Reproductive Isolation and Baraminology

Reproductive Isolation and Baraminology

I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of writing about kinds in recent months which anyone who has regularly read the blog will be well aware of by now.  I wanted to take one more article and discuss the concept, however, because this is something I did not address in much depth in the recent research articles I published and it is something that atheists will freely mock because they think we do not have an answer. Once we define what a kind is, evolutionists and other atheists will immediately jump to ask why certain members of a created kind cannot breed together in a modern world. This article will attempt to address this issue.

If kinds were created in the beginning, why do they no longer interbreed? It is certainly a valid question, but it is also one to which there is an answer.  This question could rightly be countered by asking why species interbreed at all, or if species even exist, but asking that question does not answer this one. My research articles on kinds deal extensively with the species question so I will not address it here.  Asking about why some kinds no longer interbreed reveals a very superficial understanding of genetics, geography, the curse of sin and how reproduction works.

Genetics is one of the primary reasons why some members of the same created kind cannot reproduce any longer. In the perfect state that was the Garden of Eden, there would have been no mutations.  With no mutations, reproduction would have been easy. However, in the post-fall world, mutations have accumulated in the genomes of organisms, which preclude them from successfully mating in the present. These mutations could take many forms, from preventing successful implantation of the egg, to producing sterility in the offspring.

There are, however, other barriers to reproduction within the kind besides genetics. After the flood, members of each kind got off the Ark. I should point out that there may have been some extinction prior to the flood so we don’t know that every created kind was on the Ark, but certainly, a vast majority were.  As they got off, they spread out across the globe. This led to similar creatures inhabiting many different areas of the world and not coming in contact with one another. This lead to the populations inbreeding and essentially fixing certain traits the define them, such as the manes of African lions, the stripes of a zebra, or the spots of a cheetah.  This is a product of geography and inbreeding as much as anything, particularly since if the aforementioned lions are kept in captivity with tigers, they will interbreed on occasion. Geographical isolation explains a lot of the lack of inbreeding between members of the same kind.

The third thing we need to factor into any discussion of why originally created kinds no longer interbreed is the effects of sin. We have already briefly mentioned the fall and its impacts on mutations, but it also had an impact on the behavior of the animals.  Carnivory became a common occurrence. Smaller animals became food for larger animals. Interbreeding between smaller members of a kind and larger ones could have become less frequent as the smaller ones began to fear the larger ones, at least in some kinds. This also would have contributed to fixing the genetic traits of a population. This would have been exasperated after the flood when conditions were harsher and likely even more animals turned to carnivory as a means of survival.

One further argument explains why we do not see members of the same created kind reproducing together today. This argument comes from reproduction. The developing embryo begins as a single cell. Since most people define reproductive success as the live birth of an organism, this means the cell must go through thousands of cell divisions to be considered successful. This line of reasoning would mean that people who are afflicted with infertility are the result of breeding between members of different kinds. That’s absurd.  Reproductive success must be defined further than that. Generally, most baraminologists accept a few successful cell divisions after fertilization as evidence that the creatures are of the same created kind. Successful fertilization is not enough because human and hamster gametes have been successfully combined in the lab, though they never grew at all.

As we have demonstrated, kinds not reproducing together in the present is not a problem for the creation model. It is the result of a myriad of potential factors, each of which is easily explained from a Biblical worldview. Thus reproductive isolation is not an issue for the creation model or the created kinds.

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