What goes on in the mind of a creationist? We’ll probably never know, but we can make some educated guesses based on what comes out of those malfunctioning organs. Consider the latest from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.
Their essay, which we regard as an adventure in creation science, was written by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. We’re told at the end that he is “Deputy Director for Life Sciences Research and received his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University.” M’god — this guy has a degree from Harvard! His essay is: Did Lions Roam the Garden of Eden?
Our first observation is that ICR’s title asks a stunningly stupid question, no different from asking if there were bedbugs in Never Never Land. But we are not deterred. Rather, we are invigorated, because our exploration of the creationist mind has now begun. Let us explore how ICR contends with this weighty question of lions in Eden. They say, with bold font added by us:
Lions look designed to kill, both inside and out. Sharp teeth and claws, a short digestive tract, powerful limbs — all these features suggest “predator,” not tame and gentle pet. Yet in the beginning, God gave “to every beast of the earth…wherein there is life” plants as food, not animal flesh (Genesis 1:30).
Let’s take a look at ICR’s data. That scripture passage says:
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
He gave “every green herb for meat.” Does that literally mean that lions were vegetarians? Who knows? Well, ICR must know. They go on to say:
Only after man sinned [scripture reference] did human and animal death enter the world [scripture reference]. So where did today’s carnivous lions come from?
What we have so far is a completely goofy question, a reference to their “data” — an ancient text of dubious provenance and meaning — and a mystery as to the existence of today’s lions. Verily, this is a question that is worthy of a creation scientist. Let’s see how they handle it:
Since God commanded Noah to take two of every “kind” — not two of every species — on board the Ark, our modern lion species was probably not on the Ark but, rather, descended from the two cats (felids) that did board the Ark.
Ah, then the modern lion must have evolved from something on the Ark. Sure, that’s possible. There was plenty of time. Wikipedia reports that according to the Ussher chronology, the Flood was in 2348 BC. But then we’re told that’s not necessarily the answer. Let’s read on:
Could lions have existed before the Flood? God permitted predatory behavior among all potentially carnivorous animals when He instituted the Curse of Genesis 3. Furthermore, the fossils of now extinct feline carnivores indicate that ferocious-looking saber-toothed cats once inhabited this planet. Hence, lions of a different sort may very well have attacked animals in the pre-Flood world.
Jeepers — this is so confusing! Those fossils really muddle the picture. ICR continues:
How did these big cats acquire their sharp teeth? At the Curse, God probably didn’t speak sharp teeth into existence out of nothing. His acts of global creation were finished by day seven of the creation week [scripture references]. So where did the lion’s teeth come from?
How do they know those sharp teeth weren’t spoken into existence? Were they there? Well, they’re creation scientists, so we must have faith that they know what they’re talking about. Here’s more:
Traditionally, creationists have invoked several types of mechanisms to explain how the creation went from “very good” [scripture reference] to “cursed” [scripture reference] without a second creation event. For example, God may have created creatures with latent genetic information to be “switched on” only after Genesis 3, a concept similar to the “mediated design” model. [That “mediated design” expression has a footnote reference to an ICR publication.]
Why worry about mechanisms? Creationists don’t need them. And why would lions have been originally created with latent information to produce sharp teeth? Was the sin of Adam & Eve planned from the beginning? At this point we’re more confused than ever — but we’re not worried. We have no doubt that everything will soon be all cleared up. Now ICR tells us:
Alternatively, God may have created anatomical and physiological features capable of multiple purposes. Powerful jaws, now used to kill and tear flesh, may have initially been used to open fruits and plant seeds of the size and hardness of modern watermelons and coconuts. Could the lion’s teeth have been used for tearing tough plants and roots in the beginning?
We don’t know. We weren’t there! We’re counting on ICR to answer all those questions. But to our great disappointment, they don’t. They continue on for a few more paragraphs, and then end with this:
Did lions parade past Adam in the Garden, sharp teeth and all? Quite possibly, though they would have been tame and strictly herbivorous.
This is most unsatisfactory. We were expecting some answers from ICR, but instead all we get is uncertainty. So what did we learn about the functioning of the creationist mind? Well, from today’s essay we know they ask stupid questions, but then they flop around and don’t give us any answers. Phooey on them!
See also: ICR: Crocodiles and Watermelons.
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