Geology Disproves a Global Flood 5200 Years Ago and a Young Earth -- Part 2
Strata. Moreover, the orderliness of the sedimentary strata testifies against a violent global flood. The strata are not homogeneous. They consist of successive layers that differ widely in their contents and character. They are not a jumbled confusion. Land animals are not found in the same strata with fishes. Neither are extinct species found with present species. They lie methodically, each in its own successive sedimentary deposition. If the fossil record was caused by a global flood, one would expect to encounter a jumble of animals: Land animals mixed with fishes; freshwater creatures mixed with saltwater creatures. The orderliness of the fossil record does not support a global flood.
The thickness of the sedimentary strata ranges up to 10 miles or more. They give the appearance of gradual accumulation over a long time. Each stratum contains organic remains that different from the previous strata.
Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon argues against the young-earth-global-flood theory. According to this theory all the layers above the crystalline basement, the Vishnu Schist, formed as a result of the Flood. This theory also contends that each layer formed rapidly and was followed rapidly by another layer. By explaining the formation of a single layer, many young earth creationists assume that they have explained the deposit of all the layers.
According to the young-earth-global-flood theory, the Tapeats Sandstone is the first layer of the Grand Canyon deposited by the Flood. This sandstone shows ripple marks. Thus, the water causing the ripples must have been less than 5.5 feet per second (3.75 miles per hour). According to the young-earth-global-flood theory, the minimum velocity of the flood waters was 131 feet per second (89 miles per hour). Therefore, the Noachian Flood could not have formed the Tapeats Sandstone.
Just above the Tapeats Sandstone is the Bright Angel Shale. This layer consists of alternating layers of sandstone and sandy limestone. According to conventional geology, a fluctuating dispositional environment with changing current speeds is needed for this type of formation. It results from the low water currents of a changing shoreline. According to the young-earth-global-flood theory, flood waters grew deeper at the beginning of the Flood; therefore, at this point of the Flood, fluctuating shorelines would not have occurred. Thus, the Noachian Flood could not have formed the Bright Angel Shale.
The Temple Butte Limestone also presents a problem for the young-earth-global-flood theory. The eastern part of the limestone is composed of freshwater limestone. It contains fossil remains that belong only to freshwater fish. If the young-earth-global-flood theory is correct, freshwater should not have existed at this point of the Flood.
Moreover, the young-earth-global-flooding theory cannot account for the Redwall Limestone. Limestone needs calm waters to form. The global-flood theory calls for turbulent flood waters. Also, this layer is up to 535 feet thick, which suggests an extremely long period of calm water.
The Hermit Shale resulted from a swampy environment. It is soft and easily eroded. The young-earth-global-flood theory fails to predict a swamp on top of 2000 feet of sediment in the middle of the Flood. Above the Hermit Shale is another 2000 plus feet of sediment.
Most of the other formations in the Grand Canyon also present problems for the young-earth-global-flood theory. Many of these formations suggest a shoreline environment of advancing and retreating water. They do not suggest steadily increasing water depths as the young-earth-global-flooding theory predicts.
Moreover, the fossil record in some of these formations contradicts the global-flood theory. Fossils of land animals are found in layers where they should not occur if the young-earth-global-flood theory is correct. (The Coconino Sandstone, Toroweap Formation, and Kaibab Limestone are discussed above.)
If a single flood event had formed the Grand Canyon, one would expect to find the upper layers made of fine material, and the lower layers made of coarse material. Yet layers of coarse material lie on top of layers of fine material.
Also, the Grand Canyon contains layers of limestone. Limestone strata have never been found in flood deposits of any magnitude.
Moreover, as the first deposited laid by the Flood, fossils of mammals and dinosaurs would be expected to be found in this sandstone. They are not. If the young-earth-global-flood theory is correct, then fossils of dinosaurs, mammals, and other land animals and plants should occur near the beginning of the Flood and be found in the lower layers. They are not. They occur above 2000 feet. Furthermore, fossils of dinosaurs and mammals have not been found in the Grand Canyon, although fossils of reptiles and plants have.
Igneous Petrology. Igneous petrology also argues against a global flood. Igneous petrology is the branch of geology that deals with the development, emplacement, and crystallization of molten rock material, magma, within or on the surface of the Earth.
Many examples of magma intruding between layers of fossil-bearing sedimentary rock and crystallizing into igneous rock can be cited. According to the young-earth-global-flood theory, all or nearly all fossil-bearing sedimentary rock was formed during the Flood. Thus, these intrusions occurred during or after the Flood. The massive granitic batholiths of California, Idaho, and British Columbia illustrate the fallacy of the young-earth-global-flood theory. These magma intrusions were so massive that they required hundreds of thousands or even a million years to cool. Such rocks rule out a global flood of a few thousand years of age. They also argue against a young earth of no more than 12,000 years old.
Volcanoes. The remains of many volcanoes argue against a global flood several thousand years ago. Volcanoes exist that are older than the Flood. They show no evidence of being subjected to a highly erosive flood a few thousand years ago.
In Southern France, cones of ancient volcanoes remain. These cones are composed of loose, light material. They show no signs of ever being exposed to rushing or even moderate flood waters.
Fossilized Record. Dinosaur tracks have been found in lacustrine deposits. If the Flood accounts for the fossil-bearing sedimentary rock, how could dinosaurs have left their footprints? Were they walking around in water so torrent that it could move blocks of material weighing thousands of tons? Why were not these tracks washed away by the highly turbulent flood waters?
For example, dinosaur tracks have been found in the Kayenta Formation in Zion National Park, Utah. They were left in sand and silt deposited in slow moving, intermittent stream beds. These tracks were left by dinosaurs in the middle of the Noachian Flood.
Likewise, fossil tracks of scorpions, millipedes, isopods, and spiders have been found in the sedimentary rock of the Grand Canyon. Young-earth-global-flood proponents claim that the Noachian Flood made all or nearly all fossil-bearing sedimentary sandstone deposits. However, studies have shown that many of these footprints could only have been made on dry sand.
Furthermore, fossilized flowering plants argue against the young-earth-global-flood theory. The Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah contains fossilized flowering plants. This formation rests on top of more than 10,000 feet of sediment laid down by the Flood according to the young-earth-global-flood theory. How could such plants have survived so long in a turbulent global flood? How could they survive so much sediment? Why do fossils of flowering plants not appear in the Grand Canyon, where deposits predate the Cedar Mountain Formation? This formation also contains fossils of dinosaurs. According to the young-earth-global-flood theory, the Cedar Mountain Formation formed toward the end of the Flood.
Moreover, the young-earth-global-flood theory predicts that both plant spores and pollen should be dispersed throughout the geological strata. They are not. They are found in distinct layers in succession. Pollen only appears in the upper, younger, layers of rock. Pollen from nonflowering plants, like pines, appears before pollen from flowering plants, like oaks. Only spores of ferns, mosses, and similar plants appear in the lower, older, layers of rock. Thus, the lower strata contain only spores. The higher strata contain spores and pollen from both flowering and nonflowering (gymnosperm) plants. In between, the strata contain spores and gymnosperm pollen. Furthermore, spores of many extinct plants appear only in the lower layers of the fossil record. If the young-earth-global-flood theory is correct, they should also be found in the higher levels. Spores of similar size and shapes as those of these extinct species are found in the upper layers.
Young earth creationists claim that the Noachian Flood created most, if not all, of the fossil record. The Karoo Supergroup in South Africa is estimated to contain the remains of 800 billion vertebrates. The fossilized animals range in size from a small lizard to a cow with an average size being about the size of a fox. If all these animals were alive at once, an average of 21 of them would inhabit every acre of land on earth. If the Karoo Supergroup contains 1 percent of the fossilized land vertebrates, then at least 2100 living vertebrates must have inhabited each acre on earth on the eve of the Flood.
Moreover, the quantity of shellfish on earth just before the Flood would have conservatively cover the earth to a depth of at least one to five feet. Chalk is mostly made of fossilized shellfish. High quantities of shellfish fossils are also found in many limestones. Chalk, limestone, and similar rock account for about 20 percent of the sedimentary rock.
Also, fossils arrange themselves in well-defined zones. They are sorted by type instead of size and density as the global flood theory predicts. That is, trilobites, both small and large, are found in one layer. Nautiloids and ammonoids are found in another layer. Their shells have buoyancy chambers, which makes them very light. However, they are never found in the upper layers of the strata as the global-flood theory would predict. Conversely, turtles, which are large and dense, are found only in the middle and upper layers; they are never found in the lower layers as the global-flood theory predicts.
