Molecules-to-man evolution

Molecule to man evolution (labeled)
A depiction of molecules-to-man evolution, a phrase coined by Ken Ham (1975), the premise, first espoused by Johann Goethe (1809), in initial theory, then, in a popular sense, by Charles Darwin (1859), that man evolved over time, via naturalistic processes, from molecules to apes to humans. [1] See also: molecular evolution timeline and molecular evolution table.
In hmolscience, molecules-to-man evolution, similar to molecules in motion apologetics, related to "hydrogen to human", is the theory, oft-used in apologetics (Ham, 1975), that every CHNOPS+ based animate form and form change we see occurring around us, and historically, e.g. via fossil evidence, happened and is happening currently by purely natural processes, starting from atoms and molecules and ending in the formation of humans. [1]

In 1871, English naturalist Charles Darwin introduced his warm pond model, according to which man "evolved", via the process of natural selection, from a heated pond filled with the molecule ammonia (NH3) and phosphoric salts, e.g. phosphate (PO4³−).

In 1985, the multi-author book Evolution from Molecules to Men was published, edited by D.S. Bendall, the book being the result of a conference, organized by Darwin College, Cambridge, that took place from 27 Jun to 2 Jul 1982, held to commemorate the centenary of Darwin’s reaction end (death). [2]

The specific phrase “molecules-to-man evolution”, however, seems to the mental coining and subsequent popularization of Australian-born American Ken Ham, who first rejected what he termed "molecules-to-man evolution" during high school, and became influenced, in 1974, while in college, by John Whitcomb and Henry MorrisThe Genesis Flood (1961), then used the phrase in his 1975 science class teachings, then later began to publish, into the 2000s, works using the term. [3]

In 2006, Ham, in his Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World, began to employ the explicit hyphened phrase “molecules-to-man evolution” as follows:

“Whether it was the worldwide flood, the feeding of the 5,000, or arguing against the possibility that man evolved from molecules to ape to man over millions of years, dad defended the word of God as if his life depended upon it … which, in fact, it did. He was always adamant about one thing: if you can’t trust the Book of Genesis as literal history, then you can’t trust the rest of the Bible.” (pg. 19)

Here, we see why Ham, naturally enough, would go on to become the curator of the website and the Creation Museum, i.e. they are byproducts of a vexation between two possibilities seeded into his mind as a youth.

In college, at Queensland Institute of Technology, Ham obtained a BS in applied sciences, with focus on environmental biology, during which time his textbooks, in biology, geology, and other subjects, filled with evolutionary ideas, explained the following to him: [4]

“My textbooks laid out what claimed to be convincing proof that we progress from molecules to man without any outside influence. I was further taught ideas on how the universe was formed—but they all involved naturalistic processes. God wasn’t involved at all.”

Ham then, in 1974, came across Whitcomb and Morris’ 1961 The Genesis Flood:

“This small booklet [The Genesis Flood (1961)] gave me a number of biblical arguments about why Christians can’t accept molecules-to-man evolution and the Bible’s record of origins at the same time.”

Ham continues:

“One of the first times this really hit me was during my first year as a science teacher in 1975. In my class were the true native Aborigines, tribal descendants of the first tribes that settled in Australia long before the Europeans came. Because of evolutionary thinking, the aborigines have been oppressed and even killed. Those who committed the atrocities often claimed that the Aborigines (who tend to be darker skinned than Europeans) were ‘lower’ [see: Darwin on ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ in terminology] on the evolution chain, and therefore sub-human. As I taught the class, I made sure that my students were taught the problems with molecules-to-man evolution and the idea that the earth is millions of years old. I shared some of the arguments I had gleaned from The Genesis Flood and other sources that supported the biblical account of origins. I explained that I did not believe man evolved from ape-like ancestors, but that the account of the creation of Adam and Eve was true—we were all descendants of to people.”

In 2013, Ham began employing the phrase “molecules-to-man” in his online article titles. [1]

In 2014, in his YouTube debate with Bill Nye, the science guy, Ham frequently employed the term “molecules-to-man evolution” as a sort of pejorative labeling tactic to shut Nye—an electrical engineer by education—up into silence.

In 2013, Aaron Solman gave a talk on "Molecules to Mathematicians"

Generic | Statements
The following are selection of stock or generic molecules-to-man like statements, tending to be found in the opening of any type of grand theory books, concerning the bigger questions of human existence:

“Once upon a time, one molecule, scudding in a primordial ocean, suddenly and absolutely accidentally met another cute molecule. They decided to bind to each other and scud together, and found that they acquired a new property, which gave them a better chance to survive in that rough and unfriendly primordial ocean. During the next billions of years, these molecules met many other attractive molecules (of course, absolutely accidentally) and combined with many of them, creating a big conglomerate of molecules. This conglomerate again absolutely accidentally discovered that it can create similar little baby conglomerates by simple division and that is how a primordial organic complex or protein or nucleic acid was created. They then absolutely accidentally found each other in the primordial ocean, combined and created a small syndicate that acquired many new and very useful properties for survival and we now call it a ‘cell’ … Accidental and random combinations of molecules [however] can neither create a car nor a human being [man] or even a simple one-celled organism with a certain ‘directing power’ that can transform originally inanimate matter into numerous forms of life.”
Nickolas Dorfman (2008), Was Mona Lisa Created by Physicochemical Reactions Alone? [5]

“Approximately four billion years ago, molecules joined together to form cells. About two billion years later, cells joined to form more complex cells. And then a billion years later, these more complex cells joined together to form multicellular organisms. These collectives evolved because the participating individuals could, by working together, spread their genetic material in new and more effective ways. Fast-forward another billion years to our world, which is full of social animals, from ants to wolves to humans [man].”
Joshua Greene (2013), Moral Tribes [6]

The first of these, without going into detail, to note, takes issue with "blind random chance accident based model" of evolution; the second is error-inherent in that it employs the so-called "spread your genes model" of evolution's purpose in the statement.

The following are related quotes:

“I have noticed that one of the new catch phrases in creationist circles is show me the evidence for evolution. They then continue you to say by evolution I mean molecules to man. Well this is extremely dishonest as a human never came from a molecule. Humans evolved from an ancestor who evolved from another ancestor who many many many generations before evolved from a basic cell. Evolution in fact does not claim to know how life started, i.e. molecules to man. All evolution is defined as: descent with modification. There are hundreds of other fossils that bridge gaps that are not meant to exist according to creationists. This is why I believe abiogenesis is the last hiding place for honest creationists, as to deny evolution or to call it molecules to man is absurd. The problem is even abiogenesis as a hiding place is disappearing at a rapid rate.”
— IAmAnAtheist (2014), “Molecules to Man is a Fallacious Argument” (ΡΊ), Mar 30

1. (a) Ham, Ken. (2013). “Overview of Natural History: Molecules-to-Man Evolution”,, Feb. 22.
(b) Creation Museum (history) – Wikipedia.
2. Bendall, D.S. (1985). Evolution from Molecules to Men. CUP Archive.
3. Ken Ham – Wikipedia.
4. Ham, Ken and Ham, S. (2006). Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World: Leaving a Lasting Legacy (molecules, 4+ pgs). New Leaf Publishing.
5. Dorfman, Nikolas. (2008). Was Mona Lisa Created by Physicochemical Reactions Alone? Open Your Mind and Use Your Logic (pgs. 4-5). iUniverse.
6. Greene, Joshua. (2013). Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them (pg. 20). Penguin.
7. Solman, Aaron. (2013). “Molecules to Mathematicians” (abs), Talk, University of Birmingham.
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