Question about Torah and Evolution

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    Why would, after Noach, all the marsupials migrate to Australia? All penguins migrate to the Antarctica continent? Wouldn’t you see equal distribution of all sorts of animals in all areas of the world if they all emerged from the teivah at the same time?


    Different animals travel at different speeds, and are attracted to different climates. Each chose the derech that was right for his species.


    So your question is: Why is it that when Hashem does such a huge neis, it doesn’t make sense B’Derech HaTevah?

    …Is that an accurate portrayal of your question?


    Derech HaMelech: Yes, that sounds right. If you take into account that everything Hashem does is a neis, and that most nissim are done bederech hateva (while back then a neis galui was more common, a neis nistar is not out of the question), it’s definitely a valid question.


    Secular frummy

    Like jewishfem said. Different animals live in different climates and need different environments. Just like you have fish that live in fresh water and fish that live in saltwater same thing with animals everything has its place.


    The mabul was a neis nigla. Repopulating earth afterward can easily be included in the neis. Now the only question is: why? Answer: because. Does it matter?


    But the question is, presuming Noach’s Teiva landed somewhere in the Asian continent after the flood. How did the buffalo cross the Atlantic, or the kangaroo cross the Indian ocean?


    Regarding marupials in Australia, the standard scientific account is that that both placentals and marsupials migrated to Australia, but for some reason the placentals died out for the most part, with the marsupials dominating, while in the rest of the world the opposite occurred.

    The only difference between the Torah and evolution, in this case, is the amount of time available for this to occur.


    How do we know where the teiva landed, or what the earth looked like at that point? Do we even know for sure that this happened after the breakup of Pangea? I don’t think the kasha stands because we have so little information.


    writersoul: Yes, that sounds right. If you take into account that everything Hashem does is a neis, and that most nissim are done bederech hateva (while back then a neis galui was more common, a neis nistar is not out of the question), it’s definitely a valid question.

    So I guess the next question is, which category do you think the story of the mabul where millions of species were brought by malachim to fit into a rather proportionally small ship while the water level of the entire world rose so high as to cover the tallest mountain- without entering E”Y of course. That water retained its boiling hot quality and turbulence, while remaining cool and calm around the vicinity of said boat and without killing off any aquatic animals.

    Does this story seem to you as a derech hatevah type of neis or a lmaalah min hatevah type of neis?


    Derech- the mneforshim still say that whatever parts of a neis are able to be done within the gedarim of tevah still happen that way. no one is denying the supernatural nature of the mabul. i also think its a nice baalibatish question.

    jewishf- Pangea. aha.



    You question is different than SecularFrummy’s. SecularFrummy’s is a question of time, your question is one of ability.

    I think there are two possible derachim to answer that question. The first possibility is something along the lines of Rabbi Dovid Brown’s (Z”L) teretz in Mysteries of Creation, that at the time of the mabul the continents were still together and they were only separated in the Dor Haphlaga.

    The second possibility is that the mabul was only in the areas of human civilization and did not effect the Americas or Australia at all.


    Penguins live in places besides Antartica, such as South America and Africa. Marsupials also live in the Americas. So the premise of your question is misplaced.

    Animals migrate and also evolve constantly. Darwin’s theory was largely based on observing how common animals, horses and cattle, had evolved during the previous 1000 years (this becomes an issue in kashruth, since some people are nervous about eating beef since the presumptions for slaughtering cattle developed when domestic cattle were only slightly larger than sheep, but they evolved into something bigger during the last 2000 years – in this case with clever farmers rather than Ha-Shem directing the evolution).

    Note that I’m not discussing the concept of what is “time” which involves issue of kaballah we can’t discuss publicly. Also I want to point out that the idea of “random” mutation driving evolution is the only thing that is really apikorisdik in the theory of evolution. Animals evolving, migrating, and the rules of “survival of the fitest” are in ways questionable from a halachic perspecttive. The shailoh isn’t whether, or how fast, a Raptorsaurus evolve into a chicken – but only if that occured “randomly” or under Ha-Shem’s direction.


    pixelate: You seem to be unaware of climate change and continental drift, all of which can be proven to be constantly occuring (even if some liberals somehow believe that such changes are something that only started in the 20th century). It doesn’t require a miracle to get critters from one continent to another. I am not denying there are many miracles, but a miracle by definition is something “unnatural”, whereas varying ocean levels and locations of land masses are part of the natural order.


