Bernard E. Northrup, Th.D.
A Difficult age for Believers
The twentieth century has brought many surprises in the realm of science. Man personally has begun to explore space, earth's surface, the bottom and the extreme depths of the ocean. He has leaped forward to the scintillating promises of the creature comforts of an atomic age and has stood appalled before its horrors. Less expected and even more dramatic to the believer is the amazing resurgence of the study of the physical sciences in the light of the creation story. The atheistic tide of evolutionary thought had swept over the church like a giant tidal wave during the past one hundred fifty years. So destructive had been its onslaught that it appeared to many that the whole structure of the church was about to crumble, completely eroded away at its foundations.
During this troubled time many believers tenaciously had clung to their faith in the creation story in spite of repeated onslaughts of overwhelming ferocity. For many, the problem was one of grim survival for their faith. As a result, there were many believers who assumed creation harmonization models which attempted to counteract the powerful influences of evolutionary thinking. Regrettably, these models were defensive in their design rather than analytical in their approach to the physical as well as the Biblical evidences. Views were developed concerning the relationship of Genesis and geology which were, in effect, compromises with unbelieving science. These models for resolving the clashing problems were sought as a means of accepting the apparently "incontrovertible evidences" of science without utterly destroying the obvious message of the Genesis story. Others thought it best simply to ignore the scientific evidences that were being discovered in the crust of the earth. These believers, in effect, denied that archaeological discoveries of fossil man and geological discoveries of unknown fossil creatures actually were happening at all. Even today it is not uncommon to meet a believer who will insist that dinosaurs never really existed at all. Through several forms of resistance such as these, there survived a remnant in the church which still rigidly held to a God of creation. These accepted the essence of the Genesis record in spite of scientific implications which appeared to contradict their position.
In this troubled period a number of authors continued to argue strenuously for a creationist position. But in spite of their work, the position that held that an omnipotent God had created the heavens and earth as described in Genesis became more and more unpopular during the early decades of this century. Then the tide began to change. It is not an oversimplification to say that the advent of one book was a major factor in changing the direction of interest and the awakening of thought on the subject of creationism. This book was "The Genesis Flood" by Whitcomb and Morris. It's publication has been followed by a growing revolution in thinking among scientists who are Christians. The handful of believers in direct creation among scientists has now swelled to a very influential block (even though greatly hated) of the scientific world. Their influence in the educational systems of several states is an example. This last decade has seen the emergence of outstanding creationist publications like "The Creation Research Quarterly," "The Bible Science Newsletter" and numerous other very fine publications of lesser size and circulation. It has seen the rise of several organizations which are sponsoring creationist research. Local creationist chapters are being formed widely and the creationist movement is gaining strength on several continents.
Creation: a Matter of Dissent
Nevertheless, among creationists there is not a strong bond of harmony which might be expected or desired with such a common uniting theme. On the contrary, far too much effort is spent in dispute concerning the worth or the worthlessness of the creation model which has been proposed by others rather than in actual field research. Remarkably little actual field research has been done which sought to evaluate the accuracy of one's presuppositions concerning the actual relationship which must lie between the revelational record of Genesis and the physical record left by God's activities recorded there. A good part of the problem grows out of the immutable tenacity with which we tend to hold those views which have been taught to us by those spiritual leaders whom we respect highly.
As creationists, we are prone to approach the revelatory sources concerning earth's early events in Scripture with a barrier of previously assumed presuppositions. In this, we are hindered by the same problem which disturbs the accuracy of the logic of the historical geologist in his research. These presuppositions, wherever found, constitute an intellectual gridwork which effectively screens out any vital data in the Bible or in the physical sciences which are not fully in harmony with our own presuppositions. In effect, these presuppositions unwittingly become more authoritative than the Bible itself since we only let it speak within our presuppositional framework. Yet, at the same time, this presuppositional intellectual grid repeatedly will pass on those bits of information which we have succeeded in distorting in passing them through the screen of our presuppositions. This same tenacity makes it impossible objectively to examine another's creation harmonization model in which another believer is attempting to explain the relationship between science and the Bible. Indeed, the complexity of the problem of trying to harmonize archaeological and geological information with the Bible usually is far too complex for the beginner to comprehend. For this reason, he simply refuses to evaluate beyond the bounds of the comfortably well known creation model which he holds, without examining its points of inadequacy wherein it fails as a working model. In spite of the difficulty, many believers are wrestling with the complex problem of trying to correct and harmonize scientific findings with the Bible. Regrettably on the other hand, there are many believers who are trying to harmonize the Bible with the field of science. This latter approach can only produce compromise.
The Physical Evidence to be Harmonized
Because many believers are not acquainted with current scientific views concerning the history of the earth, I have included a chart to summarize this position entitled "The Scientist's Approach to the Geological Evidence." It is this physical evidence and not the evolutionary interpretation of this evidence which is of concern to us. As a believer, I openly set forth a major presupposition by which I work in creation studies. I firmly believe that the record of the rocks is nothing more or less than the physical record of the Creator's activities which He has revealed to us in the early chapters of His Holy Word. Many believers have been repulsed from the study of the physical record of the Lord's activities in the early chapters of Genesis because of the evolutionary, macrochronological distortion which inevitably is attached to the record of the rocks . It is right that believers should be repulsed by the evolutionary interpretation of the physical record of earth's history. That interpretation directly contradicts Biblical revelation. Yet the materials which, in a sense, are the source of this theory (as misunderstood by the evolutionist) must not be discarded without critical thought by believers. The view which attributes to earth a history of 15 billion years and a completely naturalistic explanation of its wonderful lifeforms actually grows out of dedicated research. The view, though errant, grows out of the great effort of some millions of dedicated (but not always objective) workers who have been trying, within their previously accepted presuppositional framework, to understand the bits and fragments of information which they have been able to sift out of the earth's historical layers.
Frankly, I admire their amazing tenacity and dedication even while sorrowing for their misguided conclusions! Though distorted by their presuppositional gridwork, this material, which they painstakingly have gathered and misunderstood, is still far too exceedingly valuable to be simply ignored. Though misinterpreted in the chronological time scheme so essential to evolution, much of this information is factual and is valuable corollary evidence filling in significant details about earth's Biblical past. These bits of information, the hard facts of archaeology and geology, wrongly have been aligned into this godless theory of history which shapes thinking in all scientific fields. This theory is the proposal that life evolved, first in the seas and then later on the earth's surface over millions of years of earth's history. Now since the earliest life forms which are found in the lower structures are marine, the scientists felt that this was clear evidence that life began in earth's sea. This, of course, is only one of the ways that this phenomenon could have been explained. Indeed, this fact fits perfectly within the Biblical framework of history.
These early deposits often are grouped together and are named "Precambrian." This means that these deposits are older than the beginning of the "Cambrian" period which is the earliest depositional series of the larger division of earth's layers which called "the Paleozoic Era" (old life era). Since lifeforms that are related to the shoreline appear fairly early in the older Paleozoic deposits, it also is assumed provable that life had begun to evolve out of the sea to become land forms by that time. The strongly diversified land plant forms of the Paleozoic deposits, many collected out of the later Paleozoic coal beds, are assumed to indicate strong evolutionary diversification in plant life as that period approached its end. I have examined many of these plants in situ in the anthracite coal beds of the Wyoming valley of northern Pennsylvania.
The Mesozoic (middle life era) deposits contain hordes of reptile forms which include dinosaurs of many types. According to the physical record, these creatures are thought to have had their beginnings and end in that "era." The evidence therefore suggests to the presuppositional evolutionary researcher that these creatures evolved themselves into and then out of existence! Well documented studies on widely diverse disciplines present well supported proofs that the continents divided and moved to their present positions during Mesozoic times. If this really is factual, and it seems to be, then this great event must have a recognizable place in Biblical history. I have been permitted through the Lord's grace to examine massive evidence for continental separation in the three continents of North America, South America and Africa from coast to coast and from north to south, in Europe, particularly around the Mediterranean in nations which border that sea on the east and in India. I am thoroughly convinced that the division of the continents really happened and that this is a Biblical event of colossal importance in the recent shaping of the face of the earth.
Cenozoic (recent life) times, following the demise of the great reptiles, saw the full dominance of the angiosperm (hard seed) plants in strong contrast to the earlier deposits which had been dominated by the gymnosperm (naked seed) plants. This is fact. This fact should fit perfectly into the one harmonization model which will be able to account accurately and fully for both Biblical and physical data. In a similar manner the mammals rose to dominance, replacing the amphibians and then the reptiles as kings of the earth in the geological record and today. Why is this so? There is a Biblical answer. It is not an answer which can be found in any of the inadequate harmonization models which have been developed to explain the relationship of geology to Genesis. Neither can it be found when one accepts a postulated length of 60 million years for Cenozoic times.
The Search for a Harmonization Model
Now all creationists, with the exception of two groups, will hold that the evolutionary model of history violently overextends geological time to form a false, macrochronological system. The gap theorist who harmonizes all geological deposits with the deposits of the pre-Adamic, pre-six days universal flood feels that he can accept the geological ages as part of the pre-Adamic world and the flood which ended it. The "creative evolutionist," (a seeming contradiction in terms), distorts the clear intent of Genesis so that it appears to him to agree with the evolutionary scheme of the origin and development of life. Most creationists will agree that the facts of geology and archaeology have been misinterpreted to produce the story of evolution as presented in the chart, The Scientist's Approach to the Geological Evidence. But that is about as far as harmony between the diverse creationist camps can go at present. Totally different routes are taken to seek an explanation for the relationship between the so-called scientific approach to earth's history and the Biblical record of earth's early events. These methods of attempting to harmonize geology with Genesis (or Genesis with geology) are herein called harmonization models.
The Failure of the Gap Theory Harmonization Model
The oldest harmonization model which attempted to explain scientific findings to avoid collision with Biblical teaching is the Classical Gap Theory. It existed long before the problem of evolution with its naturalistic explanation of the origin of the universe came into being. Indeed, intimations of the gap theory may be found in literature long before Darwin and his coworkers postulated its explanation of the origin of life on planet earth. An extensive bibliography on the history of the gap theory may be found in the book, "Without Form and Void," by Arthur Custance, a supporter of the view. Originally the theory was an attempt to explain the phenomena of revelation found in early verses of Genesis one. Earnest students of the Word of God many centuries ago recognized that Genesis 1:1 spoke of the creation of the universe in connection with the creation of the earth. They were troubled about phenomena described as taking place in the first three days of creation. Genesis 1:1-13 seemed to indicate that the sun and the celestial mechanism which produces solar days. They recognized that this was in conflict with the apparent teaching of Genesis 1:14-19 that the universe apart from the earth came into being in the fourth day of creation. As a result, they concluded that Genesis 1:14-19 was not intended to convey that idea but that Genesis 1:1 actually contained the description of the sun's creation and that this happened "in the beginning." Then the specter of biogenesis through uniformitarian evolution began to rise as with its attention to fossils as evidence of the evolutionary process. As a result, many earnest believing students concluded that a complete creation of all kinds of life including human life had been created in Genesis 1:1. This proposal of pre-Adamic life in the ages past became a solution for the problem that fossils were causing to the church. They were the fossils!