Another argument against the young-earth-global-flood theory is fossilized charcoal or fusain. They could not have been formed during the Flood because fire cannot burn under water.
Yellowstone Fossil Forests. A stratum in Yellowstone Park disproves the global flood theory. The stratum at Specimen Ridge contains 27 successive forests destroyed by lava and ash. Enough time was needed for each forest to mature and then be covered by lava and ash. Time was needed for the lava and ash to weather into soil before the next forest could grow. Moreover, the deposit containing these trees is 3400 feet thick. At least 20,000 years are needed for these events to occur. At most only one of these forests could have been destroyed during the Flood. Even this is doubtful. Trees uprooted by a flood are usually stripped of their roots and buried on their sides. The trees in these fossilized forests stand upright and have complete root systems. Furthermore, these forests set on top of several thousand feet of fossil-bearing rock.
Ice Core. Ice cores argue against the young-earth-global-flood theory. By counting annual layers, scientists have dated ice cores from Greenland to be more than 40,000 years old. If a global flood occurred a few thousand years ago, one would expect to find signs of sediments, noticeable changes in salinity, fractures from buoyancy and thermal stresses, and other evidence of a catastrophic global flood. Such evidence is not found.
The young-earth-global-flood theory fails to provide a satisfactory answer for fossil coral reefs, evaporite deposits, lacustrine deposits, fossilized eolian deserts, chalk beds, conglomerates, ancient volcanoes, igneous intrusions, and the fossil record. These geological facts are difficult for the advocates of a global flood to explain away. Other geological facts are impossible to explain away. These geological facts also argue against a young earth, and many of them could not have taken place within the time allocated by the young earth theory.
The above discussion is not intended to preclude catastrophic events that have global effects. Ample evidence exists that shows the occurrence of such catastrophic events. Many, perhaps most, large fossil deposits may have resulted from such catastrophes. Catastrophes may also explain many geological anomalies. Such an event probably occurred around 3200 B.C. although it was not a global flood like the one described by the young earth creationists. The geological record shows that such a flood could not have occurred so recently. Moreover, much of this evidence shows that the earth must be much older than 12,000 years.
A major problem that many young earth creationists seem to have is difficulty in distinguishing geology from biology. They seem to believe that if the earth is more than 10,000 or 12,000 years old, evolution is proven. (Ironically, when describing the origin of human races, many creationists resort to Darwinism. Also, many young earth creationists support the “created-kind” theory. That is, for example, God created a cat kind from which all members of the cat family, Felidae, evolved. Unlike conventional evolutionists, who believe that many generations are required for one kind to become another kind, these creationists believe that only a few generations are needed. Thus the primary disagreement between the two is not one of basic principles so much as it is about starting point and the time required for a new species to evolve.) Evolution can be disproved biologically independent of geology.
If the reader wants more detailed discussions of the above geological evidence against a young earth and a global flood a few thousand years ago, he should consult the references in the endnotes.
10. Smith, pp. 211-212.
11. Greg Neyman, “Creation Science Exposed – Stratigraphy and the Young Earth Global Flood Model – Part 2,” Jan. 2003, Feb. 2006, http://www.oldearth.org/stratigraphy2.htm, Dec. 18, 2015. Senter.
12. Hayward. Isaak. David A. Young, Creation and the Flood: An Alternative to Flood Geology and Theistic Evolution (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1977), pp. 177-185.
13. Smith, p. 265.
14. Burky. Hayward. Greg Neyman, “Creation Science Exposed – Stratigraphy and the Young Earth Global Flood Model – Part 1,” Jan. 2003, Feb. 2006, http://www.oldearth.org/stratigraphy.htm, Dec. 18, 2015. Greg Neyman, “Creation Science Rebuttals – Creation Magazine, The Coconino Sands (Startling Evidence for Noah’s Flood),” Jan. 24, 2003, http://www.oldearth.org/coconino.htm, Dec. 18, 2014. Senter. Smith, pp. 211-212. Weber. Young, Christianity, p. 88.
15. Hayward. Weber. Greg Neyman, “Yellowstone Petrified Forests,” March 6, 2003, www.answersincreation.org/yellowstone.htm.
Copyright © 2016 by Thomas Coley Allen.
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