Young-Earth Creationism Leads the Short-Necked Okapi to Identify as a Giraffe

The Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky is filled with signs and displays that promote young-earth interpretations of geology, astronomy, biology, archaeology and theology. I have critiqued many of these interpretations before (e.g. My Trip to the Ark Encounter and Depicting a Real Flood with Unrealistic Images). Today, I want to talk about one sign. A sign that explains the young-earth understanding of the origin of giraffes.

A sign on the Ark Encounter posted next to cage containing a pair of short-necked giraffe-like animals. Photo: Joel Duff

It is hard to read so here is the text from that sign:

“Why is the Giraffe’s Neck so Short?

Giraffidae is a family of large mammals currently represented by only two species. They have split hooves and re-chew their food, indicating they qualify as “clean” animals according to the dietary laws described in Leviticus.  This means that up to seven pairs of this kind may have boarded the Ark rather than just a single pair.

Today, giraffids are often considered in light of their more popular member: the long-necked giraffe. However, the other living member of the family, the okapi, has more reserved proportions. Indeed, the majority of fossil giraffids had shorter necks than the modern giraffe.  This suggests that the Ark giraffids were probably more okapi-like in appearance than the giraffe.

The long neck of the giraffe is only one example of variation within this kind. Sivatherium, with its stocky body and branched ossicones, resembled a moose, with Bramatherium had a plate of bone on its head that split into four ossicones like an elaborate headdress. Fossil giraffids have been recovered from rock layers as low as the Miocene across Asia, Africa, and Europe.” 

The question presented on the sign is appropriate because the Ark patron is likely staring at a replica of an odd giraffe-looking animal in a cage and wondering what it is.  Most visitors to the Ark Encounter would consider themselves literal six-day creationists. However, for many of them the strange menagerie of animals in cages in the ark replica will be their clearest exposure to the neocreationist’ promotion of rapid post-Flood evolution as a biblical model or the origin of modern animal forms.

The neocreationist’ current thinking on common ancestry and massive rapid speciation are summarized in the article, Reimagining Ark Animals.  Here we can see the essential elements of that view in the text of this single sign.

Principles of young-earth evolution

  • Living species of land vertebrates can trace their origins back to common ancestors preserved on Noah’s Ark less than 4500 years ago.
  • Living species (except humans) share common ancestors with a few to possibly hundreds of other species.
  • Those common ancestors were not the same species we are familiar with today.
  • Common ark ancestor changed (evolved) into these species as they adapted to new environments after the Flood.

Relating these principle to giraffes the Ark Encounter and it parent organization Answers in Genesis preach that God did not create animals with long-necks for Adam to name. Rather, the neocreationist’ understanding is that God created a giraffid animal that was more moose-like in appearance.  We are told the giraffe we know and love today did not originally have a long neck.  Rather the ancestor to that long-necked animal was preserved on Noah’s ark and then evolved into many dozens of different forms of giraffids of which the long-necked giraffe is but just one type.

Notice that the sign also emphasizes a particular feature of the fossil record of giraffids:  “Fossil giraffids have been recovered from rock layers as low as the Miocene across Asia, Africa, and Europe.”  With so little space why did the Ark Encounter creators feel this information was important to include?  It is important because it provides the rationale for their post-flood hyperspeciation model of origins.

Dr. Andrew Snelling, employee of Answers in Genesis and one of the most prominent geologists in creationism, is a strong proponent of the Flood/Post-Flood boundary (i.e. where we can find the boundary between rocks laid down during a global flood and rocks laid down by post-flood events) at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary which conventional geologists say occurred 66 million years ago. The Miocene rocks are far younger than this boundary and thus, in Snelling’s and therefore Answers in Genesis’ estimation, are post-flood sediments.  Since this is where dozens of moose-like giraffid fossils are found then all of these short-necked thick-bodied giraffids must all have evolved from a common ancestor giraffid that left the ark prior to these fossils being preserved in post-flood sediments.

The connection of hundreds of fossil relatives of modern species to post-Flood sediments is a significant reason why neocreationists believe that hundreds of species of animals must share a common ancestor in the recent past.  In the case of giraffids, there have been dozens of species of giraffids that we place in a single “family.”  See the image from Twitter below of just a few of those.  What really sticks out is the uniqueness of the long-necked giraffe in the giraffid family.

What the young-earth literature and the Ark Encounter never tell their customers is that they have no physical evidence that any giraffid lived prior to the Flood. Every fossil of every species of giraffe ever found has been located in post-Flood deposits according to Dr. Snelling and Answers in Genesis. This bears repeating, in all of the Global Flood rocks not a single member of the YEC giraffid kind has ever been found.

Setting aside the fossil giraffids let’s focus on the two genera of living giraffids, the giraffe and the okapi.  These are clearly distinct species. Among its many differences is a large gap in chromosome number. Giraffes have 30 chromosomes whereas Okapi have 44 to 46 chromosomes.  It is not surprising that they are sexually incompatible with long-necked giraffes.  Nonetheless, the Ark Encounter signs assures the reader that the okapi is the same “kind” of animal—despite not meeting their most basic criteria for demarcating a kind—and thus God didn’t create them separately but originally as the same animal. The Ark Encounter also informs the visitor that neither the okapi nor long-necked species we recognize today was on Noah’s ark though “the Ark giraffids were probably more okapi-like in appearance than the giraffe.” 

Does this make sense? Could dozens of giraffid species have evolved from a single common ancestor in just a few hundred years?

While superficially appealing to the young-earth mindset because it solves the problem of how to fit all the present day species of animals on the ark there is nothing to support such wild speculation. This barely qualifies as a hypothesis much less a theory. For what I have called young-earth evolutionism (YEE) to be true, much of what we know about genetics, ecology, evolutionary processes and even some principles of chemistry, must be completely wrong. The YEE provides little tangible evidence or testable theories of how these tremendous changes might occur. Where is the evidence of this change? Surely there should be eyewitness reports of one species giving rise directly to another since hundreds of new species were forming every year for hundreds of years. Why are new species not forming as such incredible rates today?

How much “evolution” are we talking about if dozens of species of giraffids were derived from an ancestral pair?  Quite a lot.  I will provide one piece of data to illustrate.  I did a quick search and there is a published mitochondrial genome for the okapi and giraffe. This genome is small but can provide us with some baseline comparisons of genetic divergence among animals.

An Okapi. Image credit: “Okapi2”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Okapi2.jpg#/media/File:Okapi2.jpg

So how different are an okapi and a giraffe? Their mtDNA genomes which are both about 16,000 base pairs in size differ by almost 2100 base pairs which means they have only 87% DNA sequence similarity. How different is that? By comparison, you and any chimpanzee differ by 1400 to 1500 base pairs (nucleotides). Hence we are 92% similar to a chimpanzee with respect to our mtDNA sequences.  You can compare these numbers to other comparisons of animals that YEC believe are the same “kind” or different kinds in the post Of Kinds and Common Ancestors: mtDNA Genomes Compared.

A Nilgai antelope. “Nilgai running” by Rushil Fernandes – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nilgai_running.jpg#/media/File:Nilgai_running.jpg

A Nilgai antelope. “Nilgai running” by Rushil Fernandes – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nilgai_running.jpg#/media/File:Nilgai_running.jpg

I also examined the mtDNA genome of the nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), which is the largest Asian antelope. Antelopes are ungulates like giraffes but are classified in a different families in the ungulate Order.  In my comparison with the okapi genome I found them to differ by just under 2200 differences (89% DNA sequence similarity). So the okapi shows similar differences in terms of its genetic code from a giraffe and this large antelope. Why doesn’t AiG then just consider all antelopes to be the same “kind” as giraffes and thus all descendants from a common ancestor on the ark? By what criteria do they make their decisions of what constitutes and kind and what does not?  While not all neocreationist are ready to go this far, some have considered the possibility that God only created a “ruminant kind” which was on the Ark and then became giraffes, elk, deer, pronghorn and several other types of animals (see: Are Ruminants Derived from a Common Ancestor: Ruminating on the meaning of a Kind).

The paradigm shift in Young-Earth Evolutionists’ understanding of species

This simple sign at the Ark Encounter underscores a significant change in the rhetoric of young-earth creationists.   It shows that Answers in Genesis is vigorously attempting to reorient the creationist’ understanding of the origins of species diversity. This goes against a long history of YECs claiming that specific adaptions to their environment in species are clear evidence of de-novo creation of those species.  The argument goes that the features that a particular species has are so specialized that no intermediate characteristics could have allowed the organisms to survive and thus they must have been formed as we see them today. It’s a form of the irreducibly complex argument championed by Intelligent Design advocate Michael Behe.

