What were conditions like prior to the Flood? There are several pre-Flood evidences that we find today:
WARMER CLIMATE—Fossil-bearing rocks from all "ages" reveal that a worldwide warm climate once existed, with no distinct climatic zones such as we now have. For example, palm trees and giant ferns grew in the far north and far south. These were buried at the time of the Flood, revealing what the local climate was like prior to that time.
"It has long been felt that the average climate of the earth throughout time has been milder and more homogenous than it is today. If so, the present certainly is not a very good key to the past in terms of climate."—*R.H. Dott and *R.L. Batten, Evolution of the Earth (1971), p. 298.
Prior to the Flood, the climate worldwide was warm and uniformly pleasant.
"In those days [when the dinosaurs lived] the earth had a tropical or sub-tropical climate over much of its land surface, and in the widespread tropical lands there was an abundance of lush vegetation. The land was low and there were no high mountains forming physical or climatic barriers."—*E.H. Colbert, "Evolutionary Growth Rates in the Dinosaurs," in Scientific Monthly, August 1949, p. 71.
"Climatic conditions were then much more uniform over the earth than now. Considerable limestone formations, of Cambrian age at high latitudes, indicate strongly that they were there deposited in relatively warm or temperate waters."—*W.J. Miller, An Introduction to Historical Geology (1952), p. 116.
"The general distribution and character of the rocks and their fossil content point to more uniform climatic conditions than those of today. Fossils in the Arctic rocks are not essentially different from those of low latitudes."—*Op. cit., p. 143.
"In the case of the Devonian, such evidence is indicative of a worldwide mild climate."—*O.D. von Engeln and *K.E. Caster, Geology (1952), p. 596.
"As for the earlier Paleozoic periods, the character and distribution of Mississippian fossils rather clearly prove absence of well-defined climatic zones like those of today."—*W. J. Miller, An Introduction to Historical Geology (1952), p. 169.
Even evolutionists recognize that coal was formed from deposits of massive amounts of vegetation, primarily trees. It is now known that large coal deposits exist today in the continent of Antarctica. This is another evidence of an earlier, worldwide warm climate.
"There would have been no white polar caps or reddish-brown desert regions, for thick green vegetation covered almost all of the land areas, even in polar regions (thick coal deposits have been discovered in the mountains of Antarctica)."—John C. Whitcomb, Early Earth (1986), p. 22.
The Antarctic once had an abundance of vegetation and large trees, as is shown by "widespread discoveries of coal and petrified wood." The Arctic regions were once tropical:
"Geologists mine coal for science in . . the Horlick Mountains [of the Antarctic]. The Ohio State University scientists found coal that dates from the Permian Period, about 250 million years ago, when Antarctica had a comparatively warm climate." "Five geologists last year drilled and blasted 20 feet to bring out virtually unweathered Antarctic coal. Widespread discoveries of surface coal and petrified wood show that Antarctica had luxuriant vegetation 250 million years and more ago."—*D.M. Tyree, "New Era in the Loneliest Continent," Natíonal Geographic, February 1963, pp. 288, 296.
"Baron Toll, the Arctic explorer, found remains of a saber-toothed tiger and a 90-foot [274 dm] plum tree with green leaves and ripe fruit on its branches over 600 miles [966 km] north of the Arctic Circle in the New Siberian Islands. Today the only vegetation that grows there is a one-inch high willow."—Joseph C. Dillow, The Waters Above (1982), p. 346.
"Fossil plants found by Chilean scientists on King George Island puts Antarctica’s ancient past in a temperate clime. Further proof of the continent’s warm ancestry lies in its coal, the transformed remains of forests long dead."—*W.R. Curtsinger, "Antarctica’s Newer Side," National Geographic, November 1971, p. 653.
"Dr. Jack A. Wolfe in a  U.S. Geological Survey Report told that Alaska once teemed with tropical plants. He found evidence of man-groves, palm trees, Burmese lacquer trees, and groups of trees that now produce nutmeg and Macassar oil."—*Op. cit. p. 348.
The Vapor Canopy
WATER VAPOR—What produced the changeover from a worldwide warm climate to our present climate zones that vary between very hot to icy cold? It was probably a change in the earth’s atmosphere.
There are three factors in the atmosphere that provide us with whatever greenhouse-type climate we have today: ozone, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. If, prior to the Flood, one or more of these were more abundant in the air above us, a profound change in our worldwide climate would occur. The most powerful of the three is water vapor. Indeed, a lot of the water in our present oceans, came out of the skies at the time of the Flood!
A universal water-vapor blanket must have covered our planet in ancient times. It is called the "vapor canopy." The evidence is clearly available that tropical plants were once in the far north and south. Only a great increase in encircling water could possibly explain that earlier worldwide warm climate.
"An increase of water vapor . . would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface . . and would increase the temperature of the air at a height of four or five miles [6-8 km] more than that at the surface, and so lessen the decrease of temperature with height."—*C.E.P. Brooks, Climate Through the Ages (1949), p. 115.
Apart from a massive increase in pre-Flood water vapor, the situation we find in the rock strata is unexplainable.
"There is little evidence that climatic belts existed in the earlier history of the earth, yet climatic zonation, both latitudinal and vertical, is clearly apparent in all parts of the earth today. This anomalous situation is difficult to explain.
"It is impossible to reconstruct a super-continent which could lie entirely within one climatic regime. Any rotating planet, orbiting the sun on an inclined axis of rotation, must have climatic zonation. It is obvious, therefore, that climatic conditions in the past were significantly different from those in evidence today."—*Edgar B. Heylmun, "Should We Teach Uniformitarianism?" in Journal of Geological Education, January 1971, p. 36.
"The principle atmospheric absorber for the entrant sunlight is water vapor. Absorption by ozone being a minor factor qualitatively, the other gases are virtually transparent. Absorption of the outgoing radiation from the earth is again largely due to water vapor, with carbon dioxide and ozone playing lesser roles . . The part absorbed tends to warm the atmosphere, and just as the warm glass of the greenhouse tends to raise the temperature of the interior, the water vapor tends to raise that of the earth’s surface below it. This surface, or any object on it, is constantly exchanging radiation with the water vapor in the atmosphere, so the temperature of the surface is closely dependent upon the amount and temperature of this vapor."—*Harold K. Blum, Time’s Arrow and Evolution (1951), p. 57.
"Calculations show that a 50-percent decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide in the air will lower the average temperature of the earth 6.9 degrees Fahrenheit. We can be reasonably sure that such a sharp drop in temperature would cause glaciers to spread across the earth."—*Gilbert N. Plass, "Carbon Dioxide and Climate," in Scientific American, Vol. 201, July 1959, p. 42.
It has been suggested that our planet was not inclined 23o prior to the Flood. But, if the earth was not then on an inclined axis (which may well not be true), worldwide yearly temperatures would be even more extreme than now! The only solution to the problem is that a sizeable portion of the water in the oceans was once in the skies overhead.
LOWER SEA LEVELS—Before the Flood there were probably only broad rivers. The enormous concave ocean basins we have today—in some places over five miles [8 km] deep—were not needed then. The entire earth must, indeed, have been very beautiful.
There are several lines of evidence that tell us that, at some earlier time, the ocean basins FILLED with water. Here are some of them:
(1) Seamounts were first discovered by a naval captain during World War II. As a personal research project during trips back and forth across the Pacific, Harry H. Hess, commander of an attack transport, the U.S.S. Cape Johnson, kept his deep-water echo sounder turned on all the time. Continuous profiles of the sea bottom were recorded on graph paper. Analyzing the data, he discovered extinct volcanoes hundreds of feet beneath the sea with their tops flattened off.
None of them broke the surface of the ocean. The name "seamounts" was given to these formations. (An alternate name for them is "guyots.") What could have caused them?
Volcanic activity began before the Flood ended. The volcanoes in the basin of the ocean, which became extinct before the seas had filled, had their summits eroded away—flattened out—by storm and wave action as sea level reached those summits. The oceans kept filling and the horizontal tops became submerged, some distance below the surface.
This would also explain some of the coral atolls in the Pacific. Coral only grows near the surface, yet the remains of earlier coral are to be found deeper in the ocean. It has been said that low-lying and partially or totally submerged volcanoes, in the center of these coral formations, probably sunk at some time in the past. That is possible. Or they could have been covered by the rising ocean.
Oceanic volcanoes could also have blown their tops, as Krakatoa did a century ago; but such explosions would not lower the tops as far down as they presently are, nor would they flatten the tops. As the oceans neared their present level, infilling would slow and coral would have time to build atolls above those particular guyots.
(2) Similarities between plants and trees of now widely separated areas. Vegetation in Brazil has a number of remarkable similarities to that of western Africa. Climatic conditions may be the sole cause of this similarity of vegetation on separated continents. But the possibility that the South Atlantic in ancient times may not have existed as a broad ocean could also be a factor.
It is clear that remarkable evidence of a former worldwide Flood is abundant. Wherever we turn we encounter new insights into its effects. A sizeable amount of additional evidence will be found in the appendix (at the back of this chapter, Effects of the Flood, on our website). The Whitcomb and Morris book, The Genesis Flood, will also provide you with much additional scientific data on this topic.
With the exception of its initial Creation, our world has been changed more by the Flood than by any other event in the history of this planet. There is hardly a place where you and I can look, which has not been drastically affected by the Flood and its immediate aftereffects: the deserts, the seas, the river canyons, the hills, the plains, and the mountain ranges. Here are several examples of these effects:
CONTINENTAL SHELVES—The continental shelves that surround all the continents on the globe are another evidence of a lower—or a gradually rising—sea level at some earlier time. These are ledges protruding out from land beneath the oceans. From the shoreline at the edge of the continents, the sea slowly becomes deeper for a number of miles. This outward extension can be as much as 750 miles [1206.9 km], but the average width is about 42 miles [67.59 km]. Then, at a definite, higher first point, it descends gradually to a lower second point which has a maximum depth of about 300 feet [914 dm] to about 1500 feet [1,310 dm], with a mean depth of about 430 feet [4,572 dm]. Beyond this second point, it then descends more rapidly to the sea bottom.
Here are four possibilities for the origin of continental shelves:
(1) The first or second point of sudden change may mark the ancient sea level.
(2) The second point may also mark the freeze point, the place where the gradually filling sea greatly slowed for a time as the rapidly obscuring volcanic dusts in the skies caused the polar areas to begin capturing large quantities of water and transform it into thick masses of ice. During that time of slower infilling, gigantic waves and storms could have eroded out massive sections.
Above the first point where the drop is much more shallow, the storms of the main Flood may have subsided and the gentler seas may have caused less erosion as infilling was completed.
(3) The first point edge of the shelves may also mark the point of orogeny (mountain building), the point where the continental blocks began uplifting and/or the—what is now marine—blocks lowered as the result of fault slippage.
(4) The water in the oceans rose to a certain height. Then, later, at the time of glacial melt, as the ice sheets melted, this water flowed into the seas and brought the water level up to its present height.
Those are the possibilities, but however it may have happened, it took the Flood to produce the continental shelves.
"The ocean basins can thus be characterized as overfull—water not only fills the ocean basins proper [coming up to the continental shelves], but extends out over the low margins of the continents [overflowing the shelves]."—*J.V. Trumbull, et al., "An Introduction to the Geology and Mineral Resources of the Continental Shelves of the Americas" in U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1067 (1958), p. 11.
"Perhaps the ocean volume increased enough to explain most of the relative sinking of the seamounts. If the latter idea is correct, something on the order of a 30 percent increase in the volume of the oceans must have occurred during the last 100 million years."—*Edwin L. Hamilton, "The Last Geographic Frontier: The Sea Floor," in Scientific Monthly, December 1957, p. 305.
Later in this chapter, in the paragraph section "Mountain Building," indication is given that the mountains and continents rose both during the latter part of the Flood (late Pliocene) and again just after it (Pleistocene). This twofold uplift might help explain the two continental shelf point pauses in rising ocean levels.
SEAMOUNT CORALS—Coral and foraminifera are small plants containing sizeable amounts of calcium, which grow close to the surface of the sea. Deposits of these small creatures have been found on the flat-topped seamounts. At some earlier time coral were growing on those deeply submerged seamounts! This is an important point, since coral cannot live below a depth of 200 feet [609 dm]. At some earlier time, the sea must have been far below its present sea level.
The 100 million year estimate, given by *Hamilton in the above quotation, is based on the fact that coral can only live and grow near the ocean’s surface. Evolutionary theory has assigned those deposits to the late Cretaceous or early Tertiary, but a sudden infilling of water by the Flood could answer the point just as well. It is of interest that a full 30 percent of the oceans lies above those coral deposits on the submerged seamounts!
"For some reason that is not known, probably having to do with isostatic adjustment or subcrustal forces, the whole great undersea range sank and, initially, sank fast enough to kill the reef coral when the coral dropped below its life zone of upper water."—*Op. cit., p. 303.
Evolutionists think that the cause was a lowering of the ocean basins. But that solution would only add 7 percent more water to those oceans! Something more beside seafloor sinking is needed.
Submarine canyons are yet another evidence that lower seas gradually filled and became our present large oceans. We will discuss these canyons later in this chapter.
ORIGIN OF THE OCEANS—The Flood, described in Genesis 6-9, has had more profound effects on our planet than probably any other single event since its initial creation, with the exception of the fall of man. An astounding example of this is the vast oceans which surround the continents on every side.
With our present continents and deep ocean basins, if all the water in our present atmosphere were to suddenly fall as rain, it would cover the entire surface of the globe to an average depth of only two inches (*C.S. Fox, Water, 1952). Prior to the Flood, we apparently had a far greater amount of moisture in the atmosphere. That would have given a more uniformly warm climate to the entire world, and would explain why fossils of tropical plants have been found in the far north and south. Massive amounts of water poured out of the skies. In addition, large amounts of water apparently were released from within the earth. Because of that, we now have so much water in our oceans that, if the land were leveled out, "the Earth would be completely covered by water about 0.75 mile [1.2 km] deep" (Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1987, p. 27). Another estimate figures it at 1.7 miles [2.7 km]: CRSQ, September 1987, p. 54.
There are evidences that much of the present sea bottom was once dry land:
"There are fossil landforms preserved in the depths of the sea, where they are disturbed only by light currents and the slow rain of pelagic material from the waters above."—*E.L. Hamilton, "The Last Geographic Frontier: The Sea Floor," in Scientific Monthly, December 1957, p. 303.
Immense upheavals as well as sinkings of land must have taken place in order to provide a place to hold the oceans. If that had not occurred, the entire earth today would be under water and there would be no continents. Very frankly, this was an act of Divine providence. The ocean basins had to sink and the continents rise—or there would be no dry land after the Flood.
By the end of the Flood year, recorded in Genesis 7 and 8, "the valleys [basins] sank down" and the great masses of water which "were standing above the mountains" "fled" and "hurried away . . to the place which Thou didst establish for them. Thou hast set a bound [the shorelines] that they may not pass over; that they return not to cover the earth." Psalm 104:6-9.
SUBMARINE CANYONS—Another relic of the Flood is the great canyons cut into the ocean floor. These are to be found just below where each of our major rivers dumps into the ocean. They are known as "submarine canyons." Those canyons could only have been made if the floor of the ocean basins sank, the ocean level was then lower, and was gradually filled by rain from the skies and by water pouring down into it from these waterways. One example is the canyon in the ocean just opposite the Hudson River in New York.
The evolutionary position, that the oceans did not fill, leaves them no solution to the origin of submarine canyons.
"The difficulties encountered in explaining the lowering of sea level necessary for the canyons to have been cut by streams [with a volume of water such as we have today] seem insurmountable . . If Tolstoy’s conclusion that Hudson Canyon extends down to a depth of 15,000 feet [4,572 m] [!] is correct, the magnitude of lowering of sea level to permit subaerial canyon cutting seems beyond any possibility of realization."—*William D. Thornbury, Principles of Geomorphology (1954), p. 472.
You will find these diagonal canyons, cut into the continental shelves, out beyond the mouths of all the great rivers of the continents: the Colorado, Columbia, Amazon, etc.
Such colossal river currents could not run downward, if the oceans were earlier at their present height. Scientists cannot account for those canyons. Some suggest "turbidity currents," as the answer while others recognize that something far greater was involved.
"Can we, as seekers after truth, shut our eyes any longer to the obvious fact that large areas of sea floor have sunk vertical distances measured in miles."—*Kenneth K. Landes, "Illogical Geology," in Geotimes, March 1959, p. 19.
Brown discusses their immense size and significance.
