Author Topic: MO/MAMMOTHS  (Read 40 times)

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MO/MAMMOTHS
« on: February 28, 2017, 12:38:48 pm »
Were woolly mammoths quick frozen early in the Flood?

I find numerous problems with Brown’s hypotheses for the woolly mammoths in Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory. I only have space to deal with the major issues. The first one is the timing of the mammoth material: did they die very early in the Flood or at the end of the post-Flood Ice Age?
Evidence the woolly mammoths died during the ice age

Undoubtedly many different elephant types existed before the Flood, likely including various mammoths and mastodons, and so I would expect to find elephant fossils buried by the Flood. However, the bones and tusks of woolly mammoths under consideration are found in the surficial sediments all across the mid and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, not just in the far north. In many of these areas, they are found in post-Flood contexts, such as tar pits, river terraces, glacial till, and local flood sediments. In the higher latitudes the woolly mammoths, as well as other mammals, are found in the permafrost, permanently frozen sediments. So, why should Brown separate the two groups, the ones in the far north very early in the Flood and those in the mid latitudes from the Ice Age? Furthermore, they are also found in caves on St Paul Island of Alaska47 and on top of glacial till in northwest Siberia48, which are all clear post-Flood contexts at high latitudes.

If buried early in the Flood, they should be buried near the bottom of the sedimentary layers. But, a huge number of woolly mammoth remains lie in the surficial permafrost of the New Siberian Islands on top of thick sedimentary rocks that include carbonates, marine fossils, and coal.49 In Brown’s prediction No 20, he states: “One should not find marine fossils, layered strata, oil, coal seams, or limestone directly beneath undisturbed rock ice or frozen mammoth carcasses.”50 Although this seems like a good prediction, Brown really means that woolly mammoth carcasses will not be directly above marine fossils, layered strata, oil, coal seams, or limestone. The prediction likely fails in the New Siberian Islands, but it would be difficult to prove since one would have to drill below the few carcasses found (the vast majority of woolly mammoths are bones and tusks) on the islands. Given the widespread, thick sedimentary rocks below the surface of the New Siberian Islands, the few carcasses would have to be on top of igneous or metamorphic rocks to fulfill the prediction.
Figure 11. Woolly mammoth distribution (redrawn by Daniel Lewis with Eurasia from Khalke, 1999, figure 13).

Figure 11. Woolly mammoth distribution (redrawn by Daniel Lewis with Eurasia from Khalke, 1999,62 figure 13).

Further evidence that the mammoths were associated with the post-Flood Ice Age is that they are rarely found in the central and northern portions of areas covered by the continental ice sheets during the Ice Age (the exceptions can be explained within the post-Flood Ice Age model). Figure 11 shows the distribution of woolly mammoths in the Northern Hemisphere. This suggests that the ice prevented woolly mammoths from colonizing those areas because of the existence of ice sheets. Otherwise, if the woolly mammoths were buried early in the Flood, there should also be an abundance of woolly mammoth remains in post-Flood glaciated areas as well.
Further problems with the quick freeze idea

Although the quick freeze idea in which mild temperatures suddenly fall to below –90°C (–150°F) is a reasonable idea that was suggested almost 200 years ago by George Cuvier, it has a few problems. Brown postulates that the woolly mammoths lived before the Flood in a temperate climate at mid latitudes and were quick-frozen in extremely cold muddy hail very early in the Flood. Then later in the Flood, when the mountains uplifted in his great plate crunch, the earth rolled 35 to 45°, sending the frozen woolly mammoths northward to high latitudes where we find them today. Besides grave doubts on the possibility of such an Earth roll, the details of which have not been worked out, one would expect to see a huge number of woolly mammoth and other animal carcasses in the far north. However, the number of carcasses, defined by any scrap of flesh, is less than 100. Brown even has an excellent map of their locations, and as of 1999, there are only 58 of them.51 The tens of thousands of woolly mammoths discovered so far are practically all bones and tusks, indicating a time for decay of the flesh.

A second piece of evidence against the quick freeze is that the carcasses have been partially decayed.52

Third, fly pupae are associated with the bones and carcasses, showing that flies were able to lay eggs and maggots to be hatched, which would take some time.51

Fourth, signs of scavenging occur on some carcasses, such as Blue Babe which Dale Guthrie of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks has analyzed.53

Fifth, when the vegetation of their stomachs is analyzed, it indicates different seasons of death.54,55 In a quick freeze, death is instant and the stomach contents should record one season of death.

And lastly, since half-digested stomach contents is said to be evidence for a quick freeze, partially decayed vegetation is found in the stomach and intestines of mastodons found in unfrozen peat, the remains of old bogs, in the northeast and north-central United States.56 Thus, the state of preservation of the vegetation could be caused by the low amount of bacteria in a cold environment and the fact that elephants digest their food after the stomach, which serves as a large storage pouch in which the vegetation is partially broken down by acids and enzymes.57,58 Table 2 summarizes the evidence against a quick freeze of the woolly mammoths early in the Flood.
Part of a Northern Hemisphere Ice Age steppe (grassland) community
Found in surficial sediments, not at the bottom of thick sedimentary rocks
Found in a cave on St Paul Island in the Bering Sea (cave wall is of Flood origin)
Found on top of glacial till northwest Siberia
Rarely found within central and northern areas that were glaciated during the Ice Age
Carcasses rare, while they should be abundant if quick frozen and buried by muddy hail (bones and tusks abundant)
Carcasses partially decayed with fly pupae in both carcasses and the bones
Some carcasses scavenged
Stomach vegetation indicates different seasons of death
Half-decayed vegetation also found in US mastodons of the Ice Age

Table 2. Summary of the evidences against Brown’s hypothesis that the woolly mammoths in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere died early in the Flood by a quick freeze.
An ice age model for the life and death of the woolly mammoth

After adding up as many facts as available, I have determined the evidence shows the woolly mammoths lived and died during the Ice Age.59 To make a long story short, the woolly mammoth population increased rapidly to millions in the first few hundred years after the Flood. Early in the Ice Age, Siberia had very mild winters and cool summers with heavy precipitation caused by warm onshore flow of mild, moist air from the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans. Forests must have grown in the unglaciated lowlands of Siberia early in the Ice Age. By the middle of the Ice Age, the area had dried enough for a grassland to be widespread, as part of the great Northern Hemisphere Mammoth Steppe.60 Millions of woolly mammoths and many other mammals spread into Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon. But at the end of the Ice Age, winters became much colder than today as summers warmed. The ice sheets and mountain ice caps melted, the Arctic Ocean froze over with sea ice developing far south in the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Dry, cold, windy storms were typical, causing monstrous dust storms. The woolly mammoths were buried in loess (wind-blown silt), commonly found up to 60 m (200 ft) thick in the lowlands of Siberia and Alaska. The slumping of this loess in hilly or mountain terrain mixed trees, vegetation, and animals remains, which has been called muck by gold miners and is not a mysterious substance. When the permafrost formed, abundant ice lenses and wedges formed, which is also not mysterious. The wind-blown silt is able to explain many of the mysteries associated with the woolly mammoths, such as the well-preserved nature of bones, tusks, and carcasses, how they were entombed in permafrost, why some are in a general standing position, why some suffocated, and why some animals have broken bones.
Artificial comparison table

Since Brown compared my hypothesis with his, along with the poor uniformitarian and non-creationist catastrophist ideas in his Table 12,61 it gives me a chance to evaluate his comparison table, which should be indicative of other comparison tables that always portray Brown’s model as vastly superior, although he does admit the subjective nature of these tables. I will only compare a few of the categories. Taking number one, the abundance of food, Brown scores himself high and me low. But Brown explains the abundant food as originating at mid latitudes where the woolly mammoths were living at the time in a warm climate. Then the earth rolled 35 to 45° north to place the frozen carcasses at high latitude. This is massive conjecture, or one could say special pleading, especially when there is no physical evidence to support such a claim. So, without demonstrating the feasibility of such a poleward shift, which seems impossible by his mountain uplift mechanism, he scores high because of the greater abundance of food in the mid latitudes. I would conclude that this high score is artificial and actually depends upon him first demonstrating the feasibility of such a roll. I would explain the abundance of food from the mid Ice Age drying of Siberia caused by cooler sea surface temperatures, less evaporation, and downslope foehn winds off the ice sheet to the west. So, the area would be a grassland, part of Guthrie’s Northern Hemisphere Mammoth Steppe,52 a grassland like Midwest North America today.

In the second category, a warm climate, he gets the same high rating and I get the same low rating. His warm climate is because the animals were living at lower latitudes. So, it is the same issue as the first category—he needs to prove his roll idea first. In my model, the winter temperatures were not warm but mild compared to Siberian winters today and were caused by a lack of sea ice, warm ocean water, and copious latent heat given off during atmospheric condensation.

In the fourth category, yedomas and loess, he gives himself the highest score and me the lowest. He explains loess as from the mud in the hail, while I would explain it as true wind-blown silt late in the Ice Age (see above). The yedomas are essentially hills in the permafrost, caused by the partial thawing of the permafrost around the hills during the warming right after the Ice Age. The mammoths are mostly left frozen in the loess hills, while many of the bones and carcasses likely decayed in the thawing part of the permafrost. Yedomas are no mystery.

Besides being artificial, his comparison table sometimes has categories of questionable significance, such as the fifth one, elevated burial. This is because the animals are found in yedomas or loess hills, which is not all that significant for any hypothesis since it is a feature of partially thawed out permafrost.
He has set up a straw man and hacked it down.

He scores high in some categories because the categories are deductions of his model, such as the ad hoc idea of the great Earth-roll in categories one and two. He compares his model to models that are of poor quality, such as the Lake Drowning Hypothesis for the extinction of the woolly mammoths. And based on my scores, I can conclude that he does not understand my model well enough to evaluate it, although in some cases he has some valid criticisms. He has set up a straw man and hacked it down.
Summary evaluation

As a result of my analysis of Brown’s HPT model for the Flood, I do not consider his model a viable Flood model for the general and specific reasons summarized above. It seems to rely on the deductive method of science in which an idea is first considered and then a whole host of data is fitted into the model. Great errors can occur with this approach as geologist Chamberlin warned. A better method is the inductive method of science in which one lets the observations speak for themselves and sees if the model can survive critical analysis. Contrary data should lead to the rejection or modification of the model. We can safely say the big picture points to the Flood as the origin of sedimentary rocks, fossils, and surface features, but as for a Flood mechanism and an explanation of diverse phenomena, Brown’s model falls far short.
Related Articles

    Genesis and catastrophe
    Flood models: the need for an integrated approach
    The extinction of the woolly mammoth: was it a quick freeze?
    Flood models and biblical realism
    A receding Flood scenario for the origin of the Grand Canyon
    The paradox of Pacific guyots and a possible solution for the thick ‘reefal’ limestone on Enewetok Island

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    Lepper, B.T., Frolking, T.A., Fisher, D.C., Goldstein, G., Sanger, J.E., Wymer, D.A., Ogden III, J.G., and Hooge, P.E., Intestinal contents of a Late Pleistocene mastodont from midcontinental North America, Quaternary Research 36:120–125, 1991. Return to text.
    van Hoven, W., Prins, R.A., and Lankhorst, A., Fermentation digestion in the African elephant, South African Journal of Wildlife Research 11(3):78–86, 1981. Return to text.
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    Oard, M.J., Frozen in Time: The Woolly Mammoths, the Ice Age, and the Biblical Key to Their Secrets, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2004. Return to text.
    Guthrie, Ref. 53, pp. 1–323. Return to text.
    Brown, Ref. 2, p. 12. Return to text.
    Khalke, R.D., The History of the Origin, Evolution, and Dispersal of the Late Pleistocene Mammuthus-Coelodonta faunal complex in Eurasia (Large Mammals), Mammoth Site of Hot Springs South Dakota, Inc., Hot Springs, SD, 1999. Return to text.

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