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EXTINCTIONS AND THE FLOOD

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by Kirby D. P., Sep 10, 2017.

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  1. Hi, folks. A friendly atheist here. I’ve been thinking about the tale of Noah’s ark and something occurred to me that I don’t recall ever hearing discussed (or at least discussed in any meaningful detail) by the more popular apologists in lecture, or debate or youtube vids.

    I admit, it is exactly the nitpicky thing a skeptic would ask, but I promise I do not offer it here as an excuse for some sort of fight. I am just genuinely interested in thoughts from people of faith. Also, it is a little science-y. I am neither a scientist nor an expert and I do not expect anyone here to be, either. If you know of a site or some other resource that would present a good faith-based perspective, I’d definitely be glad to check it out.

    Anyway, here’s my question:

    Acknowledging that God commanded Noah to take between 1 and 7 pairs of each kind of animal with him on the ark to keep them from being blotted out from the world, to wit: “…two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive,” Gen. 6:20 (KJV), what are some (of your own) Christian thoughts on the extinction of what is estimated to be several billion animal species between then (let’s allow roughly 4,000 years ago) and now?

    I know there is controversy among certain Christians over the distinction between “species” and “kinds” of animals. But I think the issue is ambivalent to both classifications. It is just as valid to ponder the extinction of species like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops as that of “kinds” like bipedal dinosaurs and quadruped, horned dinosaurs.

    I wonder because the reason God charges Noah with his mission is explicitly “to keep them alive,” or, in other words, to stave off extinction.

    The range of answers I can imagine (which is, admittedly, quite a limitation) are:

    1. These animals became extinct BEFORE the flood. But this conflicts with notions that the fauna of the Earth is eternal from generation to generation, etc. And it conflicts with assertions like, “Dinosaurs accompanied Noah and his family in the ark.”

    2. These animals became extinct AFTER the flood. But this would seem to conflict with God’s omniscience and/or omnipotence. If he knew they would become extinct after the flood, he did not mention it to Noah. There is no mention in the rest of the Bible that God reconsidered he decision to keep such species/kinds alive, nor does/do the author(s) of the Bible mention nor even seem to notice the vanishing of such a vast diversity of wildlife (several times more varied than what we can observe today). Indeed, there is no extra-Biblical evidence that humans noticed this striking decimation of huge swaths of the animal kingdom over the brief course of 4000 years. And this great extinction is even more dramatic. To the best of my knowledge there is no record of any mass extinction since the time of Christ, so these creatures must have almost all perished in just the two millennia between Noah and the crucifixion. It seems inconsistent that God deliberately saved all kinds of animals just 2,000 years after creation without either knowing that they were all going to go extinct in the subsequent 2,000 years, or without being able save them during those 2,000 years. Or choosing (without informing any humans) to allow them to become extinct.

    3. Specific “species” may have become extinct since Noah, but representatives of their “kinds” still survive. If this is the case, then we should be able to identify extant representatives today of every “kind” of animal thought to have been extinct. So, Triceratops might be extinct, but its “kind” survives. One could argue that Tricerotops and rhinos are of the same “kind,” but not any more persuasively than claiming a surviving relic of Ticeratops’s “kind” is the Nile Crocodile. And, I would argue, any definition of the term “kind” that would include any two of rhino, croc and Triceratops is so ambiguous as to be meaningless, and that the diversity of wildlife it is suggested Noah took onboard the Ark exceeds his instructions of between 2 and 7, and NO MORE THAN 2 and 7, pairs of each kind of creature.

    4. No animals have ever gone extinct. But this is to ignore evidence for the extinction of literally billions of different species and does not explain the apparent absence of any of these creatures in the present day.

    5. All evidence of extinct species are forgeries. It would be easy to scoff at this as absurd, but even if we refrain from doing so, proponents of young Earth creation would have to go back and entirely re-jigger what theories they have developed till now. Did Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops ever actually exist? If so, why are they not around today? If not, why assert they rode in the Ark with everybody else. And why haven’t young Earth creation scientists successfully debunked such hoaxes?

    I’ll also add that a fallen world state should have no bearing on the matter. Noah’s flood occurred long after the expulsion from Eden. The animals God saved through Noah were of a world every bit as fallen as today. Indeed, one could argue, the world into which the flood survivors emerged was substantially more pure, having been ritually cleansed by floodwaters, than the world they left behind. Yet, if they existed at any time, they are definitely (well… almost certainly) extinct now. Remember, BILLIONS of species.

    Just for fun, one high-end estimate of extinct species tallies them at about 5 billion. (Again, how many “kinds” these represent is not the interesting part, at least for me.) If we allow 1,447 BC as the exact year of the food (A typical given date. I found this one in an essay at creation.com) and species began to suffer extinction at regular intervals from the moment they disembarked, about 164 species would have to have been dying off on the hour, every hour, of every day since then till now.

