Pigs. Who would be interested in pigs? Aren’t they just lazy, dirty animals, rolling about in the mud all day?
Actually, most of the preconceptions we have about these animals are incorrect. It is true that they tend to lie around in the mud (when mud is at hand), particularly when it is hot and sunny. But this is because pigs do not have sweat glands, so cool mud helps to keep their body temperature down, and it also protects them from sunburn.1 Since they have to lie in the cooling mud for long periods sometimes, it is easy for them to be perceived as ‘lazy’.
Pigs are among the most intelligent animals.2 To give an example of their intelligence, in 1984 at Lake Somerville in Texas an 11-year-old boy fell into the lake and almost drowned, but his pet pig ‘Priscilla’ jumped in to save him! Although the boy weighed four times as much as the pig, it successfully managed to pull him out and save him, creating a stir in the newspaper headlines of the area.3
Pigs have a tremendous sense of smell, which is why they are world-renowned for their ability to sniff out truffles—an edible fungus found underground. Perhaps on account of their sensitive noses, pigs are very fastidious when it comes to cleanliness. They always make sure that they make their bedding and perform their elimination needs in separate areas.4
Lots and lots of pigs!
Photo by David Catchpoole
This little piggy went to market … In Tana Toraja, Indonesia, where the local population is predominantly Christian, pork makes up a significant part of people’s diet. In most other areas in Indonesia, where a majority are Muslims, such a sight as in the above photo would be rare—Islam prohibits the eating of pork.
There is great diversity among pigs, comprising 11 species within the genus Sus (family Suidae). The common domesticated pig is Sus scrofa. Other pig species in the genus Sus include the bearded pig (S. barbatus), the Philippine warty pig (S. philippensis), and the pygmy hog (S. salvanius). Similar animals within the same family include the warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), the bushpig (Potamochoerus larvatus), the red-river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), and the babirusa (Babirousa babyrussa). (Pictured below)
The differences within the Sus genus are certainly due to variation and possibly even speciation within a biblical ‘kind’, much like the two dogs/wolves taken on Noah’s Ark have produced descendants as different as the great Dane is from the boxer and poodle. This is not evolution, as we are not seeing a new animal kind being created.5 Dogs are still dogs, pigs are still pigs. It seems highly likely that all of the pig types (i.e. including the genera Sus, Phacochoerus, Potamochoerus, Babirousa) within the Suidae family descended from an original pig kind. (The original created ‘pig kind’ probably looked something like today’s ‘wild boar’.)
Recently, Copenhagen Zoo officials discovered five hybrid piglets in the den of a babirusa, the apparent result of it having mated with a domestic pig ‘who kept it company in its cage’6—indicating that these animals are indeed the same biblical ‘kind’ (Genesis 1:24–25).7 So, it seems that Noah did not need to take two babirusa, two bearded pigs, two warthogs, etc., aboard the Ark—he only needed two pigs.
‘All in the family’: There’s more than the genus Sus
in the family Suidae.
Top left and right: warthog (Phacochoerus africanus).
Bottom left: red-river hog (Potamochoerus porcus).
Bottom right: babirusa (Babirousa babyrussa).
Interestingly, when one looks at the distribution of pigs throughout the world today, it fits with them having multiplied and spread out from the Ark’s landing site ‘in the mountains of Ararat’—likely located in modern-day Turkey. Even evolutionists, who don’t believe what the Bible says about a global Flood around 4,500 years ago, say that the indications are that pigs originated in ‘Eurasia’ (the land mass combining Europe and Asia).8 What country sits astride Europe and Asia? Turkey!
Recent genetic analysis of wild and cultivated pigs has led researchers to conclude that pigs have been domesticated at least seven times, across multiple ‘centers of domestication’ across Eurasia.9,10 Note, though, that the evolutionary mindset is that from the time animals evolved, they’ve always been ‘wild’ until man developed a more ‘advanced’ brain and could domesticate them. In contrast, the biblical view is very different. The fact that man can, and has, ‘tamed all kinds of animals’ (James 3:7), including pigs, reflects the original stewardship responsibility/authority of God’s original created order (Genesis 1:28).
And the fact that today’s domestic pigs can readily colonize ‘wild’ areas (i.e. becoming ‘feral’, e.g. as they have done since European settlement of Australia) shows us how simple it was for animals to have moved out into the ‘wild’ after the Flood. It also shows that our domestic animals, though having been bred11 for thousands of years, are not that different from wild animals. Wild pigs and domestic pigs are the same kind.
