A. The danger of too simple a solution.
This danger is obvious in the studies of the evolutionary minded geologist. He does not examine all of the available evidence, for the crucial evidence is that given by the Creator Himself. But it is a danger that also shows up in the work of many a creationist who ignores most of the physical evidence, and because of unfounded presuppositions, mishandles the revelatory evidence, and even may seek to avoid its very obvious message. Regrettably this matter of seeking too simple a solution is not only found in the work of Christians who have allowed the misinterpretations of the record of the rocks to become the tool by which they interpret the Word of God. It is found in those who attempt to explain earth's early physical events by an interpretative model that ignores most of the physical evidence, as well as ignoring the clear statement of Scripture concerning earth's early events.
What does the Grand Canyon, one of the world's most spectacular displays of the sequence of earth's history, actually tell us? The Grand Canyon poses a problem for the evolutionist who has for generations, been happy to announce to every visitor at the rim of the canyon, "The river cut it!" But this is now known to be too simple. In a similar fashion the Grand Canyon poses a serious problem for the Creationist who proclaims: "The Noahic flood deposited and then cut it!" But he ignores many evidences found in and around the canyon that absolutely speak to the contrary.
The solution that I will present has been developed over many years of study in four areas:
1. The study of the record of the rocks on every continent except the sub-continents of Australia and Antarctica.
2. The continual reflection upon the record of the rocks and the evaluation of its interpretation by historical geologists.
3. Repeated visits to the bottom of and across the Grand Canyon leading geology field trips, resulting in much observation at and in the canyon.
4. The Creation record, especially as it is found in the Old Testament in Hebrew, having taught Hebrew inductively from Genesis 1-8 repeatedly.
As I have come to understand more fully the explicit teaching of the Bible in its references to the creation and to the earlier centuries of our planet, I have come to recognize that, once the creationist recognizes what the Bible reveals about five great Biblical, catastrophic events, suddenly he is faced with the remarkable similarity and correspondence chronologically and logically of the results of these five great Biblical events that one who has studied the physical data can readily trace in the physical record of the rocks.
In my consideration of the deposition and erosion of the Grand Canyon, I will briefly develop this material around five great catastrophic events that are described in the Bible, but regretfully are ignored by many creationists. They are:
THE FIRST GREAT CATASTROPHIC, GEOLOGICAL EVENT
Genesis 1:2-8 briefly describes this event. Verses three through eight supply important information concerning the development of the solar days that followed.
"But the earth, it was in a state of being waste and desolate, for darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said: ',Let it begin to be light,' and it began to be light. And God observed the light that it was good. Then God caused a division between the light and the darkness. Then God gave the name 'day' to the light, but the darkness He had He previously had called 'night.' Then it had been evening but came to be morning, one [solar] day. Then God said: 'Let there come to be a stretched out space in the midst of the waters, and let that divide the waters from the waters. As a result, God proceeded to make the stretched out space [the atmosphere], and it caused a division between the waters that were down under-neath [representing three Hebrew prepositions that are emphasizing location] the stretched out space [of the atmosphere] from the waters that were up over the top of the stretched out space [of our atmosphere], and it came to be so. And God called the stretched out space [of our atmosphere] heaven. And it had come to be evening and it had come to be morning, [solar] day two."
This first catastrophic event is described not less than three times in the Bible. It was the outpouring of that universal, pre-Adamic flood that poured out of the crust of the earth immediately after earth's creation. It completely covered the surface of the earth from Genesis 1:2-8. I insist that the great, unfossiliferous, Archaeozoic deposits at the bottom of earth's sedimentary layers cannot be harmonized with Scripture unless one acknowledges the deposition and the presence of this universal flood on earth's surface immediately after the creation of the heavens and the earth. To ignore the testimony of Scripture concerning the matter requires one to ignore even more things and then to deny the explicit statement of Scripture that is found in Job 38:8-9 and in Psalm 104:1-6. There, Scripture explicitly reveals that, after God had created the heavens and the earth, He completely covered the earth with waters. I conclude that this act was part of the work of the Creator as He prepared the surface of the earth for the creative work that would follow in the last five creative, solar days that are described in the rest of Genesis one.
THE SECOND GREAT CATASTROPHIC,
Genesis 1:9-10 describes this geologically catastrophic event in this way.
"Then God said: 'Let the waters [of the sea] that are under the heavens [the atmospheric heavens] come to be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land come to be seen.' As a result, it came to be so. And God named the dry land 'earth,' but the gathering together of the waters He had called 'seas. Then God observed that it had been good."
This event also is clearly described in detail two more times in the Bible. It was the abrupt uplift of the great single continent on the third solar day. This followed the uplifting of the great veil of water-vapor darkness above the atmosphere. This great darkness had resulted from the outpouring of the universal, pre-Adamic flood.
"Or Who enclosed the sea with doors, when it went bursting forth as if out of the womb; when I made the cloud as its garment and thick darkness to be its swaddling band . . ." (Job 38:8-9).
Enough of this water vapor had been elevated "up over the top of" the atmosphere, with the result that the evening and the morning of each of the following solar days on the surface of the earth could be described by the Holy Spirit, the Divine Observer (Gen.1:2). And that there only was a single continent in that great uplift is confirmed by the fact that the waters were gathered "unto one place" (Gen.1:9) when that uplift of positive landmass took place.
It further is confirmed by the fact that the original littoral zones (the shallow, coastal waters) around that single continent, and indeed the continent itself, later well after the Noahic flood, came to be ruptured and scattered all over the globe by the abrupt plate movement of Genesis 10:25. This was a very important event that supplemented the judgment at the Tower of Babel that had taken place more than two generations earlier. The division of the continental plates carried migrating man to different parts of the world by the abrupt movement of the plates. This great uplift also accounts for the evidences of massive compression, distortion, uplift and induration (hardening) of the Archaeozoic deposits that previously had been laid down by the pre-Adamic flood, that now were present in the several scattered locations where I have been able to examine that material.
This second great catastrophic event that is described in the Bible resulted in the abrupt retreat of the ocean when the landmass was abruptly lifted out of the sea and was prepared, at least in the garden, so that vegetation might be created upon it in that third solar day.
Genesis 1:11-12 describes God's second act on that third solar day of the creation week.
"Then God said: 'Let the earth begin to sprout forth grass, herbs producing seeds, and fruit-trees and trees that produce fruit after their kinds, in which are its seeds after their kinds upon the earth."
The great uplift of the single continent out of the ocean is clearly described in three major passages in the Old Testament. These are passages that will be discussed later. The first of these two other passages is found in Job 38:8-11. It says:
"Or Who enclosed the sea with doors, when it went bursting forth as if out of the womb; when I made the cloud as its garment and thick darkness to be its swaddling band, and I established boundaries on it and I set a bold and doors, and I said: 'This is as far as you can come, but no farther, and here your proud waves shall stop?"
Psalm 104 is the other passage when verse 8 is correctly translated.
"He established the earth upon its foundations in order that it would not move out of its place forever and ever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment. The waters came to stand above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled. At the thunder of Your voice they hurried away. The mountains began to rise up; the valleys began to sink down to the place that You had established for them. You set a boundary that they should not pass over, so that they might not return to cover the earth" (Psa. 104:5-9).
This latter passage continues describing the drainage of the great continental plate by means of rivers, along which the birds and animals came to live.
The violence of this drainage of the uplifted land mass finds testimony of its violence, and of the fact that the drainage continued for an extended period of time after Genesis 1:9 is found in the more than 13,000 feet of marine, Proterozoic materials that lie tilted in and around the Grand Canyon.
The finding of oak and pine pollens from mature oak and pine trees in the Proterozoic, Hakatai Shale in this great series also points to the extended time involved in the drainage of the single continent. These trees had been created on the third solar day, according to Genesis 1:11-12. Air currents later swept these pollen grains off of trees that were growing along the continent-draining streams.
"He sent forth springs in the valleys. They flowed between the mountains. They gave drink to every beast of the field. The wild donkeys quenched their thirst. Beside them [the draining streams] the birds of the heavens lived. They lifted up their voices among the branches. He watered the mountains from His upper chambers. The earth was satisfied by the fruit of His works. He caused the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants to grow for the labor of mankind, in order that He might bring forth bread out of the earth, and wine that makes the heart of man glad, so that he might make his face to shine with [olive] oil, and food that sustains man's heart" (Psa. 104:10-15).
The breezes carried these pollen grains into the streams that in turn carried them into the shallow, coastal waters, there to be deposited in the developing Proterozoic deposits. This also provides testimony that the edge of the continent, at the time that it was first lifted out of the sea, lay very near the present site of the Grand Canyon. It was there in the Hakatai Shale that these pollen grains were discovered by Clifford Burdick when he was doing research for his doctorate in geology. But when he reported his find to his department head, he soon discovered that he would not be receiving the degree. It is hard for those who live along the West Coast of the United States to realize that they now live in an area that had been at the bottom of the sea even for much of Biblical time. After all, much of the present landmass that lies west of the Grand Canyon was only elevated out of the sea as a result of the fourth catastrophe, the division of the continents later in Genesis 10:25.
Those creationists who have attempted to explain all or most of earth's sedimentary deposits, either by the universal pre-Adamic flood or by the universal Noahic flood, simply have ignored the fact that the Proterozoic deposits are deposited directly upon the distorted, indurated, Archaeozoic deposits without any intermixing or continuous bedding that would tie the two series together depositionally as successive deposits of a single great flood. And the same is true that the Cambrian, the lowest Paleozoic deposits, in the same way displays that there was no continuing deposition that in any way had mixed the Paleozoic deposits with the underlying Proterozoic deposits. Between these two later great formation series lies the great unconformity. This is a crucial depositional gap between two series of deposits that must not be forgotten. Unwittingly, the supporters of both the pre-Adamic flood as the solution and many others that point to the Noahic flood as the explanation of most of the record of the rocks, simply have ignored the fact that there are depositional interruptions present in both cases. In the case of the Archaeozoic/Proterozoic contact, the sediments deposited by the great streams of water, that were pouring out of the crust of the earth, already had deposited the sedimentary materials of the Archaeozoic like the Vishnu Schist before the abrupt and powerful uplift of the continent brought about the crystalline refolliation and induration of those materials. And it was upon this indurated material that the Proterozoic series was deposited without depositional connection.
In the case of the Proterozoic/Paleozoic contact below the Cambrian deposits, the break in deposition clearly took place after the waters that had raced off of the uplifted continent rapidly had deposited the Proterozoic around its edges in the fairly shallow littoral zone of the sea where it lay around the single continent. This and the Archaeozoic deposits now are usually found in the near-coastal regions wherever the continental margins of the originally single continent have been transported by abrupt continental division centuries after their deposition.
As I already have intimated, there is evidence of the passage of considerable time between the deposition of the Proterozoic deposits and the beginning of the great Paleozoic series. This deposition interval perfectly fits after the uplift and drainage of the continent, and the beginning of the Noahic flood at least 15 centuries later. It is crucial that creationists give attention to this great unconformity, for it is another crucial point of agreement between the record of the rocks and the record given by the One who created the heavens and the earth. Failure to acknowledge this time of geological quiet between Adam and Noah and its display in the geological record, blocks most attempts at achieving harmony between Genesis and geology. It is impossible to account for it if one attempts to explain all of the early formations either by the pre-Adamic or by the Noahic flood.
THE THIRD GREAT CATASTROPHIC, GEOLOGICAL EVENT
This Biblical catastrophe is extensively described in the Bible. It is the Noahic flood. This is a catastrophe that began in the ocean bottoms. Genesis 7:11 clearly states that:
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all of the fountains of the great deep were broken up . . . ."
The Noahic flood began when the Creator re-opened the fountains of the great deep, the sources of the first universal flood that now lay at the bottom of the ocean that they had produced as described in Genesis 1:2. And that is precisely where the Paleozoic deposits began. The Cambrian deposits at the bottom of the Paleozoic deposits, which are found on most of the isolated, continental blocks, clearly are violent marine deposits. Furthermore, these Cambrian deposits suddenly are filled with fossils of slow moving, bottom life, marine creatures. These are creatures that had been created either 1,500 years before (Heb.) or more than 2,000 years before, according to the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament that is called "the Septuagint." In rare places the Septuagint appears to carry the reading that was found in the original manuscript. Psalm 22:16 in its reading, ". . . They pierced My hands and My feet, "followed by the translations, clearly contains the original reading that four Hebrew manuscripts attempt to avoid in different ways.
Then, according to the latter part of Genesis 7:11, the second source of the Noahic flood was the opening of the windows of heaven. A careful study of a Scriptural statement in Genesis 1:6-8 indicates that earth's atmosphere [the firmament, as translated in KJV] in the beginning was superimposed by a vast amount of water in some form.
"Then God said: 'Let there be a stretched out space [rachia, "the atmosphere"] in the midst of the waters, and let that cause a division between the waters from the waters. Then God made the stretched out space [of the atmosphere] and He divided the waters that were down-under-neath [three prepositions are used in Hebrew for emphasis] the stretched out space [of the atmosphere] from the waters that were up-over-the top of [again, three Hebrew prepositions are represented here] the stretched out space [of the atmosphere], and it came to be so" (Gen.7:11).
This arrangement of waters in some form, elevated up above the atmosphere and serving as a great filter reducing damaging solar energy, clearly is confirmed in two major ways. First of all, the longevity of mankind that is recorded in Genesis five and eleven indicates that mankind was delayed in maturity before and after marriage, living far longer lives than we do today. This indicates that mankind was being protected from the aging consequences of direct solar radiation in the long interval between the creation of mankind and the removal of the canopy by its collapse as one of the causes of the Noahic flood.
Secondly, careful study of the decline of the longevity of mankind in Genesis eleven demonstrates that the reduction of longevity after the Noahic flood lies in a deteriorating log curve of shorter and shorter lives (Gen. 11:10-26). ,2 This deterioration continues throughout the book of Genesis, with Joseph dying at 110 years (Gen. 50:22). Surely this indicates, both the protection that the canopy had provided for humanity before the flood, and the cumulative damaging effect that direct solar radiation has had on the length of people's lives after the collapse of the canopy after the beginning of the Noahic flood in the fountains of the deep.
A third indication that the canopy was in place from Adam to Noah is found in the geological record. Evolutionists happily attribute the sudden leap in the abundance and complexity of fossil life at the beginning of the Paleozoic deposits to an imaginary, unproven, sudden spurt of evolution. The fact that these fossils are all of slower moving marine, bottom-living creatures, actually points to several factors. These slower moving, bottom lifeforms were overwhelmed in the violence of the Noahic flood as it began in the depths of the ocean. Furthermore, the continuing dominance of fishes and amphibians in the succeeding Paleozoic deposits points directly to the fact that these creatures were among those that had been better adapted for life in the centuries between Adam and Noah under that canopied environment. Thus the dominant fossils found in the earliest Paleozoic deposits actually record the lifeforms that had been living in the sea before the beginning of the Noahic flood. One of the factors that can be found in the so called Mesozoic or "middle life' deposits, and particularly in the later so called Cenozoic or "recent life" deposits, is the rise (i.e., the more rapid multiplication) of warm blooded land creatures that then began to be the dominant lifeforms in late Mesozoic and in the Cenozoic times not long after the division of the continents. These were creatures that were far more adapted to life under non-filtered, direct solar energy on land.