But how were these fossils buried? The thesis was proposed that a catastrophe, the pouring out of the seas on the earth's surface, had occurred in Genesis 1:2. This catastrophe was identified as the result of Satan's fall, described elsewhere in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. As a result, the six creative days of Genesis one came to be taken to describe restoration of the earth's surface and re-creation rather than to describe initial creation. Support for this position was found in the misleading translation found in Genesis 1:28, "...and replenish the earth." Support was identified in the language of Genesis 1:11 and 12. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass...And the earth brought forth grass...." Its supporters felt justified, on the basis of their misunderstanding of the Hebrew verb, to retranslate Genesis 1:2 so that it might describe the advent of the pre-Adamic catastrophe more clearly. It was translated: "And the earth became without form and void...." For the most part, gap theorists saw no need for the Noahic flood to be universal. As a result, the view fostered the position that Noah's flood was only a violent local flood which troubled the Mesopotamian Valley. Obviously this brief summary of the gap theory does not accurately reflect the position of each writer who has alluded to the problem down through the centuries. It is only an attempt to summarize the position. The same may be said of my chart, The Gap Theory Harmonization Model.
When the onslaught of evolutionary thought began to shake the very foundations of the church through higher criticism and scientific attacks, the gap theory was recognized by many believers as an avenue of escape from the conflict. It came to be taught in many churches as inescapable dogma. As a result, the proposal of "pre-Adamic fossil life" quickly and conveniently was buried by the chaos of the pre-Adamic flood in Genesis 1:2 by its proponents. Indeed, the gap theory was the first introduction that I had to the problem of Genesis and geology. Within 6 months after I accepted the great gift of salvation offered by the Savior, I was taught the gap theory as the proper way to understand Genesis 1. It took me many years to see clearly the flaws and inconsistencies of the theory which made it not only an unworkable but also an irreparable model of harmonization.
Although there have been major books presenting the gap theory as the only means of harmonizing geology with Genesis, two footnotes in the old Scofield Reference Bible were a major factor in the general acceptance of this view by the church in past decades. These notes read: "The first creative act [Gen. 1:1] refers to the dateless past, and gives scope to all of the geologic ages." "Relegate fossils to the primitive creation [Gen. 1:1], and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains." Would that it were actually that simple! Numerous books were written seeking to prove that all fossil life was pre-Adamic and that the so-called "eras" of geology were really the record of events on the pre-Adamic earth as it was buried by the Genesis 1 flood. Pember's book, Earth's Early Ages was one that was influential on me as a young student. I have even seen a book which proposed that the archaeologists' findings of cave men were merely the record of whole races of pre-Adamic man! In effect, the view accepted geological history at face value and then hid it in a convenient pigeon hole in Genesis 1:1-2 where it could not distort the rest of the creation record too much. Perhaps those of us who found temporary sanctuary in the gap theory should be thankful for its errant exegesis and faulty harmonization for it did provide a temporary escape from the errors of uniformitarian biology. Unfortunately it did cause other problems, particularly the common acceptance of a local Noahic flood view in those days before the publication of The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris.
The classical gap model of harmonization still is somewhat popular, though waning and under violent attack by those holding the classical Noahic flood model of harmonization. More of fury than of sound argument has "evolved" in the conflict. Most of the argument has swirled around the first verb form in Genesis 1:2. Hebrew grammar sadly has been distorted by both sides of the argument in attack and in support of the gap theory. Not all that has been said on either side has been correct on the subject.
Actually, the attack upon the gap theory has not marshaled even a fragment of the evidence which contradicts it. Beyond the Biblical problems of the mistranslation of Genesis 1:2 and 28, significant scientific problems revealing the gap theory as a faulty harmonization model have been ignored totally by Bible students who have sought for harmony between science and the Bible. For example, if the gap theory were correct, then why is it a fact that there are yet existing in the world today numerous life forms which unquestionably survive through one to four major sections of geological history? These all should have been destroyed utterly by the pre-Adamic flood if they really lived before it! A thoughtful examination of paleontology, the study of ancient life forms, will convince one that even today earth has many living representatives, survivors of ancient life forms. These will be found among Precambrian shellfish, Paleozoic coelacanths, horseshoe crabs, brachiopods, ostracodes, sharks and even cockroaches and dragonflies, not to mention Mesozoic reptiles, early Cenozoic reptiles and mammals of all kinds. Indeed, the various subdivisions of Cenozoic time are characterized (and given their names) according to the regularly increasing percentages of life forms which yet survive out of them into Recent times! Now this is utterly impossible if a universal catastrophe struck between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and wiped out all life in judgment of angelic sin. Yet these "living fossils:" are clear testimony to the fact that the gap theory fails at its task, of harmonizing geology with Genesis. Many lifeforms which are found in earth's strata as fossils yet swarm the seas and populate the land masses.
A second inconsistency of the gap theory as a harmonization model lies in the fact that it does not fit the geological phenomena which the view would require of Genesis 1:1-2. Strangely, gap theorists have been careless in that they have not tried to harmonize the geological materials of the earth's crust with the catastrophic flood which is supposed to have ended all pre-Adamic life. Theoretically, the field evidences of geology should demonstrate that earth's geological history climaxes catastrophically in a universal flood series. It most certainly does not. In no way can it be demonstrated that either of the most recent great geological series of deposits, the Mesozoic or the Cenozoic deposits, are the massive marine deposits of a pre-Adamic universal flood. I personally have examined many thousands of square miles of Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits of sub-aerial wind, atmospherically deposited volcanic ash, lava and great mud flows and atmospherically deposited glacial ice and the scars left by their paths over these ever to be convinced of such a position. These great deposits, examined in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and in India powerfully state this fact: The geological record does not climax and end with a universal flood. Indeed, a very great and very extensive deposit series called the Cenozoic testifies powerfully to the fact that the continents were elevated above sea level for a very extended period of time in the most recent chapter of earth's history. The classical gap harmonization model simply does not begin to fit the physical evidence. The Scofield note simply is not accurate when it says: "Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains."
Is this model of creationism scientifically defensible? If one chooses to attempt to achieve harmony between the scientific data of the various scientific disciplines and the approach of the gap theory to the revelationary data found in passages of the Word of God which treat the subject, the answer can only be a firm and unswerving "No!" This is a model which does not work! If we are to defend creationism and demonstrate that the Bible can explain all of the scientific data concerning the history of the earth and of its life forms, we must search for another model that demonstrates more consistency than that which is achieved when one follows the gap theory.
The Failure of the Theistic Evolutionary Harmonization Model
Another model which has attempted to harmonize Bible and Science, the two opposite approaches to life's origins, is the theistic evolutionary theory. This view is another approach which compromises the Scriptures with current scientific views. Unlike the limited modification of the Scriptures by the gap theory, this view seriously meddles with the plain sense that obviously was intended by the Divine Author. It attempts to modify the meaning of that which is said in the Genesis text to allow for believers working in the scientific world to accept the "gospel facts" which govern their scientific disciplines. The effects of the modification of the meaning of the text of Genesis, by logical extension, reaches deeply into the heart of Biblical Revelation. Whereas the gap theory suggested on the basis of Genesis 1:1 that the creation of the sun, moon and stars actually occurred before the first solar day of Genesis 1:3-5, this view distorts and lengthens each of the solar days of Genesis 1 into the "eras" of the geological historian. Not only does this void the clear intent of the Revelator; it ultimately requires the reader to reject the historicity of the early chapters of Genesis in order to main consistency with the view. Theistic evolution, by its very name, suggests that God was the prime mover in evolution and that He, over the long millions and billions of years of earth's evolution, used biological evolution to produce earth's remarkably diverse and manifold lifeforms.
The chart, The Theistic Evolutionary Harmonization Model, admittedly is a compromise statement on my part since many writers have approached the subject in many ways. Indeed, few have dared to assemble a full harmonization model which states the view with precision and exactness. Indeed, this has been avoided consistently. Too many problems become obvious when this is attempted. Generalization is the rule when the theistic evolutionist handles the text of Genesis, attempting to explain it as a statement of evolutionary dogma. Generalization! What a strange bedfellow for "scientific" minds! My chart is a summary of the view which was presented some years ago in the book, "Modern Science and the Christian Faith," edited by members of the American Scientific Affiliation. This is an organization of believers who have been swayed toward theistic evolution by their work environment. Like the classical gap harmonization model, this theoretical approach sees no reason for considering the Noahic flood to have been universal. Indeed, catastrophism was a bad word in the scientific community which held to uniformitarianism until this last score of years. Since it was part of uniformitarian dogma that things had been rocking along at the same pace for millions of years, little thought was given to major catastrophes like the flood. (The Apostle Peter had foreseen that this approach to history would arise in the latter days and would seriously affect man's anticipation of the return of the Lord. Note II Peter 3:1-5). A definite shift in thought has been occurring in this area since 1950 however. Slow awakening recognition of the remarkably violent role that the partial draining of Lake Bonneville (the greater Great Salt Lake) had in carving the Snake River and the Columbia River gorges and the badlands played a major role in that change.
Nevertheless, theistic evolutionists see no reason for considering the Noahic flood to be universal. It is for a reason that is totally different from the reason for its rejection by the gap theorist. The proponents of theistic evolution have accepted fully the tenants of uniformitarianism and therefore assume that the distant past of the Bible is to be evaluated in the "authoritative" light of current geological phenomena. A universal flood would be catastrophism far beyond the bounds of their currently acceptable local catastrophism. Therefore when they read in Biblical history where the Bible clearly teaches that the land mass was totally below sea level, they, by their presuppositions, gloss over and disregard its statements. Rather than to seek for the flood's evidences in geological history, they have erased its reality from their thinking about Biblical history! A chuckle is due to Sir Leonard Woolsey who at least tipped his hat to the Biblical record. He went to the Euphrates Valley to dig for local flood strata left by Noah's flood. He was excited to announce the find of a major level of river sedimentation as evidence of the Noahic flood, only to be disappointed to find later that the layers were indeed very local. Probably at no time in his life was Woolsey farther from Noahic flood strata than when he was traveling by ship on his way to the site of his dig! (The reason for that statement is that there is no Noahic flood strata to be found on the Atlantic Ocean bottom, a very significant fact which must align with a working harmonization model for that model to be acceptable).
