Bats are birds

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Bats are birds is a reference to a passage in the Old Testament:

"(11)Of all clean birds ye shall eat. (12)But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, (13)And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, (14)And every raven after his kind, (15)And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (16)The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, (17)And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, (18)And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat."
Deuteronomy 14:11-18 Bible-icon.png

Bats are mammals in the order Chiroptera, a fact that is commonly used as an example of Biblical passages that contradict science.



Apologists commonly respond that this is a non-issue for the following reasons:

  • Ancient authors didn't have the benefit of modern taxonomy.
  • Ancient taxonomic systems are equally valid as modern taxonomy, so the Bible isn't actually wrong. [1]


  • If the Bible is the inspired word of God, we wouldn't expect to see mistakes of this nature. Surely the omniscient God described in the Bible could have inspired a passage which would never directly contradict scientific knowledge.
  • Additionally, the entire section concerning which animals can be used for food is absurd and, as it is no longer considered by Christians to be a binding law of God, represents an example of an "unchanging" God who changes his mind.



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