Ken Ham’s Authority on Dinosaurs

Ken Ham’s Authority on Dinosaurs October 18, 2013

A writer, as the old saying about reporters goes, is only as good as his or her sources. Whom does Ken Ham quote for information about dinosaurs? Take a look at this:

That’s right. He goes straight to one of the leading authorities on dinosaurs in recent years, namely Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and The Lost World.

In case you think this is photoshopped, you can see the text of “What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?” on the Answers in Genesis website.

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  • Ian


  • gimpi1

    I don’t think you photoshopped it. More’s the pity. Mr. Ham is my own personal example of religion gone bad. I guess if you regard Genesis as a science text, The Lost World looks pretty darn scientific, too. Clones! He’s got Clones! DNA!
    Sorry, I just lost it.

  • f1oyd

    Still probably more accurate than the Bible.

    • Varuka Salt

      Everything is more accurate than the babble.

  • Paul Roberts

    Just out of curiosity, there is another source listed in the referenced quote of The Lost World, does that matter?

    • It doesn’t make it any less ridiculous that he cited a fictional novel as a source to make a point about real life dinosaurs. But if Ham limited himself to books written by actual scientists, and didn’t simply dismiss what they have to say, then this post would not have been written, and presumably science education in the United States would be in a much healthier situation.

  • jordanlund

    Jurassic Park is quoting a book called “The Complete T. Rex” which is a real book. I don’t know if it says in it what Jurassic Park says it does, and Ken Hamm is still an idiot for not being able to attribute the quote correctly, but it is a real book. You can get it from Amazon.

    • Jon Sorenson

      I have a copy of this book; it is written by scientists, and it oozes evolution. I’m surprised Mr. Ham is willing to use it as a source, even indirectly.

    • Jordan,

      Crichton is *not* quoting The Complete T. rex. Ham uses it as another source on the same subject matter, yes, but it’s an independent citation.

  • Ashley haworth-roberts

    AiG have obtained a dinosaur fossil for the Creation Museum. They are going to lie that it died in Noah’s Flood 4,300 years’ ago, but some of their ‘kind’ survived until more recent times.

  • Unfortunately for Ham, it would only take one Argentinosaurus to sink the ark. Or maybe Ham thinks that an Argentinosaurus is the same “kind” as Microceratops. Of course, by that logic, humans are far more easily the same “kind” as gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans.

    • Ian

      I think we can pretty safely conclude that creationism’s “kinds” map onto the distinctions between anthropomorphic animals in books for very young children.

      So horse and zebra are definitely different, because you could get a horse and a zebra in a children’s book.

      But all beetles are just beetles, and basically the same. Except ladybugs, which are different.

      Following on from that, there are only a dozen or so types of dinosaurs appearing anthropomorphised in children’s literature, unless you buy your kids those nasty evolution books on dinosaurs.

      Although it is a (deliberately) insulting criticism, I’ve found it to be surprisingly reliable in the way actual creationists see biodiversity.

  • David Evans

    To quote from the book:

    “There is the story of a 10th-century Irishman who wrote of his encounter with what appears to have been a Stegosaurus.”

    Fascinating. It seems to me that for stegosaurs to survive from Noah’s time to the 10th century there must have been a sizeable breeding population. One would have expected Aristotle or Pliny to have mentioned such a spectacular animal.

    • But they never visited Ireland.

      Perhaps because they were scared of getting eaten by a stegosaurus…

  • Ashley haworth-roberts

    I’ve picked up the dinosaur acquisition story (mainly) here:

  • I keep wondering how many people Keh Ham and all his minions are driving away from God every month.

    He is undoubtedly of the most efficient missionary for atheism out there with success rates far higher than everything Dawkins and his underlings could ever dream of.

  • Gary

    Personally, I use Dreamworks “The Croods” as my reference on creation. What a great movie, especial in 3D. But then again, I rather like the Secret Book of John for creation as well. Just as good as Genesis. They are called “stories”, not documentaries.

  • there is another source listed in the referenced quote of The Lost World, does that matter?

    • I think that the embarrassing thing in this case is that Ham cites a fictional novel as a source about something real. But when he cites scientific treatments of things that are real, he usually treats them as fiction, which is also truly something he should be embarrassed about.

    • Ham will happily cite Jack Horner (one of the legitimate scientists he referenced) for information about the size of dinosaurs, but he will totally ignore Jack Horner’s determination of the age of dinosaur fossils based on multiple dating techniques.

  • Ally

    Actually, isn’t he quoting both the novel and the non-fiction book as two different citations in the same footnote? The second citation doesn’t appear to be part of the first one to me, but then it’s no citation style I’m familiar with…and why is he giving quotes in the footnotes anyway? (I mean like its a normal part of the citation rather than something done here and there)

  • TomS

    There is an important mathematical distinction that needs be made between different meanings of the word “average”. I recall that one creationist took as the average the median rather than the mean for calculating the total volume of dinosaurs. Even though a lot of “kinds” of dinosaurs may have been of more moderate size, so that the median size of a dinosaur was – oh, let’s say, the size of a cow or even a sheep – that does not help when the mean size was much larger because of just a dozen or so extremely large types.

  • Robert

    For once, Ham manages a smidgeon of truth, even if by accident. A great many dinosaurs were small. If you think about it, it would take a lot of small herbivores to eat as much as a, Apatosaurus, and you’ll never get many top carunivores in any ecosystem because of the energy lost at each stage as you go up the tree from plants all the way to T rex.

  • To laugh or cry? I can’t decide.

  • joanne

    do you ever consider that your constant hammering of this particular person seems a bit, well, mean spirited? just a humble thought from someone who doesn’t have the right of your degrees to be so arrogant.

    • When someone points out that a charlatan who insults other Christians, and demeans science and education in general, while pretending to be a Christian himself and bringing the whole Christian faith into disrepute, has done something worthy of ridicule, why is the problem on the side of the one who points this out, rather than being the deceitful liar and promoter of nonsense himself?

  • joanne

    how much time do you spend trying to run this guy down? if what he says is wrong, then it will be obvious; but you are spreading poison with this hate campaign.

    • If most people were fact-checking his claims, there would be no need to draw attention to his deceitful tactics and ridiculous stance. But alas, they are not. To try to prevent him from bringing the Christian faith into further disrepute is hardly “spreading poison” or a “hate campaign.” Indeed, if you think that those terms apply to me rather than to Ken Ham himself, then you need to look into what Ham himself has written.

    • Ryan Arko

      James McGrath argues a great point. Too often, it is seemingly the atheists who are trying to keep Christians looking like normal, sane individuals while lunatics like Pat Robertson, Ken Ham, Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, and a plethora of others make the Joanne’s of the world appear to be racist, misogynistic, homophobic, slave owning, rape apologists who want nothing more than to persecute others and to dehumanize non-believers.

      If you see fit to support that behavior, then by all means, don’t complain when we refer to Christians as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, slave owning, rape apologists who want nothing more than to persecute others and to dehumanize non-believers. Because the Joanne’s of the world would rather have Pastor Chuck Smith tell a woman God would allow her to abort her conjoined twins (despite neither the children or the mother being at risk), than to have a non-believer criticize a Christian.

      Yeah. You’re not a citizen of Crazy Town.

  • rikd57

    What is wrong with Horner & Lessem? While the Crighton book may be fiction, the Horner &Lessem book is not. It appears that he is referencing Crighton’s book as his source for the Horner and Lessem quote to which he may not have had ready access. Would it have been appropriate to skip a source of a legitimate quote? … or might he have been charged with plagiarism?

    • It is the very fact of quoting a novel as a source of scientific information. If he had cited the work by scientists, and indicated that he found that source by way of the novel, that would have been something very different. But when a peddler of nonsense cites a fictional novel as a source of information about science, that’s obviously going to elicit a response.

  • Wow. Just wow.

  • VoiceOfReason71

    Must … get … dumber …

  • Timothy Ware

    M. Crichton books are way more interesting now that I know they are non-fiction. Thank you Mr. Ham