The Four Beasts: What the Book of Revelation Can Teach Us About Evolution

“The book of Revelation is one of the plainest books God ever caused to be written.”- Joseph Smith (1)

The Book of Revelation has long mystified readers of the bible. Everybody loves it. Nobody understands it. It’s kind of weird, and probably not the first place you’d expect to find evidence of evolution in the scriptures. Evolution is kind of weird too. With the help of Joseph Smith, we can see what the Book of Revelation can teach us about evolution- not just on our planet, but on other worlds. You’ll be surprised how well it does this.

The Four Beasts

John, one of Jesus’ original Twelve Apostles, was being held as a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos (2). While there, he had an extremely intense and important vision. In part of this vision, he saw heaven, and described it thus:

And before the throne [of God] there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

And … those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:6-9)

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:13)

To summarize: John sees four extremely interesting beasts in heaven. These beasts are actually super important, and we will be talking about them a lot, so from now on we will call them “the Four Beasts”. The first beast looks like a lion, but it’s not a lion. The second beast looks like a calf (a juvenile cow), but it’s not a calf as we know it. The third beast has “a face [like] a man”, but it’s clearly not a man, as he calls it a beast. And the fourth beast looks like a flying eagle. What do they all mean? Where are they from? What. The. Heck??

Clockwise from top left: Lion, cow, gorilla, and bald eagle. These are to give you an idea of what the Four Beasts may have looked like to John [3].

Doctrine and Covenants 77

Okay, so Revelation already isn’t the easiest book of scripture to understand, and now we’re throwing in all these weird-looking beasts. What are we supposed to learn from it? The Prophet Joseph Smith gave us some insight, primarily on two different occasions. The first is a revelation given in 1832, found in D&C 77, where it reads:

Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in [Revelation 4:6]?

A. They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.

Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or orders?

A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity. (D&C 77:2-3)

Admittedly, these answers are kind of vague, but we do learn a little about these beasts that can help us. First, we learn that John uses the beasts to describe heaven and the “happiness … of beasts”, “creeping things”, and “fowls”. This tells us that there are animals in heaven, and they are happy. Animals can feel happiness and enjoyment- which of course means they can feel sorrow and pain too. They can feel emotions.

Second, we learn that the animals and “every other creature” that God ever created have spirits that are in the likeness of their physical bodies, just like we do. Animals have spirits! This is consistent with the scriptural indication that all things were created spiritually before they were “naturally upon the earth” (Moses 3:5). Remember this, because the fact that all animals have spirits is extremely important when talking about evolution.

And third, we learn that the Four Beasts are “four individual beasts”, and that they don’t represent classes or orders; or in other words, they are not symbols that John saw in order to teach him about something else. They are what they are: four beasts, sitting there in heaven. However, at the same time, they are also examples of the glory and “eternal felicity” that animals can have in the life hereafter.

These same scriptures from Revelation also seem to indicate that the multiple wings and eyes on each beast are symbolic and not necessarily actual wings and eyes that each creature physically had (Revelation 4:6,8). Each of the Four Beasts had “six wings about him”, and was “full of eyes” “before”, “behind”, and “within”. Can an animal have eyes within its head? Probably not. Now, it is most likely entirely possible for God to create strange-looking beasts such as a lion with three pairs of wings and eyes on the back of its head; but we are given evidence that for these Four Beasts at least, this was probably not the case. Adding to this, D&C 77 continues:

Q. What are we to understand by the eyes and wings, which the beasts had?

A. Their eyes are a representation of light and knowledge, that is, they are full of knowledge; and their wings are a representation of power, to move, to act, etc. (D&C 77:4)

The eyes John saw “within” each beast “represented” that each beast was “full of knowledge” and “light”. Each beast was smart, and, as we shall see later on, had an intelligence. Saying that the eyes were before, within, and behind may symbolize that the knowledge or intelligence which each beast possessed existed before, exists now, and will exist in the future, similar to the “Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8); thus implying the eternal nature of such an intelligence. We’ll get more into that later in this blog.

The wings which John saw “about” (Rev. 4:8) each beast represent the “power, to move” and “to act”. These beasts had the ability to choose for themselves what to do and where to go. They had agency, just like we do! They were not “mindless automata” that only react to external stimuli (4), but rather were thinking, rationalizing, independent beings that live according to their choice.

It’s important for us to remember these qualities that John saw in the beasts. Animals have a certain level of intelligence and decision-making abilities, which make each and every one of them unique. They are smart! Animals, it appears, are not so different from us.

