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Noah's Ark And Biodiversity


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#1 Phish

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 10:59 AM

This may have come up in the forums before, but I'd like to hear people's input.

There are about
-5400 species of mammal: including three species of elephant, 5 species of rhinoceros, and two of hippo.
-8000 species of reptile
-10,000 species of bird, most of which are not capable for flying for 40 days straight without landing
-10 million species of insect

Add those up, and multiply them by two, that's a LOT of animals. The size of Noah's Ark was established as 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. How'd they all fit?

Also, there are 31,000 species of fish, some of which are saltwater, and some of which are freshwater. Depending on the salinity of the water after the flood, either all of the freshwater fish or all of the saltwater fish would have died off. How is it that we have as much biodiversity as we do today after the flood?

#2 jason777

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 11:43 AM

Hi Phish,

The average mammal size is around the size of a sheep. If we use that as an average, then we could fit 50,000 sheep and still have 64% of its capacity for provisions.






Enjoy.



#3 Isabella

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 01:03 PM

I think perhaps the better question (which I have raised before) is how did all those species manage to correctly distribute themselves once the ark reached dry land?

Many species are specialists, meaning they can only survive in a specific environment with a specific food source. Furthermore, the vast majority of species are not adapted to migrate long distances in unfavourable conditions.

When we think of animals, it’s easy to consider only the large, warm-blooded mammals. Google a picture of Noah’s ark and you’ll see what I mean. These animals tend to have long life spans, flexible diets, and at least some degree of tolerance to climate changes. However, the vast majority of animals are not large mammals.

There is no ecological explanation for the current distribution of species according to the flood theory.

#4 Ron

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 02:41 PM

This may have come up in the forums before, but I'd like to hear people's input.

There are about
-5400 species of mammal: including three species of elephant, 5 species of rhinoceros, and two of hippo.
-8000 species of reptile
-10,000 species of bird, most of which are not capable for flying for 40 days straight without landing
-10 million species of insect

Add those up, and multiply them by two, that's a LOT of animals. The size of Noah's Ark was established as 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. How'd they all fit?

Also, there are 31,000 species of fish, some of which are saltwater, and some of which are freshwater. Depending on the salinity of the water after the flood, either all of the freshwater fish or all of the saltwater fish would have died off. How is it that we have as much biodiversity as we do today after the flood?

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I will attempt to answer yours, and Isabella’s questions with the following (but I doubt it will satisfy to the degree you want):

If God is, who He said He is, than your conundrums are not a problem. If He is not, then they remain conundrums. Having said that; jason777 makes good and valid points. Remember, this is the God who makes the Anthropic Principle hold.

For example excerpts below from (http://www.inplainsi...principles.html):


Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level

On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an Anthropic Constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25% fires would erupt spontaneously, if it were 15%, human beings would suffocate.

Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency

If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent we would be bombarded with far roo much solar radiation down here. (In addition to atmospheric transparency, the atmospheric composition of precise levels of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and ozone are in themselves Anthropic constants).

Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction

If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. In either event, life on earth would be impossible.

Anthropic Constant 4: Carbon Dioxide level

If the CO2 level were higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop (we’d all burn up). If the level were lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis (we’d all suffocate).

Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity

If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and, therefore neither would we. Talk about precision.

Anthropic Constant 6: Centrifugal Force

If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun.

Anthropic Constant 7: Rate Of Expansion

If the universe had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did, expansion would have stopped and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed. If it had expanded faster, then no galaxies would have formed.

Anthropic Constant 8: Speed Of Light

Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to be 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.

Anthropic Constant 9: Water Vapor Levels.

If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life. If they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth to cold to support human life.

Anthropic Constant 10: Jupiter.

If Jupiter were not in it’s current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike earth.

Anthropic Constant 11: The Earth’s Crust.

If the thickness of the earth’s crust were greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.

Anthropic Constant 12: The Earth’s Rotation.

If the rotation of the earth took longer than 24 hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be to great.

Anthropic Constant 13: Axis Tilt.

The 23-degree axis tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth.

Anthropic Constant 14: Atmospheric Discharge.

If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less there would be little nitrogen fixings in the soil.

Anthropic Constant 15: Seismic Activity.

If there were more seismic activity, much more life would be lost; if there were less, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift. (yes, even earthquakes are necessary to sustain life as we know it).

