Monday, December 19, 2011
[marsupials - only in Australia - well, almost only]
One of the major “proofs” of evolution is biogeography – the distribution of living things.
As far as I can tell, biogeography does not mean that animals are always most similar to other animals living near them and more different than animals that live far away. There are too many exceptions to this rule. Alligators, for example, occur only in Florida and eastern Asia. The opossum is a unique American marsupial. It also doesn’t mean that present day animals closely resemble extinct animals from the same area. The fauna of North America a million years ago resembled today’s Africa.
What it seems to mean is that, if God created life, then similar habitats should have been created with similar plants and animals. There would be no need for all the variety that we find in the modern world. Deserts should all have one standard desert flora and fauna, forests should have a standard forest type of life, the Polar Regions should be the same and so on. In fact, this is far from the case.
I would like to question this premise, however.
According to Judaism, the highest level of serving God is the love of God, and that love may best be attained by studying nature. The wisdom and beauty of nature instills within us a love of God. If a painter painted a thousand masterpieces he is clearly greater than if he painted only ten. So also, the diversity of nature is designed to fill us with a greater love of God. This is the correct explanation for biogeography.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:47 PM