When I had just turned 7, my family and I drove from Michigan up the Al-Can (it wasn’t paved yet, so it didn’t deserve the respectful name “the Alaska-Canada Highway) to begin a new life in Anchorage, AK. In my opinion, there isn’t a better place to grow up. We were surrounded by mountains, bordered the second-largest-tide inlet of ocean, and it was just a couple minutes’ drive to get to a glacier! The whole world up there bears the marks of the great glaciers that once filled in and carved out all the valleys. When did the glaciers do this, and why aren’t they still there anymore?
Was there really an Ice Age? If it happened, what was this period of earth’s history like? What would cause an ice age? Can we tell how long ago it happened? This week I’m going to explore these questions and what the Bible has to say about it all.Back in the late 1700s Evolutionary scientists had developed the idea that the earth formed from volcanos and therefore had been cooling down slowly ever since. This idea, called Plutonism is still the most popular non-special-creation model today. But in the 1830s evidence and memories of a time when glaciers covered much of the earth started showing up more and more. It wasn’t until the 1870s that the amount of proof led Evolutionary scientists to acknowledge that there had been ice over much of the world in the past.
I did run into a very interesting page from Ice Age skeptics (this page is fine, but I don’t recommend exploring the rest of their site). They rightly point out that a lot of the geology that we find around the world can’t be explained by a bunch of glaciers over millions of years. But that doesn’t tell us an Ice Age (following a Great Flood) didn’t really happen.
Here’s what we see around the world that makes us believe that in the recent geological past a lot more of the world was covered with glaciers than right now. There are still (even with people burning fossil fuels) a lot of glaciers around the world and we can study what happens as they ooze down mountains, expanding and retreating. The School of Geology & Geophysics, U of OK, explains a lot of what we see glaciers doing in the present and the effects left behind when a glacier has been somewhere.
Here’s a short page from Scandinavia explaining the formations an average glacier leaves behind when it melts with a coded picture. I really liked the mention of the drainage notches along the ridgeline. I hadn’t heard about those before, so I’ll keep an eye out for them as I travel .This page from the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows examples of the types of landscapes we find where a glacier has melted. If you still want to know more about glaciers click on the links to the left to find a very good set of pages about them and galleries of glacial pictures.
The University of Wisconsin has a great set of pictures showing the formations that glaciers carve out. Just click on one of the types listed on the left to see lots more pictures.
Natural Resources Canada has a really good page with photos of all kinds of glacial landmarks.
Some of our most spectacular landscapes we have around the world were carved out by glaciers. The Matterhorn, Yosemite, The Great Lakes, New York’s Finger Lakes, Ireland, England and Scandinavia were all carved out by glaciers. Check out these pictures of the landscapes around Karakoram Range to the west of the Himalayas
So we can tell where glaciers used to be by recognizing these formations around the world. This page for kids is pretty good on explaining how we realized there had to be an Ice Age. Just ignore the dates (I’m going to post on secular dating methods here soon, but you can read this page in the meantime). We can even see where ice sheets flowed over what is now ocean. This page shows the ice river that ran between Scotland and Scandinavia, scroll to the bottom of the page to see the ocean floor picture.
Tomorrow I will post on what Creation Scientists have to say about the Ice Age.
God asked Job: Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. Job 28:25-30
For more check out:
United Nations Environment Programme: Glacial Periods and the Evolution of Modern-day Deserts