Simon Driscoll

Lost WWII squadron proves Noah’s flood! Or not.

"Glacier Girl" was one of six P-38 Lightning fighter planes that were lost during a World War II mission in 1942. The plane was eventually found, dug out and restored to flying condition, after definitively disproving evolution, of course. "Glacier Girl" was one of six P-38 Lightning fighter planes that were lost during a World War II mission in 1942. The plane was eventually found, dug out and restored to flying condition, after definitively disproving evolution, of course.

I don’t follow Ken Ham and his collection of Answers in Genesis blogs very much, but I do like to keep an eye on the Creation Ministries International (CMI) website.

Last month, they re-posted an article written by Dr. Carl Wieland, a former managing director of CMI. In the post, he claims an American World War II squadron buried under ice in Greenland disproves deep time/evolution and instead proves Noah’s flood!

Certainly, you would believe that is true, judging from some of the comments that CMI — in a rare break from the typical practice of YEC organizations — allows:

“Now this article contains the sort of depth charges/torpedoes which will sink many an evolutionist’s vessel to the 6,000-year bottom of the sea where it belongs….”

So what is going on, and why are professional glaciologists not racing to re-interpret their ice core dates based on this new revelation? Why has Dr. Wieland not accepted his Nobel Prize for proving evolution wrong and Noah’s flood to be true?

The good doctor starts by telling us that on the 15th of July, 1942, a squadron consisting of six P-38 Lightning fighter planes and two very large B-17 “Flying Fortress” bombers set off for a British airfield. They never made it due to very bad weather closing their refueling stop in Iceland. Worse still, their home base closed too!

With fuel running low, the pilots attempted a crash landing on the east coast of Greenland. The pilots were rescued 9 days later but the planes were abandoned. In 1988, an expedition found that in 46 years the planes had been buried under 250 feet of ice and snow. According to Dr. Wieland, this shows that those pesky evolutionist are wrong and is does not take thousands and thousands of years for ice to build up. This case shows that glaciers really only formed in the 4,000 or so years since Noah’s flood!

Not surprisingly, Dr. Wieland has not updated his article to include the case of another aircraft that went missing in Greenland. This aircraft, a Navy P-2V Neptune patrol plane, went down over the Kronborg Glacier in 1962. However, in the summer of 1995, a crew of British geologists flew over the site and documented that human remains were still exposed and clearly visible on the ice. In other words, there had been no accumulation of snow at this location for over 30 years!

On the east coast of Greenland, where the 1942 squadron landed, snowfall is a much heavier, accumulating at an average rate of 7 feet (2 metres) per year. So, 7 ft per year times 46 years = 322 feet. This rate (which is an average, so some years would see less snow and others more), after allowing for some compaction due to the weight, is sufficient to account for the depth of snow the WWII planes were buried in. The interior of Greenland by comparison receives much less snowfall, about (0.3m/1 foot per year).

So while Dr. Wieland has definitely proven the amazing fact that snowfall rates vary in different parts of the world, it remains to be seen how this groundbreaking discovery will deliver the death blow to deep time and evolution.

With a magician’s flourish, Dr. Wieland attempts to equate the thickness of the snow burying the squadron with valid ice core samples retrieved by the joint European Greenland Ice-core Project (GRIP). By doing this he hopes to show that the “evolutionary” dates are wrong and the biblical time frame is correct.

The GRIP project retrieved ice core samples in excess of 3,000 metres. The GISP2 sample was dated using 42 parameters which agreed with each other and indicated ages in excess of 110,000 years!

But wait a minute: Where were the GRIP samples taken? In the interior of Greenland, where snow fall is a lot less. And where were the WWII planes buried? On the east coast of Greenland, where snowfall is a lot more. So Dr. Wieland is attempting to disprove ice core samples dated using 42 scientifically validated parameters (ice thickness is not one of these parameters by the way) from one location with a known rate of snowfall, by comparing it to the burial of some World War II planes in another location with a completely different rate of snowfall!

Oh dear. Maybe his Nobel Prize will have to wait a while longer.

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  • Hey, I heard that they’ve found recent remains buried under tons of magma in Hawaii. Just goes to show that Noah’s flood happened.

    • Yup. If rock in one particular place, time and circumstance formed one way, that means all rock in all places, times and circumstances must form that same way. Just like snow and ice.

      • Matthew Funke

        I actually tried to head off a particular bit of bogosity like that for my kids recently. They’re attending a Christian thing for kids with a vague spelunking theme. It reminded me of my creationist days, and reading then that the claim that rapidly-forming concrete stalactites under the Lincoln Memorial proves that the calcium carbonate stalactites in caves could *also* form rapidly, and aren’t evidence of advanced age at all.

        I don’t know that any of the teachers was *going* to go there, but there do seem to be an awful lot of young-Earth creationists ’round these parts, so I thought it best to forearm them before someone went and killed their wonderful curiosity.

        • Good for you!

          • Matthew Funke

            Thanks. I may have jumped the gun; it’s entirely possible that I’ve become a little twitchy after sending my daughter to one of these VBS things and finding out that she was taking in a curriculum from Answers In Genesis when she sang “There Ain’t No Monkeys On My Family Tree” for us.

            So we talked about it. As much as it depends on me, she’s not going to grow up with a deliberately twisted and stunted picture of the natural world, one that’s bent to service a particular theology.

  • ashleyhr
    • Yeah, I actually just saw a different essay this morning that used the exact same point (among many others).

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Oh dear. Maybe his Nobel Prize will have to wait a while longer.

    Maybe Ken Ham can award him an Honorary Nobel…

    • Hey, don’t knock honorary degrees. If it weren’t for them, Ham’s educational credentials would make him about as qualified as a preschool teacher.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Lost WWII squadron proves Noah’s flood! Or not.

    When I saw that title & illo, my first thought was “Antedeluvian P-38s?”

    • Matthew Funke

      That… would actually be kind of awesome, in a “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs” sort of way.

      • I would totally read/watch that.

        • Matthew Funke

          Yeah, seriously. P-38s and P-51s versus pterosaurs? Leather jackets versus leatherwings? The very idea pegs my Cool-Stuff-o-Meter (patent pending).

  • FYI, on the Ark Encounter, a whole exhibit is dedicated to this proof of a young earth with a Ken Ham video as the centerpiece. Its the exact same argument.

    • That doesn’t surprise me. Ham brought up the same thing in his “debate” with Bill Nye.

  • ashleyhr

    Tim Chaffey of AiG describes the exhibit in comments under this blog: http://midwestapologetics.org/blog/?p=1580