Origins of the Dead Sea, Part VII: Mt. Sodom – A Huge Pile Salt

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Rising out of the plain at the south end of the Dead Sea Valley is a billion-ton mountain of salt.  An eight-mile long, three-mile wide, 742-foot tall (above Dead Sea level) mountain protruding from the basin plain. This is Mt. Sodom. This mountain is composed almost entirely of halite also known as rock salt.    Over […]

Ancient DNA Redux: 700-Year-Old Virus Resurrected from Frozen Caribou Dung

caribou-ice-core-dung

Under nine feet of ice, frozen for 700 years, from DNA extracted from bits of caribou dung, a viral genome has been recovered and brought back to life.   Don’t worry this isn’t a case of mad scientists resurrecting the black plague for nefarious purposes.  This is the story of some inquisitive scientists investigating past environments […]

Curiosity Rover Update: Driving into a Sedimentary Wonderland on Mars

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The Mars Curiosity Rover continues to make its way through the basin of Gale Crater on Mars.  I’ve provided periodical updates on its progress as it makes its way toward a large mountain in the center of the crater.  Recently it has driven down almost 1000 feet to arrive at nearly the lowest elevation point […]

Fossil Virus Found in Hamsters Points to an Ancient Origin of Ebola Virus

The Ebola Virus. Like most viruses, the Ebola virus is not a cell but rather just a protein capsule with a very small genome (a single strand of RNA in this case rather than DNA as found in all "living" things).

The Ebola virus has captured headlines around the world.  One of the big questions that I see being asked frequently is – where did it come from? Does it have a recent origin or has the virus been with us for a long time but simply not recognized? Clearly it didn’t come into existence in […]

Sodom, Gomorrah, and the Seismic History of the Dead Sea: Support for Biblical History – Yes! Support for a Young Earth – No! The Origins of the Dead Sea, Part VI

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The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a vividly recorded event in the early chapters of Genesis. Estimated to have occurred about 4050 years ago (~2050 BC), the Biblical story provides us with a picture of the specific moment of the destruction of these cities, as well as the still-observable Dead Sea region. Interestingly, the […]

Origins of the Dead Sea, Part V: All Dried Up – No Room for a Dry Dead Sea in the Young Earth Timeline

Recent  (ie. couple hundred years) sediments deposited by the Dead Sea but now above water level because of the receding lake.  You can see clear ripples from when the water was fairly shallow forming ripples that were then covered by salts or sediments that covered over the ripples.  This image is from the Wooster College Geology blog.  Other great pictures and descriptions of Dead Sea sediments can be found here: http://woostergeologists.scotblogs.wooster.edu/2012/03/17/dead-sea-sediments-and-some-impressive-seismites/

Previously we saw that the Jordan Valley once was full of water.  Now we ask, has the Dead Sea ever dried up completely?  It appears that is has, but when?   These are crucial and perplexing questions for believers in a global flood 4350 years ago (aka Noah’s Flood). Let’s look at this story more closely. […]

Origins of the Dead Sea, Part IV: Lake Lisan – The Jordan Valley Under Water

Eroson of Lake Lisan sediments.  http://www.efratnakash.com/galleries_l_pics/israel/the_dead_sea/13-4313.jpg

Today the Dead Sea has shrunk to modern historical lows of 1400 feet below sea level. The Sea of Galilee is itself 700 feet below sea level.   Residents of the Middle East today are concerned with how much more the Dead Sea will shrink. But what about an important geological question: has there ever been […]

Smoking Gun Evidence of an Ancient Earth: GPS Data Confirms Radiometric Dating

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My last post, on the tectonic origins of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley, brought me face-to-face once again with one of the most striking pieces of evidence for an ancient earth that I am aware of. Take a look at this graph. This graph shows the smoking gun. Smoking gun evidence of what? That […]

Origins of the Dead Sea Part III: The Levant – A Land Literally Torn Apart

Dead Sea

When Abraham and Lot looked out over the Valley of Siddim, what did they see?  According to Genesis 13, “Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was watered, like the Garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 13:10, NIV)  The biblical evidence indicates that in […]

Origins of the Dead Sea Part II: The Lowest Place on Earth Goes Lower

The Dead Sea shore in 1985.  Photo - Jesse Blatutis

Most people know that the Dead Sea is a very salty place.  And they are right, though there’s much more to it.  The Dead Sea, for one thing, is a really large, really salty place – 34% salts compared to 3.5% for sea water.  It’s 31 miles long, 9 miles wide.  More specifically, the Dead […]

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