Foreigner said it for me
"You're as cold as ice, you're willing to sacrifice our love
You never take advice, someday you'll pay the price, I know"
The subject of Ice Cores as tools used in dating the age of the earth has been brought up more than once on this blog and the time has come to address the subject well and fully. I believe that there are several reasons that ice cores are not going to be able to be a reliable indicator of the age of the Earth. I believe that those who believe in an old age for the earth are seeking to find solid proof for their beliefs within those ever-changing and difficult to interpret set of glacial ice deposits found in the area of both poles.
One problem with using ice cores or tree rings or ocean floor sediments and so on as a way to date the Earth is that one absolutely has to use certain assumptions in the dating method that cannot be tested and proven. We don't have historical records of continual and documented ice core samples going back for thousands of years, so the results need to be interpreted within the light of the assumptions that are used in the process. This is why vast differences in the ages represented in ice cores are suggested by those within the long-ages scientific community and how YEC scientists find the ice cores make sense from their perspective as well.
For instance, some scientists believe they can prove a very long age for the earth by interpretation of sediment cores from the ocean floor. Yet there is an area in the Pacific Ocean the approximate size of the nation of Mexico that is almost entirely without sedimentation! Such a situation is not terribly difficult to explain if you postulate a world-wide flood that happened within the last five thousand years or so...but it takes backflips and flipflops of logic to try to explain it in a uniformitarian scenario.
This following post is by a scientist (Dr. Sean Pitman) who believes in intelligent design but also in longer ages. Yet he believes that evidences from the ice cores supports ages of thousands of years rather than long ages. Here is his summary statement:
First glance intuition is often very helpful in coming up with a good hypothesis to explain a given phenomenon, such as the hundreds of thousands of layers of ice found in places like Greenland and Antarctica. It seems down right intuitive that each layer found in these ice sheets should represent an annual cycle. After all, this seems to fit the uniformitarian paradigm so well. However, a closer inspection of the data seems to favor a much more recent and catastrophic model of ice sheet formation. Violent weather disturbances with large storms, a sudden cold snap, and high precipitation rates could very reasonably give rise to all the layers, dust bands, and isotope variations etc. that we find in the various ice sheets today.
So, which hypothesis carries more predictive power? Is there more evidence for a much warmer climate all around Greenland in the recent past or for the survival of the Greenland Ice sheet, without melting, for hundreds of thousands to millions of years? Both positions cannot be right. One of them has to be wrong. Can all the frozen temperate plants and animals within the Arctic Circle trump interpretation of ocean core sediments, coral dating, radiometric dating, sedimentation rate extrapolations, isotope matches between ocean and ice cores and Milankovitch cycles? Most scientists don't think so. Personally, I don't see why not? For me, the evidence of warm-weather animals and plants living all around Greenland around the entire Arctic Circle, is especially overwhelming.
The fact is that no system of interpreting ages of fossils or sea sediments or ice cores or tree rings exists that can be proven to be true. Ice cores in particular are exceedingly difficult to use as a method of dating because of so many factors that come into play as the drill goes deeper. I will post an online article at the end of this blog post that touches on some of these problems as an overview. Even people who believe in long ages for the earth are skeptical of using ice cores for dating.
One doesn't drill down into ice and find a tag that says "2000 BC" that identifies how many years of ice you have just drilled through. Experts will think they will have found evidences of a volcanic eruption as an age marker within the ice and then discover that other scientists have identified the same layer as representative of an entirely different eruption, just as a for instance. Here is an article that illustrates that, when it comes to ice layers and ice cores, all is not as it first seems...
From a secret US Army air base in Greenland, six P–38 Lightning fighter planes and two gigantic B–17 Flying Fortress bombers rose into the early dawn. The date was July 15, 1942, and they were headed for a British airfield to join the war against Hitler.
Heading east over the polar icecap, they ran into a massive blizzard. Flying blind, they heard that their first planned refueling stop, in Iceland, was ‘socked in’, forcing them to return to their home base. As they approached this, however, critically low on fuel, they found that it, too, was closed. Realising that their only hope was to crash-land on the icy wastes of Greenland’s east coast, they desperately searched till they found a break in the cloud cover.
The nose-wheel of the first plane to land hit a crevasse, which caused it to flip. Fortunately, the impact on the canopy of the 8-ton P–38 was cushioned by snow, and the pilot’s injuries were minor. After they saw this, the rest of the squadron came in with their wheels up for belly landings. The planes were only lightly damaged.
All the crewmen were rescued unharmed by dogsled, about nine days later. However, the planes had to be abandoned where they had slithered to a stop.1
In the years to follow, a few people occasionally recalled the legendary Lost Squadron of 1942, but it was only in 1980 that anyone thought of a salvage mission. U.S. airplane dealer Patrick Epps told his friend, architect Richard Taylor, that the planes would be like new. ‘All we’d have to do is shovel the snow off the wings, fill them with gas, crank them up and fly them off into the sunset. Nothing to it.’
It took the two of them many years, much money and several failed expeditions before the first real clue came. Using a sophisticated form of radar with the help of an Icelandic geophysicist, they located eight large shapes beneath the ice in 1988.
As a small, makeshift steam probe began to melt a hole in the ice, expedition members watched dumbstruck as more and more extensions were added to the hose, some 75 metres (250 feet) before reaching the first airplane!
None of the discoverers thought that the planes could possibly be buried under more than a light cover of snow and ice. And why would they? After all, the impression the general public has is that the buildup of glacial ice takes very long time periods — thousands of years for just a few metres (see ‘deep freeze salamanders’). [Ed. note: We were not claiming that the salvagers’ perceptions were correct. Published figures of average ice accumulation rates are quite a bit lower than 1½ m/year that clearly must be true here, but not nearly as low as the salvagers thought. But it shows how much the ‘millions-of-years’ ideas have permeated into the general public, and the point of this article was to undermine this common preconception, as the subtitle should make clear] In fact, ice cores in Greenland are used for dating, based on the belief that layers containing varying isotope ratios were laid down, somewhat like the rings of a tree, over many tens of thousands of years.2
It is the same sort of conditioning which makes many people instinctively think in terms of millions of years for coral reef growth, for stalactites to form, and so on. This is in spite of ample demonstrations that these things do not need vast time periods.3, 4, 5
Epps and Taylor realised that it would be impossible to dig or blast through this astonishing depth of solid ice, which had built up in less than 50 years. They returned in 1990 with a low-tech implement called a super gopher. This five-foot-high device, wound with copper coils through which hot water is pumped, melted a four-foot-wide shaft into the ice at about two feet an hour until it struck the wing of a B–17. A worker lowered down the shaft then used a hot water hose to make a cavern around the plane. To their disappointment, the huge bomber was crushed and mangled, beyond worthwhile salvage.
Dejected, the pair returned home. However, only a month later they realised that the more solidly-built P-38s would have had a much better chance of having survived the ice’s weight. In May, 1992, they returned with fresh financing from investors in a high-precision effort. True to expectations, the P–38 they located seemed in superb condition.
After many weeks of intense effort, the wings and fuselage were brought to the surface through a large opening made by using the ‘gopher’ to sink four more holes side by side. The pieces were helicoptered to a Greenland port, then sea-freighted to the US for final restoration. This turned out to be more difficult than imagined, as the plane had actually been more damaged by the crushing weight than met the eye. However, when operational again, it will be using around 80% of its original parts. Interestingly, the planes under the ice were in exactly the same pattern in which they had landed — except they had been moved (by glacial flow) three miles from their original location!
Evolutionists and other long-agers often say that ‘the present is the key to the past’. In that case, the 3000-metre-long ice core [brought up by the joint European Greenland Ice-core Project (GRIP) in Greenland in 1990–1992] would only represent some 2,000 years of accumulation. Allowing of course for compression of lower layers, (which is also offset by the inevitable aftermath of a global Flood, namely much greater precipitation and snowfall for a few centuries6) there is ample time in the 4,000 or so years since Noah’s day for the existing amounts of ice to have built up — even under today’s generally non-catastrophic conditions.
As usual, it is not the facts which speak against the Biblical account of a recent creation, but the mindset of our culture. ‘Millions of years’ are casually tossed around so often that we unconsciously perceive all natural changes as taking long timespans. That is why many are ‘amazed’ to hear of facts like 180 metres (600 feet) of layered sedimentary rock built up in months after the Mt. St Helens May 18, 1980 eruption.7 Or when hearing of real precious opal formed in months,8 or coal from simple heating of wood in mere months.9 Or about the flag, tent and sledge left at the South Pole by Antarctic explorer Amundsen in 1911 now being 40 feet under the ice,10 or this deeply buried lost squadron.
However, we should really not be surprised when the facts show that things generally happen more quickly than expected within the old-earth mindset, since ‘Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever’ (Psalm 119:160).
Addendum: would planes sink into ice?
A number of readers have contacted Creation magazine about the sensational information in this article. Recalling the common school experiment in which a wire tensioned with weights ‘sinks’ through a block of ice, some wondered whether the planes could have sunk to that depth. However, the wire sinks through the ice in the experiment only if it is done at room temperature. Do the same experiment with the whole apparatus in a freezer, which would mimic the situation with the planes, and it does not work.11 The common explanation for the wire/ice experiment that the pressure of the wire melts the ice is wrong — such a device does not generate enough pressure to melt the ice [see The wonders of water, in the section ‘Why is ice so slippery?’, for further discussion]. Heat transferred from the air in the room by the metallic wire, which is an efficient conductor of heat, melts the ice, which is a poor heat conductor, to allow the wire to ‘cut’ through.
Also, Jonathan Brombley (Paisley, UK) pointed out (Creation 20(2):5, March 1998):
It is true that the pressures involved would not cause the planes to descend through the ice but there is a simpler and more visual way to determine whether this has happened or not. To attain forward directional stability, aircraft must have their centre of mass ahead of what is termed their ‘aerodynamic center’. The centre of mass is moved forwards by siting engines and other heavy elements towards the front and adding control surfaces such as tail fins whose surface area pulls the aerodynamic centre to the rear. A simpler equivalent is the arrow (weight in the nose, flights at the rear) which attains forward directional stability by the same means.
The consequence is that, barring control mechanisms acting, an arrow or aircraft will pitch forward and fall nose-down when allowed to fall freely through a medium — whether air, water or ice. So if the aircraft had indeed moved through the ice, they would all have been found in the same nose-down position. They were not.
So the planes could not have sunk through the ice; they were buried by the accumulation of snow (which becomes ice as it is compacted).
References and notes
1. Information for this article is mostly from: ‘The Lost Squadron’ Life magazine 15(14):60–68, December 1992 and ‘Search for a Fork-Tailed Devil’ Compressed Air Magazine, pp. 30–36, March 1996. Return to text.
2. Several prominent ‘old-earth Christians’ have challenged the Bible’s account of a recent creation on the basis of such ice-core dating. However, work by creationist scientists such as DR Larry Vardiman of the Institute for Creation Research has shown that the assumptions involved are far from watertight and that the ice-core results may be understood within a young-earth framework. See his articles hyperlinked in Q&A: Ice Age. Return to text.
3. Creation 14(1):15, 1992. Return to text.
4. Creation 16(3):15, 1994. Return to text.
5. Creation 16(1):15, 1994. Return to text.
6. Creation 19(1):42–43, 1997. The GRIP ice-core (to be precise, 3028.8-m-long) is cited in W. Dansgaard et al., Nature 364(6343):218–220, 15 July 1993. Return to text.
7. Mount St Helens: Explosive evidence for catastrophe in Earth’s history, DR Steve Austin, Ph.D., CSF videos (produced by the Institute for Creation Research). Return to text.
8. Creation 17(1)14–17, 1995. Return to text
9. R. Hayatsu et al., Organic Geochemistry 6:463–471, 1984. These researchers at Argonne National Laboratories in the US combined wood, water and acidic clay, and heated in a sealed container (without oxygen, and no added pressure) at 150 oC for 2–8 months. [Ed. Note: Or to be more precise than was necessary in a family magazine, the reaction included the major wood stiffener, lignin; other reactions contained the other major wood component, cellulose. So the principle is the same. They are hydrothermal reactions, hence the explanation in the magazine that water was an ingredient — although obviously no scientific abstract would bother stating it — and an essential one. See E. Pennisi, ‘Water, water, everywhere’, Science News 143:121–5, 20 Feb. 1993]
In some of the longer runs (still far, far less than millions or even thousands of years!) obtained material which had the infrared spectra like those of ‘high rank coals’. Return to text.
10. Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 1995 p. A12. Return to text.
11. We did this experiment. With a number 1 guitar steel string over an ice block about 40x25x25 mm in size and weighted with 4 kg of water in two plastic milk bottles at room temperature, the wire cut through in 25 minutes, the ice re-freezing behind the cut. However, with the apparatus in a chest freezer, there was absolutely no movement in 8 hours. The pressure exerted by the wire? About 400 tonnes per square metre, which is enough to reduce the melting point of ice less than 0.5 Celsius degrees. As a matter of interest, a P-38 exerts a pressure of only 0.18 tonnes per square metre, enough to decrease the melting point about one five-thousandth of a degree! Return to text.
12. New Scientist, 139(1809):15, September 11, 1993. Return to text.
The P–38 Lightning was one of the deadliest planes to come out of WWII. Powered by twin Allison V–12 engines, it had one 20 mm cannon and four .50 calibre machine guns in its nose. Operational from 1941–49, the nickname given to it by German pilots, on account of its double tail, was Der Gabelschwanz Teufel (the fork-tailed devil). They are a highly prized collector’s item; only five were believed to be flying at the time the Lost Squadron P–38 was salvaged — under c. 75 metres (250 feet) of solid ice! Return to text.
Siberian Salamander Surprise
In the frozen wastes of Siberia, an amazing salamander is able to survive in suspended animation for years, deep-frozen at temperatures as low as –50 oC, only to thaw out and run off afterwards. Scientists are not yet sure of the exact mechanism, but, like some other animals, they almost certainly produce ‘anti-freeze’ chemicals to replace water in their tissues and cells.
Some have been found buried in ice which is believed to be from the Pleistocene Age — 12,000 years ago by evolutionary reckoning. Yet they still recovered when thawed out! Though researchers have discussed the idea of radiocarbon dating to test the idea that they could possibly be that old, they say that the creatures ‘probably fell to this depth much later, through deep cracks in the permafrost’.12
Whether so or not, the belief that ice layers only 14 metres (46 feet) down are many thousands of years old, in light of the ‘Lost Squadron’ experience, cannot be taken for granted. Return to text.
by Michael Oard
November 22, 2007
If you ask a youngster the question, “Was there really an ice age?” they might say rather quickly that there was. Then they may tell you that there were two of them. Of course, if you listen much longer, they will tell you that they saw both of those movies in the theater.
The ice age is a popular topic that is often discussed in school, at home, or in Hollywood. Sadly, most people hear the secular/uniformitarian view and don’t look at this subject from a biblical perspective. This is where it gets interesting, though. The secular view has no good mechanism to cause a single ice age, let alone the many they propose. But the Bible does have a mechanism. Let’s take a closer look.
Before I get too deep, let me define a few words you’ll need to know to help clarify this chapter:
Glacier: a large mass of ice that has accumulated from snow over the years and is slowly moving from a higher place.
