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Questions on Divine Creation
By Gary F. Zeolla
This four-part article is continued from Questions on Divine Creation: Part Two.
This Part Two answers questions 8-11 of 13.
8. Is evolution compatible with the Bible?
9. What are the “kinds” of Genesis One?
These two questions will be addressed together, as they are interrelated.
Many Christians try to reconcile the teaching of evolution with the Bible by saying evolution is the means by which God created the diversity of life seen on earth today and in the fossil record. But to do so, they have to completely ignore the repeated statement of Genesis that God created all of the living things “according to [its] kind.”
11And God said, “Let the earth produce [or, sprout] vegetation, grass sowing [fig., bearing] seed according to [its] kind and according to [its] likeness, and the fruit-bearing tree be making fruit whose seed [is] in it, according to [its] kind on the earth,” and it became so….
20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth reptiles [or, quadrupeds], living souls [fig., having life], and birds [or, winged creatures] flying above the earth throughout the firmament of heaven,” and it became so. 21And God made the great sea creatures and every soul [or, breath] of living creatures of reptiles [or, quadrupeds], which the waters brought forth according to their kinds, and every bird [or, winged creature] according to [its] kind, and God saw that [it was] good (Gen 1:11,20f).
A proper understanding of these verses is vital in understanding the creationist perspective and why it is incompatible with evolution, be it old-earth or young-earth creationism. The key is the word “kind.” Many assume this is equivalent to “species.” But it is not. It is of a higher level on the taxonomic scale, more along the lines of an “order” or a “family,” though it is unlikely it would be strictly identified with either. That is because an order or a family is not a fixed idea but is actually quite fluid:
Families (and really, any taxa except species, to some extent) are artificial, fluid and ever-changing. That’s not to say they aren’t useful, but the number of families is likely to be changing quite a lot on a nearly daily basis, as more and more families are converted into monophyletic groups based on DNA evidence (biology).
The point is, due to now being able to classify plants and animals by their DNA rather than just their external characteristics, we can be more accurate in the classifications, requiring the changing of the classifications of some organisms. But the main point here is, there is the possibility of a wide diversity within a “kind” of an animal, and the number of kinds that were created during Creation Week would be far less than the number of species that exist now and have existed in the past.
That later point is important, as it relates back to the question of how long the “days” of Genesis One were. Probably the strongest argument that they represent long periods of time is that all of the events of Day Six could not have happened in 24-hours, with the most important point being Adam naming all of the animals.
But there are two misconceptions here. The first is Adam named all of the kinds of animals that have ever existed on that “day.” But that is not the case. Genesis Two is not describing the creation of the entire universe and of the whole earth. It is a narrative of just the creation of the Garden of Eden. God created animals for the Garden, but the number of kinds would probably have been far less than the total number of kinds that were created for the entire earth.
Moreover, since kinds does not equal species but a higher level on the taxonomic scale, even if it were all of the kinds on the earth, that number would have been quite low. First off, it only included “all the wild beasts of the field and all the birds of heaven” (Gen 2:19). That means it did not include sea creatures, insects, and bacterium, as such could hardly have supposed to be adequate companions for Adam.
But for the kinds of animals that would have been considered, the approximate number of families existing today are: 136 mammal families, 61 amphibian families, 57 reptilian families, and 19 bird families (biology). That’s a total of just 263 families of land-dwelling animals and birds. Of course, many families of animals have gone extinct, most notably the dinosaurs, but there were only about 80 families of them.
Adding that to the previous number, we get 343 families. Of course, there are other families of animals that have also gone extinct. But let’s round that all the way up to 500 families to account for them. But again, not all of them would have been in the Garden. If only 10% were, that means Adam had to name just 50 kinds of animals.
Doing the math, if Adam spent five minutes naming each of these 50 kinds of animals, it would have taken him about four hours to name them. That means the events of Day Six could have easily fit within 24-hours. This point also relates to a question we will address later.
But here, the important point to understand is the wide diversity that can be found within a family or “kind” of an animal or of a plant, fish, or bacterium. The possibility for that diversity was found within the DNA of the original pair of each kind of plant and animal God created on Days Three, Five, and Six.
This all relates to human skin colors or better shades, since all people have brown skin. It just varies from very light to very dark. Adam and Eve had the genetic capability of producing offspring with anywhere from very dark to very light skin shades, and that capability can still be seen today when a person with dark skin mates with a person with light skin, or two people with medium-brown skin mate, and they have biracial twins, such as seen below.
