But Noah didn’t need to take millions of animals on the Ark with him.
Estimates of how many animals Noah needed on the Ark have “evolved” over the years as more research is done from a best-case scenario of about 2,000 animals to a worst-case scenario of about 16,000. But if there are millions of species, where do these seemingly low numbers come from? Well, consider a few clues Scripture gives us about what animals were on the Ark.
- Land animals were only required to go on the Ark, not sea creatures, dramatically reducing the number of animals on the Ark.
- Kinds—not species—were told to go on the Ark. The biblical term kind is different from our modern species with the defining factor being the ability to breed. If two organisms can breed (such as tigers, lions, and cougars), they must be in the same kind (though some animals in the same kind have lost the ability to breed due to mutations and other factors). According to research, kind is about on the level of family in our classification system used today, in the majority of cases.
- Insects don’t breathe through their nostrils, so Noah probably didn’t take them on the Ark (intentionally at least—though if he did, because they are so small, the insect kinds would have easily fit on the Ark).
Taking all of this into consideration, research estimates show that about 1,400 kinds were taken on the Ark. That’s only about 6,700 individual animals (remember, the clean animals came in pairs of sevens)—and that’s a generous number that will likely go down further as more research is conducted on which organisms belong to which kinds. In fact, it’s possible it could be as low as around 1,000 kinds.
“Does Ken Ham Embrace Evolution?” is a fascinating article on speciation by AiG staff member Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson (who holds a PhD from Harvard).
More Ark Questions? Get Answers!
This was just a brief overview of the topic, but if you want to learn more, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to this question in A Flood of Evidence, the book I coauthored with my son-in-law Bodie Hodge. This book has answers to 40 of the most common questions we are asked about the Flood, its effects and after-effects, the Ark, the animals, and more. It’s a must-have for every creation library. I refer to it as the unofficial fifth book in The New Answers Book series.
In fact, if you’re looking to grow your library and learn more about the common questions people have about creation, evolution, the Flood, the Bible, and more, you can get all four of The New Answers Books and A Flood of Evidence as a special pack.
Learn more and order your copy of A Flood of Evidence today at AnswersBookstore.com.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.