A Creation Classification

A Creation Classification

We’ve previously discussed the issue of creation classification and the disaster of evolutionary taxonomy. In this brief article, we will discuss an alternative to the evolutionarily dominated taxonomic system.  This system I develop here is based on a system presented by Bodie Hodge in a feedback article on the Answers in Genesis website[1]. Unlike the aforementioned system of Berndt, this system is simplistic and intuitive[2].

Principles of Taxonomy

Taxonomy operates on certain underlying principles. We have touched on aspects of this before but there are some things left to discuss.  The evolutionary taxonomy operates under the assumption that common design equates to common ancestry. This appears regularly in the homology argument that evolutionists make.  The argument essentially goes they look similar so they must be related.  Unfortunately, this false idea has penetrated some creation baraminology as well.

The primary principle of a Biblical taxonomy is strict adherence to the authority of God’s Word. This should not be necessary to state but so many Christians have readily abandoned the authority of the Word of God that it has become necessary to state it.  Anyone attempting to establish a classification based on the Bible has to be willing to accept that the Bible is the ultimate authority on everything on which it speaks.  If they cannot accept the clear teaching of Scripture, they will never produce a Biblically sound classification.

A second principle that is necessary for a sound Biblical classification is the use of the Biblical kind. No Biblical classification can be complete without the use of the baramin since it is the one unit of classification God defines for us in Scripture. Every other unit of classification is based on man’s delineation. The baramin is based on God’s delineation. This makes it a requirement for a Biblical classification.

A Biblical classification system does not require anything other than the baramin.  Delineating the baramins is the only absolute requirement of a Biblical system. A hierarchy is not required. However, just because there is no stated hierarchy in the Bible, does not mean one is not implied, or cannot be inferred.  Such an inferred hierarchy is, of necessity, arbitrary in its implementation, since it is being interpreted by man.

Rebuilt Hierarchy

The current Linnaean system has been thoroughly repurposed by the ruling evolutionary paradigm to mean something it was never intended to mean. To formulate a Biblically based taxonomic system, the upper-level hierarchies of the Linnaean system must be completely rejected.  Evolutionists have twisted Kingdom, Phylum, Class etc to mean evolutionary relationships. At this point, the system is welded almost irreversibly to the evolutionary paradigm. Thus splitting the upper levels of taxonomy from a Biblical creation model of classification is necessary.

Removing the upper hierarchy does not necessitate introducing a new hierarchy per se.  Classification systems built by man are, of necessity arbitrary, because they appeal to man as an authority.  Therefore, a higher grouping is not necessary. However, the Bible does define a certain amount of a higher grouping, very loosely.  For example, all plants were made on day three, as we discussed back in chapter one. However, even within the plants, the Bible gives us some groupings. This also applies to the things made on days five and six as well, such as animals and plants.

Hodge proposed that the top level of classification be the day in which they were created. The idea is good as far as it goes. However, on what day were prokaryotic organisms made?  How about eukaryotes like amoebas and paramecium? Arguably the latter two were likely made on day five because they live in the water, but that doesn’t solve the problem of prokaryotes. What about viruses? Where do they fit? And are they even scientifically alive? A Biblical classification system must be able to address these questions.

Under Hodges model, there would be three top-level groupings, based on days three, five and six.  To that, I would add a fourth grouping, one for organisms that are not specified or ambiguous, such as prokaryotes, bacteria, and potentially viruses.  The four groups would be rendered in Latin as Tresdies[3], Quinqdies[4], Sexdies[5], and Incerdiem[6].  Using these groupings, we can work down to sub-groupings.

 Tresdies

Tresdies can be broken down into five groups, three of which are derived directly from the Bible, and two of which are presumed to have been created on day three and thus included here.  These groups encompass all plants, fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria. The plants are broken further into three distinct, Biblical groups.

The first group of plants mentioned in the Bible are the deshe plants, or the grasses.  Grasses were not apparently part of man’s original diet, based on Genesis 1:29.  However, grasses make up a large portion of man’s diet today, over ninety percent by some estimations[7].  Undoubtedly this is due to how easily food can be produced from these grasses.

The second plant group discussed is the eseb group. The eseb group is defined as the “herb yielding seed” and was the original diet of both man and the animals.  Herbs yielding seed, as mentioned in chapter one would comprise the majority of the plant families.  It could potentially also include fungi since the word seed is the word zera which is used to refer to reproductive ability. However, since later in Genesis 1:30 the word herb is prefixed with green, it would seem possible that the fungi could be their own grouping. However, the fact that green is used as a descriptive word referring to the animals diet could simply mean that the animals diet originally did not include fungi.  There is no indication which is the case.  For the purposes of this book, I have lumped the fungi in with the herbs yielding seed. This logic does not apply to ferns, which also produce spores. They could easily have been part of the original diet of animals as they are green. Thus they seem to fit well in the herbs yielding seed.

The final grouping referred to in the Bible is the peries[8] group.  This group is the fruit trees first mentioned in Genesis 1:11. These were also part of the original food for man. As discussed in chapter one, the phrase “whose seed is in itself” would refer not just to angiosperms that produce fruit. Instead, it would also refer to conifers, and cykads, whose seeds are not completely contained or do not produce traditional seeds.

The extra-Biblical groups are inferred from the structure and function of the other groups.  The first group is the fykia[9] which consist of the algae and other similar water plants and seaweeds. You could argue that, because these are exclusively water dependent organisms, they were made on day five with the fishes. However, this does not work, because plant and animal life are not the same under the biblical definition.  The Hebrew never describes plants as nephesh chayyah which is the phrase it uses for animals and humans.  The phrase literally means “living soul or living” and is used exclusively of animals and man. Plant life is significantly different than animal life under the Biblical definition. Algae and seaweed much more closely resemble plants than they do animals and were even classified as plants for a long time.  It makes far more sense to believe they lack the nephesh chayyah and thus would have been created on day three.

The final group likely created on day three was the kyanovaktria[10] which contains the cyanobacteria.  These are split from the seaweeds because they are prokaryotic, rather than eukaryotic. However, they are split from the remainder of the prokaryotes because they are able to produce oxygen as a product of photosynthesis, something no other prokaryote is able to do.

Quinquidies

The Quinquidies group consists of the creatures that were made on the fifth day. There are only three groups in the Quinquidies main group. These groups contain all the flying creatures, all the fish, water invertebrates, and other assorted sea creatures.  This is obviously a very diverse group, including mammals, reptiles, fish and invertebrates, including perhaps hundreds of extinct baramins, from pterosaurs to ichthyosaurs.

The first major group is the owph group. This group contains all the flying creatures. There is a vast amount of variation among these creatures considering insects, flying reptiles, flying birds, and potentially the flightless birds and waterfowl as well.  This group will, of necessity, be broken down into several smaller subgroups since there is so much difference in type.

The second major group within Quinquidies is the hayyah nepes group. This group is also incredibly diverse. The phrase itself means “creature that hath life” and consists of the vast majority of water creatures, from fish, to reptiles, to invertebrates, to even mammals.  Potentially waterfowl such as penguins, flamingos, pelicans, and puffers might also be included in this group as well.  Sea snakes and sea turtles also fit in this group since they spend the vast majority, if not the entirety of their lives in the water.  This would also be true of the pond turtles, axolotls, and perhaps some other amphibians. This group will also need to be broken down much further due to the extensive amount of variation within the group.

The final grouping within Quinquidies is the hattanninim group, a word translated as great whales.  This grouping is perhaps the tightest grouping within Quinquidies. In saying great whales, the wording is a bit more defined than the word itself, which has multiple meanings, including serpents, and dragons. Dragons are the most common usage. Thus this could refer to more than just whales.  Instead, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, whales, porpoises, and large sharks and other large sea creatures would be included in this description.  Even so, this grouping is still quite small in comparison to the other groupings in Quinquidies.

Sexdies

Sexdies has three Biblical groups ascribed to it, the groups made on the sixth day.  This group has a vast amount of variation within it. The three groups contain amphibians, most reptiles, most mammals, and potentially the flightless birds, flightless arthropods, and potentially some bacteria as well.  Some of these groups may have been made on a different day, such as the flightless birds and bacteria, but the majority of these were definitely made on the sixth day.

The first group found in Sexdies is b@hemah which is translated as the cattle in its use on day six.  As mentioned in chapter one, the word b@hemah is a word with broad meaning throughout the Scriptures so assigning it to just cattle in Genesis 1 seems a bit limiting. The ungulates seem to be the best possible explanation.  Ungulates include all kinds of creatures from horses, to antelope, to cows, to even the hippopotamus.  This wide variety would require numerous smaller groupings underneath it.

The second group mentioned is the remes group. This group is translated as “creeping things” and is a very broad grouping. It contains most reptiles, amphibians, potentially some smaller mammals such as rodents and perhaps even some arthropods. Obviously, such a broad grouping requires multiple subgroupings underneath it. Sexdies is a very diverse group.

The final grouping within Sexdies is the chay erets group. This phrase is translated as the beasts of the earth. This is essentially a catch all phrase for everything not already covered by remes and b@hemah.   Those groups are specified by the words used for them while chay erets is simply descriptive for living creatures. However, once again, because it is a very broad grouping, chay erets will need to be broken down into other groups.

Incerdeim

This final group Incerdeim is essentially a catch-all group. These groups are placed here as a temporary explanation for their origin since their exact date of creation is uncertain. Again, there are three groups placed here, though two could perhaps overlap and one may not be living at all. These three groups are ios, prokaryotiko, and vaktiria.

The ios[11] groups are a bit puzzling.  This group is viruses.  There is a huge variety of viruses in the world, and an equally vast debate over whether they are actually alive in the scientific sense.  Viruses are essentially capsules of DNA. They use hosts to reproduce and do not reproduce themselves in any way. Since they do not really feed or reproduce, many scientists question whether they are alive.  Some scientists have attempted to completely ignore the question by saying it is not scientific[12], while others have called them alive because they interact with life[13].  In either case, putting them in their own group seems logical. However, which day they were made is subject to speculation. In fact, even whether they were all made on the same day is subject to question. However, for the moment, they are left lumped together.

The second group in Incerdiem is the prokaryotic organisms. This broad grouping I’ve christened prokaryotiko[14]. Prokayrotes are a broad group as a whole, and it is unclear exactly when they were created.  Like the viruses, they could have been created on several days as their environments were created as well. There is not a lot of information available within the scientific community about prokaryotes that would relate to their creation, so this group remains fairly ambiguous.

The third group in Incerdiem is representative of eukaryotic bacteria and other microbes. I’ve christened it vaktiria[15]. Again this is a group that is quite diverse, with a wide spectrum of body types and behaviors. In many cases, it is unclear which day these creatures were made on, or whether they were even made on the same day. Thus this grouping is at best tentative.

Binomial Nomenclature

Binomial nomenclature is a fixture of the current taxonomic system and with good reason. It is a simple, consistent way to name species. However, if we are moving to a Biblically based taxonomic system, it is legitimate to question whether binomial nomenclature should be brought into the biblical classification.

As previously noted in this work, the current system is riddled with evolutionary assumptions and phylogenies.  However, that does not mean pieces of the system are not useful.  Binomial nomenclature is one such example.  There is a distinct need for subgroupings beneath the Diem level of classification. These can easily be drawn from the Linnaean system, at least from the family level downwards.  To illustrate, I have classified the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) using this proposed new system.

Diem: Quinquidies

Type: hattanninim

Class: Capillum[16]

Baramin: Lutrinae

Genus: Enhydra

Species: lutris

 

Obviously, this is a very basic, reductionist classification system. The upper levels of the Linnaean classification have been replaced, but the lowest levels have been retained, simply because they are easy to work with and easy to remember.  Binomial nomenclature is a fixture of biology and there is no reason to replace it. It is somewhat arbitrary, yes, but every system designed by man is of necessity arbitrary. Replacing it simply because it has been used in the evolutionary system seems unwise, particularly since binomial nomenclature was given to us by a Christian scientist.

Class has been retained as well for this system.  Under this system order and class are merged into one group and family is completely removed. This is as much for simplicity as any other reason. However, it also is meant to eliminate any vestige of evolutionary implications in the taxonomic system.  Since, for example, mammals will be split under this system into water mammals, like porpoises, and land mammals like weasels, evolutionary ancestry becomes much harder to postulate under this system.  This would be expected of any system that attempts to model a Biblical classification system since evolution and the Bible are fundamentally incompatible.

Purpose of Classification

Some might argue that because classification is, of necessity, arbitrary, why bother classifying life beyond the baramin level? After all, if the rest of the ranks are arbitrary, why use them? The simple answer is convenience.  Having a classification system allows us to keep the scientific literature on creatures more firmly organized. Being able to talk about a creature without using its common name which varies by culture and language is incredibly useful in the global information world in which we live.

While a strong case can be made for retaining the binomial nomenclature, the upper levels of classification are most likely the ones that will cause contention.  These are the groupings evolutionists use to infer molecules to man evolution.  Rejecting these groupings could seem a natural response to the evolutionary dogma, particularly given the arbitrariness of the system at large.  However, this is not necessarily a good idea.  The system given above is derived directly from the Bible instead of evolutionary classification.  A system derived from the Bible is less vulnerable to evolutionary infiltration and repurposing.  It is by no means immune to it.  Guard must always be kept against the degradation of any system and classification is certainly no exception.  This system is by no means perfect. However, it is a basic attempt to illustrate how the Bible presents a classification system. A full book could be written reworking the current classification system, but would be relatively pointless in the current paradigm. This is a mere taste of what could be done with a Biblical classification system.

[1] Bodie Hodge “A Biblically Based Taxonomy?” Answers in Genesis June 25, 2010, Accessed January 23, 2019.  https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/baraminology/a-biblically-based-taxonomy/

[2] Berndt, 2000.

[3] From the Latin tres dies or day three

[4] From the Latin dies quinque or day five

[5] From the Latin sex dies or day six

[6] From the Latin incertum diem or day unclear

[7] Loren Cordain. “Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword.” In Evolutionary Aspects of Nutrition and Health A.P. Simopoulos ed. Basel: Karger, 1999. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ba07/b6e9f3cb6e77239d0e81de9aee8173595403.pdf

[8] From the Hebrew peri es meaning fruit tree

[9] From the Greek meaning seaweed

[10] From the Greek for cyanobacteria

[11] From the Greek word o ios for virus.

[12] Eugene V. Koonin and Petro Starokadomskyy. “Are viruses alive? The replicator sheds decisive light on an old but misguided question.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Volume 59 (2016) Pages 125-134. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369848616300103

[13] Patrick Forterre. “To be or not to be alive: How recent discoveries challenge the traditional definitions of viruses and life.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Volume 59 (2016) Pages 100-108. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369848616300085

[14] From the Greek word for prokaryotes.

[15] From the Greek word for bacteria.

[16] From the Latin for hair

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