Death Among the Daisies: a Challenge to YEC

Or to understand what the Gospel is, and that IT can be true, even if YEC isn’t. Tying the two together is, dare I say, heresy?


Thanks, @Kendel & @jammycakes!

A quick look at Amazon reveals a new version of the book has been released:

From the preview, you can see that the images have been replaced and the page layout updated to look like a DK science/history book.


Faux DK…oh, how underhanded and devious! There are no limits.


The double standard here is palpable. On the one hand, those who propose possible solutions to solving scientific conundrums are laughed at for not knowing. And yet, on the other hand, AiG can present flights of fancy like scorpion stingers being used in a non-violent way as a biblically faithful possibility.

Here’s more from one of the articles you linked:

“It is evident that for the silk-producing structure in spiders, it is hard to establish an alternative function for these glands, though spiders have been shown to catch and eat pollen. The evidence seems to point to such structures being designed as they are to effectively catch things like insects. However, we may simply not know the original harmless function of these structures.”
How Did Defense/Attack Structures Come About?

Yes, it is true that certain species of spiders have been shown to eat pollen that becomes trapped in their webs. Many species of predatory insects and arachnids are not true-carnivores but supplement their diets as needs and opportunities arise. Additionally, not all webbing is used to create capture webs. For example, jumping spiders use webbing as a safety line when jumping large distances. It is likely that the spider web emerged as a means to protect eggs first, then branched outward from there.

However, a 2013 study has shown that the orb web of Cross Spiders (Araneus diadematus) were electrostatically charged in such as way as to be drawn towards the charge created by an insect’s wing motion. That kind of specialisation speaks to predation. Additionally, it overlooks the variety and location of webs. For example, the kinds of spiders you might find in your garage or garden shed, or in a cave, are not building webs there so that they can harvest pollen.


Ironically, AiG as an organisation decries the culture, and yet resources like this show that it is dependent on the culture to promulgate its ideas among the next generation. Much like how a parasite is dependent on the host to survive.


Very good post. Thanks!
I thought that YEC say that many adaptations to meat alone were new miracles after the fall, to adapt to meat eating? It would be drastic, I know.

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From Amazon reviews for Dinosaurs of Eden:

My 6-year old son spent 30 minutes looking through all the pictures when this first arrived! Good artwork! A little wordy for age 6, but I think this book will be perfect to help answer some of his questions about how dinosaurs died and people began. A good mix of science around bible verses!

We bought this for homeschool paleontology studies. It’s great having the creation world view. My children spend hours looking through this book.

Not much paleo in 6,000 years. Way to set up a crisis of faith down the road. I keep reading people’s stories of how, disillusioned over YEC, decide that nothing of their parent’s beliefs could be trusted.


true. However, I’m hoping that my kids will realize I didn’t mean to teach them wrong things–and though I’m teaching them evolution, I’m sure I am not perfect in a lot of other things.

As a family doc, there’s a saying we heard in med school–25% of what we’re teaching you will change in 4 years–but we don’t know what will change! Keep your ears open.

I’m hoping that with time, our culture will learn some tolerance for well meaning, mistaken folks.
We tend to have very little patience.



To be truly following Genesis 1, the categories of animals would be aquatic stuff, flying stuff, domestic animals, big wild land animals, and creepy crawlies, not mammals versus invertebrates.

The entire phylum Cnidaria relies on stinging to obtain food, which is not generally needed in dealing with catching plants.

Good examples of “this can be seen in the fossil record” come from drilling predators, which make a distinctive hole in their prey shells. The best-studied are the naticid and muricid gastropods, which drill a circular hole through other shells (and sometimes even crabs). Many others make more irregular and thus less easily identified holes, but there is work on identifying the drillholes of octopods, tonnoidean snails, and others.

Repaired damage often reflects attempted predation, usually on the part of the prey (for example, certain crabs have a distinctive pattern of breaking away the edge of a snail shell in hopes of eating the animal). However, the busyconid and a few fasciolariid snails use the edge of their shell to pry open clams to eat. Unsurprisingly, that is hard on the shell edge, and damage and repair to the shell lip is evident in fossils.

Chaetognaths also use fangs for predation; many ribbon worms have a barb to inject toxins into prey, but neither of them have good fossil records.

Coprolites (fossil poop) provide evidence of predation - many contain bits of bone and traces of meat (digested bone is a great source of phosphate for mineralizing soft tissues) or other remains of prey. They also often would not be readily preserved in many of the flood scenarios imagined in Flood geology.


Here’s one invasive species in the Great Lakes that surround my home and reach into Ontario, Canada.


Sea Lampreys:

The ghastly, jawless, nightmarish invaders of the Great Lakes that surround my home. They attach themselves to the sides of living animals (usually fish, but are happy with humans when they can find them) with their hook teeth, apply their special rasp-like tongue (radula) to scrape a hole in the side of their prey and suck the good stuff out.
I’m sure someone with enough imagination could attempt a tortured alternative past for these monstrosities, but it would be pretty silly at best. Maybe, when they roamed the forests, they ate mushrooms? Maybe they attached to dead wood floating in the Atlantic, where they belong, and sucked algae off it. No, wait! Algae are not plants. Wait, not animals either! Maybe protists are allowed. That must be it!


