Awesome Science

Explore The Mammoth Site

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ASB

Program Code: ASB000111A

00:04 And comes from the DVD series, "Awesome Science"
00:10 NOAH JUSTICE: We're here in Hot Springs, South Dakota,
00:12 at the mammoth site.
00:13 Let's go check it out.
00:21 In the 1970s, this area was being cleared
00:24 for a housing development.
00:26 But all construction stopped when mammoth bones were found.
00:31 As they unearthed the area, it quickly
00:33 became known as one of the largest
00:35 concentrations of mammoth fossils in the world.
00:39 Where did they come from?
00:40 Why did they die here?
00:42 Secular scientists have used carbon
00:44 dating to estimate these mammoths died here
00:46 26,000 years ago.
00:49 But with only 4,350 years since the Flood,
00:53 how does it fit in with the biblical worldview?
00:56 Are the dates we get from carbon dating right?
00:59 What other factors can give a more accurate date based
01:02 on the biblical time scale?
01:04 Finally, we don't see mammoths here today.
01:07 So what caused them to go extinct?
01:10 Does "The Bible" hold the key?
01:12 Find out all this and more next on "Awesome Science."
01:21 "Awesome Science" takes you on a field trip
01:24 to some of the most amazing geological and historic sites
01:27 around the world where we use "The Bible" as our history
01:31 guidebook to interpret what we see,
01:33 that "The Bible" can be trusted and empirical science falls
01:37 in line with the biblical account of creation,
01:39 the fall, and the flood.
01:42 Science, it's awesome.
01:49 [music playing]
02:02 The southeastern edge of South Dakota
02:05 is known for many famous sites-- Mt.
02:08 Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park.
02:13 But it's also home to the largest
02:15 find of mammoth fossils in the world at the Mammoth site.
02:20 In 1974, construction crews were leveling this area
02:24 in Hot Springs for a new housing development
02:27 when bones started showing up in the dirt.
02:30 Construction was immediately postponed.
02:33 And scientists were brought in to examine the bones.
02:36 The fossils were quickly determined
02:38 to be mammoth tusks and bones.
02:40 Experts thought that if there were
02:42 a few bones on the top of the soil,
02:44 there must be more down below.
02:47 Over a one year period they began to excavate the earth.
02:51 And the more they dug, the more they found.
02:54 The land owner, Phil Anderson, realized his 14 acres of land
02:58 would be more valuable as a resource for scientific study
03:01 rather than a housing development.
03:03 So a group was organized to buy the land from Phil.
03:07 Eventually a building was erected over the site
03:10 as scientists continued to dig.
03:13 As they examined the bones more carefully,
03:15 they found mainly Columbian mammoths, but also
03:19 a few woolly mammoths, This is the size
03:22 of a Columbian mammoth.
03:28 In addition, they have found a number of other mammal fossils,
03:32 some of which are extinct.
03:35 So far over 60 mammoths have been discovered.
03:38 But it is estimated that over 100 died there.
03:42 Digging still continues at this site today.
03:49 So what happened here?
03:51 How did so many mammoths die in this one spot?
03:54 When you visit the site, you will see many references
03:57 to the millions of years of evolution
04:00 with no consideration for the biblical worldview.
04:03 This doesn't mean you can't trust
04:05 some of the scientific methods they used,
04:07 but it's important to realize the worldview the visitor
04:10 center presents.
04:12 As the paleontologists began to dig,
04:15 they wanted to know why so many fossils were in the same place.
04:19 As the examined the sediments and geology of the area,
04:23 they began to form a theory.
04:25 hot Springs is known for its underground springs and mineral
04:28 water.
04:29 Underground springs have been known
04:30 to wear away rock layers below the surface,
04:33 creating a cavity, or cave, underground.
04:37 Eventually, the top rock layer can
04:39 fall into the cavity causing a sink hole in the ground.
04:43 These sinkholes can then fill in with Water
04:46 after examining the geology at the site,
04:49 it is thought that this area was once one of these sinkholes
04:52 where the mammoths and other mammals
04:54 fell into and couldn't get out.
04:56 So they died here.
04:58 Back when mammoths were roaming the area during the Ice Age,
05:01 this area of South Dakota had a different climate.
05:05 Because of the flora fossil evidence,
05:07 it's been suggested this area was once a cold, treeless,
05:11 grassland with scrubby brush.
05:13 To the south, were temperate grasslands.
05:17 This is much different than today
05:18 where we find pine studded forests
05:20 and semi-arid grasslands.
05:23 Scientists have suggested, from the fossil evidence,
05:26 that many of these mammoths were traveling
05:28 through here around the first snow of winter or early spring.
05:31 There were probably not a lot of grasses and plants
05:34 to eat at that time of year.
05:36 The sinkhole provided warm water,
05:38 estimated to be at least 95 degrees,
05:41 with fresh grass on the edges.
05:43 The mammoths and other creatures were looking for food.
05:46 So they went down for a bite.
05:49 When they got down, they quickly ran into thick mud.
05:52 They could have gotten stuck in the mud
05:54 and unable to climb the steep slippery walls out of the hole.
05:58 So they died there.
06:00 Other mammals fell in as well, possibly looking for food
06:03 or even munching on a stranded mammoth.
06:06 Based on the bones and teeth, scientists
06:09 have been able to determine all these mammoths were young adult
06:12 males.
06:13 Based on the behavior of elephant herds,
06:16 it is known that young adult males are often kicked out
06:19 of a herd and travel alone or together until they
06:22 formed their own herds.
06:25 Young adult mammoths would probably not
06:27 have the wisdom or herd protection to avoid
06:29 the danger of a sinkhole.
06:31 Seeing food down below, they likely
06:33 walked right into a trap.
06:36 It is thought that this sinkhole was open for 300-700 years.
06:40 But the preservation of the bones
06:42 may indicate a much quicker demise.
06:48 The story we just reviewed is based
06:50 on the ideas of secular scientists
06:52 who believe this all happened 26,000 years ago.
06:56 They assume this long age because of their worldview.
07:00 But when we use a biblical worldview,
07:02 we can accept many of the interpretations of observations
07:05 made here at the mammoth site.
07:07 Only our time scale is different.
07:10 "The Bible" indicates that about 4,350 years ago,
07:14 the global flood destroyed the entire earth.
07:17 All the people and land animals died
07:20 except for Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark.
07:24 Fossil evidence from the Flood indicates the earth probably
07:27 had a much more temperate environment before the Flood
07:30 with very little dramatic seasonal changes.
07:33 But after the Flood, the climate changed drastically.
07:36 With the catastrophic geologic activities going on
07:40 during the Flood, and their waning thereafter,
07:43 the oceans heated up, providing perfect conditions
07:46 for increased evaporation that resulted
07:48 in a massive amount of snow and ice
07:50 accumulating in the mountains.
07:52 So that 30% of the continents were eventually
07:55 covered in ice in less than 300 years.
07:58 The animals came off the ark and began to multiply and spread
08:02 across the globe.
08:03 The water trapped in the ice caused the ocean levels
08:06 to be lowered by up to 300 feet below what it is now,
08:10 resulting in some of the continental shelves being
08:12 exposed.
08:14 The Bering Strait area, between modern day Russia and Alaska,
08:17 was dry land.
08:19 And animals and man could walk across.
08:21 In addition, during the first part of the Ice Age,
08:24 there was an ice free corridor along the east side
08:27 of the Rocky Mountains.
08:28 Many animals and humans came through this corridor
08:31 into what is now America and Mexico.
08:34 Eventually, they made it into South America.
08:37 Later in the Ice Age, this corridor
08:39 was cut off by the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets
08:42 coming together.
08:44 The Columbian mammoths, which have shorter hair,
08:47 moved south while a majority of the woolly mammoths
08:50 were able to tolerate cooler temperatures in the north.
08:53 From the fossil evidence, we are fairly
08:55 confident that the area north of the ice sheets
08:58 was covered with vast grasslands.
09:00 And only later, at the end of the Ice Age
09:02 did it grow very cold.