"On the ocean floor are several hundred canyons. Some of these submarine canyons rival the Grand Canyon in both length and depth. One canyon is three times deeper than the Grand Canyon. Another is 10 times longer, so long that it would stretch across the United States. Many of these V-shaped canyons are extensions of major rivers. Examples include the Amazon Canyon, the Hudson Canyon, the Ganges Canyon, the Congo Canyon, and the Indus Canyon.
"How did they get there? What forces could gouge out canyons that are sometimes 15,000 feet below sea level? Was the ocean floor raised or the ocean surface lowered by this amount so ancient rivers could cut these canyons? If so, how? Canyons on the continents were supposedly formed by the cutting of fast flowing rivers and surface drainage. However, the [current] flows measured in submarine canyons are much too slow—generally less than one mile per hour. Frequently the flow is in the wrong direction. Submarine landslides or currents of dense, muddy water sometimes occur. However, they would not form the long, branching (or dendritic) patterns that are common to river systems and submarine canyons. Besides, experiments with mud-laden water in actual submarine canyons have not demonstrated any canyon-cutting ability."—Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 63.
HIGHER LAKES—It is quite clear that at some earlier time there was much more water in the enclosed lake basins of the continents.
Anyone who has ever driven into the Salt Lake City area cannot help but notice the high-water marks on the surrounding mountains. Four distinct marks are to be seen, the highest of which is about 1,000 feet [3,048 dm] above the present level of Great Salt Lake. At some earlier time an area of 20,000 square miles [51,798 km2] was covered by this ancient lake (scientists call it "Lake Bonneville").
Another basin of an ancient lake ("Lake Lahontan") is to be found in Nevada; it once filled 8,400 square miles [21,755 km2]. *Flint, in Glacial and Pleistocene Geology, lists 119 ancient lakes which are now dry or nearly so.
Such raised beaches and terraces formed by ancient lakes are to be found all over the world.
"There are many examples outside the United States of similar lake expansions during pluvial glacial times. Lake Texcoco in Mexico was at least 175 feet [533 dm] higher than it is now; Lake Titicaca in South America was 300 feet [914 dm] higher; the Dead Sea was 1400 feet [4,267 dm] higher, and as many as 15 abandoned strand lines have been observed around it; the Caspian Sea was at least 250 feet [762 dm] higher and was apparently confluent with the Aral Sea to the east and the Black Sea to the West."— *W.D. Thornbury, Principles of Geomorphology (1954), p. 418.
LARGER RIVERS—There was also a far greater volume of water flowing at some earlier time in the rivers. It is common today to see small streams flowing between the steep, high sides of large canyons. Obviously, at some earlier time gigantic waterways must have flowed there for a time. In addition, extensive deposits of sediments (alluvium) left by these ancient rivers are to be found at higher levels.
We consistently find valleys with small streams in their center, with evidences that once a very large river coursed down the center of the valley.
"If a stream, or more correctly the size of the stream meanders [the serpentining of the stream back and forth within its base floodplain], is too small for the size of the valley, the stream is said to underfit; if too large, it is referred to as overfit. It is difficult to cite examples of overfit rivers, or streams with floodplain too small for the size of the stream. Hence there may well be a question whether overfit streams exist . . The underfit condition can persist indefinitely; hence many examples of such streams exist."—*W.D. Thornbury, Principles of Geomorphology (1953), p. 156.
"Valleys commonly appear to be far too large to have been formed by the streams that utilize them."—*O.D. von Engeln and *K.E. Caster, Geology, pp. 256-257.
Then there are the massive flood plains, remnants of earlier gigantic river overflows. There is an enormous flat area on both sides of the Mississippi River. This is its flood plain, and it extends for many miles. In ancient times, this was part of a gigantic river, now referred to as the "Teays River."
IMMENSE EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION—(*#1/6 Water Power*) Tremendous quantities of water flowed outward from the land; and it took a lot of soil and sediment with it. In many parts of the world, only sand remains. This would be but another result of the Flood. We see evidences of it today as we look at our mountains, plains, deserts, and waterways. Consider the Grand Canyon of Arizona.
One important result of all this was the burial of so much vegetation and animal life. There are places in our world where fossil-bearing sedimentary rock is several miles deep. From bottom to top, the sedimentary rock provides fossil evidence of a gigantic yet rapid catastrophe. Prior to the Flood this sedimentary strata did not exist.
WAVE EROSION—Water is powerful, not only when it is running but, when it strikes a surface head on. Ocean waves can be very destructive, as we are told by Rachel Carson in The Sea Around Us. *King also mentions this:
"Waves are seldom more than twenty-five feet high; but violent storms may raise them to sixty feet, and there are unverified reports of even greater heights . . The immense striking power of a wave cannot be realized until it hits an object that cannot float with it. Waves striking the shores of Tierra del Fuego can be heard for twenty miles [32 km]. Spray from a storm wave has been hurled to the top of a lighthouse nearly 200 feet [609 cm] above sea level. The force of waves striking the shore can be measured, and has been found to reach three tons per square foot [2.7 mt per .09 m2]."—*Thomson King, Water (1953), p. 49.
Terrible storms raged during the Flood. Immense quantities of water were flowing, grinding, wearing away surfaces. Massive wave action took its toll also. All this resulted in an astounding rate of erosion, which produced sediments which resulted in the thousands of feet of sedimentary rock strata which we see today.
ROCK STRATA—Several evidences in the sedimentary rock strata indicate that the sedimentary rock strata were all laid down rapidly at one time, thus indicating a single worldwide Flood occurred.
(1) Sedimentary rocks, sometimes deep ones even down to the Cambrian, are in an unconsolidated state. That is, they have not been pressed together into solid rocks. Yet if these stones had been lying under millions of tons of overrock for millions of years, they would long ago have consolidated.
(2) The fossils and the rock strata indicate rapid deposition, due to a sudden worldwide Flood, rather than being slowly laid over a period of long ages. We discussed this in detail earlier in this chapter in the section, Fossils and Rock Strata. There are thousands of cubic miles of such materials; yet hardly any of it is being made today. The entire process took place rather quickly at some past time.
(3) The strata are confused and often crushed. If slow, uniform layering occurred as a result of erosional forces, the layers would also be uniform and fairly flat. As it is, what we see is the result of a terrific upheaval.
(4) Geologists well-know that rivers only cut through hard materials when they rush fairly straight down steeply slanted surfaces. In contrast, rivers that meander serpentinely are slow-moving waters going through more level land and can then only cut through softer materials. But what we find is evidence that, at some past time, meandering cut through, what is today, thick rock—at such locations as the Colorado River, in the Grand Canyon of Arizona, and the San Juan River in Colorado.
Such river canyons were not cut by rivers "over millions of years," but instead were quickly cut through while they were still soft and their strata had only recently been laid.
VARVE DATING—"Varved clays" are banded sediments, with each band quite thin with light and dark color gradations between them. "Varve chronology" is another evolutionary means of dating the sediments, for evolutionists theoretically interpret each varve as an annual (one year) deposit. But we find pebbles, plants, insects, and dead animals in the varves. How does one explain a dead fish lying on the bed of a lake for about two hundred years without rotting while the slowly accumulating sediments gradually cover it and then fossilize it? Where does this occur in modern lakes? There is a lot more that could be said on this topic, but the above should be sufficient to disprove the theory of "varve dating."
FACTS ABOUT THE DINOSAURS—Very high up in the theoretical column of rock strata we find the Mesozoic, which includes the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. In these levels we find the dinosaurs. Apparently reptilian in nature, many of these were gigantic creatures. The dinosaurs died as a result of the Flood.
Evolutionists recognize that they were suddenly destroyed all over the earth and are unable to give a satisfactory reason why.
Scientists are puzzled why there is a dividing point in the sedimentary strata, below which are the dinosaurs and above it no dinosaurs. This line is referred to as the K/T boundary.
"One of the important contemporary scientific debates is about the causes of the mass extinctions at the close of the Cretaceous epoch, about 65 million years ago . . Scientists refer to this crucial, enigmatic transition in the history of life as the K/T boundary. The Cretaceous epoch is abbreviated as K to distinguish it from the earlier Carboniferous (coal-forming) epoch, abbreviated as C. Sedimentary rock layers above the Cretaceous, which include the fossil record of the Age of Mammals, are traditionally called Tertiary or T."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 246.
It has been suggested that the dinosaurs were killed by volcanoes, climatic changes, or the eating of their eggs by other animals. Yet far more delicate wildlife have survived volcanoes, climatic changes, and egg predators. Evolution has no answer to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
"These are some of the theories that have been advanced to explain the sudden extinction of dinosaurs throughout the world. Each theory will explain the death of some dinosaurs in some places, but attempts to apply any of them, or combinations of them, to worldwide extinction have failed. This dinosaur story is like a mystery thriller with the last pages torn out. That is true and the paleontologist knows it. He also knows the riddle will probably never be solved."—*J.M. Good, *T.E. White, and *G.F. Stucker, "The Dinosaur Quarry," U.S. Government Printing Office (1958), p. 26.
Here are two possibilities for the extinction of the dinosaurs:
(1) No dinosaurs were taken onto the Ark. We have reason to believe that mankind was larger, stronger, and longer-lived before the Flood. It was seen best not to have these giant reptiles wandering over the earth’s surface afterward, when mankind would become smaller and weaker. Why would dinosaurs have been taken onto the Ark if they were only going to become extinct not long afterward?
(2) Some Creationists believe that some young dinosaurs may have been taken into the Ark and died out within a short time after the Flood ended. Other animals have become extinct after the Flood; dinosaurs could have also. It has been suggested that the cold climate that reigned for a time after the deluge caused them to die out.
A few of the dinosaur-type species were taken onto the Ark. This definitely included crocodiles, alligators, and komodos, and could also have included the young of what today are referred to as "dinosaurs." After the Flood the dinosaurs became extinct while other dinosaur-type creatures, the crocodiles, alligators, and komodos did not. There is some indeterminate evidence that some dinosaurs were alive for a time after the Flood.
A provocative recent discovery may provide additional insight as to the cause of the disappearance of the dinosaurs. One major short-term effect was a rapid cooling after the Flood, caused by volcanic air pollution which kept warming sunlight from reaching the earth for a number of years.
"Whatever triggered this decline [in worldwide temperature at some earlier time] may also be a factor in the extinction of the dinosaurs (which were probably adapted to mild and equable climates) and put a premium on the warm-blooded birds and mammals, which can maintain a constant internal temperature."—*Asimov’s New Guide to Science (1984), p. 204.
That worldwide coolness, immediately after the Flood, may have eliminated the dinosaurs by causing their eggs to hatch out all males or all females.
"Crocodilians and turtles share a special reproductive trait that is not found in any other living group of reptiles. In all other vertebrate species [including snakes], the sex of offspring is determined by genetics; in crocodilians and turtles, it is determined by environment. Amazingly, whether an egg will develop into a male or female depends on the temperature at which it was incubated! Hotter conditions produce females in most turtles, and males in crocodilians. Hatched under lower temperatures, turtle eggs yield mostly males and crocodile eggs females . . This apparently opposite effect may be related to body size; in both cases, high temperatures produce larger individuals. Female turtles are larger than males . . Male crocodilians are the larger sex . .
"[If dinosaurs were heat-sexed like turtles and crocodiles (instead of like snakes which are genetically determined), then] changes in climate could have produced a preponderance of one or the other sex [in dinosaurs], causing genetic bottlenecks and sharp curtailment of breeding. Dinosaurs may have become extinct, then, because their eggs produced too many individuals of one sex.
"Recent studies by Graham Webb in Australia, shows that [turtle] sex ratios are maintained by distribution of eggs in a single nest. The top layer of eggs all developed into males, the middle layers produced a 50-50 ratio of sexes, and the bottom layers all hatched into females."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 101.
It is also of interest that a majority of the larger dinosaurs were vegetarians, and many of the carnivorous dinosaurs prayed upon other dinosaurs. This would explain why dinosaurs could exist on the earth contemporaneously with man—before the Flood and perhaps after it,—without being a major threat to him.
"Dinosaurs were mostly vegetarians, despite their enormous size and decidedly carnivorous appearance. One exception was the mammoth Tyrannosaurus rex, which apparently ate other dinosaurs."—*Asimov’s Book of Facts (1979), p. 136.
Oddly enough, the dinosaurs are often displayed in museums as an outstanding proof of evolution,—when, in fact, they are no proof at all! (1) They were all non-evolving, distinct species, and (2) their sudden disappearance from our planet cannot be explained by evolutionary theories.
As with many animals, the dinosaurs apparently gathered into groups in time of danger. The rising waters of the Flood finally overtook and buried them beneath water and sediment. Today, we find their bones in so-called "dinosaur graveyards." The entombment of such vast numbers of these large creatures demands a terrible worldwide catastrophe.
The fact that they collected together in the crisis, before dying, indicates that they were drowned by the Flood rather than dying afterward. Tell those you meet that the dinosaurs are another evidence of the Flood and another denial of evolution.
"As the layer [cut out of a New Mexico hillside] was exposed, it revealed a most remarkable dinosaurian graveyard in which there were literally scores of skeletons, one on top of another and interlaced with one another. It would appear that some catastrophe had overtaken these dinosaurs, so that they all died together and were buried together."—*Edwin Colbert, Men and Dinosaurs (1968), p. 141.
In Wyoming, dinosaur bones were found "piled in like logs in a jam." In the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado (the Morrison formation of the Jurassic), over 300 dinosaurs of many different types have been dug out.
"Innumerable bones and many fine skeletons of dinosaurs and other associated reptiles have been quarried from these badlands, particularly in the 15-mile [24 km] stretch of river to the east of Steveville, a stretch that is a veritable dinosaurian graveyard."—*Edwin Colbert, The Age of Reptiles, p. 141.
Evolutionary theory declares that the "age of the dinosaurs"—and the death of the dinosaurs—occurred millions of years before man evolved on this planet. But there is clear evidence that dinosaurs and humans were living on earth at the same time. In chapter 13, Ancient Man, we went into detail on the events at Glen Rose, Texas, where human footprints intermingled with dinosaur tracks in the same stratum of mud—sometimes with human footprints on top of the dinosaur tracks. This is known as the Cretaceous Glen Rose formation, located in flat limestone beds near the small town of Glen Rose, Texas, and is found for some distance along the Paluxy River, west of town. The tracks occur in trails; and, in two or three instances, the dinosaur and human trails cross each other,—with two known instances in which human and dinosaur tracks actually overlap each other. Books and films of these tracks have been produced. (See the excellent book, Tracking Those Incredible Dinosaurs and the People Who Knew Them, by John Morris, 240 pp.)
There is a simple answer to the question of why dinosaurs are only found in the strata of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous—the three divisions of the Mesozoic Era. On the basis of Flood geology, the answer is simple enough: They could run faster than conifers, trilobites, ocean corals, amphibians (such as frogs), plants, and fish, all of which we find in the so-called "Paleozoic Era"; but they had a more lumbering gait than the faster mammals and birds, which we find in the "Cenozoic Era."
MOUNTAIN BUILDING—During the Flood, vast amounts of water came from the skies; yet, according to Genesis 7:20, the surface of the world did not have high mountains during the deluge.
(1) If the Flood had covered the highest mountains we have today, there would now be no exposed continents, because there would now be too much water in the world. (2) If mountain building had not taken place after the Flood, there would be no exposed continents now; since the waters covered the highest pre-Flood mountains (Genesis 7:20).
Oceans would have forever covered the world if mountain building had not occurred—but providentially it did. (By "mountain building," we include not only the production of our present mountains and ranges, but also the raising of the continental masses,—which involved the sinking of the ocean basins.)
The ocean basins of our present world are much deeper than before the Flood; for they must now serve as reservoirs to hold massive amount of water which at that time poured from the skies and burst forth from the ground. Before the Flood, the sky had a thick water canopy of "waters which were above the expanse," and the ground had underground channels and aqueducts filled with "the waters which were below the expanse" (Genesis 1:7).
Not only are the ocean basins deeper since the Flood, but the mountains are higher also:
Mount Everest is 29,028 feet [8,848 m] above sea level, and the deepest part of the ocean (the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific) is 35,810 feet [10,915 m] deep. The highest mountain is 5.5 miles [8.85 km] above sea level, and the deepest depression is 6.78 miles [10,914 km] below it!
Scientists have found abundant evidence of mountain building. They call it "orogeny." On the basis of fossil evidence, it is generally believed that most of our mountain ranges uplifted during the Pleistocene or late Pliocene (both of which occurred shortly after the Flood). This would agree with Flood events. A leading evolutionist geology expert writes:
"Despite the fact that references are scattered and the data have never been fully assembled, the worldwide distribution of these movements is striking. In North America late Pliocene or Pleistocene movements involving elevations of thousands of feet are recorded in Alaska and in the Coast Ranges of southern California . . The Alps were conspicuously uplifted in Pleistocene and late pre-Pleistocene time. In Asia there was great early Pleistocene uplift in Turkestan, the Pamira, the Caucasus, and central Asia generally. Most of the vast uplift of the Himalayas is ascribed to the ‘latest Tertiary’ and Pleistocene. In South America the Peruvian Andes rose at least 5,000 feet [1,524 m] in post-Pliocene time . . In addition to these tectonic movements many of the high volcanic cones around the Pacific border, in western and central Asia and in eastern Africa, are believed to have been built up to their present great heights during the Pliocene and Pleistocene."—*R.F. Flint, Glacial Geology and the Pleistocene Epoch (1947), pp. 514-515.
Immense crustal movements occurred during the Pleistocene or late Pliocene. Mountains rose and basins sank. Water flowed into those basins, and under its great weight they sank still further. (A similar sinking occurred in Antarctica, which sunk under the weight of miles of ice piled on top of it.)
Rock strata buckled, folded, went up or down, and sometimes was thrust sideways a short distance. Still other strata were overturned. Out of all of this came our present great, non-volcanic mountain ranges.
Scientists cannot provide a reasonable explanation of such ranges, but they do try to describe the results. The term, "folded mountains," is frequently used to describe this activity. This vast pushing together of earth masses was accompanied by terrific pressures on rocks that caused many of them to be crushed.
"The most conspicuous and perhaps also the most significant structural features of the face of the earth are the great belts of folded mountains, like those of the Himalayas, the Andes, and the Appalachians, the so-called orogenic [mountain-building] belts."—*W.H. Bucher, "Fundamental Properties of Orogenic Belts," in Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, August 1951, p. 514.
"A uniquely satisfactory theory of mountain building still eludes us."—*R.H. Dott and *R.L. Batten, Evolution of the Earth (1971), p. 417.
"The cause of the deformation of the earth’s outer layers and the consequent building of mountains still effectually evades an explanation."—*A.J. Eardley, "The Cause of Mountain Building: An Enigma," in American Scientist, June 1957, p. 189.
Folded mountains is but one of the two major types; the other is volcanic mountains. Both had their origin at about the same time, although volcanic activity on a much-smaller scale has continued since then.
Evolutionists theorize that mountains rise at a uniformitarian, very slow rate of 1 kilometer [.62 mi] each million years. But the theory does not fit the facts. The Cascades in the Pacific Northwest are one of the tallest ranges in America, yet geologists declare them to be the youngest mountain range in North America.
"If mountains are rising at the rate of 1 kilometer [.62 mi] in 1 million years, why are some mountains so high if they are [classified by geologists as] so young."—Ariel Roth, "Some Questions about Geochronology," in Origins, Vol. 13, no. 2 (1986), pp. 80-81.
SUBTERRANEAN STREAMS—There is an interesting historical statement in the book of Genesis regarding the beginning of the Flood: "The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened" (Genesis 7:11).
Much is involved in that sentence. Prior to the Flood, massive quantities of water were in the ground, and the fountains broke up—and geysered out. Enormous amounts of water were in the water vapor canopy overhead—and the windows of heaven opened—and it poured down.
It appears that the greater portion of the water in the Flood—now in the oceans—came out of the earth, not out of the skies. This upwelling of water in gigantic geysers caused violent upheavals on the surface, but also below it. The ground became tortured, crunched, folded, as it attempted to adapt to the immense forces unleashed. In addition, continents began to arise and seafloors began to sink.
(A remarkable insight about water in the ground, as an indication of a recent Flood, is to be found in "The Earth Hasn’t Dried Out Yet," in Appendix 5: "Things to Think About, in Effects of the Flood on our website.)
VOLCANISM—(*#2/4 When Water and Magma Mix*) But there was another fountain that also opened. This was the basins of underground molten magma. When the water came out of the ground, earth’s geologic system itself was reduced to havoc. Material had to shift in order to fill the major gaps produced when the water left. Huge cracks developed—and water from above went downward and made contact with molten magma.
The Flood had begun. The fountains of the great deep had broken up, and water poured out. Soon lava began flowing out also. These volcanoes, in turn, produced several other effects which we will note shortly. The release of so much water caused immense low and high pressures within the earth itself. Gigantic cracks sent lava closer to the surface. Water pouring down these cracks hit the molten rock, and exploding jets of lava poured out at the earth’s surface, producing thousands of volcanoes.
Krakatoa was a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra. It had been venting for several days, when a lateral (sideways) crack developed. Seawater poured through that crack, and then went straight down the main vent hole. That caused the explosion.
Next to the Tambora explosion in 1815, the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883 was the most violent explosion of the past several hundred years. What would it be like to have a dozen Krakatoas going off at the same time!
That one 1883 volcano caused a worldwide drop in temperatures that lasted five years. A similar effect occurred after Tambora’s eruption in 1815. New England received six inches of snow in June 1816, and temperatures there went as low as 37 degrees F [2.8o C] that August (National Geographic, December 1943).
There are literally thousands of extinct volcanoes at Pleistocene and even post-Pleistocene levels around the globe. That means they were active near the end of the Flood and for a time thereafter.
"During past geological ages, lava flowed much more freely than now; it not only spouted from craters, but also pushed upward from immense cracks in the planet’s crust. Earth’s most stupendous rock formation, stretching for more than a thousand miles [1609 km] along the shores of Canada and Alaska, was squeezed out in such fashion. Oozing lava built great plateaus which now cover 200,000 square miles [517,980 km2] in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and northern California. An even larger eruption created India’s famous Deccan plateau, whose once molten rock extends as much as 2 miles [3.2186 km] below the surface. Argentina, South Africa and Brazil have similar plateaus."—*Ga1y Webster, "Volcanoes: Nature’s Blast Furnaces," in Science Digest, November 1957, p. 5.
"The presence of enormous masses of igneous [volcanic] rock all over the world is another problem for uniformitarianism. Often they are found intruding into previously deposited sedimentary rocks or on the surface covering vast areas of earlier deposits. The Columbia Plateau, of the northwestern United States, is a tremendous lava plateau of almost incredible thickness covering about 200,000 square miles [517,980 km2] . . Nothing ever seen by man in the present era can compare with whatever the phenomena were which caused the formation of these tremendous structures. The principle of uniformity breaks down completely at this important point of geologic interpretation. Some manifestation of catastrophic action such as the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep during the Flood is sufficient."—John C. Whitcomb, The World that Perished (1988), pp. 84, 86.
It is clear that old lava flows are found not only on the ground but below it, yet in no instance are lava beds from ancient volcanoes ever found below the Cambrian level. The beginning of the Cambrian marks the beginning of the Flood. Thus volcanic action took place throughout the Flood, and afterward as well,—but not before.
Volcanic action not only occurred for a time after the Flood, but also during the Flood and as it was receding. We know this because of pillow lavas. This is a special rounded pillow-like shape that lava will form when ejected from a volcano underwater. Such lava is found in great abundance all over the world, including Canada:
"Pillow lavas . . are common in many parts of the Canadian Shield."—*W.G.Q. Johnston, "Pillow Lava and Pahoehoe: A Discussion, "in Journal of Geology, 77:730 (1969).
"Pillow lavas, produced as fluid lava cools underwater, is the most abundant volcanic rock on earth."—*J.G. Moore, "Mechanism for Formation of Pillow Lava," in American Scientist, 63:269 (1975).
MAGNETIC CHANGES—Magnetic changes in earth’s core, caused by structural corrections occurring within the earth, repeatedly took place at this time. These were caused by displaced earth, water, and volcanic explosions. This topic is dealt with in chapter 20, Paleomagnetic Dating. [Due to a lack of space, we had to omit nearly all of that chapter; but you will find it on our website.]
VOLCANIC POLLUTANTS—For the most part, air-borne pollutants do not stay aloft in the atmosphere very long. Particles of soot or dust in the troposphere (reaching to the top of the clouds, or to 12 miles [19.3 km] up) generally settle or wash out, in rain or snow, within a few weeks. Gases are absorbed by moisture within four months.
But when pollutants are shot up into the stratosphere (between 10 and 30 miles [16-48 km] up), they may remain there for years. Volcanoes are one of the only natural causes of this. Large amounts of dust particles were hurled into the stratosphere by thousands of volcanoes.
"Perhaps the heaviest polluters of the stratosphere are volcanic eruptions: Lofting an ash cloud laden with sulfur dioxide perhaps 12 miles [19 km], a major eruption can shroud an entire hemisphere in a veil of particles that reduces sunshine and lowers ground temperatures.
