The Ice Age, the Bible, and the Woolly Mammoth

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This page will explain the death of millions of Woolly Mammoths and the Biblical passages that explain the "Ice Age".


Question:
"Where do the Ice ages fit into the Bible? Roger Evans
5/24/01

Answer:

Both Creationists and Evolutionists believe that there was an "Ice Age". But what they donít agree on is when it was, how long it lasted, or what caused it.

According to the theory of evolution, the ice age started about 2 million years ago and ended about 11,000 years ago. They place a few warm interglacial periods within this time, but they were relatively short.

Many Creationists believes that the "Ice Age" occurred in the years following the flood of Noah (about 4,400 years ago).

A flood covering the entire earth is a great way to explain the cause of the ice age.


The Bible says that during the flood

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."
Genesis 7:11 (KJV)

These fountains of the deep
"would have brought much hot water and lava to the earth's surface. This in itself would have released much water vapor into the atmosphere - volcanic emissions often have large proportions of water. Also when these 'fountains' poured directly into the oceans, it would have raised their average temperature, increasing evaporation. And all the volcanic ash in the air after the Flood would block out much sunlight, cooling the land." (1)

If the snow fell faster than it could melt, then great ice sheets would result.

In the years following the flood, many animals like the woolly mammoth were trapped in these huge snowfalls.


The Mammoth is commonly represented as a beast that roamed the land, braving the cold in search of food. We often see pictures of them in cold snowy climates

But further study demonstrates that the Woolly mammoths were not designed to live in extremely cold climates. Though it is true they do have fur, this fur was designed for moderate or cool climates not freezing ones.

Sebaceous glands

I have had several people ask me about the lack of sebaceous glands in the mammoth.

So I turned to Dr Don Batten for help (*thanks Don!).
Here is what he said:

"It is apparently true that, like elephants, mammoths lacked sebaceous glands, which would have aided in cold adaptation by oiling their hair to prevent it getting wet, thus enhancing its insulation properties. This was studied by Neuville (Neuville, H., 1919. On the extinction of the mammoth. Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institute, p.331 -- cited by Dillow).

However, that the woolly mammoths had a woolly coat 25 cm (10") long compared with most elephants that have little hair, certainly suggests that mammoths were capable of surviving colder conditions than elephants. Given that their skin thickness was similar, the extra hair would certainly give mammoths more insulation against the cold, even without the sebaceous glands, and enable them to survive colder conditions than elephants.

It is probably just as wrong to view the mammoths as adapted to extreme cold, as it is to see them as not at all adapted to the cold, or tropical in their adaptation. They were probably temperate in their adaptation. Their demise in the Ice Age, after the Flood, was partly due to their inability to stand the extreme cold that came with a fairly sudden change in climate at the end of the Ice Age, as well as to the loss of food sources with the change in climate along the Siberian coast.

Undigested food

Also long wild grass is found wedged in the teeth of mammoths. This type of grass does not grow in cold snowy climates.


Did you know that stomach acid still breaks down food, even after a creature dies? This presents a problem for those who believe the Ice age was a gradual freezing, because if it was, the stomach contents of the mammoths would be gone.

However, they are not because butter cups have been found undigested inside the stomach of the mammoths. The mammoth had to have been frozen so quickly that the stomach acid did not have time to digest its food.

Found standing straight up?

What has puzzled scientists the most is the fact that some of the mammoths are frozen standing straight up.

Unable to walk any further, as the snow got deeper, they got trapped, and eventually suffocated. This is also why the bodies are intact and not beaten up.

The book of Job and the Ice age

The Ice Age was an after effect of the flood. The book of Job is the first place that snow is mentioned in the Bible. This was after the flood.

Job lived after the flood, when the glaciers would have been larger than their present size.

Job 6 verse 15 (KJV) says:

"My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away; (16) Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: (17) What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.."


Job 38:28(KJV)

"Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? (29) Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? (30) The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen."


Job 37:5 (KJV)

"God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. (6) For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. (7) He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work. (8) Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places. (9) Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north. (10) By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened"


Psalm 147:16 (KJV)

"He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. (17) He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? (18) He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow."

Snow is symbolic of purity

Snow is also symbolic of purity. Something the post flood world became.

Psalm 51:7 (KJV) "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Lamentations 4:7 "Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:"


Question:
"If there was a cold enough climate to cause the Ice Age at the end of the flood, then how did the dove Noah sent out come back with an olive leaf (Genesis 8:11)? The plant had to be growing and thus have the conditions needed to grow following the flood."
Tom M. 6/1/02

Answer:
The Ice and snow was not present at the time the ark had landed. It may have been many years later.

As the animals migrated, they may have used the icy land bridges to get to other countries. They would not be able to do this after they melted.

It is interesting to note that not all the animals that migrated to these countries were able to survive there. Cave paintings seem to indicate that Rhinos traveled to Europe but did not flourish there. Instead they are painted with legs and feet "fading" away. This could be the artists way of telling us that they died off as they traveled to these places.

In the years after the flood, the seas would again cool and the ice sheets would begin to melt. Ocean levels are increasing because of this melting ice, leaving the earth in its present state.



Question from a reader:
"If the Ice Age occurred very soon after the Flood, and if the only surviving mammoths at that time would have been the ones taken onto the Ark and their immediate descendants, would they not have been rarer than the numbers of mammoth remains found?
from Trish A. 3/15/02

My response:
I would say the Ice age was in the years following the flood. I don't know if that was 1 year later or 10. This awaits more research. But animals multiply quickly. Also Noah took 7 of some animals on the ark. If this were the case with the mammoth, they would reach larger numbers even quicker. A recent program by Michael Oard seems to suggest the mammoth population would have been hundreds of thousands before the they perished in the "ice age".

Unlike the childrenís movie "Ice Age" the humans that lived at the time of the Ice age could speak and were not primitive in any sense. Man could talk since the day he was created (Day 6).

If you have any questions about the Bible, Creation, Evolution or Dinosaurs Please feel free to Email Me. I will try to answer any questions you may have.

If you have any questions on Creation, Evolution, or just want to say "Hi" please feel free to email me.


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References:
1) AIG website
2) (more added soon)

3) "An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood" by Michael Oard, ICR (1990): "A detailed study of the scientific evidence that the Ice Age was caused by the Flood of Noah, and that it occurred thoroughly in accord with the Biblical chronology of a recent Creation. Fully documented from secular sources"