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Jun 05 2013

Ken Ham denies what he is

Get this, Ken Ham of answersingenesis denies that he belongs to the same phylogenetic clade as the rest of humanity. Or perhaps he objects that humanity belongs in the taxonomic superfamily, Hominoidea. But whether he accepts that or not, there we are, and we can all see that. Seriously, just look it up.

The reason he’s upset about that is that is ‘Hominoidea’, (the latin word for ‘humanoid’) is collectively and colloquially the word for ‘apes’. Similarly, Hominidae is a subset of apes referring only to ‘great apes’, and both of those categories definitely include humans. That’s a verifiable fact that’s got to bother creationists; it’s hard to deny that you’re descended from apes when we can all look up your phylogeny and prove that you’re still an ape right now, and so was your mama. But then, I’m sure he’ll be just as mad when we tell everyone he’s a homo too.

He is you know. :-o

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  1. 1
    spike13

    ” He’s a homo too”
    I was waiting for that…lol
    I have to say that I am surprised that we haven’t been treated to some preacher denouncing the “homo” in homo sapiens from the pulpit yet.

    “Proud to be latest in a long line of evolutionary success”

    1. 1.1
      Kimpatsu

      To be fair, though, “hominid” is derived from the Latin for man, “homo”, whereas the “homo-” of “homosexual” is derived from the Greek “homos”, meaning “same”.

      1. spike13

        But,…but,… it’s still funny …right?

      2. johnnyscarecrow

        No, he meant homo sapien. An execellent pun.

    2. 1.2
      1. Lord Narf

        Heh, nice.

      2. spike13

        That could go wrong in so many ways…still funny

    3. 1.3
      Lord Narf

      You know, though, I’m not sure you could say that you’re the latest, either as a species or as an individual of that species.

      1. spike13

        True as I do have three off spring…but in the big scheme of things, I’m(and we for that matter) much closer to the latest edition.
        I do find it amazing that we are the product of creatures that survived multiple mass extinctions and disasters.

        1. Lord Narf

          Yeah, looking around, I sometimes get the feeling that it was a very near thing, and I can’t comprehend how we made the cut.

  2. 2
    deltoidsmachiness

    how we won the $1,000,000 James Randi Paranormal Challenge

    storify.com/deltoidmachine/how-we-won-the-james-randi-dollar-1-000-000-parano#publicize

    1. 2.1
      Lord Narf

      Dennis Markuze is off his meds again …

      1. SC (Salty Current), OM

        How I hate this response.

        First, what you’re referring to aren’t in fact medications. They’re drugs. “Medication” implies a disease or disorder that’s treated. But psychiatric “disorders” are shit people made up…and voted on. These diagnoses lack scientific validity. Don’t believe me? The head of NIMH and the president of the APA admitted it just last month.

        Second, even if these were medications that treated real disorders, coerced drugging – as appears to be the case here – is a human rights violation.

        1. badgersdaughter

          Nobody got together to vote Markuse a dysfunctional potential danger to himself and others, SC. Nobody made up the crap he posted. You can’t seriously imply that he is wrong in the head some way. If you don’t call it a disorder, what do you call it? If you don’t try to make him functional with medication, is it somehow a human rights victory to let him go on the way he’s been?

          1. badgersdaughter

            “…imply that he is not wrong in the head…”

          2. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Read this.

            And this.

          3. Lord Narf

            No. Make an argument.

          4. SC (Salty Current), OM

            No. Make an argument.

            An argument has been made.

            As previously implied.

          5. Lord Narf

            Posting two links is not making an argument.

          6. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Not for those afraid to read what’s at the links.

            You can keep pretending that there’s nothing at the links, but a nontrivial number of people will go there and see that the specific links and the blog contain well-substantiated arguments.

            But do continue with the empty rhetoric. Many will be convinced.

          7. Lord Narf

            Although not as many as might, if you actually explained yourself, rather than throwing out random links. I already think you’re full of shit, after you threw out words like speciesism, used in a nonsensical, invalid argument. I don’t have the emotional investment to care what you have to say.

          8. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Random, they’re not. I suppose if someone thinks a reference to “speciesism” makes me full of shit they’ll avoid reading. That would be a mistake.

          9. Lord Narf

            Read what I’m typing. You constructed an invalid argument around a concept that you didn’t demonstrate to be negative.

