The Apple Of God's Eye

March 4, 2010

Where Was The Garden Of Eden Located?

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The Garden of Eden (Hebrew גַּן עֵדֶן), is described in Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God.

The Genesis creation story relates the geographical location of the garden of Eden to four rivers (Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates). This is why many Christians (as well as scholars and archeologists) have assumed that the original garden was located somewhere in the Mesopotamian region (around present day Iraq) where the modern Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow.

Where is the Garden Of Eden today? Simple answer – it’s buried! The Bible records a worldwide flood centuries after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. As described in Genesis 6-9, the global flood would have been so catastrophic, that it would have completely torn apart and restructured the surface of the globe, with no place surviving untouched. The pre-Flood world, and thus the Garden, ceased to exist—it perished, as 2 Peter 3:6 confirms. (more…)

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December 7, 2009

Does God Condone Public Nudity?

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The account of Genesis is very brief and merely summarizes conversations and events. But filling in omitted gaps and details becomes somewhat more clear from what we learn from later passages, and from history.

In the creation chapter of Genesis 1, it is written that God instituted the very first marriage in history:

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

Notice that marriage came from the mind of God and naturally, as Creator, God instructed Adam and Eve in the right purpose and use of sex. It was He who made the male and female sex organs (verse 27), pronouncing them “very good” (verse 31) and there was no sense of shame between Adam and Eve in regard to their nakedness (Gen. 2:25).

Where did the concept of shame regarding nakedness come from? Notice that in the very next verse, Satan begins to discredit revelation (God’s teaching) as the fountain source of knowledge. And as soon Satan was done with the every first lie in history and Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked, sewing fig leaves together to make themselves aprons (Gen. 2:7).

Something now had changed. A sense of shame came about them in regard to their nakedness. And when they heard the voice of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, both hid themselves from His presence.

Now God already knew what they had done, but their very words “I was naked and I hid myself” confirmed their sense of shame in the presence of God who asked:

“Who told you you were naked?” (verse 11)

This was a new attitude and God rightly asked who put this thought in their mind. Of course it was Satan, and not God! Remember, while God instructed them in the true and right knowledge of sex and marriage, they were naked. But nothing in all in what God taught them gave them any sense of shame towards sex. Satan had implanted this evil idea in the effort of making what God designed appear to be contaminated and degrading.

God clothed Adam and Eve

Now under what circumstances and why did God clothe Adam and Eve? During His first instructions to both after their creation, it was a situation of husband and wife. They were married by God and as long as they were the only two humans on earth – alone by themselves – God gave them no instructions to cover their bodies. It was not necessary because God is present everywhere – omnipresent – anyways. When a husband and wife today are alone in the privacy of their bedroom, God is invisibly present. But when other people (mankind) are introduced, then we read that God Himself clothed Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:20-21).

Yes, God made them coats of skins Himself. The word “clothed” here is inspired as “labash,” which means the donning of apparal or raiment. It implies the idea of adorning or decorating, rather than concealing or covering (hiding) a thing.

Shamefulness in hiding nakedness is implied in the word “kasah.” In the incident of Noah’s drunkenness, he apparently had been violated by Canaan, son of Ham. hem and Japheth, also sons of Noah, backed up with a garment on their shoulders, “and covered the nakedness”of their father (Gen. 9:23). Here, they were hiding, or concealing the result of a sinful act. Here also is the word “kasah” used for the act of covering.

Both labash and kasah imply the covering of nakedness, but the difference is that labash is of purpose and intent, adding attractiveness rather than adding shamefulness, while kasah implies concealing due to shame.

Public nudity though is not approved by God, who intended to keep men and women from exposing their pubic regions, except in the privacy of marriage. God designed sex for use only between a husband and wife whom God has joined in holy wedlock. He designed sex for righteous uses—and one of them is to bind husband and wife together in a loving relationship unshared with any other. The very privacy of this marriage relationship makes it sacred, makes husband and wife dear to each other in a special way never shared with another in adultery. This entire sacred relationship is greatly impaired, or destroyed, when shared with any other. That is why fornication and adultery are so harmful to their participants, and therefore capital sins.

