Saturday, July 4, 2009

More Flood Evidence

I used to have a picture similar to this on my wall because I thought it was beautiful. Over time it started to have a depressing effect on me and eventually I took it down. It seemed to exude a musty smell of death.

I couldn't stop thinking of it as just a monument to the Great Flood in which all living things that weren't protected in the ark died.

All the earth is now to me a massive graveyard. I see it everywhere. I see it particularly for some reason in the rather forlorn-looking sculpted rocks of the Southwest. A forlorn and desolate place. Its spooky wild desolation is what starts eating at me if I look at it long enough. Such places are sometimes called "badlands," uninhabitable places. For all their weird beauty that's what they are, uninhabitable places and a massive graveyard.

Within all the layers that make up the striped effect carved out over thousands of miles in that area, are dead things. Fossils. Once-living things buried in mass profusion.

At one level of the national park in Utah known as the Grand Staircase are found "many fossils of fish and early dinosaurs from the Triassic Period" and another level contains "the best and most continuous record of Late Cretaceous terrestrial life in the world."

Of course time-defined concepts such as Triassic and Cretaceous are a delusion. The layers were not put down over great periods of time but in the single massive cataclysm of the Great Flood of Noah. For some reason the layers were distributed in such a way that the more "primitive" forms of life, meaning mostly life forms that live in water, were preserved in the lower layers deposited by the Flood, which form the walls of the Grand Canyon, south of the Grand Staircase, while the higher layers that remain preserved in the Staircase area contain the "higher" forms of life, meaning mostly animals that lived on the land. There are also fish there and in the lower layers insect life, so it's not a hard and fast rule and how the layering and depositing occurred can only be guessed at. By the look of it, though, it HAD to be done by a massive quantity of water. Nothing else makes sense.

It ought to be recognized as absurd on the face of it to think such evenly horizontal fossil-packed layers of completely different sediments -- which is what causes the striped effect -- represent millions of years of time gradually built up. That implies that each layer, in fact each fraction of a layer, was earth's surface for long periods. Just think about it. Spend an hour thinking about how it could possibly have happened over millions of years. Think about how long any flat deposit of loose sediment would stay that way on the surface of the earth. Think about how whole dinosaur skeletons that take up a lot of space could have been buried whole in gradually-built up layers of unsolidified sediment. Think about how ANY living thing could have been preserved at all if the layers were built up slowly. Fossilization takes immediate burial and hard compression to keep it all from disintegrating and leaving no record. And why on earth would a "time period" be represented by a single type of sediment or even a short stack of different types of sediments?

It can't have happened that way.


  1. Hello. Thank you for your blog post. I am very interested in nutting out these issues in my mind, and seeking a better understanding of the Genesis account. I used to think the same way as you, favouring YEC, but the fossil record ultimately doesn't seem to support it, in my mind.

    I think maybe the interpretation of the fossil record according to "uniformitarian geology" differs from your depiction of it. Mainstream geology also believes that fossils were deposited in rare catastrophic burial events, as far as I can tell. But not that the entire fossil record was a single event (the global flood).

    I like the desire for YEC to support a literal reading of Genesis 1. But the evidence does seem to really go against the fossil record being created by a single global flood event. My reasoning is mainly: I can't believe the idea that ecological zones or hydrologic sorting would so perfectly arrange the fossils into such distinct layers, in a sequence that can be seen globally. Sure, I could imagine a general trend if the flood model were true, but I'd expect to see much more mixing, much less perfect sequencing.

    Having said that, I still believe that in the fullness of time, the "right" reading of Genesis will be known by all (but a different reading than YEC I think), and the total trustworthiness of the Biblical account will be vindicated. Meanwhile I reject evolution. I don't think the evidence matches the theory, and in fact better supports alternative creation theories (OEC).

    I also think the scientific community is biased by the assumption of a "naturalistic" ("there is no God") explanation. But that's another whole topic!

  2. Thank you for your comment, Craig, I really appreciate it. Yes, mainstream geology has had to postulate catastrophic events -- the actual facts really can't be explained on the basis of gradual buildup, although gradual buildup is still the impression that is created by the Geologic Time Scale and they haven’t completely abandoned it.

