The flood of Noah and its immediate aftermath is described in Genesis chapters six through nine. Those familiar with the story know that God determined to destroy every man and beast on the earth with a flood. Noah and his immediate family were the only humans to be saved from destruction. God instructed Noah to build a large boat in which his family and two of every animal kind (That’s not a typo. Two of every animal kind, not two of every kind of animal.) were to be saved. Noah built the ark, the heavens opened, the earth flooded and the earth was buried under the waters. A year later Noah opened the door and everyone ventured out into a very different earth. From the Middle Eastern mountains of Ararat man and animals spread across the world.
This raises many specific questions about how plants and animals could spread to every corner of the globe. How the animals spread from the Middle East across the European, African and Asian continents is easy to understand. Since a land bridge existed between Russia and Alaska it is easy to see how wildlife could reach the American continents. Australia is separated from the rest of the continents and poses a more difficult challenge.
In Genesis 10 the Bible tells a little bit about the dispersal of humanity but says nothing about the spread of plants and animals. The Bible says nothing about the continent of Australia. Does this prove the Bible is unreliable in guiding our understanding of the earth’s history? Of course not. No Christian believes the Bible teaches about every subject. Those who uphold the authority of the Bible believe that when the Bible does speak about a subject everything it says is accurate.
Starting with the premise that the Bible’s description of world events is accurate then an explanation can be formed that provides a reasonable means for kangaroos to hop to Australia. In Genesis 8:17 God commanded Noah to bring all the animals out of the ark, “that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth”. God intended for wildlife to spread and multiply across the entire world. He worked in the world to fill the entire globe with all manner of wildlife.
But what about the kangaroos? How did they get to Australia? Some have suggested that animals floated to Australia on large rafts of plants and trees. The flood waters would not have buried all every piece of refuse torn up during the flood. Possibly large rafts of logs and debris were floating on the oceans of the world. Such rafts would have helped transport animals to more remote places. Others have suggested that man brought animals to Australia with him when he colonized the continent. These are both plausible suggestions, but another one seems most reasonable.
The cataclysm of the flood caused significant changes in the atmosphere and the ocean waters. These changes resulted in the ice age. During the ice age huge quantities of water were trapped in the ice sheets lowering ocean levels and exposing significant land bridges. One such bridge would have extended from southeast Asia to northern Australia and provided a thoroughfare for kangaroos to hop to Australia. While this may not be what happened, it gives a plausible explanation that lines up with what the Bible teaches. The presence of kangaroos down under does not undermine the Bible. God worked through natural mechanisms to spread animals across the globe even the funny animals of Australia.
The fossil record is one of the most common objections raised against the belief in Biblical creation. The existence of countless creatures mineralized in the rock beneath our feet raises many questions. Those who believe the earth is billions of years old believe the fossils are evidence of a long progression of creatures dying out one at a time over epochs of earths’ history. A very small percentage of those animals were buried in mud and eventually became fossils.
The fossil record is used to raise two major objections against Biblical creation. The first objection is the existence of fossils in such great volume. If God created everything in six days less than ten thousand years ago, where did all the dead animals come from to form all the fossils being found today. Today the chance of something becoming a fossil is very, very small. The conditions required for fossilization don’t happen every time an animal dies. Many assume that because the conditions to form fossils are rare today, they have always been rare. Thus a very small number of the animals that have died have become fossils. The conclusion reached then is for there to be so many fossils in the earth, many animals had to die over a period of millions of years.
The second objection is the arrangement of fossils in the layers of rock. Though the classic geologic column taught in science classes can not be found as a single unit anywhere in the world, certain kinds of fossils are usually found in similar positions throughout the rock layers. Small sea creatures tend to at the bottom of the fossil layer, with fish and amphibians above them. Farther up are reptiles and mammals. At the very top are birds and hominids.
Rock layers are often believed to have bee formed over very long periods of time as the upper layer of ground is slowly covered over and compressed downward. The formation of a new upper layer of ground is thought to happen by catastrophic dust storms, volcanic eruptions or the long process of plants and animals dying and decaying. Because the process often takes a very long time, those fossils in the lower layers are believed to be much older than those in the upper layers. This general arrangement within the strata (rock layers) leads many to conclude that the deepest fossils are the most primitive because they had less time to evolve. The increase of complex creatures as the rock layers climb upward is seen as proof of animals advancing in complexity.
Once again space does not allow for a full answer on these issues, but the Bible gives sufficient evidence to offer legitimate and reasonable alternatives to the speculations of evolutionary science. Popular conception believes God because created one man and one woman and He also only created one male and female pair of every kind of animal. The Bible does not teach God only created two of each kind of animal. Genesis 1 indicates that God filled the earth with plants and animals. He filled the earth with vast numbers of animals.
The flood of Noah provides a powerful explanation for the many things found in the fossil record today. Because the flood began with the catastrophic opening of the fountains of the great deep, it is reasonable to assume those animals living in deep waters would be affected first. As the flood waters rose, those animals least able to escape would be affected next and then the more mobile until the most mobile and able were destroyed last. The sudden deluge of water that covered the earth would have created massive landslides, mud flows and currents filled with sediment and debris. The massive movement of dirt in the flood would have provided optimal conditions for the rapid formation of many layers of rock and many thousands of fossils.
The fossil record does not disprove creation. All the fossil record reveals is many thousands of dead things are buried in the layers of rock across the world. How one interprets the fossils depends on what one believes. God’s Word gives us sufficient information to explain the fossils without the need for millions of years, an increase of animal complexity or Darwin’s speculations.