Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frozen in Time by Michael Oard

Like many children, my fascination with mammoths began long before I could understand the science. Maybe I caught the tone of mystery when anyone wrote or talked about these huge wooly beasts of the past. As I have grown up, I have gradually gained more knowledge of the mysteries surrounding mammoths and their ice age. Like the dinosaur question, how did they all die? Why were they living in Siberia and Alaska in the first place? These ivory-tusked creatures of legend have on occasion been found mummified, almost whole, standing upright in the permafrost. How did that happen, and what does it tell us about the climate of the past?

For a creationist, curiosities related to extinction and weather always bring to mind the Flood. How much did the world change when God judged mankind by sending a global catastrophe? Are we still affected today by the aftershocks of the Flood? So for a person like me, a book giving a scientific creationist perspective on the Ice Age and the Mammoth mystery is gold. Michael Oard, a meteorologist, has written such a book.

Frozen in Time is well-constituted, moving through a thorough introduction of the subject and mysteries to a presentation of the Creationist Flood model and its Ice Age mechanism followed by a summary of secular theories and their difficulties, finishing with an exploration of the evidence for and against the proposed explanations for the Ice Age and the demise of the seemingly out of place mammoths. Michael Oard is willing to criticize both secular and creationist scientist for jumping to conclusions about the extinction of mammoths, pointing out that a deep snap freeze is not necessary to preserve a few mammoths in standing position with relatively unspoiled food in their stomachs. His book provides an alternative and points out that most mammoths appear to have died and been buried in more normal ways.

Aside from including very interesting tidbits about mammoth finds, other large mammals associated with the Ice Age, elephant taxonomy, and weather patterns, Frozen in Time is an important book because it is yet another evidence that the sciences built on uniformitarianism (demanding an old earth and repeating processes in nature) cut the floor from under themselves. By excluding short timelines and catastrophic possibilities because of their bias, secular scientists have no chance of following the evidence where it leads. Like trying to figure out which paints to mix to create green when the existence of blue is denied, the scientists are figuratively mixing any color except for blue, and are frustrated that they have not been able to explain green. This is bad science.

Creation science, on the other hand, not only solves puzzling natural phenomenon (and no, we do not solve everything by saying “God did it.”), but provides us with useful sciences and models. In this book are included speculations about cavemen, about classification, the adaptability of animals to different climates, geology, geography, global warming or cooling, and migration of man and beasts.

To God be all glory.

Frozen in Time

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why, when the evidence works for biblical creation and worldwide flood – but not for uniformitarian, old-earth evolution – would you compromise your Christian belief in the literal history of the Bible to subscribe to the secular theory?

When a Creationist does something predictive, like entering conditions they believe were existent immediately following the Deluge into weather pattern models, their presuppositions yield predictions that are founded by scientific evidence. Here I want to be completely honest about my claim. I’m not saying that a creationist who knew nothing of the Ice Age put flood data into models for meteorology and geology and bam! there was an Ice Age in the model. What I am saying is that creationists, who had already developed the theory of flood ramifications (plate tectonics, volcanic and geothermal activity, massive amounts of water in the air and on the continents draining into the oceans, dispersion from Ararat), put the puzzle pieces together and connected these models to the Ice Age. When applied, their results matched the evidence.

The secular scientists who reject the Bible’s claims about history, especially on origins, age of the earth, and the Flood, have observed and know that there was an Ice Age, but had no preexisting mechanisms they could apply to the historical advent of the Ice Age. So all of their efforts have been to study the data about Ice Ages and devise possible mechanisms, according to the traditional scientific method. Except every time they test their hypotheses with computer models, the predictions fail to account for the data. In fact, many times the uniformitarian (long-age) theories have resulted in predictions directly contradicting the data. What’s more, the more puzzling questions of the Ice Age (Mammoths in Siberia, Hippos in England, ‘disharmonious associations’) are left unanswered, and never answered as part of a comprehensive model of the Ice Age.

So why would a person, who claims to believe in God and the Bible, trade belief in the most reliable historical document ever written, whose predictions are universally proven by the evidence, for a theory whose science, hypotheses, and predictions are so unsatisfactory and questionable? Christian, you don’t have to compromise, or try to fit secular philosophies into your Scripture. They have no evidence. To switch sides on such unconvincing assertions is foolish!

Skeptics who like to comment on this blog, if you’re going to object to the claims made here or in any of these books I’m reviewing, you’re going to have to be more substantial than the
ad hominem attacks that the creationists are ‘lying’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘bogus scientists’. A battle of name-calling is misplaced on this blog. If you want to discuss evidence, models, or the logic and reality of presuppositions, please comment. We all benefit from critical thinking.

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