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» Did Antarctica Once Have Rainforests and Dinosaurs?

The evidence can be interpreted in more than one way.

West Antarctica “90 million years ago” during the Cretaceous period once had rainforests, probably containing dinosaurs, say scientists who drilled in the area.  At that time the continent was as warm as parts of Europe are today, the researchers add. The research was led by Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) which in 2017 conducted an expedition to recover marine sediments.

The sediments were obtained from some 30 meters (100 feet) below the seafloor. When the sediments were examined in a lab, the scientists found traces of ancient soils, pollen and tree roots. They interpreted this material as evidence that the area once featured temperate rainforests and swamps, similar to what a person can find on New Zealand’s South Island in modern times.

“We have a really nice X-ray movie through the sediment core,” said AWI's Prof Karsten Gohl, who headed the expedition on Germany's Research Vessel Polarstern. “It's like we've drilled into a modern swamp environment and you're seeing the living root system, small plant particles and pollen - but this is all preserved from 90 million years ago. It's amazing.”

Models suggest the summer average temperatures would have been in the 20s C (70s F). But the scientists say the vegetation had to be pretty special because it would have had to survive three to four months of polar darkness. “Probably these plants, they had a much more effective way of shutting down for a much longer amount of time and then come back successfully," AWI's Dr Johann Klages figured. “That was quite an interesting adaptation, which is not present right now on the planet, but which can evolve.”

Professor Jane Francis, from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) which participated in the research, said their discovery was the first evidence for Cretaceous forests so close to the South Pole, which would have been just 900 km (560 miles) away. “And, yes, there probably were dinosaurs in the forests,” she said. “If you go to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, you'll find a whole range of fossils - things like hadrosaurs and sauropods, and primitive bird-like dinosaurs. The whole range of dinosaurs that lived in the rest of the world managed to get down to Antarctica during the Cretaceous.”

BAS co-author Dr Robert Larter commented: “The world was a different place in other ways that would have contributed to the climate differences at this time. In particular, the positions of continents and the patterns of ocean currents were different.”

Comment: Probably without realizing it, these scientists are making a strong case for Noah’s Flood. Dr. Larter said the world once was a different place with different positions for the continents and different patterns for ocean currents and a different climate. That’s exactly what a global deluge caused by the breaking up of the Earth’s surface would produce.

Creationist geologist, Dr. Andrew Snelling, explained what he thought scientists are really looking at when they believe they have discovered ancient forests in Antarctica. They find tree stumps, but apparently not complete trees. The stumps display roots, but the ends of the roots are missing. These root ends are broken off, revealing that the trees actually didn’t grow where they are now found buried. They must have grown elsewhere, been uprooted and transported by the same water which deposited the sediments in which they are now found buried. A catastrophic global flood can easily do that.

Snelling added that the proteins and amino acids found so well preserved in fossilized wood cells had to have accumulated very rapidly and recently, more evidence for a flood which occurred only a few thousand years ago. The evidence discovered by scientific expeditions to Antarctica looks similar to what can be found as a result of the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington. That eruption happened in the year 1980!

The AWI and BAS scientists said the plants which survived months of Antarctica darkness had to have been special. However, if the plants had grown in places where there was more sunlight, they may not have been as special as these scientists believe. The same could be said for the dinosaurs whose fossils were found there. On the other hand, we know and confess that everything created by God is special.

For great is the Lord and worthy of great praise. He is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4, EHV).

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, that is, the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13. EHV).

Reference: Jonathan Amos, “Dinosaurs walked through Antarctic rainforests,” BBC News [April 1, 2020].

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Does drinking hard water pose a health hazard?

No. In fact, hard water may have some health benefits such as helping to fill dietary needs such as for calcium and magnesium. A water softener removes these minerals and typically adds sodium.

Source: Marilyn vos Savant, “Ask Marilyn,” Parade [March 22, 2020], page 18

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About Me--Warren Krug
Decades ago I attended a so-called Lutheran university where I could have lost my faith. The science professors promoted the theory of evolution and made fun of anybody who believed in the account of creation as presented in the book of Genesis. Thanks be to God, some creationist literature and the Bible soon helped get me back on the right track. Ever since then I have taken an active interest in the creation/evolution controversy.

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