The Problems Facing Theistic Evolution
The Theistic evolutionary model of harmonization has an aura of scientific authority and plausibility. It has gained a very substantial following among Christians who study and work in or near scientific fields of study. Nevertheless, it is totally inadequate as a model of harmonization. Its treatment of the argument of Genesis 1 is cultic, stimulating devotion without reliance upon Revelation. To hold the view requires the rejection of exceedingly important data in the Revelation in order to permit the distortions of the Bible required of the model. It ignores vitally significant data details such as the Biblical text's terminology: "evening and morning," "day one," "Then God created..." and many, many other such explicit statements which must mold one's thinking on the events of Creation. This is unscientific procedure.
Examination of the chart will demonstrate that theistic evolution also tends to ignore the obvious presence of real liquid water on the crust of the earth, totally covering the land mass from verse two through verse nine. (While the gap theorist misunderstood its purpose, I am afraid that he is right that the first universal Genesis Flood occurs in Genesis one)! It is exceedingly painful to listen to a theistic evolutionist's lecture in which he remolds the book of Genesis in his own hands and refashions Genesis 1:2 to conform to the astronomical theory which currently is in fashion. For that matter, I also have agonized while listening to believers of the six day creation view as they have spoken the magic words that transformed the water of Genesis 1:2-8 into swirling gas clouds out in space during Genesis 1:1-3, the period when they suppose that a gaseous earth was becoming a solid! But the text of Genesis says water and seas and the deep well over a dozen times without one single indication that the meaning has changed from "gases swirling in space" to "waters in which fishes swim." There is water covering the land mass completely from Genesis 1:2-8 before the command of verse 9 which causes a great continental mass to appear above sea level. Is it not a bit messy to have to change quickly all of those gasses imagined in verse 2 into liquid waters somewhere between the first and the third creation day? Wouldn't it be better to let God's Revelation speak and let its authoritative statement stand?
Furthermore, observe from the chart that theistic evolution is forced to combine the first and second day "eras" of their view into one Azoic (no life) "Era" in order to find agreement with current scientific theory. On the other hand, very expediently the view mingles the Archaeozoic (ancient life) "Era" in which no life is found and the Proterozoic (former life) "Era without any division in order to cover the space of the third and the fourth days of creation. Somehow the upheaval of the continent in the third day, the growth of plant life on the sub-aerial surface of the land scarcely could be subdivided to accord with the geological materials and evidences which are called "Archaeozoic" and "Proterozoic." It seems a shame that the writer of Genesis, Moses, could not have better anticipated current scientific theories so that it would have been easier for the theistic evolutionist to have achieved accurate harmony at this obscure point! Indeed, how puzzling it is to note that a theistic evolutionist can accept the evolution of plant life (day "eon" three) yet an "eon" before the sun apparently comes into existence on the fourth day of creation (Gen. 1:14-19). Or is this the reason why it is difficult for the theistic evolutionist to divide these "eras" after the manner of current thinking? But more problematical, is there really harmony here between science and the Bible as it is reinterpreted by the theistic evolutionary harmonization model? Not at all! If this were the correct harmonization model, there only could be consistency and agreement. Should not scientific thinkers be consistent? Is that not supposed to be a vital characteristic of a scientist? How then can this ill formed and unsuccessful model even hold the attention of a scientist for a moment?
Even more startling disconformity (a good geological term) is found in the attempt to harmonize both the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic "Eras" with only the fifth day of creation. Odd, isn't it? And how is that fishes do their "evolving" in the fifth day long after plant life has "evolved" in the third geological "Era" according to this twisted interpretation of the Genesis record? This account set forth by theistic evolutionists in no way harmonizes with the record of the rocks, for there the fishes are supposed to have done their "evolving" long before land plants according to the physical record. This must be explained in a more logical and a more consistent way or there is no harmony between the Record of the Book and the record of the rocks.
That final "eon" for the theistic evolutionist's time scale, the sixth day of creation, is a sore problem for this attempt at achieving harmony between historical geology and the Bible. In that "day," man and mammals are supposed to have evolved with man as the newcomer on the scene. According to the historical geologist's speculation concerning man's age, man has only existed on earth for the last two or three million years. Yet, in spite of recent retreat on the subject by some creationists, I think that it is a serious possibility that human and dinosaur tracks exist in the Glen Rose formation of the Mesozoic deposits in Texas. If this actually is so, how could this possibly be? The Mesozoic seems to harmonize with the fifth day of creation according to the theistic evolutionary view. Was man really present in the fifth day?? Perhaps further studies of the Glen Rose formation will finally yield the answer concerning the great track bed along the Paluxy River and settle the issue.
There are many such inconsistencies between those facts of science which really are unquestionable and the facts of Biblical Revelation as they are mishandled by the theistic evolutionary theory. I personally do not see how it is possible for believers who are men of science to treat this portion of the Word of God less authoritatively and with any less respect than they do those portions of the Word of God on which their eternal redemption is based. Perhaps they are not aware of the desperate inroads which their position has made even in that area.
The same section of Scripture which relates the creation story also tells the sad story of Adam's rebellion and fall as the head of the human race. If Christ's direct references to Adam as a real historical being are distorted as only being part of the fable of Genesis 1-10, then the Savior's words can only be errant. We are left, not only without an explanation concerning the origin of sin in the human race but also without one who could serve as the Savior from sin. Furthermore, if Paul's theological arguments concerning the place of Adam as the human race fell into sin (Rom. 5:12) are invalid and are only allusions to the creation fable, then what faith is really left? Perhaps that was in the mind of the archenemy of our souls when first this evolutionary explanation of the origins of life was planted in the minds of men.
We must face the facts. The theistic evolutionary model of harmonization, when carried to its logical end through archaeology and geology will destroy the very theological foundations of the redemptive story. It is a view which utterly compromises the Word of God in the end. It simply is an adaptation of the Word of God to a scientific theory (or really, to a philosophical theory which first showed its ugly head among the ancient Greek philosophers). Strangely enough, in the eyes of some this harmonization model has appeared to be the only viable solution. One proponent, Edwin Gedney, has even written this in these concise words: "...This interpretation is apparently the only one whereby it is possible to arrive at specific harmony between the modern geological record and the verses of Genesis." But what harmony is this, when the Genesis record specifically records God's exacting commands that all plant life, marine life, bird life, animal life and human life was only to reproduce after its own created kind? That most certainly is not the teaching of evolutionary biology! This is not a harmonization model that works! There can be no postulated manipulating of the evolutionary processes in creation by God to produce change from one species to another, from one kind to another and from one genus to another to fit evolutionary biology and its false teaching. Such an act by the Creator would be diametrically in opposition to God's own very precise commands so often repeated in the text. God would be placed in the position of failing to keep His own Word. Unthinkable!
Is creationism scientifically defensible? If one attempts to present creationism by the theistic evolutionary view, the answer is a strongly resounding "No!" Obviously this harmonization model is not the correct approach if we would explain the physical data found in the disciplines of the various scientific fields in the light of Scripture. It will not work.
The Classical Creation-Noahic Flood Harmonization Model
Not all men of faith in science have felt it necessary to reduce the foundations of their faith to theological shambles in order to account for the geological phenomena. the most accepted harmonization model found among the reviving creationist circles is the Classical Creation-Flood Theory. I have called it that because all of the various phenomena of geological and archaeological history are required in this view to find their explanation within the data of the six days of creation and of the Noahic flood. This is a view which is so sacrosanct in may circles that searching inquiry and suggestions concerning needed areas of revision and improvement are certain to bring theological fire balls and the searing brand of a heretic. Its acceptability rates so high that it is difficult to speak objectively of some of the problems which we have faced who have attempted to implement the model in actual field research.
The author therefore apologizes to those who cannot or will not recognize that the words that follow are written only in the desire that we may more fully appreciate and more carefully evaluate and interpret God's direct revelation concerning His own personal activities in His work during the earlier centuries of our planet's existence. While the first reaction likely is to be that the questions raised are destructive, be assured that the purpose of these questions is not destructive at all. Rather, they are for the purpose of demonstrating that the classical creation-flood approach to harmonization is inadequate only in that the boundaries of catastrophism found in the Bible are overly restricted in the view's monocatastrophic approach. It is the author's desire that creationists awake to the fact that the pattern of introducing each of the solar creation days is first introduced in Genesis 1:3 and not in Genesis 1:1. What this means remains to be seen.
Furthermore I long for creationists to recognize that the Scriptures themselves indicate that the Noahic flood by no means is the only geological catastrophe which could have contributed to the great deposit series which lies exposed on earth's continents today. In failing to recognize that major geological catastrophes are described as occurring both before and after the Noahic flood, the Noahic flood model of harmonization leaves itself in the embarrassing position of being too uniformitarian (for the most part) ever to harmonize all that the Scripture says about the cause of earth's geological deposits. This section of this study will be seen to be an outcry demanding a more careful scrutiny of the actual geological steps which are described in the Noahic flood chapters. Furthermore, it will insist that the description of these geological steps contained in that great universal catastrophe are so precise that they should be identifiable step by step, without question, in the physical geological column. Therefore let the reader be assured that this is not an attack upon the classical creation-flood view of geological harmonization but rather a cry for careful analysis, its expansion and a precise work of harmonization so that the view can escape the doldrums of generalization which so characterize most studies on this view.
The chart, The Classical Creation-Noahic Flood Harmonization Model attempts to summarize precisely that which the proponents of this view have presented as the means of harmonizing historical geology with this great Biblical catastrophe. As the view is presented in most circles, it normally has two facets. First of all, the view stands in strong opposition to the thesis of the classical gap theory which held that the geological ages lie before the first solar day of creation which is described in Genesis 1:3-5. Instead, this view holds that all creative work was accomplished within the six 24 hour days of Genesis One. The key texts supporting this rather precise view are Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17. The former reads in the King James Text: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is...." The other side of the thesis is the theory that most, if not all, of the geological deposits which are found on the face of the earth are the result of the catastrophism of the Noahic flood and its abrupt retreat. Occasionally a proponent of the view has suggested timidly the possibility that some of the early Precambrian deposits may have been lain down in the first or second day, but this is not common. Neither is it a position that is very vocal. Rather, great emphasis is placed upon the importance of cramming all of the geological eggs into just one basket, the basket of the Noahic flood. This consistently is done even at the cost of breaking several geological eggs in order to accomplish this feat. I have a post card from a very prominent flood geologist on which he urges me to do just that. And I fear that this impossible feat has been the goal of most creationists for this last century.
A most commendable feature of the view is its recognition of the historicity of Adam and the acknowledge that all human life stems from that one ancestor who was a direct creation from the hand of God. Also commendable is its acceptance of the entire period from Adam to Abraham as non-mythical, a historical period which is to be left entirely in the Biblical perspective chronologically. The account of Adam is given its proper place as the foundation of all future redemptive developments. In contrast to the two previous views, this view also places great stress upon the importance of the Noahic flood as a very real judgmental event. Now I recognize that I automatically place my reputation as a professor of Old Testament on the block in suggesting that there are areas of revelation on the subject of creation in God's Word where we creationists have not done our homework well. Let me suggest some areas where serious, scholarly work (not of the armchair variety) must be done if the classical creation-flood theory as presented by scholars ever is to achieve harmony with the field facts which anyone can find in serious field research. Now remember that we are not trying to harmonize the Bible with the evolutionary theory or with historical geology as interpreted in agreement with that erroneous theory. That is impossible. We are trying to achieve harmony with actual findings in the field, ignoring their macrochronological, evolutionary explanation. The facts of geology must agree with the facts of the Creator's Word for they have exactly the same source.
Before pursuing disharmony in the fields of geology and archaeology, I want to mention briefly two areas of inconsistency commonly ignored in the treatment of Genesis one. Why are creationists so hesitant to accept the plain teaching of Genesis one that the earth universally was covered by seas long before the Noahic inundation? This is the obvious import of Genesis 1:2-9. This fact is crucial for it is the only way that we can explain clear evidences in the geological record of two universal flood periods. I am convinced that the Archaeozoic deposits are incomprehensible apart from recognition of this great flood which had nothing whatsoever to do with life forms. (In that the gap theory has utterly distorted the truth of the first geological catastrophe, the non-judgmental covering of the earth with water after its creation). This first flood was an event which preceded the creation of life and thus its deposits are utterly devoid of lifeforms in spite of the misnomer which it bears, "Ancient Life." There is no wonder that these first sedimentary layers on the face of the earth are utterly without fossils. Apart from spirit beings (Psa. 104:4-6) who were created before the laying of the foundation of the earth, no physical life had yet been created. Yet this most important revelatory material is ignored or distorted by most creationists. Somehow the intellectual gridwork of presupposition has built up such resistance to the truth that this information cannot filter in to our brain cells. In our desire to give proper recognition to the Noahic flood (which we should), we have withdrawn fearfully from something that appears on the surface to support the old classical gap theory and loose truth vital for harmonization of geology with Genesis. We have rejected revelational data without justification in a most unscientific and wholly defensive manner.
Furthermore, why insist (as we should) that the days of Genesis are true solar days and yet ignore the inescapable fact that the celestial mechanism of earth's solar day requires the presence of a giant, intensely hot mass at a distance, about which the earth is rotating and before which the earth is revolving on its axis. After all, this is the way that morning and evening on earth are produced, is it not? Some classical creationists, who are remarkably uniformitarian in insisting on 24 hour days, actually have postulated a temporary sun for the first three days! Others have postulated that the Son of God was that light. I find it very difficult to harmonize that postulate with the necessary celestial mechanism spoken of above.
Now there are clear evidences of the sun's presence in the heavens during the first three days of creation. First of all, Genesis 1:1 points strongly in that direction. Verse one is not just a summary statement explaining all that will follow in the following verses as some have announced. Neither is it a temporal clause setting the stage for that which follows. Verse one contains absolutely the only reference to the creation of planet earth which is found in Genesis one. By the time that the scene found in Genesis 1:2 is set, earth is in existence, is completely covered by waters and is totally shrouded in darkness as the Lord describes in a setting which follows the creation of the earth (Job 38:4-9). He says: "Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it...." If then Genesis 1:1 can only describe the creation of the earth, then what shall we do with the other part of the compound object of that first sentence in the Bible? "In beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It is my conclusion, in spite of what most have understood as they have read Genesis 1:14-19, that the universe including the sun, moon and stars actually come into existence in Genesis 1:1. How that can be in the light of Genesis 1:14-19? That is a subject which we will have to consider elsewhere.
But there are other evidences of the sun's presence in the heavens for the first three days of creation. The thrice repeated formula which closes these days must be noted. Evening and morning inevitably are the product of earth's rotation on its axis before a distant mass and light source. Furthermore, the presence of a liquid sea upon the surface of the earth would seem to require the radiation of the sun to avoid another "ice age" in earth's early days. The waters which made up the cloud which swaddled the earth shortly after its creation may have come to be made up of ice crystals as they were elevated above the atmosphere in the second day of creation but the waters which are left on the surface of the earth to form earth's great ocean certainly is described as liquid in the text of Genesis one. It seems highly unlikely that the Lord would have created fish on the fifth day of creation if the sea had been a great mass of ice on the third day! In the same way the sun is required to produce the described germination of plant life on the third day. Surely it is not necessary to postulate a temporary lux light to support the plant life processes here on the surface of the earth.
Now these are old ideas which have been argued by the gap theorists. Undoubtedly this is a factor in the reticence of many creationists even to consider them let alone resolving them. Is it possible that some of the arguments of the gap theorists had validity without all of their theory harmonizing with Biblical and geological facts? Of course, there will be some who will want to argue about the meaning of the expression, "without form and void." Much thunder without much light has clouded the issue for many. I personally believe, on the basis of Hebrew word studies, that the words mean "waste and desolate." They refer to the condition of the earth's surface after it had received its hydrosphere shortly after creation. This is the first "geological catastrophe" which I see in the Genesis text. I do not recognize evidence requiring that this be taken as a judgmental catastrophe which follows the rebellion of Satan. Undoubtedly the fall of Satan takes place after the creation of the earth. Job 38:4-7 makes it clear that "...all the sons of God..." were present and "...shouted for joy" when that happened. Satan's fall takes place somewhere between the creation of the earth and the garden scene of chapter three. We never are told precisely in the Scriptures and we cannot make dogma out of speculation. Instead of concluding that Genesis 1:2 is the description of Satan's judgment and the ruination of the earth, I think that the first universal Genesis flood, the pre-Adamic flood, was entirely preparatory. Apart from the Lord's provision of the rich soils produced by the welling fountains of the deep when it broke forth, apart from the rich soils which He produced by the fiercely rapid erosion as the sea retreated from off the surface at God's command in Genesis 1:9, earth would have been far less habitable for earth's teeming hordes including mankind. Indeed, apart from earth's seas, this planet would have been a very poor place for one to begin the ecological setting for the creation of all life. This sea was preparatory to say the least.
But if the earth is created in verse one as suggested above, what does this imply about the creation of the "heavens" mentioned in the same verse? Here is one of the several apparent Biblical contradictions found in the Creation story. As in every case, the apparent contradiction exists only in the mind of the one who is confused. In the case of Genesis 1:14-19, which appears to tell the story of the creation of the rest of the universe, there is another perfectly viable answer. Most English readers and evidently many Hebrew translators are not aware that the King James translation of these verses more than once has settled on a translation which is not the only possible rendering. There is another perfectly viable approach to the problem of the timing of the creation of the universe. It requires the reconsideration of the time element of the verb "made" in verse 16. This problem grows out of the well known fact that the time element of the ancient (not the modern) Hebrew verb depended entirely upon its context to suggest the timing of the action. I know of at least two dozen Hebrew grammars which teach that fact. One very important aspect to the time of the Hebrew verb, often recognized elsewhere by the King James translators, is the previous past. The timing of that imperfect verb could as well have been previous perfect. Examples of previous past time in verbs, both perfect tense and imperfect tense, may be found in the following texts. Not all are evident in the King James version but context requires them in Genesis 2:2 (twice); 2:3; 2:5; probably in 2:8-9 and certainly in 2:19-20 (five times) as I have pointed out in the Bible Science Newsletter in an article entitled "Creation Contradictions?" The failure of the translators to recognize contextual implications have left an apparent but not a real contradiction between 2:19 and 1:25-27 in that version. The previous past sense of the verb properly is translated in Genesis 3:1, Genesis 12:1 and in many other places.
Now the significance of this is that the context may require a verb to be translated so that its time clearly is previous to another past, present or future time event. In Genesis 1:16, the translator should be required by the context of Genesis 1:1-13 to recognize that the sun already exists. In this light, the verse could read: "Now God had proceeded to make two great lights...." But if the activity of creating the heavenly bodies actually took place in Genesis 1:1, what is the activity of the fourth day? The answer would be found in Genesis 1:17: "Then he proceeded to appoint them over the expanse of the heavens to give light...." (This translation of the verb is in perfect accord to the manner in which the verb is used by Pharaoh in Genesis 41:41 of governmental appointment to a task). Thus this perfectly acceptable translation of Genesis 1:17 would deal with the regulation of the solar system to govern the length of mankind's days, weeks, months and years as commanded in verse 14.
But there is another factor here which has been totally ignored by those who insist that the sun comes into existence in Genesis 1:14-19. The introductory verse to this solar day's activities speaks of the existence of lights "...in the firmament of the heavens...." Where is that? Ah, this terminology already has been defined in verses 6-8. It is the space which existed between the earth with its seas and the canopy of water vapor which came to be elevated up above the atmosphere at God's command in Genesis 1:6-8. If we are consistent with the text, we must ask ourselves the following question: Did the Lord bring the sun into existence within our atmosphere? Or the moon? Or the stars? Hardly. What then? God simply says: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens." This clearly is the atmosphere where the birds fly as in verse 20, the very same atmosphere which separates the canopy from earth's sea in Genesis 1:6-8. What then are these "lights?" Could not they be refracted brilliant spots on the lower surface of the canopy in the outer extremities of "the firmament of the heavens," the atmosphere? We see such a phenomenon every winter in the colder regions of our country as the moon shines through a rather thick layer of ice crystals high in the atmosphere. If it is thick enough, one does not even see the moon at all. He sees instead a brilliant spot of light in the atmosphere which enables him to tell within a degree where the moon is in the heavens. The "lunar dog" has its parallel in the "sun dog" when similar circumstances exist in the daytime. And similar circumstances existed at that time!
It is a major thesis of the classical creation-flood theory that most, if not all, geological deposits are the product of the Noahic flood. Here too there are many very serious problems for which resolving studies have not been forthcoming. Indeed, these problems are treated as if they did not even exist! The following is simply a scanty list of the areas which clamor for serious field study in place of the abundant arm chair theo-geological speculations which sadly have characterized the writings of a large number of writers who hold this position.
1. Precambrian glaciation evidences have been reported in Archaeozoic and Proterozoic materials on an extensive scale. Is this true or not? If it is true, then how can it be explained by the classical Creation-Flood harmonization model as the product of the flood?
2. A great unconformity is identified in the midst of the Precambrian deposits. Deposition appears to have stopped there. Why and how can the model explain this? 3. There are vast non-fossiliferous Archaeozoic deposits. Why are there no fossils if these are to be accounted for as Noahic flood deposits? These usually are considered part of that catastrophe by proponents of this harmonization model. But this would indicate that for an extensive time in its early stages, the Noahic flood was not destroying lifeforms. Yet this was the explicit purpose of that cataclysm.
4. The vast coal deposits of late Paleozoic times are very awkward to harmonize if practically all of the deposits recognized in historical geology are flood deposits. Why does this particular section, the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian (or the Carboniferous section) have such a vast representation of plant and tree fossils packed together? And why is it that another significant time of coal deposition follows much later in the geological deposits? Why is the Paleozoic series significantly grouped with such an emphasis on the east coast of the United States while the later coal deposits tend to lie on the western part of the continent? These Paleozoic deposits are properly located in the physical geological column. I have found that they are not swamp deposits at all as suggested by the uniformitarian. 20 years ago I suggested that they were precisely placed be the shoreline oscillation deposits left stranded by the retreating Noahic flood and buried by the giant tidal waves of Genesis 8:3 which, according to the Hebrew text were continually going and returning during the early retreat stage of the Noahic flood. One thing is certain from the field evidence that I have seen in those coal fields. These are not encroachment deposits as would be required if the Noahic flood continued throughout most of geological history. These coal beds are a thorn in the flesh for the one who would harmonize practically all of historical geology by the monocatastrophic method presented in the Noahic flood harmonization model.
5. Great wind-driven sand dunes characterize many Permian (late Paleozoic) deposits and a vast proportion of the Mesozoic deposits. These characteristically have been identified by flood geologists as submarine, water-laid dunes. But their very structure denies this identification. Underwater dunes never are found with slopes exceeding 22 degrees. The reason for this is that the water filled sand on the slope simply will slump when deposited at higher angles. It is wise for the creationist to consider the 400 foot layer of Coconino wind driven and deposited dunes in the Permian layers of the Grand Canyon. The slopes of the dunes preserved in that formation approach 45 degrees and are interrupted repeatedly by great tidal intrusions which lopped off the tops of the wind dunes until the tide retreated. Immediately the wind began its work again, building steep sloped dunes. On the tidal surface where intruding waters have leveled a surface, one readily may found multitudes of marine shoreline animal tracks. It is obvious from their trails that these creatures were coming ashore, as reptiles do, to lay their eggs in the sandy shoreline. Following the temporarily retreating shoreline, the wind continued its work of deposition of wind borne sand and made its contribution to the preservation of the fossil track beds by filling the soft, wet sand with dry, wind-blown sand. This produced a weak plane where slabbing of the Coconino Sandstone readily occurs, to the delight of the budding geologist who finds the newly exposed track bed. These tracks vary in size (to my observation) from that of a small lizard-like creature to many small turtle sized creatures and occasionally to a larger bodied creature with feet nearly 3 inches across. But what does wind and the deposit of sand have to do with the Noahic flood? Genesis 8:1 tells us the answer. The mighty wind which had the God given responsibility of drying up the flood-soaked earth had been sent coursing across the newly exposed earth to its work. Where in the geological column can one possibly place this Biblical, geological element if it does not fit here at the close of the Paleozoic and on through much of the Mesozoic. After all, the two major characteristics of Mesozoic deposits are: 1. Wind deposits and 2. Tidal wave deposits. That doesn't seem to fit at all into a Noahic flood harmonization model.
6. Another inexplicable problem for the monocatastrophic, Noahic harmonization model is the apparent strange ability of the "flood" to select and bury a vast preponderance of gymnosperm plants with its Paleozoic and earlier Mesozoic waves. Hand in hand with that problem is the inexplicable ability of the flood to reserve angiosperm plants for the later Mesozoic and especially, for the Cenozoic stages of its destruction! There is no way that this phenomenon can be explained by "marine sorting" after the manner of the classical Noahic flood theory.
7. The highly celebrated human tracks in the late Mesozoic deposits of Texas (if they really are human tracks) cannot adequately be explained in the flood model. Those who have shouted most loudly about their presence in the creationist camp should have recognized that those tracks (which indeed may not be human) were as much of a problem to their model of earth's history and its geological deposits as they would be to an evolutionist! No manipulation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic "flood deposits," explaining them in the light of Genesis 7-8, could possibly account for those tracks. If they are indeed human, they inescapably are post-Noahic flood in their origin.
8. Furthermore, how can the Noahic flood model of historical geology possibly account for the uncanny ability to sort out large quantities of both large and small amphibians, selectively depositing them in the late Paleozoic deposits. Even more unbelievable, the flood is required by the view carefully to sort out great hordes of reptiles, both very large and very small, and deposit them in the later Mesozoic deposits. Impossible! The final straw of any position which equates all geology with the Noahic flood is the requirement that the flood had to hold practically every mammal in abeyance, refusing to deposit them. Even though these are far less fitted for survival in the seas, they are not found in any quantity that would excite a geologist until Cenozoic times. What was this magical charm which held the mammals unharmed and undrowned until these Cenozoic waves suddenly could entomb them in their debris?? Truly this requires flood gymnastics! No wonder so many creationists are so eager to ignore sequential evidences of deposit as arranged in the physical geological column!
9. Yet another inexplicable blow to the Noahic harmonization model is the problem of requiring the Noahic flood waters to retain the corpses of humans without burial until the very last deposits in geological time. Indeed, the abundance of human fossils in late Cenozoic times argues powerfully against the actual, real order in which the flood would have deposited the human rebels of Noah's day.
10. Why do not Noahic flood harmonizationists ever give consideration to the presence of countless volcanic peaks of Cenozoic (very late geological time) origin? How do they miss the inescapable fact that every continent has vast areas blanketed by the vast, sub-aerial ejecta deposits in the form of air borne ash and lava flows? The field evidence absolutely proves that these very late materials never have been covered by the ocean. It is inescapable to the prying mind that these volcanoes exploded at a time centuries after the Noahic flood!
What shall we say to these things? Is creationism scientifically defensible? I hope that you see by now that creationism which is built upon an inadequate harmonization model can only produce scientifically indefensible statements and draw scientifically unprovable conclusions. One cannot argue from error to the truth. If the basis of his argument is awry in any way from the truth, we can be sure that those who oppose scientific creationism will find unending cause for criticism of the position and in this will find excuse for rejecting the tenet that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Thoughts on the Nature of our Problem
Perhaps these few (of many available) problems are not really as unresolvable as they presently appear to me. But one thing is certain. The solution to the problem is not to be found in the discarding of the physical evidence, the entire physical, geological column. By that I am not at all referring to the uniformitarian interpretations extrapolated into that physical column on the basis of false evolutionary presuppositions. I am referring only to the physical materials and to the testimony which they bring concerning earth's early events. Should not these materials agree implicitly with the Word of God since both come from the same hand? I have seen far too much field evidence which supports the accuracy of the basic physical arrangement of the physical, geological column, apart from its stepchild geochronological and biological errors which too often accompany it. Wherever I have examined the field materials available to me throughout the United States, Canada, Alaska, Peru, Brazil, Europe, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Kenya, Niger, Ivory Coast, India and elsewhere where I have paused only briefly, I have found the geological formations present in the order in which they have been described by geologists in their literature. They are real evidence with which we must contend. No model which consistently fails to explain their existence must be revised or discarded in the search for a truly working model.
Perhaps there is no need to reexamine the text of Scripture to see if we have failed to let the Word of God say precisely what the Creator intended as its meaning. On the other hand, the problems of wide disagreements on its meaning in creationist matters may indicate that our presuppositions are trying to make the Word of God say that which our God did not intend it to say as He directed Moses to write it. Perhaps another look at the text might be fruitful. After all, that which we desire most of all is that the Word of God should speak to our hearts precisely as God wants it to. We should not be seeking for it to support our presuppositions. After all, it is revelation and not our presuppositions! Perhaps the problem is that we have failed through placing traditional interpretation above the actual text of Revelation. Perhaps the problem is that we are not allowing the whole of the Scriptures to make their contribution on the subject of Creation and are thereby distorting Biblical history. Is it not conceivable that Genesis one is a brief framework, absolutely precise and accurate, but not containing details that are given elsewhere in the Bible? such a failure on our part could have caused us to have areas of imbalance in our creation model.
Let us turn aside for a moment to look at a Biblical source of information on the creation that largely was forgotten until about 15 years ago. It was then that the Lord abruptly brought me to my senses and displayed to my astonished eyes the archaeological and geological riches of the book of Job. He made me aware that I long had been teaching the book as a great source of Theology and truths for the believer's life without recognizing the major overtones of the book. The book of Job gives every evidence of having been written within five or six generations after the Noahic flood. I totally reject the conclusion of my professor, Dr. Merril Unger, that it was written in the days of Solomon. Neither do I believe that it was written or that its events happened during the days of Esau, even though the book does contain personal and place names that are common to Esau's genealogy in Genesis 36. Instead I believe that those personal and place names were derived from previous usage in Genesis 10. Even today the Arab peoples preserve place names in the land of Palestine which were given by Israel or even by those who lived in that land before its occupation by Israel after their departure from Egypt. I believe that it is entirely possible that the concluding verses of Genesis 10 initiate the setting for the events of the book of Job. Indeed, it appears to me to be linguistically possible that Job is mentioned in that chapter as Jobab, the final son of Joctan who was the brother of Peleg (10:29).
An astounding series of references to the events of creation and to the centuries immediately following can be found in this very ancient book. Many details that are passed over swiftly or even omitted in the brief Genesis account are given emphasis in the book of Job. Nevertheless, what it does say is parallel to the Genesis account with absolute precision, agreeing on all details. These details may not conform to your harmonization model. If that is so, then you should reexamine that faulty model and see why it does not harmonize with the Scriptures in every detail. Indeed, it should be high time for you to seek a harmonization model which will correlate earth's early events found both in the Bible and in the record of the rock.
