After their kind
When animals mate, they produce similar animals- animals that are “after their kind.”
“After their kind” is a descriptive phrase applied to life’s winners in each of the creation story’s mentioned categories of life. Life’s winners had progressed and had become “after their kind” or had become separate species. There is no mention of life’s genetic variance or of life’s seemingly ruthless competition- not in the creation story at least. There is no mention of life’s extinct losers. Yet competition and then isolation had yielded up separate species or survivors- species that are “after their kind.”
Life has exploited many survival strategies. Moving away from competition adds geologic isolation to life’s survival strategies. Other factors require survivability as well. They include changes in Earth’s environment that are often long-term, and catastrophes that are sudden. The “after their kind” condition was true only after speciation, and speciation only after surviving in a changing environment while competing against other life.
Genetics provides a subtle variance between generations. Genetically, there are always differences between parents and their offspring, and then between siblings. Sometimes the differences are not so subtle. Genetics clearly has an element of chance in its outcomes and then, with competition, genetics yields up winning life- life that has become after its kind. Evidence of this is obvious and undisputed.
As a biblical case in point for chance genetics, consider Isaac’s fraternal twin sons born well after creation and after the flood of Noah. Isaac’s firstborn son Esau had a red complexion and a very hairy body, and his second son Jacob had a plain (perfect) appearance. The story (Genesis 25:25) makes it clear Esau had an unusual appearance- something of a genetic throwback to Neanderthal perhaps. To many, God appeared to have been disappointed with Esau even before birth (Romans 9:11-13) – but perhaps not disappointed at all.
Esau, the notably odd-looking son, was a good son to his father Isaac and in fact, was perhaps Isaac’s favorite while Jacob involved himself in petty deception and other misdeeds. The brothers were adversarial competitors.
Why would God have made Esau disappointing in the womb? Was Esau’s appearance the result of genetic chance that God knew about and disliked before Esau’s birth (Genesis 25:23)? Is this a case showing that the natural laws of chance genetics simply were not interfered with, or did God choose to make someone who was less favorable?
Esau’s appearance was the only negative mentioned about Esau in the story- assuming it was a negative. Some speculate that his unusual ability to hunt was his true negative. Oddly, some think God would naturally dislike a great hunter even though he regularly required the sacrifice of animals (wealth) for the atonement of sin and for ceremony. This brings another earlier biblical story to mind; the story involving Nimrod and the advent of societal competition in a world populated entirely by Noah’s descendants; a world that, since Noah’s time, had been a world with one common language.
Nimrod, as per the biblical story (Gen 10:8), was a great hunter who had achieved notoriety in the region now called Babylon. Then, the “Babylonians” as they are now called, set out to build a tower reaching to higher levels of Heaven, but a God caused split in language effectively ended their grandiose tower building project. The sudden split in language divided the world’s population into several competing kingdoms (Gen 11:4-9).
Although unsupported biblically, some see the Nimrod story as evidence that God disliked Nimrod, or at least disliked the hunting skills of Nimrod. Actually, the split in languages guaranteed that societies would have to compete, and as a result, would be honed by competition. With neighboring competition, they could no longer afford useless undertakings such as building towers reaching the heights of Heaven. The split in language had created, or perhaps had recreated, competition on a societal level.
Is God a god of competition? Even Christianity had its beginnings honed against planned competition. Clearly, competition is not anti God and in fact, competition is a tool of success built into all of living creation and into everything that experiences long-term success.
In modern science, there is abundant evidence of healthy competition at all levels of life- from microbial to human. Even vegetation competes for dominance. Animals have always killed to survive, even before Adam and Eve transgressed. Winners prosper while losers move away, wither, die out, or change. Competition always forces positive change.
So what happened to Esau and Jacob? Ultimately, and contrary to what was common protocol, Jacob’s lineage would inherit the land called Israel and promised to Abraham’s descendants while Esau, the oldest son (only a few minutes older), fathered a large family and was given, by God, his own region called Edom. Edom was adjacent to the region called Israel but remained separate from it, yet Esau had a very good life. Edom would become a source of strong competition against the people of Israel and against their promised land.
Nevertheless, only after life in each of life’s categories had existed for a sufficient time, and only after having survived intense competition, did the “after their kind” statements become true. As life both animal and vegetable had first begun, the “after their kind” statements were not yet valid.
Since the categories of life are “after their kind,” the several biblical days for life’s creation must signify the substantial completion of life in each of the mentioned categories. So consider that the creation story is only about “finished” life in each category. Finished life is life that has been refined by competition and still exists today after extinctions. This makes perfect sense and explains why the “after their kind” expression is applicable.
The isolation needed for speciation need not have been geological but often was as simple as living in the trees in avoidance of predators.
One problem, among others, that religions seem to have with evolutionary scenarios is the obvious time factor essential to evolution. How could all this happen in a few days? The time necessary for evolution, genetic isolation, and all other geologic processes, is shown to have existed in this writing; and in complete agreement with the Bible.
Note that modern human life is the only life not said to be “after their kind,” yet modern humans are in fact “after their kind“. There is an obvious reason (covered later) for modern humans to have been excluded from this constraint.
The religious question “If primitive humans evolved from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist?” could be answered by the “after their kind” constraint. First, a species was isolated either by chance or by choosing to move away. Then the species competed successfully in its own unique environment, and finally with time, it developed significant genetic differences and was “after its kind”. Although easily answered, did religion ever really want an answer to this question? If so, many can answer it most thoroughly! It should be noted that, biblically, modern humans originated with the being called Adam and Adam existed amongst neighboring primitive humans called Nephilim.
We have now seen biblical evidence consistent with chance genetic variance, speciation, and competition. While some may argue against the evidence, they are perhaps those who are more comfortable with the hazy mist that surrounds their biblical word and phrase meanings; the hazy mist of mythology. Humanity now has both the ability and the evidence to support a better understanding.