Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Humanity's Home Preparation

Skillful preparation of a residential homesite is a complex process. There are many layers of preparation sequences as a home is constructed in anticipation of owner occupancy. Many families have documented the steps of building their new home. This includes the initial search for a physical site, architectural planning, financial accountability, ground breaking, and step by step physical construction. Builders and owners check to insure all correct steps are carefully implemented. When the home is completed and the new owners take possession, there is a feeling of pride and excitement. Our family experienced the beginning to end home building process on two occasions. The building lot was initially selected. We devoted several months to observing and “supervising.” We preserved the historical process with paperwork and photography. Now that we have lived in our home many years these records compose a valuable family historical archive.

Earth, humanity’s home, preserves a record of its construction process. Our planet was not prepared for human habitation with a metaphorical snap of God’s finger. God could have created Earth with all its millions of species, thick sequences of rock layers, and a functioning atmospheric and hydrological system in one millisecond, a virtual timeless instant. He is the creator of everything, including dozens of physical constants and thousands of laws of nature. Physical constants and laws of nature join to comprise our temporal reality. He supervises the production of our world in cause and effect manifestations over the extended time frames He also created. Many believers in creation feel endorsing long time periods over which God has worked somehow diminishes God’s creative activity. This is not so! Instantaneous creation would be considered a transcendent miracle. The Creator could have worked that way. More often God works in Earth history through transformational miracles. Such miracles are not instantaneous events. Nevertheless, they manifest works of God, who created ALL things, including physical constants working hand in hand with physical cause and effect laws.

Planet Earth is currently humanity’s home. In the past 200 years geologists have discovered plentiful information about Earth’s historic building processes. Several generations of earth scientists have discovered a valuable human family historical archive revealing how the Earth has been prepared to support the current 7.5 billion person throng of human residents. Ice Ages—their advance and periodic retreat, have played a major role in the building process.

Cutting through the current politically correct vocalizations of climate change, aka global warming, is the scientific truth that the Earth has experienced numerous ups and downs of temperature and atmospheric composition from natural causes throughout its exceedingly long history. While not denying that some current warming may be related to increased CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, we counsel that a detailed look at Earth’s climate history in the last 2.8 million years (the Quaternary era) should dampen enthusiasm for the current cause célèbre of dreaded climate change in connection with nearly every current weather event. It is certainly true that many of Earth’s glaciers are melting. They have been melting ever since the Little Ice Age came to a close about 1850. More important, early glacial melting since the end of the Wisconsin glaciation event makes our present glacial melting appear almost insignificant by comparison. It is true that sea level has been rising since 1900—a total of about 8”. Historically, sea level from the Cambrian Period until today was much higher. During the greatest extent of global glaciation during the Wisconsin Ice Age of the last 100,000 years, sea level was hundreds of feet lower than today. This occurred only 20,000 years ago.

Presently we exist in what is termed an interglacial period. In the past 800,000 or 900,000 years there have been eight glacial periods during which ice covered large portions of the globe. They were separated by interglacial periods such as the one in which we presently exist. There is evidence that fully human beings likely lived in the warm climates of the previous interglacial. Their lives were difficult. Their existence was even harsher during the last extended Ice Age. The onset of civilized humanity began with the conclusion of the Wisconsin Ice Age about 12,000 years ago and continues to the present.

Our current interglacial is unusual in the history of interglacials of the past million years. Most interglacials have produced a rapid temperature spike of 5-7ºF higher than world temperatures occurring in our day. Had such a temperature spike occurred, our modern globally distributed, technologically advanced human population would be impossible. The Earth’s last glacial period from 120,000 to 12,000 years ago was one of the most intense of all known glacial periods of the past million years. It peaked at maximum ice volume about 21,000 years ago when sea levels were an incredible 410’ below the present level. 

Our current interglacial beginning about 12,000 years ago enabled significant population growth, but nothing like we have experienced from 1800 to the present when human population expanded almost eight-fold. We are historically privileged to live in an unusually stable interglacial period. No previous interglacial has ever been appropriate for the thriving of a large, human population. We envision our unique planetary home in the current stable interglacial period as a special God-ordained provision for the benefit of humanity.