The same factor of dominance can be observed in the almost total dominance of gymnosperm (naked seed) plants in the Noahic Flood's Paleozoic record of the deposition of pre-flood plant life that had populated the landmass under the canopy. And there is further evidence of the presence of the canopy before the Noahic flood in the massive evidence of giant dinosaur tracks in many places of the world along the oscillating, retreating ocean shorelines in the Triassic deposits, the early Mesozoic deposits. These creatures of the marine shoreline, perfectly able to stay afloat for 150 days, were coming out of the flood waters as the shorelines became better exposed. The giant size to which some of these creatures grew strongly suggests that the canopy enabled these creatures to live to a great age because they had been living for centuries under the canopy. It is a well known fact that reptiles do not have a general terminal age for their lives like mammals do. Instead, they continue to live and to grow larger until disease or an enemy kills them. I have seen the skull of a fossil crocodile in Niger, West Africa, that was over six feet long! Imagine how long that creature must have been!
The record of human lives that average about fifteen times longer than our lives today should be considered to be parallel to the survival of these great creatures. Unlike human beings, the longer that reptiles live, the larger they grow,. The track evidence of giant reptiles from the pre-flood world, that is found in retreat of flood and in the continued retreating Noahic flood, Mesozoic deposits, demonstrates that these creatures had survived the Noahic flood because they were marine/shoreline creatures. In the same way marine mammals and many other reptiles survived in the sea during the Noahic flood. Many creationists have stumbled at this point because they depended upon one phrase, "And all flesh died . . ." without observing the importance of the following context. The statement, "And all flesh died . . ." had to do with creatures that spent their lives upon the landmass. There were no whales or dinosaurs on the ark. These and other marine creatures or marine/shoreline creatures were perfectly capable of survival during the five months of the universal stage of the flood and during the slower retreat of the flood waters.
I suggest that many smaller marine/shoreline creatures, like those whose tracks are bountifully found in the 400 feet thick Paleozoic, shoreline-deposited, windblown, Coconino Sandstone at the Grand Canyon, had survived on the giant debris rafts of vegetation from the pre-flood world that was rafted and carried about by the turbulent Noahic flood. An examination of the upper Paleozoic coal in the anthracite coal beds of the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, near where I helped develop a new seminary, gives the researcher the opportunity of looking back in time toward the world as it then was when those plants, that have become great Paleozoic coal beds, had lived under the canopy. It should be obvious that the environment under the canopy was well suited for the multiplication of these kinds of plants and creatures.
Furthermore, the dinosaur fossils that are found in later deposits clearly show that these survivors of the Noahic flood were the dominant animal lifeforms for a time as the earth continued to dry up for a good while after the flood. I have examined these shoreline, Mesozoic tracks in Connecticut, New York, Colorado and in southwestern Canada. But I think that there is much evidence that many of these giant reptiles actually were ill adapted to a life that was exposed to the burning rays of direct sunlight when isolated by tidal waves from the water. At the same time they would have been buffeted and dehydrated by the great winds that continued to dry up the earth well after the flood (Gen. 8:1). They were not well adapted to the brilliant, burning rays of the open sunshine, now that the canopy no longer protected them from its intensity. Often their fossils are found buried in those wind blown sands and in the re-deposition of these sands along the edge of the sea.
The only place where I have found these tracks near the Grand
Canyon is in the formerly muddy layers of the early Mesozoic deposits
that are found east/southeast of the Grand Canyon. I understand
that they also are found northeast of the canyon, though I have
not seen them there. Tracks used to be exposed southwest of Denver
in the hogsback that lies east of the rising Front Range of the
Rockies. These have been seriously damaged or destroyed by people
who have tried to extract the giant tracks from the formerly muddy
layer that now lies tilted near 45 degrees to the east. There
is a marvelous exposure of layers of dinosaur tracks near the
southern border of New York (as I remember). It plainly testifies
that these creatures were coming out of the sea as the shoreline
was repeatedly intruded by waves that passed over the beach area
where the tracks were made in layer after layer that was deposited
by the sea's waves.
The geologist who is willing to think in this vein will find a remarkable correlation between the succession of these deposits and the rapid encroachment of the great single landmass by the Noahic flood. In the Grand Canyon that is particularly obvious. It was at the western edge of the continent at the time when Proterozoic deposits were being laid down. This is obvious from the deposition of the more than 13,000 feet of now tilted Proterozoic deposits. These are largely composed of debris that washed off the edge of the newly rising continent into the littoral zone in the edge of the sea in and near the Grand Canyon in the early centuries that followed the second Biblical/geological catastrophe. That is why pollens from mature pine and oak trees have been found embedded in the now-solid rock of the Hakatai Shale in the upper Proterozoic deposits. These were deposited after the creation of these trees later in the third solar day as recorded in Genesis.
This opens the question as to whether it is accurate to say: "These are six, 24 hour solar days!" Can we prove that each of these days were of precisely the same length? I see the possibility that the length of the solar day (including its night) actually were not of the same length but rather that the revolution of the newly created earth actually was increasing day by day until the length of the solar day and night was regulated during the fourth solar day of creation. I am by no means suggesting that some or all of these days described in Genesis one actually were geologic eras as some creation evolutionists mistakenly teach!
One possible reason for suggesting that some of the earlier days of the creation week were longer than 24 hours is found in Genesis 1:10-13.
"Then God named the dry land 'earth,' but the gathering together of the waters He had named 'seas,' and God observed that it was good. Then God said, 'Let the earth begin to bring forth vegetation: herbs producing seed after their kind, and the fruit trees that produce fruit, in which is their seed, after their kinds, and it came to be so. For the earth began to bring forth vegetation, herbs producing seeds after their kinds, and trees that bear fruit in which is its seed, after their kinds. And God observed that it was good." and God observed that it was good. And the evening and the morning came to be the third day."
Genesis 1:11-12 tells of the creation of the vegetation that was created upon the newly elevated landmass on the third solar day. It is possible that these two major events, with the drying of the surface of the uplifted continent, may have taken more than 24 hours, as we measure the rotation of the earth today. But the calculation of the length of the solar day today may not at all fit the situation during the earlier part of the creation week.
Another factor that seems to suggest that the length of the day, that is, the time that it took for a single revolution of the earth before the already existing sun, actually was regulated as to its length during the fourth solar day. The discussion of the events of the fourth solar day has received many disturbing misunderstandings. Many, ignoring the fact that the stellar heavens clearly are described as being created even before the earth, have taught that Genesis 1:14-16 describes the creation of the sun and the moon. But what does Genesis 1:1 say?
"In beginning God created [out of nothingness]
1. the heavens and
2. the earth."
Now this reference to the heavens cannot possibly refer to the atmospheric heavens. After all, earth's atmosphere relates to the earth, created after the heavens. Do you have a problem with that statement? Listen to the careful, chronological description of these early events that is found in Psalm 104:2-6. The Psalm begins with the Psalmist's exultation in the glory and in the majesty of the Creator (v. 1). That is followed by the human author's explanation of Genesis 1-2, guided by the Divine Author, the Holy Spirit. He speaks of the Eternal Lord as
". . . continually covering [Yourself] with light as with a garment, stretching out heavens like the curtain, the One fitting together the beams of Your upper chambers with the waters, making the clouds Your chariot, the One Who is walking upon the wings of the wind; having made His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. He established earth upon its foundations in order that it would not come to be moved for ever and aye. He fully covered it with the abyssal deep as with a garment. The waters waters came to stand."
