Jesus Creed had some great thoughts over on his blog today. He went deeper into a point that was brought up in the debate but that didn’t get as much attention as in hindsight, I think it should have. This is the issue of how taking a literal (as is commonly understood) interpretation approach to Hebrew stories– such as Noah’s ark– actually requires such a person to believe in evolution.
And, not simply evolution– one would actually be required to sign on to a hyper-evolution that is absolutely mind-boggling.
The argument goes something like this:
The Bible gives the dimensions of Noah’s ark, and turns out, it’s actually quite a bit smaller than what would be needed to do the job– if in fact it were a global flood and the only living survivors were in the ark. YEC agree with this, and have compensated for the problem through a new definition of what the Bible means when it says “two of every kind”. In order to make all the animals fit, they argue for example, that instead of foxes, wolves and dogs there was simply one dog-like kind that later (post flood) became foxes, wolves, and domestic dogs. Likewise, they would also believe the ark contained a generic cat that later became lions, tigers and
bears, other types of cats (such as the liger which is pretty much my favorite animal cause it’s a lion and a tiger mixed).
This argument fixes the problem of there not being enough space in the boat, but creates a bigger problem: if the animals from the ark story were actually the only animals to survive, the biodiversity we have today is a result of a hyper evolution that has occurred in just the past 4,000 years.
So, if one takes the flood story as 100% historical fact, one must also not only believe in evolution– but must believe in evolution on steroids in order to account for animal diversity today.
Brilliant points that I’m glad someone brought up in more depth. It seems that for those of us who affirm the inspiration of scripture, one is now forced to choose between two potentially uncomfortable positions. The first would be to affirm that evolution not only happens but has been rapidly occurring for the past 4,000 years (according to Nye it would be approx 10 new species per day), or we must affirm that the flood was obviously a localized flood.
I’ll stick with the localized flood.