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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:36 pm 
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This is a topic which interests me. I posed it in two threads on TORC, but only Tuor, responded to it. Does anyone else have any answers? My questions are these, on the basis that the historical accounts in Genesis are correct:

Do any Creationists on that side believe that two of every single current species went into the Ark, or do they believe that exemplars of 'kinds' went in?

If the answer is the latter (which I understand to be the position of Answers in Genesis), this means that the different species of horses, donkeys and zebras all came from a 'proto-horse-kind' that was taken by Noah into the Ark. This means that speciation must have occurred not over millions of years, but the thousands of years since the Flood is supposed to have occurred.

In the case of donkeys and horses we see that the distinction occurred at the latest by the time of Jacob and Joseph: see, for example Genesis 32:5, 49:11 and Genesis 50:12, and quite possibly by the time of Abraham, see Genesis 12:16. Now, according to Genesis Abraham lived 3-400 years after the Flood and Jospeh and Jacob about a century later. This means that speciation, or macroevolution from the proto-horse into horses and donkeys occured in less than 500 years.

How do Creationists explain that?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:54 pm 
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species is a scientific definition that we've come up with relatively recently.

speciation is also a rather new topic, and entirely defined by a set of rules we've come up with to categorize species.

So yes, in the thousands of years since the flood, I would imagine much speciation has occured.

I think it would be impossible for two of every current species to have been on the ark.

The term "macroevolution" means different things to different people, and I daresay no scientist claims there can even be a definition. ANY speciation being an example of "macroevolution" is of course a bit broad. I would assume most creationists would define "macroevolution" to be more on the order of evolving into a new "kind" of animal.

Perhaps by the time of Noah, Donkey's and Horses WERE seen as different enough to each need a pair on the Ark, so they didn't need to evolve over 500 years to be different.

Hope that helps with your specific question.


Last edited by halplm on Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:54 pm 
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I recall that I answered you over there, but perhaps I didn't.

I think you build a trap with questions like this, Aravar, but the person going into the trap is you.

I know you mean to stump people, and I guess it would stump some people.

But think about it: A god that could create the Universe and everything in it is not going to be stalled out by such insignificant problems as "kinds" and "macroevolution". The answer is that such a god could do exactly what he likes and that's a good enough answer, in all sincerity. God could perfectly well set things up so that Horses and Donkeys "evolved" as quickly as the bible seems to indicate.

I don't accept Creationism or ID, myself. But logic is logic, even when discussing apparently illogical things. :)

Which was my quarrel with the quiz on another thread.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:34 pm 
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vison wrote:
I recall that I answered you over there, but perhaps I didn't.

I think you build a trap with questions like this, Aravar, but the person going into the trap is you.

I know you mean to stump people, and I guess it would stump some people.

But think about it: A god that could create the Universe and everything in it is not going to be stalled out by such insignificant problems as "kinds" and "macroevolution". The answer is that such a god could do exactly what he likes and that's a good enough answer, in all sincerity. God could perfectly well set things up so that Horses and Donkeys "evolved" as quickly as the bible seems to indicate.

I don't accept Creationism or ID, myself. But logic is logic


I do remember you replying Vison, but as you're not a Creationist I was less interested in your answer.

I'm not trying to trap or stump people, but rather to explore the implications of what they are saying.

Saying that God can do anything so that's the answer, is, as you have pointed out, a logical one. It does have certain theological implications. Howver I rarely see Creationists deploy it. Instead they try to argue against the current scientific understanding.

That interests me for two reasons: first to see what they say about the science, and second to dscover why they don't just say "Well God did it differently but made it look as though evolution occurred"



halplm wrote:
species is a scientific definition that we've come up with relatively recently.

speciation is also a rather new topic, and entirely defined by a set of rules we've come up with to categorize species.

So yes, in the thousands of years since the flood, I would imagine much speciation has occured.

I think it would be impossible for two of every current species to have been on the ark.

The term "macroevolution" means different things to different people, and I daresay no scientist claims there can even be a definition. ANY speciation being an example of "macroevolution" is of course a bit broad. I would assume most creationists would define "macroevolution" to be more on the order of evolving into a new "kind" of animal.

Perhaps by the time of Noah, Donkey's and Horses WERE seen as different enough to each need a pair on the Ark, so they didn't need to evolve over 500 years to be different.


OK. I must admit that I'd always understood the terms micro and macroevolution to refer to change within species and change creating new species.

If 'speciation' occurs that means, according to our criteria that descendants of the same animal, a common ancestor can become sufficiently distinct to be unable to interbreed, doesn't it?

What then is the objection to saying that the descendants of those descendants can also diverge, as can their descendants and so on, with such divergence becoming so pronounced that they look profoundly different from each other and their ancestors?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:35 pm 
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Good luck with that, Aravar! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:58 pm 
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Back when I used to argue about this, I would throw around the terms Micro- and Macro-evolution. Everyone I argued with said there was no such thing, there was just Evolution.

This, I would now agree with.

What I now argue about (although I generally refuse to argue about it, as there is no real point, as few people ever change their minds) is how much are the mechanisms of evolution that we see at work capable of diversifying life to the point we see now.

I think the answer is a lot, but not as much as a non-creationist would say. That is, I'll give you something horse-like can evolve into a lot of different animals we see today. But a single celled organism cannot evolve into a human being, for instance.

This argument has, of course, gone on for more pages than I can even remember even on this board... not to mention others. I would simply state that animals that evolve into different species as we've defined them... didn't also have to previously evolve from some single celled life that was first, and just came into being on its own.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:25 pm 
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Aravar wrote:
What then is the objection to saying that the descendants of those descendants can also diverge, as can their descendants and so on, with such divergence becoming so pronounced that they look profoundly different from each other and their ancestors?

What do you think about the idea of putting fish genes into watermelon? It strikes me as kind of creepy, because fish are so essentially different from watermelon.

The notion of human beings evolving from apes strikes me as similarly creepy, because I consider human beings that essentially different from non-human animals. This, of course, has everything to do with my spiritual perspective, which I don't intend to go into further. I also don't have any comments on the more scientific aspects of your questions, since I'm not studied on the subject.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:22 pm 
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I always used to think that Creationists (is that an ok term to use?) believed that one of each single current species were on the ark.
I'd also be interested to learn whether this is the idea or not. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:30 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
The notion of human beings evolving from apes strikes me as similarly creepy, because I consider human beings that essentially different from non-human animals. This, of course, has everything to do with my spiritual perspective, which I don't intend to go into further. I also don't have any comments on the more scientific aspects of your questions, since I'm not studied on the subject.


Whether it is creepy or not is irrelevant from a scientific POV (which is the territory that Creationists are trying to muscle in on). What is relevant is whether it is true, and the genetic and physiological evidence for that is utterly overwhelming. However it is not really accurate to say that we evolved from apes, it is far more accurate to say that modern apes and humans both evolved from proto-apes and therefore chimpanzees and gorillas are our nearest evolutionary cousins, not our evolutionary parents.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:36 pm 
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Well, fish and watermelon share some genetic material since every living thing on Earth does.

Now, if you were to bring an Alien into the picture, such as having Spock's mama and Spock's papa actually having a child? Not going to happen. As Carl Sagan said, it's more likely, far more likely, that a man could have a child with a petunia.

halplm, in 6,000 years there is not going to be much evolutionary change. You must realize however that life has existed on earth for over 3.5 BILLION years and that gives us time for everything. :D

Man is not "descended from the apes". The primates of Earth (and we humans are primates) share a common ancestor; some millions of years ago (no one is yet sure how many), the various primate branches began to diverge. Ours led to us. The Chimpanzee's led to Chimpanzees, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:42 pm 
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vison, I understand that creepiness is irrelevant from a scientific POV.

I believe in the Star Trek mytholgoy, vulcans and humans (and other humanoid species) are genetically related? Or maybe I have that wrong. In any case, intuitively speaking, it seems far more likely that a human and a vulcan could mate than that a human and a petunia could mate. But I'm guessing intuition is also irrelevant from a scientific POV?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:48 pm 
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But...but...a Human and a Vulcan did mate - that's where Mr Spock came from!!! :wimper:

(Sorry, couldn't help myself. ;) [/Spock-swooner] )

I think this thread is not about whether Creationism has it right or not - nor whether Vulcan's actually exist (I think for Mr Sagan to make this comparison in the first place, he must be a pretty weird guy, but that's just btw.) - but simply what people who believe in the truth of the Genesis account think about some questions that arise from this account. :)

That said, I don't think anyone has actually answered that question, or did I just miss it?

Do Creationists think that there were all the current species on the ark, or just roughly one of each kind of species?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:50 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
vison, I understand that creepiness is irrelevant from a scientific POV.

