|Evidence of the Flood from mass extinctions
|and how the animals migrated across oceans
During the many years that I pondered the scientific problems presented by Noah's Flood, nothing occupied my attention more than how the animals might have migrated to and from the Ark. Land bridges may have connected some of the continents before the Flood, but how did the animals migrate after the Flood when such land bridges as may once have existed lay at the bottom of the oceans?
I continued pondering the problem long after I knew that Noah's Flood had for a fact covered the earth. I knew how the remains from humans were dated and how to conduct an archaeological, genetic, and linguistic trace of how humans have migrated. Knowing that animal remains may be difficult to archaeologically date and having no idea how to trace animal migrations, I ignored the evidence from zoology. But is there evidence of the Flood from zoology, or did the animals return to their former habitations, obscuring any evidence that the worldwide Flood had temporarily diminished their numbers?
As I now know, the Flood didn't just temporarily affect the number of animals, it manifestly changed their character and habitations. I understood this not long after I discovered that what has been envisioned as the "Ice Age" is in fact evidence of the antediluvian world destroyed by Noah's Flood. No one should be surprised by what is now seen as the great Quaternary Extinctions that occurred "at the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago" [The date is being slowly reduced, but as I have explained, the changes occurred only about 4,400 years ago].
In antediluvian North America, there were to be found horses, wild asses, camels, musk oxen, elephants (mammoths), lions larger than those in Africa, and mastodons. The first European explorers found none of these when they arrived. But some animal species now seen as native to America were not here in earlier times. As the name itself suggests, the Quaternary Extinction Event is currently recognized as sudden. Scientists may be surprised to learn just how sudden.
Theories as to to why these extinctions occurred call up the usual suspects: disease, climate change, or human hunting. By the current way of thinking, there was definitely a climate change associated with this event: the end of the Ice Age, but how could this great improvement of climate be the cause of extinctions? Humans first appeared in the antediluvian world, but the world was not then so developed as to account for so many extinctions. The problem in attributing these extinctions to the arrival of humans in North America is that the extinctions did not occur to the same degree in the Old World where there were far more people.
Extinctions did however take place at the same time on every continent:
- In North America, around 33 of 45 genera of large animals became extinct
- In South America, about 46 of 58 genera became extinct
- In Australia, 15 of 19 genera disappeared
- In Europe, only 7 of 23 disappeared
- In Subsaharan Africa, only 2 of 44 genera of large animals disappeared.
Though large species were conspicuous, all types of animals and plants became extinct at the same time. The Flood provides the obvious explanation, but how did the animals migrate across the oceans after the Flood? Of all the continents, South America seems most troubling due to the great body of water that the animals would have had to cross to arrive on this continent. It doesn't seem possible that tropical animals could have crossed through what is widely suppose to have been a land bridge along what is now the Bering Strait.
I got my first hint at the solution in 1998 when I read about 15 iguanas clinging to a mass of trees being carried between Caribbean islands by a hurricane across hundreds of miles of open water. It immediately occurred to me that the great Flood would rip away far more vegetation: perhaps the entire rain forests of Africa, Indonesia, and South America. Much of this flotsam would turn into floating islands. I soon learned from Vlatko Dir that floating islands are not uncommon. Chet Van Duzer has compiled a global bibliography of floating islands. There are historical sightings of floating islands off the coast of West Africa where originates many of the hurricanes that sweep across the waters to America. The fact that these islands have largely disappeared points to the their origin in a unique event.
Floating islands explain more than the simple fact of how the animals migrated across the oceans after the Flood. They also explain the types of animals that one now sees in South America. Notice how many of the South American animals are tree dwellers or climbers: numerous species of monkeys, cats, snakes, lizards, birds, and llamas. By contrast, after the great extinction due to the Flood, the Americas had no animals suitable for riding or pulling wagons or carts. That is why the American natives did not use the wheel [though some of their early toy artifacts show that the concept existed in their memory].
The Flood also explains why large genera of animals disappear in the Americas and Australia, but not so much in Europe and Subsaharan Africa. Large animals would be less likely to be supported by floating islands that were temporarily attached to natural harbors or to have swum the short distance to these islands either pursuing or being pursued by predators. By contrast, the largest species of North American animals - moose, bison, elk, bears, etc. - are similar to those of the most northern regions of Europe and Asia, indicating their passage across frozen ice or land bridges that once connected these continents.
Before the Flood, there were also mammoths and other large animals on what are now islands of the West Indies, indicating that islands in the Antillies may once have been part of the mainland. Other indications that this may be the case is the presence of human settlements from this era off the coast of Florida and beneath the waters of the Caribbean. But after the Flood, many islands (especially in the distant Pacific) hardly obtained wildlife aside from birds until animals were brought there by human settlers.
*Floating Island in Derwentwater by W. Westall, Carlisle Library