A UK researcher has proposed that fluctuating sea levels several thousand years ago may have displaced Middle Easterners living on land now beneath the Indian Ocean, their settlements flooded by the rising waters of the Persian Gulf basin.1 Knowing the causes of post-Ice Age sea level changes would be a nice addition to this "startling new theory," and creation research has been providing such answers for years.
University of Birmingham professor Jeffrey Rose followed a set of clues left in the Arabian Peninsula and published his finds in the journal Current Anthropology.2 He and other scientists believe a large area that is now below sea level was once habitable land.
News reports of this study have connected rising sea levels to the spilling of Ice Age lakes into the sea. Thus, massive drainage from North America could have displaced peoples halfway around the world.
One of these ancient lakes was Lake Agassiz, the remnant of which is Canada's Lake Winnipeg. The Montreal Gazette stated that "the collapse of a kilometres-high glacial dam at the end of the last ice age caused a massive outflow of meltwater into the Arctic or North Atlantic Ocean near Hudson Bay, generating a sharp rise in sea levels around the world and profoundly altering the Earth's climate."1
During the most severe period of the Ice Age, one third of earth's land area was covered by thick ice sheets and glaciers. Most of that ice melted and added its water volume to the world's oceans, including bodies of meltwater that broke through their glacial dams. Creation researchers discovered years ago that these drained lakes would have displaced (or submerged) peoples who lived near ancient shorelines, including parts of the Arabian Peninsula that are now below sea level.
All agree that sea levels rose when giant continental lakes catastrophically spilled into the oceans. ICR News, for example, reported on discoveries of human artifacts in the North Sea between Great Britain and Europe.3 But there is disagreement over the timing of the events.
A Chicago Journals press release distributed by EurekAlert! described Rose's proposal that people groups inhabited the Middle East lowlands around 108,000 years ago during an ice age. But "that is far earlier than the estimates generated by several recent migration models."4
While Rose's hypothesis clashes with evolutionary models, and while the number and duration of the multiple ice ages proposed by evolutionists varies, the Bible provides a trustworthy historical framework that makes sense of the scientific observations.
First, "creationists generally believe there was only one Ice Age after, and as a consequence of, the Flood." 5 In fact, the Genesis Flood would have heated the oceans so that the water would have evaporated and shrouded the atmosphere with volcanic ash and debris to cool the continents. Thus, water evaporated from the oceans and precipitated over the continents. How else could such a massive amount of ice accumulate?
Also, as humans multiplied and filled the earth in the centuries after the Flood, they would have lived where resources were available. As the ice melted and ice dams were breached in various places around the world, the sea level would have risen over 300 feet.6 Human settlements would have been displaced accordingly.
In addition to the Canadian flood event, a 2008 creation science study found clear evidence of a huge Ice Age lake that drained in a catastrophic flood event through Idaho and into the Pacific Northwest, as well as a similarly enormous Ice Age flood in South America.7 The Missoula Flood was caused by another melted and broken ice dam. It drained through Montana into Washington state.8 And the breaching of a massive Ice Age lake carved out the English Channel.6 Many other such lakes could be added to the list.9
Having drained within just years, all these Ice Age lakes would certainly have displaced low-elevation peoples in the Middle East. Rose's theory is an echo of the connection already made by creation research between the breaching of Ice Age dams and a rise in sea level.
- Boswell, R. Massive Canadian melt may have triggered flood of biblical proportions. Montreal Gazette. Posted on montrealgazette.com December 10, 2010, accessed December 14, 2010.
- Rose, J. I. 2010. New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis. Current Anthropology. 51 (6): 849-883.
- Thomas, B. Surprising 'Stone-Age' Surgery Evidence Found in France. ICR News. Posted on icr.org February 4, 2010, accessed December 14, 2010.
- Lost civilization under Persian Gulf? EurekAlert press release, December 8, 2010.
- Batten, D. et al. 2007. The Creation Answers Book. Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, LLC, 215.
- Hoesch, W. 2007. Megafloods in the English Channel. Acts & Facts. 36 (10): 14.
- Austin, S. A. 2008. Red Rock Pass: Spillway of the Bonneville Flood. Acts & Facts. 37 (7): 10.
- Austin, S. A. Washington Scablands and the Lake Missoula Flood. ICR News. Posted on icr.org October 10, 2005, accessed December 15, 2010.
- For example, in the article referenced above, Hoesh wrote, "A few regions of the world that have been shaped by Ice Age megafloods include: a major portion of Washington state, the Snake River Plain of Idaho, the Altai region of southern Siberia, the Black Sea basin, the upper Mississippi River Valley, the Hudson River Valley including New York City, Wyoming's Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Owens River Gorge in California, and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence drainage basin, including Niagara Falls. Now the English Channel and Dover Straits can be added to the list."
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on December 21, 2010.