AIG: Post-Flood Dispersal of Animals

Once again they’re answering the mail at Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

Our last post in this series (in which AIG responds to questions) was Answers in Genesis: They Get Email #2. The title of the new AIG piece is Feedback: Animal Migrations.

In the previous articles in this series, only the questions were noteworthy. AIG’s answers were predictable and tedious. But today their answer is also amusing. Here’s the question:

I assumed that many animals migrated over the arctic circle over time and that this accounts for the majority of animals in the Western hemisphere. However, I am conflicted with the notion that some animals migrated via flotation or riding on floating objects that ended up drifting to other continents. What is the stand of AIG on how animals ended up on other continents post-ark-resting on Ararat.

Good question, and it’s one that usually occurs to every reasonably-bright 12-year-old who is being taught about the Flood. AIG’s answer is far too long, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts. You can click over there for the whole thing if you like. Here we go, with bold font added by us and scripture references omitted:

As animals migrated from the Ark landing site in the mountains of Ararat, they surely took a variety of routes initially. Obviously, they could progress throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa rather easily, since those areas are connected by land. Of course, they would have had hurdles such as mountains and rivers to go around or cross, among other issues with terrain

Well, duh! Let’s read on:

Of course, these obstacles would not be such a hindrance for birds and other flying creatures.

AIG spends three whole paragraphs on birds, presumably because their typical reader doesn’t know they can fly around. We’ll skip that stuff and continue to their section on land animals:

Some may have migrated to certain areas but not to others. In other instances, some of these animals may have made it to a particular area and became extinct. One objection to this is that we should find fossils of them if they lived in an area, but this is fallacious.

Then, to our amazement, they explain how rare fossilization is, and that the lack of Ark-migration fossils is understandable. Tomorrow they’ll resume complaining that evolution is false because the fossil record is incomplete. Oh, wait — here’s why they brought up the sketchy nature of the fossil record:

Is it possible that kangaroos made it to Europe and died out? It is possible, and I would leave open such an option. What we do know is that kangaroos have thrived in Australia, where they currently live.

Neat, huh? The lack of migratory fossils is no problem for the Flood, but the alleged lack of transitional fossils is an insurmountable problem for Darwin. Don’t worry about it, just accept it.

Now they have a section called “Land Bridges to the Americas and Australia”:

But how did they get to Australia? How did animals get to the Americas or remote islands? Most creationists believe there was an Ice Age. …Most believe the Ice Age was triggered by the Flood of Noah. … So it is easily feasible for animals to have walked from Asia to North and South America.

Other land bridges could also have connected the British Isles to the mainland, Japan to Korea, and potentially Japan to the mainland as well; it is possible that Australia could have been connected to Southeast Asia, although today this route is much deeper and may not have been open as long.

Truly ingenious! They provide many other details, which you will surely want to read and memorize, so we’ll skip to the end:

The Bible gives us a framework in which to interpret this topic even though little is given by way of specifics. When it comes to answering questions like this, it is always best to uphold the Bible as our authority and reject ideas that are inconsistent with God’s Word.

So there you are. The next time some smarty-pants evolutionist asks you about how the animals dispersed after the Flood, you now have an authoritative answer from the creation scientists at AIG.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “AIG: Post-Flood Dispersal of Animals

  1. NeonNoodle

    …The next time some [smarty-pants evolutionist] asks you about how the animals dispersed after the Flood, you now have an authoritative answer from the creation scientists at AIG.

    I like the ring of that, it ought to be a degree: Richard Dawkins, FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society), FRSL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature), SPE (Smarty-Pants Evolutionist).

  2. I’m sure the creationist scientists have been busily researching and digging up specimens or mapping ancient land bridges in support of their theory for years now. Can’t wait to see the published results. Oh I forgot, they can just say any old crap and expect to stick with their ignorant, non-critical thinking flock.

  3. I like examples of contradictory arguments from the creationists. Like the explanation of the complex patterns of biogeography as a result of processes other than purposeful intelligent design. Did God deliberately put kangaroos only in Australia, or was that merely a random accident?