            Heh, and the closing statement of your last comment right here sounds like what we hear from preachers. “What I’m saying is important and has eternal consequences for your soul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

          10. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Still words. I trust that many of the readers of these comments will follow reason.

          11. Lord Narf

            Okay, have fun with that.

          12. Monocle Smile

            I shouldn’t have to tell you that posting links to your own blog and sanctimoniously flaunting them as if they’re Nobel Prize material is at best tacky, at worst narcissistic. But it appears you don’t understand this, so I’m telling you here.

          13. John Morales

            [meta]

            Lord Narf, your objection is bluster and your posture boorish.

            Look: SC made a claim and SC has linked to the argument you seek.

            I think it’s pretty silly of you to dismiss SC’s claim out of hand because you can’t be bothered to read that which you request SC provide unless SC rewrites it for you or copy-pastes it here.

            (Objecting and demanding out of lazy ignorance limns you in no good light)

          14. John Morales

            [meta]

            Monocle Smile, “sanctimoniously flaunting them as if they’re Nobel Prize material”, eh?

            (Your hyperbolic sniping misses the mark)

          15. Monocle Smile

            I’m very strongly tempted to play the sock account card.

            SC’s blog posts have nothing to do with the clearly evidenced idea that there are medical treatments for psychiatric disorders and THEY WORK, at least for the most part. Crying “it’s all bunk!” ignores the successes. It’s nothing more than an reductio ad absurdum to claim that because more research is definitely needed into psychiatric disorder, everything we know is completely wrong.

          16. Lord Narf

            John Morales

            Lord Narf, your objection is bluster and your posture boorish.

            At this point, I couldn’t really care about his opinion or that of his sock puppet or crony.

            When he starts out with an invalidly structured argument, do you really think I care enough to go and see what the rest of his crap opinion is? When I start skimming the article he linked, and I can’t find a damned thing that has anything to do with the discussion at hand, that’s when I ask for a summation, yes.

            Monocle Smile

            I’m very strongly tempted to play the sock account card.

            Either that or he’s called in a crony of some sort who I’ve never seen on this blog before, either. It amounts to almost the same thing, either way.

          17. SC (Salty Current), OM

            I’m very strongly tempted to play the sock account card.

            I so hope you’re claiming JM and I are the same person.

            SC’s blog posts have nothing to do with the clearly evidenced idea that there are medical treatments for psychiatric disorders and THEY WORK, at least for the most part. Crying “it’s all bunk!” ignores the successes. It’s nothing more than an reductio ad absurdum to claim that because more research is definitely needed into psychiatric disorder, everything we know is completely wrong.

            IT’S COMPLETELY WRONG. READ THE LINKS.

            JESUS FUCK – THIS IS PSEUDOSCIENCE. STOP YAPPING AND READ.

            Really. Shut up, for long enough to read.

          18. SC (Salty Current), OM

            When he starts out with an invalidly structured argument, do you really think I care enough to go and see what the rest of his crap opinion is?

            I’m a woman, you vacuous void.

          19. Monocle Smile

            Methinks the Salty doth protest too much.

            I did read your insipid post on the APA’s response. You’re lying out your ass. The point of the DSM-5 chair’s spiel was pretty clear. In the ’70s, we expected to one day diagnose psychiatric disorders like we diagnose infections and diseases…that we’d find analogous biomarkers and we could do chemical tests.

            This is evidently not the case. It doesn’t mean there aren’t biological indications of specific disorders, but there’s not the perfect analogy that we expected. HOWEVER, given the success of psychiatric medication despite this misstep, clearly we’re getting SOMETHING right and the experts are making progress. For example, bipolar disorder is controlled extremely effectively by modern meds. Are you really saying otherwise?

            It’s bad enough that you do the rough equivalent of boasting about your genitalia, but now you’re just being stupid and dishonest.

          20. SC (Salty Current), OM

            I’ll leave it to others to evaluate.

            In the ’70s, we expected to one day diagnose psychiatric disorders like we diagnose infections and diseases…that we’d find analogous biomarkers and we could do chemical tests.

            This is evidently not the case.

            Indeed, it’s not! (For any given meaning of “we.”) It IS the case that “we” have LIED about these diagnoses for quite some time.

          21. Lord Narf

            I’m a woman, you vacuous void.

            … which has nothing to do with your presentation of an invalid argument.

          22. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Are you really saying otherwise?

            Yes. Biomarkers for “bipolar disorder,” please. Description of the mechanism of the drugs, please. Oh, and situate these within the changing history of diagnosis (including the literature to which I’ve linked). Go.

          23. SC (Salty Current), OM

            … which has nothing to do with your presentation of an invalid argument.

            I’ve presented no such invalid argument. It has to do with the assumption that I’m male.

          24. Lord Narf

            I already pointed it out here. I don’t give a damn which sex you are.

          25. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Stop referring to me with a male pronoun.

          26. Lord Narf

            Yes, because I can change things I posted 3 1/2 hours ago.

          27. Monocle Smile

            Salty, I’m wavering between questioning your ability to read and your willingness to remain honest.

          28. Monocle Smile

            I can whip out reductio ad absurdum, too.

            Let’s just close every mental hospital and revoke the licenses of every psychiatrist. Eradicate the entire medical field pertaining to mental health. Just let all those people loose on the streets. And if troubled teens or retired soldiers step into a doctor’s office with “Doc, I’m having trouble up top,” we should just assume there’s nothing wrong with them and turn them away out of hand.

            See how well that works.

        2. EnlightenmentLiberal

          @SC (Salty Current), OM

          I’ve had to deal with some people like you. It’s exceedingly frustrating. I have to start at square zero.

          I assume we care about human happiness, freedom, safety, well-being, and other values of humanism. If you think there’s something more important than these values, then we have other, more serious issues to resolve.

          Next, at one level, I do not care at all if “mental conditions” have any reduction whatsoever to biological markers, chemical imbalances, etc. I care about human happiness, and if someone is not happy, to such an extreme degree that some of these people are, and it can be demonstrated that some methods of talk therapy, drug therapy, and so on, are effective at making the qualify of life better for these people, then I am all for it. I do not care if we understand the underlying mechanisms at play. It’s irrelevant if we have scientific evidence which clearly demonstrates a causal link between the therapy and the improved quality of life.

          Now, I do recognize that to some degree medications are over-prescribed because of the stupid incentives and market structure in modern medicine. (To what extent, I do not know.) I agree there is a problem here, and I am more than willing to entertain ideas about how to fix this.

          However, your central premise is that it’s ethical to prescribe medication only if there is an identifiable biological abnormality. That premise is completely bullshit, for the reasons explained above.

          PS: Forced medication is another issue, and for the most part if they are not a danger to themselves or others, then I’m pretty much against legal forced medication. I haven’t though this through fully, but even for people who are a danger only to themselves, I am probably against forced medication, and especially if they can demonstrate some basic rationality and understanding of the consequences of their actions. See: JS Mill’s Harm Principle.

  3. 3
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Speciesism is central to creationism. The fight against creationism is and will remain all the more difficult to the extent that speciesism continues to pervade atheism and humanism.

    1. 3.1
      Lord Narf

      What’s wrong with speciesism? We should do our best to preserve the biosphere and other species, because it benefits us. Are you a member of PETA or something?

      1. spike13

        I think what SC is referring to is discrimination based upon species.
        Such as the claim in the OT” Man has dominion over all other creatures”
        This leads to the idea that man can pollute hunt and destroy with impunity.
        much of the mining industry operates along these lines as well as the oil industry.
        Google earth” Arthur Kill” and go in for a close up, look around, that is the kind of stewardship the fundies represent. I paddle those waters in my kayak regularly, believe me it is even uglier at sea level.

        1. Lord Narf

          Sure, we should take care of the environment, because it’s in our own best interest. Throwing around a word like speciesism comes with a lot more baggage, though.

          More to the point, his core argument is shit. A central characteristic of creationism is X. Therefor, until we remove X from our philosophy, we’ll fail completely.

          That does not follow. If X isn’t demonstrated to be false and bad for us, why the hell should we discard it out of hand, just because the creationists have used it in their argument? There are pieces of any theistic argument that are potentially correct. Just because the conclusion is unfounded doesn’t mean that every element used to reach that conclusion is discarded.

        2. Lord Narf

          I think what SC is referring to is discrimination based upon species.

          And yes, I got that part. That seemed to be the obvious definition of speciesism. My response to that is “So what?” Give me a good reason why we shouldn’t be discriminatory, in favor of our own species.

          1. spike13

            well yes. If push came to shove, saving or preserving human life would be my choice.(an easy one at that)
            The impression that I took from SC’s comment was that by holding ourselves above nature as opposed to a part of it we invite abuses.
            Protecting human life is a good reason for sanction
            is profit/money/greed?
            a faster commute?
            convenience?

      2. SC (Salty Current), OM

        I hate to reply with another link to my blog, but…

        1. Lord Narf

          And I don’t hate telling you that I won’t be reading it. I’m not going to read a long-winded blog post in an attempt to figure out what argument you’re trying to make. I scanned the first few paragraphs and found nothing applicable. If you have an argument, make it. I’m not going to go do reading homework for you.

        2. Artor

          If you can’t be troubled to make an argument and explain what your link is for, I won’t be troubled to click and read it. Don’t pretend you’re taking part in a discussion if all you do is post links, and complain when people won’t read your random bullshit.

          1. SC (Salty Current), OM

            How sad. The information is right there/I>.

          2. Lord Narf

            … in long, overly-verbose blog posts that we don’t feel like reading through, when you won’t even give us a quick synopsis of the point you’re trying to make with them.

          3. Monocle Smile

            Not only is that blog post completely unrelated to Lord Narf’s post (meaning you’re clearly only here to self-righteously hijack the thread), but you can’t expect anyone to take you seriously when you use a billion words to merely insult those who aren’t overly obsessed with ticky-tack vocabulary changes.

          4. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Here’s one word: Yawn.

          5. Lord Narf

            Brilliant rebuttal.

        3. SC (Salty Current), OM

          The rebuttal’s in the post(s).

      3. SC (Salty Current), OM

        Oh – and read this.

        1. Lord Narf

          No. Present us with an argument, or go away.

          1. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Again.

            “Give me a good reason why we shouldn’t be discriminatory, in favor of our own species.”

            I’m just going to highlight this comment, best read in light of the Rachels book.

        2. Artor

          No. Why should I?

          1. SC (Salty Current), OM

            Can’t imagine.

            “No. Why should I [engage with alternative viewpoints]“? is totally the skeptics’ motto.

          2. SC (Salty Current), OM

            ?”

      4. Psychopomp Gecko

        Nah, PETA would be all for killing animals. And I’m not one of the sock puppets, at least.

        1. Lord Narf

          People for the Eating of Tasty Animals, you mean?

  4. 4
    John Morales

    Descended apes, not fallen angels.

    (With due apology to Robert Ardrey)

    1. 4.1
      theignored

      Isn’t it “ascended apes”?

      1. SC (Salty Current), OM

        It’s apes.

        1. theignored

          No, it’s “ascended apes”. Not just “apes”. It’s an expression that we’re talking about here..

          1. spike13

            well in the case of Comfort, Ham or Chick it may be a case of regressive as opposed to descended.

          2. SC (Salty Current), OM

            No. It’s apes.

            Bogus teleology.

  5. 5
    changerofbits

    Aron, posted this on PZ’s thread, but we need to get you an honorary doctorate (well, four of them to equal Ken Ham). I would think any institution of higher learning would be proud to have the creator of the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism on their honorary roster.

  6. 6
    hojo.jack

    When I read the tittle of this blog I thought, “Ken Ham is denying that he is a creationist/evangelical/theist/etc..

    A creationist denying a basic fact about biology is not noteworthy.

    1. 6.1
      spike13

      But it is funny!

  7. 7
    arensb

    I’m guessing that Ham is an essentialist, or at least suffers from the same delusion as this other creationist at Chez Dembski:

    If the fish are always fish, then they will never be birds, reptiles, apes, or humans.

    1. 7.1
      Lord Narf

      That’s a key component of creationism, yes. They argue that evolution can ever happen within limits, without ever presenting a mechanism that limits the scope of evolution. In some ways, it smacks of the old micro-evolution/macro-evolution canard.

      1. arensb

        Well, yes, there’s that. But both scordova and Ham seem to be missing the entire “nested hierarchy” aspect of nested hierarchy: they seem to think that if an animal is a human, then it ceases to be an ape, a catarrhine, a mammal, a vertebrate, etc.

        1. Lord Narf

          Heh, yeah. It would be nice if he had said, “If the birds are always birds, then they will never be fish, dinosaurs, apes, or humans.”

