Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”
© Charles A. Clough 1996
Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003
Part 2: Buried Truths of Origins
Appendix D: Geological Natural History: Biblical Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism
Lesson 31 – Geological Natural History:
Biblical Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism
06 Jun 1996
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
This lesson deals with geology. The four appendices are just extra notes to the course. The first one was the interpretive problems of Genesis and why there is a conflict, why there’s a limited room to maneuver in one’s interpretation of Genesis to avoid the conflict. Appendix B dealt with the biological issue and we said that in the biological realm the controversy is over whether our species boundaries, whether things reproduce after their kinds, or whether in fact we’ve had a transmutation, procreation and transmutation that crossed boundaries. The pagan belief from the ancient world to the modern world, whether it’s Darwin today or whether was Enuma Elish centuries ago, both hold to the same view, that nature has no real boundaries, it’s just a continuum of things, and that procreative powers, whether they be gods of Enuma Elish or selective reproductive rates in Darwin, it’s interesting that both ancient and modern paganism concentrate on procreation.
Appendix C was on the clock problem of how we date things. We showed how there is no unanimity of opinion on clocks that are used to date the earth, the universe, the astronomical clocks, and that in fact all of them are plagued with a presuppositions that we can’t agree with as Christians. 1 Peter 3 says that the skeptic says that all things continue as they were from the beginning, meaning that history has had a placid uniform structure, there’s been no great interferences, there’s been no great upsets in decay rate constants, and that sort of thing.
Tonight we come to Appendix D, and I am going to review one last time, just so you won’t forget. Practically every week we’ve shown this slide because it’s basic and it should be indelibly imprinted in your thinking, that whenever you deal with any area, whether it’s geology, biology, or anything else in early Genesis, you’re dealing with only one of two world views. You’ll hear people say there are thousands of stories of origins. Yes and no, yes there are thousands of stories but they’re all classified in these two terms. And those are the only… that’s the choice that you have. We talked about that and I thought I’d throw in some quotes. Historically there was a corpus of pagan writings that tried to explain the origin of the earth, explain the origin of man; Enuma Elish is the most famous one.
We contrasted that with Genesis, we said there were certain parallels that show, in fact, that all cultures, all races, had some information that they remembered from Noah, because they’re all descended from Noah. But mostly the structure was transformed and we can measure the effect of evil on the human mind by simply holding up the Genesis text and holding up a pagan text, and saying since they both originated from the same era of history, what we have is a demonstration of what human minds would come up with naturally. In the Genesis text we have what the human mind comes up with when it’s interfered with by the Holy Spirit to preserve truth. So it’s a very interesting study of comparative literature, and ultimately what you have here, if you’re interested in psychology, is a real insight into the distortion at the subliminal levels of the human mind by sin. This is what sin does intellectually, and you can measure it, you can actually measure the effect of sin on thinking by simply comparing the Bible text with parallel pagan texts.
We want to show how modern paganism, that we talked about so often, is well recognized and I showed these quotes last fall, just to say that Charlie Clough didn’t come up with this Continuity of Being idea. These are all quotes from a Darwinian … this is a Darwinian historian, very well known man, scholar, who writes these statements, and that’s one I can point to; we haven’t learned anything in this class that originated with me. I’m just passing on what scholars, on both sides of the issue, report. This is a man who lived around the time of the Protestant Reformation, Comte de Buffon reveals himself as an exponent of the doctrine of the great Chain of Being. Lamarck held a version of the ancient doctrine of the great Chain of Being. “The Chain of Being is a notion traceable back to Plato. It formed part of the general mental furniture of most educated men from the Renaissance to the end of the 18th century.” So it’s always been with us in the West, but it’s not just been in the West, this pagan idea has plagued the East as well.
At the Darwin centennial, 1960, University of Chicago, Issues in Evolution, Sol Tax said, “The Far Eastern philosophers thought of creation in evolutionary terms.” By Far Eastern he’s talking about men who lived in the time of the Old Testament and New Testament. “… Far Eastern philosophers thought of creation in evolutionary terms. A belief in an inherent continuity of all creation and second a reference of the merging of one species into another.” I’m not making this material up, this is well known material. It’s just that it’s sort of excised from most classroom discussions.
Here is the Buddhist Council that approved this in their doctrinal statement as recently as 1951. “The universe was evolved, not created, and it functions according to law, not according to the caprice of any God.” That’s the central doctrinal statement in the western hemisphere for Buddhists today.
Henry Fairfield Osborn was a man very well noted because of his role in establishing and managing the American Natural History Museum. “When I began the search for anticipation of the evolutionary theory I was astonished to found how many of the pronounced and basic features of the Darwinian Theory were anticipated as far back as the 7th century BC.” Do you know what the 7th century BC is? That’s the time when Isaiah, the prophet, wrote. Isn’t that interesting? This is not new, this is the same idea. We’ve got to think as Christians strategically in terms of the big ideas of our faith, and we can’t allow ourselves to be maneuvered off chasing little trees in the forest. What we’re dealing with here is a major outline of the forest.
Moving on I want to show another slide that we’ve dealt with before, once again to fix in our mind the difference that we have looked at for the last eight months, between evolution and Genesis 1. You can’t mix these two. “In the beginning was God;” in the beginning was gas, cool liquid water; hot condensing matter. Sun, stars created after life on earth; sun, stars, before life on earth. Life created on land; life evolves in the sea. Birds created with fish before mammals; birds evolve with mammals after fish. Man created directly from the earth and woman created from man; man evolves from mammals. Rain doesn’t occur until after man is created; rain occurs millions of years before man is evolved. Creation processes (very important for tonight) do not continue today, whatever the processes were in Genesis 1, Genesis 2:1-3, chop them off, God ceased His work, so He’s not doing His [creative] work, we can’t empirically observe His work, so we don’t know how the work happened. All we’ve got is a narrative that tells us it happened this way.
In no way can you study this scientifically because it’s not there to study. Evolutionary processes do continue to day; fundamental differences in kind, fundamental unity of life differing only in degrees. Death in the Bible is abnormal, it’s an abnormal addition after creation; in evolution death is a normal process. You can’t get much different than that, and that’s what we’ve tried to emphasize again and again, and show that the nature of God, the nature of man and the nature of nature, what you believe about those three things hinges on this. You may think you can maintain your faith as a Christian and not engage that issue. If you do that, you’ve already retreated because you’ve made your faith subjective. Your faith then can be dismissed as your religious opinion. It’s utterly unrelated to anything outside of you, it’s just your heart, it’s the religion of the heart. Yes, it is the religion of the heart but it’s also the religion of the environment outside of my heart. Truth is truth everywhere or it is truth nowhere.
We want to look at 2 Peter 3 and fix in our mind a principle from that passage before we study the last problem we want to concentrate on, what about the geological issues. You’ll note from our discussion of this that it’s related, not just to geology but to the Second Advent of Christ. 2 Peter 3:4, “Where is the promise of the coming of Jesus Christ.” What is the attack? The attack is, “For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue,” ALL “continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” In other words, this is the perpetuation of a constant. You recall from a diagram we’ve looked at again and a again, the limitations of human knowledge, that no matter who you are, Christian or non-Christian, your knowledge is limited to this box. You can’t go outside of the box, no way. There’s no direct knowledge by you, by me, by any member of the human race, ever, outside of this box. So we can try to extend the box, extend the domain by extending our senses with tools, except we can only do so on three of the four sides of the box. One side of that box you cannot extend by any tools, unless it’s a time machine, because you can’t go into the future and you can’t go into the past beyond direct observation. Oh you can, but to do so you have to do it with conjecture, and that’s the point, it’s been our point in Appendix B, it’s been our point in Appendix C, that we extrapolate out here by observing something going on in here, just as 2 Peter 3 says, “all things continue” i.e., continue because we observe them, all things we observe in this box continue and have continued forever.
So this is the “by faith” situation, this is what’s not labeled in your newspaper, not labeled in Time Magazine, and when you see it on television. What they want to tell you is there’s (quote) “factual things” describing stuff outside of the box, and they’re using the word f-a-c-t. Our point is that when the f-a-c-t word is used for something outside of the box, that word is being used differently than you’re used to using it. This is where we have brainwashing going on. It’s a deceitful use of words. Those are not facts, those are conjectures, and to use the word f-a-c-t to describe that, when in fact it’s not fact, is wrong. It’s a vocabulary problem and it’s a deceitful use of words. As Christians we don’t have to put up with that; we challenge the use of that vocabulary.
Let’s look on Appendix D on page 124. What is the basic presupposition? The issue is the principle of interpreting. How do we interpret the rocks of the earth? What do we use as an interpretive principle? The first paragraph under the major topic is that if the Bible is correct, then we have a set of information; we have creation, one major event. The second major event is the fall. What started with the fall that’s significant to rocks because there are things that are in the rocks that are dead? Death starts with the fall. So now if we see fossils in rocks and fossils are dead, then it follows that the rocks must be dated after the fall. Now we have creation, the fall, and then we have the third event we studied, which Peter in this passage makes not just a local flood, but he says in 2 Peter 3:5 and 7 that it affected both the heavens and the earth, so we have this event causing that catastrophe. We don’t know what caused this, this is just data from Scripture, but something radically happened physiologically to man’s body, and it’s reported in the Scripture though it’s never explained in the Scripture, it’s just reported.
So we have three events and when we as Christians, we have to learn to think Scripturally, and when we start looking at rocks and we want to answer the question, what are these, what’s the principle involved, we have to say we know one thing, we know there was a creation; we know that at the point of creation that God had all the rocks, except the sedimentary rocks, the igneous rocks and other kinds of rocks were presumably created, soil was created, plants were created, and animals were created. These things came into existence at that point. Then after creation we have a second point called the fall, and that’s where death starts. So if we have a fossil and the fossil was dead, the fossil must be located to the right of that point.
Then we have further on in Scripture something called the flood, which Peter interprets as cosmic, that that flood was a cosmic event, not just an earthly event. Therefore we have a water-based catastrophe. Now if we have a water-based catastrophe that changed the earth, and we go out and we look at rocks, and rocks can be igneous rocks, igneous intrusions, or they can be these nice sedimentary rocks that you observe along highway cuts, etc. What’s true of sedimentary rocks? Into what kind of environment were sedimentary rocks made? Water. Every sedimentary rock on earth was generated under water. Isn’t this a strange coincidence? What does the Bible say happened in past history? A major flood. So we had a water catastrophe and we simultaneously observe all over the place that we have sedimentary rocks, into which fossils are trapped that are dead.
So the challenge for us as Christians is can we take the data of historical geology and interpret it within this framework. That’s the challenge, that’s what the paragraph on page 124 is all about. I say in the last sentence of that paragraph “it was a high energy epic.” What do I mean by “a high energy epic?” What I mean is crucial to the Bible’s interpretation is when we get into stuff like the flood, I say “high energy” because energy is work, it’s the work that is done, a lot of work can be done in a short amount of time. I suppose engineers would support me in saying basically we’re talking about here, energy over time. We have high energy events that happened. So the Bible’s theme or principle of interpreting rock strata is that it must be interpreted within at least these three events, possibly more, and that these events, particularly the flood, were high energy events.
Let’s go now to what we usually get in the classroom. This is one of the “facts” that we are told is a “fact.” We’re told that the basis for interpretation in historical geology ought to be what is called uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism says that processes, this goes back to that box illustration, that events and processes that are observed, such as erosion, such as sedimentation, that these processes that we can measure now scientifically inside the box happened back here, that’s 2 Peter, “all things continue as they were.” So I can take erosion rates, that’s how fast the rocks wear down, and I can take sedimentation rates, how fast sediment builds up to make rocks, I observe the processes, and I perpetuate them. And using this idea, using present day rates, this is very low energy. So the principle here is this is a low energy process. The Bible position is there was a high energy catastrophe, and we paraphrase the debate over the interpretative principle as a conflict between catastrophism on one hand and on the pagan side of the house, uniformitarianism. Those are the two conflicting principles.
That’s why on page 125 I describe that pagan process. It says that “the universe is ‘safe’ from any catastrophic intervention of the Biblical God so there has certainly not been any such high energy event like the flood that could have caused most of the global geologic formations. All rock formations and fossil assemblages, therefore, came about from a variety of ‘low energy’ processes similar to those we observe today: river flooding, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, etc.” This is the principle that they use. We want to see that we’re going to come out with two different answers here, but we’re coming out with two different answers not because one of us is stupid and the other one is smart, they’re smart unbelievers, brilliant unbelievers, smarter than we are, we’re not knocking anybody’s intelligence here, this is not a question of IQ, this is a question of the premises of thought. If you start with 2 + 2 = 4 and somebody else starts with 2 + 2 = 5, somewhere along the process you’re going to get different answers. It’s just a feature of thinking.
