Three Men can all look at one picture and see three different things. And report on what they see from three different sets of presuppositions.
Below is a perfect example:
Fossil Trees in Antarctica Preserve Ancient Proteins |
The Institute for Creation Research
BY * |
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2017
A team of scientists led by Erik Gulbranson recently discovered a forest of fossil trees in Antarctica.1 Gulbranson, a paleoecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, claims this is the “oldest polar forest on record from the southern polar region.”1 The trees were found in Antarctica’s Transantarctic Mountains and include a mix of evergreens, deciduous trees, and gingkoes.
This discovery should be no surprise to those who take Genesis as literal history. The Bible clearly describes a global Flood that affected all land masses—why should Antarctica be an exception?
Dinosaur and mosasaur (massive swimming reptiles) fossils occur on every continent including Antarctica.2 These discoveries demonstrate that a much warmer global climate existed in the pre-Flood world.2 Warm-weather plants like Glossopteris have been found in Permian rocks on Antarctica for decades and are often used to make plate tectonic reconstructions.
Secular science even admits Antarctica was not always cold in the past. LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas wrote,
Antarctica wasn’t always a land of ice. Millions of years ago,3 when the continent was still part of a huge Southern Hemisphere landmass called Gondwana, trees flourished near the South Pole.1
Some creation authors have tried to explain the presence of temperate climate fossils like trees, dinosaurs, and coal beds in Antarctica by making claims that Earth somehow “rolled” on its axis during the Flood, resulting in the North Pole shifting from central Asia to its present position, but this explanation appears to cause more problems than it solves.4
First, temperate and tropical-type flora and fauna fossils, like dinosaurs, are found buried in Flood rocks even in central China—which would have been the north pole if the earth rolled on its axis—and everywhere else on Earth. Thus, the entire globe was warmer in the pre-Flood world. Second, the extreme forces required to explain such a radical shift in the Earth’s axis have never been adequately resolved—it remains a speculation.
Gulbranson and his team think the fossil trees they found are about 280 million years old,3 which places them in Permian System strata.1 The discovering scientists found the trees were so rapidly buried in volcanic ash that they contained fossilized plant cells that are virtually mummified, “preserved down to the cellular level.”1 They reported,
The plants are so well-preserved in rock that some of the amino acid building blocks that made up the trees’ proteins can still be extracted, said Gulbranson, who specializes in geochemistry techniques.1
How could proteins and original amino acids survive for millions of years? The secular science community has no viable answers to explain remarkable finds like these.5
So, the fossil trees themselves tell a different and a far more recent story—one that fits the biblical account of a global Flood just thousands of years ago. These trees were buried rapidly1 during the global Flood described in Genesis. Temperate and tropical plants and animals were caught up and quickly buried in the ash, mud, and sand that engulfed them in this cataclysmic event. These fossils remind us that God’s Word is true.
- Pappas, S. 2017. 280-Million-Year-Old Forest Discovered in…Antarctica. LiveScience. Posted on livescience.com November 15, 2017, accessed November 17, 2017.
- Clarey, T. 2015. Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
- We do not advocate these dates of millions of years as accurate.
- Brown, W. 2008. In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, 8th edition. Center for Scientific Creation. Posted on creationscience.com, updated December 2, 2017, accessed November 17, 2017.
- See ICR.org/fresh-fossils
*Timothy Clarey is Research Assocaite at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University.
Article posted on December 11, 2017.
When Antarctica was a tropical paradise
Antarctica is the coldest, most desolate place on Earth, a land of barren mountains buried beneath a two-mile thick ice cap. Freezing winds batter its shores while week-long blizzards frequently sweep its glaciers.
Yet this icy vision turns out to be exceptional. For most of the past 100 million years, the south pole was a tropical paradise, it transpires.
“It was a green beautiful place,” said Prof Jane Francis, of Leeds University’s School of Earth and Environment. “Lots of furry mammals including possums and beavers lived there. The weather was tropical. It is only in the recent geological past that it got so cold.”