As you can imagine, if AiG is going to define species as descendants of common ancestors on the Ark then these special features of individual species must be adaptions to their current condition rather than products of special creation in the creation week. Sometime YECs will call upon some sort of pre-programming of genomes that God performed at the moment of creation on Day 6 to give them the ability to form these features later.  This is imagined to be a sort of latent capacity to live in future environments that God place in their genomes such that under just the right conditions suddenly a long neck, stronger heart and special blood vessels would suddenly appear in a select number of descendants to make a giraffe.

All one needs to do is look at a couple of example of how giraffes were used in the creationist’ literature 20 years ago to see how different this brave new world of post-flood hyper-evolution has changed the creationist’ landscape.

Here is one example from 1996:

Other mammals do desire the leaves of trees but none of them will ever become giraffes, and the giraffe most certainly did not come from any other ‘less-than-giraffe’ animal.

In this article we are further told that giraffes have features that could only be explained as God having produced giraffes as we see them today.  These author here does not seem like they believe that giraffes came from a short-necked moose-like creature.

Below is another example from a blog post written in 2010 of the same sort of argument that is common in the YEC literature:

Everyone agrees, creationists and evolutionists—a giraffe is a giraffe. It is a distinct species, a discrete entity. No one would say a giraffe is a “missing link” or a “transitional form.” A giraffe is not some creature emerging from some other creature or changing into a “higher” or more complex animal—a giraffe is a giraffe! It can be scientifically examined with results that display the necessity of a single creative act. This long-necked creature had to have been originally formed with all of its complex features fully functional.

The common view is that features are so specialized in species that they could not have come to be through any intermediate. But one species becoming another requires intermediate steps. If the animals on the ark did not look like today’s animals they have changed and they have new specializations that give them the attributes as species that they are today.

Even Ken Ham used this same language in 2005 about giraffes requiring irreducibly complex features to make a long neck but today identifies the long neck as the product of genetic rearrangements of DNA from an ancestor with a short neck.

I’ll end by repeating what I have written before: there is no biblical evidence of such radical changes to organisms. To say that animals reproduce after “their own kind” is to confirm the ordinary observation that all species, as they have been recognized for millennia, give birth to more of their own species. The bible references horses and donkeys very soon after the Flood with no indication that they are any different than we might understand them today. For more on this please see my article (YEC Biblical Evolution: I have a Book that Says Otherwise) written soon after the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate in which I talk about Ken Ham’s most public attempt to reorient creationism to accommodate a radical creationist’ form of Darwinism.  It accounts for the fact that all the diversity of life we see today and in the recent fossil record must be accounted for in the time between the Flood and the creationist singular ice age and the fact that it requires radical amounts of natural selection (the Darwinian mechanism), mutations and genetic drift to accomplish such changes.

Creationists of the not so distant past believed that giraffes were giraffes and okapi were okapi just as they were created to be. Today’s neocreationist says the okapi is a giraffe and should be identified as one.  But even here they have it backward, their own sign points out that most giraffids had short necks and therefore the long-neck giraffe is an aberration.  It is the long-necked giraffe that suffers from identify issues.  They should be identifying as okapi.


Thanks to Facebook friend I.K.E. and satire publication BabylonBee for the title inspiration.


A representation of a possible young-earth hypothesis for the origin of the members of the Order Ruminatia. Other ruminants are not considered related to those in this group. Figure: Joel Duff, images from Wikipedia CC.

Comments

  1. Christine Marie Janis says:

    “Rather, the neocreationist’ understanding is that God created a giraffid animal that was more moose-like in appearance.”

    Hmm. They’re mistaking a sivathere, an extinct form of derived giraffid in a different subfamily to Giraffa and Okapia, for some sort of basal form. Figures.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sallyhawksworth says:

    Excellent entertaining and informative (about this abrupt volte face on the part of prominent YEC spokespeople) article. But after all if they imagine that animals evolved in the space of a few short years from being something a bit like an okapi in body shape (or possibly a sheep or dikdik, which would take up much less Ark space).to current giraffe proportions, plus all the other living and extinct giraffes, and possibly all the other ruminants too, then YECS evolving from claiming that the ancestors of present day giraffes on the Ark looked identical to today’s descendants to claiming that they looked quite different is nothing out of the way. What WOULD be surprising is if they frankly acknowledged that all the YECs of the past century until the last few years had been stoutly maintaining, and claiming biblical authority for maintaining, something which they now claim is untrue, and disproved by scientific evidence. Or if they acknowledged, rather than brushing under the carpet, that there is not one iota of fossil evidence for any sort of giraffe, or any modern mammal or bird species, ln any rock strata that their geologist guru Andrew Snelling dates to before their mythical Flood, or marking the Flood. IOW, the Flood, which supposedly wiped out all land life apart from the Ark specimens, did so without leaving any fossil remains from any of those bird and mammal Ark survivors’ relatives. Not one. No humans, though the whole point of the Flood was, we are told, to wipe them all out, apart from Noah and his family. No primates, even. No ravens or doves, though a raven and dove are recorded in Genesis as being on the Ark. Nothing anything like any modern mammal or bird, or even extinct mammals and birds recognisably akin enough to modern species to be accounted the same kind by YECs. None of these creatures left any physical evidence of their having lived or died BEFORE the supposed time of the Flood, or DURING that time. It would be nice to see a YEC honestly admitting this to be the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rjdownard says:

    Another nifty posting, to add to the baraminology chapter of the new Rocks book. The evolution of YEC is a wonderment to behold.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin and commented:

    Creationism has so many inconsistencies and absurdities. They are virulently anti-evolution, but more and more they argue for evolution in a matter of years rather than millions of years.
    In defending the bible and the gospel they simply destroy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s easy to find more content on giraffes at AiG’s own website that presents them as having been created in their current form. For example, this page for kids explicitly teaches that modern giraffes were one of the animals on the Ark:
    https://answersingenesis.org/kids/seven-cs/seven-c-history-catastrophe/

    And here’s a creationism DVD they sell that appears to use the giraffe as an example of special creation:
    https://answersingenesis.org/store/product/incredible-creatures-defy-evolution-1/?sku=30-9-017

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is remarkable how mixed the messages are there isn’t it. I could write dozens of posts each focusing on different animal groups but showing the same mixed message. One of my favorite examples aside form the giraffe is the sea otter which is perfectly made for living in the ocean but was also derived from a land dwelling otter on the ark.

      Liked by 3 people

      • rjdownard says:

        Sounds like an eventual book topic for you Joel. I mean that. It would be a very useful work to have a systematic analysis of the YEC “systematics”.

        Like

  6. rjdownard says:

    The kids piece dates from 2000, back when they were conceiving of the Ark as a big box, rather than the super-tanker style design favored at the Ark Encounter. It’s a great source to add to “The Rocks Were There”!

    Like

  7. Robert Byers says:

    This is a good example of why the museum/ark is successful. it makes interesting, important points about creatures we know and love.
    The giraffe and okapi are the same kind. likewise many others, now extinct, would be in this kind. in fact i think the kind would be beyond this aIG grouping. thats me.
    Saying we don’t know mechanism changes nothing. why would we? biology is complicated. Yet we have the obvious speciation of humans as a guide. At least this happened from a original eight.
    it is about spectrums. In fact this , i think, this is repeated with camels. camel types in america had long necks too, now extinct, and many types. yet now only the llama remains. its not accurate to define the camel options for bodyplans from the llama.
    I bet there were dozens o hundreds of types that included giraffes. only a few winners remain because they had the best bodyplan to survive
    YEC rightly, neo or not, is squeezing down biology into manageble kinds..
    i think its possible deer and giraffes , etc etc, are all from one kind.
    the creature before the flood is unlikely to be recognized even if we had it in fossil form. I don’t agree there were dinosaurs and so many some of them were the original bodyplan from whence okapi etc come from. like the way i see theropods as just ground birds.

    Like

    • rjdownard says:

      Why thank you for accepting so much evolution now, Robert. Thanks also for accepting how creationists have moved their goalposts to now include in one kind forms they had steadfastly not considered such only recently. Now go the rest of the way, Robert … accept how those ranges of “kinds” mean we and all primates are the same kind too. In fact, all of life is one gigantic monobaramin, Robert. The only think you still haven’t got is the time frame. It’s physically impossible and discordant with the facts that the forms the Ark Encounter try to smush as kinds to keep the stall bookings down could have originated from so small a population base in so short a time, 4500 years. No fair proposing either a counterfactual created heterozygosity not even the likes of Tomkins or Sanford can defend.

