Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Debunking Creationist Myths About Woolly Mammoths

I got involved in a debate with a creationist on a site called "Why Won't God Heal Amputees". He brought up Woolly Mammoths and the flood, and cited Answers in Genesis. The Following Questions come from an article at Answers in Genesis, while the answers come from an article at the National Center for Science Education.

How could the animals have endured the extremely cold winters? What would they eat?

William R. Farrand (1961) has investigated claims like these, and laid many of the exaggerations to rest. In particular, he proves that these animals were arctic animals, and he proves that the Berezovka mammoth was really rather putrified. He gives a chart of the plants found in the stomach of the Berezovka mammoth: they are all arctic plants like conifers, tundra grasses, and sedges. The mammoths had a thick insulating underwool beneath their shaggy coat of hair to shield them from the arctic cold. Ice age cave artists painted pictures of mammoths in their caves, a fact that should settle once and for all that the mammoths were arctic creatures.

Most puzzling of all is how did the mammoths and their companions die en masse and how could they have become encased in the permafrost?

The cold Siberian rivers could easily wash carcasses of the mammoths to the river deltas during the spring thaw. I'm sure there were thousands of spring thaws which could cause this. But it should be noted that there is really very little frozen mammoth flesh lying around in Siberia. Farrand points out how only 39 mammoths have been found with some of their flesh preserved; of these, only four have been found more or less intact, including the Berezovka mammoth.

Strangely, scientists investigating three woolly mammoths and two woolly rhinos, including the Beresovka mammoth, found they all died by suffocation. For a live animal to die of suffocation, it had to be buried rapidly or drowned.

Here is some additional evidence that a literal Flood of Noah could not have deposited these mammoth remains:
Farrand points out that we find no other species of frozen animals in Siberia except mammoths and wooly rhinoceri. Since these animals were so big and clumsy, they had trouble crossing crevices in the earth's surface, just as modern elephants do. This evidence fits well with the theory that mammoths fell off cliffs and were killed, fell into holes, were buried in landslides, or were caught and buried in ways that more mobile animals like horses and bison were able to avoid. Yet, if the Flood of Noah were literal history, we would expect to find many different species of frozen animals, not just the mammoth and wooly rhinoceros. Also, the radiocarbon dates taken from various frozen mammoth remains span the time period from 11,450 to 39,000 years before the present, and I dare say, 27,000 years is a little long for Noah's Flood. (Click here to read an article about the accuracy of radiocarbon dating).

Farrand shows that the Berezovka mammoth took several days to freeze. Predators had had a chance to mutilate it before this happened. The excavators found the stench of the partially rotted Berezovka mammoth unbearable; even the earth in which it was buried stank. Histological studies of the flesh showed "deep penetrating chemical alterations as the result of very slow decay."


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the debates and thoroughly enjoyed reading and studying both sides of the issue. I find it ignominies when they turn personal. One thing that always stands out is that few on either side of the issues will ever admit to their own problems that exist within their pet theories. No form of the creationist arguments or the evolution arguments have been debunked and are not likely to be so. Too much time has passed, too many unknowns remain and historical science remains theoretical at its best. LOL, we have a difficult enough time managing a crime scene in the here and now! Dr. Francis Collins offers much good insight on this reality.

Romeo Morningwood said...

Awesome. I still can't believe that we debate these issues in the 21st Century but as Homer says, what are ya gonna do.

I deeply appreciate your attention to detail. I have learned a great deal here and look forward to your continued crusade.

Great work.

Anonymous said...

Great blog, this was bookmarked instantly.

You are propably aware fo AIG's new "peer-reviewed science journal" Answers Research Journal. I found this sweet piece in "Adaptive Mutation and the E. coli ebg Operon" section of Proceedings of the Microbe Forum, June 2007

"Mutations in the ebg system are clearly not an example of evolution but mutation and natural selection allowing for adaptation to the environment."

Link to the article

So...that's basicly "evolution is not evolution".

I was expecting them to bend at some point under the weight of the evidence but that's just plain hilarious

Anonymous said...

Nice Mr. Anon!

I'm planning on typing up an article about creationist tactics sometime soon, and one of them is going to be the attempt to redefine evolution.

Thanks bro!


Erica said...

I cannot believe that there are still such fools in the world that believe in evolution. What about the ozone layer (O3), without that, life could not have been created:
Atmosphere with oxygen => No amino acids => No life possible!
Atmosphere without oxygen => No ozone => No life possible!
You must be a complete fool to think life started through evolution!
To create any type of life you need amino acids. Hey how about this: if scientist cannot create life in a laboratory, how can nature? Scientists cannot even the smallest trace of life!
Ha, you must be fooling yourself! Guess what, those bacteria becoming resistant (earlier article that was stated) is still a bacteria!!!!!! It is still the same animal (or whatever you want to call it). Hey,a frog is still a frog, no matter if it is blue or green! God created everything in their kind! I am 17 years old, and you evolutionists should open your eyes!

Unknown said...

Erica, I totally agree with you 100%. Nothing cannot create something out of nothing except one. The creator of our universe Jehovah God. He created matter out of energy, Isaiah 40:26

Marx said...

Erica sorry but you are wrong.
i have a similar formula:
omniscience+ allloving + allpowerful= God
omniscience+ alloving=> no power is not God.
omniscience+ allpowerful=> no love is not God
you might br complete fool to think that God comes fron nowhere.
now serious thing:
there are billions of planets in our galaxy, and billion of billions of galaxies and our universe. some scientits think there are 10 power 500 universes. so try to find the possible amount of planets.
if there is a planet( earth) where lfe is possible, that shouldnt surprise us due to its high probability.
How can you expect scientists to create life in 50 years while it even took your God 7 long days to do it and it takes nature billions of year to do it.
rick, why did god need energy to crate matter? i think he or she could have created it just by saying " let matter appear "

Unknown said...

I know my response is a few years too late, but if the creationists got their heads out of their asses and looked around, they would know that we HAVE created amino acids, the building blocks of life, in a lab. It has been done, and it was done by running energy through an excellent approximation of the "primordial soup". This was done in 1953. That's 60 years ago. You guys are very far behind in your facts.

Unknown said...

Can you help me rebut this


AIGBusted said...

@ Adam. The assertion by aig that mutations cannot bring about new information is something I've looked at here: http://infidels.org/kiosk/article/ten-falsehoods-and-misconceptions-peddled-by-quotanswers-in-genesisquot-791.html

Also, I noticed that the article attributes the Old Testament prohibition of incest to divine authorship of the book, but in fact if you research "incest taboo" you'll find that just about every culture forbids it, for reasons well understood by evolutionary psychologists