I believe in the Star Trek mytholgoy, vulcans and humans (and other humanoid species) are genetically related? Or maybe I have that wrong. In any case, intuitively speaking, it seems far more likely that a human and a vulcan could mate than that a human and a petunia could mate. But I'm guessing intuition is also irrelevant from a scientific POV?


Absolutely, standing in one place my intuition is that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around the earth. Intuition can play a part in science in that it can take the form of informed hunches that can then be tested to see if that hunch or intuition is going in the right direction or not.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:22 am 
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This discussion is one reason why I am so eager to see a serious attempt made to find life on Mars and Europa. I think it will be found in both places, eventually, and I am hopping with eagerness to find out how its biochemistry works.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:25 am 
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Certainly the recent evidence that their likely has been flowing water on Mars within the past five years makes it much more likely that life will be found there.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:29 am 
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Biblical Literalists have some definite dimensions of the Ark given in the Bible to rely on, so either they have to suggest that there has been speciation since the flood, or ignore the impossibility of all the known species of land animals fitting onto the ark. It's really not that big.


truehobbit wrote:
But...but...a Human and a Vulcan did mate - that's where Mr Spock came from!!! :wimper:


But, but ... I thought Spock came from the Vulcan Stork!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:39 am 
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RE: Star Trek


On Star Trek, humanoids from various planets can mate and produce viable (and fertile, presumably) offspring. Thus, Spock is half-Vulcan, Troi is half-Betazoid, and Tasha Yarr's daughter is half-Romulan. The mother of Worf's son Alexander may be half-Klingon (I forget). This suggests that humans are more closely related to all of the above mentioned aliens than they are to, say, a chimpanzee.


Realizing the strain of suspension of disbelief this required, a ST:TNG episode uncovered a secret - life on all those worlds was 'seeded' by an ancient intelligent species that found itself alone in the universe. (They found life on various planets, but no intelligent life.) Thus, all the intelligent aliens do share DNA with us. This is not terribly convincing, perhaps, but they did try to address the issue, at least. (In a truly Star Trek fashion, all the different groups had to work together to uncover this truth, and of course they were fighting each other constantly [because they thought it was some ultimate weapon.])


...and I am a geek :D



I am a Creationist. I believe God created all-that-is. I also believe that the book of Genesis is true - it tells me much of what I need to know about what it means to be human. I am sure there was some sort of real disastrous flood that is recounted in the story of Noah. And I think that rainbows are a beautiful symbol of a promise.

I also happen to recognize that we have the same chromosomes as the Great Apes - not the same number of pairs, but you can look at a picture and see the common origin. Biology can teach me how we differ from other organisms, and exactly what we have in common. But it's not going to tell me why we're here or what is good.

I don't think I'm an appropriate person to answer your query, in other words.


Last edited by MithLuin on Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:43 am 
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Faramond wrote:
Biblical Literalists have some definite dimensions of the Ark given in the Bible to rely on, so either they have to suggest that there has been speciation since the flood, or ignore the impossibility of all the known species of land animals fitting onto the ark. It's really not that big.


truehobbit wrote:
But...but...a Human and a Vulcan did mate - that's where Mr Spock came from!!! :wimper:


But, but ... I thought Spock came from the Vulcan Stork!


No, he was found under the Vulcan Cabbage Leaf. ;)

I'm with Prim. I do hope I am spared ( :D ) to see just ONE little eeny life form elsewhere. It would be kewl if it had pointy ears and spoke Vulcan, but a microbe would suit me.

One of the best scifi books I have is a collection of short stories in which various authors try to answer the question: what is "human"? A fascinating exploration by some of the best writers in the world. Have you ever noticed that on TV or in the movies, the people who live on the Planet Vulcan are called Vulcans but people who live on Earth are usually called "humans", not "Earthers" or "Terrans"? Does the word "human" then mean only US, or can it be expanded in meaning to include all such beings anywhere?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:47 am 
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I remember that episode. All the other hostile races were pissed that it wasn't a weapon and refused to believe they could be genetically related to each other.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:53 am 
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I recall it, too.

However, I never thought much of Star Trek had much to do with intelligent science fiction . . . :D Like, for instance, the Klingons always seemed to have steam-powered spaceships since they were always full of smoke.

It is an interesting concept, that of "seeded" life, but it still doesn't address the question of where and how life began. It only moves it away.

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