How did humans get to North and South America? Well, not surprisingly, if you ask a creationist and an evolutionist, you’ll get two different answers, often due to the supposed timing of events. You see, if you start with the idea of hundreds of thousands of years of human history, you will reach very different conclusions about human migration than if you start with a biblical perspective. According to a biblical timeline, mankind started their migration after the events of the Tower of Babel around 4,200 years ago.
For years it’s been believed that humans migrated into North America and farther into South America through an ice-free corridor in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, during the period called the Ice Age. Creationists and evolutionists have agreed that this is a likely scenario. Of course, we differ on the timing because of our different starting points. Well, this difference in timing is highlighted in new research from a team of Canadian, Danish, and American scientists.
According to their new research, such a migration “would have been impossible, as there wasn’t enough food and vegetation growing in the corridor to support humans until long after people were living south of the ice sheets.” Essentially, they believe humans were already in the Americas before the ice sheet opened up to be able to allow them to pass through. So how did they get into America? Well, some archaeologists “have argued it’s more likely that early North Americans travelled south via the Pacific coast.” This coastal route actually fits well with the biblical creation view and has been suggested by creationists, because the warmer oceans of the biblical model would’ve kept the coast free of ice, allowing for much easier travel.
So is it “impossible” that people travelled through an ice-free corridor to reach the Americas? Not in a biblical view. Creationists have a different timeline for the event of the Ice Age and for human migration. We also have a different cause for the Ice Age—a global Flood that, due to catastrophic geologic and volcanic activity, would’ve produced warm oceans and cool landmasses. The result would be plenty of precipitation in the form of snow that formed glaciers and caused the Ice Age. Creation researcher Michael J. Oard writes in his book Frozen in Time, “Within the post-Flood Ice Age model, the ice-free corridor along the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains would not be nearly as cold in the winter due to downslope chinook winds.” He argues that this corridor was open early in the Ice Age, allowing humans and animals to migrate through, and only closed later, toward the end of the Ice Age.
Creationists and evolutionists both develop models of what might have happened in the past based on their different starting points. These models are subject to change as new information is revealed, but, as creationists, our starting point does not change because God’s Word does not change. Now, it should be pointed out that the secular starting point also doesn’t change—secularists refuse to give up the millions of years and biological evolution, despite direct contradictions and the lack of evidence. Ultimately it’s not a battle over the evidence but a battle over two different starting points—a clash of worldviews.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.