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The Bible Book of Genesis – Geology, Archaeology, and Theology – Part 17

Genesis 7 & 8: The Cataclysmic Deluge Account – Post-Flood Evidence – Part 3

Other points of interest

In addition to accounts suggesting dinosaurs, and “living fossils” survived the flood and support its occurrence, there are other tantalizing glimpses giving a certain amount of circumstantial and anecdotal evidence. This is what will now be briefly considered.

Ta Prohm

For example, in Cambodia at the Ta Prohm, near Angkor Wat, built by the epic builder King Jayavarman VII in the late 1100s there is a temple with a carving that most people, at first sight, would identify as bearing big similarities to a Stegosaurus (body and back). It is amongst a frieze of other (mainly) wild animal carvings which are readily identifiable. What conclusions can we draw? There is no reason to believe it is a mythical animal. Contrast it with the stylized monkey supporting the animal carvings, (two carvings below) which is clearly a mythological animal. The very fact that the dinosaur-like animal is below that of a water buffalo and above another animal and that there are also carvings of a deer, parrots, a swan, and a monkey would indicate that it was considered a real animal.

Some argue that it does not have tail spikes and the head is more like a triceratops than a stegosaurus. However, this does not mean it is not an unknown or undiscovered stegasaurid. Not all have prominent tail spikes. The author has examined the photographs shown below and also the arguments given against the carving being a dinosaur. At present, he is not persuaded by the various attempts to explain away the carving as not a dinosaur.

Some have claimed it has been inserted into the wall in the modern-day, but experts have made a close examination of the rock patina and its position in a wall of such carvings and tight fit and their conclusion is that this suggestion is without foundation. A substantial part of the position taken by opponents of the carving being identified as a dinosaurid is that in their view dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago and therefore it must be a fraud. This is circular reasoning, as by dismissing it as a fraud they then claim there is no evidence that dinosaurs survived to recent history and hence must have died out 65 million years ago and hence if the carving is that of a dinosaur it must be a fraud.

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Factors that also require consideration that support this being real are the following:

  • Scientists are still discovering new species, sometimes even large mammals (although admittedly rarely).
    • This online article[1] documents 7 new species in 2021 so far (which might be out of date when read!). This is a brief explanation of 2020’s new species[2].
  • The first Stegosaurus skeleton was discovered in 1877 and only around 80 or so fossil stegosaurs exist, in varying degrees of completeness. Most museum specimens are composed of bones from a number of individual finds. Only in 2015 was a relatively complete specimen found which is now in the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

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  • “Sophie”, Stegosaurus fossil in Natural History Museum, London, UK. Credit: Susannah Maidment et al. & Natural History Museum, London, CC BY 4.0
  • Unless the carving is a very clever, very recent fake, which the evidence suggests it is not, then it has to have been carved based on actual sightings or descriptions of sightings. It was also likely a common sighting, based on the fact that the other carvings which are of water buffalo, parrots, deer, swan, and monkeys, are still commonly seen creatures in that area. (It is similar to the Chinese year of the dragon, used in company with 11 common animals.)
  • It is accepted that humans had contact with Mammoths, Mastodons, and other now-extinct animals because of cave paintings and in some cases the bones of the animals being found containing flint arrowheads or in pits. [3] Therefore, why not some dinosaurs?

Are there any fossils of pre-flood human remains?

To date, there are no fossils of human remains that can be definitively be dated in rocks that are understood to have been created by Noah’s flood. We might therefore ask the question why not?

To answer this question we need to do some analysis of what type of fossils are found, in what

numbers, and why that is so.

In an article published in 1991, Creation.com states that “Let’s begin by considering the nature of the fossil record. Most people don’t realize that in terms of numbers of fossils 95% of the fossil record consists of shallow marine organisms such as corals and shellfish.6 Within the remaining 5%, 95% are all the algae and plant/tree fossils, including the vegetation that now makes up the trillions of tonnes of coal, and all the other invertebrate fossils including the insects. Thus the vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) together make up very little of the fossil record—in fact, 5% of 5%, which is a mere 0.25% of the entire fossil record. So comparatively speaking there are very, very few amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal fossils, yet so much is often made of them. For example, the number of dinosaur skeletons in all the world’s museums (both public and university) totals only about 2,100.7 Furthermore, of this 0.25% of the fossil record which is vertebrates, only 1% of that 0.25% (or 0.0025%) are vertebrate fossils that consist of more than a single bone! For example, there’s only one Stegosaurus skull that has been found, and many of the horse species are each represented by only one specimen of one tooth!”[4] [5]

Dinosaurs

According to Scientific American of 1st February 2021 around 11,000 dinosaur fossils (includes individual bones, not just skeletons) have been discovered around the world since 1824.[6] In the vast majority of cases, these are only single bones or even bone fragments. Complete or nearly complete skeletons are rare.