The chart: Job's Record of Catastrophism, is a very simple and incomplete chart presenting Job's contributions concerning the events of the first twenty two centuries of earth's history as I understand the book of Job. It must be observed that God places the creation of the angels before the founding of the earth. Compare here Psalm 104:4-6. It can be seen that, in agreement with that Psalm, the book of Job records God's own testimony that the sea afterward issued forth, apparently from within the earth as if from the womb, and that then the earth was covered with a thick band of darkness (Job 38:4-9). This is in perfect harmony with Genesis 1:2-8. Then sea level was established as is recorded in the third day of Genesis. The command concerning the regulation of the morning and the clear establishment of the patterns of the solar days are seen next in God's inquiry of Job in chapter 38. Elsewhere in the book of Job are found numerous references to the creation of Adam, to the fact that he was formed out of clay, evidently before the formation of the mountains (for the most part the result of continental movement in and after Genesis 10:325). Also recorded is the fact that Adam sinned. These references are found in the words of men who lived at least eight centuries and possibly more before Moses lived and came to write the Pentateuch. The desperate wickedness of mankind who lived in sin and who brought the Noahic flood also in the book of Job. Indeed, there is even an allusion to the sin of angels. This plays an interesting part in the memories of these post-flood men in their discussions of Job's problem.
The greatest contribution of the book of Job to creation studies came to me one week in 1971 when I was holding a chapel series at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin. It lies in the book's testimony concerning events which followed the universal Noahic flood. It fully reflects those post flood, catastrophic, trying times and the stress that they placed upon the members of the human race who were living in Palestine at that time. The book of Job describes what it was like to live in down pouring rains, great periods of cold, and even in times of geological rifting, diastrophism, mountain overturning and violent erosion. Furthermore, the book of Job, through the Creator's own words reported in it, directly refers to the division of the land mass into a place that was inundated by flooding waters (Job 38:25). This phenomenal, earth shaping event was followed by a description of an icy catastrophe which even included the freezing of the sea, according to the Lord's own testimony. Job 38:25 uses the same intensive active verb form Peleg as is used in Genesis 10:25 in the name Peleg and in the phrase, "...for in his days the earth was divided." In Job 38:25 the verb clearly describes the Lord's act of dividing the land mass for its inundation by the sea. Remarkably, Classical Greek has 18 different noun and verb words that are known which are built on this same consonantal cluster p-l-g. Every one has something to do with the sea. I have discussed this phenomenon much more extensively in an article entitled "Continental Drift and the Fossil Record" which was published in Bible Science's Repossess the Land, Essays and Technical Papers of the 15th annual convention at Anaheim, California in 1979. In Genesis 10:25 the very same verb form found in Job 38:25 is used as a noun to name a child when this violent, catastrophic, earth splitting event was taking place. The latter verse also likens the swiftness of the division of the land mass to the way that lightening finds its way through the clouds. The rain and snow that are described in the verses that follow are not part of the normal climate for an area where January temperatures may average 50 degrees!
I conclude that the division of the continents, so clearly evident in the disruption of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits (but largely ignored by creationists) is rather fully described in the book of Job, a book which was obviously written during the icy catastrophe which that division produced. We are told by Job and his friends of the diastrophism which rent the crust apart in Palestine to form the Jordan Rift and its valley, causing mountains to overturn, bringing immense and dangerous tidal waves that flooded the shorelines and endangered the population. I have discussed these things in the book of Job much more fully in a now out of print book, "On Finding an Ice Age Book." (I hope to rectify that problem soon). The book of Job clearly describes the resulting inundation of the pluvial cycle which the division of the continents and its vast vulcanism brought. Job's book discusses the icy stage of the catastrophe which brought much misery to those who were dwelling in Palestine at that time. It speaks of terrible cold, of snow and ice as well as of the freezing of the sea (38:30). I do not doubt for a moment that Job actually lived through much if not through all of the entire grand pluvial cycle of the Pleistocene age. But it did not last for a million years as the historical geologist would have us to believe! This period followed and was the direct consequence of the dividing of the continents approximately 550 years after the Noahic flood if the Septuagint chronology is trustworthy, a matter yet open to dispute.
Note that all of this is more than difficult to explain in a simplistic harmonization model which attempts to jam all of geology into one mighty cataclysm lasting one year. One must conclude that Job either lived before or after the Noahic flood. All of the evidence indicates that he lived well after that flood. Since he so plainly records that the "ice age" was contemporaneous to Job, this is evidence which denies the attempt of some to make the "ice age" a part of and the direct result of the Noahic flood. That simply will not work no matter how good it may sound in one's armchair!
A fascinating sidelight to the presence of the ice age in the book of Job relates to his evaluation of his three pestering friends who were so sure that Job had to be a great sinner to be treated so badly by the Lord. He describes the fathers of his three "counselors" as cavemen who had been waging a desperate fight for survival in the immediately previous generation (Job 30:10-16). This is a vital clue for the formation of a working model of harmonization. This is indeed difficult to work into a single catastrophic flood/ice age format. Indeed, it simply will not work. I conclude that the grossly misunderstood "paleolithic stone age" is nothing more than the physical record of man's fight for survival in the icy post-flood, post-continental division period of violent catastrophe.
A careful study of the vulcanism of continental division exposes the connection between that great division and the "ice age." By reading the physical evidence (again I jibe those who never go to that trouble) of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits within the historical framework of the Genesis catastrophes, it may be recognized that the great ash falls, the pumice filled heavens, the giant mud slides (like those east of my home) and the steaming, screaming volcanic vents all contributed to the initiation of the Pleistocene ice age in post-Noahic flood times. All of these factors contributed to a highly reflective atmosphere that became nearly impenetrable to solar radiation. That is a factor of vital importance to our weather and to the over all temperature of the atmosphere surrounding the earth. Fossil shell studies spanning the period from the late Mesozoic deposits through the beginning of the Pleistocene ice age demonstrate that temperatures in the sea rapidly and steadily fell from the beginning of Cenozoic times. The result finally was that great snowfall period which resulted in the "ice age." Vast and multitudinous volcanoes provided billions of cubic yards of water in the form of steam to add to the reflectivity of the atmosphere. The dust particles from the enormous ash clouds formed the nuclei about which the water collected. Enormous rainfall which has filled basins and eroded vast channels and river beds which remain as fossil traces of that unbelievable climate which Job describes. In these giant river beds like the Niger River channel, now only a trickle runs in comparison. Once surface temperatures dropped below freezing, the initial stage of the Biblical ice age began.
God's description of the unique fauna of Palestine in Job's day becomes significant when we recognize that Cenozoic times were brief, Biblical times. I am convinced that the Cenozoic "era" actually could not extend over more than 4,000 years and perhaps less than that. When one reads the book of Job thoughtfully, it becomes obvious that Job actually lived at a time when mid-Cenozoic animals and "late Mesozoic reptiles" which were not all exterminated in Mesozoic times actually were very much alive in western Asia. I am sure that Job saw and described creatures like the giant baluchitherium, the hornless rhino of central Asia of late Cenozoic deposits (Job 40). Job also appears to have seen a great and fierce fire breathing marine reptile which was a late survivor of the post-Flood Mesozoic times (Job 41). It appears that we as creationists have been neglecting the greater body of Revelation concerning the centuries which followed the Noahic flood. It also is obvious that one of the greatest obstacles which blocks creationist perception is our unconscious adoption of uniformitarian viewpoints. Most of Genesis history must be recognized as catastrophic in order ever to achieve harmony of geology with the Genesis record of the events of historical geology.
Genesis and Geology in Harmony
My years of struggle with the classical gap model of harmonization and with the classical flood harmonization model and their inadequacies have brought me to the point where I dare to suggest that there is another, far more viable explanation of the points of contact between the Bible and historical geology. It is a model which I proposed in 1968. I have wrestled with the physical and Biblical evidence for these 20 years in a determined effort to discover if it also were a faulty and inadequate harmonization model. These years of field study have taken me twice to South America where I could study the astounding effects of continental movement in the great Cordillera range in Peru and of continental rifting along the southern coast of Brazil. It has taken me repeatedly throughout the eastern Mediterranean in tours which I led into 6 countries and into repeated contacts with the western Mediterranean as I criss-crossed the Mediterranean while entering western Africa twice, crossing Africa below the equator and visiting Kenya and the African Rift once. Twice and shortly three times it has taken me into the southern front ranges of the great Himalayas and even up to more than 9,000 feet in my linguist consultant work with Bibles International. Before I found Christ I spent 18 months in Hawaii and its remarkable volcanic terrain is sharp and clear in my mind even though that was 45 years ago. I was able to spend one summer in southern Alaska where I was able to observe the same testimonies of violent over-thrusting and diastrophism that I have been able to follow along much of the western coast of North America and South America to south of the equator. I have lived from coast to coast in the United States and have been able to minister in nearly 40 states, in Alaska, Canada and Puerto Rico, giving me phenomenal opportunities to study geology in the raw. I have recognized the privilege that this has given to me to evaluate the usefulness of my harmonization model in bringing together the widely diverse disciplines of geology, Hebrew, Old Testament Studies and creationism. It is out of this Biblical and field experience and my constant determination to evaluate the accuracy of the harmony achieved that I have developed an assurance that I have a model that work almost infinitely better than those which currently are popular in creation studies.
In reality, my model which I present, THE CATASTROPHE SERIES HARMONIZATION MODEL, presented on the chart: GENESIS AND GEOLOGY, is not something totally new. Indeed, in it you will find an integration of the best elements of the Classical Creation-Flood model and of those salvageable from the Classical Gap Theory. Yes, there are very worthy elements in both, and to reject all elements of either approach is to close the door to true harmonization. I have tried to point out that the Classical Creation-Flood model has its chief weakness in its failure to recognize the dramatic significance of post-flood events. That is a weakness that is reparable. It also is weak in its refusal to recognize catastrophic elements which preceded the Noahic flood by centuries. It is here that the Classical Gap Theory has its usefulness which must not be neglected or discarded at the expense of achieving harmony with the early sections of historical geology and the Bible. In my approach, it will be seen that I emphasize certain very significant depositional and diastrophic phenomena which are inescapably found in Genesis 1, 8 and 10 as well as in the book of Job. My model is an attempt to place these phenomena in far more adequate perspective. In doing that, I have found far more than 100 explicit points of contact, precisely arranged in parallel chronologically, between Genesis and Historical Geology. For that reason, which arrays nearly infinite odds against this happening accidentally and unrelatedly, I believe that the result of my studies has produced a revised model which has far, far more actual points of harmonization than any proposal which I have examined thus far.
What actually happens when we look very carefully at a specific geological section of Biblical history? Will we find material which will be impossible to harmonize with the actual details of physical geology? That is the test question which should be applied to every creation model. A good test question would be to see just how accurately the Biblical details concerning the geology of the Noahic flood can be correlated with specific details in the physical geological column. Why not try it and see if we win or loose? And by the way, if we "loose," or fail to find any harmony between Genesis 7-8 and any section of the physical geological column, that still does not mean that the Bible is wrong. It simply means that we still are promoting an inadequate harmonization model which does not accurately grasp what is said in one or in the other element to be harmonized.
