Monday September 18, 2023 Attachment

Ancient Climate Changes and Extinct Megafaunas

   Mammoths were not the only megafauna that went extinct at the end of the Great Ice Age (Pleistocene). Hundreds of large mammal species disappeared, including mastodons, woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, Irish elk (giant deer), cave bears, cave lions, dire wolves (25% bigger than the gray wolf), saber-tooth tigers, giant short-faced bears, camels (12 feet at the shoulders), giant sloths (weighed up to 5 tons and were 12 feet standing), giant beavers (9-feet long), Teratorn birds (wingspan to 28 feet)…

   The Imperial mammoths reached 14 feet at the shoulders! Carthaginian General Hannibal (Punic Wars, 218 B.C.) would have really frightened the Romans, if he had had these largest of “elephants!”

   Perhaps 5-million mammoths were buried in Siberia and Alaska in wind-blown, silt-sized sediments called loess. Loess is a fascinating geological phenomenon. These were gigantic dust storms trapping and completely entombing animals and plants. Perhaps 10 percent of the Earth’s surface deposits are loess. These aeolian deposits are important terrestrial records of ancient climate change.

   These paleowind deposits—now “frozen muck”–became ice-rich permafrost (soils below 320F for at least 2 years). As temperatures dropped the permafrost layer would move upwards after the loess was deposited and freeze the animal remains. Some of these dust deposits are hundreds of feet thick, and dwarf America’s Dust Bowl deposits of the 1930s (Oard, 2000).

   Permafrost contains large amounts of dead biomass and releases carbon dioxide and methane now.

   Mammoths are found with dirty lungs filled with silt/dust. “Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven, when the dust hardens in clumps, and the clods cling together?” (Job 38: 37-38, 2,000 B.C.).

   Seven percent of China is a loess plateau up to 350 feet in thickness. For thousands of years some Chinese have carved their homes in these deposits. The Palouse of Idaho and Washington is loess and is a major agricultural area. Extensive deposits are found in the Great Plains of North America.

   At White Sands National Park, New Mexico there are fossilized footprints of humans alongside Columbian mammoth and giant sloth tracks on the Ice-Age lake deposits! There are also dire wolf and American Lion tracks.

   Since 1901 at Rancho La Brea, California about 4-million fossils, including one human, have been excavated out of the asphaltic (“tar”) sediments. There are over 100 fossil pits. Fossils include extinct Ice-Age megafaunas—mammoth, mastodon, 4,000 plus dire wolves and 2,000 saber-toothed tigers. There are also contemporary animals such as coyotes, mountain lions, black bears, raccoons, and over 158 species of plants.

   Wrangel Island, in the Arctic Ocean, Russia may have had mammoths as recently as a few thousand years ago. Arctic fox, polar bears and lemmings (small rodents) now roam the island.

   Mammoth bones are dredged up from the North Sea by trawler fishing nets. Once there was an ancient land bridge between Great Britain and Europe; just as there once was the Bering land bridge between Asia and North America. At that time the oceans were about 300-400 feet lower than today, because continental Ice-Age glaciers stored up large amounts of water.

   Canadian Native Americans have legends of mammoths or mastodons living as recently as 200-years ago in remote areas of Canada. They say, “the huge animal had a nose that acted like a hand!” 

   Authors like Albert Einstein’s friend Immanuel Velikovsky argue that the Earth had a catastrophic pole shift (“Earth in Upheaval,” 1955) and astronomical disruptions with asteroid impacts (“Worlds in Collision,” 1950). Charles Darwin’s friend lawyer Sir Charles Lyell argued that Earth’s processes are slow, steady, and constant (Uniformitarianism, “Principles of Geology,” 1830).

    A Uniformitarian model (versus a Catastrophism model) has serious flaws. For example, two beautifully preserved extinct cave lion cub siblings, found together in Siberia, have radiocarbon ages differing by over 15,000 years! Paleoclimatologist Dr. Larry Vardiman and other scientists address Carbon-14 problems in “Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth” (2 Volumes, 2000 and 2005).

   Humans did hunt these now extinct megafaunas–Spear points are found in some remains—but ancient climate change, with more seasonal extremes, is a much greater factor at the end of the Ice-Age.

   “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen.” (Job 38:29-30, 2,000 B.C.).

Jim Pearl