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      • Robert Byers says:

        Evolution is not bodyplan changing. Its that PLUS the mechanism. Wew accept the former but not the latter. this because its impossible and unbiblical.
        no goalposts are moved.The posts are always biblical boundaries. Organized creationism simply , from those scholars, come to new and better conclusions but only up to the goal post.
        No it doesn’t follow all biology is created as a single kind although one blueprint surely is the equation God uses. on creation week eyeballs were almost all the same for all breathing biology.
        As to timelines. Who says there is not enough time? The mechanism easily could do this.
        The cichlid fishes in Africa surely became a great number of variety quickly after entering those lakes.
        People became all the modern species within a few generations and then done.

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    • Christine Marie Janis says:

      ‘camel types in america had long necks too, now extinct, and many types.’

      Camels were native to North America. All camelids today have pretty long necks: one extinct type (Aepycamelus) did have a longer one.

      ‘yet now only the llama remains. its not accurate to define the camel options for bodyplans from the llama.’

      Llamas are now in South Amerca, a separate continent. They dispersed there from North America around 2 Mya. Camels proper (i.e., genus Camelus) dispersed to the Old World around 7 Mya. All native camels were extinct in North America by the end of the Pleistocene.

      Both llamas and camels have just about an identical body plan, including secondarily digitigrade feet and a digestive system that is somewhat like that of a ruminant, but clearly evolved separately. Note that there are no marsupial camels: the large numbers of feral camels that are now in Australia somehow manage to survive there without a pouch.

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      • Casual readers may not understand the reference to marsupials. Byers thinks marsupials are closely related to mammals. For example he thinks that Tasmanian wolves (thylacines) were part of the wolf kind. That whole pouch thing is a minor variation that developed de novo in each “kind”; presumably Tasmanian devils are badgers, sugar gliders are flying squirrels, etc. I have never seen his opinion on kangaroos.

        As for the vast genetic distance between okapis and giraffes, compared to the much smaller one between men and chimps, that is “atomic and unproven” (one of my favorite quotes along with “subornation to muster”).

        Liked by 2 people

        • I think you should include his belief that dinosaurs are not a group at all, just
          1) flightless ground birds (unclear if sauropods are part of the dove or crow kind),
          2) part of the horse kind (along with rhinos because “they could run”), and
          3) part of the bear/dog kind that includes marsupials, seals, and a few others I am not remembering.

          He gets a bit more specific regarding the genus Homo:

          “I don’t agree with these other groups”
          [other groups was a reference to denisovans, neaderthals, habilis, and erectus]

          “they make up from a few bones. by species I mean modern man.
          The modern segregated bodyplands of mankind indicate original segregated populations that had morphed from a original parent population . So since the mechanism did the trick then speciation has occurred. That we can reproduce together is irrelevant to the mechanism and nature.
          Humans are as different species as butterflies are. We are not one species as they try to say based on reproductive compatibility. .”
          January 13, 2019, 12:11am
          https://thenaturalhistorian.com/2019/01/10/in-search-of-the-equine-common-ancestor-horse-series-creationism/

          As best I can tell, he has the number of kinds on the Ark down to single digits.

          Liked by 1 person

        • sallyhawksworth says:

          A minor correction, Serapion Brotherhood.. That second line of yours is missing a word and should have read “Byers thinks marsupials are closely related to PLACENTAL mammals”. As we all know here, apart from, possibly, Robert, marsupials are mammals too. Not that it matters, for Robert, what the differing reproductive methods of any two creatures are. That’s all internal anatomy, which doesn’t count, apparently, when assessing whether the creatures are closely related. Oviparous (egg-laying)/viviparous,, placental/ marsupial – animals can, he thinks, change from one to the other at the drop of a hat.

          OTOH, curiously enough, because of some poetic phrase in Hebrew translated as “the breath of life”, he DOES think that having lungs, as opposed to respiring by some other method, such as gills or spiracles, is highly significant, even though nearly all amphibians transition between the two different breathing methods quite naturally in the course of their lifetime. At least, I THINK that’s what he and many other YECs claim. So that, by this logic, fish and invertebrates of all sorts don’t breath and indeed aren’t actually alive, and nor are plants, and so none of them were on the Ark, except perhaps as food, and tadpoles aren’t alive and breathing when they are swimming around, but only when they start to hop.

          What do you think, Robert? Did the Ark contain a pair of frogs, or did amphibians happily survive the turmoil of the Flood in their tadpole stage, swimming around the swirling waters along with jellyfish and sharks (and ?whales and penguins and turtles), with a sublime disregard for salinity levels or food or normal habitats?

          Like

        • Christine Marie Janis says:

          ‘I have never seen his opinion on kangaroos.’ Nor has anybody else, apart from vague claims that there was something in the fossil record in South America (which were jerboa-sized argyolagids, that were also marsupials!)

          Liked by 2 people

    • Robert, as usual your vague and sweeping claims are devoid of logic and evidence. First you suggest that “the mechanism” (without specifying what it is) can produce massive chances in tiny time frames, then you “reject” the mechanism. You say many animals were in the camel kind, but that all we have left are llamas. You’ve never seen living camels? You also suggest deer and giraffes belong to the same kind with camels, but again, that leaves many more living creatures than llamas. At this point, you might as well just declare “mammal kind”. Of course, that’s goes against all we know of biology, and what even the most extreme hyper-evolution advocates at AIG claim, but that’s never stopped you before.

      Liked by 3 people

    • sallyhawksworth says:

      Robert you say “we have the obvious speciation of humans as a guide”. What obvious speciation would that be? Modern humans are all one species, by the criterion we apply when judging whether other creatures are a single species or not. Regardless of superficial physical differences, we all can, and frequently do, interbreed freely with any other human of fertile age and opposite gender, producing fertile offspring. It appears from the genetic evidence that our modern human ancestors also interbred with Neanderthals, though perhaps not so frequently. modern humans of North European ancestry all have a small proportion of Neanderthal genes in them.So which humans, of the past or present, are you claiming are a different species from you and me, but still humans?

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      • Robert Byers says:

        While we all come from the eight on the ark. YES we are now segregated into species. The mechenism for changing bodyplans has brought about the differences in peoples. Even evolutionists would admit that evolution is why we look different with dna evidence to back it up.
        Whether we interbreed or not is irrelevant to biological bodyplan changing. It has no object to stop interbreeding between former single populations while making a new population. The bodyplan amonst mankind has happened. The mechanism has occured. YES we are as different species as species within camels were once.
        So looking at people is a guide to AT LEAST this much bodyplan changing.
        How else would humans look so different if a mechanism had no been at work remembering EVERYONE agrees we once were one population. Everyone agrees biological forces changed our looks. This mechanism did this to all biology. No difference. Once a new population has a new bodyplan THE DEED IS DONE. Its a strange concept to say UNTIL they can’t breed no “evolution” has occured. Whales and dolphins can be made to breed but surely they are different species.

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        • sallyhawksworth says:

          “Whales and dolphins can be made to breed but surely they are different species”. (Robert) There are many different species that are called whales, and many different species that are called dolphins, and strictly speaking all dolphins and porpoises are whales ( or cetaceans if you want to use a more scientific label). Which species with “whale” as part of its common name are you alleging has produced fertile offspring with which species with “dolphin” as part of its common name, and can you link us to an internet source for this assertion?

          Like

        • Christine Marie Janis says:

          ‘Even evolutionists would admit that evolution is why we look different with dna evidence to back it up.’

          What does DNA say about thylacines and wolves, Robert?

          Like

      • Robert, to suggest that different orders of mammals are all the same “kind” while simultaneously claiming that humans include multiple species is not only ridiculous and blatantly contradictory, it also smacks of racism. Out of curiosity, can you tell is how many different human species you recognize, and what traits distinguish each of them? Please be specific rather than just keep repeating the vague “body plan” comments.

        Liked by 2 people

        • sallyhawksworth says:

          It’s been clear for a long time that Robert uses ordinary English words as well as scientific terms in senses unique to himself, which is why it is to difficult to conduct a conversation with him, but I don’t think even Robert himself has any idea what he means by “body plan” or “species”. How else is it possible, in the very same thread, and within the space of a few hours, for him to assert in one post that marsupials have “perfect body plans with creatures elsewhere” (which translated into non-Robertese is “identical body plans to placental mammals ….or even, who knows, this being Robert, reptiles, amphibians or insects…..living on different continents”) and in another post that “YES we [humans] are now segregated into species. The mechanism for changing body plans has brought about the differences in peoples” and in the rest of that post claim repeatedly that the visible differences between different ethnic groups amount to changed body plans in these groups from their supposed Ark ancestors, and that they are different species from each other”.?

          Can even Robert suppose that differences in skin colour tone, or hair texture or slightly different facial features amount to differences in body plan, while at the same time claiming that two creatures with entirely different reproductive systems can be classed as having perfectly identical body plans? Does he think that bodies are all surface and no interior, and that skeletal structure and internal organs are irrelevant? Would he allege that two kittens born in the same litter to the same mother, one ginger and one black, and one with a slightly blunter snout than the other, had different body plans and were different species from each other?

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    • sallyhawksworth says:

      “Saying we don’t know mechanism changes nothing, why should we? Biology is complicated” (Robert, obviously. His style is inimitable.) Yes, biology is complicated, but real biologists know a huge amount about the mechanisms by which, at every level from the molecular up to whole populations, real creatures have evolved, and are still evolving, from distant ancestors very different from them in form. YECs like you, OTOH, who have chosen to reject mainstream biology, and palaeontology, and geology, because you are committed to believing that two self contradictory Jewish creation myths written approximately two thousand five hundred years ago (out of the hundreds of creation myths that inventive pre-scientific humans have devised) must be literally true, rather than poetic fables, are forced, as science uncovers more and more about how life on earth has evolved, into denying the actual causes and course of this evolution and substituting enormous invented narratives of your own, which don’t fit with either the actual evidence or the Jewish creation narratives. Of course you don’t know the mechanisms by which your imaginary hyper evolution happened, because it never did happen. It’s as if you tried to justify the patently impossible activities of Father Christmas over Christmas Eve, involving magic flying reindeer, elves, and presents delivered down chimneys to billions of households in a single night, by saying that physics is complicated. Indeed physics is complicated. But however marvellous and hard to credit ( for ordinary folk) the future hypotheses of physicists may be, to explain real observed phenomena, they will never be able to at the same time explain the reported actions of Father Christmas, because these are, and always have been, fictional, and invented in the first place without any reference to the observed laws of science.
      It is not because biology is complicated that YEC sites claim at one and the same time that the giraffe ancestors on their Ark looked nothing like modern giraffes and looked exactly like modern giraffes. It’s because the story they are desperately trying to present as an actual historical narrative never happened at all. There never was a flood covering the whole Earth. There never was a boat which floated on top of this flood containing eight humans and the ancestors of all present day mammals and birds. The giraffe/okapi ancestors on the Ark didn’t in reality look like giraffes or okapis or unicorns or dinosaurs or any other past, present or imaginary animals. They didn’t look like anything because they and the Ark never existed. You might as well debate whether Father Christmas’s elves wear green or red, or how old Rudolph and Donner and Blixen are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Byers says:

        Who is father christmas? Is that Santa Claus.?
        everybody gets off topic on these topics.
        Well not a drop of the hat but changing reproductive abilities is acceptable in modern biology.
        for example the Australian Yellow bellied three toed skink lays eggs in the lowlands of a area there but members of the SAME species , living in higher ground give birth to live young. A few other species also. This is the SAME species, not another one, same species name but depending on location has twoo different reproductive abilities. I can’t do it but to them its no big deal and close to hat dropping ease. This is a example of what nature can do and is unlikely a special case.
        . What creatures survived on the ark was based on breathing air and living on land. So a few crossovers can be squeezed into one thing or another.
        lets stay on topic folks. i can’t keep up.

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        • Christine Marie Janis says:

          ‘for example the Australian Yellow bellied three toed skink lays eggs in the lowlands of a area there but members of the SAME species , living in higher ground give birth to live young. ‘

          Goodness, if it’s that easy for mammals you should be able to find some examples where the Australian rock wallaby gives birth to immature young that it keeps in a pouch, but another population over the hill gives birth to fully mature young that can hop at birth.

          Liked by 2 people

        • sallyhawksworth says:

          Robert asks, “Who is Father Christmas? Is that Santa Claus?”

          Seriously, Robert? Are you not an inhabitant of North America? Is he always known as Santa Claus there,then? Yes, it’s the same apocryphal character, remotely derived from Dutch traditions relating to Saint Nicholas ( who was I dare say a real historical character and bishop, but is highly unlikely to have been able to perform such miracles as restoring to full health three little boys whom a wicked innkeeper had chopped up into small pieces and boiled in a cauldron, as one well known legend had it, and is depicted in a number of medieval art works). Resident at the North Pole, owner of a magic flying sleigh loaded with presents, climber down chimneys, consumer of mince pies and sherry – that’s the figure I referred to. My relevant point being that the story of the Ark is no truer than the story of Santa Claus aka Father Christmas, and that for a twenty first century person to try to incorporate it into a scientific narrative about biological origins is as daft as if they were to claim that reindeer must really be able to fly because of the story of Rudolph and his red nose.

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        • sallyhawksworth says:

          However, congratulations on for once citing some real, and accurate, natural history with your reference to the yellow bellied three toed skink and its varying habit of laying eggs or producing live young according to habitat. This is not news to me, and I believe that there are some snakes, either one species or closely related, that also in one situation lay eggs and in another give birth to already hatched live young. And there are some shark species, quite closely related to egglaying sharks, that give birth to free swimming offspring too.

          The point to note, though, is that this amount of reproductive variation requires very little evolutionary change to accomplish. All that is necessary is for the timing to alter somewhat, perhaps even triggered in individual cases by a variation in temperature or other environmental cue, and a parent that produces eggs enclosed in some sort of membrane or tough but flexible covering, that would normally hatch some time after delivery, instead retains the fertilised and developing eggs inside her body until they hatch, after which they are delivered. The eggs each have their own independent food supply packaged in them, so no changes are required in the anatomy of mother or offspring whether they hatch after being expelled or before.

          However, it is quite a different story with mammals, or indeed with monotremes ( platypus and echidna). The internal and external arrangements necessary for a mammalian mother to nourish the young, before birth and after birth, are very complex, Placental and marsupial mammals have evolved separately for many millions of years,and in their highly developed present state it is unlikely in the extreme that at any time in the future, even over more millions of years, any marsupial lineage could switch to having a placenta, or a placental lineage become marsupial. You do, I presume, know something of human reproduction, and what happens during pregnancy and embryonic development and childbirth. Do a little research on kangaroo reproduction, and just think about all the differences between the two systems.

          Like

  8. Ironically, during debates in the 1970’s and 80’s the late Duane Gish of ICR used to routinely ridicule “evolutionists” for suggesting that modern horses evolved from 3-toed ancestors, or giraffes from short-necked ancestors, etc., This makes me wonder how ICR is going to handle their Ark displays in their new “Discovery Center” museum about to open any day now. BTW, I notice from ICR’s June 2019 issue of Acts & Facts that they have stooped to promoting the Cambodian “stegosaur” sculpture, which I and others thoroughly refuted years ago, and which even AIG includes on its list of “evidences” YECs should not use.
    It’s interesting that Snelling sees the K/Pg boundary as the end of the Flood. Maybe he believes that helps explain the widespread extinctions at that horizon, but how does he explain the evidence for a major asteroid impact then — just a giant coincidence? At any rate, the impact and Flood would each create massive environmental devastation, without even considering the widespread late Cretaceous volcanism, plus YECs own “catastrophic plate tectonics” (which alone would have generated enough heat to kill all animals on Earth). To imagine that in the face of all this somehow the animals leaving the ark would not only survive, but thrive, evolve, and migrate at breakneck speeds is beyond absurd, even if we put aside all the contradictions with previous YEC claims.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A major problem with the K/Pg boundary as the end of the Flood is the absence of any extant mammalian family at than time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are plenty of mammals below the K/Pg boundary.

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      • I think Peter’s point is that the mammals at the K/pg boundary are all mammals that are ancestors of the families that we have today. I just looked up a paper of mammals that lived across the K/Pg boundary and of 50 listed not a single is in a living family of mammals. Not even orders are present. no carnivores, no primates, no ungulates, etc.. For YECs, this is one of argument they use for the K/Pg boundary as the Flood/post-flood marker. They believe all fossil species of canines and all living canines came from a pair on the ark (even though there is no evidence of canines living before the Flood). If the Flood boudary were later, they would have a potential problem. How could multiple species be in the Flood rocks and after the flood at the same time if only one was preserved on the ark?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t understand how the absence of any extant order of mammals can used as an argument for the K/Pg boundary as the Flood/Post-flood marker. If no animals that correspond to the present order carnivores even existed at the K/Pg boundary (and no extant order can be found then), how can one argude that the original ‘canine family’ pair was present on the ark? Everything present on the ark would have to exist pre-frlood, but nothing is present (and quite different mammals are present). I understand why a late boundary as Miocene/pilocene or Pliocene/Pleistocen is out, as extant families diverged before that, but the total absence of any mammal belonging to extant orders in the Creatceous make the K/Pg boundary for the flood a fool’s proposal.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Byers says:

      Well this brings up classification. I say there are no such creatures as mammals. this is just making groups on minor traits like the way they invent marsupials as a separate group despite perfect bodyplans with creatures elsewhere.
      So I think YEC should deny there was mammals as a group before the flood. Rather just kinds that to day include’mammal kinds” but in those days included the fossil kinds we now find. just like, I say, theropod dinos are just boring ground birds with teeth.
      i think there are limited numbers of kinds and all will fit in. The “mammal” thing is a error. remember no creatures were fossilized until several centuries after the flood.
      Another point is that Noah took 6 pairs of clean and only two pairs of unclean. this alone would mean a post flood biology equation redistribution. the mammals were the clean probably.

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      • Robert, just when I think you’re comments can’t get any more nonsensical, you manage to outdo yourself. First you deny that there is such a group as “mammals” then turn around and say mammals “were the clean probably”. A non-existent group was probably clean? Actually, the Bible indicates that some mammals were clean and others unclean. Lev. 11 and Deut 14 says that clean animals include those that chew the cud and have a divided hoof, such as cattle, deer, goats, and sheep (as well as birds), making animals such as pigs, dogs, cats, and horses unclean. Camels are specifically described as unclean because they do not have true divided hooves (despite the superficial appearance of such). Yet Robert seems to put other ungulates such as deer in the same “kind” as camels. Robert, can you please explain how the same “kind” can include both “clean” and “unclean” animals?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Robert Byers says:

          glen you never keep up with the conversation as i see it. One should not have to speak so simply on a science blog.
          no there is no such group as mammals. however the term is useful to use in real life.
          so THOSE critters were most likely clean ones and had a advantage, probably a divine plan too, to outreproduce the unclean which was probably the reverse ratio before the flood.
          What was clean/unclean after the flood and talked about in genesis would not be the same thing as before the flood. Again what creatures looked like/bodyplans before the flood would be changed/speciation afer the flood and the new rules of clean/unclean would then kick in.
          I can’t answr you , GLEN, because you make so many posts on different subjects and unrelated to the great subject that starts the thread. please help by keeping to a few best points and read carefully what is being said. I read yours carefully so as to get it.

          Like

          • On the contrary Robert, all of my posts relate directly or indirectly to the topics at hand: speciation and evolution, and how various YECs depict those. And in many cases I directly quote things you asserted. I brought up ICRs new Discovery Center and their displays because they too relate to those questions. At any rate, I and others here regularly back up our comments with evidence and references, which you seem unable or unwilling to do. You also often evade sticky questions, or just offer more outlandish claims and speculations. Again, if you really believe there are multiple species of modern humans (which not even your fellow YECs do), please tell us what those different species are, and how you distinguish them.
            As far as clean and unclean animals go, are you suggesting that God changed his mind after the Flood about what animals are clean or unclean? On what basis?

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            • Robert Byers says:

              Yes humans are divided by species just like butterflies are. The mechanism, whatever it is, has worked upon a original population and made new populations based on new bodyplans which includes DNA/genetic measureable results. Everyone must agree with this. However they try to say that a NEW swpecies has not “evolved” muntil they are not able/easily able to reproduce. yet there is no reason to say the mechanism has this intention and so is in operation and so since the bodyplan has changed and is relative to a new breeding population THEN it is a new species. Thus humans are species just like the rest of biology. Not one species/bodyplan. I’m saying the issue of reproduction is irrelevant to the mechanism making new populations.
              how would Noag know what is clean/unclean especialy in creatures very different then post flood ones? So what was clean/unclean before the flood can be assumed to be unknown and then the new ratio can be seen to explain the great difference relative to the post/pre flood fauna/flora.

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              • rjdownard says:

                Robert actually thinks this gibberish means something, which tells us so much more about what’s going on in his head than anything about what different human “species” are or “body plans.” This level of rhetorical burping is all we’ve ever seen coming from him over a period of many years. Stuck in his own mental rut Robert absolutely is.

                Like

              • Robert, on what basis would God consider some clean creatures as unclean before the Flood or vice versa? You also did not answer my other question on this issue: how can animals that you consider the same “kind” (camels and deer) include both clean and unclean species?
                Contrary to your recent complaints, the problem here is not people staying on topic (we largely do) but your habitually repeating vague, rambling, often largely incoherent answers, without any logic or evidence to back them up. And as usual, you go on about your magic “mechanism” without any hint as to what the mechanism is.
                Your latest gem was, “Yes humans are divided by species just like butterflies are.” That’s absurd, since unlike humans, butterflies include not only many different species, but also different genera, orders, and even families, which do not, and cannot, interbreed. This leads me to again ask: how many species of humans are there and how do you distinguish them? Please do not just repeat meaningless generalities again, and try to answer that specific question.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Robert Byers says:

                  The numbers of species of humans would be based on bodyplans of populations after leaving a original single breeding population. Some are obvious and some are not. For example I probably am a mixture of two species german(English) and Celt(Scottish). They were separated at babel , were likely brown skinned with brown eyes only, then upon migration to cloudy europe both, iNDEPENDENTLY, became white and light coloured eye etc etc.
                  They both wre affected by the mechanism that changes bodyplans in biology and surely evolutionists must say its happened with us. Except they invent that a threshold of incompatible reproduction must be crossed before speciation has occurred. Naw. Speciation has occured when new populations have ben created with new bodyplans.

                  i don’t know why creatures were clean/unclean before the flood but thats part of Gods nature.

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                  • Christine Marie Janis says:

                    The English and the Scottish are different species! I love it, definitely ammunition for the breakup of the UK.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • sallyhawksworth says:

                      Well then, according to Robert, my family members are all hybrids, springing as we do from the union of a Scot and an Englishwoman back in 1915 or thereabouts. My mostly English niece married a Scot, and produced two thoroughly mixed children. Let’s not go into the other Scottish relatives who haveinterbred with Japanese and other more distant races.

                      As I suggested before, Robert doesn’t have a clue what HE means by “species” or “body plan”, let alone how the rest of the world understands these terms.

                      Like

                  • I am curious as to Robert’s definition of “bodyplan”?

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                    • Christine Marie Janis says:

                      A ‘body plan’, for Robert, something that looks the same to him. From fuzzy photos, thylacines look a bit like a dog, so they clearly have the same body plan as a wolf. But the differences between an Englishman and a Scotsman are much more obvious. The former has a top hat on top of slicked-down dark hair, and wears a suit with trousers. The latter has a tam’o’shanter on top of curly red hair, and wears a kilt. Different body plans, different species. I even hear that somewhere in the highlands and islands Scottish women lay eggs.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • sallyhawksworth says:

                      So are we all, salisande, but with very little hope of getting a coherent answer from him. Indeed, from his last post in this sub thread it would appear that Robert thinks that two groups of humans speaking different languages is enough to make them separate species. At least he claims that the Germanic and Celtic peoples (species in his terminology) have been separated since the days of the Tower of Babel (another totally fictitious episode that he treats as historical truth), and then claims that they independently both evolved light skin and eyes as they moved north. (He’s actually right that races of living in the north have had a tendency to evolve lighter skin and eyes, and some of them may have done so independently from others, but he gives no evidence that Germanic and Celtic groups evolved this light skin independently of each other.) He also gives no indication of any physical difference between Germanic and Celtic people (and indeed I’m pretty sure that the Romans classified the people living in what is now Germany as BEING Celts ). But he does claim later in that post “Speciation has occurred when new populations have been created with new bodyplans”. From which it would be natural to assume that Robert thinks that language is a sort of bodily feature.

                      Like

                    • Robert Byers says:

                      Why? A different bodyplan just means that there are different traits relative to different populations.
                      So colour of skin, size of body, hair types and colours, and all these traits signify being a different population. All species in biology are lumped together based on traits and so the word bodyplan includes the results and the genetics behind that. its a real biological result.
                      Why does the creationist have to explain this concept. ?

                      Like

                    • rjdownard says:

                      This response of yours on body plans adequately illustrates why you have been unable to contribute much of anything meaningful on the creation/evolution debate, Robert. You have no clue on what a body plan involves (the deepest structural elements distinguishing phyla, NOT the assorted superficial surface details), and despite a glut of technical literature on this element, remain sublimely indifferent to it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Robert wrote: “A different bodyplan just means that there are different traits relative to different populations.So colour of skin, size of body, hair types and colours, and all these traits signify being a different population. Why does the creationist have to explain this concept. ?”

                      No serious biologist holds your view of what distinguishes different species. Nor any other “creationists” I know of (young-earth camp or otherwise) so don’t pretend to speak for them. If you think I”m wrong, name even one creationists biologists who things there are many species of modern humans.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Robert Byers says:

                      Sally. The language only indicates that they were sergregated populations while at babel and so leaving and migrating they would remain segregated. they would of all looked the same then. Only after to the cloudy europe did each group change its looks from the same influences.
                      Yes we look almost , or indeed perfectly, alike between germans/Celts. Yet thats just because of the same influence. we are in fact no more related to each other then peoples in North India despite different looks.
                      The race concept is wrong. thats a oold idea based on grouping people based on traits without understanding envirorment influence. There is no white race. Each language group is as different from each other as anyone on earth. yet in changing bodyplans there was more like influences.
                      Thats why we are species. Not one species/race or a small number. Its a great number.

                      Like

                    • Christine Marie Janis says:

                      Given that language is not genetic, on which basis can you say that ‘each language group’ is a different species?

                      And how finely are you dividing the language groups? Are all of the speakers of Latin-based languages a single species, or are italian, spanish, catalan, and portuguese speakers all different species? How about dialects. Within the English, are the Geordies, Liverpudilians, Brummies and the West Country Zomerset speakers all different species? How about generations: children adopt a different lingo from their parents — are they then a different species? And, if not, why not? After all, we know that you think that reproduction and genetics is irrelevant to whether one group is a different species from another. Maybe each individual human is its own species, as we all look different (except, of course, identical twins — but even they aren’t completely identical as some people can tell them apart).

                      But here’s something interesting. Thylacines were never reported to howl like wolves, nor bark like dogs: they must, at the very least, have been a different species.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • sallyhawksworth says:

                      Robert, this site is supposed to be for Joel and those following his blog to discuss questions of science and creationism IN ENGLISH. If we were discussing measurements and I announced on Monday that the Ark was so many yards long, which was half the number of feet because there are two feet in the yard, and then on Tuesday that a yard and a foot were the same length, do you think it would be possible to have a rational discussion with me? Not only would I clearly not be using “yard” to mean what the rest of the world understood it to mean, I wouldn’t even be being consistent in my own usage.

                      And this is the case with you and the word “species”. Although, despite being asked, you have neglected to provide a proper definition of what you mean by the word when you use it, you have repeatedly used it to signify things quite different from any generally accepted meaning of the word. And you are not even consistent in your own usage of the term. So please, in the name of clear communication, if you are not prepared to use certain words in their generally accepted meanings, don’t use those words at all.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • sallyhawksworth says:

                      There were no segregated populations at Babel, Robert, because there was no actual historical “tower of Babel” incident when God intervened to stop humans being too united and powerful and challenging of His authority by suddenly and forcibly and miraculously causing what had been one single human population with a single language to start speaking in numerous different languages. That story is a myth. Languages have evolved to be different in different populations in just the same way as physical differences between the populations have evolved, when for hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of years there has been little or no contact between these populations, either in terms of their interbreeding or in terms of cultural contact, because of their being separated by geographical distance or other physical barriers,and/ or their being in different tribal/national groupings. Some languages are much closer to each other than others are, because they are descended from a more recent common ancestor. For instance French, Italian and Spanish are all Romance languages, descended from Latin. They are considerably more similar to each other than they are to German. But German and French are much more similar to each other than either are to any of the languages native to the Indian subcontinent, and all these languages, being part of the Indo- European family, are closer to each other than they are to any of the languages spoken by Australian aborigines before the arrival of European settlers, or to Chinese, say. And the same is true of the physical differences between the speakers of these languages, up until the last hundred years or so when there have been large scale interminglings between these once very separate populations.

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                    • Robert Byers says:

                      Janis, if you can find this post. I read SOMEWHERE where a claim was made by the old settlers that the marsupial wolves did howl at night. They must of made a noise. aanyways not all wild dogs do howl either.

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                    • rjdownard says:

                      If ever there was a concise textual illustration of a “Tortucan” mind (people with a mental knack for not thinking about things they don’t think about), with the “deer in the headlight” moment of cognitive dissonance followed by them answering a different question than the one they were asked, it would be this. Explicitly with his own definition of body plan as the question to be answered, a primary issue in the discussion at hand, Robert’s “answer” is that the marsupial “wolf” may have howled. Well, I think many of us derived placental mammals are howling too, with gobsmacked amusement at the evasive irrelevance of it.

                      Like

                    • I was going to ask Robert what howling has to do with body plans and species, but since he uses language to distinguish human species, I guess howling is the canid counterpart of language. And since even different domestic dog breeds have different kinds of barks, howls and other noises, as well as different sizes and shapes, I guess he believes there are hundreds of domestic dog species. I that so Robert? Since some parrots can do good renditions of dog howling, would they be dog species too? But wait, they can also duplicate almost any human voice or animal sound, so I supposed each parrot would represent dozens of species.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Robert Byers says:

                      Sally. i did explain what a species is. thats been the discussion. why are you still confused?
                      languages WWERE seaparted by god at babel. thats the truth. I understand , somewhere else in the old testament, it says it was divided into 70 kinds. Yes one should be able to see a path connecting all languages. yes all indo european languages are the descendents of Japhet. As they migrated away from babel, looking the same/bodyplan same, UPON entering certain areas they were all influenced by the envirirment. Yet they were already segregated as the language groups show. So Germans and celts were segregated, far from each other, however they all got some trivial traits in kind.
                      likewise a non japhetic people, FINNS etc, also got zapped and and got the same traits like colour etc. though they would be from shem or ham.
                      So because these segregated groups were independently affected then , with a bodyplan change, they have become different species from the parent and from each other. Thus speciation has occured ni less then with butterfly speciation. no difference. The mechanism has been in play with results. there is NO need to pass a threshold of reproductive incompatibility.
                      Itd like saying that because they can make babues from a whale/dolphin, it proves they are not different species. Yet they are.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • sallyhawksworth says:

                      Robert, you have NOT defined the word “species”, and your use of the term keeps changing. Sometimes you claim that some different species (including, you maintain, humans, whom you divide into numerous different species) are descended from the same ancestor, but have undergone changes in body plan (which you claim could be absolutely any physical difference, however minor, such as for instance the blue eye mutation )and that this makes them a new species. Then you assert that people of Germanic ancestry and people of Celtic ancestry are different species from each other EVEN THOUGH you admit that they are sometimes completely indistinguishable from each other in appearance. You have said that you yourself are descended from both Germanic and Celtic ancestry, as I too am, and I dare say the same is true nowadays of practically every one in mainland Britain, while a goodly portion of us Brits nowadays have ancestors from other racial groups as well, Far Eastern, Afro-Caribbean, etc. This constant and free intermingling of our genetic material is conclusive proof that we are all one species, as the entire world, apart from you, understands the term. You cannot unilaterally decide to use the word “species” to mean something different. That is as ridiculous as if you decided to claim that the band length of light that everybody else called “red” should in fact be called “blue”.

                      The stories of the Tower of Babel, and of Noah’s sons and their descendants, have no scientific validity in helping us learn about our genetic ancestry, but even if they were completely true and backed up by scientific evidence that would still be no justification for you using the word “species” as you do. Neither the word nor the concept existed at the time when the relevant chapter of Genesis was written. It purports to describe how humans divided into different racial and language groups. But that is not at all the same thing as suggesting we are different species from each other. The bible and science are agreed on this much. We are all humans, members of the one species whose scientific nomenclature is Homo sapiens.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • sallyhawksworth says:

                      And again, Robert, you refer to a story of whales and dolphins interbreeding. You were asked to provide an online source backing up this claim, with details of precisely which species these were. Please do so, or admit that you cannot, and in that case withdraw the claim and cease to make it.
                      I am not ruling out a priori the possibility of it happening, since we know that it happens with some other fairly closely related species, such as horses and donkeys, and occasionally lions and tigers kept together in captivity. But the equine offspring are infertile. The genetic distance between horse and donkey is too great for the two lines of descent to now fully reunite, though their ancestors were once the same species. Whereas between humans of every race, however disparate, there is absolutely no genetic barrier to producing descendants of mixed ancestry. (Which is why, for instance, after three hundred years of European settlement, it is pretty difficult to find any “pure blood” Australian aborigines. Although the races developed separately for thousands of years, nearly all people identifying as aboriginals nowadays have some European ancestry in their family tree. And it’s a similar story in any other country where European colonists ruled over a native population for any length of time, and/or imported slaves from another continent. There has been widespread mingling of the genes, even in cases where the racist ideologies of the time caused laws to be enacted strongly discouraging what was known as miscegenation.)

                      Like

                  • Robert wrote: “i don’t know why creatures were clean/unclean before the flood but thats part of Gods nature.” I didn’t ask why some were clean or unclean. I asked: 1. Why God would have changed his standard about what creatures were clean or unclean after the Flood, and 2. Why animals that you consider members of the same kind (deer and camels) would include both clean and unclean species. Can you answer either?

