THE GENESIS FLOOD SEEN IN THE GRAND CANYON:
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL GEOLOGY
The Grand Canyon and its strata are undisputed facts, but how it came to be is anything but undisputed along with all of our world’s geological features.. Evolutionists announce with confidence that the Cambrian deposits occurred 550 million years ago while creationists believe almost all of earth’s major sediments were laid down by a recent (perhaps 5000 years ago) worldwide flood as described in Genesis 7. The academic, political, and intellectual worlds are dominated by the evolutionary view but within the last 50 years there has been a modest but persistent and growing renaissance of “Flood geology.” The cross section map in conjunction with this paper will support the creationist view.
This work is an attempt to conceptualize biblically based geology and no effort is given to documentation which I leave for more authoritative works. It is intended as an overview for neophytes (which is most of us)and is not promoted as a research paper but rather as a plausible model to help understand the most prominent facts of geology within a Bible framework. Because an overview attempts to cover so much ground, many important concepts or facts may be no more than cursorily mentioned, certainly not exhausted.
The creationist interpretation will appear incredible (or worse) to those schooled in mainstream evolutionary assumptions but please hold those opinions in abeyance until a fair and open-minded look has been weighed from the following explanation and referenced resources. We contend that the global Flood makes far more sense (from a strictly scientific view) than does the uniformitarian or evolutionary view even without the biblical considerations. But that said, I do not imagine that the hypotheses listed below are in every way correct. It represents an accretion from mostly creationist writers with a few of my own nonprofessional ideas sprinkled throughout. There is much speculation acknowledged in the following proposed model with words like “probably” and “possibly” freely used.
The cross section map (with its dates and notes excised and replaced with these below) will provide a fascinating and eye-opening course in biblical geology, which explains the source of fossils, dinosaurs, the “Cambrian explosion” of life forms, coal, oil and a brief outline of geological phenomena derived from the Bible and factual data. On the map, Cambrian refers to the Tapeats sandstone, the Bright Angel shale, and the Muav limestone. Precambrian is anything below the Tapeats sandstone. After some introduction, a 16 point look at the map follows.
An old universe and an old planet earth (mineral base only) is allowed from a literal interpretation of Genesis, but the biosphere is uncompromisably recent as determined from the genealogies and supported by the following discussion. Many creationists insist on a young planet earth and a young universe from their interpretation of two Bible verses, but this paper will assume an undefined biblical age for the planet earth and the stars. (See The Age of the Universe: What Are the Biblical Limits? following this paper.) These creationists are right about the age of organic life and most surficial geology. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the pioneers who gave us a clear picture of biblical geology. But most of the young earth creationists are mistaken about the age of planet earth itself and the universe. Those may, indeed, be billions of years old, if required by measurable data.
This brief introduction will necessarily be oversimplified. My purpose is to help us understand an admittedly complex subject at least roughly. For a more technical and fully documented discussion, highly recommended books are referenced below.
There is in our world a living, personal devil of fantastic power and intelligence. Since our race fell in the garden, he has continued to be a liar and murderer “who deceives the whole world.” (Revelation 12:9)Remember Jesus’ breathtaking words, “I thank you Father that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes.” If God hides something, you may be sure that it is successfully hidden, and will not be found out no matter how wise and prudent any researcher maybe. God deliberately allowed a murderous devil in our world (for ultimately good purposes) just as he allowed a “lying spirit in the mouth of all (Ahab’s) prophets” in the days of Ahab and Jezebel (I Kings 22:22). However, that devil carefully chooses his deceits. Anything that impinges on his relentless war against Christ will certainly be an object of perversion, obfuscation or outright lies. The hard sciences will not be attacked because he wants to splice his lies in with that mathematically assured science to give a false credibility to his deceits and also because they have no direct bearing on the credibility of Scripture. But the soft sciences like geology, psychology, archaeology and history are a fertile ground for promotion of his kingdom of darkness. Researchers in these fields are not necessarily themselves deliberate liars because they sincerely believe and sincerely teach what the establishment has taught them. The deliberate lies come from the father of lies “who deceives the whole world” and his “lying spirits” who coach the researchers. Of course, some of the researchers themselves may promote known falsehoods as proven historically but the main source is Satan himself. Accordingly, among “Ahab’s prophets” today (with many happy exceptions) are geologists, psychologists, historians and experts in the related “sciences.” It behooves each of us to give sober consideration to the possibility of self deception and earnestly petition the God of truth daily for preservation from error. Without help from God on any subject relating to Bible truth or salvation, deception is not only possible but inevitable. Therefore, this map and paper must be carefully and prayerfully studied, not merely read.
Something catastrophic has wasted and wrecked our planet on a global scale. Once this is discerned one can see abundant evidence for it everywhere. The Bible identifies this event as a worldwide Flood. “All the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the floodgates of heaven were opened,” an event which inflicted universal ruin on our planet. It is possible that the earth was impacted by an asteroid or comet, directed infallibly by the hand of God although the Bible does not tell us this; it is only speculation. However, it has good support from the facts of geology both on earth and throughout the solar system. We will pursue our discussion of biblical geology with this thought as one possibility. In any case, Yahweh says, “I, even I, do cause (a worldwide Flood).” The mechanism used is not revealed.
In 1929 an event occurred off the coast of Newfoundland, Southeastern Canada, which was destined to change the concepts of geological depositions and help to revolutionize geology. An earthquake triggered an underwater landslide that year near the continental shelf. This became a turbid slurry of rocks, mud and sediment in the ocean depths.
Before the days of satellite communication many transatlantic cables were carrying telephone messages to Europe. When the slurry of debris off Newfoundland was moving underwater it snapped these cables, one by one. The time of each severance was easily documented and the location of all twelve cables was well known so that simple calculations determined that the underwater turbidity flow traveled, mostly horizontally, at about 60 miles (100 km) per hour.
In the 1960s, this deposition was studied using oceanographic techniques of core drilling, and soil analysis. It was determined that the flow from this landslide traveled underwater for a distance of 430 miles, (700 km)and at an average depth of only two to three feet (less than one meter)and covering over 40,000 square miles (100,000 sq. km.). Similar underwater landslide deposits exist in the Mediterranean, the South Pacific and many places in the world.
This paper and the accompanying map will examine the geology of the Grand Canyon and show that deposits exist on a global scale similar to the Newfoundland deposit described above except that most of them are not turbidites but hyper-concentrated flows of enormously more volume and density. Their origin is best explained by the recent global Flood. This represents an interpretation of geology greatly distant from the mainstream evolutionary variety found in most of our universities and educational institutions. We are convinced these institutions are simply wrong; not on the verifiable facts but on the interpretation of the facts and particularly the dating of past events. Radioisotope dating someday may become a reliable tool for science, and already is for some applications, but at present its supposed absolute accuracy is betrayed by its multiplied failures and unwarranted assumptions. More on isotope dating later.
Masses of water, of different temperatures and therefore of different densities, do not tend to mix easily as one may discover swimming in a lake. One often encounters zones in the lake where a sudden marked difference in temperature is noticed as though the water masses had a distinct boundary. Oceanic masses with distinct boundaries are easily shown as well. A slurry of sediment maintains its boundaries in a similar way. Under water, the sediments do not weigh heavily and almost slither along the bottom, quickly and for great distances. Also, the nature of each differing, roiled, water-mass, such as redeposited limestone versus a sandstone slurry keeps them separated into fairly distinct units even when suspended in water. Floodwaters are particularly good at sorting suspended materials into strata. But lava flows or floating log mats(from the prolific pre-Flood uprooted vegetation and pre-Flood peat) also create distinct seams. Vegetable matter which gets buried from an overburden of sandstone (or whatever) then deprived of oxygen and with heat and pressure becomes seams of coal. Distinct boundaries for coal seams of regional extent are never satisfactorily explained apart from flood water deposit.
After the Newfoundland landslide discoveries, geologists began looking at the well known sedimentary formations throughout the world and discovered that most of them showed similar characteristics, some of turbidites, and others of more concentrated, rapid underwater formation. Over half the sedimentary formations in North America have now been identified as rapid, massive underwater deposits by many geologists and every few years more are found to fall into this category. Thus deposits above the “great unconformity” (the boundary between Precambrian and Cambrian; a world wide phenomenon) are now thought by many geologists to have been deposited rapidly and catastrophically. (The great unconformity is shown on the cross section map, item 2; please observe). The Flood/pre-Flood boundary may be at this great unconformity although some creationists include parts of the Archean and some of the Proterozoic strata as Flood derived as well. In any case, the evidence is abundant for catastrophic deposits,and the great unconformity requires that anything above it represents deposits over a demolished world below.
Repeat that. The great unconformity requires that anything above it represents deposits over a demolished world below. Evolutionary geologists now acknowledge numerous local catastrophes to account for many different regions but they do not accept one cataclysm responsible for all of them. Thus, the facts of science are not argued, but the interpretation of the facts is most certainly controverted.
The massive, rapid deposition concept of concentrated flow is important to our look at the Grand Canyon sediments and is a major corroboration of the Genesis Flood. With some possible exceptions, strata and formations below the great unconformity, appear to be the broken and often twisted, chaotic remnants of the well-ordered, non-chaotic original creation before the Flood; those above the great unconformity are Flood deposits. Many of the “Flood” formations cover areas of hundreds of thousands of square miles. Nothing but a worldwide flood sensibly accounts for their deposition, and gradual deposition is precluded in the very nature of lava flows, volcanic deposits, massive concentrated flows, coal seams and redeposited limestones.
Although the well-informed leadership in geology long realized that catastrophism is evident everywhere, until recently it has not been so well known at the university level. The same situation prevailed for years with the fossil record. The top paleontologists knew that the fossil record did not show a slow and gradual increase in complexity, Cambrian and above, but many university students were not aware of this change in thinking. Gould and Eldridge developed a theory of “punctuated equilibrium” in which they specifically admitted that no such progression of transitional forms exists. Their system is an attempt to explain its absence while still retaining the evolutionary hypothesis. This recent idea holds that evolution occurs rapidly in a small local area until a better specimen is achieved which then takes over and obliterates the “inferior” organism. So the leaders in both fields–paleontology as well as geology–were operating for some time with information not commonly shared with students probably because that information was in fact hostile to evolutionary theory.
Even though the basic concept of uniformitarian gradualism for deposited strata has been overthrown (formerly the kingpin assumption indicating old geological ages) curiously, there has been little adjustment in the dates applied to the geologic column. Isotope dating is usually cited as giving “absolute” assurance of the date assignments but while it appears superficially to be a solid dating device, in practice it yields many discordant conclusions. It appears that there are strong forces to hold on to the millions of years concept of geology in order to preserve the supposed time for evolution to occur. This is one of numerous reasons to believe that a conspiracy, outside and above the human realm, has controlled the spin given to the interpretation of geology. It appears that most of our academic, scientific, political and even religious institutions are dominated by evolution without even a single fact of science to support it which cannot be better explained by Divine creation. This testifies to a gigantic deception ruling over the minds of men, which could hardly prevail so pervasively unless energized by an evil, supernatural force. (See Job 1 and 2; Ephesians 2; Matthew 11; John 8; Revelation 12–all worthwhile scriptures to contemplate.)
Evolutionary geologists now hypothesize millions of years of non-activity between formations in order to preserve the evolutionary time schedule. There is no evidence supporting numerous hiatuses. One would think in even a hundred years there would be extensive roots or worm burrows or clam tracks or huge canyons would have developed between each stratum from stream erosion. Instead, most of the interfaces are sharply defined throughout the world’s strata as illustrated on the cross section map. For the evolutionary concept, this requires a sudden, revolution in ecosystems at each and every transition which is a real stretch to any rational mind. Notice the gashes and hodge podge of extreme erosion on the uppermost topography on the map. If there were millions of years of time between deposits, each and every contact line should be an abundantly apparent and well marked unconformity like the erosion profiles of the topmost strata of today.
A much more satisfying explanation for geology is a worldwide flood,which necessarily created the geologic column and almost all the fossil burials including the dinosaurs. It deposited the entire column quickly,including huge quantities of organic material, much of it within the space of one year; a catastrophe of unimaginable energy. These vast organic burials of the prolific pre-Flood vegetation (an inventory worldwide perhaps 50 to 100 times greater than that of today) were then fossilized or reduced to coal or petroleum after the deluge. The pre-flood world probably had no vast ice fields or deserts and growing conditions were hugely better than we experience today. Local areas of ice, desert or salty ocean may have supported creatures of that habitat, but most of the world (including floating mats of vegetation surrounding continents on less salty oceans?) provided prolific vegetation from pole to pole. The Flood was possibly triggered by a cataclysmic physical event such as an asteroidal impact–a very big one which may have split the earth’s crust into plates, like a bullet might crack an eggshell, and precipitated the continental separations at that time and/or later. Who could possibly guess the consequences of such a catastrophe? We can only examine the result and conjecture at the mechanisms.
NASA scientists are now postulating an asteroidal impact in Mars’ history which precipitated volcanic activity and unleashed the devastating regional flooding abundantly evident on that planet. This was reported in the popular media in October of 1998. These horrendous floods on Mars provide still more credibility to the Genesis record for earth history. The Grand Canyon was probably carved in a matter of weeks as shown by the lack of appreciable downstream residue in Nevada or California. It left the canyon area with such force and volume that most of it has been carried far out to sea on the continental shelf area. Where are all those 900 cubic miles of Grand Canyon materials? Only small amounts are found downstream from that vast empty chasm and there exist many like areas around the world. In addition to the 900 cubic miles of canyon erosion we must account for that volume multiplied dozens of times above the Kaibab plateau which shows unimaginable erosion over vast areas. (See area 4, Permian,to dashed line at upper boundary of area 5.)
Post-Flood activity uplifted the mountain ranges and produced an ice “age” all within a brief time span, perhaps a few hundred years. An ocean, warmed by newly formed mid-ocean ridges and other volcanics from the bleeding, battered planet, made for high evaporation rates and high precipitation. Simultaneously, aerosols and debris from the surface volcanics blocked sunlight to cool the continents with an ice “age” of a few centuries as a result. A single, biblical cataclysm, which staggers the imagination in its magnitude, sensibly accounts for the data observable today.
The Greenland ice core ring readings which have been interpreted to represent up to 100,000 years of ice accumulation probably did not allow for a worldwide “lake effect” of cold air passing over warm oceans for a few hundred years after a global Flood. Buffalo, New York, commonly gets huge quantities of snow from cold air passing over warm Lake Erie. Well, just imagine the whole world like that. Everywhere the air is cold due to multiplied volcanic particulates in the continental air and everywhere the oceans are warm due to volcanics underwater. Freezing and melting or even snow and then rain alternating might occur daily creating a distinct freeze/melt ice core ring due to onshore / offshore winds changing frequently. The daily snowfall may have produced one ring per day or per storm, or per wind change, let alone per year, making the post-Flood accumulations of 5000 years ago similar or much greater than the many hundreds of rings and the 260 feet of ice which covered the World War II lost squadron in southern Greenland in just 50 years.
The ice, if it may have been joined to the continental masses 5000 or so years ago, makes invalid the assumption that drilling on today’s continental divide of Greenland would make the ice flow equal in all directions from the core location. Back then it probably was pushing outward from North America in a single massive ice cap united to that of Greenland. Therefore the data may be skewed accordingly. The lower portions of the cores are hard to read with no measureable hydrogen peroxide or distinguishable isotopes of oxygen to distinguish annual from “stormly” rings, although creationists do approve the readings to about 2000 years before present. As one descends the core, the distinction between rings produced by each storm versus annual rings becomes very obscure. Since “lake effect” dominates, everything changes, and the lost squadron thickness may be dwarfed in yearly accumulation by that of the immediate post-Flood activity. My non-professional guess is that given more research, harmony with the biblical data will prevail as it always has in the past.
The land elevations of the pre-Flood world may not have exceeded one or two thousand feet (300 to 600 meters). High mountain ranges, not known before, arose as a consequence of the Flood catastrophe. We know this is reasonable because marine fossils are found at the top of every major mountain range in the world in sedimentary strata including Mt. Everest. So the lower land elevations before the Flood are not merely conjecture but corroborated by marine fossils showing clearly that those areas were once at, or more probably below sea level. Physical forces, impossible to adequately visualize, were exerted on our planet to “break up all the fountains of the great deep” (Genesis 7:11). The interior of the earth, under a crust of onion skin thickness, is largely semi-rigid or plastic. A distortion of the planet by a mere 1/10,000th of earth’s diameter, could elevate ocean beds and lower continental masses to deluge the world with tsunamis in some areas hundreds of feet high, demolishing everything in their paths down to bedrock and deeper as seen on the map, then inevitably redepositing those sediments. Or an asteroidal impact may have triggered catastrophic events (including phase change contraction and expansion in the MOHO – See The Genesis Fortress – chapter four) the continent sinking below the ocean surface as it was originally before God elevated it on day three. Other areas may have had a more benign deluge with daily tidal inundations as the continent progressively sank in about six months with mobile life fleeing ever upward until overwhelmed. This may be part of the explanation why larger fossilized mammals, capable of withstanding horrible conditions and likely pursued back and forth by changing topography (now sinking, then rising again before sinking further and then finally overwhelmed) are often found in the topmost Miocene strata, in mass burials. All of this catastrophic destruction ruptured our planet in addition to the forty days and nights of torrential rainfall.
