Long human lifespans in Genesis: myth or history?

Long human lifespans in Genesis: myth or history?


Monday, November 11, 2013

Living for 900 years

by Carl Wieland

A few people reach around 120 years. We’re understanding more … but, with new research, can we live longer? Fascinating new information about how and why we age casts fresh light on the long lifespans of pre-Flood people.

In the book of Genesis, the Bible routinely records human lifespans which seem outrageously different from our experience today. Adam lived to 930 years; Noah even longer, to 950 years (see graph below). These long lifespans are not haphazardly distributed; they are systematically greater before the Flood of Noah, and decline sharply afterwards.

These great ages are not presented in the Bible as if they are in any way extraordinary for their times, let alone miraculous.

Graph of life-spans from Adam to the present

The lifespans recorded in the Bible, beginning with the pre-Flood patriarchs (plotted at date of birth). Notice the pronounced drop in lifetimes following the Flood. This is evidence for something very dramatic happening in world history.

Many people are quick to scoff at such ages, claiming they are ‘biologically impossible’. Today, even if they avoid all fatal diseases, humans will generally die of old age before they reach much past 100. Even the very exceptional cases don’t make it much past 120 years.

However, a look at the evidence related to aging suggests that the apparent upper limit on today’s average lifespans is not something that is ‘biologically inevitable’ as such for humans or other multi-celled creatures.

Read the rest of this article on Creation.com!

AiG to build full-size Noah’s Ark

AiG to build full-size Noah’s Ark


Monday, October 28, 2013
Feedback: Why Are You Building the Ark on Land?
by Tim Chaffey, AiG–U.S.

If the ark was supposed to be able to float, why are you building your full sized replica on land? Wouldn’t you want to prove people who say it couldn’t float that they are wrong?

Hello Mark,

Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis and for your questions. Your queries give us an opportunity to correct some misconceptions people have about the Ark Encounter. So let’s take a look at each of them.

First, as we explained in last week’s feedback, the Ark Encounter is not being promoted as a replica of Noah’s Ark. We do not know exactly what the original Ark looked like so it would be very difficult to replicate it. However, we have designed our Ark in accordance to the scant details of the biblical text (Genesis 6:14–16), basing our design on research into ancient shipbuilding.

Second, the purpose for Noah’s Ark is different than Ark Encounter. Noah’s Ark was used for its eight human passengers and large number of animals to survive a year-long worldwide Flood. Whereas the Ark Encounter is being designed as a testimony to the biblical Ark and the account of God’s judgment upon an unbelieving world. Also, the setting for our Ark is the pre-Flood world so there would be no reason to have it float at that point. We want this attraction to stand for years to come (Lord willing), demonstrating the trustworthiness of God’s Word and telling people about the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Read the rest of this article on answersingenesis.org!

How did humans repopulate after the flood?

How did humans repopulate after the flood?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE?
by Don Batten

crowdstock.xchng

Six billion people live on planet Earth. That sounds like a lot of people. Well, I would not want to invite them all to a barbecue at my house! However, they could all fit into an area the size of England, with more than 20 square meters each. Many of us live in cities, so we have the impression that the world is bursting with people. However, much of the world is sparsely populated.

Nevertheless, many wonder at how the population could have grown to six billion from Noah’s family who survived the Flood that wiped out everyone else about 4,500 years ago. When you do the figures, it confirms the biblical truth that everyone on Earth today is a descendant of Noah’s sons and daughters-in-law. Not only that, but if people have been here for much longer, and there was no global Flood of Noah’s day, there should be a lot more people than there are—or there should be a lot more human remains!

Read the rest of this article on AnswersInGenesis.org!

Why did God Flood the Earth?

Why did God Flood the Earth?


Thursday, October 17, 2013Noah’s Flood—why?
by Russell M. Grigg

This article was originally posted on Creation.com.
In the last two issues of Creation magazine we have shown stamps with the biblical themes of ‘The Creation of the World’ and ‘Jonah and the Great Fish’, from Palau. In this issue, the ‘Noah’s Ark’ stamps are from the island nation of St Vincent, in the West Indies.

After FloodThe ‘Noah’s Ark’ stamps from the volcanic island of St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

The artist has depicted the end of the Flood, with Noah’s Ark resting on a mountain under a rainbow,1 and a selection of pairs of various animals, including koalas and kangaroos.
Answers to various objections concerning the Flood—both scientific and practical—that skeptics have raised over the years have been published in many creationist books,2 films/videos,3 and magazines,4 so in this article we shall discuss the reasons why the Flood occurred.

REASONS FOR THE FLOOD

Genesis chapter 6 gives four reasons why God sent the Flood:

1.  ‘The wickedness of man was great in the earth’ (v. 5).
2.  ‘Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’ (v. 5).
3.  ‘The earth was filled with violence’ (v. 11).
4.  ‘The earth…was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth’ (v. 12). (All the people on earth had corrupted their way.)

The historical biblical record states, ‘And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt’ (Genesis 6:12). This is in sharp contrast to God’s declaration when he had finished creating the heaven and the earth, namely, ‘And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good’ (Genesis 1:31). It is astounding to consider that in the tenth generation from Adam the human race had become so wicked, evil, violent and corrupt that it was not fit to go on living. And of all mankind only four men and four women were spared, because they did not go with the great sin drift.

Q: Are these reasons adequate to have warranted the wholesale destruction of the human race?

A: The Bible tells us that mankind was created by God as a special being, made in God’s image, to live according to the rules which God has laid down. When mankind breaks those rules judgment follows. Why? Because God, as a result of His holiness and justice, has decreed to punish the wicked and disobedient. Sometimes this punishment is evident to all in this life, but the ultimate punishment awaits the Day of Judgment. ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’ (Hebrew 9:27). This judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15. In the case of those living on earth in Noah’s day, God adjudged that their deeds were such as to necessitate the penalty which He imposed.

John Calvin commented, ‘It [the whole earth] was not overwhelmed with a deluge of waters till it had first been immersed in the pollution of wickedness…that wickedness was too deeply seated in their hearts, to leave any hope of repentance.’5

Q: Why were the earth and animals destroyed too?

A: In so far as sin is a transgression of the law, it is guilt; in so far as it is a principle, it is pollution and defilement. Calvin said, ‘The earth was like a wealthy house, well supplied with every kind of provision in abundance and variety. Now, since man has defiled the earth itself with his crimes, and has vilely corrupted all the riches with which it was replenished, the Lord also designed that the monument of his punishment should there be placed: just as if a judge, about to punish a most wicked and nefarious criminal, should, for the sake of greater infamy, command his house to be razed to the foundation. And this all tends to inspire us with a dread of sin; for we may easily infer how great is its atrocity, when the punishment of it is extended even to the brute creation.’6

WHAT OF GOD’S MERCY?

God’s mercy regarding the Flood is just as evident as His judgment, and is seen in the fact that God provided a way of escape for those who were prepared to believe what He had said, heed the warning He gave, and avail themselves of the means of salvation which He provided by instructing Noah to build the Ark (Genesis 6:14-16).
Noah is described as ‘a just man’, ‘perfect in his generations’, who ‘walked with God’,7 and who ‘found grace in the eyes of the Lord’ (Genesis 6:8-9); he was also ‘a preacher of righteousness’ (2 Peter 2:5). From this it is very reasonable to conclude that his messages, perhaps preached from the platform of the partially completed Ark, included warnings of the coming judgment and invitations to his listeners to avail themselves of the one means of escape, which he was constructing. In the event, Noah and his family alone had regard to the wrath of God, and only eight people boarded the Ark in faith and were saved—Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their three wives.

RELEVANCE TO US TODAY

On one occasion Jesus said, ‘As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Matthew 24:37). As we have seen, the days of Noah involved four types of iniquity: great wickedness, evil imaginations, violence and corruption, and these things have all become a way of life in the 1990s. When people are taught from kindergarten to adulthood through every branch of the media and the education system that the world made itself (and thus God is unnecessary or does not exist), and that they are nothing more than evolved animals, it is not surprising that they give themselves over to these sorts of behaviour. As a result, the Ten Commandments have become the ‘ten suggestions’, chastity is regarded as ‘neurotic inhibition’, immorality has become ‘the new morality’, perversion is ‘an alternative life style’, and the only absolute left in society is that there are no absolutes.8

Violence and immorality, rather than being abhorrent in society, have become the subject of entertainment. Some films today portray more than 100 acts of violence per hour. And it seems that few films can be made these days without showing specific acts of adultery or fornication. It has become ‘old-fashioned’ to speak out against this, so it is little wonder that this celluloid action is emulated in real life, as happened when a film dealing with gang violence, called Boyz N the Hood opened in 800 cinemas across the USA in 1991. One man was killed and 20 other moviegoers were shot, stabbed or beaten up in a wave of copy-cat audience violence which erupted in cinemas, drive-ins, and car parks.

CONCLUSION

The warnings given to Noah’s generation are terrifyingly relevant today. When God’s mercy is rejected, then His judgment must and will fall. But, as in the days of Noah, so now God has both given warning of the judgment to come and provided a way of salvation. The Ark was the only refuge from divine judgment then and it had to be entered by faith. As such it speaks to us of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour for sinful mankind today, whose death on the Cross must be appropriated by faith. ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith’ (Ephesians 2:8); ‘Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). As the Apostle Paul declares, ‘I declare unto you the Gospel…By which also ye are saved…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day’ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4).

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES

1.  The stamps show some artistic licence—the rainbow should have red on the outside and blue (actually violet) on the inside, and the Ark shown is the traditional shape, whereas it was most likely to have been rectangular.

2.  E.g. John C. Whitcomb, The World That Perished , Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Revised Edition, 1988. Ken Ham, Andrew Snelling, Carl Wieland, The Answers Book, Chapter 7, ‘Noah’s Flood: Where Did the Water Go?’; Chapter 12, ‘How Did Various Animals Get from the Ark to Isolated Places such as Australia?’, Creation Science Foundation, Brisbane, 1990, pp. 117-129, and 197-207.

3.  E.g. The World That Perished , Films for Christ, Mesa, Arizona.

4.  E.g. ‘Does Scripture Require a Global Flood?’ Creation magazine, March-May 1995, Vol. 17, No. 2, p.37. ‘Amazing “Ark” Exposé’: Could this be Noah’s Ark?’, Creation magazine, September-November 1992, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 26-38. ‘The Pitch for Noah’s Ark’, Creationmagazine, August 1984, Vol. 7 No. 1, p. 20. ‘Diseases on the Ark’, Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal , 1994, Vol. 8:1, pp. 16-17. ‘Safety Investigation of Noah’s Ark in a Seaway’, Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal , 1994, Vol. 8:1, pp. 26-36.

5.  John Calvin, A Commentary on Genesis , The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1965, p. 217.

6.  Ref. 5, p. 250.

7.  It is worth noting that Noah’s great grandfather, Enoch, is also described as a person who ‘walked with God’ (Genesis 5:22, 24). Noah is thus seen as the descendant of a godly line of ancestors who reared their children in the knowledge and fear of God.

8.  From McCarthy,T.J., The Plain Man’s Guide to Newagespeak.

Desert Whale Fossils Verify Flood

Desert Whale Fossils Verify Flood


Monday, October 14, 2013

80 whales buried mysteriously in Chilean desert

Marine graveyard is evidence for Noah’s Flood

by Tas Walker

This article was originally published on December 1, 2011, on Creation.com.

Image from Daily Mail
3

Figure 1.
A complete fossil whale skeleton in the Chilean desert.

Researchers from the USA and Chile reported, in November 2011, a remarkable bone bed on the west coast of northern Chile near the port city of Caldera, about 700 kilometers (440 miles) north of the capital, Santiago.1 Excavations uncovered the remains of some 80 baleen whales of which more than 20 specimens were complete (figure 1).2 They also found other kinds of marine mammals including an extinct dolphin with tusks and a sperm whale.3

The previous year, construction workers upgrading the Pan-American Highway discovered the fossil site in a road cut just north of Caldera. Since then, teams of scientists led by paleontologist Nick Pyenson4 from the Smithsonian Institute and Mario Suarez from the nearby Museo Paleontologico de Caldera5 have been working to excavate the fossils while the road works were temporarily suspended.
The fossils alongside the highway are confined to a sandstone ridge about 20 meters (70 feet) wide and 240 meters (800 feet) long (figure 2). Most whales were about 8 meters (25 feet) long, and perfectly preserved. Some whales were so close together that they overlapped one another (figure 3). The site in a corner of the Atacama Desert is now well above sea level and over a kilometer from the shore. Suarez said it was well known that whale bones jutted out of the ridge, which was given the name Cerro Ballena, or Whale Hill.6

Figure 2. Photo illustrates the extent and thickness of the outcrop containing the whale fossils. Larger cobbles and pebbles are seen at the base of the outcrop behind the person crouching, and on the top of the cut on the other side of the road. Coarser lenses, possibly of pebbles or shells, are visible in the embankment behind the man. Image from Daily Mail.3

Figure 3. Whales overlapping one another. Image from io913

Paleontologists were thrilled to find the treasure trove, describing it as “very unusual”. Pyenson thinks the whales all died “more or less at the same time” after they were trapped in a lagoon. Others suggest they became disoriented and beached themselves. Paleontologist Erich Fitzgerald from Museum Victoria in Australia said it’s possible the remains accumulated over thousands of years. Whale expert Hans Thewissen from Northeast Ohio Medical University thought the whales might have gathered in a lagoon and been stranded by an earthquake or storm. After the connection to the ocean closed, the lagoon dried up and the whales died.

The puzzle of how these marine creatures died has caught news headlines with one reporting “Fossil Bonanza Poses Mystery”. Another asked, “How did 75 whales end up in the desert?”
Interestingly, some of those posting comments on these news reports suggested the creatures perished in Noah’s Flood. Robert Raeburn of Western Australia said, “The whales probably swam there when the whole world was covered in water, about 4000 years ago at the time of Noah. They would then have been stranded when the waters assuaged (drained back) to expose the dry land. … This all makes sense when viewed from a ‘Bible’ perspective.” An email friend suggested the same to Mario Suarez, one of the lead paleontologists. Not surprisingly, this idea generated a deal of web comments.

The field evidence for large-scale catastrophe is overwhelming as these research scientists have reported. What stops people making the obvious connection between these fossils and Noah’s Flood? It’s the million-year ages assigned to the fossils. On one comments thread Holly from the USA responded to the Noah’s Flood idea with, “Nothing from the Bible perspective makes sense, since 4,000 years ago that area wasn’t covered with water. However it was about 2 million years ago.”

But the 2-million-year-figure is the number paleontologists gave for the age of the fossils. Actually, they said the whales probably died between 2 million and 7 million years ago—that is early Pliocene to early Miocene (according to the International Stratigraphic Chart7). But where did they get those ages from?

Figure 4. Late Cenozoic sedimentary basins on the west coast of northern Chile. From Feldmann et al.11

First, they assign the ‘series’ and ‘stage’ by the field relationships among the strata and according to the fossils found therein.8 At this site they said that the fossil dating is complicated and probably not sufficiently precise to determine if the whales all died at the same time. Second, once the series and stage has been decided they simply read the ‘age’ in millions of years off the chart.

Figure 5. Immense boulder conglomerate toward the base of the Caldera basin indicating the high energy processes associated with the early sediment fill. Boulder deposits such as this have been connected with the receding waters of Noah’s Flood.14 Image from Pyenson Lab15

But how were the numbers determined for the chart? By agreement of an international committee which bases its thinking on the geological philosophy of uniformitarianism—a philosophy that only allows slow and gradual processes as explanations, or local catastrophes at the very largest.9 In other words, uniformitarian geologists are quite comfortable to hypothesise a storm, earthquake or tsunami, but not the global Flood.

On the other hand, drawing on multiple lines of evidence, biblical geologists consider the Flood a real event in history and the fossil layers to have been deposited mostly during this event. The Flood washes away the millions of years because it falsifies the assumptions on which the million-year ages are based. Most biblical geologists would accept that the standard geological column represents the general order of deposition during the Flood, with some of the uppermost parts of the column being deposited in the 4,300-year period afterwards.10
The sandstone strata containing the whale fossils are contained within a local area called the Caldera basin (figure 4).11

Similar localized basins are found at a number of places along the western coast of Chile. Although the basins are relatively small for Flood deposits, the characteristics of the sediments in these basins (figures 2 and 5) and the abundant fossils contained in them indicate that deposition took place during a period of rapid and major coastal subsidence.12 Coastal subsidence of this nature is exactly what we would expect in the second part of the Flood when the ocean basins sank, the continents rose and the floodwaters flowed into the ocean. And major coastal subsidence explains the rapid burial of the whales and other creatures because rapid burial was needed soon after death to preserve the fossils. After the ocean basins had mostly subsided and the waters had almost completely drained from the land, the whales and other animals that perished in the catastrophe were buried—toward the end of Noah’s Flood. As Robert Raeburn commented on one of the web news reports, the mystery disappears when we interpret the rocks and the fossils from a Bible perspective.

References

1. Bhattacharya, A., Chilean desert yields trove of whale fossils, 18 November 2011, blogs.nature.com/news/2011/11/chilean_desert_yields_trove_of.html.
2. Gramling, C., Researchers Rush to Recover Whale Fossils From Highway Project, 18 November 2011, news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/11/researchers-rush-to-recover-whale.html.
3. How did 75 whales end up in the desert? Rows of prehistoric bones unearthed in one of the most significant discoveries of its kind, 21st November 2011, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063973/Whales-desert-Prehistoric-bones-unearthed-Chiles-Atacama-desert.html.
4. Pyenson Lab, Oct 2011 and Nov 2011 posts, nmnh.typepad.com/pyenson_lab/.
5. Museo Paleontologico de Caldera, www.cepchile-paleontologia.es.tl/Museo-Paleontolôgico-de-Caldera.htm.
6. Vergara, E. and James, I., Whales In The Desert: Fossil Bonanza Poses Mystery, 19 November 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/19/whales-desert-fossil-_n_1102761.html?ref=green&icid=maing-grid10P-I-P-Ehtmlws-main-bbP-I-P-Edl6P-I-P-Esec1_lnk3P-I-P-E114655.
7. International Stratigraphic Chart, www.stratigraphy.org/column.php?id=Chart/Time Scale.
8. See for example: Walsh, S.A. and Suarez, M.E., New penguin remains from the Pliocene of Northern Chile, Historical Biology 18(2):115–126, 2006; p. 117 for a description of how ages are assigned to sedimentary strata.
9. Murphy, M.A. and Salvador, A. (Eds.), International Stratigraphic Guide—An abridged version, International Subcommission on Stratigraphic Classification of IUGS, International Commission on Stratigraphy, Chapter 2. Principles of Stratigraphic Classification, www.stratigraphy.org/upload/bak/princ.htm.
10. Oard, M.J., The geological column is a general Flood order with many exceptions, Journal of Creation 24(2):78–82, 2010.
11. Feldmann, R.M., Schweitzer, C.E., Encinas, A., Neogene decapods crustacean from Southern Chile, Annals of Carnegie Museum 78(4):337–366, 2010.
12. Encinas, A., Finger, K.L., Nielsen, S.N., Lavenu, A., Buatois, L.A., Peterson, D.E. and Le Roux, J.P., Rapid and major coastal subsidence during the late Miocene in south-central Chile, Journal of South American Earth Sciences 25:157–175, 2008.
13. What are the fossilized remains of more than 80 whales doing in the driest desert on Earth? io9.com/5861723/what-are-the-fossilized-remains-of-more-than-80-whales-doing-in-the-driest-desert-on-earth.

14. Oard, M.J., Hergenrather, J. and Klevberg, P., Flood transported quartzites—east of the Rocky Mountains, Journal of Creation 19(3):76–90, 2005.

15. From Pyenson Lab, Dispatch 7: Walking outcrop, measuring section, 6 October 2010, nmnh.typepad.com/pyenson_lab/2011/10/dispatch-7-walking-outcrop-measuring-section.html.