Atheism, plants, and gas giants
Published: 3 September 2011 (GMT+10)
CMI gets questions and comments on all sorts of issues. This week we showcase some of that variety, with questions on topics from atheism to astronomy.
James G. from the United States writes:
A worldwide flood would have destroyed plant life (trees, shrubs, grasses, etc) since they cannot survive underwater for long. How was plant life re-established after the flood? Plant-eating animals released from the Ark would have found nothing to eat. I understand how animal life was saved on the Ark, but what about plant life? Please have a botanist on your staff respond, if possible. I am a retired Forester/Range Conservationist and have been confronted with this question many times.
CMI’s Lita Cosner responds:
Thank you for your email. I recommend the article How did fish and plants survive the Genesis Flood? One of the co-authors is a plant scientist (Dr Don Batten), as per your email.
It is very probable that various kinds of grains and seeds were brought on the Ark for food; a substantial portion of the Ark was probably used for storing various foods, and grains in particular have a long shelf life if stored away from moisture. The animals did not leave the Ark until there had been time for a lot of plant life to re-establish, so herbivores would have survived on these food sources till then. Dried fruits, etc, would have also been possible, and while we are not told specifically, it would not be surprising if the seeds of various cultivated crops had been taken aboard as well with the intention of planting them after the Flood (of course, we do not know how far along cultivation would have progressed by that time, but we shouldn’t underestimate the intelligence and abilities of ancient people). Especially in the relative absence of competition for soil nutrients, sunlight, etc., these plants could have grown and multiplied very quickly.
It is true that most plants and trees cannot survive being submerged for a long time; even the plant life that could survive underwater was probably uprooted and destroyed by the violence of the Flood. But seeds and plant matter would have been able to survive outside the Ark. Seeds drifting in mats of plant matter (or inside the rotting carcasses of herbivores, even) could have survived for the duration of the Flood, and sprouted afterwards. Some trees, including those which would provide appropriate sources of food for many herbivorous animals, grow very quickly. It would not take long for grasses to overtake the land as well. Another one of our plant scientists, Dr David Catchpoole, co-authored an article very relevant to that question of the speed of recolonization. See After devastation … the recovery—also, if you go to our media portal here on the web, then go to “DVD previews” and click ‘play’ on the preview of “Let the Earth Bring Forth…” by Dr David Catchpoole”, right up early in this very brief clip is an important quote on this same question.
Creation Ministries International
Abraham B. from the United States writes in response to Suicidal atheist converts to Christ:
Is this a joke?
Don Batten responds:
These matters are far too serious to joke about.
Have your read Atheism?
Brian G. from Australia writes in response to Saturn—the ringed planet
I would love to know how it is determined that Jupiter/Saturn are gas giants and how density is measured also escape velocity.bg
Jonathan Sarfati replies:
Dear Mr G.
That they are gas giants is accepted on all sides. We can see the different bands move across the surface, showing that it’s not solid.
Density is mass / volume, and the mass can be determined by its gravitational attraction. Escape velocity is long established physics, and easily derived from Newton’s Law of gravitation.
You will find more with a Google search of the Internet.
Chris H. from the United States writes in response to Atheism: a religion:
I stopped reading at “Evolution is an explanation of where everything came from” because that is wrong and if you don’t know the difference between evolution, abiogenesis and the big bang theory then you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.
Jonathan Sarfati responds:
If you don’t know that abiogenesis is commonly called “chemical evolution” and is part of the “General theory of evolution”, then obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about (See Natural selection cannot explain the origin of life). Your fellow evolutionist Gordy Slack rebukes your ilk for such claims:
“I think it is disingenuous to argue that the origin of life is irrelevant to evolution. It is no less relevant than the Big Bang is to physics or cosmology. Evolution should be able to explain, in theory at least, all the way back to the very first organism that could replicate itself through biological or chemical processes. And to understand that organism fully, we would simply have to know what came before it. And right now we are nowhere close.”
And your fellow evolutionary dogmatist Lawrence Lerner writes:
“What do we mean by evolution, and what is its place in the sciences? The universe is a dynamic place at every scale of space and time. Almost all science is the study of the evolution of one system or another — systems as large as the universe itself or as small as a neutrino; systems whose time scales are measured in billions of years or in attoseconds.
“Thus, evolution is an indispensable concept across all the sciences. But biological evolution in particular has come to occupy a peculiar position in American education.”
Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
Re: James G. from the United States questioning how plants & seeds survived the flood. Shouldn’t the fossil record show changes in plant life before & after the flood? As James rightly suggests a flood of this proportion would destroy much of the plant life & subsequent environmental pressures ‘post flood’ would promote variation using natural selection within each surviving plant kind. I find Gen 9:2–4 (For the first time, God gives permission to eat meat immediately after the flood) makes perfect sense in light of the scarcity of nutritional plant life. I’m not an expert on the fossil record but from what I have read, I’m sure it fits hand in hand with James’s point, Genesis & your explanation. James’s point may actually give Genesis impressive credibility.