Thursday, April 29

Genesis and the Ice Age

I've had a lecture brewing in my head for a few weeks now, so I figured I'd post it in my blog. I suppose I'll get flamed, because using science to support the Bible is so very taboo these days. But it's got me all excited, so I wanted to post it somewhere.

Okay! Today's topic: Genesis and the ice age.

So Noah built the Ark and everything, and the Flood destroyed the whole world. Or, we might even say that THE WORLD ENDED. Anyway, after the Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat, and Noah and the menagerie disembarked, God promised never again to destroy the Earth with a flood. And he blessed Noah's family and told them to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the Earth.

This is where it gets interesting.

So in Genesis 10 is the Table of Nations, listing off all the kids and their kids's kids, who went on to fill up all the corners of the world, and interbred until their skin became lighter or darker, forming the different 'races'. (Did you know that the Bible recognizes no races? There are tribes and nations, families and tongues, but only one race. The human race.)

So then we get to Genesis 11.

Gen 11:1-4
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

And yet God had told them to scatter. Wanna see why?

Science tells us that there was this thing called an ice age.

(Actually, scientists like to think there was more than one, but they also assume that the Earth is a lot older than it was. No, there was only one ice age, but even just one can mess up the landscape pretty well.)

The Earth was a lot warmer before the Flood, and there's a lot of theories as to why. Anyway, when THE WORLD ENDED, the atmosphere cooled a lot, while the oceans remained warmer for a while. This caused some really severe freezing at the poles, and the oceans froze and froze until the glaciers came at least as far south as, say, the Great Lakes.

The result of the lower oceans is that all those land bridges were open. Like the one between Australia and the Asian continent, and the one from Russia to Alaska.

So God told Man to get with it and get to all the continents while the ice age was on, before the land bridges closed. And Man was all like, "Nope, gonna stay riiight here!"

Imagine what would have happened if every race in the world was stuck on the European/Asian continent.

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.
The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel -— because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Then we come down to Abram/Abraham pretty quickly. God moved him out of Ur and ("Goin' out West!") to Israel. Or Caanan, as it was then. And we can tell the ice age was still on, because it wasn't all desert.

Like when Abram and Lot had to part ways, and Abram let Lot have first pick.

Gen 13:10-12
Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:
Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.

Know what that area looks like today?

Saudi Arabian Desert

Not much like Eden.

Then in Genesis 14 we come to the five kings who came out to conquer Sodom and Gomorrah. And among the battling, we come to verse 10.

Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills.

Tar pits? Wait a minute. Like the ones at LeBrea? I thought there were only tar pits during the ice age!

...oh. Right.

Years and years later, when Israel came out of Egypt and went back to Caanan/Israel, the climate had stabilized into pretty much modern-day, because it was all desert.

Thanks for coming along with me on my little lecture! Science supports the Bible so very well. It's just interpreting the facts through a worldview that gets tricky.


Kelty said...

I really don't mean to sound like a flamer here, but if you don't mind, I'd like to present a geologist's notes on your post.

1. There is rock evidence for multiple ice ages. This comes from the very easily identifiable debris left by glaciers. The most recent ice age reached the Great Lakes, yes, but previous ice ages reached different locations (i.e. New England, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Australia). The rock deposits from these glacial events are scattered about and partially eroded, definitely not the same rock deposits from the recent glaciation.

In fact, the glaciation that covered Western Canada was sourced from the Hudson's Bay area (I did a project on this...there's a type of rock which is not native to Western Canada which you can find in glacial deposits. These rocks were scraped up by glaciers and transported hundreds of miles to rest in Alberta).

2. Tar pits have existed as long as oil and gas have been generated, and still exist today, they are not only an ice age feature. They're simply where oil has migrated to the outcrop of a formation (the oil sands of Alberta and Venezuela are basically tar pits constrained in a sandy formation, hence extractable).

Just a few notes regarding Israel:
Aww, why'd you use a pic of Saudi Arabia? The Plain of the Jordan is desert and Dead Sea in its southern end, but still lush and green in the north. Highly recommend visiting...truly beautiful area on both ends! :D Israel's climate didn't stabilize into a desert, much of Israel is still lush and green, the breadbasket of the Middle East really, abundant in fruit and produce. Galilee in particular is soul yearns to go back to the shores my Lord walked...If you ever have a chance to go there, GO!!

I hope I don't come across as know that science and creation is a topic dear to my heart, something that I've thought about for a long time. If you have any questions, just let me know.

Farm Girl said...

Wow, I didn't expect you to get a comment like that on your blog, Wow that is something. I loved your post and I think you make some very valid points. Keep up the good work.

William said...

It's so hard to find articles like this these days, and darn near impossible to find it in the main stream. This was a pleasant and refreshing burst of creationy goodness for my afternoon. Write more stuff like this! Don't fear the flamers!


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