Moraines: stones, boulders, and debris that have been carried and dropped by a glacier.
Uniformitarianism: the belief that rates today are the same as they were in the past, without the possibility of major catastrophes like worldwide floods.
Interglacial: a short period of warming between glacier growth/movement that caused glaciers to melt away.
Ice cores: cores of ice that have been drilled down into a glacier.
Ice Age: when seen in capital letters, refers to the biblical post-Flood Ice Age.
An ice age is defined as a time of extensive glacial activity in which substantially more of the land is covered by ice. During the Ice Age that ended several thousand years ago, 30 percent of the land surface of the earth was covered by ice (Figures 1 and 2). In North America an ice sheet covered almost all of Canada and the northern United States.
We know the extent of the Ice Age in the recent past because similar features, as observed around glaciers today, are also found in formerly glaciated areas, such as lateral and terminal moraines. A lateral moraine is a mound of rocks of all sizes deposited on the side of a moving glacier, while a terminal, or end, moraine is a mound of rocks bulldozed in front of the glacier.
Figure 3 shows a horseshoe-shaped moraine from a glacier that spread out from a valley in the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon. The two lateral moraines are 600 feet (183 m) high, while the end moraine is 100 feet (30 m) high, enclosing beautiful Wallowa Lake. Scratched bedrock and boulders are telltale signs of previous glaciation (Figures 4 and 5), which are similar to such features found around glaciers today (Figures 6 and 7).
Secular/uniformitarian scientists used to believe that there were four ice ages during the past few million years. However, the idea of four ice ages was rejected in the 1970s in favor of thirty or more ice ages separated by interglacials.1 Such a switch was forced by a paradigm change in glaciology toward belief in the astronomical model of the ice ages (or “Milankovitch mechanism,” as it is called). The idea of four ice ages still lingers in public museum displays, though (Figure 8).
The astronomical model postulates regularly repeating ice ages caused by the changing orbital geometry of the earth. Secular glaciologists believe that over the past 800,000 years there were, allegedly, eight ice ages, each lasting about 100,000 years.2 The glacial phase supposedly dominated for 90,000 years, while the interglacial phase lasted only 10,000 years. Accordingly, the story continues that beyond 800,000 years, the ice ages are believed to have cycled every 40,000 years or so.
The secular/uniformitarian model now holds that the Antarctic Ice Sheet developed around 40 million years ago and reached general equilibrium about 15 million years ago.3 The Greenland Ice Sheet, they say, is younger, having developed only a few million years ago.
Uniformitarian scientists further believe four “ancient ice ages” occurred during geological time (Table 1). These ice ages supposedly occurred hundreds of millions to several billion years ago, with each ice age lasting tens to hundreds of millions of years. Ancient ice ages are deduced from features in the rock that seem to indicate glaciation.
Severe Difficulties with Secular/Uniformitarian Beliefs
Secular/uniformitarian scientists have great difficulty explaining any recent ice ages based on rates they observe today. They have proposed dozens of hypotheses, but all have serious flaws. One problem is that the summer temperatures in the northern United States would have to cool more than 50°F (28°C) accompanied by a huge increase in snow. What would trigger or sustain such a dramatic climate change that would persist for thousands of years? David Alt of the University of Montana in Missoula recently admitted, “Although theories abound, no one really knows what causes ice ages.”5
Ancient ice ages have been somewhat controversial over the years, but recently some uniformitarian scientists have come out with the shocking belief that some Proterozoic ice ages were global.6 This belief is based on paleomagnetic data that supposedly shows certain rocks, believed to be from ancient ice ages, were marine and equatorial. Because of the reflection of sunlight from a white surface, it is likely that a glaciated earth would never melt. However, advocates of “snowball earth” state not only that such a glaciation completely melted but also that temperatures following glaciation ended up much warmer than today. Such a “freeze-fry” hypothesis indicates that the concept of ancient ice ages is unsound.
Did the Flood Trigger the Ice Age?
If uniformitarian scientists have severe difficulties accounting for ice ages, how would creationists explain an ice age or multiple ice ages? Let’s start with the recent ice age.
When attempting to account for ice ages, the uniformitarian scientists do not consider one key element—the Genesis Flood. What if there truly were a worldwide Flood? How would it have affected the climate? A worldwide Flood would have caused major changes in the earth’s crust, as well as earth movements and tremendous volcanism. It would have also greatly disturbed the climate.
A shroud of volcanic dust and aerosols (very small particles) would have been trapped in the stratosphere for several years following the Flood. These volcanic effluents would have then reflected some of the sunlight back to space and caused cooler summers, mainly over large landmasses of the mid and high latitudes. Volcanoes would have also been active during the Ice Age and gradually declined as the earth settled down. Abundant evidence shows substantial Ice Age volcanism, which would have replenished the dust and aerosols in the stratosphere.7 The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets also show abundant volcanic particles and acids in the Ice Age portion of the ice cores.8
An ice age also requires huge amounts of precipitation. The Genesis account records the “fountains of the great deep” bursting forth during the Flood. Crustal movements would have released hot water from the earth’s crust along with volcanism and large underwater lava flows, which would have added heat to the ocean. Earth movement and rapid Flood currents would have then mixed the warm water, so that after the Flood the oceans would be warm from pole to pole. There would be no sea ice. A warm ocean would have had much higher evaporation than the present cool ocean surface. Most of this evaporation would have occurred at mid and high latitudes, close to the developing ice sheets, dropping the moisture on the cold continent. This is a recipe for powerful and continuous snowstorms that can be estimated using basic meteorology.9 Therefore, to cause an ice age, rare conditions are required—warm oceans for high precipitation, and cool summers for lack of melting the snow. Only then can it accumulate into an ice sheet.
The principles of atmospheric science can also estimate areas of high oceanic evaporation, the eventual depth of the ice, and even the timing of the Ice Age. Numerical simulations of precipitation in the polar regions using conventional climate models with warm sea surface temperatures have demonstrated that ice sheets thousands of feet thick could have accumulated in less than 500 years.10
A Rapid Ice Age
Most creationists agree that there was one major Ice Age following the Flood. The timing of the Ice Age is quite significant, since uniformitarians claim that each ice age over the past 800,000 years lasted about 100,000 years. To estimate the time for a post-Flood Ice Age, we need to know how long the volcanism lasted and the cooling time of the oceans. Once these two mechanisms for the Ice Age wane, the ice sheets will reach a maximum and then begin to melt. So, an estimate of the time for the Ice Age can be worked out based on the available moisture for snow and the cooling time of the ocean (the primary mechanism) in a cool post-Flood climate.
I used budget equations for the cooling of the ocean and atmosphere, which are simply based on heat inputs minus heat outputs—the difference causing the change in temperatures. Since there is no way to be precise, I used minimums and maximums for the variables in the equations in order to bracket the time. The best estimate is about 500 years after the Flood to reach glacial maximum with an average ice and snow depth of about 2,300 feet (700 m) in the Northern Hemisphere and 4,000 feet (1,220 m) on Antarctica.11
Once the conditions for the Ice Age ended, those ice sheets in unfavorable areas melted rapidly. Antarctica and Greenland, possessing a favorable latitude and altitude, would continue to grow during deglaciation and afterward. To calculate the melting rate for the ice sheets over North America and Eurasia, I used the energy balance over a snow cover, which gives a faster rate than the uniformitarians propose based on their models.