"Once aloft, high-altitude pollutants are assured a long stay. Unruffled by the weather and vertical air mixing of the troposphere, the stratosphere is cleansed by only one circulation pattern. While strong east-west winds blow the air of the stratosphere around the globe, a languid horizontal drift gradually carries pollution toward the Poles. High-altitude winds in the middle latitudes draw some air from the stratosphere downward into the troposphere, and the rest eventually sinks in the frigid polar areas, at last returning its freight of pollutants to earth."—*Oliver E. Allen, The Atmosphere (1983), p. 142.
RAPID COOLING —There are over 10,000 extinct volcanoes in the world today. This includes the seamounts under the ocean. They had their origin in the catastrophic conditions below the surface of the earth at the time of the Flood. Thousands of volcanoes poured forth so much smoke that they darkened the sky. The result was a rapid cooling of the earth.
When Krakatoa blew its top in 1883, the explosion was heard for thousands of miles. Over a square mile [2.5899 km2] of dirt was blown into the skies. According to H. Wexler of the U.S. Weather Bureau, it took three years before the Krakatoa dust settled to earth again. He also tells us that as much as 20 percent of the solar radiation may be reduced after just one severe volcanic eruption.
The Krakatoa dust caused a definite lowering of worldwide temperatures for about two years. Enough dust had settled by then, that temperatures rather quickly began to return to normal. Yet Krakatoa was only one volcano. At the close of the Flood, when several thousand volcanoes were erupting at the same time, climatic conditions dramatically and quickly changed throughout the world. When they subsided, the climate could again warm up.
A similar explosion occurred in the East Indies in 1815:
"On 7 April 1815, Mount Tambora, on a small island east of Java, exploded. Thirty-six cubic miles [150 km3] of rock and dust were hurled into the upper atmosphere. For that reason, sunlight was reflected to a greater extent than usual, and temperatures on Earth were lower than usual for a year or so. In New England, for instance, 1816 was unusually cold, and there were freezing spells in every month of that year, even July and August. It was called the year without a summer."—*lsaac Asimov, Asimov’s New Guide to Science (1984), p. 169.
An increase of carbon dioxide, from volcanic emissions of ash, would raise the temperature but little. Even an eightfold increase in CO2 would raise the mean temperature by only about 2° F. But the dust factor (aerosols) would decrease the temperature significantly and more effectively. Scientists tell us that volcanic action, sustained over several years, could trigger an ice age.
"An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere . . could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.52K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age."— *S.I. Rasool and *S.H. Schneider, "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large increases on Global Climate," in Science, 173 (3992):138-141 (1971).
Rapid cooling, induced by hundreds and thousands of volcanic explosions just after the Flood, brought on the ice age.
FREEZING OF POLES—(*#3/2 Killed, Frozen, and Buried*) Water changes temperature more slowly than does soil or rock. Polar seas helped slow the freezing of the poles; but when the freezing of polar waters finally occurred, they locked in the cold all the more solidly.
At some point, the following scenario probably took place:
Amid the eruptions, explosions, and pollution of 10,000 volcanoes, the poles froze and the animals, in the far north, were overwhelmed by the cold. One of these was the mammoth, a type of gigantic elephant.
"The extinction of the wooly mammoth in northern Eurasia should be mentioned. In Siberia alone some 50,000 mammoth tusks have been collected and sold to the ivory trade, and there are rare occurrences of whole animals preserved in frozen ground."—*R.F. Flint, Glacial and Pleistocene Geology (1957), p. 470.
Not only mammoths but a number of other animals were rapidly frozen. Here is one scientist’s listing of the different species which were quickly frozen:
"The extensive silty alluvium, now frozen, in central Alaska contains numerous mammal fauna . . Freezing has preserved the skin and tissue of some of the mammals. The faunal list includes two [types of] bears, dire wolf, wolf, fox, badger, wolverine, saber-tooth cat, jaguar, lynx, wooly mammoth, mastodon, two horses, camel, saiga antelope, four bisons, caribou, moose, stag-moose, elk, two sheep, musk-ox and yak types, ground sloth, and several rodents."—*Op. cit., p. 471.
One field zoologist, *Sanderson, tried to visualize the possible circumstances that could have caused such quick-frozen specimens as he had seen in the far north. The animal remains appeared to have undergone both the effects of violent storm conditions and rapid freezing.
"In Alaska . . the mammals and other animals, with one or two significant exceptions, were all literally torn to pieces while still fresh. Young and old alike were cast about, mangled and then frozen. There are also, however, other areas where the animals are mangled, but had time to decompose before being frozen . . Beyond these again, there are similar vast masses of animals, including whole families or herds, all piled together into gulleys and riverbeds and other holes, but where only bones remained."—*Ivan T. Sanderson, "The Riddle of the Frozen Giants," in Saturday Evening Post, January 16, 1960, p. 83.
Violent winds would help explain why we find large quantities of remains clumped together, either frozen in hollows in northern ground or as fossils contained within pockets in sedimentary strata farther south. The lack of sunlight from volcanic dust overhead would bring on both the intense cold in northern latitudes, as well as violent storms that would reach down into warmer areas in the south.
What could cause all this? *Sanderson, a non-believer in the Genesis account, decided the storms and sudden freezing was caused by gases and smoke shooting skyward from large numbers of volcanoes! Here is his vivid description!
"A sudden mass extrusion of dusts and gases would cause the formation of monstrous amounts of rain and snow, and it might even be so heavy as to cut out sunlight altogether for days, weeks, months or even years if the crustal movements continued. Winds beyond anything known today would be whipped up, and cold fronts of vast lengths would build up with violent extremes of temperature on either side. There would be forty days and nights of snow in one place, continent-wide floods in another, and roaring hurricanes, seaquakes and earthquakes bringing on landslides and tidal waves in others."—*Ibid.
The freezing of the poles had two major effects. (1) Vast quantities of water were locked into ice in the polar regions, and (2) Sheets of ice slid southward partway down the continents. Popularly known as the "ice age," this is scientifically known as the period of glaciation. It was not until the Flood receded that the ice sheets could begin their inexorable march southward. The ice sheets made the air above them extremely cold.
"Because incident solar radiation is mostly reflected from a snow surface, the air above an extensive snow cover is colder, and atmospheric pressure decreases more with altitude in the colder air. This tends to create an upper ‘cold trough’ above an extensive snow cover."—*L.D. Williams, "Effect of Insulation Changes on Late Summer Snow Cover in Northern Canada, "in Proceedings of the WMO/IAMAP Symposium on Long-Term Climatic Fluctuations (1979), p. 444.
Evolutionists declare that it requires many thousands of years for ice caps to form, and that their very existence is an evidence of long ages. During World War II, a squadron of eight P-38 Lightning fighter planes left a U.S. Army air base in Greenland, headed for Britain. But a blizzard forced them to turn back. Although they crash-landed, all the pilots were rescued. In 1988, the U.S. Army decided to salvage those aircraft. But, instead of dusting off a little snow from them, as they expected, the airplanes were found to be buried under 250 feet [76.2 m] of ice! (*Life, December 1992).
RESIDUAL CATASTROPHISM—This is the name given to effects which occurred during a short period of time just after the Flood was finished. Most of what we see about us today is a result of that time span. Let us now consider some of these effects:
The Glacial Period
GLACIATION—There is abundant evidence that northern Asia, all of Canada, and about a fourth of the United States was once covered by glacial ice.
These massive ice sheets were caused by two factors: (1) The darkening of the skies by volcanic dust, and (2) the loss of earth’s thermal blanket. This was the water vapor canopy in the atmosphere that formerly gave our planet a continual "greenhouse" effect.
The falling of snow stored enormous amounts of water in the form of ice. Today the remnants of it are found primarily in Greenland and Antarctica, but also in northern Canada and northern Asia. If this stored water was suddenly released, all the great seaports of the world would be covered by the seas.
Research scientists have discovered that hardly any snow falls in the Antarctic. From the standpoint of rain and snow, it is "the driest continent on the planet." Yet the ice in Greenland is over a mile [1.6 km] deep, and in Antarctica it is as much as five miles [8 km]. Originally these great polar ice caps must have been much larger. When did all that snow fall on the Antarctic continent?
During the ice age, so much snow was falling that glaciers were formed which flowed outward toward the equator:
"Geologists and climatologists have tried for more than a century to explain the recurrence of glaciation on a continental scale. Theory after theory has been suggested, but all explain too little or too much. None can be considered satisfactory, at least in its present form."—*J. Gilluly, *A.C. Waters, and *A.O. Woodford, Principles of Geology (1952), p. 319.
