Selections from Biogeography: A Creationist Perspective, by Bill Johnson.
(These selections by Marko Malyj are of the article published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 48, Number 3, Winter 2012)
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Why is it that animals and plants are not equally distributed over the face of the earth? In Part 1 of this article, Evolution says, uhhh..., we saw how Evolutionists have three totally different methods they they mix and match to explain the distribution of animals and plants across the face of the earth: Land Bridges, Oceanic Dispersal, and the Pangaea supercontinent. If one doesn't sound right, try the other! Now we will find out whether the worldwide flood of the Bible offers a better explanation...
Transportation by Human Agency
The creationist view has always maintained that from his inception man was endowed with great intelligence, ingenuity, and technological abilities. Humans made numerous voyages across our great oceans long before Columbus. Most of the biogeographical enigmas that haunt evolutionists can be easily explained by this view.
The most convincing evidence for these transoceanic voyages comes from archaeology. The American continents, especially North America, have turned up numerous ancient coins from such places as China, Rome, Greece, and Egypt (Mahan and Braithwaite, 1975; Epstein et al., 1980). These coins cannot be easily dismissed as “recently lost” for several reasons: (1) Some coins have been found in undisturbed soil twenty-five feet deep (Deans, 1884) or in ancient Indian gravesites with stone tools found in the same locality (Butler, 1886); and (2) Chinese coins are confined to the west coast (i.e., Oregon and British Columbia), whereas Roman coins are east of the Mississippi, a pattern you would not expect to see if the coins were randomly dropped in modern times.
Early humans traveled often and far for exploration, trade, and colonization. Couple this with G. G. Simpson’s (1940) observation that people have always had a fascination with animals from distant places, and creationists can explain not only island distributions but even continental ones. It is far more reasonable to believe that some of Hawaii’s fauna and flora arrived from southeastern Polynesia carried by humans, or that an early Polynesian explorer took back to Fiji the banded iguana than it is to believe that they transported themselves. Even some evolutionists accept this approach and have recently argued that the arrival of the coconut (Ward and Brookfield, 1992) and the Polynesian chicken in America are best explained by human transportation (Storey et al., 2007).
Postdiluvian Dispersal of Land Animals
“How did kangaroos and giant earthworms make their way across the oceans to their present home in Australia?” (Coyne, 2009, p. 89). Contrary to the evolutionist claims, creation is not only consistent with the facts, but also provides a much simpler and non-miraculous explanation for continental distributions.
How exactly did marsupials get to Australia, and why are they mostly confined to this continent? Creationists have utilized two slightly different ways to explain these distributions, depending on when they believe continental drift took place. Some creationists have suggested that the continents were separated during the Flood and that marsupials got to Australia either by a land connection (i.e., since this area is still tectonically active) or by island hopping/rafting. This was followed by an extinction of marsupials in Asia. This view should not be ridiculed, especially since this was the dominant explanation given by evolutionists up until the acceptance of plate tectonics.
Evolutionists have flirted with what is essentially a creationist explanation. This simple way of explaining animal distributions (i.e., moving continents rather than animals) is explicable only by a theory of contemporaneous creation; that is, where all animals were present and widely distributed before the fragmentation of the world’s landmasses. Furthermore, the empirical evidence for a more or less widespread distribution becomes more impressive with each passing year. Prior to 1985, there was no evidence for marsupials anywhere but Australia and the New World, and evolutionists took this absence of evidence as evidence of absence, but now marsupial fossils have turned up in many unexpected places, including Africa Bown and Simons, 1984), Madagascar (Krause, 2001), and even Asia (Benton, 1985; Ducrocq et al., 1992).
We are discovering that more animals are proving to have a wider distribution than previously thought. The monotremes (e.g., platypus, spiny anteaters) were for the longest time believed to have been confined to Australia, yet to the amazement of many, a monotreme fossil was discovered in the early 1990s in South America (Pascual et al., 1992). Even elephants were far more widespread than evolutionists were willing to admit. Elephant remains (i.e., bones, teeth) and man-made objects of elephants also place this creature in southern Mexico (Anonymous, 1903; Nomland, 1932), South America (White, 1884; Carter, 1989), and even possibly Australia (Vickers-Rich and Archbold, 1991).
Another factor that increases the chances of extinction is human introductions. As more exotic animals escape or are released in the wild, some will colonize these locations and force others into extinction.
Survival and Dispersal of Plants
Up until the time of the Flood, the world was lush with vegetation. All kinds of fruits, vegetables, flowering plants, and numerous other plant species were widely distributed on Pangaea. This tropical paradise was completely destroyed by the Flood, and only some species of plants, through the survival of their seed, succeeded in leaving representation in the postdiluvian world.
|Wind-dispersed seeds & fruits in different plant families.|
|Stone carving of a pineapple |
in a cave temple
in Udaiguri, India.
|Remains of peanuts found |
in Peruvian mummies.
Many other plants thought “native” to one hemisphere also existed early in the other hemisphere. Ancient Indian temple art clearly depicts plants that supposedly originated in America, such as the cashew nut, custard apple, and chili pepper (Gupta, 1996). The custard apple also was discovered in caves on the island of Timor (Glover, 1977), and the chili pepper had a history in Tahiti before European contact (Langdon, 1988).
Evolution depends more on miracles
The evolutionary claims for this wide transoceanic distribution of plants is unconvincing because plants have limited mobility and are poor dispersers.
Evolutionists, however, have an a priori commitment to naturalism; thus they are forced to explain away the evidence. They also distort and misrepresent the creationist position to give the impression that their theory is the only viable explanation.
The creationist explanation is the better argument. The idea of a contemporaneous creation dispersed widely on the earth followed by partial extinctions is a simple approach, especially when dispersal is facilitated by humans. This view also fits with the archaeological evidence. The problem of biogeography from an evolutionary perspective is that all of life is stretched out over half a billion years, with the fragmentation of the world occurring late in the history, leaving a large percentage of plants and animals to disperse in a miraculous way.
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