# To the YEC, did God make a single male/female pair of each kind of animal?

Genesis 1:21-22

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good

God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth."

Genesis 1:24

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.

For example :
A. God create a bunch of elephants, cows, doves, eagles, penguins, dolphins, dogs, ants, snakes, etc etc ... here and there across the earth - male and female.

B. God create 2 elephants, 2 cows, 2 doves, 2 eagles, 2 penguins, 2 dolphins, 2 ants, 2 snakes, etc etc ... male and female for each type and they are all in one place ---> Something like when on the 6th day we go to a zoo or to an African Safari, many types of animal are there - but there are only two for each type, male and female.

C. Almost like B, but the two elephants on the most North of the earth, the two doves somewhere on other part of the earth, the two penguins on the most South of the earth, the two snakes exactly in the Eden Garden, etc etc. In other words, the size of the "African Safari" is as big as the earth size :).

So, according to the YEC - is it A or B or C ?

Thank you.

• This is an interesting question which could have a more interesting follow-up. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 4:23
• Could you clarify C? Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 12:55
• @Sola I think in (b) All the pairs are created in the Garden and have to migrate to their habitats. In (c) the pairs are created in their natural habitats. Only a small portion of created pairs are in the Garden. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 13:51
• I'm curious. What use will you put this information to? I'm sure it will help with slanting the answer, if any. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 15:48
• Yes bradimus, in (b) the pair of each type are in a smaller area (more concentrate because the area is smaller), while in (c) the pair of each type are spread to any part of the world. For illustration of (b) : in a 1000 m2 land size there are 2 dogs, 2 elephants, 2 snakes, 2 dolphins, 2 ants, and so on until, say there are 5000 types of animal. One does not need much time to find those 5000 types of animal in a 1000m2 land size. (continue) Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 16:29

The Answer is A. The question is very good, but a lot of people are not familiar with the phrase - YEC [It should be explained ] and it also should be noted that many who hold this view do not use or like this term - Young Earth Creationists, because something that is 6-10 thousand years is ancient - not young. It's better to use the term Biblical Creationists, or "those who believe in the literal creation account".
The creation account in Genesis 1:20-24 doesn't say explicitly, but when we look at other passages, [using solid principles of Bible Interpretation- scripture interprets scripture, and other clear passages inform or shed light on less clear ones] we can see that the answer is A. It is a common view among those Biblical Creationists- who hold the literal creation position - that the original earth was one giant land mass and split as a result of plate tectonics in the Genesis flood. We know this from at least 2 separate scriptures, and it's important to the topic. I Chronicles 1:19 and Genesis 10:25 "In the days of Peleg, the earth was divided." https://answersingenesis.org/geology/plate-tectonics/did-the-continents-split-apart-in-the-days-of-peleg/.
So in this scenario there were thousands of miles of continuous, connected land mass. If God had only made 2 otters or 2 racc0ons, or 2 rabbits, or 2 squirrels, they could have been devoured in the first week by a vulture, fox or eagle and poof, 1/3 of the animals are extinct in a year.
But this leads us to the other evidence from scripture. *Remember that we should compare scripture to help shed light on questions like these and other issues.

Ask most of your Christian friends "How many of each kind of animal were on the ark"? and they will immediately say two. But this is a commonly held myth.
It's great for helping 4 year old kids remember the story, and making kids songs rhyme, but it's not true.
Scripture explicitly says that there were 2 of the unclean animals but 7 pairs of the birds and 7 pairs of clean animals. It's no coincidence that the sacrificial animals are also the same animals they could eat.
Genesis 7:1-3 "Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals,a the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, 3 and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. As soon as Noah and his family left the ark, they made a sacrifice, so if there were 2, then the sheep and goats would immediately be extinct.

It's clear from other scripture that the pure spotless young lamb was to be a perfect picture of his son- the spotless lamb of God, so it wouldn't work for God to have people sacrifice unclean animals - and the other point is that scripture says that it is slothful to kill an animal and not eat it. God's design of clean animals for sacrifice and for eating also provided a means for the Old Testament priests to eat.

• +1 for referencing "runaway subduction"! Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 12:36
• Thanks, Mike. I'm surprised that on a forum like this, that people give answers and actually cite the " 2 by 2 animals on the ark Myth" and people give that a vote up. Heheh. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 14:46
• "As soon as Noah and his family left the ark, they made a sacrifice, so if there were 2, then the sheep and goats would immediately be extinct.". Very nice logic. So, it more likely the answer is A. Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 9:48

Variant A.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306 – 373) writes in "Commentary on Genesis":

After Moses spoke about the lights that came to be in the firmament, he turned to write about the swarming things, the birds and the serpents that were created from the waters on the fifth day, saying, "And God said, 'Let the waters cause living things to swarm, and let the birds fly above the earth.' And God created the great serpents and every living creature with which the waters swarmed according to their kind." (Gen 1:20, 1:21)

When the waters were gathered, which had been ordered on the second day, the rivers were ordered and also springs, lakes, and ponds were revealed. At the word of God, these waters--dispersed throughout creation--brought forth swarming things and fish from within them: the serpents were created within the abysses and the birds soared in flocks out of the waves into the air.

... After Moses spoke about the creation of the swarming things and of the birds and the sea serpents on the fifth day, he turned to write about the creeping things and the animals and the beasts that were created on the sixth day, saying, "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and reptiles and beasts.'" ( Gen 1:24) Although the entire earth was swarming with swarming things, nevertheless the cattle and the beasts were made on the border of Paradise so that they might dwell at the appointed place of Adam.

Then the entire earth stirred with creeping things as it had been commanded. The earth also brought forth the beasts of the field as companions to the wild beasts, and it brought forth as many beasts as would be useful for the service of that one who, on that very day, was to transgress the commandment of his Lord.

• I believe the OP is asking in the context of the modern YEC movement. If that is case, this answer would benefit from the addition of sources indicating that the YEC accept Ephraim's teachings. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 20:28
• Saint Ephrem the Syrian is one of the most famous and authoritative Fathers of the Church and interpreters of the Word of God like saint John Chrysostom, saint Basil the Great , saint Gregory the Theologian or saint Athanasius the Great. Word of God and Fathers of the Church, not only modern YEC movement, teach us the truth that God created the universe in six days (in sense Earth's rotation period). Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 21:25
• @DenisMath, [Although the entire earth was swarming with swarming things, nevertheless the cattle and the beasts were made on the border of Paradise] ---> It seems St. Ephrem was talking about Gen 2:19 ? Please CMIIW (correct me if I'm wrong). Thank you. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 1:55
• @bradimus, you are right that at least there is a source indicating the YEC today accept Ephrem's teaching about this. Because this question, depends on the answer - it may make another question based on the answer. So if Ephrem's answer/teaching is option(A) but the today's YEC teaching is not option(A) then it will be difficult for me to make another question. Thank you. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 2:03
• @karma The quotation from Genesis 1:24 before the selected text of St. Ephraim shows what he interprets: "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and reptiles and beasts.'" (Gen 1:24) Although the entire earth was swarming with swarming things, nevertheless the cattle and the beasts were made on the border of Paradise..." Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 10:28

Genesis 1:21-22

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.

In this verse it doesn't clarify how many he made.

Genesis 1:24

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.

This verse doesn't say either. This calls for some in depth research...

Genesis 6:20

Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

God only put two of each animal on the ark. This hints that God only needed two of each kind to be created. It's not specific on where they were created, but God said to fill the Earth. I would say B is correct because God would have created them for Adam and Eve to see. And if the theory of Pangea is correct, God would have only created them in one spot, since Pangea is one continent.

• I like the logic based on the Noah's ark story. So if I'm a literalist, yes I think the answer is B. Also it can be seen that after the flood, then all those each pair of any kind of animals are in one spot. Thank you Joel for your answer. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 3:38
• Off topic, if you are interested - I have some other questions which similar about Genesis and can be "inter-connected". Maybe you would like to answer that other questions. Thanks. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 3:46
• Do you have any references of YECs actually making this argument? Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 23:10
• Joel, you've cited a very common myth in Christianity regarding Noah's flood and the ark. You should re-read the story again. The notion of 2 by 2 was to make a nice rhyme for Children's songs - but the truth is that there were 7 pairs of the clean animals. So 14 cows, - 14 goats, 14 sheep, but 2 camels, 2 elephants. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 15:14
• Genesis 7:1-3 says that there were 7 pairs of clean animals and also 7 pairs of birds. If God had only made 2 rabbits and 2 chipmunks and 2 squirrels, then an eagle or hawk would have eaten them on the first day - making all rabbits extinct in one week. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 17:54