DEFINING A SPECIES
(as created separately)

One would think that by listening to creationists or reading about their views concerning "kind" a term used in the Bible (Genesis), that a clear description of "kind" would delineate once and for all a clear and unambiguous definition. But no, it is disappointing  to see that no such clear and unambiguous definition is available.

Creationists would like to define “kind” in terms of interbreeding, since the Bible describes different living things as “multiplying after kind,” and evolutionists also use the interbreeding criterion.

In 1941, creation biologist Frank L. Marsh proposed that the Biblical created kind could be defined in terms of reproduction. He argued that two creatures which can successfully mate must have descended from the same kind. This idea has been adopted to support the practice of baraminology, the attempt to identify the created kinds. The few creationists who work in baraminology have attempted to derive a consistent set of rules for establishing when this criteria is met. Microbiologist and creationist Siegfried Scherer refined the criteria to state that if two creatures can hybridize with the same third creature, they are all members of the same "basic kind". Thus all members of a ring species would be members of the same kind.

From this statement it would appear that  the interbreeding criterion is a central point of defining a "kind" (or perhaps "species"?) But then the creationist Frank Marsh says that all members of a ring species would be members of the same "kind."

That shows a complete ignorance of what a "ring" species is in the real world. A ring species is one in which a number of populations of the species are distributed in a circle, and that when the terminal ends meet, the populations cannot interbreed. A very good example of a ring species can be seen in the salamander Ensatina.  (See the web  site on Ensatina, a ring species)

When it comes to having a thorough education in the biological sciences, such creationists as Frank Marsh is ignorant. Marsh is much better at delivering opinions from his own very limited knowledge and from a dogmatically opinionated position based on his own interpretations of the Biblical scriptures rather than from a scientific viewpoint. But this is not the end of it:

Theologian Russell Mixter comments on this early view:
One should not insist that "kind" means species. The word "kind" as used in the Bible may apply to any animal which may be distinguished in any way from another, or it may be applied to a large group of species distinguishable from another group ... there is plenty of room for differences of opinion on what are the "kinds" of Genesis.

and

Because the term species has not retained its original meaning, Creationists use the word "kind" (sometimes baramin from the Hebrew words bara meaning "created" and min meaning "kind" to refer to a population of genetically related individuals. Sometimes the word "type" is used. Each "kind" of organism is considered genetically unrelated to other "kinds." Because of the lack of standardization in naming species, the genetic boundaries for "kinds" or types may include genus and family and even as high as the taxonomic “class."

by Patrick Briney, Ph.D., creationist.

 

Listening to creationists, one easily gets lost in a morass of confusing definitions. Just what does Dr. Briney mean by "genetically related individuals?" How similar do two individuals have to be genetically to fit Briney's description?? How many DNA bases on a set of chromosomes do two individuals have to be the same (or different) to be "genetically related?"

It is clear that such creationists have no intention to be clear about their definitions. They only intend to convince the less educated and ignorant, that their interpretations of Biblical scriptures (as written by older men over 2000 years ago) are the absolute truth.

The concept of fixed kinds seem to have arisen not from any Biblical hermeneutics, but out of the necessities imposed by trying to save the doctrine of creationism from the undeniable reality of the immense diversity of nature, aided by the natural human cognitive bias of thinking of the universe in terms of Platonic ideals.

(See Plato and his "eidos")

 

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