Hello all my fine friends! What a beautiful week in Christ I have had. I watched as friends blessed friends, neighbors came to the Lord and others helped out those in need. As much as people question what goes wrong in this old world there are still wonderful things that happen.
Here is a puzzle, however, that many people still question. How did the animals, after the flood, get to where they are today?
Creationists and evolutionists alike agree that during the Ice Age great stretches of land now under ocean water, were at that time exposed. This is due to the unique weather patterns created from and after the Noachian flood (see blog Ice Age Part I). In short, enormous amounts of water were locked up in the ice that lowered the sea level during the Ice Age. And this created what scientists call land bridges (a stretch of land, usually narrow, that connects two or more continents or islands). The most well known of these land bridges is located at the Bering Strait; connecting the area between Alaska and Russia (by the ways, it still is connected, just underwater!).
So did the kangaroos hop all the way to Australia? Well…yes and no. Certainly the pair of kangaroo kind that disembarked from the ark did not travel all the way to Australia. So how did the animals make the long journey from Mount Ararat to their present location?
First I would like to include this statement from Answers in Genesis’ “The Revised and Expanded Answers Book”i, of which I wholeheartedly agree: “There are severe practical limitations on our attempts to understand the hows and whys of something that happened once, was not recorded in detail, and cannot be repeated.
“Difficulties in our ability to explain every single situation in detail result from our limited understanding. We cannot go back in a time machine to check what happened, and our mental reconstructions of what the world was like after the flood will inevitably be deficient.”
Even so, creationist explanations of animal distribution are all scientifically based on the clues fossil and geological records give us. For example, it has been widely taught that marsupials can only be found in Australia, and therefore must have evolved there. However, the opossum, an extant marsupial is found in both North and South America. And extinct marsupial fossils have been found on every continent.
So what does this mean? “Populations of animals may have had centuries to migrate, relatively slowly, over many generations.” “Perhaps those marsupials only survived in Australia because they migrated there ahead of the placental mammals (we are not suggesting anything other than ‘random’ processes in choice of destination), and were subsequently isolated from the placentals and so protected from completion and predation.”ii
In answer to our previous question about kangaroos going to Australia, it has been asked why there are no fossils of this animal found along the way to Australia. Well, there are many animals that we know originally had much broader ranges. Lions and tigers for example. We know they lived in Israel until fairly recent times (from historical documents), yet there are no known lion fossils in Israel. We know fossils require a rapid burial (such as in a flood), to prevent decomposition. It is logical that the small populations (shortly after leaving the ark) of animals expanding their territories, under pressure from competition and predators, would leave no fossils. It is highly possible they may have lived in one area for only a few short generations before conditions necessitated them to move on.
With land bridges, marsupial fossils all over the world, and small initial populations of a single animal kind, species distribution should not be a puzzle anymore. Ah but Willow, you may ask, what about the highly unique plants and animals, adapted to only the environment they now live in…how did that happen? That my friends, is next weeks’ question!
Take care and God bless!
WillowPS this week in the night skies look for the Perseid meteor shower at its height on Saturday, August 11. It should be at its best late that night. Keep your eyes on the sky and be patient. After 11 or midnight you may see on average, a meteor a minute. Meteors will appear earlier, but not as frequent. The crescent moon will rise by 1 or 2 a.m. (with Jupiter above it). But its light will be modest - more of a nuisance than a deterrent.
i, iiThe Revised And Expanded Answers Book, Ken Ham, et. al., March , pgs 211-214.