Did more oxygen and pressure in the pre-flood world have health benefits?
Brian Young · Jul 30, 2017
While there is much we cannot say for certain about the world before Noah’s flood, we do know that the Bible tells us that it was much different than today. People were living to more than 900 years of age!
According to the fossil record, many plants and animals were of much greater size than those we see today. Dragonflies had wingspans of over 3 feet, cockroaches were 18 inches long and cattails grew to be 60 feet tall. While we may never know for sure why all of these things occurred, we know that when God said His creation was “very good,” it was indeed, very good.
Modern scientific discoveries may give us some clues as to why the pre-flood world was so different. Scientists have discovered air bubbles that have been trapped in fossilized amber (tree sap). As the tree sap rolled down the side of the tree, it captured the atmosphere in these air bubbles, which when analyzed reveals an earlier atmosphere had about 35 percent oxygen compared to today's 21 percent.
In addition to the increased oxygen, other studies have suggested that there was a greater air pressure as well. New Scientist magazine, which comes from an evolutionary perspective, explains:
One implication is that the atmospheric pressure of the Earth would have been much greater during the Cretaceous Era, when the bubbles formed in the resin. A dense atmosphere could also explain how the ungainly pterosaur, with its stubby body and wingspan of up to 11 meters, could have stayed airborne. The spread of angiosperms, flowering plants, during the Cretaceous era could have caused the high oxygen levels.
So what does this past atmosphere have to do with us today? Here’s one possibility: Many doctors are realizing the benefits of something called hyperbaric chambers. A hyperbaric chamber is a room, or tube-like structure, where the oxygen and air pressure are increased, inadvertently re-creating an environment similar to what the pre-flood world could possibly have been like.
Hyperbaric chambers are producing some amazing health benefits. The Mayo Clinic has used hyperbaric chambers for treatments of wounds that won’t heal, decompression sickness, infections, and the release of growth factors and stem cells. Hyperbaric treatment can also be very helpful with carbon monoxide poisoning, smoke inhalation, gas gangrene, crush injuries, necrotizing (premature death of cells), soft tissue infections, compartment syndrome, compromised skin grafts, and enhanced healing in diabetic wounds.
Other research is being done on autism and other neurological disorders as well, but there is no question that many near miraculous healings of varying kinds have occurred in these chambers. Years ago, I visited with Dr. William Fife, who was the head of the hyperbaric lab at Texas A&M University. He said on average a person will heal in half the time it normally takes, and he shared some remarkable examples of hyperbaric benefits. Almost every professional sports team today has these chambers for their injured athletes so that they can get back in the game much sooner.
I myself have seen some of these health benefits. A couple of years ago I was stung by a bee, and my forearm swelled up so that I looked like Popeye, but only on one arm. I was stung on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning I couldn’t even bend my arm to shake hands at church. Because I have access to a hyperbaric chamber, on Sunday afternoon I took a 45-minute treatment inside the chamber. By 7 o’clock that evening I had full motion in my arm, the swelling was almost gone, and I never had to go through the itchy stage I normally have with these allergic reactions.
Not only is this artificial “atmosphere” good for the body, it also seems to be wonderful for plants. At Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Kei Mori placed a cherry tomato plant in a similar chamber where he filtered out ultraviolet light and increased the pressure so the plant would take in carbon dioxide faster. The results were astounding. In two years his cherry tomato plant was 14 feet tall and had over 900 tomatoes that were baseball size. The plant went on to be over 45 feet tall and yielded around 15,000 tomatoes. This result may help explain why we see such large plants in the fossil record. In fact, some have suggested that if our pre-flood atmosphere was like a hyperbaric chamber today, not only would it produce the large vegetation seen in fossils but, it may also have contributed as one factor of why people had such long lifespans before the flood of Noah.
Russ Humphreys, a world class physicist who accepts the Bible’s teaching about Noah’s worldwide flood, believes that it not only explains the oxygen and pressure levels, but also that it shows how a much warmer climate was better for mankind during the pre-flood era. Furthermore, Humphreys says the alarmism about global warming today is misguided. He believes manmade climate change is happening, and that it’s a positive development because “God’s global warming worked just fine.”
Whatever the case may have been, we serve an amazing Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. In His infinite wisdom He created a world of wonder, and a body that was intended to react and function with a perfect environment. Because of sin, that environment and our bodies have been cursed with disease and decay. While many today default to doctors and modern medicine, we must never forget that it is God Who holds in His hand the life of every man and the breath of all mankind (Job 12).
While modern medicine can be a blessing, it is still God Who brings about ultimate healing and causes the body to respond to treatments. This fallen world may not function as it once did when it was first created, but still, our loving God preserves us in these bodies until we will one day be given new ones where we will live with Him in a world, that will once again, be “very good.” Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!