  4. I like the biogeographical argument for refuting the notion of a geologically recent global flood (GRGF). It doesn’t require any presumption regarding Earth’s age. Rather, all that’s needed is showing how whole orders of mammals ended up far from the Middle East (xenarthrans, diprotodonts) with the only fossil records showing up at or near their modern-day ranges. And it works for plants too, as a testiment to the great migratory power of plants (family Cactaceae, for example).

  5. Imagine large, cold blooded dinosaurs crossing the ice. Oh, they are herbivores too. FAIL.

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    AIG says animals dispersed by routes? By definition, a route implies something pre-existing and obvious to an observer. Interstate 70, or the path from the cabin back door to the outhouse for examples.

    Otherwise you are just wandering around lost. As in that other Genesis story that AIG is quite familiar with, relating the fun and adventures of some folks who wandered around a desert for 40 years while looking for the on-ramp to the shopping mall in Jerusalem.

    Apparently the AIG answer to the dilemma would run something along the line that Noah’s animals were all provided with AAA travel maps, but Moses was just too macho to stop and ask for directions.

  7. We find many extinct tetrapod “kinds” in the fossil record as well, all without any Creationist explanation as to why we don’t find them past their respective spans within the geological column.

  8. Ceteris Paribus

    Oooops – re my earlier post: AIG would know about animal dispersion, but as to Moses navigational skills they would have to refer questions to AIE, the Answers in Exodus group. About which the AIG bunch could legitimately claim to know from nothing about.

  9. One of Ken Ham’s idiot books claims when humans dispersed to separate continents after the Tower of Babel incident, they took their favorite dinosaurs or some other animal indigenous to certain continents (i.e. the kangaroo of Australia) with them! And yet, he cannot explain why no fossils of such animals has ever been found outside their native countries! Such stupidity!

  10. Christine Janis,

    A favorite question of mine is why are/were there no native mammals* in New Zealand, although both domestic and escaped feral mammals (introduced a couple of centuries ago) do superbly there now. Why would god have denied them this green and pleasant land, that is so obviously well-suited for them today?

    A search for “New Zealand” + “creation” yields no results, so they can’t answer this one.

    * Actually there is one. A bat. Wouldn’t ya know? Makes the problem *more* difficult for the creationists

  11. Christine Janis,

    Another point to make about the Australian marsupials. Most people think only of kangaroos, perhaps wombat and koala. But there are hundreds of species, which would boil down to at least a dozen “created kinds” (many more if you add extinct forms). Getting a progenitor of kangaroos back would be one problem, but how did the marsupial mole get back?? Did it tunnel its way across Asia, and then under the “ice sheet” linking Asia to Australia?

    Jonathan Sarfati gets around the problem by saying that early settlers happened to particularly like marsupials, and because they were small and nocturnal they could carry them there in their pockets. I’d like to see them try to do that with a marsupial lion or a diprotodont!

  12. Christine Janis says: “Getting a progenitor of kangaroos back would be one problem, but how did the marsupial mole get back??”

    I wonder how the platypus got from Mount Ararat to Australia without leaving any close relatives along the way.

  13. @Curmie: You should consider offering SPE degrees through Curmudgeon U.

    While you are at it, Gary wants a MDS degree (Mountain Dew Spurter), and I’ll take a TLA (Three Letter Acronym).

  14. When Noah was in Australia picking up his animal couples, I wonder if he knew that the kangaroos would end up right back in Australia some 7,000 miles away and over water.

  15. It gets even better when one starts to consider freshwater fishes. I got into an argument with a Creationist regarding the bluegill. Its genus (Lepomis) has about a dozen species, all restricted to roughly temperate North America east of the Mississippi. This guy claimed that the bluegill was its own “kind,” with the others (basically freshwater sunfishes) constituting another “kind” or two. It really seems odd that this particular genus is so geographically restricted, in the wake of a GRGF. I expect that there are dozens of other examples of freshwater fishes that present similar problems.

  16. rubble says: “It gets even better when one starts to consider freshwater fishes.”

    Yes, but fish don’t excite the imagination. Just think of the South American three-toed sloth somehow making the journey from Mount Ararat. It’s an epic journey even more amazing than that of the platypus.

  17. Think also that all of these animals were single pairs when they came off the ark. If one was injured, starved, fell victim to a predator, etc., thats the end of the species. Also, what did they eat while they migrated? Do plants grow back immediately after being inundated by salty water, lava, buried under rotting corpses, etc? Do the predators become vegetarian until self sustaining prey populations are established?

    The world these animals would have had to have crossed would be worse than any depicted in apocalypse movies – and they could not afford a single mistake until they are able to reproduce another generation. AIG glosses over such difficulties.

  18. docbill1351

    Kangaroos have big feet. Actually they water skied to Australia towed by Walt Brown’s runaway subduction tectonic plates.

  19. TomS: “I like examples of contradictory arguments from the creationists.”

    I especially like how they try to pretend that those contradictions don’t exist, then play even more bizarre word games when caught. Compare AiG with Dembski. AiG thinks that there really is independent evidence of a global flood that occurred ~4K years ago on a planet that was only ~2K years old at the time. Dembski thinks that the earth is billions of years old and that there’s no evidence of a global flood, but that it’s good to believe it anyway. If anyone ever bothers to put them both on the spot, you can bet that both will answer with some variation of “we don’t need to connect no stinkin’ dots.”

  20. On the connecting of dots:
    Why is it that the YECs feel the need to connect dots as done in the text we’re discussing here?

    What I was pointing to earlier was basically this: Why is it that they think that it’s OK to give naturalistic explanations (“connect the dots”) for the distribution of animals after the Flood, when it is clearly something that had to be done by intelligent design? But the other conflict that they seem to involve themselves in is about when we should connect the dots with naturalistic explanation, and when we can forget about connecting dots.

  21. TomS, the professional YEC audience is not scientifically literate, nor particularly well-educated in general. The professional YECs connect some of the dots for their audience, which superficially gives the impression of scientific validity. The remaining gaping holes aren’t an issue, because they’re not up for consideration in the first place.

    I regard this as suggesting an intellectual tactical advantage. After some fifteen years studying Creationism, I’m familiar with the usual arguments. I also know the likely holes in the discussion, and I try to exploit those as much as possible. I then challenge the YEC to actually discuss the science; the YEC cannot recruit help from the professional YECs, so the YEC flounders and basically yields to such argumentation by forfeit.

    I then point out how this really isn’t about science, or even science education. If it was, then the YEC shouldn’t have a problem discussing the matter at hand. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, the YEC simply doesn’t bother, because the YEC isn’t really interested in science per se; for the YEC, science only serves as “Doctor Feelgood” for the religious beliefs. The point is to stress the nonscientific basis for the general YEC position, and to bring that discussion to the forefront, which the YEC loathes to do because we are then entitled to pronounce YEC ideas and tactics as unfit for the science classroom.

    YECs simply cannot tolerate evolutionary ideas presented as scientifically supported, in robust fashion. That intolerance is the basis for the political activity of Creationists in general.

  22. Spector567

    I dont think it even has its roots in religion for them. It’s about there ego.
    They just can’t stand the idea that they may not be special or that they came from a “lesser” organism.

  23. Since I see “YEC” written ~6000x on this page, it’s probably time for another reality check. Comparing several polls, at most half of the 40-45% of the rank-and-file who think that “humans were created in their present form in the last ~10K years” are young-EARTHERs. And most of them never gave a minute’s thought on what the independent evidence says, and don’t care. Nearly all would have no problem with at least “progressive” OEC, if not evolution all the way.

    In stark contrast, the peddlers of “scientific” YEC are a very tiny minority of the public, but they do obsess over the independent evidence. Though even they are almost excusively obsessed with how their carefully cherry-picked “evidences” invalidates “Darwinism,” and care little whether it really supports a young earth. In fact they appear less confident than ever of the latter, especially since the “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” ID scam has shown that it’s simply not necessary.

    If OEC was good enough for W. J. Bryan, it’s good enough for the most hopeless evolution-denier. “Scientific” YEC was a mid-20th century experiment that is slowly dying. In fact it seems like we “Darwinists” are doing more than anyone to keep it alive.

  24. Jim Thomerson

    One could make a semi coherent argument about species, that “God didit.” However, genera and all higher categories are made, not by God, but by fools like me. They expand and contract, change membership, appear and disappear as we try to do classification to best illustrate our understanding of relationships. One species I described early in my career is now in its fourth genus. In each case the thinking about placement well reflects the understanding at the time.

  25. Jim Thomerson: “One could make a semi coherent argument about species, that ‘God didit’.”

    Why not take it a step further and say that God creates individuals. At least there we would know how God did it, where and when. With species, evolution deniers increasingly refuse to speculate, let alone test, the “wheres and whens,” and never dared to touch the “how.” A few years ago I got an evolution-denier to admit that he thought that reproduction was “designer intervention,” He didn’t realize how that could undermine the careful efforts of both Genesis literalists and “big tent” scammers to make people think that the interventions all occurred some unspecified “long ago.” Besides, since some prominent “big tent” scammers admitted common descent, implying that species (or other undefined “kinds”) were created “in vivo,” all those evolution-deniers who deny (or pretend to deny) that, need to be constantly reminded of it. If only so that fence-sitters can see the pathetic double standard under the big tent.

  26. Jim Thomerson

    A couple of Texas flood jokes. Yes, we know about the Flood of Noah. My place in the Hill Country got a quarter inch of rain that time.

    Noah had an old West Texas dry land farmer along as a guest on the Ark. They sat out under the overhang and watched the forty days and nights of rain. When it is over, Noah asked the farmer, “Well, what did you think of that?” Farmer replied, “That was a good one. If we can get another one like it in June, we’ll make a crop this year.”

  27. Mark Joseph

    And don’t forget that, while the animals were heading home (for example, the flightless dodos to Mauritius, the flightless moas to New Zealand, and the flightless penguins to Antarctica), the “kinds”, few enough in number to all fit on the ark, were (despite the ice age which apparently lasted for only a year and a half), ramifying (by microevolution only) at a rate thousands of times faster than that accepted by even the most exuberant evolutionist. Furthermore, the dinosaurs got to all parts of the world, survived long enough to leave lots of fossils, and died out last Thursday.

    Finally, the proto-ratite microevolved into the African ostrich, which buries its head in the sand, and the modern creationist, which also buries its head in the sand; the common behavior proving common ancestry.

  28. This is amazing. Normally I only hear about Creationist stupidity after it’s been in circulation for year. Thanks to you, I feel like I am present at the birth of a fresh batch of stupid.
    I love the thought of all those animals adapted (sorry, “designed”) perfectly for life in the desert and the rainforest walking thousands of miles over ice. I’m sure they coped well.

  29. christine Janis

    I know that this is a bit late for a comment, but I only just read the original article: Nobody spotted this complete lunacy.

    “This makes much more sense than the common evolutionary model where marsupials evolved in Australia, which can’t explain why marsupials like opossums came to North and South America. The common explanation that Australia and South America were linked is much harder to believe than a short-lived land bridge to Southeast Asia. Furthermore, if South America and Australia were linked (barring any global Flood, as the secularists teach), then why doesn’t South America abound with marsupials?”

    Oh, this is just too good to be true. “Why doesn’t South America abound with marsupials”? Three different endemic South American orders, with 3 families, and around 100 species. Mostly in the tropical forests. Not to mention the huge diversity of the now extinct large carnivorous borhyaenids (another order).

    The Cenozoic radiation of marsupials *started* in South America. Both genetic and morphological data show that the Australian form are a monophyletic group (most closely related to the South American family Microbiotheria), representing a single invasion of Australia from South America (across a then ice-free Antarctic).

    The opossum came up to North America (i.e. the US) from South America after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama (along with armadillos, and all the South American forms that now populate Central America – sloths, capybaryas, etc.)