Prof Francis was speaking last week at the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh. More than 500 polar researchers gathered to discuss the latest details of their studies, research that has disturbing implications for the planet’s future. Drilling projects and satellite surveys show the whole world, not just Antarctica, was affected by temperature rises and that these were linked, closely, to fluctuations in levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Fifty five million years ago, there were more than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Professor Stephen Pekar, of City University of New York. “That heated the world enough to melt all its ice caps. Sea levels would have been almost 200ft higher than today. ”
At present, there are 390ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, a rise – caused by emissions from power plants, factories and lorries – from preindustrial levels of around 280ppm. This has already raised global temperatures by almost 1C. At its present rate of increase – around 2ppm a year – it will still take a long time to reach 1,000ppm.
But we should take little comfort from that, added Pekar. “By the time we get to 500ppm we will start to see major melting of the ice caps.”
Measurements taken by Henk Brinkhus and Peter Bijl of Utrecht University as part of the International Ocean Drilling Programme were revealed at the symposium. A kilometre under the seabed at Wilkes Land in east Antarctica, they found sediments containing the pollen of plants that only thrive in the tropics today. “We have found the same kind of material, from the same period, in the Arctic as well. These show the poles were just as warm as lands at the equator,” said Brinkhus. “Carbon dioxide turned the planet into a uniformly warm hothouse.”
Understanding exactly why our atmosphere went through such extreme fluctuations in CO2 is now a pressing concern for scientists. Most hypotheses suggest that at certain times, movements of tectonic plates caused carbonate-rich rocks and sediments to release their CO2. The world heated up. Then, in intervening periods, that CO2was absorbed by a range of natural processes and the world cooled down again.
“We now know that over geological time, carbon dioxide levels and atmospheric temperatures are interlinked,” added Brinkhus. “When the former rises, the latter goes up in its wake. These changes took place over millions of years. However, we are now making similar changes in decades and have little chance to adjust. There are bad days ahead for the planet.”
This point was backed by Pekar. “When we look at the Antarctic’s past, we get a vision of what our planet might be like in a couple of hundred years: a hot, drowned world. ”
Study: North Pole Once Was Tropical
Scientists say the findings are both a glimpse backward at a region heated by naturally produced greenhouse gases run amok and a sneak peek at what manmade global warming could do someday.
Scientists believe a simple fern may have been responsible for cooling things back down by sucking up massive amounts of the carbon dioxide responsible for the warming. But this natural solution to global warming wasn’t exactly quick: It took about a million years.
The Earth went through an extended period of natural global warming, capped off by a supercharged spike of carbon dioxide that accelerated the greenhouse effect even more about 55 million years ago. Scientists already knew this “thermal event” happened, but figured that while the rest of the world got really hot, the polar regions were still comfortably cooler, maybe about 52 degrees on average.
But the new research from the multinational Arctic Coring Expedition found the polar average was closer to 74.
“It’s the first time we’ve looked at the Arctic, and man, it was a big surprise to us,” said study co-author Kathryn Moran, an oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island. “It’s a new look to how the Earth can respond to these peaks in carbon dioxide.”
The 74-degree temperature — based on core samples, which act as a climatic time capsule — was probably the year-round average. But because the data is so limited, it could also be simply the summertime average, researchers said.
“Imagine a world where there are dense sequoia trees and cypress trees like in Florida that ring the Arctic Ocean,” said Yale geology professor Mark Pagani, a study co-author. He said it was probably a tropical paradise, “but the mosquitoes were probably the size of your head.”
Researchers are not sure what caused the sudden boost of carbon dioxide that set the greenhouse effect on broil. Possible culprits could be huge releases of methane from the ocean, gigantic continent-sized burning of trees, or lots of volcanic eruptions.
What’s troubling is that this suggests that the current projections that say the Earth will grow warmer by several degrees over the next century may be on the low end, said the study’s lead author, Appy Sluijs of the Institute of Environmental Biology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Also, the findings are proof that too much carbon dioxide — more than four times current levels — can cause global warming, said another co-author, Henk Brinkhuis of Utrecht University.
Purdue University atmospheric sciences professor Gabriel Bowen, who was not part of the team, praised the work and said it showed that are “tipping points” in the Earth’s climatic system “that can throw us to these conditions.”
With all that heat and big freshwater lakes forming in the Arctic, a fern called Azolla started growing and growing. Azolla, the fastest-growing plant on Earth, eventually started sucking up carbon dioxide and helped cool the Arctic, Brinkhuis theorized.
Bowen said he has a hard time accepting that part of the research, but Brinkhuis said the studies show tons upon tons of thick mats of Azolla covered the Arctic and moved south.