Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In The Beginning, Chapter 8 - Day Six, Part One

Genesis 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
The beginning of day six brought the creation of every ground-living animal. Every kind of insect, every kind of amphibian, every kind of worm, every kind of mammal - every kind of land animal was created on the first part of day six!
Notice what verse 24 says though: “Let the earth bring forth the living creature…” This was the exact same phrase that was used in verse 11, “Let the earth bring forth grass…” You see, God didn’t just create these creatures out of nothing, like He did with the sea and flying animals on day 5. The earth brought forth these animals! In other words…all of these creatures sprouted out of the dirt at God’s command!
Why is this important? We’ll see it in more detail in the next chapter...but for now, understand that mankind and the land animals were both made from the dirt.

Every Land Animal!

Now, you must realize this...every creature means every creature. Get rid of the secular idea that all of the kinds of living and extinct animals were separated into different ages of time!
The Paleozoic Era” - the age of ancient reptiles and giant amphibians
The Mesozoic Era” - the world ruled by dinosaurs
The Cenozoic Era” - the rise and rule of mammals
Christian, these terms mean nothing to you! Don’t compromise what the Bible clearly says to accommodate the ideas and opinions of fallen man!
When you start from the Bible, you can see that each and every kind (take note of that term) of land animal was created on day 6. This means that dinosaurs, giant insects, elephants, and horses were walking around together by the afternoon of the sixth day. If you believe the Bible, how else could it be?
So many believers get confused, especially concerning dinosaurs! But it’s not complicated. God created land animals on day 6. Dinosaurs were land animals. So the Bible does clearly tell us when God made dinosaurs, doesn’t it?
Let’s read these verse one more time: Genesis 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
From these two verses, we can see three categories of land creatures that were created by God on the beginning of day 6:
      1. Cattle

This would include most of the animals that have been domesticated as livestock. Almost certainly, the entire family of bovidae would be included in this category - considering it includes all oxen, sheep and goats. These are the “clean” types of livestock.
It is also possible that other livestock may have been included in the “cattle” category. Horses seem to be especially designed for human use. Camels and llamas also play a vital role in many cultures around the world. Even hogs are a valuable livestock animal and may have been included in this category.
      1. Every creeping thing

The term “creeping thing” encompasses every creature that worms, crawls, or scurries along the ground. Several verses in Leviticus chapter 11 gives us a little more insight into what was included as a creeping thing:
Leviticus 11:20-23 All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.
Leviticus 11:29-30 These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon.
Verses 20-23 tell us that all insects are creeping things. I know a lot of people accuse the Bible of claiming that insects have four legs when they actually have six. But it does no such thing! The Bible simply counts the first two pairs of legs as being the same, and then adds in the last pairs as different from the other four. Scientifically speaking...this is accurate. The back set of legs are very different from the first two sets. This difference is obvious in insects like grasshoppers and katydids, but it also exists in other insects like ants and honeybees.
Verse 29 tells us that some mammals were also categorized as creeping things. Moles are specifically mentioned, so other insectivores such as shrews and hedgehogs would also be considered creeping things. Mice and mouse-like animals are also mentioned - bringing the majority of rodents into this category as well. That these two types of animals are mentioned gives us a general idea of what other mammals would be in this category, anything that scurries along the ground would be considered a creeping thing. This would include weasels, all of the smaller rodents, and many other small mammals (bandicoots, squirrels, badgers, etc).
The ending of verse 29, along with verse 30, speaks of reptiles - specifically several types of lizards. It appears that any type of lizard, large or small, is considered a creeping thing.
Finally, verses 41 and 42 show us the general definition of a creeping thing: “And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth...
So any animal that crawls along the ground is a creeping thing. This includes animals that crawl on their belly (such as snakes and caecilians), animals that crawl on four legs (such as lizards, frogs and rodents), and animals that have multiple legs (such as insects, spiders, and millipedes). This is the definition of a creeping thing - and they were all made from the dirt on day 6!
      1. Beasts Of The Earth

Essentially, this category includes every other land animal.  Generally speaking, this includes all of the larger land animals that hold themselves up off the ground. Mammals like rhinos, kangaroos, apes, bears, cats and entelodonts are all beasts of the earth. Other beasts of the earth include larger reptiles, such as dinosaurs and the bigger types of dicynodont, and even the large flightless birds known as ratites.
All of these fall into the broader category of “beasts of the earth.”

