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Juveniles of large animals were taken aboard (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Juveniles of large animals were taken aboard (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CH512.1:

There was room for all the animals aboard Noah's ark because juveniles of the largest animals (animals larger than about 10 kg = 22 lb.) were taken.

Source: Woodmorappe, John, 1996. Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study. Santee, CA: ICR, p. 13.

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Even assuming the largest animals were juveniles, the ark would still have been overcrowded.

Talk Origins claim is based on a number of false assumptions, including forcing the Biblical term "kind" to be the same as "species" and ignoring the fact that Woodmorappe deliberately overestimated the number of animals.

2. Noah was instructed to take "the male and its mate," implying sexual maturity of the animals (Gen. 7:2). Juveniles do not have mates.

Talk Origins seems to be using a bad translation. The KJV says "the male and his female." This is just a Hebrew way of saying that each kind was represented by both male and female. This verse does not imply anything about the sexual maturity of the animals that entered the Ark. Talk Origins seems to forget that most animals don't mate for life and as such would not have a fixed mate. Further, it would be best not to have them mate until after the Flood, so sexual immaturity would be a good idea.

3. Juveniles must still be old enough to be weaned and, in some cases, socialized to learn behaviors from their parents. This would make many of the animals old enough to be mostly grown already.

As is typical, Talk Origins is ignoring God in their response. He could have solved both proposed problems.

However, even if one ignores God this is still not as big a problem as it may seem.

  • Only mammals would have the problem of being weaned, and the largest land animals would be reptiles, and most reptiles are on their own from birth. The largest dinosaurs hatched from eggs no bigger than a football, so dinosaurs could have been quite young and small.
  • Those mammals large enough to be a potential problem are weaned years before getting even close to full-size, so this is a non-problem.
  • While learned behaviors are more difficult, creation science offers at least two possibilities.
  1. The behavior was originally pre-programmed into the animals, but that programming has been lost due to degeneration, and now must be taught.
  2. The behavior was learned during adaptation to the post-Flood world and has been passed on.