For example, the first complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was only found in 2006.[7] [8]

According to the Weizmann Institute of Science, “Regarding the number of [all dinosaur] skeletons found to date – this is a great question since the number of complete components is relatively small (the average dinosaur has about a hundred different bones). Currently it is estimated that around 2,100 “good skeletons” have been found, and the number of known species is several hundred (300-500)” [9]

Updating the Creation article quoted above which dates from 1991, at the date of writing (September 2021) even now there are only a total of two complete Stegosaurus skulls (and four partial skulls) and this is with the recent discovery of “Sophie” which had a complete skull. This specimen is now on display at the Natural History Museum. It is classified as Stegosaurus stenops (NHMUK PV R36730; Fig 1) and is from the Red Canyon Ranch quarry, near Shell, Wyoming, U.S.A. and found in 2003 (some 12 years after the publishing of the article from Creation.com).

According to the NHMUK, “The last detailed study of Stegosaurus was done in 1914 so one of the first things we’re doing is re-describing this dinosaur on the basis of the new skeleton, so that all other stegosaur species around the world can be compared more closely with Stegosaurus.” In other words, because the last nearly complete skeleton was found back in 1887 and described in 1914, the description of Stegosaurus needs updating! With this paucity of stegosaurid skulls, it is entirely possible that a fossil skull matching that shown in the stone carving at Ta Prohm discussed earlier is still waiting to be found!

Human Bodies

How long would a dead human body last when submerged in seawater? Experiments were done on dead pigs (the closest in both bone and flesh to humans). On this basis, scientists concluded that in highly oxygenated water, only a skeleton would be left after 4 days, although the bones might last 6 months.[10] That is if the body is kept underwater, however, even a weighted body will typically float to the surface after 3-4 days, due to gases created by decomposition, where it is exposed to sea birds, small crustaceans, and battering by waves. As a result, it soon is dismembered, usually within a week or two. Then the separate bones will sink to the seabed where they will dissolve over a few months or years depending on the temperature of the water.[11] These factors alone would suggest the chance of finding a fully articulated and recognizable human skeleton in the fossil record would be slim. By contrast, skeletons of larger creatures such as whales and so forth can last much longer.

If we think about the conditions during the cataclysmic global deluge, with the fountains of the deep opening up, for 40 days and nights there was rain, and the likelihood of geological disturbances, with earthquakes and volcanic activity, this would have resulted in strong waves and currents which would have been very destructive of any corpses, whether animal or human. It also should not surprise us that to date no fossils of pre-flood humans have been found, as

A Conundrum

Geologists will claim that near humans have been around for a number of millions of years and true humans for between 150,000 and 250,000 years.[12] If this is the case then it raises the following issue.

Given the geographically diverse distribution of the true human fossils with no evidence of any migration from these areas to Mesopotamia in the last 10,000 years (based on radiocarbon dating) this means that any who wish to believe the Bible record that was a flood and at the same time accept the age of these fossils, can only conclude that it was a local flood and only killed people in that locality, which is a popular view. However, this contradicts the Bible’s clear statement in Genesis 6:13 that God said to Noah “The end of all flesh has come before me …”. As human fossils are found far from Mesopotamia, to bring an end to all flesh would require a global flood to match the distribution of humans.

By contrast, this problem evaporates if we accept the Bible’s record, that the flood was global in its extent, and all mankind (except for Noah and his family) did perish, and that the dating of these human fossils is inaccurate. If these true human fossils are much younger (perhaps only 4,000 to 4,300 years old), which is entirely possible, [RadioCarbon dating begins to rapidly diverge from known historical dates going back beyond 400BC][13], then they could be the remains of some of the first humans to spread out in the earth after the flood and in particular following the events at the Tower of Babel with the confusion of languages.

We should also not forget that God said in Genesis 6:7 “I am going to wipe out men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, …“. The Hebrew word translated here as “wipe out” can also be translated as “obliterate, efface, erase, blot out,” and it would be reasonable to conclude that maybe God ensured that very little or nothing of human remains from pre-flood times has survived.

The Geological Column and the Flood \ Post Flood Boundary

If we accept that there is sufficient evidence for a global cataclysmic deluge, and we accept that much of the geological record is the result of the flood catastrophe we need to examine the question as to where it makes sense to place the pre-flood\flood boundary and the flood\post-flood boundary.

The Pre-flood\Flood boundary makes sense as being the boundary of Pre-Cambrian and Cambrian or later rocks.