    However, are they postulating periodic GLOBAL catastrophes? Because that's really what's needed to explain the global extent of the phenomena we are talking about. The strata ARE worldwide, the fossil sequence IS worldwide, as you are saying. -- there IS an amazing consistency to the arrangement across the globe. This consistency is no more plausibly explained by separate catastrophes or by gradual buildup than by a global Flood, and I think the Flood is most plausible of all. The fossil content of the earth is staggeringly prodigious, and staggeringly consistent across the earth compared to what one would expect from separate events. The strata are worldwide. How do separated catastrophes account for the neat stratifications of separate sediments? How do they account for the fossil contents being so relatively consistently distributed WITHIN separate layers across the whole earth? You HAVE to imagine the supposed catastrophes on a worldwide scale because the phenomena are worldwide.

    And once you've been forced to think in terms of global events, how hard is it to think in terms of a single global Flood that created the entire depth of strata worldwide in one fell swoop? That is, if you can imagine "rare" catastrophes on such a scale, what's the barrier to imagining a SINGLE catastrophe?

    So the very consistency you are saying doesn’t fit a single great Flood I'm saying doesn't fit separate catastrophes any better. Why should such events arrange things any more consistently than a global Flood would?

    You'd expect to see much more mixing, much less sequencing in a global Flood. But why would periodic catastrophes OR gradual buildup, either one, sort things so neatly either? Wouldn't you expect mixing and jumbling together as much from periodic catastrophe as global catastrophe and maybe even more so? Such neat strata and neat fossil contents within the strata aren't explained at ALL in terms of gradual buildup or periodic catastrophe.

    The geologists are working exclusively from their own intuitions and imaginations. We, however, KNOW there was a worldwide Flood and even if we can't know for sure what such a one-time massive event would have done I think we're on the right track to observe that the strata, the fossil contents and the general look of the earth fit the Flood far better than they fit the geologist's theories. And now that they’ve been forced to recognize that most of it has to have been caused catastrophically – AND BY WATER TOO – they are getting closer to the truth we’ve known all along.

    Ecologic and hydrologic sorting are a reasonable hypothesis, but we have no way to test something on such a scale and all of it is ultimately guesswork. But so are mainstream geology's ideas guesswork.

    Sorry I'm being wordy and repetitive but it's hard to get this said.

  3. I think you explained yourself well. Please note, I'm brainstorming here... I'll talk about the fossil record, but it doesn't mean I'm satisfied that my thoughts on it correlate well with a sensible reading of the Biblical account...

    It's very interesting that geologists see such a recognisable pattern in the fossils all over the world. It's not what I'd expect from evolution. If evolution were true, I'd expect _localised_ catastrophes to catch unique local populations of creatures in unique stages of evolution, so there would be a lot less correlation between the fossils in different parts of the world. The similarity of the animals found worldwide in each layer must force evolutionists to conclude it was a global catastrophe in each case... presumably why they say that there is evidence of 5 global catastrophes. Although I can't say much more because my knowledge of the fossil record is currently limited.

    You talked about neat strata and neat fossils not being explained by gradual buildup or periodic catastrophe. True, gradual buildup doesn't make sense. But periodic catastrophe makes sense if the fossils in that layer represent a snapshot of all the life on earth at that time. Which sounds like I'm supporting evolution but I'm not.

    If God actually did something like the "day-age" thing, then the fossil record could contain _localised_ catastrophes (e.g. local mud slide) and that would still make sense according to the fossils we see (because contents of layers would be determined by each phase of creation, not snapshots of gradual change as evolution says).

    If God did a "gap theory" thing, then I don't know what to expect because in that theory, the Bible doesn't really say what happened "in the gap".

    Going back to the global flood=fossil record theory, it seems plausible in the most general sense, but the separation into layers seems statistically far too neat. Consider that geological layers can be reliably determined, I'm told, by the pollen contained in the layers. That's not something a global flood would do.

    Note-- in all this, I have to trust what mainstream science says about the nature of the fossil record. I haven't had a real chance to go on a field trip myself. Would love to seize the opportunity.

  4. Hello again. That's a good point that if evolution were true we should expect localized catastrophes to show unique local populations in unique stages of evolution. The very uniformity of the fossil contents does raise questions about evolution.

    But you know, what this whole argument comes down to is simply the trading of imagined plausibilities. Nobody can KNOW anything on either side of this debate because it's all in the past. All we can do is conjecture. There are more and less intelligent conjectures but there's just no ground for saying anyone KNOWS (that a worldwide Flood wouldn't have distributed pollen as is seen in the fossil record for instance). It's all put together by reason and imagination, both of which on this fallen planet are untrustworthy, especially when uniformed by God's word.