The history of geologic interpretation, page 125, I want to review that so you get a feel for what’s happened here and why we are where we are today. “As geologic studies began,” I want to read this because there’s a lot of material packed into these sentences and I want to explain as I go through, so much of tonight I want to pretty well stick with this text. “As the geologic studies began after the Protestant Reformation,” notice when they began, who was the trigger house and the source of geologic study? It occurred after the Protestant Reformation. Isn’t that an interesting historical side note? “… several Bible-believing naturalists tried to develop a flood-model to explain newly-discovered data. To their credit,” and please note this, this is a historically valid point for our side, “it was these Bible-believers who first argued against the medieval interpretation that fossils were strange objects produced ‘in situ’.”
It was a belief during the Middle Ages that fossils in the rocks were created in the rocks, that they weren’t the bones of dead animals. That was the prevailing belief. It was precisely the Bible-believing geologists who started out in the Reformation who said we’re convinced the Scripture is the authority, we’re not going to accept all these traditions of the church, we go back to the Scripture, and the Scripture tells us about Noah’s flood. So we say that those things that we observe in the rocks are fossils from Noah’s flood. So it’s very interesting, that they were the ones … superstitious Middle Ages, yes, but it was Bible believers that straightened it out.
“By the late 1600s,” watch this because here’s where a failure happened, and we today have got to learn from our past mistakes. This is one of those lessons learned chapters. Let’s not repeat the same mistakes that we made before. “By the late 1600s, certain weaknesses in their approach led them to begin reinterpreting Genesis to allow more time for the natural history of the earth. Unintentionally, they insisted upon explaining geologic data by means of processes that was still going on in their day.” Underline that, because that was their error. They were trying to account for this stuff on the basis of processes still going on in their time. But once they had done this, which if you look at 1 Peter 3 what were they doing? They were compromising with uniformitarianism, and once they had done that, then the unbelievers came right in and said see, we told you all along, no way can processes today be interpreted in any kind of a Scriptural framework. And they were had, lost the battle. It started off with a wrong idea, and they accepted the wrong principle, and they wound up faked out.
“The 19th century saw the total victory of uniformitarians,” and please notice, “before Darwin”, that’s very important, “before Darwin ever published any of his works. The accommodationists strategy toward the Genesis narrative by Christians was already well under way.” In fact, do you know the institution that pushed and published Darwin? It was the church. Do you believe that? The church in England was the great promulgators of Darwin, they thought that was fantastic. You think, for crying out loud, what were they smoking? What was going on in the water supply with these people? But they did and no one ever challenged the validity of the uniformitarian principle that everyone was using and accepting. The only people that we know historically stood against it were a few isolated fundamentalists and the Seventh Day Adventists. Remarkable. “In 1961, however, the battle was resumed by the publication of the book, The Genesis Flood…. These authors, on the basis of a very careful exegesis of Genesis 1-11, insisted that the Bible could not accommodate uniformitarianism. The narrative simply required too much evidence of God’s catastrophic dealing with the earth…” too much evidence of God’s catastrophe.
Now we come to the flood issue, the flood geology of today. What has happened? Under the Title “Flood geology Today,” on page 126, “Uniformitarian-based geology,” this is what you’re going to get in every textbook, you will get this in every classroom, you will get this on every TV program, in every news article, so I’m not telling you something that I’m making up, this is all over the place, and if you doubt this you’re looked upon as some sort of intellectual freak. “Uniformitarian-based geology that completely dominates the intellectual world today prides itself on its ability to explain the many different geologic formations around the world with one picture. Geologists speak of a ‘geological column’ that contains a historical record of macro-evolution from its lower layers of simpler fossil forms to its upper layers with more complex fossil forms.”
Let’s look at what they are talking about here. This is a geologic column, you see it in every earth science textbook that you’ll ever own, presented as fact. We’ll see how factual it is today. This is supposedly factual. Nobody doubts this except a few fundamentalists. Rock, obviously on the bottom was there first, and the other rock laid on top of it. We call that the principle of superposition. A good principle, we don’t argue that, we’re not arguing that principle, no problem. What we’re arguing is (a) whether this exists as a uniform principle all over the earth, and (b) the time scale associated with it. Let me show you something. Here, down at the bottom, is the Precambrian rock strata, every high school who does earth science knows of the Precambrian layer, that’s the layer before life really gets going, just primitive cells found in Precambrian rock. Over that we have all these kind of rocks. For the purposes of tonight, so we don’t lose the forest for the trees, because we don’t have time, just think of this as three periods, Cenozoic, which means new, the new era, “zoic” is the word for life, new or recent life. Mesozoic, middle life, and Paleozoic, old life. So let’s divide the column three ways, new life, middle life, and old life. Those are the words that they’ve given to these geologic columns. Let’s go further.
