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Radiocarbon dating is a popular dating method the general public is fairly familiar with. Though they may know it as carbon dating or carbon 14 dating, there is an understood notion that when anything old is found, like an ancient artifact, it can be radiocarbon dated to find out exactly how old it is. Yet, as simple and straightforward as this seems, the process of dating objects via radiocarbon is far from simple and straightforward. Here I will present what radiocarbon is, the dating methods, the assumptions that govern them, and the known discrepancies that plague the method. With a thorough understanding of this dating method, it is my opinion that its ingenious fundamentals can be appreciated, yet greatly overshadowed by its limitations.

Radiocarbon

Every day cosmic rays bombard our atmosphere. These cosmic rays release free neutrons which zip around our nitrogen rich atmosphere at high velocities. The neutrons eventually slow down and bond with the nucleus of the nitrogen changing the atomic weight to that of an unstable carbon atom, Carbon 14 (or C14) (Warf, 212 & Taylor, 6). As the Carbon 14 slowly descends into our lower atmosphere it bonds with oxygen becoming the very unpopular CO2 greenhouse gas (Bowman, 10). Though the vast majority of CO2 is comprised of the more common and stable isotope of carbon, carbon 12 (C12), a small fraction of CO2 (one in 765 million), contains C14.

As is common fact, plants photosynthesize and consume CO2, fixing its carbon. Since a small fraction of CO2 contains C14, some of carbon fixed within the plant is that of C14. Animals eat the plants, ingesting the C14 which in turn enters the animal’s tissues (Warf, 212). When an organism dies, it obviously no longer eats, photosynthesizes, etc. There is therefore no way for additional C14 to enter the organism once dead.

This leads to an important fact: Only materials once part of the biosphere (organic) can be dated with radiocarbon (Bowman, 12), with the exception of some non-organic materials which can be dated with radiocarbon if their formation involved C14. For example, when lime absorbs CO2 it creates mortar, so the mortar can be dated via radiocarbon since some CO2 molecules are comprised of C14 (Bowman, 13). But in general, non-organic materials usually cannot be dated via radiocarbon. This is a common misunderstanding the general layman has of radiocarbon dating that is important to clarify.

What makes C14 significant is that it is an unstable atom. Eventually the extra neutron it picked up in the upper atmosphere will break off releasing a high energy beta particle. This beta release allows the atom to turn back into Nitrogen. This is radioactivity, hence the name radiocarbon. This radioactivity occurs at a measurable rate with a half-life of 5,730 years (Warf, 212).  C14 on average emits 15.2 beta particles per minute, or 15.2 disintegrations per minute (dpm), for every gram of carbon (Warf, 213). After one half-life (5,730 years) activity will drop to 7.6 dpm, then 3.8 dpm (Warf, 213). Knowing that C14 degrades into nitrogen at a known rate and organisms do not take in C14 once they’re dead, then it logically follows that the presence of C14 in a dead organism will decrease over time. Therefore, by measuring the amount of C14 in an organism, it can be known how long ago it lived with high C14 remains representing a recent age and lower C14 remains representing an older age.

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Methods

So how is radiocarbon measured and dated? There are in essence, two different forms of carbon dating: the original conventional methods and the more recent AMS (Accelerated Mass Spectrometry). Of the conventional dating methods there are three types; Solid Carbon Counting, Gas Counting, and Liquid Scintillation Counting. AMS on the other hand directly counts atoms. The limit for conventional carbon dating is 10 half-lives (57,300 years) (Warf, 213) or within 40,000 to 60,000 years (Taylor, 3).  After that, background radiation and cosmic rays overwhelm the miniscule amount of C14 left. AMS can look back as far as 75,000 years (Warf, 215 & Bowman, 38), though some labs claim it is possible to go as far back as 100,000 years.

Conventional carbon dating involves measuring the beta particles that break free as C14 decays (Bowman, 34). These methods were fraught with dating conflicts, many of which will be discussed later. AMS, developed in the 1980s, which overcomes many of the shortfalls of conventional carbon dating, directly measures C14 atoms relative to C12 and C13 atoms (Bowman, 31). This is the main method utilized today.

Assumptions

As straightforward as radiocarbon seems to be there are actually a large number of underlying assumptions that the entire dating process relies on. As geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling of the Institute of Creation Research writes, “There can be no doubt that this constitutes a very ingenious dating tool, provided of course that the inherent assumptions are valid,” (Snelling, 856). In researching the pivotal assumptions that the methodology relies on I have found quite a range to consider:

Sheridan Bowman of the Department of Scientific Research at the British Museum lists the assumptions as follows:

-The atmosphere has had the same amount of C14, (in terms of production, mixing and transfer rates) in the past as it is now.

-The biosphere has had the same overall concentration of C14.

-C14 concentrations exist in all parts of the biosphere.

-The death of a plant or animal, is the point at which it no longer exchanges C14 with the environment.

-After ceasing exchange, C14 levels are only modified by radio decay. (Bowman, 14).

Dr. R.E. Taylor, professor of anthropology at University of California Los Angeles and University of California Riverside lists the following assumptions:

-The concentration of C14 has been constant over the C14 timescale.

-There has been complete and rapid mixing of C14 throughout the various carbon reservoirs on a worldwide basis.

-Carbon isotope ratios have not been altered except by that of C14 decay.

-The half-life of C14 is accurately known.

-C14 can be measured accurately. (Taylor, 3).

Dr. Snelling lists the following assumptions:

-Cosmic ray influence on the atmosphere is constant.

-C14 concentration in the carbon dioxide cycle is constant.

-The decay rate of C14 is constant.

-There is no contamination of the dated object.

-Carbon dioxide levels in the sea and ocean are constant.

-C14 decay formation and decay rates are in equilibrium (Snelling, 856).

All these assumptions can be summarized as follows:

1) C14 production in the atmosphere is constant.

2) C14 rapidly mixes and is spread evenly throughout the biosphere.

3) Carbon ratios are only altered by C14 decay after an organism dies.

4) The half-life of C14 is accurately known.

5) C14 can be measured accurately.

6) C14 decay rates and formation rates are in equilibrium.

In order for radiocarbon to be effective in dating objects of antiquity, these assumptions must be true. But as you soon shall see, the assumptions are rife with flaws and unquantifiable variables. Many of these problems have been solved in recent years, but many have not.

Response to Assumptions

Assumption 1 C14 production in the atmosphere is constant.

In order for C14 production in the atmosphere to be constant, cosmic ray influence, which creates C14, must be consistent. However, cosmic ray influence is not constant, but varying. One factor that accounts for this variable is earth’s magnetic field. Our magnetic field is generated by earth’s iron and nickel core (Snelling, 873). Variations in the earth’s magnetic field have altered the production of C14. When the field is highly charged more cosmic rays are deflected. When the charge is low, more cosmic rays enter producing more C14 (Bowman, 18). Studies show the earth’s magnetic field decays at 5% a century and that earth’s magnetic field was 40% stronger in 1,000 AD then it is today (Snelling, 873).

The magnetic field is also subject to influence from our sun. Sunspots, which occur on 200 year and 11 year cycles, cause shifts in the earth’s magnetic field and thus alter C14 production. The 11 year cycles can cause as much as 20 years of radiocarbon variation, whereas the 200 year cycles can cause over 100 years’ worth of radiocarbon variation (Bowman, 19). These variations in C14 production in the past can be observed by examining tree ring samples which supposedly go back 8,000 years. In the last 8,000 years cosmic rays have varied as much as 10% (Warf, 213). Beyond this time cosmic rays could have fluctuated more or less, but we have no way of knowing.

Yet, there is one aspect of our magnetic field that poses a problem today just as much as it did in the past. The cosmic ray intensity is five times greater at the genetic poles than it is at the equator because our magnetic field is weaker at higher latitudes (Taylor, 7). The turbulent atmosphere mixes inconsistencies quickly enough that this problem is believed to only offset carbon dating by no more than 40 years. But this is still a factor to heavily consider between objects dated near the equator versus near the poles.

Bowman writes, “… there are some influences that are both global and pertinent to all samples and thus can neither be avoided nor circumvented by careful choice of content or sample: these are the production effects. They are not insignificant in magnitude, having at some periods in the past accounted for a discrepancy of some 900 years between radiocarbon dates and true calendar years” (Bowman, 43).

Human activity has also played a large role in C14 production. Only specimens that lived prior to the advent of nuclear weapons usage can be carbon dated since nuclear blasts created an influx of C14 in our atmosphere (Warf, 213). Fossil fuel consumption also wreaks havoc with the atmospheric ratio between C12 and C14. Because the human-caused burning of large quantities of fossil fuels has altered the atmospheric CO2 concentration, only objects prior to 1950 can be tested accurately (Bowman, 19 & Taylor, 35). Because of this effect, more modern organisms, like wood, appear “dead” with an apparent age much older than they actually are. This is known as the Suess Effect (Taylor, 36). Between 1900 to 1940 C14 levels were steady. After the 1950s, C14 levels shot up over 20% and by the 1970s had increased over 80% (Bowman, 20).

Dendrochronology and the Production Effect Problem:

As mentioned earlier, tree ring samples, which can be radiocarbon dated, can give us insight into the past as to what the historical atmospheric ratios of C12 to C14 were. This was needed because the first radiocarbon dating methods were yielding very inconsistent dates regarding objects of known age. These discrepancies, many of which will be discussed further later, were chalked up to the variable nature of C14 production and C12/C14 ratio in the atmosphere. Thus a “cheat sheet” was needed to provide a template of past C12/C14 concentrations so that dating methods could be calibrated based off the known variables. In the 1960s an 8,000 year old tree ring sequence was established by Wesley Ferguson, which when compared to the radiocarbon dates, revealed large discrepancies. Calibration curves were established in light of these discrepancies and can go back to 2,500 BC (Bowman, 17). As useful as the calibration curves are, they only go back as far as the tree ring chronology. Using live trees and preserved dead trees (mostly bristlecone pine trees) a master tree-ring chronology has been established going as far back as 8,700 years (Snelling, 895).

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Tree ring chronology is known as Dendrochronology. And as much of a hero as it seems to be for radiocarbon dating, it isn’t perfect. No items can be accurately dated within the time span of 800 BC to 400 BC because the calibration curve during this time falls flat. In fact, many labs will not date objects believed to have been from this time for that very reason (Bowman, 55). Other issues with dendrochronology lie with the trees themselves. Ring patterns in trees are produced season to season, year to year, and fluctuate depending on temperature and precipitation (Snelling, 895). Trees have been observed to be missing up to 45% of their seasonal rings (Snelling, 895). In other instances trees have been observed to grow multiple growth rings in one season (Snelling, 897). This means that the dendrochronology relies on an additional assumption; that tree rings are a seasonal constant. Since there is no guarantee they are a seasonal constant, we have no way of knowing exactly how far back the tree ring chronology goes.

Chronologies can only be established when comparing the same species of trees in the same location. When there are no overlapping areas between older and younger trees, and thus a gap, a floating chronology is established. If missing links of wood are found radiocarbon is used to piece and the fit the wood into the overall chronology (Snelling, 896). This is troubling because it becomes a circular system; tree ring chronology is used to calibrate radiocarbon dating, yet radiocarbon dating is used to date the tree rings.

So the assumption that C14 production is constant is incorrect. Though dendrochronology has allowed for calibration adjustments accounting for the production variations, the chronology goes back less than 10,000 years and even so, there is no guarantee that the tree rings are as accurate in chronicling the passing of years as many make them out to be. In one way it can be seen as an assumption to rescue another assumption. What is known is that C14 production has varied in the recent past, so it has surely varied greatly in prehistory as well.

Assumption 2 C14 rapidly mixes and is spread evenly throughout the biosphere.

According to Bowman, “Equally fundamental is the need for the method to be globally applicable, it should be valid at all, or a good range of, periods in the past. In the case of radiocarbon this in turn requires a global level of C14 in the atmosphere that has not changed with time; in addition, the biosphere should be in equilibrium with the atmosphere” (Bowman, 14).

Taylor writes, “One of the most important characteristics of the C14 method is its ability to provide comparable age estimates for organic materials on a worldwide basis. For the ability to be realized, C14 must be mixed quickly (within a few years) and completely throughout all of the carbon-containing reservoirs. If such a condition prevailed, the contemporary C14 content of all organic samples would be essentially identical. Early in the history of C14 dating it was determined that in a number of instances, this was not the case,” (Taylor, 34).

As Bowman and Taylor state, the accuracy of radiocarbon dating relies on C14’s equilibrium within the biosphere. Though we have already covered that C14 production has been a historical variable, now we come to the issue of mixing. Atmospheric mixing between the stratosphere and troposphere takes 2 to 4 years (Taylor, 38). However, when C14 production is high, atmospheric mixing is quick. But when production is low, atmospheric mixing slows and C14 is thus not distributed globally quickly.  Furthermore, the biosphere does not absorb C12 and C14 equally (Bowman, 18). Organisms have been proven to ingest more C12 than C13, and more C13 than C14. Regardless of the atmospheric ratio of C12 to C14, organisms will consume a higher ratio of C12 atom per every C14 atom than that of the atmosphere (Bowman, 20). Taylor writes, “During certain natural biochemical processes (e.g. photosynthesis) ‘lighter’ isotopes are preferentially incorporated into sample materials. Because of this, variations in C14/C12 rations can occur that have nothing to do with the passage of time,” (Taylor, 35).

Another problem is that of ice ages. During the ice age(s) the biosphere contained less plant life. Additionally, colder water temperatures globally would have increased the solubility of carbon. Thus, during cold periods like the ice age, which extends into the time ranges of C14 dating, the C14 exchange globally was not the same as today. Bowman writes, “The effect of these interrelated factors on radiocarbon dates has not yet been established” (Bowman, 19). The last ice age is believed to have peaked 20,000 years ago. This cuts right into the age span that radiocarbon dates for. Thus, the lack of vegetation worldwide during this time constitutes a C12/C14 ratio vastly different than what we observe today, which translates into a lack of confidence for radiocarbon to accurately date during this time span.

Marine Effect: The marine effect is an example of a reservoir effect in that the ocean has less C14 concentrations. Though atmospheric and terrestrial biosphere environments can mix C14 quickly, the ocean cannot mix quickly, especially the deeper you go. Ocean mixing is so slow that there are deep areas where radiocarbon dating would reveal radiocarbon ages in excess of a few thousand years. Shallow waters take about 10 years to equalize, but deeper waters are not quantifiable because of unique currents and upwelling effects (Bowman, 24). But in general, exchange between the atmosphere and shallow ocean takes 6 to 10 years and exchange between the shallow ocean and deep ocean can take hundreds of years, possibly 1,000 years (Taylor,  8 &38).

Evidence of the marine effect is obvious when one tries to date sea life. In one example, shells dated in two different locations (but in close proximity) dated centuries apart (Bowman, 25). Marine animals like whales and seals show radiocarbon ages of hundreds of years (Bowman, 25). Bottom feeding fish often exhibit old age because of reservoir effects (Taylor, 131). Even shallow marine life can be affected by the reservoir effect. The Colorado River (before it was drained) would carry large amounts of carbon, from the limestone rock it flowed over, into the Sea of Cortez. This diluted the C12/C14 ratio in the Sea of Cortez , giving marine life a carbon age of 900 years (Taylor, 129). The only way to accurately date sea life is if the reservoir effects and the value of stable carbon isotopes are known (Taylor, 52). Since the ocean mixes much slower and reservoir values vary from region to region, the reservoir effects alone prevent accurate dating, much less the numerous sources of stable carbon in the ocean that alters C12/C14 ratios.

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Scientists have proposed average correction factors (reservoir age estimates) to introduce to dating marine life, but these factors are far from absolute due to the nature of slow upwelling mixing which can vary from wind, climate, coastline shape, near-shore currents and seafloor topography (Taylor, 129). These variables make it impossible to establish standard global correction since they all differ in magnitude and are subject to change, especially if we’re looking back thousands of years.

Hemisphere Effect: While atmospheric mixing is good within hemispheres, it is not good between them since winds rarely blow between the two. This is further compounded by the southern hemisphere having more ocean surface, and thus, there is more “interface” between ocean and atmosphere (Bowman, 25). This translate into a difference in C12/C14 between our two hemispheres.

Volcano Effect: When volcanoes erupt they release large quantities of CO2 that contain no C14. This dilutes the ratio of C12 to C14 in the atmosphere (Bowman, 26). Plants near volcanoes typically exhibit high ages because of this. Vegetation found on the volcanic island of Santorini often carbon date in excess of thousands of years (Bowman, 27). Carbon dating volcanic debris is wrought with controversy because of this. However, the negative effects volcanic eruptions have on carbon dating isn’t isolated to volcanic debris, but extends to the entire atmosphere it released its CO2 into.

In summary, because of varying C14 production rates, plant life ingesting a ratio of C12/C14 different from that of the atmosphere, reservoir effects, the hemisphere effect, and the volcano effect it is painfully clear that the original assumption, that the  C12/C14  ratio in the atmosphere is equally distributed in the biosphere, is far from accurate.

Assumption 3 Carbon ratios are only altered by C14 decay after an organism dies.

In order for radiocarbon dating to accurately gauge the amount of time that has passed since the organism died, the radio decay of C14 must be the only factor influencing the ratio of C12 to C14 within the organism. Any other factor influencing the ratio other than C14 decay is contamination. Bowman writes, “Any addition of a carbon contaminating material is contamination, and it must be removed before the dating process begins, otherwise a false result can be obtained” (Bowman, 27). This problem of contamination is quite a thorn in the side of radio carbon dating because it is very common.

Hard Water Effect: Hard water often has calcium ions in it from calcium carbonate. This adds additional carbon into the plant or animal that takes it in. Since hard water varies from region to region, especially over large time scales, it is an unquantifiable variable. Other similar unquantifiable variables that contain carbon are soil humus materials and carbon dioxide in soil. Bowman writes, “The hard-water effect is not quantifiable since it is dependent on local factors…” (Bowman, 26). Unfortunately, many incredibly valuable finds, like bones, are easily susceptible to hard water contamination.

Bones are prone to absorb waters in the ground due to their porous nature (Taylor, 54). If the water is rich in carbonates, as ground water often is, the bone becomes contaminated with carbon ratios that make the bones appear much older than they actually are. Taylor writes, “It is clear that it is difficult to generalize concerning the age relationships of the organic and inorganic fraction in bone without detailed geochemical information concerning the depositional environment,” (Taylor, 55). This problem, however, is no longer so devastating to dating bones since the AMS can date portions of the bone that are non-porous, such as an individual amino acid,  to avoid the contamination factor (Warf, 216).

Pretreatment: Samples for dating are often “pretreated” to remove any carbon contaminants. This is usually done with acids. But not all contaminants can be removed, neither can they, at times, be identified for that matter (Bowman, 27-28). Often pretreatment can’t be used because it would destroy the object trying to be dated.

Some objects are so intermingled with their surroundings they can’t be accurately dated. For example, a human body was found in a peat-bog in Cheshire England. The carbon rich bog was united with the carbon rich body. This mixing of carbon proved to be problematic. Two forms of carbon dating were used; conventional gas counting and AMS. AMS dated the man’s death to the first century. The conventional dating placed the man to the fourth and fifth centuries (Bowman 52).

Another source of contamination comes from microorganisms. Microorganisms can contaminate samples causing 1,000 to 2,000 year discrepancies. The longer a sample is exposed to microorganisms the greater the chance of contamination, and subsequently, greater the age discrepancy (Taylor, 51).

The farther one goes back in time, the more severe contamination becomes. Because of the exponential nature of carbon decay, objects older than 30,000 years can have massive discrepancies if there is even 1% contamination of modern carbon (Taylor, 116). For example, objects 50,000 years old will carbon date at 35,000 years old with a 1% contamination. Even objects less than 30,000 years old can be greatly affected by modern carbon contamination. An object 10,000 years old will appear 1,000 years younger with a 5% modern carbon contamination. Introducing 1% of “dead carbon” to a sample will increase it sage by 80 years. Introducing 10% “dead carbon” increases its age by 850 years (Taylor, 119).

Though contamination can be pretreated, and the AMS is so precise it can avoid many contaminants, many other contaminants can slip by unknown if not detected. Some contaminants are so embedded in the sample that they cannot be removed without destroying the sample. Thus, there are many ways to detect and avoid contamination, but it would be fallacious to say that there is any 100% certainty that all contaminants have been removed from any given sample. The assumption cannot be validated with full certainty.

Assumption 4 The half-life of C14 is accurately known.

