In my Bible reading today I read Genesis chapter one. This happened to coincide with the fact that a few days ago I finally broke down and watched Noah (you know, the Hollywood retelling of the biblical tale of the destruction of all the wicked on the earth). I don’t recommend Noah at all. It is more dark psychological thriller than it is biblical narrative, and it swings and misses so badly on some aspects of the Noah account that it would make our church-league softball team look like a bunch of hall of famers. But one point jumped out at me as I was reading the text this morning that I thought worth sharing. One of the great critiques about the Ark is that there is no way all those animals could have fit. For one, that is not entirely true, and is based on a misconception about the size of the Ark. But that is a side issue. Here’s the point. There is a part of Noah in which the animals begin to come to the Ark and there is a whole flock of birds, whole swarm of snakes, etc. But Genesis 1 tells us something very interesting about the animal kingdom. See, God made animals “after their kind.” In fact, this little phrase is used ten times in Genesis 1 alone, and it tells us something about the Ark.
See, animals reproduce after their kind. That means that from the original pair of dog/wolf kind that God created, all variations of dogs/wolves are descended. Our good God placed within the DNA of those animals the incredible ability to produce great variation within offspring, but always after their kind. In other words, a dog kind will never produce (or evolve into) a horse. However, as traits are isolated over a period of time, smaller dogs may be produced in one place, striped dogs in another, long or short-haired dogs in another, etc. And this concept is applied to all animal kind. Contrary to some scientists, this is NOT proof of Darwinian evolution. Evolution requires that something change kinds, which has never been observed in nature.
So, how many animals did Adam name and how many did Noah take on the Ark? I don’t know an exact number, but most conservative scientists will estimate in the hundreds, not the thousands! And this idea points to a much more important truth: we serve an Awesome God Who made all things, sustains all things, and built into His world variation and wonderful things for us to enjoy, from “Man’s best friend” to Zorses and Zonkeys (yes, they exist, because they are from the same kind!). What a Creator, and what a God we serve.