09:04 Several thousand years ago, this area of South Dakota
09:07 was near the southern edge of the ice sheet
09:09 were mostly Columbian mammoths roamed.
09:12 But this was not 26,000 years ago,
09:15 it was only a few thousand years ago in the centuries right
09:17 after the flood.
09:23 Excavation of fossils here at the Mammoth Site
09:25 has been happening since 1975.
09:28 Many of the mammoth bones have been
09:30 left where they are found for study and for visitors
09:33 to observe.
09:34 If bones are taken from the ground,
09:37 they're quickly prepared for preservation.
09:40 Every bone has been mapped carefully.
09:42 And the data processed in a computer
09:44 to give the scientists a 3D rendering of the area,
09:46 showing the positions the mammoths were buried in.
09:50 Exposing the bones is a painstaking process.
09:54 Workers remove the surrounding dirt
09:55 with trowels and small brooms.
09:58 For delicate work, they use small dental tools
10:01 and soft brushes taking care not to chip the bone or ivory which
10:05 can be very brittle.
10:07 Once the sediment is removed, workers paint the bone
10:10 with a protective resin to give the delicate fossil
10:12 added strength.
10:14 The Mammoth Site is very unique in that many fossils are
10:17 scattered among a small area and easy to find.
10:21 The sinkhole area provides a great place for us
10:23 to study the mammoths since they all
10:25 died so close to one another.
10:32 Radio carbon dating was used by secular scientists
10:35 here at the site to conclude these fossils are about 26,000
10:39 years old.
10:40 Since "The Bible" indicates the Flood happened around
10:43 4,350 years ago, the events here the Mammoth Site
10:47 had to have happened since that time.
10:49 The very fact that these fossils are near the surface
10:52 tells us that they died after the flood,
10:55 because the Flood laid down thousands of feet of sediments
10:58 below these mammoth fossils.
11:00 So how do we know for sure the actual date
11:03 these mammoths died?
11:05 If we are going to accept the secular scientists' ages based
11:08 on carbon-14 dating, then it is important to understand
11:11 how carbon dating works and what the numbers really mean.
11:15 First of all how is carbon-14 produced?
11:18 When cosmic rays bombard the Earth's atmosphere,
11:21 they produce fast moving neutrons.
11:23 These excited neutrons then collide with nitrogen atoms
11:26 in the atmosphere changing them into radioactive carbon-14
11:30 atoms, which then bond with oxygen atoms
11:32 to make carbon dioxide.
11:34 Plants absorb this carbon dioxide,
11:36 containing carbon-14, during photosynthesis,
11:39 as well as carbon-12, the most common isotope of carbon.
11:43 When animals eat the plants, the carbon-14 enters their bodies.
11:47 You can only use radiocarbon dating
11:50 to determine the age of things that were once alive.
11:53 Different radiometric dating methods are used to date rocks.
11:57 The carbon-14 in the bodies of the animals
11:59 breaks down into nitrogen-14 and escapes at the same rate
12:03 as new carbon-14 is added.
12:05 So the level of carbon-14 remained stable.
12:08 When an animal dies, the carbon-14
12:11 continues to break down to nitrogen-14 and escapes
12:14 while no new carbon-14 is added.
12:16 By measuring the amounts of carbon-14 and carbon-12
12:20 in a sample, and then comparing them
12:22 to the amounts of carbon-14 and carbon-12 in organisms today,
12:26 scientists calculate how long ago the animal died.
12:29 But not all radiocarbon atoms decay at the same rate.
12:33 Each carbon-14 atom reverts to nitrogen-14
12:36 at a different time.
12:38 So radiocarbon decay is considered a random process.
12:41 A special instrument called an accelerator mass spectrometer,
12:45 or AMS, is used to measure the ratio
12:48 of these isotopes of carbon in a sample, like the mammoth bones.
12:52 The decay of carbon-14 into nitrogen-14 can be measured.
12:56 And we can determine that rate of decay.
13:00 The time it takes for half of the radiocarbon to decay
13:03 is called a half life.
13:05 The half-life of radiocarbon is 5,730 years.
13:09 If you started with 1,000 atoms of carbon-14, in 5,730 years
13:15 you would have only about 500 remaining.
13:18 Dating dead things that are supposed
13:20 to be millions of years old is considered impossible
13:23 with radiocarbon dating because the half-life is
13:26 just a few thousand years.
13:28 There should be no radiocarbon in a bone that
13:30 is millions of years old.
13:32 Yet secular scientists claim they can still
13:34 date dead things using radiocarbon dating
13:37 and get ages of tens of thousands of years.
13:40 But there is a catch here, because there
13:42 are some basic assumptions made by the scientists
13:45 when radiocarbon dating is used.
13:48 First, they assume carbon-14 has always
13:50 been produced at the same rate that is being produced now.
13:54 Second, they assume that there was
13:55 no contamination of the sample by outside sources
13:58 of carbon-14.
14:00 If they get dates that don't match
14:02 with their assumptions of how old something is,
14:04 they say it was contaminated.
14:06 Third, they assume they know the amount
14:08 of carbon-14 the specimen started with.
14:12 Think of an hourglass.
14:13 If you walk into a room and see the sand moving from the top
14:16 to the bottom, but you didn't see it start,
14:19 you don't know how long it's been
14:20 going because you don't know how much was
14:22 in there in the beginning.
14:24 Fourth, they assume the atmosphere
14:26 has had the same carbon-14 concentration in the past
14:29 as it does now.
14:31 And fifth, the biosphere, or place on Earth
14:33 where organisms live, has always had
14:35 the same overall carbon-14 concentration
14:38 as the atmosphere.
14:39 These are big assumptions.
14:41 And an error in any one of them would cause
14:43 dates that aren't reliable.
14:46 For instance, scientists have now
14:47 documented that the atmosphere's concentration of carbon-14
14:51 varies considerably according to the latitude.
14:54 They have also determined several geophysical causes
14:57 for past and present fluctuations
14:59 in carbon-14 production in the atmosphere.
15:02 They attempt to correct their calculations based
15:05 on these ideas, but they are still
15:07 using unprovable assumptions.
15:09 If we used "The Bible" as our authority
15:11 on the age of these mammoths, we know
15:13 that there are less than 4,350 years old because they
15:17 died after the Flood.
15:20 This program is brought to you by
15:24 An organization committed to producing high quality
15:27 science-focused television content
15:30 all from a Biblical worldview.
15:32 Awesome Science is our kids series hosted by Noah Justice
15:36 In every episode, Noah visits the national parks
15:39 and historical sites to help you understand
15:41 earth's history using a Biblical worldview.
15:45 Find us online to watch all of our shows,
15:48 Noah's bloopers, behind the scenes videos, and special interviews.
15:53 You can also visit and like our Facebook page.
15:56 Where we post updates, announcements, and post extra videos.
16:00 Our YouTube channel also hosts many of videos and bonus segments.
16:04 Thanks for visiting. We hope you enjoy our great content.
16:10 With our Bible as the guide on the age of the Earth,
16:13 we can also use other scientific investigations
16:15 that show radiocarbon dating may not
16:17 be the most reliable method for dating these fossils.
16:21 We know from measurements, for instance,
16:23 that the Earth's magnetic field is decreasing by half
16:26 in strength every 1,400 years.
16:28 That means 1,400 years ago, it was twice as strong
16:32 as it is now and four times as strong 2,800 years ago.
16:36 Also, sunspots will affect the earth's magnetic field.
16:40 How do these factors affect the radiocarbon numbers?
16:43 The magnetic field partially shields the earth
16:46 from the influx of cosmic rays, the rays that
16:48 change nitrogen atoms into radioactive carbon-14 atoms.
16:52 A stronger magnetic field in the past
16:55 would have reduced the influx of cosmic rays
16:57 into the atmosphere, which would have reduced
16:59 the amount of radiocarbon produced in the atmosphere,
17:02 lowering the amount of carbon-14 entering the biosphere
17:05 on the Earth's surface.
17:07 Finally, the catastrophic Flood would have buried almost all
17:10 of the carbon in the pre-Flood biosphere.
