A recent article from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) says that the order Squamata (snakes and lizards) was a single created kind.

 I hear almost daily now that Creationists agree that the kind for vertebrates generally corresponds to the family level. Thus, I would expect a declaration like that to be accompanied by vigorous scientific debate, or at least a citation to detailed research. But strangely, there is absolutely no justification given.

Furthermore, this isn’t just any switch from the family level to the order level. Squamata is the largest order of land vertebrates, containing over 10,000 living species! Because ICR places only land vertebrates on the Ark, this is likely the largest possible change to the Ark passenger list that could be made with a single pen-stroke. Ark Encounter’s list contains 106 separate kinds within Squamata, about 7% of the total list:

The Ark Kinds poster with the eliminated kinds circled in red.

So compressing Squamata into a single kind drastically decreases Noah’s workload. However, it increases the YEC’s problem after the flood. All of those 10,000 modern species must have descended from two individuals on the Ark only 4400 years ago.

Is this possible? Certainly not by any modern scientific understanding of speciation processes, but YECs reject all of that anyway. Most YEC models for speciation are too ill-defined to really analyze this, but it seems implausible. The most detailed model is probably Nathanael Jeanson’s model, described in his book, Replacing Darwin. I’m still a bit confused about the details, but one thing he makes very clear is that speciation occurs at a linear rate over time. That means that a speciation event must have occurred every 5 months since the flood. Most squamates lay only one clutch of eggs a year, or at most two. So in that first year, there would have to be multiple species born in the same clutch. So the Ark pair laid a clutch of eggs, and some hatched as snakes, and others hatched as lizards? And then they laid a second clutch that year and they were amphisbaenia? And then the lizards bred with each other the next year and made monitor lizards and geckos and skinks? All in two years?

Of course, I’m assuming that the squamates were on the Ark. But the order squamata also includes many families that Answers in Genesis didn’t include in their Ark list because they were water creatures, including water snakes and mosasaurs. Mosasaurs are particularly interesting because their fossils have only been found in the Cretaceous. As far as I know, all YECs believe the Cretaceous was laid down in the flood. There are also many Cretaceous fossils of non-aquatic squamates, like snakes. So there were both aquatic and non-aquatic squamates at the time of the flood. So did they go on the Ark, or did they survive off of the Ark with the aquatic animals? Did two geckos come off the Ark and lay baby mosasaur eggs, or did the mosasaurs survive the flood and lay gecko eggs[1]?

The Bible is unclear on this question. Actually, that’s not true. The Bible says that all air-breathing animals outside of the Ark died, and mosasaurs breathed air. But so do whales, and no YECs believe there were whales on the Ark, so we can’t use that as an answer. Usually the explanation for why whales survived is that the authors meant animals that live on land when they said “air-breathing”. But I think it’s also pretty obvious that whatever the biblical authors meant by “kind”, kinds consisted of either land creatures or water creatures, not both. After all, water creatures were created on day 5 and land creatures were created on day 6. When were the squamates created, day 5.5?

[1] I suppose the third option is that geckos came on the Ark and mosasaurs were the same kind, but that body-form went extinct during the flood. This works if you discount all claims that the biblical Leviathan was a mosasaur, and dismiss all artwork that Creationists claim depicts mosasaurs. https://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/historical/ancient/plesiosaur/