An energy balance equation is a straightforward and more physical method of calculating the melt rate. Using maximum and minimum values for the variable in the melt equation, I obtained a best estimate of the average melt rate along the periphery (a 400-mile [645-km] long strip) of the ice sheet in North America at about 33 feet/year (10 m/year). Such a melting rate compares favorably with current melt rates for the melting zones of Alaskan, Icelandic, and Norwegian glaciers today. At this rate, the periphery of the ice sheets melts in less than 100 years. Interior areas of ice sheets would melt more slowly, but the ice would be gone in about 200 years. The ice sheets melt so fast, catastrophic flooding would be expected, such as with the bursting of glacial Lake Missoula described later in this chapter.
Therefore, the total length of time for a post-Flood Ice Age is about 700 years. It was indeed a rapid Ice Age. This is an example of bringing back the Flood into earth history. As a result, processes that seem too slow at today’s rates were much faster in the past. The Flood was never disproved; it was arbitrarily rejected in the 1700s and 1800s by secular intellectuals in favor of slow processes over millions of years.
How Many Ice Ages?
Still, there is the claim of many ice ages. Most formerly glaciated areas show evidence for only one ice age, and a substantial amount of information indicates only one ice age.12 The idea of multiple ice ages is essentially a uniformitarian assumption. Today this idea is strongly based on oxygen isotope ratios from seafloor sediments. The paleothermometers developed from these data assume highly questionable statistical comparisons between peaks and valleys in temperature, which are claimed to correspond to orbital changes in the heating of the earth. In a provocative paper concluding that only one ice sheet covered southern and central Alberta late in the uniformitarian timescale, Robert Young and others stated: “Glacial reconstructions commonly assume a multiple-glaciation hypothesis in all areas that contain a till cover.”13
Areas that appear to have evidence of more than one ice age can be reinterpreted to be the deposits from one ice sheet that advanced and retreated over a short period. The more modern understanding of glacial activity indicates that ice sheets are very dynamic. We do not need 100,000 years for each ice age or 2.5 million years for multiple ice ages.
One of the key assumptions in the multiple glaciation hypothesis is the astronomical model of ice ages. This mechanism is based on cyclical past changes in the geometry of the earth’s orbit. Uniformitarian scientists believe that a decrease in solar radiation at about 60° N in summer, resulting from orbital changes, causes repeating ice ages, either every 100,000 years or every 40,000 years. By matching wiggles in variables taken from deep-sea cores, uniformitarian scientists believe they have proven the astronomical mechanism of multiple ice ages.14 There are many problems with this model and relating deep-sea cores to it; mainly, the decrease in sunshine is too small.15 Didier Paillard stated,
Nevertheless, several problems in classical astronomical theory of paleoclimate have indeed been identified: (1) The main cyclicity in the paleoclimate record is close to 100,000 years, but there is [sic] no significant orbitally induced changes in the radiative [sunshine] forcing of the Earth in this frequency range (the “100-kyr Problem”).16
Although the main cycle in the astronomical model is 100,000 years, the change in sunshine at high northern latitudes is insignificant for such a dramatic change as an ice age.
Is the Ice Age Biblical?
Since the Flood offers a viable explanation for the Ice Age, one could expect that the Ice Age would be mentioned in the Bible. It is possible that the book of Job, written about 500 years or so after the Flood, may include a reference to the Ice Age in Job 38:29–30, which says, “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen.” However, Job could have observed frost and lake ice during winter in Palestine, especially if temperatures were colder because of the Ice Age. The reason the Ice Age is not directly discussed in the Bible is probably because the Scandinavian ice sheet and mountain ice caps were farther north than the region where the Bible was written. Only an increase in the snow coverage of Mt. Hermon and possibly more frequent snowfalls on the high areas of the Middle East would have been evident to those living in Palestine.
How Are “Ancient Ice Ages” Explained?
The evidence for “ancient ice ages” is found in the hard rocks; these deposits are not on the surface like the deposits from the post-Flood Ice Age. There are substantial difficulties in interpreting these rocks as from ancient ice ages.17 An alternative mechanism can easily explain these deposits within a biblical framework. This mechanism is gigantic submarine landslides that occurred during the Genesis Flood.
The Mystery of the Woolly Mammoths
Millions of woolly mammoth bones, tusks, and a few carcasses have been found frozen in the surface sediments of Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory of Canada—a major mystery of uniformitarian paleoclimate. The woolly mammoths were part of a Northern Hemisphere community of animals that lived and died during the post-Flood Ice Age.18 Woolly mammoths probably died after the Flood because there are thousands of carcasses scattered across Alaska and Siberia resting above Flood deposits. And there must have been sufficient time for the mammoths to have repopulated these regions after the Flood. The post-Flood Ice Age provides an explanation for the mystery of the woolly mammoths, as well as many other Ice Age mysteries.
The mammoths spread into these northern areas during early and middle Ice Age time because summers were cooler and winters warmer. The areas were unglaciated (just the mountains glaciated) and a rich grassland. However, late in the Ice Age, winter temperatures turned colder and the climate drier with strong wind storms. The mammoths died by the millions and were buried by dust, which later froze, preserving the mammoths. Severe dust storms that produce tall dust drifts (Figure 9) can also explain a number of the secondary mysteries, such as some carcasses that show evidence of suffocation in a generally standing position, and how they become entombed into rock-hard permafrost (for a more complete treatment of this subject, please see my book, Frozen in Time).
Is Glacial Lake Missoula Related to the Ice Age?
At the peak of the Ice Age, a finger of the ice sheet in western Canada and the northwest United States filled up the valleys of northern Idaho. A huge lake 2,000 feet (610 m) deep was formed in the valleys of western Montana. This was glacial Lake Missoula (Figure 10). In the course of time, the lake burst and emptied in a few days, causing an immense flood several hundred feet deep that carved out canyons and produced many flood features from eastern Washington into northwest Oregon (Figure 11).
This flood can help us understand the global Flood. Interestingly, the Lake Missoula flood was rejected for 40 years despite tremendous evidence because of the anti-biblical bias in historical science.19
Now this flood is not only accepted, but uniformitarian scientists now believe many more of them occurred. They postulate 40 to 100 at the peak of their last ice age, with perhaps hundreds more from previous ice ages. However, the evidence is substantial that there was only one gigantic Lake Missoula flood, with possibly several minor floods afterward.20
What about Ice Cores?
Uniformitarian scientists claim to be able to count annual layers in the Greenland ice sheet to determine its age, in the same way people can count tree rings. In doing so, they arrive at 110,000 years near the bottom of the Greenland ice sheet. Similar claims for a much greater age are made for the Antarctica ice sheet. These claims are equivocal and are essentially based on the uniformitarian belief that the ice sheets are millions of years old. The data from ice cores can be better explained within the post-Flood Ice Age model, which dramatically reduces the calculated age to well within the biblical limit.21
Although a major mystery of uniformitarian history, the Ice Age is readily explained by the climatic consequences of the Genesis Flood—it was a short Ice Age of about 700 years, and there was only one Ice Age.22 We do not need the hundred thousand years for one ice age, or the few million years for multiple ice ages, as claimed by uniformitarian scientists.
Even their claim of ancient ice ages in the hard rocks can be accounted for by gigantic submarine landslides during the Flood. The post-Flood rapid Ice Age can also account for a number of major mysteries and other interesting phenomena that occurred during the Ice Age, such as the Lake Missoula flood and the life and death of the woolly mammoths in Siberia and elsewhere. When we stick to the Genesis account of the Flood and the short scriptural timescale, major secular/uniformitarian mysteries are readily explained.23
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Truly I fear that those who do not thoroughly consider the evidences will fall prey to the standard long age teachings based on unproven assumptions and the tyranny of a presumptive and dogmatic majority. I do not wish anyone to "pay the price" associated with rejecting God because they believe in bad science. Therefore I continue to post on in hopes that people will be inspired to, at the very least, investigate for themselves before falling into lockstep with the Richard Dawkins crowd.