“They assure us that the many layers of sedimentary rock took untold millions of years to lay down. Vast times were required for the necessary volume of debris to accumulate in order to supply thick sedimentary rock layers (many thousands of feet thick).” By the way, this sedimentary rock is immense. In cretaceous strata that I was working with in Texas, underneath where we were digging was probably 14,000 feet worth of sedimentary rock. That’s over 2 miles of sedimentary debris. That’s a lot. So they are right, in many places it’s very thick. “Erosion of large chunks of such sedimentary rock—so-called ‘missing’ layers—demands hundreds of thousands of years.” The challenge is for us to go into this.
Let me explain the rest of page 126 by a little doodling on this slide. What happens, you say how do they date these rocks. Remember these rocks were dated before radioactive dating systems, so how do they date them. The clue is right there, “zoic, zoic, zoic.” How do you guess they’re dating the rocks? If they’re naming them for life forms, what are they using to date the rocks? Fossils. Isn’t that interesting? In other words, Paleozoic rock is characterized, not just because it’s down bottom, but because of the kind of fossils that are found in it. Similarly for Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Not all fossils can be used this way, because there are some fossils that occur in all three areas.
Let’s make a fossil that looks like a star. If a star type fossil is found in all three, can that be a fossil used for dating? No. So in dating what kind of a fossil do you have to use to identify the rock? A fossil that’s always found in that kind of rock. So we find what we call index fossils. We’ll call these little eyes [on our star]. Keep in mind there’s dozens of these index fossils. They say that wherever eye one is, that; eye two this, because they’ve observed that, they start to know the areas. Here are some problems that immediately arise. The problem is, as you can go around El Paso, Texas, for example, and you’ll find rock with two layers, and you go walking along the rock interface and you see an edge, not flat, like a saw tooth. Furthermore, you observe eye one fossils here and eye three fossils here. What did we say eye three fossils were? That’s a new fossil. These are old fossils.
Now how did the old fossils get on top of the new fossils? It’d seem to me then evolution’s reversed. The explanation is over-thrusting. The explanation is that originally the rocks were sort of like this, another rock was like this, and somehow the earth buckled, and in many cases this happened, and one plate, the old plate, slid over the new plate. It’s called an over-thrust. That happens. But where it happens you can see the grinding nature of what took place. What do you notice about that that would sort of complicate that little interpretation? You don’t have to be an engineer, isn’t there something obvious about that, why that can’t be an over thrust? It can’t be an over-thrust because if it thrust over, how do we have the jagged nature between the two? High co-efficient of friction [can’t understand word, may be narratives] say.
So the only reason they want to say that’s an over-thrust is what? Where are they caught? What happens if they don’t say this is an over-thrust? Put yourself in the uniformitarianist position. What would happen to you if you admitted that that was super-positioned and was not an over-thrust? What does that do for you? Tears up your whole scheme of biological evolution, doesn’t it? Because now you’ve got the advanced fossils down underneath, and the primitive fossils up high. So from our point of view we can accept the physical data and they can’t. Look at this; I’m talking about physical data. See that interface, that’s hard physics, so we can come up to the rock and we allow the physical data to interpret it for us. They can’t, because they’re stuck with their fossil scheme.
Let me show you another example, not quite so graphic but occurs far more often. Let’s say we have Paleozoic rock, then we have Cenozoic rock lying on top of each other. Now we have missing layers. What do we do about the missing layers? If you were a uniformitarian geologist how do you deal with the fact there’s no Mesozoic rock there? What would be an explanation? Did anybody take earth science? The usual explanation is Mesozoic rock formed, and then for some reason it eroded away over millions of years, and then the next layer of rock was deposited on top of it, so we explain missing strata as eroded away strata. The problem is that often times in some of these interfaces you find, if you look with a magnifying glass, that the rock is imbedded, layers of it, combined with each other. What happened to the Mesozoic rock? Maybe it never was there. Well, then where do they get the geologic column? They told me in my text book that that was fact. Yeah, it was, we go back to the column, that column is made up of all possible instances on all possible continents. In other words, that is a conglomeration of stuff that’s in the North American continent, South American continent, European continent, Africa, and Australia. It’s a conglomeration of all the possible rocks that have ever been found, because in some areas, you never have all of this, except in very few areas.
