Ice Core Editorial Authors Reply to Respondents

On September 11, Spectrum published "Perspective: Clarifying 'Understanding Ice Core Science,'" in which D. Stuart Letham and Col J. Gibson provided a robust critique of an article in the Record on Ice Core Science and the age of the earth. The article generated many comments, some critiquing the conclusions Letham and Gibson reached in their article. Below, the authors respond to the comments their first article generated. -Ed.

Reply to respondents:

The authors (Letham & Gibson) original aim was to state clearly, and simply we hoped, our understanding of what we saw as an obvious misunderstanding of science with respect to ice cores. We did this to assist readers who wanted to learn what science has to say about ice cores, and to observe how that relates to the Bible as we understand it. We make no claims to being theologians.

That means, of course, that this reply impinges on our (both readers and authors) understanding of science and also the Bible (scripture).

First, however, we want to thank all who read our article and particularly those who responded with further comments to advance our mutual understanding of the subject and its implications.

Second, we want to reply to the more significant issues raised and further clarify, where necessary, and again - as we see it. Several thought we had “not gone far enough,” but going further risked impinging upon our personal beliefs, and also on other areas not addressed in the original article, and probably best addressed in a subsequent article or articles. At this stage we intended merely an attempt at clarifying science and its aims and what it might have to teach us specifically with respect to ice core research. In doing this we also sought to understand how well it reveals nature (God’s second book) as we accept both reveal the same authorship--God. Consequently, we expect both to be in agreement. We did not set out to attempt to harmonise, but we were happy to note harmony where we thought it existed.

The “old” earth--recent creation concept we mentioned, generally was not well received by respondents. However, it is of course not new. The basic idea (i.e. Genesis 1:1 was separated in time from Creation Week) was accepted by some of the early leaders of the Adventist Church about 1900 and a two-stage creation identical to our suggestion is accepted by many Adventists today (G. Pfandl, J.Adventist Theological Society, Vol. 14, 176-194, 2003). Some of the respondents were clearly YEC (the entire planet and the universe created 6 to 10,000 years ago), while others may have been theistic evolutionists. Because we invoked the Gap proposal, one respondent considered we were conceding ground to evolutionists. Hence, we would like to make our belief position clear. We are creationists and do not accept evolution, theistic evolution, or any form of evolution; we accept the biblical creation week of literal days, 6 to 10,000 years ago.

In the original article, we gave the date for Creation Week derived from Biblical chronology as about 6,000 years before the present (BP) based on the recent recalculated date (3959 BC) of Ashton (J.F. Ashton, in Evolution Impossible, Master Books, AR, pp. 195-196, 2012). However, some uncertainty remains and 6-10 thousand years as used herein may be preferable.

Some brief comments on specific issues or statements relevant to our original article made by respondents follows:

1. The Importance of Timing of Creation.

Several respondents stated that this issue was not important to their personal faith. Maybe so. However, we were saying that we thought it very important to some, especially science-literate young people. The teaching of YEC as scriptural that the entire planet and even the universe were created 6 to 10 thousand years BP has caused many familiar with science to reject the entire Bible, and consequently salvation and the Advent (i.e. Second Coming of Christ) message. If the idea that the great ice sheets that once covered northern US/Canada and Eurasia were caused by a post flood ice age is added, the exit from the church could be even faster. Such views on the flood are not biblical, as we see it, and therefore have no scriptural foundation.

2. The End of the Ice Age and Eden.

One respondent questioned: a. If there could be any connection between the end of the Ice Age and timing of life in Eden. b. He said, We don’t know where Eden was located, and c. We don’t know the extent to which it was affected by glaciation.

Let us address (b) first:

Modern geology suggests that the Garden of Eden was located at the top of the Persian Gulf based on the identification of the dry river bed of the “missing” river Pishon (C. Hill, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, V. 52, 31-46, 2000). Although uncertainty remains, it seems likely that the Garden of Eden was located in or near the Euphrates Valley (Iraq). We can now rephrase question (c) thus: At this location during the Ice Age, was climate markedly different from that at this site at 10,000 years BP when global temperatures were normal and similar to those of today?

To approach this question, general comments about glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere provide a basis.

