This post comes from a book by Oard and Carter (2021).
Biblical geology is much more sophisticated than skeptics both inside and outside of Christianity assert. Over 60 years of research, often published in technical journals as well as popular books and magazines, have produced an impressive body of evidence. Sloppy examination of creation science, and their biases, often cause secular scientists, old-earth creationists, and theistic evolutionists to grossly misrepresent the nature of the debate and the quality of evidence supporting the historic Christian view.
What you believe about the past is determined by your worldview
Biblical geology affirms that hard science depends upon observations and repeatable experiments. However, observations need to be interpreted. How they are interpreted depends upon the scientist’s assumptions. These assumptions have a strong influence in historical sciences like geology. Secular scientists are convinced that if God is allowed into the picture, it opens the door to superstition. Thus, only naturalism is considered. The only viable alternative to naturalism, uniformitarianism, deep time, and evolution is one that is based on recorded history: the Scriptures. The biblical worldview interprets the geological observations in terms of Genesis 1-11. Creation and secular scientists mostly use the same objective observations, but often interpret them differently. Sometimes secular geological and paleontological research does not report all the information from a field site. This information maybe the key to a re-interpretation of the site and therefore Flood geologists need to go onto the field themselves. There is much research still to do.
When we examine the history of science, we discover that Enlightenment scholars and their later disciples convinced the culture that naturalism is the only view that should be allowed in science. Noah’s flood was rejected and uniformitarianism was assumed at a time when little was known about geology. It became apparent that for naturalistic assumptions to make any sense, it would take millions of years of time in the past. From the assumptions of naturalism and uniformitarianism, it was a natural progression to adopt some form of evolutionism. The geologic column quickly became the ruling paradigm for explaining fossil order. Three key paradigms were eventually added to secular geology over the years: (1) the demise of the dinosaurs by a meteorite impact 65 million years ago, (2) gradual plate tectonics, and (3) the astronomical or Milankovitch theory. It is highly important to understand that both deep time (Appendix A) and evolution flow directly from uniformitarian geology.
Biblical geology is a superior framework for explaining the unique characteristics of the rocks. Tas Walker’s Biblical Geological Model is based on the historical account of the Flood found in Genesis. We can divide Noah’s flood into two main stages, like any flash flood: the Inundatory Stage in which the water rises and a Recessional Stage when the water recedes. According to Scripture it lasted about one year. The stages of the Flood can be further divided into five phases. It began with a rapid rise (phase 1), which transformed into a more gradual rise (phase 2), until a peak was reached (phase 3). As floods decrease, they first flow as wide currents (phase 4), but as higher terrain is exposed it transforms into more narrow currents (phase 5). This model, and the ensuing Ice Age, are able to explain both geological and paleontological observations. Not surprisingly, the data fit better within the biblical framework.
The observations of geology fit the Bible
As the reader will recall, there are three basic types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The sedimentary rocks are the most important to biblical geology because uniformitarianism, the millions of years, and evolution are based primarily on the interpretation of these rocks.
Armed with our knowledge of basic geology and the Creation-Flood Model (CFM), we can place the vast majority of sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks, and fossils into the beginning of Noah’s Flood, the Inundatory Stage. The Eruptive Phase caused rifting of the crust and primarily deposited sediments in deep, protected rifts and basins. This is when most of the Precambrian sedimentary rocks were deposited. As the strongest currents and the turbulence of the early Flood subsided, it dropped vast quantities of sediment, mostly with little faulting or folding. This stage is called the Great Deposition. The fact that most sedimentary rocks can be traced over long distances with little if any erosion between and within layers is powerful evidence of a global flood. It was during the Great Deposition that oscillatory sediments were deposited, often combined with vegetative sediments. Much of the buried vegetation became coal. The Great Deposition was when dinosaur tracks, eggs, and scavenged bone beds were preserved. Their formation and preservation are explained by the BEDS model (Appendix B).
The Inundatory Stage produced a general burial sequence, starting with marine creatures and ending with terrestrial creatures. This burial sequence shows up in the general fossil order of the geologic column. It is important to recognize that the geologic column does not represent simple to complex progression with time. One of the first creatures, lowest in the column, is the trilobite. Its eyes are more complex than humans, and yet it appears at the bottom of the fossil record fully formed with no ancestors. Fully formed creatures that have no ancestors are typical of the fossil record.
There were more sediments and sedimentary rocks on the continents at the peak of the Flood than we have today. The Recessive Stage of the Flood eroded many hundreds of metres off the top layers and deposited the sediments on the continental margins. The Retreating Stage of the Flood can explain the morphology of the continental shelf and slope, while uniformitarian scientists find it a challenge. Differential vertical tectonics caused the runoff of the floodwaters as the continents rose and the ocean basins sank (Ps. 104:8). There is evidence all over the whole earth of this vertical motion in the earth’s crust. To give an idea of the potential amplitude of differential vertical tectonics at the end of the Flood, the vertical slip in the state of Wyoming totals 13,715 m (45,000 ft). Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) may provide an explanation for the apparent horizontal fit between disparate continents, as well as the residual sliding we see today.