    I don’t point this out as any kind of “gotchya.” I just think it’s a cool and staggering permutation of what is necessitated by a literal reading of the Ark narrative.

    As I say, I am genuinely interested in any of your thoughts. I have made a very cursory sampling of available young Earth creation material, especially Answers in Genesis. Everything I’ve examined so far has struck me as intellectually unsatisfying and technically insufficient. However, if you have a good opinion of any particular resource I would be just as happy to discuss those as well.

    Thank you for any consideration. I look forward to dialoging with any of you. Cheers.

    KIRBY
     
  2. Obviously I'm not God, some of us don't presume to speak for Him.

    There are many times Christians are tried and tested. Why? If God already knows the outcome, why even bother?
    It could be the testing isn't for His sake.. it's for ours. He may already know where our hearts and loyalty are today.
    But we don't. We just think we do. Often after we are tested, the answer wasn't exactly what we thought it was.
    (As Peter, who said he would never deny Jesus just less than 24 hours before.... )

    God may have known that certain species were going to become extinct. In that case, why even create them at all?
    But was it God who caused them to be extinct... or man? Right now no man can say "God caused them to go extinct".
    Because man has existed well... at least since the time of Noah. More than likely it was man who caused this.

    The same question has been asked of the giants, the people in Sodom and Gomorrah, Pharaoh and the Egyptians following the
    Israelites across the Red Sea. Why even create them at all, if you know they're just going to die rebelling against God?

    Millions of people die every year. Most of them don't know Jesus. Some of them possibly never even got the chance to know Him.
    But millions of them have heard of Jesus. That includes you or you wouldn't be here asking questions.
    He knows you're going to die some day. He knows how and He knows when. He even knows if you will be a Christian when it happens.
    ... but you don't...
    You have the chance to avoid hell and eternal damnation. You even know what to do about it. No one is stopping you.
    Is your dying less important to God than a species of extinct animal?
    God may know the future, but He doesn't make our decisions for us. I'm of the opinion everything He does is for His glory...
    not ours (as some Christians seem to believe). But the Bible says His desire that all men be saved. So why aren't they?
    The simple answer is freedom of choice. If anyone who has heard of Jesus chooses to go to hell, it wasn't because God
    wanted them to go there.

    It could be, that God knew some animals wouldn't be around by this time. But even if He did, it wasn't necessarily His
    choice for them to be extinct. Nothing can happen unless God allows it to happen, but He allows us to make choices.

    You may not believe in God, but He loves you. For those of us who's lives have been changed, ... and well who have
    known Him while going through the tough times... well, nothing can ever convince us otherwise.
     
  3. The planet was very different after the flood, climate had changed everything, so possibly the dinosaurs (dragons as they were previously known) couldnt cope and any that were left died off or were hunted down. We know from their fossils many were huge but also cold blooded obviously many would never survive the cold and extreme weather we now have. Theres still alligators and crocs in parts of the planet and iguanas, nz even has tuataras so these kinds of lizards did cope.

    I would not stress about extinct animals if I were you. you cant bring them back...they are dead and gone.The important thing is God created man in His image so get to know your maker so you dont meet the fate of extinction of your soul.
     
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  4. Hi, B-A-C. Thank you for the well-considered thoughts.

    Please know I would never put you in the hot seat to speak on God’s behalf. Also, I accept a certain level of inscrutability as part of any Judeo-Christian religious worldview. When appropriate, I am happy to offer my criticisms of it. But in contexts such as this, I acknowledge they are the civil rules of the road, as it were, and I try to abide them.

    However, that inscrutability is not held to be absolute, as 2,000 years of theological study and controversy shows. Neither Paul nor Thomas Aquinas ever shied from trying to illuminate the murkier meanings behind certain Laws and Gospels. And even today people like William Lane Craig (who, full disclosure, I find ethically repugnant) offers whole bodies of work attempting to explicate mysteries as deep as the apparent horror of God requiring the Hebrews to commit what today would be legally culpable as genocide under Joshua.

    Along those same lines, my concern is not really over the welfare of extinct species. With the few (though still too numerous) exceptions of species that have definitely perished at the hand of Man, I see no objective fault in mass extinction whether it is a characteristic of an entirely materialist world or some facet of a divinely wrought cosmic order.

    But I am keenly intrigued to know of any modern apologetic that attempts to explain the necessity of, and any deeper meaning to, this apparent inconsistency in God’s behavior. It’s not like the Bible is bashful about detailing ominous intersections between the animal kingdom and humanity. The she bears who devour the children. The lions who don’t devour Daniel. The cavalcade of horrible frogs, locusts, flies and gnats in Egypt. To say nothing of specific paeans to wildlife and their various aspects in the Genesis creation, the Flood, and in Job.

