Re: a simple test of Flood geology

David Campbell (
Thu, 4 Sep 1997 20:54:35 -0400

Allen Roy wrote:
>It depends upon ones concept of the Flood. As I stated before, if one
>conceives of the Flood as a monumental, homogenous mess then it would be
>hard to find a means by which apparent sorting would occure. On the
>other had a catastrophe composed of thousands of events it may be
>possible to get pollens captured and deposited in apparent organization.
With enough ad hoc fine tuning, any hypothesis can explain
something. However, a hypothesis that explains something without resorting
to "fudge factors" is considered scientifically more acceptible. Much
"flood geology" I encounter seems based on the line of reasoning "All
geology resulted from the Flood; therefore, anything that seems hard to
explain under young earth assumptions was caused by the Flood." For
example, in an ICR brochure, John Morris writes, as an example of what the
Flood did, "Erosion in the past, producing large river valleys, peneplains,
and incised meanders was quite different from modern erosion." Incised
meanders can form within 50 years or less; any creek in your area which has
had a significant portion of its drainage area paved will probably have
them. On a very large scale (e.g., the Grand Canyon), incised meanders are
much less likely than large river valleys as a result of catastrophic
flooding; gradual changes are probably necessary. I suspect that many of
the large river valleys in question are glaciated valleys, in which case
the shape is wrong for them to be generated by a flood [A flood scenario
could explain them as places where the floodwaters melted away a
pre-existing glacier, though the appearance of age of the glacier remains].
Likewise, in Scott Huse's The Collapse of Evolution, the Flood is
supposed to have torn all the branches off fossil logs [examination of
modern logs reveals most of them lack branches, too-anything below the
first branch!] yet also accounts for detailed preservation of soft parts.
A hypothesis that automatically explains everything explains nothing; it
has to make a priori predictions to be scientifically testable.
Not only microfossils but also macrofossils show an order not
reasonably explained in any young earth plus global flood scenario I've
encountered. Typically, there is a proposed beginning with sessile, marine
organisms as the first victims and smart, agile land organisms last.
However, slow or sessile marine organisms show drastic changes over time.
About 90% of the Pliocene mollusks from the eastern United States are
extinct. They are also somewhat different from the Miocene mollusks, very
different from the Eocene ones, and few genera extend as far as the
Cretaceous. Yet in general shape they are similar enough that water should
not sort them. Likewise, small and fragile forms occur in the highest beds
as well as in low ones. There is no trend towards greater wear or breakage
higher up the section, as there should be if these are being reworked from
previously-deposited beds.
Scott Huse (ibid.) claimed that this pattern of faunal succession
over time was simply made up by evolutionists who assumed that the fossils
had to be in this order. However, the pattern was first recognized over 40
years before Darwin published The Origin of Species; some of William
"Strata" Smith's first observations were published in Joseph Townsend's
(1813) The Character of Moses Established for Veracity as an Historian,
Recording Events from the Creation to the Deluge.
The issue is not new; Sidney (1866, Conversations on the Bible and
Science, p. 63-64) states "There have been those who did not hesitate to
refer all the known strata to the deluge, and to maintain that the whole
globe was broken up and dissolved at the flood, while all the formations
were derived from the settlements of this promiscuous mass. Nothing could
be more wild; and the advocates of such a theory were no more sevicable to
the truth than the enthusiast, who, having found a flint shaped like a
heart, proclaimed that he had discovered Pharaoh's heart that was
hardened". Sidney rejects Darwin's then-new theory of evolution; the goal
of the book is to show the perfect compatibility of modern science and the
Biblical account. He cites II Peter 2:5 in support of a limited flood
("upon the world of the ungodly"); "all countries came into Egypt to Joseph
to buy corn" is an OT example of a non-universal "all" that he cites.

David Campbell

"Old Seashells"
Department of Geology
CB 3315 Mitchell Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3315
FAX 919-966-4519

"He had discovered an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus"-E. A. Poe, The
Gold Bug