NIV – And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning – the fifth day.
KJV – Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the water abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that [it was] good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
LXX – And God said, Let the waters bring forth reptiles having life, and winged creatures flying above the earth in the firmament of heaven, and it was so. And God made great whales, and every living reptile which the waters brought forth according to their kinds, and every creature that flies with wings according to its kind, and God saw that they were good. And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let the creatures that fly be multiplied on the earth. And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
The Hebrew word which the Alexandrian scholars translated ‘bring forth’ is actually a word meaning ‘swarm.’ In this case, then, it appears the NIV and King James are closer to the original meaning.
However it is interesting that it is specifically reptiles in the older version and ‘living creatures,’ in the King James and NIV! One must wonder whether or not the translators simply could not deal with the concept of reptiles in the water which had nephesh, or the breath of life. "Nephesh" is also translated in the Bible as heart, soul, mind, and will. It is also interesting that the winged creatures of the original is limited to birds in our versions today. It should be mentioned here that the Hebrews, and, in fact, many older cultures, defined animal types by their locomotion. If it flew, it was a bird, be it bat, pterodactyl or sparrow. If it swam, it was a fish, be it octopus, minnow, or whale. It is important to keep in mind that our current method of classifying animals is simply that – our current method. It works for the way we want to use it, but it is not the only way to classify them and is, in fact, relatively new in the history of man. Ours is not better; theirs is not better – they are simply different, and we need to understand and respect that.
It is here that we find the second time the verb ‘bara’ is used. This is the word that means something has been created from nothing. So what is it referring to with these larger of the animals? Their bodies are made of the same elements as the rest of creation, so it is not their bodies. Think about it. What is the difference between, say, a horse or dog or falcon, and a pine tree or fern? It seems so obvious, but how do you explain it? What is brand new about these animals?
The Bible refers to it as ‘nephesh,’ or the breath of life. This may imply lungs, for all the animals referred to in this passage have them. They have something else, too: individuality. Anyone who has ever had a pet dog, cat, horse, or even pot-bellied pig knows they each have individual personalities. They can be trained. They can each establish relationships with animals of other kinds and with humans. They can choose to obey or disobey. No guppy fits that definition. No fly fits that definition. But the animals with complex nervous systems do fit this definition. It is possible that the complex nervous system is, then, how personality is expressed.
It should also be noted here that ‘nephesh’ does translate into ‘soul’ a number of times in the Bible. We will deal a little more later, but that is something to keep in mind.
Here, once again, we have the strict limiting of propagating according to kind. This is as good a time as any to talk about the problems with evolution. First it needs to be said that evolution and Genesis are diametrically opposed to each other. Those who consider themselves ‘theistic evolutionists’ and believe that evolution is simply ‘the way God did it,’ are making mash out of Genesis. This is not uncommon, by the way. Whenever there is some kind of perceived conflict between man’s wisdom and God’s Word, it appears to be God’s Word that gets the short end of the deal. This is probably not the wise way to go…
Evolution attempts to stand on four legs, none of which can hold it up, singly or together. They are time, chance, mutations, and natural selection. Let’s look at them one at a time, but without spending too much time on any one of them.
Time: evolution demands an enormous amount of time, for it is claiming that all life we know on earth descended from a common ancestor. That common ancestor is usually identified as being some kind of one-celled organism. The earth is said to be about 4.5 billion years old – and right now, for the sake of this argument we are going to go with that idea in terms of orbital, regular years as you and I know them. The first single-celled organisms were not around until about 3.5 billion years ago. It took them, from what we read, about another billion years to become multi-celled organisms with cells that had differentiation. Let’s look at just that for a moment.
First, a definition. Generation time is the time it takes the adult of one type of organism to propagate and the progeny to mature enough to propagate themselves. A generation time for humans would be about thirteen years minimum, but we sure hope our kids wait longer than that! Apes are between ten and fifteen years. A lot of animals are about one year. Rodents are a matter of weeks or months.
The little E.coli bacteria is twenty minutes. That’s how we can get so sick so fast, by the way. Bacteria can replicate at an enormous speed. For the sake of the argument, and to give every possible advantage to evolution, let’s give our first single-celled organism a generation time of one hour. And maybe only during daylight hours. That’s approximately twelve generations in a day. That’s 4,380 generations in a year.
Multiply that by a billion years. That is 4,380,000,000,000 generations. If a fish were to change to an amphibian, and then to a mammal, and then to us, how many generations would that take? Now think of the generation times of the larger animals. Even if we averaged out generation times to one year for all, that means we would need over a thousand times the amount of years the evolutionists say the earth has been in existence to get even the simplest evolutionary changes made. But we only have 2.5 billion years to get it all done after the first multicelled organisms appeared. Evolution does not have enough time if you think about generation times instead of simply years.