    God explicitly tells Noah to keep all animal kinds alive. I’ll accept that he privately knew that most… almost ALL… of those species were fated to go extinct over the ensuing 1,500-2000 years. But the fact this exceptional act of physical salvation warrants such a hot spotlight in Genesis while its very undoing merits nary a word over the rest of the Old and New Testaments is jarringly peculiar.

    If I were a presuppositional apologist, I think I would find in this mystery the basis for a major theological investigation… maybe an entire career.

    As mentioned, I found the caliber of thought at Answers in Genesis on this matter rather famished. To me, the “strongest” explanation they offer is inadequate in substance and evades the issue altogether. If you like I can go back and find the article, but it essentially claims that it is possible that ancient animals like dinosaurs have not gone extinct but have instead become incredibly rare, surviving in hidden, out of the way places we don’t know about.

    While this is “technically possible,” the only supporting evidence they offer are examples of so called “living fossils” such as the coelacanth and the horseshoe crab… that, rare or commonplace, occupy very clear and explicable slots in present day ecology. But worse, the argument avoids not one but TWO elephants in the front parlor:

    1. Have billions of species gone extinct or not? Answer: Maybe, or maybe they’re just hiding.

    2. IF billions of species (again, it doesn’t matter how many KINDS these species represent – whether it’s a “specie” or a “kind” there are no more Tyrannosauruses at large) DIDN’T become extinct, WHERE are these secret hiding places? We know how much space the known life on planet Earth occupies if left to its own devices: roughly 1 planet Earth. But all reasonable estimates of the relative sizes between varieties of extinct life and known current life show the number of extinct species is several TIMES that of surviving ones.

    If the not-really-extinct animals persist in hidden, unknown regions of the Earth, they are being sustained there by uncommon, almost necessarily supernatural forces. I won’t say that’s impossible, but it is extraordinary in the context of all human knowledge and any natural scientist, especially any young earth creation Christian scientist, should leap at the chance to investigate. And even if that is not something they are particular inspired to pursue, if it is a hypothesis they want people to find convincing, they have a duty to pursue it.

    Are you aware of any other resources where Christian theologians, apologists or scientists might tackle this conundrum? Or do you have any additional thoughts?

    Thanks again for taking such time.

    I promise, during the whole of this exchange I am definitely thinking about God, his plausible plan for the universe, Jesus, his plausible gambit for my salvation, and whether I have any reason to think there is an afterlife. So, if that enhances chances of me seeing the light, then please know your time is not wasted.

    KIRBY
     
  5. Hi, Lanolin. Thank your for the reply and kind thoughts.

    I won’t repeat much of my above reply to B-A-C, though please scan it of you have a chance. I am not particularly perturbed over the mass extinction of so many species (though I would be horrified to learn that humans were responsible for even a modest fraction of so much carnage).

    As admitted, I am an Atheist. For me (flavors of atheist are probably as varied as flavors of Christian) this means I don’t see sufficient evidence to believe in any god. I assume and accept that you are not of this same opinion. However, I am more or less obsessed with the basic, fundamental characteristics of the universe. Hence, IF there is such a thing as God or any god, I feel absolutely compelled to know it and to understand as much about it as I can. I am also a myth/legend/history/science buff and since exploring Western religions scratches all those itches, so much the better. Also, along the way, you never know, I just might meet God and Jesus and sign onto the team. We’ll see.

    Back to the point of my inquiry, though, the animal kingdom is no small part of God’s creation in Genesis. One perspective that has some basis in a straightforward reading of scripture is that plants and animals were the main objective of the creation and that Adam’s function was as an assistant to God. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Gen 2:15, KJV)

    God’s efforts to save the seed of all animal life from the flood is consistent with that purpose. Certain Christian apologists are adamant that prehistoric creatures like Stegasaurus rode in the ark with Noah. If so, then these animals have since vanished. If they are extinct, this is explicitly INconsistent with God’s claimed desire, “to keep them alive.”

    Maybe God did not actually care whether the animals survived or not, only that Noah strove to save them on God’s behalf because it would benefit his soul. Maybe God had some reason to slaughter as much as 90% of all life(!) after the Flood for reasons we can only conjecture. But then the Bible is inconsistent when it expands in detail about the creation of wildlife and their salvation from the flood, but remains mute on their rapid dissolution immediately thereafter. The “fun” numbers I calculated in my original post spread these extinctions regularly over time ever since the Flood. But we can say with some confidence that virtually none of the creatures thought to have been extinct by our modern day survived after the life of Jesus, since the Fall of Rome, etc. etc. Truncating the possible time for the extinctions to as little as 1,400 years. Spread out evenly, that requires almost 400 whole species going extinct each hour, or an average of about 6 SPECIES PER MINUTE! The Earth must have been an intolerable, nightmarish, endless slaughterhouse… for one and a half millennia.


