Hello to all my fine friends out there!
Another beautiful week has passed us by. And I think I can speak for all of us here in the northern hemisphere; we are sure glad that winter has passed by too! Oh sure, we will have a cold spell or two, there may even be a brief snowstorm left. But for all reasonable purposes, we survived the winter and spring is well on its way.
And that can be said for the ice age as well. We learned that about six Post-Babel generations lived and survived the Ice Age. Within the 2nd and 3rd Post-Babel generations, stone tools improved rapidly, wooly mammoths and other mega fauna associated with the ice age spread, and definite variations among the Babel decedents begin to show up in the fossil records. By the end of the 3rd Post-Babel generation, glacial maximum had been reached-about 300 years after the Great Deluge (some creation scientists believe it may have taken 500 years).
So let’s look at life during the Ice Age. First, other than the ice, one of the most unusual (and fascinating) things that occurred during this time period was the development of the mega fauna. It appears and is quite reasonable to accept that by the 3rd Post-Flood generation (when mastodons first appear in the fossil record), animals had already begun to diversify into different varieties of the same kind. If you remember, by this time the climate was in constant change-and Antarctica was now under ice. With God’s ingenious plan of an enormous amount of information stored in the original animal kinds’ DNA, it is logical that when environmental, hunting, and competition began to come into play, so did survival of the fittest.
Survival of the fittest, by no means is evolution (which states that one species can change into another given enough time). Survival of the fittest is a change within the genus, or kind, of an animal. Let’s take for example the most prominent animal of the Ice Age-wooly mammoths and mastodons. As the glaciers rapidly moved southward, those animals within the elephant kind (genus) that grew longer and more fur, and had shorter ears, and were larger, would without a doubt, survive much better in the northern regions than those in the elephant kind that were virtually hairless and had large ears. However, those animals in the elephant kind that were hairless, smaller and had large ears (to help disperse heat) would do quite well in the warmer climates to the south where the wooly mammoth would overheat. And those animals still survive today as the African and Asian elephants.
Again you see the same affect in the Ice Age’s giant beaver. Similar to the beaver we are all familiar with, it grew to over 8 feet long and weighed in at 200 pounds! Other animals found in the fossil record show that during the Ice Age, those that lived in the lowlands near the glaciers where large in size. The saber-toothed cat, glyptotherium, cave bear and giant sloth, just to name a few.
In other words, some animals variations appear to have grown larger because of the abundant available resources (Cope’s Rule) found for several generations after The Flood, while others grew this way because the efficiency of size (large) that produces better heat retention (known as Bergmann’s Rule), and would have had great advantages as the temperatures plummeted during glacial formation.
What about the people…the caveman. Where do they come in? Well, it is true that there are several varieties of humans as well; Homo erectus, Neanderthal, Homo floresiensis(a pigmy variation whose adult size only reached three feet tall. They have been labeled the hobbits), Denisovans (a giant human variation), and Cro-Magonon man (Homo sapiens sapiens). Though all of these people had slight differences in their skeletal structure and DNA, they are just that, people; truly human.
The oldest human fossils are that of Homo Erectus and are from the early Ice Age (the 1st Post-Babel generation). The only skeletal difference in H. erectus and us is the high brow ridge and receding chin. Neanderthals, on the other hand, were different in several areas; compact, powerful bodies and protruding eye ridges and most significantly a bulge at the back of the skull which enabled for a larger brain. Why is this significant? Evolutionists puzzle why what they term a lower human life form, would have a larger brain than modern man. The bible tells us they were actually closer to the original human kind as their fossils are in lower deposits than modern man. Cro-Magonon man (Homo sapiens sapiens) appears next in the fossil records and existed the same time as the Neanderthal people. They have narrow brow ridges, a protruding chin, and high forehead-very similar to you and I. These fossils first appear in Africa but later appear globally. Homo sapiens sapiens remains are the most ancient of Homo sapiens. They appear in the same deposits (though different locations) as the Neanderthals and Homo erectus. All three variations of mankind walked upon this earth at the same time; during the 2nd and 3rd Post-Babel generations. And all spoke different languages. Homo floresiensis is found in the 3rd Post-Babel generation deposits, and the two Denisovan fossils appear near the end of the 4th post flood generation.
It is during the 4th Post-Babel generation deposits that the first permanent settlements and village remains are found. At this time humans entered the western hemisphere and deglaciation had begun. Wet deserts, (those areas that are deserts today that at one time were quite luscious, supporting vast amounts of vegetation and water), began to dry up and by the end of the Ice Age, had begun to turn into dry deserts.
The first permanent cities were constructed by the Cro-Magnon people (modern man) two thirds of the way through the 6th Post-Babel generation. The bible mentions two people involved with this; Nimrod and Assur. It was at the end of the Ice Age, the 7th Post-Babel generation that the mega fauna, Neanderthals, hobbits, and Denisovans died off. But even then people still used caves. “Even in his (Abraham’s) day, caves still were in use. Genesis mentions that lot fled to a cave to avoid God’s judgment (Genesis 19:30)…By Job’s day, cave dwellers had earned a bad reputation. ‘Civilized’ folk did not live in caves. ‘Cavemen’ tended to be oppressed people who had lost their homes (Job 24:4-8) or bandits and loners who had left civilized society and behaved like wild animals (Job 30:3-8).”[i]
But during the Ice Age, to any of the above people groups, caves would have been their ‘hotels’. A safe place to get out of the environment and away from bad people and hungry animals.
What about the mega fauna, what caused their extinction? It is a perplexing question, but there are some clues. The two most likely culprits are the rapid climatic changes and human hunting pressure. In North America , the extinction of two-thirds of the mega fauna correlates with the crossing of humans along the Bering Strait land bridge. “While humans may have been primary agents of extinction, it is still uncertain that they could have wiped out so many different species. Perhaps the rapidly changing climate as the ice sheets retreated, or the loss of key carnivore or herbivore groups (or even loss of some plants), resulted in catastrophic ecological imbalances.”[ii]
It is logical that the other people groups, except for Homo sapiens succumbed to the same pressures. Such a fascinating, though short and sad part of our human history.
Until next time, God bless and take care!
This week in the night sky: “On April 25-26, 2013, as seen from [all] parts of Earth (but not North or South America), Earth’s dark umbral shadow barely clips the full moon for 27 minutes, causing the third-shortest partial lunar eclipse in the 21st century.”[iii]
[i] Answers Magazine, Finding a Home For Cavemen, Vol.7 No. 2 April-June 2012; When Did Caveman Live? Snelling, Andrew and Mike Matthews, p.55
[ii] Answers Magazine, Explaining the Ice Age, Vol. 8 No. 2 April-June 2013; When Was The Ice Age In Biblical History? Snelling, Andrew and Mike Matthews, pp. 46-52.