Identifying The Species

PLANT AND ANIMAL CLASSIFICATIONS—(*#3/15 Classifying the Plants and Animals*) The science of classifying plants and animals is called taxonomy.

"Classification or taxonomy is the theory and practice of naming, describing, and classifying organisms."— *Stansfield, The Science of Evolution (1977), p. 98.

Taxonomists have placed all plants and animals in logical categories and then arranged them on several major levels, which are these: Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species Sub-species

It should be kept in mind that there is no such thing as a kingdom, phylum, class, order, or family. Those are just convenient names and are like rooms in a zoo or botanical garden, each one with a different collection of plant or animal species. It is the species that are alive; the rooms are not. The terms "phyla, classes, orders, families," and most of the "genera" are merely category labels. It is only the true species which should count. This includes some of what is listed as "species," and some life-forms called "genera," which should be labeled as species.

"According to the author's view, which I think nearly all biologists must share, the species is the only taxo-

nomic category that has, at least in more favorable examples, a completely objective existence. Higher categories are all more or less a matter of opinion."— *G W. Richards, "A Guide to the Practice of Modern Taxonomy, " in Science, March 13, 1970, p. 1477 [comment made during review of Mayr's authoritative Principles of Systematic Zoology].

Here is an example of how classification works. This is the classification of the house cat:

"PHYLUM Chordata—all animals possessing at some time in their life cycle pharyngeal pouches, a notochord, and a dorsal tubular nerve cord.

"SUBPHYLUM Vertebrata—all those animals that possess vertebrae.

"CLASS Mammalia—all those animals that have internally regulated body temperature, possess hair, and suckle their young.

"ORDER Carnivora—All those mammals whose teeth are adapted to a predatory mode of life, but which are not insectivores.

"FAMILY Felidae—all those Carnivora with retractile claws, lengthy tail, and a certain tooth arrangement.

"GENUS Felis—the true cats.

"SPECIES domestica—[the domesticated cats]."— Wayne Frair and Percival Davis, A Case for Creation (1983), p. 37.

SCIENTIFIC NAMES FOR SPECIES—If you go to the zoo, you will see a sign on one cage, "Giant Panda," with the words, "Alluropoda melanoleuca" just below it. The first line is capitalized and is the common name of this large black-and-white bear from China; the second line is its "scientific name." Scientists worldwide understand these two-part Latin names (called binominals). The first word is the genus, and the second is species. Sometimes the name of the discoverer or namer is added as a third word. The Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus, invented this method of scientific nomenclature in the 1750s.

*Darwin recognized that there was no evidence that any species had evolved from any other species. He decided that, instead of denying the existence of species, the only practical solution for evolutionists was, first, to classify plants and animals; second, point to similarities between them; and, then, declare that therefore one must have evolved from the other or from a common ancestor. From beginning to end, evolution is just theory, theory, theory.

THE GENESIS KIND—Back in the beginning, the law of the "Genesis kinds" was established:

"Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind . . And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind."—Genesis 1:11, 12.

In the same way, the birds, sea life, and animals were each to reproduce "after their kind" (Genesis 1:20-22, 2425). This principle was not to be violated. And this is what we find in the fossil record and in the world today. The "Genesis kind" is generally equivalent to the species level, but sometimes the genus level. This variation is due to flaws in our humanly devised classification systems.

Since the Hebrew words used in Genesis for "create" and "kind" are bara and min, Frank Marsh, a careful research scholar in speciation, has suggested the term baramin as an identifying name for this "Genesis kind." (Min is used 10 times in Genesis 1, and 21 times in the rest of the Old Testament.) It would be a good word to use, since it is more accurate than "species," which can at times be incorrect. Other names for the Genesis kinds are the Genesis species, the true species, and the biological species. The present author favors "true species" as the term most easily understood.

BIOLOGICAL SPECIES—The term, "biological spe cies," is increasingly becoming accepted as a basic reference point by scientists. Although there are instances in which obvious sub-species do not cross breed, biological species would normally apply to those species which do not cross-breed outside of their own kind. However, there are instances in which two sub-species of a true species no longer cross breed.

MICRO- VS. MACROEVOLUTION—(*#4/6Micro and Macro*) Evolutionists point to changes WITHIN the species and call that "microevolution," and then proceed to tell us that such sub-species changes prove that theorized changes ACROSS species (which they term "macroevolution") must also be occurring.

