youngearthcreationists

I have a confession to make, I sincerely believe that the theory of evolution is a better origins theory than “young earth creationism” (YEC). I also believe (along with many Old Testament professors) that evolution is compatible with Genesis 1-2. In this short post, I don’t want to argue or prove anything, I just want you to hear me out. Please.

MY BACKGROUND

When I was about thirteen years old, I became utterly fascinated with the creationism debate. Kent Hovind came to my church, and I loved his presentation, I even went and shook his hand afterwards, ever so proudly. A year or so later I went to the local public library and checked out every book I could find on the topic. For the next few years I read profusely. Things published by the “Old Guard” (Institute of Creation Research and Answers in Genesis) as well as the “New Guard” (the Intelligent Design movement). I read things like “The Genesis Record” by Morris and “Darwins Black Box” by Behe. I became, and still am, very familiar with all the names, books, websites, organization, in this debate.

When I was sixteen I launched my own website to debunk evolution, I titled it “Darwins Deception.” I took this online and spent over a year jumping into online chat forums to “debate and disprove” evolutionists. I even tried to apply for a job at the discovery institute (an intelligent design think thank). I was really lucky in that I took a college biology class where my teacher (MA in biology) was a proponent of intelligent design (though an old earther) and I got to present my thesis paper on the impossibility of abiogenesis based on the Miller–Urey experiment.

To say that I was ok with creationism would be the understatement of the century. I was completely confident that young earth creationism was absolutely true, that there was an unjust conspiracy of secularists who unfairly lobbied against the truth, and that I had the complete truth. I was so adamant about the fact that I was completely right.

MY EVOLUTION

At some point in time I decided to leave the debate and put off thinking about it. For about four years I engaged mostly theological pursuits, studying hermeneutics, exegesis, textual criticism, eschatology, pneumatology, and other things that had nothing to do with science and evolution. I also received a total of three college degrees from accredited institutions, and subconsciously noted that not even one more of my profs was open to any form of creationism or intelligent design, even though a few others were indeed Christians. I also noted that numerous theologians and leaders were accepting of evolution. I also began watching science lectures and nature documentaries, reading science based articles, blogs, and books. I noticed there was unanimity amongst both Christian and secular scientists that evolution is the best theory of origins. I began to wonder why.

I continued to put it off, saying something like “it doesn’t matter which one is true, either way God did it.” I continued by saying and thinking things like “well we can’t really know, both sides have great arguments.” Yet, living in the tension of uncertainly was hard, and about a year ago, I decided this must be resolved, and I sat down with an open Bible in front of me. I spent most of my day in the first two chapters of Genesis 1 and 2, carefully scrutinizing and going over every single passage, phrase, and word. I sought to understand, most eagerly, whether Genesis mandated a “post-enlightenment scientific literal” reading, or whether there was a valid alternative reading.

What I found stunned me. My careful reading and analysis showed that Genesis had two separate creation accounts, which were actually vastly different and separate stories (1). I began to search academic literature and commentaries, to see if I was crazy, or someone else had found this. I quickly discovered that hundreds upon hundreds of Old Testament professors were teaching the same exact thing. Men and women who had multiple PhD’s in Hebrew from places like Harvard and Westminster seminary had written books and journal articles arguing the same thing. Many of these were even conservative Evangelicals!

Once I realized the Bible does not mandate a literal six day creation, and many Old Testament professors agreed with this conclusion, I began to look at science and nature in a whole new light. A million facts and figures suddenly began to make sense. I cautiously read a few books by Christians who were scientists and supported evolution (Francis Collins’ and Kenneth Miller’s books were helpful, but the best was Karl Gibersons “Saving Darwin, How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution”, I highly recommend it.) And after engaging all the evidence, my view changed.

MY APPEAL TO YOU

Here is the most important part of what I want to say.

It is very likely that knowing someone has left YEC is very uncomfortable for you. It probably causes you to feel things that you don’t like, perhaps you feel shock and are confused about how someone like myself can believe such rubbish. You might feel like people who think evolution is true want to assault everything you believe to be sacred and sentimental. Or that they are intenionally decieving you because they hate God.

We are not set against you, we are not against God.

I have no desire to be evil, wicked, anti-Bible, or offensive. I have no ill wishes or malevolent intentions. I’m just a regular guy, who hates to see people hurt, abused, ridiculed, or scorned, I am very empathetic to human suffering and struggle, and don’t wish to increase it. I’m not writing or thinking these things because somehow I want to hurt you or be “against” you. I am not against you in any personal way.