17:13 A teeny percentage of this carbon
17:15 would have been carbon-14, but mostly carbon-12
17:18 which makes up 98.9% of all carbon atoms.
17:22 Carbon-12 is stable and does not undergo radiometric decay.
17:27 We can see, today, the size of the coal beds, oil deposits,
17:31 oil shale, natural gas deposits, and all
17:34 of the fossils in limestones and other sedimentary rocks
17:37 indicating the huge quantity of plants and animals
17:41 that must have been alive when the Flood struck.
17:43 There was likely 500 times more carbon
17:46 in the pre-Flood biosphere than what
17:48 we see in our biosphere today.
17:50 If there was so much more carbon-12
17:52 in the pre-Flood biosphere, then the proportion
17:54 of carbon-14 to carbon-12 would have been very much smaller
17:57 than the proportion in today's biosphere.
18:00 Why?
18:01 Because the earth had so much more plant life.
18:04 And carbon-14 production was greatly reduced back then
18:07 because the Earth's magnetic field was so much stronger.
18:11 Because secular scientists don't consider the Flood
18:13 as an actual event, they would assume the plants
18:16 buried in the coal beds had the same proportion of carbon-14
18:20 as plants do today.
18:21 And their radiocarbon dating would yield ages much higher
18:24 than the true biblical age of the Flood.
18:27 So in the case of the mammoths found at the hot springs,
18:30 because they lived after the Flood,
18:32 the 26,000 year age is inaccurate, mainly
18:35 due to the change in the earth's magnetic field since the Flood,
18:39 and the inaccurate assumptions used by secular scientists.
18:43 Using the biblical time scale allows
18:45 us to be much more accurate in dating these mammoths.
18:48 Science, it's awesome.
18:54 In Genesis 1, on Day 6, God made all the land dwelling animals.
19:00 This would have included the kind of animal
19:02 which could have looked something like an elephant.
19:05 The modern day scientific order for all animals
19:08 fitting into this kind is called proboscideans,
19:11 which means an animal with a long, flexible snout or trunk.
19:15 The better known proboscideans are elephants, mastodons,
19:18 the Columbian mammoth, and the woolly mammoth.
19:21 Secular biologists say that modern day elephants didn't
19:24 descend from the mammoths.
19:26 And that's probably correct.
19:28 But they do share a common ancestor
19:30 from the same created kind.
19:32 When it was time for Noah to load the animals on the ark,
19:34 he only took a male and female of the elephant kind.
19:38 In these two animals, was the DNA
19:40 to produce the subsequent varieties in the elephant kind
19:43 from the mastodon, to the African elephant,
19:46 and the Columbian and woolly mammoths.
19:48 Once off the ark, these animals of the elephant kind
19:52 reproduced.
19:53 With the variety of characteristics in their genes,
19:55 some descendents had thicker hair and larger builds,
19:58 while other descendents had smaller builds and little hair.
20:02 As these animals continued to reproduce
20:04 and spread out into different areas with various climates,
20:08 certain traits became dominant.
20:10 And unique populations developed around the globe.
20:13 Those with long hair would not survive in the hot areas
20:16 very well, but thrived in colder climates.
20:19 While those with little hair would be better suited
20:21 to warmer climates.
20:23 The same distribution of genetic traits
20:25 can be seen today with humans around the world.
20:28 Humans are dark and light, tall and small,
20:32 and all degrees of hairy.
20:34 We called people with similar characteristics people groups
20:38 rather than different races, because we all
20:40 came from the same original pair of humans, Adam and Eve.
20:43 There is only one human race.
20:46 Secular biologists will say that the evolution of proboscideans
20:50 occurred over a 70 million year period
20:53 because they hold to a worldview that
20:54 embraces uniformitarianism, which
20:57 says that everything we see today
20:59 came about from slow and gradual processes.
21:02 But as we look back in the fossil record,
21:05 all we find are clear specimens of the proboscidean kind,
21:08 not of any in-between or transitional forms.
21:11 This would be consistent with the biblical record
21:14 of the elephant kind being created by God
21:16 just a few thousand years ago.