    Thank you, Toi. That’s pretty much what I meant. Nobody’s doubting the lemaalah min hateva nature of the mabul- but Hashem’s default is definitely not that type of nes, or we’d see it all the time (actually, that would be impossible, as that would just mean a different type of teva, but whatever.)


    Waaaaiit, the flood was a mashal? See i dont understand this concept. Any thing which seems slightly not realistic is turned into “never happened was only a moshul”

    Whete do we draw the line that Matan Torah never happened, yitzias mitzrayim didnt happen….why do we need to say weird things didnt happen?


    ultimateskier: Not that I’m aware… I believe whoever said that may have been joking to get everyone to shut up :).


    Opossums are marcupials that live in New York City


    Kangaroos are actually remarkably good swimmers.

    Penguins flew to colder climates but then their wings froze so now they can only waddle not fly.

    One of these are true, the other is a figment of my imagination.


    Toi: I think the OP’s question is a proof that at least this part of the story was a neis. Also I think there is a difference between HKB”H minimizing a neis and people rationalizing one. The wind by krias yam suf was for them.


    That’s like saying, why wouldn’t all the animals die durring the mebul because the climate on the teiva could not sustain all of them? How did they fit in the ark in the first place? How did they get to the ark in the first place? It was all a nes.


    It may seem from the Pesukim that the actual height of the water above the ground was 15 Amos while the powerful waves (as would be expected in such a high flood) raised the water up to the high mountains. This would explain a lot of questions, including how part of the world can be unaffected while the mountains are submerged in another part of the world.

    If animals came from a certain part of the world it only makes sense that they went right back. Noach was a man of the earth (who observed and took note of animal traits and behaviors) and would not be so sloppy as to pour everyone out in one area. We would not do that today.

    Since Chazal say that he took along Sheidim, this sounds like it did in fact affect the whole world, although the fact that they mention Shekker and Chazav makes it sound as if something else was happening. If some continents were untouched Og could have gone there. I don’t think that the fish surviving was such a Nes since they could have been far away from the top waters.

    (The unspoken message in the mind of many is that Torah Min Shamayim is an allegory. Isn’t that the most bizarre of all the Nissim?)


    whered he put the ri’aim?


    Woow brilliant answer of the brilliant question. Thanks for sharing this thread in the cofferoom .. I appreciate my friends thinking who are shared a great post


    HaLeiVi: No one, not even the most reactionary ultra-rationalist (I invented the term, but it makes complete sense for it to happen when you see some of the extreme mysticism in some circles) of people who claims to be Frum says Torah Min HaShamayim was an allegory. They say Ad’raba. That’s why it’s an Ikkar Emunah. Because it was one of the few times in human history (L’shitaschem) that there was an openly revealed Neis for many to see.


    My rov said that the entire world EXCEPT for E”Y was flooded. So what happened to THOSE animals?


    Halevi- Where do we see that Noach, “observed and took note of animal traits and behaviors,” and that he sent each pair off in the direction which they call home today?


    oomis- what your rov told you is a mifurashe gemara in the last perek of zvachim.


    Tosafos Chulin 61


    Halevi- Tosafos in chulin there is talking about the kashrus of birds that there was a tradition of from the times of Noach. No mention of land animals in that gemara.

    We can also darshin from the chumash that, because Noach sent out different birds to find out the course of the mabul, he may have been an expert in birds. But no mention of the animals that walk on the ground.


    Oomis and Toi,

    Whether Eretz Yisroel was flooded is a machlokes in the Gemara between R”Yochanan and Reish Lakish. The Gemara does not say that the mabul covered everything but E”Y. It is certainly possible to read that Gemara to mean that there is a machlokes whether the mabul reached E”Y but everyone agrees that it did not reach outside the Middle East.


    I’m pretty sure someone already said this but I’m not going to bother looking through ALL the posts. Each animal migrated to where he was able to survive. Why would penguins decide to head over to Australia if it was to hot for them there? obviously they’d head towards a cooler place. Same with any animal. They go towards the right climate in which they could survive and reproduce.

    Why are there are no polar bears in Brazil? they should’ve distributed evenly right after Noach landed the arc?

    Is basically what you’re asking. Just in case you were wondering how they got there when there’s a huge ocean in the way then I guess Noach would’ve landed the arc when all the continents on Earth were clumped together forming Pangaea.

    Or you could put all that aside and go by the opinion of “it was a nes” after all, the animals did all survive in the teivah which definitely didn’t have the correct climate for all of them. But hashem doesn’t do nisim if they aren’t necessary so maybe just that part was a nes.

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