The private, sexual act between a man and wife in marriage prevents temptation by others that could lead to sinful, wrong use in the carnal mind. Of course, mankind has long forgotten these instructions, and the filth and vulgarity in this age is something to behold. With the Internet today, you can view all kinds of nudity and perversion. But what’s wrong with that? Undue exposure of the female body is automatically lust-arousing to the carnal male mind.Young people can wreck their lives before even learning how to live. They’ll grow up and become addicted to lustful sex and never be able to understand the real beauty of a family. Solomon was told by his mother, “It’s not for kings to get into such slop as that.”  Perversion is all around us, and if we focus on it, we’ll give in to it, because it’s such a strong pull.
God does not condone public nudity, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality or other perversions because he wants us to focus on family. He wants sex between a loving husband and wife to hold that family together—to strengthen that union. It is a type of the family of God!

November 24, 2009

Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

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Where did Cain get his wife? Notice Genesis 5:4: “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he begot sons and daughters.” Obviously Cain married one of his sisters — one of Adam’s daughters — and Seth, Cain’s brother, did likewise.

Adam and Eve, as God proposed, were fruitful (Genesis 1:28). In today’s world, when many couples are having no more than one or two children, it’s hard for us to grasp how many children Adam and Eve probably had during their great span of life of nearly a thousand years. Adam lived almost one sixth of all the time from his creation until now.

It was not wrong to marry a sister or a brother in the beginning — no physical harm would result. More than 2,000 years later, in the days of Abraham, a man could still marry a half sister. It was not until the days of Moses that God forbade brothers to marry their half sisters (Leviticus 18:6, 11).

In pre-Flood days, when people lived for centuries, they did not age as we do today. They were able to continue bearing children, undoubtedly, for hundreds of years. After the Flood, because of living contrary to God’s laws, the human life span became greatly shortened.

October 21, 2009

Population Explosion, Command To Multiply: Are They Irreconcilable?

God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). However, that command in no way obviated the need for intelligent planning and birth control. The Bible does not condemn family planning.

By focusing attention on the population explosion, there is a need to get across the seriousness of the overpopulation dilemma — and resulting famine — facing mankind. However, I am not necessarily espousing human solutions that others may advance. Rather, I mean to show that man cannot effectively solve the problem as long as he is largely motivated by selfishness, greed and vanity.

Children are a heritage of God (Ps. 127:3). All married couples should intelligently plan — unless there are extenuating circumstances — to have children. However, it is also plain that God never intended man to procreate like a mindless animal.

Man’s mind is patterned after the mind of God Himself — in whose physical and mental image man was created. Man’s mind should be exercised toward the intelligent direction in every facet of life.

The cost of caring for children also enters the picture. Paul told Timothy: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8). And, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children [grandchildren] …” (Prov. 13:22).

If a married couple has more children than the family head can comfortably support, the children may never reach their full potential in later life.

July 24, 2009

Book Of Urantia: Further Confusion For A Deceived World!

the_urantia_book_foundation_300The Urantia Book (sometimes called The Urantia Papers or The Fifth Epochal Revelation) is a spiritual and philosophical book that discusses God, Jesus, science, cosmology, religion, history and destiny. It originated in Chicago, Illinois, USA, sometime between 1924 and 1955, but its authorship is unclear. There has been much debate and speculation on how the papers were produced.

The writers introduce the word Urantia as the name of the planet Earth and state their intent is to “present enlarged concepts and advanced truth” in an “endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception.” Among many other topics, it expounds on the origin and meaning of life, describes humankind’s place in the universe, discusses the relationship between God and people, and presents a detailed biography of Jesus. (Wikipedia)

The Urantia Book contains four parts, composed of individual essays supposedly contributed by celestial beings of various orders:

  1. Part I: The Central and Superuniverses.
  2. Part II: The Local Universe.
  3. Part III: The History of Urantia.
  4. Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus.

“The Urantia Book” also contradicts the Bible. It calls the creation week a legend and the Flood of Noah’s time a lie devised by a Jewish priest during the Babylonian captivity. It states that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a myth, that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of life, that Jesus Christ and Michael are one and the same, and that Jesus was not tempted in the wilderness for forty days.

These are but a few of the ways in which “The Urantia Book” disagrees with the Bible. The Bible tells us that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Tim. 3:16). God does not contradict Himself. From this I can conclude that “The Urantia Book” is not inspired by God. In fact, my observation is that it is incompatible alongside the Bible and would only tend to confuse and deceive.

March 9, 2009

Killing In The Name Of God?

