Genesis and a 'Wet' Sahara

Using satellite photos in conjunction with geochemical analyses, a team of researchers has proven the existence of a now-buried lake and river system that once operated in the middle of the Sahara desert in North Africa. As reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found a freshwater corridor that would have led from the Saharan lake to the Mediterranean Sea.1

The Middle East was not always so arid; it enjoyed a much wetter climate in the past. Evidence of this comes from geology, archaeology, and history, including “petroglyphs scratched onto rocky outcrops in North Africa, depicting herds of large mammals and alligators in grassy plains where it is now too hot and dry for these lush environments.”2 The finding of the freshwater corridor ostensibly offers a possible migration route for the first humans, who supposedly evolved from central Africa. However, the satellite images and geochemical findings of a once wetter Middle East are also consistent with the Genesis record.

Consider that “Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.”3 Also, Exodus 33:3 refers to a land “flowing with milk and honey,” a reference to the verdant and desirable Promised Land. If these Scriptures are accurate, then some areas that are largely arid today must have been more lush back then.

And if these Scriptures represent reliable historical accounts, as the Saharan evidence indicates, then logically the Bible must also be reliable in its other accounts—such as its depiction of human origins. The historical record is incomplete, and “the trouble is, we simply don’t know all truth and can’t accurately reconstruct the past from the fossils alone.”4 But when it comes to questions of origins, the Bible provides a reliable framework to reconstruct the past. God has given us an accurate account of not only our origin, but our purpose and destiny as well.

References

  1. Osborne, A. H. et al. 2008. A humid corridor across the Sahara for the migration of early modern humans out of Africa 120,000 years ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (43): 16444-16447.
  2. Vardiman, L. 2008. A Dark and Stormy World. Answers. 3 (4): 80.
  3. Genesis 13:10.
  4. Morris, J. 2008. Creation Evangelism. Acts & Facts. 37 (11): 3.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on November 3, 2008.

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