I really need to get a copy of Ken Ham’s Bible

In his little weekly radio homily, Ken Ham makes an amazing claim about the Bible. After pointing out that scientists have had different interpretations of Neandertal’s relationship to modern humans, he claims that the Bible has all the answers.

They wouldn’t be surprised if they started with God’s word. You see, when we start with the Bible and not Man’s ideas about the past, we get a very different view of Neandertals. They were human. And we know that Neandertals were intelligent descendants of Adam and Eve, just like us.

He has a Bible that contains a phylogeny of Neandertals? Remarkable.

Actually, the basis of his claim is that Neandertals are the remains of people who died in the flood; that they were not on Noah’s ark, but all “kinds” were on the big boat; therefore they had to belong to a “kind” already represented on the Ark, which means they had to be human. So he really doesn’t have any information from the Bible that supports his claim that they’re humans, but only a flawed chain of inference. We’d have to argue that Australopithecines were also fully human, because they also all died in the Flood, according to Ham’s own claim of perfect representation of all “kinds” on the boat, and therefore Adam and Eve were the ancestors of Lucy, as well.

It’s rather illogical, too. The reason he says the Bible explains Neandertals is that the Bible says absolutely nothing about Neandertals, so he has complete freedom to claim that whatever parts of science he likes are already inferrable from the tea leaves. The Bible also says nothing about other hominins; about tomatoes; about genes; about the circulation of blood in the human body; about the planet Neptune; about signal transduction in cells. The absence of an explanation is being treated as an explanation-shaped hole he can fill with whatever he wants.

Meanwhile, biblical cosmology treats the Earth as a disc of terra firma floating in a vast universe filled with water.


  1. says


    The Bible also says nothing about other hominins; about tomatoes; about genes; about the circulation of blood in the human body; about the planet Neptune; about signal transduction in cells.

    It also doesn’t mention the mighty and God-blessed Amerika, which has baffled a number of people at Rapture Ready.

  2. Owlmirror says

    *looks sadly at some sort of channels going from the Primeval Ocean up to the plate of the Earth*

    Those are the Fountains of the Great Deep™, aren’t they?

  3. Saad says

    And we know that Neandertals were intelligent descendants of Adam and Eve…

    1. What does it say about Adam and Eve that the Neanderthals were their intelligent descendants?

    2. If Neanderthals came from Adam, how come there is still Adam Sandler?

  4. dick says

    I guess Noah, after sailing the Atlantic & returning with tomatoes & potatoes, didn’t think they were worthy of mention. He was probably too busy tracking down kangaroos in Australia. I don’t know why the feckin’ Bible doesn’t mention them.

  5. specialffrog says

    I have heard a Creationist claim that the Mark of Cain turned him into a Neanderthal. His descendants didn’t survive the flood which is why Neanderthals aren’t around any more.

    The guy claiming this was a Gap Creationist so I’m sure him and Ken Ham would consider each other heretics but they may agree on this point.

  6. says

    The Bible also says nothing about other hominins; about tomatoes; about genes; about the circulation of blood in the human body; about the planet Neptune;

    It also doesn’t say anything about the planet Pluto, because god knows it’s not a planet. Checkmate, atheist!

  7. Jake Harban says

    OK, new rule: If you deny a scientific principle, you may not use any knowledge that would never have been discovered if science had always been constrained by your denial.

    As such, if you are a YEC you must deny that neandertals ever existed in any capacity. How could they have existed before God created the Earth itself?

    In fact, Ken Ham shouldn’t even be on the internet. He believes science as a whole is inherently invalid compared to reading his Holey Book and filling in the gaps with stuff he makes up, which means that he has no right to use the products of science at all.

  8. says

    Hmm… Hmm I always assumed that the Creationists would go with the Neanderthals being the Nephilim, the decedents of “the sons of god and the daughters of man” from Genesis 6:2 or the giants from 6:4 (of course sinceI’ve been claiming everyone were giants at the time that gets confusing) andif not that whoever the people Cain married into were… Ah well live and learn.

  9. janiceintoronto says

    Hovind is obviously a time traveler. He’s just repeating the things he learned in the 1700’s.

  10. says

    Janiceintoronto @ 9:

    Hovind Ham is obviously a time traveler.

    Easy mistake, they are damn near interchangeable.
    I can see an Oliphant in that drawing. Hmmmm…

  11. robro says

    montano @8

    Creationists would go with the Neanderthals being the Nephilim

    I have heard Creationists say that.

  12. erichoug says

    I have to admit, you’re a better man than I am PZ. I hear about 30 seconds of right wing religious babble and immediately tune out. Usually I hit “The Bible Says..” or “Jesus said…” and I completely lose interest.

  13. kiptw says

    I learned decades ago in history class that the “Neolithic period” means “modern stone age.” That’s when it all clicked into place!

    The modern stone age is when The Flintstones takes place. Bedrock was one of many communities of non-practicing scoffers who laughed at Noah for being religious. Proud of their gadgets, their foot-driven cars, their pterodactyl airlines, their sarcastic bird record players, and their mike-rock-wave ovens, they turned their back on the true faith and were punished by the flood. I mean, The Flood.

    I used to be a bit perplexed that they apparently celebrated Christmas, which could have ruined my theory, but recently realized that, like many today, they are really celebrating the pagan festival of the same time, with its pagan trees and gift-giving. I don’t see them actually worshipping the Jesus Christrock child (not to be confused with Chris Rock, who is much later).

    Before you ask, BC takes place in the present day, in Broward County, Florida. It’s not post-holocaust, despite often-repeated assertions that it is. If it were, we could expect some of their pop culture references to be of future celebrities and reality shows that we haven’t heard of yet.

  14. microraptor says

    Saad @3:

    2. If Neanderthals came from Adam, how come there is still Adam Sandler?

    To punish mankind.

  15. microraptor says

    Also, you wouldn’t believe how many geocentrists there are in my area, because that’s what it says in the bible.

  16. Nemo says

    For a moment, I read that as “a flawed chain of reverence”. Which may be even more on point.

  17. Blattafrax says

    This is, of course completely impossible to reconcile with the variation in human, Denisovan, Neanderthal and chimp genomic/mitochondrial DNA sequences. I.e. modern humans have a vastly lower variability arising 3.5 thousand years after the flood from 4 women (mtDNA from the wives of the really important people saved from the flood) relative to the Neanderthal/Denisovian/Human ~3x greater variation after 1.5 k years from one woman.

    But it doesn’t have to make sense, just bring in the money.

  18. Gregory Greenwood says

    So now, to go with the god of the gaps, Hammy has invented the bible with the gaps – gaps that you can fill after the fact with whatever you like, kind of like an intellectual taco.

    What is the betting that, come the next scientific breakthrough of note in whatever field of endeavour, Ham will suddenly declare that it too was in the bible, by virtue of not being mentioned at all. If only we could crack this non-reference code for biblical knowledge goodness – think of what we could achieve! Cures for all diseases, functional immortality, rapid interstellar travel; all this and more could lie within our reach, if only we had Hammy’s gift for seeing what isn’t there, or rather a version of it actually available before the fact rather than after it.

    Still, I imagine that, when humanity does reach the point of being able to do such things, there will be someone like Ham just waiting to say that it was in the bible all along, and you can tell because it wasn’t mentioned at all…

  19. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re Greenwood@18:
    sounds a lot like peolpe who “understand” what Nostradamus was saying in all that word salad in quatro form. They will always pull up some vague miasmic quatro an claim that is “translated properly” we wrote down exact prophesy of this ~~ event.
    ex post facto prophesies” [TM] always seem to be 100% accurate in their predictions (yet only if you know what to look for).
    Ham is doing the same with his book. taking recent discoveries then reinterpreting his book to announce it was there all along.
    I’m sure if he’s asked for predictions from that book about details, he’ll just sputter and give “big picture” generalities.

  20. says

    OK, new rule: If you deny a scientific principle, you may not use any knowledge that would never have been discovered if science had always been constrained by your denial.

    Ah, but Ham will tell you that he doesn’t deny scientific principles, he merely uses different presuppositions (i.e. “the Bible is true”) to come to different conclusions about the scientific data collected, arguing that his presuppositions are no less valid than those of the naturalists.

    It is this argument that allows creationists to sit back while the real scientists do all the work and then they can cherry pick the few results that can be made to look as though they are in accordance with creationist claims (or counter to evolutionary claims).

  21. says

    Gregory @ 18:

    kind of like an intellectual taco.

    :Snort: I don’t know whether to thank you or scold you for that. Brings up interesting images.

  22. kiptw says

    I was interested to have a brief look at a centuries-old collection of Nostradamus prophecies. Darned if every age isn’t able to find their own events in them. The verses that ‘predicted’ JFK’s assassination, for instance, were clearly meant to point out the death of some beloved local princeling or other.

    The good thing about this science, though, is that it’s always right afterward. If only there was more money in the big-time retrodiction biz!

  23. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    thank you! That’s the word I was trying to remember, that a phrased as ex post facto prediction. retro- is much more concise.

  24. Menyambal says

    So are Neanderthals evil or not? As it happens, the “thal” in Neanderthal and the “doll” in dollar have the same origin. So if Neanderthals are evil, we need to stop using dollars.

    Yeah, that’s silly, but I have seen worse.

    The German word for “valley” was “thal” (now “tal”). Neanderthals were found in Neander’s Valley, and a silver mine named after the valley that it was in was minting coins named for the mine, that got shortened down to “thalers”. A few years and languages later, and our money is named after God’s abomination.

    Send your unclean dollars to me, and I will cleanse them.

  25. congenital cynic says

    And the Bible has all of Maxwell’s Equations too. You just have to hunt around, selecting words and symbols and stuff and you can get them. Well, not really. There’s not a fucking lick of science in that book. Unless you’re a deluded nutcase like Ham.

    And totally off topic, I still have tingles over the fact that we got rid of our Harper government.

  26. congenital cynic says

    Regarding that ancient cosmology diagram, just wondering, where are the turtles?

  27. fulcrumx says

    I’m too dumb to figure out why saying Ken Ham’s Bible reminded me of how much terminology from credible endeavors godbots throw around to try to copycat actual worthwhile human activities. Now there is even this: http://freebelievers.com/

  28. Owlmirror says

    Speaking of ancient cosmology, TEACHTHECONTROVERSY has a plethora of cosmological models to choose from, including flat earths that float serene and alone, and flat earths supported by elephants on top of a turtle. No doubt both sides are sneered at by the plain geocentrists and the more baroque hollow earthers.

    I see that there is now a grain storage pyramid added to the mix of controversial scenarios! I’m sure they get along like a house on fire with the ancient alien pyramid builders.

    Also new there (to me): Chemtrails . . . . . . . !!

  29. Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority) says

    I think we’re underestimating the great work Ken does with the “intellectual taco” idea. He doesn’t just make the taco, he takes the trouble to digest it before giving his followers the results.

  30. says

    I read in a creationist book that the “giants of the earth” were born from demon possessed men who mated with the women who bore them twelve foot tall giants. Does this include Neanderthals, too? Likely, but only in the creationist’s made up world.

  31. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Huh. Somehow I’d figured the underworld would be the lowest level. In this graphic, there’s both rock and more ocean underneath it, though. I wonder what that place would be like. Maybe some sort of ocean of outer darkness, crawling with eyeless abominations even worse in appearance than angels.

  32. woozy says

    They were human. And we know that Neandertals were intelligent descendants of Adam and Eve, just like us.

    Yes? And….?

    What else? What was their physiology and distribution?Their characteristic and phylogeny? Their diet technology, language and cultural artifacts?

    Oh. They were in the bible and that’s the end of your curiosity , is it? You don’t actually care or want to know anything more, do you?

    You see, that’s the thing, Ken. I don’t really believe you have any scientific curiosity. It seems that all you seem to want to do is insist biblical interpretation is possible… and then quit. That seems to be all you are interested in. And that’s just not what science is about. Most scientists want to actually find stuff out and learn things. You just seem to want to claim something could have happened and don’t want to learn anything.

    So I just don’t have good faith in your dedication to scientific pursuit.