    Even I would admit that such a thing could probably only be a supernatural miracle. Though not a very savory one.

    But, good or bad, it must have been absolutely IMMENSE. I think it is completely reasonable to inquire as to why such an epochal event, if it did happen, is not at least even mentioned alongside many other comparatively unimpressive events in the Bible.

    One could argue the extinctions occurred BEFORE the flood, to wit: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” (Gen 6:7, KJV) This refers to the evils of nature as opposed to the evils of Man, which the Bible calls out separately. It is conceivable that this “corruption of earth” entailed extinctions, but the clear implication of the ark’s billet is ALL kinds of creatures were saved, not just the clean, but also the unclean:

    “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.” (Gen 7:2, KJV)

    There’s no “…except dinosaurs, pterosaurs, smilodons, mammoths, archaeopteryx, dimetrodons, edaphosaurus, giant land sloths, dire wolves, meganeura, moschops…” You begin to see the scope of the problem.

    I am not saying that here, at last, is proof-positive the Scriptures are not true. However, if there is any truth or vital message to be found in them, this is a mystery that would not only be “nice” to solve, it demands solution. It’s waving a flag demanding, “Hey. Look over here. I am very conspicuously not mentioning a MAJOR event… for a REASON.”

    Faithless as I am, my explanation to this mystery is pedestrian and not exactly charitable. But I would guess that some devout Christian has taken note of this paradox and gone to the effort of deconflicting it, maybe persuasively enough to convince even me.

    Knowing aaaaaaaall that’s on my mind now, would you add anything?

    :)

    Thanks,

    KIRBY
     
  6. No, not really I would say they became extinct after the flood, as said in my post. Big climate change happened after the flood, before it, we did not have seasons as we do now. If you read Genesis...the seasons happened after the displacement of water (it was so great that the earth actually tilted, that is why the north and south poles are on an angle)

    I don't see the issue really, God is always in control. If you read the bible, there's dragons listed in there, and as we can see, the serpent originally had legs, after the fall, it was cursed to crawl on it's belly. So...whatever you like to speculate is fine, but look because YOU weren't there at the time, we can only guess but you can always ask God cos He was!!! He knows all the mysteries so if it's really bugging you that much, ASK HIM.
     
  7. When things are bugging me I just pray and ask God and He usually tells me to look a passage up in His Word and that's the answer.

    Try it.
     
  8. @Kirby D. P. Acknowledging that God commanded Noah to take between 1 and 7 pairs of each kind of animal with him on the ark to keep them from being blotted out from the world, to wit: “…two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive,” Gen. 6:20 (KJV), what are some (of your own) Christian thoughts on the extinction of what is estimated to be several billion animal species between then (let’s allow roughly 4,000 years ago) and now?

    Hi Kirby

    Would you mind explaining where you get the 'billions' of extinct animals. I assume it is from the missing links needed to support evolution.

    I am not a YEC, but I have heard some say Noah took dinosaur eggs on the ark. I could argue from a YEC perspective that God envisioned shortening our lifespan / flood causing atmospheric changes which resulted in us not growing as large as we were prior to the flood, making the need for larger dinosaurs impractical in the new earth. A T-Rex has much higher survivability odds over the dodo, so I do believe many YEC's have a hard time explaining the missing dinosaurs today. Not saying they can't.

    I believe the dinosaur age was pre Adam. This belief is still possible with a literal reading of Genesis. So, I don't believe billions of animals have gone extinct.

    If I did believe in evolution I would be enquiring of the missing centillions of animals though, not measly billions.
     
  9. Hello, KingJ.

    I know almost everyone has their own particular understanding and opinion on things like evolution and relative timelines for creation. I’ve long since understood that trying to convince anyone to adopt my own particular viewpoint, if it is not already somewhat compatible with their own, is seldom fruitful or fun.

    That having been said, there are still discussion topics that are accessible even coming from wildly divergent worldviews. Seeking these, I generally try to cleave to absolutely, or at least relatively, uncontroversial first assumptions.

    For instance, the current biodiversity of earthlife is generally not in dispute. Various scholarly sources cite a lower limit of at least one billion present day species, with numbers reaching as high as a trillion.

    Though extinction plays a major role in evolutionary theory, the fact of extinction itself is generally not in dispute. The very rough extrapolation of “5 billion+” total all time earthly species derives from an examination of available forensic evidence and an evaluation of how it relates to the set of living species. These estimates are admittedly speculative, but they are not wild guesses. And when we’re discussing numbers of species, even if the error bars encompass both lower numbers like 3,000,000,000 and higher numbers like 8,000,000,000, for the purposes of THIS discussion, I don’t think these matter much.