                    Like

          • rjdownard says:

            “I can’t answr you” is inevitable Robert because you have never really clearly thought through what you think happened regarding the history of life, and hence cannot apply it to actual organisms without tripping up over your ignorance. You have those interbreeding cetaceans to document, for example (which, given your vaulting ignorance, mixed with a Dunning-Kruger overestimation of your own knowledge, primes us all for yet another “I can’t answr you” moment).

            Like

            • sallyhawksworth says:

              It’s beginning to look as if Robert has adopted the “Ignore the question and it will go away” strategy on this one, rjdownward.

              Like

              • rjdownard says:

                That’s been Robert for years, Sally. He has only the vaguest of cartoons in his head, where some stuff seems to him created, involving “body plans” & “species” that are no more than post-its on the cartoon, along with an adamant dismissal of the dreaded Darwinian evolution as a factor. Hilarity ensues. Meanwhile, the professional creationists (such as the baraminology gang) at least try to work out something of their model, even if they crash & burn at the detail level, but Robert appears incapable of getting that far.

                Like

      • Robert, you should consult Genesis on clean and unclean animals. Clean animals are clovern hoofed ruminants, not much else. Moreover, you should read the Bible: 7 pairs of clean animals, not 6. Unless you think 6=7.

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        • Robert Byers says:

          Thats only post flood statements. Its not evidence that it refered to preflood creatures.
          After the ark landed a pair of all clean creatures were sacrificed. This also means it was not many.

          Like

          • Robert, you keep implying that which animals were clean or unclean was different before and after the flood. As I asked before, what is your basis for that, BIblical or otherwise? If anything, the Bible seems to imply the standard did not change. Does it not indicate that the reason seven (or seven pairs) of each clean animal was taken on the ark was that a pair of each clean animal was to be sacrificed after the Ark landed? This would not have made sense if there was a change in the “clean” and “unclean” standard before and after the Flood. And again, how can animals of the same “kind” include both clean and unclean animals? Did you not put deer and camels in the same kind? Yet the Bible designates the former as clean and the latter as unclean.

            Like

            • sallyhawksworth says:

              I’ve encountered a number of YECs online who claimed that humans were entirely vegetarian not only in the Garden of Eden but until after the Flood, after which Noah was newly allowed to eat meat. Which makes me wonder how Noah, pre-Flood, would know how to divide the animals into clean and unclean types anyway. Isn’t it all a matter of whether it’s right or wrong to eat them?

              I think this idea doesn’t chime in well with the story of Cain and Abel, anyway, where the pastoralist Abel sacrifices some of his flock to God, and this is approved while Cain’s plant offering is not. The KJV specifies Abel offering his firstlings “and the fat thereof” and I doubt whether even the most fervent vegetarian enthusiast would try to claim that this actually means sheep cheese made from milk from ewes allowed to nurse all their lambs until weaning! The God of Genesis has a positive delight in blood sacrifice.

              Like

  10. Robert wrote “remember no creatures were fossilized until several centuries after the flood.”

    As usual, you are far out of step with both mainstream scientists and most YECs. Maybe you did not get the memo that virtually all YECs hold that most fossils were deposited during the Flood.

    You also keep talking about what marvelous things your “mechanism” can do, without specifying what the mechanism is. Speaking of which, I find it interesting that while AIG at least sometimes implies that natural selection had some role in rapid post-Flood speciation, ICR is busy denying or downplaying natural selection, as they do in an article entitled “Engineered Features Determing Design Success of Failure” in the June issue of Acts & Facts.
    https://www.icr.org/article/engineered-features-design-success-or-failure/
    The article is so rife with ambiguities, logical errors, and false analogies that one could easily devote an entire article to them.
    A video entitled “Replacing Darwin’s Sacred Imposter” advertised in the same issue also argues against natural selection.
    Again, all of this makes me curious about how ICR’s new Discovery Center will depict what animals were on the Ark, and how they diversified into all the species today, especially without any help from natural selection, and in the face of massive environmental devastation and severe genetic bottlenecks. They keep implying that somehow inherent “design” explains it all, which is about as vague as Robert’s phantom “mechanism.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. FYI, I just received an email this morning announcing that ICR’s Discovery Center’s grand opening will be Sept. 2. It links to the following podcast about “What to Expect.” It is a long fluff piece with many ironic comments (such as bashing conventional museums for all their “propanda” suggesting that life evolved). In fact, at one point it says that the creatures on display were not the products of “natural selection”, which again, creates a major problem for them in accounting for all the species that they acknowledge to have formed after the Flood, even if they don’t reduce the number of “kinds” as dramatically as AIG..
    https://www.icr.org/article/creation-podcast-episode-11/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Right now I need to know if Dr. Snelling – at present – may or may not agree with ReCreationists who said recently that just 5,000,000 years ago in geology should be the Flood//post-Flood division. For anybody interested, a major Neolithic city just west of Jerusalem was announced recently, and today a friend suggested that the stone walls of its buildings could have been filled in (from surrounding ridges) by the Flood. A few centuries following would have covered the site entirely. GLL

    Like

    • Gerhold, Snelling argues that the Flood-post-Flood boundary was essentially the K-Pg boundary (approx 66 million years by conventional dating). See:
      https://www.creationicc.org/2018_papers/40%20Snelling%20Ore%20Weathering%20final.pdf
      Others YECs argue that it is later in the Cenozoic, but all YEC views on the dating of the Flood entail serious conflicts with lots of geologic and paleontological evidence. Indeed, just considering fossil tracks and other trace fossils, which almost always indicate calm and/or dry conditions, and which are worldwide and extremely common, there is literally no place in the fossil record to put a global Flood. See: http://paleo.cc/ce/tracefos.htm
      Near the end of my article I quote Ed Babinski, who sums up nicely how problematic this evidence is for YECs:
      “There are desert strata, dried out lake beds and dried up river beds, paleosols (soil horizons), layers of rootlets at different horizons in the geologic record, layers of forests at different horizons, fossilized ant nests, termite nests, fragile wasp cocoons, cells from bees nests, dinosaur nests and eggs, reptile nests and eggs… fossilized worm holes, fossilized rodent burrows, tracks, trails and markings left by land-dwelling animals, even animal dung in its original position of deposition as it dried and cracked and hardened on solid ground. The geological evidence is clear that dry land existed at many different periods throughout the past with land animals continuing to walk around, deposit dung, woo mates, build hives, nests and burrows, lay eggs, hatch those eggs (“empty hatched egg” fossils), then raise their young (and repeat the process), such evidence being found at different horizons in the geologic record. According to young-earth creationists such evidence all accumulated during an alleged “year-long Flood” that kept the earth under water for a year, and whose incomparable violence pulverized rock to fine sediment, then piled that sediment at an average depth of one mile over all the earth… “

      Like

  13. sallyhawksworth says:

    I take it your friend, Gerhold L. Lemke, is no expert in the earth sciences. You might tell him that evidence geological and biological pointsconclusively to there being no such pan- global flood or Ark containing the ancestors of all current land dwellers, so that whatever the history of this Neolithic city it definitely wasn’t buried by that Flood, any more than it was destroyed by fire breathing dragons or trampled into rubble by trolls. It could have been destroyed by A flood, I suppose. Or by some other local geological catastrophe. Or its people could have been victims of war or disease or famine, or moved somewhere else. No doubt the archaeologists excavating it will produce some findings in due course, though it’s often not possible to come to one definite conclusion as to why a particular site ceased to be lived in.

    Like

  14. Robert, regarding your suggestion of a whale/dolphin hybrid, did you mean this one?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wholphin
    Because this was a cross between two members of the dolphin family, not a member of any of the whale families and not a minor detail.

    Also, you would have make a nontrivial change to the definition of howl to include a “hiss”, “growl”, and/or “guttural cough-like bark” as anything resembling howling. And your point that not all dogs howl is irrelevant because none make the sounds attributed to Thylacines.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine

    Wikipedia is your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Byers says:

      Wiki is my friend. i love and love wiki.
      Thanks for the tas wolf thing. IT DID mention it made a whining cry for distance talking. plus it did make other barks. so they had more dog like sounds then some barkless wild dogs/
      Yes I thought the wholphin was between a whale and dolp. Well still it makes my point since it is two different species quite different looking. there is also the liger. between lion/tiger.
      These make my points. Wiki is a creationist best friend.

      Like

      • rjdownard says:

        No reliable source is your “best friend” Robert, because you manage to misunderstand and mangle what you bring up, but have so manifestly failed to think through diligently. You remain as you have been, a superficial religious dogmatist who tries to apply antiquated theological concepts to a scientific data field that never did match up, and never will, because your initial presumptive model (that there are created “kinds” at all) is painfully wrong.