The decay of carbon is not a prediction, but statistical probability estimation. Taylor writes, “It is assumed that if the decay events are truly random, if no other factors intervene, and one had the time to measure an infinite number of events, the counting data would be identical to a normal distribution,” (Taylor, 103). C14 decays randomly. There is no way of knowing exactly when a C14 nucleus will decay and release a beta particle. Instead, large numbers of C14 atoms are measured over periodic intervals, and overtime there is a normal distribution (Taylor, 103). However, because the decay rate of C14 is a statistical estimate, this makes laboratory error estimation difficult as you will read about in the next assumption. As far as this assumption, we can conclude the half-life is known, and thus the assumption validated, but the nature of the estimation limits error estimation which comes into play in the next assumption.

Assumption 5 C14 can be measured accurately.

The first thing to address here is the misconception that radiocarbon dating provides exact points in time for objects of antiquity. As Taylor explains, “… by definition, a C14 ‘date’ does not indicate a specific point in time. It expresses the time interval within which there is a given probability that the C14 age equivalent of the actual C14 activity of a sample actually lies,” (Taylor, 125). Because of this, there are two ways to gauge the validity of a radiocarbon dates; precision & accuracy. Accuracy is the ability to date an object accurate to archaeological dates. Precision is the range of dates determined (Taylor, 106). For example, an object might be dated to 1,300 B.C. plus or minus 200 years and thus be high in accuracy but low in precision. Or that object might miss the mark completely and be dated at 2,000 B.C. plus or minus 10 years, in which case it wasn’t accurate but had high precision. Due to the amount of variables involved in carbon dating, results can have varying accuracy and precision.

Since radiocarbon dating is a scientific process it is subject to experimental error. And as mentioned in the previous assumption, that the decay of C14 is a statistical probability estimation, it becomes very problematic to derive any concrete error estimations. Bowman writes, “Experimental error, inherent in any operational process, is usually evaluated by replication of the measurement process. In radiocarbon dating, time, cost, and (for conventional radiocarbon) sample size mean this is not a practical proposition. The error term is therefore estimated and then usually treated as if it were known” (Bowman, 38).

Another issue in the process of radiocarbon dating is the range of date estimates. Since not every test will give the same result, not every object will give the same result, and the error factor is a mere estimation, the only way to truly generate accurate results is to date multiple samples multiple times to provide a range of results. Taylor writes, “The accuracy of an individual C14 determination is directly related to the degree to which the assumptions of the C14 method are fulfilled for the carbon-containing materials in a given sample. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to evaluate directly the various factors that could influence the accuracy of a single C14 value. For this reason, little reliance [is] placed on an individual C14 ‘date’ to provide an estimate for a given object, structure, feature, or stratigraphic unit… actual age can be best made with a suite of C14 determinations on multiple samples… Unfortunately, until recently, multiple C14 analyses on different fractions of single samples have not been routinely employed due to limitations on sample size and costs,” (Taylor, 105).

Even the machines themselves are not 100% reliable. The conventional radiocarbon methods have been historically fraught with inconsistencies and can be contaminated by other sources of radiation. Conventional carbon dating also depends on a background count rate, which varies from laboratory to laboratory (Bowman, 37). But these issues are not just limited to the older conventional methods, AMS has issues as well. Often, labs will try to calibrate their AMS with “procedural blanks” or “dead carbon” materials to test for carbon contamination of their equipment. Such materials are Precambrian since nothing that old should have detectable C14. Yet, these materials have continually been known to give off detectable C14 readings (Snelling, 860).

So knowing that radiocarbon dating requires multiple tests on multiple samples in order to ensure accuracy and precision, something not commonly done, in combination with the fact that experimental error is not known, but only estimated, it is reasonable to say that this assumption cannot be validated beyond reasonable doubt. It thus remains an assumption open to inquiry.

Assumption 6 C14 decay rates and formation rates are in equilibrium.

This assumption, unlike the others, is very straight forward. C14 formation and decay must be in constant equilibrium for radiocarbon dating. As we’ve already discussed, production rates in the atmosphere are variables. Currently, the rate at which C14 decays is not in equilibrium with the formation rate. This ratio may swing in either direction depending on variables in C14 production. Either way, this assumption is false.

 

Other Issues

Outside of the assumptions, there are other issues that come into play within the radiocarbon dating process.

Old Wood Problem: As a tree grows and adds rings the outer rings continue to exchange carbon whereas the older internal rings do not. Thus, if one were to date the heartwood vs. the outer sapwood there will be a discrepancy. This is even greater if the tree aged to hundreds of thousands of years (Bowman, 15). This poses a problem for modern artifacts because the only way to accurately date the wood is to know how old the tree was and whether the wood was from the inner heartwood or outer sap wood (Bowman, 16). The only way to date wood with radiocarbon is if the sapwood and heartwood are identifiable. After which, the rings can be dated backwards from the sapwood to the heartwood to calculate the age of the tree. Bowman writes, “Quite often this ‘old-wood’ problem is inadequately considered by those who submit radiocarbon samples” (Bowman, 51).

Object vs. Alteration: This is also known as the Delayed Use problem. An item is used after it “dies,” thus the item can be dated, but not its usage. For example, a carved elephant tusk can be carbon dated to show when the elephant lived but not when the tusk was actually carved.

Re-Use: Items that are generally long lasting, like wood, may be used multiple times. For example, a tree is cut down, its wood is shaped to build a structure, then 100 years later it is scrapped and used for kindling. The wood can be dated, but the intervals of use and re-use are not necessarily datable.

Known Discrepancies

Another popular misconception is that radiocarbon dating is always right. I hope, by now, you’ve realized this isn’t the case. But often the success stories of radiocarbon dating are paraded around in magazines, journals and textbooks while the failures of radiocarbon are conveniently never noted. Additionally, the known dates that carbon dating has accurately verified tend to be recent dates. Whereas, radiocarbon dates prior to 400 BC increasingly “diverge,” (Snelling, 856). Here are just a handful of known situations where radiocarbon dated incorrectly.

-In the 1950’s discrepancies were found between known dates and radiocarbon dates to magnitudes of 600 to 800 years (Taylor, 19).

-Snails living in artesian springs can produce carbon ages of up to 27,000 years (Snelling 857).

-An Egyptian coffin known to be 2,280 years old, carbon dated to 2,190 years old (Warf, 213). Many Egyptian artifacts carbon dated have had discrepancies as well. Something which Bowman states were, “far from insignificant…” (Bowman, 16).

-Archaeological items from 400 BC were providing results 900 years too young. Items from 1,000AD provided results 100 years too old (Bowman, 17).

-A stratified medieval village that existed from 600 to 1200 AD was excavated, its remains carbon dated. There were a total of 5 stratified layers within the 600 year span of the village. Yet the artifacts dated provided 300 to 500 year age ranges in each layer. This can’t be so if the village only existed from 600 to 1200 AD. In fact, one artifact from the latest layer (1200AD) dated at 600 AD, and another artifact from 800 AD layer dated to 400 AD (Taylor, 112).

-Snail shells found in a French Archaeology site yielded radiocarbon dates 300 to 1300 years in excess (Taylor, 52).

-During the 17th century C14 variations throw off radiocarbon ages (Taylor, 35).

Another shocking factor is that items that are most difficult to date accurately are in fact items most likely to be dated with radiocarbon. 80 to 90% of all C14 age estimates are based on wood/charcoal and marine shells, because they are best preserved, and thus are more commonly found (Taylor, 61). Yet the Marine Effect and Old Wood Problem often corrupt the accuracy of radiocarbon dating, and these problems are directly related to the dating of marine shells and wood/charcoal. As discouraging as they may be, there is, however, a more discouraging factor to consider: Radiocarbon often conflicts with established geological dates.

Inconsistencies with the geologic timescale:

-Materials found in earth deposits often don’t date in agreement with the pre-determined dates of the deposits. For example, domesticated wheat and barley where found in deposits in Egypt that were supposedly 17,000 to 18,000 years old, yet the wheat and barley date to no more than 5,000 years old (Taylor, 110-111).

-In another example, fragments of maize were found in 2,000 year old sediment deposits in Illinois, but the maize carbon dated to no more than 1,500 years old in one site, and no more than 600 years old at three other sites nearby (Taylor, 111).

-A limestone rock layer considered hundreds of millions of years old via geologic estimates, carbon dated with an age of 1,600 years (Taylor, 34).

-Radiocarbon has been found in fossilized wood within Tertiary, Mesozoic and upper Paleozoic strata that themselves are dated from 32 to 250 million years old. The wood dated between 20,000 to 45,000 years of carbon (Snelling, 859).

-Coal beds wedged between rock strata dated 300 million years old have been carbon dated to 50,000 years old (Snelling, 847).

-Dating diamonds is significant because there is little chance of contamination. Yet diamonds that are supposedly one to three billion years old have yielded carbon 14 readings. Coal and diamond samples from the US to Africa, believed to be 40 to 350 million years old, have yielded consistent carbon dates of 50,000 years old (Snelling, 861).

It may seem odd that radiocarbon dating would be in conflict with the conventional geological ages, but these ages were established long before radioisotope dating technology was invented.  As Snelling affirms, “By the time the radioisotope ‘dating’ methods had been developed, the geological timescale had already been imposed on the globally-correlated rock sequence,” (Snelling, 838). This leaves us with a conundrum. If we hold radiocarbon dating to be accurate, we then exclude the conventional dating of geological features. And vice versa.  However, the stronger argument is that the conventional geological dates are incorrect because anything millions of years old should have no trace of carbon left that would be picked up by the AMS. For example, if a beginning mass of C14 the size of earth began to decay with a half-life of 5,730 years, over the course of 1 million years (175 half-lives) there wouldn’t be one single carbon 14 atom left (Snelling, 859). So this presents a rather large problem for the dates assigned to geological formations.

These errors overall, however, only account of “known” discrepancies. The vast amount of radiocarbon dating being applied to prehistoric objects, of which there is sometimes no way of confirming their accuracy, cannot be proven wrong. So they remain success stories, innocent until proven guilty. However, based off the numerous known false instances given here, it would be appropriate to understand the radiocarbon dating method as anything but precise and accurate beyond reasonable doubt.

Conclusions

Many of the problems facing the radiocarbon dating of objects can be identified, pretreated, and calibrated for. But there are more significant issues that cannot be quantified and thus cannot be addressed to ensure accurate results. The first two assumptions, production and biosphere equilibrium, remain the most significant problem radiocarbon faces.

Many scholars and scientists have recognized the limitations of radiocarbon dating. Bowman writes, “Rarely is the interpretation of radiocarbon results completely straightforward. Occasionally a sample is dated simply to determine roughly whether an object is modern or of considerable antiquity; in essence, an authenticity test” (Bowman, 57).

Another shortcoming of the practice of radiocarbon dating is lack of data in regards to invalid ages. Submitters of Radiocarbon Journal often list their successful radiocarbon results as “archaeologically acceptable.” However, they do not list their “archaeological unacceptable,” results (Bowman, 62). Many are disappointed at this because it does not allow open divulgence of data for investigating the errors in order to produce more accurate and precise future dating. Additionally, lack of data of failed radiocarbon prevents an overall assessment on just how accurate the dating method is.

When you get down to the bottom line, it is more than evident that radiocarbon dating is extremely limited. Only very particular objects, from very particular places, that have been pretreated, that have been compared to a calibration curve (and only fall within areas of the curve that aren’t flat), and have been dated many times to provide an error range, can be considered somewhat trustworthy findings. That is, if you overlook the shortcomings of the C14 production problem and biosphere equilibrium problem. Accordingly, these evident shortcomings need to be appreciated and a certain degree of skepticism should be maintained when reading of radiocarbon results. All too often one hears of a discovery from antiquity that has been radiocarbon dated, of which the authors conclude they now know the exact date of the finding. Yet such confidence is often unwarranted. Yes, radiocarbon is an ingenious method and noble pursuit to answer questions about our past, but it is far from perfect, and our strong desire to have absolute answers to our biggest questions will not be satisfied from overextending confidence into a constrained method simply because there is no other alternative. But until we can lay our egos aside to be comfortable with the humbling notion that “we don’t know exactly,” radiocarbon dating will remain the absolute say on exactly how old something is.

Sources

 Bowman, S. (1990) Radio Carbon Dating, (Berkley, CA: University of California Press)

Snelling, A.A. (2009) Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 2, (Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research)

Taylor, R.E. (1987) Radio Carbon Dating; An Archaeological Perspective, (London: Academic Press, Inc.)

Warf, J.C. (2004) All Things Nuclear, 2nd Ed., (Los Angeles, CA: Figueroa Press)

Common opinion these days is that yes, dinosaurs evolved into birds. But where did this opinion (or fact as some tell me) come from? It seems to be the usual big three; National Geographic Magazine, the Discovery Channel or a school textbook. Of this triple threat, the reasoning is the same; usually a combination of fossilized dinosaurs with feathers and remarks about how similar dinosaurs and birds are when their anatomy is compared. Fair enough. But if the evidence is so clear cut that dinosaurs evolved into birds then we would surely expect a very clear cut consensus from evolutionary scientists. Yet, surprisingly they are divided on this issue.

The division pits evolutionary scientists into two different theories: The more seasoned theory that birds evolved from tree dwelling reptiles (not dinosaurs) is called arboreal theory. The second more recent theory is called the cursorial theory in which it is believed birds evolved from running dinosaurs (theropods).[1] These two theories are hotly debated and have lead to a great controversy in establishing how feathered flight evolved. Dr. Storrs Olson, curator of birds at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution, writes of the opposing theories [namely the cursorial theory] in a letter he wrote to the National Geographic Society, “The idea of feathered dinosaurs and the theropod origin of birds is being actively promulgated by a cadre of zealous scientists acting in concert with certain editors at Nature and National Geographic who themselves have become outspoken and highly biased proselytizers of the faith. Truth and careful scientific weighing of evidence have been among the first casualties in their program, which is now fast becoming one of the grander scientific hoaxes of our age—the paleontological equivalent of cold fusion.”[2] See the full letter here: http://creation.com/sensationalistic-unsubstantiated-tabloid-journalism

FSU Biological Science Faculty Emeritus Frances C. James writes on the subject, “Criticism has usually been dismissed, often with the comment that no more parsimonious alternative has been presented with cladistic methodology. Uncertainties about the hypothesis that birds are maniraptoran theropods are not receiving enough attention.”[3]

So why is there such a divide? Where did the notion of theropods evolving into dinosaurs come from? Thomas Huxley originally reported of Dinosaur origins for birds in 1868 after observing that some dinosaurs have bird-like ankle joints, short torsos, massively braced hips, a long and mobile neck, and long hind limbs.[4] In addition some dinosaurs had air sack holes in their bones, others with backward pubic bones like birds.[5] The theropod to bird theory really took off in the 1970’s when John Ostrom discovered the bird-like theropod Deinonychus from the Cretaceous period.[6] From this point on the cursorial theory has been gaining momentum in the public realm due to its enormous publication, despite the divide in academic circles.

What drives the cursorial theory is comparative anatomy. Measuring the similarities between birds and theropods. But what seems like a large amount of similarities between birds and theropods, is far outweighed by their differences, which are further contrasted when the supposed similarities are put under a microscope. Here are some important comparisons that need to be examined between birds and reptilian theropods:

Blood: If birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs we run into a very big problem; blood. Dinosaurs were cold blooded and birds warm blooded. Worse, the majority of birds have such high metabolism that their blood temperatures are actually higher than most warm blooded animals.[7] Now this difference isn’t as simple as warm blood vs. cold blood. The differences are very complex in that the physiological ability to maintain body temperature is completely different between the two. Warm blooded animals are “endothermic” able to regulate their body temperature while reptiles are “ectothermic,” with body temperatures constantly fluctuating influenced by the surrounding environment.[8]

Many evolutionists have tried to propose that theropod dinosaurs were endothermic, not ectothermic, to get around the issue. But there is no concrete evidence of this. One attempt to prove it was identifying osteon bone structures in theropods, which are found in warm blooded endothermic animals. But osteon bone structures are also found in mammals, reptiles and even fish and are therefore not an indicator for blood type.[9] Alan Feduccia, chairman of the biology department at the University of North Carolina, states, “…there has never been, nor is there now, any evidence that dinosaurs were endothermic. Many authors have tried to make specimens conform to the hot-blooded theropod dogma.”[10]

Eggs: Theropod dinosaurs laid eggs, and birds lay eggs. This has been used to prove relatedness. But aside from the various other animals that lay eggs as well, there is one in particular, the platypus, which is neither reptile nor bird, but is instead a mammal. Egg laying is not sufficient to prove dinosaurs evolved to birds because of how ubiquitous it is in the animal kingdom.

 

Feathers: The key issue that one immediately thinks of when pondering the notion of dinosaurs evolving to birds are feathers. Feathers are thought of to be unique to birds, since all birds have them. Naturally, if theropods evolved to birds there should be some fossil links of theropods with feathers. Unfortunately, most fossils only reveal bone structure, leaving the question of feathers present on many theropods unknown. However, some fossil finds do reveal skin type. For example, Compsognathus was believed to be the closest theropod link to birds, and thus was speculated to have had feathers. Those speculations were shattered when a Compsognathus fossil find revealed skin covered in scales with no trace of feathers![11]

 

Regardless, even if dinosaurs with true feathers did exist it does not prove that theropods evolved into birds. It just proves that there were dinosaurs with feathers. Just like the platypus which is a mammal yet has a duck-like bill and lays eggs. As Dr. David Menton, associate professor of anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine explains, “So if a Dinosaur (or mammal) is ever found with feathers, it would call into question our human criteria for classification, not biblical veracity. What’s needed to support evolution is not an unusual mosaic of complete traits, but a trait in transition, such as a ‘scale-feather,’ what creationist biologists would call a ‘sceather.’”[12]

 

Now, if birds did evolve from dinosaurs, then that means feathers evolved from scales. The problem is that feathers are profoundly different from scales, with feathers being tube-like follicles that grow and shed individually, and scales being a continuous sheet that grows and sheds collectively as one.[13] Menton writes, “The feather vane is made up of hundreds of barbs, each bearing hundreds of barbules interlocked with tiny hinged hooklets. This incredible complex structure bears not the slightest resemblance to the relatively simple reptilian scale. Still, evolutionists continue to publish imaginative scenarios of how long-fringed reptile scales evolved by chance into feathers, but evidence of ‘sceathers’ eludes them.”[14] Alan Brush, feather expert, ornithologist and professor of neurology and physiology at the University of Connecticut writes, “At the morphological level feathers are traditionally considered homologous with reptilian scales. However, in development, morphogenesis, gene structure, protein shape and sequence, and filament formation and structure, feathers are different.”[15] Feduccia writes of the fallacy of trying to propose scales evolved to feathers,The major and most worrying problem of the feathered dinosaur hypothesis is that the integumental structures have been homologized with avian feathers on the basis of anatomically and paleontologically unsound and misleading information.”[16]

 

Forelimbs: This one is easy enough. Birds need strong defined forelimbs to fly. Yet theropod dinosaurs had short under developed forelimbs for millions of years after the first birds were already around.[17] Feduccia writes,It’s biophysically impossible to evolve flight from such large bipeds with foreshortened forelimbs and heavy, balancing tails, exactly the wrong anatomy for flight.”[18]

Keeled Sternum: All Dinosaurs are divided into two main groups; lizard-hipped dinosaurs (saurischians) and bird-hipped dinosaurs (orinthiscians).[19] Birds have a very particular sternum that allows for muscle attachments facilitating flight. It was a similar keeled sternum found in Mononykus (theropod dinosaur) that lead scientists to believe that this provided evidence of relation to birds. Yet there is another animal that also has a keeled sternum, the flightless digging mole.[20] Interestingly enough the mole has similar wrist bones to birds as well. This means that birds and dinosaurs do not have a monopoly on the keeled sternum and therefore the similarity is circumstantial.

Legs: Birds use their legs in a very unique way. They rarely move their femurs and instead use their lower leg to walk, often referred to as “knee-running.” This is essential because the femur and thigh muscles are structured to support the bird’s air-sac lungs, keeping them from collapsing.[21] According to John Ruben, professor of zoology for Oregon State University, “Theropod dinosaurs had a moving femur and therefore could not have had a lung that worked like that in birds. That undercuts a critical piece of supporting evidence for the dinosaur–bird link.”[22]

Lungs: The lungs on a bird are one of the most damaging factors when comparing birds to reptiles. Warm blooded birds require twenty times more oxygen than cold blooded reptiles.[23] This need alone requires a lung uniquely different from that of a reptile. But then throw in the need to support flight, and you have a lung incredibly unique from anything else in the animal kingdom. The bird’s respiration system has flow through ventilation with nine interconnected and flexible air sacs squeezed between muscles under the skin. Air is forced through the lungs resulting in a higher oxygen content than what is possible with bidirectional air flow as is the case with the lungs of reptiles and mammals.[24]

When fossils of theropods are examined, the ones yielding evidence of lung structure reveal bidirectional lungs, more specifically, lungs similar to that of a crocodile.[25] A far cry from avian lungs found in birds. They even found evidence of a diaphragm on one theropod, and birds do not have diaphragms.[26]

Teeth: Theropod dinosaurs had teeth. When many ancient bird fossils are uncovered they are sometimes labeled as dinosaurs because they have teeth, and birds don’t have teeth, they have beaks. The presence of teeth therefore warrants the label dinosaur… But that is not correct actually. Archaeopteryx and Hesperornis are extinct birds that had teeth.[27] There is the tooth-billed hummingbird. And chickens are now known to have the genetic potential to grow teeth.[28] But the most important factor is that ancient birds prior to theropod dinosaurs had teeth already! So it is troublesome to use teeth to compare relatedness of the animals especially considering the countless number of other animals with teeth. Teeth are not a defining characteristic of birds, reptiles or dinosaurs.

Three Fingered Hands: A very commonly used “evidence” of dinosaur to bird evolution is the bird’s three fingered hand, which is exactly how many fingers theropods have. But this commonality is not all it is cracked up to be. Most terrestrial embryos start off with a five fingered hand, but loose some of their fingers during development. When bird embryos are developing they lose digits 1 and 5 and are left with digits 2, 3, and 4.[29] Theropods, however, only have digits 1, 2, and 3.[30] Since the three fingers in question aren’t the same fingers, they cannot be used as evidence linking theropods to birds.

 

Wing Claws (or fingers): Fossils of birds with claws or fingers on their wings are said to be evidence of dinosaurs with wings since it is believed no birds have wing claws or fingers. But ancient birds like Archaeopteryx, Sinornis, and Confuciusornis had wing claws.[31] Namely Archaeopteryx which lived prior to theropod dinosaurs. Ostrich have fingers on their wings too.[32] The presence of fingers on birds today means that fingers found on an ancient feathered fossil doesn’t render it a dinosaur.

 

So there are some over exaggerated similarities between theropods and birds, as well as critical differences. But to really understand this debate we must examine the fossils themselves. I once had a brief conversation with someone on this topic and they told me, “You don’t have to make me a believer. You can look at the evidence yourself.” So let us look at the fossil evidence:

 

Archaeopteryx is a dinosaur looking bird found fossilized with feathers (believed to be 150 million years old) within the later Jurassic limestone in Germany.[33] After extensive research of all ten specimens it was concluded to be no more than an ancient bird. Archaeopteryx offers no new insights on how feathers evolved, because its own feathers are nearly indistinguishable from those of today’s birds.[34]

Archaeopteryx fossil

 

An artist’s depiction of Archaeopteryx

Compsognathus: Once thought to be a transitional fossil from theropod to birds, since it had a very small size, it was assumed to be covered in feathers. Fossil evidence revealed that it was instead covered in scales.

Compsognathus fossil

An artist’s depiction of Compsognathus

Deinonychus: Discovered in the 1970’s, Deinonychus was a theropod that walked on its two hind legs, had shortened forelimbs, and most importantly had three fingers on it’s forelimbs just like birds![35] This was the theropod that launched the dinosaur to bird evolution hype. But as mentioned before, the three fingers on the forelimbs are not the same that birds have. More importantly, ancient birds with feathers had already been around for 35 million years when Deinonychus was around. This means Deinonychus did not play a role in theropod to bird evolution.

 

deinonychus fossil

artist’s depiction of deinonychus (note the embellished addition of feathers which have never been found on any of the fossils).

Mononykus: Popularized in 1993, this fossil is fragmentary, leaving excessive room for interpretation. Though it had bird like features it did not have feathers. The features it does have that are bird like are the same features the mole has, and it is therefore more likely that Mononykus was a digger.[36]

Mononykus fossil (note that it is mostly incomplete).

An artist’s depiction of Mononykus (notice the added feathers despite no fossil evidence of feathers found).

Sinosauropteryx was a small dinosaur fossil that made headlines in 1996 because it was reported to have a coat of filamentous feathers or “dino-fuzz.”[37] Thus Sinosauropteryx was hailed as a transitional fossil between birds and dinosaurs. But after a thorough analysis from Feduccia and his colleagues it was determined that the dino-fuzz was not evidence of feathers or even the beginnings of feathers. Instead, the dinosaur was found to have the remains of a collagenous fiber meshwork, a biological way of reinforcing skin.[38] According to award winning scientific writer Ann Gibbons,The stiff, bristle-like fibers that outline the fossils lack the detailed organization seen in modern feathers.”[39] In conclusion, Sinosauropteryx is not sufficient evidence as a dinosaur with feathers.

 

Sinosauropteryx fossil

An artist’s depiction of Sinosauropteryx

Sinithosaurus: Also believed to have “proto-feathers” turned out to have collagen tissue fibers like Sinosauropteryx, not feathers.[40]

 

Caudipteryx: First discovered in 1997, it was thought to be a dinosaur with feathers, but is now recognized as a flightless bird.[41]

 

caudipteryx fossil

An artist’s depiction of Caudipteryx

Protarchaeopteryx: Also discovered in 1997 and thought to be a dinosaur with feathers, but is now recognized as a flightless bird.[42]

 

Protarchaeopteryx fossil

An artist’s depiction of Protarchaeopteryx

Archaeoraptor was a fossil unveiled in 1999 of a dinosaur with feathers. The National Geographic Society decided to publish the finding prior to the fossil being peer reviewed. Ironically, Archaeoraptor ended up being a fake, in which someone glued dinosaur and bird fossils together.[43]  

Archaeoraptor fossil (later determined to be a fake)

A modeled depiction of Archaeoraptor

Microraptor: First discovered in 2001, microraptor was claimed to be a pigeon-sized dinosaur from 120 million years ago,[44] it has two pairs of wings, claws on its wings, teeth, and a tail. Whether it could fly or not is debated among scientists. But the feathers found on it are modern, like the ones found on birds today. So the microraptor is not a good example of bird evolution since the feathers are already developed. Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology Larry Martin of the University of Kansas said, “To me a bird is an animal with an avian hand and wrist with primary flight feathers. By that definition microraptor is definitely a bird.”[45] Menton writes, “A critical assessment of the data by evolutionists themselves reveals that, regardless of how it flew, M. gui was a bird, not a dinosaur. The evidence supports the conclusion that birds give rise to birds, and that they reproduce after their kind. But this is a story unlikely to be embraced by evolutionists or the popular media.”[46]

Microraptor fossil

Artist’s depiction of a Microraptor

Juravenator was a dinosaur fossil found in Germany in 2006. Juravenator was believed to come from a dinosaur family that had feathers. But low and behold, the Juravenator fossil had remnants of scales, not feathers![47]

 

Juravenator fossil

An artist’s depiction of Juravenator

Xiaotingia zhengi- Recently discovered in 2011, this ancient bird is dated to 155 million years ago, though it was purchased from a dealer… so we can’t really know for sure.[48] But it does have teeth and claws, which as stated earlier do not necessarily make it a dinosaur. All that this fossil really did was push back the date of birds in the fossil record, still further before the time of non-bird theropods.

Xiaotingia zhengi fossil

An artist’s depiction Xiaotingia zhengi

Yutyrannus huali- One the most recent discoveries (at the time this was written) is the massive nine meter tall feathered giant called Yutyrannus huali. They are estimated to be 125 million years old. But this dinosaur was way too massive to fly, so the question is, why does it have feathers? The theories have been that they were used to insulate the dinosaur to keep it warm, or the feathers were used to attract a mate.[49] The feathers are however too far apart to have been used for warmth, leaving mate attraction the only logical reason for the feathers.[50] Though research is still being done on the fossils, one thing we should not do is rush to call them feathers when they just may be filamentous structures, as has been the case with previous finds that were thought to be genuine feathers, only to be discounted later. These filamentous structures were also not functional for flight, or for even keeping warm, and as mentioned, Archaeopetryx, a real feathered bird, had already been round for 25 million years at the time these fossils are dated. Thus, Yutyrannus huali should not be considered evidence for dinosaur to bird evolution.

 

Yutyrannus huali fossil

An artist’s depiction of Yutyrannus huali

Pat Shipman, professor of anthropology at Penn State writes, “The bipedal ancestor hypothesis… has little direct evidence from the fossil record to support or refute it.”[51]

 

So, if Archaeopetryx is dated 150 million years old (Xiaotingia zhengi goes back 155 million years supposedly), and both Archaeopetryx and Xiaotingia zhengi are birds, then any transitional fossils from dinosaur to bird would need to be older than 150-155 million years old. Yet common examples reffered to of dinosaurs transitioning to birds, like Velociraptor or Deinonychus are from the Cretaceous period, which by evolutionary standards are 75 million years younger than Archaeopetryx.[52] In otherwords, how could they be transitional fossils to birds, if birds had already been around for 75 million years?

Additionally, the remains of fossilized duck-like birds have been found in the same Cretaceous rocks as dinosaurs.[53] Within the Liaong province, from which many claimed feathered dinosaurs are originating, obvious bird fossils of Confuciusornis sanctus are being found in the same rock layers right along side their supposed dinosaur ancestors.[54] Ruben states, “For one thing, birds are found earlier in the fossil record than the dinosaurs they are supposed to have descended from. That’s a pretty serious problem, and there are other inconsistencies with the bird-from-dinosaur theories.”[55] Menton agrees, “…having alleged missing links of dinosaurs changing into birds when birds already exist doesn’t help the case for evolution.”[56]

This leaves us with a strong case that dinosaurs (theropods) did not evolved into the birds of today. Menton writes, “Having a true bird appear before alleged feathered dinosaurs, no mechanism to change scales into feathers, no mechanism to change a reptilian lung into an avian lung… are all good indications that dinosaurs didn’t turn into birds. The evidence is consistent with what the Bible teaches about birds being unique and created after their kinds.”[57] Feduccia writes, “The theropod origin of birds, in my opinion, will be the greatest embarrassment of paleontology of the 20th century.”[58] Oddly enough, this is a claim that both evolutionists and creationists can agree on, since many evolutionary scientists can latch onto arboreal theory. Though one could make further arguments against the arboreal theory… let us just bask in the moment and agree once and for all that dinosaurs did not turn into birds.


[1] Sarfati, J., (December 2000) “Which Came First- the Dino or the Bird?” http://www.evolutionnews.org

[3] Luskin, C., (June 2009) “Old Theories Die Hard: Birds-Evolved-From-Dinosaurs Hypothesis Takes a Big Hit with Two Recent Papers,” http://www.evolutionnews.org

[4] Clarey, T.L., “Dinosaurs vs. Birds: The Fossils Don’t Lie,” http://www.icr.org

[5] Bakker, R. T., (1986) The Dinosaur Heresies: New Theories Unlocking the Mystery of the Dinosaurs and Their Extinction, Kensington Publishing Corp:New York,NY, pp. 303-305.

[6] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 298.

[7] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 298.

[8] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 298.

[9] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 298.

[10] Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T., & Hinchliffe, J.R., (2005) “Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist? Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence,” Journal of Morphology, 266:125-166.

[11] Gohlich, U.B. & Chiappe, L.M., (2006) “A New Carniverous Dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Archipelago,” Nature 440:329-332.

[12] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 302-303.

[13] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 303.

[14] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 303.

[15] A.H. Brush, (1996) “On the origin of feathers,” Journal of Evolutionary Biology 9:131-142.

[16] Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T., & Hinchliffe, J.R., (2005) “Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist? Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence,” Journal of Morphology 266(2):125–166.

[17] Jonathan, M., (October 2011) “Fact Checking Wikipedia on Common Descent: The Evidence from Paleontology,” http://www.evolutionnews.org

[18] As quoted in Ann Gibbon’s (1996) “New Feathered Fossil Brings Dinosaurs and Birds Closer”, Science 274:720-721.

[19] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 300.

[20]Anderson, D., (December 2006) “Living Dinosaurs or Just Birds?” creation.com

[21] Galling, A.P. (November 2009) “Three: Without A Leg To Stand On: Bird Legs Differ From Dinosaur Legs,” http://www.answersingenesis.org

[22] As quoted in A.P Galling’s (November 2009) “Three: Without A Leg To Stand On: Bird Legs Differ From Dinosaur Legs,”  http://www.answersingenesis.org

[23] Science Daily (June 2009) “Discovery Raises New Questions About Dinosaur-Bird Links,”  http://www.sciencedaily.com

[24] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 300.

[25] Ruben, J.A., Jones, T.D., Geist, N.R., & Hillenius, W.J., (1997) “Lung Structure and Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs and Elderly Birds,” Science 278:1267-1270.

[26] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 301.

[27] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 304.

[28] Wieland, C., (July 2006) “Chickens with Teeth,” creation.com

[29] Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T., & Hinchliffe, J.R., (2005) “Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist? Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence,” Journal of Morphology 266(2):125–166.

[30] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 300.

[31]Anderson, D., (December 2006) “Living Dinosaurs or Just Birds?” creation.com

[32] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 304.

[33] Clarey, T.L., “Dinosaurs vs. Birds: The Fossils Don’t Lie,” http://www.icr.org

[34] Prum, R. & Brush, A., (March 2003) “Which came first, the feather or the bird?” Scientific American, pp. 84–93

[35] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 298.

[36] R. Monastersky, (1993) “A clawed wonder unearthed in Mongolia,” Science News 143(16):245,

[37] Gibbons, A., (1996) “New Feathered Fossil Brings Dinosaurs and Birds Closer,” Science 274(5288):720–721.

[38] Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T. & Hinchliffe, J.R., (2005) “Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist? Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence,” Journal of Morphology 266(2):125–166.

[39] Gibbons, A., “Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur,” Science 278(5341):1230, 14 November 1997

[40] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 302.

[41] Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T. & Hinchliffe, J.R., (2005) “Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist? Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence,” Journal of Morphology 266(2):125–166.

[42] Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T. & Hinchliffe, J.R., (2005) “Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist? Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence,” Journal of Morphology 266(2):125–166.

[43] Prum, R. & Brush, A., (March 2003) “Which came first, the feather or the bird?” Scientific American, pp. 84–93

[44] Airhart, M., (March 2012) “Four-winged Dino Lured Mates with Long Tail,” http://www.futurity.org

[45] Borenstein, S., (March 2012) “Birdlike Dinos Wore Basic Black with Glossy Touch,” news.yahoo.com

[46] Menton, D., (February 2007) “Did Microraptor gui Invent the Biplane Before the Wright Brothers?” http://www.answersingenesis.org

[47] Xu, X., (2006) “Scales, Feathers and Dinosaurs,” Nature 440(7082):287–288.

[48] Witmer, L., (2011) “An Icon Knocked from its Perch.” Nature 475:458.

[49] Cuff, M., (April 2012) “Giant Feathered Dinosaur Found inChina was Too Big to Fly,” http://www.gaurdian.co.uk

[50] Cuff, M., (April 2012) “Giant Feathered Dinosaur Found inChina was Too Big to Fly,” http://www.gaurdian.co.uk

[51] Shipman, P., (1998) Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight, Simon and Schuster:New York,NY, pp.84

[52] Clarey, T.L., “Dinosaurs vs. Birds: The Fossils Don’t Lie,” http://www.icr.org

[53] Thomas, B., “New Evidence Shows Duck-like Birds Lived at Same Time as Dinosaurs,” http://www.icr.org

[54] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 302.

[55] Science Daily (June 2009) “Discovery Raises New Questions About Dinosaur-Bird Links,”  http://www.sciencedaily.com

[56] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 304.

[57] Menton, D., (2006) “Did Dinosaurs Turn into Birds?” as written in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 1, Master Books: Green Forest, AL, pp. 305.

[58] As quoted in Pat Shipman’s, “Birds do it . . . did dinosaurs?”, New Scientist 153(2067):27-31.

Answers to the Flood’s 50 hardest problematic questions.

There are a wide variety of supernatural events and miracles recorded in the Bible. But out of all of them, the one story or event that is most often criticized, scoffed at, or compromised is the story of Noah’s Arkand the Flood. For skeptics it is an easy event to criticize, but for Bible believing Christians it often creates a divide; those that believe it is 100% true and those that assume it is merely a fictional tale that is full of morals and analogies that will help followers of Christ better understand God. I admit that my own skepticism of the Bible held out the longest when it came to Noah and the Flood. After all, it just seems so impossible. And when scientists are asked about the subject, the answers are almost unanimous: Impossible or No Evidence!

What you will hopefully find though, as I found, is that those who think such events are impossible usually don’t know the actual Biblical story, the Creationist model, and have presuppositions about what the evidence in geology reveals. For example, geologists are taught a naturalistic uniformitarian synthesis in geology in their respective universities which explains all geological evidence as a result of slow and gradual natural causes over millions of years. Of course such a regimental syllabus would reveal no evidence of a flood because a global flood would be a catastrophic event of supernatural origin that cannot fit in a naturalistic uniformitarian framework. In other words, the geological evidence for the global flood is the same evidence for slow and gradual uniformitarian naturalism, there are just two opposite presuppositions influencing how that evidence is interpreted. But that will be discussed in more detail later on.

The Supernatural Element

The most important factor that is often denied is the supernatural element. We cannot overlook the supernatural aspect of Noah’sArkand the Flood because, let’s face it, it was an act of God. God is supernatural, His miracles supernatural. Since non-Christian skeptics presuppose there is no supernatural, only the natural, they will always reject the notion of two of all the animals of the world being crammed onto a wooden boat while the rest of the world is flooded, because such an event is not naturally possible, and the supernatural cannot be considered because there is no such thing. This is often an easy out for non-Christian skeptics. While on the other side of the coin, many Christians who believe in the supernatural chalk everything up to a miracle of God, and therefore possible, which is also an easy out, though I don’t disagree with that notion. None the less, this is not satisfying for the non-Christian skeptic.

Unfortunately for all you non-Christian skeptics reading this article there will be many aspects of the Biblical story of Noah’s Arkand the great flood that will not have any other explanation other than that of supernatural intervention from God. But this should be expected considering the whole event was initiated and orchestrated by God. Thus, why would anyone expect naturalistic causes for the entire event? Doing so would render God’s role in the event null and void, defeating the whole point of the event and its subsequent inclusion in the Book of Genesis for that matter. As geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling admits, “…it is simply not possible to have any kind of Genesis Flood without acknowledging the presence of supernatural elements. On the other hand, it is far from necessary to indulge in an ‘endless supply of miracles to make a universal Flood feasible.’”[1]

With that, I will attempt to provide a detailed explanation and defense for some of the most popular criticisms or “problems” of the story of Noah and the global flood. I will, for the most part, provide natural causes and available evidences when possible and required, but ultimately there will be many factors that will and can only be explained via the supernatural. My hope is that after reading this you will understand that it is perfectly rational and reasonable to adhere to this story being a true story.

PROBLEM OUTLINE:

Pre-Flood Problems; #1-6

Flood Problems; #7-35

Post-Flood Problems; #36-46

Theological/Philosophical Problems; #47-50

PRE-FLOOD

Problem 1: Building theArk.It is impossible for one man and his family to build an ark 450-510 ft long in ancient times.

Answer: Though it is said in the Bible that Noah and his four sons built the ark, the Bible does not say that Noah did not hire anyone else to help. There could have been a lot more than just five men building the ark. However, Noah and his three sons could have built the ark by themselves considering they had years to do it. In addition, it should not be neglected to point out that during Noah’s time humans were not so primitive, but instead very capable; forging metal, building cities, and crafting complex musical instruments.[2] Therefore, their tools, machines and technical capabilities were not primitive. Furthermore, if one considers a technology lost scenario, it can be assumed that Noah and his family had even greater capability than we know of. Technology lost, is a scenario that has happened frequently in human history where a technology is lost and forgotten and then re-invented long afterwards. For example, it was the Romans that first invented concrete, the technology was lost after the fall of the Roman Empire, and it was re-invented in the 1800s.[3] Such a situation would be very plausible in the event that a global flood killed every human on earth and subsequently the technologies they had, which would need to be reinvented later.

Problem 2: Wooden Ship. TheArkis too large to have been made from wood. The wood would buckle and surely not maintain hull integrity in rough seas.

Answer: The ark’s dimensions were built at a 6:1 ratio, which is very similar to modern ocean going vessels. Such dimensions are common in ocean vessels because they’re best for handling pitching, rolling and overall stability in rough seas.[4] The Danish apparently modeled barges called Fleuten after the ark (though not as large) which were incredibly seaworthy and almost impossible to capsize.[5] Many studies and experiments have been undertaken to test the seaworthiness of the Ark, which today is considered to have had hydrodynamically stable dimensions. As Hydraulic Engineer Dr. Henry Morris states, “… the ark as designed was highly stable, admirably suited for its purpose of riding out the storms of the year of the Great Flood.”[6] A more recent experiment conducted by the Research Institute of Ships and Engineering in Korea (KRISO) found that the Ark’s stability was thirteen times more stable than that of standard requirements regulated by the American Bureau of Shipping.[7] They also found that theArk’s dimensions were the most efficient for combined stability, strength and comfort. It should also be noted that Dr. Seon Hong, who headed up the study at KRISO, is an evolutionist, and not a biased creationist as some might claim.

The use of wood as a building material is not necessarily a problem either. Though the Bible doesn’t specifically mention the technical method by which the hull was constructed, many engineering techniques used in ancient ship building were actually sophisticated and complex. As mechanical engineer Tim Lovett writes, “Ancient shipbuilders usually began with a shell of planks (strakes) and then built internal framing (ribs) to fit inside… Some used overlapping (clinker) plates that were dowelled or nailed, while others used rope to sew the planks together. The ancient Greeks used a sophisticated system where the planks were interlocked with thousands of precise mortise and tenon joints. The resulting hull was strong enough to ram another ship, yet light enough to be hauled onto a beach by the crew. If this is what the Greeks could do centuries before Christ, what could Noah do centuries after Tubal-Cain invented forged metal tools?”[8] Lovett brings up the point that metal could have been used as well in the construction, since the Bible doesn’t necessarily say it wasn’t used. Lastly, it should not be overlooked that the structural integrity of wood on ships is often challenged when subjected to speed. TheArk however was only required to float and remain stable. Removing the stresses of speed greatly reduces the demands placed on the wooden hull of theArk. Thus when considering the dimensions (6:1 ratio) of the Ark, the capabilities of ship building in ancient times, the possible use of metal reinforcement, and the removal of speed stresses, it is clear that the wooden Ark, despite it’s large size could have endured the stresses of relentless violent seas.

Problem 3: Gathering the Animals. It is not feasible for every type of animal on the planet to travel to Noah. How did animals that can’t travel over land well, like sloths and penguins, do it? What about animals that can only survive in very precise climates? Or animals that require a very specific diet? What about land animals separated by thousands of miles of ocean?

Answer: The solution to this problem is one of world view. Skeptics place Noah’s Arkwithin the naturalist framework of the earth being billions of years old, and therefore, the continents already separated with vast oceans between them at the time and very distinct regions throughout. However, the creationist model proposes the continents split during the flood, and therefore, the continents had not been separated before the flood, but was instead all locked together in one super continent often referred to as Pangea. Thus, making it possible for all land animals to reach Noah by land.

Likewise, the specification of animals being suited strictly to their environment wasn’t as defined prior to the flood as it is today after the flood. Artic or very arid regions of earth may have not been present prior to the flood. Huge mountain ranges and impenetrable jungles may have not been present either. With one super landmass it is more likely that animals were more widely distributed then they are in the present where they are mostly isolated in particular regions. Furthermore, specialization in these animals and there ecological niches or limited diets may have occurred only after the flood when the post-flood regions were present. This is more plausible when one considers the genetic bottlenecking and dispersal patterns of flora and fauna that would surely have occurred in a global flood situation.

Therefore, the animals may have looked differently, eaten differently, and lived in a climate differently prior to the flood, than how they do now. The varying distinctions between animal species we see today could have very well developed among the animals after the flood. And without such distinct regions on earth prior to the flood, it allows the possibility for the animals to have been living very close to Noah or at least within traveling distance.

As far as how all the animals found Noah… That, unfortunately for skeptics, requires supernatural intervention. There is no natural process one could propose to explain how all the animals navigated their way to the ark accept to point out the migratory capabilities of birds and other animals that can travel very precise courses over thousands of miles. This ability may have played a role in the animals getting to the ark, but for the most part we have to assume God orchestrated this event.

Problem 4: Loading the Animals. There was not nearly enough time to load all the animals on the ark. The sheer number of animals loaded on the Ark would be in the millions, now calculate how long it would take to load each couple, two by two, and now we’re looking at weeks or months of animal loading, if done non-stop 24 hours a day. If the loading was all done in one week as the Bible says you would have to load two to three pairs a second non-stop for 7 days at the slowest.

Answer: Loading the ark is only a time constraint if one insists on there being such a large amount of animals to load. This issue is again one of world view in which skeptics think that two of every animal today would needed to have been loaded on the ark. The difference being that the variety of animals today was not the same as the variety of animals present pre-flood.

Today we are surrounded by such a massive abundance of plant and animal variety, which in reality came from a more narrowed down source. For example, 500 varieties of sweet peas have come from one singe type.[9] There are over 200 breeds of dogs today, despite all coming from one common wild dog (wolf, dingo, etc.)[Figure 2].[10] The wide variety of pigeons we know of today all came from the wild rock pigeon from Europe.[11] So only a small percentage of the animals are needed to repopulate and produce the wide variety of animals we observe today. Then take into consideration that only land dwelling air breathing animals and insects were commanded to board the ark (since aquatic animals, even amphibians, could survive the flood in very small numbers) and you’ve significantly cut down on the number of animals that needed to board the ark.

Figure 2

So how many animals and insects needed to board the ark? Ernst Mayer, one of America’s leading systematic taxonomists lists that there are 1,072,300 species of animals.[12] But most of these species live in the seas. And of those land dwelling creatures remaining, most are very small, like insects. With all ineligible animals removed from the picture, we’re left with only 21,160 varieties of animals that would need to board the ark, or 43,000 coupled (total) at a max. When examining the types of animals more closely, baraminologist A.J. Jones estimates only 2,000 types of animals would need to board the ark.[13] John Woodmorappe suggests 16,000 animals would needed to have boarded the ark at the most.[14] The general consensus from creation scientists puts the number around 35,000 animals total boarding the ark.[15]

With all this considered the time taken for these animals to board the ark is no longer so significant. Given that the animals had one week to board the ark, such a feat could be accomplished fairly easily for eight adults. For example, if 16,000 animals needed to board the ark, in seven days that could be accomplished by loading 50 pairs an hour. At a max of 21,160 pairs, it would take 125 pairs an hour, or a little over two pairs per minute. All very plausible, especially when considering all the very small creatures which could simply be gathered.

Problem 5: Fitting All the Animals on theArk.There are millions of animal species in the world, most of which are extinct. It would therefore be impossible to enclose even a fraction of them on an Ark 450 to 510 feet long.

Answer: As stated in the last answer, fitting all the animals on the ark is not a problem if only 16,000 to 43,000 needed to be on the ark. The dimensions of the ark allow for as much as 145 million cubic feet or 41,000 cubic meters of room inside the ark.[16] Which is the equivalent of 270 or more railroad cars. Large animals like elephants or giraffes were most likely taken aboard as infants which would no doubt save space as well as food and waste constraints. And considering many animals were small birds, rodents or insects, it is possible for only one-fourth of the Ark’s interior would be used for 16,000 animals[17], only two-thirds used for the max 43,000 animals.[18] This of course would leave plenty of room for food, water, and Noah’s small family [Figure 3]. Of which, Woodmorappe proposes that only six to twelve percent of the arks interior would be needed to store food and nine percent would be needed to store water.[19]

Figure 3

Problem 6: Caring for the Animals. Where was all the room for the food? What about animals with specific diets? How was the food kept from spoiling? How was all that animal waste disposed of?  How did a handful of people take care of thousands of animals for a year?

Answer: Skeptics often compare the needs of animals at zoos to that of animals on the ark. Because of this inappropriate comparison, the impossibility of eight people feeding and cleaning up after so many animals is suggested. This comparison is inappropriate however, because zoos keep animals for long periods of time with a goal of keeping the animals healthy and comfortable. The ark however would only be keeping animals for a short period of time (one year) with the goal only being that of survival. This distinction is important, and it is therefore fallacious to apply zoo keeping conditions as mandatory conditions for the ark.

Now, taking into consideration there were only thousands of animals on the ark and not millions, it is much more feasible to propose a small group of people caring for them. Even at that, most skeptics point out the trouble of walking from pen to pen caring for the animals daily. The Bible however does not state how the animals were cared for. It is possible that mechanisms were used like self-feeders, water piped in from bamboo, or angled slats to direct waste to common areas where it could be disposed of.

Also, as said before, specialization of animals would have occurred after the flood, so specialized conditions and diets was most likely not an issue. Many animals eat specialized diets as we observe them today because of their distinct ecosystems in which they now live. Many animals however are not locked into a specific diet and can survive off alternative foods they never ate in the wild.[20] That is, alternative foods which could have been dried and kept in storage for long periods of time without spoiling.

Lastly, we cannot overlook animal hibernation. According the Encyclopedia Britannica, “…another mechanism used by some organisms to avoid stressful environmental conditions is that of dormancy, an inactive state accompanied by a lower than normal rate of metabolism- the chemical processes responsible for the activity, nourishment, and growth of an organism- during which an organism conserves the amount of energy available to it and makes few demands on it’s environment. Most major groups of animals as well as plants have some representatives that can become dormant.”[21] A wide variety of animals on the ark had the ability to hibernate, which would cut down on the amount of resources those animals consumed and the time needed to care for them. This is especially note worthy when dormancy within animals can be triggered by food shortages and changes to oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in their environment, which most definitely would have occurred during the global flood. With that, another question can be postulated: Were all or most of the animals hibernating? Though only a small percentage of animals on the ark could hibernate by today’ standards, more animals may have had the ability to hibernate in the past. We also should not overlook the possibility of God inducing dormancy supernaturally in the animals to aid in their survival while aboard the ark. It may even be suggested that this is the first time dormancy or hibernation was utilized by animals if the pre-flood conditions on earth did not require it. If all the animals had the capability to hibernate on the ark it is possible this capability was lost after the flood as animals became specialized in their post flood ecological niches.

Now skeptics might ask why Noah had to bring food for the animals if they all were hibernating. But this is first neglecting the fact that the animals had to be fed during the boarding process. And second, it shows a lack of understanding of hibernation in animals. Hibernation is not necessarily a deep sleep for months at a time in which the animals does not eat at all.[22] Hibernation observed in most animals is lethargic behavior, fluctuating periods of sleep, and periodical small feeding.[23] Because Genesis does not go into detail on this subject, there is a wide variety of solutions to the care taking “problem.” But it is definitely within the realm of possibility. Not impossibility.

THE FLOOD

Problem 7: Flood Water. Where did all the water come from? There isn’t nearly enough water on the entire planet to cover all of the earth including its mountain tops. After the flood, where did all the water go?

Answer: The Bible states in Genesis 7:11-12 that all the water came from above the earth (rain) and below the earth (fountains from the deep), which would have been driven by volcanic and geothermal events. The current creationist model suggests that the supernatural initiation of plate tectonics caused the disruption which caused the natural catastrophe which drove the global flood. As Dr. Snelling describes in detail;

“As slabs of oceanic lithosphere subducted, elsewhere the tension ripped apart the pre-flood ocean floor and produced rapid extension  along globe-encircling linear belts . This rifting of the oceanic crust  would have allowed mantle material to upwell, the partial melting of it producing new basaltic  ocean crust as sea floor spreading progressed. Because this rifting was so catastrophic and rapid, the pressure drop experienced by the upwelling mantle material was also rapid, causing many of the minerals to find themselves above their melting temperatures, which in turn would have resulted in rapid partial melting.  The hot magma rapidly rising to the ocean floor to cool as new oceanic crust would have come in contact with the ocean water, instantly forming superheated steam. Together with the volatiles degassing from the magma itself, the steam would have erupted from the V-shaped rifts on the ocean floor at super sonic speed as spectacular jets, rising high into the earth’s atmosphere. These jets would have entrained large amounts of liquid sea water and carried it aloft high into the atmosphere. Thus, there would have been a linear chain of geyser-like fountains along the tens of thousands of kilometers of globe encircling  mid-oceanic ridge, matching closely to the description provided in Genesis 7:11. The entrained water carried into the atmosphere would have then fallen back to the earth as intense global rain, which suggests that the opening of the “window of heaven” of Genesis 7:11 is describing the rather sudden onslaught of torrential rain from the water carried aloft by the globe-encircling fountains arising out of the great ocean depths.”[24]

So we have two sources from where the water originated. As far as there not being enough of it to cover the entire earth, that observation is based on how the earth is shaped today with deep oceans and high mountain ranges on land. But remember, prior to the flood the continents had not divided yet, so mountain terrains were not nearly as high as we observe today and the oceans may have been more shallow making it very possible for the water present today being sufficient to cover the entire globe at one time. After which, the flood waters receded into the seas and ocean basins as we currently observe today.

Problem 8: Tsunamis. How did theArksurvive all the Tsunamis? Surely the global flood would produce huge tsunamis. Tsunamis can cause massive destruction on modern day reinforced structures, how could theArkhave withstood not just one tsunami, but multiple tsunamis over the course of a year?

Answer: Tsunamis devastate coast lines because the massive amount of energy that drives the tsunami enters shallow waters and has no place to go but upward above the water forming massive waves or surges. However, over deep water this energy has more room and therefore does not cause hardly any surface disruption.  A tsunami in deep water will usually create a very fast wave about one foot high.[25] The ark would of course be floating over very deep water and would not be subjected to massive tsunamis.[26]

Problem 9: Oxygen and warmth. With the water rising over all the mountain tops, how did the animals on the ark stay warm and breath?

Answer: Atmospheric pressure is responsible for the conditions found on high mountain tops. The higher you go, the less atmosphere you’re under which is why there is a lack of oxygen and colder temperatures. This however would not be an issue for the Ark because atmospheric pressure is related to the sea level.[27] If the sea level rises, and the ark is floating on the sea, then the passengers on the ark will always experience oxygen levels and temperatures found at sea level, not high mountain tops.

Problem 10: Ice Core Evidence. Ice core evidence fromGreenlandgoes back 40,000 years. Some as far back as 120,000 years. But if the Flood was less than 10,000 years ago, the ice sheets of Greenland would have been altered or destroyed by such a flood and therefore could not be 40,000 or 120,000 years old.

Answer: The problem with ice core samples is that their ages are assumed, not fact. It is assumed ice core samples go back a hundred thousand years because it is assumed that the ice sheet formation is very slow and gradual. Case in point is the “Lost Squadron” from WWII. In 1942, a flight of P-38 fighter planes and B-17 bombers were flying to Greenlandwhen a blizzard forced them to crash land on the ice. The crews were rescued but the planes were damaged and left behind. In the 1980’s plans were made to locate these planes and see if they could be salvaged. Based on the general assumed notion that the ice sheet formation is very slow, and only forty years had elapsed since the planes landed on the ice, it was believed that the planes would have maybe a few inches of ice or slush on them. Finding the planes was very difficult however, and about ten years later they were finally located… under 250 feet (75 meters) of ice![28] So much for a slow and gradual formation of ice! Then consider that the ice sheets inGreenland average 300 meters. So if planes from 1942 were found fifty years later under 75 meters of ice, then it is clear that the slow and gradual formation of ice sheets is not correct. And thus they could have formed in thousands of years, not a hundred thousand years. For a more technical study on how ice sheets form and are dated I recommend visiting this site: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v15/n3/greenland

Problem 11: Relative Mountain Ages. For example, why weren’t the Sierra Nevadas eroded as much as theAppalachiansduring the Flood?

Answer: This “problem” assumes that both mountains were in existence prior to the flood, or created at the exact same time during the flood and should therefore have the same erosion features. However, the plate tectonic movement would have created the Appalachian mountain range first exposing the range to more erosion from the flood than the later formed Sierra mountains. As Dr. Snelling describes, “The progressive cycle of catastrophic plate tectonics would ensure, as continental fragments collided, these strata sequences were buckled and folded, faulted and uplifted, perhaps to be temporarily above the Flood waters, only to be eroded again as the flood continued.”[29] As evidence; within deeply eroded mountains like the Appalachians (and the Himalayas or European Alps), exist high-pressure, low-temperature minerals in rock core samples taken from these mountains. Such minerals would be expected in the event of an accelerated geological process which would occur with these mountains rapidly deforming, being buried and then eroded.[30]

Problem 12: Sea Floor Evidence. A year long flood should be recognizable in sea bottom cores by (1) an uncharacteristic amount of terrestrial detritus, (2) different grain size distributions in the sediment, (3) a shift in oxygen isotope ratios (rain has a different isotopic composition from seawater), (4) a massive extinction, and (n) other characters. Why do none of these show up?

Answer: The problems listed here are solved by simply understanding the creation model of the Flood. (1) No large amounts of terrestrial detritus would be expected to be found in the sea floor because of cataclysmic upwelling of the mantle which lifted the ocean lithosphere, forcing the ocean waters onto the land, which is why there are numerous evidences of sea life remains found on land today. In other words, the transportation of water and accumulation of sediment was land bound not ocean bound during the flood, which is why there is no terrestrial evidence in the ocean today. (2) Different grain size distribution (which is evidence of rising or receding waters), would also not be expected in the sea floor since sediment was deposited over the land. Interestingly enough, the sediments that are deposited over land do show rising water levels much higher than the ocean’s current level today. Seismic stratigraphy records show a rise in water levels above current ocean levels starting in the Cambrian deposit that never receded back to current levels until after the Tertiary layers were deposited.[31] (3) The oxygen isotope ratios are solved again based on the flood model depositing sediment over the land, not in the ocean. Which, ironically, oxygen isotopes are evidenced as supporting the flood model as oxygen 18 and oxygen 16 ratios found in rock units and shells gradually increase from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata of the geological record. These increases are evidence of heating, at which the ocean would have increased in temperature as the magma burst through open spreading centers in the ocean as the mantle rose pushing up the ocean lithosphere.[32] (4) As for the massive extinction? Again, the sediments were transported over land, not the ocean basins, so no fossilized extinctions would be expected in the sea floor.

Problem 13: Tree Rings. Why is there no evidence of a flood in tree ring dating? Tree ring records go back more than 10,000 years, with no evidence of a catastrophe during that time.

Answer: This believed “problem” already assumes that the flood did not happen thousands of years ago, or that if the flood occurred thousands of years ago and we have tree rings that go back further, then trees survived the flood and therefore their rings should show evidence of it. But a global flood would have destroyed the vast majority of trees, fossilizing some. The post-flood trees would therefore not have been flood survivors but instead new seed sprouting. So we should not expect to see evidence of a flood in tree rings.

The problem is the misconception of tree rings going back 10,000 years or more. This is a highly debated subject even in the secular realm. Tree ring records are not perfect records to go off of. Trees can produce multiple tree rings in the same year. In observed cases trees can grow up to five rings in the same year.[33] It has also been observed that tress growing side by side will produce a different number of tree rings.[34] In addition, tree ring size (whether large or smaller) can be influenced by dramatic changes in climate, which we would expect after the flood. Comparing tree rings from tree to tree often results in inconsistencies when rings sizes are not similar, and usually leads to long ages like 10,000 years when trees are cross examined with each other.[35] This, again, is a chronological assumption, and it is a poor argument to make against the flood. According to agricultural and plant scientist Dr. Don Batten, “The extended tree ring chronologies are far from absolute, in spite of the popular hype.”[36]

Problem 14: Too Much Heat. The subduction process and rapid plate tectonic movement would release so much heat energy it would boil all the water in the ocean.

Answer: Actually, boiling the water in the ocean is exactly what the flood model suggests, but only in concentrated areas. The heat released as the “fountains of the deep” opened would create super heated steam to rise to exceedingly high levels in the atmosphere producing all the torrential rain fall. The energy released from all this plate activity is estimated to be in the area of 1028 joules.[37] Many argue that such energy is actually required to form many geological features found on earth that cannot be reasonably explained by the uniformitarian low energy, slow and gradual plate movement. For example, continental margin collapses that have moved mountain-size blocks of strata tens of kilometers,[38] or high pressure produced minerals (normally found deep within the earth’s surface) located in collision zones within mountain belts.[39] Massive catastrophic geological activity, as the flood model suggests, are required to form such features.

Problem 15: Cenozoic Sediment. Cenozoic sediments are post-Flood according to the runaway subduction model. Yet fossils from Cenozoic sediments alone show a 65-million-year record of evolution, including a great deal of the diversification of mammals and angiosperms.

Answer: Just because the flood may have ended does not mean that catastrophism ended as well. The massive changes made to the crustal thickness produced during the flood would leave the earth in isostatic disequilibrium with rocks buried very deep in the earth’s interior.[40] These rocks would no doubt become subjected to enormous pressure and temperature, melting them into less dense magmas that would rise to the earth’s surface where some would cool under the surface as intrusions and others form volcanoes in certain areas. The post-Flood environment would be subject to a lot of volcanic activity where large amounts of volcanic ash and debris flows would bury and preserve fossils which would account for the Cenozoic sialic volcanism evidence.[41] Also present in the post-Flood environment would be heavy rainfall in the first few years as the oceans continued to release their heat creating massive storm systems. This heavy rainfall would create catastrophic sedimentation despite occurring after the flood. The eroded sediments would (and did) wash into lakes depositing and preserving millions of different fossilized creatures like fish, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, alligators, birds, bats and invertebrates as has been observed in Green River Formation.[42] Similar fossil bearing Cenozoic sedimentation deposits are found in lakes inWyoming,Utah andColorado. This would explain the presence of fossil bearing sediment after the flood, but it being 65 million years old is an evolutionary assumption which will be refuted in a later addressed problem.

Problem 16: High elevated sediments. Why are most sediments on high ground? Most sediments are carried until the water slows down or stops. If the water stopped in the oceans, we should expect more sediments there. Yet sediments on the ocean basin average 0.6 km thick, while on continents (including continental shelves), they average 2.6 km thick.

Answer: As said before, the sediments were deposited over land, not over the ocean basins during the flood. Since then erosion has carried sediments into the ocean, but not nearly as much as the flood did over land. Additionally, as the ocean plate subducts under the continental plates, since it is lower in density, it often crinkles or pushes up the continental strata and subducts much of the sea floor. Simultaneously the continental plate scrapes up the sea floor surface, both of which increase the continental plates sediment thickness when compared to the ocean sediments. Lastly, it should not be overlooked that such thin sedimentary deposits in the ocean and thick sedimentary deposits high on land work against the uniformitarian assumption of slow and gradual process. Twelve studies have concluded that the volume of sediments eroded from earth’s surface and deposited in the oceans is about 24 billion metric tons per year.[43] Through the process of subduction, the ocean surface only takes 1 billion tons of sediment down with it per year.[44] It doesn’t take a math wiz to figure out that this would lead to 23 billion tons of sediment settling down into the ocean per year. At this rate the entire ocean would become completely clogged with sediment in just 12 million years.[45] On land erosion rates should have completely eaten away at any exposed sedimentary layers long ago. This is because erosion rates on earth average 2.4 inches per thousand years.[46] At this rate, the North American continent should be flush with the sea level after 10 million years of this erosion![47] Most geologists say this is not an issue because of the constant renewing of the surface material from below via uplift forces. But this doesn’t account for the large amount of sediment still present that hasn’t eroded away. If earth is as old as we’re told it is, the land should be stripped of sediments which would have settled in the ocean, successfully clogging the entire ocean… but instead the exact opposite is true…

Problem 17: Consistent geological dates. If the geological dates assigned to the geological record are not correct, then how come radiometric dating just so happens to coincidentally match up perfectly? Surely this is not a mere coincidence over and over again…

Answer: Refuting this claim actually requires a large body of work, which for sake of space I will try to summarize as briefly as possible. To start, it should be recognized that radiometric dating cannot date everything in the ground. It is mostly used on igneous rocks like granite or basalt which were once magmas that cooled and solidified into rock.[48] It is rarely used on sedimentary rocks which are comprised of preexisting materials and rocks redeposit in another location. When a rock cools it can sometimes contain radioactive isotopes that are very unstable, disintegrating over time. The isotope’s original form is called the “parent” isotope, and what it ends up breaking down into is the “daughter” isotope. Therefore, when an igneous rock is analyzed, by measuring the ratio of parent to daughter isotopes, one can determine how old the rock is. It sounds fool-proof, but it is based entirely on assumptions.

Although the isotope ratio currently within the rock can be observed and measured, it cannot be known the conditions from which the rock formed and the environment the rock was placed in since then. There are essentially three factors that scientists assume with radiometric dating: (1) The initial ratio of parent and daughter isotopes in the rock when it first cooled or crystallized. It is assumed that there is no daughter isotopes within the rock initially, and therefore any daughter isotopes found within the rock are assumed to be the result of decay. (2) The ratio of parent and daughter isotopes after crystallization has not been altered since, except by decay. In other words, since formation the rock it could neither gain nor lose any isotopes except through radioactive decay. (3) The rate of decay has always been the same and has never changed.[49] Think of it like an hour glass. Imagine you walk into a room and find an hour glass draining sand from end to the other. How long has it been since that hour glass was turned over? You may look at the hour glass and notice that the sand in both ends appears equal so it has probably been draining for 30 minutes. But do you really know that. How do you know there wasn’t already sand in bottom when it was turned? How do you know someone hadn’t removed or added any sand to the hourglass wile it was draining? How do you know the sand has been falling at a constant rate? Since you were not there to see the hour glass turned and monitor it ever since, you cannot know for sure. Such is the case with rock formation.

What we can do is test rocks against each other. Put the same rock to multiple tests. Or simply put, take actual rocks we’ve witnessed crystallizing to be tested. Heck, if radioisotope dating is accurate, rocks should accurately test against one another, one rock should get the same age despite multiple tests, and the dating should match the time we saw certain rocks actually form. But such is not the case. Rock samples from the freshly formed lava dome from the Mount St. Helenseruption went in for Potassium-Argon dating and came back with an age range of 0.5 to 2.8 million years old[50]… but we saw the rock form in 1986. Rocks taken from New Zealand’s active volcano Mount Ngauruhoe were known to be less than 70 years old, yet when sent in to get dated they yielded an age range from 0.27 to 3.5 million years old.[51] One experiment involved taking multiple rock samples from different locations (to omit bias) and sending one sample from each location to multiple labs. Each lab produced different ages for the same rocks with some differences being up to 500 million years.[52] Rock samples from “old” strata and “young” strata of the Grand Canyon produced results that aged the “old” rock at 1.11 billion years old and “young” rock at 1.14 billion years old.[53] How does that make sense? Samples from the Bear Tooth Mountains produced an age range of over one billion years for the same rocks, and Bass Rapid Sill samples produced an age range of 537 million years for the same rocks.[54]

In summary, there is nothing “consistent” about radiometric dating and the geological record. They DO NOT match up perfectly, as we’re falsely lead to believe. The only coincidence here is that a dating method that is based on unknown assumptions provides contradicting ages, an enormous range of ages, and most importantly, flat out WRONG ages.

Problem 18: Fossil sorting. How come the sorting of fossils in the fossil record is perfect for evolution? Why don’t we see more modern animals like elephants fossilized along side older animals like dinosaurs? Or older plants alongside newer plants?

Answer: Stating that fossil sorting is “perfect” for evolution is an assumption that evolution is fact to begin with. After all, the fossilized layers in the ground are only perfect for evolution if you believe the fossilized layering is the result of slow and progressive evolution. How is that not circular reasoning? One could, however, examine this same layering and conclude it is evidence of global flood activity.

The first concept that needs to be established is that the fossil record is not a record of “life” but a record of “death.” Massive and catastrophic death. Even evolutionists believe that the fossil record is a record of 17 massive extinction periods,[55] they just believe there were millions of years of evolution between these periods of extinction and fossilization. The creationist on the other hand believes that the majority of the fossils stem from one single catastrophic event; the Flood. In addition, animals found fossilized next to each other didn’t necessarily live together, but they certainly did die together.

So how could the fossil record be interpreted as evidence of the flood? Well, all one must do is observe the variety of ecosystems worldwide. We have deserts and alpine forests and tropical rainforests and artic tundra. Some ecosystems bear millions of species, some seem to bear hardly any at all. But they most certainly are very different from one another in the variety of creatures that live within them. Such ecological distinctions were present in the pre-Flood world (though not as distinct or extreme as today’s environments) in different regions, but most importantly, different altitudes. As the flood waters rose they would inundate, wash away, and then bury such zones sequentially. So creatures found in the lower strata of the geological record would be creatures that lived at lower altitudes and warmer climates, while those found in higher strata lived in higher altitudes and colder climates.

So to break it down, the Flood can account for sorting of fossils as such: As the ocean lithosphere began to break up in the beginning of the flood and rise, massive currents would have swept up the sea floor sediments depositing them over land constituting the primitive organisms like brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, corals, graptolites, echinoderms and crustaceans, that lived in the sea found in the lower strata.[56] Eventually these currents would hit shallower ocean waters consuming the life there. It should be noted that the lower strata of the Cambrian, Silurian, Ordovician and Devonian periods are almost exclusively a record of shallow marine invertebrates with fish and amphibians only found in the higher Ordovician and Devonian strata.[57] According to French Geologist Dr. Maurice Gignoux, “At least 1500 species of invertebrates are known in the Cambrian, all marine, of which 60% are trilobites and 30% brachiopods.”[58] In fact, it is not until the higher Carboniferous and Permian strata that we come across the first land animals.[59] Take into account behavior and higher mobility of vertebrates over invertebrates, and it becomes obvious that vertebrates had the mobility and capability to try to find safety on higher lands as the flood waters rose. The higher up in the strata the more capable the animals were to evading the rising waters. Humans, being the most capable and adaptable to avoid the flood waters would of course be last in the sequence. Additionally hydrodynamic sorting, which will be later covered, would have also lead to significant sorting of the fossil record.

Dr. Snelling summarizes, “Because the Flood began in the ocean basins with the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, strong and destructive ocean currents were generated by upheavals and moved swiftly landward, scouring the sediments on the ocean floor and carrying them and the organisms living in, on and near them. These currents and sediments reached shallower continental shelves , where shallow-water marine invertebrates lived… Unable to escape, these organisms would have been swept away and buried in the sediment layers as they were dumped where the waters crashed onto the land surfaces being progressively inundated farther inland… the sediments washed shoreward from ocean basins would have progressively buried fish, then amphibians and reptiles living in lowland, swampy habitats, before eventually sweeping away the dinosaurs and burying them next, and finally at the highest elevations destroying and burying birds, mammals and angiosperm.”[60] So as you can see, the sorting of fossils that is claimed to be so convenient for evolution, can be just as convenient for the creation model of the flood. As far as why elephants aren’t buried with dinosaurs or “newer” plants with “older” plants. If such organisms lived in different regions or elevations and had different capabilities for escaping the rising water, then they would be subsequently inundated and buried by the flood sediments at different times. Lastly, it should be noted that the presence of “living fossils” found today despite being thought of as extinct for millions of years, living beyond the age of rock they were once exclusively found in, throws a wrench in the fossil sorting for evolutionists, but supports creationists

Problem 19: Fossils under coral reefs. How did fossils end up under coral reefs hundreds of feet thick and miles long?

Answer: The supposed problem here is that coral reefs grow very slowly over thousands of years, which naturalists date back prior to the flood. So how could fossils created by the flood be found under reefs that would have taken thousands of years to grow themselves? The problem is in the assumption made by this question. The assumption is drawn from coral reef “pieces” that are found, not an actual intact coral reef hundreds of feet thick and miles long.

Geologist Dr. Emil Silvestru explains, “When pieces of bioherms have been found inside masses of carbonate they were assumed to reflect a reef. In fact, modern reefs are never incorporated in carbonate platforms (the vast majority of limestone deposits in the rock record are areal platforms [those covering a large area rather than a localized deposition] and even larger surfaces. When preserved as narrow limestone ridges with broken elements of reef, limestone massifs are almost always olistoliths [very large chunks of rocks resting on younger rocks] revealing tectonic displacement. They frequently rest on ophiolites [basalts placed along mid ocean ridges], not fossil beds.”[61]

In conclusion, what is claimed to be coral reefs, aren’t coral reefs at all but merely pieces of coral reefs. There is therefore, no conflict with the flood model.

Problem 20: The floating and sinking of organisms. Why are smaller organisms found in the lowest strata when they are lighter and would have taken longer to sink? They should be found in higher strata.

Answer: If smaller organisms took longer to sink as they slowly settled down to the bottom there would be no fossils of them, period![62] Fossilization is a rapid burial process. Therefore, they should not be found in higher strata for sinking slowly. There is also hydrodynamic sorting to consider. As Dr. Snelling explains, “Moving water hydrodynamically selects and sorts particles of similar sizes and shapes. Together with the effect of the specific gravities of the respective organisms, this would have ensured deposition of the supposedly simple marine invertebrates in the first-deposited strata that are now deep in the geologic record of the Flood… Moving water, or moving particles in still water, exerts ‘drag’ forces on immersed bodies… Particles in motion will tend to settle out in proportion mainly to their specific gravity (or density) and sphericity.”[63] Despite the marine organisms being smaller they were very dense for there size. Trilobites and brachiopods for example are mostly composed of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate, which are dense, heavier than quartz, which is the most common rock found in sands and gravels.[64] Taking into consideration the first creatures impacted by the Flood would have been the smaller sea organisms and it is easy to understand why they appear first in the fossil record.

Problem 21: Footprints. Why are foot prints sorted in geological layers? Shouldn’t they be found in only one place?

Answer: Interestingly enough, most animal tracks imprinted on the slopes of under water sand dunes are traveling uphill.[65] Naturally as animals were being swept up by the flood those that were temporarily fortunate enough to be washed into areas where they could get a footing would obviously scramble up to higher elevations. As the strata was deposited periodically, there would also be evidence of animals scrambling out of the flood waters in the deposits, only to be eventually consumed by increasing flood waters. This would explain why there are various footprints through out the record.

Problem 22: Human artifacts. Why don’t we find human artifacts mixed in with other extinct animals. If at the time of the flood, humans were coexisting with all these animals shouldn’t we find tools, buildings and other man made objects along side trilobites for example?

Answer: We wouldn’t find trilobites with human artifacts simply because trilobites lived on the ocean floor and last time I checked humans did not live on the ocean floor. Human artifacts like buildings and other constructed objects would have surely been destroyed by the flood waters, with their materials, if stones or brick, scattered and indistinguishable. Any materials made of wood would have floated and would not have been caught in the fossilization process which also explains the lack of human fossils with other animals fossils as humans would have sought shelter on floating objects as well as have been more capable of reaching high ground, thus eliminating any significant chance of humans being rapidly buried and subsequently fossilized.

Problem 23: Ecological sorting. Ecological information is consistent within but not between layers. Fossil pollen is one of the more important indicators of different levels of strata. Each plant has different and distinct pollen, and, by telling which plants produced the fossil pollen, it is easy to see what the climate was like in different strata. Was the pollen hydraulically sorted by the flood water so that the climatic evidence is different for each layer?

Answer: Ecological sorting would be consistent with the creation model asserting that the flood waters reached different elevations periodically accounting for the differences in ecological environments. But using fossil pollen for ecological system indicators is not appropriate. As Dr. Silvestru explains, “Pollen-based climate reconstructions are viable only for the Quaternary. We have no idea how the pollen of extinct plants can reflect climate. Other data (usually oxygen isotopes) is used for that. Previous to the Flood, there was a vast array of plants and pollen, and the climate was mild worldwide. Fossil pollen actually reflects that. Only in the Quaternary, because of the Ice Age, do we have drastic flora shifts recorded by pollen. Well, the Quaternary is post-Flood.”[66]

Problem 24: Surface features below surface. How can surface features like, up-right trees, wind blown dunes, river channels, beaches, animal burrows etc, appear in geological layers far below the surface if they at one time were not the exposed land surface?

Answer: This problem is similar to the footprint “problem.” If it is understood that the flood waters deposited sediments periodically such features are possible. Additionally, some of the above mentioned examples like erosion and burrows are rarely found between sedimentary layers,[67] which should in fact be the opposite if the sediments were laid down slowly and gradually over millions of years. There should be much more evidence of such features if that was the case but they are rare in the sense that millions of years of time should have left a staggering record of such activity. This is a problem for conventional geologists.

A perfect example is a case in Venezuelawhere two thin coal seams were separated by 30 cm of clay. The coal seams were dated to the Paleocene and upper Eocene, which are periods separated by a supposed 15 million years.[68] So in 15 million the only thing we have to show for it is 30 cm of clay which have no evidence of 15 million years of erosion or biological activity…  In the United States there is a massive formation from the Pliocene (2 to 5 million years old) that sits directly on top of the Triassic Trujillo Formation (208 million years old).[69] So we have two formations right on top of each other despite a 200 million year period separating them. TheTrujillo formation is very soft and there should 200 million years of valley and canyon erosion in it. But instead it sits flat and flush below the Pliocene formation.

Geologist Edwin McKee of the US Geological Survey wrote, “In a number of areas no physical evidence of a physical break has been detected and at these places a boundary between formations can be established only by placing it arbitrarily where a lithologic change occurs. Thus, the significance of the surface as a record of regional erosion seems questionable.”[70]

Yet there are still features (as few as they may be) which to the average skeptic should not be present in the event of a sudden global flood. Trees being found between strata will be discussed in a later problem (#29). But as for wind blown dunes all that one has to do is ask them selves how do they know the dunes are wind blown. This is a very common misconception when sand dunes are found in cross beds. It is therefore assumed the surface was once a dry desert landscape, which would not be possible during a global flood. But studies conducted on footprints found in these “desert” sand dunes indicate some were formed on sand under water and some along the water’s edge.[71] A great example of supposed windblown dunes is the deposit in the Coconino Sandstones of the Grand Canyon. Interestingly enough, all but one of the fossilized track ways found in the Coconino dunes were that of vertebrates traveling up slope and the direction of travel was different than the direction their toes were pointed in.[72] This would only be possible if the vertebrates were being moved along by a current underwater while trying to scramble up slope out of the flood waters. In addition, today it is often observed that large storms or tides create underwater dunes in sea floor sands called “sand waves.”[73] These underwater sand dunes have a high quartz content just like those found between strata. Sand waves also have shallow slopes whereas sand dunes found in the desert have steeper slopes. Interestingly enough the sand formations between strata have shallow slopes like that of sand waves.[74] Additionally, sand grain sizes measured in the sand features between strata match more closely to that of sand waves than wind blown sand dunes.[75] And the last bit of evidence proving that these formations between strata were underwater sand waves and not dry windblown sand dunes is the presence of a feature called “parting lineation.” Parting lineation only forms in fast-flowing waters and has never been observed in any desert sand dunes.[76] With all this considered, it is easy to conclude that the sand dunes found are not that of dry wind blown dunes, but of submerged flood driven sand waves.

Here you can see the submerged sand waves found near San Francisco California in the bay surface.

When considering the river channels discovered far below ground within the strata, they are consistent with fast flowing debris moving channels as we would expect in a global flood, not meandering slow moving rivers with sediment build up as would be the case with a surface river over the course of millions of years. Animal burrowing, though sparse, would be expected to as animals capable of burrowing would attempt to burrow up and out of the depositing flood sediments. Over the course of millions of years we should find a much larger concentration of animal burrowing evidence, which we do not. Beaches would also be present as flood waters deposited sand periodically. So clearly all the claimed surface features found deep within strata do not require millions of years to be there, and as the evidence shows, more than likely occurred during the flood.

Problem 25: Angular unconformities. How does a global flood explain angular unconformities? These are where one set of layers of sediments have been extensively modified (e.g., tilted) and eroded before a second set of layers were deposited on top. They thus seem to require at least two periods of deposition (more, where there is more than one unconformity) with long periods of time in between to account for the deformation, erosion, and weathering observed.

Answer: Angular unconformities, like the Great Unconformity found in theGrand Canyon, are definitely considered in the Biblical model for Earth’s geology. If one knew the creation model they would know that the Precambrian rock forming the angled unconformity is believed to have been created mostly in the initial creation week, Pre-Flood. Hence it’s vast lacking of fossils. Whereas the Paleozoic rock was deposited during the flood. Unconformities in between are possible too considering the sedimentary deposits were sequential and not a simultaneous deposit in mass. This would account for the “two periods of deposition” with erosion in between. Erosion, mind you, that is more applicable to catastrophic forces than slow and gradual forces.

Problem 26: Granite batholiths. When did granite batholiths form? Some of these are intruded into older sediments and have younger sediments on their eroded top surfaces. It takes a long time for magma to cool into granite, nor does granite erode very quickly.

Answer: There are three factors necessary for granite batholiths: Generation, in which part of the continental crust in melted; Segregation, the now melted rock collects together; and Ascent, in which the now warmer and more buoyant melted rock ascends to the surface.[77] As the melted rock ascends it gradually cools off and erosion above the granite exposes it at the surface. Such a process no doubt seems as though it would require millions of years to occur…

However more recent studies on granite formation has lead to a new understanding of this process. It has been modeled that during the segregation phase veins of melted granite flow through porous fractures referred to as dykes. As the melted rock flows through these dykes they become wider and wider until they reach a critical point and collapse, the buildup of melted granite unable to flow further reaches a point to where another vein rapidly forms until it too becomes too large and collapses.[78] Thus the cycle repeats itself in rapid catastrophic fashion. Evidence of this is believed to be observed in granites which the extraction of the melted rock was so rapid the zirconium inside did not have time to equilibrate. Such is the case with granites from the Himalayas which were extracted in less than 150 years[79] and granites from Quebec which extracted in just 23 years.[80]

As far as ascension, old models suggested that granites ascended in one large mass upwards. But there were numerous problems with this notion, namely how such a large plume could push its way through to the surface. It’s like trying to push Jell-O through a brick wall. In addition the rising would be so slow that eventually the plume would cool and stop ascending (or “freeze”) never getting near the surface. But in more recent times it is now suggested and supported that melted granites rise through narrow dykes or along fault lines up towards the surface in rapid fashion pluming at the top. Granites in Coloradoand British Columbiasupport this notion, as they contain epidote crystals which is only possible if the granite ascended at a rate of 0.7 km to 1.4 km a year.[81]  Geologists estimate that a 6 meter wide gap is enough to transport melted rock upward at a rate of 1cm a second.[82] This rate is so fast that a narrow dyke 10 km long could supply enough melted granite in 350 years to form the entire 6,000 km2 Cordillera Blanca batholith inPeru.

Cooling times for the granite is not a long process either. A 2km thick plume of melted granite can cool in about 3,500 to 5,000 years.[83] So in summary, with evidence of rapid extraction, ascension and cooling it is entirely possible for granite plumes initiated by the flood’s geothermal activity to rapidly ascend to the surface where erosion exposed their surfaces. As Dr. Snelling asserts, “Even the conventional long-ages geologic community now regards the formation stages of granite plutons, after partial melting of source rocks to form granitic melts, that is, melt segregation, ascent and emplacement, to be ‘geologically extremely rapid—perhaps even catastrophic.’”[84]

Problem 27: Detailed Layering. How can a single flood be responsible for such extensively detailed layering? One formation in New Jerseyis six kilometers thick. If we grant 400 days for this to settle, and ignore possible compaction since the Flood, we still have 15 meters of sediment settling per day. And yet despite this, the chemical properties of the rock are neatly layered, with great changes (e.g.) in percent carbonate occurring within a few centimeters in the vertical direction. How does such a neat sorting process occur in the violent context of a universal flood dropping 15 meters of sediment per day? How can you explain a thin layer of high carbonate sediment being deposited over an area of ten thousand square kilometers for some thirty minutes, followed by thirty minutes of low carbonate deposition, etc.?

Answer: As it has been demonstrated in other answers, the flood was catastrophic. Enough to deposit large amounts of sediment. Hydrodynamic sorting, testable and observable, reveals the sorting principals of water currents. Neatly sorted sediments are found in the aftermath of hurricanes and flashfloods due to hydrodynamic sorting. More on this, as well as the high and low carbonate layering will be discussed further in the next problem of Varve Formation.

Problem 28: Varve Formation. The Green River formation inWyomingcontains 20,000,000 annual layers, or varves, identical to those being laid down today in certain lakes. The sediments are so fine that each layer would have required over a month to settle.

Answer: The thinly laminated shales known as varves (or rhythmites) are poor references for dating. It is conventionally thought they form during winter and summer sedimentation. But varve formation can vary due to flood discharges, climate changes, and differences in organic accumulation, all of which would vary the appearance and size of the varve deposits.[85] Such variations make the use varve deposits for dating troublesome, because there are too many variables that determine their make up which are not consistent, especially over long periods of time. For example, the Walensee of Switzerland generally receives an average deposit of two laminae a year, but has on many occasions received up to five laminae in one year because of flooding.[86] This unreliability is further indicated when varve counts are checked against radiocarbon dating and yet never seem to match. In one case a sequence of varves yielded an age of 28,000 years and radiocarbon dating of the same sequence yielded 10,000 years.[87] Sometimes the varves are so thin they are left undefined or are assumed missing, further indicating their unreliability.

Geologist Dr. Richard Flint writes of this uncertainty, “…the correlation of rhythmites, as described above, depends on the judgment of the person who matches the curves, and therefore is not wholly objective.”[88] He also has written, “Even the varve correlation… through the very short distance between Denmark and southern Sweden was severely criticized on the grounds that the implied relative dates of the several Danish deposits concerned are in complete conflict with the stratigraphic evidence. The whole matter of the reliability and usefulness of the varve correlation is at present in an unsatisfactory state.”[89]

But even if varve sequences are unreliable for gauging exact time, uniformitarians believe they still require slow and gradual accumulation to form. Too slow to only be a few thousand years old. In the event of large scale catastrophic flood, which could produce them quickly, skeptics point out that such finely laminate varves cannot be formed in sudden violent conditions. Yet, there are many modern observations of just that. In 1960, a hurricane flooded Floridaleaving behind a six inch layer of mud with numerous thinly laminated varves.[90] A flood in Colorado’s Bijou Creek deposited over 100 thinly laminated varves in just twelve hours.[91] But the greatest example came from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens which left behind a 25 foot thick layer of laminated ash in a matter of seconds.[92]

The thin laminae layed down at Mount St. Helens in a matter of seconds.

Lastly, the Green River formation in particular cannot be evidenced as incredibly slow accumulating annual varves because the varves are interbedded with various fossils, most notably catfish.[93] These fossils are in incredible condition with skin, scales and other “soft parts” still intact. Such preservation is only possible with rapid burial and fossilization. Slow and gradual varve development would not yield such preserved fossils… or any fossils for that matter.

Amazing preserved fish fossils found in the Green River formations.

Problem 29: Layered Fossil Forests. Stratigraphic sections showing a dozen or more mature forests layered atop each other–all with upright trunks, in-place roots, and well-developed soil–appear in many locations. One example, the Joggins section along the Bay of Fundy, shows a continuous section 2750 meters thick (along a 48-km sea cliff) with multiple in-place forests, some separated by hundreds of feet of strata, some even showing evidence of forest fires.

Answer: It is important to note, when considering fossil forests, that both vertical and horizontal tree stumps are found, exposed petrified trees have broken roots, intact roots are small root systems, not large root systems (those with large root systems have been broken off), the majority of the trees are cut off at the top and do not extend into higher strata where other petrified trees are located, and the few that do, do not show signs of rotting, weathering or insect infestation which would be evident if they were exposed in the open for a long period of time.[94] All of which is sufficient evidence that the fossilized trees were not fossilized where they originally grew but were instead transported elsewhere, deposited and then buried. Some object that fallen (horizontal) trees are present in today’s forests and therefore should not be considered evidence of a rapid and violent disturbance. But interestingly enough, all horizontal trees are orientated in the same direction, which is not evident in any of today’s forests.[95] Such uniform orientation of horizontal trees reveals a strong directional current, whether a volcanic mudslide or flood current, which would be present during the Flood. Analysis of the wood from the trees indicates they grew in the same environment, which would be the case in the event of a flood deposit, but would not be the case if the forests were separated by long periods of time.[96] In addition, many fossilized trees have been found standing upright through multiple layers of sedimentary strata, known as polystrate fossils.[97] This actually would testify to rapid depositing, not slow and gradual depositing as the tree would decompose long before the next deposit if it had taken long periods of time to form, nor can a tree grow through solidified sedimentary strata. The only plausible explanation for polystrate fossilized trees is rapid formation as would occur during the flood.

A superb example of such catastrophic forces causing just such a scenario as we find with fossilized forests is again Mount St. Helens. Millions of trees within 150 square miles of forest were blown down by a blast of superheated gas. This was followed by an avalanche from the summit as all the snow and ice on it instantly melted creating a tsunami of debris that pounded down into SpiritLake. Many trees from the blast zone were carried off into the lake from these forces where a number were grounded on the bottom with their roots buried in mud and organic debris. Some time later as the lake bottom was investigated many upright trees were found at the bottom as if they had grown in place there.[98] Many trees that were floating on the surface became water logged and eventually sank (root end down because the roots are denser) where they too took anchor in the accumulating sediment at the lake bottom. As time passed more and more trees sank and more and more loosely floating light sediments sank as well, providing a staggered layering of trees like we find in fossil forests today.

Now some of you may still be thinking that though this layering of trees is possible, petrification takes way too long to be a result of the flood. Yet, there is abundant evidence to the contrary. Petrification is a fast process. It is, after all, directly testable and repeated experiments testify to this. One such experiment conducted involved placing blocks of wood in hot alkaline springs to test the rate at which silica deposited on the wood cellular surface. The experiment yielded results of 0.1 to 0.4mm a year.[99] In Japan, full petrification of wood has also been observed to occur in tens to hundreds of years.[100] So clearly it is possible for fossilized forests to be the result of rapid catastrophic flood and volcanic activity.

Problem 30: Limestone Deposits. Much limestone is made of the skeletons of zillions of microscopic sea animals. Some deposits are thousands of meters thick. Were all those animals alive when the Flood started? If not, how do you explain the well-ordered sequence of fossils in the deposits? Roughly 1.5 x 1015 grams of calcium carbonate are deposited on the ocean floor each year. A deposition rate ten times as high for 5000 years before the Flood would still only account for less than 0.02% of limestone deposits.

Answer: The answer to this problem lies in how limestone deposits are formed. It is assumed that the accumulation of lime mud in tropical oceans is the only way such deposits can form. However, making such a comparison is not valid. The lime mud slowly accumulating in tropical oceans today are mostly comprised of silt sized crystals (90% aragonite and 10% calcite, about 20 microns in diameter), vs. the ancient limestone deposits we find in earth strata which are comprised of clay sized crystals of almost all calcite and a little dolomite, 4 microns in diameter) with larger sand sized skeletal fragments here and there.[101] As Dr. Randolph Steinen, head of the Connecticut Geological and Natural History Survey clarifies, “… the grain (crystal) size distribution and grain (crystal) shape characteristics of modern lime-mud sediment are very different from their lithified counterparts.”[102] Ergo, it would not be logical to compare the two and assert that ancient limestone deposits took just as long to form as we observe them now.

Additionally, the limestone deposits we study today must have lithified very rapidly because in them we have found some of the most preserved fossils, often called “perfect” fossils. One fish fossil from the Santana Formation in Brazilwas preserved so perfectly it is believed the lithification was instantaneous and that fossilization was probably the cause of death for the fish![103] The same perfect fossilizations are found in limestone deposits inGermany andMexico.

Lastly, such rapid settling of lime mud has been found possible in the Floridaand Bahamasregion. It was observed that in very calm waters the mud accumulated slowly. But in water with increased movement the mud aggravated into pelletoids with the hydrodynamic characteristics of sand grain sized particles. And thus, the mud settled very quickly![104]

Problem 31: Chalk Deposits. How could a flood have deposited chalk? Chalk is largely made up of the bodies of plankton 700 to 1000 angstroms in diameter. Objects this small settle at a rate of .0000154 mm/sec. In a year of the Flood, they could have settled about half a meter.

Answer: The first indicator that the chalk beds are not created as slowly as uniformists believe is that the chalk beds are pure, having nothing else mixed in with them.[105] This is difficult to believe considering how slowly they supposedly accumulate. In addition to that; many chalk beds are rhythmically bedded, have joint-like breaks or bedding planes, occasional thick marl bands, chalk pebbles within the marls, hollow erosion junctions, uneven distribution (not laid out flat), erosion on submarine surfaces of the chalk, and some even have fine-grained chalk with textural, parallel lamination bedding. All of which is evidence of rapid deposition and/or strong and turbid currents when deposited.[106] Thus, there is sufficient evidence that rapid accumulation occurred.

Furthermore, the planktons that create the chalk beds (coccoliths and diatomites) do not exist in consistent concentrations but instead fluctuate depending on conditions. When the conditions are right this can lead to “blooms” in which the plankton population explodes. It is known that blooms are connected to turbulent waters, wind, decaying fish, nutrients from freshwater, upwelling and temperature.[107] If you think about it, all the factors that drive these blooms would have been present during the cataclysmic flood in massive proportions. Surely there were massive blooms during this event. Most importantly, many types of plankton form large multi-cellular organisms several millimeters in length during these blooms which would have lead to their bodies sinking more rapidly to the bottom where they accumulated.

Problem 32: Salt Deposits. How could the Flood deposit layers of solid salt? Such layers are sometimes meters in width, interbedded with sediments containing marine fossils. This apparently occurs when a body of salt water has its fresh-water intake cut off, and then evaporates. These layers can occur more or less at random times in the geological history, and have characteristic fossils on either side.

Answer: These salt deposits are also referred to as “evaporites.” The problem here is that even the uniformitarian explanation above cannot account for the massive thickness of salt deposits if evaporation was the cause of it. Some salt deposits are so thick it would have taken the evaporation of a salt water body 130,000 meters high to form them.[108] So obviously there are other forces at work to cause these deposits other than evaporation.

The first thing that needs to be established is that the salt beds are more complex than just salt. They can contain gypsum, halite, magnesium and potassium salts.[109] The most notable deposits being that of halite (sodium chloride). Here we come across an issue because experiments conducted on salt water evaporation yield precipitated salts much different in composition[110] than what we observe in our salt beds (deposits) which is mostly halite. The only way water can precipitate halite while evaporating is if new sea water is constantly being added to a body of evaporating sea water maintaining the water volume while brine concentrations increase to the point that halite is precipitated.[111] As geologist Dr. Francis Pettijohn describes, “The crystallization of the brine is very complex, and depends not only on the solubility of the salts involved but also upon the concentration of the several salts present and the temperature… Inasmuch as many evaporate deposits show marked exceptions to the above requirements, simple evaporation of sea water did not occur, and either the parent brine was not formed from sea water or the evaporation took place under special conditions that will explain the anomalies.”[112]  Just what special conditions could have caused such deposits?

Dr. Snelling suggests that transportation of water is the key, “The ‘evaporite’ minerals have, in fact, been transported and reworked in the same way as the constituents of sandstones, siltstones, shales, and limestones. Transport can occur by normal fluid-flow processes, or by mass-transport processes such as slumps and turbidity currents. Turbidity currents transport mechanisms may have been particularly important in deposition of many ‘ancient’ deep-water evaporate deposits. Thus evaporate deposits display sedimentation  features the same as sandstones, siltstones, shales, and limestones, including both normal and reverse grain-size grading, cross-bedding and ripple marks. Such features are clearly related to water-transportand deposition.”[113]

Lastly, evaporation is slow and gradual and requires lots of time. But this would only be a problem if evaporation was the only method by which brine concentrated and precipitated salts. Thankfully, it is not. Volcanic waters and hydrothermal fluids are very rich with saline. When saline mixes with cold ocean water the sudden temperature drop causes the water mixture to become overly saturated with several salts. The water mixture cannot hold the salts, and thus precipitates it rapidly.[114] This is frequently observed around deep sea hydrothermal vents. Such actions were numerous at a large scale during the global flood, and can therefore account for the large salt beds we find today.

Problem 33: Hermatite Layers. Standard theory is that they were laid down before Earth’s atmosphere contained much oxygen. In an oxygen-rich regime, they would almost certainly be impossible.

Answer: This problem is assuming that there is only one way hermatite can form: ultraviolet rays hitting iron hydroxide forming hermatite.[115] This would require a level of ultraviolet rays so concentrated, they could have only penetrated earth’s atmosphere to reach the surface if there was no oxygen in the atmosphere.

But there is another way hermatite can form. The first clue is that hermatite is found in sedimentary rocks sandwiched between two volcanic layers, indicating they were formed in deep water anywhere from 200m to 1,000m. This is deduced from lack of erosion surfaces on the rocks, lack of wave or current textures, lack of subaerial volcanism, lack of bubbles in the surrounding volcanic rock, and the absence of aerosols, detrital material and volcanic ash.[116] Such formation of hermatite under water would require oxygen in the water, which would mean there was oxygen in the atmosphere. Furthermore, if the hermatite was formed by ultraviolet rays there would be crystals within the rock, but there is not.[117] So it can be concluded that the hermatite we find today was not formed in an oxygen-less environment, but instead in an oxygen-rich environment, and therefore does not conflict with the Flood model.

Problem 34: Organic Material. Where did all the organic material in the fossil record come from? There are 1.16 x 1013 metric tons of coal reserves, and at least 100 times that much unrecoverable organic matter in sediments. A typical forest, even if it covered the entire earth, would supply only 1.9 x 1013 metric tons.

Answer: First we should point out the “problems” with the uniformitarian model of how coal beds are formed. The uniformitarian model suggests that organic materials collected in peat swamps and condensed over long periods of time. Yet we find fauna and flora within these beds that could not have lived in a peat swamp environment. The peat swamp model also does not account for how widespread coal beds are across the continents. The coal beds are also interbedded with marine fossils… not likely in a peat swamp. The uniformitarian excuse is that the continents would form peat swamps, then sink below the ocean surface, then rise to form peat swamps again, then sink again, and so on and so forth. In that case, the IllinoisBasinwith its eighty marine layer sequences would have sank and risen below and above the ocean eighty times,[118] despite no geological system to facilitate such actions other than the pseudo-science claim that given enough time, anything is possible.

Instead what we should take note of is the field evidence of repeated deposited sediments and broken up floating vegetation within coal beds. Such evidence fits well with the flood model of floating debris being transported and buried by sediments where it in turn transformed to coal. The flood model would also explain well the interbedded marine fossils.

To address the claim that a global flood could not have collected enough vegetation to account for the large deposits of coal we see today requires a proper understanding of coal formation. Many skeptics like to inflate the amount of organic material needed to make coal, however studies show that eight to ten meters of compacted organic material can create one meter of coal,[119] or in some cases as little as five to six meters of organics can create one meter of coal.[120] Although this still wouldn’t account for all of today’s coal considering the current volume organic material on earth, it helps dramatically.

Next it should be addressed that the amount of organic material today was not necessarily the amount of organic material on earth pre-flood. There could have been much more. In fact, if continents were not as dispersed, and mountain ranges not as large pre-Flood as they are expected to have been, then there would have been large amounts of dense vegetation on what is now currently desert. Today desert covers one-fifth of the earth’s surface[121] with the ocean covering seven-tenths of the earth’s surface, it is easy to see how much of our land today is desert. This leads us to the other assumption that earth’s land surfaces are the same as they were during the flood. Yet, the pre-flood surface of earth was nothing like today’s earth. There could have indeed been much more land surface available for vegetation. Lastly, there is numerous fossil evidence of floating forest mats that once existed in shallow oceans.[122] Just how pervasive these floating forest mats where is unknown, but there abundance in the fossil record suggests they were very common. So in conclusion, in the pre-flood world with more land and more vegetation, there was ample organic material present to account for today’s coal beds.

Problem 35: Pervasive Aquatic Fossils. How do you explain the relative commonness of aquatic fossils? A flood would have washed over everything equally, so terrestrial organisms should be roughly as abundant as aquatic ones (or more abundant, since Creationists hypothesize greater land area before the Flood) in the fossil record. Yet shallow marine environments account for by far the most fossils.

Answer: This problem shows a lack of understanding of many basic natural observations, some of which is just common sense. Yes aquatic animals are more common in fossil records. But eighty percent of all the life in the world lives in the ocean.[123] So of course we would find more marine life in the fossil record than terrestrial life. In addition, terrestrial life was more capable of temporarily escaping the flood waters and being buried and subsequently fossilized. Marine life would not have had such ability. Terrestrial life is much more prone to floating than marine life. Floating would prevent burial and fossilization. And these are just basic factors at hand. When one considers the flood model and the uplifting of the sea floor depositing sediments onto land it is no wonder why marine fossils are much more abundant in the fossil record than terrestrial fossils.

POST-FLOOD

Problem 36: Plant Survival. How did modern plat species survive? A global flood would have surely killed off all plant life, so how did it come back?

Answer: Floating mats of vegetation are seen today and are even evident in the fossil record. Such floating mats would allow a whole host of plant life to survive. Seed bearing branches floating on the ocean surface would have sustained the seeds until the end of the flood. Even seeds themselves could have floated on the water until reaching dry land. These are the means by which it is believed vegetation made its way onto the Hawaiian Islands.[124] Seeds may have remained in the feathers and fur of animals aboard the ark. Seeds may have been stock piled for food, or even inadvertently in the food fed to the animals to be redeposited on land again once the ark landed on dry ground. There are a wide variety of possibilities for how plant life made it through the flood, all of which no doubt occurred to provide the variety of plants and trees available today.

Problem 37: Fish survival. How did fish survive the flood? Fish are very sensitive to water quality, salinity, temperature ect. Conditions during the flood would have killed all the fish!

Answer: There are some things that have to be clarified first. God’s Flood did not require that all aquatic animals survive the flood. It was only necessary for the smallest amount of a specific population, like fish, to survive in order to repopulate. But even then, many argue that there is nothing in Genesis that suggests God required any of the aquatic life to survive, His promise was only for that of land creatures (creatures of the “ground”) to survive. This would leave an opening for the extinction of many marine organisms during the flood. In any case, in the event of a global flood, turbulent, hot, and sediment filled waters with salinity and pH changes, the vast majority of sea life would perish. And evidently, as the fossil record shows, they did. But some suggest that the only necessary means, by which any sea life could survive at all, would require massive aquariums on board the ark for the sea creatures to live in. Which, of course, didn’t happen. So how did any sea life survive the flood?

Salinity: Though we cannot know what the salinity levels were in the ocean pre-Flood, we would expect the salinity to me more or less the same, and not drastically different as some suggest. Even as fresh water added to the oceans dropped salinity, salt precipitation from hydrothermal vents and erosion from the land would put salt back into the ocean. But of course this doesn’t solve the problem of sea life being very sensitive to salinity changes.

