Flood geology

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Flood geology (also creation geology or diluvial geology) is a prominent subset of beliefs under the umbrella of creationism that assumes the literal truth of a global flood as described in the Genesis account of Noah's Ark. For adherents, the global flood and its aftermath are believed to be the origin of most of the Earth's geological features, including sedimentary strata, fossilization, fossil fuels, and salt domes.

Young Earth creationists regard Genesis as providing an historically and scientifically accurate record for the geological history of the Earth and believe that there exists evidence to support the historicity of the flood. However, the evidence creationists have presented in support of flood geology has been evaluated, refuted and unequivocally dismissed by the scientific community, which considers such flood geology to be pseudoscience. Flood geology directly contradicts the current consensus (and much of the evidence underlying it) in scientific disciplines such as geology, chemistry, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and paleontology.[1][2][3][4]


[edit] History of flood geology

[edit] The great flood in the history of geology

The modern science of geology was founded in Europe in the 18th century.[5] Its practitioners sought to understand the history and shaping of the Earth through the physical evidence laid down in rocks and minerals. As many early geologists were clergymen, they naturally sought to link the geological history of the world with that set out in the Bible. The ancient theory that fossils were the result of "plastic forces" within the Earth's crust had by this time been abandoned, with the recognition that they represented the remains of once-living creatures. This, though, raised a major problem: how did fossils of sea creatures end up on land, or on the tops of mountains?

The idea that fossils represented organisms that were killed and buried during the brief duration of the Flood was once commonly held by many Christian thinkers. Acceptance of the idea was furthered by the geological peculiarity in northern Europe where much is covered by layers of loam and gravel as well as erratic boulders deposited hundreds of miles from their original sources. This was interpreted as the result of massive flooding, though it is now known that these features are the product of ice age glaciations. Notions were once held that the global flood was associated with massive geographical upheavals, with old continents sinking and new ones rising, thus transforming ancient seabeds into mountain tops.

During the Age of Enlightenment, there were significant attempts made to provide natural causes for the miracles recounted in the Bible. Natural philosophy explanations for a global flood can be found in such works as An Essay Toward a Natural History of the Earth (1695) by John Woodward and New Theory of the Earth (1696) by Woodward’s student William Whiston.[6]

By the early 19th century, however, this view had fallen into disrepute. It was already thought that the Earth's lifespan was far longer than that suggested by literal readings of the Bible (an age of 75,000 years had been suggested as early as 1779, as against the 6,000 years proposed by Archbishop James Ussher's famous chronology). Charles Lyell's promotion of James Hutton's ideas of uniformitarianism advocated the principle that geological changes that occurred in the past may be understood by studying present-day phenomena. In common with Newton, Hutton assumed that the world-system had been in a steady state since the day of creation, but unlike Newton he included in this vision not only the motion of celestial bodies and processes like chemical change on earth, but also processes of geological change. Christopher Kaiser writes:

In other words, in comparison with Newton's, Hutton's was a higher order concept of the system of nature which included not only the present structure of the world, but the process (or natural history) by which the present structure had come into existence and was maintained. As with Newton, and in contrast to materialists like Buffon and neomechanists like Laplace, the origins of the system were beyond the scope of science for Hutton: in nature itself he found 'no vestige of a beginning - no prospect of an end'. But Hutton came about as close to being a neomechanist as one possibly could without changing the Newtonian framework of God and nature. Only the Newtonian stipulation that God had personally designed the present system of nature stood between natural theology and the retirement of God from science altogether... Like Derham and Cotes, Hutton believed that God had implanted active principles in nature at creation sufficient to account for all its natural functions.[7]

The idea that all geological strata were produced by a single flood was rejected in 1837 by the Reverend William Buckland, the first professor of geology at Oxford University, who wrote:

Some have attempted to ascribe the formation of all the stratified rocks to the effects of the Mosaic Deluge; an opinion which is irreconcilable with the enormous thickness and almost infinite subdivisions of these strata, and with the numerous and regular successions which they contain of the remains of animals and vegetables, differing more and more widely from existing species, as the strata in which we find them are placed at greater depths. The fact that a large proportion of these remains belong to extinct genera, and almost all of them to extinct species, that lived and multiplied and died on or near the spots where they are now found, shows that the strata in which they occur were deposited slowly and gradually, during long periods of time, and at widely distant intervals.[8]

Although Buckland continued for a while to insist that some geological layers related to the Great Flood, he was forced to abandon this idea as the evidence increasingly indicated multiple inundations which occurred well before humans existed. He was convinced by the Swiss geologist Louis Agassiz that much of the evidence on which he relied was in fact the product of ancient ice ages, and became one of the foremost champions of Agassiz's theory of glaciations. Mainstream science gave up on the idea of flood geology, which required major deviations from known physical processes.

[edit] Reemergence of flood geology

Flood geology was developed as a creationist endeavor in the 20th century by George McCready Price, a Seventh-day Adventist and armchair[9] geologist who wrote a book in 1923 to provide a Traditional Adventist perspective on geology.[10][11] In the 1950s Price's work came under severe criticism and in particular by Bernard Ramm in his book “The Christian View of Science and Scripture”. Together with J. Laurence Kulp,[12] a geologist and in fellowship with the Plymouth Brethren, and other scientists,[13] Ramm influenced Christian organisations such as the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) in not supporting flood geology. Price's work was subsequently adapted and updated by Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb, Jr. in their book The Genesis Flood in 1961. Morris and Whitcomb argued that the Earth was geologically recent, that the Fall of Man had triggered the second law of thermodynamics, and that the Great Flood had laid down most of the geological strata in the space of a single year .[14] Given this history, they argued, "the last refuge of the case for evolution immediately vanishes away, and the record of the rocks becomes a tremendous witness . . . to the holiness and justice and power of the living God of Creation!"[15].

This became the foundation of a new generation of Young Earth creationist thinkers, many of whom organized themselves around Morris's Institute for Creation Research. Subsequent research by the Creation Research Society has observed and analyzed, and interpreted geological formations, within a flood geology framework, including the La Brea Tar Pits,[16] the Tavrick Formation (Tauric Formation, Russian: "Tavricheskaya formatsiya") in the Crimean Peninsula[17] and Stone Mountain, Georgia.[18] In each case, the creationists claimed that the flood geology interpretation had superior explanatory power than the uniformitarian explanation. The Creation Research Society argues that "uniformitarianism is wishful thinking".[19]

The impact on creationism and fundamentalist Christianity of these ideas is considerable. Morris' theories of flood geology are widely promoted around the world, with his books being translated into many other languages. Flood geology is still a major theme of modern creationism, though it is rejected by earth scientists.

[edit] Biblical basis

[edit] Genesis and the Flood

Flood geology is based on a literal interpretation of the "flood narrative" in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 6-9). The story begins with God's decision to bring a deluge which will wipe out all life on earth except for those to be saved on Noah's Ark. In the 600th year of Noah's life God opens the "fountains of the deep" and the "windows of Heaven" and causes rain to fall on the earth for 40 days and nights. The flood increases for 150 days and covers "all the high mountains under heaven," at which point the Ark grounds on the mountains. The waters then retreat for 150 days, the earth dries, and Noah and his family and the animals and birds emerge to re-establish life on earth.[20]

Genesis also contains a chronology which places the Flood in the year 1656 after Creation. Correlating this with a date in the modern calendar has proven contentious - the Catholic Encyclopedia comments that there have been over two hundred attempts, with outcomes varying from 3483 to 6934 years BC[21] - but most accounts would arrive at a date somewhere in the 3rd millennium BCE.

[edit] Theological basis

The common stance of mainstream (Non-Orthodox Judaism and Non-Evangelical Christian) modern biblical scholars is that the flood story in Genesis was written around 550-450BC as a refutation of Babylonian ideas concerning the supremacy of the god Marduk: the Hebrew supreme deity, Yahweh, is credited with the creation of the world in Genesis 1-2, its destruction in Genesis 6-9, and the subsequent subjection of Canaan to Noah's son Shem, ancestor of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel: the story thus serves the post-Exilic ideology of the reclamation of the "promised land" of Israel/Canaan. The flood story itself is hypothesized to be an elaborate reworking of the Babylonian myth of the flood-hero Utnapistim, but with the theology of the Babylonian story reversed: where the Babylonian story featured multiple gods, the Hebrew story has only Yahweh (i.e., it advances the Hebrew idea of monotheism against Babylonian polytheism).[citation needed]

The flood story is the central element of a unit within Genesis 1-11 which scholars, following the great German biblical scholar Martin Noth, term the "Primeval Narrative." This begins with the creation of "the heavens and the earth" in six days, with a seventh day of rest. God's creation is good, but man corrupts it with violence, and the flood narrative marks God's decision to destroy his creation. Like the creation (Genesis 1), destruction takes six time-units - months instead of days - with a seventh month in which the Ark "rests" on the highest mountains". (Noah's name also means "rest" in Hebrew, to underline the point). The Ark rests for a month, the waters then fall for five months (150 days, each month having 30 days), repeating the six days of creation, and Noah waits a further month, mimicking again the sacred seventh day of rest, before emerging.

The Genesis flood takes place with the cosmology of the ancient Near East. It begins in the second month of Noah's 600th year rather than the first because creation is rolled back to the state of the second day of creation, when a "firmament" is created to separate the "waters above" the earth from the "waters below". For the Hebrews, like all peoples of the ancient Near East, the earth was surrounded by water, both above and below, with a solid roof (the firmament) preserving the habitable world from the surrounding waters[citation needed]. When God opens the "windows of heaven" and the "fountains of the Deep", it is these waters which enter and flood the world - which is flat and circular, on the Babylonian model (although there are hints that Genesis may have had in mind the Egyptian universe, which was equally flat, but rectangular rather than circular). The rain may be the contribution of a second author - scholars see two sources at work within the flood story, labeled the Yahwist and the Priestly source, with slightly different theologies and narratives.

The flood of Genesis was almost universally believed by Christians until the 17th century, when the growth of scientific knowledge began to undercut it; by the mid-19th century belief in both the flood and the Genesis 1-11 chronology had been almost completely abandoned. The revival and rapid growth of biblical literalism, especially in the United States, can be dated to the early 20th century; the reasons behind this social phenomenon are complex, but the theological rationale has been stated by many literalists, including, in a contemporary form, in Answers in Genesis:

"The debate about the age of the earth is ultimately a question of whose word we are going to trust: the all-knowing truthful Creator who has given us His inerrant book (the Bible) or finite, sinful creatures who give us their books that contain errors and therefore are frequently revised. If you firmly trust and carefully read the Bible and become informed on creationist interpretations of the geological record, you can easily see how the rocks of the earth powerfully confirm the Bible’s teaching, both about Noah’s Flood and a young earth."[22]

[edit] Evidence cited to support a global flood

[edit] Fossils

Generally, the geologic column and the fossil record are used as major pieces of evidence in the modern scientific explanation of the development and evolution of life on Earth as well as a means to establish the age of the Earth. Some creationists, notably Morris and Whitcomb in their 1961 book, The Genesis Flood, deny the existence of these pieces of evidence, as do leading contemporary creationists such as Michael Oard and John Woodmorappe.[23]

Other creationists accept the existence of the geological column and believe that it indicates a sequence of events that might have occurred during the global flood. This is the approach taken by Institute for Creation Research creationists such as Andrew Snelling, Steven A. Austin and Kurt Wise, as well as Creation Ministries International.[24][25] They claim that fossils are produced not by a process lasting millions of years, but by rapid burial of the remains of many of the Earth's lifeforms by sediments in the short period of the flood. Sometimes, creationists will claim that fossilization can only take place when the matter is buried quickly so that the matter does not decompose.[26]