But random gene shuffling within the species only produces new varieties and breeds. The DNA code barrier is not penetrated. New plant varieties and animal breeds never cross the species barrier.

New varieties and new breeds are not evolution; they are only variation within the already existing species. There is no such thing as "microevolution." Changes within the true species are not evolution.

COUNTING THE SPECIES—*Aristotle could list only about 500 kinds of animals; and his pupil, *Theophrastus, the most eminent botanist of ancient Greece, listed only about 500 different plants.

Through the centuries, as naturalists counted new varieties of creatures in the field, in the air, and in the sea, and as new areas of the world were explored, the number of identified species of animals and plants grew. By 1800 it had reached 70,000. Today there are several million. Two-thirds of them are animal and one-third are plant. The flowering plants and insects are the two largest single categories.

Nearly all of these millions of so-called "species" consist of sub-species of a much smaller number of original Genesis kinds, the true species. For example, today there are many different hummingbirds: but, originally, there was only one. Its gene pool permitted it to produce many sub-species.

JOHN RAY—John Ray (Wray) (1627-1705) apparently was the first scientist to formerly recognize the "species." He prepared a large classification of all the species of plants and animals known in his time (about 18,600).

Ray was an earnest Christian who, in the wonderful structures of plants and animals, saw abundant evidence of a Creator's hand.

CARL LINNAEUS—Carl von Linne (1707-1778) spent his adult life as a teacher at the University of Uppsala. At the age of 50, he latinized his name to "Carolus Linnaeus. " The classification system of plants and animals developed by Linnaeus was to become the standard used today. He published it in his book, SystemaNaturae, in 1735.

Linnaeus came to two definite conclusions: (1) Species were, for the most part, the equivalent of the "Genesis kind." (2) There had been no change across the basic categories—now or earlier. As a result of his studies, Linnaeus arrived at a firm belief in Special Creation and the fixity of species. He said, "We reckon as many species as issued in pairs from the hands of the Creator" (quoted in *H.F. Osborne, From the Greeks to Darwin, 1929, p. 187).

Men today may call themselves experts in taxonomy, but it is significant that the two men in human history able to lay a solid foundation for biological classification—saw in all their findings only evidence of creation, not evolution.

LINNAEUS AND RAY—Linnaeus was the one who developed our modern system of classification. Unfortunately, he frequently listed, as separate species, life-forms that could interbreed. Some of these decisions were based on ignorance, but nevertheless we live with the results today. Thus, the true species are not always those that are listed in the textbooks as "species." It is now recognized, by many qualified biologists, that John Ray did better quality work; for he carefully adhered to biological species in preparing his species categories. In contrast, Linnaeus at times confused them by placing true species in genera or sub-species categories.

LUMPERS AND SPLITTERS—There has been a perennial problem in regard to the "lumpers" and "splitters." There is a tendency for the taxonomists—the experts who classify plants and animals—to fall into one or the other of these two categories.

The lumpers place species together, which should be divided into sub-species. The splitters tend to put true species into sub-species categories.

"Lumper species," are also called "Linnaean species" because, back in the early 1700s, both Linnaeus and Ray pioneered the lumping of species. "Splitter species" are also called "Jordanian species" for the French botanist, Jordan, who initiated this approach in the early 1800s.

So today we find both Linnaean and Jordanian species scattered throughout the scientific lists of plants and animals. It is important to keep this in mind, for selective breeding of Jordanian species can appear to produce new species! This would appear to prove evolutionary claims and indicate species cross-over as taken place, —when, actually, two members of different sub-species, of the same true species, have interbred.

When the Santa Gertrudis cattle were developed in the 1960s by breeding zebu bulls with strains of Texas longhorns, Herefords, and shorthorns, the result was a new sub-species; but some splitters classify it as a "new species." Yet the Santa Gertrudis is merely another type of the cattle species and able to crossbreed with several others.

FAMILY TREE—(*#8/7 Our Family Tree*) Everyone has seen paintings in museums and textbooks of our "family tree, " with its worms, birds, apes, and man shown in relation to how they evolved from one another. The im-

COMPARING THE FAMILY TREES—In reality, there are only twigs (actual species) all over the ground. The rest of the "evolutionary tree" is as imaginary as the two lower sketches, below.

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