Another argument against the idea that the sun and moon were created on the fourth day (which misunderstands the identity of the lights that came to be seen within the atmosphere, the sun dog and the moon dog, refractions on the bottom of the canopy,) is the fact that each of the three previous days clearly are marked out by a single rotation of the earth before that distant light source that we call the sun. This cannot be ignored.
Another factor that should be obvious at the Grand Canyon is the fact that the area of the later Coconino/Kaibab uplift, through which the Grand Canyon is eroded, still was near the edge of the single continent. This is obvious in the Proterozoic deposits. These contain continentally derived materials that have been deposited as a near continental, offshore deposit. This location of the sea coast in the Grand Canyon's present location appears to have still been true even when the great single continent began to split apart in the days of Peleg (Gen.10:25). It was this grand geological catastrophe that caused the west coast of the United States to be farther and farther to the west as ocean bottom was forced out of the sea by the westward movement of the continental plate.
The base upon which the great Paleozoic series lies is the Proterozoic deposits, wherever those materials have survived and been scattered by the fourth great Biblical/geological catastrophe, the division of the continents. The rise of the Noahic flood, after its violent beginning in the ocean bottoms, is plainly recorded in the early Paleozoic layers. Its earliest deposits are the violently disturbed Tapeats Sandstone, the earliest Cambrian deposit. It is fascinating that a surface of weathering lies between the Pre-Cambrian or Proterozoic and the Tapeats Sandstone at the bottom of the Paleozoic deposits. McKee reports:
The surface of weathering beneath the late Precambrian-Cambrian unconformity is well preserved in many places and furnishes additional clues concerning the environment at the time of and immediately preceding transgression of the Cambrian [i.e., the beginning of the Noahic flood] seas. Although a dominance of mechanical disintegration was recorded as characteristic of this surface by Hinds (1935, p. 50), later detailed studies by Sharp (1940, p. 1264) have indicated that weathering extended to a depth of at least 50 feet below the surface. A verdict of "intense chemical weathering" was reached by Sharp on the basis of measurements of insoluble residue accumulation, evidence of iron-oxide residual concentrations, and progressive changes of certain minerals, especially biotite and feldspar. A further implication-that dominantly humid conditions prevailed throughout this region at the beginning of Paleozoic time-has likewise received considerable support from the results of these studies.
The clear, nearly continuous exposures in the walls of Grand Canyon of the great unconformity permit observation in detail of many features relative to the initial advance of the sea across the rocky Precambrian terrane and of the burial of this surface by marine sediment.
In the later Cambrian layers, the Bright Angel Shale and the Muav limestone and dolomite, there are great quantities of lime deposits. I identify the source of this lime as the centuries the debris left by countless marine lifeforms that had died, had decayed and simply had been lying on the pre-flood world's great ocean bottom before the violence of the Noahic flood had reworked and had re-deposited them.
The Tapeats Sandstone is a massive, cliff-forming unit with a thickness ranging from 100 to 300 feet throughout the canyon area. In most places it is chocolate brown, but in some places it is gray or cream-colored and in others, a deep red brown. The sand is coarse to medium grained, coarse particles are dominant except in parts of the upper half, where medium-sized grains are more common.
The creationist should find many statements in the book, "Geology of the Grand Canyon." McKee's description of facies in the Cambrian rocks and in the rest of the Tonto Group, which includes the Tapeats Sandstone, the Bright Angel Shale and the Muav Limestone, is an excellent example. This description of indications of marine transgressions from the west to the east immediately should alert the creationist to recognize indications of the continuing rise of the Noahic flood on this western edge of the single continent of that time. He says:
Cambrian strata of the Grand Canyon region are considered the result of a major transgression of the sea from west to east, interrupted by minor retreats or regressions, and terminated by a major regression. . . . During times of trans-gression when the sea was advancing relatively rapidly toward the east and sediments were accumulating with little reworking, facies developed from the shore outward in a definite and distinctive sequence. This sequence consists of conglomerate, coarse-grained sandstone, fine-grained sand-stone, green shaly mudstone, glauconitic ferruginous beds, rusty-brown dolomite, Girvanella limestone and mottled aphanitic limestone. The same sequence was repeated in stairstep fashion at five different times as the sea advanced eastward, each step recording a stage in trans-gression. . . .
The Bright Angel Shale that lies upon the Tapeats Sandstone, the basal Cambrian formation, is relatively soft. For this reason the canyon widens along the contact line between the Tapeats sandstone and the Bright Angel Shale, forming the relatively wide Tonto Platform. The Muav, which overlies the Bright Angel Shale, is harder, consisting of both dolomite and limestone. That in turn is capped by the Temple Butte Sandstone and Dolomite. McKee indicates that the Temple Butte Limestone, which is considered to be Devonian, is thin and erratically distributed in eastern Grand Canyon, but can be 1,000 feet thick in western Grand Canyon. Again to the creationist this should suggest that the area of the Grand Canyon lay just west of the western edge of the single continent that existed before the breakup of the continents mentioned in Genesis 10:25.
By the time that one begins examining the Devonian deposits, wherever these survive in the Grand Canyon, he will begin to see evidences that the great single ocean now was quieting. And that thesis is strongly supported by the massive 500 foot deposit of limestone that lies upon the Devonian deposits. To me it gives testimony that, having reached universality, the quieting Noahic flood waters began dropping the vast calcium debris largely derived from the disintegration of multitudes of marine lifeforms that had lived in the sea before the flood. The violence of the flood waters had stirred these calcium sediments and occasional fossils that had not disintegrated. This is the "Mississippian" deposit series that is called "the Redwall Limestone" in the Grand Canyon. The name is derived from surficial, iron oxide stains that have come down from the red beds of the Pennsylvanian and lower Permian deposits. These oxides mostly are found in the Permian Hermit Shale that overlies the Redwall Limestone above the Pennsylvanian series of deposits. The iron oxides, draining from that latter, superimposed materials, stain the surface of the "Redwall Limestone" and give this limestone its color and its name. Actually this limestone is somewhat bluish beneath the stained surface. The 500 feet of the Redwall Limestone is practically without bedding planes, strongly indicating that this material was dropped to the bottom of the sea in quieting waters. Because the formation is very hard, it forms great, vertical bluffs.
Now the deposits in the Pennsylvanian portion of the Grand Canyon's layers above the Mississippian Redwall Limestone begin to display crucial evidences that perfectly harmonize with the creation account in Genesis eight. It simply amazes me that creationists, who long have attempted to explain far too much of the depositional record as entirely marine and deposited by the pre-Adamic flood or by the Noahic flood waters, overlook the very obvious fact that in the Supai Group there begins to show irrefutable evidence that the shoreline in that area began oscillating. Genesis 8:3 plainly says in the original Hebrew text,
"Then the waters began to return from off of the earth, going and returning continually, continually. For the waters had begun to return from off of the surface of the earth after the end of the one hundred and fifty days."
Compare the phrase that I have translated, "going and returning continually, continually" with the same Hebrew construction that is found in verse seven. There it is used to describe the flight activities of the raven after its release from the ark. ". . .And it went out, going and returning continually." In both verses two infinitives absolute follow the main verb, and one of them is from the same root as the main verb. This dramatically emphasizes the repetition of the act that is being described by the main verb. And the record of the repetition of waters going and returning upon the initially retreating shoreline of the Noahic flood is precisely what begins to be found in the Supai Group. There are shallow water oscillation marks everywhere in this formation. Indeed, there are four major sub-aerial erosion surfaces. I have even found raindrop prints on the major retreat surfaces in the Supai, something that certainly cannot be found on marine deposits that have been continually submerged. I personally have seen very few fossils in the Supai except for occasional small fronds of plants, but I understand that there are some marine fossils found in the western margins of the Supai. Some smaller reptile tracks also have been reported by other researchers in many places in the 600 to 700 feet of layers of the Supai Group. I insist that here we have evidence, not only of the beginning of the oscillation patterns described in Genesis 8:3, but evidence of the early beginnings of the great wind that the Creator sent out to begin drying up the newly exposed surface of the landmass.
"Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all of the cattle that were with him in the ark. Then God began to make a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters began to subside." (Gen. 8:1).
I consider it to be highly possible that the iron oxides in the brilliant red beds of the Hermit Shale in the Grand Canyon are derived from the evaporation of a large iron core meteorite as it was burning up in the atmosphere above the sea somewhere near the canyon, with its oxides being carried by the beginning stages of that great wind described in Genesis 8:1. Evidences of that wind become exceedingly clear to the knowledgeable investigator in the Coconino Sandstone of the Permian layers above the Hermit Shale. A fascinating area in which to study the great wind dunes is in the section of the Hermit Trail where it passes through the Coconino Sandstone. I also suggest that the wind apparently came from the north, not only agitating the waters along the shallow, retreating shoreline, but also depositing sands that become finer farther to the south. McKee says:
The Coconino Sandstone is a deposit of clean, well-sorted quartz
sand that forms a great sedimentary wedge across much of northern
Arizona. The formation thins progressively northward and westward
from a maximum thickness greater than 500 feet along the Mogollon
Rim in Central Arizona to a narrow tongue that wedges out near
the Arizona-Utah boundary. . . .
The most distinctive structure in the Coconino is the large-scale, wedge planar cross-stratification that is prominently displayed in the white cliff faces of this sandstone throughout the region (McKee, 1933,). The inclined laminae, having dips of as much as 34 degrees, have gently curving surfaces that in placers are 50-70 feet long. . . . .
The Coconino Sandstone is generally interpreted as an Aeolian deposit. Analysis of the cross-stratification suggests that it was mostly deposited as transverse-type dunes, although locally the barchan type can also be recognized. Essentially all of the high-angle foreset beds dip in a southerly direction, indicating that the wind transported sand from the north (Reiche, 1938). In a few places low-angle beds dip northward; these beds are interpreted as windward-slope deposits such as occur on recent dunes where the load exceeds the transporting power of the wind. Ripple marks, whose shape and orientation are typical of those formed on the steep side of modern dunes, probably formed where crosswinds were active.
In spite of tank experiments, used by some creationists to "prove" that the great Coconino Sandstone is a marine deposit, and that the small aquatic amphibian and reptile tracks were made underwater, the actual evidence that is very obvious in this great 400 foot bed of sands strongly denies this conclusion. Thoughtful field evidence here plainly sets aside preconceived notions. As a result, the physical evidence found in the Coconino Sandstone perfectly agrees with the Biblical record that describes the early retreat stages of the Noahic flood. It most certainly does not point to the universal stage of the flood.
In the Coconino Sandstone there are wind dunes that sweep up to 45 degrees. This angle of deposit is impossible in the sea, for marine, wave-laid dunes never exceed 22 1/2 degrees before the water-laden materials begin to slump. Furthermore, there are unquestionable signs of fairly quiet, marine shoreline oscillations, with evidence of waves sweeping up the shallow, lower slopes of the great wind dunes. I have examined the evidence of this in the Coconino Sandstone on both sides of the Grand Canyon. And it is movement out of the retreating, oscillating waters that is displayed by the hundreds of tracks of small, marine/shoreline creatures are found on both sides of the canyon in this great sandstone bed. It is obvious from the tracks that these small creatures were struggling up the wet, lower slopes of the wind dunes where waves had just retreated. McKee describes these tracks in this way:
Well-preserved tracks and trails of both vertebrate and invertebrate animals are common on the steep foreset beds in various parts of the Coconino and constitute the only fossils in this formation. The tracks of vertebrates, believed to have been reptiles, include a wide variety of forms. Many of the animals had the size and proportions of small lizards, but others were wide-bodied with short limbs, ans still others walked with long strides and had large feet. More than 20 types of track have been described as distinct species by Gilmore (1926), who also noted the burrows of wormlike creatures and trails probably of insects. These footprints and trails have been found nearly everywhere that the Coconino occurs, but as yet no skeletal remains have been discovered.
Furthermore, it was the deposition of windblown sands in and over these tracks that has made possible their preservation before the next wave arrived, riding over the layer of sand that had covered and preserved the tracks. As a result, these tracks are available in layer after layer to the visitor at the canyon, and they have a very specific testimony about events in earth's earlier years that we should mot fail to understand.
Above the Coconino Formation there are yet more signs of continuing return and retreat by the sea over the entire area. Both the Toroweap Formation, that overlies the Coconino Sandstone, and the Kaibab Formation, which provides the major cap for much of the Grand Canyon's rims, have sections that are continental and evidence of quieting coastal waters. The Toroweap contains much sand in the eastern Grand Canyon area, probably derived from the same source as the one that supplied the Coconino Sandstone, although I have concluded that the windblown sands in this formation apparently were falling in water. McKee comments that, in the western Grand Canyon, the Toroweap consists of a massive limestone layer. This indicates that the sea still lay over the area that became western Grand Canyon while the part of the park visited by most was at sea level. I have only observed western Grand Canyon from the air in flights through the canyon and in the Havasu Canyon,
By the time that the Kaibab Formation was deposited, it becomes apparent that the wind, probably the lowered jet stream, had quieted or had switched to a different direction. In the upper parts of both the Toroweap and the Kaibab there are shallow red beds, gypsum and limestone. It is clear that in the upper Kaibab there was an ideal environment for shallow water marine life, for there are numerous varieties of worms and shell fish found fossilized on both rims of the Grand Canyon. There is a beautiful display of large worm trails on the north rim.
THE FOURTH GREAT CATASTROPHIC, BIBLICAL/GEOLOGICAL EVENT
This fourth geological catastrophe and its results are clearly described in the Bible. The most specific information is found in the book of Job. It is an event that began either four or five generations after the Noahic flood according to the chronology of Genesis 10 and 11, in spite of those creationists who attempt to explain it as a part of the Noahic flood. The question of which generation it was in which Peleg was born depends upon the question as to whether the Hebrew text or its 300 B.C. Septuagint translation, with its support in Luke 3:35 and 36, gives the complete list of Shem's descendants before the division of the earth that is referred to in Genesis 10:25. That verse says:
"Unto Eber two sons were born. The name of the one was Peleg ["divided by water"], because in his days the earth was divided by water, and his brother's name was Joktan."
There are several words based upon the root PL In Hebrew. The addition of one of several possible third letters forming the normal three letter root in Hebrew distinguishes what kind of a division is involved in the division that is conveyed by the word. Now the word PLG in Hebrew is used of division by water. This is perfectly illustrated by Job 38:25 which uses this very word. The Creator asks Job: "Who has divided a channel [the root PLG used here is in the intensive stem. The name "Peleg" is derived from that verb] for the overflowing of water, or [made] a path for the thunderbolt?"
