Noah’s Ark and Evolution
August 12th, 2008
Heard a very good point on a Mindcore episode: Biblical literalists require a stronger belief in evolution than the most “radical atheist scientist”. If Noah’s ark had only 1 pair of each kind, the speed of evolution required to get some of the variation that exists (in under 5000 years) needs to be thousands of times faster than reality. The more I think on it the more it seems the strongest point against Biblical objections to the fact of evolution. And there’s no escape:
How does a single breeding pair turn into both Chihuahuas and Great Danes in under 5000 years? You might say both were “separate kinds” in the ark. Then, how does a single breeding pair of Chihuahuas produce such genetic diversity in modern Chihuahuas?
At the very least, this requires a LOT of non-harmful mutations. Whoops, there goes the whole “all mutations are harmful” mantra (warning: link may cause brain to explode).
Maybe God caused the mutations directly? Alas, this is indistinguishable from theistic evolutionist claims that God directs the flow of evolution. All these have no bearing on the actual process and theory of evolution.
What about the old creationists favourite: this is only an example of microevolution (warning: link may cause brain to explode)? The Chihuahuas have genetic diversity but they’re all still Chihuahuas. This is only an objection against evolution if evolution actually predicts speciation as likely for any given species (eg. Chiahuahuas) over 5000 years. It doesn’t, so it isn’t.
You might say genetic variation has nothing to do with whether natural selection plays a part. I agree, but there’s the fact of evolution (the question of whether speciation has happened) and the theory of evolution (the account of the mechanism under which it happened). Noah’s ark says little about the latter but it makes a mockery of denying the former.
Any theistic explanation of why animals diverged after the Flood so quickly would mean one thing. It would require God reduce the rate of non-harmful mutations by a factor of thousands; just in time to cover His tracks for the arrival of the Enlightenment.
If you’re a creationist and have any other objections I haven’t covered please let me know!