Interestingly enough, Joseph Smith made it clear that angels do not have wings (5) (see D&C 129:1-3), unlike many artists depict and people believe (6). From what we know of life, it just wouldn’t work for a vertebrate to have wings unless one pair of their legs has turned into them through evolution. For birds, bats, and even pterosaurs (pterodactyls and their close relatives), wings are arms modified for flight (7). It therefore makes perfect sense that any lion-like, cow-like, or man-like creature, being a vertebrate, would not have literal wings on their backs, but symbolic ones, as D&C 77 implies.

And so, because of the evidence that certain features of the Beasts are symbolic, we will from now on consider each of the Four Beasts as normally-eyed and wingless. Except, of course, for the eagle-looking one, which probably did have wings- or feathers at least.

The Four Beasts Sermon

The next source on the Four Beasts comes from a general conference address made by Joseph Smith in 1843. He actually gave an entire talk about these Four, strange-looking Beasts. A well-meaning brother in the community named Pelatiah Brown had been presumptuously preaching that the Four Beasts represented the kingdoms of God on the earth (8). Joseph kindly explained in his talk that this was not correct, and then gave the real reason for the Beasts:

John saw the actual beast[s] in heaven, showing to John that beasts did actually exist there, and not to represent figures of things on the earth…

The four beasts were four of the most noble animals that had filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect: they were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God. (9)

The Four Beasts were actual animals that had lived on worlds other than our own. They were “noble”, had “filled the measure of their creation”, and had been saved. We will come back to them in more detail, but first we must note that they were not the only animals that John saw in heaven. Joseph continued:

[John] saw every creature that was in heaven,–all the beasts, fowls and fish in heaven,–actually there, giving glory to God. How do you prove it? (See Rev. 5:13.) “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” … John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them.

Says one, “I cannot believe in the salvation of beasts.” Any man who would tell you that this could not be, would tell you that the revelations are not true. (10)

D&C 77 already tells us that animals exist in heaven, but this statement by the prophet confirms it. John saw every creature in heaven, the earth, the sea, you name it. They were all there “giving glory to God” and praising Him. The animals get saved similar to how we the humans will get saved, and as Joseph says, anyone who disagrees with this doctrine must agree that the Book of Revelation is not true. Saving animals is a part of God’s plan and makes up a part of His eternal glory. We will later see how this principle is important when considering evolution, but the gold that is in this talk of Joseph’s doesn’t end there. Further, Joseph said:

John saw curious looking beasts in heaven; … I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,–strange beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. the grand secret was to show John what there was in heaven (11).

Now, this is a big deal: Joseph Smith saying that John saw in heaven beasts of “a thousand forms” that would look so “curious” and “strange” to us because we would have “no conception” of them. They were nothing like we’ve seen before; they were nothing like what we know, because they were from different worlds- even 100 million different worlds (12). They were alien. In heaven there must exist creatures that don’t look like lions or cows or men or eagles or anything else that our earth has, and all of which must have lived on worlds similar to our own, but not our own. There are aliens in heaven.

Now, isn’t that an interesting thing to talk about in a general conference? How many people in 1843, scientists and religionists alike, were talking about creatures on hundreds of millions of other earth-like planets having evolved into “forms” that are different than what we know on our own planet? Today, this discussion is completely normal (depending on your level of nerd). There are other earth-like planets that have been discovered, and it is obvious that life on those planets, if it exists, would have evolved very differently from our own due to natural selection taking its unique course on each planet (13). But that’s now, in the age of satellite telescopes, search engines, and WiFi. How did Joseph Smith know about that in 1843? The planet Neptune hadn’t even been discovered yet, much less any planet outside of our own solar system (14)! Where was Joseph getting his information?  

Evolution Equals Creativity

What John saw and Joseph later expounded upon open up a door to a view of God that we’ve never seen before. His creativity is without end. Why wouldn’t life evolve differently on the other planets He’s created? Instead of a Mount Everest, the other planet may not even have mountains. Instead of five major continents, the other earth may have only one. It may have a smaller mass, less gravity, different atmospheric composition, different axial tilt, different environments, different stressors, different predators, different prey, different mutations, unique natural selection, different evolutionary results. Some of these planets may not even have humans like us, and may never have them, AND THAT’S OKAY. If they only get to a bacterial-like stage, that’s fine! They needed bodies too. The Lord told Moses in response to his curiosity about the diversity of God’s creations, “For mine own purpose have I created these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me” (Moses 1:31).