The biblical reference substantiating sinking and elevating (when the flooded world was returning to equilibrium) is Psalm 104:5-9 “Who laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be moved forever? You(Yahweh) covered it with ocean as with a vesture; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the voice of your thunder they hasted away (The mountains rose, the valleys sank down) to the place where you founded for them. You have set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.” (ASV modernized.) This rising of mountains and sinking of valleys occurred after the deluge; a record of the return toward equilibrium of the continents and ocean following the Flood–converse activity to the Flood’s cause. The fact that at the interior areas of every continent there exists vast, virtually bare areas (shields) of Precambrian rock testifies to emerging continents from under water with sediments flowing outward like a swimmer’s hair is splayed outward upon emerging from a dive, (hence the mostly bare areas observed near continental centers or edges on every continent.) Forces inside the earth, possibly from a swallowed asteroid, shifted, warped and wrinkled the crust, thus creating the mountain ranges. Sediments carried beyond the continental margins by the great uplift probably created the continental shelves at the same time and drastically increased ocean salinity except for local areas such as river mouths.
Thus came the tectonics–great mountain chains and continental plateaus uplifted worldwide as the staggering planet began the return to equilibrium. The evidence on Mars, above referenced, of catastrophic volumes of raging waters in the past should give skeptics pause when questioning the credibility of a worldwide flood on earth. If all that Martian water once existed or is now stored somewhere underground, then it is easily believable that the earth might have had volumes of water above and within its crust which were unleashed volcanically at the time when “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up” (See Genesis 7:11 [with Amos 7:4-5 which allows fire beneath the earth as a fountain of the great deep] but read the complete story Genesis 6 through 9). An asteroidal impact as a trigger mechanism for this cataclysm is only a speculation. However, the media (February 21, 1997) reported scientists’ claims of “proof positive” and “smoking gun” evidence for a similar but much smaller impact in the gulf of Mexico and more than two hundred impacts have been identified worldwide. Evolutionists want to say 65 million years ago, of course, for the dinosaur extinction date, but biblically and more sensibly it was a part of the great cataclysm of about five or six thousand years ago. The big impact which might have caused the Flood came earlier and is probably forever buried beyond recognition or concealed in an ocean bed if that may have been the Flood’s direct cause.
A worldwide flood also precludes millions of years of post-Cambrian time. The Redwall may intertongue with Muav in some places requiring fluid conditions, thus falsifying long ages for these formations. (See item 16 below.) Because there is no certain, credible scientific evidence to support post-Cambrian long ages but copious evidence for a global flood, the biblical record is corroborated securely. It is a simple explanation of today’s observable geology. Complicated explanations are always less credible than simple ones (per Ockham’s razor) if simple ones answer all the facts.
Evolutionary geologists have successfully disseminated faulty information based on their misinterpretation of the geologic column. I do not mean to suggest that this is deliberate mendacity because many of them sincerely believe the evolution story just as I once did myself. Because evolution is so pervasive, so universally believed by many of the world’s brilliant minds it is difficult for anyone to accept most of the surface geology as being only five or six thousand years old, the result of the Genesis Flood. It is imperative that we understand the facts of geology–not the spin imposed on those facts by the misinformed academic world. Especially obscured have been the implications of the great unconformity–a flat erosion surface which is evidenced in many places all over the world and only explained by a universal deluge. Any difficulty believing this alternative explanation of geology is not an index of its credibility,but rather an index of the magnitude of the “veil cast over all nations,”and the great flood of deceit spewing from the serpent’s mouth(Revelation 12:15-17 – Job 1 and 2). Most of the mistakes (and the biggest ones) come from ignoring the fact of a global flood which changes just about everything and colors every interpretation.
The psychological pressure imposed on students to coerce belief in evolutionary geology is immense, almost overwhelming, but the fact is that “millions-of-years-ago” evolutionary geology exists only in the imagination of evolutionists and has no (that is zero) sound scientific basis.
(This is an addenda in The Age of the Universe. Revision November 2004 )
This publication including the geological cross section map of the Grand Canyon, essential to the numbered references above is available from Morningstar Publications, 1420 N. Q Circle, Washougal, WA 98671-8356 USA $25.00 ppd. 360-835-8361. Checks only or paypal see Store.