Mr. Nature: The Cat that Wasn’t a Cat

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Hi, Mr. Nature here–with Hoplophoneus, a graceful prehistoric predator that looked like a cat, ate like a cat, probably moved like a cat… but according to paleontologists, wasn’t a cat.

I became fascinated by this creature when I was a boy, back when they were still calling it a cat, possibly an ancestor of the famous sabertooth. Details of the skeleton, we are now told, are different enough from a cat’s skeleton as to make it a cat wannabe.

But never mind. It’s still an animal well worth looking at, and I wonder now if it’s going to turn up in Obann. Cross an ocelot with a sabertoothed tiger, and you’d get something very like a Hoplophoneus.

I dream of seeing these animals someday, alive and real, when God restores His creation in all its former glory. But for now, the closest I can come is to put them in my books and let ’em rip.

8 comments on “Mr. Nature: The Cat that Wasn’t a Cat

  1. All of the “kinds” were preserved through the Flood. Kinds are not species or sub species. Whatever this critter was, the genetic material necessary to reproduce it rode on the ark and still exists today.

    1. We do know that a lot of animals that used to be here aren’t here anymore. Some of them, people painted their pictures on the walls of caves. Others are known only from fossils, most of which are incomplete. Hoplophoneus is one of those.

      I don’t know the mechanics of extinction and I have no theory of extinction. I’m pretty sure it’s not because of SUVs and toilet paper.

      And I’m sure if God wanted to put a Hoplophoneus in my front yard today, He could do it.

    2. The theory I’ve heard, regarding this, is that within each kind, is the ability to adapt. An Elephant and a Wooly Mammoth would be of the same kind, for instance. We don’t know much about the conditions on earth prior to the flood, but it could be that some of the kinds adapted to the new conditions of the post flood world and their descendants which we see today still represent the basic kinds, but are adapted to the present conditions. Part of this belief is that the pre-flood world may have differed enough from our current world that larger versions of current kinds were favored.

    3. It’s impossible to know all the details, but we do know that God made sure to include all kinds in the Ark. At some point in pre-history, the Rhinoceros kind would produce a Paraceratherium, but it’s still a Rhinoceros kind, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that a modern Rhinoceros is still a Paraceratherium kind.

      Theories abound with regard to the pre-flood conditions. I don’t claim to know. One theory is that the atmospheric pressure could have been slightly higher and would have produced conditions which favor some of the larger forms of life found in the fossil record. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but I don’t reject the possibility that the earth’s atmosphere may have differed in some way before the flood.

      Animals, and even humans, have within our genes some interesting capabilities. There is a gene that is very common among Tibetan people whom live at very high elevations which, apparently, helps the body to function properly in those conditions. This gene didn’t evolve, because it’s present in lower elevation peoples, but not nearly as commonly as with people at higher elevations. People from that lower elevation gene pool who moved to higher elevations tended to prosper if they happened to have that gene and after many generations, people with that gene came to dominate the gene pool among people at higher elevations.

      Natural Selection is a term used by evolutionists and it is indeed a real phenomenon, but it does not prove, or even suggest evolution, because the genetic variation has to exist in the first place, in order for a certain trait to be favored. If no one in the Asian population had possessed the gene which produces favorable results at higher elevations in the first place, then merely living at those elevations could never produce that gene.

    4. If it ain’t in the blueprint,it ain’t in the model. Like those model car kits that come with all kinds of parts that you don’t use unless you want to. My brother and I would make very different-looking cars out of the same kits: but we couldn’t make anything that wasn’t in the kit to start with.

    5. Good example. I built all sorts of those AMT 3 in 1 kits when I was a kid. Stock, Custom and Competition, just by varying a few parts. But, as much fun as those kits were, you couldn’t make a Ford into a Chevy.

      Of course we used to combine parts from different kits and make some wild creations. Model T Fords with huge Chrysler Hemi engines and other notions that make a lot more sense when you are a kid than they do in your adult years. But this serves as an interesting example.

      Animals stay within their kinds. There are no dog/cats, no amphibian/birds, etc. Animals stay within their kinds and are quite predictable not this. Horses and cattle are both ungulates, but they can’t interbreed. Reptiles are a broad category of animal, but the individual “kinds” of reptiles remain distinct, in spite of being within the same category.

      Taxonomy is a human enterprise. I’m not saying that there isn’t sense to taxonomy, but I will suggest that the species defined taxonomically are not the only way to look at the matter. Kinds refers to animals which can reproduce. For example, a lion and a tiger can produce offspring. Apparently they are of the same kind, although they are not considered part of the same species by taxonomists. My take on this is that all of the kinds are with us today, but not every possible expression of each kind.

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