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Semantics, Variation and Migration

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This week I am responding to a comment left on Facebook and two left on the Creation Revolution website.  I hope you all find the responses helpful.

From Facebook:

Common Sense, Miracles, and the Apparent Age of the Earth

From Dennis H:

It’s an old earth. 6000 years is a long time. stop making concessions to evolution by calling it a young earth.

Response:

Creation Revolution Actually, it’s not making concessions to evolution. It is an accurate depiction of the opposite views of an Earth only 6000 years old compared to the evolutionary belief in 4 billion years old. Since 6000 years is only 0.00015% of 4 billion years, I would definitely call that young versus old.

Saturday’s Answer:

Dennis, semantics can be very important at times, especially when used to identify differences in belief systems.  You comment that 6000 years is old, for instance in a human life span, that would be quite old.  However, we are not talking about human life spans.  We are talking about the age of the earth.

You believe that by using the term, ‘young earth’ that we are making concessions to evolution.  I have to disagree.

You see, it is not just evolutionists that we have to contend with.  Many well meaning Christians also believe in anrabbits, Australia,  old earth of billions of years.  They use a variety of compromised views to justify their belief in an ‘old earth.’  Those views include the Gap Theory, theistic evolutionists, day-age theory, progressive creationism, Framework Hypothesis and several other more fringe ideas.    Many of these Christians who have bought into these various theories believe in an old earth, but not in biological evolution.  Some even use a blended distortion of creation and evolution, but they all believe in an old earth of billions of years.

And as I pointed out in my brief Facebook response that 6,000 years is only 0.00015% of 4 billion years, then it seems fitting to use the term young earth in comparison to the old earth believed by others.

If we used the term old earth to refer to a creation only 6,000 years ago and others use the same term to refer to a creation 4 billion years ago, who would know the difference?  There has to be some way to designate the fact that we take God at His Word when He tells us that He created the earth, universe and all life on earth in 6 literal 24 hour days.  Semantically speaking, using young earth seems to be the most logical fit for that designation.  I pray you understand.

Rat Poison that Works in Reverse

From Evan:

I see where you’re going in your logic. It makes sense, for example, that Adam and Eve started with immortality genetic code and the code was corrupted in the garden, then went downhill since (only recently moving upwards due to increases in standard of living and scientific advances in medicine).

However, the problem here is, would God have created rats with this poisonous capability on a paradise planet during the Eden era? For what purpose when Earth was originally intended to be a peaceful sanctuary? This particular theory to try and refute evolution just doesn’t pan out.

Response:

There are many things about God and His creation that we do not know or understand.  Why did God make some animals and plants highly toxic?  What use would a snake’s or spider’s venom have before the Fall?  The list of such questions could fill a book, but I think you know what I mean.

From all of the studying I have done over the years, it seems that the best answer is that God, being outside of time, knows everything – omniscient.  Therefore, wouldn’t He have built in certain traits in plants and animals to help them survive in the fallen world?

In His infinite wisdom, He provided the genetic information that not only allows the African crested rat to grow a very one-of-a-kind type of hair, possess an apparent immunity to the toxin of the poison-arrow tree and the built in knowledge of how to use the poison to their own defense.

It doesn’t make sense to believe in an omniscient God and yet believe that He was naïve enough not to provide his creation with traits that would help them survive in a sin cursed fallen world.

There are a number of articles related to this issue at Death and Suffering. One article in particular you will helpful is Understanding poisons from a creationist perspective.

I hope this helps explain and answer your question.

Camas, Zorses and Wholphins

From Bill M:

I, too, am curious about how all the species of flora and fauna in the new world got here. If the good Mr. Jolly would be so kind as to elucidate his understanding of how all the multiplicity of species formerly and currently inhabiting North and South America had time to get here, spread out so far and wide, and even in some cases to go extinct (i.e. the Pleistocene megafauna who suddenly went extinct in the Quaternary) in the paltry few thousand years between the flood and the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. I am not saying this necessitates billions or even millions of years, but I cannot see how there was sufficient time for the species to have sprung up and gotten to the Americas in a time scale consistent with Bishop Usher’s chronology.

I am honestly asking Mr. Jolly to help me understand.

Response:

There have been numerous modern examples of animals and plants that have been introduced into a new area and their populations exploded exponentially.  For instance, look at the rabbits in Australia or starlings in the US.  It only took a couple decades for rabbits and starling to fill the entire continent.  In the American southwest, wild burros that move into a new area, start breeding as young as 9 months old.  The burro population quickly increases until they over run an area.

When population pressures are removed from a species, they respond by reproducing younger and more offspring tend to survive.  Hence the population rapidly flourishes.  The same would have been true for the animals coming off the Ark.  There would have been zero population pressures on them from the onset.  Population numbers would have skyrocketed in a very short time.

There was also an entire world of empty environments and niches for them to fill.  Many of the kinds of animals (dog/wolf kind, cat kind, horse kind, etc.) would have dispersed into new territories while also rapidly reproducing.  This would have results in populations being separated from each by various environments and just pure distance.  The results would have been very rapid speciation throughout many different kinds.

Studying population dynamics, it is quite conceivable that this rapid reproduction, dispersal and speciation took place within the first 200-300 years following the Flood.  Around that time, many climates began to change as the dynamics of the Flood created the setting for the Ice Age.  As climates changed, many of the newly created species would have died off because they no longer contained enough genetic variation to help them adapt the new environments.  Over the duration of the Ice Age, which probably lasted about 500 years, numerous species would have died out and gone extinct.

There is strong evidence to support the theories that for some time after the Flood there was a significant land bridge between the Asian and North American continent.  The same is possibly true for Australia.  Many animals would have crossed these land bridges and rapidly spread out across the empty continents.

In addition to the land bridges, a number of prominent creation scientists believe that there were huge floating mats of trees and vegetation on which a vast number of smaller animals would have been transported from one shore to another.  Thirdly, man has often taken a variety of animals, (pets, livestock, etc) with him when he migrates to a new area.

If you want a more detailed response, I would highly recommend the Creation Answers Book.

Creation Answers Book

Author: Dr Don Batten (with contributing editors Dr David Catchpoole, Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Dr Carl Wieland)
The Creation Answers Book provides biblical answers to over 60 important questions that everyone wants to know on creation/evolution and the Bible! Not only does it answer your own questions, but equips you to effectively respond to those that resist the Gospel due to worldly teaching on origins. This important work is a ‘must have’ for anyone’s library!

Includes answers to over 60 of the most-asked questions in the following 20 categories:

Does God exist?
Six days? Really?
What about gap theories?
What about carbon-14 dating?
How can we see distant starlight in a young universe?
What about arguments for evolution?
How did bad things come about?
Who was Cain’s wife?
Were the ‘sons of God’ and/or the ‘nephilim’ extra-terrestrials?
Was the Flood global?
What about continental drift?
What about all that water?
How did all the animals fit on the Ark?
How did fresh/saltwater fish survive?
Where are all the human fossils?
How could animals get to places like Australia?
Were there really ice ages?
How did the different races arise?
What about dinosaurs?
What can I do?

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