I don’t want to cause anyone  harm. I promise that.

I am a Christian struggling with the metaphysical reality of this world and the fact that things really are not the way I once believed they are. The world is a complicated place, far more so than I wish it were. You can certainly choose to believe that I am evil or confused or lost or something else, but deep down all I want is to believe and know that which is really true. I want to understand the world more than I can through simple one liners.

I sincerely hope you believe me, I am only seeking to believe things that are true.

That is why I changed from the 16 year old who ran his own young earth creationism website to accepting evolution. I certainly didn’t do it for peoples acceptance, because after saying what I believe, so many of my friends and acquaintances think I’m stupid, arrogant, evil, wicked, or all of the above. This has caused untold ridicule and scorn. You can see for yourself on social media, whenever I mention this issue, there are plenty of those who were once my friends, who come by ridicule me, and leave.

I changed my mind, even though it was social suicide; why?

I did it because I sincerely believe that evolution far better explains nature than a recent 7 day creation. Yet I am still a Christian, and there are many leading pastors and biblical scholars who also accept evolution and provide alternative readings of Genesis 1-2, like the “Framework Hypothesis.” Why do 99.9% percent of scientists (2) and so many leading theologians and Christians accept evolution? Why did people even invent such a theory? Why did all the scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries start off as young earth creationists and change their mind as a result of interacting with nature?

Before you close your mind, and create labels to stick on me, please ask why?

I genuinely want to know that which is really true. If a recent 7 day creation is true, I promise you, I will gladly accept it. I will want to accept it! I have absolutely no presuppositions that depend on it being true or not. I’m not here to defend a position for some ulterior motive (but you are, no?). I don’t get anything out of proving that evolution is right. I don’t get to “go and be a godless heathen” I don’t get to “win lots of respect” there is nothing in it for me, except to grapple with reality, and come up knowing what is true and what is false.

Ask yourself, why did I change my mind? Ask yourself why did the whole discipline of science, that was once young earth creationist change its mind? Why are so many theologians and Old Testament professors changing their minds? Perhaps we are all evil, perhaps we are all stupid, perhaps we are all deceived, and perhaps you have all the answers. But is it possible that you don’t?

MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT

As an addendum to this blog post, here are some things that make sense in light of evolution, but don’t within young earth creationism.

I slowly realized that the quote I once hated, was true,  “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” uttered by Theodosius Dobzhansky (who was a prominent evolutionist and an Ortodox Christian). About a hundred things that had once caused an infinite regress of confusion and questions now made sense. I will try to keep things as simple as possible and avoid technical language.

These included the following biological ideas (I will avoid all the other fields of science, even those that definitively prove the earth is billions of years old):

1. Predatory animals

In YEC literature, it is agreed that before the fall, animals were perfect and happy, but after they became carnivorous. (It is a strange theological point that man’s sin, rather than causing spiritual death, instead caused dinosaurs to become carnivores). Yet, the world is filled with hundreds of thousands of incredibly predatory animals, and evolution explains this far better. This includes the razor sharp teeth of a lion (including its impulses), to the venom found in snakes, to the sharp poisonous tails of deadly scorpions. These animals are not in any way capable of eating a vegetarian diet, and their very essence is predatory. A snake does not need poison to eat a plant, and in fact cannot digest a plant. Wasps can’t use their stingers for anything except hurting other species. And where did all these violent impulses come from? Human sin forced nice happy velociraptors with giant teeth to become angry? Before that the giant flesh eating dinosaurs were human friends and used sharp teeth to eat leaves? YEC has no answer for this, evolution does. YEC’s are left trying to say that these predatory species (a) used their venom, teeth, stingers for nonviolent reasons before the flood, or (b) the fall of sin magically “recreated” many animals, giving them biological weapons for war.

2. Geographic biodiversity

There are no Koalas or Kangaroos anywhere but Australia. There are no Penguins in Europe. I don’t see any alligators when I look outside for they are all in tropical climates. There are no polar bears in the African deserts. There is nothing but thermophilic bacteria in the heated deep sea geothermal vents. Different animals exist in different environments, and would die if they left these environments. Evolution predicts this geographic biodiversity, as animals adapt and evolve based on their environment. YEC has no real answer, and instead must wrestle with difficulties like “how did kangaroos get off the ark and find their way to Australia across thousands of miles of ocean” or “how did these animals, which readily die in a different temperature and environment, survive the ark, and the trip through millions of miles of different environments” or “how could Adam name all the animals in a day if they live in radically different environments and would require him to travel the whole planet.”

