Mount St Helens, photo credit: SD4ever

Book Review: Footprints in the Ash

 

Mount St Helens, photo credit: SD4ever

Cover of

It’s big, 7″ x 9″ [c. 18 x 23cm]

One of the books I got with my birthday money [in 2012] was this one by John Morris and Steven A. Austin. I was especially looking forward to reading it because I’ve heard how much evidence the Mount St. Helens explosion gave us. I’ve even heard a story of a scientist finding Jesus as his Savior and Lord following the study of this volcano (he hasn’t posted his testimony online to my knowledge).

Cover of

I’m actually going to start with a mini review of the book, Grand Canyon: A Different View.  There was a copy of that book at the retreat center my writers conference was held at a few months ago, so I stayed up late one night to check it out. It looked beautiful (all the hard covers I’ve seen from Master Books do), and had some amazing pictures. But it didn’t take long before I started noticing a very defensive tone in their writing. They were always saying things like, “although main stream science claims… we believe it happened much faster.” The tone almost sounded whiny with frustration at not being accepted.

I did not order that book for my personal library.

Mount St Helens erupting, photo credit, NASASo, just a bit concerned, I cracked open my lovely edition of the book Footprints in the Ash last week. I needn’t have worried. The style and voice of this book couldn’t have been more different. Dr. Morris and Dr. Austin ooze with confidence and excitement. They spend very little time talking about “millions of years,” and “slow and gradual geological change” and get straight to the facts.

Everything they share from their first-hand experience is backed up with amazing pictures and diagrams. I especially liked the maps showing the drainage patterns before, shortly after, and several years after the main explosion.

I’m not going to cover their evidences in detail, but here are their main points:

Stratification (rock layering) can happen very quickly (in seconds to minutes)

Canyons can erode in a few hours

Uprooted trees still often end up being buried upright, but not where and how they grew

Peat layers (like coal is made from) can form very quickly

Recovery from a disaster happens much faster than scientists predicted

One of the things I was most impressed by with this book was their awareness of the reader. This is not a book that requires you to have already accepted the authors’ claims before you can bear to read it. It would be excellent to give to a geology lover who has never considered the possibility of a world-wide catastrophe before. They’ll get the point, but not by having it stuffed down their throats. The book does end with a gently-stated call to choose eternal protection in Jesus.

You can check out more reviews at the publisher’s page.

The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
He looks on the earth, and it trembles: he touches the hills, and they smoke.
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psalm 104:31-33

PS My kids (9 and under) couldn’t care less about this book, but have really enjoyed the video Noah Justice did on Mount St. Helens.

Island muddy pond, photo credit: Christ 73

Abiogenesis, aka Spontaneous Generation

The supposed development of living organisms from nonliving matter. Also called autogenesis, spontaneous generation.
Medical Dictionary: The Free Dictionary.com

Island muddy pond, photo credit: Chris 73

Have you gotten to study about Louis Pasteur yet? Besides his work on preventing germs from spoiling your milk (Pasteurization) and immunization, he is most famous for proving that spontaneous generation is impossible. Which is why people today switched out this debunked idea for the much cooler “abiogenesis”.

What is spontaneous generation, and what do evolution and creationism have to say about it?

Spontaneous generation is the idea that life comes from non-life. From the time of the Greeks, people thought something like this must happen to make freshwater eels because they never saw any eggs.

People in the 1600s had the idea that maggots just came to life on pieces of meat from nowhere. A scientist called Francesco Redi did experiments that showed that the maggots come from the eggs that flies lay. Without flies you have no maggots.

Scientists have never seen a plant or animal come to life without a parent

Creationists say that God is the only one who never came into being since He IS, and time itself is one of God’s designs. This means that God goes infinitely backwards and forward in time (and sideways since He’s everywhere at once). So, all genealogies of living things have God at the end of the list of great, great, grandparents. Luke says this clearly about people in Luke 3:38:

Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

God is the ultimate ‘parent’ and we are all His offspring Acts 17:28:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Naturalistic Evolutionists have to say that life came from mindless non-life. They must believe in spontaneous generation. This makes evolutionists very uncomfortable, so they’ve renamed this process “abiogenic origin” [life from non-life] or abiogenesis.

Sounds so much smarter doesn’t it?

But does this idea hold water? What about this foundational understanding of the nature of the world?

All living organisms are composed of cells, and all cells arise from other cells. Biology Reference

And good luck finding any lab experiment that goes beyond a few simple bits of chemicals coming together to form a “simple” cell.
Those who desperately want to not see God our Creator find lots of little things they say could have come together to make something new. They point to experiments working with living cells and moving things around or rewriting what was already in the DNA. But there is nothing in science that comes even close to showing how some cell could come into being without anything guiding it.
A cell needs to do a lot of things, just for starters it has to:
  • process food
  • clean out poisons
  • not fall apart
  • adjust to changing conditions
  • have babies

All at the same time. All by itself.

That last one… even if by some miracle a ‘cell’ could develop all alone, do you have any idea how complicated the mechanisms are for making a copy so there is a new cell?

Because this whole idea is so impossible, evolutionists try to avoid discussions about where the first life came from altogether. Check this debate intro from Creation Today:

“[The guy on the evolution side] defended the evolution worldview and even admitted that he pretended to believe in God to avoid answering the question of abiogenesis…. It took until near the end of the debate for him to admit he really was an atheist. We believe that his invention of a god for that evening was purely to avoid the issue of where life came from as he stated several times he was just discussing common descent and that abiotic origin was not evolution.”

That’s because it didn’t happen that way!!!

God is so great, so smart that He made even the ‘simplest’ living things so complicated no one could miss that they were created.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:24,25

More on this topic: The Miller Urey Experiment: Proof for What?

Newton fractal, image credit: Solkoll

Laws of Physics

Newton fractal, image credit: Solkoll

[First published in May, 2012]

Why can we describe the world with “laws”?

Equations of Motion

“There are four major concepts in science: facts, hypotheses, laws, and theories,” Coppinger told Live Science. “Laws are descriptions — often mathematical descriptions — of natural phenomenon; for example, Newton’s Law of Gravity or Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment. These laws simply describe the observation. Not how or why they work.”

A couple of months ago I picked up a copy of Is God a Mathematician” at a discount store because it sounded interesting. The author, Mario Livio, thinks that the Catholic church rejecting Galileo’s work proves that the Bible has nothing to say about science.

Apparently, the Church at that time believed that everything in space was perfect, so the moon couldn’t have craters even if telescopes showed them. (An idea that originated with Aristotle.) They also thought Joshua’s long day (Joshua 10) meant that the sun and moon went around the earth, so Galileo couldn’t have been right. Of course, this doesn’t begin to prove that Evolution and long ages are facts (called a Straw Man Argument), but this was just a small part of Livio’s book.E=MC2

It is very exciting to me to realize just how much God loves math and used it to set up His universe. I’m not that great at math myself, but I remember how cool it was to figure out how algebra works (I just couldn’t remember how to do it the next day!). Here’s the fist paragraph of the Amazon review of Livio’s book:

“Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that — mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true….
how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us?”

Those who refuse to admit that there is a Creator have no answer to these questions. WE DO!!

The LORD possessed me [wisdom] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. Proverbs 8:22-23

Hubble Deep Space Galaxies

Interestingly, there is one study of distant stars that ‘seems’ to have broken one of the laws of electromagnetic interaction. If you want to know what that means read this Article “for kids” and leave me a comment if you can explain it! The only thing I understand is that the way light from very distant stars is acting in the northern part of the sky is different from their southern sky cousins. There’s a good picture of this on a skeptic’s article showing the (very slight) variation in wave length.

That the constants of the universe would have one minor exception in very distant space fits what God has been telling us all along. And all I was looking for was info on how absolute these laws are!!!

Laws give God a place to hide

One more point on all of these clues in the Bible is the uncomfortable fact that God has chosen to almost always disguise Himself. God doesn’t want us to worship, serve, fear and love Him because we Must but because we Choose to. Although the Bible records a few times when God appeared to people in an unmistakable way, these times are always rare. Even then, people sometimes chose to refuse to honor God for who He is (Genesis 4:6; Daniel 5:5; Numbers 22:13+31:16).

Jesus said: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23

Earnesto Carrasco's Ark Model

Noah’s Ark Models Around the World

Earnesto Carrasco's Ark Model

For the first time in millennia, if you can make it to the middle of Kentucky in the USA, you can experience just how big the Ark God told Noah to make really was. That is, if Noah was around 6’3″ (195cm). Or, off the Atlantic Ocean, you can see a slightly smaller version assuming Noah was only about 5′ 10″ (180cm) that can really sail*.

Both of these ships are sure to blow your mind and make all the kids’ book versions look utterly silly.

But what if you don’t live near these places?

There are still quite a number of places where you can picture just how much room God told Noah to prepare for the survivors of the Wold-Wide Flood!

Perhaps even better, there’s nothing stopping you from joining the club and making your own model ark. You can even get a kit to make your own paper Answer in Genesis style version for just a few dollars.

The only thing is, depending on how small you make your model, finding such tiny animals is going to be tough. 😀
I did hear one grandpa decided to make an ark to PlayMobil scale. He had to keep it outside because it was too big to fit in his house!

You can find a basic plan for how to make your own wooden model on the Institute for Creation Research website. It’s not a project for first time wood workers, that’s for sure.

Some really cool and inspiring Models to Check Out

An internet friend of mine, Ernesto Carrasco, has been working and studying with the Institute for Creation Research for several years. A couple years ago he decided to build his own model taking advantage of all the wise people around to ask questions. He has some great pictures and description on his own blog (I borrowed one for the picture at the beginning of this article) and ICR has a nice article on what they think of his project as well.

Looks like the Akron Fossils & Science Center in Ohio has a model, too!

And then you’ll want to check out This Page which is part of the World Wide Flood site.  Just click on the modeler’s name and you will see a bunch of pictures of their ideas about what Noah’s Ark. It’s not been updated in a long time, but everything is still working at least on my laptop sized screen.

If you’ve seen an Ark Model yourself, let me know! Where was it, and what did you think about it?

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. Genesis 6:14-16

One thing you will notice is just how big the Ark really was. We don’t know what kind of wood “Gopher Wood” is talking about, since this is just the sound the Hebrew word makes.  It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with gophers! We also don’t know what kind of “pitch” or “covering” they were to coat the Ark with (there wouldn’t have been any petroleum, or very little, before the Flood). But we do know how big the Ark must have been because of the cubit dimensions (a cubit measures from the elbow to the fingertips) God gave to Noah. If Noah was the same height as an average man now, it would have been 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.  If his forearm was longer than ours, it would have been even bigger!!

All the way through the Bible we can’t help wondering about the details of places, and people and the way things actually happened.  I suppose God didn’t include more because we would need a library cart to take our Bible in to church with us!!

*Creation Ministries International has a good article on the Dutch Ark Replica as well.

 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. John 21:25

Red Goldfish in a pond: WikiCommons

How did Freshwater Creatures Survive the Flood Part 2

So, now we know that water sorts itself much like oil does on other layers of water allowing fish to survive in pockets of less salty and warmer/cooler water.

Red Goldfish in a pond: WikiCommons

What about the built-in way a fish’s body works to allow them to survive in a changed environment?

All fish have the same amount of salt in their bodies, about 0.9%. Because of osmosis, freshwater fish (where the water s 0.1% or less salt) don’t ever have to drink, the water gets sucked in through their skin, but they do have to make urine to keep all that water from popping them!

Saltwater fish have the opposite problem because ocean water is usually 3.5% salt. These fish drink all the time and their kidneys collect the salt for them to excrete (go to the bathroom). A large salmon drinks as much water as a grown-up human in a day to keep the salt from shriveling up its organs.

Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar, Taken thru glas,...

Atlantic Salmon

Moving back and forth

We know there are a number of fish that move from salt to fresh waters and back again. How do they do it? Salmon are born in freshwater streams usually far from the ocean. When they are strong enough, most salmon swim downstream until they get to the mouth of the river. Then they spend some time getting used to the saltier water before heading out into the open ocean.

This adjustment time can last from a few days up to several weeks. When it is their time to return to their home streams to lay eggs, they again spend up to a few weeks at the mouth of their river to readjust to the lack of salt. Built in directions in their DNA help them switch from pushing salt out to pushing water back out.

Eels

Juvenile american eels (Anguilla rostrata).

Juvenile american eels

American and European Eels spend their lives in the exact opposite way.  They are all born in the Sargasso Sea off the north-eastern coast of Cuba and then swim back to their proper homelands that they have never been to before. Scientists can’t explain why the American Eels don’t end up in Europe and the other way round.

I couldn’t find out if they have to hang out in the brackish, half fresh/half salt water along the coasts or not before swimming up river, but they do change from see-through to brown colored. After up to 20 years of living in freshwater rivers, the grown fish head back to the ocean to the place they were spawned to lay their own eggs and never return.

