to a video of my talk at the 2019 American Science Affiliation annual meeting.

Are Differences more than Skin Deep? Ken Ham’s Confusing Message about Biological Variation– Ken Ham is always confused about the difference between morphological differences between artificially selected organisms and amount of divergence of species in the wild.

What has the Response been to “Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species”? – Nathaniel Jeanson wrote a book meant to replace Darwin’s Origin of Species, but did anyone notice or care?

In addition to these articles I would also highly recommend a recent article by David MacMillan that examines Dr. Jeanson’s attempts to provide a genetic explanation for rapid-speciation.  That article, Creationists evolve “new” arguments to explain genetic diversity, was published at Panda’s Thumb

Young-Life Creationist’ view of the origin of carnivores. The animals in the circles represent the “ark kinds” or common ancestors of the species in each kind. Each species has evolved from those common ancestors but YLC’s insist that there can be no common ancestor of each of these kinds despite the fact that the differences in each of these Ark kinds is less than that of the species within a kind in the present. Image created by David MacMillan for his article that explores Ken Ham’s increasing embrace of Darwin.


9 thoughts on “Archive of Critiques of the Young-earth Creationist’s Hyper-evolution Hypothesis

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    1. It would not be hyper-evolution, but simply adaptation to environment. Arctic wolves would be better suited to to Arctic, and so on. Arctic wolves can still cross bread with a Chihuahua or a great Dane for that matter. Much like Tigers have been bred with lions. Every type of horse in the world can breed. The Germans bred dobermans in just 20 years, not 4,000 yrs.


  1. What I always find interesting is how YEC’s intentionally ignore the following conundrum: If we consider for a moment Ken Ham’s fantastical evolutionary fairy tale to be true, and if Ken Ham considers domesticated dogs, wolves and foxes to be of the same kind, and all housecats, wild cats and tigers and lions to be of the same kind sharing a common ancestor on board of Noah’s ark, then surely Noah and his family should’ve been something as primitive as a Homo Habilis or Australopithicus?

    Ham’s hyper-evolution and his flexible definition of kinds surely must result in some primitive species of the homo genus building that precious Ark of his.

    These articles should make for a very interesting read!


    1. You are overlooking available genetic data. It shows that dogs, wolves, foxes, etc are descended from an earlier pair of K9’s.


    1. Hyperspeciation, is a not the right premise. For example: The birds that Darwin studied on Galapagos could all breed with each other, as well as return to an earlier species in just a few life cycles. Macro-evolution doesn’t exist, it is simply adaptation. No recent physical evidence of so-called macro-evolution exists. But the evidence of “adaptation” is visible everyday, For example Polar Bears are ranging further and further south in search of food (due to global warming), does this mean that they are evolving into warm weather animals?


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