It’s critical to any study of Ark logistics to determine the cargo. Thus, determining how many animals on the Ark has always been a critical question. Different Creationists have come to different conclusions on this problem throughout history.

I’ve been following Answers in Genesis’s project to determine the Ark Kinds since the first publications were released in 2011. There was a flurry of papers published in Answers Research Journal on the extant mammals, birds, frogs, salamanders, caecilians, lizards, tuatara, amphisbaena, snakes, turtles and crocodiles, which covers the species existing today that Answers in Genesis thinks had representatives on the Ark. There was also one paper that covers the extinct amphibians. And then…nothing. The papers just stopped being published. I kept waiting for the rest of the extinct kinds to be published and they never came. Where were the dinosaurs? I eventually decided the project had been abandoned and proceeded to try to finish the list myself.

This was a difficult task. The papers don’t contain much useful information and are mostly filled with weird animal trivia (the frog paper includes descriptions of mating techniques which may be the most pornographic thing on AIG’s website!). Their methodology was pretty arbitrary. They basically just declare the kind to be the biological family unless they found a reason why not. Except the frog guy generally picked the genus unless he had a reason why not. There’s little consistency throughout the papers.

Anyway, the methodology I decided on was choosing the family unless I’d specifically read AIG articles suggesting the kind was at a different level. This was more difficult than I had anticipated because not all extinct species have been assigned families, and where they have the families are often disputed, but I did my best. I completed my draft list of AIG[1] kinds in July 2017, about 9 months after my first visit to the Ark Encounter.

Shortly after that I began noticing Answers in Genesis articles giving specific total numbers of kinds in the different vertebrate categories. The numbers they gave were similar to mine but not exact. Then I began seeing pictures of this new sign on the Ark:

Unfortunately, none of the pictures that I could find on the internet were high enough resolution to read, and I couldn’t find anywhere on the internet that AIG had published this list. (If anyone else has this problem and the above image isn’t clear enough, let me know. I have it now.) So I had to wait until I could visit the Ark to obtain the complete list. I finally got the pictures above when I visited for the sex conference in April 2019. And I haven’t had time to dig into the list (or start a blog) until now.

My major Ark-related project for the next few weeks is to dig into the AIG list, compare it to my list, and see what the differences are, and how they dealt with the issues I identified. I have already noticed some species that should be on the Ark according to their criteria, but do not seem to fit into any of the kinds on the AIG list. So I’m going to try a series for the blog called “Missed the Ark Mondays” where each week I talk about one of these kinds.

I know people are going to ask what the point of these posts is, and I don’t necessarily have one. Even if I manage to find enough missing species to fill every Monday for a year, 52 species missing from AIG’s list is not substantially going to affect any Ark feasibility calculations. But I expect to learn a lot from this exercise. I also expect that there is a reason that the rest of those papers were never published in Answers Research Journal, and the only list they have made public you have to show up in person to read, and consists of a long list of family names that even experts would have trouble reading on the spot. So maybe some of the posts will have a point. But they also might not. Ark-nerding is my hobby, and I’m trying to share it with you. Right now that means comparing long lists of Latin names to see the discrepancies and writing about what I find. We’ll have to wait and see where it goes.

[1] I have multiple lists of kinds using various methods proposed by various creationists.