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Genesis 8b-9

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Genesis 8:15-18… Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife, sons and wives. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you that they may multiply greatly increase upon the earth.” 18 So Noah and his family obeyed, and each animal also went out from the ark.

Commentary

            With the great Flood now subsided and the earth now dry, God calls to Noah with instructions to leave the ark. It is not told how God spoke to Noah, only that he obeyed God. He was to bring everything and everyone out of the ark that he took with him. The earth they once knew was now history, and the earth they now step foot on is a completely new environment. All flesh that was not on the ark was dead. All flesh that was preserved now exits the ark so that “they may multiply greatly and increase upon the earth.” This is of course what they did, and the present day population, both man and animals, comes from those who exited the ark.

            Modern studies on animal migrations have pointed toward the area of Mount Ararat, the resting place of the ark (8:4), as the geographical center of the earth. Computer studies have shown that this area of the earth (present-day Turkey) is actually the center of the earth, and it appears to be no coincidence that this is where all life came from following the Flood. The animals could migrate to the east (Asia), west into Europe, and south into Africa. It is probable that the earth had not yet split at that time, and it was still one large land mass (Pangaea). If this is the case then explaining how kangaroos made it into Australia and how all the animals made it to Noah prior to the Flood is simple. Some scientists have proposed that animals after the Flood found a land bridge across what is now called the Bering Straits into the Americas while others found a similar land bridge down the Malaysian Straits into New Guinea. It was during the Ice Age that these land bridges are known to have existed, for at that time the sea level was remarkably lower than it is today. The enormous amounts of water were frozen into large ice sheets, and these land bridges were protruding from the sea enabling the animals to migrate into their respective modern-day dwellings. Upon reaching their destinations, as well as during their journeys, the animal population multiplied very quickly likely due to the lack of competition among themselves. In the new environment where hot and cold were intensified in various regions, each animal likely pushed forward seeking for its own ecological alcove.

            The new environment of earth, with the absence of the vapor canopy that kept the earth at a uniform temperature, was not conducive to many of the larger and more specialized animals like the dinosaurs. These very large animals needed the oxygen the vapor canopy provided to maintain their existence, and the fact that they have since become extinct proves that either man killed all of them for his own survival or that the environment was simply not able to sustain them after the Flood. Since we know that God created all living things, including dinosaurs and the like, then we know that they either died completely just prior to the Flood or in the years that followed. Many other animal species became extinct during this time due to the sharp change in temperatures resulting from the demise of the vapor canopy. This appears to have led to a great buildup of ice at the poles leading to massive ice sheets that covered northern Europe and the United States. This Ice Age likely lasted hundreds of years right after the Flood.

Food for Thought

            A critical look at the facts of scripture along with some time spent researching the findings of science goes a long way to determining what life was like in the beginning. Don’t be too easily fooled by what the world teaches about human origins. The Bible has the answers!

Genesis 8:20-22… Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Commentary

            Noah’s first act after exiting the ark is to worship God. It appears to be the one thing on his mind, and after he makes his way down the mountain, he builds an altar to the Lord. This is the character of a man who walks with God… he worships Him after having been saved from judgment. In keeping with Abel’s act of worship in Genesis 4, Noah offers animal sacrifices from every clean animal he loaded onto the ark. He knew this is what he would do because he took the clean animals onto the ark in twos, but he took seven pairs of these clean animals so as to keep them from becoming extinct following his sacrificial act of worship. Verse 21 speaks of God being pleased with Noah’s worship, and the passage uses an anthropomorphism to describe God (describes God using manlike qualities). The Lord is said to have “smelled the soothing aroma” of the burnt offering. This is an expression of God’s pleasure toward Noah as the one who worships God. It is a wonderful picture of how God views man’s worship towards Him.

            Upon receiving Noah’s worship at the altar the Lord makes three proclamations. First, He says “to Himself” that He will never again curse the ground on account of man, “for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” The phrase “to Himself” literally means “having considered.” After Noah’s worship God resolves that the pain humanity has brought to Him will be forgiven, and his indignation is eased by the atoning sacrifice. Now this statement appears to contradict itself because God is saying he will not curse man because man is corrupt in all he does and thinks, and it should say the opposite. However, the statement is in character with the God of mercy. Even though man is totally depraved in his nature, God is still merciful to the point of keeping the earth from being destroyed again by His anger. He is not lifting the curse of Gen. 3:17, rather, He is promising not to inflict further misfortune on the earth.

            Second, God says that He “will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.” He is making a covenant between all living things and Himself that life will never again be cut off by floodwaters. It’s not that God regrets what He’s done, but He does promise not to do it again in this manner. Finally, in verse 22, God promises that as long as the earth endures “seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” In other words God will sustain the food supply and providentially preserve the earth and its ecology until the end of days – until the final judgment of mankind on the planet.

Food for Thought

The worship of God is our task, our duty, and our privilege. It pleases God. Today at the foot of Mt. Ararat there is what is known to the locals (modern-day Turkey) as the “Black Castle.” This small stone structure is quite old, and no one knows who actually built it. It is open on one side and has steps going up into it. Though unknown whether or not this structure is the altar that Noah built, it does contain writings that are the oldest known writings on the planet today. There is also a rock at the foot of this altar today that has eight crosses etched into it. Crosses have been a religious symbol even before Christ died on one, and it’s possible that the eight crosses on this ancient rock represent the eight people who survived on the ark in Gen. 6-8.

Genesis 9:1-3… And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.”

Commentary

            Following Noah’s worship of God at the altar God “blessed” Noah and his sons. In doing this God is bestowing upon them the ability to “be fruitful and multiply” – the very command He gives to them after he blesses them. God does this because the world’s population will come directly from the loins of these men. Without God’s “blessing” they would have neither life, nor be able to produce life. Noah is clearly following in Adam’s footsteps, for the same command was given to Adam after his blessing to be fruitful and multiply. What is lacking in Noah’s commission that Adam had was the command to “have dominion over the earth and subdue it” (cf. 1:28). This is likely due to the fact that Satan still had dominion over the earth stemming from Adam granting it to him (cf. 1 John 5:19). In this case the animals were to fear mankind as opposed to obeying and understanding him as was the case before the Fall. This “blessing” of God is parallel to that which God’s elect receive when they are touched by God as preordained people for eternal salvation. The day they receive God’s “quickening” – His blessing of spiritual life – is they day they begin their own quest to be fruitful/multiply by having a part in bringing the rest of God’s elect into His eternal fold. It’s the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20.

            In verse two God tells Noah that the animals of the earth, sky, and sea will “fear” and be filled with “terror” because of man. Notice the one animal group that is missing: the cattle. Whereas all animals today still show this inherent fear of mankind, cattle and other domesticated animals generally do not. If the former “beasts of the earth” (lions, etc.) didn’t fear mankind, with their population growing far more quickly than man’s, mankind might have been quickly obliterated from the earth by these ravenous beasts. Their fear of man was essential for man’s survival, and as the text clearly says, they were given into the hand of mankind, not vice versa.

             Verse three elaborates on what verse two actually entails. Noah and his sons (all of mankind), though formerly prohibited from eating the flesh of animals, are now given the permission do so. God tells him that “every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you…” There is no prohibition here in Noah’s day as there will be later in Israel’s day – a prohibition from many kinds of flesh that is meant to separate them from the pagan nations surrounding them. Whereas Adam and his progeny were vegetarians leading up to Noah’s day, Noah and all of his descendants (i.e., all people) are given permission to kill animals and eat their flesh. It is not known why God makes this provision, but it is likely that the new environment of the planet with the absence of the vapor canopy in someway demands the nutrients that meat provides.

Food for Thought

            Genesis 9:1-3 is filled with truths and principles that continue to affect mankind today. We are all descendants of the three sons of Noah, and the mandates given to them to be fruitful and multiply have never been revoked. There are no population problems on the planet today in God’s eyes, or He would have revoked the command to be fruitful and multiply. The fact that hunters have to “hunt” animals attests to the fact that animals continue to “fear” and have “terror” of man. Even our eating habits stem from Noah’s day. Whereas vegetarianism isn’t wrong, neither is eating meat. All of this attests to the truthfulness and relevance of the Bible.