#5 jason777

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 02:45 PM

I think perhaps the better question (which I have raised before) is how did all those species manage to correctly distribute themselves once the ark reached dry land?


How did they manage to evolve from chemicals in dirt? Sometimes, we just don't know everything. Besides, who said they correctly distributed themselves? Even after this correct distribution, extinction is still occurring across the globe.

Many species are specialists, meaning they can only survive in a specific environment with a specific food source. Furthermore, the vast majority of species are not adapted to migrate long distances in unfavourable conditions.


I think they went wherever they wanted and simply survived where it was favorable. (e.g. rats are hardy and are able to survive on nearly every continent).




Thanks.

#6 Ron

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 03:39 PM

I think perhaps the better question (which I have raised before) is how did all those species manage to correctly distribute themselves once the ark reached dry land?


Another question, analogous to your distribution theorem, then (since we’re theorizing about that which we have not observed) would be: How did the items for first life “distribute themselves” in such a way as to bring life from non-life? Or even better, where did these materials come from, in order to ‘distribute” themselves? Or even a step further, how did the materials of the “big bang” distribute themselves, is such a way to cause the big bang (oh, yeah, and where did they come from too)?

#7 Isabella

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 05:31 PM

How did they manage to evolve from chemicals in dirt? Sometimes, we just don't know everything.

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Another question, analogous to your distribution theorem, then (since we’re theorizing about that which we have not observed) would be: How did the items for first life “distribute themselves” in such a way as to bring life from non-life?

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I disagree that abiogenesis is comparable to ecology. It’s interesting to me that both of you chose to “refute” my argument by using this as an example.

Abiogenesis is not a field of science governed by any testable or observable laws. It’s merely a hypothesis to explain the formation of life on our planet. There are really only two options: either a superior being/force created life, or life arose from something that was non-living. It is unlikely that anyone will ever be able to prove abiogenesis. All we can do is examine the evidence we have, and try to determine which model it fits best with: creation or evolution.

There’s a difference between inconsistent evidence and unexplained evidence. The distribution of species on our planet is not only unexplained by creationism, it’s inconsistent with creationism. Species distribution, unlike the initial formation of life, is something that we can test and observe in the world around us. It’s an ongoing process.

Besides, who said they correctly distributed themselves? Even after this correct distribution, extinction is still occurring across the globe.

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Most animals seem pretty well-adapted to their habitats. Yes, extinction is occurring. But a main cause of extinction is habitat loss or habitat degradation (often because of human activities, like clear cutting forests). If a worldwide flood destroyed all the habitats on our planet, then every terrestrial species would be facing habitat loss and would most likely go extinct before they were able to establish a new population.

I think they went wherever they wanted and simply survived where it was favorable. (e.g. rats are hardy and are able to survive on nearly every continent).

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Most animals cannot go “wherever they want”. We know that the majority of species are limited by physical barriers, for example mountain ranges and deserts. Even though there are many species which potentially could thrive in a given region, they are unable to disperse to that region and establish a population. Furthermore, the species in question would have to arrive at its new habitat with its mate. If distribution is occurring randomly, the chance that two species would end up in the same geographical location at the same time is extremely low.

#8 MamaElephant

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 08:56 PM

I am shocked and amazed that no one has given you the most common explanation that I see in Creationist literature. We have different species now than we had before the flood, and certainly more than we had directly after the flood. Speciation has occurred. If you care to read about it you can see it all here: http://creation.com/article/6399 Tons of questions answered.

Furthermore, the species in question would have to arrive at its new habitat with its mate. If distribution is occurring randomly, the chance that two species would end up in the same geographical location at the same time is extremely low.

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The same way they arrived on the ark with a mate. Divine intervention. Or maybe they mated immediately and then separated. The offspring mated, then those offspring mated, etc.

If you introduce a new species of frog to Australia when you get off of the airplane is it the same frog that you see on the opposite side of the continent years later or is it subsequent generations?

#9 jason777

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 09:01 PM

I am shocked and amazed that no one has given you the most common explanation that I see in Creationist literature.


We're simply sick of going over the same thing over and over again. I think the first topic I ever posted in 4 years ago was this very same thing that "Allegedly" has no answer.

#10 MamaElephant

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 09:14 PM

Isabella, Baramonology is the classification system based on the speciation occurring from the original animal kinds. I have posted about it many times recently.

I am shocked and amazed that no one has given you the most common explanation that I see in Creationist literature.