Mixed up Water

There are also a number of fish that like to live in the brackish, sort-of salty water where rivers meet the ocean. Sturgeon, Mollys, Cichlids [sick-lids], Gobys, Flounders, Puffers and many more thrive in these in between salty water environments. surviving

Freshwater Abundance

Freshwater angelfish

Freshwater angelfish

We know that many freshwater fish and saltwater fish are of similar types to each other. What’s amazing is there are actually a lot more surviving freshwater species than saltwater even with all that extra room to live in! It seems that whether a fish does well in one type of water or another has to do with which genes in their DNA are turned on to tell it what to do.

As for all the other freshwater creatures besides fish, it’s harder to find info on them.

I did find an interesting study on the changing saltiness of Australia’s freshwater systems and what happens to the clams and things in them. The adults die off if it gets too salty for them (makes me think of all the fossil clams, etc. in the rocks today), but their eggs survive and wait for the salt levels to drop before hatching.

The same would be true for all the plants that can’t handle salt. They would  die, but their seeds would survive. It’s even possible some water plants could have even survived by floating in those low-salt pools until dropping into newly formed freshwater systems.

For more check out Dr. Walt Brown’s page on freshwater fish survival

Remember, there’s also a lot of evidence that a bunch of salt first got to the surface during the Flood itself. The ocean Adam and Eve knew could have had far less salt in the first place. Creatures that stayed in the oceans would have gradually adapted to their new, saltier environment as the salt dissolved into their water.

Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? Job 12:8,9

Sites I used to build this post:

Salt Water in Freshwater Aquariums (it mentions Cichlids specifically near the end)

Christian Answers: How did Fish Survive the Flood?

PDF Study of increasing Salinity of Australian Freshwater Ecosystems (this is the one with clams, etc on page 6)

Atlantic Salmon Trust

American Eels arrive on Staten Island

Aquarium Brackish Water Fish

eHow Brackish Water Fish

PDF Creation.com How did Fresh and Saltwater Fish survive the Flood?

Freshwater Fish More Diverse and Older than Saltwater Fish

Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish Related

Wikipedia Worldwide list of Brackish Water Habitats

Eye-Crossing Evolutionary Study of Fish Gene Expression and Salt Adaptability

Lake Malawi fish

How did Freshwater Creatures survive the Flood? Part 1

Lake Malawi fish

The Flood of Noah’s Day practically destroyed the surface of the whole earth

God knew if Noah didn’t build an ark, every land animal would have gone extinct.

But what about the animals that couldn’t live on the ark?

Fish and other water creatures

First we’ll look at what they need to stay alive.  They need

  • oxygen
  • a way to balance the salt and water levels in their bodies
  • clean enough water that their gills don’t clog up
  • and a steady temperature

A world-wide Flood with lots of magma and superheated water would mess all of these things up, so how did the fish we see around the world survive it?

Shell conglomerate rockIf you’ve ever found a fossil in your garden or on a walk, you know that there are billions of sea creatures that did die. The whole earth is covered with them. Just like most of the land animals didn’t make it through the Flood year, most of the water creatures were killed and many turned to stone as a memorial to God’s judgment of people’s sin.

But enough survived to allow both the oceans and rivers to fill up with life again. So some had to survive.

Here are some of the ways we know of that God could protect some of these creatures during the Flood.

Water doesn’t always work the same way

It is sorted into layers depending on what is in it and how warm it is. Cold water sinks (until it freezes), and so does saltier water.  So, if a section of water is warmer, or lower-salt, it floats in layers above the rest of the water. Wind also will pull this warmer, less salty water out of the way allowing deeper, cooler water to rise. There is a deep layer of water that flows off of the Antarctic coast that is less salty than the water above it, but sinks because it is cooler.

Mouths of the Amazon River- NASA

Mouths of the Amazon River- NASA

Today there are some very interesting areas where salt and fresh, cool and warm waters mix (or rather don’t mix) and make a very complex layering, swirling water system.

The Amazon River is one of these places. There is so much fresh water flowing out of the Amazon that the surface of the ocean beyond its mouth is less salty for more than 100 miles [160 km]!

Trapped areas of water can be quite different from the open ocean as well. The Black Sea is unusual with the water near the surface being only about half as salty as regular sea water, but with deep water areas that are cooler and saltier. They have found a river running along the bottom of the Black Sea from the Mediterranean that is so much denser that is flows down like a waterfall at one point!

Was the Ocean that Salty to Begin With?

Something people almost never consider is how salty the original ocean would have been. There is exciting science showing much of the salt on earth came from deep underground like magma. The first ocean might have been a lot less salty before the Flood and only changed to close to today’s levels as the water picked salt up from the land and carried it down.

We also know that during the Flood there were pockets of water that didn’t get swirled around so badly. For example, Ayer’s Rock in Australia is at the bottom of one of these basins. This area would have protected some water animals from being swirled away.

Good Guesses

We can’t know exactly how God protected the kinds of sea creatures that are still alive today because we weren’t there and He didn’t tell us. But we know this: God cares for His creation. He is sad when our sin makes the world a painful and deadly place for His creatures.

The fossil record shows us that many of the varieties of all animals God originally created are not alive today. We also know that when Jesus comes back to earth as King, He is going to restore the waters to great fruitfulness. What a glorious time that will be!

Here’s an experiment you can do to see how this all works:  Home School Science Press: Saltwater and Heat Convection

Lear more about the creatures themselves in How did Freshwater Creatures survive the Flood? Part 2

Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.  And it shall come to pass, that every thing that lives, which moves, where ever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live where the river comes.  And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. Ezekiel 47:8-10 

Web pages I used to build this post:

Institute for Creation Research How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood? 

Water Encyclopedia Ocean Currents (very cool, long page)

Undersea river Discovery Hydro International

Dracorex: A Dragon the Scientists will admit to!

Dracorex at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

Dracorex at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

[First published Aug. 2012] The other week I was watching a video of Eric Hovind and Paul Taylor from Creation Today visiting the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Right near the end I saw something that blew my mind. At first I thought it was some kind of joke or mythology-as-science prank from the Museum.

Dracorex - 01

Dracorex

They had a dragon’s skeleton on display in the dinosaur department!  How could they allow such a thing in a Museum that claims these creatures died out millions of years ago? Well, they haven’t dropped the millions of years idea, but they did call this thing Dracorex Hogwartsia the “Dragon King from Hogwarts”.

First I’ll give you the statistics I found on this very real, dead animal.  Back in 2003 three friends were out digging in the South Dakota section of the famous Hell Creek formation when one of them spotted a large skull sticking out a bit.  After they dug it up, still almost covered in rock, they decided to donate it. One guy’s daughter had enjoyed the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, so they sent it there.

English: Dragon head on top of a grille, collé...

Dragon head, France

The Museum was a great place to give it to because they do fossil cleaning and other restoration work right on site where kids can watch the scientists at work.  At first the Museum’s staff wasn’t too excited about their new assignment.  They even figured the amateur fossil hounds might be wasting their time with cow bones!  But it wasn’t long before they realized they had a special find on their hands.

The first example of any animal we hadn’t yet written up in modern science gets a specific name.  It is known as the “Holotype.”  This means even if we find better, more complete, or more typical examples, the first one will always be special.  This skull of Dracorex is the holotype for its kind.

The ICM example was found with only most of the skull (and one of its lower teeth) along with 4 vertebrae from near but not right next to the skull. You wouldn’t realize that’s all we have from the display at the Museum, because they have recreated a whole skeleton.

Scientists often do this because it’s very rare to find anything like a complete set of bones together.  So they use their imaginations and common sense based on other fossils and known animal types. I don’t really mind, it just would have been really cool if they could have found wings for this thing!  No, I don’t really believe in four legged dinosaurs with shoulder wings, too, but the idea is fun and makes as much sense as some of the ideas scientists come up with (like feathered dinosaurs).

Sketch of a pachycephalosaur of uncertain syst...

Sketch of a pachycephalosaur

Some scientists are convinced that this particular animal was just a young pachycephalosaur that hadn’t grown its dome yet.   But the “oldest” (which actually means farthest down) we’ve found already had domes.  So, maybe Evolution had decided to drop the dome because it wasn’t useful any more?

How ’bout, all these guys were alive together and got buried in a major watery catastrophe?  I bet that’s much less confusing than the pretzels they have to force their brains into!

Turns out Draco with its vertebrae gives us the best evidence yet that any of these dinosaurs liked to violently bang into each other.  At the same time they can tell the bones were just about fused like a grownup’s, so there goes the young pachycephalosaur idea!

Psalm 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Isaiah 51:9  Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

For more info check out Creation International Ministries: Dracorex—the dinosaur that looks like a dragon

I had a lot of fun finding artistic representations of similar creatures to add to this post.  These pictures are from around the world and the art dates back sometimes hundreds of years.

Koocheekoo

Detail of dragon ring, Eze, France

Schwarz Weiss

Fresco of St. George with the dragon inside the Aarhus Cathedral

Three or four toe dragon at a former private garden in Shanghai, China

Three or four toe dragon at a former private garden in Shanghai, China

Mathiasrex

Duchy of Czersk coat of arms

Lara Eakins

Not So Old Dragon!

Sumerian Cylinder Seal, Flickr, Steve Harris

God Says Earth Spins like a…. Seal?

No, not the animal, but a seal to press into clay. Check it out:

Sumerian Cylinder Seal, Flickr, Steve Harris

Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. Job 38:12-14

If you read these verses in other versions, you’ll read something quite different. They say the earth was changed like clay under a seal. But King James’ translators tried to be super honest with the Hebrew even if something seemed odd. They just translated each word into English as best they could and left us to puzzle why God would say things the way he did.

Let’s see what we can solve using modern archaeology:

Mesopotamian Cylinder Seals:

Ancient Mesopotamians.com says: Cylinder seals, small stone cylinders covered with a design were the oldest form of art in Mesopotamia. Cylinder seals were used as ownership stamps for the people. They were also used as jewellery or magical amulets. Cylinder seals were related with the cuneiform system of writing because they were used to authenticate cuneiform documents.

These seals differ in sizes, designs and shapes. It was from the 3rd millennium BC that they began to be prevalent. They were used extensively by the government officials in various occasions such as sealing the closure of the door of a storeroom, confirmation of receipt etc. Cylinders were used as signatures in contracts and other documents.

Cool, huh?

How does this fit our verses? Verses 12 and 13 are easy enough; God is talking about the morning and how bad guys can’t hide once the sun comes up. Then He says, “It is turned as clay to the seal”. What is “it”? Not the earth, but the morning. The morning is compared to clay getting stamped by one of these cylinder seals.

“Morning” isn’t a thing like the sun or moon. It’s the name we have for the time of day when sunlight first starts shining onto us. When we put verse 14 together, it sure looks like God is talking about the atmosphere. “And they stand as a garment makes a lot of sense when you think of how the air wraps around the earth like a skin or clothes.

But what could God be talking about with “it” being turned or pressed like clay in one of those seals? I decided to check around to see if the atmosphere changes shape when morning comes. Here’s what NASA has to say about it:

Since air is gaseous, it is compressible. This means that the air pressure nearer the surface of the Earth is greater than the air pressure in the stratosphere. . . .

The page goes on and on about how temperature affects an airplane’s flying power. Air pressure also messes with the instruments telling pilots how high they are above sea level. Temperature gets higher every morning.

It isn’t easy to find out if the whole atmosphere changes shape; most people just want to talk about its “average height”. But, I kept looking and check out what I found:

Federation of American Scientists: Understanding the Atmosphere: The tropopause is a thin zone of transition between the troposphere [where we live] and the stratosphere. Obviously, the tropopause height varies directly with the troposphere thickness and depends largely on geographical location, season, and other factors.

Could the tropopause change height in the morning? I found a super eye-crossing paper saying, yes it does. About an hour after sunrise, the height starts changing. This study didn’t come out until the end of 2008AD, but God told us it happened 1,000s of years ago.

Once more we see God knows what He’s talking about. Our job is to remember how smart He is and watch for ways to check it out.

BTW, there’s one cylinder scroll creationists find extra interesting. You can read more about it on Creation Ministries International: Mesopotamian monsters in Paris

Long necked creature seal, Louvre, wikimedia

“Lions”?!!! Are you sure?

open Bible

Science in the Bible: God Hides Himself

open Bible

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.  Isaiah 45:15

Playing Hide & Seek (Sun & Clouds)

If you’ve watched the movie Expelled, you will remember that right near the end Stein talks to Richard Dawkins, one of the men that really wants you to not believe in God or at least start to hate Him. Stein asked Dawkins something about what he would say to God if he ever met Him. Dawkins said,

“Bertrand Russell had that point put to him, and he said something like: sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?”