3. Extinction of most species

When the first dinosaur fossils were being unearthed, some Christian’s argued that these bones were satans deception, and we must not believe in them. Today YEC’s seem to say that all of these creatures were once alive, coexisted, and even more so, fit into the ark. The reality is there are hundreds of thousands of radically different species that have gone extinct. Its estimated that 99.9% of species that have ever existed are now extinct (3) We have their bones. We can look at them. We can observe them. They did exist. Why are so many species gone and extinct?  (See here for a list of dinosaur genera (classes), each with many species) In fact, why are most fossils that we find of species that are not alive today? For the most part, we don’t see many species that are unchanged modern animals, but we find tons of fossils of animals that don’t exist. We find fossils of dinosaurs that tower over humans by dozens of meters. We find tiny trilobites and strange bird dinosaurs, and none of them exist anymore. The fossils show a vast array of animals that are extinct, and stranger still, 99% of these fossils follow a consistent distribution pattern. They are almost always in the same geologic layers, always in the same order. The few exceptions that creationists publish are 1 out of 10,000 and often have perfectly valid reasons, like the upheaval of sediment by earthquakes and geological movement. For the other 99% YEC’s simply say the distribution is based on animals running up mountains to get away from the flood, the smartest ran the fastest so they are at the top. Evolution has a far better answer than this.

4. Commonality of characteristics

How many hands do you have? Three? Four? No, you have two hands, two feet, two eyes, two ears. Look at any primates (this includes chimps, gorillas, monkeys, and etc) and you will find they share those features with you. Next. Observe spiders, they are vastly different and have many more legs, eyes, and feet. Why are there some species that are so similar and others so different? Why are there families of animals that share striking features? Why are all mammals brains so similar that can we use human antidepressants on dogs?  Consider the similarity between species that evolutionists say are closely related, and you will find they all have the same bones (4) Consider the difference between spider brains, chimp brains, and human brains, and you will find the former is radically different, while the latter two are rather similar, though of varying sizes. YEC says that the same Creator used a few of the same designs and that animals were created as a spouse for Adam. Did God really try to marry Adam with a spider? Or a dolphin? This is a strange view of God. This “same designer” does not account for the branches of species that are all very similar to one another, yet very different from other branches. Bacteria vs bugs vs fish vs mammals are not that similar, they are rather different, one would be hard pressed to think early humans could understand these are the “same design” (unless they could look at the DNA). In any case, why would God not create humans as a vastly different anatomical branch, completely unique? Why create us so similar to other primates, some alive today, and others in the fossil record? Why would God create this state of affairs if he wanted us to think the opposite? Wouldn’t it hinder our understanding of our uniqueness? Evolution explains this far better than YEC.

5. Emotion/Intelligence amongst animals

YEC’s claim that emotion and intelligence are things that make us humans unique and special, these are not shared by animals. However, the exact opposite is true, animals that resemble humans, and have larger brains like us, are far more intelligent than others. Animals with brains that are similar to us, feel and display pain, in such similar ways that we can even understand it. Try killing a pig, it will try to run away from you, squeal, scream, and cry… just like a human. Dogs have been recorded to become depressed when their owner passes away. Its the most interesting with those mammals who have the largest brains, who, as it just so randomly happens, are the most similar physiologically to human beings. Chimps. These primates walk on two feet, use their hands like humans, show dozens of different emotions (5), from happiness to fear to kissing and hugging. In fact, in captivity, chimps have been taught human languages such as ASL (American Sign Language), learning 300 or more signs. (6)  In fact, there are chimps that have better memory than humans, see this video of a chimp using the computer. (7, 8). There is a vast intelligence difference between a chimp who can use a computer, and remember abstract symbols, and that of a lizard. Why? Evolution has a good answer, YEC’s don’t explain why there are such intelligent animal, living for most of Biblical history in a land unacessible to the average person from the Ancient Near Eat.

6. Loads of transitional fossils

It’s common for YEC’s to say that there are no transitional fossils from one species to another. What has happened over the last hundred years is nothing short of “changing the goal posts.” Here is what this looks like, YEC: “there is no transitional fossil between #1 and #100.” Evolutionist: “well, we just found #39.” YEC: “there is no transitional fossil between #1 and #39.” Evolutionist: “well, we just found #15.” YEC: “there is no transitional fossil between #1 and #15.” Evolutionist: “well, we just found #7.” And on and on it goes. Honestly. There are now hundreds of these transitional fossils, that show animals we have never seen, that really do share similarities between two separate species or families. (9, 10, 11, 12). Whatever we say, these strange creatures exist, their fossils are continually found, and they fit at varying levels between different biological classes of animals. YEC’s take these transitional fossils and separate them into two separate species, however, here is the kicker, different YEC’s label the same fossil as two completely different species! (13) YEC’s don’t show themselves trustworthy, by being unable to consistently give the same answers.