The Canadian ice sheet, growing from the northeast, left much of Alaska and the Pacific slope unglaciated but extended southward until the rim of the ice stretched over much of the northern United States. At its maximum southern extension, the boundary of the ice stretched from Seattle, Washington, over to Bismark, North Dakota, and then veered southeastward, following close to the line of the modern Missouri River, past Omaha and St. Louis, then eastward past Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York, stopping at the southern edge of Long Island.
When the ice sheets were at their farthest extent, they covered over 17 million square miles [44 km2] of land in both polar regions or some 30 percent of Earth’s present land surface. This is three times as much land as is covered by ice today.
These glaciers scoured, scored, and polished solid granite. In other places they left dumps of sediments along their sides (lateral moraine) and also where they finally stopped (terminal moraine). The glaciers really left their mark on our planet!
One example of the impact of these glaciers is to be found in the Canadian Shield and the Great Lakes in America. The ice as it moved southward scoured thousands of square miles of bare granite in Canada and cut out the Great Lakes. These lakes were originally much larger than today.
There is still much water locked up in ice in the far north and south. The earth’s load of ice, amounting to nearly 9 million cubic miles [37 million km3], covers about 10 percent of its land area. About 86 percent of the ice is piled up in the Antarctic continental glacier and 10 percent in the Greenland glacier. The remaining 4 percent is located in Iceland, Alaska, the Himalayas, the Alps, and a few other locations. If the 23 million cubic kilometers [14 cu mi] of ice in the world melted at the same time, the volume of the oceans would increase 1.7 percent. That would be enough for the sea level to rise about 180 feet [549 dm]. The Empire State Building would be in water to nearly the 20th floor. Scientists estimate that the amount of water locked up in the oceans at the height of the ice age lowered sea level by about 400 feet [1,219 dm]. This could be one of the reasons why the filling of the ocean basins seemed to pause for a time.
It is estimated that a drop in the earth’s average annual temperature of only 3.50 C is sufficient to make glaciers grow; whereas a rise of the same amount would melt Antarctica and Greenland to bare rock in a matter of centuries.
(At the present time, an increase of world carbon dioxide, primarily from burning of fossil fuels, threatens us with a "greenhouse effect" and a melting of the glaciers; whereas the opposite trend toward pollution of the atmosphere, by dust and smog, throws particles into the air that screen sunlight from the earth, resulting in a cooling effect. Experts are generally agreed that the warming trend may, at present, be the more powerful of the two.)
The total coverage of glaciers was unbelievably vast.
"Some 4,000,000 square miles [10 million km2] of North America, 2,000,000 square miles [5 million km2] or more of Europe, and as yet little known but possibly comparable area in Siberia were glaciated. In addition, many lesser areas were covered by local ice caps. Thousands of valley glaciers existed in mountains where today there are either no glaciers or only small ones."—*W.D. Thornbury, Principles of Geomorphology (1954), p. 354.
Yet geologists have no adequate explanation for what caused this glacial activity.
"The underlying cause of glaciation remains in doubt . . At least 29 ‘explanations’ have been advanced to account for widespread glaciations. Most of these had little chance of survival from the first, but others enjoyed some degree of success until they were rendered untenable by subsequently accumulated information."—*William L. Stokes, "Another Look at the Ice Age," in Science, October 28, 1985, p. 815.
INCREASED TROPICAL RAINFALL—It is well-known that there was much more rainfall in the lower latitudes for a time after the Flood. This occurred simultaneous with the glacial flows in the northern latitudes. Even areas which later became deserts, such as the Sahara, had an abundance of rain. Lakes and continental lowland basins had higher water levels. All the rivers of the world for a time carried a far greater volume of water.
SUDDEN WARMING—Just as surely as there was a sudden freezing, so there was a rather sudden warming afterward. That fact summarizes certain geologic evidence.
Recall again to mind the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883. ONE major volcanic explosion was enough to darken the skies for thousands of square miles, send dust around the world that remained for two years, and cool the planet for over a year. But then everything warmed up rather quickly after that.
Next we consider the ten thousands of now extinct volcanoes that, at some earlier time, blew up and poured forth lava, bombs, and dust all at about the same time. The result was not a two-year cooling, but an ice age that lasted for an indeterminate length of time. When the volcanoes subsided, the dust settled, and much of the planet warmed up again. This brought a rather rapid receding of the glacial sheets.
"The data indicate a rather sudden change from more or less stable glacial conditions to postglacial conditions."—*D.B. Ericson, et al, "Late-Pleistocene Climates and Deep-Sea Sediments," in Science, August 31, 1956, p. 388.
Evidence for a rapid warming up has been obtained from examination of deep-sea sediments, river delta silting, shoreline indications, and pluvial lake desiccation (drying up). Rapid changes in each of these reveals a rather quick climatic warming.
Sudden warming would quickly increase melting of ice, draining of glacial lakes, and water runoff through the rivers, onto the deltas, and into the oceans.
"The level of the Great Basin lakes fell from the highest terraces to a position close to that observed at present. The silt and clay load of the Mississippi River was suddenly retained in the alluvial valley and delta. A rapid ice retreat opened the northern drainage systems of the Great Lakes and terrestrial temperatures rose to nearly interglacial levels in Europe. In each case the transition is the most obvious feature of the entire record."—*Wallace Broeker, et al., "Evidence for an Abrupt Change in Climate Close to 11,000 Years Ago," in American Journal of Science, June 1960, p. 441.
(The "11,000 year" number, given in the above article title, comes from radiocarbon dating; but as we learn in chapter 6, Inaccurate Dating Methods, the actual date would be much less.)
It is radiation from the sun that warms the earth. A greenhouse effect exists that helps to hold in that heat. This is caused by water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone in the atmosphere. The Flood removed much of the water vapor and locked large amounts of carbon into fossils, coal, and oil. With the greenhouse effect greatly weakened, and the sunlight blocked by volcanic dust, the glacial sheets moved southward. But the volcanoes added more carbon to the air and it remained after the dust settled. Sunlight could again penetrate and water vapor was slightly restored. So a warming up occurred.
"We are now sending about 5.5 billion tons [4.1 billion mt] of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year; only half that much can be absorbed by oceans and forests. Some scientists predict that if the current level of fossil fuel use continues, by [A.D.] 2030 there could be a 3-to-9 degree rise in world temperatures. Such change should melt polar ice, raise ocean levels and seriously disrupt agriculture and ecosystems."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 202.
It is of interest that so much evidence is being found that points to a worldwide change in temperature and climate, that a new theory has been developed to explain it. Calling it turnover pulse hypothesis, *Elisabeth Vrba of Yale says that there were many climatic changes, and each one killed off some species and, in some unknown way, magically triggered the sudden evolving of new ones. She has gathered data from all over the world indicating that at least one massive climatic change occurred at some time in the past.
A FLOOD MODEL—(*#4/5 Petrified Wood / #5/22 Things to Think about*) You will notice that in describing the effects of the Flood we have viewed many pieces of a puzzle. Let us for a moment seek to put them together. The following suggested pattern would be what scientists would call a "Flood and post-Flood model":
Before the Flood, the climate was warm from pole to pole, and was caused by the vapor canopy and certain other factors. No high mountains existed, and there were only broad rivers and small seas. Dinosaurs were alive, but the largest of them were plant eaters, and the fiercest may have occupied themselves with attacking the vegetarian ones (just as the gigantic sperm whale only attacks the giant squid, while ignoring the other ocean creatures). Yet, either way, because of man’s sin "the earth was filled with violence" (Genesis 6:13)—probably both by man and beast, and between them.
The Flood began all at once, as the rain fell and reservoirs of water beneath the surface burst forth. Enormous cavities were found in the ground, where the water had collapsed inward. The geologic balance was upset and gigantic cracks opened, letting water pour back downward into pools of hot magma farther below.
At the same time, the ocean basins began lowering and/or continents rising to some extent. More lowering and rising would occur later. Water would have been the calmest in the far north and south, and ocean currents would have been the slowest there.
"Superimposed on all the general turmoil of the Flood would be the effect of the moon’s gravitational pull on the worldwide ocean. At the present time the moon pulls up a "bulge" of water and, as the earth rotates beneath it, this bulge is seen as the tide coming in; however, the waters today never go beyond their prescribed limits.
