Chapter 13: Animal Life of The Sea and Air; The Fifth Day of Creation
Fifth day: animal life of sea and air.
Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
In the view seen by Moses on this, his fifth “day”, was sea life and birds in addition to all that had already been seen as completed. This odd combination of creatures, sea life and birds, was seen by Moses sometime after the Chicxulub meteor strike. Something had caused the extinction of most dinosaurs at the time of the strike. Probably the strike itself caused the extinction, but perhaps only indirectly.
The Chicxulub strike caused a firestorm, tidal waves, a subsequent permanent atmospheric pressure drop and a deluge of rain. Pterodactyls could no longer fly in the lower density air. Other large dinosaurs could not breathe fast enough to sustain themselves. While there is much evidence of the Chicxulub strike, most destroyed animals were not covered by debris and preserved. They simply died a slow death and were consumed above ground by survivors.
Birds, like dinosaurs, evolved out of the sea exactly as specified in Gen 1:20 above. Is it possible that Moses, or any ancient for that matter, guessed the sea as the origin for birds? Note that Moses did not see anything evolve in any of his short, day long, views. God specified this origin for birds. This origin for birds, and its perfect agreement with science, serves as profound biblical evidence for the evolution of life on Earth! This also shows continued consistency with the previously outlined perspective of Moses. One other point: the birds are said to fly in the now “open firmament of heaven” again showing the sky had cleared as described in “day 4.”
Oxygen had now been available in the sea for eons and animal life in the sea had existed almost ever since. Next, atmospheric oxygen allowed sea life to spill over to land in the form of dinosaurs including birds. Then, sometime after the Chicxulub extinction that had killed some of the sea life and most land dwelling dinosaur life, Moses was shown what remained. He was shown that which would continue to exist for the duration.
13.1 The sixth command is given
Biblically, the first extinction surviving animal life existed in the sea in the form of fish and in the air as birds and “the water brought them forth. “ They were not created and then put there, but instead, the waters brought them forth. Sounds profoundly like science as we know it today. This is the second occurrence of the expression explaining the source of a particular form of life. In this case, the life is sea life. The source for sea life is water. Again, this could be taken as meaning sea life grows or lives in the sea, but as per Gen 1:20 above, it is clear that birds that fly originated in the sea.
Clearly, the “bring forth” expression means something more since birds originated in the sea. If the “bring forth” expression simply indicates where birds exist, then for birds, it should say “let the air bring them forth,“ or it should say “let the firmament called Heaven bring them forth.“ Note that science now claims that birds are closely related to dinosaurs or reptiles.1 In fact, many now claim that dinosaurs, with little exception, were birds. After the Chicxulub impact, the only abundant animal life that remained was sea life and birds.
13.2 Obvious evolutionary changes occurring with birds.
Note that most birds are completely out of place in water now. There were clearly changes going on genetically with birds as well as with sea life. Birds learned to feed off other animals as carnivores and they evolved to consume seed and other vegetation. Changes are of course still occurring, but ancient birds were unmistakably similar to today’s modern birds. Some of Darwin’s first evidence for his famous work was bird life.
Even though the biblical text indicates God specified the origin of birds, could an ancient creation story author have guessed or made up this origin? Only the 150-year-old evolutionary theory and modern geology could predict that birds originated in the sea. Again, this origin for birds was from God, and Moses would have had to have seen an accelerated view to have witnessed this. There is no reason to think that Moses witnessed accelerated views of anything. Does anyone believe that birds flew out of the sea, having never lived in air, and were then unable to return to the sea all in a few flaps of their wings? Sure, all things are possible for God- except evolution?
13.3 The evolution of sea life.
There is simply no reason to believe that in an instant all that exists in Earth’s waters appeared. The more ancient established life was food for the higher-level sea animals that were showing up. Everything was undergoing change. Change occurred both in the environment and in the creatures living in the environment. In fact, some mammalian life had been forced out of their land dwelling existence by dinosaurs, and then evolved to exist in the sea. The higher-level animals, such as whales and birds (the birds now being out of place in water) showed up toward the end of the evolution of sea life. This evolution had continued uninterrupted since about 250 Million years ago. It started after a mass extinction of almost all marine life during the Permian period- the biggest extinction ever. Then, after being culled one last time about 65 million years ago (the Chicxulub event), sea life has gone mostly unchanged. That which exists in modern times in the oceans is very similar to what “the sea brought forth” after this extinction. The logical place to assign the fifth day of creation on Figure D is after this mass extinction. “Day 5” is at the end of the Mesozoic Era.
Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
“After their kind” again indicates this life has progressed to a high level- to a level of separate species.
Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply in the earth.
13.4 The sea life food chain.
“Be fruitful and multiply…” Clearly, shortly after the extinction, there were only a few sea creatures and fowl, and they multiplied. This is yet another indication that this creation was not instantaneous. Instead, the creation story represents only the final view in each category of creation. For there to be an abundance of whales, there would already have been an abundance of creatures for whale food. The natural order of things makes sense as it should. This “sense” will be similar to our day-to-day experience in this created environment. Things change gradually not because God is slow, but because that is the best design for “nature“. Biblically, God can produce things instantly- recall the feeding of the multitude with a few loaves of bread and fishes. That never appears to have been the case in the creation story.
Gen 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
The lands on Earth have opened for mammalian animal evolution. Mammals will now evolve, and because of extinctions, will culminate in modern mammal life. As one should expect, the evolved mammal life is described next, in “day 6.”