7. Bacteria, parasites, & microorganisms

YEC’s have no way to explain or account the presence and survival of these little buggers. If these were created ex nihilo before the flood, what was their purpose? If they served some good purpose they must have been very different in their biological makeup, there had to have been a hyper rapid evolution (way faster than postulated by evolutionists) to make them into what they are. Essentially they would need to be recreated. Where did all the parasites come from? In the YEC perfect biological world, parasites could serve no function, but they cannot survive without being parasites, so it seems as though something would literaly have to create them after the fall. YEC’s attempt to use special pleading to explain away these issues, but they fit much much better into the theory of evolution.

Yuriy

Yuriy

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Husband, amateur theologian/philosopher, and the guy with more questions than answers.
  • John McYntire

    What is next for you? Agnosticism? Your revolt against legalism has been too radical. You’ve simply taken the extreme antithetical position against Slavic legalism. Read Scripture without eisegetically inserting human philosophies.

  • John

    Hello Yuriy, thank you for your post. If you already haven’t heard of The Biologos Foundation, founded by Francis Collins, MD, PhD, it will be worth checking out! They promote the concept of ‘evolutionary creationism’ as opposed to ‘YEC’.

  • Oleg Ivanov

    In one of my favorite passages from the Bible, God spoke to Job and asked him a series of questions. It’s recorded in Job 38-42. This passage shows the greatness of our Lord and the humans lack of knowledge. In Job 38:4-6 (ESV), the Lord speaks:

    4. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
    5. Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
    6. On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone,

    Job rightfully acknowledged that “[God] can do all things and that no purpose of [His] can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). He also repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:6).

  • Vitaliy

    Great post, love the honesty, thanks for writing. I am also coming around to realize there is no big conspiracy to suppress the truth about human origina unless you count answers in genesis.

  • Grayson

    Yuriy….You are a young man. You have many questions and so few answers. I understand this. The problem is you are looking for Godly and spiritual answers by applying human understanding and theories. Remember, a theory is just an unproven guess. Did God create the universe in 6 days? Yes…he rested on the seventh. What is one day to God as compared to man? 1,000 years? 2,000 years? 1,000,000 years?? We don’t know. We also can not understand things of God in our own minds. We are unable to perceive these things. Did God create us? Yes. Did he destroy the earth by flood? Yes Did he scatter all the remaining creations across the earth? For sure. Do things adapt to life living in harsh enviroments? Most definitely. When it is hot we put on shorts and a T-shirt…Go swimming. When its cold we put on heavy jackets and sweaters and cuddle with the loved ones at home. We adapt as animals adapt. That is not evolution it is adaptation. Don’t abandon your faith(,believing in something/someone you can’t see, feel, interact with) for human answers. Remember who created us. Have the trust and faith in God to know that some answers we will figure out and some we will learn on our day of glory. You have faith that there is oxygen in every breathe you take yet you can not see it. Yet it has the ability to move rivers ,mountains , and structures created by man. Why are you letting your faith in God be challenged? Even tho you don’t see him doesn’t mean he isn’t there! Stop looking so hard to find the answers and Let Jesus lead you to the water you so desperately crave….The water of life. You can’t be luke-warm my brother… God deals in absolutes. You are either with him or with the world. NOTW!!!

  • Oleg Ivanov

    Yuri: If you don’t have an agenda, why didn’t your article mention any of the problems associated with Darwin’s theory of evolution?

    • http://www.yuriyandinna.com/ Yuriy Stasyuk

      Because all of these creationist claims are false, repeating them does not make them true.

      Remember I say this as one who spent my life repeating them and reading them, yet they are not true.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

      • Oleg Ivanov

        You fail to mention any issues with evolution. Now you mention that ALL of creationist claims are false.

        Question: Do you believe there was a flood from which God saved Noah?