Sun Rays

Well, as you can see, Isaiah noticed this same aspect of God’s character. So, what’s going on and what should those of us who love and know God through His Son Jesus do about it?

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

If you read the verses around Isaiah 45:15, you will see that the people God was hiding Himself from wanted to worship idols. They didn’t want to know or worship the God who had created them.

Romans chapter 1 seems to contradict the Isaiah passage where it says,

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Romans 1:19,20

But if you keep reading, you will see what is really going on:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own Trusthearts,…Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:….
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;…Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding,

I’ve taken out all the really disgusting stuff these people get into, but notice what happens to people who knowingly refuse to glorify God or be grateful to Him for all He has given them:

  • Their thinking becomes empty and meaningless
  • Although they claim to have great wisdom, they are actually fools [Greek: Morons]
  • They exchange God’s glory for the image of mankind and animals
  • They follow the disgusting desires that were already in their hearts
  • They exchange the truth for a lie
  • They worship the creation instead of the Creator
  • God gives them over to shameful passions
  • They didn’t want to know God so He turns them over to an unapproved [base metal] mind
  • Their words and actions show that they care only about themselves

Why would God go out of His way to do something miraculous in order to prove He is really there? Even if God spoke to them out loud and made the ground shake, they would find some way to deny the truth. It isn’t evidence they need in order to see God, it is a new, humble heart.

There will come a time when God won’t hide Himself any more, but then it will be too late:

gavelWe shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Romans 14:10b-12

Every single being in the universe will bend the knee and admit that God is the Ruler.

Now, what shall we do since all this is true?  Here’s the very next verse:

So we should stop judging each other. Let’s decide not to do anything that will cause a problem for a brother or sister or hurt their faith. Romans 14:13 Easy-to-read Version

and also this verse at the end of a long description of such people:

Help those who have doubts. Rescue those who are living in danger of hell’s fire. here are others you should treat with mercy, but be very careful that their filthy lives don’t rub off on you.  Jude 22,23 EtrV

We also need to take this command very seriously:

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.  II Thessalonians 3:1,2

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  II Timothy 2:25,26

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

For more check out these articles:

Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: An Atheist Says There Is No Evidence For God

Proof of God Conference 2012

Answers in Genesis: “Does God Exist?”

Sun Rays, WikiMedia

Light before the Sun

Sun Rays, WikiMedia

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1:3

There are some Christians who don’t believe that God meant Genesis chapters 1 and 2 actually happened as God tells us. They believe that God was just writing beautiful poetry to express His Evolutionary creation.

One of the reasons some say the days of creation couldn’t have happened the way God tells us is because light was created on Day One, but the sun wasn’t created until Day Four. They can’t believe that God would be able to produce light without a natural source.

But is this the only time God talks about light without sun or fire?

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: Exodus 13:21

This was no ordinary fire. There was nothing under it that was being burned up. After the Tabernacle was put up, the pillar spent all its time right above the Tabernacle, but it was never harmed (Exodus 40:38).

Pen and Ink drawing Moses and 10 CommandmentsAnd it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses [knew] not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. Exodus 34:29

This verse tells us a very interesting thing about what happens to people when they spend time around God. Their exposed skin glows! Later in the chapter Moses tells how he covered his face so he wouldn’t scare the people around and it took some time (days or even weeks) for his skin to get back to normal.

There are people who think this probably happened with Adam and Eve before the Fall as well. My dad believes this, and so do the people making this movie (at least that’s what it looks like in the preview). Either way, we know people can shine without the sun, just from being near God.

As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. Ezekiel 1:28

God Himself glows like a rainbow. There are four verses in the Psalms that talk about God shining on His people (Ps 67:1; 80:3,7,19). Daniel prayed that God would shine on His sanctuary in chapter 9:17. If anyone still doubts that God meant to give us the idea that He glows very brightly have a look at this passage:

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. Revelation 21:23-25

Unless you are willing to say that the New Jerusalem that lasts forever is just a beautiful poem trying to describe what God actually meant, this is plain as day. Only a small, weak god would need to first create a sun before it could make light. Just like only a small, weak god would have to use something so painful and wasteful as Evolution to make the world we see around us.

Thank God He is actually great and mighty. His power is without limits. All Jesus had to do was speak the word and it was. Light, land, life are all perfectly planned from His mind straight to being real around and in us!

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.  For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. Deuteronomy 32:39,40