Those jaws are for attaching to oranges and sucking out the juice, obviously. :wink:


I knew I could rely on a real scientist to help clarify! :grin: Thank you, @T_aquaticus. You have probably solved one of the Great Lakes’ greatest mysteries.

Now how can we lure them with oranges back to the Atlantic where they belong?
Actually, my cynical side always tells me, if we could just market lampreys, zebra muscles, and Asian carp as highly desirable, over-priced, organic, shee-shee delicacies, we’d have the problem solved in no time. Over fishing/harvesting, using only ancient boating equipment so we can sell the vision to Gwenyth Paltrow and her groupies, (and avoid more engine-related pollution in the lakes), and maybe we can be done with these things in 5 or 10 years. Fantastical, I know.


And I thought the zebra mussels that line our lakes with sharp edges and stink when the water level falls were bad.


I think the new version of Dinosaurs of Eden is the one we were given – I still have it up on top of a bookshelf somewhere. Just looking it over felt like a bait and switch – there are pictures of dinosaurs all through it, but the purpose of it is to present a very specific YEC worldview, so the dinosaurs are mostly there for decoration, even on pages that have nothing to do with dinosaurs.

No wonder I had to take my son’s early interest in dinosaurs as a way to actually educate myself about them – dinosaurs are simply a means to an end for many YEC materials and therefore you don’t end up learning much about them except in passing.


We got zebra mussels, too. They became worrisome to the public, when I was probably in junior high school (starting around 1980). My sister and I used to swim in Lake Huron near Oscoda, MI, where my aunt and uncle had property. The water was dark, jade green. We had to be fairly close to each other to see each other under water.
The last time I was in Oscoda, maybe 3 years ago, I was almost sick. The water is completely clear. You can see right to the bottom in the areas I feel comfortable swimming in (5’-6’ deep; approximately 170cm- 2m deep). No easily visible algae. It’s dead. In the course of my adult life zebra mussels have filtered out and eaten nearly all the food for small shallow-swimming fish. The EPA estimates that’s 3,540 km (850 cubic miles) of water.

Because the Great Lakes water levels don’t fluctuate like small ones do, the edges are not so much a problem, but the muscles attach to everything they can. Our shores are NOT supposed to have shells. I used to find teeny tiny white shells occasionally, when I was a kid. Our beaches normally yield (depending on location) more sand, rocks, a dead fish now and then, dead sea grasses, and drift wood. Zebra mussel shells are an unwelcome presence on the beaches now.

I’m glad we don’t have to deal with them exposed like you do. Blech.


This is the first year we have had them in mass, and they are solid.


Yes! This is a great point and, I think, really underlines that Genesis (and by extension, the Bible) is not making and taxonomic argument when it groups organisms in this way. It certainly isn’t making a case for one group not being alive!

Great shares around shell damage in the fossil record. I wonder though whether you and others think that for a YEC fossil evidence is easier to dismiss? “Were you there?” “These are assumptions from your worldview” and other such objections.

The benefit I think of living animals is that you can show a person a photo or, as in the case of insects and spiders actually find one to show them up close. That kind of evidence feels harder to dismiss maybe? What do you think?

Edit: All that in no way undermines the importance of fossils of course.


Lampreys are a great example, those barbs and that rasping tooth aren’t so that Mr. lamprey can give his wife a kiss goodnight! You also raise an important point about invasive species. Surely the reason they are such a problem is because they A. wreck the food chain through over feeding, B. Have no natural predators in the area, C. Both!


The fossils were there, so they are useful against the “were you there?” “I wasn’t there in the late Cretaceous of western Canada, but something was there that pooped a big pile of bone and muscle bits, and there are also T. rex bones in the same layer.” Modern species are generally better for seeing the features (such as the drilling apparatus of snails and octopod).

Historically, there seems to have been more support for the idea that the unpleasant things were created post-Fall, but modern YEC favors dietary shifts in existing kinds, it seems. Either one seems to posit a significant creation event not clearly mentioned in Scripture.


Henry I was said to have died from eating too many lampreys, indicating their past popularity as food. There is a significant effort to get people to eat the invasive lionfish that are spreading throughout the warm western Atlantic. Zebra mussels are small, but they are not too distant relatives of the longneck or steamer clam (Mya), which is a popular food option.

Not all lampreys are parasitic, but the non-parasitic ones seem to be evolved from parasites. Lamprey larvae hang out in the bottom of rivers, filter-feeding. When they metamorphose into the adult form, some stay small and don’t feed; other species start parasitizing and get much bigger.

The lionfish is also an example of defensive venom, which is not needed if you don’t have to defend against predators. It has spines that can give a very painful sting (though the meat is tasty - nothing toxic there). Bees, ants, and wasps don’t need to sting if predation isn’t happening (very few bees produce enough honey to defend). The sting may be used either to attack prey or to defend against perceived threats (my fire ant stings are mostly healed, but the yellow jacket stings are still itchy.) You don’t need a stinger to subdue a leaf.