Michael Oard’s rapid ice age
In his article Where Does the Ice Age Fit? Michael Oard argues that there was only one Ice Age, and it was a rapid one. He claims that it followed the flood described in Genesis. The time from the end of the flood, to the melting of the ice, he estimated to be 700 years. He wrote:
Most creationists agree that there was one major Ice Age following the Flood. The timing of the Ice Age is quite significant, since uniformitarians claim that each ice age over the past 800,000 years lasted about 100,000 years. To estimate the time for a post-Flood Ice Age, we need to know how long the volcanism lasted and the cooling time of the oceans. Once these two mechanisms for the Ice Age wane, the ice sheets will reach a maximum and then begin to melt. So, an estimate of the time for the Ice Age can be worked out based on the available moisture for snow and the cooling time of the ocean (the primary mechanism) in a cool post-Flood climate.
I used budget equations for the cooling of the ocean and atmosphere, which are simply based on heat inputs minus heat outputs–the difference causing the change in temperatures. Since there is no way to be precise, I used minimums and maximums for the variables in the equations in order to bracket the time. The best estimate is about 500 years after the Flood to reach glacial maximum with an average ice and snow depth of about 2,300 feet (700 m) in the Northern Hemisphere and 4,000 feet (1,220 m) on Antarctica.
Once the conditions for the Ice Age ended, those ice sheets in unfavorable areas melted rapidly. Antarctica and Greenland, possessing a favorable latitude and altitude, would continue to grow during deglaciation and afterward. To calculate the melting rate for the ice sheets over North America and Eurasia, I used the energy balance over a snow cover, which gives a faster rate than the uniformitarians propose based on their models.
An energy balance equation is a straightforward and more physical method of calculating the melt rate. Using maximum and minimum values for the variable in the melt equation, I obtained a best estimate of the average melt rate along the periphery (a 400-mile [645-km] long strip) of the ice sheet in North America at about 33 feet/year (10 m/year). Such a melting rate compares favorably with current melt rates for the melting zones of Alaskan, Icelandic, and Norwegian glaciers today. At this rate, the periphery of the ice sheets melts in less than 100 years. Interior areas of ice sheets would melt more slowly, but the ice would be gone in about 200 years. The ice sheets melt so fast, catastrophic flooding would be expected, such as with the bursting of glacial Lake Missoula described later in this chapter.
Therefore, the total length of time for a post-Flood Ice Age is about 700 years. It was indeed a rapid Ice Age. This is an example of bringing back the Flood into earth history. As a result, processes that seem too slow at today’s rates were much faster in the past. The Flood was never disproved; it was arbitrarily rejected in the 1700s and 1800s by secular intellectuals in favor of slow processes over millions of years.
Oard criticizes the uniformitarians for their long ages view, but in reality Oard’s views are constrained by the assumptions of the uniformitarian James Hutton, who declared that all the rounded stones in the earth have been formed by rolling around in stream beds or on beaches at the earth’s surface. This assumption underlies Oard’s belief in Ice Ages, the chief evidence for which is the layer of unconsolidated drift, in areas supposed to have been glaciated in the Pleistocene.
Oard’s idea of a rapid ice age does not address the main problem that the Glacial Theory is meant to solve, which is, how was the unconsolidated layer of drift formed? How were all the stones and pebbles in it rounded? If a rapid Ice Age is proposed, then some method should be described for all these stones to have been rounded rapidly. Oard failed to do that. Even in the conventional glacial theory, this remains a problem, as the depth of the layer of drift averages 30 m in wide areas, and extends to more than 300 m in certain locations in central Michigan, southeastern Ontario, and New York. In the conventional view, every rounded stone in the drift layer must be rolled about at the earth’s surface, for some period of time, to have become round and smooth. In the present world, the environments where this can occur are limited. In deep water, no movement of the stones occurs; and in most rivers, the movement of the stones on the stream bed is limited. Trout fishermen who stand in the middle of rapidly flowing streams do not worry about their toes being bumped by stones being rolled along by the currents.
The problem of how all the stones in the drift could have been exposed at the surface, to be rolled by steams or by the movement of the ice above, is a very thorny one, and it is one that few have even considered; it is exacerbated if the Ice Age was a short one. Oard’s position is quite untenable.
Drumlin variation in Wayne Co., NY
In the glacial theory, ice is supposed to have flowed from the centers of former ice sheets and carved drumlins that record the flow directions of the ice. The variety in drumlin size and shape also suggests things about the rate of flow of the ice. By analogy with snowdrifts or flutes caused by currents in sandy stream beds, large, wide drumlins would indicate a slower flow than those that are highly streamlined, which point to a fast flow rate. Below is an image compiled from the United States Geological Survey data showing the variations in drumlins. Note that those at the north near the Lake Ontario shoreline are larger, wider, and more rounded than those in the center and in the south where elevation is increased.
A thoughtful study of the image would lead one to wonder, if indeed an ice sheet flowing southward formed the drumlins, how could its speed increase in the south? When ice was being pushed uphill, it could hardly move any faster than the ice at the rear that was giving it the push.
This seems to be a flaw in the glacial interpretation of the drumlins. The patterns in the drumlins seen here are much more simply explained by the streamlining action of former catastrophic currents. If the whole area shown was submerged, and there was a current flow towards the south caused by an uplift of a submerged area in the north, perhaps in the Canadian Shield, the patterns in the drumlins such as those seen above would be expected, because at higher elevations, the depth of the water would be less, and the continuity of flow would require an increase in the velocity of the stream at relatively higher elevations.
In parts of the area shown in the image there are traces of formerly large drumlins that were carved up into clusters of smaller ones, while the general outline of the previous form remains. This phenomenon is seen in many drumlin fields of the world and it also suggests fluvial action rather than ice motion. It is an effect of increased current velocity and decreasing depth of water, consistent with uplift of formerly submerged land, spilling the currents onto surrounding areas, and eventually emerging above the water.
The subglacial glacial meltwater hypothesis does not explain the variations in drumlin form shown here because in the meltwater hypothesis velocity of flow is not dependent on relative elevation, but on other conditions. Only if the drumlins were carved by water currents, during a large scale regional uplift, are patterns in drumlin form such as those in the above image explained.