ICR and Explaining the Ice Age | The Institute for Creation Research

ICR and Explaining the Ice Age

by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D., and Michael J. Oard, M.S.*

Purpose

There is strong geological evidence for an Ice Age, so the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has always been interested in explaining it within a biblical framework. ICR founder Dr. Henry M. Morris briefly alluded to the Ice Age in his and John Whitcomb’s groundbreaking book The Genesis Flood.1

In 1990, ICR published a theoretical explanation for the Ice Age in An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood, now out of print, written by former National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Oard.2 In this book, he used two mechanisms suggested by other creationists to explain how the Ice Age could occur after the Flood. One of the mechanisms was that volcanic aerosols trapped in the stratosphere after the Flood and replenished by post-Flood volcanism cooled the continents during the summer. The second mechanism was the warm ocean water after the Flood from pole to pole and top to bottom. Details can be found in Frozen in Time.3

Methods

ICR atmospheric scientist Dr. Larry Vardiman and computational engineer Dr. Wes Brewer conducted computer simulations to see whether Michael Oard’s proposed mechanism (warm oceans) could explain how thousands of feet of ice would accumulate within a biblical time frame. Through gifts from donors, a computer was built at ICR that had the power of a small Cray supercomputer. A computer model used by the National Weather Service was adapted to run on the ICR computer to forecast precipitation, wind speed, and storm patterns. Storms over the western U.S., in the Gulf of Mexico, along the East Coast, and in the Arabian Sea were simulated for higher ocean temperatures and compared with known storms.4,5

Greenland ice sheet

Results

Warm ocean temperatures were found to energize storms and produce stronger winds, faster updrafts, and more precipitation. Warm oceans also caused more rainfall at middle latitudes. In the simulations, ice sheets and glaciers grew in high latitudes, some middle-latitude areas, and in mountainous areas within centuries, not hundreds of thousands of years. These were encouraging results because Michael Oard had estimated, based on heat balance equations, that the Ice Age probably lasted 700 years.2

Additional work explored the vast ages assigned to Earth’s thick ice sheets. Michael Oard spent three months at ICR working on a book refuting skeptics’ claims that the deep ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica are millions of years old.6 And Dr. Vardiman published a basic analytical model for the rapid growth of a post-Flood ice sheet.7

Impact

The Genesis Flood’s ability to plausibly explain the Ice Age is one of the strong points of the creation model of Earth history. Many have enjoyed the video documentary of Dr. Vardiman’s explanation of a biblical Ice Age from atop Mt. Baker in Washington State with a view of a glacier in the background.8 Visitors to both the original ICR museum in Santee, California, and the ICR Discovery Center in Dallas, Texas, are often excited and encouraged to see how the Bible makes sense of this ancient climate mystery. And these results continue to inspire additional work by other creation researchers.

References

  1. Whitcomb, J. C. and H. M. Morris. 1961. The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 292-311.
  2. Oard, M. J. 1990. An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  3. Oard, M. J. 2004. Frozen in Time: Woolly Mammoths, the Ice Age, and the Biblical Key to Their Secrets. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
  4. Vardiman, L. 2010. An Ice Age in Yellowstone National Park. Acts & Facts. 39 (12): 12–14.
  5. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer. 2011. A Well-Watered Land: Numerical Simulations of a Hypercyclone in the Middle East. Answers Research Journal. 4: 55–74.
  6. Oard, M. J. 2005. The Frozen Record: Examining the Ice Core History of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.
  7. Vardiman, L. 1994. An Analytic Young-Earth Flow Model of Ice Sheet Formation During the “Ice Age.” In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism. R. Walsh, ed. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 561-568.
  8. Is Genesis History? 2019. Compass Cinema DVD. Directed by Thomas Purifoy, Jr. For more information, visit IsGenesisHistory.com.

* Dr. Vardiman earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric science from Colorado State University.
* Michael Oard earned his M.S. in atmospheric science from the University of Washington.

Cite this article: Various Authors. 2023. ICR and Explaining the Ice Age. Acts & Facts. 52 (10).

The Latest
NEWS
Webb Telescope Discovers Another Record-Breaking Galaxy
Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have recently confirmed that two galaxies are extremely distant, with one becoming the new record holder...

CREATION PODCAST
The Power of Film & Video: Reaching All Ages with Truth | The...
Is there a place for the use of film and video within Christianity? If so, how can we leverage this powerful tool to reach viewers of all ages...

NEWS
Scaly Skin on a Feathered Dinosaur?
Fossil experts from University College Cork in Ireland took stunning images of Psittacosaurus skin. The dinosaurs’ belly shows patches of skin...

NEWS
T. rex Not as Smart as Thought
Have movies and most conventional paleontologists got it all wrong? T. rex and other theropod dinosaurs (the meat-eaters) are often portrayed as intelligent...

NEWS
June 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV) ICR June...

NEWS
A “Just-so” Story About Ancient Genes
An evolutionary website recently published “a groundbreaking study” that supposedly identifies a basic, uncomplicated, “simple”...

CREATION PODCAST
Dinosaurs with Bird Brains??? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Evolutionists claim that birds are descended from dinosaurs. A feature that is often cited as linking these two types of creatures is the brain....

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
From Ruins to Revelation: Truths Revealed Through Biblical Archaeology...
The Bible is full of people and places that are seemingly lost to time, but through the field of archaeology, new finds are shedding light on the incredible...

NEWS
Bergmann’s Rule Falsely Refuted
A recent study of dinosaur sizes claims to break Bergmann’s rule.1 Bergmann’s rule was named after biologist Carl Bergmann, who...

NEWS
New Shark Fossil from Arkansas
The fossil record contains a plethora of shark teeth, but fossilized shark skeletons are exceptionally rare. When they are found, though, they are always...