Only Canada and the northern part of U.S. and Eurasia were covered by the ice sheets (2-3 km thick). However, all of the Northern Hemisphere appears to have been severely affected by glaciation. Thus, climatic events revealed by the Greenland ice cores were also evident in stalagmites in China, Borneo, Turkey, Israel and Oman. Transition from the glacial maximum to early Holocene caused rises in sea surface temperature (SST) in both Eastern and Western Mediterranean (8-10°C), in Arabian Sea (3°C) and South China Sea. Studies of past cave temperatures in Israel revealed an 8°C rise caused by the above transition.

The Younger Dryas (YD) was the terminal phase of the last glaciation and its sudden onset and short duration (about 1,200 years) render its effects easy to distinguish. Identification of pollen species in lake sediment cores taken during this cold period revealed very marked changes in the species present. Hence the fall in temperature (about 7-8°C) was sufficient to greatly modify plant ecology. Similarly, the cold, dry and windy weather of the YD induced replacement of pine forest by tundra in Southern Alaska and caused biological changes in the Cariaco basin of Venezuela. Because of proximity to the likely location of Eden, the region between the Jordan Valley and the Euphrates merits special consideration. Studies of lake sediment cores revealed that it had become largely a desert-like steppe caused by the cold and drought of the YD. Much of the woodland had died and some rivers disappeared. However, a global temperature rise of about 7°C, probably in only a decade, induced the end of the YD at about 11,700 years BP. Subsequently temperatures gradually rose further and stabilised at about 10,000 years BP. With increased rainfall, the above area then became highly fertile, agriculture developed and the region became part of the Fertile Crescent.

The above observations show that glaciation revealed by ice cores markedly degraded climate and adversely affected plant growth generally in the Northern Hemisphere. Based on lake sediment cores, the answer to rephrased question (c) is affirmative. The glaciation would have devastated the flora of the region adjacent to, and perhaps including, Eden. Since the YD glaciation caused collapse of society and adoption of a mobile hunter-gatherer life style in the Levant and Syria (region north and NE of Israel), the effect on life in Eden could have been equally severe (question (a). Cessation of glaciation seems to be a prerequisite to initiation of edenic life. In Eden temperatures after Creation were “mild and uniform” (P&P p. 61). The ice core record shows that the earth experienced such conditions after about 10,000 years BP, which thus could be the probable date for the biblical creation week. This accords with Scripture.

Prior to this time, the earth experienced a severe ice age (glacial maximum about 23,000 years BP) with very variable temperatures and the ice age lasted for about 95 thousand years with varying intensity.

3. The significance of Pollen and Bacteria in Ice Cores Prior to 10,000 years BP.

In writing the article, the authors purposely avoided mention of these organisms in ice cores prior to creation week. Perhaps mistakenly, we felt it was not necessary as it would only incite more controversy by bringing into focus the question of life before Creation Week. In any case, our article discussed ice cores in relation to the occurrence of the biblical creation week, nothing more. However, because pollen and bacteria were invoked by respondents as a criticism of our old earth-recent creation concept, we will make a brief comment for what its worth.

Yes, pollen does exist in ice cores. We recognise that. But the level of pollen in some deep ice cores is so low that it is difficult to quantify and does not make a convincing study; some bacteria appear to occur in ice cores but some can be derived during the drilling process. However, pollen clearly occurs in lake sediment cores dating back well before 10,000 years and the plant species can be identified. Hence, some plants appear to have grown on the earth prior to the biblical time for creation week and there is good evidence that cyanobacteria, which also photosynthesize were also present. The earth needed a source of oxygen and God designed plants with the ingenious enzyme system to convert water into oxygen, a system still imperfectly understood by science. In this way, the atmosphere was enriched in oxygen in preparation for humans.

The pollen in lake sediment cores prior to 10,000 years BP calls into question YEC beliefs, but it does not contradict Scripture, which is silent about the presence or absence of plants on the earth prior to creation week. Their presence would not negate creation week when a great diversity of plants and animals were formed and man was created in God’s image.

Lets us appreciate the beauty of Genesis 1 and 2 and the significance of recent articles in the Recordand other Adventist journals concerning creation/evolution. In the Record we find: J. Standish, 27 March (2015); S. Ostring July 18 (2015); C. Leimena, August 15 (2015). In Adventist World: C. Wahlen, September (2015).

D. Stuart. Letham was awarded a PhD (Birmingham, UK) in organic chemistry in 1955. His subsequent research work included the purification, determination of structure and synthesis of the first naturally occurring cytokinin, compounds that induce cell division in plants. They occur in plants at the level of 1 part per billion (see Letham, Annual Review of Plant Physiology 1967, 1983). He is the author of over 190 refereed papers in biochemistry and plant physiology journals. He retired from the Australian National University 1992 as Professor Emeritus.

Col J. Gibson worked in accounting in industry for a decade before taking an academic position as a senior lecturer in accounting at universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the University of South Pacific (Suva, Fiji).As a natural naturalist from an early age he has been active, as a hobby interest, in helping many professional scientists in fieldwork, and now in retirement still acts as a citizen scientist, which includes field observations and bird photography.

Both authors have discussed the Science/Creation subject for the past few years and thought it was time (obviously after reading a particular Record issue as noted in this article) to put some of their thoughts on this interface into the public arena for others to consider and comment.

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7096

Let us bear in mind, in this discussion, that the Scriptures are what they are, not necessarily what we religious people might want them to be. No amount of pontificating on our part makes the slightest bit of difference to what they are. What they are is a matter of fact; in trying to decide what that is, we best approach them with considerable humility.

3 Likes

That sounds like a lot of gobbledygook, and makes no logical sense.

…so God created some plants and bacteria before creation week. I question how those plants processed their nutrients without the day-night cycle, assuming they had chlorophyll and all the other factors that make plants grow. It seems there was more creation going on before that week if those plants were to survive and produce the oxygen needed by those humans later.

You’re assuming then that there was an earth in existence before creation week where those plants could grow in the first place, as well as the sun since it is needed for the process that allows oxygen to be produced by the plants. You can’t just slip in a seemingly innocuous statement that “oh yes, there were plants before creation week, but God need them to make way for the human couple - nevertheless we believe in a literal six-day creation”. That statement is far from trivial and makes no sense. This is another case where belief supersedes proof. Either this is science we’re talking about, or it’s faith.

5 Likes

The Authors are to be commended for accepting good science wrt to ice cores. But why don’t they accept the same good science when applied to geology in general? The methods of science applied to ice cores isn’t magically different from that applied to other fields, and from those other fields we learn that life is ancient and that it evolved over time.

9 Likes

It’s not as hard as we make it. If any part of Genesis is not literally true, then the flood story and the creation stories may not have been intended to be received as literal truth.

The narrative says that a major part of the floodwaters came through windows in the firmament /sky-dome) .
Inasmuch as such windows do not literally exist, no literal water could have come down through them. No wonder the first eleven chapters do not conform to the reality we experience.

7 Likes

“Ice Core Editorial Authors Reply to Respondents” 28 September 2015 | D. Stuart Letham and Col J. Gibson said: “The earth needed a source of oxygen and God designed plants with the ingenious enzyme system to convert water into oxygen, a system still imperfectly understood by science. In this way, the atmosphere was enriched in oxygen in preparation for humans.”

NASA today announced that it has found evidence of liquid water on Mars, at least during certain seasons of the Martian year. The discovery was made through satellite images, which revealed darkly shaded streaks on slopes of craters and hillsides. They darken and lighten over time as water seeps across the surface, and then evaporates.

I find it fascinating that finding water on Mars can impact our study of origins using common sense science. I wonder what D. Stuart Letham and Col J. Gibson would say about the Mars ice/water discovery. Does it have relevance/meaning for them in their study?

This discovery used the the HiRISE instrument, which is on the orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, is a very sophisticated instrument and has the ability to do spectral analysis. So, it can actually look at how light moves through whatever is flowing there. There is a huge body of evidence that Mars at one time was warm and wet, and we think probably a cushy birth for life. We have been looking for evidence of ancient life, fossils, for example. There has always been this thought that maybe the water is underneath in an aquifer. Could it somehow rise to the surface on certain occasions in certain ways? That’s been a big question. They first spotted these streaks back in 2010. It sure looked like water. But what would keep it following? And the key was, they found these percolates, these salts in there. It’s extremely salty water.

How do we get snow off our roads in the winter? We use salt. Right? What you see is this — those dark streaks are the water, the briny water that percolate in fused water flowing downward. The question is, where did the water come from? Is it from an underground aquifer? It’s kind of problematic, because it’s starting at the top of the peak in the images we have seen. That’s unusual. Could it be somehow that there is a humidity component to it? Mars is very dry, but, under certainly circumstances, could there be what amounts to kind of dew or fog which is causing this? We don’t know the answer to that yet. Because it’s so filled with the salt, it stays in liquid form where it would otherwise freeze. And so the key is, is it so salty that it can’t support life? That’s the real debate among scientists right now. Flowing water has been kind of the Holy Grail on Mars, and because wherever we look on this planet, where we see liquid water, we see life. It’s a prerequisite for life as we know it.

The question is, though, could this be water that sustains life? And could — when you think about salt, it was used as a preservative for a long time on voyages, because it kills microbes. So, there might be so much salt there that there is nothing living there. But where is the water coming from, and could it be fresher and could it thus sustain life?

How does it really matter? If here’s water on Mars. Are we ever really going to really get there to find out? I think it’s a question worth asking. D. Stuart Letham and Col J. Gibson said: “The earth needed a source of oxygen and God designed plants with the ingenious enzyme system to convert water into oxygen, a system still imperfectly understood by science. In this way, the atmosphere was enriched in oxygen in preparation for humans.”

We have looked at our neighbor and we are getting closer and closer by hunting after the water to possibly finding evidence of life, ancient or maybe existing. And how exciting would that be?

1 Like

The question critical to man’s redemption is Who not when or how. tom Z

1 Like

I tried the gap theory for a long time but finally gave up against overwhelming evidence and just accepted theistic evolution. In doing so it opened my eyes to the true meaning behind the genesis account as I no longer had to try and make the story fit the science but could let the story speak to the heart. The authors do a valiant job at explaining their position but I still contend that the gap theory is not compatable with ice core data or science in general.

2 Likes

First, a word of thanks to the authors for their response. They have clarified certain issues, while deepening my perplexity regarding others. Since the authors’ response specifically highlights points raised in my comment on their original article, I would like to provide an extended response here in the interest of continuing this dialogue.

The authors state: “We are creationists and do not accept evolution, theistic evolution, or any form of evolution”. This is a remarkable statement, since even many Young Earth Creationists concede that evolution does occur, albeit limited to variation “within kinds” which they call micro-evolution. Perhaps Letham and Gibson share that belief but prefer to call it variation rather than evolution. Semantics aside, I wonder if/how the authors understand these processes to differ at a mechanistic level.

I appreciate the authors’ affirmation that terrestrial life existed before 6000-10,000 years ago. They specifically state that, “pollen clearly occurs in lake sediment cores dating back well before 10,000 years and the plant species can be identified. Hence, some plants appear to have grown on the earth prior to the biblical time for creation week…”

The authors state: “The pollen in lake sediment cores prior to 10,000 years BP calls into question YEC beliefs, but it does not contradict Scripture, which is silent about the presence or absence of plants on the earth prior to creation week. Their presence would not negate creation week when a great diversity of plants and animals were formed and man was created in God’s image.”

Argument from silence is weak, especially if evidence suggests that the original biblical author(s) and their hearers understood the earth and all life upon it to have originated during the Edenic creation. One might just as well argue for evolution since Scripture is silent about the presence or absence of evolution, but even theistic evolutionists acknowledge that the original hearers of Genesis did not interpret it this way. Might it not be more helpful to set aside a concordist approach and simply acknowledge that the biblical account reflects the beliefs of the writers and culture in which it originated but isn’t an accurate reflection of historical and scientific realities as we better understand them today?

The authors state that the Younger Dryas (YD) was the terminal phase of the last glaciation, which lasted about 95,000 years and ended with the YD around 11,700 years BP, with temperatures stabilizing near present conditions around 10,000 years BP. The authors state, “the YD glaciation caused collapse of society and adoption of a mobile hunter-gatherer life style in the Levant and Syria.” They continue, “Cessation of glaciation seems to be a prerequisite to initiation of edenic life.” If I understand the authors correctly, they are thus claiming not only that pollen-producing plants preceded the edenic creation, but that man did also. Thus, it isn’t clear what significance Letham and Gibson attach to the creation of Adam and Eve. (Some non-Adventists assign significance to Adam by arguing that this is when God bestowed a spirit on a hominid, thus making him in God’s image; however, the Adventist understanding of the nature of man precludes this interpretation).

