Sixth Day Details

The Third Thing Created

The Difference between Families and Species

When God created the various kinds of animals, does that mean he created every species in the beginning? In other words does the biblical word, 'kinds' mean precisely the same as the biological word, 'species'? The context clearly indicates that 'kinds' and 'species' are not the same. For example, tigers and lions are different species. However, according to the context of the creation account they must be the same kind. If a lion and tiger are mated, they produce offspring called a liger or tigon. The creation account says that animals always produce offspring of the same kind. In other words, the tigon is the same kind as its parents. In order for that to be true, lions and tigers must be the same kind.

Many other examples could be given. Cattle bred to buffalo produce beefalo. Cattle and Buffalo are two different species, but the same kind. A horse bred to a jackass produces a mule. They are two species but one kind.

The Biblical term kind is very close to the taxonomical level of family. And that is what they are. Since they are all related by parentage, they are a family of animals. The dog family (canine), the cat family (feline), the horse family (equine), the cow family (bovine), etc. If you try to cross animals from two different families they do not produce offspring.

If God created just two animals of each family, then how did we get all the species? When God created each family of animals, He likely gave them genetic diversity. That is, for traits such as color, size, shape, length of hair, etc. the original animals had genetic instructions for all possibilities. Their offspring may have gotten different combinations of these traits. Within just a few generations these two animals could have produced hundreds, if not thousand, of different species. The different species spread out to the environments that fit their traits the best. for example, long haired one preferred cooler climates. Short haired ones moved toward to warmer climates.

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