    As for specific sources, I hope you won’t think I’m trying to squirm out of it, but a crass answer would be to say, “Google it.”

    A more fun answer is, “Go here if you can at all possibly manage it. It’s awesome:
    Plan Your Visit
    …or here;
    Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History NMNH
    …or here:
    Home | Natural History Museum
    …or here:
    The Field Museum

    Also, I’d like to be extremely clear that I am discussing numbers of species, not individuals. For instance, there are about 1,000,000,000 Ovis aries (domesticated sheep) in the world, but this is only one species. So I am definitely interested in what amounts to centillions of missing individual creatures.

    When I strive to limit myself to publicly available facts and material explicitly described in the Bible, I also ask that others submit to this same stricture, if only for the sake of discussion. Hence, I’ll decline much conversation of extra-Biblical interpretation and speculation.

    The Bible may or may not mention dinosaurs in passing in the vernacular guise of “dragons,” or other cryptically named creatures. But neither it nor orthodox science ever proposes any “need” for “larger dinosaurs” at any point in Earth history. And the relative survivability odds between T-Rexes and dodos would be impossible to measure without a time machine, even if such criteria could be defined. Either way, the Bible is silent on the matter.

    I won’t challenge your notion that the age of dinosaurs may have been pre-Adamite and also consistent with a literal reading of Genesis. However, I would caution that a truly literal reading of Genesis affords a scant 1-2 days between the time when God begins creating life and the constitution of man. One common list of dinosaur genera (groups of species) has over a thousand entries, most subsuming many scores of daughter species. Quite a bunch to rise, thrive (including remains of eggs, nests, half-eaten/digested food, healed injuries, poop, gizzard stones, etc.) and go extinct in one heck of a hurry. If God is God, of course, nothing is impossible, but it is a bit of a big ask, and one of which the Bible declines any mention.

    Dinosaur ark passengers has become something of a cause celebre among YECs. For instance, Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter museum as taken great pains to depict the reality of this claim. (see photo)

    Ark Encounter really fudges around the gray edges of my “only what’s in the Scriptures” dictum, since the Noaic narrative says nothing that unmistakably describes dinos. But, if we allow (as Ark Encounter and virtually all other YEC organizations do) that dinosaurs ever existed, and Noah saved specimens of every kind of animal, then one must admit they rode in the ark as well.

    HOWEVER, there are no non-avian dinosaurs around to day. They are either extinct, or they are somehow hidden from human sight.

    If they are extinct, then Noah’s toils were for naught. Now, maybe God did not care about the relative ultimate success of Noah’s bid to save all animal kinds. Maybe what God cared about was teaching Noah something, or teaching later readers of the Bible something. But, if either of these explanations are true, it may not have mattered that he saved any actual dinosaurs in the first place. But neither the Bible nor any theologian (so far as I have been able to find) adequately explains this… or even attempts to except in a most embarrassingly dismissive way.

    If dinosaurs (and all the billions of “supposedly” extinct creatures the symbolize) are in fact NOT extinct but, instead, somehow still alive, yet hidden, then YEC scientists bear a huge and as-yet unacknowledged burden of proof. Because right now, the only credible reading of the evidence is the VAST majority of all types of life on Earth have already been extinguished, which is not what the Bible, in a literal sense, claims.

    Sorry to go on so.

    Would you by any chance know of anyplace I might look to see if this matter has been addressed by Bible literalists or YECs?

    Thanks! And thanks for the thoughts![​IMG]

    KIRBY
     
  10. I wonder if the reason that the Bible is silent on the topic of extinction is bexcuse there was no awareness of the concept at the time.

    It is only in the past couple of hundred years that we made systematic, scientific studies of nature. How would anyone have awareness of a species vanishing without access to the written records of previous generations?

    I'm not saying that biodiversity, preservation of endangered species, protecting fragile habitats is unimportant - just that our awareness of them is relatively recent. We are trying to extrapolate scientific understanding from a pre-scientific source, and it runs us into trouble.
     
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  11. One sees tracks in dirt and says "something or someone has passed here". Yet the very dirt upon which these tracks are found is believed to just have spontaneously appeared from nothing. :)

    Blindness or human arrogance? :(

    Draw a circle and bisect to the total of human knowledge known compared to yet to be known. Yet, you still acknowledge to be an atheist even though the possibility of a God is there!

    If you believed in only what you could see by direct observation then there is much you don't believe in or you take what others have observed at their word. There were over 500 witnesses to the resurrection of Christ. Believe now? ;)

    So, taking peoples word for things, depends on what "they" believe in and what within you is satisfied by what is said and less to anything clearly defined on your part. Jesus Christ said a parable very applicable to humanity in general. It's located in Luke 16 if you're ever curious, but the ending was poinent to what happened in that time and the disbelief that continues to this day. "...they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead."

