Bullet Five – Breeding Boundaries

Part 6 of the series: Shooting Down Theistic Evolution

*This shoots as big a hole in theistic evolution as any of the previous bullets. Everything that reproduces, every plant, every animal, every fish, every bird, every insect, (even every human in a similar way), all reproduce according to their kinds.

On day three (verses 11-12), God created vegetation (remember that in the evolutionary timeline plants are not the first sort of organic life), and the phrase according to its kind is repeated three times. Apple trees produce apple seeds that grow into little apple trees. Orange trees produce orange seed that don’t grow into oak trees.

On day five (verses 20-23), God established that each individual type of water creature would reproduce according to their kinds (demonstrating that there were multiple kinds in the water), and every winged bird multiplied according to its kind.

Then on day six (verses 24-25), God established that livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth all would multiply according to their kinds. God made them distinct, and made them to reproduce keeping those distinctions. Humans may have successfully bred a cocker spaniel and poodle into a cockapoo, but it’s still a dog. We’ve never mated mosquitos with goldfish or squirrels into mosquish or squirritos.

And even though the phrase “according to their kind” isn’t included when God made men and women, they were the only creatures fashioned in the likeness of God’s image. Men are of a different kind altogether.

No kind jumps out its kind, there is no mutating across breeds or progression up the food chain. God placed limits and boundaries on the light and darkness, on the sea and the seashores, and on living creatures breeding according to their kinds. Fish belong in the water; flying is for the birds; men and animals were made for land. God creates, God separates, God distinguishes and defines and sets boundaries.

Comments (copied)

Philip de Oliveira said October 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm:

I really like the things you’re pointing out, and I appreciate your heavy use of Scripture, as “we” over here are no less than brutalized by your bullets. I just wanted to point out that your language can be a bit presumptuous at times, in that you don’t even seem to take the opposing side seriously. I realize that Calvinists are bred to make no apologies as they topple the walls of everyone else’s false doctrine, but I think next time you might consider your audience as you write these. (Of course, I anticipate you might draw from my previous comments to highlight my own presumptuous behavior, which I readily confess, but please know that in the context of this comment I’m sincerely trying to be helpful.)

SKH said October 27, 2008 at 4:43 pm:

Hi, Phil. I was wondering if/when you’d get enough time in your schedule for more interaction. Good to see you again.

Thanks for your (more or less) gracious encouragement and I do appreciate your concern for my presumptuousness. But honestly, I must be so presumptuous that I’m blind to what language I’ve used that sounds presumptuous.

I stated in the introductory post to this short series that my aim was to “shoot” at theistic evolution with the Genesis one account itself. Therefore, I hope my case includes more than just a “heavy use of Scripture”; I’m basing it entirely on Scripture. If Scripture is errant, I’m finished. But my “audience” are those who believe the Bible is God’s Word, and therefore inerrant and authoritative.

That said, perhaps my interpretation of Genesis one is wrong. I do not want to be presumptuous in my attempts to interpret God’s Word. So please, really, please, point out wrong interpretation. I’m not taking a “side,” I’m solely interested in the author/Author’s intent. I believe Moses made his case clearly (a point which I’ll mention in the conclusion post to the series), and therefore, the proper interpretation (again, granting that I may or may not have it) does indeed “make no apologies,” even if scientific claims are toppled in the process.

I am glad that you’re reading. I’m glad that you’re interacting. But perhaps you shouldn’t presume that you are my audience, especially if you believe that we must give science equal authority to Scripture. If that’s the case, there’s very little possibility of me pleasing you, since I believe Scripture’s distinctions between light and dark, true and false, right and wrong are not presumptuous at all.

SKH said October 27, 2008 at 4:49 pm:

While we’re on the subject, would you say that this quote is presumptuous?

Philip de Oliveira said October 27, 2008 at 7:22 pm:

There’s always some apprehension that I’ll come across as selectively belligerent, especially when I haven’t commented for a while, so thanks for the welcome.

As I read over your reply, I’m thinking that maybe the issue is more about Scriptural exposition than it is about evolution. I guess my problem could be summed up in that I get the impression that you are equating your interpretation of Scripture with Scripture itself. No doubt you are extremely qualified, both academically and spiritually, to interpret and communicate the Word (as I’ve been fortunate to experience myself the past few summers). What I’m after is some acknowledgment that your interpretation of Genesis, regardless of its scholarly support, is still one of many perhaps not equal but still valid models.

Since my reasons for keeping the door open to theistic evolution won’t really do too well in a comment box, I’m thinking maybe I should present those on my own blog. I certainly don’t want to shoot any bullets: I’d prefer that anyone who disagrees be conscious enough to make their point. If I do find the time to write, I’d be thrilled to have some scholarly feedback as opposed to my primitive fist-flinging.

Trinian said October 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm:

I look forward to reading your upcoming blog post, Phil. I hope that it contains either an actual textual criticism of SKH’s interpretation or a sound expository advancement of the competing viewpoint. Arguments that question the tone of an argument or simply laud the virtues of doubt and uncertainty ring rather hollow when placed opposite a clear viewpoint into the unrelenting perspicuity of Scripture. Again, you’ve said that your real argument cannot be contained by this meta, so I will await your post.

SKH said October 28, 2008 at 6:51 pm:

Phil, I like the phrase, “selectively belligerent.” Can I use that?

I’m very happy to make the issue entirely about Scriptural exposition (which, by the way, means that while I’ll eagerly await your posts about theistic evolution, I’m likely to be less interested if they don’t have to do with interpretation of Genesis one itself).

As for your newest concern that I’m proud, not just presumptuous, I really thought I went out of my way in my reply above to say, “perhaps my interpretation of Genesis one is wrong,” in addition to, “the proper interpretation (again, granting that I may or may not have it).” It seems like that is an acknowledgement of at least some sort. In fact, I explicitly requested exegetical critique.

But perhaps you could give me the benefit of the doubt about my attitude, at least for the sake of the discussion, and deal with the issue. It seems like you agree that the proper interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture. However, it also seems like you think it’s impossible for us to actually know the proper interpretation. Does that mean God revealed words but hid His meaning? Or, if you think it is possible to know what God meant by what He said, how so? And if we can/do know, how do you suppose God recognizes “many…valid models”?

Leila said November 5, 2008 at 11:46 am:

Apart from scriptural exposition, this brings up a fascinating contention in current evangelical circles. It’s this: no one can be right. We must always hedge our bets so that we don’t offend anyone. It’s the awful influence of post-modern tolerance that screams tolerance = acceptance, and no one can ever be right because there are no absolutes.


Because John the Baptist did not say this to the Pharisees:

“I totally understand we’re all Israelites, and I genuinely appreciate your desire to serve the Lord. Now, I can’t judge your hearts, your motives, your beliefs, or your interpretations of scripture, but might I offer you a suggestion? You’re coming across a little strong. I think you’re misinterpreting some scriptures, though your reading is equally as valid as my own. In my desire for us all to love one another, can we talk about this some time over, say, dinner?”

I think it went something more like:

“Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’…He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (matt 4:7-12).

This is a matter of God’s Word – of defending TRUTH. Our example is the greatest prophet after Christ, in the likeness of Elijah. He pulled NO punches when shooting down false doctrine and ideas/beliefs/teachings that would cause people to stumble or send them to Hell. Nor should we when we are standing upon the truth of Scripture.