    Again, I have to assert that we do know for sure that there was a worldwide Flood, however, and I also believe there's no doubt that it occurred only a few thousand years ago. That's because I believe the Bible is the word of God. You said at your blog that we have to honor the scientific method along with the Bible because both are of God, but why is it that when it comes to a contest between the scientific method and the Bible, it's always the Bible that loses? Science can't know for sure anything about the past, and if it contradicts the Bible a believer HAS to favor the Bible. It's God's direct word to us.

    But to try to address your post more specifically: those five GLOBAL catastrophes are all found IN that deep stack of layers, right? They're all determined by the content of those layers. They find a thin layer of a metal that is known to be associated with meteors, for instance, and that for them becomes a time marker for a meteoric catastrophe. But they are assuming their geologic time table and there is no reason to assume it.

    If the Flood explains the whole stack of strata then somewhere during that event there was a meteor hit (probably many meteor hits) and the metallic evidence got carried along and deposited by a particular layer of water the way everything else did.

    As for the idea that "periodic catastrophe makes sense if the fossils in that layer represent a snapshot of all the life on earth at that time," you still have to figure out how such a single layers -- or short stack of layers perhaps -- got laid down globally on top of others just like them -- exactly like them except for their contents -- and how such an exact repeat occurred at widely different times. That's harder to account for than a single worldwide Flood in which all living things and all the sediments would have been carried on water at one time.

    And the idea that we would see a snapshot of ALL the life at that time is also unlikely. The layers each clearly contain only a limited collection of all the types of life that are on earth NOW. There's no reason to think that at ANY time life on earth was limited to the peculiar collections found in the strata. In fact it makes no sense. There should always be more and more of the kinds of life from the lower levels along with the current type if evolution were true, but the sorting is really a lot cleaner than that and it doesn't reflect any possible reality for some hypothetical past time period.

  5. Didn't get it all said.

    As for the "day-age" idea, and the "gap" idea, those are to me simply ways people allow science to dictate in a contest with the Bible. People get mesmerized by the complicated reasonings of science and too readily abandon the Bible. Even if it makes us look foolish we MUST hold onto the Bible. In fact we're CALLED to look foolish. That's our job in a sense. But in any case, to make the Bible talk Day-Age or Gap requires fiddling with it to change what it actually clearly says on the surface. Stick to the surface. Ask God to explain it.

    Also, if local catastrophes are used to explain things, local mud slides for instance, they don't explain the layering. Local mud slides would just create lumpy areas, not the neat layers we are trying to account for.

    And then you suggest that creation itself might have occurred in phases. That's clever, a clever way to try to answer evolution's idea that one thing evolved from another, but it contradicts the Bible, Craig. It contradicts Adam's naming of the living things, which clearly shows that they were already created by the time of Adam.

    Then you come to the pollen argument. I ran into that many times. They make their reasonable plausible case why a Flood couldn't do that, but they don't KNOW, Craig, it's just a reasonable plausible case based on their own presuppositions which ignore the Bible. We HAVE to answer, you don't KNOW that, you CAN'T know that. But I go farther, I see that the entire world as it is had to have been formed by the worldwide Flood. It's true it's awfully neat to imagine a Flood doing it, but it's way harder to imagine any of the other scenarios doing it. The oceans have layers in them. We have to figure a Flood could have sorted things into layers even if we don't know how it did it. Again, NONE of the other explanations fit at all.
    So, the Flood DID disperse the pollen that way, even if we can't know how.

    I'm sure a fossil-finding field trip would be fun and informative, but I always want simply more information from the geologists to study -- a more thorough picture of exactly where all the fossils in the world have been found, at what depth, how many, what was with them and so on.

    Thanks for the conversation, Craig.

  6. I realized later that if creation occurred in phases over long periods of time then Adam wouldn't have been created before the rest of the creatures anyway so my objection to what you said was wrong.

    However, the idea doesn't fit the Bible anyway. It doesn't compute that God would take millions of years to create separate creatures and then leave things to the clearly human-scale time factor we see spelled out in the generations from Adam to Noah. The idea is just another of the ways people try to make the Bible fit in with the scientific prejudices.

    There's no foundation for their prejudices. It's all guesswork. Christians should not fall for it. God's word is ALWAYS true even if we don't know how to answer the contradictions.


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