I happened across some information the other day gleaned from “Free Inquiry, 1993, which was also printed in Freethought Today, 1993 and eventually distributed by The New York Times syndicate. Let me state, it was an eye opener, to say the least. It related some headlines from various newspapers and wires over the years:

1. 2,oo0 DIE IN RIOTS AFTER HINDUS SMASH MUSLIM MOSQUE
2. ULSTER CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT SQUADS TRADE MURDERS
3. OHIO CULT LEADER ‘SACRIFICES’ FAMILY OF FIVE
4. ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SERBS RAPE MUSLIM WOMEN
5. SHIITES IN IRAN HANG BAHAIS WHO WON’T CONVERT
6. CHRISTIAN ARMENIANS, MUSLIM AZERBAIJANIS RESUME WAR
7. FUNDAMENTALIST PICKET KILLS CLINIC DOCTOR
8. BUDDHISTS AND HINDU TAMILS BATTLE IN SRI LANKA
9. EGYPTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS KILL PRESIDENT SADAT
10. SIKH MILITANTS ASSASSINATE INDIRA GANDHI
11. 900 TAKE CYANIDE AT JONESTOWN
12. CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM WAR IN SUDAN CAUSES FAMINE
13. WACO CULTISTS DIE IN SUICIDE PYRE

All headlines show religion in its worst form – in the hands of extremists. Shirley Maclaine was once quoted as saying:

“In the name of God, a ‘fatwa’ against Salman Rushdie. In the name of God, murder in the Balkans. In the name of God, the bombing of the World Trade Center. In the name of God, the siege at Waco, Texas…. In the name of God, Shiites and Sunnis are at each other’s throats in Iraq and Iran, as are Arabs and Jews in the Middle East…. In the name of God, what is going on?”

Yes, there are good aspects of religion, where kind and caring people serve others in the name of God.  But what can explain the opposite result, when evil is perpetrated in the name of God — holy wars between ethnic groups, terrorism, hatred between denominations, faiths and beliefs across cultural, political and economical grounds — all supposedly in the name of God?All because various parties pray to a different God?

Catholic against Protestant, Christian Crusaders against Islamic hordes, inquisitions resulting in the burning, torture and barbaric slaughter of millions, Puritans and Anglicans in mortal combat, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Taiping Rebellion in China, which killed an estimated 20 million, the Nazi’s slaughter of 6 million Jews, the Khmer Rouge killing 1.7 million of their fellow Cambodians, Rwandan Hutus killing 800,000 ethnic Tutsis, the Armenians of Turkey enduring mass slaughter at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, Sikhs gunning down Hindus and so on and so on. It never stops!

Aren’t we all the off-spring of Adam and Eve? Except for skin colour and speech, are we not the same mankind? Yes we are and generally we can behave pretty good -EXCEPT – when religion becomes the chief dividing element. It is the “beast behind the shadows of human conflict – of religious tribalism.

It is irrational, and few can explain it. God only knows, and he says that the human heart is rotten at its very core (Jer. 17:9). Without the true God guiding man (and He isn’t doing so during all this barbarianism, is He?), there is no hope of ever solving humanities woes. Religion without God (and driven by the human heart without the Holy Spirit), is nothing less than barbaric. But the imminent return of Christ is near – despite the naysayers, critics and anti-God pundits. Personally, I can’t wait!

March 7, 2009

Noah's Flood: Is It Believable?

Is the Flood merely a Hebrew myth? Does the biblical record of the Noachian Deluge and the Ark make sense in the light of modern, scientific findings?

During the past few hundred years, the credibility of the Bible has come under serious question. Many have found it difficult to believe in a book which speaks of Jonah and the “whale”; an extra-long day in the time of Joshua; Christ walking on water; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego surviving the fiery furnace; Adam and Eve; the Israelites crossing the Red Sea; and a host of similar accounts written in a positive, it-actually-did-happen fashion.

Perhaps the long biblical account of Noah’s Flood in Genesis has evoked more questions than any other. Is it unreasonable to believe in the Flood? In the Ark? Have modern scientific findings truly made the scriptural account out of date?

While the many ramifications of the Flood cannot be discussed here in length, this article will examine the main objections to the biblical Flood and the Ark. We will see that the Bible is consistent with other fields of knowledge. Scripture is reasonable! Let’s examine the various major questions voiced about Genesis 6-9 and see how recent data actually verifies this ancient record.

Was the Flood Local?

It has now become popular among many to think of the Flood as merely a limited regional event. During the past century, the once commonly accepted universality of the Flood met with great opposition. One by one leading scientists and theologians sided with evolutionary and uniformitarian concepts. Soon no place was found for a worldwide deluge. Surely, it was reasoned, if the Flood is a reality, it was only a local Mesopotamian event.

It is not my purpose to present a comprehensive biblical exegesis on the universality of the Flood. However, to assume anything else is clearly contrary to the weight of biblical revelation and reason.

The need for a sea-going Ark is a compelling reason to believe in the Flood’s intercontinental effects. Why command Noah to build an Ark when he could have simply migrated to a non-flooded region? Neither would it make sense to take animal representatives of all kinds aboard the Ark if only a limited area of the earth were to be inundated (Gen. 6:19-20).

The specific reason for the Flood was to destroy all air-breathing land life — especially man himself (Gen. 6:17). Archaeology demonstrates that man had migrated around the world. Anything less than a universal destruction would not have accomplished God’s primary purpose of the Flood. So it is logical to believe that the Flood was of universal scope when both Scripture and reason are considered.

Where Do You Get Enough Water?

But what, then, of the origin of the Flood waters? Is there enough water on the earth to entirely cover it? If one observes a globe carefully, he might come to the conclusion that “earth” is an inapt name. For instead of being mainly terra firma, its surface is over 71 percent water. We live on a watery planet.

In addition, bear in mind the oceans average 12,450 feet in depth, while the average surface height of the land is only 2,600 feet. The proportion is clearly overwhelmingly in favor of the ocean and not the land. We are not told in the Bible exactly how God flooded the earth. Remember the Flood was not a natural event. It was brought on supernaturally by God, though He used natural agents.

What are the natural facilities God could have used in accomplishing His purpose? Here are some of the possibilities: 1) Elevate the ocean basins and thus force water onto the land, 2) lower the continents as units, or 3) add water to the oceans from underground basins (see Scientific American, May 1966, article, “Water Under the Sahara.”) God undoubtedly used a combination of factors to bring about His will. In the same way, when the Flood waters receded, they would have drained back into the place God made for them — the ocean basins and underground reservoirs.

What About “All Those Animals”?

Did the Ark have sufficient capacity to carry representatives of all the land animals? Consider the stated size of the Ark. “The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits” (Gen. 6:15). Historical records for the exact length of the cubit in modern terms are vague. Our research places it at around 22.5 inches. If valid, this would mean the Ark was 563 feet long, 94 feet wide, and 56 feet high. Its three-million cubic-foot volume would have had a displacement in water weight of 66,000 tons. This is the same capacity as 1000 American railroad freight cars. That’s ocean-liner size!

But if the cubit were equivalent to 18 inches, there would still have been plenty of room in its 450-foot length, 75-foot breadth, and 45-foot height hulk. This would still have given it a 500 freight car, 1.5 million cubit feet, carrying capacity. It was not until the 19th century that larger vessels were constructed. It shows the existence of skilled knowledge and ability in that ancient world not again demonstrated until recent times. Archaeologists are confirming this generally unexpected level of knowledge as they find more and more evidence of advanced skills among early humans. (See such books as Mysteries from Forgotten Worlds by Charles Berlitz, Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1972.)

How much room did Noah need for “all those animals”? Some misunderstand, thinking that the Ark had to house representatives of every variety of animals. One pair of every KIND of unclean (unedible) and seven pairs of each clean KIND (edible) were taken aboard. Each “kind” of creature represented a number of varieties. For example, over 100 breeds of dogs have now been developed. They are all of the same Genesis “kind.” Only one pair of the dog kind needed to be on the Ark.

God originally put within each “kind” of creature a fantastic genetic capability. As time passed, more and more varieties appeared, but these variations of the same “kind” of creature did not all have to be aboard the Ark bodily. They were there genetically within the pair (or seven pairs, as the case may be) taken on the Ark.

It isn’t necessary to consider sea life. It survived in the Flood waters. There were also many other simple forms of aquatic life that were not harmed by water. Consider that some 60 percent of the animal kingdom live in the sea, and 28 percent of the animal kingdom are insects. The remaining 12 percent average the size of a rhesus monkey.

IF insects had to be taken on the Ark (and this is a moot question), with every pair of known modern species of insect given 16 cubic inches of space, only 21 freight cars of space would be required. (Counting Genesis kinds only, the required space is far less.)

Accurate estimates of the number of mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian species on earth today is about 18,000. (Again, recognizing that only kinds, not necessarily species, were included, there would have been far fewer actual animals aboard the ark.)

Most animals are unclean, and there were a pair of each unclean animal. But let’s be liberal and say 40,000 rhesus-monkey-size animals were on the Ark. How much space would be required to house them? A letter about animal housing was sent to the London Zoo. Their answer was: “Most animals can be maintained in very close confinement indeed for long periods and remain perfectly healthy. A rhesus monkey, say, can be maintained indefinitely in a cage about 2 ft., 6 inches cubed” (15 cubic feet).

