Nature Confirms a Recent Creation Week

Summary

Past climate records are provided in the annual layers in ice cores drilled from ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Prior to 11,000 years ago, the ice cores indicate that the Earth experienced an ice age climate—low and variable temperature, extreme wind laden with dust, and also drought. This was incompatible with life in Eden where the climate was "mild and uniform" (P&P p. 61). Then the greatest global climate change ever recorded occurred, giving a mild, stable climate, and Creation Week followed. The conclusion is that Creation Week was a recent event, in accord with Scripture and the writings of Ellen White.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/07/13/nature-confirms-recent-creation-week

How do we know that at Creation, the Total earth was tropical the year round?
We have very little word-of-mouth confirmation of this in both Religious and Secular
written communications from the past.
Much of our Civilization “Journals” are from the Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea
area. And these are “post Flood”. We DO KNOW there were Ice Ages in parts of the
world. We DO KNOW that as one travels up land elevations it does become colder. That
water tends to become solid. Has the earth only had snow and ice since the flood?
We have seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter. When one season is in the north of the
equator, the opposite is happening on the other end of the equator. Summer in the US and
Winter in Australia.
What do we know about the water around the earth. We know that the water temperatures
affect the air masses that move around the earth.
ARE there a LOT of questions that Seventh day Adventist scientists avoid in printed
materials to the Church??? Or gloss over with a “that is not important” statement???

When Humans were first in Eden did many of the tree leaves turn “color” in the fall? It is my
understanding that it is the POSITION OF THE SUN in the “fall” [where ever fall is] that stops the flow of sap to the deciduous leaves, causing the chlorophyll green things to die, and when the green disappears, all the colorful xanthenes are allowed to put on their colorful show.
And then they fall off the tree, and eventually re-feed the tree and other vegetation through the roots.

What is it that causes the sap to rise in the early Spring so we can have our Maple Syrup? And to rise in other trees so twigs sprout new leaves. Actually, in the fall after leaves drop, one can see the “baby leaves” at the end of the twigs waiting to be awakened in the Spring.
This causes ANOTHER QUESTION regarding Ellen. She says " Falling Leaves made Adam and Eve recognize Death."
Did she make this statement [or one of her editors] because of lack of knowledge of Science??

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The authors seem to have fixated on ice core samples while ignoring the fossil record.
Admittedly, there are issues with carbon dating but most people agree that dinosaurs and humans did not coexist and were, instead, separated by eons of time.
Further–and if this is the case–how could T-Rex and his associates have survived in a proto-climate which must have been much worse than the most unfriendly terms used in this article?
And perhaps a more interesting question is which creator breathed life into those moribund-from-the-start creatures?
Perhaps one of the “other gods” that The Most Recent Creator’s Supposed Scribes have forbid us to worship?
In the end though, it seems reasonable to conclude that this is not so much a scientific piece as it the work of educated propagandists, using a limited set of data in an effort to prove what they want they want to believe, while sweeping under the rug, pesky facts that tend to undermine their dogma.

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The problem humans have is that they are frequently unable (unwilling?) to distinguish between the collected data and the subsequent interpretation of that data. Data is typically collected, then analyzed, then a conclusion is drawn. Then the real offense often occurs: the conclusion is presented as if it is an additional aspect of the collected data rather than as an interpretation - a single possibility among many potential possibilities. No matter how much data we collect, there is possibly much more relevant data that we have not yet collected. We must always assume that the as-yet uncollected data may have its own story to tell, and that those stories may contradict our current conclusions.

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This is an interesting contribution in an Adventist publication. But it raises more questions than it answers. The fundamental problem of the article is that it is another approach to save the biblical creation account’s scientific credibility from a modern point of view. Which is in my eyes a hopeless endeavor, misleading, unnecessary, against the apparent intentions of the bible and eventually harming the credibility of the gospel and God.

Let me pick out two or three elements to comment.

