Sunday, 28 August 2011

Kangaroos - the final evidence against Noah?

Concluding the mini-series on the myth of the flood . . .  

Taking the bible literally - as we all do of course - the kangaroos must have been rescued by Noah.

That's a bit unfortunate for Noah really, because as evidence goes, they seem to be a final nail in his coffin.  They are such a dead-giveaway that the whole story can't be true. Creationists jump through so many hoops to find explanations that it is quite amusing (and yet strangely unsettling at the same time).

Aside from the difficulty that Noah would have had collecting them (as I think there is little to suggest that they were originally indigenous to the Middle East), when he released them they seem to have found their way back to Australia and nowhere else on earth. 

You might argue that the original two roos managed to get there and had their offspring when they arrived, but I don't think this idea hangs together.  How long does it take a pair of animals to get half way round the world on foot?  Presumably reproduction was also quite a high priority for them, as they only had one lifetime to start off a new species and didn't have time to waste.  They must have started making babies as soon as they could.  Then we seem to have to assume that no baby kangaroos got lost along the way to Australia, which seems a little unlikely.

There are, of course, similar instances of other unique and distinctive animals in remote parts of the world, but the kangaroos seem to be as good an example as any.  Some creationists would have you believe that they floated there on rafts of vegetation (which god neglects to mention in the bible).  Others claim that the continents only moved apart after the flood.

This picture seems to be an example of two possible explanations of kangaroo migration.  Both appear to be equally deluded.  Haven't the continents moved fast?  And yet they have now nearly slowed to a standstill!

Do we have a better explanation?  Yes certainly!  The fact of evolution explains how all the species spread and developed, how convergence ensures that predators tend to have similar features all over the world, herbivores have other common features (different from the predators) etc.  We don't need to have incredible tales of single pairs of animals surviving on rafts of floating vegetation for long enough to get from continent to continent.

This is the last post (for now) in the series exploring ideas around the myth of Noah and the flood.  I could go on - but you would probably beg me to stop now if you had the chance.  When I originally mooted the idea of such a series to some friends they seemed surprised that there was so much to say on the topic.

Back to some other topics now, but I can't leave the topic of Noah without a brief mention of rainbows.  These might not be god's promise not to send another flood, but they are fascinating things in themselves.  Some time soon I will write a post on some interesting aspects of the physics of rainbows - I'll try not to reproduce the basics but concentrate on the fun aspects.  (Thanks to this site for the photo above - which demonstrates several features that help me to spot that it is almost certainly not a fake.)

Related posts:
Noah - invented to scare the kids
Was the flood the only way?
2 by 2 - but not only 2 of each
Where is all Noah's water now?
Was the Ark big enough?Evidence in the geology - cliffs and varves
Noah's aquaria?
Noah in Islam
Rafts of Baramins
Before Noah came Gilgamesh

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