What’s been so slick recently is the same guy that did the study; remember I mentioned a man by the name of Woodmorappe, who spent five or six years studying just one problem, the ark. He’s answered every argument ever brought against the ark. What did they do with the manure? How did they feed the animals? All that kind of stuff. This guy is a real leech, he latches on to something, he goes for it. He’s got two graduate degrees, one in biology and one in geology. Smart guy. So what he decided he’d do is check out this fact that we’re always told about. He divided the earth into 967 squares, he went through library after library after library, I think he consulted 4,000 or 5,000 different geology articles, and plotted with a computer program, every one of the 967 squares, whether it had this rock, this rock, this rock, this rock, this rock, etc.
He went through the whole planet that way. And here’s what he found out. This geologic fact, this geologic column you would expect to see all over the place, after all, it’s fact. But let’s see how much fact it is. Here is a map he made where he tried to locate where on the planet you find all the Paleozoic section of the geologic column. The black are areas where he can’t find any. This is a careful study, 4-5,000 geologic articles. There are some areas, all the Paleozoic rock is found there, some there, quite a bit around the Tibet area, China, part of the Philippines, Java, Borneo, northern tip of Australia, a little bit around the Great Lakes. Interesting fact that we’re all assured is undeniable. But when you read the literature, and by the way, he was very generous in this study because he permitted the layers to be inverted, he didn’t care what order they were, he was just looking for all of them, show me where all the Paleozoic rock is on earth.
After doing that he decided, hmm, let’s look at another fact. Let’s see about the Mesozoic rock, see if we can find the areas of the world where the entire part of the Mesozoic rock of the geologic column exists. He had more luck here, bigger area, the Rockies, out here, British Columbia, Central Africa, tip of Africa, all through the Middle East, and that area. So the Mesozoic is there. Then he went on and did the same thing with the Cenozoic, and this slide shows where the entire geologic column exists, black indicates it doesn’t. There are some places where every rock in the geologic column is, there’s a little place there, two places out here, one in Mexico, the largest area on the earth is in Poland. Folks, this shows you what happens when a Christian who is a scholar takes some time to look carefully at what’s going on. For 150 years we’ve been told about this geologic column stuff, and when you go to look at 4–5,000 geology references, that’s what you find. And we’re supposed to be the people that are the superstitious ones.
The critic will say okay, how do you Christians explain the rock? We’ve got to come up with an interpretive model to explain how do you suppose the flood caused all this rock to form the way it did? That has not been easy, and it hasn’t been easy because we’re not sure how much of the rock was done during the flood and how much was done by the earth shaking itself out after the flood, we know there were vast changes in the earth, for example, those of you familiar with the west, the Great Salt Lake, [blank spot] … in the rock layers. Let’s just think of a process here, before I show you Woodmorappe’s model, let me throw this one out. If you look at the geologic column and you happen to notice that in the Paleozoic rock, it’s called Paleozoic, old life, all of those fossils that are used have one thing in common. It’s very interesting. They are all marine animals, marine fossils. If the world were flooded today, where would you find marine fossils? In the middle of Maryland? No, you would find the marine fossils, which had to have come from some area, obviously low lying, where the water was shallow and these things were living. Ah, doesn’t this suggest something? Perhaps a model of the formation of this is if we could hypothesize that what causes rock strata is the flood operating on different zones, different ecological niches, so that this Paleozoic rock isn’t old rock, it’s pre-flood, the remnants of a pre-flood swampy area.
To make a long story short, what Woodmorappe has done is come up with this model. Here’s how we envision the flood had happened. When we studied the flood there was an observation I said that you wanted to pay attention to in the text because we’d come back to it. Tonight we come back to it. Turn to Genesis 7:11, when the flood began two observations are reported. It says” In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the flood gates of the sky were opened.” Where did the water come from? It came from below as well as above. Now if it was below it came out of the ground. What happens if the water was in the ground subterraneally, subterranean water, and it suddenly burst above the ground, what happens to the ground over which was over where the water was? You have a sink hole.