  • Greg

    I agree that YEC is ridiculous. However theistic evolution doesn’t fit the data very well either. What’s wrong with old earth creationsim where God specially created species over billions of years? Over those billions there are many life exterminating events and he creates again. Finally he creates man and then rests. He has been in “rest” from acts of creating new species since the creation of man. That’s why there has not been one new species appear since man came on the scene. This model fits the biblical data and the scientific data very well. There are many good old earth creation ministries out there but I think reasons.org has the best info. Also Hugh Ross has a number of great books on the subject – my favorite being Creator and the Cosmos. I like the fact that you used your brain, something YEC doesn’t encourage.

  • Abi

    While reading this post, I get a feel for your history, your study of the subject, many disclaimers, and some supporting evidence. I see only the mention of the congruency between this theory and the Genesis 1-2 account. I am willing to question my YEC viewpoint, but I am unwilling to question the inerrancy of Scripture. Would you provide some insight into how your exegesis of Genesis 1-2 led you to these conclusions? Specifically regarding God creating man in His image.

  • Sharon Knox

    Yuriy…with all your education and study of creation vs evolution…a very uneducated statement from you is the phrase you repeat, a “seven day creation.” It was a SIX day creation.

  • Dave Nate

    Yuiry indeed you have a lot of questions and your world view answers injected in the mix. Reading your blog post I could not help to think how much of your world view is centered around philosophy and faith in others people inner faith, with titles like Dr, MD and PhD.

    The Book of Genesis in the Bible says God created the universe, and everything in it, in six days. Some people have tried to harmonize this description with the theory of evolution by suggesting that the “days” in Genesis must have been long periods of time, or ages.

    But the Bible has its own amazing way of showing that the long “ages” idea is wrong. The days were real, ordinary, solar days of around 24 hours each.

    Here is why:

    Reasons why the days were 24 hours

    Genesis 1:14 says God created the lights to divide day from night, and to be for signs, for seasons, for days, and for years. If the days are ages, then what are the years?

    If a day is an age, then what is a night? The concept becomes ludicrous when you try to stretch the length of a day.

    Whenever the word “day” in the Bible is limited by a number (such as the first day, the third day, the sixth day) it always means a 24-hour day.

    Whenever the word “day” is used with the phrase “evening and morning,” it always means an ordinary night-day cycle.

    Among the Ten Commandments that God gave to Israel, recorded in Exodus 20, God said that His creation in six days followed by a day of rest was to be the pattern for the Israelites’ working week: six days of labor followed by a day of rest. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work …,” God said, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”

    This would not make sense if they had to work for six million years followed by a million years of rest.

    Some people think that a day may mean a thousand years, because the Apostle Peter said that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

    But Peter did not say a day is a thousand years, but it is as a thousand years. He is saying that God is outside time, that a thousand years are no more significant than a day in God’s eternal scheme of things. People who say Peter meant that a
    day is a thousand years are ignoring the second part of Peter’s statement, which says a thousand years are as one day. How could we count how many days are in a thousand years if a day only means a thousand years? It becomes silly when you try to force a meaning that wasn’t intended.

    Not an indefinite period either

    The passage about a day being as a thousand years has also been said to mean that a day is simply a long period of time. But that makes nonsense of Peter’s statement. It would mean that Peter was saying that “a long period of time is a thousand years.” See how ridiculous things get when you stray from
    the straight meaning of Scripture?

    The clear meaning of the days of creation is the obvious one: that they were literal, ordinary, 24-hour days. Nothing more and nothing less.

    When Moses, under the inspiration of God, compiled the account of creation in Genesis1, he used the Hebrew word yôm for ‘day’. He combined yôm with numbers (‘first day’, ‘second day’, ‘third day’, etc.) and with the words ‘evening and morning’, and the first time he employed it he carefully defined the meaning of yôm
    (used in this way) as being one night/day cycle (Genesis1:5). Thereafter, throughout the Bible, yôm used in this way always refers to a normal 24–hour day.2,3 There is thus a prima facie case that, when God used the word yôm in this way, He intended to convey that the days of creation were 24 hours long.

    Let us now consider what other words God could have used, if He had wanted to convey
    a much longer period of time than 24 hours.

  • Dave Nate

    Did Adam really named all animals in one day?

    Genesis 1:24–27 states that God made the land animals, as well as
    the first man and woman, on Day Six of Creation Week. Genesis 2:18–23 tells us that Adam named the animals before Eve was created. So how could Adam have named all the animals in one day?

    The time factor

    Day Six of Creation Week began at evening (Genesis 1:31), and so consisted of about 12 hours of darkness followed by about 12 hours of daylight. There is no reason why God could not have made the land animals, and Adam too, during the darkness period of Day Six, so that at first light there they all were!