As the floodwater ran off the continents and eroded off the top sediments, it left unique features on the surface that are very difficult, if not impossible, for uniformitarianism to explain. Most of these features were formed during phase 4 when the Flood receded in wide currents (Sheet Flow Phase). The features include: (1) planation surfaces, which are not forming today except on a small scale (like on a river flood plain); (2) erosional remnants; and (3) hard rocks that were transported over long distances. This latter feature is prominent in the northwest United States and adjacent Canada. Quartzite cobbles and boulders were transported up to 1,280 km (800 mi) from their source. As the Flood’s water lowered, it went around exposed land. This is called the Channelized Flow Phase (phase 5), and during this phase the Floodwaters carved water and wind gaps, which also defy uniformitarianism.
Secular dating methods build on three main assumptions which are often violated (Oard, 2019). They are: the decay rate must remain constant, the initial elements must be known at the time the rock cooled, and, for the techniques discussed in this book, the rock must remain a closed system for billions of years. The recent discovery of soft tissue preserved in dinosaurs, said to be many tens of millions of years old, and of carbon-14 in coal and diamonds, belies an old Earth. Creation science has concluded that the millions and billions of years the radiometric dating methods produce can be explained by accelerated radiometric decay that happened sometime in the past 6,000 years of biblical time (Humphreys, 2008).
Biblical geology has many challenges that have been answered, specifically the Yellowstone ‘fossil forests’ and dinosaur tracks, eggs, and scavenged bonebeds. We have answers to other challenges, but many more need good answers with further research. Many challenges are unanswered because there are many unknows in earth science, and we do not understand many aspects of a global flood. Also, there are relatively few people actively working to research the issues, in comparison with secular institutions and the taxpayer funding they have access to.
The Ice Age was a direct result of global conditions immediately after the Flood-primarily Flood and post-Flood volcanism and warm ocean water. The Ice Age lasted approximately 700 years. The duration was calculated using heat balance equations. The actual data support only one Ice Age. Uniformitarian science has many phenomena, spread across all disciplines, that they cannot explain, but the Creation-Flood Model and a post- Flood rapid Ice Age has the power to solve most of them.
Creation science provides a fresh look at the rocks of the earth and encourages confidence in Scripture and in God’s power to accomplish all that He has written.
Appendix A: The deep time deception
Is there room in the Bible for deep time? Where do we get the idea that the universe is billions of years old? Does science prove the earth is old? What about radiometric dating? What about fossils? These questions, and many more, are tackled and clearly answered in “The Deep Time Deception” (Oard, 2019). You will learn what the Bible has to say on the matter, how the Apostles and Jesus himself thought about it, and how Christianity has historically dealt with the issue. This book also deals with the history of how the earth went from thousands to billions of years old, at least in the minds of many people, between the Middle Ages and today. There are many different ways Christian scholars have dealt with this, especially since the 19th Century when Charles Darwin popularized the theory of evolution, but how do those ways stack up with a straightforward reading of the Bible? And how do they measure up to recent discoveries of carbon-14 in things supposedly millions of years old, like dinosaur bones, coal, and diamonds? Christians need to read this book. In the end, The Deep Time Deception will show you that the Bible and science say the same thing: the earth is not billions, not millions, not even hundreds of thousands of years old. The Bible is a book of history, and that history is not contradicted by deep time, because deep time is a deception.
Appendix B: The BEDS model
BEDS stands for Briefly Exposed Diluvial Sediments. This model has been proposed to explain certain features of dinosaur tracks found on Flood sediments which have other Flood sediments below and above them.
In areas of rapid sedimentation during the Ascending Phase, sand and mud flats could occasionally form after a temporary drop in the local floodwaters. This would create an exposed surface on which dinosaurs and other animals could make tracks, lay eggs and scavenge dead dinosaurs. There are multiple mechanisms, such as daily tides, local tectonics, and tsunamis, that could cause brief exposure of the Flood sediments. The BEDS model can explain all these features, and more, such as raindrop imprints, trace fossils, and even true mudcracks.
Appendix C: Biblical geology 101
In one sense, geology is just the study of rocks. In another sense, it can be used to make grand claims about history. Thus, geology and its corollary of millions of years has been a significant challenge to the biblical timeline since scientists started to look at rocks.
“Biblical geology 101” is an easy-to-read book where you will learn how rocks are formed, how they change over time, and how Noah’s Flood impacted the world. You will learn about the post-Flood Ice Age and how that further carved up the landscape. Along the way, you will be given a biblical model of earth history that explains what we see when we look at things like mountains and river valleys. You will see evidence for massive amounts of erosion that was caused by sheets of water flowing across continents. You will also learn about the subtle and small-scale processes that occur over longer periods of time.
In “Biblical geology 101”, you will learn that the Bible can be trusted.
Appendix D: Relationship between naturalistic time and the Flood
The relationship between naturalistic (uniformitarian) time and the Flood is given below (Walker, 2020).
Humphreys D R, 2008, “Helium evidence for a young world continues to confound critics”.
Oard M J, 2019, “The deep time deception: Examining the Case for Millions of Years”, Creation Book Publishers.
Oard M J and Carter R W, 2021, “Biblical Geology 101”, Creation Book Publishers (Appendix C).
Walker T, 2020 “The geology transformation tool” (Appendix D).
This post comes from the final chapter of a book by Oard and Carter (2021).
Posted, March 2022