Most of us are fairly familiar with theories of evolution. The basic premise is that the variety of life around us resulted from one common ancestor, that over the course of millions of years, genetic change and natural selection have given us rats and pigs and boys.

Please allow me present a particular theory of creation that I’m drawn to: the “orchard” model.

I first came across this theory in Jonathan Sarfati‘s Refuting Evolution. He’s made this book available online; chapter 2 is where he explains this model most clearly.

This theory concurs with the Scriptural account of God creating various “kinds” of organisms, each which reproduced “according to its kind.” Sarfati writes, “Each of these kinds was created with a vast amount of information. There was enough variety in the information in the original creatures so their descendants could adapt to a wide variety of environments.”

The theory goes on to posit that over the course of many generations, as a result of The Fall, genetic information deteriorated and the offspring that were “fittest” for a particular environment “survived.” That resulted in genetic variation within each “kind” of organism (note that we’re not talking “species” here, but the larger category of “kind”).

So we have finches and vultures, beagles and bulldogs, rats and mice, chimpanzees and orangutans, Aboriginals and Pygmies.

Let me copy-paste a very helpful excerpt from the chapter, a portion that differentiates the theory of evolution and a “caricature of creationism” with this “orchard” model.

Figure 1: The evolutionary “tree” which postulates that all today’s species are descended from the one common ancestor (which itself evolved from non-living chemicals). This is what evolution is really all about.

Figure 2: The alleged creationist “lawn” this represents the caricature of creationism presented by Teaching about Evolution—the Genesis “kinds” were the same as today’s species.

Figure 3: The true creationist “orchard” diversity has occurred with time within the original Genesis “kinds” (creationists often call them baramin, from Hebrew bara = create, and min = kind). Much of the evidence of variation presented by Teaching about Evolution refutes only the straw-man version of creationism in Figure 2, but fits the true creationist “orchard” model perfectly well.

If you find this as fascinating as I did, I’d encourage you to check out chapter 2 of Sarfati’s book, and perhaps the rest of the book as well.

I remember the first time I came across this theory. It wasn’t like anything I’d ever heard before, but it made sense. It seemed consistent with the Scriptural account of creation (which I have to add presents itself as historical, rather than myth or metaphor). It also seemed consistent with evidence unearthed by the scientific community. It was as though all the puzzle pieces just came together.

I’ve never been satisfied with the simplistic model put out by some creationists that God made everything “this way” and nothing’s changed, that there is absolutely no genetic drift. I’m also dissatisfied with the evolutionists’ theory that “all this” resulted from cycles of death and an increase of beneficial genetic information over time, a theory that diminishes the Creator/Designer as irrelevant.

This theory, the “orchard” model, just makes sense to me. I appreciate Jonathan Sarfati’s bringing it to my attention.

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Ted Slater
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