    If, however, God used the daylight period, there is no reason to suppose that His
    creative acts in making the animals and Adam took any longer than the instant for
    Him to command these events to happen.1 So either way it need not have taken any time at all beyond first light on Day Six for all the land animals and Adam to have come into existence.

    Adam therefore had most of the daylight hours of Day Six in which to complete his
    task. Note that this task did not include his searching out the animal, because
    Genesis 2:19 tells us that God ‘brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them’. Presumably this was in some sort of reasonably orderly procession.

    Naming the animals

    The following points need to be noted:

    1. Genesis chapter 1 says that the animals were created according to their kinds,
    rather than according to their species—the phrase ‘after his/their kind’
    occurs 10 times in this chapter (referring to both plants and animals). Exactly
    what the term ‘kind’ (Hebrew min) corresponds to in terms of the modern Linnaean classification system is not clear, but it appears that sometimes the min corresponds to today’s species, sometimes to the genus, and sometimes to the family. It indicates the limitations of variation. What is clear is that numerically there must have been fewer kinds in Adam’s day than the number of species we count today. [Ed. note: for more information, see Ligers and wholphins? What next?]

    For example, it is more than likely that there would have been no domestic dogs,
    coyotes, and wolves as such, but rather one ancestral kind containing the genetic
    information for all of these to appear under natural selection pressures.

    This is not evolution, because no new information is added. In the same way, the
    mongrel dog population of a few hundred years back was able to give rise (under
    human selection) to the various modern breeds of dog—because the information
    was already there in that population, much more than in today’s specialized,
    genetically depleted breeds. That’s why you can’t start with a chihuahua
    population, and expect that breeding/selection will eventually produce Great Danes.

    2. Today we divide the animals into those we call tame (mostly herbivores), and
    those we call wild (both herbivores and carnivores), but this distinction did not
    apply before Adam sinned.

    Genesis 1:30 says, ‘And to every beast … I have given every green herb for food’, and Genesis 1:31, ‘And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.’ From these we conclude that animals did not kill each other for food pre-Fall, and they had no reason to fear man.

    This means that we can regard them all as being tame at the time Adam named them.
    It also means that they would not have eaten each other, while taking part in any
    naming procession!

    The animals which Adam named are specifically described in
    Genesis 2:20. They were the ‘cattle’, ‘the fowl of the air’ (birds), and ‘every beast of the field’. This classification has no correlation with today’s arbitrary system of man-made taxonomy (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects), but is a more natural system based on the relation of the animals to man’s interests.

    If we compare this naming list with the creation list in Genesis 1:20–25—birds and sea creatures (created on Day Five), beasts of the earth, cattle, creeping things—we see there are several very significant differences. 2 Adam was not required to name any of the sea creatures, or any of the creeping things. And as the beasts of the field were not specifically mentioned in the creation list, we can regard them as being a subdivision of the beasts of the earth. That is, Adam was required to name only some of the total land animal population of his own day.

    There is no suggestion that the naming was meant to be comprehensive. From this
    it follows that Adam’s task was not to provide a scientific taxonomy, but
    a set of general names of a selection of the animals, for the benefit of average
    human beings who would come after him.

    So what animals were named?

    1. The cattle (Hebrew: behemah)

    The Hebrew term used here usually refers to animals which lend themselves to domestication—what we might call ‘domestic fauna’. Though no creatures were ‘wild’
    in the modern sense, they would not all have been equally suitable for use by man.

    It is interesting to note that most of the different breeds of what we call cattle
    today can be traced back to a single basic type, namely the aurochs, which itself
    is probably descended from the same created kind as the buffalo and bison group.3

    Likewise, all the varieties of dog we have today have been bred from one basic dog/wolf type. Similar considerations may well apply to many other species of animals we use today, such as the horse.

    All of this gives a total of a few dozen kinds at the most of behemah for Adam to
    name.

    2. The fowl of the air

    The Bible mentions some 50 different birds, whereas modern ornithologists divide
    the bird class into about 8,600 species. Of these, some 5,100 are in the order Passeriformes (perching birds), divided into suborders, families, and subfamilies; and there are about 3,500 species allotted to all other orders of birds in their families. Thus there are 285 species in the pigeon family, 127 species in the cuckoo family, 18
    species in the penguin family, and so on. So how many birds did Adam have to name?

    It is instructive to consider what Encyclopaedia Britannica says about
    parrots. ‘The avian order Psittaciformes [parrots, lories, cockatoos] contains
    more than 300 species of generally brightly colored, noisy, tropical birds, to which
    the general name parrot may be applied.’

