How did unique fish appear in particular areas?
Published: 15 September 2013 (GMT+10)
Stephanie from the United States wrote to ask about animal migration. Her question is highlighted in green.
I was wondering how to answer this question. How did some fish only end up in certain lakes, ponds, etc. This one actually stumped me. Of course, I’m not about to deny the Creator. This is actually one question I really can’t find an answer for.
Thanks so much! Love the site by the way.
CMI’s Jonathan O’Brien responds:
Your question is a good one. During the Flood the marine animals such as fish would have survived in the floodwaters, although many perished due to sedimentation and other factors. Immediately after the Flood the marine creatures that survived would have been distributed around the world in the oceans and other water bodies. These would have multiplied in the areas where they found themselves and migrated to other areas from generation to generation. At the end of the Flood all the air-breathing land-animals would have been in the Middle East where they disembarked from the Ark, and these too would have migrated to different parts of the globe over a period of generations.
There are many ways that all sorts of organisms can get into particular locations where they are uniquely found. Once there, they find a ‘niche’ for themselves and are able to adapt to that location, if necessary. This of course is not Darwinian evolution in action, just biological adaptation in which pre-existing genetic information is sorted. No new or novel genetic information is created. Many unique organisms are now only found in very particular locations because this is where it so happens they managed to survive. They may indeed have made it to some other areas, but did not survive in that location.
As to how organisms travel to where they are found, there are many possibilities. Fish eggs can stick to birds’ legs. When the bird lands for a drink or to look for food, the fish eggs detach and later hatch out. I think some eggs of certain organisms, such as insects and shrimps, can even be wind-blown, especially if stuck to leaves and things like that. Other organisms were introduced to new areas either deliberately or inadvertently by man, not long after the Babel dispersion. Explorers would have soon traveled to all of the farthest-flung places of the globe, soon after the Babel event, especially after sea-levels fell and land bridges were temporarily created. Man also traveled far by boat and ship, taking all sorts of animals with him.
The great Flood itself would have deposited many eggs of insects and marine animals, and transported juvenile marine creatures. The retreating waters left behind detritus such as tree limbs that had been floating in the waters. Land animals can travel enormous distances by clinging to driftwood—including reptiles, amphibians and mammals. It doesn’t take long for organisms to overtake new areas, such as is seen in the cane toad invasion of northern Australia.
I highly recommend The Creation Answers Book for answers to many other questions regarding the Flood, and animal migration, including the question of how salt and fresh water fish survived the Flood. This is available from the store on Creation.com and as a free download from the books section.
I hope this has helped you.
W.F. from Australia writes in response to Mummified Trees.
In your Creation magazine, 2012, was an article by Jonathan O’Brien on Mummified trees.
Was carbon-14 dating done on these wood samples? Surely if they appeared to be so young, then this dating method would have given the closest date than the 12 million years which were reasoned by Joel Barker. This should be a more positive evidence.
CMI’s Jonathan O’Brien responds:
Dear Mr F.
Thank you for your question. I couldn’t find any reference to Carbon-14 dating having been done on these wood samples. This doesn’t surprise me as the researchers believe in long ages, and already believe that the wood is 2 to 12 million years old. Carbon dating can only give dates of thousands of years, not millions. They wouldn’t expect to find any Carbon-14 after about 50,000 years, and therefore wouldn’t bother to do such tests.
However, doing a Carbon-14 test on the wood would be an excellent project for creationists to undertake, and I expect that there would indeed be Carbon-14 found in the timber. Carbon-14 has been found over and over again in old wood samples, and also in coal samples. Carbon-14 has also been found at detectable levels in diamonds, indicating that the diamonds are far younger than commonly believed. Carbon-14 has even been found in dinosaur bones. If a sample has Carbon-14 in it, it is good evidence that it is not millions of years old.
If Carbon-14 dating was undertaken on the wood, it is possible that the dating laboratory would come up with a date older than the true age. Carbon-14 dates of material older than about 3,500 years are inaccurate because such dates cannot be calibrated against historically-verified material of known age. Even younger, historically-calibrated Carbon-14 dating is known to have anomalies and is not considered to be very accurate. Standard laboratories have developed a ‘calibration curve’ for carbon-14 dating to try to overcome the obvious discrepancies.
In my opinion the wood found by Joel Barker is very likely post-Flood in origin, no more than about 4,500 years old, and possibly younger. If the wood was older, and was buried in the global Flood, it would give a Carbon-14 age of something like 30,000 years based on the carbon-14 ratio in today’s atmosphere, which is the basic way scientists who calculate such ages do their calculation. They do not take the global Flood into account. During the Flood, massive amounts of organic material were buried, permanently altering the carbon balance.1 The Creation Answers Book, Chapter 4, has further helpful information on this.
I hope my answer has been useful to you.
- See Wieland, C., 22 January 2013, creation.com/c14-dinos, and the list of related articles at the bottom of that article. Return to text.
The unique species of fish in a certain lake may also be caused by genetic drift in an isolated population. Many such unique species may actually be a part of one biblical “kind”. One online document notes the unique fish of Bear Lake (in Utah, US), said not to be found anywhere else in the world. One unique species is the “Bear Lake Cutthroat Trout.” A wikipedia search shows that Cutthroat Trout will readily interbreed with rainbow trout producing fertile hybrids. From a creationist perspective, these would be considered one “Kind”. The slight differences between these fish pose no problem for the creationist view.
We should seriously dedicate a lot of money to testing other fossil, wood, coal, diamond, limestone, etc. samples that are supposed to be over a million years old for C-14. If they contain any, it means they must be less than 60,000 years old. Of course, the evolutionary geologists will just say that the samples have been contaminated with C-14 within the last 60,000 years, but the more samples we find that contain it, the less plausible that rebudle will become.
Waterspouts still carry fish over land and drop them in places where you wouldn't expect them to be.
Here in NZ, which is 1,500 KM's from any other land, we sometimes get fish species brought here accidentally, and some on purpose: Last week we had a man from Vietnam who came on a plane with fish in bags in his pockets! He was stopped at customs. But we had a 'sea squirt' come here in the bilges of a large ship some years ago, which now lives in our harbours.
And settlers brought Atlantic salmon eggs here 150 years ago, which species is now established here, along with another species of salmon too, also brought by settlers.
We also get tropical ocean fish here if the wind blows from the north a lot: these fish are not classified as NZ fish, but turn up in great numbers if the weather is right.