Yes, this picture is real. Those adorable girls are fraternal twins. And note the medium brown shade of their parents’ skin. This is probably what Adam and Eve looked like. However, when two people with dark skin mate, they cannot produce offspring with light skin, and if two people with light skin mate, they cannot produce offspring with dark skin. That is because the former couple has lost the genetic capability to produce light-skinned offspring, while the later has lost the ability to produce dark-skinned offspring. Thus, the diversity of skin tones seen in the human population today represent a loss of genetic diversity in groups that are exclusively at one end of the skin-tone continuum or the other.
The same can be seen among animals in say the “canine” kind. Most likely, God created just two canines, one male and one female. From that pair of canines developed the wide variety of canines we see today, from wild species like wolves, coyotes, foxes, and hyenas, to domesticated dogs, with their wide range from St. Barnard to Poodle.
To illustrate, let’s take one canine characteristic, that of hair length. That original canine pair probably had medium length hair, but they had the genetic capability to produce offspring with anywhere from very short hair to very long hair. That can be illustrated genetically by long hair being a “L gene” and short hair being a “S gene. That first pair of canines had to have one L gene and one S gene each.
Then humans bred some canines, so that now some dogs can only produce short-haired dogs, while some others can produce only long-harried dogs. When that happens, it is because the long-haired canines now only have two L genes, and the short-haired canines now only have two S genes. The genetic capability to produce the opposite hair length in the given dog has been lost over time due to the breeding, as the long-haired canines no longer have the S gene necessary to have short-haired offspring, and the short-haired canines no longer have the L gene needed for long-haired offspring.
Such breeding of animals has been occurring a very long time, being seen in the Book of Genesis, when Jacob bred Laban’s sheep, so that he would get most of them (Genesis 30:31-43). And such human intervention greatly accelerates the speed at which diversity develops within a given kind of animal or plant. However, even without human intervention, such diversity will develop naturally due to changing environmental conditions. When it does, it represents a loss not a gain of genetic information.
In this case, if a pair of canines with one L gene and one S gene are placed in a cold environment, their offspring with long-hair, which is to say, two L genes, will survive better than those with short-hair, which is to say, with two S genes. And that greater survivability will lead to more offspring being born with long hair than short hair, until the whole population only has long-hair. But that means that population no longer has any S genes and thus can no longer produce offspring with short hair. This process is what is commonly “natural selection” or survival of the fittest. But those who survive have less genetic diversity and less genetic information than their ancestors. However, evolution from one kind to another kind requires additions of genetic information leading to an increased diversity. But these natural mechanisms cannot produce such.
In other words, there are limits as to how far a kind can diversify, with those limits being encoded within their DNA at creation. Consequently, no amount of time or human intervention short of genetic manipulation would enable any kind of fish to produce offspring with legs. And that is the dilemma for evolution. For a fish to produce offspring with legs would require an addition of genetic information, and that is not possible short of humans somehow slicing genes for legs into fish. It simply could not happen naturally.
Now, Christians who claim evolution is the means God used to bring about the diversity seen in flora and fauna want to bring in God here. They claim God works miraculously to alter the DNA so that fins could turn into legs and to enable all of the other necessary mutations to drive evolution forward. However, that would conflict with what has already been said, that God created plants and animals according to their kinds. It would also conflict with Genesis 1:31 and 2:2 and Exodus 20:11:
31And God saw all, as many [things] as He made. And Look! [It was] very good. And there became evening and there became morning, [the] sixth day.
2And God finished on the sixth day His works which He made, and He rested on the seventh day from all His works which He made.
11For in six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the [things] in them, He and rested on the seventh day. Because of this, the LORD blessed the seventh day and made it holy.
The Bible is clear. God’s creative work ended on Day Six of Creation Week. And He proclaimed His creation “very good” at that time. But if He continued to make billions of adjustments to His creation over the following billions of years to drive evolution forward, then His creative work was hardly very good and complete if it needed so many adjustments. Moreover, evolutions would never accept this “God of the gaps” fix to a major problem with their theory, so it solves nothing in regard with trying to reconcile the Bible with modern-day science.
Instead, evolutionists claim the natural mechanism to accomplish the incredible feat of changing one kind of flora or fauna into another kind is random mutations. But such mutations are almost always deleterious, leading to the death of the organism. The rare beneficial mutations are never so great as to change fins into legs. But to get around that, evolutionists claim that it is not just one but a long gradual series of mutations that change fins into legs.
