A recent fossil discovery has inadvertently granted more weight to the Biblical narrative as told in the book of Genesis.
The new study published in the Science Advances journal suggests that, at one stage, snakes may have had legs. The fossil in question belonged to a creature called a “Nahash” and possessed two hind legs — it was discovered in the Rio Negro Province in Argentina, according to the Jerusalem Post.
In the story of “The Fall,” following Adam and Eve’s decision to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “the “forbidden fruit,” God condemned the serpent who tempted them to their fate. “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life,” said the Lord.
Now, many are arguing that the latest historical discovery backs up the idea of a snake “crawling” rather than slithering and that the creature may have had legs before being was cursed by God.
While the serpent is depicted at the beginning of the Bible, this Satanic figure is also alluded to at the very end, in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2, as “the ancient serpent.”
An article at the creationist organization “Answers in Genesis” elaborates more on the question of whether or not the serpent was a legged creature.
“When looking at Genesis 3:13–15, there is no direct indication that the serpent had legs, only that its curse would be “on your belly you shall go,”” writes Bodie Hodge, who heads up the Creation Museum and is Ken Ham’s son-in-law. “But in Genesis 3:1, we get a clue that the serpent was likely classified as a beast of the field, which is probably why beasts of the field were also mentioned in 3:14.”
Hodge added that “what makes this an issue is that it was a land animal and/or flying reptile in general—hence, it moved by flying, slithering, or with appendages.”
“If it slithered already, what was the point of the curse and why compare it to creatures which had legs in Genesis 3:14?” he asked. “Regardless if it was a beast of the field, the serpent was indeed a land animal and capable of locomotion in the Garden of Eden and in the field.”
Of course, the dating doesn’t exactly add up for those who hold to a “young earth” view of creationism, as Answers in Genesis do — experts estimate the newly discovered fossils to be around 100 million years old.
There have been a few legged snake discoveries in the past. Indeed, the University of Portsmouth’s David Martill was giving a tour around the Bürgermeister Müller Museum in Solnhofen, Germany, when an “unknown fossil,” caught his eye.
Martill “saw a little specimen with a long sinuous body, packed with ribs and 15 centimeters from nose to tail,” the National Geographic reported. “It looked like a snake. But it was stuck in unusual rock.”
Then, Martill scanned down — the creature had legs.
“If my jaw hadn’t already dropped enough, it dropped right to the floor,” he said. “And I looked closer and the little label said: Unknown fossil. Understatement!… no snake has ever been found with four legs. This is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.” Martill, a Professor of Palaeobiology, named the creature “Tetrapodophis” — a four-legged snake