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In genesis it implies that creatures were created independently from the ground according to their kind *ex. "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind, cattle and creeping things and the beasts of the earth according to their kind" Gen. 1:24,

or more explicit regarding Adam "Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7).

On the other hand, DNA evidence suggests a common ancestry such as the genetic similarities between species (ex. we share roughly 95% of the same genes as monkeys, 90% with cats, 80% cows, 50% bananas). The order of the genes are also closer to humans in this lineup and as far as we know the order is not important for gene production. they just need to be there. There is also signs of chromosome fusion of chromosome 2 in humans which would explain why we have 23 pairs of chromosomes while apes have 24 from a common ancestry perspective. there are other converging evidence of this sort such as retrovirus genes from ancient viruses which, scientists say, allow us to trace the DNA lineage somewhat.

some say the Genesis account is not literal. But according to the view that it is (which is supported by the Midrash in the creation of Adam) why would God give such contradictory evidence to the Genesis account? Why would He create living things in a way which seems to contradict the plain meaning of the torah's account. After all, many people will read this without access to the torah law (ex. non jews)

closed as primarily opinion-based by Avrohom Yitzchok, Yishai, mbloch, Isaac Moses, Seth J Aug 18 '16 at 13:22

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • -1 Opinion based. "creatures were created according to their kind, which suggest independently" and "DNA similarities between species suggestive a common ancestry between all creatures. Maybe not? – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 18 '16 at 9:39
  • Different minim can come from the same place. Meat and milk can both come from a cow, but they are min besheeino mino for bitul. – Heshy Aug 18 '16 at 10:13
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    This question, as currently written, is based on two assumptions: that a particular interpretation of certain wording in Genesis is correct, and that a particular interpretation of a certain body of observations of nature is incorrect. The question provides support for neither assumption. It would be much stronger if either provided clear support for both assumptions or if it left out the assumptions and instead asked how both Genesis and the body of observations can be interpreted such that they don't conflict. – Isaac Moses Aug 18 '16 at 13:14
  • Here's an analogy - different programs utilize the same language - the programming methodology is a tool, not evidence for common ancestry. Just because functional units in one program are similar to those in another program doesn't make them related. We are finding out more and more that it's the interstitial spaces on the genome, not the individual genes, that have the greatest impact on functionality by controlling gene expression - the meta-programming in the cell. This is the custom coding that calls the common expressions from the programming language. – Isaac Kotlicky Aug 18 '16 at 13:19
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    The discussion about taking the creation story literally has been moved to chat. – Double AA Aug 18 '16 at 14:09
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Just because the species were created in their final state would not mean that they would have different constituent elements. Hashem created the universe with according to certain rules. All the animals have bilateral symmetry, two eyes, etc. There is no need to create a different foundation for each species.

Even within a single species, we see differences in hair color, eye color, beak shape, etc.

Thus, there is no necessity for very different DNA structures for similar species.

I discuss the issue at Bereishis - Creationism and Evolution and use the analogy that Adam would not have been able to see the stars. The Medrash does point out that he did see them. Also, Avraham was shown the stars when he was 70 years old (1948 + 70 = 2018 from creation). A Map of the Orion Arm within 2000 light years shows "only" 6481 stars and the constellations could not have been determined. Also, the constant appearance of new stars would have been noted by the astronomers of that day. Similarly, the Hubble telescope would not be able to detect light from more than 5,776 light years away (something that is not true).

Thus, the building of the entire universe (including the genetic structure) would show what would have happened had Hashem not created it "fully mature".

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    it's not just the DNA structure, there is strong similarity in for example order of the genes which does not affect their function as far as we know. – ray Aug 18 '16 at 13:02
  • @ray I was using that as an example. L'havdil consider a programmer building separate functions using cut and paste with modifications. I will add to the post going into more detail when I get more time. Maybe not until later tonight – sabbahillel Aug 18 '16 at 13:07
  • and not just dna similarity there's also signs of chromosome fusions pointing to the descent of humans from monkeys. scripture strongly suggests adam was created from the earth independently – ray Aug 18 '16 at 13:09
  • @ray I deal with this concept on my blog discussing "Creationism and Evolution" I cannot spend the time now to go into this. However, consider a model aircraft carier that has what appear to be rivets in the hull holding it together. – sabbahillel Aug 18 '16 at 14:25
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These is nothing in the verse which suggests multiple origins. A single origin with leads to multiple stable species fits with the text. "According to their kind," describes the final state.

  • i disagree the plain meaning is from the ground according to its kind. not from each other. "according to its kind" is repeated many times there as if to emphasize – ray Aug 18 '16 at 11:41
  • I understand that you take the words "according to its kind", to mean that the intention, i.e. the beginning, is according to each kind, which is also how I would understand this English phrase. However, it is not a perfect translation of the Hebrew "l'minehu", lit. "to its species", and the Hebrew does not carry any connotation which strongly ties it to the initial "coming forth from the earth". – DanielEvalUlay Aug 18 '16 at 15:00
  • The Hebrew reads easiest as stressing the separation between species, and it is repeated to stress that the in the end the speciation must be stable and final. This separation can be at any stage, and with evolution the entire process from the beginning is exactly this, speciation, "l'minehu", separating life into distinct, stable species. – DanielEvalUlay Aug 18 '16 at 15:01
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perhaps it is to maintain free will. as the complexity of life is increasingly revealed by modern science it is necessary to maintain the balance of free will. thus an opening for a natural explanation of all this wisdom is needed.

  • I find arguments like this (dinosaur bones are fake!) specious - Hashem is deliberately deceiving us in order to "test" us? Wouldn't that directly conflict with the concept of Emes as the symbol of Hashem? Philosophically this seems rather... untenable. The more logical argument (and the one taken by most rabbanim) would be that Genesis isn't a literal historical document. – Isaac Kotlicky Aug 18 '16 at 13:26
  • @IsaacKotlicky well He did say in the torah, he would test us. thus it can still be truth. and furthermore, the fossil record does not support common ancestry in the least. it does suggest a frame up from that perspective – ray Aug 18 '16 at 13:28
  • We're NOT debating the legitimacy of evolutionary theory and whether or not it is supported by the fossil record, we ARE debating whether calling Hashem a liar has a basis in Judaism - Hashem using nature as a tool? yes, we see that happening. Hashem constructing a completely false narrative to deceive man? No, that doesn't happen in Torah, so you'd need to bring proof, not of Hashem masking his presence, but of Hashem lying by saying something physically happened when it did not. – Isaac Kotlicky Aug 18 '16 at 15:46

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