Enigmatic Rafting Monkeys

Wasn’t the oldest marsupial fossil found in China (125mya)… this long after the split from South America.
And the oldest placental mammal fossil is also from China 160mya…
The placental line actually might be older than the marsupials lineage.

So how does the theory you mentioned add up?

Not the same thing!

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Well, some of them do. Whales, for example. What animals did you have in mind here, and who has proposed such a thing?

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He is referring to the rafting monkeys invoked to explain biogeography. I hesitate to post this link, because I don’t agree with its tone. Still it states clearly the argument to which @Ashwin_s is referring.

But rafting is quite different from “an animal swimming across large bodies of water”. Are you sure that’s what he meant?

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80% sure. It is a common refrain, and not necessarily misguided. It exposes how difficult it is to rationally think about very rare events over very long periods of time. A poorly defined tiny number multiplied by a very large number is essentially undefined. All bets are off.

I do not know of anyone advancing the hypothesis that any animal species got anywhere by swimming any great distance across an ocean, other than marine animals. Rafting is a common hypothesis, but swimming is, as far as I know, nonexistent.

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What do you understand by animals rafting?
Do you think they built rafts , tied up logs of wood together, sat in it and crossed the oceans?
End of the day, rafting just sounds better than saying they held on to a piece of wood and crossed the ocean.

Actually, a more complete lost is also available.

Like I said before, I don’t see these examples as evidence against evolution. Just as improbable and unsatisfactory explanations of a puzzling phenomenon.
A gap in understanding need not be proof against a theory. But if scientists are going to be so sensitive over things like this, it’s just going alienate people.

And in addition, it’s just not a good field to push back on YEC. Whether you like it or not, it will lead to discussions on how similar “miracles” are required to explain the distribution of organisms through evolution.


The sense of rafting is:

A cataclysmic flooding dislodges beasts and floating debris into coastal waters.

Avoiding drowning, beasts clamber onto the floating debris.

The debris carries animals to another coastline.

Sometimes the debris is too slow… and there are no survivors.


There is nothing wrong with miracles.

The problem is using science to prove miracles.

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Yes… except it’s not a small river crossing… we are talking about crossing the Atlantic ocean or the Pacific ocean.
Let me share an interesting example.

Pushing back against someone for saying this is improbable is ridiculous. It’s not just one animal.

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Yes, but that’s not the subject. It whether appearance of age renders God a deciever.
An explanation involving miracles may not be science. But it is a valid explanation in theology.

And the question is theological.

That’s just insulting. Dial it back. Rafting is not swimming, nor is it building a raft. Natural rafts actually exist, and animals have been found on them far out to sea.

What’s your alternative explanation for how lizards find their way to oceanic islands? Are you a fan of in situ creation?


So what is your point? You dont think God would ever use “rafting”? I would think he would…

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Bingo @John_Harshman. I was 100% correct. To be fair too…

I think we have agree with this. They are not evidence against evolution, and they certainly might be true. They are however not terribly satisfying. It is not surprising they are called epicycles by anti-evolutionists.

He just miss spoke. He is not even saying this is an argument against evolution.

I am told elephants are also amazing swimmers.

Do you need an alternative explanation to say the current one is not very good? The inference to the best explanation is not always a good or satisfactory explanation.
I will just say I don’t know how this happened.

Sorry if I came across as insulting. But you should realise what you have is an improbable explanation. Especially if it is required to happen many times for many organisms.

So remember that is not precisely true…

Whats the probability of a natural raft having a pair of lizards(males and female) or a pregnant one on it? And what is the probability of said raft crossing the atlantic.
Its two poorly defined tiny numbers in this case. There is no large no around…
And in this case, this is supposed to have happened three times. (the improbability is raised to three)

Now, i am not writing it off.however, i do believe it is improbable.
I am sometimes surprised by how often Biologists beat the drum of contingency. I am not convinced things work this way.