I repeat. The event that is described in Genesis 10:25 explains why Peleg was named "divided by water." The name Peleg is a deverbal (a noun derived from a verb). The verse obviously is describing the very abrupt division by water of the great single continent that had existed well into the time in which the Mesozoic deposits were laid down. In the historical geological column the division of the continents begins in earnest in the Jurassic section of the Mesozoic deposits. Apparently there had been some similar activity in the close of the Paleozoic, providing the great sea basins that received enough of the flood's universal waters so that the single continent again was exposed.
Those who mistakenly have identified the great catastrophe that began in the days of Peleg ["divided by water,"] because "in his days the earth was divided by water" (Gen. 10:25), with the event that occurred at the Tower of Babel simply have proven that they are not very careful students of the Word of God. Careful examination of Genesis 10:2 through 5 will demonstrate that the division of the languages at Babel occurred at the end of the second generation of Japheth's offspring.
When examining Ham's offspring, one should conclude that the division of the languages of his offspring came at the beginning of the third generation after the Noahic flood. This study of these Hamites is far more difficult because of the numerous plurals denoting family groups that are found in Genesis 10:13-18. The English reader easily misses the fact that the ending yim on Mitsrayim, is dual, referring to an earlier division of Egypt to a northern and a southern kingdom. And the names that follow in verse 13 all end with the plural ending, iym. ". . . Ludiym, and Anamiym, and Lehabiym, and Naphtuhiym, (14) and Pathrusiym, and Casluhiym---from whom came forth Pulishtiym (Philistines) and Caphtoriym." The plural ending ite also is found among the descendants of Canaan reference to people groups that surely were known to Moses during his wanderings as a shepherd for 40 years. These are: (16) . . . And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite; (17) and the Hivite, and Arkite, and the Sinite; (18) and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterward the families of the Canaanite spread abroad." These plurals apparently refer to family groups that lived in different areas in the time that Moses contacted them, and as a result, cannot be counted as those that lived before the Tower of Babel and the division of the languages.
In Japheth's genealogy only two generations are listed before
the division of tongues at the Tower of Babel. In the family of
Ham one can find the specific description of the beginning of
a second generation before the Tower of Babel's confusion of tongues
in Genesis 10:7. That is found in verse 15. "And Canaan
(from the first generation born of Ham) fathered Zidon
his first-born, and Heth. . ." and the plurals that follow
apparently are the offspring of that second generation. If this
is correct, then the Tower of Babel and the linguistic division
of the peoples at that time occurred some time within that second
generation after departure from the ark.
On the other hand, when one examines the complete ancestry of Peleg, not ignoring the testimony of the Septuagint and the confirmation of its accuracy on this point by Luke 3:36, he will find that the division of the continents occurred at the beginning of the fifth generation after Shem's departure from the ark. A further factor to be considered is the fact that the Septuagint, which appears to be more accurate than the Hebrew text (at this point, but by no means always), indicates that 530 years had passed between the departure from the ark and the birth of Peleg.
Refusal of creationists to recognize that the division of the continents is being described in Genesis 10:25 makes it utterly impossible to harmonize the physical record of the rocks with the Biblical record of earth's extended series of great physical events. Such a refusal ignores the significance of the root PLG in other languages as well. In the related Semitic languages, Arab and Ethiopic, the root PLG means a river. In Arabic the root is modified to falag. The Hebrew word also means river in Psalm 1:3.
"He will be like a tree that is transplanted by the rivers of water, that habitually brings forth its fruit in its season. It's leaf also does not wither. Indeed, whatever he does, he will bring to successful completion."
This is not true in Aramaic however. But in classical Greek, from the period of Homer, there are 18 nouns that I know of that use the root PLG in the same way that it is used in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. Indeed, all uses relate to the ocean in some way. Two of these Greek words survive in Modern English having the same implication. They refer to the "pelagic" depths of the ocean and to "archipelagos" or chains of islands in the sea.
A careful reader of the book of Job also will find clear evidences of great disturbances in the crust of the earth and of giant tsunami waves in the sea caused by those disturbances that were still present in bottom of the Mediterranean Sea at the time of Job.
It should be obvious from these things that there really was a great catastrophe that rent the great single plate apart. I have had limited opportunity of examining the west coast of Africa, from which South America was rifted. I have had some opportunity to study the east coast of Brazil below Sao Paulo, and feel that its shoreline displays evidence of rifting. Some years ago Massachusetts Institute of Technology had their ship load of students exploring along the west coast of Africa. When they identified a certain strata that ran into the sea, inclined at a specific degree, someone got a brilliant idea. The school had not bought the idea of the separation of the continents, and the idea was this: If that view really were true, then this same formation should come ashore at a specific latitude on the coast of Brazil. Surely this was their great opportunity to demonstrate that the view of continental rifting was false! They made the journey to the coast of Brazil, and to their utter amazement, they not only found the formation that they had seen in Ivory Coast, but they discovered that diamonds that washed toward the coast in Africa actually came ashore in Brazil, becoming fewer and fewer the farther they explored on the continent of South America. They went home and rewrote their geology books.
THE FIFTH GREAT CATASTROPHIC, GEOLOGICAL EVENT
The results of this fifth catastrophic, Biblical event is extensively referred to by the book of Job in the Bible. Most do not realize that this catastrophe is the direct result of the fourth catastrophe. Perhaps the greatest thing that is lost by creationists, who say that the physical record of the so called "ice age" was the result of the closing days of the Noahic flood, is the loss of a proper explanation of the cause of the fifth great Biblical/geological and atmospheric catastrophe. The misnamed "ice age" is the direct result of the enormous heat release that was produced by the fairly rapid movement of the great continental plates that broke apart in Peleg's day. The Biblical icy catastrophe also resulted from the massive diastrophism that resulted from leading edges of these plates overriding the ocean bottoms at their leading edge or diving into great faults were produced in that ocean bottom, or at times actually under-riding another plate. That last suggestion actually is the case where the Indian sub-plate, moving rapidly to the northeast from the east coast of Africa, jammed powerfully under the Asian plate. This produced the enormous buckling of the Himalayas and the resulting, enormous volcanoes that rise far above twenty thousand feet in many places along that chain of mountains. I have been up to nine or ten thousand feet in the crushed front range, traveling often there while checking new Bible translation work that was being done in East India. As a result, I have been able to look across yawning, folded canyons at several great folded layers of strata that have been elevated to over 26,000 feet. Visible from Mussoorie where we worked repeatedly one can see Suranalin, Bandarpunch, Srikanta,, Jaonli, Pitwara, Sonero Parbat, Kedarnath, Satopanth, Chaukkamba, Badrinath and Nilkanta, all peaks exceeding 26,000 feet considerably.
These factors also resulted in a great volcanic chain in our
hemisphere that reaches from Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) at
the southern end of South America into the eastern edges of Siberia.
These many thousands of volcanic vents that have poured out vast
amounts of lava and have absolutely filled the atmosphere with
ash. Between the ash and the enormous amounts of livid steam that
raced skyward, the atmosphere rapidly changed its reflectivity.
And it was the enormous precipitation, produced by the two factors
1. an atmosphere filled with steam and solid particulates to attract and hold drops of moisture, and
2. 2. the resulting reflecting of most of the solar energy that normally maintains earth's atmospheric temperatures.
These factors ultimately produced the "Biblical icy catastrophe" and produced:
THE EROSION OF THE GRAND CANYON.