Acknowledgment of life on earth before creation week indicates that the authors subscribe to neither YEC nor YLC. They do not agree that all terrestrial life was created at Creation week, but they offer no suggestion of how it came to be. They reject evolution, so that leaves us guessing how and when they think pre-Edenic life appeared. They indicate that cyanobacteria played a role in preparing the earth’s atmosphere for oxygen-based life, the existence of which they credited to God: “God designed plants with the ingenious enzyme system to convert water into oxygen”. Since they reject theistic evolution, I am inclined to conclude that they subscribe to a form of Progressive Creationism whereby God created life (before the Edenic creation) in an orderly sequential process. Without evolution, theirs must be a highly granular form of Progressive Creation, with every single species directly created by God. This creation process was not defined, but since the authors reject evolution, I am speculating that the authors believe God spoke the lifeforms into being, or shaped them from pre-existing matter or even from pre-existing lifeforms (via direct manipulation rather than by an evolutionary process, i.e., via a process like genetic engineering).

The acceptance of life on earth before 6-10,000 years BP brings the authors into closer agreement with mainstream science, but they remain outside it due to their rejection of any form of evolution.

Some specific questions raised by the authors’ Progressive Creationist interpretation (if that is in fact what it is) include:

  1. What specifically is the mechanism by which the authors understand pre-Edenic species to have come into existence, barring evolution? Are they Progressive Creationists, and do they argue that God directly created all pre-existing species?
  2. If God did not create all pre-existing species, and if evolution played no role, then to what do the authors ascribe the tremendous variation and abundance of life recorded in the fossil record dated before 10,000 years BP?
  3. Why did God create progressively rather than all-at-once? i.e., why do we observe so much sequence in the fossil record if evolution played no role? (One can understand why cyanobacteria may have pre-existed, followed by oxygen-consuming species, but why so many ancestors of the modern horse, for example? And why didn’t God just create the planet with the current oxygen concentration if that is what He wanted?).
  4. If lifeforms including man pre-existed the Edenic creation 6-10,000 years BP, what was the purpose and significance of the Edenic creation?
  5. What is the significance of other aspects of the edenic creation such as the creation of the sun, moon and stars, the firmament and separation of land from water? Did this all occur about 6-10,000 years BP but after the existence of life? What evidence is there for these creative acts in the ice core, sedimentary or fossil record?
  6. If life existed for millions of years before the proposed Edenic creation 6-10,000 years BP, and assuming that the authors agree that most of the fossil record is attributable to these earlier lifeforms, how do the authors explain the predation evident in the record? (This is a challenge even for theistic evolutionists, but at least they can argue that God used natural processes and free will. Arguing that God directly created carnivorous species and an ecosystem based on death is a greater challenge to the Progressive Creationist).
  7. How do the authors reconcile the Gen. 3 account of the origin of disease and death with the existence of death before the Edenic creation?
  8. From a scientific standpoint, what predictions would one make from the authors’ Progressive Creation perspective that would differ from the evolutionary perspective? If there are any, is there evidence for that? If there are no such predictions, i.e., if the observable results of evolution and Progressive Creation are identical, then it would seem that the latter serves no scientific purpose and is strictly a theological construct. Worse, from a scientific perspective, it provides no mechanistic explanation for how new lifeforms came into being, in contrast to evolutionary theory. And, from a theological perspective, it raises serious problems.

Again, I applaud the authors’ efforts to correct the misinformation about ice core science that was published in the Record and to directly critique non-biblical, non-scientific ideas such as a post-flood ice age approximately 4000 years ago.

I am strongly sympathetic to the authors’ interest in providing a rational basis for science-literate young people to retain their faith. However, I believe their approach—as I understand it—seems unlikely to achieve this goal. A more productive project, I believe, would be a thoroughgoing theological reexamination of the biblical record and the nature of inspiration itself. This seems unlikely in the current Adventist climate of officially-sanctioned fundamentalism with its prescribed (and proscribed) methods of Bible study.

