Friday, March 27, 2009

Comprehensive Catechism: Worldwide Flood and Creation

Please read also the article "Not All Change is Evolution" and listen to the "Evolution vs Creation Science Audios"

The following is taken from "Death of Evolution" by Wallace Johnson, 1981


Q. How could the Ark possibly have carried all the animals necessary?

A. This question is handled at length in The Genesis Flood by Morris and Whitcomb. If we assume 17-1/2 inches for a cubit, the Ark would have been 437 feet long by 73 feet wide and 44 feet high—build like an enormous barge and almost uncapsizable. Its gross tonnage would have been 14,000 tons. It was, by far, the biggest vessel ever built until very recent times. The three decks would give a carrying capacity equal to 522 standard American railroad cars. The Genesis “kinds” would not include all species, and certainly not varieties of species. Thus, the animals on the Ark would be restricted to types or kinds. The Ark would not have carried fish or any aquatic creatures. The conclusion is reached that, at the very outside, the Ark would need to carry not more than 35,000 individual vertebrate animals. Most animals are smaller than a sheep. The young of very large animals could have been carried instead of the fully grown. Even allowing the average to be the size of a sheep, it is estimated that the 35,000 could have been fitted into 146 railroad cars. The Ark would have easily carried the animals on one deck, leaving one deck for the humans, and one deck for storage.

Q. How could Noah round up all those creatures?

A. He could not have done it. We have to acknowledge that God did the mustering. The Bible makes this clear. It says that Noah and his family went into the Ark, and that all the creatures “went in to Noah into the ark . . . And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in on the outside.” (Genesis 7:14-16).
If we wonder about kangaroos and polar bears and other far-flung animals making the journey to the Ark, we have to realize that the evidence shows the whole earth used to enjoy a fairly uniform and mild climate, with no extremes; therefore there were no specialized creatures adapted to extremes of heat or cold. There probably were no polar bears because there were no frigid zones for them. All the then existing species of animals could have lived in proximity to the Ark.

A number of competent scientists believe that the earth was probably surrounded by a transparent vapor canopy, high in the stratosphere (the waters above the firmament), and that the canopy caused a greenhouse effect on earth and gave a uniformly mild climate.

Q. How could the menagerie be managed and fed in the Ark for more than a year?

A. In the case of very large animals and carnivorous animals, the difficulty could have been avoided by having only young specimens aboard. Alternatively, God may have used mechanisms like hibernation and estivation to quiet the creatures and make constant feeding unnecessary. Morris and Whitcomb raise the interesting thought that hibernation, estivation and migration are the three methods of coping with inclement climactic conditions; but, if there existed a constantly mild climate, there would have been no reason for the existence of any of the three mechanisms before the Flood. They then suggest that it may have been on the eve of the Deluge that these abilities were first imparted to the animals. Certainly divine power could have kept the animals in a quiescent state in the Ark to minimize their feeding and other supervision. The Bible does assure us that God was directing events. It tells us, “And God remembered Noah, and all the living creatures, and all the cattle which were with him in the ark . . .” (Genesis 8:1). The Bible is not suggesting that God absentmindedly forgot, and then suddenly remembered that Noah and the Ark were still out there in the flood. The Bible passage makes sense if it means: “And God protected Noah, and all the living creatures,” etc. Apparently the Hebrew word “remember” can mean “protect.” Morris and Whitcomb tell us: “According to Hebrew usage, the primary meaning of ‘Zakar’ (remember) is ‘granting requests, protecting, delivering’ when God is the subject and persons are the object.”

Q. Where would the water come from for a worldwide deluge?

A. Under our present conditions there is not enough water in the atmosphere to sustain 40 days and nights of global rain. In fact, if it were all precipitated, it would cover the ground to a depth of less than two inches. There is compelling geologic evidence that a global flood did happen and that the highest mountains have been submerged. We cannot dodge the problem by saying that the flood never happened. Where, then, did the water come from? The vapor canopy referred to in answer to the second question would be part of the solution. Another source would be “juvenile waters,” that is, waters which are added to the oceans through volcanoes, hot springs and other vents. Even today there is at least a cubic mile of such water added to the oceans each year. The Deluge was an unprecedented upheaval with volcanic action unimaginable. This would have added vast amounts of juvenile waters to the earth’s surface.