We're simply sick of going over the same thing over and over again. I think the first topic I ever posted in 4 years ago was this very same thing that "Allegedly" has no answer.

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Yeah, come to think of it. I have posted about it a lot of times, not to mention a google search with creationist ark and species got me all the answers I needed. :)

#11 Isabella

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 05:17 PM

The same way they arrived on the ark with a mate. Divine intervention. Or maybe they mated immediately and then separated. The offspring mated, then those offspring mated, etc.

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Well if you’re going to argue divine intervention, I guess there’s not much I can say. I generally form my arguments by asking myself what we’d expect to see if the Bible were true, and comparing that to what we actually see. In other words, if the Bible says that a miracle occurred (like a worldwide flood, for example) I won’t waste my time asking for the science behind it.

However, the Bible says nothing about how animals dispersed after the flood. To claim that a miracle occurred is a weak argument with no evidence to back it up, neither scientific nor historical.

If you introduce a new species of frog to Australia when you get off of the airplane is it the same frog that you see on the opposite side of the continent years later or is it subsequent generations?

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If I introduced frogs to a region of Australia lacking the climate and resources found in their former habitat, I wouldn’t expect to see any subsequent generations. My prediction would be that the frogs would die off almost immediately. This could be for any number of reasons: inadequate temperature, predation, starvation, desiccation, resource competition, disease, etc.

There are very few animals that could survive in post-flood conditions, let alone find the energy to mate and migrate. With only two of each animal and no terrestrial plants, proper food chains could not be established.

Isabella, Baramonology is the classification system based on the speciation occurring from the original animal kinds. I have posted about it many times recently.

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Is baraminology really a functional classification system? Every time I ask someone to demonstrate how animals are classified according baraminology, they are unable to do so. For example, to what baramin does the red panda belong, and why?

#12 MamaElephant

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:19 PM

Is baraminology really a functional classification system? Every time I ask someone to demonstrate how animals are classified according baraminology, they are unable to do so. For example, to what baramin does the red panda belong, and why?

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What does random mean? What does evolution mean? What does theory mean? Are the finches all one species or several? Evolutionists don't have answers to everything, and they change their answers, or have a different answer depending on the context...

Baraminology was around in the 1500s and 1600s and then pretty much disappeared until 1941. So they have a lot of work to do. They are not done classifying all of the different types of animals. If they classified animals on a whim, then I am sure they would be finished with it. They might have the red panda classified, but not listed on the web. I have not yet bought the books on baraminology. I will let you know if/when I find out.

The ability to reproduce is the keystone characteristic which indicates that plants or animals have descended from the same baramin. Baramins often line up with genus. I am sure that some animals also had a common ancestor at one time, and due to natural selection that eliminated too much of the original matching genetic information are now no longer able to reproduce.

Since 2001, creation biologists at the Baraminology Study Group have been developing a new method for demarcating created kinds. The new method involves the application of morphological character data to create a "biological character space," which can then be used to determine continuity and discontinuity between species, and ultimately to determine "biological trajectories.". Creation scientists generally recognize that kinds are a form of clade since created kinds refer to common ancestry. Baraminology, or the effort to classify life according to the created kinds, is thus the creationist equivalent of cladistics.

This link explains a lot about creationists belief in "microevolution" and "created kinds", if you care to learn more: http://creationwiki.org/Created_kind
This link will likely help you to understand how a baramin is determined: http://www.answersin...id-baraminology

Todd Wood had a paper out in 2007 on some of older discussions of baraminology from the 1500s and 1600s. I am trying to find it. This is what was said:

It's very interesting because while it predates baraminology by several centuries, the framework of thought is already there.



#13 MamaElephant

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:43 PM

Well if you’re going to argue divine intervention, I guess there’s not much I can say. I generally form my arguments by asking myself what we’d expect to see if the Bible were true, and comparing that to what we actually see. In other words, if the Bible says that a miracle occurred (like a worldwide flood, for example) I won’t waste my time asking for the science behind it.

However, the Bible says nothing about how animals dispersed after the flood. To claim that a miracle occurred is a weak argument with no evidence to back it up, neither scientific nor historical.

If I introduced frogs to a region of Australia lacking the climate and resources found in their former habitat, I wouldn’t expect to see any subsequent generations. My prediction would be that the frogs would die off almost immediately. This could be for any number of reasons: inadequate temperature, predation, starvation, desiccation, resource competition, disease, etc.

There are very few animals that could survive in post-flood conditions, let alone find the energy to mate and migrate. With only two of each animal and no terrestrial plants, proper food chains could not be established.

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Well, the creationist position is that animals started out with a greater ability for adapting and have specialized due to natural selection. It is an entirely different mind-set really. Animals that now have specialized diets or even some that are carnivores were likely less picky directly after the flood. Ecological conditions were also different. Noah only embarked from the flood after he had found an olive branch... so obviously there were plants. I wonder how many? The precipitation was great at the time, apparently. Many areas that are now deserts had rain forest type conditions. The ice age began at some point during or directly after the flood (according to a theory based on computer modeling, fossils etc.) and during this time animals that are normally living in different environments were living together (such as hippos and reindeer).

Basically... you cannot start with the supposition of vast periods of time, multiple ice-ages and accurate dating methods and understand this information correctly. Not to mention that I have read several books on the subject in an attempt to understand, not just a few message board comments or possibly some internet articles in an attempt to debate. The ability to see the evidence is skewed quite a bit by that.

I doubt that you will believe me, but I will tell you anyway... I have read books that promote evolution, "clear up the myths of evolution", etc. I have a good friend who is a theistic evolutionist. I listened to her critiques of some of my resources. I started out very skeptical of YEC and someone convinced me to give it a fair shot after I made fun of it. I think that YEC has more explanatory power than other theories and I have seen just as much scientific evidence for it as for others.

#14 Salsa

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 11:51 PM

To claim that a miracle occurred is a weak argument with no evidence to back it up, neither scientific nor historical.

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Creationists are often accused of clutching at miracles as soon as they bump into something they cannot explain, although I don't think there are many who actually have the habit of doing so. Apart from the creation of the universe itself and other specific miracles mentioned in the Bible I can't recall any case where it has been used in the discussions I've followed down through the years.

So why use it now?

I think you have to consider the entire context of what happened here. That the animals that were selected to repopulate the earth simply came to Noah without him having to collect them is clearly an example of a miracle. It was a miracle born out of necessity and it had a specific purpose - to preserve life.

Now since God went to the trouble of performing a miracle before the flood in order to preserve life on the earth, then it just doesn't seem reasonable that he would not do something similar after the flood. It wouldn't make sense that he'd kick the animals off the ark and just leave them there to die.

Dispersing them to their natural habitats would obviously be as difficult a task as gathering them, so this second miracle would be absolutely necessary.

Therefore, even though there is no specific account of this second miracle I think it can be deduced, and so the argument is a reasonable one.

#15 Ron

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 04:04 AM

To claim that a miracle occurred is a weak argument with no evidence to back it up, neither scientific nor historical.

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This morass is oft used as a chide by the atheist intended to be a conundrum for the creationists. But the atheist always overlooks the "Miracles" of the big bang (i.e. where did the materials come from, how did they coalesce is such a fashion without intervention etc...), how did life come from non-life (with or without intervention), how did intelligence come from non-intelligence (with or without intervention) etc...

And their usual answers??? It's just that way, or evolution did it, or nature did it (etc...).

Yes, atheists evoke their own deities, they just don't like to admit it.

#16 Isabella

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:50 PM

Baraminology was around in the 1500s and 1600s and then pretty much disappeared until 1941. So they have a lot of work to do. They are not done classifying all of the different types of animals. If they classified animals on a whim, then I am sure they would be finished with it. They might have the red panda classified, but not listed on the web. I have not yet bought the books on baraminology. I will let you know if/when I find out.

The ability to reproduce is the keystone characteristic which indicates that plants or animals have descended from the same baramin. Baramins often line up with genus. I am sure that some animals also had a common ancestor at one time, and due to natural selection that eliminated too much of the original matching genetic information are now no longer able to reproduce.

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Any idea what sort of research is currently being done to classify animals into baramins? I think it would be quite difficult, from the perspective of a creationist, to decide where exactly the line should be drawn. The reason being is that for most animals, there is no clear boundary. It’s easy to look at dogs and wolves and decide that they’re related. But what about wolves and coyotes? Coyotes and foxes? Foxes and racoon dogs? They all look like dogs, but now we’re above the level of Genus.

This problem is even greater when we move away from mammals and other vertebrates. In the past, I brought up the point that “jellyfish” is a general term for Class Scyphozoa. Class is quite high up in taxonomy, on the same level as Mammalia. Yet one could easily argue that all jellyfish look more or less the same (obviously there’s a lot of diversity that we can’t see) and therefore could be related. How would baraminology deal with this situation?