Flood geologists have proposed numerous hypothesis to reconcile the sequence of fossils evident in the fossil column with the literal account of Noah's flood in the Bible. Whitcomb and Morris proposed three possible factors. One is hydrological, wherein the relative buoyancies of the remains based on the organisms' shapes and densities determined the sequence in which their remains settled to the bottom of the flood waters. The second factor they proposed was ecological, suggesting organisms living at the ocean bottom succumbed first in the flood and those living at the highest altitudes last. The third factor was anatomical and behavioral, the ordered sequence in the fossil column resulting from the very different responses to the rising waters between different kinds of organisms due to their diverse mobilities and original habitats.[27] In a scenario put forth by Morris, the remains of marine life were the first to settle to the bottom, followed by the slower moving lowland reptiles, and culminating with mankind whose superior intelligence and ability to flee enabled them to reach higher elevations before they were overcome by the flood waters.[28]

Some creationists believe that oil and coal deposits formed rapidly in sedimentary layers as volcanoes or flood waters flattened forests and buried the debris. They believe the vegetation decomposed rapidly into oil or coal due to the heat of the subterranean waters as they were unleashed from the Earth during the flood or by the high temperatures created as the remains were compressed by water and sediment.[29][30]

Creationists continue to search for evidence in the natural world that they consider to be consistent with the above description, such as evidence of rapid formation. For example, there have been claims of raindrop marks and water ripples at layer boundaries, sometimes associated with the claimed fossilized footprints of men and dinosaurs walking together. Most of this footprint evidence has been debunked by scientists[31] and some have been shown to be fakes.[32]

[edit] Liquefaction

Liquefaction is a process by which sediments saturated with water can, under certain conditions, acquire properties that are more like those of a heavy liquid than those of a loose solid. Flood geology proponent Walt Brown contended that this process can explain a number of observations in a way that is consistent with a global flood. In particular, he proposed that the observed sorting of fossils into globally ordered layers can be explained by the effects of liquefaction precipitated by the wave action from undulating hydroplates compressing water into the saturated sediments at the ocean floor. Brown contends that liquefaction during the flood sorted the sediment into identifiable sedimentary layers and can explain how these layers extend over over wide areas.[33]

[edit] Widespread flood stories

While it is not geological evidence, believers in Flood Geology also point out that flood stories can be found in many cultures, places, and religions; this, they suggest, is evidence of an actual event in the historic past because local floods would not explain the similarities in the flood stories.[34]

Anthropologists generally reject this view and highlight the fact that much of the human population lives near water sources such as rivers and coasts, where unusually severe floods can be expected to occur occasionally and will be recorded in tribal mythology [35]. Geologists William Ryan and Walter C. Pitman, III have suggested that the rapid filling of the Black Sea (c.7,000 BC) at the end of the last Ice Age may be responsible for the flood myths in the Near East.[36]

[edit] Proposed mechanisms of the flood

Although most proponents of a global flood believe that it was at some level the result of divine intervention, some have also attempted to find a mechanism by which a flood could have occurred within the framework of natural laws. The main difficulty is where the enormous amount of water required to cover "all the high mountains" came from or where it went to. Some flood geology supporters propose that the mountains were much smaller before the flood, and would be submerged by only tens of meters of water. At various times, subterranean sources ("hydroplates"), atmospheric sources (a "vapor canopy"), and extraterrestrial sources (a comet strike or orbiting ice) have been proposed as the source of the flood waters. The source currently most often discussed is that the ocean basins were closed by some form of rapid tectonics, spreading the water over the whole Earth. Most flood geology proponents envision the ocean basins opening up after the flood, whether for the first time or reopening, providing a place for the flood waters to drain to. This would require tectonic motion millions of times faster than any known mechanism could produce.