Are we related to apes or pigs? (Neither!)
Evolutionary teaching has claimed for decades that the apes are our closest living relatives. But it is interesting to note that when humans are in need of an organ transplant and there is a shortage, sometimes an animal is considered to fill the role (xenotransplantation), and, from an evolutionary standpoint, one would think that the ape would be the first animal to turn to. However, it is the pig that has proven to be the most successful animal for this purpose.12 Note, too, that the similarities in digestive tracts of humans and pigs renders us vulnerable to many of the same parasites (incidentally, the Levitical prohibition on swine (Lev. 11:7) makes practical sense, in that light). If evolutionary theory said that pigs were close evolutionary relatives of humans, then evolutionists might well be loudly proclaiming the similarity of parasites and digestive systems as evidence of evolution! But it doesn’t, so they don’t.
Evolution’s long-and-lanky pig tale
The absence of evidence (e.g. undisputed transitional fossils) for pig evolution does not deter evolutionists from proclaiming evolution.
Evolutionists state that pigs are an offshoot of the Artiodactyla—animals with an even number of toes, which supposedly evolved around 40 million years ago. The artiodactyls allegedly evolved from the condylarths, painted by evolutionists as the first herbivorous mammals. And to show the absurdity of the evolutionary ‘system’, it is alleged that one of the most closely related animals to the pig is the whale!13
The absence of evidence (e.g. undisputed transitional fossils) for pig evolution does not deter evolutionists from proclaiming evolution. Typically, there is a grand amount of authoritative-sounding, ‘just-so’ story-telling with no substance to back it up. Is there evidence of speciation among the Suidae family? Yes. But speciation is not evolution.14
Pigs have always been pigs, ever since the first pigs were created on Day 6 of Creation Week alongside man. The variety evident in pigs lies within the limits of the created kind,15 thus preventing a pig from becoming anything other than a pig. This observable fact testifies to the truth of the Creation account in the Bible—for those who are sufficiently ‘open-minded’ to see it.
Pigs and ‘ape-men’
One of the most embarrassing retractions that evolutionists have ever had to make centred around a pig. In 1922 geologist Harold J. Cook contacted Dr Henry F. Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, informing him that he had discovered a Pliocene tooth in Nebraska. Dr Osborn believed it represented the first ape-man found in North America.1,2
A new species name was created (dedicated to its discoverer)—Hesperopithecus haroldcookii. Imaginative artists, as in the example above, portrayed the new ‘hominid’ with simian ears, nose, hair, and using primitive tools while stooping in ‘ape-man’ fashion. For several years this tooth was touted as ‘proof’ of evolution until 1927, when it was reluctantly decided that the tooth belonged to an extinct peccary (or pig)!3,4
References and notes
- Pig Care Sheet, sybilsden.com/caresheet/pigs.htm, 29 September 2006. Return to text.
- Pigs Peace Sanctuary—Common questions, 29 September 2006. Return to text.
- edHelper.com, Sample pigs worksheet, 29 September 2006. Return to text.
- Global Action Network, Pigs, 4 October 2006. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., Refuting Compromise, Master Books, Arkansas, USA, Chapter 7: The created kinds, 2004. Return to text.
- Preposterous piglets, Nature 442(7105):858, 24 August 2006. Return to text.
- Obviously, being designed to reproduce ‘after its kind’ an animal must mate with an animal of its own kind. Return to text.
- Swine, www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/swine/Swine-w.htm, 12 January 2006. Return to text.
- Larson, G. and 12 others, Worldwide phylogeography of wild boar reveals multiple centers of pig domestication, Science 307(5715):1618–1621, 2005. Return to text.
- Seven times lucky for the pig farmers, New Scientist 185(2491):19, 19 March 2005. Return to text.
- Note that ‘bred’ does not mean ‘evolved’—man has simply selected from the existing gene pool for characteristics such as bodyweight, temperament, etc.—and it involves removing genetic information, the opposite to what particles-to-pigs evolution requires. Return to text.
- Future pundit, Genetically engineering pigs for xenotransplantation, 16 December 2005. Return to text.
- Harper, S. and Prebezac, C., Condylarths—first hoofed animals, <www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Hall/1697/Condylarths.html>, 13 January 2006. Return to text.
- Catchpoole D. and Wieland, C., Speedy species surprise, Creation 23(2):13–15, 2001; <www.creation.com/speedy>. Return to text.
- Wieland, C., Variation, information and the created kind, Journal of Creation 5(1):42–47, 1991; <www.creation.com/kind>. Return to text.