We’ve all heard the old adage that visiting relatives and fish have the same thing in common – after a few days they both start to stink. And after a few days, there is nothing worse than the smell of rotting fish. (I want to clarify right now that this is not true with my family or my wife’s family and that it is only something that others often say).
But what does rotting fish have to do with one’s ancestors?
In a recent news report, the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom conducted a study in which they watched the decaying process of fish and their soft tissue parts. According to the researchers, “Our earliest fish-like relatives left fossil remains which have the potential to show us how the group to which we belong evolved from worm-like relatives. But there is a major problem – people are familiar with bones, and teeth as fossils but do not perhaps realize that before these inventions our ancestors consisted of entirely soft bodied creatures. Eyes, organs, guts and muscles all decompose very quickly after death, and as any forensic scientist knows recognizing rotted anatomy is difficult. Fossils from 500 million years ago provide our only direct evidence of how our earliest vertebrate ancestors evolved from the simple worm-like animals. “
So basically, the team of scientists have spent hour upon hour with the putrid stench of rotting fish so that they could better identify or learn to read the fossil remains of our earliest ancestors. If you ask me, this whole research project stinks.
If you want to study my ancestors, start with Genesis 1:26-28 when God created Adam. On the maternal side, start with Genesis 2:18-23 when God made Eve from Adam’s rib. Without doubt, these are my (and your) greatest grandparents.
Adam and Eve gave birth to Seth. Seth was the father of Enosh who was the father of Kenan who was the father of Mahalalel who was the father of Jared who was the father of Enoch who was the father of Methuselah who was the father of Lamech who was the father of Noah (Genesis 5).
Approximately 1500 years after the creation of Adam and Eve, the world had become so wicked that God regretted ever having made man. He was determined to destroy the earth and everyone on it, however Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (how many of you are humming the tune right now?) and God spared Noah and his family.
In Genesis 6-8, we learn about the Flood that God sent upon the face of the earth. The Flood wiped out all human life except 8 individuals whom God chose to save by having them build an Ark. Those 8 people consisted of Noah, his wife, his three sons, Ham Shem and Japheth, and their wives. Therefore Noah is also my ancestor. As a matter of fact, like Adam, Noah is the ancestor to every person who has lived over the past 4500 years.
If you want to follow your ancestry, I strongly suggest Adam’s Chart of History.
The only way I can conceivably see any correlation between dead rotting fish and my ancestors would be to study the remains of those fish that were buried during the Genesis Flood. It would help me understand part of the world that was destroyed by the Flood when God judged an earth filled with sin. It should also make you concerned about today’s world that is also filled with sin. If the idea of God’s coming judgment gives you cause for concern for your eternal future, I strongly urge you to read God’s rescue plan so that you will be prepared for the coming Day of Judgment.