  1. The authors claim that there was a recent and extraordinarily stable elevation of temperatures that started about 10’000 years before present (BP). And they say that with this change, “…the pattern set for nearly one million years was broken. …” - This statement is not quite true in my opinion. The authors illustrate their point with figure 2. But as can be seen in figure 1 there had been repeatedly raises of temperatures before already. These were associated with stable phases of higher temperatures that could have allowed “Eden”-like conditions as well. It becomes apparent as soon as you look at temperature over time curves with a higher resolution. I include a link to one such graph (Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt WSL, Switzerland, original from the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project, copyright D.Dahl-Jensen, University of Copenhagen). This graph shows that the actual elevated temperatures of the last 10’000 years are nothing special if you only look back far and close enough. About 120’000 years BP there were similar conditions with even a bit higher temperatures than today and they lasted as well for at least 10’000 years. Graph: Temperatures over the last 120’000 years

  2. Influential representatives of other Christian denominations revised their views concerning a recent creation - okay. But are these quoted revisions really improving the authority of the bible and from which perspective? As much as I would love to solve the contradictions between the creation report in Genesis 1 and scientific findings I still think that the suggested approach is not helpful at all. Genesis 1 implies that before creation week there was no life (nor death) on earth besides the Spirit of God. The ice-core findings and their correlation to marine sediments however show (7/2017) that there was life (pollen, shells) on earth as far as 800’000 years ago. Genesis 1 leaves a door open for the existence of the earth before the creation week, but nevertheless establishes from day 1-4 events of such universal dimensions that it is unthinkable to not find traces of them that would go far beyond what can be found in ice-core layers from 6-10’000 years ago. Example: the “separation of light and darkness” or the installation of the “greater and lesser light and the stars”.

  3. To illustrate this further: The created humans on day 6 could easily have looked at each other and commented on their age: “You look like 18, dear Eve!” (“Oh Adam, you’re such a charmer…”). Every scientific attempt, according to modern standards, to determine their age would have produced a wrong result. The same if they had cut a tree and counted its rings. From the recent creation believer’s perspective the counting of ice-core layers is as non-sensical as judging by Eve’s length of hair the time it had been growing. By principle there is no door open to validate the truth of Genesis 1ff with scientific means. Only the other way round it might work, that the text imposes its statements on our view of the world and corrects our scientific findings.

  4. But does the creation report really try to do this? Both creation reports show markers of a local perspective. The categorization of animals in Genesis 1 is far from a modern systematic overview and stresses rather the perspective of ancient oriental farmers. It mentions those animals that were important in that time’s worldview. The new Adventist International Bible Commentary notes the similarity of the use of words to Leviticus 11, which supports this view: of interest was, what was of interest for inhabitants of the desert, bedouins and Near Eastern farmers, for the locals at the time when the creation report was written. No words about the creation of elephants nor monkeys, not to mention extinct species like dinosaurs. Nor any hint that the creation of a whale (who lives in the water) on day 5 instead of day 6 (together with other mammals) would just not make sense from a systematic, scientific point of view. Important for the writer(s) was agriculture, nutrition and the cultic use of animals for sacrifices. The same local and anthropocentric perspective can be found in many more verses, e.g. in Genesis 2:5 (agriculture) or 2:9 ("…every tree…pleasant to the sight…good for food…"NKJV). Who today would write in a creation report that trees were created pleasant to the sight?! From a modern ecological point of view this would for sure not be a primary focus. But it was of interest for an ancient Near Eastern inhabitant of a dry area. The focus of the creation report ist to establish God’s position as sovereign creator and loving redeemer (Gen 2:2) and the position of man as a spiritual being in the picture with the means of Near Eastern ancient knowledge. But not to teach us about the laws of nature.

  5. The four rivers in Gen. 2:10-14. I think as long as Adventists have no conclusive interpretation of why the text gives these rivers such a prominent position and elaborates in details about the “…land Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of the land is good. …”, we should not be too sure about our understanding of the rest of Genesis 1 and 2. In Jewish traditions there are notable interpretations of this passage that make much more sense than the one from the New International Bible Commentary of the Seventh-Day Adventist church. To me the passage is an additional indicator to the fact that Genesis is not about geography nor biology nor any other natural science but about literature, poetry, symmetry (compare the role of water in the first to water in the second creation account) to teach us about the authority of God over our lives.

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To the authors:

When you published your first article, I was hopeful to read a scientific treatise in which the conclusions were fact-based on the age of the earth and creation. In that first article and all subsequent ones I have been disappointed. With apologies, you continue to write opinion pieces with selective facts to support your assertion for your point of view and in your ongoing disagreements with YEC, and this is no different.

I’m not a scientist. But you don’t address (although obliquely try) that it could be possible for life to exist in temperate climates before 11,000 years ago. Instead, you infer that life might not hospitable - while asserting that your work is conclusive proof that life didn’t exist here before 8,000 - 12,000 years ago. Your inference is that no life could exist before this time frame, but your suppositions about temperature and wind speed may at best suggest that life for humans would be difficult (should we talk about all of the animals and plants that could easily exist in the world you describe? Should we talk about marine life?) Your work is based upon ice core samples from the extreme ends of the world. Nothing in your information refutes other fossil records for either homo sapiens or other organic life. Your basic theory is that the earth itself is millions or even billions of years old, but that life itself is just 11,000 years and yet you do not explain botanical evidence or information to the contrary, in short your theories have just as many flaws as YEC, or Darwinistic, etc. Instead, you would rather having a spat with YEC adherents.

I have three issues with your continued publications. The first is that you take facts about ice cores (I don’t know the science and thus can’t affirm or deny those facts), but then you extrapolate that to a worldwide opinion that your facts don’t necessarily support. All that you say about ice core records in Greenland and Antartica could be true and there could still be life in the equatorial zones - your facts don’t prove or disprove this and you say it does.

The second issue I have is that you then tie your conclusions to Bible and EGW passages and assert that your statements prove that those authors are correct and their statements prove that you are correct. This is in no way supported by the evidence you provide.

Third, again with apologies, frankly I am offended that someone must take all of your assertions to be true and factual or their theology is in doubt. If I don’t agree that your conclusions support the idea of a 6 day creation, then in your mind the concept of the Sabbath is nullified. In my opinion, that is not your right to assert.

Finally, my I humbly suggest that these articles hurt your cause more than they help it. Having the appearance of scientific rigor, but leading to unsubstantiated and unsupported conclusions simply causes ridicule for your ideas even if the foundation of them is correct. It becomes all too easy to just label it junk science - because you claim proofs that your work does not prove. It would be much better to present your ice core data and write those specific conclusions that you can support and present them in peer-reviewed journal, including those journals of those that don’t believe in a creation week. If the facts stand up, they stand up, if not then you can go to the drawing board.

Best wishes.

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Well stated. Although I’m mostly comfortable with a relatively recent 6-day creation, I cringe often at the claims of evidence presented by well-meaning creationists–and the millions of dollars spent by the church and private donors to indoctrinate the masses (such as at the latest conference just concluded in Utah). I think indoctrination with flawed arguments can do considerable harm when young people are eventually confronted with counterarguments they cannot refute. It especially hurts when our young people realize they were taught WRONG TERMS, which I addressed in the previous article by these gentlemen. I learned just today that the Brand and Chadwick textbook misuses the term “macroevolution,” though they admit their use of the word differs from standard usage. I cringed upon reading that.

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So what?

To me, what the authors of this article attempt to demonstrate is a scientific (and religious) dead-end. God can’t be draggeg into a scientific laboratory for experimental research. And, scientistic ‘proof-texting’ doesn’t validate their conclusions. Nor do they give us any clues as to who we believe in when we say ‘we believe in God’.

My take-away from this article is the flip side of the fundamentalist coin: scientism. And it is no less fundamentalistic than religious fundamentalism.

When it comes to God, the question of who? has priority over how? - as I see it. My faith is not anchored in a supreme cosmic engineer, but rather in a vulnerable and incarnated God of time and space. What Paul names “the weakness of God”.

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Since the fall of Adam and Eve, MISERY has dominated human existence.

As we speak, huge portions of earth’s population, even in this twenty first century, exist without flush toilets and running water in their homes.
Multitudes exist without ameliorating amemtitirs such as air conditioning to cool in hot climates, and central heating to make polar climates palatable.

