Half World Species Catalogued

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Half the world species catalogued, according to ABC (Australia) News, 9 April 2007, which reports: “Scientists working on a catalogue of every known kind of living organism have reached the milestone of having catalogued one million species. The project is being led by experts at Reading University in Britain and the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington. About 3,000 biologists are processing data provided by museums and scientific organisations around the world. Those involved say it is like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle. The biggest section in the catalogue is devoted to butterflies and moths with more than 250,000 species. The one million species catalogued comprise just over half of the world's known species. The scientists hope to complete the catalogue by 2011.”

ABC

Editorial Comment: Sceptics have used such large numbers of catalogued species to pour scorn on the idea of God creating each species separately and of Noah fitting the animals on the Ark. They also point out that occasionally one species has been shown to give rise to two separate species, and therefore, Darwin, rather than the Bible, was right about the origin of species. However, they are confusing the word “kind” in the Bible with the modern definition of a species. The two are not the same. The simplest definition of a species is a group of individuals that breed with one another and produce fertile offspring. It has been observed that some subgroups within a group of species cease breeding with others within the group, so technically the species has split and formed two new species, but this does not explain how the original group or kind came into being. As such, the title of Darwin’s book was quite deceptive. Darwin did describe some real processes, such as natural selection, that can result in a large and varied group of living things splitting into two or more separate groups. However, this does not explain how any living kinds came to exist in the first place, so Darwin never did explain the “origin” of anything. (Ref. taxonomy, classification)

Evidence News 15th August 2007

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