Within Jurassic time in the middle of the so called Mesozoic "era," the division of the continents had its beginning. We do not know precisely what caused this massive movement of the shattered segments of the continental plate of earlier centuries. Plate movement resulted in the great uplifting of many mountains. The volcanic outpouring of ash from these, joining the steam venting from them and from hot vents in the newly forming ocean bottoms behind the moving plates, caused the very rapid transformation of the climates of the earth. Early within the most recent period of earth's physical history, which is called "the Cenozoic Era" or "the recent life period," atmospheric temperatures began plummeting rapidly. That has been proven through studies of the Arctic ocean bottom sediments. As a result of the cooling of the atmosphere, enormous precipitation, condensing from the cooling steam filling the atmosphere, began pouring down. At lower elevations great precipitation canyons were formed very quickly as these rain waters rushed to the sea. But as temperatures continued plunging, it was not long before the precipitation on higher elevations and latitudes began falling as snow in such quantities that great sheets of ice and glaciers quickly were formed.
The moving of the plates often formed great basins on the continents that soon came to be filled with the rain that fell at lower elevations. A great section of Brazil was a huge lake or a bay at that time. The great African Rift Valley is a crack in the earth that extends from near Mount Ararat in Turkey down through Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Cox describes the rift valley east of Nairobi, Kenya as one stands on the rift valley's eastern rim. Cox beautifully describes that scene.
The first sight of the Great Rift Valley itself will remain with you forever. Suddenly you come out of a thin belt of forest, round a corner and there, two thousand feet below you down a sheer escarpment, is the Rift, quite literally the greatest valley in the world. Its floor is tawny red in the drought, or a dusty green after the rains. Thirty miles away its further wall rises dark purple against the blue sky, a procession of clouds drifting across its peaks. Straight ahead stands the clear-cut cone of Longonot, 9,111 ft. high, deep in whose crater wisps of steam eddy up from among the trees. Dozens of volcanoes erupted in the Rift, the greatest being Kilimanjaro; almost all are now extinct. The reason was that the valley is the result of two roughly parallel faults in the earth's surface between which, in an age before history, (sic) the land subsided and the earth's crust was weakened. The Rift stretches from Lake Baikal in Russia down through the Lebanon and the Red Sea to Rhodesia. In Kenya it holds Lakes Rudolf, Baringo, Hannington, Nakuru, Elemteita, Naivasha and Magadi. A western branch of the Rift forms Lake Tanganyika, and also Lakes Albert, Edward and George.
I have traveled in it in the Rift valley in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Kenya. In Lebanon the great Beka Valley displays much evidence of the waters that this great crack in the earth trapped. In Israel there are high level beaches in that rift valley that show that at one time a great fossil lake once joined the Sea of Galilee and the huge basin of waters that became through evaporation the Dead Sea. That great rift valley continues to fracture the eastern side of Africa far south of Kenya. I visited this great fault southwest and northwest of Nairobi, Kenya when I spent a week lecturing to the students and graduates of a Bible college just north of Nairobi. The area around Nairobi is famous for its great coffee plantations. I was able to visit one of the great coffee mills and then enjoy a delightful dinner with the English owners.
To the northwest of Nairobi in the great African Rift Valley, lies the great lake called Naivasha. There I recognized great fossil beaches that are several hundred feet above the surface of the present lake. There is a giant volcanic blowhole in a canyon west southwest of the south end of Naivasha. Properly harnessed it could drive generating turbines that probably would produce electricity for all of Kenya!
The beaches at Lake Naivasha are matched and even surpassed in Utah and Nevada, where beaches left by the great lakes that once covered much of those states still are obvious. I conclude that rainfall was much greater in Western United States than in East Africa because of the great chains of volcanoes that broke out when the Sierras arose. But radar soundings in the Sahara west and northwest of Kenya some years ago plainly demonstrated that much water underlies the desert's sands. The present Great Salt Lake in Utah contains the highly concentrated minerals of a giant lake that was more than 1,000 feet deeper than it is today. Its beaches are plainly visible on the mountains east of Salt Lake City and far to the north. That giant lake finally broke through the high hills to the north, and as a result was able partially to drain into and rip open the Snake and Columbia River drainages, leaving the rest of its trapped waters to evaporate and concentrate, becoming the Great Salt Lake.
The remarkable climate changes that followed the division of the continents evokes a fascinating comment by C.E.P. Brooks. Because he wrote at about the time that I was born (1925), he seriously questioned Wegener's explanation of the division of the continents. Nonetheless he wrestled with earth's strange climate changes as a possible testimony confirming the now well-accepted conclusion that the continents had moved at some time in earth's history. He says: "But even if the theory of continental "drift" (my quote marks) should ultimately be established in all its parts, the necessity for a science of "palaeometerology" will still remain." He comments that this is "a subject which is so wide that no one man can hope to master it."
As the great division of the continents slowed and almost stopped, the massive pollution of the atmosphere that had been produced by rapid plate movement decreased. The reflectivity of the atmosphere that had been loaded with steam and volcanic pollution rapidly began to disappear. As the atmosphere cleared, solar energy began penetrating and warming the atmosphere again. The great rainfalls that had been produced at lower elevations now were greatly reduced. Evidence of this great rainfall at lower elevations is very obvious across great areas of Africa where huge lake beds now are dry or are filled to a fraction of their original shorelines. In Chad I have repeatedly flown over a great fossil lakebed on trips to the area of Sarh and Koumra while checking new Bible translation work being done in four native languages in that area.
The courses of enormous rivers that once flowed out of the Sahara Desert, like the one followed today by the relatively small flow of the Niger River, display evidence of the massive rainfall that followed the plate movement that is referred to in Genesis 10:25. I have been able to examine that great riverbed on two occasions while assisting translation work in the Zarma language in Niger. On one trip I was able to examine in a museum in Niger the enormous six foot long fossil skull of a giant crocodile that must have been at least 48 feet long! Just this week I saw a television presentation by the National Geographic Society of an extended discussion of another skull of that size that more recently had been found in Niger.
It was the movement of earth's great continental plates that elevated great mountains in many parts of the world. Often I have heard the thoughtless arguments of those who persist in saying that "no Noahic flood could possibly have been deep enough to cover Mount Everest!" The meaningless argument grows out of the failure of the one arguing to realize that the event that produced Mount Everest and indeed, all of the world's greatest mountains, took place centuries after the Noahic flood! Repeatedly between 1988 and 1993, while checking new translation work being done in more than a dozen East Indian languages, I traveled from New Delhi into the high front ranges to Mussouri and once to Sat Tal. As a result, I have been able to study the area in India where the Indian Plate had slammed into the south side of the much greater Asian plate, buckling the giant mountain ridges of the Himalayas that include Mount Everest. The event that produced this massive diastrophism was part of the division of the continents that probably took place five long generations after the ark was abandoned
The massive snow and ice deposits that covered higher elevations produced on the separated continental blocks in much of the world while the atmosphere still was reflecting much of the sun's energy, now began melting as solar energy once again began warming the atmosphere. I have followed the paths left by great glaciers above 10,000 to 12,000 feet west of Nazca, Peru. Indeed, many great glaciers still are visible in the Andes as one flies along the western highlands of the Cordilleras of South America. The parking lot on the south side of Mount Lassen in Northern California, where hikers leave their cars to climb the peak, lies in a glacial valley. Scars of the ice's movement to the south can still be examined in the hard, volcanic lava above the west side of that valley. Indeed, scars left by the stone tools carried by that moving ice stream scar the terrain far below to the south along Highway 89 where the ice had plunged down the south slope of the present cone of Mount Lassen.
