Inspirational Readings for Your Daily Walk with God:

Christian Mediation

 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

CREATION SPEAKS

4. Each After His Kind

ALREADY we have made several references to the creation of plants and animals, each “after his kind.” Let us now investigate the matter more fully, for it involves one of the points of greatest controversy in recent times-the question of the origin of species.

Three words have a similar meaning-Greek, species; English, kind; and Hebrew, min. Of these the first is the only one that has an exact meaning, and that is by definition. In other words, no one knows what a “species” is except as the word is defined. And there are various definitions as different aspects of the species problem are studied by different investigators. What species may have meant a hundred years ago as compared to its meaning today depends on how the word is defined.

As to kind, there is no exact meaning to the word. It may mean a large group, as when we speak of the vertebrate kind, or it may mean a small group, as when we speak of the different kinds of rabbits or dogs or squirrels. Because of this, and because God never gave us a definition of the word in the Bible, we have no means of knowing exactly what sort of group He had in mind when He said: “Let the earth bring forth . . . after his kind.” Any attempt on our part to define the word is futile, for in the end any definition will depend entirely on our personal concept of the original categories into which plants and animals were divided in the beginning.

What has been said for kind applies equally to the Hebrew word min, which means the same, and from which kind is translated.

The question may naturally be raised, Was there not in the original creation some ultimate unit, some final group, which was clearly separated from all others, so that one would not become confused with another? Doubtless an affirmative answer should be given to this question. But whether we can decide what these original units of creation were, is a question that demands considerable study.

GENESIS KINDS AND MODERN SPECIES

As an illustration let us examine in some detail the relationships between wolves and foxes.

Linnaeus gave the name Canis lupus to all the gray wolves of Europe, most of Asia, and most of North America. To the gray wolves of Southwestern North America he gave the name Canis mexicanus. Later workers extended the name mexicanus to all the gray wolves of North America, thus separating them from the European and Asiatic lupus. At present the American wolves are divided into six species of the genus Canis. And so, what was at first a large group has been split up into several smaller ones, and the term species applied to what at first were subspecies.

The European and Asiatic red fox is Vulpes vulpes. European taxonomists call the American red fox Vulpes vulpes fulva, thus considering it a subspecies of the other. But Americans separated the American red fox from the European and called it Vulpes fulva, thus raising it to full standing as a separate species. Still later studies have made ten “species” from this one American form which was at first considered only as a subspecies.

The coyote is Canis latrans, and varies somewhat from the wolf in shape, size, and behavior. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the distinction between wolves, foxes, and jackals is not always clear. Linnaeus called the gray wolf Canis lupus and the red fox Canis vulpes, considering them both as dogs-genus Canis. The South American foxes are more like Canis than are others.

The Arctic fox is intermediate between Canis and Vulpes. The gray fox was classified by one American taxonomist as Canis, but it was later placed in a separate genus Urocyon because it differed from both Canis and Vulpes. Another authority classed the red fox as Canis, as did Linnaeus; but this, too, was changed. In India the wolves Canis pallipes, resemble jackals. Thus it can be seen that wolves, foxes, and jackals are not easy to separate. Many more details might be given to illustrate this point.

The bearing of these facts on the question of the Genesis “kind” is interesting. What did God create,-one pair of wolves, from which all the above have descended, or a pair of wolves, of foxes, and of jackals, or several of each? If we were to assume that gray wolves, coyotes, gray foxes, red foxes, Arctic foxes, and all the jackals and their tribe could have arisen by gene and chromosome changes from one pair of wolflike animals, the problem would be simply one of recognizing the amount of change necessary to produce these different groups. 

Whether we classify them today as separate genera, species, or subspecies is purely a matter of convenience. The intergradations between these groups would indicate that a certain degree of crossbreeding has taken place. Those who maintain that two Genesis “kinds” could not cross would likely be led to assume that there was only one pair in the beginning.

If, on the other hand, we were to assume that God made a pair of wolves, of foxes, and possibly of jackals, then it would not be hard to explain the origin of all the present “species” as having arisen from a few original “kinds.” Here, however, the problem of crossbreeding comes in, for these groups are more or less interfertile. If they are considered as originating from separate created kinds, then we must admit the possibility of crossbreeding between two kinds.

Which of these two viewpoints is taken is immaterial to the problem in hand. After all, it is obvious that no matter how many “species” modern taxonomists may choose to recognize, no matter how many different wolves, foxes, and jackals may have arisen from the original, whether from one or several created “kinds,” the most important fact of all to be recognized is that the wolves, foxes, or what we choose to call them, are distinct from cats, bears, or weasels. 

There is not one scrap of evidence to show how members of different families could have arisen one from another from common ancestry. The differences between these larger categories are too great to be bridged by any known changes in genes or chromosomes.

Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist who in the eighteenth century established our present system of classification, declared that he recognized as many species of plants and animals as were created in the beginning. But an examination of the classification which he gave to many of these shows how impossible it would be to maintain such a position. Many changes have had to be made in his classifications. Furthermore, he seemed to be quite ignorant of the problem of geographical distribution.

How a whole series, for instance, of red foxes could be distributed over the world, with each species created where he found them, seemed not to have entered into his thinking.

Whatever we may decide as to the boundaries of the original types, one more troublesome question confronts us. What kept these animals apart? Why did they not interbreed and thus confuse the plan of the original creation?

One attempted solution to this question is to say that they did not interbreed because of the law of heredity that each must breed “after his kind.” But it should be noted that the command given in Genesis was one for creation, not for propagation. If animals originally did not interbreed simply because they could not, then we should witness in nature all manner of corruption, with offspring made impossible as a means of preserving the characteristic of the species. The “morals,” if we might so use the word, of the animal kingdom would be nonexistent.

What, then, would keep each kind to itself? Clearly there must be some sort of psychological instinct which would lead an animal to interbreed only with others of its own kind-using the word kind in the sense of the ultimate unit of creation.

In plants, instinct could not be invoked as an explanation for their separation, but there are many possible means whereby it would be impossible for foreign pollens to bring about development of seed.

Seasonal differences, variation in modes of pollen distribution, chemical differences, and other such means could readily be concerned in order to keep each kind to itself.

The significance of this problem may be realized if we recall that, according to the Genesis record, although animals were created after their kinds, all flesh later corrupted itself; but the corrupted kinds were not saved in the ark, for they went into the ark and came out of it after their kinds. From the record it is apparent that confused kinds came about as a departure from the original plan of creation.

ORIGIN OF SPECIES

Not long after Linnaeus propounded the idea that species represented the kinds created by God in the beginning, other men became interested in the opposite aspect of the question, the degree to which change had taken place. A French contemporary, Count Buffon, declared that the presence of many variations in plants and animals made the Linnacan concept of species untenable. In 1809 Lamarck, the French biologist, proposed the first definite theory of evolutionary development. But it was not until Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859 that the world was turned away from the creationist views to a full acceptance of evolution.

Darwin’s theory was based on the well-known fact of variation among living things. In any area the number of offspring produced during any season is greater than can be supported by that area. Thus there is set up a struggle for existence. In this struggle those will survive which are the best fitted to meet the environmental conditions. This is known as “the survival of the fittest.” This would lead, Darwin argued, to a “natural selection” of the fittest and an elimination of the unfit.

One modern example will illustrate the principle. In the Tularosa Basin in New Mexico are found black mice living on black lava and light-colored mice living on light lava. Both are apparently descendants from the common gray mice. Variability in color possesses a definite “survival value,” for it has caused the animals colored most nearly like their surroundings to be less readily seen by hawks and other enemies. The result has been an eventual production of races that differ greatly in color.

Here is where natural selection plays its true role. In a given population where variations are continuously arising, the ones best adapted to meet the struggle for existence would survive, whereas the ones less fortunate would succumb. The survival of the fittest is a real phenomenon every field naturalist must reckon with.

Variations in characteristic features furnish the material upon which natural selection may act, and by this means new types are produced which are better adapted to the environment. The mistake is easily made of assuming that these variations are unlimited in extent. It is one thing to observe change in color, size, etc., but an entirely different matter to postulate changes in body form, structure of vital organs, and the like sufficient to produce new types of animals. This latter kind of change is necessary if the Darwinian theories are to be applied to the origin of new types. The assumption of such far-reaching changes in structure as are demanded by the application of the law of natural selection to the problem of the origin of species in the broadest sense is an assumption that is unwarranted by the evidence that is available at the present time.

After all, natural selection is a conservative force. During the centuries since natural conditions have become fairly well stabilized, and since plants and animals have become adjusted to what we choose to call normal conditions, the average rather than the unusual would be the best fitted to survive. Anything unusual is always a target for attack by both men and animals. It is the common form which is the least likely to be noticed. If it were not for the effect of natural selection, unusual variations would propagate and spread rapidly, with the result that our common assemblages of living species would change so rapidly we could hardly keep pace with the changes in our catalogues of classification and distribution.

Why, then, has such objection been raised against Darwinism? Largely because of the fact that it did not recognize the limitations of this theory. Taking the facts Darwin had so painstakingly brought together, he extended them to cover the problem, not only of the origin of species, but of larger groups as well, applying them almost universally to all the processes involved. Throughout The Origin of Species Darwin made the mistake of confusing natural selection with the general theory of evolution, and his readers have made the application more universally than ever he dared to make it. The proofs which had been collected for the “origin of species by natural selection” were plausible proofs for natural selection.

