Genesis 30&31, selection and applied Evolution


(Ryan weatherly) #1

Genesis 30 -31 ,selection /and breeding
I’m sure this has been discussed before , but I couldn’t find a live thread .

Selection is the base mechanism of Evolutionary theory ,
Artificial selection (humans choose mates)
Natural selection (generally females of species choose mates)
But the mechanics are the same (trait selection )

Without doubt Jacob uses trait selection , it is evident in the account (ringstraked, spotted,etc )
An interesting point , consistent breeding of spotted goats requires both a male AND female carrying the recessive spotted genes .the more history of spots in the lineages , the greater the chance of spotted offspring .
In Genesis 31 it states that the males that bred the females carried the same traits .

I can provide a link to a prize winning spotted goat breeders that explain the relation between recessive genes and breeding the unique trait if someone needs .

This is applied Evolutionary theory or artificial selection .

The question I have for you is -
Has anyone considered that the green , skinned rods of poplar,Chestnut,and hazel set in place similar in effect to breeding fences,stocks,barricade insuring the female stays in place distracted ,giving the male easier access to the female in “season” ?

I ask this because of one hint in the account …Jacob culled the offspring "Jacob separated the lambs …"
If the rods were (as many have sarcastically claimed )“God’s magic sticks " , why then would Jacob need to call the offspring . God’s power is not by half measures .” Magic sticks " would not require culling of the lambs .

It is my speculation that the green flexible rods were some form of breeding restraint .

Many would say that I have removed God from the account , but in Genesis 31 :9 Jacob credits God .
Further , in 31:11-12 the angel of the Lord explained the process to Jacob " all the Rams which leaped upon the cattle are ringstraked , speckled,…"

God gives this insight to Jacob via a dream .

I speculate that the miracle is not the rods or selective breeding itself ,
But knowledge from God .
In my opinion this is consistent with other biblical accounts of divine knowledge/foreknowledge/prophecy/wisdom which proverbs attributes to God
Example -
Dan 1:17 “… God gave them knowledge …”

Proverbs 1:7 "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…"
Thank you for reading ,
One love (agape) , God bless


(Chris) #2

I see no indication in the text that the rods formed “fences,stocks,barricade”. We often see in the Bible that even though God could perform a miracle without assistance people are required to do something before it will happen, as a sign of faith (or perhaps hope)

In this case there has been a change in the proportion of existing traits within the flocks but there is no indication that any new trait appeared. In genetic terms this is a change in allele frequencies in a population over time, and in Population Genetics this is the definition of Evolution. However as Endor points this is not what most biologists mean by evolution as in “the Theory of Evolution”, but rather microevolution. This is probably best viewed as an idiosyncratic use of the term within Population Genetics.

So this is Selection and Adaptation but not Evolution as in “the Theory of Evolution”.


(Christy Hemphill) #3

2 posts were split to a new topic: Definition of evolution and the distinction between micro/macro


(Ryan weatherly) #4

" see no indication " …
What are the purpose of the rods ?
In farming it’s common to pen a female in stocks for the purpose of breeding …

Also , I see no reason to assume God uses half measures …
" Hey , Jacob , whittle some sticks I will sort of give you grizzled goats " …

If Jacob must cull the offspring , where is the miracle ?
God miracles the Rams into mating the females ?
Not much of a miracle .
Check max boer goat breeding

Further , artificial selection and natural selection are using the same machanisms .

Evolution occurs within the clade , bloodline .

There is no distinction between micro / macro evolution , macro is , put simply , viewing micro on a longer timeline


(Chris) #6

But I don’t see anything in the text to show that Jacob did this. What the NIV says is "Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink.

The miracle was not that the rams mated with the females, it was that whichever way Laban tried to change the contract the outcome always favoured Jacob.

“… yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young.”

See my reply to Christy.


(Ryan weatherly) #7

I think you are missing a significant point , an angel was sent to clarify the necessity of the male carrying the same trait …
Consistently God sends agents ( angels , prophets , etc ) to impart significant knowledge .
Over and over God grants mankind : knowledge , wisdom , foreknowledge , fotsight , information …
The gifts of the holy ghost for example , or Daniel 1:4 & 1:17 …God gave them knowledge …
Or perhaps flip through proverbs and see what it says concerning knowledge , wisdom , and instruction …
Noah gets knowledge of the flood to prepare a watercraft …
The ten commandments , or warning of the plagues to Moses …
The information Jacob received is varified by modern award winning goat breeders .
Knowledge and wisdom are not insignificant in the account .