One of the comments I regularly receive is that people have a difficult time understanding the concepts of Baraminology because of the technical terminology used in the biological sciences. Therefore, this article will attempt to describe some concepts of created kinds and baramin within the context of more common household terms.
Created Kinds: Uniquely Made
To begin, instead of talking about actual created kinds, I will substitute “household kinds.” A typical kitchen in the United States houses several appliances and gadgets big and small.
One of these is usually some type of timer or clock for measuring time. This clock would represent the clock kind (different than the sink kind, microwave kind, blender kind, etc.). The clock kind has recognizable features that distinguish it from the other kinds. It can be defined as a mechanical device used for measuring time and it typically includes a face with the numbers one through twelve, a couple of moving arms to indicate the hours and minutes, and a bell to signal hours or produce alarms.
There are many species within the clock kind as seen in the top image, but only a few of these would be acclimated for the environment of a kitchen (some would be too big, others would have a wood casing that can get ruined by the moisture in the air from cooking). Each ‘species’ of clock would fit into the appropriate parts of the house or reside in various houses, simple to elaborate, rich to poor.
Next, we look at the stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator kinds—the three aluminum boxes seen in this image. They look similar on the outside just like all the four-legged animals from reptiles to mammals look similar. However, this does not mean they all evolved from a common aluminum box which later developed the use of fire, water, and ice respectively. Instead, they were assembled in different factories and possibly sold in different stores.
The reason they look so similar in this house is that the furniture and appliances were chosen by a “common interior designer” who looked for similar features or chose them all from the same brand (similar to how common design elements are made by the same designer).
Continuing on, where does the food in the kitchen come from? Evolutionary concepts have what is called the ‘tree of life’ which would be like having one giant tree in your backyard where every type of fruit and vegetable has been grafted on. To make a salad you go to the branch with carrots, the branch with lettuce, the branch with tomatoes, the branch with olives, and so on. Within creation models, there is the Creation Orchard, or in this case, we shall make it the backyard garden. A garden will have separate sections for individual plants like corn, lima beans, and potatoes and these will be spaced out one from another. This would be what we expect when looking at something like mammal kinds—each has its own unique place in the orchard separate from the other kinds.
Discontinuity Systematics: Gaps and Differences
Another concept many have difficulty with is discontinuity systematics. This concept aims to find the gaps between created kinds (while evolution looks for the supposed connections). We can compare this to architecture styles. Each kind of house or building is different from other kinds of houses and buildings and each is recognizable because the form of the building follows the function it is used for [just like different mammals look different for their different roles and environments].
For example, we can list the office kind which typically has a desk and filing cabinets, the warehouse or storage building kind with industrial shelving and barrels, the classroom kind with blackboards and podium and many seats, the castle kind which has strong stones and doors for defense, and even the research station kind with scientific equipment.
It is easy to see obvious differences in architectural designs and functions just like it is obvious to see the different abilities of flying, walking, or swimming mammals. Although the building materials are sometimes similar, the end results are very different and there was never any gradual evolution of the same building from a stone castle turning into a wood house and then turning into to metal warehouse. They were each distinctly made that way when they were built.
Intelligent Design Complex Patterns
Furthermore, we can look at multiple concepts from the realm of Intelligent Design—except now we can look at construction techniques. Intelligent design models look for information and complexity. If you have ever seen a blueprint made by a draftsman or architect, you have seen there is a tremendous amount of information. This information is carried in mathematical languages and illustrations that are understood by both draftsman and builder and the blueprint is able to carry that information from one to the other. This is not unlike the information carried in our DNA that moves throughout the cell and instructs the organelles within the cell.
Information and languages do not just occur. It is a sign of intelligence.
Intelligent design also looks for specified complexity, which basically means there is a pattern that would not normally exist and would not be expected by chance. In the picture of the house framing, the studs are built parallel to each other at regular 16 inch intervals. There are also right angles, straight lines, and many other factors that are signs of design and not chance happenings.
Living creatures are infinitely more complex than this house and all of the biological features and the anthropomorphic properties of the universe come together to show patterns for life that cannot occur by chance.
We should not forget the concept of irreducible complexity—the concept that a system must exist in its entirety or else not function. It suggests that if even a single piece of the system were missing, the entire system would be useless.
We do not have to look far to see examples of this in architecture. A simple example would be the drawbridge in the castle image above. It requires a door, ropes or chains, some type of lever, pulley, or crank system to move the door, and the people to operate it. If you do not have all four items at the same time, it does not work.
On a much larger scale, we can look at the electricity used to power a light bulb or an oven. To get the oven turned on, you need
- a working mine where ore can be gathered
- a way to transport the ore to where it can be used
- a power plant to turn the coal into electricity
- an electrical grid to transport the electricity to the house
- a fuse panel to distribute the correct amount of electricity to the wiring in the house
- and the oven itself.
If any of these elements are missing, the entire set is useless. Biological organisms are far more complex than the system of getting electricity to the oven and if a single item falls out of place, the organism can die.
When we apply these concepts to biological organisms, it becomes obvious that plants and animals were designed with distinct forms just as it is described in the Bible.
Why? Because if something, be it house or animal, looks like it was designed, it most likely was.
If there is a large gap between the shape and style, of architecture or creature, it most likely was made separately and uniquely from the other styles. And if there is a variety of appliances or creatures with very similar attributes, then most likely they are variations of the same kind. By understanding these concepts, and knowing the evidence exists, we can say once again that the Bible is found to be reliable and accurate about the creation account and describing life.