One lingering mystery concerning Noah’s ark is: How many animals were on board? Since DNA has a very good reputation for solving mysteries in the courtroom, now it’s time to unleash its powers and reveal Noah’s passenger list.
As we look about the earth we see a multitude of animals reproducing after their kind, each retaining their distinction as a kind/specie. How does this happen? Two things are required for kinds/species to remain distinct:
(1) They must have the desire (instincts coded in their DNA) to mate with their own kind/species and
(2) They must have the ability (compatible DNA) to produce viable offspring like themselves.
These two requirements are the basis for both the Biblical and secular scientific definition of species/kinds. The words species and kinds are synonyms, but usually “species” is used by the secular scientific community and “kinds” is used by the Biblical community. Nonetheless, both words should define the same creatures, and our conclusion is that they do. Our position is as follows:
Fundamentally, all of the species currently defined by modern science were on the Ark
Consider humans, we have the desire and ability to produce more humans like ourselves. We know that we cannot produce a pig or a chimpanzee because we do not have the genetic ability in our DNA
to do so.
Next, consider the great horned owls, they desire to mate with other great horned owls and they have the ability to produce other great horned owls. However, their DNA does not produce the desire or the ability to create a bluebird, a barn owl, or even an eagle owl which is the same genus as the great horned owl.
We wrote a technical paper, The Genetics of Kinds – Ravens, Owls, and Doves, and found that not one of the owl kinds/species we examined could possibly produce any other owl kinds/species. That is also true for the ravens and doves. They differ from one another by too much genetic information. We also wrote a technical paper, A Study of Biblical Kinds Using 62 Species of Mice; which showed the various species/kinds of mouse DNA differed from one another by significant amounts with distinct DNA gaps between the kinds/species. It would be impossible to bridge these gaps by means of any natural process.
Our study of the mouse was very interesting in that we found that there are more than one hundred mouse kinds/species and they all remain distinct. How do they do it? They have been magnificently designed with the desire and ability to reproduce after their kinds. Here are a few facts: They can read each other’s genetics like a barcode (Ref 1). They mate only with their own species (Ref 2). They don’t breed with close relatives (Ref 3) and the males do not mate with under aged females (ref 4). All of this is coded in the DNA and not only does it preserve their distinctiveness, but also maintains good genetic health. You may read all about it, get all of the references, and gain access to all of the DNA sequences at: A Study of Biblical Kinds Using 62 Species of Mice.
If only a few kinds would have been on the Ark, there would only be a few kinds now. The scriptures are clear: “every” kind was created (Genesis 1); “every” kind was loaded on the Ark (Genesis 6:19-20); and “every” kind disembarked from the Ark (Genesis 8:17-20). The kinds were distinct and remain distinct.
Our conclusion would necessitate that on the order of 6000 amphibian, 10,000 bird, 6,000 mammal, and 8,000 reptile kinds/species were aboard the Ark. Accounting for pairs, sevens of clean animals, and those that have gone extinct since the flood, the total number aboard the Ark would be on the order of 100,000. This would be no problem for the very large Ark with all of the animals in Biblical “deep sleep” (Ref 5)
As we look at this glorious creation, we see that the kinds are distinct. They are distinct because they have both the desire and ability to mate with their own kind and produce offspring of like kind. God always does things right, and in order to replenish the earth properly, He gave every kind a berth on the Ark. All of the passengers were peacefully asleep being transported to a new world filled with adventure and hope.
Animals of the Ark, Species on the Ark, Kinds on the Ark, Noah’s Ark, Noah’s Ark, species vs. kinds, and DNA Noah’s Ark
Additional Suggested Reading:
3. Sherborne, A.L., Michael D., Thom, M.D., Paterson, S., Jury, F., Ollier, W.E.R., Stockley, P., Beynon, R.J. and Hurst, J.L., 2007. The Genetic Basis of Inbreeding Avoidance in House Mice, Current Biology 17, 2061–2066, December 4, 2007.
4. Ferrero, D.M., Moeller, L.M., Osakada T., Horio, N., Li, Q., Dheeraj S.R., Cichy, A., Spehr, M. Touhara, K. Liberles, S.D., 2013. A juvenile mouse pheromone inhibits sexual behaviour through the vomeronasal system.
Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12579