[edit] Hydroplates

Walter T. Brown, director of the Center for Scientific Creation, has attempted to solve the problem of the origin and subsequent drainage of the floodwaters with the idea that the Earth as originally created had huge subterranean reservoirs, (the "waters under the Earth" referred to in Genesis 1). The Flood had its origin when the crust of the Earth cracked, allowing this water to escape violently to the surface.[37] The pieces of the surface crust, which Brown calls "hydroplates", then divided to form the present continents, and the water drained into the basins formed by the division of the plates to become the oceans.

Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research reject Brown's hydroplates in favor of "catastrophic plate tectonics". [38] The idea been criticised by physicists and geologists as well on numerous points:[39][40]

  • The rock of the Earth's crust does not float, and any subterranean waters underneath the crust would have been expelled almost immediately and risen to the surface.
  • The temperature of water rises with depth, due to pressure (the principle is the same as in a pressure cooker): any water at the depths proposed by Brown would reach the surface as steam, creating flood waters too hot for any life on the Ark to survive.
  • The violent explosion of subterranean waters proposed by Brown would erode the walls of the fissures as it escaped, leaving behind obvious evidence of basaltic erosion near the fissures and along the thousand-miles long course of the receding waters as they drained into the ocean basins. Such evidence has not been found.

[edit] Vapor canopy

In 1874 Isaac Vail, drawing on the "waters above the firmament" (i.e. the sky) mentioned in Genesis 1:7, proposed that the waters for the Flood came from a "canopy" of water vapor (or liquid water or ice) surrounding the primeval Earth. In 1961 The Genesis Flood, by Henry M. Morris and John Whitcomb, revived Vail's hypothesis and bolstered it with further biblical statements, including:

  • "the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth... but there went up a mist from the earth" (Genesis 2:5-6) - interpreted to mean that there was no rain prior to the great Flood, but only a vapor mist which watered the earth;
  • "the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day" - interpreted to mean that sunset being the breezy part of every day;
  • "I do set my bow in the cloud" (Genesis 9:13) - interpreted to mean that there were no rainbows prior to the great Flood;
  • "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day" - the great luminary on the 4th day that becomes the sun after the Flood;
  • "the windows of heaven were opened" (Genesis 7:11) - understood to describe the collapse of the vapor canopy during the Flood;
  • “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22) - understood to mean that prior to the flood there were no seasons as the vapor canopy created a uniform climate;

Evidence for the vapor canopy, as advanced by creationists, has included the supposed long lives of the antediluvian Patriarchs (the idea being that the vapour canopy shielded them from harmful ultra-violet solar radiation), and the frozen remains of woolly mammoths with grass in their mouths (supposed to be evidence of a sudden freezing out of the water vapor as ice at the poles).

Kent Hovind has popularised the "vapour canopy" among the general population of creationists, but the Center for Scientific Creation opposes it, and it has also fallen into disfavour at Answers in Genesis[41].

The scientific criticism of the vapor canopy focuses on the required pressure and temperature of the atmosphere. For water vapor equivalent to one kilometer of liquid water, the pressure at the surface of the Earth would be 100 times greater than it is now. The critical pressure of water is only 217 atm, so it is difficult to distinguish between liquid and vapor under these conditions, but either the temperature would be high (hundreds or thousands of degrees) or the density of the vapor would be more like that of liquid water than our present atmosphere. Finally, to get this vapor to condense into rain, an enormous amount of heat would have to be extracted and disposed of.

The idea of a canopy of liquid water or ice faces other difficulties. A stationary layer of water would, of course, not be stable and would immediately fall. An orbiting ring or shell of water or ice, even if it could be made stable for long periods and then suddenly fall, would be heated by conversion of gravitational energy during the fall, resulting in steam rather than rain. (This incidentally rules out the mammoths as evidence of a vapour canopy converting to ice at high latitudes).

[edit] Runaway subduction

In the last decade, most proposed flood mechanisms involve "runaway subduction" (the rapid movement of tectonic plates) in one form or another, at least in order to open up the ocean basins to allow the drainage of the water after the flood, but possibly also to close them before the flood in order to force the oceans onto the land.

One specific form of runaway subduction is called Catastrophic plate tectonics, proposed by geophysicist John Baumgardner and supported by the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis.[42] This holds the rapid plunge of former oceanic plates into the mantle caused by an unknown trigger mechanism which increased local mantle pressures to the point that its viscosity dropped several magnitudes according to known properties of mantle silicates. Once initiated, sinking plates caused the spread of low viscosity throughout the mantle resulting in runaway mantle convection and catastrophic tectonic motion as continents were dragged across the surface of the earth. Once the former ocean plates, which are known to be more dense than the mantle, reached the bottom of the mantle an equilibrium was reached. Pressures dropped, viscosity increased, runaway mantle convection stopped, leaving the surface of the earth rearranged. Proponents point to subducted slabs in the mantle which are still relatively cool, which they regard as evidence that they have not been there for millions of years of temperature equilibration.[43]

The hypothesis of catastrophic plate tectonics is considered pseudoscience and is rejected by the vast majority of geologists in favour of the conventional geological theory of plate tectonics. It has been argued that the tremendous release of energy necessitated by such an event would boil off the Earth's oceans, making a global flood impossible.[44] Further, this hypothesis is contradicted by a considerable body of geological evidence:[45]

  • some volcanic island chains, such as the Hawaiian islands, present evidence that the ocean floor moved slowly over erupting "hot spots." Radiometric dating and erosion levels indicate that the older islands are very much older, not close to the same age as catastrophic tectonics would require.
  • Catastrophic plate tectonics requires that all ocean floor should be approximately the same age, but both radiometric dating and amounts of sedimentation indicate that the age changes gradually, from brand new to tens of millions of years old.
  • As sea-floor basalt cools, it becomes denser and sinks. The elevation of sea floors is consistent with cooling appropriate for its age according to conventional geology, assuming gradual spreading.
  • Guyots are flat-topped underwater mountains, whose tops were eroded flat over a long time at the ocean surface, and they sank with the sea floor. Catastrophic tectonics does not allow enough time for the sea mountain to form, erode, and sink.
  • This hypothesis does not account for continent-continent collisions, such as between India and the Eurasian plate.

Catastrophic plate tectonics lacks a plausible mechanism. Particularly, the greatly lowered viscosity of the mantle, the rapid magnetic reversals, and the sudden cooling of the ocean floor afterwards cannot be explained under conventional physics.[45]

Conventional plate tectonics accounts for the geological evidence already, including innumerable details that catastrophic plate tectonics cannot, such as why there is gold in California, silver in Nevada, salt flats in Utah, and coal in Pennsylvania, without requiring any extraordinary mechanisms to do so.[45][46]

[edit] Evidence cited against a global flood

Modern geology, and its sub-disciplines of earth science, geochemistry, geophysics, glaciology, paleoclimatology, paleontology and other scientific disciplines utilize the scientific method to analyze the geology of the earth. The key tenets of flood geology are refuted by scientific analysis and do not have any standing in the scientific community. Modern geology relies on a number of established principles, one of the most important of which is Charles Lyell's principle of uniformitarianism. In relation to geological forces it states that the shaping of the Earth has occurred by means of mostly slow-acting forces that can be seen in operation today. By applying this principle, geologists have determined that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. They study the lithosphere of the Earth to gain information on the history of the planet. Geologists divide Earth's history into eons, eras, periods, epochs, and faunal stages characterized by well-defined breaks in the fossil record (see Geologic time scale).[47][48] In general, there is a lack of any evidence for any of the above effects proposed by flood geologists and their claims of fossil layering are not taken seriously by scientists.[49]

[edit] Historical records

The dates of a number of ancient cultures (such as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia) have been established by the analysis of historical documents supported by carbon dating to be older than the alleged date of the Flood.

[edit] Erosion

The Rocky Mountains; The Rockies do not share erosion traits consistent with a great flood - erosion would be expected equal to the Appalachian Mountains.
The Appalachian Mountains show an immense level of erosion. If a flood had occurred, similar erosion should be found in the Rocky Mountains.

The flood, had it occurred, should also have produced large-scale effects spread throughout the entire world. Erosion should be evenly distributed, yet the levels of erosion in, for example, the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains differ significantly.[49]

[edit] Geochronology

Geochronology is the science of determining the absolute age of rocks, fossils, and sediments by a variety of techniques. These methods indicate that the Earth as a whole is at least 4.5 billion years old, and that the strata that, according to flood geology, were laid down during the Flood 6000 years ago, were actually deposited gradually over many millions of years.

This Jurassic carbonate hardground with its generations of oysters and extensive bioerosion could not have formed during the conditions postulated for the Flood.

[edit] Paleontology

Paleontologists note that if all the fossilized animals were killed in the flood, and the flood is responsible for fossilization, then the average density of vertebrates was an abnormally high number, close to 2100 creatures per acre, judging from fossil sites found worldwide.[50] In addition, carbonate hardgrounds and the fossils associated with them show that the so-called flood sediments include evidence of long hiatuses in deposition not consistent with flood dynamics or timing.[51]

The alternation of calcite and aragonite seas through geologic time.[52]

[edit] Geochemistry

Proponents of Flood Geology also have a difficult time explaining the alternation between calcite seas and aragonite seas through the Phanerozoic. The cyclical pattern of carbonate hardgrounds, calcitic and aragonitic ooids, and calcite-shelled fauna has apparently been controlled by seafloor spreading rates and the flushing of seawater through hydrothermal vents which changes its Mg/Ca ratio.[53]

[edit] Philosophical objections

See also: Occam's Razor

The scientific community contends that Flood Geology, in contrast to conventional geology, is not able to plausibly explain the available observations. However, even if both hypotheses did an equally good job, many scientists would nevertheless reject Flood Geology on philosophical grounds, specifically Occam's Razor. Occam's razor is the principle of rejecting any unnecessary assumptions from scientific theories: "It is vain to do with more what can be done with less."[54] Applied to geology, if one explanation requires only natural processes and the other requires a belief in an infallible Bible in addition, then the explanation that only requires natural processes is to be preferred[citation needed].

Furthermore, Flood Geology supporters are accused[by whom?] of not approaching the subject with the objective, open mind which is the scientific ideal. Their purpose is to find evidence for a particular explanation, rather than to find the explanation that best fits the evidence[neutrality disputed]. The history of geology supports this view by the recounting that geologists had looked at the evidence for a worldwide flood in the century before Darwin and found it lacking, dismissing it in favor of uniformitarian models.[49][not in citation given]

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Young, Davis A. (1995), The biblical Flood: a case study of the Church's response to extrabiblical evidence, Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, pp. 340, ISBN 0-8028-0719-4, http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/p82.htm, retrieved on 16 September 2008 
  2. ^ Index to Creationist Claims: Geology, Mark Isaak (ed.), TalkOrigins Archive
  3. ^ Such as the existence of the geologic column; see Glenn Morton, The Geologic Column and its Implications for the Flood, TalkOrigins Archive
  4. ^ Isaak 2007 page 173, Creationist claim CD750: "Much geological evidence is incompatible with catastrophic plate tectonics."
  5. ^ The world's oldest professional geological society is the Geological Society of London, founded in 1807; the term "geology" itself was popularised through its use in theEncyclopedie of 1751.]].
  6. ^ Porter, R; Lindberg, DC & Numbers, RL (2003). The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 4, Eighteenth-Century Science, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57243-6. 
  7. ^ Kaiser, CB (1997). Creational Theology and the History of Physical Science: The Creationist Tradition from Basil to Bohr, Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 290-291. ISBN 90-04-10669-3. 
  8. ^ Buckland, W (1980). Geology and Mineralogy Considered With Reference to Natural Theology (History of Paleontology), Ayer Company Publishing. ISBN 978-0405127069. 
  9. ^ Numbers 2006 p106
  10. ^ Price, GM (1984). Evolutionary Geology & the New Catastrophism, Sourcebook Project. ISBN 978-0915554133. 
  11. ^ Numbers 2006
  12. ^ Science in Christian Perspective
  13. ^ Radiocarbon Dating and American Evangelical Christians
  14. ^ This is the same model that Buckland had rejected 130 years earlier.
  15. ^ Whitcomb, JC (1960). The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications, P&R Publishing. ISBN 978-0875523385. 
  16. ^ Weston, W (2003). "La Brea Tar Pits: Evidence of a Catastrophic Flood". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 40 (1): 25–33, http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/40/40_1/LaBrea3.htm. Retrieved on 29 March 2007. 
  17. ^ Lalomov, AV (2001). "Flood Geology of the Crimean Peninsula Part I: Tavrick Formation". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 38 (3): 118–124, http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/38/38_3/Crimean.htm. Retrieved on 29 March 2007. 
  18. ^ Froede, CR (1995). "Stone Mountain Georgia: A Creation Geologist's Perspective". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 31 (4): 214, http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/31/31_4b.html. Retrieved on 29 March 2007. 
  19. ^ Reed, JK; Woodmorappe, J (2002). "Surface and Subsurface Errors in Anti-Creationist Geology". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 39 (1), http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/notes/39/39_1/Note0206.htm. Retrieved on 29 March 2007. 
  20. ^ [http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=DIV1&byte=1801 Genesis 6-9
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  23. ^ Woodmorappe, J (1999). "The Geologic Column: Does it Exist?". Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 13 (2): 77–82, http://www.trueorigin.org/geocolumn.asp. Retrieved on 29 March 2007. 
  24. ^ Austin, Stephen A.. "Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History". Institute for Creation Research. Retrieved on 2007-07-25.
  25. ^ "The pre-Flood/Flood boundary at the base of the earth's transition zone". Retrieved on 2007-07-24.
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  33. ^ Brown, Walter T. Brown (April 2001), In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood (7 ed.), Center for Scientific Creation, pp. 328, ISBN 9781878026088  p 141
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[edit] References

  • Isaak, Mark (2007), The Counter Creationism Handbook, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, pp. 330, ISBN 139760520249264 

[edit] Further reading

  • Brown, W (2001). In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, Center for Scientific Creation. ISBN 1-878026-08-9. 
  • Dubrovo, N. A. et al., “Upper Quaternary Deposits and Paleogeography of the Region Inhabited by the Young Kirgilyakh Mammoth,” International Geology Review, Vol. 24, No. 6, June 1982, p. 630.
  • Hapgood, Charles H. The Path of the Pole (Philadelphia: Chilton Book Company, 1970), p. 267.
  • Howorth, Henry H. The Mammoth and the Flood (London: Samson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1887), pp. 2–4, 74–75.
  • M. Huc, Recollections of a Journey through Tartary, Thibet [Tibet], and China, During the Years 1844, 1845, and 1846. Vol. 2 (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1852), pp. 130–131.
  • H. Neuville, “On the Extinction of the Mammoth,” Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1919.
  • Numbers, RL (1991). The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520083936. 
  • E. W. Pfizenmayer, Siberian Man and Mammoth, translated from German by Muriel D. Simpson (London: Black & Son Limited, 1939).
  • Ukraintseva, Valentina V. Vegetation Cover and Environment of the “Mammoth Epoch” in Siberia (Hot Springs, South Dakota: The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, 1993), pp. 12–13.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Flood geology sites

[edit] Sites critical of Flood Geology

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