        Like

        • Robert Byers says:

          Do you mean AS a religious dogmatist I’M superficial?, or A SUPERFICIAL religious dogmatist?? these seem to be two species that may or may not interbreed.

          Like

          • Robert, you manage hitting both marks. You are superficial on all topics, thus rendering any religious perspective you want to laminate over what little you notice of the natural world likewise superficial. Remember, those who have had the misfortune of reading your views over many years will well know what a wheel-spinning waste of time you are. You are stuck where you began, and remain too far removed from any data field to justify anyone ever taking you seriously.

            Like

    • sallyhawksworth says:

      “False killer whale.” Talk about misleading names! What genius decided that a good name for a newly identified species would be “false…anything” to identify a creature by reference to something else that it looked like but wasn’t?
      At least the scientific name “Pseudorca”, which means exactly the same thing in Latin, doesn’t cause the additional confusion of the common English term, of suggesting a very close relationship between these creatures, or true killer whales, and baleen whales such as the blue whale.

      Interesting that the female hybrids in this zoo HAVE proved fertile, with at least one of the parent species. The sample has been too small to know whether it is equally possible for male hybrids to successfully fertilise female hybrids, or indeed females of either parent species. With other crosses of closely related species it sometimes works one way but not the other.

      Like

  15. Robert Byers says:

    Sally. if you find it here. i can’t hit reply to your posts.
    the bible does not say we are one species. it says we are one KIND. The same with animals. then they broke up into species under biological mechanism which caused speciation.
    i don’t see in your comments any excellent or average justification for insisting my idea is not a option.
    Possibly you still don’t understand it.
    YES I read about lions and tigers successfully breeding together.LIGERS is the name.
    Yes this was my point. surely they are different species. Breeding together, in cases, is not evidence they are not different species. the mechanism has changed these cats bodyplans from a parent one and whether they can, or can not, breed, is irrelevant to the mechanism. the mechanism, all must agrre, purpose is to ensure survival of a population. so when a pooulation changes its bodyplan/looks from its parents/siblings then its done the deed, becoming reproductively incompatible is NOT the purpose. jUst a coincidence. so speciation is accomplished when bodyplans have changed for a new population.
    You must make a better answer to that rather then what you memorized in school. Science is a thinking mans game.
    ( i need to check the whale/dolphin thing from another poster) i though there were wholphines etc .

    Like

    • Christine Marie Janis says:

      ‘You must make a better answer to that rather then what you memorized in school. Science is a thinking mans game.’

      Science certainly does involve pushing boundaries beyond the established knowledge. However, this is not the same as making stuff up without any real reference as to whether it fits all of the evidence. For example “looks the same to me” or “looks different to me”, are not scientific hypotheses. Imagination in science is only useful if constrained by the facts. Otherwise one could imagine all sorts of crazy things that serve little purpose except to amuse people reading them.

      Liked by 3 people

      • rjdownard says:

        Even the creationist baraminologists defer on occasion to what public opinion says kinds are or aren’t (dubbing it the “cognitum” factor), making it easy for “make it up as he goes along” Robert to float around in the systematic lake without landing much of anywhere.

        Like

  16. sallyhawksworth says:

    Robert, yes, it’s annoying the way there are certain technical impediments to our posting here. I have also discovered that the reply button disappears when sub sub threads get too nested. One can however get one’s reply to appear close to the other person’s if one clicks reply on the email notification of their post. The reply window will appear with the words “reply to……[whoever wrote the post you are replying to] and when you click the post reply button your post appears in that sub thread.
    What I have not discovered how to do, when using WordPress, is to highlight and quote some portion of someone else’s post, or create a link, which is annoying currently when I wanted to direct you to a page or two on biological classification. But you can google this for yourself, I am sure.

    Like

  17. sallyhawksworth says:

    Re the rest of your post, It seems to me that you HAVE no idea about species, and you still apparently fail to understand the point that I and others here are trying to get you to grasp. Biology, like other sciences, and indeed other academic subjects, relies on a specialised vocabulary of terms whose meanings are agreed and accepted by all those working in the field,or who simply want to discuss it. There are many such terms, but one of the most important is the word”species”, because it is at the heart of the biological classification system, or taxonomy, by which all living things are named and arranged in hierarchical groups. If you want to communicate your ideas, you have got to use key technical terms in their agreed meanings. If you are talking about poetry, you cannot use the word “rhyme” to mean “ words starting with the same sound” and “alliteration” to mean “words ending with the same sound”, when everyone else understands that it’s the other way round. If when discussing chemistry you claim that water is an element or hydrogen a compound, this is not an IDEA on your part. It is an error – an elementary error, indeed. 😉 Long ago scientists decided what those terms should mean. If you use them differently you fail to communicate anything apart from your own ignorance.

    You can talk about “kinds” all you like, and define them however you like, and no biologist will tell you that you are defining them wrongly, because it’s not a term with any agreed biological significance in the first place. It’s simply the English word that the KJV writers used to translate some Hebrew word. YECs can argue among themselves, or reach a consensus (though this seems unlikely) about how kinds might relate to biological taxonomic rankings. The biologists don’t care, because the notions of some ancient tribesmen of two or three millennia ago have about as much scientific authority as the notions of some present day two or three year old. But if you are going to use scientific terminology, you need to use it according to the generally accepted meanings of the terms.

    Like

  18. sallyhawksworth says:

    I have slightly altered the punctuation and spelling in the following quotation from your post, Robert, to what I think you were trying to say, in the interests of intelligibility.
    “The mechanism’s (all must agree) purpose is to ensure survival of a population.”
    No. All need not and do not agree this. Quite the reverse. This is teleological language. A major point about Natural Selection, as described from Darwin onwards, and any other natural mechanisms or processes which cause change in biological populations, is that they do not HAVE a purpose. They have RESULTS, but they do not themselves intend the results, and until humans started artificially breeding domestic animals there is no evidence that either the organisms themselves or any outside consciousness had any intention of ensuring the survival of a given population by creating or manipulating said mechanisms or processes. Primitive peoples asked, “What was the purpose of that volcanic eruption?” Modern volcanologists would think the question absurd, but would happily discuss the CAUSES and results of said eruption.

    Like

    • Robert Byers says:

      You make a good point about terms. YES I am correcting what a species is BECAUSE its part of the failure of a hypothesis(evolutionism) to explain the origin of species.
      right between the eyes. Actually what species means IS contested by biologists themselves as I have bumped up against it. yet they do a poor job, as usual, about these things.
      I don’t like the term species. I just like idea of a segregated population having its bodyplan under the influence of things. This resulting in a change in same population relative to the parent or no change at all. Thus segregated populations can change just a little, but with same results, like my German/celt thing, However species is the term to be used. it should be the better idea that the mechanism is what is important and not the sum of the traits changed. So there is no sum, including reproductive compatibility, that as a threshold must be passed before SPECIES has been anointed.
      Yes it seems part of the great error of evolutionism.

      Like

      • Robert, yes, definitions of “species” do vary somewhat, but for sexually reproducing organisms, virtually all biologists regard the ability to routinely interbreed and produce fertile offspring as a key part of the definition. Your idea that there are many species of modern humans is so far removed from this it’s meaningless and nonsensical. As usual, you also go on about your “mechanism” for speciation without identifying what it is, making that just as meaningless. Again, please consider signing up for a Biology 101 course.

        Like

      • sallyhawksworth says:

        I can’t see your last posts here,Robert, now that I have hit “reply” to the email I got sent notifying me of them. hopefully though this replyof mine will appear somewhere in the thread. You say,”I don’t like the word ‘species’” That is evident from your posts. There is an easy solution to this difficulty. If you think that the term, as used by biologists and non biologists alike, does not correspond to anything in reality, the thing to do is not to use the term at all when you are attempting to describe reality, not to use it to mean something different which you do think exists, particularly when you never make it clear what this invented meaning of yours is. I don’t think mermaids exist in reality. That does not entitle me to decide unilaterally that I will use the word “mermaid” to mean “any sea creature with a fishy tail (including of course all actual fish)”. That would be a recipe for confusion. That mermaids don’t actually exist does not prevent the word from having a clearly defined meaning which is generally understood. I think “species” does have more than one generally accepted meaning, even if the demarcation lines are somewhat blurred. That is true of many other words. “Big” and “small” for instance. But it would be ridiculous to use “big” to mean “small” and vice versa.

        Like

  19. sallyhawksworth says:

    It looks as if neither Robert’s latest replies to me or mine to his are appearing. Has the site run out of room?

    Like

    • Not out of room that I know of just my own inattentiveness. I’ve been rather preoccupied with the beginning of a new semester and haven’t caught all of the new posts. I just want back through and noticed a few I had missed and have now put them through. I apologize for the delay.

      Liked by 1 person

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