Great basins on the continents filled with the melt waters from the "Biblical icy catastrophe" that had directly resulted from continental plate movement after Genesis 10:25. The final stages of plate buckling, with continued tilting and rupturing of the terrain in many places, enabled these ponded melt waters to break out of their temporary basins and to begin to race toward lower elevations. It was these racing waters, coming out of the Colorado Rockies to the North and West of the Rockies, that tore open the great and deep Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in the bottom of which now flows the Gunnison River. These waters ripped across Colorado and Utah, leaving a great canyon. They rapidly joined waters leaving other temporarily trapped basins as they hastened toward the Pacific Ocean. In turn they became trapped temporarily and then played the major role in leaving another testimony of rapid erosion.
These waters came to be joined by many waters that had been trapped in the great Green River basin, south of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. A great national highway crosses the now dry basin where beautiful fish fossils testify to the great lake that once lay there. Finally these waters succeeded in slicing their way across the eastern end of the Uinta Mountains that probably still were rising. Rapidly they carved the canyon of the Green River, some of which I have traversed, as it poured south into Colorado. These waters joined the Uinta River. These waters then tore through the great layers of sand that lie in that area and formed the Gates of the Lodore. One of the most impressive displays of river erosion can be viewed from a slender promontory thousands of feet above that river gorge. Ultimately these waters joined the Colorado and the San Juan Rivers. But before this, they temporarily ponded in the Great Uinta Basin below Dinosaur National Monument. With one of my geology field trip groups I made a fascinating discovery in the great wind dunes that lie on the east end of that fossil lake. We stopped in a large road cut through one of these wind dunes. We climbed the slope on the north side of the road. At least 10 or 15 feet below the top of the wind dune, the road cut had sliced through a fire pit where a very early migrant to this continent had feasted. We found the knuckle of what we took to be part a mountain goat or sheep beside the ancient fire pit.
Later, these waters joined with massive river flows of that time that became the courses of the Colorado and San Juan Rivers. Once again this massive flow of waters temporarily was ponded southeast of the Vermillion Cliffs. These waters were trapped behind and on the east side of the great dam of the Echo Cliffs to the northeast of the Grand Canyon. There, in the great fossil lakebed where man made Lake Powell now lies, these icy catastrophe, melt waters left great beaches high above present Lake Powell in the great sandy buttes that are standing in or near Lake Powell. I have flown over these some years ago guiding a Dutch television station camera crew. Lake Powell today is a great man-made reservoir that feebly imitates the enormous fossil lake that once covered that area.
Soon the natural dam, that consisted of the Echo Cliffs, was ruptured by the rising waters. Then these waters rushed into the great Kapairowitz Basin east of the Grand Canyon. Soon these waters in that basin had risen sufficiently so that they were scouring the Mesozoic, wind-blown sands that covered the still elevating Coconino and Kaibab Plateaus. When it finished the task of stripping the plateaus of these sands, these Biblical, icy catastrophe waters soon found the great criss-cross faults that were being or had been shattered by the uplift of the many hard formations in this fairly indurated plateau. After all, these formations had lain quietly over the several centuries that lie between the Noahic flood and the uplift of the western parts of our continent as a result of the movement westward of the great North American Plate. The creationist who argues that the Grand Canyon was cut by the retreating Noahic Flood should be aware that the time between the universal Noahic Flood and its retreat out of that area does not allow sufficient time for the induration of the many hard formations that are found split apart by the faulting of the uplift of this plateau well after the Noahic flood. As a result, the chasm is deep because of the hard formations. It is wide because of the formations that had remained relatively soft. During those centuries that lie between the flood and the division of the continents, which event ultimately was producing the great Coconino/Kaibab uplift, many of the formations had time to become fully indurated because of the chemistry that was embedded in their individual grains.
The great head of water, having removed the sands, now ripped through these faults, tearing out enormous blocks that quickly were reduced to abrasive rubble, tools for further erosive work. West and southwest of the Grand Canyon these waters deposited the vast amounts of Mesozoic sands that they had stripped off of the Coconino and Kaibab plateaus. These rushing waters deposited these sands all along the arm of the ocean that ultimately became the lower Colorado River. SouthWestern Colorado and SouthEastern California along that narrow ocean basin now contain the shattered, pulverized rubble that had been ripped out of the faults that these roaring waters had followed through the uplifting plateaus. The layers in the walls of the Grand Canyon that had become hardened in the centuries before the canyon's abrupt erosion now stand as great, near vertical cliffs, testimonies to the time that passed between the Noahic flood and the division of the continents.
MISTAKES THAT MANY CREATIONISTS MAKE WHEN DISCUSSING THE GRAND CANYON
No mistake that creationists make, when they are talking about the Grand Canyon, is greater than the impossible assumption that all of the strata of the Grand Canyon were deposited by the Noahic flood, unless it is the oft repeated statement that the canyon was carved by the retreating Noahic flood. The first of these statements ignores the clear evidences in the lower parts of the canyon that point directly to the pre-Adamic flood as the catastrophic source of the unfossiliferous, Archaeozoic, Vishnu Schist. The announcement that the Noahic flood deposited all of the Grand Canyon also ignores the clear evidence that the great Proterozoic deposits, that are called the Grand Canyon Sequence, were deposited offshore as a result of, and following the second Biblical/geological catastrophe, the great, catastrophic uplift of the single continent in Genesis 1:9. That same announcement, so often repeated at creation conferences, also utterly ignores the great depositional break, that resulted from the passing of the many centuries between Adam and Noah. In the supportive geological record, that period lies between the drainage of the single continent that deposited the Proterozoic deposits, and the Paleozoic, Noahic flood deposits. Those layers that are found in the Paleozoic deposits represent the inception, the rise, the universality and the initiation of the slow retreat of the Noahic flood. But even there, not all of the deposits within the Paleozoic, Noahic flood deposit series were laid down by the Noahic floodwaters. The wind dunes in the Grand Canyon are a crucial part of the record of the rocks as they retell a part of the story of the Noahic flood as it began its slow retreat and as the wind and tidal wave oscillations spoken of in Genesis 8:1-3 took place.
The second mistake that often is repeated in creation conferences is the conclusion that the Grand Canyon was carved by the retreating Noahic flood. This is an approach that entirely ignores the induration or hardening of many of the formations in the walls of the Grand Canyon before the erosion of the Grand Canyon. These hard but fractured layers, through which the incomprehensibly powerful racing waters sliced like butter, require the centuries that lie between the Noahic flood and the division of the continents. Also required is the Biblical icy catastrophe, needed centuries after the flood to provide the great flow of waters that actually carved the canyon.
The approach that attempts to identify the erosion of the Grand Canyon with the retreat of the Noahic Flood also ignores the fact that Noahic flood strata in many of the mountains to the west have been lifted by great mountain uplifts that are the direct result of plate movement centuries after the flood. I have investigated these uplifts in places where flood strata have been elevated to 10,000 and more feet above sea level in the Sierras, although most of the flood strata has been stripped off of the Sierras by ice erosion. I have seen uplifted flood strata high in the Colorado Rockies, and even in the Andes of South America. I spent much of a wonderful week above 12,000 feet around Cuzco, Peru with a missionary who had been my Seminary student in the 1960's. The view ignores the evidence on many, many mountain ranges in Canada, Alaska, the western continental United States and in South America, that it was only after the elevation of these great mountains that vast rainfalls at lower elevations and great snowfalls at higher elevations sculptured the great canyons as these precipitation waters, and later melt waters, raced to the sea. When one really comes to appreciate that which has been done at the Grand Canyon, the door of understanding to the fantastic sculpturing of the positive land mass on which mankind lives begins to swing open. What a testimony this brings to the activity of our Creator. This testimony not only speaks of His great creative work, but of the many details of His work later in earth's earlier events! How can we even look at a stream or a mountain without being reminded of that which He has done in earlier Biblical times!
Posted September 19, 2002.