|'Doomsday vault' to open its doors soon|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 29 January 2008 11:22|
Buried deep in a remote island within the arctic circle lies the world's first biogenetic storage facility. It has been called the "doomsday vault" and the "Noah's ark for plants", and it is hoped that it will prevent the extinction of many of the world's species of plants pending a global ecological catastrophe. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located in the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. Protected by armoured doors and entombed underneath one hundred metres of rock, the facility has been designed to withstand the ravages of climate change and global nuclear war. It will be capable of housing around 4.5 million seed samples, which are able to be preserved for upwards of 10,000 years, thanks to the thick permafrost that caps the mountain.
Quote: ""The seed vault is the perfect place for keeping seeds safe for centuries," said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Rome-based Global Crop Diversity Trust, which has worked with the Nordic Gene Bank on the establishment of the vault. "At these temperatures, seeds for important crops like wheat, barley and peas can last for up to 10,000 years." He said that with its capacity to hold up to 4.5 million seed samples, the vault will eventually house virtually every variety of every important food crop in the world - and that it would serve as an "insurance policy for the planet".
Seeds have a remarkable ability to survive in the harshest of conditions. Only recently, 2000 year old date palm seeds were discovered by archaeologist Ehud Netzer in the mountain-top fortress of Masada, near the Dead Sea in Israel. The Judean date palm was thought to be extinct. They were once prized throughout the Middle East for their medicinal properties and their ability to grow in almost drought-like conditions. But following the diaspora, the forests of date palms that once covered the Jordan valley were all but destroyed. When botanist Elaine Solowey heard about the existence of the seeds, she asked if she would be allowed to grow some. And one plant named Methuselah has sprouted from a 2000 year old seed.
Quote: "Once the seed sprouted, samples of seeds excavated from the same cache on Masada were sent to the University of Zurich for radio-carbon dating. The results came back last week, showing the samples were 2,000 years old, plus or minus a margin of error of 50 years, placing them during or just before the Masada revolt. "Perhaps one of our ancestors was sitting there on the battlements of Masada eating his dates while the Roman armies were preparing for the final siege and perhaps nonchalantly spitting out a pip," said Sallon. "Two thousand years later, here I am at Kibbutz Ketura and it's grown."
This is not just a modern 'miracle', it is a sign of the fulfilment of God's promises to the nation of Israel. For just as this date palm has sprouted into life after two millennia have run their course, so God has kept His promise concerning the nation of Israel, in regathering the Jewish people to their ancient homeland after nearly two thousand years of exile (Hosea 6:2). And surely that is the greater miracle. God promised that when He brought back the captivity of His people, the desert would blossom as the rose (Isaiah 35:1).
Well I hadn't intended this article to turn out this way. I was going to comment on how the tribulation period will bring such cataclysmic disasters upon the earth, that it may be just as as well they are building a 'doomsday vault'. Jesus Christ said that unless a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. Jesus Christ was that corn of wheat. He came down to earth to bleed and die upon a cross. Through His atoning death, He has provided a way whereby all who believe on Him may have eternal life in heaven. Through believing on Jesus Christ for salvation, we become part of His harvest, which will be brought into His barn at the end of this world (Matthew 13:30). Believing about Jesus is not enough. You need to put your faith in Him for salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).