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The bones, tusks, and especially carcasses of millions of woolly mammoths frozen in the tundra of Siberia have excited the imaginations of children and scientists for hundreds of years. Why would the woolly mammoth and many other mammals even want to live in northern Siberia, as well as Alaska and the Yukon Territory? What would they eat in the snowy tundra? Where could they have found enough water to drink? Mammoths are like elephants, which require hundreds of pounds of food and many gallons of water daily. As if the mystery isn’t deep enough, it appears that although they lived well for a time, they suddenly went extinct along with dozens of other large mammals and birds from all continents.
When we examine woolly mammoth carcasses, the mysteries multiply. Some carcasses and skeletons have been found in a general standing position. It is known from the character of the blood in the carcasses that three woolly mammoths and two woolly rhinos suffocated. Some carcasses have broken bones. Why should this be? Finally, there is the ever-persistent problem of how millions of woolly mammoths and other mammals are forced into the rock-hard permafrost to remain frozen in time to this day.
It is indeed strange that the mammoth and its cohorts lived in Siberia during the Ice Age but died out at the end of the Ice Age, when living conditions were supposedly improving! Why?
The Ice Age itself is a major mystery. What could have triggered the Ice Age, especially when it occurred not that long ago? In fact, it is the last major geological event on the planet, and yet scientists understand little of its cause. And also intriguing, will we experience another ice age in the near future, as most scientists expect?
If that is not all, there were many huge lakes and rivers in now desert or semiarid regions of the earth during the Ice Age. Furthermore, it was typical that animals, plants, and other organisms that prefer cold climates lived alongside organisms that preferred warm climates. These are called disharmonious associations, of which mainstream scientists have no explanation.
Why are there so many mysteries of the recent past? Could it be that mainstream scientists have been looking in the wrong direction for their answers? Is the problem with their assumptions about the past? If they cannot explain such major geological events of the recent past, namely the Ice Age, why should we trust evolutionary/uniformitarian scientists with the solution to events older than the Ice Age?
As an atmospheric scientist, these many questions sparked my interest. After studying meteorology, climatology, and other disciplines of the earth sciences since the 1960s, I developed a theory of the Ice Age based on the Genesis flood.1 This was a unique, fast-acting Ice Age of about 700 years in duration. It is from the background of this unique Ice Age that the answers to the woolly mammoth mysteries find a viable explanation. In other words, I put on my Flood “glasses” to examine the data of science, instead of viewing the world with the “glasses” of slow processes over millions of years, which is the uniformitarian model. I believe the biblical perspective is the key to solving these mysteries, some of which have plagued scientists for over 200 years!
I also found that another key for unlocking these mysteries of the recent past is the short time scale of Scripture from Genesis 1–11. Evolutionary scientists believe one ice age takes 100,000 years and that there were about 30 regularly repeating ice ages in the past few million years. I discovered that by telescoping certain events related to these mysteries, the Ice Age takes only hundreds of years. Time is not a side issue; the short time scale of Scripture is crucial to solving mysteries of the past.
This book will delve into these questions and mysteries. We will first discuss themany mysteries of the woolly mammoths and the Ice Age. Second, we will go into the many theories and ideas that have attempted to explain these mysteries. I will then develop the unique Ice Age from the climatic consequences of the Genesis flood. Fourth, we are then in a position to provide reasonable solutions to the many mammoth problems.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.