21:18 So how could you tell a mammoth from a mastodon?
21:21 The mammoth's genes produced large, flat teeth
21:24 suitable for shearing and grinding grass for food.
21:27 The mastodon, on the other hand, had
21:29 teeth with high pointed ridges.
21:32 These teeth allow the mastodon to eat
21:33 a lot of things the mammoths could not chew effectively,
21:36 including branches, twigs, leaves, and roots.
21:41 The theory of evolution says that animals gradually
21:44 developed new characteristics through mutations
21:46 in their DNA that allowed them to survive
21:48 in various environments.
21:50 But this is biologically impossible.
21:52 Evolutionists believe that random changes in the DNA
21:55 slowly accumulated to add new features like ears, legs,
22:00 trunks, and tusks, to form an elephant.
22:02 But this is based on the belief that all organisms on Earth
22:05 share a common ancestor, not on actual observable evidence.
22:11 Based on observational science, we
22:13 know that mutations tend to remove information
22:15 from the DNA of creatures.
22:17 And that those mutations cannot create new traits like a trunk
22:21 from an animal that never had one.
22:23 The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota,
22:26 is a unique location that gives us
22:28 a glimpse into life at the end of the Ice Age.
22:31 Very few places on earth give us such a collection
22:34 of mammoth fossils so well-preserved.
22:37 Secular scientists look at this site
22:40 and think in terms of tens of thousands of years
22:43 and many ice ages in Earth's past.
22:45 But their dating methods and ideas about the past
22:49 just don't match up with the facts.
22:52 The biblical time scale of only a few thousand years
22:55 with catastrophic events explains the evidence the best.
22:58 The Flood gives us the right conditions for an Ice Age
23:01 to quickly develop after the great deluge.
23:04 The retreating of the Ice Age helps
23:06 us understand how the mammoths and many other mammals
23:09 went extinct because of the huge dust storms.
23:13 The world wide Flood itself wiped out
23:15 most life on earth except for one man and his family,
23:19 and representatives of every land animal on the ark.
23:22 The ark shows us evidence of God's love
23:25 and grace to the human race.
23:27 God could have wiped man totally off the face of the Earth,
23:31 but He chose to save Noah, his family, and the animals
23:35 from utter destruction.
23:37 "The Bible" tells us that there is another destruction coming
23:40 because of God's judgment against sin and rebellion.
23:43 And just as God provided an ark for Noah,
23:46 God has exercised His love and grace toward man
23:50 by providing His Son, Jesus Christ,
23:52 to receive the punishment for our sins.
23:55 Men back in Noah's day could've turned from their evil ways
23:59 and been saved from the flood by getting on the ark.
24:02 But all refused God's grace.
24:05 "The Bible" tells us that we can repent of our sinful heart
24:08 and turn towards a loving God confessing,
24:11 that Jesus died for our sins, and turning to Him by faith.
24:15 We shouldn't repent and turn to God simply
24:18 to avoid the coming destruction.
24:20 But we should turn to God because we realize
24:23 we are sinful and in great need of God's salvation
24:26 through Jesus.
24:28 If you have not done so already, we
24:30 invite you to repent and turn to God today
24:33 through faith in His Son, Jesus.
24:35 Awesome Science is a video series produced by
24:40 Awesome Science Media produces many other great shows,
24:52 Ark Animals
24:57 We broadcast our episodes throughout the world
25:00 on television networks, TV stations, and online platforms.
25:05 We're making a difference by challenging the deceptive
25:08 evolutionary worldview, which directly opposes the Word of God
25:13 Our mission is to provide youth with a firm foundation
25:16 based on solid scientific evidence that supports their
25:20 Biblical worldview. We also want to encourage youth
25:23 to pursue the Truth, and maybe even make a career from their
25:27 interest in science and the Bible.
25:29 Thank you for watcing our shows.
25:32 Please keep up with us as we continue to build new content
25:35 which builds up your faith in the Word of God.
25:39 Join us next time as we continue to examine our world
25:42 through a biblical world view.
25:43 And remember science, it's awesome.
25:47 [music playing]


Revised 2018-03-22