The Flood\Post-Flood boundary is not so clear cut at present. The weight of evidence points to it being definitely Post-Cretaceous. However, exactly where in the Tertiary rock sequences still needs further research. There are late (Upper)Tertiary deposits in Australia containing Kangaroo fossils which logically would most likely be post-flood. Fossil horses are found in the Lower Eocene (Early, Lower Tertiary) which would also likely be post-flood. Tertiary strata between these two periods are found widely around the world in seafloor deposits. As current plate spreading is only around 5cms a year, at that rate only 215 meters would be post-flood (4,300 years worth). However, there are 1,000 kms of Tertiary deposits on either side of the mid-ocean ridges.[14] Perhaps the best explanation is that the Lower Eocene marks the period shortly after the animals were released from the Ark, but the rapid plate tectonic movements triggered during the flood were still in action, but slowing rapidly, but had sufficient speed to allow the 1,000km wide deposits to occur before the end of the Tertiary period.

Age of Mountain Ranges

The Himilayas[15], Rockies[16], European Alps[17], Andes[18], Tibetan Plateau, and Colorado Plateau were formed during the end period of the flood and in the early post-flood era before the tectonic plate movements slowed to their present rate. It is interesting to note that all these major mountain ranges appeared during the Late Cretaceous through to the Middle Tertiary Period according to Geologists. Psalm 104:6-9 seems to allude to the flood and this aftermath when it says “With a watery deep just like a garment you covered it [the earth]. The waters were standing above the very mountains. At your rebuke they began to flee.Mountains proceeded to ascend, Valley plains proceeded to descend, to the place that you have founded for them. A boundary you set for them [the waters], that they should not again cover the earth.”

This would indicate that perhaps there was divine intervention to stabilize the earth as the waters receded once the mountains had risen. Certainly, the increase in height of these mountain ranges today is minimal. The Himalayas and the Andes are both between 1cm and 2cm per year.

In Summary

What would we expect to find if there had been a catastrophic worldwide deluge?

  1. We would expect large amounts of deposits of sedimentary rocks and sediments created by the water.
  2. We would expect these rocks to be layered, and show evidence of being laid down quickly and over vast areas.
  3. We would expect that if fossils were found they would typically be a mixture of sea creatures, land creatures, and vegetation.
  4. We would expect to find large deposits of vegetation buried after being stripped of the land.
  5. We would expect to find marine fossils at the tops of mountains.

What do we find?

  1. What we expected. Approximately 75% of the rocks are sedimentary rocks, the remaining 25% are igneous.
  2. What we expected. The sedimentary rocks are layered, fossils such as trees go through multiple layers, and the layering matches modern water-lain deposits.
  3. What we expected. Many fossil graveyards exist that are a mixture of land and sea creatures and vegetation, such as Agate Spring, Nebraska, the Ashley Beds of South Carolina, and Monteau-Les-Mines, and one of the driest places on earth, the Gobi desert, has many fossils of dinosaurs, mammals, lizards and so forth.
  4. What we expected. The Upper Carboniferous beds (the name of this period gives a big clue!) contain large amounts of coal formed from masses of vegetation and are found from the American Mid-West to the Donetsk basin in Ukraine, India, China, Eastern Australia, and even Antarctica.
  5. What we expected. Marine fossils can be found high in the Andes, in the Himilayas, in the Rockies, etc.

It, therefore, indicates that the Bible record of a worldwide cataclysmic deluge is correct.


    References:
  1. https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/7-new-animals-discovered-in-2021-so-far
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/30/moths-to-monkeys-503-new-species-identified-by-uk-scientists
  3. https://newatlas.com/science/mammoth-hunting-mexico/
  4. https://creation.com/where-are-all-the-human-fossils
  5. From Creation 14(1):28–33, December 1991.
  6. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dinosaur-discoveries-are-booming/
  7. https://metro.co.uk/2020/11/20/first-complete-t-rex-skeleton-found-locked-in-battle-with-triceratops-13625874/
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jul/17/montana-fossilized-dueling-dinosaurs-skeletons-dino-cowboy
  9. https://davidson.weizmann.ac.il/en/online/askexpert/life_sci/have-any-fossilized-whole-skulls-dinosaurs-ever-been-found
  10. https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-happens-to-a-dead-body-at-the-bottom-of-the-sea
  11. https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-long-does-it-take-for-a-body-to-decompose-at-sea/
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils As a side point, notice how few bones exist for most of these near-human or human remains.
  13. RadioCarbon Dating S Bowman, 1990, British Museum Publication
  14. Earths Catastrophic Past, Part 2 by A Snelling p751-761
  15. https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Plate-Tectonics/Chap3-Plate-Margins/Convergent/Continental-Collision Himilayas mainly formed 50mya in Early Tertiary period
  16. https://www.usgs.gov/science-support/osqi/yes/national-parks/rocky-mountain-national-park https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountains Rocky Mountains formed Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary 75-50 mya.
  17. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/geology_of_the_alps.htm The Alps were formed during the Oligocene and Miocene periods (Middle Tertiary) 30-10mya
  18. https://www.livescience.com/64571-andes-mountains-plate-tectonics.html Andes formed Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary in two spurts 80-55 mya.
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