Chance: Evolution depends on beneficial mutations being selected for in a breeding population and also building on one another to produce new forms and functions. We have not discussed mutations yet, but let’s presume we can get definitely beneficial mutations at this point. They have two hurdles to cross.
First, a beneficial mutation must be selected for. It helps a lot if this mutation, then, is dominant and not recessive. The only way a recessive mutation can exert its influence is when both parents have it, thus guaranteeing at least some of the progeny will also have it. This can and does happen, but for a mutation to be selected for, it does help if it is dominant. Then only one parent need have it. But that is a minor hurdle compared to what must happen next.
Most mutations are called ‘unexpressed,’ meaning they do not show any effect in the body of the organism – or at least anything we are aware of as yet! Mutations whose effect can be seen are called expressed mutations. Expressed mutations run, conservatively, a thousand to one deleterious to possibly beneficial. There is something else important to understand. The only mutations we can consider in this argument are called heritable mutations, or those which are passed down from parent to progeny. These mutations are carried, in humans for example, in the sperm and egg cells. We have a lot of other mutations in our bodies, but they aren’t passed down to our children.
Now, if, in any given population, there is one or more than one new negative heritable mutation in each generation, that population is on the way to extinction. There’s no way around that. It is called "error catastrophe."
So we have to have less than one negative mutation showing up per generation. This means you need over a thousand generations to get that beneficial mutation. Can’t you have more than one positive mutation show up in any generation or every few generations? There are, after all, probably thousands of animals in one gene pool. Yes, there are, but if you have two beneficial mutations show up in one generation, then what happened in terms of the multitude of negative mutations which complete the picture?
And despite the rarity of these beneficial mutations, one must build on another, and then on another, and so on to turn a fish into a frog. How many generations would it take for the several hundred, or thousand mutations necessary for this to happen? And what are the chances of that second mutation being just the right sort to not only be selected for but to be in the right place in the genetic package to build on to the first one?
Mathematically, the chances of it happening are zero. There is no chance at all that beneficial mutations could accumulate in any population in such a way. There is a lot more to this argument which absolutely destroys the concept of evolution, but that is enough to try to deal with at first.
So what about mutations? Mutations are little changes in the genes or other parts of the chromosomes. Mutations can happen in what appear to be spontaneous ways. That is just our way of saying, however, that we have not identified all the causes. We have identified some: radiation and some chemicals, for example. When something is known to cause a mutation, it is called a mutagent.
One of the favorite creation arguments against mutations doing anything beneficial is to say they decrease information. That is not a good argument unless you take the time to define ‘information.’ There are two distinct types: stochastic and meaningful. If I write “aa aba aa” that contains seven bits of information using the stochastic definition. If I add some ‘c’s so it becomes “aaa ccc baa aa,” then I have added information. But it means nothing. However, if I say “do hit me,” there are seven bits of stochastic information that carry meaning. So that is meaningful information. If I add three more bits: “do not hit me,” I have added exactly the same number of bits I did before, but I have changed the meaning entirely. So if you want to talk about mutations changing information, or deleting it, be prepared to define your terms carefully. The cell has to be able to understand the meaning in the mutation.
What we can say about mutations, though, is that all of them appear to decrease specificity. Consider a protein. Here is a rendition of one:
It is this decrease in specificity which allows some bacteria, for example, to become antibiotic resistant. Bacteria can easily mutate back and forth in ‘hot spot’ areas. These mutations are “A/non-A” mutations. They simply go back and forth, not on and on and on into different new mutations. In any bacteria population, then, there will be a variety of ‘types’ – and some of them will have a less specific folding in the area where antibacterial agents are designed to lock on to in order to disable the bacterial. If the agents cannot lock on, the bacteria survives. This is how the ‘super bugs’ happen in hospitals which can make people so sick – all the normal bacteria have been wiped out and the super bugs are left to propagate. The mutations which made them ‘super’ have decreased the specificity of their protein folding and so the antibacterial agents are ineffective with them. What is interesting, though, is that when these ‘super bugs’ are put back into a wild population of bacteria of their own type, they are quickly wiped out. That is because, in reality, they are not as robust as the normal bacteria.
That is a long explanation, but that is what mutations do. They decrease specificity in one way or another, be it with proteins or something else.
So what would a beneficial mutation be? It would be something where a loss of specificity of one kind or another yielded some kind of benefit to the organism. For the bacteria, it means being anti-biotic resistant. Yet these are not as robust as the general population. In humans a famous example of a ‘benefical’ mutation is the one which provides resistance to malaria. This mutation is not as terrific as evolutionists want us to suppose, though, for not only is it recessive, but when both the mother and the father have it, their children are at high risk for sickle cell anemia, which is lethal. This lack of specificity in making the red blood cell does provide some malarial resistance. It also brings death to the children when both parents have this recessive gene.
Beneficial mutations, evolutionarily, are supposed to not only confer advantage, but be able to build upon one another to provide new form and function, so that first cell could, given enough mutations through enough years, become the fern, the hippopotamus, the butterfly. This is not what we see mutations do, however. It is far more along the lines of wishful thinking on the part of the evolutionists.
Natural selection: this is the ‘big gun’ of evolution. This is what the theory absolutely depends on. According to evolution ideas, natural selection is what happens when some part of any population is at a disadvantage when the population is under pressure and that disadvantaged section is either killed or simply not able to breed. This leaves the more advantages section of the population to continue. The evolutionary idea is that this then leads to a strongly adapted population which has also been helped along by various beneficial mutations which have been naturally selected through time.
Let’s take a look at what actually happens in natural selection – what we have seen happen. First of all, every population has a variety in its members. This will be easiest to see using mammals. Whether it is cats, dogs, horses, or whatever, we see quite a variety in any given population, whether wild or domestic. Let’s take a hypothetical population of wild horses in Asia. Some are a little shorter, some a little taller. Some a little more muscled, some a little less. Some a little smarter, some a little less. You get the idea. Now, let’s put this population under pressure. Some speedy predators have moved into the territory and the horses with the longer, faster legs are much more likely to survive, right? Sure. The horses that don’t survive so well are the ones with the shorter legs.
But the shorter legs are also the legs which are, biologically, usually a little thicker-boned. Those thick bones don’t break as easily as thinner, longer bones do. However, if enough of those shorter-legged horses are killed by our new predators, that particular horse population has just lost a little of their ability to produce the variation of short legged members. This is natural selection. It deletes. It does not add. Nor can mutations make up the difference. Even if there were some truly beneficial mutations available to this horse population, they could not build up fast enough to make up for the losses that happen with natural selection.
So what is the final, real result of natural selection? Endangered species. Species which are so specialized in the environment in which they live that they are unable to produce enough variety in their members to allow any portion of their population to survive outside of that specific ecological niche. You simply cannot keep deleting sections of a population due to natural selection and have a population remain robust, able to diversify. It is that precise genetic diversification which is reduced in natural selection.
We can see what happens on a much faster time scale when we consider breeding our domesticated animals. When we wanted Thoroughbred race horses, we bred OUT the shorter legs. When we wanted St. Bernard dogs, we bred OUT the smaller dogs with the lighter coats. No breeding program can invent something not present in the population being worked with. We can only breed away from the traits we don’t want. The result? The same, in its own way, as endangered species. The inbreeding in German shepherds, for example, leads to hip dysplasia. The inbreeding of Dalmations has led to a high incidence of deafness. In speeding up selection on a domestic basis, we have shown that deleting the ability to vary in a species produces some very undesirable results. So whether it is natural selection or breeding selection, we get individuals and populations which are not as robust and varied as the originals.
And this takes us straight back to the truth of Genesis 1. The truth of what we know in genetics points out that, first, older populations were more robust, with greater variation available to any group. Second, variation becomes limited through time due to natural selection. Thus, logically, variation potential must have been greatest in the earliest populations. Genesis says God created these original populations with the built-in instructions that all propagation was to be by kind. Think of kind along the lines of what we would call family or sub-family in our taxonomic system today: feline, canine, bovine, equine, etc. The fact that we can breed donkeys and zebras together, for example, is a strong indication that they were originally from a single parent population. But that is as far as we can go genetically. There is no known way for any feline to develop from a non-feline or to become a non-feline. God said “according to kind” and He meant it.
There is an interesting list which appeared in National Geographic of October 1999. On page 51 was the following list of problems associated with mutations in the human genome. If any evolutionist has some similar list of beneficial mutations, we would really appreciate knowing about it. Please keep in mind, as you read this list, that one of the evolutionary claims is that natural selection weeds out bad mutations….
Chromosome 17 (NG did this in detail as an example)
The beginning was the best – before mutations, and when so much variety was built into each original population that diversification would be the norm. This is what the Bible tells us was the true origin of the species.
NIV -- And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -- everything that has the breath of life in it -- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. and there was evening, and there was morning -- the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
KJV -- 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 God saw that [it was] good.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
And God said, "See, I have given you every herb [that] yields seed which [is] on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yeilds 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.
Then God saw everything tht He had made, and indeed [it was] very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Then God blessed the seventh day and scntified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
LXX -- And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [Greek: the living soul] according to its kind, quadrupeds and reptiles and wild beasts of the earth according to their kind, and it was so.
And God made the wild beasts of the earth according to their kind, and cattle according to their kind, and all the reptiles of the earth according to their kind, and God saw that they were good.
And God said, Let us make man according to our image and likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the flying creatures of heaven, and over the cattle and all the earth, and over all the reptiles that creep on the earth.
And God made man, according to the image of God he made him, male and female he made them.
And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the seas and flying creatures of heaven, and all the cattle and all the earth, and all the reptiles that creep on the earth.
And God said, Behold I have given you every seed-bearing herb sowing seed which is upon all the earth, and every tree which has in itself the fruit of seed that is sown, to you it shall be for food.
And to all the wild beasts of the earth, and to all the flying creatures of heaven, and to every reptile creeping on the earth, which has in itself the breath of life [Greek: soul], even every green plant for food; and it was so.
And God saw all the things that he had made, and, behold, they were very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
And the heavens and the earth were finished, and the whole world [Greek: order] of them.
And God finished on the sixth day his works which he made, and he ceased on the seventh day from all his works which he made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because in it he ceased from all his works which God began to do [Greek: made in the beginning].
This is the book of the generation of heaven and earth when it took place.
Again, animals are made of the same basic materials as all creation. This is a forming, not a new creation. "Land" in these passages is "eretz," meaning "that which is firm." This does NOT mean the animals 'sprang up' from the ground (with all due apologies to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia) but that the same materials which made everything else also made the physical bodies of the animals.
It is interesting that the most ancient text, the Alexandrian LXX, is specific about cattle, four-footed beasts (quadrupeds), and reptiles. It is also much more general about 'flying things.' Flying things would have included bats and any flying reptiles.
And again, the Bible is extremely specific about animals as well as plants propagating according to their own kind. This phrase "according to kind" is repeated TEN times in Genesis 1. This leaves no doubt whatsoever that the Bible explicitely denies evolution.
The word for 'living things' or 'with life' in the Greek is 'soul,' or, using the Hebrew word, "nephesh." So how are humans in the image of God? In John 4:24, Jesus plainly tells the woman at the well, "God is spirit." Thus, we are essentially tripartate beings, having body, soul, and spirit, unlike any other part of the creation. So here we have the third, and last, "bara" of creation week. The spirit of man is a new creation and not a formation
Here are the three 'bara's of creation week:
Man is to have dominion over the earth and the living creatures. the word used is "kabas," meaning 'to bring under control, enslave, or force.' Whatever translation is chosen, two things are evident: first, that we have had dominion over the earth and the living creatures and, second, that we have not done very well with it.
Now, what about the vegetation being given to humans and all animals with nephesh to eat? Two points need to be made here in particular:
1) This order is only applicable to the creatures with nephesh and humans. Insects, small fish, bacteria, spiders -- these are not creatures with nephesh. So for a spider to catch a fly before the fall of man is a very reasonable possibility. So is the concept of little fish being eaten by big fish, or other sea life being eaten by fish, etc.
2) What about today's carnivores? First of all, the only true carnivores are members of the feline family. Bears, dogs, and all kinds of other land animals with nephesh, or the breath of life, which we often think of as carnivorous are actually omniverous and more than happy to eat all sorts of things which are not meat. Some animals, such as polar bears, are confined in an environment which does not allow them to eat anything but meat, but in zoos, polar bears enjoy berries and such just as the other bears do.
Which leads us to the question of what did they eat before the Flood? Their digestive tracts are designed to deal with concentrated proteins and amino acids. If a plant was to offer these, meat would not be necessary. We know sharp teeth are not indicative of meat-eating. Ask any squirrel! But if those sharp teeth which are used to tear open flesh today were needed to rip bark or crack nuts before, in order to get the proteins antediluvian plants may have had, then we have a situation in which nothing needed to be changed in these animals in terms of their teeth or digestive tracts. Please understand we are not stating this as fact, but simply as something to think about.
Finally, was God tired after six days of creation and formation? Did He NEED to rest on the seventh day? Not at all! He did it as an example to us. This is repeated twice, quite explicitely in Exodus, in chapters 20 and 31. We do not need to be tired to benefit from a day of rest. Choose your day. Any day. But one day a week of real rest is obedience to God and a great benefit to you. The concept of the Saturday Sabbath being commanded is not for the world at large, but is part of a covenant between the Israelites and God. Exodus 31 explains this. But the Ten Commandments are for us all -- and in them we are told to work six days and rest one. Why? Because that is what God did.
And so ends the first Tablet, the Tablet that God either wrote Himself or dictated to Adam.