What Woodmorappe has apotheosized is that at certain stages of the flood, early stages, here is one of those sink holes forming, here is an area of land with a sink hole forming, the water rushes in because the flood is now increasing in depth, the water flushes into this sink hole, from this strata here, notice he’s labeled this section one. Notice that the rock around the land area that is now being scoured in the debris from area 3 is now being brought into and burying area 1. What Woodmorappe thinks is if you took a geologic dig at point E, which is in the middle of a sink hole, you would look at your column and you would see this, it would be Paleozoic rock, one say, the lowest kind of rock, and that’s all you’d seen in that area. In the areas where the scouring occurred, let’s take a sample at location B, in that location you’d have the rock one that was buried, plus the debris from area three so now you look at the column there and lo and behold, we have three on top of one. Then in other areas where you have rock four, higher than three, four sinks into three, which is sinking into one, so in zone K later you could reconstruct the rock, you’d have rock one rock three, and rock four. What this has done is now this explains why there is, in fact, a tendency to form a geologic column because you don’t see one, four and three; one generally occurs at the lowest level or it doesn’t occur at all. There is a certain sequence, statistically to the rock, and that’s exactly what we observe. We don’t observe it uniformly as the maps show, but statistically it’s there.
So this is the Woodmorappe flood model, it took about seven or eight years work, as you can imagine digging through 4,000–5,000 journals to get this data. But this is the sort of work that Bible-believing scientists are now at work doing, of constructing this. Last week I told you about Humphreys and I told you about Herrmann and their models that explain relativity, explain the nature of time, explain gravity and time interactions, explain the issues of sudden appearance of catastrophic happenings, etc.
If you turn to page 127, there’s the quote from Woodmorappe, “How much of the column actually exists across the earth’s land masses? In a remarkable study John Woodmorappe divided the earth’s land surface into 967 equal areas. He then surveyed geologic literature for reports on the fragments of the column found in each area. He found, much to his surprise, that of the ten periods in the geologic column, less than 13% of the earth’s land surface has as many as five periods represented and less than one percent [of the earth’s surface] has all ten periods” represented. So obviously it’s a very unusual event to have that much rock put together. “These figures count the periods whether or not they are even in the proper sequence.” His conclusion: “ ‘Since only a small percentage of the earth’s surface obeys even a significant portion of geologic column, it becomes an overall exercise of gargantuan special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary- uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geologic periods.’ Areas of ‘missing’ layers are usually explained as due to non-deposition or erosion, but Woodmorappe notes that this excuse ‘is self-serving because there is no deterministic reason why the earth’s land surface should (or should not) become everywhere depositional sometime within the span.” What he’s saying there, remember I said were missing layers and he’s just saying that there’s no apriori reason why you should find vast erosions in one area and not in another one, if everything was uniform.
The point that Woodmorappe has made by this technique is, again I caution you as I did last week when we dealt with Dr. Herrmann and Prof. Humphreys, I said these guys aren’t saying they’ve got the last word, but they’re men who are gargantuan pioneers, they are doing in our day what Darwin did in the 19th century in his day. These are guys that will be maligned, ridiculed, obscured and ignored by the intellectual community, but believe me, they are your fellow believers who are brilliant people operating in their specialized scholarly areas, who believe that Christ is Lord, and they are showing that He is Lord by their gutsy way of taking on all their colleagues, challenging the whole concept in which they live, and basically becoming rebels for a very great cause, a remarkable story of stuff that’s going on in our time.
I want to conclude by pointing out the fact that not only has Woodmorappe discovered things like this, and is able to at least show us that models are possible, that do explain the data on a Biblical basis. But we can also review the fact that in the course of the last 30 years of careful field work that creationists have done, they have discovered things like poly-strata fossils. Here’s the poly-strata fossils.
I’ll see if I can draw one. This is a tree trunk, these are rock layers, there’s the tree, a petrified tree, at a sixty degree angle, piercing many rocks. What does that tell you? Look at that, what are some explanations of that? Think through this, millions of years to lay down each strata. What’s wrong with that explanation? How come the tree sat there at a sixty degree angle for 3,000,000 years, and didn’t rot? We’ve got a little problem here. And if you say well, it took millions of years and the tree was rammed down into it. If you can ram a tree trunk like that through rock, let me know, I have some engineer friends that would love to do that for piling work.