          “Umm, excuse me, I have a correction for you.” :D

          I’m sure he’s said something similar, though.

  8. 8
    Jasper of Maine

    I don’t understand what the objection is. We’re apes in the same sense that we’re mammals and also vertebrates.

    Given that one has to go back up the tree even further to get to “vertebrate”, shouldn’t it therefore be more insulting to be called a vertebrate than an ape?

    1. 8.1
      Lord Narf

      You know, these are the same people who often try to tell us that we’re not even animals, never mind vertebrates. I’m not quite sure how they explain away our spinal column.

      1. microraptor

        Given their behavior during and after debates, I’d say that most creationists are spineless.

  9. 9
    johnnyscarecrow

    Lol. He’s chewing up the carpet right now.

  10. 10
    Mr. Dave

    I’m a homo, you’re a homo, he’s a homo, she’s a homo, wouldn’t you like to be a homo too?

  11. 11
    No One

    I had an argument with an otherwise intelligent fellow who insisted that whales were fish because they lived in the water. Each piece of evidence I presented him was met with “It’s a fish!”, each time louder than the last.

    Yeah Ken you are an ape. You are also a bit of a jerk. What a complete waste of a life. I’m hard pressed to think anything more pathetic than your “occupation”.

    1. 11.1
      spike13

      Occupation is an apt word as I personally believe it is about the money, than it is the “faith”.
      Their pockets are well lined.

    2. 11.2
      microraptor

      I once got in an argument with a guy who insisted that koalas were called koala bears, so therefore they must taxonomically be ursines. I think his head exploded when I showed him a picture of a tardigrade.

      1. Lord Narf

        Heh, I didn’t get that, until I looked them up on Wikipedia.

        Johann August Ephraim Goeze originally named the Tardigrade kleiner Wasserbär (Bärtierchen today), meaning ‘little water bear’ in German.

    3. 11.3
      M can help you with that.

      I had an argument with an otherwise intelligent fellow who insisted that whales were fish because they lived in the water. Each piece of evidence I presented him was met with “It’s a fish!”, each time louder than the last.

      You had an argument with Herman Melville?

  12. 12
    Pip R. Lagenta

    Descendent of apes Ken Ham has denied that he is a descendent of apes. This is to say that he has denied that he is a human being. While it is a demonstrable fact that Ken Ham is a descendent of apes, the proposition that Ken Ham is a human being is eminently debatable.

    1. 12.1
      Lord Narf

      He didn’t descend from his father, who was an ape?

      1. spike13

        We are apes, just a different kind of ape.

  13. 13
    theignored

    I like all the insults those characters come up with on the facebook article…a lot of which have to do with the appearance of the people in the “n0nes” video.

    Also, they claim that they’ve dealt with the “wisdom teeth” argument on Ham’s youtube video. I’ll have to go do some reading on that.

  14. 14
    lehman scott

    Heh… they’re really scared of you, Aron. From some of the comments on his Facebook page:

    “Cathy Williams Wow, that guy on there looks really evil.”

    “Scott Frye WOW…WHO’s the creep guy at the end of the video?..>Screwtape?”

    Next time you appear on a Ham-related vid make sure to wear some horns, that’ll really spook ‘em…

    1. 14.1
      theignored

      It just hit me: Is there anywhere in Ham’s reply just what his response to Aron’s repeated debate challenge is? I didn’t notice any.

      1. lehman scott

        Not anywhere that I recall, ti…

  15. 15
    pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    Mmmmm….I like Paninis!

  16. 16
    Thomas Hobbes

    Creationists keep complaining: “That’s not evolution! It’s STILL a virus/bacteria/seagull/whatever!” My standard reaction is: “True. That’s why you’re still an ape.”

    Their argument is exactly what evolution theory teaches us. If creationists were right that evolution theory is false, then the descendant of an ape would not be an ape.

  17. 17
    changerofbits

    All this hubbub about the whether we are now, were descended from or just related to apes seems silly when simply looking at non-human apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, etc) is enough to show an obvious link. Hell, using Ken Ham himself, gruff beard and all, as the human reference makes it even more obvious.

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  1. 24
    At least we know he watched the video » Pharyngula

    [...] Ken Ham denies what he is by aronra [...]

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