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A Year in the Life of Adam

Genesis 2:19-20 tells the story of Adam’s task:

"Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals."

If you’re a believer in the literal truth of the Bible, you should be interested to know about the recent work of Camilo Mora and colleagues. The 2011 journal “How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?” (Mora C, Tittensor DP, Adl S, Simpson AGB, Worm B. PLoS Biol 9(8): e1001127. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127) uses taxonomic estimation to determine that there are 7.77 million species of animals on planet Earth:

Table 2 From Camilo Mora et al 2011, estimating the number of species on Earth

If the Lord God brought all the wild animals to Adam to be named, all 7.7 million of them, then Adam must have been at it for quite a while. If Adam got up each and every day at 6 AM, and named a new animal every 2 seconds (try saying “Thompson’s Gazelle” in less than two seconds), not stopping until 6 PM every night, then Adam would have been at it for an entire year.

The need for speed would explain “Bonobo.”

4 comments to A Year in the Life of Adam

  • JeffD

    You make this sound doable, only a year or so? But maybe it was even easier. Maybe Adam just did “deer”, “horse”, “moose”, “funny looking deer” and so on. Or maybe it’s literally up to mankind to name the animals and we are still in the process of doing it.

  • Bill

    Well, Adam’s efforts certainly make Carl Linnaeus look like a slacker. In his magnum opus, Systema Naturae, he managed to assign binomial (“scientific”) names to just about 5,000 species of animals and 8,000 species of plants (of course, he didn’t have God magically shuttling each species through the room, a process which undoubtedly speeds things up right smart. My personal favorite: Gorilla gorilla.

  • Dave

    Ant Fly Flea Bat Cat Dog Ape Goat Pig … I think I can do this.

  • JeffD

    Bug, Big Bug, Big Black Bug, Big Bitting Black Bug… hold me back, I’m on a roll!

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