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The Fifth Day of Creation

Updated on August 1, 2013
A pod of sperm whales off the coast of Mauritius
A pod of sperm whales off the coast of Mauritius | Source

Genesis 1:21

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

The fifth day of creation saw God creating sea creatures and birds. This is out of sequence from the fossil record, especially the creation of whales. The order of development for evolution is:

1/ Fish

2/ Amphibians

3/ Reptiles

3a/ Dinosaurs

3ai/ Birds

3b/ Mammals

3bi/ Whales.

The Bible reveals that fish, birds, and whales, were all created at the same time.

Pakicetus inachus, a whale ancestor from the Early Eocene of Pakistan, after Nummelai et al., (2006), pencil drawing, digital coloring
Pakicetus inachus, a whale ancestor from the Early Eocene of Pakistan, after Nummelai et al., (2006), pencil drawing, digital coloring | Source
Mother and calf simultaneously blow as they swim through the green waters of the North Pacific.
Mother and calf simultaneously blow as they swim through the green waters of the North Pacific. | Source

Whale Evolution

The standard model depicts whales as evolving from land-based mammals, more specifically, from the Pakicetids. The reason for this determination is the ear of the Pakicetid. Whale ears are different from all other mammals. Whale ears have a section of bone called an involucrum, this is a thickened section of bone around the bones of the ear, it is known only in the skulls of cetaceans, or whales. Because the Pakicetid skull had this section, it was classified as a cetacean.

The problem with the Pakicetid is that when the rest of its skeleton was discovered it was found to be a land dwelling animal. This has not changed the classification of the Pakicetid, rather it has resulted in it being called a terrestrial cetacean, a land dwelling whale.

Looking at the fossil sequence of proposed whale evolution, there are several genera which are not considered to be directly ancestral or descendent, but rather illustrative of the sequence. In popular presentations of evolution they are therefore declared to be transitional. The transitional nature of these fossils is not a continuum, but a disjointed line of features that appear to be fully functioning, with none slightly less developed in one species, nor slightly more in another, which is what we really expect in a transition. For those who believe in punctuated equilibrium, this might be evidence for their belief, but it also argues against a gradual evolution.

There is also the question of how much time was available for whale evolution. Pakicetid fossils are dated from approximately 49 million years ago, the first fully aquatic whale fossil from 44 million years ago, just 5 million years difference. Into this time period must be fitted changes to the inner ear for orientation, the mammillary glands for feeding of infants, the path of the trachea to the lungs, the development of muscles around the blowhole, changes to the efficiency of the red blood cells, development of the tail flukes including musculature and enervation, the development of blubber, and modification of the eye. This is by no means a complete list, just the most obvious to a layman. Twenty-two major changes are required to get from Pakicetus to an aquatic cetacean, something that according to one scientist would require 50,000 genetic changes. Compare this to the horse, which in 60 million years of evolution maintained all of its internal organs, changed its external appearance only by size, modified its teeth, and lost a few bones in its feet. At a minimum, it would appear that evolution is inconstant in its rate between different families. Using population genetics it is estimated (by the evolutionists themselves) that two co-ordinated changes could take place in whales, two out of twenty-two, and only if you allow 43 million years rather than 5 million years.

The whale is considered to be the best example of macroevolution in the fossil record. This despite the fact that there are no directly ancestral fossils, just illustrative examples. The rate of evolution had to be much faster than for any other mammalian family, with much larger changes occurring than seen with any other animal.

Mallard ducks
Mallard ducks | Source

Bird Evolution

Birds are the other creature that is created out of sequence from the fossil record. It is probable that bats and pterosaurs should be included in the winged fowl, but for our purposes it is enough to consider the birds. Birds are distinguished primarily by having feathers. Bats and pterosaurs flew, but had no feathers. In the fossil record, the earliest creature found with wings and feathers is Archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx is considered to be an intermediate between reptiles and birds, it is dated from the Late Jurassic at 150 million years ago.

As a bird, the Archaeopteryx fossil has several features known to birds. There is the presence of feathers, the avian lung system is discernible, the skull shows evidence of a bird brain (yes, there really is such a thing), and the pigments of the feathers match those of modern birds.

There are two kinds of feathers, flight feathers, which are asymmetric, and non-flight feathers which are symmetrical. In evolutionary terms, symmetric feathers should precede asymmetric. Archaeopteryx has the asymmetric flight feathers. A number of reports have been made in the press about dinosaurs having feathers, but these are all disputed within the scientific community (and not just by creationists). While Archaeopteryx fossils show undeniable feathers, other feather fossils show fibers, and not complete feathers. Some paleontologists have presented evidence that these fibers are collagen, and not feathers at all. Similar fossil patterns can be found in pterosaurs (featherless flying reptiles) and dolphins (a water dwelling mammal).

Birds do not breathe as we do, their lungs are different. Birds have a flow-through lung system, while all other animals use a bellows system. The air in a bird’s respiratory system travels in only one direction, while in a bellows system the air flows in, then reverses direction and flows out. Two of the proposed ancestors of birds have feathers, but not the avian lung. These ancestors, however, are dated as being younger than archaeopteryx, being dated at 126 to 130 million years ago, thus making the ancestor younger than the descendant! The respiratory system of the birds also makes use of air sacs in the bones, making it a far more complex system than the reptilian system.

The brains of birds also differ from most reptiles. Bird brains have large areas for their vision centers, much larger than dinosaurs of an equal size. This allowed for the brain to process visual information during flight. Pterosaurs show a similar type of vision center. The inner ear is also similar to that of modern flying birds rather than of reptiles.

The problem that evolutionists have with Archaeopteryx is that it is an intermediate rather than a transitional form. That is to say, it has many advanced features with no primitive ones. Archaeopteryx was a flying, perching bird, not a jumping, gliding reptile. There are no birds more primitive than Archaeopteryx, and no dinosaurs that are closer to being birds. This is another situation in which the fossil is illustrative without direct ancestral relations being known, in simple English that means there are no fossils transitional to this one, nor transitional from this to living birds.

Archaeopteryx lithographica
Archaeopteryx lithographica | Source
Fossil of Heliobatis
Fossil of Heliobatis | Source


Fish would also have been created on the fifth day. In the evolutionary model, fish first appear in the fossil record during the Early Cambrian, 510 million years ago. Theses fish were agnathans, jawless fish, like the lamprey or hagfish. There is little evidence of change in the fossil history of fishes. Sharks and rays, considered primitive fish because their skeletons are made of cartilage rather than bone, show up in the fossil record looking the same as they do today. The coelacanth is a famous fossil fish, famous because it is a living fossil. Coelacanth fossils seemed to have stopped forming 65 million years ago and Coelacanth were judged extinct, but then a Coelacanth was caught off the coast of Africa in 1938. Since then a number of these fish have been caught, and they have been recorded on video. For reasons unknown the fossil record is discontinuous. Modern coelacanth are identical to fossil coelacanth, yet not only are they placed in a different species, but a different genus, thus giving the idea of change when no change has been observed.

The Fossil Record

How then do we account for the fossil record? The fossil record is an artifact of Noah’s Flood. Non-moving creatures on the ocean floor were the first to be sealed in the sediments of the flood. Moving ocean creatures were captured next, with the more quickly moving creatures to be captured last. There are numerous examples of jumbled aquatic, terrestrial, and flying creatures found together. The fossil record appears to be a collection of creatures captured in the sediments of the flood according to their habitat and motive ability.

The Fifth Day

On the fifth day of creation, God created aquatic and flying animals. The aquatic animals were the fish, cetaceans, pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, walrus), aquatic reptiles (icthyosaur, plesiosaur),and sirenians (manatees and dugongs). Molluscs and plankton would also be included in the sea creatures. The flying animals were the birds, bats, and pterosaurs (and possibly flying insects). It is difficult to reconcile the order of creation with either an evolutionary (day-age) or observational (progressive creation) point of view. The creation of terrestrial animals before aquatic would seem to make more sense from an observational point of view. It would also make more sense for birds to be grouped with the terrestrial animals rather than with the aquatic.

The fossil record for the creatures mentioned on the fifth day shows creatures that are fully functional. While there are creatures judged to be intermediate, the intermediate features are fully functional rather than transitional. None of the fossils of these creatures is designated as being directly ancestral, relationships being inferred rather than demonstrated. The fossil record as a chronological tool is at odds with Genesis in regards to the fifth day.

On the fifth day of creation God specifically and miraculously, created aquatic animals, and animals that fly.


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    • barrydan profile image

      barrydan 4 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      Thank you Michele.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      This is a very good hub. I do believe the bible, archeology, and science go hand and hand.

      Thank you for writing it.

    • barrydan profile image

      barrydan 4 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      Thank you for your comment christiananrkist. While I agree that there is a structure to the six days of Genesis 1, it is not poetic. The language is clearly chronological, and if we remain within a Biblical context, cannot be anything else.

    • profile image

      christiananrkist 4 years ago

      Great hub. Very informative and honest. I like that you admit there are confilicts in certain area's of evolution. That being said I dont believe the creation account in the bible is a chronological order of things. I believe it give an account that God created everything in kind of poetic fashion. What make me say that is this. day 1 and 4 correlate in that they both speak of God creating light. days 2 and 5 speak of God creating the water and sky and the creatures that live in them. days 3 and 6 speak of God creating land and the living creatures and vegetation on it. What do you think?