Secular Scientists have a Difficult Time Explaining an Ice Age

Ice age

More Problems with iconic Milankovitch Paper

by Jake Hebert

Secular scientists have a difficult time explaining an Ice Age, even though there is strong geological evidence that one occurred. In fact, creation scientists have long argued that the Genesis Flood is a vastly superior mechanism for explaining an Ice Age.

Secular scientists claim there have been many ice ages in Earth history, although the supposed evidence for these other ice ages is very weak. The popular secular theory for explaining these supposed ice ages is the Milankovitch, or astronomical, ice age theory. This theory claims that the timing of the ice ages is controlled by slow, gradual changes in Earth’s orbital motions.

Although the astronomical theory has serious problems, many secular scientists accept it because of a well-known 1976 paper titled “The Pacemaker of the Ice Ages.” The paper’s authors analyzed data from two Indian Ocean deep-sea cores, data which seemed to show that the climate was characterized by cycles that were about 100 thousand, 41 thousand, and 23 thousand years long. If one extrapolates Earth’s orbital motions into the distant past or distant future, these orbital motions would also exhibit cycles of these lengths. For this reason the paper was seen as providing strong evidence for the astronomical theory. This paper is so important that two prestigious scientific journals, Nature and Science, both published articles commemorating this paper’s 40th anniversary in December 2016.

However, original ICR research revealed serious problems with this iconic paper, the most obvious of which is that the analysis depended upon an age assignment which even secular scientists no longer accept as valid! When one takes this age revision into account and re-works the calculations using the same methodology and assumptions used by the original authors, then the purported evidence for the astronomical theory is greatly weakened. This is true, even if one accepts, for the sake of argument, the vast ages that uniformitarian scientists assign to these deep-sea cores. This research may freely be read online, and it has been described in several popular-level articles in our Acts & Facts magazine.

Moreover, there is a short-cut method which enables non-experts (even high school students) to verify that my most important published results are in the ballpark….


image credit: NASA (edited)