As part of the evangelistic Ark Encounter project, AiG has engaged scholars to research how many actual animal kinds would have been needed on Noah’s Ark. It is important to understand that the word kind used in Genesis 1 seems to represent something closer to the “family” level of classification in most instances.
The scholars doing the research for this project are predicting from their research on living and fossil mammal, amphibian, reptile, and bird kinds that there may have been as few as 1,000 land animal kind represented on the Ark. As there were two of each kind (and seven of some—the clean animals), that would mean somewhere from 2,000–3,000 actual land animals were needed on the Ark. This number is much smaller than what people have been claiming over the years.
The first research paper on this topic, covering living mammalian kinds, was published just yesterday in AiG’s Answers Research Journal. The abstract should give you a good idea of Dr. Jean Lightner’s conclusions:
Based on the methods outlined in Determining the Ark Kinds (Lightner et al. 2011), information on the class Mammalia was evaluated in an attempt to get a realistic estimate of what mammalian kinds would have been represented on the Ark. Examining information on extant species (those alive today), it was estimated that they represent 137 created kinds. Given the number of extinct mammalian families known from the fossil record, the actual number on the Ark could easily have been well over 300. This estimate is very low compared with those in the past. In evaluating the information, a number of important creationist research questions have been discussed. As further research is undertaken to address these, our knowledge of created kinds will be significantly advanced.This is very exciting creationist research. I urge you to read the entire research paper, the first in the series on finding out how many land animal kinds there were on Noah’s Ark.
I do praise the Lord for AiG’s research department, headed up by Dr. Andrew Snelling. This department will provide us with tremendous information we can use to equip Christians to defend the Christian faith and answer skeptical questions of our day that are used to cause people to doubt the Bible.
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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.