If the cubit were 22.5 inches long, 40,000 cages, each large enough for a rhesus monkey, would have only taken up 20 percent of the Ark’s three-million cubic-feet carrying capacity. So it becomes plain that the interior of the Ark was totally adequate for the animals, the food supply, and the humans aboard it during the Flood.

How Did the Animals Get Where They Are Today?

Each isolated land mass or continent has animals or birds not found elsewhere. Australia has its kangaroo, koala bear, duckbilled platypus, and Tasmanian devil. North America boasts the beaver, rattlesnake, raccoon, turkey and opossum. South America offers the llama, capybara, and sloth. Asia has its peafowl and panda bear. Africa has the giraffe, hippopotamus and zebra. Certain island groups also have kinds of animals not found elsewhere. How did all these animals become segregated after leaving the Ark?

Consider that God — not Noah — originally brought the animals to the Ark (Gen. 6:20). It would not have been a difficult matter for Him to see to it that they also redistributed themselves after the Flood. God is the Originator of animal migration. It was His will that the animals — as well as mankind — replenish and repopulate limited geographical realms after the Flood (Gen. 9:1; 10:5; 11:8-9). It should be no surprise to see both men and animals even today basically segregated around the world. This principle ought to seem basic. All forms of life exist in the specific land areas where they can best flourish.

Neither are the major land masses of the earth as isolated as one might suppose. They have been even less isolated in the past. Witness the existing land bridge between Asia and Africa — the Sinai Peninsula — and Central America between the North and South American continents. The Bering Straits between North America and Asia are quite shallow. Thousands of square miles are covered by water less than 150 feet deep. Large areas of present ocean between Southeastern Asia, the East Indies, and Australia are less than 600 feet deep. This illustrates that such present-day isolated communities are not impossibly separated from each other by great expanses of deep ocean. This factor may play a part in animal migration after the Flood.

Also, as men travel and migrate, they traditionally take with them familiar plants and animals. Some go with them accidentally. Many animals have spread to new areas in this manner — the rabbit to Australia, the English sparrow and European corn borer to the Americas, etc. Recent discoveries are showing that much sea traffic existed in the ancient world. The Bible itself shows that Solomon’s ships plied the seas and brought back precious items and animals to the Middle East from great distances (I Kings 9:26-28; 10:22; II Chron. 9:10). It is logical to conclude that animals were shipped between other areas as well.

It has also been demonstrated that animals have reached isolated islands on floating masses of vegetation or on storm and flood debris. This has been pointed out by such authors as Rachel Carson in her now classic work, “The Sea Around Us.” Whenever an island emerges from the sea, it soon becomes the home of various sorts of animals and plants.

Where Is the Flood in Geology?

Prior to the nineteenth century it was commonly believed the Flood was responsible for practically all geologic phenomena. Whenever a fossil was found, the finder would immediately think of Noah’s Flood. But soon cracks in the idea developed. If Noah’s Flood was truly responsible for most or all of the earth’s fossils, then why isn’t the fossil record thoroughly mixed up?

Why do certain layers only contain certain fossils? Why, for example, aren’t dinosaur remains ever found mixed with tigers, lions and other forms of modern mammal life? Mammal remains are almost entirely missing from the world of the “terrible lizards.”

This enigma multiplies when one considers that the stratigraphic record can only be understood to represent a passage of time greater than the year of Noah’s Flood. The bulk of the geologic record represents a sequence of events which cannot be fitted into the short time span of the Flood itself.

For this reason, there was often a difference of opinion among theologians and nineteenth-century Bible-believing scientists as to where the evidence of the Flood is to be found in the rocks. Estimates have ranged from the entire geologic column to a thin clay layer at the site of ancient Ur! (Sir Leonard Woolley, Excavations at Ur, London, Ernest Bonn, Ltd., 1954.)

A proper understanding must begin with a knowledge of both the Bible and the earth’s silent, yet revealing, fossil record. The avowed purpose of God in the Flood was to destroy both man and beast from the face of the earth. This is clearly the reason God sent a flood of waters. It was a time of great extinction. This is the first vital clue. But we also need to remember that the Flood was a relatively recent event. Biblical chronology would place it about 43 centuries ago. Therefore we should expect to find the evidence for the Flood towards the top of the earth’s layered sequence.

The third clue involves man himself and his world. We live in a world of mammals, birds, and flowering plants. It should be a world quite similar to the pre-Flood world. The Ark, remember, housed representatives of all kinds of air-breathing land life forms. What we find around us today should fundamentally be the same type of life Adam and his pre-Flood descendants saw around them. It would be logical to expect certain varieties to become extinct in the Flood, but their kind and type should still be with us today.

In summary, we could expect to find geological evidence of the Flood by: 1) noting a time of extinction in the fossil record, 2) looking toward the top of the geologic sequence of rocks, and 3) looking for an extinction of animal types which are familiar to us today. What evidence is. there, then, in the geological column which would lend weight to the worldwide catastrophe precipitated by Noah’s Flood?

Extinction Mystery

Dr. George Miller, former supervisor of the famous Los Angeles La Brea Tar Pits, had this to say about the “sticky” problem of extinction.

“We have had two eras of mass vertebrate extinction in the world’s existence: that of the dinosaurs … and that of the large mammals at the end of the Pleistocene or Ice Age…. When that period was over, mammoths, mastadons and saber-toothed cats were extinct — all over the globe.”

It is a mystery. The saber-toothed cats, for instance, were very successful animals. They …. died out completely. Why? Catastrophe? Plague? Earthquakes? A change in environment or climate? We do not know.

“We do not know, either, the answer to the mysteries within the mysteries. For example: horses….spread throughout the world — reaching the other continents, we think, across the land bridge in which is now the Bering Strait. Camels followed almost the same pattern. Yet … both horses and camels became extinct in the Western Hemisphere. Horses remained wiped off the face of the Americas until the Spaniards reintroduced them a mere 500 years ago. Again, why?” (Holliday, Kate, West Magazine, July 30, 1972, “By Tar Preserved,” pp. 11, 14.)

This revealing quote gives some fundamental facts of paleontology — points we will do well to consider. Note there have been TWO times of mass vertebrate extinction in the entire history of the earth. The first was the extinction of the dinosaurs (and it could also be added, flying reptiles and marine reptiles). The second and more recent vertebrate extinction was that of mammals (commonly giant size compared with those living today).

The mammalian extinction is especially interesting. It is recent. Mammals are the dominant vertebrates of today. And, as might be suspected, their selective disappearance after a period of successful life is a mystery to science.

End of Giants

Take, for example, North America, where there was the imperial mammoth in the west and the mastodon in parts of the northeast. Further north, the woolly mammoth lived carefree along the fringes of the glaciers. North America was an elephant’s paradise.

But these giant, now extinct, forms of elephants were not alone. In that day of giants, we find beavers as big as bears, giant armadillos, giant ground sloths weighing as much as present-day elephants, bison with fantastic six-foot horn spans, the great saber-toothed cats and giant jaguars. These, along with horses and camels, vanished. Why? The land was well suited for them. The Ice Age was over. Yet about 70 percent of all native North American mammals with an adult body weight of over 100 pounds became extinct in a time of plenty.

About a hundred years ago, scientists began to see the magnitude of the extinction problem. Alfred R. Wallace, who developed the idea of biological evolution simultaneously with Charles Darwin, was struck by the abrupt, strange and recent decimation of mammal life. In 1876, Wallace noted:

“We live in a zoologically impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared … yet it is surely a marvelous fact, and one that has hardly been sufficiently dwelt upon, this sudden dying out of so many large Mammalia, not in one place only but over half the land surface of the globe” (Alfred Russel Wallace, Geographical Distribution of Animals, New York: Hafner, 1962, Vol. 1. p. 150).

Now after 100 years, scientists know the effect was worldwide. A global disaster struck the earth after the Ice Age that hit the animal kingdom very hard. South America lost nearly all its large animals. Europe and Asia suffered losses as well. The day of giant mammals had come to an end.

One writer wisely noted: “The dinosaurs and the saber-toothed cats did not die out because they had somehow failed. They apparently died out because of some powerful and unusual forces entirely beyond their control” (Science Digest, “The Great Dinosaur Disaster,” Daniel Cohen, March 1969, p. 52).

“Powerful and unusual” forces? Yes, indeed! And in the case of the recent mammal extinction, the agency appears obvious — the Noachian Flood! (The earlier dinosaur extinction has its place in time before the creation of man.).

We have seen how the scriptural record presents a viable solution to a long-standing scientific mystery. Although many details are yet to be clearly understood, the Christian can remain confident that the findings of science continue to support the words of Scripture.

Source: Robert E. Gentet, The Good News, December 1973

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