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Origin of Species

Query for the Month

of November 2003

Next up-date: December 1st 2003 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

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Query:

Here is a  statement from The Natural History Reader in Evolution, page 97, by Niles Eldridge (Editor). Published by Columbia University Press 1987.  ISBN 0-231-06156-0.

 “If all organisms had been created in the Garden of Eden, later to be collected by Noah and subsequently released from Mt. Ararat, we might expect the greatest concentration of life to center round the Middle East, with life fanning out from there, becoming less dense and diverse the further we sample from this center of origin and dispersal. In any case, we would not expect to travel the world over and find highly localized flora [plants] and fauna [animals] that bear no particular resemblance to the denizens [the passengers] of the Ark.”

 I came upon this statement in that book so I asked the question,  “How do we, as believers in a creator God, answer such a thought?”


Answer:

Changed conditions after the Flood

In the first place, how does the writer know which creatures were in the ark, and which have since "evolved"?

In the second place, what are "species"?

In the same book on page 131 it is written by the editor:

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"There are three or four commonly accepted, slightly different notions on how speciation occurs. The most favored theory of speciation [the way of forming a new species] for active, complex animals such as tribolites [fossil bugs, see photos] is geographical, or allopatric, speciation – what nineteenth-century biologists called variance [a separation of two groups]. The basic idea of this model is simple: the easiest way to achieve reproductive independence between an ancestral species and its descendant is to segregate a segment from the main part of the ancestral species. Speciation occurs if enough behavioral or anatomical differences develop to guarantee that the two species will not hybridize [mate] should they one day come to inhabit the same area [again].

"Other speciation theories [do] hypothesize [guess at] ways in which a new community – a fledgling species – can bud off from its parent without being isolated geographically as an initial step. But none of the various theories see natural selection changing a species' adaptations enough to develop a "new" species from an old one. Rather speciation is a largely accidental fragmentation of a once coherent reproductive community.

"During such events, behavioral, anatomical, and genetic changes (sometimes quite rapid) may occur." [The words in the curved brackets are his insertion.]

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What the writer is saying is that enough changes do not occur naturally within a group for a new species to come into existence while they stay together. It requires a change AND isolation for that to happen, and then it can be quite rapid. And that's exactly what happened after the Flood. Some of the surviving animals raced as far as possible from mankind, and in so doing they found themselves cut off in different geographical areas by volcanic eruptions and local Floods which kept occurring for many years as a result of the big Flood.

The effects of Noah's Flood were much greater than anything the earth has experienced since, and many of the results of it are still with us today. At that time the surface of the earth was broken and the "tectonic plates" as they are called, came into existence. These plates are still moving and causing major disruptions to the earth's surface, along with volcanic activity caused through channels forming to the depths of the earth.

The planet also tilted to a 23 degree angle during the catastrophe causing the seasons with their great differences to come into being. Animals which once lived all over the earth's surface because of its original mild climate, now found themselves localised by the weather and their food. Mammoths (ancient/ elephant-like creatures) which were deep-frozen in Siberia with the plants they were eating still in their mouths have been dug up and their meat fed to dogs, showing the suddenness of the event.

Genesis 8:1-5

1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged [calmed down a bit. This hurricane type wind also helped move the saturated soil and bury many of the bodies which were lying about.]. 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained [at the end of the forty days, or six weeks]. 3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually [bounced back and forth in great tidal waves]: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days [five months] the waters were abated [or reasonably quietened from the initial explosion].

4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat [and was protected there by the mountain tops forming a breakwater]. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the [other] mountains seen.

Noah literally came out of the ark one year and ten days after he and his family had entered it. Genesis 7:11; 8:13. At that time the waters of the Flood had subsided enough for the passengers to disembark onto dryish land and the animals scattered, browsing as they went. Sparse vegetation made them travel great distances. However, great mudslides still occurred and formed temporary dirt dams which then collapsed with the weight of the water piled behind them, so the surface of the earth was still violently changing.

Before the Flood there were immense forests of trees many times larger than any trees which we now see. They were of great durability and they would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. At the time of the Flood these forests were torn up or broken down and buried in the earth. In some places large quantities of these immense trees were thrown together and covered with stones and earth by the upheaval of the Flood. They have since petrified and become coal, which accounts for the large coal beds which are now found.

This action has also produced oil from the vast quantities of aquatic life which perished.

Large quantities of coal and oil tend to ignite and burn spontaneously when under pressure. Rocks are intensely heated, limestone is burned, and iron ore melted. Water and fire under the surface of the earth meet and the action of water upon the limestone adds fury to the intense heat, and causes earthquakes, volcanoes and lava streams. The action of fire and water upon the ledges of rocks and ore, causes great explosions.

These wonderful exhibitions will be more numerous and terrible just before the second coming of Christ and the end of the world, as signs of its speedy destruction, for Jesus knew of these things and told us about them.

Luke 21:10-12

10 Then said He to them, "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom [political problems]: 11 and great earthquakes shall be in different places [physical problems], and famines, and pestilences [as a result of the first two]; and fearful sights and great signs [unusual events] shall there be from heaven."

12 "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake." [There will be worldwide religious persecutions of Christians FIRST.]

