Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Dilemma with "Kinds"

@Atheistic_1 Sep 27 (Twitter)

Kent Hovind breaks down "kinds": "Everyone knows birds are different than fish." 

Anyone familiar with creationists know that they generally eschew scientific classification of organisms. Rather, they try to reclassify life into what is they term kinds.  It doesn't take long to work out they can't actually define kinds.  They'll throw out what they think are examples of kinds, but they cannot specify the criteria to separate kinds.

So why not simply treat kinds as a synonym for species?  The answer is the Ark.  The idea that all of this planet's terrestrial animal species could fit on the Ark (and let's face it, this is supposed to include extinct taxa like dinosaurs also), is impossible.  So by using larger groups, the cramming task is made less difficult.  Perhaps there is only one cat-kind. Thus all Noah needed was this single pair, rather than representatives of all extant Felidae.

Kinds need a broad definition to fit everything into the Ark

So kinds have to be defined in a broad way, to cluster lots of species together.

But kinds have to be narrowly defined to separate us from apes
This creates the dilemma. The dilemma is us- humans.  Genetically we are more closely related to chimpanzees, than chimpanzees are to gorillas (and other great apes).  So if the point of using kinds is to 'cluster' animal species into groups, we'd be a kind of chimpanzee (or even an ape).  This conflicts with a special creation of humans out of dirt.  We are according to creationists, distinct from all the other animals. This means kinds has to be now revised to mean something incredibly narrow.  It has to be so narrow it can separate us from all other ape species.

The requirement for kinds to be both a way of broadly defining life, and at the same time, even narrower than scientific classification systems, is impossible to pull off.  And for that reason, kinds cannot ever be supplied with an actual definition.  They can only flounder in their futile attempt to meet their two goals.