First the Retraction:
“Beware the Jabberwock my son. . . ” from “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
It turns out that the animal kinds at the Ark Encounter aren’t entirely fantastic after all as I have previously posted and continued to assume even after my visit to the Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter.
@aigkenham & @ArkEncounter recently tweeted a link to a post about six furry animals that you will see aboard the Ark at the Ark Encounter. Indeed, I have seen them with my own eyes. Yet, I was disappointed that these creatures were not clearly labelled as to their “kind” and with an indication of what species “evolved” from them according to Answers in Genesis’s “Orchard of Life” hypothesis. Some of them are not difficult to guess. Any baraminologistician worth his online degree would be rightly shocked by the lack of labels. Still, during my visit, I saw nothing to dispel my assumption that the “AIG Fabricators” had invented creatures ex nihilo, as it were.
(N.B. For AIG, the term “kind” is a technical term something like actual, er, I mean, evolutionary biologists use the terms “order” or “family” for classification purposes. AIG likes to use scientificky sounding words like Baraminology [from the Hebrew “created” and “kind”] to make their fabrications sound like scientific research.)
In the post about the six furry creatures, AIG identifies some of these creatures with a known extinct species from the fossil record i.e. thylacosmilid, entelodont, or chalicothere.
Have you ever seen a thylacosmilid, entelodont, or chalicothere? Well, most of us hadn’t either—until now! These are just a few of the unfamiliar animals you can see and learn about in the Ark.— from “Six Furry Animals inside the Ark Encounter“
So, I was wrong in numerous posts and tweets that these animals were wholly fantastic. Mea culpa, Mr. Ham and AIG Fabricators.
However, this revelation raises further questions. Why should we not use familiar animals? Is it more accurate to have the “saber-tooth chipmunk” depicted on the Ark rather than the chipmunk?
Why Notagirafficorns and Not Giraffes?
“Do as I say not as I do.” from Gospel-lite: The Lost Sayings of Jebus edited by the Jebus Seminar from non-extant manuscripts
That AIG uses animals known from the fossil record raises once again AIG’s double-standard. Ken Ham and the Hamites are critical of typical illustrations of Noah’s Ark because they depict so-called “post-flood” species, two or more animals from the same “kind”, and invariably fail to include dinosaurs. Yet, as they themselves admit, they do not know if any of these creatures were actually the representative species on the Ark. So, if one is simply choosing a representative for a kind, why shouldn’t a giraffe be considered as legitimate as the notagirraficorn in representing its kind?
A giraffe is just as much a representative of its kind as is the okapi and perhaps,more so than the AIG Notagirafficorn. The big difference of course is that we know what the giraffe and the okapi look like which is problematic for AIG fabricators who want to give the Notagirafficorn the appearance of being a transitional species.
(That’s right AIG teaches micro-evolution at an incredible rate — Do you remember when Young Earth Creationists insisted that transitional species were not transitional species? See: Ken Ham’s Doctrine of Accelerated Evolution or Supranatural Selection)
Perhaps, the reason is that in using an extinct species from the fossil record the AIG Fabricators are free (or constrained by their presuppositions and agenda) to give their creations things like giraffe spots or chipmunk stripes. That is, they can tailor appearances to fit their presuppositions. Again with the double-standard for they accuse paleontologists of doing this sort of thing when they make dinosaurs look more like birds based on a current hypothesis. Of course, this conforming to one’s presuppositions is actually consistent with their teachings. They simply assume that their presuppositions are “biblical” but that is debatable and that the presuppositions of evolutionary biologists is of the devil which is patently false.
If God is the Creator, then God is the Creator of this cosmos (or multi-verse) and not Ken Ham’s imaginary young cosmos. Moreover, the Church has always taught that the workings of creation are in principle comprehensible to human reason and not a matter of special revelation.
“What’s good for the goose that lays golden eggs and to hell with the gander.” — from Apologetics from the Nursery to the Rapture by Pastor Goose
So, in conclusion, it would be more consistent and less problematic if AIG simply fabricated imaginary kinds rather than using extinct species as I wrongly assumed they did. For the use actual known animals undermines their oft repeated criticism about the use of the more familiar contemporary animals.
Yet, aren’t children and adult visitors alike wanting to see the Ark filled with familiar animals? Is that not part of the appeal of the story?
As an anecdotal case in point, I came up with the name Notagirraficorn while visiting the Ark Encounter. I witnessed a child repeatedly asking, “Where’s the giraffe, Daddy?” Perhaps, she had a particular fondness for giraffes as my son has for otters. Or, perhaps, she expected a giraffe because AIG shows one on its billboard. Whatever the case, when they reached the “giraffe kind”, the father said, “Oh look here’s the giraffe.”
“No,” I thought to myself, “that is not a giraffe. It is a notagirraficorn.”
For a complete list of my Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis posts click here. Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis Posts
5 thoughts on “RETRACTION Ark Animals are not Totally Fantastic: “AIG Fabricators” and Double Standards”
AiG and other YECs got upset about this (which I cannot currently open):
http://www.theologyforthechurch.com/?p=1873 ‘Ken Ham embraces evolution’
It won’t open for me either.
Yes, YECs don’t like to be reminded that their infallible views have changed or that they are now teaching evolution rather than denying it altogether.
There’s now a message saying the Keathley site has unfortunately crashed and text has been lost.
I think you’re missing the whole point. There were animals on the ark. No one knows exactly what, AIG nor you. Its irrelevant. Just enjoy the exhibit and keep an innocense luke children. Quit over-theorizing Gods Word. All answers are in Heaven. Wait and ask then..
Thank you for commenting. Respectfully, I think you are missing my point and Ken Ham’s point. Ham’s Ark Encounter is intended as a scientific argument for Noah’s Ark and a worldwide flood. It is only as I taught young adult Christians in a University setting that I realized the extent to which Answers in Genesis and other YEC organizations are running a successful propaganda campaign and making these kinds of questions seem essential to the faith.
At the Encounter, Ham has a whole room dedicated to contradicting your statement and indicting publishers of children’s versions of the Ark narrative with misleading Christians.
Moreover, if you read my post on the “notagirrafficorn” you will also realize that it is difficult even for children to simply such down their brains and enjoy the spectacle. Why? Because the animals that one imagines and that one wants to see on a “full scale” Ark are not there! No giraffes, no lions etc rather Ham has filled the Ark with extinct species painted (without any evidence) to suggest the “kinds” posited by the Answers in Genesis.
At some point, as Paul tells us, one has to stop drinking milk and eating fruit loops and start eating meat intellectually speaking. If you want to turn off your mind that is your call but many of us who are gifted for and tasked with teaching fellow believers do not have that luxury.
Rather, I am compelled to draw attention to the ways in which Ham and others are manipulating believers through fear, misinformation, and misrepresentation of Christian scholars.
This blog is intended as a resource for those who are not comfortable simply remaining childlike in their thinking who seek to love God with their minds as well.
Now, to your main point, I agree figuring out how many animals is on the Ark is nonsense and a waste of time and energy. Now, go tell that to Ken Ham who runs a charitable organization that is entirely dedicated to answering such fruitless and division engendering questions. I’m not making any money sharing my arguments whereas Ken Ham’s livelihood depends on convincing you and others that these questions are of utmost importance.
Thanks again for commenting. I hope you will read more of my posts and perhaps I can change your mind.
Ian & popchrist