ONCE AGAIN, dear reader, your Curmudgeon brings you the view from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of creationist wisdom. They have posted an article that breaks new ground and bravely explores what must be a terrifying topic for them: Do Species Change?
The author’s name is given as Paul Garner, but a Wikipedia entry on that name tells us only about Paul “Mousie” Garner, described as “The Grand Old Man Of Vaudeville” who died in 2004.
We assume the AIG author isn’t “Mousie” Garner, because at the end of the AIG article we are informed: “Paul Garner, researcher and lecturer with Biblical Creation Ministries in the UK …” In any event, here are some excerpts from Garner’s article, with bold added by us:
Darwin showed how [the church’s belief in] the fixity of species ran counter to all the evidence he had been collecting for twenty years. His book managed to convince most scientists that species were not fixed or unchangeable. In the process, the church was proved wrong, with tragic consequences.
But what did Darwin really find? What does the Bible actually say?
The article surprises us, as it starts out in an almost rational way. Let us proceed:
To his credit, Darwin corrected a popular misunderstanding. Species do change. Since Darwin’s day, many observations have confirmed this. In fact, new species have even been shown to arise within a single human lifetime. For example, one study gave evidence that sockeye salmon introduced into Lake Washington, USA, between 1937 and 1945 had split into two reproductively isolated populations (i.e., two separate species) in fewer than 13 generations (a maximum of 56 years).
It’s difficult to believe that this is appearing at AIG’s website. When will the author show his true colors? Stay with us:
Was the Bible really wrong about species fixity? Contrary to the accepted wisdom of Darwin’s day, the Bible nowhere teaches that species are fixed and unchanging (in fact, it does not even use the word species). Rather, the book of Genesis refers to “kinds” (Genesis 1:11, 12, 21, etc.) and suggests that living things have had a very dynamic history. For example, as a consequence of the Fall, some animals became predators, and disease entered into the world. And after the Flood destroyed life on earth, God commanded the creatures on the Ark to “breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth” (Genesis 8:17, KJV).
Now we’re getting into familiar creationist territory — kinds, the Fall, Noah’s Ark. We read on:
While Darwin was right to argue that species change, he went too far. He should have gone back to Scripture to see what it really said. Instead, he ignored the biblical data and assumed that all creatures descended from a single common ancestor over millions of years.
Aha! The creationist author has spotted Darwin’s big mistake. Then he discusses a variety of pre- and post-Darwin views on the fixity of species, including this one, which is favored by many creationists:
In the USA, early young-age creationists were independently developing similar ideas. For example, in the early 1940s, biologist Frank L. Marsh argued that new species were produced within the original created kinds that God had made. Marsh coined the term baramin from two Hebrew words used in Genesis 1 meaning “created kind,” and his ideas led to the founding of the modern scientific discipline of baraminology …
That would be Frank Lewis Marsh, described by Wikipedia as: “… one of the ten founding members of the Creation Research Society along with more well-known creationists such as Henry M. Morris and Duane Gish.”
Then we read:
Sadly, Darwin overreacted to the mistaken essentialist view that dominated nineteenth-century Victorian England, dumping Christianity and the Bible along with it. The result was the triumph of evolutionary thinking in the twentieth century.
So Darwin “overreacted.” That’s sad indeed. One more excerpt, the author’s last sentence:
In the twenty-first century, we face the exciting challenge of re-thinking the history of life from a truly biblical perspective.
Is “re-thinking” what the author has in mind? Perhaps a different word would be more appropriate for reverting to First Century views in the Twenty-First.
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