Then, volcanic dust flung to the upper atmosphere could have provided nuclei of precipitation for the vapor canopy, whereupon its waters began raining on to the earth. In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up (submarine volcanoes?) and the flood gates of heaven were opened (vapor canopy?) and the rain fell upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights. (Genesis 7:11-12). Yet, even those sources would not suffice to cover mountains like Everest (29,000 ft.) or even Ararat (17,000 ft.). What we have to understand is that at the time of the Deluge there would not have been such high mountains for the Deluge to cover. Topography depends on the principle of “Isostasy” (equal weights). Somewhere, deep in the earth’s crust, is a datum line; and, for equilibrium, the weights above the line have to balance. Areas of high topography must be of low density, and vice versa. Before the Deluge, the amount of water was much less than now; therefore the weight of oceans could balance only relatively low mountains. “Mountains were relatively low and ocean beds relatively shallow as compared with present conditions.” (Genesis Flood, p. 268).

Even though the mountains were fairly low, yet more water was needed to submerge them, and from the oceans themselves came the greatest flooding. It is known that Europe was covered by the sea during man’s history, and even the high plateau of Iran was devastated by sea water. All the continents bear evidence of having been submerged by sea water. The great coal deposits were laid down under sea water. Geologists would explain continental inundation as due to depression of the land, and there is good reason to couple this with an accompanying elevation of the bottom of the sea as it heaved to great volcanism and earthquakes. In the Noahic cataclysm, water came down from the skies, came up from subterranean depths, and the oceans rose to engulf the land, while volcanoes and earthquakes caused colossal tidal waves which came and went around the drowned planet. Eventually, all this water had to be gotten off the land.

The Bible specifically refers to “the fountains of the great deep,” so we infer that the greatest volcanic activity was sub-oceanic. The ejected lavas and juvenile waters would leave behind them great voids in the earth’s crust, deep below the ocean beds. The weakened ocean beds could not support the vast increase in surface water and the great sediments washed down from the land. The ocean beds would sink under the burden; and correspondingly, the continental blocks would be forced upwards. This would have been the mechanism whereby the flood waters were removed from the land areas. It is recognized by geologists that nearly all the great mountain areas of the world have Pliocene and Pleistocene fossils near their summits, which means that they were uplifted recently, and essentially simultaneously. (Genesis Flood, p. 128). Geologists recognize that there have been “recent” rises of thousands of feet in mountain systems in Europe, America and Asia; and that high volcanic cones of the Pacific, Asia and eastern Africa are believed to have been built up in the recent past. It is worth mentioning that Mt. Ararat’s lava was deposited under water. It should be explained that Creationists do not accept the terms Pliocene and Pleistocene in the “millions-of-years” context; but, as designations, they refer to recent times. (Refs. The Genesis Flood; Scientific Creationism; Science of Today and the Problems of Genesis.)

Q. How did the races of man originate?

A. For races to begin, evolutionists and creationists both agree that the prerequisite is inbreeding in a small, isolated group of people. Dr. Morris, in Scientific Creationism, quotes Ralph Linton of Yale, a leading anthropologist and evolutionist, who explained in 1955: Observation of many different species has shown that the situation of small, highly inbred groups is ideal for the fixation of mutations and consequent speeding up of the evolutionary process. In general, the smaller the inbreeding group, the more significant any mutation becomes for the formation of a new variety. Dr. Morris points out that mutations are harmful, not helpful, and would most likely destroy the population before effecting any imaginary benefits. However, if we change the word “mutations” to “recessive genes,” creationists would then agree with Linton’s statement. In large populations, the population generally exhibits the characteristics of dominant genes. Only when a small group is isolated and interbreeds do the recessive genes have an
opportunity to become typical.

Apparently there is no need for slowly developing racial distinctions over long periods of time. Rather, small inbreeding groups, exhibiting recessive gene characteristics, can effect distinct physical changes quite rapidly. To produce the major racial divisions there is the question of what, in man’s early history, caused mankind to disperse into small groups. The evolutionist cannot supply an answer, but creationists have an obvious explanation. Communication is a fundamental need in a group, and communication is by language. If a large group with a common language found that its language was suddenly fragmented into various languages, communication among the various sub-groups would become impossible. The large group would have to split into smaller groups according to language. Divisions of language would achieve the prerequisite of small, self-contained groups, whose inbreeding would
produce the races.

Dr. Duane Gish has commented that when language was confused at the Tower of Babel, people would have dispersed in their lingual groups to different lands, probably in fairly small groups which would then inbreed in isolation. He suggests that God may have bestowed languages deliberately so as to marshal genetically similar individuals into the same language group. Thus, those individuals having a higher proportion of genes for Negroid features may have been given a common language, and similarly those who tended to Caucasian traits.

Q. Are we to believe that men lived for hundreds of years, as Genesis says?

A. Evidence shows there was a prehistoric period when the whole earth had a temperate climate. Many believe that this was due to a vapor canopy above the stratosphere causing a greenhouse effect. Uniform temperateness would mean no strong wind currents, no storms. Plants and animals, including representatives of today’s species, were giant-sized, and there is evidence of large stature for at least some of early mankind. It was a world vastly different from today’s world. In that pre-Flood world the Bible records human lifespans of many hundreds of years. In an article in C.R.S. Quarterly (June, 1978), Joseph C. Dillow says that a vapor canopy of magnitude sufficient to produce (during the Deluge) heavy rain for 40 days and nights would have caused a pre-Flood atmospheric pressure about double that of today, with about double today’s oxygen pressure. Higher oxygen pressure is beneficial to biological systems. In Florida, hyperbaric treatment using 2.5 atmospheres of pure oxygen has relieved effects of aging, helped treatment of strokes, improved memory and energy. Such pressurized pure oxygen is greater than the atmospheric oxygen pressure under the assumed pre-Flood canopy, but Dillow suggests that the latter, when extended over a whole lifetime, might have had similar beneficial effects in retarding senility.

Kevin C. McLeod, in C.R.S. Quarterly (March, 1981), points out that medical investigators have applied electromagnetic fields to a variety of patients with apparently beneficial effects including retarding of aging and stabilization of the genetic code, and also increased release of calcium into tissues. A relevant point is that disturbed calcium metabolism is a suspected factor in aging. With bone fractures that would not join, electromagnetic fields promoted bone growth and caused bone ends to unite and knit. On the evidence, the earth’s magnetic field is decaying exponentially. In the pre-Flood era it would have been very much stronger than now. People in that era would have enjoyed the benefits of a much greater electromagnetic field, presumably with effects on longevity. Donald W. Patten, in C.R.S. Quarterly (June, 1982), looks at the role of carbon dioxide. In laboratory experiments, an atmosphere enriched in CO2 produced beneficial effects on the blood of vertebrate animals. Also, it caused dilation of blood vessels in the brain (and skin), making more oxygen available to brain cells. There is a small gland in the brain called the hypothalamus, a gland which affects aging for the neuro-endocrine system. Increased oxygenation in brain cells reduces the activity of this gland and thus reduces its influence for aging.

Patten proposes that the pre-Flood atmosphere was very much richer in CO2 than was the atmosphere after the Flood. Why? Because cold oceans soak up much more CO2 from the atmosphere than do warm oceans. Today’s oceans average a chilly 38°F, compared with warmer pre-Flood oceans of perhaps 60°. The warmer oceans meant the pre-Flood atmosphere was much richer in CO2, which would have resulted in dilation of the blood vessels, increasing oxygen flow, and thus would have rendered the hypothalamus less active and thereby retarded the aging process. In an interesting aside Patten says that, a century ago, CO2 comprised 290 parts per million of the atmosphere. Since then, increasing burning of fossil fuels has raised the CO2 ratio to 330 p.p.m. He thinks this increase in atmospheric CO2 has some relation to recent generations’ increase in height and/or lifespan.

Fossils show that, before the Pleistocene Age, the size of mammals was 30% to 40% greater than in today’s world. This giganticism occurred worldwide. Then, with the Pleistocene, which we interpret as the post-Flood world, there occurred a declining size of animals in all parts of the world. The fossils cannot reveal whether there was also a decline in lifespans of animals, but Genesis records a decline in man’s lifespan. Both Dillow and Patten draw attention to the fairly constant lifespans of the long-lived pre-Flood patriarchs from Adam to Noah, and then to the declining ages of men after the Flood. From Noah’s son, Shem (600 years), through 17 generations to the contemporaries of Moses when 70 years became the ordinary lifetime, the lifespans plotted graphically against the generations show an exponential decline. Dillow comments that such a decay curve is common when a system in equilibrium is suddenly acted on in a way that shifts it to a new equilibrium. He says that myths could not produce such a neat mathematical result. It is most unlikely that such a curve could result from anything but an actual historical happening. The decay curve “suggests that new factors were present in the post-Flood environment.”

