Genesis & Endangered Species by Matt Lynch

From the archives: Genesis & Endangered Species by Matt Lynch

Africa CheetahsGenesis & Endangered Species by Matt Lynch from the Theological Miscellany blog archives, discusses how concern for endangered species in our contemporary context has strong biblical roots. He writes:

“When I was a kid, I had a passion for speed. The idea of an SR-71 Blackbird tearing through the sound barrier 3x over was more than enough to fuel my passion to move fast. I was the fastest kid in our elementary school class (in my memory at least), probably until 5th grade, when one girl could run the 100-yard dash faster than me. In my best ever game of high school soccer my coach assigned me to defend the star midfielder of Shipley School, a team strongly favoured to win. The goal was to shut this player down by staying on him the entire game. We held them to a 1-1 tie. I must have run 10 miles in that game, just trying to keep up with that midfielder! (Admittedly, they crushed us in the championship game – I couldn’t keep up anymore). Not surprisingly, my favourite animal was the cheetah, which can accelerate to 60 mph in 3 seconds and turns on a dime.

Cheetah Decline

I see this same passion for speed in my son, who sincerely believes that he’s faster on all fours than on his two feet (he’s not, but it feels that way to him). He’s taken up my love of cheetahs, and even started a small greeting card business to raise funds for their protection. He’s given every penny he owns to Born Free and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

It saddens me to hear recent news that the world’s cheetah population has plunged to only 7,100, far fewer than scientists had previously thought. In 1900 there were over 100,000. Zimbabwe saw cheetahs drop from 1,200 to only 170 in 16 years. They now occupy only 9% of their habitat range in 1900. Habitat loss from farming, illegal fur trade, and capture for pets are all contributing to this precipitous drop in numbers. Their gene pool has now shrunk so small that birth defects further threaten their survival.“

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Genesis & Endangered Species by Matt Lynch on the Theological Miscellany blog.