How Noah could have fit two or fourteen of every animal that has ever lived onto a boat with the floor space of about one and a half American football fields, has always been a major problem with accepting Biblical mythology as reality. In recent years, creationists have tried to answer this problem by creatively interpreting the word ‘kind’. Answers in Genesis and it’s founder Ken Ham rely heavily on this weak argument, to keep funding for their various money pits.
According to this wildly erroneous theory, the word kind as used in the King James Bible, generally means what real scientists would call “family” and that all animals belonging to a specific family were represented on the Ark by a single pair of animals from that family which later bred all of the various species from that family that we see today. For instance: a Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaicia) which is a species of the, Genus: Panthera tigris, which is a group from the Sub-family: Panthernae, of the Family: Felidae would have hybridized through breeding from the same pair of animals as the domestic cat. In fact, according to this idea, all 55 living species of felids, from the 480 pound Bengal Tiger to the 3 pound Rusty-Spotted Cat, spread across five continents are hybridized naturally from two cats who walked into the Ark around 4,500 years ago. Although this sounds like an infantile representation of evolution, creationists flatly deny any similarity.
Occasionally, this classification causes problems, so creationists will change it to sub-family, order, or whatever other classification suits their needs. In such cases, the apparent contradiction of this with other statements they make is completely glossed over, or just simply ignored. By playing with the word ‘kind‘ these pseudo-scientists are able to claim a significantly smaller group of animals on Noah’s Ark than is stated by their own mythology.
For the sake of this post I won’t go into how this ‘theory’ still ignores an overwhelming amount of actual scientific findings; how it still doesn’t give enough room on the boat for the animals; how it doesn’t account for sea life; or how it only works for translations of the Bible which have been selectively edited into Shakespearean English. Instead, I will just use their own fairy-tale book to show that they are starting from a flawed foundation, which consistently contradicts itself and reality.
What Does Genesis Say About “Kinds”:
The particular passages where “kind” is used in reference to the animals on the Ark are as follows:
Genesis 6:20–Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
Genesis 7:14–They [Noah and his family], and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
Genesis 8:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
That’s right, of the 14 passages which talk about the animals on the Ark, three use the word kind. So, what do the other 11 passages have to say about what animals were on the Ark?
Well first up we have Genesis 6:19:
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
This is the first passage which tells which animals and how many of each are to go onto the Ark. It is also the passage which is the most damaging to the whole “kind” theory. The key phrase in this passage is “…of every living thing, of all flesh,…” This passage clearly says that there are to be two of every sort of living thing of all flesh brought into the Ark. Not two representatives of each family of animals, but two of every animal.
My assumption would be that the argument here would be that the following passage (shown above) clarifies this problem by saying “their” and “his” “kind” of animal. If we are to take this literally, then we get male and female kinds of birds, male and female kinds of domesticated animals, and only male kinds of other land animals which means that there were females of every other land animal. But, his could be used as a generic form of their, so we will overlook that, and focus instead on the word ‘sort’.
If we are to accept that kind means ‘family’, then sort also means the same thing, since in Genesis 6:20 and 7:14 (see above) kind and sort are both used to describe the amount of animal representatives on the Ark. This would do a good job of explaining away my passage if no problem could be found with the idea.
So, if sort means family in the biological classification sense, and the Bible is consistent and not contradictory in its word usage, then, what is meant by 2 Kings 24:14 which speaks of sorts of poor people? A sensible reading of this passage, and the surrounding chapter would show that sort is being used just as we use it today, to break things down into specifics. Just as a sensible reading of the passages above would show that sort or kind in the Genesis flood myth means every type, or what we now call species, of animal i.e. if the Bible is true, then tigers, lions, ocelots, and all the other sorts of cats were represented by a pair of tigers, pair of lions, pair of ocelots, etc. and not just by a single pair of cats. The same would apply to all other animals, and we are back to having way too many animals to fit on such a relatively small boat.
But, we’re not talking sensible here, we’re talking fundamentalism. So, according to the creationist kind theory, 2 Kings is telling us that princes and blacksmiths belong to different sub-families of hominid, which means that there are more than one species of humans, only one of which was represented on the Ark which would violate God’s command, and leave the question: where did all of these other different kinds of humans come from, and where are they now?
The next passage to pose a problem for the kind theory is Genesis 7:2
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
This passage not only contradicts the number given in Genesis 6:20 above, but says “every” “beast”, with no division by kind. But, with the theory of kind “every…beast” cannot mean every beast. So, if every beast does not mean every beast then ‘beast’ also has to mean kind or family. So, you would need only 14 bovids total, and not 14 cows, and 14 sheep, and 14 musk oxen, etc. But if beast and kind mean the same thing, then what is meant by ‘kinds of beasts’ in Genesis 7:14 and 8:19 above. To conform to the theory, it would mean that there are families of families, or kinds of kinds which completely changes the meaning of kind back to the original meaning of individual types of beasts, or, as we call it today, species. This, in turn, destroys the whole kind theory espoused by these quack-scientists.
The division of animals in the passage above into clean and unclean, brings us to another place in the Bible where kind is used for animal classification: Leviticus 11.
In this chapter of Leviticus we are told what animals we can eat, and what we can’t. Ignoring the Biblical classification of a jack rabbit as a ruminant (Lev 11:6), and the Biblical classification of a bat as a bird, we see that vultures, kites, owls, hawks, night hawks, and cormorants are all different “kinds” of birds. Since actual scientists put hawks, owls, and vultures into the same family then kind can’t be family. In this part of the Bible kind is shown to be a classification closer to species. This is again shown clearly in Leviticus 11:22 which separates locusts of two different types and grasshoppers by the word “kind.” Since locusts are specific species of grasshoppers, then clearly, kind would either mean species, or it would simply mean type as is “a type of grasshopper”, which brings us back to the huge number of animals again, and once again, destroys the whole kind theory.
There are other instances of kind clearly meaning species, such as Genesis 1-3 wherein fruit trees are separated from other fruit bearing trees, but I think it’s clear by now just how stupid and illogical the kind-theory truly is.
The Overall Problem With This Theory
Simply put, the overall problem with this theory is that it relies on a belief that the Bible is a literal representation of reality. If we are to believe that the Bible is anything more than a collection of mythological stories, then we have to take everything as correct, and there can be no contradictions with itself or easily observable reality.
The passages used to back up the whole kind stupidity not only contradict each other as to what a kind is, but they even contradict each other on other things, such as how many cows were on the Ark: 2 according to Genesis 6:20, and 14 according to Genesis 7:2. And, the whole thing flies in the face of common sense, since kind, as it’s used here, clearly means what we would call today: species, despite what creationists would want it to mean.
If creationists really want any sensible person to believe that the Bible is a scientifically accurate depiction of history and the natural World, then they have to stand by their belief and scientifically prove that rabbits chew their cud and have multiple stomachs like other ruminants, that bats are birds not mammals, and that there are distinctively different species of humans, which can be biologically classified according to social status and occupation. When they can do this I will give them some credibility, and I will also believe that fire-breathing dragons, unicorns, and satyrs are real instead of merely mythological creatures like other Bible story participants such as: Adam, Eve, Noah, a talking donkey, and God.