Mummified Forest Highlights Post-Flood Ice Age | The Institute for Creation Research

Mummified Forest Highlights Post-Flood Ice Age

Scientists found a mummified forest in 2010 on northern Canada's Ellesmere Island. It had apparently been buried by a landslide long ago and was exposed by receding ice and glaciers. How those trees were able to grow in a place that is now too cold for them is uncertain. But several clues from the find fit with a biblical timeline and setting, and conflict with evolutionary assumptions.

For example, the logs, leaves, needles, and seedpods were not replaced by minerals, but were found as "exquisitely preserved" original organic materials. An age range of 2 to 8 million years was assigned, based on comparing the biodiversity of recovered pollen to that of other sites of already "known" age.1 Plant pathologist Robert Blanchette, who is familiar with the area but is not involved in the ongoing study of the materials, told National Geographic News, "Finding wood that is millions of years old in such good condition—almost as if you just picked it up from the forest floor—will provide an exceptional opportunity [for research]."2

Melting ice and glaciers during the late 20th century's warmer climate revealed the mummified forest.3 National Geographic News suggested that "the mummified trees were likely preserved so long because they were buried quickly by landslides and thus protected from air and water, which hastens decomposition."2 But the absence of factors that hasten decomposition does not address the question of what special factors could have miraculously prolonged the remains' integrity.

Joel Barker of Ohio State University is the lead researcher in the study. A university press release reported that he plans to conduct DNA testing.1 Can DNA, even if frozen, last for millions of years?

Lab tests of DNA have shown that identifiable sections (of at least 500 base pairs long) would have decayed into tiny, unreadable fragments after 100,000 years if constantly held below -50 degrees Celsius.4 But even in Ellesmere Island's small town of Alert, the world's northernmost location with permanent human inhabitants, the warm month of August hovers around 0 degrees Celsius.5

Thus, the man-made "millions of years" age assignment for the mummified forest conflicts with both science and the Bible. If it is not millions of years old, then when did this forest exist?

Barker observed that the tree rings were very narrow, indicating that the forest survived in very stressful conditions:

These trees lived at a particularly rough time in the Arctic. Ellesmere Island was quickly changing from a warm deciduous forest environment to an evergreen environment, on its way to the barren scrub we see today.1

The tree trunks from the mummified forest "were at least 75 years old when they died."1 Why did they only live this long? What dramatic climate changes must have marked the beginning and end of this forest? Why are the mummified remains so pristinely preserved?

These questions can be answered by adopting the conceptual framework of biblical history. When ocean water was still warm from mantle material that had risen during the violent year of the Flood, it dramatically affected weather patterns, triggering a post-Flood Ice Age. While ice built up in certain places during this time, temperate corridors in the Arctic also existed, caused by air warmed by the ocean.6

After the Flood, the forest began to grow in an Arctic corridor that was just barely warm and wet enough to support it. After the ocean cooled, the temperature rapidly changed to a perpetual cold. The hillsides, having been recently sculpted by late and post-Flood waters, were still somewhat unstable. Years later, earth movements then caused this material to collapse in a landslide, burying the forest.

And all this happened within the last 4,500 years, accounting for the quality of the preserved leaves and forest material found on Ellesmere Island today. The Bible's timeline can explain it all with relative ease, whereas evolution leaves too many questions unanswered.

References

  1. Gorder, P. F. Ancient Forest Emerges Mummified from the Arctic. The Ohio State University press release, December 16, 2010, regarding research presented December 17, 2010, at the American Geophysical Union 2010 Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
  2. Inman, M. Mummified Forest Found on Treeless Arctic Island. National Geographic Daily News. Posted on news.nationalgeographic.com December 17, 2010, accessed January 3, 2011. 
  3. Vardiman, L. 2009. A New Theory of Climate Change. Acts & Facts. 37 (11): 10.
  4. Criswell, D. 2006. How Soon Will Jurassic Park Open? Acts & Facts. 35 (6).
  5. Climate Data Almanac, Alert, Nunavut. National Climate Data and Information Archive, Environment Canada. Posted on climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca, accessed January 5, 2010.
  6. Vardiman, L. 2010. An Ice Age in Yellowstone National Park. Acts & Facts. 39 (12): 12-14.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on January 11, 2011.

The Latest
NEWS
Even Sherlock Holmes Can’t Explain African Dinosaurs
A new species of duck-billed dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, was recently unearthed in North Africa.1 This is the first hadrosaur-type dinosaur...

NEWS
Glow-in-the-Dark Platypuses Illuminate the Creator
The platypus is perhaps the most evolution-defying creature on Earth. It’s not enough that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a...

NEWS
Rapid Crystal Growth Supports Flood Model
Secular scientists are finding exactly what Flood geologists have predicted all along—huge crystals can and did grow extremely fast. In other words,...

NEWS
Hot Neptune Atmosphere "Shouldn't Exist"
An exoplanet 260 light-years away is being described as the first of its kind ever detected.1,2 This exoplanet, catalogued as LTT 9779b, is...

NEWS
Inside November 2020 Acts & Facts
Where can we see God’s engineering? What is ICR’s new scientific theory? How do hummingbirds reveal God’s design? How can you refute...

ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...

ACTS & FACTS
Science vs. Falsely Called Knowledge
Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing...