This one was found at the Ark Encounter blog — part of the creationist empire of of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. It’s titled How Many Animals Did Noah Have to Bring?, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The Bible says that God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal on the ark and seven pairs of the clean animals and flying creatures. Does this mean every species was on the ark? No. Species is a term used in the modern classification system. The Bible uses the term “kind.” The created kind was a much broader category than the modern classification term, species.
Fascinating. Then it says:
The biblical concept of created “kind” probably most closely corresponds to the family level in the current taxonomy. A good rule of thumb is that if two things can breed together, they are of the same created kind. It is a bit more complicated, but this is a good quick measure of a “kind.” There can be a tremendous amount of variation within a created kind. For example, various types of dogs, such as wolves, dingoes, coyotes, jackals, and domestic dogs, can often breed with one another. When dogs breed together, you get dogs — so there is a dog kind.
Brilliant. After that they tell us:
So, what are the biblical kinds of animals that were on Noah’s ark? How many were there? And how could only eight people possibly care for all of them? In this episode of The Genesis Account of Noah’s Ark [Video embedded in the blog], Calvin Smith answers these questions and more.
Calvin knows all about “kinds.” The blog article continues:
The Bible states that Noah’s cargo was limited to land-dwelling animals, in which was the breath of life (Genesis 7:15). This clearly excludes fish and other sea creatures, and it probably excludes insects and other invertebrates. [Why? Don’t they breathe?]
Let’s read on:
Recent studies estimate the total number of living and extinct kinds of land animals and flying creatures to be 1,398. With our “worst-case” scenario approach to calculating the number of animals on the ark, this would mean that Noah cared for 6,744 animals.
Only 6,744 animals — including dinosaurs?? Feeding them and dumping their poop overboard would have been easy for Noah, his wife, and their kids. Your Curmudgeon took care of the poop problem in Waste Disposal on Noah’s Ark — Solved! And now we come to the end:
Learn more about this topic and more when you visit our life-size Noah’s Ark. Start planning your trip today! [Link omitted!]
Now that you understand these things, dear reader, you will have no problem believing the bible tale of Noah’s ark.
Copyright © 2023. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
“and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind”
I always assumed that the creeping things included insects and such. How can AIG get away with skipping those?
Admittedly, I also thought the whole thing was just an ancient fable.
What I want to know is, did the creeping things include woodworm?
Why would a God who can do everything have to resort to such an outlandish solution to the problem of evil people? Why not just reboot the whole thing? Especially being so omnipresent He knows people will continue to mess things up anyway! He can just say “The Word” and a whole new world can start. Maybe say a few more to get past the lonely dude needed a mate bit and make sure that dang tree of knowledge doesn’t get a start! That way humans remain naive!
Cats have long ago trained us to feed them so we don’t mind breaking the bank to cater to their unreasonable demands. Imagine how much it would take to feed an entire arkload of wild beasts.
“And how could only eight people possibly care for all of them?”
Because veterinary science and zookeeping on raging seas in a giant floating wooden box is a complete doddle, that’s how. I’m amazed the question even arises for Ken to have to address.
And no, the animals never suffered from sea sickness, either. They had propagation of their biblically created kinds to look forward to, after disembarkation. That, and Scopolamine patches behind their ears.
Just caring for my cat and two turtles is a lot of work.
After extensive research using the bible, and with the help of several leading creationists, we have reduced the number of ‘kinds’ to five. I just know atheists will quibble about our results, but that`s life.
1. No-legged critters
2. Two-legged critters (this includes birds)
3. Four-legged critters
4. Multi-legged critters
5. All else fall into the fishy kind
This doesn`t include bacteria and similar squirmies which don`t exist as they are not mentioned in the bible. Don`t bother introducing the creeping thingos as they are included somewhere above.
After the Flood, there were carnivorous animals.
Each individual carnivore had a meal of a prey animal, and thereby was an extinction of that kind (if it were an “unclean” kind).
Without getting into our present understanding of how many individuals it takes to have a viable species, and how much genetic variation is needed. The ratio of numbers of prey to predators, like how big a population of bovids is needed to sustain populations of felids and of canids.
So my 6 year old self wants to know how we have bugs if they weren’t on the ark and there was no where for them to live thru the flood. My 56 year old self wants to know if this means the animals had no ticks fleas or parasites? That sounds smart of God, all those animals in close quarters could spread pestilence pretty quickly.
What’s even the point of worrying about how many “kinds” there were. A zillion miracles flying around like nothing, and this one thing just has got to add up for some reason. Why worry about it. (Other than to play pretend scientist.)
I was speaking to the creationists by the way. Why play dress-up scientist when you have magic that will take care of everything. Theoretically you could have a zillion “kinds” fit onto on a 6 foot ark with a little help from the Almighty’s magic, no problem.
If you’ve ever seen “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” then you would know of at least one neat trick the LORD theoretically could perform to get everyone to fit.
In the 1960s there was a movie called “Fantastic Voyage” with Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasence which may have actually been a creationist science documentary about how to fit a lot of animals into a boat.
How many different kinds of animals are mentioned in the Bible up to the time of the Flood? Why not just say that there were a few kinds of aquatic animals, a few kinds of flying, and a few kinds of terrestrials? No reason to multiply the diversity of animal life beyond a dozen or so.
Uh, l’m thinking that the category of “7 pairs of all birds” is more than enough to overflow the ark…
The Bible includes bats among the birds, so it would seem that one would include the pterosaurs, however many “kinds” of them there were.
But Genesis 1-11 only mentions the dove and the raven, among the birds.
BTW, the only terrestrial animals named in Genesis 1-11 are the serpent and sheep (Abel being a shepherd).
God would be able to shrink everything enough so that everyone would fit. Overfull is overrated.
“In a biblical context there is no fundamental problem because God” yada yada. God-dunnut-somehow.
But the creationists don’t leave it at “somehow”, they tell us that there are “created kinds”, and 6744 animals on the Ark, and that it doesn’t involve “macro-evolution”. With no backing.
I don’t know why they worry about it. What do they have against miracles? How do they think the animals got to the ark in the first place? By bus? Why don’t they play scientist with that one? They don’t mind miracles in other places so what’s the big deal. Creationists, stop worrying–you will get worry lines.
Ham is completely nucking futz on this and any related subject, of course. To watch him manufacturing as many miracles as he needs while simultaneously insisting that it was all physically possible without miracles is to watch a master delusionist demonstrate a most remarkable fact about human beings: namely, that the stories we tell are often preferable to reality, for us. So much so that we can actually integrate them into a belief-system that becomes reality, for us.
But I don’t know that Ham has actually taken the process that far. You can’t take his word for it, because you can’t take his word for anything. Perhaps he really is completely delusional on this subject, but he’s also very shrewd on many other heads. And if there’s one thing you can say for sure about Ken Ham, it’s that he is professionally obliged to act as if he does believe it. Possibly that’s what he does: act as if.
Yes, but does he? Perhaps it’s that his mind is entirely capable of believing and acting on two or more opposed ideas at once, even when it is obvious that they are contradictory. Which is to say that his mind is fragmented, in a sense. Different departments for different realities, divided as finely as necessary. Or as broadly, and the divisions can be very broad.
Forget the picayune details of how many animals of what “kinds” were on the Ark, or how they were fed, or kept healthy. The claims are impossible, but that’s incidental. The real crunch is this: Ham believes in a God who is both just and merciful who also drowned everything that could drown, bar those on the Ark. He believes (or he says he believes) in that impossible contradiction completely.
That’s what boggles me about the mind of Ken Ham, or it would if it were actually the case. It seems that he does believe it, but it only seems that way. I am only potentially boggled at the delusion, though, because I’m not certain that it actually is a delusion, or merely a manifestation of a marketing strategy; but I really am boggled by its real effects on others.
For people give Ken Ham money, enough money to make him wealthy in a wealthy country. Ham lives an enviable lifestyle, enabled and powered by that fact: people give him money. And for what? So that he can market an insane fantasy that is as diseased as it is impossible. Because they want it to be true. They actually want it to be true.
In my own worst moments, I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone would want such a thing. All I can say is that it shows the dark power of fantasy, that even a fantasy as hideous and as impossible as that can be acted on as if real.
You know, there’s a great deal about current western society that can be explained by that one idea: that people want their fantasies to be true, however dark, however contradicted by reality they may be.
Or is that merely another dark fantasy, in this case, my own? I swear, there are times when I look into a mirror, and Ken Ham stares back at me.
Pascal-ish miracle wager. Do you really want to wager your soul that you aren’t taking a miracle of God and trying to science-splain it away? Science is man’s word! There is another WORD more gooder than man’s word. It’s in all caps so it must be GAWD’S WORD. DON’T PUT GAWD UNDER A MICROSCOPE HE HATES THAT.
Ken, don’t wager your soul by science-logic-splaining how God got all the animals on the ark. Go watch “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and get a clue. And then have some coffee because He could have freeze dried them for the duration. No worries about animal maintenance.
@Dave Luckett (And any others), I am now seriously researching
Martyn Iles. I would welcome links to any information about him, and the organisations Australian Christian Lobby and Human Rights Law Alliance with which he has been associated. Please send details to psbratermanATyahooDOTcom
Professor Braterman, I’m afraid I know no more of Iles than what I get from google, at which you are certainly more adept than I. All I can say from that is that the man is an enthusiast, in the old-fashioned Protestant sense. A YEC, of course, or he couldn’t join AiG, but notably keen on prescribing the right course of living to others, and using the powers of the state to enforce it. He might be more of a political activist than Ham is, from his history with the ACL.
Here’s their page from the Australian Charities Register https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/charities/a965aea1-38af-e811-a963-000d3ad24077/documents/b40ee776-50c8-e811-a962-000d3ad24182 which you have probably already found, but it interested me to see just how small-beer they are. Full time equivalent employment of 19. Ham’s organisation is far larger.
The term species had not been described in scientific literature when the Middle Eastern goat shepherds who wrote Genesis came up with their magical explanations for earths geologic wonders. In fact, there really wasn’t any scientific literature available to them.
Hence “kinds” of animals. Then Ol Hambo has to do contortions to explain how these kinds transformed into the millions of animals species present on the earth today. Since evolution is BS according too our revered miraculous sociopath Hambo, we need more magic administered by an omnipotent magical beard man in the sky to go from a few “kinds”, to millions of see lies a mere 3000 or so years later. Its a miracle !!!!!!!
“see lies” substituted for what I intended to write, species. Is Sigmund Freud at work here ? Egad.
@och will, I get tired of pointing this out. The traditional attribution of Genesis to Moses would indeed make it a Bronze Age document, but I don’t think you believe that. The earliest dates currently accepted by historians place it in the Two Kingdoms period, iron age. And the writers were not goat shepherds but highly educated scribes, familiar with Babylonian myths (which do indeed go back to the Bronze Age), with two separate versions skilfully redacted in the Noah’s flood account.
Knowing and appreciating Genesis as part of a complex and sophisticated literature gives us more, not less, reason for opposing the faux naïve creationist misuse of it.
My favorite part is where God inflicts Moses with leprosy and then cures him and then while Moses is on his way to do God’s mission God decides outta nowhere for no apparent reason that he’s going to kill Moses and then Moses’s wife convinces the never-mind-changing God to spare Moses.
I want to add my total agreement with your observations.
But I also want to agree with your observation about “kind”.
There is this book
John S. Wilkins
Species: A History of the Idea
University of California Press, 2009
which argues that the taxonomic concept of species is not present in antiquity.
As far as I can understand the use of the term “min” (“kind”) in Genesis, there is no reason to believe that it is meant as a collection of individuals. That is, there is no usage of the term in Genesis such that:
Something is of one and only one kind. All living things belong to kinds.
Something is of a kind without change in time or circumstances.
Things which are related, for example as living things are related by reproduction, are of the same kind.
The word “kind” only occurs in the context of “according to his/their kind”. What does that mean? Could it mean something as simple as “as they (turn out to be) are?
In particular, the word “kind” is never used in reference to humans. Indeed, the text of Genesis 1 starkly makes a difference in describing non-humans creation “according to kind”, while the humans are created “in the image of God”. No “human kind”.
@TomS, we also get after-its-kind for clean and unclean birds in IIRC Leviticus. I think some translations give “every kind of X” for “all X after its kind”
BTW, the “clean:unclean” distinction is something that can change in an animal according to what happens to it.
Don’t have time to check the correct terminology, but I think that clean/unclean is only part of edible/inedible. Scavenged animals even of a clean kind may not be eaten. This and the prohibition on drinking blood became, much later, the basis of rabbinical kosher slaughter laws
Acts 10, the term unclean as applied to people:
“You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.”
This was based on a previous vision Peter had earlier in the chapter:
“He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat. Kill! Kill! Kill!'”
Okay I interpolated the “kill kill kill” part but it seemed appropriate. If I were a scribe back in the day making scribal “errors” I totally would have put that in there.
I’m just thinking of the Flood story, where the clean/unclean distinction applies to how many animals are taken on the Ark.
But I don’t want to pretend that I have any expertise to bear on the meaning of “min” (“kind”). It just seems to me unclear as to what it means, in particular that it is about taxonomy.
@TomS, I just checked out Leviticus 11. Hebrew, every raven after-her–kind, NRSV all kinds of raven. Why Leviticus mentions kinds for some birds, but not for others, and whether he thinks that ravens all belong to the same kind, or that there are different kinds of raven, is the stuff of boring PhD theses.You will also find stuff in at Chapter about pigs and so on being un-clean; you’re not supposed to touch them, let alone eat them.
I think that “kind” is a good translation of min, and suitably imprecise. Problems only arise when you try to use the doctrine of kinds to stop the Ark from being overloaded, so the definition has to be broad enough for that purpose, but narrow enough to make humans and chimps of different kinds. Can’t be done.
There are other points of interest. There is only one word to cover all bats, included as is well known among the birds, while insects Including specifically the Locust are described as four-legged. (incidentally, locust and bald locust are different kinds.) The authors of the Pentateuch may have been great literary scholars, but were clearly not very good naturalists.
I’ll leave it there
“Problems only arise when you try to use the doctrine of kinds to stop the Ark from being overloaded,”
Totally unnecessary. God miraculously would be able to grow the ark or shrink the cargo accordingly. If it was a miracle, but Ken is, due to his naturalistic materialistic assumptions, claiming it was not miraculous, then God would be angry at Ken for downgrading God’s happy little miracles. This is what happens when you wear the naturalistic materialism assumption glasses that Ken wears.
When I first heard about Young Earth Creationism-Arkeology, I assumed that they had an easy time of it, denying that fossils represented extinct animals and such, and having no concern about stocking the Ark. Just following what the Bible says, and ignoring what the Bible was silent about.
I was surprised that they decided to “explain” stuff that science had discovered in the last couple of centuries or so. An unforced error, I call it.