    We who live in such an advanced societies that have seen man land on the moon, have disbelief on something witnessed to and died for throughout the ages. The wonder is what has Jesus said or done that would cause such disbelief?

    The Bible was written not to satisfy scientific curiosity or at a level where the intellectual would be the only one to understand it. Still it is challenging enough to confound the most intelligent in history and still communicate to the most humble or simplest of people that your Creator has a purpose and a reason for you to get to know him.

    Scripture says that the heavens declare His Glory.
    Of course you don't believe this?

    Then why be so concerned about a question if answered would still have you not believe in what the very heavens are trying to tell you and you refuse to see?

    Please I beg you to change your focus from what is dead to that who is Alive! One might satisfy your intellect, but the other will have you move alive than you've ever been before!

    Back to work!!!

    Always with the Love of Christ Jesus.
    Nick
    <><
     
  12. I recall reading that some YEC's believe only a few reptiles were needed to retain the dinosaur gene pool.

    Anyway, what is crystal clear is that there are not billions of extinctions of dinosaurs post flood. So I guess YEC's have to believe God cut down and made many extinct.

    There is a harmony to the wildlife that we currently have. A T-Rex running around would just not fit in. It points to intelligence and planning behind the current animal kingdom / God selecting those for the ark.

    I arrive at 'centillions plus' from probability ratios of unguided mutations needed to evolve. If you believe there are only a billion species for example (heck even a trillion), you have to believe in evolution being guided by God...or as some believe..spacemen.

    Lets assume a finger is ten different molecules from a pool of one hundred. The odds of a successful / winning combination are 1 in 17,310,309,456,440. There are probability ratios needed on 1. successful combination of molecules (make a finger), 2. successful positioning of the successful combination of molecules (finger on a hand), 3. then probability odds on beauty (spacing and position of two eyes). 4. Practicality (thumb on end of hand). The odds of forming a human from random mutation are insanely high. We should not be looking for a few missing links (one tiktaalik between fish and reptile). We should be looking for centillions of missing links.

    Evolution says we come from a flatworm 550 million years ago. It says we are visibly unchanged (no macro evolution) for 30 000 years. My problem with this is that it is hard to accept that there are only 18 333 (550 million / 30k) visible mutations between myself and a flatworm. I have discussed this with evolutionists and the only viable explanation is that evolution in a population can be fast. This is simply not an answer. Great, so a quintillion necessary visible mutations becomes....a trillion over...simply 550 million years....?

    If your probability odds of successful mutations are so insanely high, I would expect an insane number of mutations and differing species. We know the gene pool is massive. Imagine playing the lotto with such a pool.

    I am not saying that this is evidence of evolution being false. I have other reasons for that. Just that evolution theory is missing a couple centillion naughts on the big bang at 14 billions years ago. It seems evolutionists are restricting themselves to working within carbon dated fossil timelines.

    The verse that causes all the controversy: Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. These waters existed on the 'earth' prior to the earth being created. Points for many to the earth being redesigned for humans.

    My personal belief is that the dinosaurs existed at a time when fallen angels had dominion over the earth. There is much we don't know about them, but what we do know from scripture suggests they were more then capable of existing in such an environment. Example: Scripture says we are created '''just beneath'' angels. They think a lot like us. They are not way beyond our intelligence levels. They could have mastered genetics and kept themselves busy. God does not hate the fallen angels. He loves everyone. But He has to isolate them because they hate Him. So He gives them things to do. Giving them nothing to do = torture = hate.

    I don't think Noah had to try save animals as much as focus on the ark. God lead the animals to the ark. I think you need to visit a YEC apologist site. I just could not be bothered though. As I already fail at grasping God ever wanting a T-rex living with man. Perhaps the odd dragon flying around as a pet creation of some fallen angel. As we have with nephalim in the OT. But not a case of ''lets make man, lions, lambs...oh and a T - Rex.

    I would google Ken Ham and Kent Hovind.

    Nice chatting with you.
     
  13. Hey, Lanolin.

    Believe me, I ask him all the time about this stuff. I hear silence (and I do not deny this may only be a failing on my part) and I take it as a nudge to go see if I can find out for myself.

    I am perfectly content to play by the Bible’s internal rules here. I wasn’t there to see the Creation? Fair enough. I can’t say for sure which animals were on the ark? Okidoke. But that knife cuts both ways. The Bible says nothing about differences between weather prior to- and following the Flood. Perhaps climate kinda’ soured after the Fall, but there’s no indication of any additional change after that. While the amount of water mentioned in the Flood could, conceivably, have knocked the axis of the Earth’s rotation off kilter, there is absolutely no mention of anything even suggesting this in Scripture. Indeed, whoever composed the Scriptures speaks as if they had no notion that the Earth is an oblate spheroid, that it rotates around a polar axis, and revolves around the sun in space. People who retort that, “When the Bible was originally set down, its scribes were not sophisticated enough to grasp such astronomical details,” have no leg upon which to stand when they declare examples of Biblical omniscience.

    But I’m not so concerned about the missing animals. I’m much more interested in how believers square this apparent paradox: God tells Noah to save every clean and every unclean animal. In less time than passed between Creation and the Flood, all that animal-saving goes down the tubes. The Bible makes a big deal of telling us about the saving of those animals, then fails to mention an unparalleled carnival of blood over the ensuing 1,400 years, when it finds plenty of time to discuss how the neighborhood is to deal with dry rot in someone’s house (Lev 14:33-57).

    I’m not saying any of this is out of bounds for any omnipotent god. But if this is real, and if I care about living creatures (as I do) then it is not an oversight, and it is calculated to catch my attention, and impel me to learn if there is any meaning to this (in my opinon) bizarre paradox.

    I have prayed… Not lately, though. I don’t know if God ever told me to read any particular passage in the Bible. But I have definitely read ALL of the Bible. A few times. That’s why I’m here. With my questions. :)
     
  14.  
  15. The Bible does say about weather and conditions before the flood.

    Please look in your bible and tell me what Genesis 6:4 says.

    Does your bible say giants? How big were the dinosaurs?

    What about Genesis 6:7?

    Why was the earth filled with violence? Why did Noah find grace? Did Noah save the dinosaurs...it doesn't say...but it could have been he did not. The ark was only a certain size. God told Noah to take two of every sort. If you were Noah would you take giant flesh eating dinosaurs on board the ark? hmmm maybe not? Does that bother you? Everything else died.

    Genesis 8:22 explains 'summer and winter'. Remember before the flood it never rained. There was no such thing. Genesis 2:6 says there was a mist -- it was like paradise.

    Have a look in your Bible, humble yourself and ask God... show me what you mean.
    After Noah comes out of the ark and releases all the animals, God tells him what in chapter 9? especially verse 2. Do you wonder that not all animals are tame and some run AWAY from man? Why do we eat meat? verse 3. Why does God require sacrifice? Well if the earth is continuing to be violent God will require that life to be paid for verse 5. But see God has made a covenant with man and living creatures with the rainbow. He's not going to smite them or flood them anymore.

    If any animals have gone extinct after the flood it's man's doing not God's.
     
  16. Uh...yea the carnival of blood is not God.

    It's men's sinning.

    What happened if you read up to the New Testament Jesus blood poured out on the cross ended all that because he gave HIS life and blood for US.

    Which is a good thing because...Jesus own blood paid for our sin and he was raised from the dead. Now do you believe you can be forgiven? Man does a stink job of saving anything. We, through our sin, end up making a bloody mess.

    That's why we need a saviour! Jesus did it all.
     
  17. The Bible contains all we need to know. We need to speculate and reason among ourselves on many trivial issues. He gave us brains to do this, so we can.

    Only if you believe in evolution, no pre Adamic age or don't accept a few lizards representing all dinosaurs.


    Its a non issue. The issue is that there are scriptures that tell us that He loves animals and all of His creation. You are squeezing the bible for info that is simply not needed. I use to wonder why the bible does not go into further detail on hell, the abyss the devil is placed in for a thousand years, the current state of Hades. Take how He spoke to Adam and Eve in Gen 3 as an example. He gave a few examples of the pain of living outside of Eden. The important message was that it would be unpleasant in comparison. He did not mention many things.
     
  18. Hello, Hekuran.

    Believe me, I understand the temptation to make allowances for a prescientific mindset when reading the Bible. I am trying very hard to steer clear of using Biblical verse to extrapolate any scientific conclusions.

    That having been said, God’s injunction to Noah has always been understood as a hedge against worldwide extinction, even before “extinction” was codified as a scientific concept (in the 1700s or 1800s I think).

    And I am not indicting any apparent profligacy in the mass extinctions a literal reading of Noah necessitates. I am interested in knowing if modern (or even historical) apologists consider Noah’s mission a success and, if so, how do they treat of the huge die off?

    KIRBY
     
  19. Lanolin, please believe me, I am not attempting to “blame” God for any of the extinctions I mention. If there is any factual truth to the narratives in Genesis, I’ll agree that sinful humanity after the Fall would almost certainly be the culprit.

    However, I will take issue with a few of your assertions. I was not aware of any hypothesis that rain did not exist prior to the Flood. (Though, I’ll admit, it is consistent with the same logic claiming that rainbows did not exist before the flood, either.)

    My reading of the text, flawed though it must be, informs me that the workings of the Earth, after the Fall but prior to the Flood, are taken to be broadly as they have been since the Flood.

