Thursday, August 02, 2007
Why Were Ancient Bugs So Big and Why Did the Patriarchs Live So Long?
The Creationist hypothesis has been that before the flood, the earth was very different. And so was the atmosphere. There have been many speculations about exactly how it was different, and what atmospheric/geologic structures made it this way. One of them is that pre-flood, the earth had a high concentration of oxygen and a much higher air pressure. Many creationists think that the reason hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be effective is because it simulates pre-flood conditions (Baby Jessica was treated in this manner, and this can be used as a treatment for diabetic ulcers). I have heard that it was specifically the oxygen therapy that saved her foot from being amputated, but cannot find a reliable source for it. One creationist, for instance, invented a small hyperbaric biosphere chamber. You can see a summary of research results here and here, though I don't know of anyplace where these have been published. Basically, things grew bigger and lived longer.
This idea is now receiving confirmation from this recent study (lay overview here). The basics is that:
The x-ray scans revealed that as beetles become larger, tracheae take up proportionally more room in their bodies because they need to be longer and wider to deliver enough oxygen. This, in turn, inhibits growth by crowding other organs.
The tracheae in the larger beetles took up 20 percent more room than in smaller beetles.
The area where the body and legs meet is particularly limiting, because that opening can only get so big, Harrison noted.
In the smallest beetle, tracheae take up 2 percent of the region, compared with 18 percent in the largest.
Using that information, Harrison estimated that the maximum beetle size under current oxygen levels would be about six inches (15 centimeters).
That coincides roughly with the largest known living beetle, the Titanic longhorn.
So, could the change in oxygen levels, pressure, and other factors account for both the size of insects and increased life span of humans? This is definitely an area open to further Creation research.
Hat Tip to GlobeLens for alerting me to the research.
And if there were environmental reasons for it, would not everybody have had exceptionally long lives?
I've considered it, but I don't know of any reason to doubt the ages. Even if one were to agree 100% with evolution, I don't see why evolution requires specific lifespans in history.
"And if there were environmental reasons for it, would not everybody have had exceptionally long lives?"
Yes. I (and all Creationists I know) think that this was the case.
That the patriarchs lived a long time? Do you not consider historical records evidence of historical events?
Also, the Bible is not the only historical source that relates pre-flood longevity.
If you're interested, you might check out my Creation research papers: