Show kids how to respond to evolution debate
During the first week of school my son was taught evolution in his Social Studies class when they talked about the ice age. How should I tell him to respond?
In order to show him how to respond you can first teach him a clear understanding of the ice age based on the principle that God’s Word is true and fully consistent with the evidence for an ice age. Not only that, but the creation/biblical model provides a much better explanation for the ice age than the uniformitarian/evolution model that most textbooks preach.
Unfortunately, as with many areas of studies in science, some Christians, hoping to “protect” the Bible, claim that an ice age did not occur. Ironically, by ignoring the clear and widespread evidence for an ice age such an attitude on the part of Christians actually discredits the Bible. The lesson here should be that even though we may not understand some fact of science and how it correlates with the Bible we should not reject the evidence. Instead, we should interpret the evidence within the framework of the Bible. As Bible-believing Christians we are at a great disadvantage. Creation scientists are tremendously outspent and outnumbered in science. They are also excluded from access to some of the best scientific equipment and facilities due to their devotion to Christ and the prejudice against them in the scientific community.
Even so, research by meteorologist Michael Oard has provided many answers to the ice age that are in harmony with Scriptural teachings. Typically it is taught that there have been numerous ice ages with periodic advances and retreats of ice. It is important to know that the evidence does not show that the entire earth was covered in ice. Evidence for glaciation is seen in the Northern Hemisphere including areas in the central United States and parts of the Southern Hemisphere. This evidence suggests that only about one-third of all the earth was covered by ancient ice sheets.
So, how can this be explained if the Bible is to be believed? Although the Bible is not a textbook on science and is not meant to be taken that way, it is a true record of history and it is scientifically reliable. Oard explains that the ice age was caused by the catastrophic event of the Genesis Flood. Such a worldwide catastrophe would have caused tremendous changes on the planet earth. In the aftermath of the Flood the “fountains of the deep burst forth” which would have brought forth large amounts of lava and hot water pouring directly into the oceans. Warmer oceans would have meant increased evaporation, which would have increased snowfall over the continents. This increased snowfall is important for the development of an ice age. Cooling of the earth alone would not provide the ingredients necessary for such massive ice sheets to occur. In order for such an ice sheet to exist, snowfall must accumulate—winter snowfall must survive until the next winter. Also, the large amounts of volcanic ash in the air would have blocked sunlight, thus cooling the land. This again is exactly what is needed for the suddenness of formation the enormous continental ice sheets.
This model for an ice age provides many explanations for an ice age that still remain a mystery to evolutionists. Their model is built on the idea that gradual cooling of the climate caused gradual and periodic advance and retreats of ice sheets. Oard points out that there is only unequivocal evidence for one ice age and any evidence for others is ambiguous. The ice build up would have lasted for as much as one thousand years until gradually the oceans would have cooled, ash would have settled and volcanic activity would have subsided.
There is also no reason to doubt human occupation during the ice age either. Neandertal people, for example, probably lived on the edge of the ice sheet in Europe. Lack of sunlight and thus lack of vitamin D would explain the evidence for rickets in their skeletons. Also, archaeology has shown evidence for civilization in the Gobi, Sahara and Arabian desert areas indicating that these regions were cooler than they are now.
Thus, you can inform your son that the ice age did occur. He can be confident that not only does the Bible provide a plausible answer for an ice age but one that is consistent with the evidence.
There is much more that needs to be said about the Bible, the ice age and how a student can respond so I will continue this answer next week.
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Perhaps you could get my column in your local paper, too! Have your newspaper editor contact me. Also, feel free to email me with any of your questions, comments or disagreements.
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen