Ark and Evolution

First published: 26th November 2008

I am most interested that Danny Thurston appears to offer a direct response to my letter (Nov 22) concerning the crowded conditions of Noah's Ark without actually mentioning my letter. Nonetheless, I welcome his venture into critical thinking.

Mr. Thurston points out that the Ark would not have been so overcrowded if the term "kind" used in the Bible referred to 'genus', 'order' or 'family' instead of 'species'. The Bible pre-dates the formalisation of the usage of these scientific terms, so we should not expect a perfect correspondence.

If that was the case, then the corollary is that there has been an enormous proliferation of species in those groups since the time of the Ark. How did those species arise? The idea that one species may, over many generations, transform into one or more distinct species is anathema to most people who aver the literal truth of the Bible and, therefore, the story of Noah's Ark. Conversely, the idea also does not fit with current scientific evidence. To cite one piece of evidence among many, molecular genetics can estimate how long ago two groups of organisms had a common ancestor, and the range of values is very much longer and very much more diverse than the supposed length of time since the Ark.

Mr. Thurston has presented an interesting idea that does not fit with either the-Bible-is-true or scientific thinking. Good, scientific critical thinking is all about coming up with new ideas and testing them against the evidence.