0

According to Genesis 1:25,

God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds

on the 6th day. It then says at Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make man

According to Young Earth Creationists, were all land animals that now exist, such as gorillas, or ones we have fossils for, like dinosaurs, created at Genesis 1:25, or were there animals that were created after humans?

8
  • 2
    Would the answer be any different for Creationists that aren't Young Earth? Jan 2, 2023 at 18:19
  • @RayButterworth I dunno, good question. Jan 3, 2023 at 5:58
  • 1
    You say, According to Genesis, and also According to Young Earth Creationists. Which one are you asking about?
    – steveowen
    Jan 3, 2023 at 8:28
  • @OnlyTrueGod, perhaps both "Genesis" and "Young Earth Creationists" could be changed to Biblical literalists to avoid side issues. Jan 3, 2023 at 14:53
  • @steveowen Just keeping the title trim and fit. ;) Jan 3, 2023 at 17:30

1 Answer 1

7

were all land animals that now exist [...] created at Genesis 1:25, or were there animals that were created after humans?

First off, what does Scripture tell us?

Genesis 1:25-26a, 2:1-2
25 God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man [...]
2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

Now, the answer to your question depends on your understanding of "created" (and, arguably, "all"). Genesis clearly states that God created animals, then humans, then rested. There is no mention of any other Creation of animals following the Creation of humans. While that doesn't irrefutably exclude later activity, it is generally held that God has not made anything categorically novel since Creation week. More specifically, however, no new kinds of animals have been created.

(Matthew Henry comments: "After the end of the first six days God ceased from all works of creation. He has so ended his work as that though, in his providence, he worketh hitherto (John v. 17), preserving and governing all the creatures, and particularly forming the spirit of man within him, yet he does not make any new species of creatures." Note that "species" here is used in the sense of Created kind; see following comments.)

This is where a basic understanding of baraminology, or the study of created kinds, is necessary. It's well known and thoroughly documented that new breeds of animals can come about through purely natural processes, or with human intervention. A cursory look at the proliferation of dog breeds, which we know came from much more homogeneous ancestors, is sufficient to reveal this. However, these are not new kinds of animals (chihuahuas, poodles and rottweilers may look quite dissimilar but they are still dogs!), even if they lose the ability to breed due to size, habitat or simply behavior.

For example, while a lion obviously cannot breed naturally with a house cat, there exists a chain of animals capable of interbreeding by which we can determine that all cats, from the small one sitting on your lap to the largest ligers, are all the same created kind. Therefore, while God may not have Created the clouded leopard specifically, He Created the original cat with the genetic potential to become a clouded leopard, or a tiger, or a mongrel shorthair. Those breeds resulted from natural selection according to the ordinary, orderly way in which God sustains Creation, otherwise known as "natural law" or the laws of science.

In summary, it is widely believed that all kinds or animals that were Created as a special act predate humans, but additional species have arisen since through natural selection.

Now... all that being said, see also Were humans created before the animals? (Catholic perspective). In particular, the proper reading of Genesis 2:19 is contentious. While Creationists almost universally agree that the order of Creation as outlined in Genesis 1 is correct, it may be that Genesis 2:19 refers to the creation of individual animals (of already-existing kinds) after Adam was Created, but before Eve was Created. I think you were asking about Creation of animal kinds, and not specific individuals, but it's still worth pointing this out. (In any case, Genesis 2 would seem to take place entirely during Day 6.)

p.s. Some materialists will make the claim that baraminology is not a science. This is complete nonsense, as baraminology is based on studying what animal "species" are able to interbreed, and thus represents true science based on observation and experimentation. It isn't much different in fact from cladistics, which is based on making educated guesses about what animals descended from what ancestors based on various features, except that it is much more difficult to test cladistic claims. In any case, both groups agree that the species we see now are descended from a smaller set of ancestors, and both are concerned with establishing groupings of species according to such descent. The major difference is that materialists assert that all organisms originated from one ancestor (or a very small number of ancestors, i.e. the "tree of life"), while Creationists assert that God made many kinds (but dozens or hundreds, not thousands or millions) of animals originally (i.e. the "orchard of life").

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .