Mammoths, mastodons, and elephants are all part of the same created “kind”—the elephant kind. God created this kind with a great deal of variety so that elephants could spread out around the world and adapt to many different environments. New research confirms this!
Scientists have traditionally divided North American mammoths into several “species” based on physical differences and differing environments. But new research suggests that all of these species of mammoths could successfully interbreed with one another. One of the scientists involved in this study commented,
Species boundaries can be very blurry. We might find differences in features of the teeth or skeleton that closely correspond to what we think are real species boundaries. But other features may not correspond to those boundaries, suggesting that what we formerly regarded as separate species are in fact not at all. . . . Mammoths were much better at adapting to new habitats than we first thought—we suspect that subgroups of mammoths evolved to deal with local conditions, but maintained genetic continuity by encountering and potentially interbreeding with each other where their two different habitats met, such as at the edge of glaciers and ice sheets.
So basically this researcher is saying that their study suggests that mammoths were able to change and adapt to many different environments—from the frozen north to the sunny south—but were still able to interbreed with one another. And it’s all due to the immense genetic differences (variability) God put into each kind on Day Six of Creation Week. Of course these researchers use the term evolution to describe these small-scale changes, but really it’s just natural selection and adaptation, the opposite of molecules-to-man evolution. These mammoths lost genetic information as they adapted to different environments; they did not gain anything new (which evolution requires).
The observational evidence confirms God’s Word. Mammoths are part of the elephant kind, created by God to reproduce according to its kind (Genesis 1:24–25). As the elephant kind reproduced and spread out around the world after the Flood, the God-given genetic variability in their DNA allowed them to adapt to many different environments across the world.
You can learn more about created kinds, and even see what some of the original kinds on the Ark might have looked like, in our full-size Noah’s Ark at the Ark Encounter, opening July 7 in Northern Kentucky. And while you’re visiting the Ark, be sure to include a trip to the Creation Museum. We have an impressive full-size mastodon cast in our main hall! Plan your trip to Northern Kentucky this summer and get combo tickets at ArkEncounter.com.
You can learn more about mammoths in Michael Oard’s book Frozen in Time, available at our online store or for free as an online book.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.