Of course our peasant ancestors lived in abject poverty and penury, and lacked all modern conveniences. Even the castles of the aristocracy were infested with rodents,and were damp and cold. Even the King’s bed was infested with fleas and bed bugs. Sanitary conditions were awful even in princely palaces!

So, for me, a long duration of human habitation on this planet, covering mutilpe millenia, is incompatible,with a loving God, who would tolerate such a dreadful duration of misery.

Even six thousand years is TOO LONG for God to use the human race as "Guinea pigs " in his obsessive compulsion to "vindicate " Himself, before
"The universe " , as EGW outlines in her toxic explanation for sin and suffering.

So evidence for a shorter period of misery for mankind is wonderful and welcomed.

Even so, the Second Coming seems inordinately delayed/postponed /cancelled (? )

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“I cringe often at the claims of evidence presented by well-meaning creationists–and the millions of dollars spent by the church and private donors to indoctrinate the masses (such as at the latest conference just concluded in Utah).”— I “cringe” that anybody claiming to be a Christian would think the way you wrote.

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The initial pre-Abrahamic chapters of Genesis establish monotheism, the creator God of the whole of life and its world, the God who chose Abraham out of all the creation and through his lineage the slaves for whom Genesis was written, the very slaves who were salvaged by this God from Egypt and brought to Saini and then to the Jordan and finally Canaan, the Promised Land. Thus, do we humans do great disservice out of our ignorance-fueled need for ultimate clarity in lieu of faith to read into Genesis what is not there and was never intended to be there? It seems so.

As we the people of Seventh-day Adventism approach the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this coming October, we do well to remember that Sola Scriptura means that we individually embrace scripture independent of its interpretations by any church council, including our own. And we also do well to re-clarify that Sola Scriptura does not mean that special revelation has replaced natural revelation.

And as the people of Seventh-day Adventism, we do well to remember that, as the books of Moses specifically confirm, the Sabbath honors the power of God as creator and as redeemer, first symbolically through the children of Abraham and post Jesus the whole of his creation, as also promised in Genesis.

In light of this, do we not do better to simply let the ice cores tell their own story? It seems so.

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The Conference was fantastic! Your attitude is “flawed.” It was NOT an exercise in “indoctrination” but an open discussion where scientific evidences where presented and the problems with some models candidly brought to our attention.

The absolute definitive signs of design are found in new discoveries in functions in regulatory DNA and the revolution in Epigenetics!

If you have not read Chadwick and Brand’s book don’t trash it! Of course we don’t understand everything - it was never stated that we do!

“Si comprehendis, non est deus“ (If you comprehend it, it is not God) Augustine of Hippo

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Amen and amen!

////20

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Interesting answer/rebuttal from ICR on this topic - http://www.icr.org/article/ice-cores-age-earth/ Worth a look. In the article, they talk about a 50-foot layer of ice covering two WWII-era B-17 Flying Fortresses and 6 P-38 Lightning aircraft. Obviously this ice accumulation happened recently. In one section of the article, simple tests for particulate matter from known volcanic activity in earth’s history are referred to. The article also calls for young earth creationists to further study the ice core data and try to figure out what it means for them.

Short answer: don’t believe everything you read in Spectrum from those attempting to undermine young earth creation.

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That goes for what I say to.
The WWII aircraft landed on the coast where it snows great amounts. (and ice cores do not go back far) The very old ice cores are taken in land where it is much dryer and very little ice is added each year. [quote=“Irishtiger, post:16, topic:13827”]
simple tests for particulate matter from known volcanic activity in earth’s history are referred to.
[/quote]
From the pictures I saw; the volcanic marks in the ice are spot on.
If we only had ice, only lake sediment, only tree rings, only coral rings, etc… then one could be questioned. When they all do not say 6000, actually 4500 to a “great flood”.

[quote]“Trees made 3 to 5 rings per year in Bible times.”
“Ice core layers happen every day not every year.”
“Lake sediment, every storm.”
“The laws of physics were different is Bible times”
“The earth went around the sun much, much faster, back then.”[/quote]
Even if that was true, there are still too many layers/rings.

The question is not “millions or billions”, but why is there no mark in history 4500 and 6000 years ago? I fully understand there is no way to prove “to you”. Lets reverse it. I want to find water marks on 10,000 year old buildings in the middle east. I want to find only 4500 ice layers. I could write a book if I could only show that all start beyond 6000 light years don’t exist. I want to find this … but not in a Ken Ham way.

check out some of the archive articles for spectrum…here’s one, written by andre reis (a new testament theologian), that explains in simple terms why ice core analysis from greenland isn’t necessarily objective:

this is the point probably most in dispute among scientists, not only within the field of ice core science, but all the branches of earth origins science…conventional science simply denies that noah’s flood happened, and therefore finds no evidence that it happened…creation science, on the other hand, uses noah’s flood as a starting premise in everything they look at…all their models assume that it happened…this discrepancy in initial assumptions probably explains why scientists with the same degrees from the same institutions, and using the same methods, arrive at such different conclusions after examining the same evidence…

of course for the average lay person, this disconnect between qualified scientists gives good cover to disbelieve whatever lies outside of a chosen belief system…if the question of origins is a court trial, with the public being the jury, and scientists specialty witnesses, it means individual members of the jury, or the public, will likely conclude what they believed going into the trial…

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Thank you Dr Letham and Mr Gibson for your thoughtful article. It is refreshing to read a response to creation that is neither staunchly atheistic nor young earth creationist.

My question for gap theorists is: Is there a hierarchy of created life? So much geology is dependent on biology. For example, marine invertebrates and limestone, cyanobacteria and iron ore, buried forests and coal. How do gap theorists account for these (and other eg. dinosaur) life forms which have been present for more than thousands of years?

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Why do we insist on saying “the Sabbath” as if there were only one? (Lev 23 is chuck full of sabbaths that we flat-out ignore.)

“when diverse life forms were created and God gave us a Creation Memorial in time, the Sabbath.” And Isn’t it misleading for us to pretend that this particular sabbath was given in Genesis 1/2 as part of creation when it was actually given as part of the exodus? (Ex. 16, Dt. 5) And maybe we should emphasize that “the third day” and “the seventh day” and “the eighth day”, etc., never add “of the week”. Our preoccupation with the age of the earth seems to be driven more by our assumptions about the Bible than by its unambiguous declarations.

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So, what exactly do you propose was created during creation week? Settled farming? The insertion of the likeness of God into Adam and Eve? The climate on earth is tightly connected with life, and you include pollen for both ice core calibration as well as for determining past temperature ranges.

They do write that there was life in other areas of earth. Here:

When you write that the problems with some models were candidly brought into attention, would the model voted by the recent GC sessions be one of those highlighted? Or did the conference candidly bring evidence against competing models to your attention?

So I understand from your reply that the conference provided at least reasonably good solutions to these issues. Would you mind providing a summary of these solutions here, I would very much like to learn them. I have never learned of any probable, let alone any believable solutions to these questions and this, as you may understand, causes a great deal of internal conflict with regard to adventist belief, church and local congregation. Therefore I would be pleased if you could help me answering these questions.

The bible begs to differ from your assessment above.

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

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The belief of an old Earth creation is incompatible with the Fourth Commandment, spoken by God himself, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…” (Exodus 20:11). The evening of the first day begins with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The timing is confirmed by Genesis 1:2 when, “…darkness was upon the face of the deep…” The morning of the first day begins with Genesis 1:3, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

So the Bible itself tells us that the first day was composed of an evening (the time of darkness upon the face of the deep) and morning (the time of light). One cannot truly accept and keep the Sabbath commandment while holding to a belief in an old Earth.

Does this mean I can explain away the above evidence for an older Earth? Certainly not. But if we are to walk by faith and not by sight, we must be able to reject even our best physical evidence if it is incompatible with our faith. To choose physical evidence over faith is to act as Eve, who rejected faith in God’s word because she, “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…” (Genesis 3:6).

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