Species Vs. Biblical Kind

Genesis 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
In these two verses, we see the phrase “according to its kind” five different times. Understand that the animal kinds that were created on day 6 weren’t necessarily what we consider “species”.
Today we have almost nine million species of living animals classified. But the boundaries of Biblical kinds are much broader. What defines an animal kind? Simply put...any animals that can breed together and produce offspring are members of the same Biblical kind of animal. This means that donkeys, horses and zebras are all the same kind of animal. Lions, tigers and leopards are the same kind of cat - even though they’re different species. All eight species of bear are members of the same kind.
How does this apply to the creation week? God created each kind of animal with an enormous amount of genetic information written on their DNA. This amount of information would result in a number of variations from individual to individual. Elephants, for example, would have individuals with longer hair, others with shorter hair, and still others with hardly any hair at all. Some wolves may have had lighter colored hair, some may have had very dark hair, and most would have had a variety of colors at the same time. All of these variations - as well as others that affected size and shape - were confined within each kind of animal.
As the animals began to gradually lose some of this information, the various kinds of creatures began to separate even further, into species within the kind. (This wouldn’t have happened much before the flood – so the creatures in the ark were probably good representatives of the original kinds. But in the new environments that formed after the flood, this “speciation” really took off.)
To illustrate how this happened, lets take a look at the wolf kind:
As we have already said, the original kind that was created had the information for both long and short hair. As members of this kind began to populate the cold arctic areas (after the flood), those that were born with shorter hair had no defense against the cold weather. Because of this, the short-haired varieties froze to death and failed to pass that information on to the next generation. So within a few generations, the arctic population became strictly long-haired wolves.
At the same time, a similar change occurred in the color of the wolves’ hair. The animals with darker hair would have been easily spotted by their prey against the snow-covered ground of the Arctic. They would have had a much harder time hunting down their food; while the light-haired individuals would’ve had a much easier time. After several generations, the light coloration would become the dominant trait among this wolf population.
Put these two adaptations together and - voila! - you get the Arctic Wolf! These types of changes were occurring all over the world after the flood, as the highly adaptable kinds began to change into the various species inside their new habitats. The original big cat kind descended into both lions and leopards. The original elephant kind radiated into huge and hairy mammoths as well as small and naked dwarf elephants.
Don’t get confused, though! This adaptation is not evolution! The theory of evolution requires massive amounts of added information, but this speciation occurs because of the loss of genetic information! Many times, so much of the original information is lost that the resulting species no longer retains the ability to interbreed with other members of its kind...meaning that they no longer have any way to regain the information that was lost! If these new species were then placed in a different environment, they would no longer have the means to adapt and would quickly go extinct.
The theory of evolution has tried for over a hundred years to eliminate the boundaries between animal kinds. Every animal that has ever existed, evolutionists say, must have evolved from another type of animal. Bats evolved from shrew-like creatures. Birds evolved from reptiles. Whales evolved from hoofed land-animals. This is what is taught in modern biology classes - in spite of the fact that none of this has ever been observed!
What we see is entirely different from this evolutionary “ad hoc” story! We do see many types of animals changing - sometimes it’s in size, sometimes it’s in color, sometimes it’s in habits. But what we never see, is one kind of animal changing into another kind. Although we’ve seen many different changes inside the horse kind, we’ve never seen anything other than horses! We’ve seen many changes in the finch kind - but we’ve never seen a finch change into something other than a finch! There are definite boundaries within the genetics of every animal - and these boundaries were there from the beginning. These are the boundaries of the created kind.

What We See Now Isn’t How It Was Then

When you’re picturing the creation of the land animals, it’s easy to imagine lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, and polar bears walking around. But this is not at all what it would’ve been like!
God didn’t directly create lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards and snow leopards on day six. Instead, He created the big-cat kind. This original kind had all the genetic information that was necessary to produce each of these different species, but it wouldn’t have looked very much like any of them!
Zebras, giraffes, and polar bears wouldn’t have been there either. Each of them is a member of a much larger kind that was created on day 6. Instead of zebras, you would’ve seen the original horse kind (the ancestor to horses, zebras and donkeys). Instead of giraffes (as we know them today) you would have seen the ancestor to the giraffe and okapi. Polar bears have descended from the original bear kind (what would’ve been seen on day 6) through the same process that brought about the Arctic Wolf - the loss of information for short or dark hair.
In the very last sentence of Genesis 1:25, we can see another way that creatures back then differed from creatures now, “And God saw that it was good.” Things were good. This wasn’t an animal kingdom that was filled with violence and bloodshed - like we see now. You see, there were no predators. There were no parasites. There was no hunting. Everything in the animal world was at peace.
So, what about the animals that are predators now? What were they eating then? At the risk of jumping too far ahead, let’s take a look at Genesis 1:29-30 to find the answer: “And God said [to Adam], “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
The animals were vegetarians! Every one of them lived on fruits, seeds, and leaves. That means every animal that we call a predator now - from snakes, to weasels, to the mighty T-rex - was originally a plant-eater. Everything was good!

A World That Was Ready

By the end of the sixth morning, the world was ready for God’s final creation. The seas were filled with aquatic plants and animals. The skies were lit up by the sun, moon and stars and were filled with all kinds of flying creatures. Dry land was beautifully decorated by plants and supplied with fruits and vegetables; while each and every kind of animal was roaming about freely, feasting on the fresh vegetation. Now it was time for world to know what...or rather, who...it was created for!

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