MammothsPublished in Creation 26(4):26–27, 2004
As far as we know, no–one living today has ever seen a live mammoth. But did you know that you have probably seen one of its relatives?
The mammoth is now extinct. We find their remains as fossil bones and sometimes as frozen remains. But different varieties of elephants, which are most likely related to the mammoth, can be found in many parts of the world.
Just as all humans came from Adam and Eve (the first two people), all types of elephants, including mammoths, probably came from the one elephant ‘kind’ that God originally created. That would mean that all elephants would also be related to each other.
When God made Adam and Eve, He created so much information in their bodies, they could have had zillions of children without two looking the same. Look around the world today. There are about 6 billion people on Earth, and yet we see lots and lots of differences—but they are all humans, and all related.
For instance, consider just one difference—dark or light skin. God did not decorate Adam and Eve with dark and light stripes. Adam and Eve were made with only one basic skin colour, a dark brown pigment called melanin. Yet from Adam and Eve came people with skin ranging from ‘black’ to ‘white’. Actually, ‘black’ skin just has lots of the brown pigment; ‘white’ skin has very little. God put the information that can make many different amounts of skin pigment inside Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve had children, they passed various combinations of this information to their children’s bodies. Some would have been dark; others light in colour—and anywhere in between. The information that makes different amounts of skin pigment has always been passed from parents to their children, just as your parents passed on the information that formed you!
The information in our bodies that determines things like how we are going to look and grow is carried on a large molecule called DNA. DNA sort of looks like two pieces of rope with special molecules, like letters of the alphabet, lined up in an order that contains this information. Almost every cell in our body from our foot to our head carries all this information.
The different elephant types alive today got the information they have for their features from the original elephant ‘kind’ that God created. For instance, some have information that makes their back slope sharply, whereas others have backs that are fairly level. Today there are two main sorts of these animals—African elephants and Asian elephants. Elephants that are now extinct, such as the Mastodon, Stegodon and Mammoth, probably also belonged to this same elephant kind, even though some had different sorts of features, like long hair. There may even have been more varieties of elephants, which we may find fossils of in the future.
When we look at the elephant kind, we are amazed by our powerful God, who created these creatures in the first place, and gave them enormous amounts of information so they could produce the amazing types of these fascinating creatures. This also reminds us that evolution is not true—after all, elephants only make elephants!
We learn from the Bible that God created original kinds of animals. ‘Kind’ is the word the Bible uses to describe each different animal made by God. There would have been an elephant kind, a horse kind (equine kind) and a dog kind, to name a few. We do not know exactly which kinds of animals God created on Days 5 and 6. To know exactly which kinds were created we would need a time machine to take us back to these days of creation so we could see for ourselves. What we do know is that from each kind came the many types of each animal we have today, like the different types of elephant.
Even though we cannot know exactly which kinds were created we have clues to each kind from animals that can breed (mate) together and reproduce or make a baby. Many different types of dogs are bred to create puppies, so these dogs are probably from the same kind.
Which of the pairs of animals below probably came from the same kind, and which pairs didn’t?
King Charles spaniel and a Maltese terrier can mate and produce a baby. They are probably from the same kind.
A snake and a rat cannot mate and cannot produce a baby. They are not from the same kind.
A lion and a tiger can mate and produce a baby called a liger or a tigon. They are probably from the same kind.
A kangaroo and a cow cannot mate and cannot produce a baby. They are from different kinds.
A horse and a zebra can mate and can produce a baby called a zorse. They are probably from the same kind. Return to text