"In the Genesis Flood, the bulge remained and was not dissipated at the shorelines so that the earth, continuing to spin beneath it, would cause a buildup of tremendous currents. The velocity of the water traveling over the submerged earth could have been hundreds of miles per hour directly beneath the bulge but taper off to nearly zero towards the poles of the earth’s axis.
"The process would produce great quantities of sediment and lead to a complex but, nevertheless, organized imposition of forces upon the deposition rates of sediment and suspended matter."—Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (1987), p. 111.
Terrific storms occurred, and the water level continued to rise. Rapidly flowing water, massive wave action, rapid sedimentary coverage, water deposition and suction action, gigantic mats of vegetation, volcanic fire and lava, seismic ("tidal") waves—all worked together to wreck havoc.
Marine animals were washed up by the roiling waters and covered by "Cambrian" sediments. More marine animals were covered by "early Paleozoic" gravel, sand, and clay.
The slowest land animals and some fish were buried in "Silurian" dirt. By now the waters were higher and began covering the seed plants with "Devonian" soils.
Soon, the rising waters reached the conifers and buried them beneath "Permian" deposits. The slowest of the lumbering dinosaurs were overtaken next, and were covered by "Triassic" soils.
By now the storms had become so violent that animals were thrown together into pockets and "fossil graveyards" became common.
Eventually, the "Jurassic" and "Cretaceous" sediments had buried the last of the dinosaurs, and the fleeter mammals were being overtaken and buried by "Tertiary" earth. Then the last of them were entombed underneath "Quaternary" sediments.
Almost no humans were buried, almost no apes, and relatively few birds. Why? Because they knew how to keep going on to the very end, apes and man could climb to the very highest points and cling to trees and rocks. And when the end came, there were no more burials, only a sinking through seas to the ocean floor beneath where they would decay away or be eaten by fish still alive in the ocean.
As the waters advanced, earth movements increased, and these, along with the violence of storms and volcanic action—resulted in "discontinuities"—locations where an arrangement of vertically-stacked strata would end, while horizontally next to it a differently-arranged strata pattern would begin.
Soon there was a worldwide sea; for the waters had covered the highest mountains, which never had been high to begin with (Genesis 7:20).
Gigantic mountain building now began in earnest. The lowest basins had been first to fill with water and, under its weight, began to settle. So much water had been taken out of the ground that it was structurally looser. Water flowing down volcanic cracks caused massive explosions. As the waters covered most of the earlier volcanoes in the oceans (now called seamounts), seawater would flow down vent holes—and cause terrific explosions, which would blow off their tops.
As the Flood receded, under the impact of all that was taking place, the great ocean basins lowered and the continents rose higher—all part of a balancing act that scientists call geostasy. Once or twice there was a pause that caused our present continental shelves. This occurred either while the oceans were initially filling or later, as these mammoth earth movements were taking place.
Sinking pressures, rising pressures, and lateral pressures—resulted in gigantic folding. And huge mountain chains were lifted up. The Appalachians probably arose earlier, for today they show evidence of having been rounded by Flood waters. Many other ranges were pushed up. One of the last ranges to arise was the northern Cascade Mountains in Washington State, for they show little evidence of Flood erosion.
As more and more dry land appeared, volcanic ranges also arose. Belts of volcanoes encircle the Pacific Ocean, run through the Mediterranean, and elsewhere.
The glacier sheets advanced outward from the polar regions. These probably covered much of Europe, Asia, and North America for several centuries before receding. But even after they did, few civilizations were able to enter those colder areas until they warmed up sufficiently. This did not occur until just before the time of Christ.
While the northern latitudes were wrapped in colder weather, Egypt, the Near East, and India had ideal weather. It was probably similar to Southern California, although with much better rainfall.
The gradual warming of the planet resulted in several major effects that began just after the time of Christ: (1) The Near East, where civilization had once been centered, slowly became a hot, desolate wasteland. (2) Warming up, northern Europe gradually filled with racial groups, which then invaded and conquered the Roman Empire. (3) Europe became the center of civilization in the West. (4) The Near East became a dry, nearly treeless desert.
CONCLUSION—(*#6/38 Additional Evidences of the Flood / #7 The Water Explosion*) A number of variant Flood models could have been presented which probably would have summarized the data just as well. But they would not be much different from this one.
The facts, taken as a whole, point to a worldwide Flood, and not to long ages of sedimentary strata production and transitional species evolution.
The Flood was so universal and cataclysmic in its cause, scope, and results that it has had lasting effects on the earth, the sky, and all life forms from that day to this. It is impossible to discuss Creation and evolution without giving close attention to the Flood and its powerful effects.
EVOLUTION COULD NOT DO THIS
The trilobite is abundant in the very lowest fossil levels; but, according to *Levi Setti, its eye is said to have "possessed the most sophisticated eye lenses ever produced by nature," which required "knowledge of Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s law of refraction and the optics of birefringent crystal." He concludes: "The lenses look like they were designed by a physicist."
Because crayfish and lobsters live their lifes moving backward, they have an unusual internal plumbing system. The kidney is located in front of the mouth, so the gill circulation can carry the wastes away from the body. If the kidney outlet was near the back end as in most creatures, the wastes would be carried to the gills. This perfect design enables crayfish and lobsters to live efficiently, whether very slowly crawling forward or rapidly swimming backward.
One bacterium has small hairs twisted in a stiff spiral at one end of the creature. Upon closer microscopic examination, scientists were totally amazed to discover that this bacterium has a rotary engine! It spins this corkscrew like the propeller of a ship, driving itself forward through water. It can even reverse the engine! Researchers still do not understand how it is able to whirl the mechanism. Using this method of locomotion, it is able to attain speeds which would, if it were our size, propel it forward at 30 miles [48 km] per hour. Commenting on this, *Leo Janos in Smithsonian said that "nature invented the wheel." Another researcher, *Helmut Tributsch, declared: "One of the most fantastic concepts in biology has come true: Nature has indeed produced a rotary engine, complete with coupling, rotating axle, bearings, and rotating power transmission."
The theory of evolution is based on the idea that, in any given enviroment, only a certain organism will succeed and all others will fail and die out.
The monkey is said to have developed a tail so it can climb trees better, but the gibbon, manx cat and bear climb trees and they have no tails. the domestic cat climbs trees and has a tail, but does not use it for that purpose.
The horse has uncrowned teeth, long legs, and a bushy tail so it will be "fit for survival." The cow grazes in the same field and has crowned teeth, shorter legs, and a tail with a tuft on the end, and does just as well.
Why does the female duke of burgundy butterfly walk on six legs, while its mate only walks on four?
Evolutionists say that plants evolved berries to aid seed distribution by animals. Why then are some berries poisonous?
1 - Discuss and contrast the theory of uniformitarianism with the fact of catastrophism.
2 - Select one of the following topics and write a report on how it points to a former worldwide Flood: (1) the existence of sedimentary strata and fossils; (2) why smaller, slower fossils are found lower in the strata and larger, faster ones are found at higher levels; (3) the fact that fossil deposits were laid down so rapidly; (4) the fact that, beginning with the lowest fossil strata, the Cambrian, there is such a vast amount of fossils, yet below it there is next to nothing; (5) the existence of polystrate trees; (6) coal and oil deposits; (7) the origin of graded bedding; (8) unity of the strata; (9) strata sequence and overthrusts.
3 - There are several evidences of what conditions were like before the Flood. In a brief paragraph or two, discuss one of the following: (1) pre-Flood climate; (2) pre-Flood atmosphere; (3) pre-Flood oceans.
4 - The Flood affected the entire world, and it was mentioned in later records. Select one of the following topics and write a half-page article on it: (1) Flood stories; (2) Noah’s name in world languages; (3) the Flood in Chinese; (4) the size of Noah’s Ark in the Biblical record; (5) Flood chronology in the Biblical record.
5 - The Flood exerted the most powerful effects on our planet of any event since the six-day Creation. Select one of the following topics and write one or several paragraphs explaining how one of these effects points us to the Flood: (1) continental shelves; (2) seamount corals; (3) submarine canyons; (4) existence of the oceans; (5) higher lakes; (6) larger rivers; (7) immense erosion and sedimentation; (8) sedimentary strata; (9) varve dating; (10) dinosaurs; (11) mountain building; (12) subterranean streams; (13) volcanism; (14) volcanic pollutants; (15) glaciation; (16) increased tropical rainfall for a time afterward; (17) sudden warming.
6 - Write your own Flood model, indicating the possible sequence of events during and after the flood.