Creation vs. Evolution II
Noah and the Flood
by Ross L., Creation
vs. Evolution II Team Member
(The material for this article was researched at Matt Kneisler's web site on Noah's Ark. The link is given below.)
One of the primary pieces of evidence claimed to support evolution is the fossil record. If it really took millions of years for those fossils to form, then the account of creation in the Bible could not be literally true. Another view of the fossil record, though, is to assume that it is the result of the great worldwide flood that occurred at the time of Noah. The layers of sediment around the Grand Canyon, for example, were very loosely packed. The great flood of Noah could have hit the spot quickly and cleanly washed away the loose soil to form the Grand Canyon. This theory is called catastrophism. To learn more about catastrophism and the flood, visit the Noah's Ark web site.
Most scientists do not, but there are some scientists today seeking evidence to support this theory of catastrophism. John Baumgardner is one of these scientists. He has created a unique computer program called Terra that maps the movement of magma inside the earth's core in millions of small blocks that fit together like a huge Rubik's cube. With this program, he hopes to disprove evolution. Baumgardner is a strict creationist who believes that God created the universe within the last 10,000 years. In his program, the magma churns and boils like water in a pot because as the cooler heavier material sinks, the hotter, lighter material rises. Baumgardner thinks this magma could have been used by God to start the great flood.
According to Baumgardner,God stretched the tectonic plates, causing the magma underneath to rise out of the ground into the ocean. This magma then ballooned out and evaporated, displacing a huge amount of water. Tidal waves and rain caused by these jets of magma were high enough and strong enough to cause all the mountains to be covered and send a boat filled with one human family and two of every known animal off on their way. Then the runoff began to spill back into the ocean at more than 100 miles per hour. This scale of erosion would have been able to create the Grand Canyon in less than a week.
The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helen's caused 90 mph mud flows of melting snow and volcanic debris. These mud flows caused tremendous sedimentation. A subsequent eruption created additional mud flows that eroded large canyons. One of these canyons has even been named "Little Grand Canyon", as it is only 1/40th the size of the real one. All this sedimentation has since formed into rock. So sedimentary rock can form rapidly under the right conditions.
There is some evidence that fossils in the Grand Canyon were mauled and violently churned about by some huge force. One fish, for example, is was captured in the sediment in the act of giving birth! Most Creationists argue that these fossils are the work of a great flood. A huge tidal wave could explain part of what has been found in these fossils.
Scientists have found that certain types of fossils are found in certain sedimentary layers. These are called index layers. The age of the rock containing them is determined by the type of fossils found there. However, this is a circular argument, since the fossils are dated by the layer in which they are found!
There are also examples of fossils being formed quickly, sometimes in less than 100 years. For example, a miner's felt hat from Tasmania became fossilized in 50 years.
Radiocarbon dating is based on the amount of carbon-14 and carbon-12 found in fossils. A sample to be dated is burned. Then radiation counters measure the electrons given off. The amount of carbon-14 and carbon-12 is constant in a living organism, but after an animal dies, the amount of carbon-14 gradually decreases. The age of the sample is determined by comparing the amount of decaying carbon-14 and stable carbon-12. However, this method can have errors. Also, if the amount of radioactivity on earth varied during the time period, the results would be affected.
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