Ken Ham's latest musings are on race and what it says about evolution. Specifically, he says that the recent story of "black and white twins" demonstrate that evolution is a lie.
According to Ham, the twins, who have made quite a sensation, are proof that "black" and "white" are not different races, thus showing that Biblical Creationism is fact and evolution is fiction.
In a new blog post, Ham addresses the twins, and he has the support of science on some points. According to Newsweek, race isn't a biological reality. Most anthropologists, geneticists, sociologists, and psychologists agree that race is a social construct, not a genetic one.
However, evolution -- or more specifically, the theory of evolution by natural selection as the origin of mankind -- doesn't suggest that there are races. Ham seems to suggest that racial differences are a part of evolutionary theory that can, if disproven, demonstrate an untenable flaw in said theory and show that all of evolution is a lie. This is not the case. While evolution recognizes variations within the species, it never tries to suggest that these races are separate species, or different kinds, that cannot marry or produce offspring together.
Ham seems to think that "race" is used to mean an uncrossable genetic divide.
"As we've pointed out before, there are other examples of families having twins with different skin shades. These families illustrate that we really are only one race. Now, evolutionary ideas about the past predicted that there would be different races as different groups evolved at different times. Evolution is inherently a racist philosophy."
This couldn't be further from the truth. Instead, the Smithsonian Institution's explanation of skin tone variations starts right off by pointing to a single shared human ancestor -- not different groups of humans that evolved at different times. Variations in skin color across populations are based on three factors, the Smithsonian explains, the primary one being the way that melanin levels affect sun absorption, thus affecting the intake of Vitamin D, and the risk of burns. Evolution would have favored those with darker skin in lands where the sun burned hotter and lighter skin in areas where the sunlight was more limited.
Ham traces the genetic differences in populations across the globe instead to the Tower of Babel.
"God judged their disobedience by confusing their languages. This forced mankind to spread out and fill the earth. As groups became genetically isolated from one another by language and geographic barriers, certain features, such as eye shape or skin shade, became prominent in different groups."
In summary, Ken Ham does conclude that there are races -- two of them. However, they're not, according to him, genetic products of evolution. He calls them "spiritual races," dividing people into the saved and the unsaved.
The "black and white twins" help demonstrate that race is not a genetic factor and that it doesn't divide humans into uncrossable lines. Are they, however, evidence that evolution is a lie? Not even close.
[Photo by: Mark Lyons/Getty Images]