But that would mean there would need to be many hundreds or even thousands of intermediary forms, ranging from mostly fins with a little bit of legs, to mostly legs but with still a little bit of fins. But such partial fins would be useless for swimming, and such partial legs would be useless for walking, leading to the extinction of that kind of fish.
Moreover, it is not just fins turning into legs that is needed for a sea creature to dwell on land. Its entire breathing apparatus would need to change, with gills changing into nostrils, and the lungs changing, so that they can process oxygen from air rather than from water.
But it does not end there. The fish’s digestive system would need to completely change, and its mating habits, and its method of producing and raising offspring, and on it goes. The number of differences between sea creatures and land creatures is immense, with all of those differences requiring the addition of genetic information. And again, intermediary forms would be useless. Half-gills/ half nostrils would leave the poor creature with no way to breathe, so it would suffocate.
But the difficulty does not even end there. According to evolution, this whole process happened not just once but twice, except the second time in reverse, changing some land creatures back into sea creatures, namely, whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
For these, legs would need to change back into fins, their mating habits would need to change back to that of sea creatures, their method of producing and raising offspring, and on it goes. The only difference is nostrils would not need to change into gills. Instead, nostrils on the front of the head would need to change into a blow hole on the back of the head.
And once again, this myriad of changes would require the addition of genetic information at each step. And all of this would need to occur via purely random mutations, all occurring just as before, except in reverse, with each intermediary change leaving the organism viable, on through hundreds or thousands of intermediary forms, until the new kind was fully formed.
The important point to understand here is these massive changes are required to change one kind of animal or plant to another kind of animal or plant. But all that has been observed are minor changes within a kind. Moreover, such changes within a kind do not prove evolution, they prove creation. But the former is all that evolutionist can prove, going all the way back to Charles Darwin and his book Origins of the Species.
The title of that book was a misnomer, as Darwin never explained how species originate. All he did was describe adaptations with a species, such as the beaks of finches adapting to their environment. He never observed a specie changing into another species, let alone a kind or family of animal changing into another kind or family. And neither has any evolution proponent since then.
To put it another way, evolution has a “Tree of Life,” with all of the known diversity of life branching out of one tree trunk, and all living things connected at the root of the tree by one common ancestor. But what that common ancestor was and is unknown, as it has never been proven to exist, and neither has the connecting links between the major families of living things.
Meanwhile, creation has a “Forest of Life” or an “Orchard of Life” with all of the trees representing the different kinds of living things created during Creation Week and their branches representing the diversity that has developed since then within each of those kinds. But there is no connection between the trees, with each standing unique for its kind.
These two completely different views of how the diversity of life came to be is why evolution is not compatible with the Bible and its teaching of divine creation.
10. How do creation scientists view the cataclysmic Flood of Noah?
The common image of the cataclysmic flood of Noah is of a bathtub, of it raining for forty days and forty nights, and that rain causing the waters to slowly rise in a calm manner, covering all of the land, treetops, and mountains, with one little boat floating on the calm water. But that image is far from accurate.
The Bible describes the catastrophic flood in Genesis chapter seven. The reader is encouraged to read that entire chapter. But a couple of vital verses are the following:
… all the fountains of the abyss were broken apart, and the flood-gates of heaven were opened. 12And became the rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights…. 19Then the water prevailed exceedingly violently upon the earth, and it covered all the high mountains which were under heaven (7:11b,12,19).
Note the first phrase—the water for the catastrophic flood did not come just from rain. It also came from subterranean waters. That is important as some try to argue against the catastrophic flood being a worldwide flood by saying that 40 days of rain could not produce enough water to cover the earth. But the subterranean waters probably provided more water than the rain. Note also the phrase “exceedingly violently.” This was not a bathtub filling up but a very violent event.
That subterranean water came from the earth literally splitting open along the continental rift running down the middle of what is now the Atlantic Ocean. But at that time, that rift opened up right in the middle of Pangea, “the hypothetical landmass that existed when all continents were joined” (Dictionary.com).
That rift opening up tore apart Pangea into the continents we know today. The Americans were torn and violently driven away from Eurasia and Africa, with all of these continents moving away rapidly away from each other from the rift in the middle of the quickly rising ocean floor, while Australia and Antarctica were torn away and driven southward. This was the initiation of what is now called continental drift. But initially, the movement of the continents was rapid and violent. But they eventually slowed to their current and calm pace of from 0.60 to 10 cm/year, deepening on the source (Physics).
