Australia Continental Shelf

Drowned Aussie land supported large population, according to scientists who analysed high-resolution bathymetric data from a region of the continental shelf off the northwestern coast of Australia.  The region is part of an extensive continental shelf that connects mainland Australia to New Guinea and extends 500km towards the Indonesian island of Timor. 

They found the remains of a complex landscape including an extensive archipelago, rivers, freshwater lakes and an inland sea.  Such a landscape could have supported a rich ecosystem, and using ecological modelling the researchers concluded this now-drowned region could have supported up to half a million people before the sea levels rose after the Ice Age finished.

References: PhysOrg 23 December 2023; Science (AAAS) News 4 January 2024; Quaternary Science Reviews 15 December 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2023.108418

Editorial Comment: Human habitation of the continental shelf of north-western Australia has been confirmed by stone tools found on the sea floor in this region.  We doubt very much that as many as half a million people lived in this now drowned region, considering the population of the whole of Australia when Europeans arrived was about that number. Even now it is only a little over 26 million. 

However, this study of a small part of the extensive Australian continental shelf is in accordance with continental shelves all over the world, which show the drowned remains of complex terrestrial landscapes where people, land animals and plants lived in functioning ecosystems.  And that includes eastern Australia where the now provable young barrier reef grew – and the aboriginals even remember this happening as Attenborough’s documentary on the reef shows.

The study is also another reminder that sea levels have changed quite dramatically in the past, long before the industrial revolution and man-made emissions that are being blamed for minute changes in sea levels being observed these days.  As such it is a reminder that much larger forces have been at work under the control of the Creator God who judged the world with the worldwide flood and then lowered the sea levels with an ice age.  The lower sea levels enabled people and animals to migrate to the ends of earth by walking overland through regions that are now separated by large tracts of water.

Creation Research News 26 January 2024

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