Oxygen, carbon dioxide, earth’s magnetic field may all have played a part in longevity and in the mystery of aging. It is all in the investigatory stage, but these factors should persuade skeptics to think hard before dismissing the Genesis ages as myths.

Q. Who was Cain’s wife?

A. This question is often asked, and sometimes in a tone that implies “Got ya’ this time.”
The answer is simple: Cain’s wife was his sister. Then comes the objection that the Bible makes no mention of other children of Adam and Eve at the time Cain killed Abel. The Bible names Cain and Abel because it recounts an event concerning them. Its silence regarding additional children cannot be interpreted to mean that there were not other children.

The Douay version of the Bible is unquestionably Catholic. In a footnote explaining Genesis 4:14, the Douay Bible says regarding Cain: His guilty conscience made him fear his own brothers and nephews; of whom, by this time, there might be a good number upon the earth; which had now endured near one hundred and thirty years; as may be gathered from Genesis 5:3, compared with Genesis 4:25, though in the compendious account given in the Scriptures, only Cain and Abel are mentioned. Another footnote in the Douay Bible explains Genesis 4:17 which refers to Cain’s wife. The footnote says: “She was a daughter of Adam, and Cain’s own sister; God dispensing with such marriages in the beginning of the world, as mankind could not otherwise be propagated.” This usually provokes a further objection that God would not permit incest. However, the Bible clearly tells us that God started the human race with one couple, Adam and Eve. Unless God intended the human race to stop after one generation, God intended brothers and sisters to marry at this stage. (For clarification, we refer the reader to the remarks by Fr. Austin Fagothey, S.J. in Right and Reason, 2nd. ed. (St. Louis: C. V. Mosby, 1959; TAN, 2000, p. 375-6). Fr. Fagothey states that whereas marriage between parent and child is absolutely against the nature law, marriage between brother and sister is not absolutely contrary to the natural law, but is under extremely stringent conditions. He states that “only God could allow it, and He would do so only if otherwise the race could not propagate.” Fr. Fagothey sums up the reason for the wrongness of brother-sister marriage by stating that it would mean “the utter ruin of the family and make the home an unlivable place.” —Publisher, 2000.) Before we express disappointment with God for allowing this, let us look at [one reason] why we regard incest as reprehensible.

We humans carry what is called “the genetic load.” This is the accumulation of bad mutations during the centuries. Fortunately for us, the genetic effect of these mutations is usually recessive. It remains latent, unless both parents carry the particular recessive gene. In that case the offspring will probably exhibit the defect. If parents are closely related there is greater risk that both will carry a matching recessive gene from the genetic load; and so, the risk of defective children is greater.

Incest increases the genetic risk, but does not necessarily mean defective children. Ancient Egyptian ruling families practiced brother-sister marriages and produced healthy kings and queens. This is mentioned by Ashley Montagu, author of Human Heredity; and he gives other examples, such as the inhabitants of the Pitcairn Islands, the Hindu community of Tengger Hills and people of many small islands. All these seem to show no ill effects. On the other hand, inbreeding among the Nanticoke Indians of Delaware produced a drooping upper eyelid; and inbreeding in the population of Martha’s Vineyard was the cause of deafness in the hill folk of New England and of considerable feeblemindedness. (Ref. Supplement to Bible Science Newsletter, April, 1975).

Now we come to the main point of our answer. Adam and Eve were bodily perfect. In the early stages of the human race there was virtually no genetic load. When Cain took his own sister as wife, both were children of Adam and Eve. There was no genetic risk to their children. Philosophically, let us add that God’s plan was wise. He started humanity with one couple; thus the whole human race are brothers and sisters. In starting us the way He did, God was fully aware that there would be no genetic risk from marriages of close relatives among the early generations.