This rapid initial movement of the continental plates led to upheavals in the plates, bending the earth’s mantle upward, forming the mountain ranges seen in the continents, such as the Rocky Mountain Range in North America and the Andes Mountain Range in South America.
This tearing apart of the ocean floor also expelled huge amounts of subterranean water, flooding the moving continents and causing huge tsunamis (tidal waves). It also disrupted subterranean rock layers, leading to massive volcanoes erupting all over the planet simultaneously. It also sent water and solid debris outward so violently that some reached escape velocity, flying outward into space.
Some of that solid debris hit the moon, causing the many more large impact craters on the near side of the moon (the side we always see) than the far side (which no human had ever seen until the US and Russian space missions in the 1960s). Those large impacts craters are called “seas.” These seas do not contain water, of course, but are flat depressed areas, in one of which (The Sea of Tranquility), The Eagle moon module landed, and Neil Armstrong took that famous “one small step for man.”
This slamming of debris into the moon possibly altered its orbit, so that while previously a lunar month was exactly 30 days, it is now only 29.5 days (Time and Date). The loss of mass from the earth also altered its orbit, so that while previously it took exactly 360 days to orbit the sun, it now takes 365-1/4 days. That those orbits would have initially been exactly 30 and 360 days, respectively, fits with God declaring that one purpose of the sun and moon was “for signs and for seasons and for days and for years” (Gen 1:14).
This also explains why many ancient cultures had calendars consisting of twelve 30-day months and 360-day years. Such calendars were probably in common use before the Flood, and they worked perfectly back then. Noah and his sons then taught such calendars to their immediate descendants, not being aware of the orbital alterations. But as time went on, later descendants realized that such calendars did not work quite right, so they had to adapt them, changing the number of days in some months and adding five days to the year (and a sixth day every four years), to account for this altering of the moon’s and earth’s orbits (Brown).
Meanwhile, the rest of that water and debris continued to fly out into space. The water froze as it hit the coldness of space, collecting into giant ice balls. Some of those giant ice balls and solid debris flew toward the sun. But it was moving so rapidly, rather than being pulled into the sun, it entered into wide, elliptical orbits around the sun, forming some of the comets. The rest of the debris become some of the meteors and asteroids seen in the solar system today.
That some of the comets, meteors, and asteroids in the solar system came from the earth explains why amino acids and other possible signs of microscopic life have been discovered on these objects. That is not evidence that life came to the earth from elsewhere but that these solar system objects came from earth.
Meanwhile, back on earth, those massive and numerous volcanic eruptions spewed hot volcanic rock into the oceans, causing them to warm, and debris to fly into the atmosphere, causing the air to cool. These massive volcanic eruptions continued for many years after the year plus that the waters prevailed on the earth (Genesis 8).
The hot oceans led to increased evaporation and subsequent increased precipitation. With the cooler atmosphere, that precipitation fall in the form of snow in the northern areas in the winter. And the cooler atmosphere kept that snow from melting in the summer. That led to huge ice sheets forming and growing that slowly covered the northern parts of the land masses, which is the to say, the one and only Ice Age, which started about 100 years after the catastrophic flood. But as the volcanic activity slowed, the oceans slowly cooled, and the atmosphere slowly warmed, and those massive ice sheets slowly melted and receded, ending the Ice Age after about 700 years.
Going back to the time of the Flood, along with the rising flood waters drowning many animals, the violent tsunamis would also have drowned many animals, burying them and the plant life quickly under massive amounts of water and debris. The lava from the massive and many volcanic eruptions would also have buried much animal and plant life. The quick nature of their deaths and subsequent burials by sediment and lava enabled their remains to fossilize. Since this was a worldwide event, it explains why billions of fossils have been found all over the earth.
That is an important point, as normally, when a plant or animal dies, it simply decomposes, leaving no evidence behind and without fossilizing. Local floods and volcanoes can explain some of the fossils, but not the widespread distribution and number of them all over the planet.
Meanwhile, as the flood waters calmed, sedimentation would have occurred in layers. With the massive pressure from the “Fifteen cubits [about 22.5 feet or 7 meters]” that the waters rose above the earth (Gen 7:20), those sediments would have quickly compressed in rock, forming the rock layers known as the Geological Column. In other words, those rock layers formed rapidly, over a period of months, not slowly over hundreds of millions of years, as evolutionists claim. That is an important point on many levels.
