Question: How does the biblical scenario of a young earth / universe deal with scientific data showing the earth has experienced 5 major Ice Ages, including our current time Quaternary Ice Age beginning 2 1/2 million years ago?
According to the Bible, glaciers would have followed the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day, around 4,500 years ago. Because the Flood was due in large part to the eruption of super-heated water from beneath the earth’s crust, in addition to torrential rainfall, the floodwaters would have been very warm.
Gen. 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Current scientific models depicting multiple Ice Ages (extending back in time millions of years) are based upon assumptions, not observable, measurable scientific fact. The most critical assumption is that the relation between temperature and precipitation has remained relatively constant throughout earth’s history. Consequently, the past is measured by what can only be observed in the present.
Not only is such an assumption un-provable, there is much evidence to contradict it.[i] Consider the glacier evidence at the Yosemite National park, for example. The evidence shows that glaciers once covered the Yosemite valley to a depth of 3,00 feet. Recent computer simulations demonstrate that “Glaciers thousands of feet thick could have readily developed in hundreds of years following the Genesis Flood.”[ii]
The book of Job, likely the most ancient book of the Bible, contains recorded memories of the Ice Age following the Flood:
Job 38:29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?
Likewise, a man named Peleg (translated: “division”), one of Noah’s great-great grandsons, is noted in biblical history as from the generation that witnessed the conclusion of the post-Flood Ice Age:
Gen. 10:25 Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided…
This “division” of the earth recalls a significant geological event, probably the recession of the vast ice sheets, and the rising sea levels caused by the melting ice, that “divided” the global landscape into the continents, as we now know them.
Scientifically, millions of years—even hundreds of thousands of years—are not required to create the multiple ice layers scientists point to as evidence of Ice Ages in the pre-human past. On the contrary, the rocks cry out in harmony with written testimony from eyewitnesses that a great Ice Age covered much of the earth following Noah’s Flood. This created land routes over which Noah’s descendants could populate the earth. As the Ice Age ended, people groups were left stranded on the seven continents.
The evidence is there for all to see, but people who trust scientists more than God’s Word “deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed” (2Pet. 3:5b-6).