Q&A: Where Does Speciation Fit in Creation?

From David—South Korea

Thank you for your question, David. We do believe that God, through His miraculous interventions, created various species during the creation week. The term “speciation” has at least sixteen different definitions in the scientific literature. Some of these definitions are so narrow that certain breeds of dogs and gray parrots would qualify as separate species. So, RTB’s understanding of speciation is based on the Hebrew word mîn, which means “biological kind.”

Specific texts within Scripture argue for a narrow definition of mîn. For example, the book of Leviticus 19:19 implies that different mîn can mate, but then states that “different kinds of animals” should not mate. In both Leviticus 11:13–18 andDeuteronomy 14:11–18 the horned owl, screech owl, little owl, great owl, and white owl are all referred to as separate mîn. Only these kinds of owls are described as “unclean,” while eating “any kind” of raven or hawk is declared unclean (emphasis added). Therefore, at least for birds, the definition of mîn appears roughly analogous to “species.” Also, in Leviticus 11:22, the text states “any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper” as separate mîn. In this passage the definition of mîn may have a meaning as broad as a genus.

What all this implies concerning God’s direct involvement in speciation is that God frequently intervened throughout the creation days to design new kinds of life. However, He created each new species with a built-in ability to adapt to changing environments. Because definitions of “species” are so varied and broad, many so-called speciation events may merely be examples of adaptation.

How does one know the difference between what is a miraculous speciation event and what is an example of adaptation? Biblically speaking, we can start by determining when the life-form in question appeared. Did it appear before or during the human era? Genesis 1 and 2 tell us God ceased creating new kinds life on the seventh day. Thus, during the human era only natural processes will occur in evolutionary biology. Before the human era (the six creation days), evolutionary biology will feature a combination of both natural and supernatural processes.

You can find a more detailed explanation of RTB’s perspective on speciation in my book Navigating Genesis.

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.


About Will Myers

I am an "Intelligent Design" writer who has the Christian faith. Part of my background is that I have a degree in physics, and have been inducted into the National Physics Honor Society. Sigma Pi Sigma, for life. My interest has lead me into metaphysics, farther into Christianity. Optimum metaphysics becomes religion.
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