So this is one area where the data clearly shows evidence of catastrophic deposition, at least in this part this had to have been laid down rapidly. If it was laid down rapidly, then it proves, doesn’t it, that there was a process, a high energy event, at one time at least to do that. Then we have areas where we have total chaos, we have what we call fossil graveyards, where fossils are just piled one on top of another, all smashed to pieces. Just three weeks ago there was an announcement of some work in Africa being done and they found a dinosaur, apparently a female dinosaur in the middle of the Sahara Desert, her body was completely hovering over eggs, and the interpretation is obvious that something happened very fast, that dinosaur chose whatever it was that buried her under this massive debris, she chose to preserve those eggs while she was subjected to this catastrophe. I’m not suggesting that was the flood, there’s other explanations for that, post-flood explanations. But I’m just saying that in earth history there is this tendency.
Woodmorappe also, in the course of this modeling, has an explanation of why it is that human remains probably haven’t been found in the lower Paleozoic rocks. I say “probably” because at least on two occasions I have had it said to me, one by a Christian who retired from the Smithsonian Institute who said deep in the bowels of the Smithsonian Institute are fossils that you would be very surprised at, that don’t fit the scheme and they’ve been in drawers down there for the last 30 or 40 years, but they’re never trotted out because they just don’t fit. One of those fossils, this man said, was brought into us by coal miners from Kentucky, who deep down in the coal, carboniferous period many years ago, found a human hand. I tell you that if a human hand could be documented as being found a carboniferous period, it’d blow the lid off the whole evolutionary story, because we’re talking millions and millions of years before man is supposed to have evolved. But we don’t know that because we’re not the custodians of the data, the other side has all the data. So we don’t know that.
But on Woodmorappe’s model, what his argument is, is that in the antediluvian earth, when the flood happened, that the antediluvian earth was flatter than today, and when this deluge process began, if you took a map and this was the sea, and you had rivers flowing into the sea, the human communities were probably small and along these rivers. At the flood, these rivers became torrents and probably swept most of the people in those local areas of human habitat out to sea, in which case their bodies were never fossilized, because they floated. What happens in floods to dead bodies? They bloat and they rise to the surface after while, and they’re eaten or they rot. And so by varying the habitat and the location of the antediluvian race, and saying that there’s within 10-20 million people living in Noah’s time, and dividing the total volume of sedimentary rock by the number of people, you come out with the fact that even if they all were captured, and none of their bodies rotted, they all were fossilized, there would probably be one person for every hundred cubic miles of rock, so the probability of ever seeing a human being in any of this is exceedingly small, because Woodmorappe reminds us of something.
In Genesis, how many human beings were created in creation week? Two. How many animals were created in creation week? We’re not told, thousands and thousands. So therefore what was the human ratio to animal population in the antediluvian world? Very small, so therefore the statistical likelihood of even finding any fossilized human in any part of the rock layer is very small. And we don’t know whether or not they’ve been found, there are some odd evidences from time to time that people say they saw it. We have had another report in Ohio and again this happened about 1910, an old family in Ohio was shoveling coal into their coal fired stove and a big chunk of coal dropped out on the floor as they were shoveling it in and broke open, and inside they found a broach, a piece of jewelry. That’s interesting, how did the jewelry get inside of the coal. This I have documented, as far as I’ve tried to find eyewitnesses, I’ve located a picture of the thing, I’ve located an eye witness account that swore they saw it, and we have an explanation given by the other side that the broach just have fallen into the coal somehow.
But the point is that these evidences do crop up from time to time. That concludes our section, and for our series this year, and next time we’ll start in with Genesis 12 and go on in a more classical Bible study, though we will also deal with things like the Ice Age and what happened to dinosaurs since the flood, because that has to be dealt with because the book of Job deals with it. So we have to work our way through some of the pre-Abrahamic text, and then we’ll come down to the origin of what we call civilization.
I hope this has been useful, at least if you don’t get snowed by all the details, I’m just trying to show you the fact and give you the assurance that Christians can be Christians and believe with their head as well as with their heart, and not have to be intellectually ashamed and embarrassed by the gospel, that it’s the other side that should be ashamed of themselves, try to erect constants by sheer conjecture, and try to invent interpretations that are nothing, and that have not been subsequently changed since the ancient times.