How did various animals get from the Ark to isolated places, such as Australia?
Let us begin by reaffirming that God's Word does indeed reveal, in the
plainest possible terms, that the whole globe was inundated with a
violent, watery cataclysm -- Noah's flood. All land-dwelling,
air-breathing creatures not on the ark perished and the world was
re-populated by those surviving on the ark.
Did the Animals Get to the Ark?
Skeptics paint a picture of Noah
going to countries remote from the Middle East to gather animals such as
kangaroos and koalas from Australia, and kiwis from New Zealand.
However, the Bible states that the animals came to Noah; he did not have
to round them up (Genesis 6:20). God apparently caused the
animals to come to Noah. The Bible does not state how this was done.
We also do not know what the
geography of the world was like before the flood. If there was only one
continent at that time, then questions of getting animals from remote
regions to the ark are not relevant.
Distribution After the Flood
There are severe practical
limitations on our attempts to understand the hows and whys of something
that happened once, was not recorded in detail, and cannot be repeated.
Difficulties in our ability to
explain every single situation in detail result from our limited
understanding. We cannot go back in a time machine to check what has
happened, and our mental reconstructions of what the world was like
after the flood will inevitably be deficient. Because of this, the
patterns of post-flood animal migration present some problems and
research challenges for the biblical creation model. However, there are
clues from various sources which suggest answers to the questions.
from Modern Times
When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the
island remnant remained lifeless for some years, but was eventually
colonized by a surprising variety of creatures, including not only
insects and earthworms, but birds, lizards, snakes and even a few
mammals. One would not have expected some of this surprising array of
creatures to have crossed the ocean, but they obviously did. Even though
these were mostly smaller than some of the creatures we will discuss
here, it illustrates the limits of our imaginings on such things.
Evolutionists acknowledge that men
and animals could once freely cross the Bering Strait, which separates
Asia and the Americas. Before the idea of continental drift became
popular, evolutionists depended entirely upon a lowering of the sea
level during an ice age (which locked up water in the ice) to create
land bridges, enabling dry-land passage from Europe most of the way to
Australasia, for example.
The existence of some deep-water
stretches along the route to australia is still consistent with this
explanation. Evolutionist geologists themselves believe there have been
major tectonic upheavals, accompanied by substantial rising and falling
of sea floors, in the time period which they associate with an ice age.
For instance, parts of California are believed to have been raised many
thousands of feet from what was the sea floor during this ice age
period, which they call "Pleistocene" (one of the most recent
of the supposed geological periods). creationist geologists generally
regard Pleistocene sediments as post-flood, the period in which these
major migrations took place.
In the same way, other dry-land
areas, including parts of these land bridges, subsided to become
submerged at around the same time.
There is a widespread, but mistaken,
belief that marsupials are found only in Australia, thus supporting the
idea that they must have evolved there. However, living marsupials,
opossums, are found also in North and South America, and fossil
marsupials have been found on every continent. Likewise, monotremes were
once thought to be unique to Australia, but the discovery in 1991 of a
fossil platypus tooth in South America stunned the scientific
community. Therefore, since evolutionists believe all organisms came
from a common ancestor, migration between Australia and other areas must
be conceded as possible by all scientists, whether evolutionist or
creationists generally believe there
was only one Ice Age after, and as a consequence of, the flood. The
lowered sea level at this time made it possible for animals to migrate
over land bridges for centuries. Some creationists propose a form of
continental break-up after the flood, in the days of Peleg. This again
would mean several centuries for animals to disperse, in this instance
without the necessity of land-bridges. However, continental break-up in
the time of Peleg is not widely accepted in creationist circles.
the Kangaroo Hop All the Way to Australia?
How did animals make the long journey
from the Ararat region? Even though there have been isolated reports of
individual animals making startling journeys of hundreds of miles, such
abilities are not even necessary. Early settlers released a very small
number of rabbits in Australia. Wild rabbits are now found at the very
opposite corner (in fact, every corner) of this vast continent. Does
that mean that an individual rabbit had to be capable of crossing the
whole of Australia? Of course not. Creation speakers are sometimes asked
mockingly, "Did the kangaroo hop all the way to Australia?" We
see by the rabbit example that this is a somewhat foolish question.
of animals may have had centuries to migrate, relatively slowly, over
many generations. Incidentally, the opposite question (also common), as
to whether the two kangaroos hopped all the way from Australia to
the ark, is also easily answered. The continents we now have, with their
load of flood-deposited sedimentary rock, are not the same as whatever
continent or continents there may have been in the pre-flood world.
We also lack information as to how
animals were distributed before the flood. Kangaroos (as is true for any
other creature) may not have been on any isolated landmass. Genesis 1:9
suggests that there may have been only one landmass. ("Let the
waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let
the dry land appear.") For all we know, kangaroos might have
been feeding within a stone's throw of Noah while he was building the
It may be asked, if creatures were
migrating to Australia over a long time (which journey would have
included such places as indonesia, presumably) why do we not find their
fossils en route in such countries?
Fossilization is a rare event,
requiring, as a rule, sudden burial (as in the flood) to prevent
decomposition. Lions lived in israel until relatively recently. We don't
find lion fossils in Israel, yet this doesn't prevent us believing the
many historical reports of their presence. The millions of bison that
once roamed the United States of America have left virtually no fossils.
So why should it be a surprise that small populations, presumably under
migration pressure from competitors and/or predators, and thus living in
only one area for a few generations at most, should leave no fossils?
Another issue is why certain animals
(and plants) are uniquely found in only one place. Why is species x
found only in madagascar and species y only in the Seychelles? Many
times, questions on this are phrased to indicate that the questioner
believes that this means that species y headed only in that one
direction, and never migrated anywhere else. While that is possible, it
is not necessarily the case at all. All that the present situation
indicates is that these are now the only places where x or y still
The ancestors of present-day
kangaroos may have established daughter populations in different parts
of the world, most of which subsequently became extinct. Perhaps those
marsupials only survived in Australia because they migrated there ahead
of the placental mammals (we are not suggesting anything other than
"random" processes in choice of destination), and were
subsequently isolated from the placentals, and so protected from
competition and predation.
Palm Valley in central Australia is
host to a unique species of palm, Livingstonia mariae, found
nowhere else in the world. Does this necessarily mean that the seeds for
this species floated only to this one little spot? Not at all. Current
models of post-flood climate indicate that the world is much drier now
than it was in the early post-flood centuries. Evolutionists themselves
agree that in recent times (by evolutionary standards), the sahara was
lush and green, and central Australia had a moist, tropical climate. For
all we know, the Livingstonia mariae palm may have been widespread over
much of Australia, perhaps even in other places which are now dry, such
as parts of africa.
The palm has survived in Palm Valley
because there it happens to be protected from the drying out which
affected the rest of its vast central Australian surroundings.
Everywhere else, it died out.
Incidentally, this concept of
changing vegetation with changing climate should be kept in mind when
considering post-flood animal migration -- especially because of the
objections (and caricatures) which may be presented. For instance, how
could creatures that today need a rain forest environment trudge across
thousands of miles of parched desert on the way to where they now live?
The answer is that it wasn't desert then!
Koala and Other Specialized Types
Some problems are more difficult to
solve. For instance, there are creatures that require special conditions
or a very specialized diet, such as the giant panda of China or
Australia's koala. We don't know, of course, that bamboo shoots or blue
gum leaves were not then flourishing all along their eventual
respective migratory paths. In fact, this may have influenced the
direction they took.
But, in any case, there is another
possibility. A need for unique or special conditions to survive may be a
result of specialization, a downhill change in some populations. That
is, it may result from a loss in genetic information, from thinning out
of the gene pool or by degenerative mutation. A good example is the many
modern breeds of dog, selected by man (although natural conditions can
do likewise), which are much less hardy in the wild than their
"mongrel" ancestors. For example, the St. Bernard carries a
mutational defect, an overactive thyroid, which means it needs to live
in a cold environment to avoid overheating.
This suggests that the ancestors of
such creatures, when they came off the Ark, were not as specialized.
Thus they were more hardy than their descendants, who carry only a
portion of that original gene pool of information. In other words,
the koala's ancestor may have been able to survive on a much greater
range of vegetation. Such an explanation has been made possible only
with modern biological insights. Perhaps as knowledge increases some of
the remaining difficulties will become less so.
Such changes do not require large
time periods for animals under migratory pressure. The first small
population that formed would tend to break up rapidly into daughter
populations, going in different directions, each carrying only a portion
of the gene pool of the original pair that came off the ark.
Sometimes all of a population will
eventually become extinct; sometimes all but one specialized type. Where
all the sub-types survive and proliferate, we find some of the
tremendous diversity seen among some groups of creatures which are
apparently derived from one created kind. This explains why some very
obviously related species are found far apart from each other.
The sloth, a very slow-moving
creature, may seem to require much more time than Scripture allows to
make the journey from Ararat to its present home. Perhaps its present
condition is also explicable by a similar evolutionary process. However,
to account for today's animal distribution, evolutionists themselves
have had to propose that certain primates have traveled across hundreds
of miles of open ocean on huge rafts of matted vegetation torn off in
storms. Indeed, iguanas have recently been documented traveling
hundreds of miles in this manner between islands in the caribbean.
The Bible suggests a pattern of
post-flood dispersal of animals and humans that accounts for fossil
distribution of apes and humans, for example. In post-flood deposits in
Africa, ape fossils are found below human fossils. Evolutionists claim
that this arose because humans evolved from the apes, but there is
another explanation. Animals, including apes, would have begun spreading
out over the earth straight after the flood, whereas the Bible indicates
that people refused to do this (Genesis 9:1, 11:1-9). Human dispersal
did not start until Babel, some hundreds of years after the flood. Such
a delay would have meant that some ape fossils would be found
consistently below human fossils, since people would have arrived in
Africa after the apes.
We may never know the exact answer to
every one of such questions, but certainly one can see that the problems
are far less formidable than they may at first appear. Coupled with
all the biblical, geological, and anthropological evidence for noah's
flood, one is justified in regarding the Genesis account of the animals
dispersing from a central point as perfectly reasonable. Not only
that, but the biblical model provides an excellent framework for the
scientific study of these questions.
How did FISH survive the Flood?
If the whole earth were covered by water in the flood, then there would
have been a mixing of fresh and salt waters. Many of today's fish
species are specialized and do not survive in water of radically
different saltiness to their usual habitat. So how did they survive the
Note that the Bible tells us that
only land-dwelling, air-breating animals and birds were taken on the ark
(Genesis 7:14-15, 21-23).
We do not know how salty the sea
was before the flood. The
flood was initiated by the breaking up of the "fountains of the
great deep" (Genesis 7:11). Whatever the "fountains of the
great deep" were (see Noah's Flood - What did all the water come
from?), the flood must have been associated with massive earth
movements, because of the weight of the water alone, which would have
resulted in great volcanic activity.
Volcanoes emit huge amounts of steam,
and underwater lava creates hot water/steam, which dissolves minerals,
adding salt to the water. Furthermore, erosion accompanying the movement
of water off the continents after the flood would have added salt to the
oceans. In other words, we would expect the pre-flood ocean waters to be
less salty than they were after the flood.
The problem for fish coping with
saltiness is this: fish in fresh water tend to absorb water, because the
saltiness of their body fluids draws in water (by osmosis). Fish in
saltwater tend to lose water from their bodies because the surrounding
water is saltier than their body fluids.
Adaptation in Fish Today
Many of today's marine organisms,
especially estuarine and tidepool species, are able to survive large
changes in salinity. For example, starfish will tolerate as low as 16-18
percent of the normal concentration of seawater.
There are migratory species of fish
that travel between salt and fresh water. For example, salmon, striped
bass, and Atlantic spurgeon spawn in fresh water and mature in salt
water. Eels reproduce in salt water and grow to maturity in fresh water
streams and lakes. So, many of today's species of fish are able to
adjust to both fresh water and salt water.
There is also evidence of post-flood
specialization within a kind of fish. For example, the Atlantic sturgeon
is a migratory salt/freshwater species but the Siberian sturgeon (a
different species of the same kind) lives only in fresh water.
Many families of fish contain both
fresh and saltwater species. These include the families of toadfish,
garpike, bowfin, sturgeon, herring/anchovy, salmon/trout/pike, catfish,
clingfish, stickleback, scorpionfish, and flatfish. Indeed, most of the
families alive today have both fresh and saltwater representatives. This
suggests that the ability to tolerate large changes in salinity was
present in most fish at the time of the flood. Specialization, through
natural selection, may have resulted in the loss of this ability in many
species since then.
Hybrids of wild trout (fresh water)
and farmed salmon (migratory species) have been discovered in
Scotland, suggesting that the differences between freshwater and
marine types may be quite minor. Indeed, the differences in physiology
seem to be largely differences in degree rather than kind.
The kidneys of freshwater species
excrete excess water (the urine has low salt concentration) and those of
marine species excrete excess salt (the urine has high salt
concentration). Saltwater sharks have high concentrations of urea in the
blood to retain water in the saltwater environment whereas freshwater
sharks have low concentrations of urea to avoid accumulating water. When
sawfish move from salt water to fresh water they increase their urine
output 20 fold, and their blood urea concentration decreases to less
Major public aquariums use the
ability of fish to adapt to water of different salinity from their
normal habitat to exhibit freshwater and saltwater species together. The
fish can adapt if the salinity is changed slowly enough.
So, many fish species today have
the capacity to adapt to both fresh and salt water within their own
Aquatic air-breathing mammals such as
whales and dolphins would have been better placed than many fish to
survive the flood because of the turbidity of the water, changes in
temperature, etc. The fossil record testifies to the massive destruction
of marine life, with marine creatures accounting for 95 percent of the
fossil record. Some, such as trilobites and ichthyosaurs, probably
became extinct at that time. This is consistent with the Bible account
of the flood beginning with the breaking up of the "fountains of
the great deep" (i.e., beginning in the sea; "the great
deep" means the oceans).
There is also a possibility that
stable fresh and saltwater layers developed and persisted in some parts
of the ocean. Fresh water can sit on top of salt water for extended
periods of time. Turbulence may have been sufficiently low at high
latitudes for such layering to persist and allow the survival of both
freshwater and saltwater species in those areas.
There are many simple, plausible
explanations for how fresh and saltwater fish could have survived the
flood. There is no reason to doubt the reality of the flood as described
in the Bible.
How did LAND PLANTS survive the Flood?
terrestrial seeds can survive long periods of soaking in various
concentrations of salt water. Indeed, salt water impedes the
germination of some species so that the seed lasts better in salt water
than fresh water.
Other plants could have survived in
floating vegetation masses, or on pumice from the volcanic activity.
Pieces of many plants are still capable of asexual sprouting.
Many plants could have survived as
planned food stores on the ark, or accidental inclusions in such food
stores (Genesis 6:21).
Many seeds have
devices for attaching themselves to animals, and some could have
survived the flood by this means. Others could have survived in the
stomachs of the bloated, floating carcasses of dead herbivores.
The olive leaf
brought back to Noah by the dove (Genesis 8:11) shows that plants were
regenerating well before Noah and company left the ark.
There are many simple, plausible
explanations for how plants could have survived the flood. There is no
reason to doubt the reality of the flood as described in the Bible.
Where did the flood water come from?
In telling us about the world-changing Flood in the days of Noah, the
Bible gives us much information about where the waters came from and where they
went. The sources of the water are given in Genesis 7:11 as "the fountains
of the great deep" and the "windows of heaven."
The Fountains of the Great
The "fountains of the great deep"
are mentioned before the "windows of heaven," indicating either
relative importance or the order of events.
What are the "fountains of the great
deep?" This phrase is used only in Genesis 7:11. "Fountains of the
deep" is used in Genesis 8:2, where it clearly refers to the same thing,
and Proverbs 8:28, where the precise meaning is not clear. "The great
deep" is used three other times: Isaiah 51:10, where it clearly refers to
the ocean; Amos 7:4, where God's fire of judgement is said to dry up the great
deep, probably the oceans; and Psalm 36:6 where it is used metaphorically of the
depth of God's justice/judgement. "The deep" is used more often, and
usually refers to the oceans (e.g., Genesis 1:2; Job 38:30, 41:32; Psalm 42:7,
104:6; Isaiah 51:10, 63:13; Ezekiel 26:19; Jonah 2:3), but sometimes to
subterranean sources of water (Ezekiel 31:4, 15). The Hebrew word (mayan)
translated "fountains" means "fountain, spring, well."
So, the "fountains of the great
deep" are probably oceanic or possibly subterranean sources of water. In
the context of the flood account, it could mean both.
"Fountains of the great deep" scene from The World That Perished
If the fountains of the great deep were the
major source of the waters, then they must have been a huge source of water.
Some have suggested that when God made the dry land appear from under the waters
on the third day of creation, some of the water that covered the earth became
trapped underneath and within the dry land.
Genesis 7:11 says that on the day the flood
began, there was a "breaking up" of the fountains, which implies a
release of the water, possibly through large fissures in the ground or in the
sea floor. The waters that had been held back burst forth with catastrophic
There are many volcanic rocks interspersed
between the fossil layers in the rock record -- layers that were obviously
deposited during Noah's flood. So it is quite plausible that these fountains of
the great deep involved a series of volcanic eruptions with prodigious amounts
of water bursting up through the ground. It is interesting that up to 70 percent
or more of what comes out of volcanoes today is water, often in the form of
In their catastrophic plate tectonics model
for the flood, Austin et al. have proposed that at the onset of the flood, the
ocean floor rapidly lifted up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) due to an increase in
temperature as horizontal movement of the tectonic plates accelerated. This
would spill the seawater onto the land and cause massive flooding -- perhaps
what is aptly described as the breaking up of the "fountains of the great
The windows of heaven
The other source of the waters for
Noah's flood was "the windows of heaven." Genesis 7:12 says
that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights continuously.
Genesis 2:5 tells us that there was
no rain before man was created. Some have suggested that there was no
rainfall anywhere on the earth until the time of the flood. However, the
Bible does not actually say this, so we should not be dogmatic.
Some have argued that God's use of
the rainbow as the sign of His covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:12-17)
suggests that there were no rainbows, and therefore no clouds or rain,
before the flood. However, if rainbows (and clouds) existed before the
flood, this would not be the only time God used an existing thing as a
special "new" sign of a covenant (e.g., bread and wine in the
It is difficult to envisage a
pre-flood water cycle without clouds and rain, as the sun's heat, even
in that era, must have evaporated large volumes of surface waters which
would have to eventually condense back into liquid water. And droplets
of liquid water form clouds from which we get rain.
The expression "windows of
heaven" is used twice in reference to the flood (Genesis 7:11,
8:2). It is used only three times elsewhere in the Old Testament: twice
in 2 Kings 7:2 and 19, referring to God's miraculous intervention in
sending rain, and once in Malachi 3:10, where the phrase is used again
of God intervening to pour out abundant blessings on his people.
Clearly, in Genesis the expression suggests the extraordinary nature of
the rainfall attending the flood. It is not a term applied to ordinary
about "the waters above"?
We are told in Genesis 1:6-8 that on
the second day of creation God divided the waters that were on the earth
from the waters that He placed above the earth when He made a
"firmament" (Hebrew: raqiya, meaning
"expanse") between those waters. Many have concluded that
this "expanse" was the atmosphere, because God placed the
birds in the expanse, suggesting that the expanse includes the
atmosphere where the birds fly. This would put these waters above the
However, Genesis 1:20, speaking of
the creation of the birds, says (literally) "let the birds fly
above the ground across the face of the expanse of the
heavens." This at least allows that "the expanse" may
include the space beyond the atmosphere.
Dr. Russell Humphreys has argued that
since Genesis 1:17 tells us that God put the sun, moon, and stars also
"in the expanse of the heaven" then the expanse must at least
include interstellar space, and thus the waters above the expanse of
Genesis 1:7 would be beyond the stars at the edge of the universe.
However, prepositions (in, under,
above, etc.) are somewhat flexible in Hebrew, as well as English. A
submarine can be spoken of as both under and in the sea.
Likewise, the waters could be above the expanse and in the
expanse, so we should be careful no to draw too much from these
So what were these "waters
above"? Some have said that they are simply the clouds. Others
thought of them as a "water vapor canopy," implying a blanket
of water vapor surrounding the earth.
water vapor canopy?
Dr. Joseph Dillow did much research
into the idea of a blanket of water vapor surrounding the earth before
the flood. In a modification of the canopy theory, Dr. Larry Vardiman
suggested that much of the "waters above" could have been
stored in small ice particles distributed in equatorial rings around the
earth similar to those around Venus.
The Genesis 7:11 reference to the
windows of heaven being opened has been interpreted as the collapse of
such a water vapor canopy, which somehow became unstable and fell as
rain. Volcanic eruptions associated with the breaking up of the
fountains of the great deep could have thrown dust into the water vapor
canopy, causing the water vapor to nucleate on the dust particles and
Dillow, Vardiman, and others have
suggested that the vapor canopy caused a greenhouse effect before the
Flood with a pleasant sub tropical-to-temperate climate all around the
globe, even at the poles where today there is ice. This would have
caused the growth of lush vegetation on the land all around the globe.
The discovery of coal seams in Antarctica containing vegetation that is
not now found growing at the poles, but which obviously grew under
warmer conditions, was taken as support for these ideas.
A vapor canopy would also affect the
global wind systems. Also, the mountains were almost certainly not as
high before the flood as they are today, as we shall see. In today's
world, the major winds and high mountain ranges are a very important
part of the water cycle that brings rain to the continents. Before the
flood, however, these factors would have caused the weather systems to
Those interested in studying this
further should consult Dillow's and Vardiman's works.
major problem with the canopy theory
Vardiman recognized a major
difficulty with the canopy theory. The best canopy model still gives an
intolerably high temperature at the surface of the earth.
Rush and Vardiman have attempted a
solution, but found that they had to drastically reduce the amount
of water vapor in the canopy from a rain equivalent of 40 feet (12
meters) to only 20 inches (.5 meters). Further modelling suggested that
a maximum of 2 meters (6.5 feet) of water could be held in such a
canopy, even if all relevant factors were adjusted to the best possible
values to maximize the amount of water stored. Such a reduced canopy
would not significantly contribute to the 40 days and nights of rain at
the beginning of the flood.
Many creation scientists are now
either abandoning the water vapor canopy model or no longer see any
need for such a concept, particularly if other reasonable mechanisms
could have supplied the rain. In the catastrophic plate tectonics
model for the flood, volcanic activity associated with the breaking
up of the pre-flood ocean floor would have created a linear geyser (like
a wall) of superheated steam from the ocean, causing intense global
Nevertheless, whatever the source or
mechanism, the scriptural statement about the windows of heaven opening
is an apt description of global torrential rain.
A vapor canopy holding more than 7
feet (two meters) of rain would cause the earth's surface to be
intolerably hot, so a vapor canopy could not have been a significant
source of the flood waters.
Genesis and ancient Near Eastern stories of Creation and the Flood: an introduction
Much has been written about the relationship between the early chapters of
Genesis and creation and flood stories from ancient Mesopotamia. This is the
first of a series of articles presenting an up-to-date overview of this subject.
has been one of the most interesting and intriguing subjects in the Old
Testament. In modern Biblical scholarship a number of new interpretations of the
early chapters of Genesis have been suggested, especially in the areas of
comparative study and literary analysis.
Creation Stories? A theory has long been advocated that the early chapters of
Genesis contain a "doublet" of creation stories and that these
stories, characterized by the distinctive divine names, Elohim and YHWH, are of
different origins with two independent, and even opposing, cosmologies.
According to this traditional critical theory, the former is the priestly
account (P source) of creation from the postexilic period, while the latter is
an earlier Yahwistic account (J source). Hence, it is usually assumed that there
exist some discrepancies or contradictions between the two accounts.
it has been emphasized by scholars like Alter that whatever their origins may
be, "the two accounts are complementary rather than overlapping, each
giving a different kind of information about how the world came into
being." According to him, "the two different creation stories,"
i.e., the P and J stories, constitute a "composite narrative" that
encompasses "divergent perspectives" by placing in sequence "two
ostensibly contradictory accounts of the same event," such as two stories
of the creation of woman.
When one takes a
closer look at both stories, it is evident that they are not two
"parallel" versions of the same or similar "creation"
stories, since the theme and purpose of the two are certainly different.
Castellino distinguishes Genesis 1, "un vrai recit de creation"
("a true creation account"), from Genesis 2, which is in a strict
sense not a creation story but "un texte d'organisation" ("an
organizational text") and serves as an "introduction" to Genesis
3 (Castellino 1957). A story without any reference to the sun, the moon and the
stars, or the sea is certainly not a true cosmological myth. Genesis 2 and
following, therefore, should not be treated as the same literary genre as
Genesis 1, which locates the creation of humankind at the grand climax of the
creation of the cosmos,
while the former is concerned with the immediate situation of mankind on the
However, as I
recently demonstrated, both chapters do reflect essentially the same cosmology.
In Genesis 1:2, the initial situation of the "world" is described
positively in terms of the still unproductive and uninhabited (toh- waboh-) "earth" totally covered by "ocean-water," while in
2:5-6 the initial state of the "earth" is described negatively in
terms of the not-yet-productive "earth" in more concrete expressions,
"no vegetation" and "no man." And the underground-water was
flooding out to inundate the whole area of the "land," but not the
entire earth as in Genesis 1:2. Thus, Genesis 1 describes an
earlier stage in the one creation process in which the waters cover the earth,
Genesis 2a a later stage (in 1:9-10) in which the waters have separated and the
dry land has appeared.
The Double Creation
of Mankind? The Genesis account as it stands mentions the creation of mankind
twice, in 1:27 and 2:7. Kikawada hence suggests that there are two creations of
mankind in Genesis, comparing Genesis 1-2 with the myth of Enki and Ninmah and
the "Atra-Hasis Epic" (I 1-351) (Kikawada 1983; Kikawada and Quinn
1985: 39ff). According to him, Genesis 1 refers to "the first creation of
mankind," while Genesis 2 refers to "the second creation of
mankind," namely the creation of the specific persons Adam and Eve, and
these two Biblical creation accounts are parallel to each other.
It should be noted,
however, that in Genesis those "double creation stories" deal with the
same topic, the origin of humankind ('adam), and do not necessarily refer to
"two" separate creative actions regarding human creation. The debate
is whether the reason for this twofold description is (1) that there were
actually two independent creation stories of the same event or (2) that there
were actually two separate creation acts or (3) that a technique of narrative
discourse was used that recounts one and the same event from two different
viewpoints. To this third possibility I now turn.
Discourse Grammar. It has been noted by scholars such as U. Casssuto (1961: 89-92; also
Kitchen 1966: 116-17) that Genesis 1 gives a general description of mankind in
the framework of the entire creation of the world and Genesis 2 gives a detailed
description of humankind and their immediate context on the earth. From a discourse grammatical point of view, this relationship between
Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 may be explained as a generic-specific relationship (Longacre
1983: 119, 122) and the two constitute a "hyponymous" parallelism, so to speak.
This feature might
also be explained as a phenomenon of what Grimes calls a "scope
change" in narrative discourse, which is a phenomenon of "zooming in
from an overall perspective to a closeup, with a corresponding shift in
reference" (1975: 46-47). This is the way I have described the nature of
the relationship between the two "creation" stories of Genesis
elsewhere (1985); they have different scopes or viewpoints by which the author
or narrator describes one and the same creation of mankind, first with relation
to the cosmos, and then with a narrower focus on the man's relationship with the
woman, the animals, and the environment in the second story. Therefore, the flow
of discourse runs from Genesis 1 to Genesis 2 and following, not vice versa, as
assumed by the traditional source critics.
As for 2:4,
whose two halves constitute a chiastic parallelism, Wenham takes this verse as
serving "both as a title to 2:5-4:26 and as a link with the introduction
1:1-2:3. In another context I have suggested that it serves as a link between the
two stories and that this linkage is a kind of transitional technique that
according to Parunak points to a surface pattern of repetition or similarity
that joins successive textual units together (Tsumura 1985: 48; Purunak 1983).
Genesis 1-2 could thus be explained as Parunak's A/aB pattern; in 2:4a (a) the
narrator repeats the keywords of Genesis 1:1-2:3 (A) and initiates a new section
of story, 2:4b-4:26 (B).
1 and "Enuma Elish." Ever since H. Gunkel's famous book Sch"pfung
und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (1895), scholars have taken it for granted that
the Hebrew teh"m in Genesis 1:2 has its mythological background in the
ancient Babylonian goddess Tiamat of the "creation" myth "Enuma
elish," in which the storm-god Marduk fights with and wins over the sea
dragon Tiamat, establishing the cosmos. I have thoroughly reexamined the problem from a linguistic point of
view, and it is now clear that it is phonologically impossible to conclude that
teh"m 'ocean' was borrowed from Tiamat. The Hebrew teh"m 'ocean'
together with the Ugaritic thm, the Akkadian tiamtu, the Arabic tihamat, and the
Eblaite ti-'...-ma-tum /tiham(a)tum/ is simply a reflection of a common Semitic
term *tiham- (1989: 45-52).