After the Flood the earth presented an appearance of confusion and desolation impossible to describe. Erosion has softened most of it now. The mountains, once so beautiful in their perfect symmetry, had become broken and irregular. Stones, ledges, and ragged rocks were scattered upon the surface of the earth. In many places hills and mountains had disappeared, leaving no trace where they once stood; and plains had given way to mountain ranges. These changes were more marked in some places than in others. Upon countries that were not inhabited, and those where there had been the least crime, the curse of sin rested more lightly.

But let's get back to our question.

The world's inhabitants at the creation had various food requirements which our creator God had set as best for them.

Genesis 1:29-30

And [the Son of] God said [to Adam and Eve], "Behold, I have given you every herb [plant] bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it [the fruit and the seeds] shall be for meat [food]. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb [the grasses] for meat: and it was so [that all life was vegetarian]."

Genesis 3:17-19

And to Adam He said [after they left Eden], "Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground FOR YOUR SAKE; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you [as a result of your sin]; and you shall eat the herb of the field [now you should eat the plants as well as the fruit and nuts]. In the sweat of your face [you will have to cultivate your food due to the weakened condition of the soil] shall you eat bread [food], till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return."

So the diet in the Garden was fruit, grains and nuts freely accessible on the plants, but after their sin this was extended to the plants themselves which were now to be eaten. So today we eat the leaves of cabbages and the roots of carrots etc. But after the Flood that changed even more dramatically.

Genesis 9:1-4

And [the Son of] God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moves upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

"Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb [plants] have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat."

As a flowover from the days before the Flood when men hunted and ate the animals, Noah and his family were given permission to kill and eat the clean animals, although God's original intention was that they should be vegetarians. But they wanted it, so they got it. At the same time, the other life forms began to prey on each other. The only prohibition for mankind was that blood, the carrier of diseases within the body, should not be eaten. This meant that the body of the animal needed to be drained of its blood before eating it.

However, meat-eating of any kind is not good today because of the unhealthy lifestyles imposed on the cultivated animals which form the base of the meat industry. Many bear diseases in their flesh because of this.

But the great reason for a Christian to be a vegetarian is that he or she should not want to take the life of another of God's creatures just to satisfy an appetite or taste. Those that did were expected to go to God and ask for forgiveness! 

So, to ensure that His people understood what they were doing when they killed an animal for food, the Son of God asked them to bring it to the tabernacle for His forgiveness and blessing before they ate the flesh. 

 Leviticus 17:1-4

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them; This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying, What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that kills an ox, or lamb, or goat [a domesticated animal], in the camp, or that kills it out of the camp, and brings it not to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering to the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed to that man; he has shed blood [the animal was considered part of his family]; and that man shall be cut off from among his people [it would be treated as a homicide if he wasn’t forgiven!]

It is NOT necessary to eat animal flesh to survive, if a good variety of plants, fruit and nuts are eaten over a period of time.

Every species of air-breathing animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which were the result of man's intervention through genetic engineering and selective breeding, were destroyed because of their refusal to come into the ark. Noah didn't drive the animals into the ark, they came of their own accord under guidance from God.

Genesis 7:7-9

And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the Flood [so they went in and waited]. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are [now] not clean [because they are scavengers or meat eaters], and of fowls, and of every thing that creeps upon the earth, there went in two and two to Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah [so they came to him].

In this way the extinction of the dinosaurs came about for they were the results of experiments made by the men of those days (except the tuatara and a few others which were original creations). Many dinosaurs were only the size of modern-day turkeys, and just as bird-like, but they made great hunting for wild men. (There were relatively few Tyrannosaurus Rex etc. about, just as there are not many elephants today.) The pre-Flood people were much cleverer and lived much longer than men of today which enabled them to do things we only dream of. Not until the monk Mendell (c.1868) did his famous experiments with garden peas have we even begun to understand what they accepted as normal.

Since the Flood there has been much inbreeding within the animal and bird life as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of "species" the evolutionists find. I read an article once in which scientists "doubted" whether the pink flamigos of South America could mate with the white ones of North America because they were different species!

In the original creation of life on earth the "kinds" swarmed all over the planet, for the earth "brought forth abundantly". (Genesis 1:20, 24). Of these only those that breathed air needed to go into the ark – many of the sea creatures survived the effects of the Flood, and the seeds of the plant life which were scattered all over the world soon took root and produced their "kind" where conditions were favourable. So the animals soon congregated where conditions were most suitable for them.

During this time, some of the land bridges which they crossed were covered with water and they became isolated, thus fulfilling the conditions mentioned in the first paragraph quoted. Quite distinct species developed. Charles Darwin found this illustrated very well by the islands of the Galapagos. There the water barrier enabled various groups of animals to develop in ways different enough to call them new "species".

Conclusion:

The answer to the question raised by the evolutionist seems to be the one he himself supplied. The effects of the Flood upon the earth's surface isolated many groups of animals and they soon developed into the diverse creatures found far from the site of the ark's landing, such as those found in Australia. Others were adept at ranging over the whole world and they still do. Our Creator supplied enough capability of variation within the gene structure of each "kind" at their original creation that they can produce new "species" for those who want them.

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Tribolites: ancient/ bugs that look something like slaters. Some very big!

http://www.earthworks.net/FOSSILS.htm      See list for "Tribolites"

 

 

Some quite small

http://www.earthworks.net/105005.GIF

 

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Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next query. To be discussed from December 1st 2003.

In Genesis 5:1 we are told, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.”  Did Adam write part of the Bible?

If we comprehend correctly what these words mean then we have a great key to understanding this first book of the Bible.

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