Pity the poor inverts

How did all those “kinds” of animals survive aboard the Ark during Noah’s Flood? Ken Ham has a novel answer. See below the fold.

One of the common questions faced by Biblical literalists is how the heck the Ark could have kept all those “kinds” of animals safe during the Flood. How could a tiny cadre of humans have fed all of them and cleaned out their stalls? Where’d all that manure go on an Ark with only a tiny window to the outside?

Creationists have offered a variety of reponses. One is that Noah only took baby animals, but most answers are to the effect that “kinds” are not species but are at a higher taxonomic level–genus or family. For example:

The word species and the biblical word “kind” are often used interchangeably. This is incorrect since they are not synonymous. The biblical word “kind” denotes an organism that reproduces others like itself. The species concept is much narrower than this; therefore many species can be included in a single biblical “kind.” The word kind is probably closer to the modern taxonomic unit of genus, and in some cases the larger taxonomic unit, family.

Kurt Wise made a similar claim in a talk at Messiah College that’s no longer available on the web but which I archived some time ago. Wise talked about new species popping up daily or weekly in the couple of centuries after the Flood receded.

Ken Ham, though, has a different solution: Noah didn’t take a pair of representatives of all the “kinds” on earth aboard the Ark! In the March 11, 2010, edition of “Answers, with Ken Ham” radio program, Ham answers the pressing question “Insects–were they actually on the Ark?” The short answer is ‘No (except as stowaways).’ The long answer is more interesting:

Noah took two of every land animal, seven of some, on board the Ark, but did that also include insects? You know, some insects may indeed have been on the Ark, but they would have been stowaways. The real question is whether insects were among the living creatures that God said had to be on the Ark. Were they creatures with a life spirit called a Nephish, and were thus brought on board?

Well, there are differences of opinion among Bible scholars as to which creatures are covered in the list from Genesis chaper 6 that went on the Ark, but most conservative scholars regard regard the invertebrates–those without a backbone, including insects–as not being among them. So if God didn’t require Noah to take insects aboard the Ark, wouldn’t they have perished in the Flood? Well, according to Genesis 7, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life died. But insects don’t breathe through their nostrils. Actually, one way insects could have survived the flood is by floating on rafts of vegetation. (Emphasis added).

Ham is saying is that 95% of all species (or their ancestors) were not on the Ark. Representatives of only a part of just one subphylum, terrestrial vertebrates, were rescued. The rest of the vertebrates and the other three dozen animal phyla–arthropods among them–and even the invertebrate members of the phylum Chordata, were on their own to ride out the Flood however they could. That seems a little shaky, since God did tell Noah

… I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. (Italics added)

So, God didn’t make bugs? That’s a little tough on beetles, but it does put the lie to His reputed inordinate fondness for them. :)