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AP Content :: Alleged Discrepancies

Too Much Activity on Day Six?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

One of the reasons skeptics reject the validity of the biblical account of creation is because they find it impossible to believe that one man could name every single species of animal on the Earth in a single day. Considering there are only 86,400 seconds in a 24-hour period, we are told it is ridiculous to believe that an individual (who had never seen animals before the day he named them) could name several million species of animals in one day. Perhaps over a period of a few weeks he could accomplish such a task, but certainly not in a single day—right?

The problem with such objections to Genesis 2:18-20 is that they are based on assumptions. The question that skeptics often ask, “Could Adam have gathered and named all of the animals on the Earth in one day?,” is misleading because the Bible places certain restrictions on the animals Adam named. Consider the following.

...the created kinds undoubtedly represented broader categories than our modern species or genera, quite possibly approximating in most cases the taxonomic family. Just how many kinds were actually there to be named is unknown, of course, but it could hardly have been as many as a thousand (1984, p. 129).

All of these textual considerations suggest that the events of day six could have been accomplished easily within a 24-hour period. Adam did not have to spend a great deal of time pondering what he would call each animal; he was created with the ability to speak and reason. If my two-year-old son can look at a book and call the names of 60 different kinds of animals in 60 seconds, I have no problem believing that Adam, having been created directly by the hand of God and made in His image (see Lyons and Thompson, 2002), had the ability to name hundreds (if not thousands) of birds and land animals in 3,600 seconds (just one hour!).

REFERENCES

Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God,’ ” Reason & Revelation, 22:17-32, March & April.

McKinsey, Dennis (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus).

Morris, Henry (1984), The Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Wells, Steve (2001), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible [On-line], URL: http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/1cor/index.html



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