Tuesday: Creation of the Land Animals

In Genesis 1:24-31, terrestrial animals and humans were created on the

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

sixth day. As with the correlation between the second and fifth days, a correlation is also seen between the division of the land and sea on the third day and the filling of the land on the sixth day. One is reminded again of the orderly and purposeful sequence of Creation events, as is consistent with a God of order (compare 1 Cor. 14:33).

As with the creatures created on the fifth day, the wording of the text indicates that a plurality of types was created on the sixth day of Creation. A diversity of beasts, cattle, and creeping things were created, as well.

There is no single ancestor of all land animals; God, instead, created many distinct and separate lineages.

Note the expression “according to their kind,” or similar phrases in Genesis 1:11212425. Some have attempted to use this phrase to support the idea of fixed “kinds,” an idea taken from Greek philosophy. The ancient Greeks thought that each individual was an imperfect expression of an unchanging ideal, known as a type. Yet, the fixity of species is not consistent with the biblical teaching that all of nature suffers from the curse of sin Rom. 8:19-22). We know that species have changed, as expressed in the curses of Genesis 3 (Ellen G. White wrote about the “threefold curse” on the earth—the curse after the Fall, after Cain’s sin, and after the Flood), and as seen in the parasites and predators that cause so much suffering and violence. The meaning of the phrase “according to their kind” is best understood by examining the context in which it is used.

Read Genesis 6:207:14, and Leviticus 11:14-22. How is the expression “after its kind” or an equivalent phrase applied? How do these examples help us to understand the phrase in Genesis 1?

The phrase “after his kind,” or equivalent, should not be interpreted as some rule of reproduction. Rather, it refers to the fact that there were diverse kinds of creatures involved in the respective stories. Some Bible translations use the phrase “of various kinds,” which seems more true to the context. Instead of referring to fixity of species, the phrase refers to the diversity of creatures created on the sixth day. From the time of the Creation, there have been many kinds of plants and animals.



Tuesday: Creation of the Land Animals — 8 Comments

  1. David said the animals are innumerable in Psalms 104:25. This clearly shows that they were many kinds and they still continue to be many. Apart from that, we have an obligation to take care of these animals. Proverbs 27:23-27.

  2. The lesson touched the surface of the issues relating to diversity. The lesson does imply that diversity was from creation (all species were created on the sixth day). We however know that there are subsequent variations which occur within specific species. Example the humans and it's various races. Would you say that these variations are a result of natural selection or intelligent design? We have seen a concentration of negroes in Africa, Caucasian in the north, Indian and Asians in Asia. These concentrations are not random. How do we disagree with someone who says these concentrations are a result of natural selection? Is it then that God's creation process continues after the first week? If no, then how can we say the evolutionist do not have a basis for their arguments (evolution via adaptation)? When we look at creation and its complexities and interrelations I am without a doubt that there has to be a God. It is however difficult to have an explanation for every intricate issues. I do think that some issues worth a dialogue because some of these scientific explanations are common sense logics to things we really do not have all conclusive information.

  3. I'm not sure why some place a limit on a limitless God. God proved his creativity by the making various species of birds animals and fish. How amazed I am about the great deal of thought our maker put into creation. Just for sinful man. How could I not love Him? How could I not wonder at his marvellous works?

  4. The text, in referring to "kinds" indicates that a diverse array of creatures was present as a result of God's creative activity during creation week. This phrase "after their kinds", etc does not say anything about whether they would or would not change later. However, the curses recorded in Genesis 3 do tell us that change would occur - snakes would crawl on the ground, plants would grow thorns, etc. Since the time of creation, it seems there have been great changes in organisms, especially behavioral changes such as those that drive violence and predation.

    There is no reasonable doubt that natural selection does operate on living populations - many individuals are born that cannot survive in a world with limited space and food. We see many varieties of a kind of plant or animal. Some of these variations form populations that are unable to breed with other such populations, and by definition, are therefore, different species. It seems clear that we have more species of canids (dogs) than were originally created. The dogs of Africa differ from the dogs of South America, etc. This can be explained by natural selection. However, this does not justify the claim that all species evolved from some original bacterium. The best explanation I know of is that God created many different species, and these different species have differentiated into lineages as they spread out across the world.

    The process by which different species acquire slightly different characteristics is not the same as the "creation" described in Genesis. It is more a modification. Natural selection appears to play a part in some of this. Although this is not a scientific question, it may be that God's providence is involved in preserving some of these changes. If so that is not included in the "creation" of Genesis. God has rested (ceased) from creating, according to Genesis. That does not mean He has withdrawn from the world. He still governs the rain and the sun. We will study the topic of Providence in a later lesson.

    • @ Jim Gibson who wrote:

      The best explanation I know of is that God created many different species, and these different species have differentiated into lineages as they spread out across the world.

      Given the current popular meaning of "species," might it not be wiser to refer to original created "kinds," with the recognition that these were probably equivalent to the modern classification of genus and sometimes family? This makes it possible to harmonize the data of modern biology with the biblical account.

      It seems to me that using the term "species" in the context of God's original creation may be an anachronism that confuses the issues for a lot of people. Hence Trevor's question.

      In the lesson text itself, you refer to the "kinds" of Genesis as "distinct and separate lineages," and I believe that is an excellent way of putting it. The way I see it, these may have been at the genus level for some modern classifications and for the family level for other modern classifications.

      For instance, I believe it is likely that there was only one dog "kind" created, from which all species of the modern genus "Canis" descended. Within the genetic make-up of the original dog or wolf, there was the potential to form all the modern species of dogs/wolves we recognize today. Examples are dogs, dingoes, coyotes, jackals, wolves.

      I also think it's important for us not to adopt evolutionary language when describing the changes that occurred in nature. Yes, there has been "evolution," defined as small changes over time, but today's evolutionary language carries with it the implication of evolution from simple to complex, which is contrary to the biblical account.

      I believe that the evidence is in harmony with the understanding that the original created genomes included the potential for all the variation we see today. While there are changes due to mutations, which result in more species, according to the current definition, these mutations do not represent a higher order of complexity, but usually represent a degradation of genetic material, as I understand it. (Blue eyes are one example. They are clearly different from brown eyes, but they result from the lack of eye pigment. This is a "neutral" variation, as are most similar variations, but it's easy to see that blue eyes are not a variation that is more complex than brown eyes or hazel eyes. Blue eyes just result from a different combination of genes, and since it is a recessive trait, the genetic material for brown eyes is "lost" to a blue-eyed parental couple.)

      For anyone interested in the science behind the paragraph above, I suggest Natural Selection and Limited Evolutionary Potential, both by Sean Pitman.

      Sean has also commented here in response to Jeri Brown and in response to Andrew Wee (towards the end of the comment).

  5. When animals were created they were not under the curse of sin, plants too.. Nevertheless, God is the awesome creator and had prepared every living thing with its adaptive feature. I think evolution is not true in explanation of origins. I think God put awesome genes that result in many varieties and races( humans) so that the world would show the creative power and love of the Most High. ...(Job 12:7-10) 7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
    8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind... We are also told that the ground is cursed for man's sake ... Genesis 3:17, oh what love?... the reason of races is to adapt to the natural surrounding, that came about as a result of God's curse on the land due to sin, just to show that God is not against the sinner but sin, so that we find comfort in Him because God is love.

  6. God created man on the sixth day. Of the animal kingdom yes, however He saw it was good to create man in the image of Himself. Created NOT to be an evolutionary descendent of the ape, rather He created man to have dominion over every living thing that moves, animals, fish, foul, reptiles… Genesis 1:28.


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