This tells us that God doesn’t follow the same cookie-cutter patterns to create animals on every planet. He doesn’t create the giraffe on every earth. He doesn’t make black and white skunks on every earth. He doesn’t make crocodiles or stegosauruses on every world. He may create species that look like them or might be considered by biologists to be in the same order or family as them; but He won’t make every earth the same. Why would He? “There is nothing,” the Lord told Abraham, “that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it” (Abraham 3:17). Or in other words, the Lord is creative and has a great imagination. And He has some pretty awesome tools at His disposal. Through DNA, evolution, and natural selection, the possibilities are infinite.

This concept is important to understand. In no way does it diminish God; it in fact glorifies Him even more. He could create anything He wanted to- any color, any shape, any size. “There is grandeur in this view of life,” wrote Charles Darwin, “with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that … from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” (15)

What Life Might Look Like on Other Worlds

Much like Joseph Smith, science tells us that there are undoubtedly countless worlds out there with life on them, no two of which would be the same. And in response to whatever environment it’s in, life, if present, will evolve accordingly.

Planets with greater mass than earth would likely have creatures with shorter legs, their bodies being closer to the ground. Worlds with less mass than earth would probably have creatures with long legs (16). Plants might be different colors, or go through a photosynthetic process that produces other compounds instead of oxygen (17). Scientists even theorize that silicon-based life may have arisen on other worlds. Because silicon life would be completely made out of different materials than what we’re used to (the only life we know of is made of carbon), it would look really strange to us, and we might not recognize it as an organism (18). We wouldn’t really have any conception of it.

But even though life would look very different on another planet, there still may be creatures out there that would resemble some of the animals we have on our world (19). This is called convergent evolution, because some similar traits would have evolved without the help of a common ancestor passing them on (think flight for birds as well as for bats). If the Four Beasts are indeed from other worlds, then they are perfect examples of extraterrestrial convergent evolution, because they look like things we have here!

Similar traits due to convergent evolution pop up all over the animal kingdom because of ecological niches. An ecological niche is a place in the ecosystem or food web that needs to be filled, such us plant, plant-eater, predator, etc (20). When animals die off and leave a niche unoccupied, another species must rise to fill that void, and this helps evolution move along. Other planets also would have similar ecological niches, so it’s not completely crazy to conclude that convergent evolution would sometimes make alien creatures look a bit like animals we have here on earth (21).

The Four Beasts Were Noble and Perfect

And that brings us back to the Four Beasts. They looked like creatures we have here on earth. They were also some of the noblest creatures that God had ever created. That in itself is interesting. It makes you wonder what they did during their mortal lives that gave them such a high position in heaven. And it’s strange to think that animals can even receive positions in heaven. That’s not something that we typically think about, being the anthropocentric creatures that we are.

But we’re not left without examples of noble and perfect animals on our own planet. Shortly after wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone park in 1995, a male wolf named “21” was born. Researchers called him a “superwolf”, or a “perfect wolf”. He was a natural-born leader that went on to lead the largest wolf pack ever recorded. He never lost a fight with another wolf, yet never killed his opponents, mercifully letting them go free. He was observed hanging out with outcasts, playing pretend games with his little cubs, and allowing his family to eat their fill of his kills before he ate anything. And while most wolves die a violent death, 21 eventually died of old age in a spot that was important to him. One day he climbed up to the place where his family had raised their cubs for years, laid down, and closed his eyes for the last time after a life well lived (22).

One can imagine how the Four Beasts could have lived out similar lives on their own worlds among their own families. If you’re looking for how an animal can be exceptional and prove itself worthy to God, 21 was a prime example. It makes sense that a living thing who showed more compassion on his peers than others would have a greater advantage in the next life- be it human or beast (see Matthew 5:7, Moroni 7:47). Because 21 stood out among the other wolves, we can then see more clearly how each animal that comes to this earth is also different and unique in some way.  

We’ll cover this in more detail in later posts, but what concerns us now is evolution. How do the Four Beasts help us understand that evolution through natural selection may just be the way that God creates life on every planet?

First Beast

Let’s start with the First Beast. John thought it looked like a lion, but he knew it wasn’t. What creatures here on our earth look like lions? We’ve got tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, etc. In ancient times, we even had the famous saber-toothed cats. Basically all the members of the family felidae look a bit like lions. They all look alike because they are all descended from a certain common ancestor, who probably looked kind of like a lion itself. Here is a pic of their family tree:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/bjS_4b557eZkHmU3tLCk26Tyv6zDhYDdk7ZYw5fCbXDkLEmwaWl223taSwWc2W3qfQeH46NiIP_WsfdCU9xWhHH8JbYeLQol7CulLumaNcjIiwkVvOqNVM0fHtGLX4Te94-3083T
Felidae family tree, showing how modern cats are related to prehistoric saber-toothed cats, and how all of them look like lions because of their common ancestry [23].

Not only do the members of the family felidae share features of lions, but most creatures of the order carnivora share some as well (bears, wolves, hyenas, etc.). They all have sharp teeth for biting into flesh and sharp claws for catching prey. The First Beast could be representing some of the animals of God’s creating that hunt other animals- the animals that fill the niche of carnivore or apex predator in their ecosystems.

Artistic reconstruction of Smilodon fatalis, a saber-toothed, lion-looking, First-Beast-like relative of real life lions. This guy lived sometime between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Aren’t you glad you didn’t live 10,000 years ago [24]?

Because of convergent evolution, there are other carnivorous mammals that have lived on earth, yet are not part of the order carnivora. There was the Tasmanian wolf and marsupial lion- both pouched marsupials more closely related to kangaroos and wallabies than wolves and lions (25). And there was andrewsarchus, who looked like a wolf with hooves, but was actually a closer relative to sheep (26). They all had sharp teeth, great for killing and eating prey, which must have evolved so they could fill the apex predator niche.

Second Beast

John said the Second Beast looked like a calf. We’ll assume he meant a juvenile cow or bull. What on our planet looks like a cow? Bison, wildebeest, water buffalo, zebu, etc. Anything in the family bovidae (or bovinae, the subfamily containing cows) looks pretty close to a cow. They have hooves, eat plants, and sport horns or antlers on their heads. Why do they all look alike? Just like the First Beast, it’s because they all share a common ancestor who must have looked something like a cow. Over time, this creature’s descendants spread out, got isolated, and diversified into what we have today.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ccVkipowetm696gmXa2-ZitIolxzULQ-xqSP7MjPOrFPOUWeRYv1yXeVUKVZDrpomb5GTfkEeRdmC2i9YgZOJcYtIM6SayYqReBIg3Lx-4oF5Qn6e6VfFFh225xRi1HdR1YY042O
Family tree of cows and their similar-looking cousins [27].

And we can’t confine the Second Beast to just the family bovidae. Almost all animals included in the orders Artiodactyla (the one cows are in) and Perissodactyla (the one that includes horses) have similar features to cattle. These animals primarily fill the niches of herbivores in their respective environments, and often get eaten by their carnivorous, First-Beast-like neighbors.

Picture of a modern-day yak, Bos grunniens (probably). Yaks are members of the Bovinae family, which houses a whole host of great, cow-resembling cow relatives. This picture is the best [28].

Third Beast

Now, this one is HUGE. Why? Because John saw a beast- not a man- that looked like a man! Why would God create a beast that looked like a man, but wasn’t? What would be the reason for it? We find the remains of creatures that looked like men on our own planet. These have long since passed away. We even have some still alive among us today in the great apes. So on our earth, what extant creatures look like men? Chimps, bonobos, gorillas, etc. Those that belong to the family Hominidae. And why, says science, do they all look alike? Because they all came from a common ancestor. Scientists say that even we are descendants of this same ancestor.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/3H2uaTxJLOJT-MEB5s9hqyBplQkdyHY8A_SAofZyjpeFOuDS02ccv53XLK_lV7fATW-0Zwuzt2oN9MThGAhHlJi9t1not8EVJyQpKjAHF2Z-5ZlQI7dB2Dzas8xMiXcII_5bMCrP
Hominid family tree, showing creatures that have faces like men, but weren’t us [29].

Because we know that the Third Beast was saved from another planet, we also can assume that it was born, lived, died, and was resurrected on that other planet. From scripture and the words of Joseph Smith, we know that there were and are many other planets that sustain human life, like us (30) (see D&C 76:24, Moses 1:33-35). If these planets have creatures of which we could have “no conception”, as Joseph taught, then why do some of them also have beasts that look like men, just like our earth does? Could it be for the same reason we have them? Is it because God used these man-like beasts and their descendants to eventually create man through evolution?

Reconstruction of Australopithecus afarensis, who lived between 3.85 and 2.95 million years ago. This species is a probable ancestor of all humans living today, including you. If it’s not our ancestor, then our true ancestor living around that time must have looked a lot like it [31].

We have to consider these questions when studying the Four Beasts. It may not be coincidence that one of them, being at the status of an “angel” and giving “glory and honour and thanks to [God]” (Revelation 4:9), is an animal that looks remarkably like a man. If you think about it, it doesn’t really matter what any animal on any planet looks like, unless that planet was meant to have human life. Then, for certain species, it would matter. It would matter for the line that produced man, for man is to be created in the image of God Himself (Abraham 4:26-27).

Fourth Beast

John said that the Fourth Beast looked like a “flying eagle”. It probably could fly, so it most likely had one pair of wings, feathers, and whatever other features a bird-like creature would have. What else on our earth looks like an eagle? Anything in the family Accipitridae. Anything that is a bird, really, from the class Aves. And why is that? Because they have a common ancestor who looked in some way like an eagle, and from whom all birds are descended.  

Family tree of bird types, showing that all birds have similar features because they are all descended from the same animal [32].

Perhaps the Fourth Beast merely looked like an eagle because it had feathers. We will discuss this in more detail later on in the blog, but as a sneak peek we’ll just say that birds aren’t the only animals on our planet that had feathers. Many non-avian dinosaurs were covered in feathers too.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/cigABlgX3wrSvVCWpLf2dNvppZPtCOeBSsxDZgFhAjBo3z9CILF7axrUzD_2N94DE7O3bBZw-y2jV7uHjQMpqdgqYs2b4M9tVpkC7E2i7cFj-IW64cKwdaUIQbD8GHPIW-DTEmJ-
Artistic depiction of Utahraptor, a non-avian dinosaur with feathers who was related to birds, and who lived in what is now Utah, 126 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous [33].

Conclusion

So what can we learn from the Four Beasts? A ton. We learn that animals have spirits. They can be happy or sad, and feel other emotions. They have agency and can make choices for themselves. They will be saved and can receive positions or rewards in heaven. In short, animals are pretty similar to us because we can do all those things too!

We also learn that the Four Beasts are from other worlds. They’re extraterrestrials, and they’re not the only ones. There are countless worlds out there teeming with unique life, all created by a loving Heavenly Father. His creativity knows no bounds, and evolution is the perfect tool for Him to use to make His active imagination a reality. With evolution, He can make anything He wants. He can create familiar-looking things through convergent evolution, or completely unrecognizable things. As Darwin might say, He can make “endless forms most beautiful.” And His creations are beautiful, aren’t they? I don’t know about you, but I think perhaps there are more clues in our doctrine to God’s method of creation than we typically realize… The “thousand forms” of Joseph Smith, and the “endless forms” of Charles Darwin.

If life evolved on our earth into various families and forms, why wouldn’t it do the same in a unique way on different planets? Scientists tell us that it would. Joseph Smith tells us that it does. And he told us 16 years before Darwin published his ideas about natural selection.


Sources and Notes:

  1. Joseph Smith, Documentary History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 342.
  2. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Brigham Young University, 2007. http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/John_the_Beloved.
  3. Lion pic found here:, https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Lion.aspx; Cow found here: https://www.ucdavis.edu/one-health/how-cows-stomach-could-help-your-health-and-environment/; Gorilla found here: https://www.nagelphotography.com/p831318180/h42F8E5EA#h42f8e5ea; Eagle found here: https://s.hswstatic.com/gif/bald-eagle-conservation-167172402.jpg
  4. Allen, Colin and Trestman, Michael, “Animal Consciousness”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/consciousness-animal/>. Discourse On The Method Of Rightly Conducting The Reason, And Seeking Truth In The Sciences, by Rene Descartes, Project Gutenberg, 2008. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/59/59-h/59-h.htm; Voltaire, “Animals,” Philosophical Dictionary,  http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-c/voltaire01.htm; Before Adam, by Hugh Nibley, 1980, https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=997&index=1.
  5. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, Deseret Book Company, 1976, p. 162
  6. See “An Angel Comforting Jesus Before his Arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane”, painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch.
  7. “Vertebrate Flight: The Evolution of Flight (a.k.a. How to Wing It).” UCMP Berkley. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/flight/evolve.html
  8. History of the Church 5:341.
  9. History of the Church 5:343-344.
  10. History of the Church 5:343.
  11. History of the Church 5:343.
  12. “Ten thousand times ten thousand” = 10,000 x 10,000 = 100,000,000 = 100 million.
  13. Exoplanets: diamond worlds, super earths, pulsar planets, and the new search for life beyond our solar system, by Michael Summers and James Trefil, Smithsonian Books, 2017.
  14. “In Depth: Neptune.” SolarSystem.NASA.gov, 1 Feb 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/neptune/in-depth/.
  15. On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, 1859, pg. 490.
  16. National Geographic. “Imagine Alien Life: Known Universe.” YouTube, 27 February 2012. https://youtu.be/AEq793g8Ivc
  17. Crash Course Kids. “Planetary Plants: Crash Course Kids #45.2.” YouTube, 22 February 2016. https://youtu.be/DUrJvJc5XX0
  18. SciShow Space. “Silicon-Based Life: Could Living Rocks Exist?” YouTube, 16 August 2016. https://youtu.be/fQCrrPohyts
  19. Simon Conway Morris FRS on alien life, taken from a National Geographic television program, found in: LifeOnOtherPlanets. “What Life on Other Planets May Look Like.” YouTube, 11 April 2011. https://youtu.be/M0l41VoEjZQ
  20. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Niche, Ecology.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/science/niche-ecology
  21. Crash Course Kids. “Life on Other Planets: Crash Course Kids #45.1.” YouTube, 17 February 2016. https://youtu.be/8gHDCOSI5Es
  22. Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, by Carl Safina, Picador, 2016, pp. 143-150, the entire chapter entitled “A Perfect Wolf.” Here’s an excerpt from the book about 21: https://www.salon.com/2015/07/04/the_perfect_wolf_twenty_one_was_a_legend_he_never_lost_a_fight_and_he_never_killed_a_vanquished_rival/. For a video of Carl Safina talking about 21, see: https://youtu.be/lrjW7GdkNwA. For more of the history of 21’s life, see: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nature-up-close-the-best-wolf-ever-yellowstone-national-park/. For a little more about 21’s death, see: http://www.yellowstone-bearman.com/No_21_Dead.html.
  23. Rincón, A.; Prevosti, F.; Parra, G. (2011). “New saber-toothed cat records (Felidae: Machairodontinae) for the Pleistocene of Venezuela, and the Great American Biotic Interchange”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 31 (2): 468–478. Found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilodon#cite_note-Rinc%C3%B3n2011-16.
  24. Image of smilodon found here: https://igws.indiana.edu/FossilsAndTime/Sabertooth. Age range found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilodon.
  25. For the Tasmanian tiger: It’s Okay To Be Smart. “How Evolution Turned A Possum Into A Wolf.” YouTube, 5 June 2018. https://youtu.be/fHs_lniTNvI. For the marsupial lion: National Geographic. “Marsupial Lion | National Geographic.” YouTube, 20 April 2009. https://youtu.be/pwUl3ekOQoU.
  26. TREY the Explainer. “Paleo Profile – Andrewsarchus.” YouTube, 19 February 2017. https://youtu.be/WkYhumi3QQY.
  27. Dekel, Yaron & Machluf2†, Yossy & Ben-Dor, Shifra & Yifa, Oren & Stoler, Aviad & Ben-Shlomo, Izhar & Bercovich, Dani. (2015). Dekel et al. 2015 BMC G. “Dispersal of an ancient retroposon in the TP53promoter of Bovidae: phylogeny, novelmechanisms, and potential implications for cowmilk persistency.” BMC Genomics. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/274266144_fig1_Figure-1-A-schematic-phylogenetic-tree-of-11-Bovid-species-representing-Bovidae-%27-s-two.
  28. Picture of hairy yak was found here: https://www.pexels.com/search/hairy%20yak/. The species name was found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_yak.
  29. Image was found at this URL: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/397583473337157467.
  30. History of the Church 6:305.
  31. Australopithecine pic found here: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/australopithecus-afarensis .
  32. University of Sydney, “Rapid bird evolution after the age of dinosaurs unprecedented, study confirms.” Phys.org, 11 December 2014. https://phys.org/news/2014-12-rapid-bird-evolution-age-dinosaurs.html .
  33. Image by Leshyk, Victor. “Utahraptor ostrommaysorum.” Natural History Museum of Utah.  https://nhmu.utah.edu/utahraptor-ostrommaysorum

4 thoughts on “The Four Beasts: What the Book of Revelation Can Teach Us About Evolution

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s