The answer is, “No.” But what, exactly, was the question?
This is where taking the time to consider the question, or argument, carefully is important before offering an answer, or counterargument.
The question was, “Do Christians believe in talking serpents [plural] and talking donkeys [plural]?” You see, this is called puffing up, speaking hyperbolically, exaggerating something for the sake of effect. The fact is that Christians do not believe in a plurality, more than one, talking serpent or talking donkey.
Now, some Christians believe that one serpent talked once and also that one donkey talked once and others that no serpent ever talked but that one donkey did talk once.
On the other hand, there are many people who are not Christians and who believe in talking apes…but to that, we shall come.
THE TALKING SERPENT
The issue of the serpent pertains to the record of the Garden of Eden wherein the serpent (or which some render as snake; see here for details). The personage in the Garden, who beguiled Eve by talking to her, is he who is referred to by various names within the Bible. Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 provides a nice elucidating combination:
“great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.”
Some claim that satan morphed, shape shifted into the form of a serpent. Yet, that the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field, as the Genesis text stated, dues not necessitate that a literal serpent is being compared to other, obviously, literal animals. It may mean that satan was the most cunning being on Earth, etc. In any regard, the specifics are not very important for our purposes which will be elucidated as we continue.
THE TALKING DONKEY
Let us get to the donkey which was Baalam’s. The text notes that he was hired to curse the Hebrews but ended up blessing them. However, in the meantime, whilst in rebellion again YHVH, “Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab. But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him.”
YHVH sends angel of the Lord to stand in the way with his drawn sword in his hand. As the record goes, the donkey sees the angel and turns off the road, is struck by Balaam, the angel gets in the way again, the donkey turns, is struck, etc. Finally, the angel stood in a narrow path with walls on both sides and when the donkey attempted to move to one side Balaam’s foot pressed against the wall. Finally, the last time the agel got in the way, the donkey laid down under Balaam and again, Balaam struck the donkey.
And here come the key moment:
“And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?’ Then Balaam said to the donkey, ‘Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.’ The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?’ And he said, ‘No.’
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. The angel of the Lord said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.’
Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, ‘I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.’” (for the whole record, see Numbers 22:21-34)
Note that the donkey did not talk because it was taught to do so, because it happened to pick up on human language (and was somehow able to articulate it via vocal cords meant to only speak donkeynese). Rather, this was a miraculous event since, “the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey.”
Thus, Christians (and Jews) believe that one donkey talked once and did so via a miracle. That statements such as that Christians believe in talking serpents and talking donkey’s come from Atheists is rather odd. After all, no one functions more on pure “faith” than do Atheists.
What is so odd about a donkey talking? After all, even on a Atheistic view one could simply say that it was an odd and rare configuration of natural laws or an odd and rare genetic mutation which caused the donkey to talk.
You see, once you grant that life, the universe and everything came into being from nothing (or, a tiny eternal uncaused first cause piece of matter) which no one caused to explode for no reason and made everything without meaning; then how do you know when to stop expecting unexpected things to occur?
Because such things do no occur? Well, do universes constantly pop into existence? Well, actually, some people do what faith in this occurring—something against which we have argued, see videos here.
The fact is that Atheists, generally, believe that outside of space, time and matter as we know them, without being subject to the laws of thermodynamics/nature as we know them; life, the universe and everything just happened to have happened. So, why not a talking donkey?
Of course, that a donkey just happens to speak due to an odd and rare conjunctions of laws or mutations seem far less likely that a philosophically necessary being, such as God, would cause it to speak (miraculously and once).
THE TALKING APES
This time the term is in the plural as many people believe in talking apes. These are not mythological apes, although the premise of talking apes is mythological (this is stated due to the claim that apes and humans both derive from a crypto-zoological mythological creature for which there is no evidence; the common ancestor). Rather, as per Atheist evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins, we modern day humans are apes.
Charles Darwin wondered the following (The Descent of Man, p. 180):
“In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some ape-like creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point when the term ‘man’ ought to be used.”
Dawkins bypasses answering when and simply claims that we still are apes (Late City Final Edition, April 4, 1989 AD):
“We are not, then, merely like apes or descended from apes; we are apes.”
Moreover, Dawkins had the following discussion with an African Bishop:
“I’m an ape, are you Bishop?”
“I am not, I definitely am not…”
“Well, I’m an ape, I’m an African ape, I’m very proud to be an African ape and so should you be.”
“We are apes and the descendants of apes, who were the descendants of rat-like primates, who were children of reptiles, who were the spawn of amphibians, who were the terrestrial progeny of fish, who came from worms, who were assembled from single-celled microorganisms, who were the products of chemistry. Your daddy was a film of chemical slime on a Hadean rock, and he didn't care about you — he was only obeying the laws of thermodynamics.
They again, PZ Myers has stated, “Human beings are still fish” which may hearken back to Stephen Jay Gould, who wrote:
“We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher’ answer - but none exists.”
This is echoed by Michael Ruse, who wrote:
“It is not just that we are on a speck of dust whirling around in the void but that we ourselves are no more than transformed apes.”
For his part, G. K. Chesterton noted (from Orthodoxy which you can hear as a free audio book):,
“That an ape has hands is far less interesting to the philosopher than the fact that having hands he does next to nothing with them; does not play knuckle-bones or the violin; does not carve marble or carve mutton.”
So, some Atheist evolutionists affirm that it is rational and scientific to believe that through a series of mutations, apes can talk. However, these same Atheist evolutionists will deny that it is rational and scientific to believe that through a series of mutations, a donkey talked (surely, talking was not an evolutionary advantage and so that donkey’s genetic line died off—too bad!).
So, next time you make fun of Christians for believing that serpents and donkeys talk, take the banana out of your mouth first.
One thing which certainly differentiates us from the animals is: fashion faux pas.