How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?
A Close Look at Dr. Hovind's List of Young-Earth Arguments and Other Claims
by Dave E. Matson
Copyright © 1994-2002
A5. A Couple of Ice Age Problems
Dr. Hovind believes that there was only one ice age which began sometime after Noah's flood ended, that being around 4300 years ago by his reckoning. Thus, the world moved from a warm, tropical climate to an ice age only a few thousand years ago. There are fatal problems with that view.
First, we now know that there were at least 7 ice eras lasting on the average some 50 million years apiece. Each ice era was, itself, composed of numerous ice epochs which lasted about two or three million years. They, in turn, were composed of ice-age cycles which often lasted around 100,000 years. Thus, there have been numerous fluctuations between warm and cold climates. (Chorlton, 1984, pp.20-21). The more recent advances and retreats of the glaciers have resulted in sea level changes which, in turn, have affected the heights of coral reefs, the oxygen isotope ratios in sea floor sediments, and shorelines around the world. Several levels of terraces were carved in the world's shorelines by recent fluctuations in the ocean level, each lasting many thousands of years. I don't have the space to explore this issue, but numerous facts fit together to document the existence of many "ice ages." Regarding one ancient ice era, we have a remarkable coming together of different facts:
The theory of continental drift led to one of the most remarkable discoveries in ice age studies. During the 1960s, scientists analyzed the magnetic orientation of rocks from many parts of the world and concluded that North Africa had been located over the South Pole during the Ordovician period, about 450 million years ago. If they were correct, there should be traces of ancient glaciation in the Sahara. At about the same time, French petroleum geologists working in southern Algeria stumbled on a series of giant grooves that appeared to have been cut into the underlying sandstone by glaciers. The geologists alerted the scientific world and assembled an international team to examine the evidence. The team saw unmistakable signs of an ice age: scars created by the friction of pebbles incorporated into the base of glaciers; erratic rocks that had been transported from sources hundreds of miles distant; and formations of sand typical of glacial outwash streams.
(Chorlton, 1984, p.141)
In some places in the Sahara the grooves made by glaciers can be traced for hundreds of miles (Chorlton, 1984, p.144). How do creationists explain glaciers in the Sahara?
Second, we have a problem with permafrost. Chorlton informs us that the building up of a 100-foot deep layer of permafrost takes thousands of years of freezing weather to accomplish. The bad news for creationists is this:
About 20 per cent of the world's land area remains permanently frozen -- in some cases to depths of almost a mile.
(Chorlton, 1984, p.30)
Thus, we have direct evidence that some of the frozen parts of our world have been frozen a lot longer than a few thousand years! Try a few million years! (Forget about super-cold snowballs crashing into the Earth and instantly freezing thousands of feet of earth. They would have vaporized upon impact.)