Saturday, September 18, 2010
I just got back from a trip to Washington D.C. I was mostly working but did get a chance to see a few things. I spent a few hours in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Of course, there are a large number of dinosaur fossils, both real and cast. But there are also exhibits of animals from the Permian era (before the dinosaurs) and also a large number of mammals and birds that existed after the age of dinosaurs. Some of these were very large indeed.
I had several questions that kept rattling around my mind as I took all this in. One was, do Fundamentalist Christians really expect me to believe, and do they believe themselves, that Noah really put all these creatures on a boat and floated them around for a month or so (30 days and 30 nights)? Do they realize how many species of creatures have existed and we have a fossil record of? One of the favorite responses these days seems to be that Noah brought baby animals, not the full grown ones, so there would be plenty of space. That aside, I still do not understand how any sort of rational person could really and truly believe that two of every kind of land living animal that has ever lived was aboard a boat, all at once. I kept imaging myself having a conversation with a F.C., asking them as we toured the museum, "Was that one on Noah's Ark? How about that one? O.K., that one?" One, long unending question...
The second question was really a follow on to the first one. For the sake of argument, let's say that the answer to the first question I posed is , yes. Noah really did have all these animals on a boat and all these species survived "The Great Flood." Fine. So, where are all these animals now? Are the Fundamentalist Christians saying that all these species have ALL died out in the last 6000 years? Because that is a huge number of species. I have no numbers, but I would imagine that the number of land living animals that have ever lived dwarves the number of species that are actually alive today. If true, that would represent a huge die off of an incredibly large number of species.
Does this not alarm the Fundamentalist Christians at all, that we have lost perhaps 90% of all the species on Earth in the last 6000 years? Because, if that were true, then it would appear that we are in the middle of a huge crisis and I would want to understand where all these animals went and why they are not with us today. Those questions would seem to be terribly significant to the remaining species of this Earth.
But no. I have not seen that question posed before. It is of no consequence to Fundamentalist Christians, because God will take care of everything and it's all part of "God's Grand Plan." Fundamentalist Christians are not very keen on asking themselves questions that might upset their delicate balance of belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Dinosaur poster from here. Click on the poster for a larger version.