Well, the creationist position is that animals started out with a greater ability for adapting and have specialized due to natural selection. It is an entirely different mind-set really. Animals that now have specialized diets or even some that are carnivores were likely less picky directly after the flood.

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I’ve heard this suggestion before, but what I don’t understand is how the ability to adapt could have been lost over time. We still see major changes in climate and habitat happening all over the world. Adaptation does occur, but it happens slowly and usually the changes are relatively minor. That’s why so many animals are extinct or endangered as a result of human activities. So what changed?

I doubt that you will believe me, but I will tell you anyway... I have read books that promote evolution, "clear up the myths of evolution", etc.

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I believe you. I read/watch a lot of sources on creationism. I think it’s good to keep up with the other side of the debate, evolutionists and creationists alike. When a creationist tells me that they’re never read a book about evolution and never plan to, that tells me one of two things:
a. They feel that it’s not important to accurately represent their opponent’s views in a debate.
b. They’re afraid of having their faith challenged.
So if you’ve read books, I think that’s great.

#17 MamaElephant

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:35 PM

I’ve heard this suggestion before, but what I don’t understand is how the ability to adapt could have been lost over time. We still see major changes in climate and habitat happening all over the world. Adaptation does occur, but it happens slowly and usually the changes are relatively minor. That’s why so many animals are extinct or endangered as a result of human activities. So what changed?

I believe you. I read/watch a lot of sources on creationism. I think it’s good to keep up with the other side of the debate, evolutionists and creationists alike. When a creationist tells me that they’re never read a book about evolution and never plan to, that tells me one of two things:
a. They feel that it’s not important to accurately represent their opponent’s views in a debate.
b. They’re afraid of having their faith challenged.
So if you’ve read books, I think that’s great.

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Okay, well, I am not a scientist and actually new to this debate, but I will try, don't fault me for trying. :)

Natural Selection is the same as selective breeding except that the selecting is done by nature rather than people. Let's use turtles as an example. There are a wide variety of turtles on an island with plenty of vegetation. Turtles with longer necks and shorter necks, domed shells and saddle shaped shells all live together, interbreeding and there are varieties in-between. Now most of the vegetation disappears and all of the short necked, dome backed turtles die. Several generations go by with these turtles coming about due to the recessive gene coming up and they still don't make it. Now that gene is gone. There is no way for that population of turtles to reclaim their variability.

http://creation.com/...selection-p.pdf


http://creation.com/...ersus-evolution

#18 Seek123

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:57 PM

Another question I was hoping could be answered in this thread would be how the animals were fed on the ark. Was there a pantry type area, did Noahs family need to do daily feeding runs?

Or could the animals that were choosen to represent each kind have been utilized as animals that could fast for long periods of time? Considering the basis of the flood was a survival mission and not a cruise, I would think these types of abilities would have been accounted for in the choice process.

#19 ikester7579

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:36 PM

This may have come up in the forums before, but I'd like to hear people's input.

There are about
-5400 species of mammal: including three species of elephant, 5 species of rhinoceros, and two of hippo.
-8000 species of reptile
-10,000 species of bird, most of which are not capable for flying for 40 days straight without landing
-10 million species of insect

Add those up, and multiply them by two, that's a LOT of animals. The size of Noah's Ark was established as 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. How'd they all fit?

Also, there are 31,000 species of fish, some of which are saltwater, and some of which are freshwater. Depending on the salinity of the water after the flood, either all of the freshwater fish or all of the saltwater fish would have died off. How is it that we have as much biodiversity as we do today after the flood?

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Being that we have witnessed speciation in birds in our lifetime means that all living things can change within their kind in 4,400 years. So all the species that exist today did not have to be on Noah's Ark. Just like evolution did not have to start out with the same number of different single cells as there are species.

#20 ikester7579

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:37 PM

Another question I was hoping could be answered in this thread would be how the animals were fed on the ark.  Was there a pantry type area, did Noahs family need to do daily feeding runs?

Or could the animals that were choosen to represent each kind have been utilized as animals that could fast for long periods of time?  Considering the basis of the flood was a survival mission and not a cruise, I would think these types of abilities would have been accounted for in the choice process.

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God did fill the stomachs of the lions so Danial would not be eaten, right? So why not the Ark as well?




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