First, evolutionists claim there is no evidence for a worldwide flood, based on there being no layer of sedimentation worldwide that would be the remains of a flood. In doing so, they are still thinking in millions of years, expecting to find one thin layer that represents the flood. But the entire Geologic Column is evidence of the Flood, except for the lowest layer, which would have been formed during Creation Week, and the topmost layer, which would have been formed since the Flood.
Second, it means the different layers do not represent different geologic ages, each lasting millions of years, with the entire column representing hundreds of millions of years of earth’s history. The entire column was in fact laid down over the year plus of the Flood.
Third, it means that the fossils in the rock layers are not millions of years old, with each layer of fossils representing different stages in biological evolution. All of those animals lived at the same time, at the time of the catastrophic flood, and were all killed at the same time, during the Flood Year. That explains why so many of the life forms do not change throughout their entire appearance in the rock layers, and why new forms appear suddenly without ancestors. It also explains why various life forms are often found in “earlier” or “later” layers than expected.
Fourth, the order in which life forms are generally found do not represent biological evolution but simply the order in which the plants and animals would have died and been buried. Some plants and animals only exist in certain areas, leaving records in only some layers and places, while more mobile and intelligent animals would have gotten to higher ground and died later in the Flood Year.
Fifth, this explains why petrified trees, stripped of their branches, have been found upright, going through several rock layers. Their branches would have been torn off by the blasts of debris from the volcanoes, and the trunks would have been buried rapidly by lava or tsunamis, keeping them in the upright positions, or they fell into the rising waters and turned upright, as has been observed to happen in rapid local floods.
Sixth, this explains the soft tissues and DNA that have been found in fossilized dinosaur bones. The first find of soft tissue (of hemoglobin) was by accident, as evolutionists, with their assumption that those bones are at least 65 million years old, never expected to find such. But now that they are looking for it, it is quite common, with not only hemoglobin but also cartilage and eye tissue now being found and the even more fragile DNA. But such could only survive for a few thousand years at best; in no way for millions of years.
Evolutionists have tried to solve this dilemma by claiming the presence of iron in these soft tissues would extended their shelf live so to speak. That might be true, but only by an order of magnitude (ten times). Thus, rather than lasting just 10,000 years, this soft tissue might last 100,000 years. But that is hardly the 100,000,000 years that is needed for dinosaur soft tissue to still exist. The evolutionist still need a mechanism for three more orders of magnitude of preservation. but none are to be found. But that original 10,000 years fits perfectly with a young earth creationist perspective.
One last point about the flood is in regard to an often-asked question of “Where did all of the water of the flood go to?” Before the catastrophic flood, probably far less than 70% of the earth was covered with water as it is today. That is why the “new earth” will not have any “seas” (Rev 21:1). By “seas” is probably meant “oceans,” so John is saying the new earth will be similar to the original state of this earth in that it was and will not be 70% covered by water.
But for our current earth, when the waters of the catastrophic flood receded, it created the oceans we know today. The rest of the water receded back into subterranean caverns. In fact, recent research shows there is more subterranean water than there is surface water on the earth.
The preceding is a simplified overview of the perspective of creation scientists of the catastrophic flood of Noah. But from it, it can be seen this perspective provides a consistent scenario that explains many aspects of what has been observed on earth and even in our solar system. As such, this overview should enable the reader to see there is ample evidence to believe in the worldwide cataclysmic Flood described in the Bible.
All scripture quotations are from: Analytical-Literal Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 1999-2022 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Biology. How many (taxonomic) families are there?
Brown, R. PhD. Center for Scientific Creation. Did the Preflood Earth Have a 30-Day Lunar Month?
Physics handbook, The.Speed Of The Continental Plates.
Time and Date. The Lunar Month.
TV and Radio Shows:
Creation in the 21st Century. Hosted by David Rives, seen on TBN.
Science, Scripture, and Salvation. On the Bott Radio app.
Origins, seen on WPCB, a Pittsburgh-based Christian TV station.
Note: I have been watching or listening to these shows for many years. The information I present in this article is gleaned from those years of watching, so I am unable to provide specific dates for specific info, as I cannot remember exactly when the episode with that information first aired.
Part Four of this four-part article will be posted after it appears in the next Issue of Darkness to Light Christian Newsletter.
Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light
Questions on Divine Creation: Part Three. Copyright © 2022 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (www.zeolla.org/christian).
The above article originally appeared in Darkness to Light
It was posted on this website on May 9, 2022.
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