The Noahic Flood: A Crucial Test Question
One of the least examined areas of creation studies (and one of the most crucial) is the consideration of the harmonization of the physical record in the earth's crust with the actual testimony of the event series which is described in the Biblical record of those events. Indeed, most work in Creation studies is pursued as if Genesis 6, 7, and 8 were the only chapters which possibly could have anything to do with the record of the rocks which is found in the physical crust of the earth today. And therein lies the major flaw in creation studies today. It ignores for the most part the great mass of data concerning the great event series which is recorded in the many chapters of the Bible which reveal information concerning the events of earth's early ages.
Event series??? Ah, yes. That is the very crux of the matter. It is a sad distortion of the Biblical evidence which allows one to conclude that the Bible only speaks of one catastrophic event that was great enough to leave its evidences in the historical records which occupy the historical geologist. Even in that great catastrophe which dominates the thinking of the majority of our team has within it varied elements of catastrophism which should be discernible in the physical record. The Noahic flood clearly begins in the world's sea basin which surrounded the single land mass which the Lord God had elevated out of the universal sea which existed before His great command on the third day of creation. According to Genesis 7:11, the very first event of the Noahic flood was the catastrophic eruption of great fountains of waters. These only could have poured forth out of the sea bottom. Should not we as creationists intently search through the physical records which are still available on the crust of the earth to find these? Such a record is found in the initial stages of the period of geological history which is called the "Paleozoic." That particular portion of the Paleozoic deposits is given the name "Cambrian" simply because these layers were first noted in that English location. And should not we also expect to find the evidences of the great encroachment of the Noahic flood upon that land mass which ensued as the windows of heaven added their great contribution to the deluge? And, of course, we should expect them in this same order.
The creationist should find considerable delight in discovering that the immediately subsequent layers of the Paleozoic deposits do exhibit precisely that kind of evidence. There is a clear record of the encroachment of the shorelines of the great continent in the record of fossilization left by those raging waters. Furthermore, should we not also look for the third stage of the Noahic flood, a universal stage where all of earth's surface was submerged? Is there a location in the record of the rocks which testifies to this universal stage? Indeed there is. It is fascinating to read the historical geologist's bewildered admission (and explanation) of the fact that he has not been able to find even a trace of "continental deposits" in certain layers of the Paleozoic "Era." Such an admission should start the creationist's "antennae" on a search mode which should give him a valuable fix on the real significance of that evidence. But what about the fourth stage of the Noahic flood? Is it not obvious that, after the violent encroachment of the land mass, its waters stabilized for an extended period of time? Moses tells us: "And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days" (Gen. 7:24). Should we not expect to find in proper sequence the evidence of a quieting of waters and the quiet cyclical deposit of great quantities of debris upon the ocean bottom of that time? Careful study by creationists will uncover precisely that kind of evidence in the Paleozoic "epoch" which the historical geologists have entitled "Devonian." And it in the right location in the ascending series of deposits. "Simply a coincidence!" the cry of the historical geologist rings out. Perhaps so, we must admit, for the odds of finding four coincidences like this in a row are not so very great. Perhaps we are only whistling in the dark in vain hope of finding something important. But then, let us not stop here, for there is still more evidence to be considered.
What happened after the five months in which the Noahic flood stabilized? Are there any mentions of factors in the Biblical text which might give us a clue concerning further alignment of the geological record with the Biblical record? Is there any mention of even one factor which might have produced a noteworthy element in the geological record? Yes indeed! And that factor is very clear. The fourth factor to be observed with care is of a totally diverse nature. We are now to turn our attention from submarine deposits to give consideration to aeolian deposits. Moses clearly states: "...and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged" (Gen. 8:1). But wind deposits? How can they be recognized when the entire surface of the earth was covered by water. Ah, the answer lies in a following verse and in a fifth factor which must be present for any extended alignment of the Biblical record with that found in the record of the rocks. "And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated" (Gen. 8:3). Clearly the wind which came after the one hundred and fifty days (cf. 7:24), was present at the same time that the waters began to return from off of the surface of the earth! Furthermore, there is a word in this verse which deserves closer consideration. The word continually actually represents three Hebrew words in the original. A similar construction may be seen in Genesis 8:7 in the words "to and fro." Two infinitives absolute are being used here in Genesis 8:3 to modify the main verb "returned." Since they follow that main verb in the original, according to Hebrew grammar and syntax they point to two very significant factors: duration and repetition. Thus they add considerably to the concept of the main verb. To convey the added sense, one could easily and accurately translate the expression in this way: "And the waters continued to return from off the earth, going and returning...."
Can these fourth and fifth factors found in the Biblical record also be located in the record of the rocks? Indeed they can! That which the historical geologist has termed the "Carboniferous period" or has subdivided into the "Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods" present to us the initial evidences of severe, tsunami oscillation upon the low profiles of the newly emerging shorelines. Since 1968 I have insisted that the great coal beds of the Pennsylvanian deposits are the rafted debris of the Noahic flood which began to be driven ashore as that shoreline emerged in the early retreat stages of the Noahic flood. This thesis has been developed within the framework of the normal interpretation of the Pennsylvanian coal beds by Austin as his doctoral thesis. When one examines these coal beds, they are found to be remarkably cyclical. A few inches to a few feet of coal will be overlain by a layer of water deposited debris which obviously displays evidences of strong current reversals in many places. My own examination of the coal layers in Pennsylvania largely has been limited to the anthracite beds of the northeastern part of the state. There is a remarkable factor present in the coal beds of Pennsylvania. When one traces these beds on to the west, he finds that the anthracite slowly grades down into bituminous coal. Still farther west it continues to grade down until it finally becomes lignite, a coal of markedly inferior quality and hardness.
What produced this great differential in the hardness of the coals of Pennsylvania? When was this force that worked to produce this remarkable change? Where does this fit into the record of catastrophism which Genesis gives us concerning the Noahic flood? I have concluded that it is inescapable that compressive forces from the east raised and warped the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. These forces so raised temperatures and pressures along the eastern seaboard in this area that the coal deposits left by the retreating, oscillating flood waters were transformed into the very dense anthracite coal. As this energy dispersed in the land mass farther to the west, temperatures and pressures naturally diminished in that direction. But when did this happen? One thing is inescapable. The long oscillation series which laid down the matted debris borne on the raging flood waters and the great layers of mud that intersperse these coal layers had ceased well before this compression series. The eastern beds of coal were transformed into anthracite at a time well after the retreat of the Noahic flood waters had been accomplished.
Now one will search in vain throughout the eighth chapter of Genesis for any information concerning this compression series which produced the anthracite of eastern Pennsylvania. Does this mean that we finally have found an incongruity in our attempt to harmonize the catastrophism of the Noahic flood with the geological record? On the contrary, this simply suggests to the researcher that he has limited his source material too stringently. The point is that Genesis 7 and 8 are not the only chapters in the Bible which give valuable source material on Biblical Catastrophism. The researcher who seeks to harmonize the record of the rocks with the total picture of Biblical Catastrophism as found in the Scriptures will find the answer that he needs to complete the catastrophe series detailed by the Noahic flood. Indeed, if one ever is to accomplish harmonization of the physical, geological column which actually exists in the crust of the earth with the Biblical record of God's creation and post-creation activities, he must turn in his research outside of the rather narrow confines of that great, universal cataclysm which left clear, perfectly identifiable evidences in earth's crust. The reason for this is that there is only one section of the physical, geological record which bears the necessary deposit characteristics so that it may accurately be identified as the product of the Noahic flood. The physical record of that part of earth's history has been labeled "Paleozoic" by those who have long worked in those physical evidences. And he well may become interested in the remarkable correlation which may be found between the description of the retreat of the Noahic flood found in Genesis 8 and the great wind and tidal wave structures which dominate the deposits of so-called Mesozoic time. Furthermore, one must awaken to the remarkably catastrophic materials which lie entombed and forgotten in Genesis 1, 8 and 10 as well as in the entirety of the book of Job, in several Psalms and elsewhere in the Scriptures. If all of this seems to point to the fact that one's understanding of Biblical catastrophism requires one to observe the phenomena of catastrophism outside of Genesis 7-8, then the implications of this introductory discussion have been recognized. The limited areas of correlation between geology and Genesis 7-8 which one may achieve in a careful, consistent examination of the evidences which are not distorted by one's own presuppositions requires the further pursuit of Biblical catastrophism outside of the bounds of those chapters.
Expanding the Working Model
My years of training in the Hebrew language in teaching it in Genesis 1-8 inductively had led me through the major creation passage repeatedly and carefully. My conclusions are set forth in the chart, Genesis and Geology. This chart often has been circulated under the title: The Catastrophe Series Harmonization Model. I began to see that in many of the places where creationists had insisted on a certain approach to translation and interpretation, there were other very real translation possibilities that apparently never had been considered. Without breaking a single rule of Hebrew Syntax, I began to see that Genesis 1:1 could well be the actual point in Scripture where the universe and the earth came into being. I did not come to accept this position to account for the geological ages. Already I had rejected that approach as one which was totally inadequate to bring together the Biblical and geological data without clashing. I came to this position to account for the language of Genesis one. I then discovered that three passages in the Scriptures explicitly stated that God deliberately had covered the earth with water (briefly, I believe) after its creation. They are Genesis 1:1-2; Psalm 104:1-6 and Job 38:1-9. Apart from recognition of Genesis 1:2 and its creation, where elsewhere does Genesis one describe the creation of the sea? For that matter, as previously said, if verse one is not the time of the creation of the heavens and the earth, then where in the text of Genesis is the earth created? It not only exists but is totally covered with water, the great deep, in verse 2. I began to recognize that this universal sea, totally without life forms, perfectly fit the evidence found in the early Precambrian "Archaeozoic" deposits. These deposits are the result of the first great Geological deposit, the deposit of the waters which burst forth out of the womb of the earth after the Creator had formed the earth (Gen. 1:1-2; Job 38:1-9; Psa. 104:1-6).
It soon became clear that the uplift of the continent on the third day perfectly accounted for the dramatic and fierce distortion of those sedimentary deposits into what now is the Vishnu Schist which I repeatedly have visited in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This is the first great deposit series found in Genesis. When the Lord opened the sluice gates of the fountains of the deep (Job 38:8-9) after the creation of the earth, just as He did in the beginning of the Noahic flood, this clearly left massive geological deposits in the form of the muds which came rushing up out of the great earth's great springs.
