Sunday, 30 March 2014

Noah's Ark Problem According to Evolution

There’s plenty of room for all Genesis kinds on this vessel.

Joel Kontinen

With the Noah film making headlines, New Scientist attempts to solve what it calls the Noah's Ark problem. In the Genesis account, God directs Noah to preserve a male and female of every kind of land animal on a large seaworthy vessel that had plenty of room for them all.

However, the magazine gives an evolutionary spin on the account:

GENETICS could help solve the Noah's Ark problem: faced with limited space, which species do you save? Focusing on the most evolutionarily unique and ancient species could allow us to save more branches of the tree of life, at the lowest cost and effort.

Now a genetic analysis has found the most unique birds and identified 113 locations that hold more than half the global avian evolutionary diversity. The findings will be used to focus conservation efforts where they will have the biggest impact

There are several problems with this thinking. It equates kinds with species, and it paints the entire scenario with an evolutionary brush.

It even neglects to inform the reader that the very idea of a Darwinian tree of life has fatal problems.


Coghlan, Andy. 2014. Tree of bird life could solve Noah's Ark problem. New Scientist 2962 (27 March).