Volume 1, Issue 18
December 18,  2011
Evidence of the Flood from mass extinctions
and how the animals migrated across oceansfloating island
Floating islands*



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.
Best regards,
Philip Williams
*Floating Island in Derwentwater by W. Westall, Carlisle Library
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In this issue
Animal migrations and mass extinctions
Do animals obey their Creator?
Update on a Noah's Ark "discovery"
Ecological adaptation
Scientific species versus biblical kinds
Do animals hear and obey their Creator?
It does explain their suvival
Modern biology is unduly informed by materialist dogma that denies to animals (even more than to humans) both consciousness and freedom. I mention this because this dogma challenges the biblical accounts of the way that God communicates with the animals as when he commanded them to come to the Ark. The notion that animals do not have consciousness began with Descartes, the father of modern philosophy. It does not come from the Bible or from our experience with animals. Not only do animals sense our calls and motions, they even read our intentions. (Those pesky squirrels are safe because they always know when I am seriously thinking of shooting them.)
This ability of animals to sense intentions suggests a form of communication that transcends any physical means. That may trouble biologists long indoctrinated into the dogma of evolutionary naturalism. It would not so much trouble quantum physicists who are aware that even physical particles communicate via some non-physical means. Animals may know when storms are coming due to their sensing slight changes in temperature, pressure, and moisture, but how do they know (as is well documented) when earthquakes and tsunamis are soon to appear. Man's best instruments cannot predict earthquakes.
For similar reasons, moderns may think it strange that God holds animals accountable for their actions, as in the account of Noah's Flood. It means that despite their instincts, animals also have choice. Animal trainers and wise pet owners know how to hold animals accountable within the bounds of their instincts. Animals who fail at being properly conscious of God are probably the same as those who become extinct.
We are not accustomed to thinking of animals as having an ongoing relationship with their Creator, or the freedom to make moral choices. Because modern science denies the reality of all spirits, including your own freely acting self (soul), biologists also have difficulty explaining life. Life is not in fact some complex arrangement of molecules. Life is freedom. Living animals, plants, humans, and unseen beings act within their created or imposed boundariers. All life (that is, all freedom) comes from God, the father of all spirits.
Update on last week's reported Noah's Ark "discovery"

Posted as part of a comment to an article about the "discovery" on
"I am the senior archaeologist on the Ark Search LLC Expedition team. You may have heard or been part of promoting a recent story about a discovery of Noah's Ark made in a press conference or on a website by Mr. Daniel McGivern. .... His announcement was based on information that is not entirely accurate, and the conference was not authorized by Ark Search LLC. He is not a member of the team." 
Randall Price, Ph.D.  
Distinguished Research Professor. 
Executive Director  
Center for Judaic Studies. "  
[I have no comment.]
Ecological adaptation 
Survival requires providential not natural selection
African animals at a North Carolina zoo
Most animals require environments having the right type of food, places for building nests and hiding from predators, proper seasonal temperature and wetness, etc. The ecology of these habitats are sensitive to slight changes in any of these parameters. All habitats were certainly disturbed and, as it seems, many of them permanently changed by the actions of climate and earth associated with Noah's Flood. How did the animals survive this? Moreover, how did they survive migration to and from the Ark and over the year that they all lived inside the Ark? 
Changes to the natural habitats of animals that have occurred not only resulting from the Flood but as continues to happen to the surface of our dynamic earth both before and after the Flood give hint to an answer. There is no way that animals can survive unless they be constantly tended either by some human zookeeper when they are in captivity or by their Creator when they are free. The ecological "problem" of Noah's Flood comes from ignoring the animals' Creator and from projecting the knowledge and capabilities of human zookeepers with that of the one who created the animals. 
According to the reigning Darwinist theory, all this happens by natural selection: no cosmic zookeeper present or needed. There is indeed, as Darwin observed among the finches and other animals in South America and the Galapagos Islands, an adaptation of species to their environment. Those characteristics best suited to particular environments will be selected for survival. Different environments among isolated populations will result in what appears as new species.
The problem with this theory of natural selection is that while explaining the adaptation of species, it does not explain the creation and survival of suitable ecological habitats and niches in our always dynamic earth. However much natural selection may create species or sub-species, only a designer and governor can explain the providential creation and adaptation of these ecological habitats for the creatures that require them. No one has explained a mechanism by which this might occur by natural means. Those migrations to and from the Ark and survival inside the Ark was not so much an exception to what must always be occurring for the survival of species. Not only must this providential care be constantly exercised for the habitats belonging to each species of animals, the same is required for that great habitat that rides upon our inhospitable cosmos. I refer to that privileged planet that we know as the earth.
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Scientific species versus biblical kinds 
Science lacks a clear definition of species, but the Bible has a clear definition of kinds


Darwin's finches


During years of research on the Flood, I read critics who claimed that defenders of the biblical Flood exploit the vagueness of the biblical kinds  of animals so as to reduce the space requirements on the Ark. Thus, I searched diligently for a scientific definition of species. The definition of species does not just bear on the space requirements of Noah's Ark. It has great implications for environmental controversies: when there is concern that certain species may be threatened or become extinct. As I will explain, I learned that it is evolutionists and environmentalists who exploit for their purposes what is in truth great vagueness in the scientific definition of species.


To find answers, I turned to the work of the late Ernst Mayr, the Harvard biologist famous for defending Darwin's theory of evolution. Mayr's work specifically addressed the issue of species. Careful reading of his famous book on the subject reveals that his bird species were in fact geographically isolated populations. Speciation due to geographical isolation and adaptation is what Darwin observed during his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle and famously presented by his comparison of finches. Opponents of evolution do not deny that adaptation takes place. But this means that what the vast majority of biologists recognize as separate species in fact have common ancestors. As Darwin himself pointed out, this is little different than recognizing that all breeds of dogs have a common ancestor. It also means that classification of species, like creating new breeds of dogs, is an artificial process. All that a biologist need do in order to be rewarded with the discovery of a new species is to obtain agreement from other biologists on the assignment of a new Latin name.


By contrast, the Bible clearly defines what it means by kinds. They are animals that reproduce after their own kind. That would exclude hybrid animals such as mules that result from a male donkey breeding with a female horse. The mule is not a biblical kind because hybrids such as mules cannot reproduce. But all the breeds of horses known to exist belong to a single biblical kind. Likewise, all the scientific species having common ancestors are in fact from single biblical kinds, and needing only one pair on the Ark in order to be preserved. Classifying kinds of animals by their ability to reproduce is not an artificial way of classifying the animals.


This also means that the disappearance of the majority of scientific species from the earth does not mean that these species cannot be created from other species of the same biblical kind (other species sharing the same ancestor). The ability of the various kinds of animals to genetically adapt to new environments also greatly reduces what is often presented as the ecological challenges presented by Noah's Flood. It means that the disappearance of mega-fauna due to Noah's Flood did not mean the elimination of these species from the earth. The same would be true of numerous species that environmentalist tell us are threatened by extinction. 

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Christian Leaders & Scholars is the newsletter and publication site of Philip Ernest Williams, author of The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood (2011). The site is also a ministry not only to Christian leaders and scholars but all who are interested in the more difficult issues pertaining to the Bible and its implications for science and history. (Read more)