They were not, however, proofs that natural selection was the method by which new species had always, or even commonly, come into being. Neither were they proofs that evolution rather than special creation was the manner by which living creatures originally came into existence. Here is where creationists object to Darwinism, for they maintain that he carried these principles to lengths that are not justified by observable data. 

The creationist viewpoint is one of limitation of the amount of change rather than the disallowance of any change whatsoever. It has been the inconsistent rigidity of the views of some creationists in the past that has created the popular prejudice toward creationist doctrines. The acceptance of the facts of variation by evolutionists has made the evolutionary viewpoint seem the more reasonable. There is no good reason, however, why the evolutionary views should dominate practical biological studies. The facts might with equal effectiveness be made to harmonize with the creationist doctrines. An answer to these problems will be found in a study of recent developments in the science of genetics -the laws of heredity.

EVIDENCE FROM GENETICS

Modern genetics has thrown much light on the degree of change in living things and on the causes of these changes. In the nucleuses of all cells of the body of any plant or animal are minute bodies known as “chromosomes.” Located on these, somewhat like beads on a string, are tiny granules of protoplasm called genes. These are the carriers of hereditary qualities, or “characters.” Such characters as hair and eye color, shape of body parts, distribution of color pattern, size and shape of fruit, quality of seeds, and hundreds of others are known to be due to the influence of the genes. Sometimes a gene undergoes a change, or mutation, and its effect is changed. For instance, the gene for red eyes in fruit flies has been known to mutate in such a way as to produce several other colors of eyes, such as apricot, eosin, pink, etc. Such mutations are a prolific cause of new qualities.

Chromosomal aberrations are the result of unusual or abnormal changes in the whole or considerable portions of chromosomes. A fragment may break away from one chromosome and become attached to another. Thus the characters carried in that fragment are deleted from one and added to the other. Portions of chromosomes may become reversed in position, with a resulting change in effect. Whole chromosomes may be lost from one cell and gained by another, and when this irregularity is passed on to the offspring, a new manifestation of the hereditary qualities results.

Recombinations are normal variations that occur in every generation. In every cell the chromosomes lie in pairs, one member of each pair having been derived from one parent, one from the other. When the germ cells are produced, these chromosomes separate, one going to each new cell. Let us imagine a species with four pairs of chromosomes. Let A, B, C, and D represent the chromosomes received from one parent, and a, b, c, and d those from the other. Then they will be in pairs Aa, Bb, Cc, and Dd.

When these are distributed to the germ cells (gametes) there is no way of knowing which ones will go to any particular gamete, except that there will be one member of each pair. Thus there will be all the following possibilities: ABCD, ABCd, ABeD, ABed, AbCD, AbCd, AbcD, Abed, aBCD, aBCd, aBcD, aBcd, abCD, abCd, abcD, abcd. When these 16 possibilities in the female gamete are combined with the same 16 in the male gamete, it would require a checkerboard of 256 squares to illustrate all the possible combinations. When it is known that the common rabbit, for example, carries no less than a dozen such pairs of chromosomes, it can be seen how widely variant the recombinations may be. The number of gametes possible may run into thousands, and the number of different offspring possible by recombination may run into millions.

The series of horses, camels, elephants, and other mammals in the Tertiary deposits are generally regarded as the strongest proofs of evolution. Before drawing any conclusions on this point, let us examine the evidence. First we shall consider the “horses.”

Evolutionary geologists begin the “horse” series with a small animal about the size of a terrier. This had general skeletal features resembling a horse. But instead of one toe, there were four on the front foot and three on the hind foot. The other toes were rudimentary-only partially developed. The teeth, instead of having ridges like those of modern horses, had rounded tops adapted for grinding. This simple horse like animal belongs to the genus Eohippus, the dawn horse,-since it represents what is supposed to have been the beginning of the horse evolution.

FOSSIL SERIES

There are several others in the series. Orohippus lacked the rudimentary hind toes. In Epihippus the central toe was larger than the others. Mesohippus had three toes. Miohippus was as large as a sheep. Parahippus had the outer toes much reduced and the middle toe more prominent. The teeth resembled modern horses more than did the previous members of the series. Meryhippus was as large as a small pony, and the teeth showed still more likeness to those of modern horses. Pliohippus had still more complex teeth, with the enamel ridges well developed.

Many of the members of the horse series have been found in sufficient numbers to make it appear that they were bona fide species, but instead of representing progressive series they may as well be considered as ecological types. Three-toed “horses,” especially the ones with spreading toes, would be fitted for life in marshy or soft ground. They were comparatively slow of gait, as their leg structure indicates. Their teeth show them to have been fitted for browsing on twigs and coarse herbage.

The larger horses were fitted for life on the plains. The single toe, the long, slender leg bones, the fusion of tibia and tarsus, all point to the adaptation for speed on hard ground. The teeth were adapted for chewing the grasses that naturally grow on the plains. Between the two extremes are adaptations to environment midway between marsh and plain. They are often spoken of as forest horses.” The three artificially arranged classes of “horses” listed above, when viewed in the light of ecological principles, are easily explained without resorting to evolution.

The camels and elephants show a similar situation to that existing in the horses. And the same principle of adaptation to ecological conditions may be applied to them as well as to the horses. In any series of forms such as these the serial arrangement is due in part to systematic relations rather than to actual descent. In other words, in any group of similar animals such as these one might naturally expect to find graded variations. The fact that such gradations occur and that two or more structural features such as feet, teeth, etc., show parallel increase in complexity, in no way proves evolution. 

A horse, for instance, with simple feet fitting it for marshy ground would be expected to have simple teeth. A horse with highly specialized feet fitting it for open grassy plains would be expected to have specialized teeth for chewing the grasses of the plains.

In modern types we find similar series. The rabbits of the West vary from the tiny pygmy rabbit through the bush rabbit and snowshoe rabbit to the long-legged, long-eared jack rabbit. Each of these is adapted for a special environment.

The weasel family shows a series of animals whose structural features make exactly as good an adaptive series as do the ancient mammals. There are several sizes of weasels, the aquatic minks, the fisher, marten, and wolverine. Anyone finding these as fossils would be able to prepare as convincing evidence of their evolution as has been done for the Tertiary mammals. And yet there is absolutely no proof that one has evolved from another, or all from common stock. There is no way to prove that they were not all created as they are today.

In like manner it would be possible to arrange the kangaroos and their relatives on an evolutionary scale, yet there is no proof that they have evolved. Furthermore, they are all living at the same time today. Why could we not conceive of the Tertiary mammals as living contemporaneously?

Examples might be multiplied, but why go on? By this time the inferences are clear and the conclusions obvious. By accepting the idea of creation of adaptive types, fitted to an environment whose variations were systematically arranged, by allowing for a certain amount of variation such as is observed in living animals, one may explain the fossil series without invoking long geological ages.

NO EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION

The evolutionist has overlooked one vitally important principle; namely: All the known variations take place within the kinds; there is no evidence for the change from one kind to another entirely new one.

For instance, millions of variations might take place in rabbits, but they would still be rabbits. Many changes occur in foxes, but they remain foxes. Rats are still rats; guinea pigs are still guinea pigs. No amount of change is known by which one of these types can be changed into another.

Not only is there no evidence of change of one kind into another, but fossil remains fail to show evidence for change from one major group to another at any time in the past. If, as the evolutionist believes, there had been changes throughout the geological “ages,” millions and millions of years in the past, fossil material should have been discovered to show the transition from one type to another. But such evidence is absolutely lacking. Mollusks have always been mollusks, echinoderms have always been echinoderms, arthropods have always been arthropods.

In the light of these facts we can safely assert that the major groups-the phyla, classes, orders, and families-have not undergone any change since their appearance on the earth. All the change that is known affects only the genera and species. Here the creationist may accept all the valid evidence for change, for he realizes that such changes are not sufficient to bring about evolution. 

The Genesis statement that the plant and animal kingdoms are organized systematically, each “after his kind,” is fully vindicated by all the discoveries of modern science; for it is evident that our present species and genera do not represent the Genesis “kind.” On the other hand, the larger categories have remained unchanged-cats have always been cats, dogs have always been dogs. There is no proof in nature for the origin of the higher groups from any other ancestry except their own kind.

HOW DO NEW SPECIES ARISE?

A review of the latest experimental evidence indicates that species may change their characteristics because of (1) mutations or changes in genes, (2,) changes in chromosomes due to irregularities in division and distribution, and (3) combination of chromosomes from different species. 

The material upon which natural selection and isolation may work for the production of new species is furnished by these changes. The limits to which mutations may go are determined by the pattern of the genes of that particular species. Changes which modify the chromosomes beyond the pattern make development impossible or produce sterile offspring. Many new kinds are produced by hybridization, but here the limitations for successful propagation are very closely circumscribed.

The bearing of these studies on the problem of evolution is of major significance. Those who know these principles the best are the ones who most frankly admit that, while there is abundant and quite satisfactory evidence for the existence of those changes which result in new species, there is no satisfactory way in which these facts can be made to explain the origin of the larger groups. In other words, there now exists, thanks to the latest genetic evidence, a clear insight into how new species are produced, but no explanation for the origin of the larger categories.

CONTINUE