Noah and evolutionary model

Can anyone explain to me how as I understand it if there were 15000 different species on the ark at the most . How we get the literally millions of different species of animals today in the world . How does this view not include rapid evolution in a few hundred years . For example the horse apparently led to the zebra and donkey . But they are actually different species . They have different numbers of chromosomes to start with.


Hi Bronie,
This is a great question. I know we may be in slightly different camps regarding age of the earth, so let’s learn together rather than trying to worry about swaying each other too much. :slight_smile: .

I’m not familiar enough with Hugh Ross; have you got a reference from for the number of animals on the ark being 15000 to have a look at?
Answers in Genesis (YEC) suggests there only needed to be as low as 1,700 (

Again, I’m not familiar with ‘hundreds of millions of species’ we have today; Do you have a reference to share?

the crux of your question is the ‘rapid evolution’ over a few hundred years. has a section on speciation and short time frames.

also to the second focal point of your question; your question mentioned the horse leading to zebra / donkey: This might be of interest regarding the Tarpan?

My simple view would be that the animals on the ark would have had all the chromosomes/genetic information and the ‘sub-species’ : for example a horse, donkey or a zebra, were descended from these ‘parent species’ such as a Tarpan. As Genesis says; God created them to reproduce ‘after their kind’. ( Natural selection, or selective breeding meant a loss of this information within the same kind, not a formation of a new kind. I disagree with ‘molecules to man’ evolutionary thinking with the upward rise of new kinds from lower kinds. I don’t believe this is the day-age position anyway; the day-age position that I think that Lennox holds to is a creative act, followed by a longer time frame, and that man was a special creation on day 6.

just a quick question; is this just a discussion type question, or is there something deeper that is causing you to doubt God created (regardless of time frame?); or are you wondering if the Ark is an actual historical account?

just a few thoughts, I’m not a scientist of any description, I work in Info Technology so can only rely on what various experts have written. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Hi Mat thanks for the reply. Yes I agree pure dialogue and sharing views is better than trying to change opinions. Paul In 1 Thessalonians 5.21 encourages us to ‘ test everything and to hold onto that which is true.’ This would include our interpretation of scripture. So that’s what I’m endeavouring to do .
My question is nothing to do with loosing my faith in creation. I hold to a day age creation model that has no evolutionary aspects to it whatsoever. Just God creating. I was trying to understand how a young earth model gets around the problem of the numbers of animals on earth. The 1700 proposed by AIG on the ark(I think I added an extra 0 by mistake earlier)
The National Geographic says there is around 8million species on earth today as some have gone unidentified. Ross in his book Navigating Genesis
Said there are 5.8 million land animal species which would have had to arise through natural selection and descent through variation in the yec model.
I checked out the references you referred to. In the one where Ken refers to dogs as being an example of ‘kinds’ of animals This does not explain the number of species on earth as all dogs and wolves are the same ‘kind’ . Finches are another example of that. You can have a variety of breeds within the same species. The way we tell this is if they can produce offspring which can also reproduce.Dogs and wolves can. Why I used the horse as an example was because zebras donkeys and horses are a different’ kind ‘ ie species and interestingly God makes clear references to not interbreeding between different kinds. The Tarpan doesn’t allow enough scope for this, as these are different species not breeds like dogs .
The numbers of genetic codes one like animal would have had to have would have been enormous. It does sound like an evolutionary model which is rather ironic . ‘Parent species and sub species’ leading to different species . And all this within a few hundred years not millions that an evolutionary model would suppose. Last time I looked this is how an evolutionary model is explained. The world is full of amazing animals . Take for example my favourite the platypus. Webbed feet / fur/ mammal/ lays eggs/ has a pouch /. Totally unique ! Funny thing is people are inclined to think that just because you hold a belief that the earth is old you must believe in evolution, which I don’t. The way I see it The yec model is closer to the evolutionary model than the day age creation model. God performing miracles and recreating isn’t scriptural either as he’s resting . Well It’s food for thought anyway. At least it makes us all look more closely at the word and hey at least we get to chat which is good. :blush:


Hi Bronie,
no worries; it’s good to chat to you about these things.

So if I understand; the question is;

From the day-age perspective, was the flood a literal event? If so, when did this occur? If the flood was a literal event, and you don’t believe in rapid speciation after the flood, the ‘problem’ is bigger, because as you point out you need to fit 5 million species onto the ark. :slight_smile:

? Could have just been a male/female ‘Canidae’ on the ark? (

? are you referring to evolutionary thought about long billed short billed finches? They’re still finches, part of ‘bird’ kind, part of adaptation; not rise of new species.

Are you saying that horses and zebras and donkeys can’t breed now, therefore they are different kinds? The pair on the ark may have been Tarpan; How did you arrive at the conclusion ‘the Tarpan doesn’t allow enough scope for this’. ?

and this is a problem because ? hard to respond to this as ‘enormous’ isn’t really a specific description; just describing something as ‘large in size and extent’ and usually we have a reference point comparing to something much smaller. :slight_smile:

interesting to call it ironic; I would say it’s ironic in the reverse; as the evolutionary single tree, proposed by Darwin is looking more like a ‘creationist’ orchid model :slight_smile: (

Platypus is a really interesting animal (go Australia!); I’d suggest there was a platypus on the ark. :slight_smile: (

Are you saying you hold to an old earth view (geology), and yet do not hold to any ‘evolution’ of any kind; either natural selection (higher animals from lower animals) or adaptation (loss of genetic information)?

Are you committed to the view of uniformitarianism; whereby things in the past must have happened at the same speed we see them happen to day?

Just trying to get my head around Hugh Ross’s overall position. Is this from Wikipedia pretty close (putting aside the use of the word pseudoscience)?

Ross accepts the scientific consensus on the Big Bang theory, the age of the earth and the scientific age of the universe, however he rejects Darwinian evolution and abiogenesis as explanations for the history and origin of life, instead promoting the pseudoscientific argument of Intelligent Design.

Ross believes in progressive creationism, a view which posits that while the earth is billions of years old, life did not appear by natural forces alone but that a supernatural agent formed different lifeforms in incremental (progressive) stages, and day-age creationism which is an effort to reconcile a literal Genesis account of Creation with modern scientific theories on the age of the Universe, the Earth, life, and humans.[13] He rejects the young Earth creationist (YEC) position that the earth is younger than 10,000 years, or that the creation “days” of Genesis 1 represent literal 24-hour periods. Ross instead asserts that these days (translated from the Hebrew word yom [14]) are historic, distinct, and sequential, but not 24 hours in length nor equal in length. Ross and the RTB team agree with the scientific community that the vast majority of YEC arguments are pseudoscience and that any version of intelligent design is inadequate if it doesn’t provide a testable hypothesis which can make verifiable and falsifiable predictions, and if not, it should not be taught in the classroom as science.

Progressive creationism (see for comparison intelligent design) is the religious belief that God created new forms of life gradually over a period of hundreds of millions of years. As a form of old Earth creationism, it accepts mainstream geological and cosmological estimates for the age of the Earth, some tenets of biology such as microevolution as well as archaeology to make its case. In this view creation occurred in rapid bursts in which all “kinds” of plants and animals appear in stages lasting millions of years. The bursts are followed by periods of stasis or equilibrium to accommodate new arrivals. These bursts represent instances of God creating new types of organisms by divine intervention. As viewed from the archaeological record, progressive creationism holds that "species do not gradually appear by the steady transformation of its ancestors; [but] appear all at once and “fully formed.”[1]

The view rejects macroevolution, claiming it is biologically untenable and not supported by the fossil record,[2] as well as rejects the concept of universal descent from a last universal common ancestor. Thus the evidence for macroevolution is claimed to be false, but microevolution is accepted as a genetic parameter designed by the Creator into the fabric of genetics to allow for environmental adaptations and survival. Generally, it is viewed by proponents as a middle ground between literal creationism and evolution.

You’ve read a lot of Hugh Ross’ work; is this pretty close to a good summary?

Err, this statement doesn’t really hold water. If God stopped performing miracles after a completed creation because he was resting; then what exactly was Jesus doing in the New Testament?

Yep definitely it’s good to have a good chat about these things… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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@Bronie Great question :slight_smile: Some people believe the flood was local. Hugh Ross argues this point in the video linked below and I believe Tim Keller also holds to this view (if I understood him correctly). A few of the arguments for this position include:

  • the “whole earth” could refer to the populated earth or the “known world” - this is not uncommon in the ancient world. For example, in Luke 2:1 the Greek says that “all the world” was to be registered in a census, but it is clearly only talking about the Roman world - not the entire planet. You have to remember the ancients thought about the world differently than we do…
  • God’s judgment was generally limited in scope to wherever wickedness had spread, which would be the whole populated world; not the entire world

If the Biblical evidence points to the possibility of a local flood, then that would alleviate many of the concerns here…

On the other hand, ICR and Answers in Genesis have developed responses to this argument as well.

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Thanks Sean that’s really informative.

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Hi Matthew thanks for the great feedback. Sean’s collection bellow addresses some of the questions.
A couple of points .
Yes the flood was a literal event.
The day age creation view has no change within it beyond a sub species if at all. Interestingly God actually makes a greater distinction between birds ie in Leviticus 11 .13 he distinguishes between the kinds of ravens, hawks and falcons .

As Ross Explains in the video Sean shared The model has as part of it a worldwide flood as opposed to a global flood. He identifies where and how the bible scholars use the words ‘worldwide.
When I refer to finches it is more the varieties of finches within the same species . (A sub species) But this is not a necessary part of the Day age model.

Re the Tarpan . It’s a horse and very genetically different from a zebra and a donkey. When we cross breed horses with the others none of the offspring can reproduce.

Re the Wikipedia on Day age . It’s better to go to the horses mouth so to speak.

Re God not creating but resting , the miracles Jesus performed and I would say is still performing is part of his focus on redemption and spiritual rebirth . He isn’t involved in creating new animals. In fact an anomaly the evolutionary theory can’t explain is why as soon as man appeared on the earth speciation stopped in the fossil record. They can’t explain it but the bible does. God is resting from his creation works.

I might add to finish we will have to put the Australian echidna on the ark as while it’s a monotreme like the platypus it’s also unique. They are nothing alike .:blush:cheers Bron

Thanks for answering my questions .

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Hey @Bronie, fascinating question! I’d like to speak directly to this one point, if I may…

The Tarpan doesn’t allow enough scope for this, as these are different species not breeds like dogs.
The numbers of genetic codes one like animal would have had to have would have been enormous. It does sound like an evolutionary model which is rather ironic . ‘Parent species and sub species’ leading to different species . And all this within a few hundred years not millions that an evolutionary model would suppose.

Now, I’m a YEC myself, and while I reject macroevolution as being incompatible (in my opinion) with scripture’s description of creation and as an explanation of the diversity of life (and as far as I can tell, unprovable), I’ve always found microevolution to be perfectly reasonable and even observable.

That being the case, I’d like to point out that fast microevolution might well account for the diversity you find within the various “kinds” of creatures in the world. Take for example the Lake Washington Stickleback.

Short version, the evolutionary trend for freshwater sticklebacks is to reduce their body armor (thicker scales) as they evolve. But back in the late 1960s, Lake Washington (just outside of Seattle) was the site of a massive freshwater cleanup effort. Sticklebacks at the time had mostly light armor, with only about 6% of the population completely armored. This cleanup effort led to clearer water, which made life more dangerous for the sticklebacks who had less armor, as they now needed greater protection from predators and a fuller range of vision. In less than fifty years, the fully armored sticklebacks in Lake Washington have grown from 6% of the population to 49%, and another 35% are at least partially armored.

Considering how fast the sticklebacks evolved to fit their environment, apply that reasoning to a literal Genesis account of Noah’s animals. They spent the better part of a year in tight quarters, all existing in a tightly controlled environment. When Noah throws open the doors, they expand out into a world with a wide range of environments, each with their own unique challenges in weather, temperature, terrain, and vegetation (which was still recovering from the flood). As the animals migrate out, they drop offspring. Some continue to migrate. Some stay put. As they reach these new environments, they experience the unique challenges they find there and either live or die accordingly.

In such a situation, the only element that would be required for fast evolution to take place is a population explosion. God doesn’t need to tweak each and every animal to produce “breeds” within their “kinds”. All He has to do is increase the number of offspring they produce for a while… which happens, interestingly enough, about the same time that mankind’s days shortened from many hundreds of years to roughly 120.

I’m sure that doesn’t answer every question, but I find the scenario quite likely, and agreeable to both science and a literal interpretation of scripture, with neither one having to compromise.

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Hi Jeremy thanks for your ideas. While I can see your point about the stickleback thickening it’s armour to account for changing environmental conditions this falls far short of the necessary genetic changes needed to produce an entirely different species. The evolutionary biologists themselves talk about speciation occurring over millions of years. And even then they still don’t have the hard evidence for this. Rapid massive changes from the Family to the species and sub species like the yec model is claiming falls short as an explanation for the literally millions of species on earth today. We will just have to agree to disagree but hey we are all still in the same boat so it’s all good . God bless