    We do not know whether all such ‘parrots’ today are the descendants
    of one created kind, or whether the parrots of today descended from a handful of
    original kinds, which had (created) similarities to each other such that today we
    group them all under ‘parrot’.

    If they were from one created kind, then instead of the 300 we have today, there
    would have been only one for Adam to name. Even if there were, say, three parrot
    kinds originally, it would have been fully legitimate (just as today) for these
    all to have been given the general term ‘parrot’. Therefore, only one
    representative from the three kinds would have been needed in the naming procession for the name ‘parrot’ (in whatever tongue Adam spoke) to have been given.

    By the same reasoning, Adam probably named one ‘pigeon’, one ‘cuckoo’,
    one ‘penguin’, and so on.

    Colliers Encyclopedia lists a total of 163 families of all living, fossil,
    and extinct birds.6 This means that if Adam named only one representing each such modern group, to which the same ‘general name’ could be applied, then there could have been fewer than a couple
    of hundred birds involved.

    3. The beast(s) of the field

    The Hebrew word sadeh, translated ‘field’ in several Bible versions, has the meaning of a flat open plain. The term ‘beast(s) of the field’ occurs several times in the Old Testament. These are all in a post-Fall situation, that is, after sin had entered the world.

    They included animals that move in when humans move out (Exodus 23:29), ‘wild asses’ (Psalm 104:11), ‘dragons and owls’ (Isaiah 43:20),7 animals that prey on sheep (Ezekiel 34:8), and a range of carnivores (Ezekiel 39:17). As the condition of sin did not apply when Adam named the animals, the most we can take from these verses is an indication of the variety of animals involved.

    It is better to think of sadeh (‘field’) as referring to the habitat, although not perhaps to the extent of asking ‘which field’? or ‘was the field the Garden of Eden?’

    Taking all these factors into account, particularly the matter of habitat, the beasts
    of the field named were probably those animals which live today in open country
    and venture close to human habitation. Not named were probably those animals which live exclusively in forest, jungles, mountains, wetlands, deserts, etc.

    On the basis of our earlier discussion concerning birds, it is clear that nowhere
    near the number of species extant today would have been involved. Adam presumably needed to name only one ‘snake’ (or at the most possible a few major
    anatomical differences, like ‘python’, ‘rattlesnake’, ‘cobra’). Likewise for many types of animals.

    It is therefore completely inappropriate to talk of his having had to name the 6,000
    species of reptiles or the 2,000 species of amphibians known today.8 Quite apart from the fact that many, if not most, of these have been excluded on the basis of habitat anyway. Thus, even allowing for extinct types, it would seem more than generous to allow for counting of a thousand ‘beasts of the field’—in reality, the figure may well have been in the low hundreds.

    Was Adam equal to the task?

    We learn language by association, but Adam, from the moment he was created, had
    language. Therefore he (and then Eve) must have already had built in ‘programs’
    in their memory banks, so that when God said, ‘Don’t…’ (Genesis 2:17), they immediately knew exactly what this meant. It seems that they must also have known what it would mean to die, even though they had never seen anything dead.

    It is therefore reasonable for us to conclude that, at the ‘naming parade’, Adam could speak a precise language, using one or two words in place of a long description, just as our one word ‘elephant’ refers to ‘a large, big-eared, trunk-nosed, tusked quadruped’.

    It also means that he did not need to ponder each decision. His naming of each different kind of animal could therefore have been both quick and appropriate, and also without confusion, for he would have had the capacity to recall the names he already had allocated with a pre-Fall memory that was crystal clear and voluminous.

    So, even in the unlikely event that there were as many as a thousand animals paraded
    before Adam, how long would it have taken him to name them?

    There are 3,600 seconds in an hour, so Adam could have completed his task in under
    an hour. If he did it in a more leisurely and contemplative fashion, it would have
    taken a few hours at the most (excluding time out for ‘coffee breaks’!). Surely a pleasant day’s work, leaving plenty of time for God to create Eve from Adam’s side that same afternoon.

    Why?

    Adam had been given dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:28), and God now provided him with the opportunity to exercise this responsibility in a way which established his authority and supremacy—in ancient times, it was an act of authority to impose names (cf. Daniel 1:7) and an act of submission to receive them.

    This exercise also shows that Adam was not an ape-man, and indeed it was intended
    by God to show that he had no ape-like siblings among which to find fellowship or
    a mate (cf. Genesis 2:20b: ‘for Adam there was not found an help meet [i.e. helper suitable] for him’).

    Contrary to the wishful thinking of evolutionists, the first man was not some stooped,
    dimwitted, grunting hominid, separated from his ape-like ancestors by a genetic
    mutation or two. The Bible portrays Adam as being essentially different from the
    animal world, because he had been created ‘in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:27).

    This term refers primarily to man’s God-consciousness—his capacity for worshipping and loving God, his ability to understand and choose between right and wrong, and his capacity for holiness.

    A secondary meaning includes such things as man’s mental powers, reason, and
    capacity for articulate, grammatical, symbolic speech. In Adam, before sin, these
    capacities may have dwarfed anything we know today.

    God in His omniscience would have foreknown the rise of humanistic naturalism in
    the twentieth century. This episode, way back in the Garden of Eden, highlights
    for those who have an eye to see it, the false and unbiblical nature of the evolutionary
    theory of human origins!

    • http://www.yuriyandinna.com/ Yuriy Stasyuk

      Great work at copying and pasting an article. You do realize that you weren’t even able to ask the question using conventional English grammar? You said “Did Adam really NAMED all animals in one day?” And yet you want to be taken seriously?

      1. This article is a very superficial ad hoc rationalization. I guarantee you, someone with the same mindset can rationalize absolutely anything, no matter how nonsensical or illogical or unrealistic. I could use superficial ad hoc rationalization to prove literally every single creation myth of ancient tribal groups.

      2. Creationists always play this game. First they say ‘kinds’ actually has a scientific taxonomic definitition (in the Hebrew there is no such thing). Then they say that ‘kinds’ does not equal species. Then they say “aha, problem solved.” Usually their readers are too ignorant of the scientific data to know otherwise. There are perhaps 8.7 million different species in this world today. This number amounts to about 0.01% of all the species that have ever lived, given the fossil evidence. Creationists trick their readers by whittling that down to a few thousand “kinds” that are never really classified. Then they say these few thousand were able to “microevolve” into billions of species, of which 99.9% died/went extinct. All in a matter of a few years. This is the most ridiculous explanation ever. It’s easier to say “magic did it.”

      3. Animals live in very different ecological zones, temperatures, and environments. You simply cannot have all the animals in the world in one environment and expect them all to survive. Unless you add magic. Then anything is possible. It’s even possible that they were one a different planet made out of marshmallows. That is just as easily provable with magic and superficial ad hoc rationalizations.

      4. There are vast physiological and morphological differences in family and genera of animals. These “kinds” creationists talk about mean that both the lion and the household kitten are the same “kind” (creationists actually say this). So essentially creationists are left with the following two choices:

      (Option A) Cats can evolve into lions, both descended from an evolutionary common ancestor in a few thousand years, Adam named this ancestor, and then THOUSANDS of species evolved from this ancestor… and this is not evolution. This is quite frankly a display of blatant inconsistency. Creationists commonly ask evolutionists to show even one species (yes they say species, not kind) that evolved recently. Creationists attempt to use this as evidence against evolution. Then in the next breath they say that THOUSANDS of species, from Tigers to Persians cats evolved from a feline common ancestor in a few thousands years. This is UTTERLY inconsistent. This is a direct admission that evolution from one species and even genera, does happen, and happens quickly. This means creationists believe in inter species and inter genera evolution (cat to tiger, bulldog to wolf), they just believe in a different mechanism (without an inkling of evidence.)

      (Option B) This type of evolution doesn’t happen, all the species or genera were specially created. Then we have another problem, the cat and lion are not so similar that if the two were presented to Adam, he would just call them the same name. This is preposterous when you consider this scenario in real life, not in mythical abstraction: If a household cat, a large wolf and a large tiger were presented to Adam, and he had to put all three animals into only two “kinds” would he really put the tiny cat with the large lion? Would not the outward appearance of the large flesh eating lion and wolf necessitate them to be in the same category? Would not the sharp carnivores teeth and large size make it easier to put the two together than to place the cat and lion in the same “kind”? It’s easy to wave away the facts when one is very good at abstract thinking, but much harder when one is grounded in reality.

      5. Every step of this repose very literally requires magic. The animals magically came to him. He magically was smart. There was magically less animals. They magically evolved to create the current biodiversity. Magic this and magic that. Have you ever considered that perhaps God is bigger than your ideas of him? Certainly he could have done all these paradoxical magic tricks in the beginning and then stopped doing it all as soon as we invented cameras and science… or maybe he is just grander than you ever imagined?