In a high school class leaflet was distributed saying that new research on chromosomes shows that humans and chimpanzees differ surprisingly little; that the great apes have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46, that essentially every band and sub-band observed so far in man has a direct counterpart in the chimp chromosomes. The leaflet says that our common ancestor probably also had 48, but, during our evolution, two of these fused to form what is now chromosome No. 2 in humans.

Q. The question is: Is this new evidence of evolution of man?

A. The leaflet states some facts which are correct, but it adds assumptions which are only suppositions, e.g., the assumption that evolution is fact and the assumption of some hypothetical, unidentifiable “common ancestor.” We have to keep in mind that man has 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs, the chimpanzee has 48 chromosomes in 24 pairs. Regarding chromosomes of chimps and man, the late Professor Jerome Lejeune, of Paris University, was a world authority. Professor Lejeune stated that chromosomal research clearly demonstrates that the genetic differences between man and each of the three great apes are so great as to provide conclusive evidence that man did not evolve from his closest kin, the apes. There are as many chromosomal differences between man and each of the apes as there are between any one ape species and another. In Australia in 1978 Professor Lejeune stated: We now know, thanks to the work of one of my assistants, that the chimp has two chromosomes more than we have. The chimp has two chromosomes which are separated. Man has a big chromosome which is made by the joining of the analogous two chromosomes of the chimp. My interpretation is that, where Professor Lejeune mentions two chromosomes of the chimp, he is referring to two pairs. Then two pairs of ordinary chromosomes in the chimp have the equivalent of one big pair of chromosomes in man. He explained that the joining of the two chromosomes is head to head, which, until recently, had been regarded as impossible. When they are thus joined, the genetic information of the second chromosome in the chimp is read in one direction, but its fused counterpart in man is read in the reverse direction. The reading of the information in the chimp’s direction may give one sense, but, when read in the human way, it gives a different significance.

If a gene contains 1,000 or more nucleotides, and if a nucleotide directs the position of an amino acid, and if one amino acid out of position can cause biological havoc, let us imagine the effect of the reversal of a chromosome containing thousands of genes. When such immensity of genetic information can be read forwards (for a chimp) and backwards (for man) without biologically wrecking the chimp or the man, it suggests clever design by a super-intelligence.

Professor Lejeune affirmed that research since 1971 has shown that the Darwinist idea of evolution by gradual change is genetically impossible. He is definite that the only way anything could have evolved is by sudden and complete breaks. That means evolution by big jumps, so we are looking at the “hopeful monster” idea again. Having established that man, chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan are equally far apart, and none of them could have evolved into another, Lejeune concludes thus: A simplified theory might suppose that all four came from a common ancestor, through different species that were separated long ago, and that the common ancestor was not an ape at all, but some small mammal.

The scientific position is clear: Science observes man and three species of ape, and science pronounces that man could not have evolved from any ape. That is all that science can tell us. Scientists can hypothesize all sorts of things if they desire evolution. So some scientists (and some teachers) are hypothesizing that evolution of man did happen and that man and chimp have evolved along separate lines from an unknown “common ancestor.” In body structure there is some rough similarity between man and chimp, so it is not surprising that there is a considerable similarity in chromosomes. However, even if the only difference were in that fused chromosome in man, that would involve some thousands of genes of human genetic information as opposed to chimpanzee information; and that constitutes a world of difference. Lejeune reminds us that our bodies are human because the genetic information that molded our bodily material is human information. “Otherwise,” he says, “we would be flies or chimpanzees.” If you want to believe in evolution, you have to abandon evolution by gradual steps. You must believe in sudden and complete breaks. You have to accept evolution by “monsters” which (instead of dying as all monsters do) survive and launch new species; and you must believe that these “hopeful monsters” have been happening so frequently as to produce the innumerable species that have ever lived on earth.

So frequent a happening could not stop now. Your pet mare’s expected foal might be something not a foal, but a something never before seen on earth. To be consistent, you must not be surprised if, someday, your own child is not the expected baby but something other than human, never before seen on earth, and that this little monster will survive, but be unable to breed with humans. Lejeune has said that, to start a new species, there have to be at least two of these. Before your own monster can breed a new species, a second monster has to be born about the same time, one of opposite gender, with complementary reproductive organs. Evolutionists like to hypothesize back into the dim, untestable past. If you play that game, you must ask yourself: Might it not happen, just as easily, in my own suburb, in my own home, at any time? I know, and you know, that it will not happen.

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