Joel Duff on Ken Ham's misunderstanding of lily taxonomy

Another great article from Joel Duff explaining how AIG has yet again botched their ubiquitous “It’s still the same kind” argument:


There was no botch. The only point is to show ancient things are still with us, thus not ancient, and only recent extinctions are why we don’t have what is found in fiossils unless they were just types within kinds.
Yes classification is important. thats why the further point about this plant being a transition is just more wrong classification. nothing in it says its a transition but just in a diversity.

Keep in mind that Ken Ham thinks that all bacteria represent a single “kind”! Anti-evolutionists used to restrict evolution to “inside a taxonomic genus” or “inside a family”—but when all else fails, they simply claim that an entire kingdom of organisms is a single kind.

That constitutes the ultimate moving-of-the-goalpost tactic.


a reference?

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I don’t know of a direct quote from a YEC about all bacteria but it is not unreasonable to infer they would say that there are possibly only two prokaryotic “kinds.” Eubacteria and Archaebacteria. I say that because bacteria are always talked about collectively when they talk about evolution. they say that bacteria can’t change from one “kind” into another “kind” and by the second kind they are always referring to multicullular organisms which strongly suggests they think that all bacterial species are connected and changes from one bacteria are NOT evolution. Here are some quotes from Purdom:

All humans have the same set of genes in their DNA, but that’s not true of bacteria. Bacteria share genes from a common pool, so that each individual does not have to retain them all.

The quote is from Bacteria’s Unique Design

Read the part about horizontal gene transfer in that article. Remember that YEC say that evidence of being a kind is ability to hybridize and for bacteria we could say that is the ability to share genetic information. Since all eubacterial species seem to be able to transfer information to each other giving them “new” characteristics but YECs don’t think this is evolution I can only conclude they believe they are all the same “kind.” This does make it easy for the to claim that any changes witnessed in bacteria (even benificial changes!) are not evidence of evolution since it is just change/adaptation in a kind.


That was the context of the Youtube video I watched a few years ago where Ken Ham was denigrating examples of evolution in bacteria. I heard both Ham and Georgia Purdom complain that the evolution of nylonase in flavobacteria could not be evolution because (I’m paraphrasing here): It started with bacteria and ended with bacteria.That’s not evolution! It’s not one kind evolving into another kind. I’ve heard both Ray Comfort and Kent Hovind make similar statements: Bacteria bringing forth bacteria is not evolution!

I’m virtually certain that I read similar statements on the AIG website a few years ago. I have no reason to go looking for a reference because I’m not publishing a peer-reviewed paper on this topic. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if one could find some references within a few minutes, @scd.


It’s an argument from silence but I’ve never seen an ICR/AIG/CMI type identify a boundary between one bacterial kind and a separate kind. The closest is an article by Tomkins in which emphasize the differences between eubacteria and archaebacteria Information processing differences between eubacteria and archaebacteria
I think the evidence that bacteria have such an convoluted phylogeny caused by massive horizontal transfer is why they won’t identify what a bacterial kind is.
I would also toss this out for consideration. I think that Purdom envisions God making millions of bacteria all at once to populate earth. She think they are all the same kind but each is its own package of genetic tools. But being a single kind these bacteria could swap parts thus making many different forms (including those bad bacteria) of bacteria over time.