A fundamental point of difference appears to be the authors’ assumption that the Bible and science should agree, as stated here: “we accept both [the Bible and nature/science] reveal the same authorship–God. Consequently, we expect both to be in agreement.” If one does not believe the Bible to be a transcription of God’s words or thoughts, but rather, a book written by human beings (of a particular time and place) laying out their perception of God and his acts, then it is entirely possible and even expected (given the millenia of scientific advances since the Biblical record was made) that these two should not agree.

I have probably just invited the authors to write another article! That would be welcomed.

1 Like

Here is a response we received via email from the authors of this article in response to Robert Johnston: Response to R T Johnston – from D S Letham & C J Gibson

Micro and Macro Evolution

God in His wisdom designed our genetics to accommodate variation (“microevolution”) but not evolution of new genera, etc. (“macroevolution”). The former occurs frequently and involves genetic recombination or loss of existing genes and it never creates totally new genes. However, macroevolution may require large structural changes and genetically could involve formation of a great array of new genes both structural and regulatory. The new genetic information would be too complex to arise by random mutation and natural selection. The latter is relevant to microevolution, but is completely inadequate in relation to macroevolution. In some stages of a developmental sequence, no attribute is available on which to base selection. The restraints of molecular biology render macroevolution a virtual impossibility. This is reflected in the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record (e.g. 500,000 fish fossils but not one transition invertebrate to fish). Macroevolution just does not occur. We are creationists! We accept literally that God spoke and it was [done]; He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33.9).

It is relevant also that Neo-Darwinists accept that natural selection never optimises, it merely finds a localised solution. However, optimisation and perfection are very frequent in Nature from the genetic code to the structure of leaves and the wing stroke of birds. This perfection, unaccounted for by current evolution, is the signature of the Creator (Deut. 32:4).

Theistic Evolution (TE)

We are disappointed to note several respondents favour this view. It is not Biblical of course; it destroys the Sabbath commandment (days become epochs) and animals and man (God’s special creation) die in the endless cycles of evolutionary progression.

Like normal evolution, TE should leave many transitional forms in the fossil record. There are no such forms identified unequivocally.

Brief Comments on Specific Questions

  1. If hominids existed before Creation week, what is significance of
    Adam and Eve?

Very significant. Like the Neanderthals, the hominids may have died out from natural causes. If they had not, the Earth was covered with water before Creation week (Genesis 1:2,9; Psalm 104:6) and all animal life would be extinguished. Eden was a new beginning. The water cleansed the Earth prior to Creation week. Adam was created in God’s image with ability to reason and appreciate spiritual values. The hominids probably were not and descended into chaos with Satan.

  1. Origin of pre-Edenic species.

They did not evolve. God created them - for a purpose. People do not realise what would be involved in evolution of pre-Edenic life. Evolution of the first cell would require over 300 complex interacting and working genes produced from simple chemicals like methane, ammonia and water. The water would inhibit macromolecule formation, which eliminates water. It requires a Creator.

  1. When did pre-Edenic life emerge?

We do not need to know and such questions have no relevance to us. We are preparing for the Second Advent. Our message would be more meaningful if we convinced the Church that Creation Week occurred on an “old” earth.

Progressive Creationism

The presence of pre-Edenic life does not lead necessarily to this view. At Creation Week, “the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is,” referring to the atmosphere, the biosphere of earth, and the sea, the three habitats. No further creation required.

However, previously God created plants and created further plants at Creation Week. The earth needed a source of oxygen to saturate the structure of the earth, then develop an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and finally maintain a level of oxygen suitable for man and animals. So the Lord chose to use plants and bacteria on the Earth, the only planet in the solar system with an oxygen atmosphere.

Miscellaneous

Purpose Edenic Creation – “replenish the earth” – Gen 1:28.
Fill the earth with people showing God’s image – a new beginning.

Sun, moon and stars – created “in the beginning”. On day 4, sun placed in position for man. Liquid water on earth, so sun there before day 1.

The horses – ? just variation (microevolution).

The rest: See Romans 11:33

In Conclusion

Thank you Robert for your valuable comment.
God bless you.

Stuart and Col