Genesis 9:4-7… Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. 7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”

Commentary

            Up to the time of Genesis 9:3 all of mankind is vegetarian. God now grants them permission to eat meat. Verse four, however, gives a strict mandate: “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” The reason? Meat is for food, but blood is for sacrifice. The Book of Leviticus says this: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11). The blood gives life to the soul, and it is essential for giving life to the flesh by taking all the necessary nutrients from food and oxygen intake in order to sustain life. Even from the time of Cain and Abel man sacrificed animals and poured out the blood for their own personal sins in reverent worship of God. Because all sin is an abomination to God and brings death to mankind, God offers a solution by means of blood sacrifices. God covered Adam and Eve with the skins of animals after their sinful disobedience by shedding their blood. God’s holiness demands justice, but God Himself in the old covenant made provisions for man to live by offering the blood of an innocent animal in place of the sinner’s life. This was to prefigure Jesus Christ who was the perfect blood sacrifice who died once and for all, hence, putting aside the old way of offering the blood of bulls and goats to make atonement for sins. It’s all about blood, and God demands that Noah and his descendants never eat of that life-giving substance.

            Verse five introduces human government. Prior to this time it appears evident that no form of human government existed, and there were no law officers to prevent crime. In the case of Cain killing Abel, it appears that those who wanted to kill or avenge a death could do so and escape. Even Cain’s descendant, Lamech, boasted of the murder he was responsible for, and he appears to be under no threat of the consequences. But now in the time after the Flood, in order to prevent the violence that the anarchy had previously brought about, God institutes a form of human government by granting the authority of capital punishment. The decree in verses 5-6 is a clear teaching that taking human life demands that person’s life as well. This was not overturned in the NT (Matt. 26:52; Rom. 13:4: Acts 25:11) nor is it in the modern day. The reason God gives for capital punishment is at the end of verse six: “For in the image of God He made man.” The point of this decree in granting human government to mankind is the sacredness of human life. Since human life is so sacred in God’s eyes, it must be paid for with human life. Man’s blood must be “shed” – literally “poured out.” Mankind has entered a new dispensation (administration) of time after the Flood: the dispensation of human government.

Food for Thought

            The death penalty in the modern-day has come under intense scrutiny. What many don’t understand is that when one opposes it, they oppose God, not man. This law comes from ancient times – from the time right after the great Flood of Noah’s day. Don’t forget that the Flood was God’s judgment on human sin, and this sin was partly due to the fact that there was no government to keep it in check. Capital punishment was instituted for man so as to help prevent the great wickedness that brought about God’s judgment in the Flood. It must have worked because man’s wickedness has yet to reach the same level as it did in the days prior to the Flood.

Genesis 9:8-11… Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 9 “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. 11 And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth."

Commentary

            God has a perfect plan for mankind. He institutes it anew with Noah and his sons, and He lays His plan out on the table. God is eager to bless and show mercy, and He does all that He does for the welfare of mankind. This is clearly seen throughout the pages of Genesis. Noah has been a faithful man of God who clearly walks with God. He was the only man worth saving amidst the wretched generation of pre-diluvium rebels (along with his family). The same man who entered the ark a godly man also comes out of the ark to worship that God at an altar he built. As a result of his worship and his personal relationship with God, God establishes a covenant with Noah in verse 9. This “covenant” God makes with Noah is an unconditional promise made not only with Noah (representative of all mankind) but with all the animals that were exiting the ark too. God first brought the subject of His covenant with Noah up back in Genesis 6:18 just prior to his entry into the ark. It is significant that after the Flood God refers to this covenant with Noah another seven times for a total of eight. Obviously this covenant with Noah and all the generations to follow was, and is, an important covenant between God and man. It was meant to be a continual reminder to all generations immediately following the Flood.

            It is significant that God not only establishes a covenant with mankind but also with the animals and their descendants. Animals are God’s creation, and even though they do not possess an eternal soul as mankind does, God is most certainly concerned for them, and they are in His protective care. Jesus makes a clear reference to this fact in Matthew 6:26 and 10:29. It is also evident from the mouth of God to the prophet Jonah in 4:11 that God cares about people as well as animals. It should not go unnoticed that God mentions “every beast of the earth” in the latter part of verse 10 twice as if to emphasize that even the lowliest of animals are of great concern to their Maker. Animals are God’s creation, and He cares for them.

            Verse 11 is a literary feature tied in with verse eight called an inclusio. God speaks in verses 8-9 and says the same thing in verse 11 with verse 10 being the “middle of the sandwich” as it were. God repeats His resolve in verse 11 to establish His unconditional covenant with life on the earth, and He promises never to destroy it again with floodwaters.

Food for Thought

            In spite of the fact that the Bible says the floodwaters covered the entire earth (cf. 6:17; 7:4, 19, 21-24; 9:9) and the fact that the present earth reflects this, liberal scholars go to great lengths to prove the Flood was local. But God brought all the animals of the earth to Noah for preservation (6:19-20; 7:2-3). Why would God do that if the flood was only going to be local? Shouldn’t He have just sent them away from the Flood? Why would God then make a covenant with the animals not to wipe them out again if only the local ones suffered from such? Of course the fact that local floods have continued to occur in abundance through the centuries also attests to the universal Flood, not a local one. If the flood was localized and God promised not to flood it again (9:11), would He not be a liar due to the fact that it has flooded many times since Noah’s day? Don’t be misled by sinful people. They’re the reason it flooded in the first place!

Genesis 9:12-17… And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, 15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Commentary

            After promising not to destroy the earth ever again with floodwaters, God gives a “sign” to remind Himself, and presumably mankind, of this covenant. Signs are common in reference to covenants as in the case with Abraham (circumcision in Gen. 17:11), Moses (the Sabbath in Ex. 31:13, 17), and with Jesus Christ and His church (the cup in Luke 22:20). Verse 12 says that this sign is between God Himself and “every living creature that is with [Noah] for all successive generations.” In other words, this covenant continues forever because all descend from those on the ark, and verse 13 shows that there is visual proof of God’s promise: the bow in the clouds. Prior to the Flood the atmosphere was water vapor, and since the rainbow can only form from sunlight and water droplets in the air, this phenomena was unique to Noah. Rainbows were not viable under the vapor canopy, but the post-Flood world is a new hydrologic system.

            God says in verse 13 that He will set a “bow” in the clouds as the reassuring sign that when it rains it won’t flood the entire earth. Verse 14 clearly teaches that God is setting in motion something new under the sun. Each time the clouds appear, a bow will appear, and verse 15 says that this is to be a reminder to God not to destroy the earth. Even though Noah and all future generations would look to the clouds, see the rainbow, and remember God’s covenant, God says that this bow was to be a reminder to Himself, not specifically mankind. This makes perfect sense because tragically mankind typically does not think of God’s covenant with Noah when he sees a rainbow following a great rainstorm (gold at the end of it, homosexual sign, or maybe the beauty it brings). But thankfully God set it up for His own reminder. Each time the bow appears in the clouds, verse 16 says that God is reminded of His covenant between Himself and every creature on the planet. And even though it may only rain in our own local areas from time to time, it is raining somewhere on the earth continually. In other words, God is reminded of His covenant continually. Whereas most might think of it, God is continually reminded of what He did to the earth with the Flood and what He won’t do again. The fact that the Apostle Peter speaks of the Flood as past tense and fire judgment as future tense (2 Pet. 3:10-13) must mean that God is not only reminded of past judgment in the rainbow but of future judgment too.

Food for Thought

            The Hebrew word for “bow” denotes a weapon for hunting or battle. Ancient myths associate the bow-like stars in the sky with the hostility of their gods. The mythological bow sign of hostility between the gods and man is the biblical sign of reconciliation between God and man. What the [rain]bow actually represents is a universal sign of peace between God and man that points toward a loving and merciful God. Of course God has been in that business forever. The sign of the cross of Christ is the universal sign of peace for those who are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, the true Lord and Savior of all who place their faith in Him alone (cf. Rom. 5:1).

ICE AGE

A POST-FLOOD MODEL

The climate change following the Genesis Flood provides a likely catastrophic mechanism for an ice age. The Flood was a tremendous tectonic and volcanic event. Large amounts of volcanic aerosols would remain in the atmosphere following the Flood, generating a large temperature drop over land by reflecting much solar radiation back to space. Volcanic aerosols would likely be replenished in the atmosphere for hundreds of years following the Flood, due to high post-Flood volcanism, which is indicated in Pleistocene sediments. 7 The moisture would be provided by strong evaporation from a much warmer ocean, following the Flood. The warm ocean is a consequence of a warmer pre-Flood climate and the release of hot subterranean water during the eruption of "all the fountains of the great deep" (Genesis 7:11). The added quantity of water must have been large to cover all the pre-Flood mountains, which were lower than today. Evaporation over the ocean is proportional to how cool, dry, and unstable the air is, and how fast the wind blows. 8 Indirectly, it is proportional to sea surface temperature. A 10 degree C air-sea temperature difference, with a relative humidity of 50%, will evaporate seven times more water at a sea surface temperature of 30 degrees C than at 0 degrees C. Thus, the areas of greatest evaporation would be at higher latitudes and off the east coast of Northern Hemisphere continents. Focusing on northeast North America, the combination of cool land and warm ocean would cause the high level winds and a main storm track to be parallel to the east coast, by the thermal wind equation. 9 Storm after storm would develop near the eastern shoreline, similar to modern-day Northeasters, over the continent. Once a snow cover is established, more solar radiation is reflected back to space, reinforcing the cooling over land, and compensating the volcanic lulls.

The ice sheet will grow as long as the large supply of moisture is available, which depends upon the warmth of the ocean. Thus, the time to reach maximum ice volume will depend upon the cooling time of the ocean. This can be found from the heat balance equation for the ocean, with reasonable assumptions of post-Flood climatology and initial and final average ocean temperatures. However, the heat lost from the ocean would be added to the atmosphere, which would slow the oceanic cooling with cool summers and warm winters. The time to reach maximum ice volume must also consider the heat balance of the post-Flood atmosphere, which would strongly depend upon the severity of volcanic activity. Considering ranges of volcanism and the possible variations in the terms of the balance equations, the time for glacial maximum ranges from 250 to 1300 years. 10

The average ice depth at glacial maximum is proportional to the total evaporation from the warm ocean at mid and high latitudes, and the transport of moisture from lower latitudes. Since most snow in winter storms falls in the colder portion of the storm, twice the precipitation was assumed to fall over the cold land than over the ocean. Some of the moisture, re-evaporated from non-glaciated land, would end up as snow on the ice sheet, but this effect should be mostly balanced by summer runoff. The average depth of ice was calculated at roughly half uniformitarian estimates. The latter are really unknown. As Bloom states, "Unfortunately, few facts about its thickness are known . . . we must turn to analogy and theory. . . ." 11

The time to melt an ice sheet at mid-latitudes is surprisingly short, once the copious moisture source is gone. It depends upon the energy balance over a snow or ice cover. 12 Several additional factors would have enhanced melting. Crevassing would increase the absorption of solar radiation, by providing more surface area. 13 The climate would be colder and drier than at present, with strong dusty storms that would tend to track along the ice sheet boundary. The extensive loess sheets south of and within the periphery of the past ice sheet attest to this. Dust settling on the ice would greatly increase the solar absorption and melting. A mountain snowfield in Japan was observed to absorb 85% of the solar radiation after 4000 ppm of pollution dust had settled on its surface. 14

ONE ICE AGE

Earth scientists believe there were many ice ages—perhaps more than 30—in regular succession during the late Cenozoic based on oxygen isotope fluctuations in deep-sea cores. 15 However, the ocean results have many difficulties, and sharply conflict with the long-held four ice-age continental scheme. Before the early 20th century, the number of ice ages was much debated. Some scientists believed in only one ice age, but the sediments are complex and have evidence of anywhere from one to four, or possibly more till sheets, separated by non-glacial deposits. Four ice ages became established mainly from gravel terraces in the Alps, and reinforced by soil stratigraphy. Much has been learned about glacial behavior and sedimentation since then. The Alps terraces are now viewed as possibly ". . . a result of repeated tectonic uplift cycles—not widespread climatic changes per se." 16 Variously weathered "interglacial soils" between till sheets are complex, and practically always have the top organic horizon missing. It is difficult to know whether they are really soils. 17 Besides, the rate of modern soil formation is unknown, and depends upon many complex factors, like the amount of warmth, moisture, and time. 18 Therefore, the number of glaciations is still an open question.