    I offer three specific textual points to back this up:

    "So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken." (Genesis 3:23) Ever since the Fall, Man has had to farm for his daily bread. That’s agriculture and agriculture is inextricably bound up with the march of the seasons: sowing, watering, harvesting, etc. The Bible mentions no caveat that farming was any different prior to the Flood, which, had it been so, would have been as alien to readers of the Bible as a Martian until less than 100 years ago and, for legibility among that audience, would have required an in-scriptural explanation. Otherwise there would have been a heated debate about this schism over the past 3,000+ years.

    The notion there was no such thing as rain prior to the flood is not supported in the text. Otherwise, there is a missing symmetry: if there was no rain BEFORE the Flood, then there should not be any rain ever SINCE the flood. At the end of the Flood, God banishes the floodwaters back to the "fountains of the deep," etc., whence they came. He does not promise no more rain. He promises no more worldwide floods. Moreover, the remarkable aspect of the Flood to the characters in the narrative is not, “Wow, what are these strange water drops falling from the sky?” but rather, “Wow, this is an insane amount of rain/tidal waves.”

    Finally, you cite Gen 8:22. This is not a case of God creating seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. He had explicitly already done that in Genesis 1, starting with the first Day and Night in Genesis 1:5. In 8:22 he is simply stipulating one of the main terms of the Noaic Covenant, that he foreswears ever again interrupting the natural cycles he established at the creation.

    The “giant” Nephilim of Gen 6:4 were the semi-supernatural offspring of “Sons of God” and human women. They were people. They were conspicuous because they were “giant,” but this could just as easily refer to their “renown” as their physical stature. In either case, they were only “giant” because all other humans were not. So there is no basis, at least within the Bible, to assert that any pre-Flood global conditions resulted in some general trend towards gigantism in nature.

    Yes. Some dinosaurs were pretty darn big. But even the biggest were pipsqueaks compared to blue whales. And they ranged in size all the way down to that of crows and rats. Saying that dinosaurs were giant is not inaccurate, but it is no more accurate than saying mammals are giant. Mammals such as mice.

    I do admit, however, Genesis 2:6 contains a clear and specific Biblical weather report. But this is unquestionably a weather report for the Garden of Eden and before the Fall. I accept that all bets are off regarding climate conditions prior to the Fall, but the flip side of that is such conditions are NOT up for grabs from the Fall onward.

    Anyway, most of these are side issues for me. I am not seeking any possible explanations for the biology or physics of any of the issues we are discussing here. I am interested in a Biblical and a Christian apologetic take on the meanings and merits of these extinctions. That they may have been caused by Man is also beside my point.

    The reason I am so focused on this is not because I am some denier who thinks he has finally found the one irrefutable falsehood in the Bible. I am focused on it because, in the Bible, GOD is focused on it. One of the top 2 or 3 controversies separating believers from nonbelievers is the uncommon extremes found in the Flood narrative. It could be that Noah accomplished all the things Genesis ascribes to him, even when nonbelievers insist these were just scientifically impossible. One thing EVERYONE – believers and nonbelievers alike, as well as the author(s) of the Bible – whether that’s God, Moses, or Bronze Age herdsmen – already agrees upon is that the Flood narrative is outstandingly uncommon in its claims, even unique.

    God commanded Noah to do something that everyone since is supposed to study and honor. But its highly unusual nature is SO unusual that many do not believe it was even possible. So God, being omniscient, accepted that “widespread incredulity” would be one effect of this project. If his goal was to have people believe just for the sake of believing, then he might have (though maybe not) arranged a much more believable episode. If sheer numbers of believers was not an objective, but incredulity was an unavoidable consequence, then the true objective was either to use belief/disbelief as a litmus test for piety, AND/OR the objective was to prevent mass extinction among Earthly wildlife.

    Before any nonbeliever … well … okay … me … Before I can consider whether this story merits any belief at all, I must know how much of it is to be taken literally, what the point(s) of the story are, and to what extent the world bears out the reliability of that(those) points.

    To sum up, I won’t argue that Man’s sinful character was not an underlying cause of these extinctions. Coulda’ been. I simply want to know, if God would and could save those species one day (through Noah), why he did not prevent the extinctions afterwards. I swear, that’s my whole quest (for this conversation).
     
  20. I've never considered the Noah story to be about extinction, and haven't come across the idea before. I don't see a strong case for it in the text.

    I'll take the scientists word for it that there have been 7billion extinctions, but cannot see any theological reason that they should be before or after the time of Noah. And the evidence is that extinctions have been a constant feature of life on earth, with five mass extinctions spread over hundreds of millions of years.

    The story of Noah represents a success in its own terms - it is one of the earliest stories that fit the judgement---salvation---restoration pattern. This reaches a climax with the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus and a final conclusion with the promise of God's ultimate restoration of creation.
     

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