We should look to fish that can tolerate fresh and salt water environments. Fish like the goby, sawfish, salmon, striped bass, sea-run trout, Atlantic sturgeon and even types of eels live in both environments.[125] The key is to looking at fish families, in which case most fish families alive today have varieties that are both salt and fresh water fish, which is evidence of hybridization.[126] Catfish, salmon, herring, flatfish, ect., all have varieties that live in both fresh and salt water environments. This would suggest that the ability to adapt to salinity levels in the water was present in most fish prior to the flood. And in the time post-Flood, some fish became more specified to particular habitats while other retained their ability to adapt to both.

Temperature: Again, fish preference of temperature also may be a post-Flood specialization as families of fish are found in a wide variety of water temperatures. Today many fish can tolerate a wide variety of water temps if given sufficient time to adapt to them.[127]

Water Stratification: Often differences in water qualities don’t immediately equalize with each other, but instead can stratify for long periods of time. For example, waters with different salinities can rest on top of one another and not immediately mix. Fresh water running of the continents along with rain fall would have placed a fresh water blanket over many parts of the ocean. Fish washed from fresh water basins inland could survived in these fresh water layers.[128] There are observable conditions today in which both marine and fresh water organisms are found living in the same water column because of this stratification.[129] Thus the changes in salinity or temperature would have been survivable for fish during the flood. Stratification of water temperatures exist in bodies of water today as often colder more dense waters sink and warmer less dense waters rise.[130] The heat from tectonic activity from the ocean lithosphere would have surely warmed the cold waters along the bottom, definitely causing multiple layers of different water temperatures upon on another which certain fishes may have survived within.

So if fish had more capability to adapt and survive to changing water conditions and water stratification occurred, then there would be the possibility of, at the very least, a portion of the fish population to survive.

Problem 38: Disease Survival. How did diseases survive the flood?

Answer: This problem is loosely using the term disease. What exactly are we talking about? A disease is defined as a disturbance or anomaly in the functioning of the body that had a specific cause and identifiable symptom.[131] Disease can be caused by infection, poison, toxins, genetic mutations, etc. But surely this problem is referring to viruses and bacteria for the cause of disease so that is what we’ll look into.

If we are talking about disease, as in bacteria or viruses, than we must recognize that we are referencing their behavior as we observe today, in which many viruses and bacteria have specialized into having particular behaviors today that would have possibly made Flood survival impossible. This assumption doesn’t take into consideration that virus and bacteria behavior may have not been as differentiated as it is today. So a virus, for example, that requires a certain environment and host combination to survive not available during the flood, may not be an issue if that particular specialization had not occurred yet. It should also be understood that not all viruses and bacteria are bad. In fact some viruses and bacteria are essential to our survival,[132] like the bacteria in our digestive system.[133] Though many particular viruses and bacteria may have stemmed from these other harmless disease to form malicious ones or specialized one post-Flood. Such bacteria and viruses would have been carried within the animals aboard the ark, the organisms on the floating mats of vegetation, or in the surviving marine life, to spread in the post-Flood world.

Problem 39: Animal Dispersal. How and why did animals disperse so far from Mt Arat? How did they cross huge oceans? How could animals be so unique to certain regions. Shouldn’t animals of the same kind be found everywhere if they all dispersed from the same location. Shouldn’t there be fossils of all these animals be found nearMt.Arat? How could animals disperse all over the world so quickly?

Answer: The motivation to spread would of course be the same reason for animal dispersal today in which an increase in animal population requires the animals to spread outwards in search of new food sources and a home when the resources in their current environment are not enough to sustain them.[134] This would be a frequent occurrence in a landscape recovering from the flood in which vegetation was sparse. The animals that dispersed from theArk could have in fact traveled large distances through various means. Today we recognize that many animals (especially birds) are capable of traveling thousands of miles when migrating. But there are numerous other ways animals could have traveled over large distances or to lands separated by oceans They could have used land bridges, floating vegetation, or simply put, they could have swam.

Land Bridges: Land bridges today currently make it possible for animals to travel to almost every continent in the world. As biologist and zoologist Dr. Frank Marsh writes, “One glance at the world map will show that, with the exception of the narrow break at the bearing straight, a dry-land path leads from Armeniato all the lands of the globe except Australia. In the case of the latter the East Indieseven today form a fairly continuous bridge of stepping stones to that southern continent. As regards to the Bering Straight, there is no doubt that a land connection once existed between Asia and North America. With the straight closed, the cold waters of the Artic would have been prevented from coming south, and the Japan Current would have curved around the cast line farther north than today. The washing of those shores by warm waters of this current would have produced a dry-land route that even tropical forms could have used.”[135]

Floating Vegetation: As crazy as it sounds, floating vegetation or “islands” are observed to this day transporting animals and plant life large distances. Professor of Biology at the University of Vermont Paul Amos Moody writes of these islands: “In times of flood large masses of earth and entwining vegetation, including trees, may be torn loose from the banks of rivers and swept out to sea. Sometimes such masses are encountered floating in the ocean out of sight of land, still lush and green, with palms 20-30 feet tall. It is entirely probable that land animals may be transported long distances in this manner. Mayr records that many tropical ocean currents have a speed of at least 2 knots; this would amount to 50 miles in a day, 1000 miles in three weeks.”[136]

Paleontologist Dr. Alfred Sherwood Romer writes, “It seems certain that land animals do at times cross considerable bodies of water where land connections are utterly lacking… Floating masses of vegetation, such as are sometimes found off the mouths of the Amazon, may be one means of effecting this type of migration.”[137] The similarities between African and Madagascar animals and plants (a distance of 250 miles) has been chalked up to rafting.[138] In 1995, a hurricane in the Caribbean sent a matted “raft” of vegetation 30 ft wide carrying fifteen green iguanas over 190 miles away to the coast of Anguilla.[139] The green iguanas became established, andAnguilla now has a green iguana population.

Swimming: Whether voluntarily searching for new food sources, or involuntarily washed out to sea, there are numerous observed accounts of animals found far out at sea. Tigers and terrestrial snakes have been found over one kilometer out at sea. Elephants and cows have been seen crossing deep waters in search of food.[140]

The fossil dilemma, however, seems at first like an unavoidable problem. Take the Kangaroo for example; the kangaroo only lives in Australia, and the only fossils found of it are in Australia. There is no trail of fossils from where the kangaroo migrated. But this “dilemma” shows a lack of understanding of the fossilization process. Animal fossilization is a rare process, not a gradual process happening all the time. So we can’t use a lack of fossil evidence in a landscape as proof those animals were never there. For example, Lions used to roam through out the wilderness of Israeland surrounding regions until the Romans decimated the populations by capturing all of them for use in the arena displays. Yet, no Lion fossils have ever been found in Israeland the surrounding regions.[141] But we could not use this lack of fossil evidence to prove Lions never lived there, because we have numerous historical documentation that they did. Likewise, no fossils of kangaroos (or any other animal for that matter) in other regions does not mean they were never there.

There is also not a time issue as most people might think. Contrary to the assumption that animal migration takes thousands or millions of years, observable evidence shows just the opposite. Mt.Krakatoaerupted in 1883 causing massive destruction and devastation to all life on the island.[142] Yet 25 years later birds, insects, lizards, snakes, mollusks and earthworms were found on the island.[143] 50 years after the eruption, the barren island had become a dense tropical rainforest with 271 plant species and 31 species of bird, despite being 40 km away from the nearest land mass.[144] A similar event occurred in 1963 when the volcanic island of Surtsey off the coast of Iceland erupted killing all life on it. Within six months bacteria, mold, insects and birds were living on the island.[145] So even though these islands were separated from other land masses by large bodies of water, life had found its way back on the islands very quickly. With all this considered it is easy to see that the spreading of life post-flood is not a problem.

Problem 40: Inbreeding. All the animals would be inbreeding with each other to propagate the species. This would cause serious genetic problems.

Answer: Inbreeding would only be a problem if the particular animal populations remained small. However, in the post-flood world animal dispersal and repopulation would have been rapid, limiting any inbreeding to the first generation or so.[146] In addition, lethal recessive alleles accumulate with time, increasing the genetic load. Given the creation model time line of thousands of years, the animals that disembarked the ark would not have the accumulation of such alleles. Therefore, the brief inbreeding would not render genetic problems to the degree it would today within animal populations. Lastly, we can’t overlook the possibility of God choosing animal pairs with a very wide diversity of genes to avoid this problem as well.

Problem 41: Short lived species. How did short-lived species survive? Adult mayflies on the ark would have died in a few days, and the larvae of many mayflies require shallow fresh running water. Many other insects would face similar problems.

Answer: As said before, many of the attributes organisms have today are specializations which may have occurred post-Flood. Animals with short life spans could of course have reproduced, within the ark, or onboard the floating mats of vegetation. Mayflies may require such an environment today to reproduce, but such limitations may not have been necessary pre-Flood, as even the mayfly, just like the fish mentioned earlier, belongs to a family of flies which do not share this requirement for their larvae. This specialized trait may have developed post-Flood.

Problem 42: Devastated Habitat. How could more than a handful of species survive in a devastated habitat? The Flood would have destroyed the food and shelter which most species need to survive.

Answer: Again, as previously mentioned, such requirements for animal survival is assuming those animals have always required such, instead of recognizing the specialization of animal behavior in the new radically different environments found in the post-Flood world. Diets and shelters certain animals require today, may have not necessarily been the case pre-Flood, and instead developed in the post-Flood world. Ergo, it was the various different climates and lands in the post-Flood world that drove the differentiation of the animals to require such specialized diets, shelters, ect. In addition, as mentioned earlier in problem #39, animal and plant rebound and repopulation is very quick. Vegetation would be rapidly spreading in a nutrient rich barren landscape.

Problem 43: Carnivores. How could more than a handful of the predator species on the ark have survived, with only two individuals of their prey to eat? All of the predators at the top of the food pyramid require larger numbers of food animals beneath them on the pyramid, which in turn require large numbers of the animals they prey on, and so on, down to the primary producers (plants etc.) at the bottom. And if the predators survived, how did the other animals survive being preyed on?

Answer: This problem assumes that the only food available for carnivores in the post-Flood world were the other ark survivors. Yet, a post-Flood world would be littered with the rotting carcasses of all the creatures killed in the flood. Carnivores have a preference carrion over live animals, due to the massive amount of energy that needs to be exerted to hunt, chase and kill live animals.[147] Carrion is naturally the better option. The flood would have also left pools of water with trapped sea life. As that water evaporated the fish trapped in the pools would be easy pickings for carnivores on land. The bounty of easy sources of meat would have given herbivores sufficient time to repopulate to large enough numbers before the carnivores would have no choice but to turn back to hunting once the carrion was no more.

Problem 44: Population Rebound. How did the Human Population rebound so fast?

Answer: Human populations (with war, famine, disease, etc. taken into consideration) tend to double every 40 years.[148] Now let’s say you start with one man and one woman who reproduce and have offspring at this conservative rate. After 32 “doublings,” about 4,800 years, you’d have over 8 billion people.[149] Which is a lot more than there are currently in the world obviously. So if we go back to around 2,500 BC (the believed date of the global flood) and use a more conservative estimate of human populations doubling every 150 years, since sanitation and medicine was not as advanced to aid in population growth as it does today, then by today, 4,500 years later, you would have 6.5 billion people. So the population being what it is today, is not an issue for the Flood model. But it is however an issue for evolutionists. After all, if humans have been around for 50,000 years, the human population on earth should be 10100.[150] This is obviously not the case and needless to say, impossible.

Problem 45a: Historical Evidence. There should be historical records from various other cultures describing a global flood, not just Genesis.

Answer: There are! The ancient aboriginals have legends of a global flood that killed all life except for a handful of animals and people. The purpose of the flood being to wipe out all evil.[151] The Babylonians have an account of a global flood that was sent to kill all evil people, in which God ordered one man to build a boat for him, his family and the male and female of all the land animals to spare them from the flood.[152] The ancient Chinese have records of a flood that covered the mountains, in which a man built a large boat for his family and male and female of all animals to ride out the flood in.[153] In fact, there are over 80,000 flood accounts from ancient cultures worldwide.[154] Combining these accounts into regional areas and content, they compromise a total of 200 Flood traditions worldwide.[155] Of course this is circumstantial evidence, but evidence we would no doubt expect if the Flood actually happened. Such an important event would definitely be handed down through the various cultures and civilizations, which is why we find record of it in so many today.

Problem 45b: Differentiating Historical Evidence. Why do other flood myths vary so greatly from the Genesis account? Flood myths are fairly common worldwide, and if they came from a common source, we should expect similarities in most of them. Instead, the myths show great diversity. For example, people survive on high land or trees in the myths about as often as on boats or rafts, and no other flood myth includes a covenant not to destroy all life again.

Answer: Well now of course some skeptics are never satisfied and put the Genesis Flood account into a real “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. If Genesis was the only historical account of such a global flood, then it would not be counted as real evidence since no other ancient accounts support it. But Genesis is one of many global flood accounts, and yet, not satisfied, skeptics then nit pick all the details and assert that the global flood did not happen because all the stories don’t match exactly. This is why this problem has been broken down into A and B…

Yes, not all the stories are exact. Yet, isn’t it a bit of a coincidence that of all the traditions; 88% involved a favored family, 70% involved a boat to escape the flood, 95% claim man’s evil and needed extermination was the reason for the flood, and another 95% say the flood was global, all collaborating with the account in Genesis.[156] This is incredibly remarkable if one considers the limitations of communication and transportation in the ancient world. For such similarities worldwide to be a coincidence is highly unlikely unless there was a shared experience…

Theological scholar Allan MacRae writes, “If a universal flood occurred centuries after creation, it would be natural to expect that all humanity would recall many of it’s details for a long time, even though some points would tend to become quite garbled, as people more and more forgot the cause and purpose of the catastrophe.”[157]

Compared to all other narratives, the Genesis account is the longest, most detailed, and most compatible with that of eyewitness testimony. Many skeptics argue that many other flood accounts are older, the oldest being that of Native Americans some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. And therefore the genesis writer(s) must have copied it. But these dates are taken from fallible carbon dating. In fact, fallible carbon dating aside, the oldest known accounts of the flood that can be determined by actual historical dates are that of the Genesis account and the Babylonian account. And most importantly, the Genesis writer(s) had no access to the traditions of all these other cultures if they were to copy them. But if the Flood account in Genesis is true, then naturally as humans dispersed post-Flood, the knowledge of the event would carry with them.

Problem 46: Egyptian History. The Egyptians (among others) have written records dating well back before 2250 B.C. (the Great Pyramid, for example dates to the 26th century B.C., 300 years before the Biblical date for the Flood). No sign in Egyptian inscriptions of this global flood around 2250 B.C.

Answer: This is what is known as Egyptian Chronology or Egyptology. The traditional chronology ofEgyptis incompatible with the Biblical record, and instead of investigating the Egyptology, skeptics instead assert the Bible is in error. However, if one were to research how Egyptology was established they would change their position on the matter.

In the 3rd century BC, Ptolomy II commissioned a priest named Manetho compile Egyptian history. Manetho compiled a list of pharaohs and the lengths of their reigns. He then applied them to particular calendar dates. This became known Manetho’s history and it is what Egyptology used as a foundation for its chronology.[158] But there are some significant problems with basing Egyptology off of Manetho’s history: Manetho’s history was never intended to be a chronological account of Egyptian history and it is inconsistent with contemporary Egyptian sources.[159]

Like other ancient historians, Manetho measured time in “regnal” years, not in a chronological time lime. A 4th century historian Eusebius, who used Manetho’s history, knew that Manetho’s regnal years were not to be added up consecutively, saying, “Several Egyptian Kings ruled at the same time… It was not a succession of kings occupying the throne one after another, but several kings reigning at the same time in different regions.”[160] Indeed many of the kings Manetho recorded were ruling simultaneously. Yet, when more modern historians began formulating the chronologies they placed the kings in sequential order, one after another. This is inaccurate and it stretched back Egyptian history further then it ever actually went.

Manetho’s history also doesn’t match up with contemporary Egyptian sources. Manetho often made judgment calls in his compilation that were uncalled for. For example, if a King was recorded with a different variation in the spelling of his name, Manetho assumed it was a different king altogether, thus creating several non-existing generations.[161] Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, James Breasted writes of Manetho’s history as, “… a late, careless, and uncritical compilation, which can be proven wrong from the contemporary monuments in the vast majority of cases, where such documents have survived.”[162] Yet, the chronology of Egyptian dynasties and history was founded in Manetho’s historical account, and thus it is in error.

One way to authenticate an ancient civilization’s history is to match it up with other ancient historical accounts that reference similar events. In the many cases when Egyptian dates do not match up with other ancient accounts from another nation, sadly, the Egyptian account is considered the rule of thumb and the other nation’s dates are often considered in error… There are of course many other inconsistencies. Those who trust in carbon dating should be interested to know that carbon dating of artifacts often conflicts with the traditional Egyptology.[163] Historian Peter James writes of traditional Egyptology as a, “gigantic academic blunder.”[164] Archaeologist David Rohl writes, “The only real solution to the archaeological problems which have been created is to pull down the whole structure and start again, reconstructing from the foundations upward.”[165]

So in conclusion, it is not the Biblical record that should be challenged, but the traditional Egyptology that should be challenged. And therefore, Egyptian records spanning prior to the Flood is not a problem for the Flood account.

THEOLOGICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS?

Problem 47: Contradicting Text. How can a literal interpretation be appropriate if the text is self-contradictory? Genesis 6:20 and 7:14-15 say there were two of each kind of fowl and clean beasts, yet Genesis 7:2-3,5 says they came in sevens.

Answer: First we need to get a few things straight. Genesis 7:14-15 does not say the pairs were “clean,” but instead makes a general statement about pairs of every animal entering the ark. If one were to read the text they’d notice that Genesis 7:2-3 mentions that the seven pairs of animals brought on board were “clean animals,” while the others that just came in lone pairs were “unclean animals.” The difference being that clean animals were animals one could eat and sacrifice to God. The list of clean animals is a very narrow selection, and surely God allowed these animals on board for the family to eat. Hence, the animals came in pairs, the “clean” ones coming in seven pairs.

Now some skeptics suggest that the original text says they came in sevens, not seven pairs, thus contradict the other verses that the animals came in pairs because seven is obviously an odd number. As theologian John Upchurch explains, “’Seven’ is likely ‘seven pairs’ (the Hebrew allows for that), but even allowing that it means only ‘seven,’ it seems quite obvious that when describing the animals loading the Ark, the vast majority were pairs. God could have inspired Moses to say, ‘The animals loaded the Ark in pairs—with that seventh odd animal coming in behind as a slow tag-a-long.’ But not stating it that way doesn’t make it false; it’s just a simplification. If I write of a battle that ‘the troops came in two waves,’ that doesn’t preclude the possibility that the same troops attacked a first time and then a second. When describing a complicated event or concept, we often simplify things for brevity and understanding. Of course, if ‘seven’ is really ‘seven pairs’ (a good possibility), then the whole argument is moot anyway.”[166] Thus the text is not incontradiction.

Problem 48: Literal Cherry Picking. Why stop with the Flood story? If your style of Biblical interpretation makes you take the Flood literally, then shouldn’t you also believe in a flat and stationary earth? [Dan. 4:10-11, Matt. 4:8, 1 Chron. 16:30, Psalms 93:1, …]

Answer: No need to stop, because the Bible doesn’t say the earth is flat nor stationary:

-Daniel 4:10-11 is a dream or “vision,” as verse ten starts out by saying, of a tree so large it shaded all of earth. No where is it suggested that this dream reflects reality… and why would we assume a dream constituted reality anyways? We later read in Daniel that this dream was a prophecy of the end of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign.

-Matthew 4:8 records Satan taking Jesus onto a high mountain to see all the Kingdoms of the World. How would it be possible to see all the Kingdoms of the world from a mountain unless the earth was flat? At this point though, we need to again take the verses in context. Satan appears to Jesus and instantly takes him to a high mountain top. Clearly this is a supernatural event! One must consider that this is also the third temptation of Satan to Jesus. The first takes place in the desert, the second on top of the temple, the third on top of the highest mountain. Clearly the anty is being upped as Satan is trying harder each and every time to tempt Jesus with power. Besides, even 1st century people were aware that even from a high mountain top you could not see the entire range of the earth (even if you thought it was flat).

-1 Chronicles 16:30 says the earth is firmly established and cannot be moved. See next;

-Psalms 93:1 says the world is established, firm and secure. Both words used for “establish” is kwun. Whereas the Hebrew word used for “move” is mowt.[167] Mowt is used elsewhere is Psalm 16:8 “I shall not be moved” (KJV). Does this mean the psalmist cannot move their body ever and is fixed in one place? Of course not. The psalmist can move, this verse is in context describing that he will not be swayed or lead astray from the path God has chosen for him. Likewise, in Psalm 93:1 and 1 Chronicles, the world will not be forced off its rotation and orbit because it is firmly established by God. But the real evidence that the Bible does not teach that the earth is flat comes from Job 26:10 and Isaiah 40:21-22 which indicate that the earth is “circular.”

The Greeks originally discovered the roundness of the Earth. Ancient civilizations were very knowledgeable of the earth being round considering the amount of attention they spent on observing the stars and other celestial objects in the night sky. Christian theologians by the numbers also disclaimed their belief in a round earth. In fact, only two Christian writers from the past have ever been recorded for promoting a flat earth, one a heretic from the 4th century named Lactantius and the other an Egyptian monk from the 6th century named Cosmas. So two… from the entire history of ancient Christian literature… There are many claims that Christians prosecuted and condemned those who thought the earth was round, but there is no historical evidence of this what so ever. Contrary to popular belief that the Church condemned Christopher Columbus from traveling West because they though he’d fall of the face of the planet, in reality the Church was well aware of the Earth being round. They condemnedColumbus because they believed the earth was too large forColumbus to circumnavigate cheaply. In other words, it was too expensive! The error the Church made was not the earth being flat, but instead thinking the ocean was too large.

In fact, no one has ever accused Christianity of being believers in a flat earth until the 19th and 20th centuries, when supporters of Darwinian Evolution were looking to discredit Christians challenging the theory. To do this they refer to Cosmas and Lactantius (ignoring the hundreds of other Christian authors distinctly not flat earthers) and the verses mentioned earlier, which only work when taken out of context. Clearly the Bible does not teach of a flat earth.

Problem 49: Parable Possibility. Jesus spoke in parables. So why would we think Genesis was not a parable also?

Answer: This is a logical fallacy of poor comparison. The Old Testament prophesized the messiah would teach in parables. The disciples referred to them as parables. Jesus acknowledged his teachings as parables. Jesus always explained what the parables meant. But the Genesis account is completely different. There is no mention by any figure that the Genesis narrative was a parable. In fact, Jesus took the Genesis account as actual history. This is also why no one explained the Flood story as to what it was suppose to represent (as the other parables were explained), because it was not a parable, but an actual historical narrative. There also is no separation in the structure of the text between parable and historical narrative. So if the Flood is a parable, then the entire book of Genesis would have to be a parable too. Even the parts that mention real historical figures and locations backed up by archaeology. But such figures and places are real and authenticated because the entire Genesis account is a highly detailed historical text. Not a generally vague parable like the ones Jesus used.

Problem 50: Omnipotent God. Why would an omnipotent God use a global flood to kill all of mankind. Why not kill them directly? And clearly this flood didn’t work because there is still evil in the world. So what was the point?

Answer: There really is no logical train of thought here. To ask why an omnipotent God did not kill in a particular way is in some way suggesting omniscience ourselves, as if to say, “If I was God I would have killed this way, not that way.” Why didn’t God kill the world with an asteroid? Why didn’t God hit everyone with lightening? Why didn’t God give them all heart attacks? There are countless ways God could have killed everyone, but His choice in “how” does not render the action invalid just because we think He was capable of doing it in a more efficient manner. To claim such would be suggesting you know better than an omniscient God. In the end, the why doesn’t matter if it actually happened the way it did.

Evil existed in the world. God used the Flood to cleanse the world of the evil. But eventually this evil would came back. The difference the second time around would be that God establishes a nation of His people. He establishes law with them and with a hope for redemption in the future with the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who eventually comes to earth as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and when returning, end sin, evil and pain for eternity. The flood is just one step in a long process to give everyone a chance to come to Him before all evil is ended.

We see this with God through out the Bible. There is separation, purification, judgment and redemption. This is seen with Noah, Jonah, Job, Paul, and ultimately everyone through Jesus. It is a testimony to an all just God, and an all loving God.

Peter sums it up best; Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” -2 Peter 3:3-9 (NIV)

In conclusion, I hope I have provided with reason and logic, answers to the most profound claimed problems with the Biblical story of Noah’sArkand the Flood. It is my opinion that there is sufficient evidence, and where no evidence, sufficient reason, to believe that such an event is not only possible, but that it actually occurred. It may seem impossible to you regardless. But everything in the Bible is impossible. The story of the Exodus is impossible. Jesus walking on water, healing the sick, dying and returning from the dead is impossible. Of course such things would be impossible, but with an all powerful and all knowing God, such things ARE possible. Testimony to the glory and greatness of our sovereign God.


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[117] Oard, M.J. (2010) “Did Early Earth’s Atmosphere Contain Oxygen?” Journal of Creation, 24(1):14

[118] Snelling, A., (2009) Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 2,Institute ofCreation Research:Dallas,TX, pp. 960.

[119] Diessel, C. (1992) Coal-Bearing Depositional Systems, Springer-Verlag:Berlin,Germany, pp. 12.

[120] Stach, E., Mackowski, M., Teichmuller, M., Taylor, G.H., Chandra, D. & Teichmuller, R. (1982) Stash’s Textbook of Coal Petrology, 3rd Ed., Gebruder Borntraeger: Berlin, Germany, pp. 17-18.

[121] “The Desert Biome,” University of California Museum of Paleontology, http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu

[122] Snelling, A., (2009) Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 2,Institute ofCreation Research:Dallas,TX, pp. 962.

[123] “Ocean Facts,” marinebio.org

[124] “Evolution In Hawaii; A Supplement to Teaching About Evolution and the nature of Science,” http://www.nap.edu

[125] Snelling, A. (2010) “How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 198.

[126] Batten, D.J. (1999) “How Did Fresh- and Salt Water Fish Survive the Flood?” in Ken Ham’s The Answers Book: Updated and Expanded, Answers in Genesis:Brisbane,Australia, pp. 175-178.

[127] Snelling, A. (2010) “How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 200.

[128] Odum, E.P. (1971) Fundamentals of Ecology, W.B. Saunders:Philadelphia,PA, pp. 354.

[129] Snelling, A. (2010) “How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 201.

[130]  Raven, P.H. & Berg, L.R. (2004) Environment, 4th Ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc.;Hoboken,NJ, Pp.119

[131] “Disease: What is a Disease?” http://www.ict-science-to-society.org

[132] Lightner, J.K. (2010) “Why Did God Make Viruses?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 335.

[133] Gill, S. (2006) “Metagenomic Analysis of the Human Distal Gut Microbiome,” Science, 312:1355-1359.

[134] Marsh, F.L., (1947) Evolution, Creation and Science, Review and Herald Publishing Association:WashingtonD.C., pp. 291

[135] Marsh, F.L., (1947) Evolution, Creation and Science, Review and Herald Publishing Association:WashingtonD.C., pp. 291-292.

[136] Moody, P.A., (1953) Introduction to Evolution, Harper and Brothers:New York,NY, pp. 262.

[137] Romer, A.S., (1955) Vertebrate Paleontology, 2nd Ed.,University ofChicago Press;Chicago,IL, pp. 513.

[138] Tattersall, J., (1993) “Madagascar’s Lemurs,” Scientific American,  268(1) pp. 90-97.

[139] Censky, E.J., Hodge, K. & Dudley, J., (1998) “Over-water dispersal of lizards due to hurricanes,” Nature, 395(6702): 556.

[140] Brown J.H. & Gibson, A.C., (1983) Biogeography, The C.V. Mosby Co.:St. Louis,MO, pp. 314.

[141] Taylor, P., (2006) “How Did Animals Spread All Over the World from Where the Ark Landed?” as written in Ken Ham’s The New Answers Book 1, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 144.

[142] “How Volcanoes Work: KrakatauIndonesia (1883),” http://www.geology.sdsu.edu

[143] Carson, R.L., (1961) The Sea Around Us, OxfordUniversity Press:New York,NY, pp. 92.

[144] Brown, J.H. & Gibson A.C., (1983) Biogeography, The C.V. Mosby Co.:St. Louise,MO, pp.314

[145] “Community Ecology,” Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com

[146] Snelling, A., (2009) Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 1,Institute ofCreation Research:Dallas,TX, pp. 177.

[147] Woodmorappe, J. (2010) “How Could Noah Fit the Animals on the Ark and Care for Them?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 3, Master Books: Green Forest, AR, pp. 56.

[148] U.S. Census Bureau, International Program, http://www.census.gov

[149] White, M. (September 2006) “Billions of People in Thousands of Years?” http://www.answersingenesis.org

[150] White, M. (September 2006) “Billions of People in Thousands of Years?” http://www.answersingenesis.org

[151] Coates, H. & Douglas W.H. (March 1981) “Ancient Aboriginal Flood Stories,” http://www.answersingenesis.org

[152] Lorey, F., “The Flood of Noah and the Flood of Gilgamesh,”Institute ofCreation Research, http://www.icr.org

[153] Traux, E.A., “Genesis According to the Miao People,”Institute ofCreation Research, http://www.icr.org

[154] Snelling, A., (2009) Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 1,Institute ofCreation Research:Dallas,TX, pp. 99.

[155] LaHaye, T.F. & Morris, J.D. (1976) The Ark on Arat, Thomas Nelson Inc.:Nashville,TN, pp. 233.

[156] Snelling, A., (2009) Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Vol. 1,Institute ofCreation Research:Dallas,TX, pp. 99.

[157] MacRae, A.A. (1950) “The Relation of Archaeology to the Bible,” Modern Science and Christian Faith, 2nd Ed., Van Kampen Press:Wheation,IL, pp. 234.

[158] Mitchell, E. (2008) “Doesn’t Egyptian Chronology Prove That the Bible Is Unreliable?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 2, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 246.

[159] Mitchell, E. (2008) “Doesn’t Egyptian Chronology Prove That the Bible Is Unreliable?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 2, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 246.

[160] As quoted in, Ashton, J. & Down, D. (2006) Unwrapping the Pharaohs, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 73.

[161] Mitchell, E. (2008) “Doesn’t Egyptian Chronology Prove That the Bible Is Unreliable?” in Ken Ham’s New Answers Book 2, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 247.

[162] As quoted in, Mackey, D. (1995) “Sothic Star Dating: The Sothic Star Theory of the Egyptian Calendar,” http://www.specialtyinterests.net

[163] Downs, D. “The Chronology of Egypt and Israel,” Diggings, http://www.biblicalstudies.qldwide.net.au

[164] James, P. (1991) Centuries of Darkness; A Challenge to the Conventional Chronology of Old World Archaeology, Jonathan Cape Ltd.: pp. 320.

[165] Rohl, D. (1995) Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest, Crown Publishers:New York,NY, pp. 9.

[166] UpChurch, J. (May 2008) “New Scientist Brings Up Old Arguments,” http://www.answersingenesis.org

[167] Faulkner, D., (August 2001) “Geocentrism and Creation,” Journal of Creation, 15(2): pp. 110.

Once upon a time there was an animal known as Palaeotragus. Palaeotragus had an anatomy somewhat similar to that of a giraffe but it had more of a horse’s body and a regular sized neck. It was considered to be the giraffe’s extinct ancestor, the ancestor from which the giraffe evolved.[1] This all changed when Palaeotragus were found alive and well in Africa in 1901.[2] They were known as Okapi, and thus Palaeotragus was not extinct after all.

 

How annoying is it when animals we believe to be extinct,  in which we link to modern animals as “ancient ancestors,” turn up alive, and unchanged for that matter… geez. The fact that the Okapi was alive and well proved to cause a dilemma in the evolutionary framework, which again would need to be revised. Since Palaeotragus was now the alive Okapi it could not be considered the ancestor for the giraffe, which currently has no known (conclusive) ancestor in the fossil record from which it evolved.[3] Even worse, the Okapi had not evolved when analyzing its fossil records dating back to 15 million years ago.[4] It was one of many discovered living fossils. This of course lead to many questions: From what animal did the giraffe evolve? Why did the Okapi not evolve over 15 million years? But that was not the end of the problems for evolution theory.

Okapi have also proved to be a set back for the concept of how the giraffe’s neck evolved to be so large. One popular theory was that after years of stretching its neck to reach higher trees for food, the giraffe eventually evolved a longer neck. The Okapi however exhibits this same behavior stretching to reach higher trees yet its neck remains short when looking back to the fossil record for millions of years.[5] This proved that evolution is not driven by repetitive instances of use and non-use.[6]

An example of incorrect depictions of giraffe neck evolution assumptions that still appear in textbooks to this day.

Thanks to the sudden discovery of Okapi, many facets of evolution can be challenged. There are many other animals and living fossils like the Okapi which prove to be thorns in the side as well for evolutionists. But considering there are 15,000 Okapi roaming wild in the Congoat the present time,[7] the Okapi is a wonderful example of the Bible’s account of animals created separately as different “kinds.”


[1] Bergman, J., (2002) “The Giraffe’s Neck: Another Icon of Evolution Falls,” Creation Journal, (16)1, pp. 124.

[2] Fiegl, A., (October 2011) “The Elusive Okapi,” National Geographic, pp. 23.

[3] Bergman, J., (2002) “The Giraffe’s Neck: Another Icon of Evolution Falls,” Creation Journal, (16)1, pp. 124.

[4] Sherr, L., (1997) Tall Blondes; A Book About Giraffes, Andrews McMeel, Kansas City, KS, pp. 42.

[5] Bergman, J., (2002) “The Giraffe’s Neck: Another Icon of Evolution Falls,” Creation Journal, (16)1, pp. 122.

[6] Whitfield, P., (1993) The Natural History of Evolution, Doubleday,New York: NY, pp. 13.

[7] Fiegl, A., (October 2011) “The Elusive Okapi,” National Geographic, pp. 23.

Amber was found in a coal layer over 300 million years old. The chemical makeup of the amber suggests it came from angisperm flowering plants, which weren’t around until 200 million years ago. Instead of entertaining the possibility that perhaps the current model of evolution is incorrect and needs to be revised, or that the dating methods of the coal is not correct, it’s being simply dismissed…

See more: http://creation.com/amber-with-flowering-plant-chemistry

Living fossils are usually found living. But in this case we have a common spider alive today, and yet a fossil of the same spider has been discovered (claimed to be millions of years old). From an evolutionary perspective we have yet again another animal that has gone millions of years without changing at all. Just add it long list of living fossils. How many will it take before  we begin to consider that maybe animals aren’t evolving at a macro level at all?

See the full article here:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/uom-itr051811.php 

or

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=7048

 

Dr. Carl Werner, a former advocate of evolution theory, authored a book, volume 2 of his series Evolution: the Grand Experiment. This particular volume focused on Living Fossils. Living Fossils are fossils of animals found in very old rock layers that are in fact still alive today. Dr. Carl Werner and his wife traveled around the world from 1997 to 2007 photographing and documenting examples of living fossils. To refute any attempt by skeptics to claim the fossils they observed were not old, Werner primarily focused his observations to dinosaur-aged rock.

In focusing entirely on dinosaur-aged rock, Werner found fossils of sharks, rays[1], salmon, herring, hagfish, frogs, salamanders, snakes, lizards, turtles, parrots, owls, penguins, ducks, squirrels, possums, hedgehogs, beavers, primates and even a duck-billed platypus.[2] So how can these animals have existed un-evolved for 65 million years, when evolution claims these animals are result of evolution from their more primitive ancestry? These animals being found in dinosaur aged rock is not unknown to evolutionary scientists. Evolutionary scientists are under the impression that the animals can’t be the same, and so they give the fossilized animal a different name to distinguish it from those identical animals living today.

Werner provides an example: “A scientist found a fossil sea urchin in Cretaceous rock that looks nearly identical to a modern Purple Heart sea urchin, but assigned it to a completely new genus (Holaster). If you saw that creature alive in the ocean you would recognize it as a Purple Heart sea urchin (genus Spatangus). The different name suggests that sea urchins have changed over time, but this is contrived ‘evidence’ for evolution. The fossil looks the same as the living one.”[3]

More detrimental to evolution theory is the living “index” fossil problem. The uniformitarian Geologic Time Table proposes that there were long geological ages in which different fossils can be found. An index was made assigning key fossils to particular layers in which that fossil is commonly found. This helps geologists identify which layer they’re looking at, and helps paleontologists identify how old their fossils are.

For example, the Lobe-Finned Fish, which is used to date rock layers from 325-410 million years ago, if found in a rock layer, can be used as an index to date that rock layer as being 325-410 million years old. But there is one small problem: Lobe-Finned Fish are still alive today![4] Today we call them Coelacanths, and they’re very much alive and well and identical to their fossil ancestors.

Living Lobe-finned Fish (Coelacanth)

 

Another index fossil was found in 1993 to still exist as well. Grapholite fossils have for long been used to date rock strata believed to be around 410 million years old. Yet, in 1993 Grapholites were found in the South Pacific to be very much alive. Think of the implications of this. The Lobe- Finned Fish and Grapholite were once used to date rock layers… but they’re still found alive today, which leads to one of two conclusions: These creatures survived for millions of years unchanged and un-evolved which goes against what evolution presupposes, or the rocks and fossils simply aren’t as old as evolutionary scientists believe them to be.

Grapholite Fossil

Here are some great examples of living fossils:

Horseshoe Crabs: Fossil records go back as far as 425-450 million years.[5]

Horseshoe Crab

Hoseshoe Crab Fossil

Crocodiles: Fossils of crocodiles have been dated to be to as old as 210 million years old.[6]

Crocodile Fossil

Australian Lung Fish: Still exist today, yet there are fossils of them dated to be 360-408 million years old.[7]

Australian Lung Fish FossilAustalian Lung Fish

 

 

Australian Lung Fish

Okapi: Evolutionists believed this fossil to be incredibly old as well. The Okapi was used in many evolutionary models to showcase horse evolution known as the Equine Family-Tree. That is, right up until a living Okapi was discovered in 1901.[8] Horse evolution has long been considered a blemish in evolution theory due to how badly it backfired, yet it is still seen in biology textbooks and museums to this day.

“Many examples commonly cited, such as the evolution of the horse family or of saber tooth ‘tigers’ can be readily shown to have been unintentionally falsified and not to be really orthogenetic.” George Gaylord Simpson, Paleontologist (Evolutionist).[9]

 
 

 

Okapi, discovered in 1901

 

 

“There have been an awful lot of stories, some more imaginative than others, about what the nature of that history [of life] really is. The most famous example, still on exhibit downstairs, is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps fifty years ago. That has been presented as the literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that is lamentable, particularly when the people who propose those kinds of stories may themselves be aware of the speculative nature of some of that stuff.” Dr. Nile Eldredge, American Museum of Natural History.[10]

So how can these fossils have lived millions of years ago and not change? Well some simply believe it is “luck” and “chance,” which isn’t very scientific. But other evolutionary scientists believe it is because of the animal’s ability to adapt and thrive in any environment. For example, the cockroach which is supposed to have existed unchanged for 250 million years because of its hardiness to adapt to changing environments.[11] But let’s take for example the coelacanth mentioned earlier, which has a very precise environment of deep sea caves which explains why they’re found in such small numbers. The evolution theorist’s response is that they’ve survived because their climate hasn’t changed over millions of years. But that doesn’t explain the thousands of other animals that have gone extinct despite their environment not changing.

Werner’s final conclusion regarding the anomaly of living fossils disproving evolution, “It is becoming more and more difficult for the evolutionary model to stand in the face of this great number of living fossils. Adding the many other problems with evolution (fossil record, origin of first life, geological layering problems, similarities of non-related animals, etc.), you can declare with confidence that yes, the theory is finished. If a few larger mammals were found in the dinosaur layers, it should be over even for the die-hard believers of evolution, but people tend to go to their grave with the theories they learned in college. A new generation might well look at all of this and ask, ‘What were they thinking?’ ”[12]

Living fossils are great testimony to the Genesis account of all life being created in the same week.


[1] It should be noted that though evolutionists believe Sharks and Rays have a common ancestor(s), there have been no fossil evidence of this proposed ancestor(s) discovered yet. Robert Doolan, “Sharks and Rays: Fish with no ancestors.” Creation 14(3) June 1992.

[2] Don Batten, “Living Fossils: A Powerful Argument for Creation,” creation.com

[3] Ibid

[4] They were once thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. David Catchpoole “Living Fossils enigma,” creation.com

[5] Adnan Oktar “Examples of Living Fossils,” http://www.living-fossils.com

[6] Carl Zimmer, “Crocodile fossil shows uncanny convergence,” www.nytimes.com Jan 2006.

[7] Adnan Oktar “Examples of Living Fossils,” http://www.living-fossils.com

[8] Ibid

[9] George Gaylord Simpson, “Evolutionary Determinism and the Fossil Record,” Scientific Monthly, vol. 71 (October 1950) p. 264

[10] Dr. Niles Eldredge, quoted in Darwin’s Enigma by Luther D. Sunderland, Santee, CA, Master Books, 1988, p. 78

[11] David Catchpoole “Living Fossils enigma,” creation.com

[12] Don Batten, “Living Fossils: A Powerful Argument for Creation,” creation.com