Species as Brushstrokes: The Revelatory Species in Creationism

  • K P Wise Truett-McConnell College


In 1942, Ernst Mayr introduced the biological species concept and definition as part of a systematic effort to reinterpret the world in the light of neodarwinism.  Mayr’s biological species definition is inapplicable to fossils and asexual organisms, and erects non-intuitive species taxa (e.g. dividing genetically distinct but morphologically identical populations into different species and uniting morphologically distinct, interbreedable, allopatric populations into single species).  Creationists should reject these and other evolutionary species concepts, and replace them with distinctly creationist species concepts and definitions.So as to provide humans with physical illustration of His invisible attributes, God created the universe carrying those illustrations and humans with the ability to recognize those illustrations.  It is proposed here that species were created as basic characters or brushstrokes of many of these illustrations (the revelatory species concept), and humans were made to recognize the species by means of a unique ability to characterize entities with the simplest possible approximations (the abstractification process).  According to the revelatory taxon concept, organisms were created in groups of recognizable, stable, distinct morphologies (i.e. taxa) at different, successive levels of inclusion.  The least inclusive persistent revelatory taxa are species.  As a result of the abstractification process, humans innately classify organisms into nested hierarchies that reflect creation’s true hierarchal design.The correspondence of folk and scientific classifications, the distinctiveness of kinds implied in Genesis One, the hierarchal classifications of Scripture, and the stability of kinds implied in Adam’s naming of the animals, collectively suggest that creationists should reject antirealist species concepts and adopt a realist species concept like the revelatory species concept.  The reality of the revelatory species concept would also explain the dominant species definitions employed by taxonomists from ancient Greek times to the present.  The impressiveness of the reproductive and ontogenetic processes created as a part of the revelatory species concept, for example, would be capable of inspiring the typological species concepts of Plato, Neo-Platonists, and even the otherwise strongly materialistic Aristotle.  The revelatory species concept would also explain why the vast majority of taxonomists of modern science, even to this day, have used the morphological species definition that arises as a consequence of the revelatory species concept.  The reality of the revelatory species concept would also explain: 1) the biological observations of Cenozoic species stasis even through changing lithology and climate; 2) uniform species morphology across wide ranges, geographical heterogeneity, genetically distinct populations, and into reproductively isolated areas; and 3) stability of morphology in spite of natural hybrid zones; and 4) the facility of inter-specific hybridization.The superiority of the revelatory species concept over evolutionary species concepts is demonstrated for both an example where stability cannot be demonstrated (ceratopsians from Flood sediments) and a morphologically complex and diverse neontological example with abundant hybrid zones (Cerion land snails from the Caribbean).