Animal Distribution and Creation

I have recently been reading about the topic of biogeography.  I am not a biologist and so I am far from being an expert on this.  But this illustrates some differences between how evolutionist scientists think and how creationist scientists think.  Evolutionists have made a lot of statements about biogeography supporting evolution.  This is about the fact that there are peculiarities about where various types of animals live across the world.  Some animals like marsupials (such as kangaroos and other animals with pouches) are confined only to Australia whereas elephants only seem to live in Africa and India.  Then there are many interesting things about fossils versus todays living forms.  Sometimes fossils are more widely distributed than todays living forms.  For example living marsupials are restricted today to Australia and South America (the opossum is a marsupial).  But fossils of marsupials are only found in Europe, Asia, and North America.  Evolution’s main idea on biogeography is that animals evolved to be what we know them to be as they spread out.  So, it took many generations for them to distribute around the world and as they did this over millions of years, they changed.  So new species came about that were different on the different continents.  Evolution has to approach the distribution of animals (and plants) in such a way that the various types do not all exist at the start but they come about over time as they travel and spread out.  Evolutionists thus have had trouble explaining a number of puzzling cases.  There are a number of examples where the drift of the continents from evolutionary geologists does not agree well with the scenarios from evolutionary biologists.

For small changes within basic kinds, some creatures can travel and become isolated groups on their own.  For example on the Galapagos Islands there are differences in the finches on the various islands.  But how would other animals spread out to the various continents?  There may be natural disasters occasionally that cause floating log and vegetation mats to drift across oceans.  Also in some areas there are places between islands or continents where if the sea level were less, it would open up a land bridge that animals could cross over on.  But evolutionary scenarios for using such ideas, though some work in some locations, some of the ideas proposed are just assumed without any evidence that it really happened.  Often evolutionists are left with just making up hypothetical implausible stories.

Creationists can use some of the same ideas as evolutionists in biogeography but creationists put the idea in a very different context that makes it work better.  In a creationist approach, all the “kinds” of animals start from the same location, which is in the area of Mt. Ararat in Turkey.  Animals spread out from there, as did humans.  In a creationist Biblical view of history this works because 1) you have all the animal types living at the same time and 2) you have humans who can take animals with them where they travel.  In evolutionary thinking, humans don’t have much to do with the distribution of animals across the world because the animals distributed and evolved before humans, for the most part.  A third factor in a creation approach is Noah’s Flood.  The Flood would have uprooted vast forests and there could have been very large floating mats of vegetation and logs for some time after the Flood.  Animals died in the Flood, but as animals spread out after the Flood they could have found floating mats and climbed aboard because they would be likely places to find food.  Floating mats have been known to happen occasionally in historical times but if there was really a global Flood such mats could be much bigger and more common immediately after the Flood.  So in a creationist approach floating mats could be more applicable than in an evolutionist view.

Then there’s people.  In the Biblical view of history, humans could have built boats soon after the Flood and they would likely take some animals with them for food and for other reasons.  There could also have been land bridges in certain places after the Flood.  For instance one obvious one is between Alaska and Russia.  There are good reasons to believe there was an ice age (just one) after the Flood.  The ice age would have caused variations in sea level.  Other tectonic after-effects of the Flood and post-Flood volcanic eruptions might have had a role in making land bridges also in some areas.  Because humans were capable immediately after the Flood of building boats and traveling, they could have had a major importance in distributing animals around the world.  Some animals would have spread out to areas where they later died out because of changes in the climate or because of disease or because of being hunted out by humans.  Animals adapted to the post-Flood world.  So there would be situations where new species could arise in the post-Flood period, but not new kinds.  Creation allows for limited changes to adapt to the environment.  But there are limits to how much animals can adapt and so many species probably did go extinct after Noah’s Flood.

This is a quick simple summary of biogeography and why the Biblical view of history makes sense.  There are good sources with more details I could recommend if anyone is interested.

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