While the Hebrew and
Akkadian terms refer to the "primeval" water, as Lambert notes,
"the watery beginning of Genesis in itself is no evidence of Mesopotamian
influence" (Lambert 1965: 293). He also notes that while the horizontal
division of the cosmic water in Genesis 1:6-8 has its parallel description in Ee
IV 135-V 62, "the case for a battle as a prelude to God's dividing of the
cosmic waters is unproven." In other words, "neither on the Hebrew
side nor on the Mesopotamian is there any clear proof that a battle is
necessarily tied to the dividing of the waters." So, Genesis 1 and "Enuma
elish," which was composed primarily to exalt Marduk in the pantheon of
have no direct relation to each other. Not only is the creation by divine fiat
in Genesis unique in the ancient Near East, the creation of light as the first
creating act appears only in Genesis (Lambert 1980: 71; 1965). Thus the creation
in the Genesis story is quite different from the idea of "order out of
chaos," though the latter is also often called "creation"
It is not correct to
say that "Enuma elish" was adopted and adapted by the Israelites to
produce the Genesis stories. As Lambert holds, there is "no evidence of
Hebrew borrowing from Babylon" (1965: 296). Sj"berg accepts Lambert's
opinion that "there was hardly any influence from that Babylonian text on
the Old Testament creation accounts" (1984: 217). Hasel thinks rather that
the creation account of Genesis 1 functions as an antimythological polemic in
some cases (e.g., with the "sun," the "moon," and tnnm ('sea
monsters'?), etc. (1974). One thing is clear with regard to the religious nature
of the creation story of Genesis: in Genesis 1 and 2 no female deity exists or
is involved in producing the cosmos and humanity. This is unique among ancient
creation stories that treat of deities having personality.
to Genesis 1? According to Jacobsen, "the story of the battle between the
god of thunderstorms and the sea originated on the coast of the Mediterranean
and wandered eastward from there to Babylon" (1968: 107). Along the same
line, Sj"berg as an Assyriologist warns Old Testament scholars that
"it is no longer scientifically sound to assume that all ideas originated
in Mesopotamia and moved westward" (1984: 218).
asserted that Genesis 1:2 was a demythologization of an original Chaoskampf
('chaos-battle') myth from ancient Canaan (1985: 53). However, the conflict of
the storm-god Baal with the sea-deity Yam in the Ugaritic myth has nothing to do
with a creation of cosmos like that of Marduk with Tiamat in "Enuma elish."
Kapelrud notes that "with the existing texts and the material present so
far we may conclude that they have no creation narrative" (1980: 9). Also
de Moor recently demonstrated that Baal in Ugaritic literature is never treated
as a creator-god (1980). I have noted elsewhere that if the Genesis account were
the demythologization of a Canaanite dragon myth, we would expect the term yam
'sea,' which is the counterpart of the Ugaritic sea-god Yam, in the initial
portion of the account. However, the term yam does not appear in Genesis 1 until
v. 10. It is difficult to assume that an earlier Canaanite dragon myth existed
in the background of Genesis 1:2.
Chaos in Genesis
1:2? (a) toh- waboh-. The expression toh- waboh-, which is traditionally
translated in English as "without form and void" (RSV) or the like, is
often taken as signifying the primeval "chaos," in direct opposition
to "creation." I have demonstrated, however, that the phrase toh-
waboh- has nothing to do with primeval chaos; it simply means 'emptiness' and
refers to the earth in a "bare" state, without vegetation and animals
as well as without humans. This "unproductive and empty, uninhabited"
earth becomes productive with vegetation and inhabited by animals and humankind
by God's fiats (Tsumura 1989: 41-43).
I have also pointed
out that in Genesis 1:2 ha'ares and teh"m are a "hyponymous" word
pair and hence the 'ocean' (teh"m) is a part of the 'earth' (ha'ares),
since the term ha'ares, which constitutes an antonymous word pair with
hassamayim 'the heavens' in Genesis 1:1, must refer to everything under the
However, vv. 6ff. suggest that the water of teh"m in Genesis 1:2 covered
all the 'earth' (Tsumura 1989: 78-79). This water-covered earth is described in
this passage by a pair of expressions, toh- waboh- // hosek, not yet normal,
that is to say, not yet productive or inhabited and without light. But it was
not chaotic. It should be noted that even in "Enuma elish" the initial
mingling of Apsu and Tiamat (Ee I 5) was orderly, not chaotic (Tsumura 1989: 60
(b) r-ah 'elohîm.
Albright, who rejected the "world egg theory" (Gunkel) and the view
that "the r-ah corresponds to the winds which Marduk sends against Tiâmat,"
suggested as the most probable view that "r-ah 'elohîm means 'spirit of
God,' but is substituted for an original r-ah, 'wind,' in order to bring the
personality of God into the cosmogony from the beginning." Albright,
however, thinks that "the r-ah 'elohîm was evidently still thought of as
exercising a 'sexual' influence upon the teh"m." The verb rahap
('hovered'), according to him, suggests that "the r-ah 'elohîm was
conceived of originally in the form of a bird (Albright 1924: 368 and n. 10).
suggested that just as the r-ah 'wind' in Genesis 8:1 and Exodus 14:21
"leads to the division within the bodies of water, and consequently, the
appearance of dry land," so "the r-ah 'elohîm 'wind or spirit of God'
of Genesis 1:2c must also be a reference to the creative activity of the
deity" (1988: 314-15). However, he holds, r-ah 'elohîm is not "a wind
sent by God," that is to say, a creature, but "a hypostasis for 'elohîm."
He does not think that it is "part of the description of chaos."
According to him, "It expresses Elohim's control over the cosmos and his
ability to impose his will upon it. As part of v 2 it is part of the description
of the way things were before Elohim executes any specific act of creation"
(Reprinted by permission
from I Studied Inscriptions From Before the Flood, ed. R.S. Hess and D.T.
Tsumura, Winona Lake IN: Eisenbrauns, pp. 27-34.)
David T. Tsumura is Professor of Old Testament at Japan Bible
Seminary, Tokyo. He is author of The Earth and the Waters in Genesis 1 and 2:
A Linguistic Investigation (1989), as well as numerous articles on the
Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages.
What does the fossil record teach us about evolution?
What does the
fossil record really teach concerning the theory of evolution? Do the fossils
demonstrate the progression from simple structures to complex organisms? The
following facts need to be considered:
The fossil record does not
provide evidence in support for Evolution. "Fossils are a great
embarrassment to Evolutionary theory and offer strong support for the concept of
Creation." (Dr. Gary Parker, Ph.D., Biologist/paleontologist and former
Where are all the human fossils?
What happened to all the people who were not on board Noah's Ark? If there
were many millions of people populating the earth at the time of the Flood as
creationists have suggested, wouldn't many of those people have been buried in
Flood sediments? So why do we not find hundreds or even thousands of human
fossils in the rock layers regarded as Flood sediments, with perhaps even some
human fossils alongside, say, dinosaur fossils?
These are, of course, fair questions that are
commonly asked. Because of our understanding of the Flood from the Scriptures,
we might expect to find human fossils in Flood strata, so it is rather
surprising, at first glance, that we don't find any. However, Scripture (backed
up by so much other evidence) is very clear that there was a global Flood and
the pre-Flood people were destroyed, so there must obviously be an explanation
for this lack of human fossils. Consequently, we are going to attempt an
explanation by exploring possible processes during the Flood and logical
deductions from present observations that could help us understand why there are
no undisputed human fossils found in Flood strata.
artifacts and skeletons
are some claims and reports of human artifacts and remains in rock layers that
are clearly part of the Flood sediments. However, many of these claims are not
adequately documented in any scientific sense, while those few reports that have
appeared in the scientific and related literature remain open to question or
other interpretations. For example, the book Ancient Man: A Handbook of
Puzzling Artifacts(1) looks like an impressive and voluminous collection of
such evidence, but on closer examination many of the artifacts, though puzzling
archaeologically, still belong to the post-Flood era, while other reports and
claims are either antiquated or sketchy and amateurish.
Often lay scientists
claiming to have found human artifacts or fossils have not recorded specific
location details, so that professional scientists investigating the claims have
had difficulty finding the location from which the sample in question came.
ALSO, lay scientists have in the past not kept some of the rock which encloses
the fossil or artifact as proof of its in situ occurrence. These two
oversights have often made it well nigh impossible to reconstruct and/or prove
where fossils or artifacts came from, thus rendering such finds virtually
and supposed human footprints in ancient geological strata, regarded by
evolutionists as deposited millions of years before man evolved, but regarded by
creationists as Flood deposits, are extremely difficult to document
scientifically above reproach and/or with any conclusive finality. (Merely
finding rock around an implement does not prove it is pre-Flood.)
For example, it has
been claimed that a gold chain was found in black coal.(2) However, the artifact
evidently was exhibited as a clean gold chain with no coal clinging to it, so we
see no evidence that the chain was actually found in the coal, just the claim
that it was. While one would never assume any dishonesty on the part of the
people concerned, because proper scientific procedures have not been followed
the exhibit has proven to be almost useless in convincing a generally skeptical
scientific community and apathetic lay public.
Thus, should genuine
human fossils or artifacts from the time of Noah's Flood be found, then it is
mandatory that proper scientific procedures be followed to document the
geological context, in order to guarantee that the scientific significance of
such a find is unequivocally demonstrated. Regretfully, of course, the hardened
skeptic would still remain unconvinced, but at least such a find may still
awaken some in the apathetic public and a few of the more open-minded
What is needed, of
course, are actual human bones fossilized in situ as an integral part of
rock strata that are demonstrably ancient in evolutionary terms, and therefore
are usually Flood sediments of the creationist framework for earth history. Yet
here is where the real hard unequivocal evidence is lacking and why people ask
the question "Where are all the human fossils?"
We simply cannot
point to the report of a human skull found in so-called Tertiary brown coal in
Germany, for there is no definitive scientific report available on this object,
even though its existence has been verified by the staff of the Mining Academy
in Freiberg.(3) If it is a coalified human skull, how is it possible to
distinguish it from a clever carving in such a way that it becomes conclusive
proof? Even if it were demonstrated as genuine, are we sure that the Tertiary
brown coal in question was a Flood stratum? In some parts of the world some of
the isolated so-called Tertiary sedimentary basins could easily be classified,
according to some creationist geological schemes, as post-Flood strata. After
all, the early Flood geologists, prior to the advent of Lyellian
uniformitarianism and the evolutionary geological time-scale, applied the term
"Tertiary" to those rock strata that they believed to be postFlood.
Guadeloupe skeletons are another case in point.(4) Without wishing to take sides
in the debate, and in any case the hard data are still inconclusive either way,
the fact remains that even if perchance these skeletons were so-called Miocene,
that in and of itself would still not prove that the skeletons were in Flood
sediments and therefore represented the remains of pre-Flood people. Being a
subdivision of the so-called Tertiary, these Miocene rocks may still be
post-Flood sediments and so these Guadeloupe skeletons may still not be human
fossils from Noah's Flood.
fossilized human skeletons that come closest to having been pre-Flood humans
buried in Flood strata are those skeletons found at Moab, Utah (USA).(5) In a
copper mine there, two definitely human skeletons were found in Cretaceous
"age" sandstone (supposedly more than 65 million years old), the bones
still joined together naturally and stained green with copper carbonate. While
many regard these bones as recently buried, there still remains the remote
possibility that they are pre-Flood human "fossils".
We can only concur
that there is no definite unequivocal evidence of human remains in those rock
strata that can definitely be identified as Flood sediments. This realization is
at first rather perplexing. But some clues to unravelling this puzzle emerge on
The nature of the fossil record
begin by considering the nature of the fossil record. Most people don't realize
that in terms of numbers of fossils 95% of the fossil record consists of shallow
marine organisms such as corals and shellfish.(6) Within the remaining 5%, 95%
are all the algae and plant/tree fossils, including the vegetation that now
makes up the trillions of tonnes of coal, and all the other invertebrate fossils
including the insects. Thus the vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds
and mammals) together make up very little of the fossil record -- in fact, 5% of
5%, which is a mere 0.25% of the entire fossil record. So comparatively speaking
there are very, very few amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal fossils, yet so
much is often made of them. For example, the number of dinosaur skeletons in all
the world's museums (both public and university) totals only about 2,100.(7)
Furthermore, of this 0.25% of the fossil record which is vertebrates, only 1% of
that 0.25% (or 0.0025%) are vertebrate fossils that consist of more than a
single bone! For example, there's only one Stegosaurus skull that has been
found, and many of the horse species are each represented by only one specimen
of one tooth!(8)
In any regional area
where vertebrate fossils are found, there is a general tendency for these land
animals to be higher up in the rock strata sequence on top of the strata
containing marine organisms. This has been interpreted by evolutionists as
representing the evolutionary sequence of life from marine invertebrates through
fish and amphibians to the land-based vertebrates.
However, this same
observation can be more reasonably explained by Flood geologists as due to the
order of burial of the different ecological zones of organisms by the Flood
waters. For example, shallow marine organisms/ ecological zones would be the
first destroyed by the fountains of the great deep breaking open, with the
erosional runoff from the land due to the torrential rainfall concurrently
burying them. On this basis then we would probably not expect to find human
remains in the early Flood strata, which would contain only shallow marine
organisms. The fossil record as we understand it at the moment certainly fits
majority of the few mammal fossils in the fossil record are in the so-called
Tertiary strata, which most creationist geologists nowadays regard as post-Flood
strata. If this is the case, then there really aren't very many mammal fossils
in the late Flood sediments (there are a few mammal fossils in the so-called
Mesozoic rocks). Consequently, it's not only human fossils that are not found in
the Flood sediments, but there is a relative lack of other mammal fossils also.
Of course, in the
post-Flood era humans would have been able to make the necessary decisions to
get away from the local residual catastrophes responsible for the post-Flood
(Tertiary) strata, so we wouldn't expect to find humans fossilized in post-Flood
sediments like we find other mammals.
Another problem in
the fossil record is, as we have already seen, the fragmentary nature of what is
often found, which makes identification difficult. For example, "a five
million year-old piece of one tooth!(8)
Destruction of skeletons
next question to ask is: Would all the people still alive when the Flood waters
finally covered all the land and swept them away be buried and preserved as
fossils in the later Flood sediments? Can we assume that there was no
destruction of the people's bodies in the Flood waters and by other processes
operating during the Flood and subsequently? Probably not!
The turbulence of
the water, even in a local flood, can be horrific, particularly when the
fast-moving current picks up not only sand and mud, but large boulders. Under
such conditions, human bodies would probably be thrown around like flotsam and
would tend to be destroyed by the agitation and abrasion.
But even if human
bodies were buried in the later Flood sediments, destruction could still occur
subsequently (that is, post-deposition). For example, if ground waters
permeating through the sediments (such as sandstone) contain sufficient oxygen,
then the oxygen would probably oxidize the organic molecules in the buried
bodies and so destroy them. (This could be regarded as a type of weathering.)
Likewise, chemically active ground waters could also be capable of dissolving
human bones, removing all trace of buried people.
Many Flood sediments
have also undergone chemical and mineralogical changes due to the temperatures
and pressures of burial, plus the presence of the water trapped in between the
sediment grains. This process of change, known technically as metamorphism,
eventually obliterates many fossils in the original sediments, whether they be
fossils of shellfish, corals or mammals, particularly with increasing depth of
burial, and higher temperatures and pressures.
Yet another process
that could destroy buried human bodies would be the intrusion of molten
(igneous) rock into the Flood sediments, and through them to the surface to form
volcanoes and lava flows. Such processes involve heat intense enough to melt
rocks and recrystallize them. As the hot molten rock rises through the
sediments, the sediments are often baked by the heat, and again chemical and
mineralogical changes occur that obliterate many contained fossils.
All of these factors
greatly lengthen the odds of finding a human fossil today.
only would the turbulence of the sediment-laden Flood waters probably destroy
some of the human bodies swept away, but differential suspension in the waters
could have made it hard to bury those bodies that survived the turbulence. This
is because human bodies when immersed in water tend to bloat, and therefore
become lighter and float to the surface. This is what is meant by differential
suspension. The human bodies floating on the water surface could therefore for
some time be carrion for whatever birds were still flying around seeking places
to land and food to eat. Likewise, marine carnivores still alive in their watery
habitat would also devour corpses.
Furthermore, if the
bodies floated long enough and were not eaten as carrion, then they would still
have tended to either decompose or be battered to destruction on and in the
waters before any burial could take place. This could explain why we still don't
find human fossils higher up in the fossil record/geological column, that is,
the later Flood sediments.
When we take all
these factors into account, it would seem unlikely that many of the people
present at the time the Flood waters came could have ended up being fossilized.
Even if a handful, perhaps a few thousand, were preserved, when such a small
number is distributed through the vast volume of Flood sediments, the chances of
one being found at the surface are mathematically very, very low, let alone of
being found by a professional scientist who could recognize its significance and
document it properly.
Putting all these
factors together and assuming that they are all realistic possibilities, then
the probability of finding a human fossil in the Flood sediments today would be
very, very small. To date, our investigations of the fossil record indicate that
there are no human fossils in Flood strata, so perhaps the above explanations
could be some of the reasons why this is so.
God's purpose for the Flood
however, we need to consider the purpose for which God sent the Flood, for this
provides yet another reason, and perhaps the main reason, why we do not find any
human fossils in the Flood sediments and why we should not expect to find any.
In Genesis 6:7 we read that God said He would destroy man, whom He had created
from the face of the earth. So perhaps God deliberately made sure that the Flood
waters did just that, destroying every trace of man and his artifacts from the
pre-Flood world, if this is what He meant by what He had recorded in the
Yes, God did say
that He would send a Flood to destroy the beasts of the field and every living
thing in whose nostrils was the breath of life also, but yet we find fossils of
all the animals, etc. How then can it be that we find animal fossils and not
human fossils or artifacts, when God said that He was equally going to destroy
the animals and man from the face of the earth by the Flood?
Scripture we learn that as far as God's judgment of sin is concerned, when God
says that He wants the offenders removed, then this means utter destruction. We
see this in the case of the children of Israel moving into the Promised Land.
They were told to utterly destroy the Canaanites because of their evil and evil
practices. God had pronounced judgment on the Canaanites and the Israelites were
but His instruments in executing judgment. The fact that they didn't utterly
destroy the Canaanites ended up being a lingering malignant problem, as the
Israelites repeatedly lapsed into the sinful practices of the Canaanites who had
survived the conquest.
Similarly, we see
that God issued the instruction to King Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites,
again as a judgment on them for their evil (1 Samuel 15). Again, when God meant
His judgment to be utter destruction, He meant what He said, and Saul's
disobedience in not carrying through this instruction led to his own downfall.
It would seem to us
unloving of God to execute such relentless judgment, but such is God's
abhorrence of sin that its penalty must be seen for what it is -utter
destruction and removal of all trace. If God cannot tolerate sin (His holiness
cannot "look" on sin), then all trace of sin has to be removed in
judgment, which necessitates utter destruction. Should human remains have been
allowed to survive the Flood as fossils, then there could also have been the
possibility of such remains being worshiped and revered.
However, at least
some of the animals became fossilized. Though Genesis 6 implies that they were
affected by the entry of sin into the world, they were not morally accountable.
Also, they serve as a witness to God's judgment at the time of the Flood. In
other words, when we look at the fossil record and seem not to see any human
fossils, this should remind us how much God hates sin. We should see the fossils
as a sober reminder of the penalty of sin and the character of God's judgment,
and as a testimony to the reality of Noah's Flood and the trustworthiness of the
The Apostle Peter
takes up this theme in 2 Peter 3. He says that just as God created the world and
judged the world the first time by the Flood, then so too He is going to keep
His word and judge the world the second time by fire. Man therefore should take
heed and make peace with his Creator while there is still time, before God comes
again as Judge with sudden and swift judgment.
far as we are aware at the present time, there are no indisputable human fossils
in the fossil record that we could say belong to the pre-Flood human culture(s).
When we endeavour to understand some of the processes that may have occurred
during the Flood, and also the real nature of the fossil record, we are not
embarrassed by the seeming lack of human fossils.
We don't have all
the explanations as to how the evidence came to be that way, and it may be that
in the future we will discover some human fossils. However, there is also much
about the fossil record that the evolutionists have a hard time explaining. On
the other hand, we should also realize that we don't have all the answers
either, and we never will.
Even though God
has left us with evidence for creation and the Flood, the Bible still says that
without faith it is impossible to please and believe Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Because we weren't there at the time of the Flood we cannot scientifically prove
exactly what happened, so there will always be aspects that will involve our
faith. However, it is not blind faith. As we have investigated the evidence, we
have seen nothing to contradict what the Bible says about a world Flood. We can
be satisfied that there are reasonable explanations, consistent with Scripture,
for the seeming lack of human fossils in Flood rocks.
in 1889 a Mrs S.W. Culp broke a chunk of coal and found embedded therein a 10-
inch [25.4 centimeters], eight-carat gold chain, or so it was claimed (Wysong
R.L., The Creation/Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press, Midland,
Michigan, 1976, p. 370).
coal collection in the Mining Academy in Freiberg [Stutzer was Professor of
Geology and Mineralogy in the School of Mines at Freiberg, in Saxony], there is
a puzzling human skull composed of brown coal and manganiferous and phosphatie
limonite, but its source is not known. This skull was described by Karsten and
Dechen in 1842." I (the present author) have personally verified the
existence of this object via correspondence with Prof. Dr R. Vulpius, Professor
of Coal Geology at the Freiberg Mining Academy. He describes it as a petrified
object which resembles a human skull, and indicated that wide-ranging scientific
studies to elucidate its composition and origin were in progress.
skeletons do exist, one being housed in the collections of the British Museum
(Natural History) in London, and the report of the excavators indicate that more
are in the limestone strata east of the village of Moule on the island of
Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.
How could all the
human races come from Noah, his three sons and their wives?
According to the Bible, all humans on earth today are descended from Noah
and his wife, his three sons and their wives, and before that from Adam and Eve
(Genesis 1-11). But today we have many different groups, often called
"races," with what seem to be greatly differing features. The most
obvious of these is skin color. Many see this as a reason to doubt the Bible's
record of history. They believe that the various groups could have arisen only
by evolving separately over tens of thousands of years. However, as we shall
see, this does not follow from the biological evidence.
The Bible tells us how the population that
descended from Noah's family had one language and by living in one place were
disobeying God's command to "fill the earth" (Genesis 9:1, 11:4). God
confused their language, causing a break-up of the population into smaller
groups which scattered over the earth (Genesis 11:8-9). Modern genetics show
how, following such a break-up of a population, variations in skin color, for
example, can develop in only a few generations. There is good evidence that the
various people groups we have today have not been separated for huge
periods of time.1
What Is a
There is really only one race -- the human
race. The Bible teaches us that God has "made of one blood all nations of
men" (Acts 17:26). Scripture distinguishes people by tribal or national
groupings, not by skin color or physical appearance. Clearly, though, there are
groups of people who have certain features (e.g., skin color) in common, which
distinguish them from other groups. We prefer to call these "people
groups" rather than "races," to avoid the evolutionary
connotations associated with the word "race."
All peoples can interbreed and produce
fertile offspring. This shows that the biological differences between the
"races" are not very great. In fact, the DNA differences are trivial.
The DNA of any two people in the world would typically differ by just 0.2
percent.2 Of this, only 6 percent can be linked to racial categories;
the rest is "within race" variation.
Anthropologists generally classify people into a small number of main racial groups, such as the Caucasoid (European or "white"),3 the Mongoloid (which includes the Chinese, Inuit or Eskimo, and Native Americans), the Negroid (black Africans), and the Australoid (the Australian Aborigines). Within each classification, there may be many different sub-groups.
Virtually all evolutionists would now say
that the various people groups did not have separate origins. That is, different
people groups did not each evolve from a different group of animals. So they
would agree with the biblical creationist that all people groups have come from
the same original population. Of course, they believe that such groups as the
Aborigines and the Chinese have had many tens of thousands of years of
separation. Most believe that there are such vast differences between the groups
that there had to be many years for these differences to develop.
One reason for this is that many people
believe that the observable differences arise from some people having unique
features in their hereditary make-up which others lack. This is an
understandable but incorrect idea. Let's look at skin color, for
It is easy to think that
since different groups of people have "yellow" skin, "red"
skin, "black" skin, "white" skin, and "brown"
skin, there must be many different skin pigments or colorings. And since
different chemicals for coloring would mean a different genetic recipe or code
in the hereditary blueprint in each people group, it appears to be a real
problem. How could all those differences develop within a short time?
However, we all have the same coloring
pigment in our skin -- melanin. This is a dark-brownish pigment that is produced
in different amounts in special cells in our skin. If we had none (as do
people called albinos, who inherit a mutation-caused defect, and cannot produce
melanin), then we would have a very white or pink skin coloring. If we produced
a little melanin, we would be European white. If our skin produced a great deal
of melanin, we would be a very dark black. And in between, of course, are all
shades of brown. There are no other significant skin pigments.4
In summary, from currently available
information, the really important factor in determining skin color is melanin --
the amount produced.
situation is true not only for skin color. Generally, whatever feature we may
look at, no people group has anything that is essentially different from that
possessed by any other. For example, the Asian, or almond, eye differs from a
typical Caucasian eye in having more fat around them. Both Asian and Caucasian
eyes have fat -- the latter simply have less.
What does melanin do?
It protects the skin
against damage by ultraviolet light from the sun. If you have too little melanin
in a very sunny environment, you will easily suffer sunburn and skin cancer. If
you have a great deal of melanin, and you live in a country where there is
little sunshine, it will be harder for you to get enough vitamin D (which needs
sunshine for its production in your body). You may then suffer from vitamin D
deficiency, which could cause a bone disorder such as rickets.
We also need to be aware that we are not born
with a genetically fixed amount of melanin. Rather, we have a genetically fixed potential
to produce a certain amount, and the amount increases in response to sunlight.
For example, you may have noticed that when your Caucasian friends (who spent
their time indoors during winter) headed for the beach at the beginning of
summer they all had more or less the same pale white skin color. As the summer
went on, however, some became much darker than others.
How is it that many different skin colors
can arise in a short time? Remember,
whenever we speak of different "colors" we are referring to different
shades of the one color, melanin.
If a person from a very black people group
marries someone from a very white group, their offspring (called mulattos) are
mid-brown. It has long been known that when mulattos marry each other, their
offspring may be virtually any "color," ranging from very dark to very
light. Understanding this gives us the clues we need to answer our question, but
first we must look, in a simple way, at some of the basic principles of
Each of us carries information in our body
that describes us in the way a blueprint and specifications describe a furnished
building. It determines not only that we will be human beings, rather than
cabbages or crocodiles, but also whether we will have blue eyes, short nose,
long legs, etc. When a sperm fertilizes an egg, all the information that
specifies how the person will be built (ignoring such superimposed factors as
exercise and diet) is already present. Most of this information is in coded form
in our DNA.5
To illustrate coding, a piece of string with
beads on it can carry a message in Morse code. The piece of string, by the use
of a simple sequence of short beads, long beads (to represent the dots and
dashes of Morse code), and spaces, can carry the same information as the English
word "help" typed on a sheet of paper. The entire Bible could be
written thus in Morse code on a long enough piece of string.
In a similar way, the human blueprint is
written in a code (or language convention) which is carried on very long
chemical strings of DNA. This is by far the most efficient information storage
system known, greatly surpassing any foreseeable computer technology.6This
information is copied (and reshuffled) from generation to generation as people
The word "gene"
refers to a small part of that information which has the instructions for only
one type of enzyme, for example.7 It may be simply understood as a
portion of the "message string" containing only one specification.
For example, there is one gene that carries
the instructions for making hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in your
red blood cells. If that gene has been damaged by mutation (such as copying
mistakes during reproduction), the instructions will be faulty, so it will often
make a crippled form of hemoglobin, if any. (Diseases such as sickle-cell anemia
and thalassemia result from such mistakes.)
So, with an egg which has just been
fertilized -- where does all its information, its genes, come from? One half
comes from the father (carried in the sperm), and the other half from the mother
(carried in the egg).
Genes come in pairs, so in the case of
hemoglobin, for example, we have two sets of code (instruction) for hemoglobin
manufacture, one coming from the mother and one from the father.
This is a very useful arrangement, because if
you inherit a damaged gene from one parent hat could instruct your cells to
produce a defective hemoglobin, you are still likely to get a normal one from
the other parent which will continue to give the right instructions. Thus, only
half the hemoglobin in your body will be defective. (In fact, each of us carries
hundreds of genetic mistakes, inherited from one or the other of our parents,
which are usefully "covered up" by being matched with a normal gene
from the other parent ľ