There are strong indications that there was only one ice age. As discussed previously, the requirements for an ice age are very stringent. The problem grows to impossibility, when more than one is considered. Practically all the ice-age sediments are from the last, and these deposits are very thin over interior areas, and not overly thick at the periphery. Till can sometimes be laid down rapidly, especially in end moraines. Thus the main characteristics of the till favor one ice age. Pleistocene fossils are rare in glaciated areas, which is mysterious, if there were many interglacials. Practically all the megafaunal extinctions were after the last—a difficult problem if there was more than one.

One dynamic ice age could explain the features of the till along the periphery by large fluctuations and surges, which would cause stacked till sheets. 19 Organic remains can be trapped by these oscillations. 20 Large fluctuations may be caused by variable continental cooling, depending upon volcanic activity. In addition, most of the snow and ice should accumulate at the periphery, closest to the main storm tracks. Large surface slopes and warm basal temperatures at the edge are conducive to rapid glacial movement. 21

In summary, the mystery of the ice age can be best explained by one catastrophic ice age as a consequence of the Genesis Flood.

The Ice Age has always been a problem for science. While abundant evidence has been found for continental glaciation, the cause has remained enigmatic. Scores of scenarios have been proposed: global cooling, decrease in the sun's intensity, rampant volcanic activity, etc., but none are truly able to bring about such profound changes—none except the creation proposal, that is.

First, let's talk about the nature of the Ice Age and clear up various misconceptions. To start with, the Ice Age was a time when great sheets of ice built up on land. As snow accumulated in extreme northern (and southern) latitudes, its own weight packed it into ice. And then, because ice is less than rigid, it can flow out from heavy snow accumulation areas into lower latitudes.

The glaciers never covered more than a minor portion of the globe. In North America, ice covered much of central Canada and as far south as Kansas. Weather in the rest of the world was affected, but the areas were not under ice. Some propose that there were several ice ages—from four to sixty such ages—each lasting for long periods and separated by vast ages, but the evidence for multiple glaciers is poor.

The obvious requirements for ice build-up are more snowfall and less snow melt. But how does this happen? No scheme, shackled by the constraints of uniformitarianism can alter earth's conditions to that extent. And besides, if things get too cold, the air can't contain much moisture. And it doesn't snow much. And so the puzzle remains.

A key to more snowfall is more evaporation, and the best way to achieve that is to have warmer oceans. We would also need somewhat warmer winters in polar latitudes to allow for more snowfall and intense weather patterns to transport the evaporated moisture from the ocean to the continents. And then we need colder summers to allow the snow to accumulate over the years. Everyone agrees that these conditions would cause an ice age, but uniformitarian ideas can't allow the earth's systems to change that much. Many creationists think the Flood of Noah's day provides the key.

As the Flood ended, the oceans probably were warmer than today. The pre-Flood world had been uniformly warmer, and during the Flood, the "fountains of the great deep" (Genesis 7:11) would have added much heat, as would the tectonic readjustments late in the Flood and following it. This warmth would be a continual pump of warm moisture into the atmosphere—thus warm, wet winters.

Furthermore, the land surface at the end of the Flood was little more than a mud slick, and would have reflected solar radiation without absorbing much heat. The large temperature difference between ocean and land and coupled with strong polar cooling, would cause intense and prolonged storms.

Finally, the late and early post-Flood times witnessed extensive volcanism, as the earth struggled to regain crustal equilibrium. This would cloud the atmosphere, bouncing incoming solar radiation back into space—thus, colder summers.

More evaporation, warmer winters, more intense storms, and colder summers: The result? An "ice age" which would last until the oceans gave up their excess heat, the volcanism lessened, and vegetation was re-established. This likely would take less than one thousand years following the Biblical Flood.

*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.

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