The Creation Museum Supports Evolution?

Kenneth Chang of The New York Times wrote about actual scientists visiting the Creation Museum the other day.

He now adds one addendum to that piece. It appears the Creation Museum actually espouses evolution.

Chang explains the Creationist view that Noah’s Ark did not hold “two of every animal,” rather it held “two of every kind of animal”… meaning it may have held one pair of dogs, which evolved into several variants of dogs, but not into new species. This is an example of microevolution, which they believe in.

That’s when it gets weird:

The descendants of the ark dog include foxes, states one of the museum signs. This is pretty incredible if you don’t accept the theory of evolution. Dogs (and wolves) have a genome of 78 chromosomes. The red fox has 34 chromosomes. By most any measure, dogs and foxes are different species and yet here in the Creation Museum, it was stated that foxes had diversified from dogs, with major changes in appearance and genetic make-up, in an incredibly short time of less than 4,500 years — far, far faster than an evolutionary biologist would claim.

… If dog to fox is microevolution, then it seems that hominid to human would also be microevolution.

Either the Creation Museum supports evolution… or they don’t understand their own beliefs.

I’m going to assume they just didn’t do their own research. It would tie in perfectly well with the rest of the museum.

  • Loren Petrich

    That’s why old-earth creationist Hugh Ross has claimed that many creationists are “hyperevolutionists”.

    Hugh Ross himself believes that every species is a separate creation.

  • Epistaxis

    This is an example of microevolution, which they believe in.

    I wish you wouldn’t treat that as a real word. Creationists believe in it, but scientists don’t.

  • Richard Wade

    … If dog to fox is microevolution, then it seems that hominid to human would also be microevolution.

    And Ken Ham to babbling idiot is also microevolution, and it’s progress.

    Either the Creation Museum supports evolution… or they don’t understand their own beliefs

    What they don’t understand is evolution. Many of their “arguments” are against incorrect concepts that evolution does not claim.

    From Epistaxis, about the word “microevolution”:

    I wish you wouldn’t treat that as a real word. Creationists believe in it, but scientists don’t.

    It’s similar to a word I’m coining right here, “microconcession.” One microconcession after another, creationists have for the last 500 years or so conceded in tiny steps, in a slow steady retreat in the face of advancing science. First, fossils were fakes, then well, okay they’re real. Then, those animals must still be alive somewhere because God would not allow complete extinction of one of his creations, then well, ok they are extinct. Then, on and on…

    One has to wonder why, if their source of knowledge is literally perfect, divinely inspired and eternally unchanging, why they have to keep making these microconcessions until they finally add up to one big, fat macroconcession like “just plain wrong.”

  • Stephan Goodwin

    By a REALLY REALLY rough calculation, that is something like 10x the known mutation rate assuming EVERY MUTATION drove to the differences between fox and dog and that other than the genome size there is no other difference.

    But, hey, why would the Creation folks let little things like reality get in the way of their fantasies? Not like facts have informed them at all up until now.

  • ckitching

    But foxes look like dogs, therefore they must be the same species. Obviously, this is a massive conspiracy to discredit biblical literalism, er, creationism, er, intelligent design, just like C14 radiometric dating is.

    We can’t let silly things like the facts get in the way of faith, after all…

  • Aj

    I believe in microastronomy not macroastronomy, if light took longer than 6,000 years to get here then I don’t believe it exists. If you believe in the Andromeda Galaxy then time is your God. Stars couldn’t possibly have formed in such little time, therefore God must have placed each of them there.

    Creationists have to fit all known land species in a 6,000 year box, when it’s more like a 375 million year box. There’s no difference in the mechanism of microevolution versus macroevolution, the only difference is the number of generations. They don’t even deny speciation as such, they just deny it when it happens enough to change fish into amphibians.

    By grouping foxes with dogs they’re practicing a kind of folk zoology, ignoring what we know about the two species, they look a little alike. I wonder if they’d also group into the same “kind” the Thylacine which I imagine would be a much greater jump than from dog to fox.

  • KarateMonkey

    Over at his place Eric Hovind, son of Dr. Dino, has been talking creationist nonsense about Noah’s flood lately. His latest adds a new wrinkle to the standard creationist argument that I hadn’t heard before.

    The second half of your question assumes that there were salt water species of fish, sharks, and aquatic mammals. Today the oceans are 3.6% salt. With the hydrologic cycle the oceans could easily go from fresh water to 3.6% salt in less than 5,000 years. The animals can adapt to a little bit of salt in the water over that amount of time no problem. So the animals that were in the flood were all fresh water animals. Today there is a distinction that was not needed before the flood, ie. fresh water and salt water.

    So in 4,000 years not only did all terrestrial life evolve from animals on the ark, but all marine life evolved from freshwater species as well.

  • phoenixflash

    I wonder what they would do with a hyena? It looks more like a dog than a fox if you ask me and it is classified as a Feliformia. Maybe I should ask one, that could be fun.

  • zoo

    This is nothing new, although I hadn’t considered

    … If dog to fox is microevolution, then it seems that hominid to human would also be microevolution.

    before. Wonder how they would try to square that with the Bible saying that humans got in the ark. . . probably deny that part.

    I’m cat person so I know better what makes the cat species different from each other. The thought that all the cat species came about in 4000 years is. . . fun. . . especially since we’ve been domesticating our cats for at least that long (though some evidence suggests it may be more than twice that).

    The other cats do share a remarkable degree of similarity (but there are still more changes there than 4000 years can explain, not to mention the very different extinct subfamily), but it makes me wonder. . . could cheetahs really evolve to be that different from the rest of the family in 4000 years? There are many major changes they underwent:
    - their canines shrunk
    - their nasal passages greatly enlarged
    - they started disregarding the instinct to give up a chase when they were spotted by prey
    - they developed an internal signal to tell them to stop running when they get too hot (about 105F)
    - their legs lengthened and became constructed in a way to be much more stable and much less flexible
    - they stopped caring for their litters if there was only one or sometimes two cubs
    - they became diurnal (most of the time)
    - their muscles changed to be runners’ muscles instead of pure strength muscles
    - their bodies became very streamlined (cheetahs can camouflage just by lying down in some short grass)
    - they gave up the ability to fight much, and to be able to effectively defend their kills and litters
    - they gave up the ability to climb trees well
    - they lost their claw sheaths (their claws are still fully retractable anatomically speaking, they’re just not covered when they are)
    - their eyes turned brown
    - their babies started being born with a serious mantle of hair that makes them look like grass (which may or may not be what it’s for)
    - the males started hanging out in small groups after independence
    - their spot pattern is rather different than most cats
    but there was time for these mutations to occur and all of them to be selected for and to develop into what we see today, with a rate of (assuming no cub mortality) maybe ten cubs per adult female.

  • Justin jm

    Two things:

    1. Do any creationists define what “kind” means? Does it mean species, genus, what?

    2. Common descent shows creature traits coming together in newer species in a pattern: you don’t see a really complex vertebrate in the fossil record from 3 billion years ago. It seems to me that the Creation Museum has tossed out this understanding. Therefore they get this:

    The descendants of the ark dog include foxes, states one of the museum signs. This is pretty incredible if you don’t accept the theory of evolution. Dogs (and wolves) have a genome of 78 chromosomes. The red fox has 34 chromosomes.

  • http://theipu.com Ron Gold

    I’m always entertained when a “scientific” explanation is applied to something that clearly couldn’t have happened, like the ark.

    The museum should change their name to the Microevolution Museum.

  • KarateMonkey

    Speaking of cheetahs, one interesting thing about them is that they apparently went through a severe genetic bottleneck some 10,000 years ago. As a result the existing population is genetically similar skin grafts from one cheetah to another don’t provoke an immune response. Of course they’re also more vulnerable to disease, have a hard time breeding and high infant mortality rates.

    So if that was the consequence of a bottleneck 10,000 years ago in cheetahs, what would be the consequence of cutting all “kinds” of land animals down to 2, or 7, individuals.

  • b

    Ahhh, but you see:

    Dogs (and wolves) have a genome of 78 chromosomes. The red fox has 34 chromosomes.

    This only proves their point that information can be lost but not gained! (So long as you accidentally forget to look at the actual genetic sequences.)

  • Richard Wade

    So if that was the consequence of a bottleneck 10,000 years ago in cheetahs, what would be the consequence of cutting all “kinds” of land animals down to 2, or 7, individuals.

    KarateMonkey, you bring up an important point:

    If all of us are descended from the handful of individuals who survived on the ark just a few thousand years ago, then our mitochondrial DNA would be extremely similar, and we could very easily trace our genomes back to them. However, our genes are more diverse than that.

    As it actually happened, humanity apparently did squeeze through a bottleneck about 74,000 years ago, when Toba, a super volcano in Sumatra exploded, and the resultant climactic upheaval reduced the fledgling species of homo sapiens down to between 1,000 and 10,000 individuals. We are the descendants of those survivors, and our mitochondrial DNA still carries the “scar.”

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    AronRa has a nice video depicting what the earth was like on the so-called “day of creation” on Sunday, October 23rd, 4004 B.C.

    I wonder if Mr. Ham has seen it?

  • Stephen P

    Do any creationists define what “kind” means? Does it mean species, genus, what?

    Based on how they use the term, it can be determined that they recognise the following ‘kinds’:

    1. Humans
    2, 3, 4, etc: to be defined.

  • CatBallou

    Well they could have covered their asses—sorry, equus africanus asinus—by suggesting that there were wolves and foxes on the ark, and that dogs descended from wolves.
    It still would have been a ridiculous notion, but genetically it would have been more accurate.
    If the Creation Museum adopts that idea, I want credit for it!

  • plum grenville

    How do they know it was dog to fox not fox to dog?

  • David D.G.

    Richard Wade wrote:

    From Epistaxis, about the word “microevolution”:

    I wish you wouldn’t treat that as a real word. Creationists believe in it, but scientists don’t.

    It’s similar to a word I’m coining right here, “microconcession.” One microconcession after another, creationists have for the last 500 years or so conceded in tiny steps, in a slow steady retreat in the face of advancing science. First, fossils were fakes, then well, okay they’re real. Then, those animals must still be alive somewhere because God would not allow complete extinction of one of his creations, then well, ok they are extinct. Then, on and on…

    One has to wonder why, if their source of knowledge is literally perfect, divinely inspired and eternally unchanging, why they have to keep making these microconcessions until they finally add up to one big, fat macroconcession like “just plain wrong.”

    I love it! I’m definitely going to try to remember and apply references to this business of “microconcessions.” :^D

    Also, to Epistaxis: The term “microevolution” IS used by scientists and has been in use by them since before creationists started coopting the term. The main problem is that creationists, predictably, misuse and/or abuse the term (e.g., when someone points out a completely new species of bacteria, they claim that this is “only microevolution, because they’re still bacteria, not fish”).

    ~David D.G.

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

    Oh, I remember learning about that at a Ken Ham children’s conference back in 1994 or 95 or sometime around then. He put up a genetic diagram that showed how Adam and Eve had all of the genes necessary for all the races, and that different children were different races. He then went on to say the same was true for the animals in the ark. I am sure that my memory is a bit simplified and maybe a bit wrong as it has been so many years and I was just a kid who had never studied Mendelian genetics, but that is what I remember. I looked for this information so I could write a post about it, but couldn’t find it again and assumed I had remembered it completely wrong until I read this!

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

    Oh, and according to him, it’s what happened to the dinosaurs, too. He said that they didn’t die, they just reduced in size to things like crocodiles. I was going to write about that in my “Ken Ham Believes in Evolution” post, too, but his website says something entirely different now so I didn’t have the sources to back it up.


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