Monthly Archives: January 2021

The Journey of a Skeptic, Step 8, Is There any Geologic Evidence of a Single Global Flood?

Is there geologic evidence for a single global flood?  If so, what would that evidence be? In answering these questions, helpful creationist resources include:

  1. “Biblical Geology” and “Geology by the Book” by Dr. Tas Walker (1): In these videos, Dr. Walker describes a simple model that allows a person look at a rock formation in the field and then to identify it as being formed: 1) before the Flood; 2) during the Flood; or 3) after the Flood.
  • “The Genesis Account, A Theological, Historical, and Scientific Commentary on Genesis 1-11”:  In this book, Dr. Jonathan D. Sarfati (2) devotes several chapters to the Flood that include a chronology of the flood.  The book is also a helpful reference to Genesis chapter 2.
  • “Global Tectonics and the Flood” by Dr. Baumgardner:  It this video, Dr. Baumgardner describes and models conditions under which the geologic plates of the earth’s crust could move a high velocity. 

This post examines the contributions of Dr. Walker and Dr. Sarfati.  The next post will examine the contributions of Dr. Baumgardner. 

What does the Bible say about the rocks formed at creation?                                                                                                                                             Rocks formed at creation include the earth’s core, mantle, and crust.  Biblically, the was newly created earth had only one continent.  “And God said, Let the waters be gathered together unto one place, and let dry land appear: and it was so.  “And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.  And God said let the earth bring forth grass, and the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth and it was so. And the evening and the morning were a third day. (Genesis 1:9 -13).”  The Genesis account of the formation of dry land is supported by the current plate tectonic model that postulates that there was originally one “super continent.” This “super continent” broke apart over time to produce the continents that are seen today.  The volume of rocks produced at creation would be everything – the entire volume of the earth.  The time scale would be short – 1 day, the third day.  Also significant is the fact that the dry land was to bring forth grass, herbs, and fruit trees on the same day that they were created – the third day. 

Genesis Chapter 2 expands on portions of Genesis Chapter 1.  Genesis Chapter 2 does not conflict with Genesis Chapter 1; Genesis Chapter 2 is not an alternate Creation narrative to Genesis chapter 1. Genesis Chapter 2 contains insights into: soil science, agronomy, the hydrologic cycle, geomorphology, and geology of the recently formed earth.

Genesis 2 supports the Genesis 1 account of the newly created dry land as having fully developed soils that could support plant growth.  “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not yet a man to till the ground.  But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the earth.  And the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed (Genesis 2:5-8).”  Genesis 2:5 focuses on a period between Day 3 (the creation of dry land) and the initial human cultivation of the garden. It may be adduced that the soils of the garden had a fully developed soil profile consisting of topsoil, subsoil, and substratum layers.  

Mists were produced as sunlight struck the recently developed soil of the face of the earth.  The land had only recently emerged from the waters that covered the globe.  The land was dry, but soils had a high antecedent moisture content.  At a later point the available water from the soil would have evaporated into the atmosphere and a standard hydrologic cycle would be initiated. Rain is not required for plant growth; soil moisture, nutrients, and sunlight are.  Human care is required for garden plants but not for wild vegetation. Dr. Sarfati points out that that there is a difference Hebrew words for the plants created on Day 3 and the plans of the garden that required human care. 

Genesis 2 leads the reader to conclude that the newly created earth had a developed geomorphology that would allow rivers to flow.  The sources of water for the rivers could be mists, groundwater, and rain. “And a river went out Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads (Genesis 2:10)”.   Rivers require differences in topography that produce a hydrologic grade line between higher ground and the sea. 

Genesis 2 contains the first Biblical reference to mineralogy. “The first is the Pishon; that is the land of Havilah, where there is gold.  And the gold of the land is good: there is bdellium and on oynx stone (Genesis 2:12).”  This reference is significant.  Gold is one of the few minerals that commonly occur as a native element, that is not combined with other elements.  As a native element, gold would be easily observed and recognized. Mineral deposits are often formed during the later stages of intrusive igneous activity.  Thus, the reader may conclude that the gathering of the land into one place included igneous activity with associated formation of mineral deposits. 

What does the Bible say about the rocks formed between creation and the Flood (year “0” to year 1500+/-)?

Rocks formed during this period are not described, specifically in the Bible.  However, they would probably be similar those formed after the Flood.  There would be accumulations sediment formed by the erosion of the newly formed continent.  There could also be some accumulations of the fossils along the seacoast. Fossils require dead organisms, and death came after the fall of humankind.  The volume of rocks produced would be relatively small.  The time scale would be relatively long – 1500 years.

What does the Bible say about the rocks formed during the Flood (year 1500 +/-)?  

Rocks formed during the Flood would include most of the sedimentary rocks of the geologic column.  The volume of rocks formed would be large, but the time of formation would be short – 1 year.  Dr. Walker considers the Flood to have stages: The Eruptive Stage, The Prevailing Stage, and The Regression Stage.  Consider the events of each stage beginning with the eruptive Stage.

Eruptive Stage:  The first stage of the flood is termed the “Eruptive Stage.”  “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, the second month the seventeenth day of the month, the same day that all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And there was rain upon the earth for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:10-12).”  The Eruptive Stage could have resulted in much erosion of the original continent; creation of the Great Unconformity; and large volumes of rocky material. The “Eruptive Stage” of the Flood lasted for 40 days and the total duration of the Flood is also 40 days.     

Prevailing Stage: The second stage of the Flood is termed the “Prevailing Stage”.  “And the waters prevailed and were increased greatly on the earth; and the ark went on the face of the waters.  And the waters prevail exceedingly   upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven were covered.  Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man.  And all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, and that was in the dry land died (Genesis 7:18-22).”    The Prevailing Stage could have included much reworking of the rock material generated during the Eruptive Stage.  This reworking could have been accomplished by currents of floodwaters.  Sedimentary rocks would have been formed above the basement rocks.  The interface between the basement rocks and the overlying sedimentary rocks is called the “Great Unconformity.”  Above the Great Unconformity are pancake like layers of various sedimentary rocks.  The fossils in the sediments demonstrate an order of burial, not order of evolution.  The fossils in the formations in the lowest portion of the column are those of marine plants and bottom dwellers.  Next, fish fossils are found.  Higher in the geologic column we find coal layer with plant fossils.  And still higher dinosaur fossils would be found.  Dinosaurs, birds, and insects would have the greatest ability to survive in rising flood waters.  The “Prevailing Stage” of the Flood lasted 110 days and the total duration of the flood is now 150 days. 

Regression Stage: The last stage of the Flood is termed the “Regression Stage”.    Most of the observed landforms and geology were formed during the regression stage of the Flood.  The regression stage of the Flood is where “Flood Geology” and uniformitarian geology may be correlated.  The landforms and observed geology of the regression stage of the Flood would be those of the regression stage of the latest flood near global flood in uniformitarian geology. 

This regression stage was marked by tectonic movements in the was earth’s crust.  These movements the driven by movements in the earth’s mantle.  Ocean basins were formed in the mantle and portions of the earth’s crust were uplifted to form mountain chains. 

Flood waters initially flowed from the uplifted area under sheet flow conditions. Initially sheet flow would be widespread, deep and at high velocity.  This would result in the rapid break up of recently formed sedimentary rocks which would move toward the newly forming ocean basins.  Later, sheet flow would become shallow and at a lower velocity. Streams and rivers would develop. The “Regression Stage” of the Flood lasted 220 days and the total time of the Flood from beginning to end was 370 days.

Dr. Walker’s Model, and the Geologic Column

Dr. Walker’s useful model for looking at field geology and then relating those observations to the Flood.  Basement metamorphic rocks such as schist and gneiss were probably formed during the “Eruptive Stage” of the flood.  The Great Unconformity would have been formed late in the “Eruptive Stage” or early in the “Prevailing Stage” of the Flood.  Sedimentary rocks with fossils would have been formed during the “Prevailing Stage of the Flood.”  Any rock with fossils would have been formed after the fall of humankind.  Fossils in the geologic column reflect an order of burial.   

Dr. Walker’s model helps the student to consider scale and energy.  The scale of geologic events can be relatively small (Yellowstone Park) or regional (the geology of the east coast of the U.S.).   Some portions of the earth’s crust reflect a low energy environment (layers of flat lying sedimentary rocks).  These layers could be eroded but are not distorted, folded, broken, or melted.  Outcrops of metamorphic rocks reflect a high pressure / high temperature environment.

Some sedimentary series of rocks are relatively undisturbed but have been elevated to great elevations.  Sedimentary rocks with fossils are found at the top of Mt. Everest.    In other places sedimentary are folded into a series of anticlines and synclines.

Conclusions

Yes! There is evidence for a single global flood.  Dr. Walker, Dr. Sarfati, Dr. Baumgardner, and others have done a good job of presenting this evidence.  This evidence includes:

  • The Biblical bringing forth the earth from the water into a single place is mirrored the current plat tectonic theory of a single “Super Continent” that later divided into the continents that we know today. 
  • Evidence of rapid burial of living things to produce fossils. 
  • The order of fossil burial beginning with bottom dwellers.
  • The presence of a single Great Unconformity between metamorphic basement rocks and sedimentary rocks.
  • Present observable geology and geomorphology is based on the regression stage of the Flood.

The mechanism and physics of a single global Food are complex.  However, they are only 1/10 as complex as those of the 10 or so near global floods that form the basis of uniformitarian geology.

Notes:

  • Dr. Tasman (Tas) Walker holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and 20 years of experience in power station design and operation.  He also a B. Science degree (with honors) in earth science.   
  • Dr. Jonathan Sarfati holds a doctorate in physical chemistry and has co-authored various technical papers in his field.

In the next post we will examine energy and geology as related to the Flood.    

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