But the uplift of the continent in the third solar day of creation is that which distorts the marine (and possibly some volcanic) materials left by the outpouring of the pre-Adamic, universal flood. The abrupt movement of the great single continent which clearly is described in Genesis 1:9 is the second great Geological movement. A great, single continent heaved up out of the sea in much less than one solar day, to be surrounded by a great single sea. After all, those waters which ran off of the continent as it heaved up out of the sea at the Creator's command (Gen. 1:9; Job 38:10-11; Psa. 104:5-9), were gathered to one place. Those waters also account for the vast hydraulic deposits of the Proterozoic with its rare marine bottom life fossils. Properly understood, it easily could account for the possibility that Clifford Burdick has found fossil pollen in the Hakatai Shale layers of the Proterozoic deposits which overlie the Archaeozoic in many sections of the Grand Canyon where not removed by erosion. At that time, I wrongly considered the Proterozoic deposits to be the initial stages of the Noahic flood. I have revised this conclusion and believe that they are the evidences of the second great Geological catastrophe found in Genesis, the dramatic uplift of the single continent in part of one solar day. I also have concluded that the waters rushing off of the continent (as described beautifully in Psalm 104:9 and following), continued to deposit these great marine sediments for an extended period of time while the continent drained into the shallow littoral basins near the shoreline. These deposits are the Proterozoic deposits in my view. I also conclude now that the 1,500 years (Masoretic text) to 2,000 years (LXX text) between the geological catastrophe of the third creation day lie in the upper boundary of the Proterozoic layers and under the superimposed Cambrian deposits. The absence of any connecting geological deposits between these two great series clearly indicates that it was a time when there was no great geological activity.
The Third Great Geological Catastrophe is the Noahic flood, which, by correlating its stages with the deposits of the Paleozoic, must me recorded in that great marine deposit series. The layers which are central in the Paleozoic series elicit some fascinating comments by geologists. They recognize that "almost all" (indeed, all) of the land mass of the world was covered by water! They search in vain for continental deposits which are made by positive land mass erosion (from above sea level). There is a good reason for this curiosity found in mid-Paleozoic times. The Noahic flood was universal at that time. There are places, however, where no Paleozoic/Noahic Flood deposits may be found. And how is that? First of all, these deposits are not found on the Canadian shield. I believe that they are absent there because of the violent erosion produced by the great Biblical "ice Age" of a later period, to be discussed later. Furthermore, they are missing from the Atlantic ocean bottom and apparently from the Pacific also. They do not exist in the Atlantic ocean bottom because that is newly formed extrusion material formed in the trail of another later Biblical catastrophe, abrupt continental separation, also to be discussed later.
I came to recognize the early Paleozoic evidences of the violent disturbance of the ocean bottom as the great fountains of the deep were opened (Gen. 7:11). The record of the transgression of the shorelines and the processes of marine burial, first of all in the ocean bottoms, by the Noahic flood became obvious. This mistakenly is read as evidences of evolution from sea to shore by the evolutionists. I concluded that the violently disturbed sea bottom would have affected marine bottom life forms first. Therefore it was not surprising to see the remarkable leap in the fossil record at the beginning of the Cambrian, the lowest layer of the Paleozoic. Abruptly the record includes brachiopods, trilobites and similar bottom creatures. As expected, the geological record next abounds in the more cumbersome free swimmers which were not able to escape the violence of great undersea mud flows and the powerful upwelling springs in the ocean bottom. The encroachment of the shoreline by the Noahic flood, long interpreted as the record of marine life forms which decided to go ashore to live, plainly is written in the layers of the following Paleozoic rocks.
Imagine what the fiercely churning waters of the Noahic flood was able to do to the verdant, jungle-like vegetation from the pre-flood world. It was able to rip up vegetation in such quantities that coal, its fossilized form, could supply man with fuels for hundreds of wasteful years. The great coal beds of the Carboniferous periods are evidence of the retreat of the Noahic flood tidal waves which drove these great vegetation rafts ashore, burying them on their return from off of the newly erected land mass. Actually Oscillation beds indicating the quieting of the rampaging waters begin to be noticed in late Devonian layers of the mid-Paleozoic deposits. These signs of quieted flood waters continue into the Mississippian where vast quantities of marine shell debris and limes precipitate to form great layers.
These signs of quieting are followed by signs of renewed agitation of the flood waters. This is displayed by the oscillation signs seen for instance in the Supai group. There also are signs of temporary and repeated emergences of the land displayed in raindrop prints and mud cracks in this same group of formations in the Grand Canyon. I consider this to harmonize perfectly with the early verses of Genesis 8. This is accompanied by dramatic evidences in the Coconino Sandstone there that the giant jet stream (Gen. 8:1) had dropped down to dry up the crust of the earth in Permian times which climax the Paleozoic deposits.
Later this great wind grew more violent and its great aeolian deposits are one of the chief characteristics of the Mesozoic deposits. The oxidized sand particles, borne from western beaches of that time, stain great Mesozoic dune deposits on several continents. The humidity of that time as the continent dried out after the flood clearly leaves its drying oxide stain on each grain of sand in the red beds of these Mesozoic deposits. The physical evidences from the close of the Paleozoic and from the Mesozoic perfectly fit the time of Noah's flood's retreat over a period of several centuries. Dating this period is a serious textual problem for Hebrew scholars. The three sources for information all disagree on how long this period between the flood and the division of continents lasted. In the Hebrew text is only 101 years. I tentatively have followed the 2,500 year old Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament which expands that chronology to about 500 years. If this is accurate (and on one major point it is confirmed by Luke in its accuracy,) then the chronology of the period gives approximately 200 years between the departure from the ark and the linguistic "catastrophe" when Hamite, Japhetic and Semite families lost communicative contact because of Babel. This confusion of tongues is mentioned three times in Genesis 10 where the confusion of Babel occurred, while the full story is related in Genesis 11:1-9.
Approximately 550 years after the flood, the continents were divided "by water" (Gen. 10:25). This is the major meaning of the word Peleg, surprisingly borne out in cognate and non-cognate languages. The event described in Genesis 10:25 falls precisely in the correct place for Biblical chronology to harmonize with the event series relating to continental division in the physical geological column. This is, of course, the Fourth Geological Catastrophe of Genesis, the Division of the Continents. This extended post-flood retreat period is that portion of geological history when the dinosaurs died. Of course the evolutionary geologist misinterprets the Mesozoic and thinks of it as the time when the dinosaurs lived! This was a period of history totally different from the period before the flood when the dinosaurs lived in a lush, tropical environment that was perfectly suited to them. The deposits that I have examined which contain their bones strongly confirm this correlation.
Furthermore, I suddenly came to appreciate why Paleozoic and Mesozoic plant life deposits show a great dominance of gymnosperm or naked seed plants and few angiosperms. They were ideally suited to life under the canopy whereas the angiosperms leaped into position as the dominant type of life form when the canopy was gone and the sun was brilliantly exposed overhead. How logical that plants which preferred the exceedingly humid, swampy environment which would have prevailed under the canopy should be oppressed after the canopy collapsed in the flood! The utter transformation of the climate after the Noahic flood when the universal climate, so well recorded in the Paleozoic deposits, clearly is recorded in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits. After the flood the transformed climate gave the angiosperm plants or hard shelled seed plants a tremendous spurt of expansion so that they swiftly came to dominate plant life on the earth.
This drying trend and exposure of the earth to direct solar radiation after the Noahic flood also explained to me precisely why the amphibians multiplied in that pre-flood world but quickly began to loose ground to the reptiles in Mesozoic times and then to mammals in Cenozoic times. Now it appears from Genesis 5 that man (and surely the animals also) was seriously affected by the canopy. Man's maturation point was reached at a rate of 3 to 6 times slower than it is reached today. Furthermore, the detrimental cumulative damaging effects of cosmic and solar radiation which we suffer today appears to have been filtered out by the canopy so that man lived 10 to 15 times longer than the normal individual does today. This retardation which is seen in man the mammal may well have slowed down the reproduction of the rest of the mammals. It partially may account for the great scarcity of mammals in the Paleozoic deposits. Of course the Noahic flood accounts for the scarcity of man and the mammals in the early Mesozoic for both were just beginning the process of recovering from the great cataclysm. Remember that only a few individuals of each kind were present on the ark.
Further study on the division of the continents led me to the conclusion that the relatively abrupt movement of the great continental plates to their present locations was the key factor in the elevation of the world's great mountains well after the flood. This in turn produced massive vulcanism throughout the world as the crust vented the enormous heat of friction created by the moving plates. This also must have contributed to a brief great warming trend in many local areas early in Cenozoic times. When one considers the great quantities of steam and the incomprehensible pollution of solid particles that filled the atmosphere in those troubled times, he can only chuckle at the frantic concerns of ecologists for our world today. This is better understood by most of us in the light of St. Helen's activities in Southwestern Washington during 1980. It has been said by geologists that three of the world's great volcanoes have by themselves produced more pollution in the earth's atmosphere than all of man's efforts in all of the time that he has been here upon the earth! It was this enormous pollution of the atmosphere when thousands of volcanoes were belching fire, spewing ash, dumping great mud slides and pouring out great lava flows that triggered the Fifth Biblical Geological Catastrophe, the Biblical Ice Age. I have been fascinated to climb about upon several of earth's great volcanoes. These display a significant clue to event chronology in Biblical times. These volcanoes were first built as the result of the heat and of continental movement. That combined with the vast pollution of volcanic ash in the atmosphere produced an atmosphere that was decidedly more reflective than earth's normal atmosphere. That is to say, Earth's albedo was changed.
When that happened, solar energy which is so vital to the maintenance of earth's temperatures through the warming of the seas and the land now was reflected back into space instead of entering the atmosphere. As a result, earth's temperatures plunged steadily, well recorded in the record of marine fossils, until earth's seas dropped sufficiently that the seas began to freeze. Earth was plunged into the icy catastrophe which tortured migrating man as he fled from the confusion of Babel. The record of that flight and of man's difficulty while trying to survive in caves, ill fed and without adequate vitamins in that food, is plainly written in the sadly distorted story of the cavemen, our ancestors on their journey from Babel. The midden piles at the mouths of their caves have taught archaeologists much about the food that they ate and about the tools that they made of flint when they were forced to forget the bronze and iron technologies which they knew since Genesis 4. But the midden piles have not prevented the scientists from extrapolating their evolutionary presuppositions into a distorted story of how man evolved through a stone age, a bronze age and an iron age. Ah, if we were accidentally transported into such a scene, we gladly would learn the expediency of chipping flint tools in order to survive under such conditions! And it is the book of Job which most clearly portrays what it was like to live life in Palestine during those very difficult times which have been misnamed "the Pleistocene epoch. Would that just one archaeologist could have been present in that day when man was forced to turn to the production of stone tools to survive! Indeed, would that he could have talked with that very godly man, Job, concerning that fascinating period of Biblical history which preceded and culminated in the days described in the book of Job!
On line edition: January 2, 1997
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