Young-earth Creationism and Biodiversity Loss: Mass Extinction, Disposable Planets and MacArthur

Young age creationists have responded to biodiversity loss (extinction) in a scattershot way in recent years.  So my interest was peaked when the popular journal of Answers in Genesis, Answers Magazine, recently had a issue devoted to “Creation Care.”  One of those articles, Should We Abandon Some Species to Extinction? was featured on the Answers in Genesis website last week. It is by a young-earth ecologist, Tom Hennigan, from Truett-McConnell University.  In the video below I reflect on this article, relate it to a broader picture of responses by Christians to environmentalism and raise the understated problem in the YEC literature of massive extinction of Gods’ created kinds.

Here is an outline of my video discussion:

A.  Hennigans article is a welcome addition to the AiG literature
B.  Many young-earth envionmentalists tend toward dominionist approaches to the environment but Hennigan manages to avoid many of the pitfalls of this approach
C.  John MacArthur is an example of a dominionist view on the environment which is reflective of many Christians today
D.  While extinctions are acknowledged and mourned over the scope of extinction that young-earth creationism requires is not often acknowledged
E.  The young-earth approach to “kinds” preserved on the ark causes them to believe that more then 50% of all the types of land vertebrate animals that God created have already been lost to extinction.

Cover image by: Pterosaurs, by Mark Witton –  CCBY4.0

8 thoughts on “Young-earth Creationism and Biodiversity Loss: Mass Extinction, Disposable Planets and MacArthur

  1. Hi Joel,

    I thought he needed to unpack his statement:

    “Servant kingship includes ruling the fish of the sea, birds of the air, and every living creature that moves on the ground (Genesis 1:27–28). God didn’t intend this dominion to include ravaging the land, being careless with the environment, or destroying creatures on a whim.”

    If we were created to rule (as we vwere) then does not that include using the creatures appropriately including eating fish. But he wants death to come only with human sin. And he’s very concerned with ecological balance to preserve appropriate environments. How does he suppose fish survived the kind of global flood he believes in?

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  2. A further puzzle for Young Earth creationists, arising from your own comments: how could the kinds that went extinct have been “good”, if they could not stand up to the rigors of the post-Flood ecosystem? Or is that, too, blamed on the Curse?

    But are you yourself being fair to AiG when you regard all these extinctions as being,in their model, post-Flood?


    1. At least the exinction of vertebrate “kind” would have to have been post-flood by following the young-earth logic. All of them that I know of believe that Noah preserved all the created kinds on the ark thus the first extinction of vertebrate kinds would be post-flood. Other kinds of organisms could have gone extinct in the flood (trilobites for example).


      1. So the Flood would have had to be before the end-Permian mass extinction? But also ofc after the appearance of all modern “kinds” of animals, and of humans? I’m very puzzled as to how anyone can believe this


  3. Try again as first post never was published. Creationists believe the bible when it says the world is in, and is, decaying. so extinction of species is competing with the origin of species. Extinction, on a curve, prevails. Yes the great flood and, as I see it, centuries later great convulsion destroy biology suddenly. Yet this all fits nicely in creationist models.


    1. I’m sincerely puzzled. Are you saying that the cat kind, the dog kind, the monkey kind, etc were all created at the same time as all the kinds of dinosaur, with the whale kind maybe a day earlier? If so, how do you explain the fact that dog, cat, cetacean and monkey fossils are found only above the K/Pg boudnary, while dinosaur fossils are only found below it?


      1. not sure this is on thread but no. its unsure what the creation week kinds were but no cats or dogs or whales I don’t agree there is dinosaurs. instead they are members of kinds and misidentified as lizards. It was few kinds created and so the fossils of them from the flood year are only showing a spectrum of diversity. after the flood the kinds, off the ark etc, developed into a new spectrum of diversity. Noah never saw bears or lions. Just something from whence they came from.


        1. So the common ancestor of bears and lions was on the Ark? Then diversification must have been super duper fast, since we had lions at the time of Sampson, and bears at the time of Elishah (that unfortunate incident with the children, remember)

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