Fossil testimony indicates that at least some of the big revolutions in life forms were coincident with glacial episodes; but they do not prove that the changes necessarily -preceded, the ice. As Flint confesses (p. 524):
. . . although the occurrence of boreal animals and plants in and near the areas covered by the great Laurentide and Scandinavian ice sheets indicate a cold climate, it is impossible to determine [from the fossils] whether the climate resulted directly from world-wide reduction of temperature or whether it was in part a secondary effect resulting from the incursion of the ice sheets.
However, both logic and evidence support the view that changes in life forms followed after and because of the arrival of the ice.
Climate Changed Abruptly
Now there most assuredly is strong evidence that terrestrial climatic conditions changed suddenly rather than gradually. Coleman, in Ice Ages, Recent and Ancient, writes:
During the Cretaceous, the last division of the Mesozoic, when warm, temperate forest grew in Northwestern Canada, the dinosaurs of the Red River Valley in Alberta lived and died by the thousands, so that their skeletons are thickly scattered over the “bad lands” along the river. . . . Suddenly, at the close of the Age, the reptiles of sea, land and air disappeared without leaving a remnant; and the coming in of the Eocene … rid the world of the races of monstrous reptiles. … It was the most dramatic transformation in the history of life on Earth and more than one [futile] attempt has been made to account for this surprising turn of the tables between the two classes of land vertebrates [reptillian and mammalian].
Colbert says (paper #21 in Shapley’s Climatic Change) that although the extinction of the dinosaurs and the sudden appearance of many groups of mammals were almost instantaneous events in terms of geologic time [at the close of the Mesozoic and the beginning of the Cenozoic], it is hard to believe that climates at the beginning of the Cenozoic were widely different from those that characterized the close of Mesozoic times. . . .
Other similar drastic and mysterious disappearances of contemporary life forms and replacement by new ones have occurred at the end of one era and the beginning of the next. In fact, the very changes in life forms are used to divide and separate the eras one from another.
Darwin, the great exponent of uniformitarianism, thought it strange that forms of life changed simultaneously all over the globe. As Immanuel Velikovsky says so beautifully in Earth in Upheaval:
Great multitudes of animals that filled prairies and forests, water and air, forms fragile or sturdy, with an urge to live and multiply, were more than once suddenly called upon to write their names in the register of extinction. … It is quite futile to look to changes of currents, climate or other physical conditions as the cause of these great mutations in the forms of life throughout the world. . . . Entire species, with no sign of degeneration, suddenly came to their end in paroxysms of nature.
In reference to destruction of species at ice ages, L. C. Eiseley, of the University of Kansas, wrote in American Antiquity:
We are not dealing with a single, isolated, relict species, but with a considerable variety of Pleistocene [Ice Age] forms, all of which must be accorded, in the light of cultural evidence, an approximately similar time of extinction.
That mysterious, extensive change in faunal and floral life of land, sea and air have occurred repeatedly at irregular intervals in Earth’s history, is generally believed by paleontologists. There is entirely too much evidence that such changes were sudden and catastrophic to be nullified simply by slavish adherence to the concept of uniformitarianism. What else, other than violent abrupt changes in climate, could account for such pronounced changes in life forms. Only failure to envision a possible cause of sudden changes has generated doubt that they occurred. The theory hereinafter to be propounded will disclose the adequate cause.
Ice Appeared Suddenly
In spite of long continued efforts to prove that ice sheets accumulated because climate had deteriorated, little if any actual evidence has been discovered to validate the theory. On the contrary, there is evidence that glacial ice apeared with catastrophic suddenness. There is evidence that at a time when temperate climatic conditions extended even into polar regions, the world, teeming with warmth-loving species of floral and animal life, was overwhelmed by fall of snow, ice and rain, so violent, so sudden, so chilling, that great numbers of creatures were forthwith destroyed; so vast, so violent that it brought to an abrupt end one geologic age and ushered in another. In many areas over the globe fossils of the buried dead eloquently testify to the suddenness and violence of the catastrophe which destroyed them. We even find it quite unnecessary to rely only upon skeletal remains. We are given the amazingly conclusive evidence of complete bodies, not just bones, of mammoths, rhinoceroses and other mammals which were destroyed and put into the deep freeze of arctic, glacial ice so suddenly that grass, branches and leaves of hard-wood trees they were eating at the moment did not have time to digest! Repeatedly, perfectly preserved bodies of these beasts have been found in clear, blue, glacial ice, both in Siberia and in Alaska. According to Kotzebue, one was even found embedded in an iceberg floating in the sea!
Digressing for the moment, this fact pointedly suggests that the agency which killed these beasts was falling ice, rather than soft snow. We have all seen some pretty heavy snowfalls, but it is difficult, if indeed not impossible, to imagine one of such intensity that it could destroy a huge, powerful mammoth so suddenly that food he was eating at the onset of the storm would not have time to digest before the soft snow killed him.
Explorers have reported that the northern portions of Siberia, well within the Arctic Circle, and also the islands off its coast, are a veritable charnel ground for countless thousands of beasts of various warmth-loving species. It is said there are hills 300 feet high made up in great part of whole carcasses of mammoths, deer, rhinoceroses and other mammals cemented together by frozen mud and ice; that there are hills equally high composed of broken tree trunks mixed with frozen soil in wild confusion as if they were thrown with great violence by gigantic flood waters coming from the south. Granting some exaggeration in such tales, the essential facts have been corroborated. It is well authenticated that northern Siberia has supplied great quantities of fossil ivory for world trade, obtained from the frozen remains of mammoths.
- Oceanic Mysteries