Evidence from the Earth
How the earth (and other planets) began is still an open question in evolutionary circles. Evolutionists tend to agree that the earth was formed about 4.6 billion years ago, starting from a very hot, gaseous state and eventually cooling down.
Creationists maintain that the earth began with the Creator, who miraculously formed the crust of the earth on the third day by separating the land from the water, as is stated in Genesis:
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Evolutionists criticize creationists for what they consider an unreasonable and unintelligent faith in the Word of God. The critics fail to recognize that the Word of God is the Logos (John 1:1), the ‘intelligence’ of the universe. Genesis 1:9–10 above demonstrates this. It emphasizes the separation of the land from the sea, which could also be understood as the separation of a solid landmass from a liquid water medium.
Chemists define the formation of crystals as a process in which the salts that are dissolved in liquid medium separate and form a solid crystal at set conditions. It is interesting to note that granite rock is made up of four different types of minerals, each with a unique crystalline structure.
One could logically propose, then, that as God separated the land from the water, massive foundational rock structures were formed. Nobody can be sure, because no one knows exactly the process God used. However, the proposition that God used this separation of solid from liquid makes better scientific sense than the evolutionists’ hot gas.
The process by which rocks and minerals are made—the separation of solid from water—can be observed today. Rock comes from the earth’s magma, which is a molten fluid inside the earth. Magma is composed of various metals and oxygen compounds. Along with these compounds is locked-up water vapor under tremendous pressure and heat. For magma to become rock, it must cool by coming to the surface. The heat of the magma causes rock above it to melt, allowing the magma closer to the surface. The magma cools before breaking the top layer and forms a crystalline hard rock. Granite is a great example of this rock formation. Another way magma comes to the surface is by an exploding volcano. The magma, once it abruptly breaks the surface of the earth, is called ‘lava’. It comes out of the volcano with a great amount of steam, and as it flows onto the surface of the earth, it begins to cool and eventually hardens. ‘Obsidian’ is an example of rock formed from lava.
It is important to note that locked-up water vapor had an important role in making crystalline rock. The minerals that were formed went through a complicated process, combining and recombining, to form a stable chemical structure. As the minerals cooled, the separation of water from solid continued, until different kinds of minerals mixed, forming the rocks we observe today. It is obvious in the formation of a basic rock type that there is separation of water and solid. This is an observed scientific fact.
When we look at the earth’s crust—this massive exterior shell—we can only marvel at the creative force that made it. Is this the result of random elemental collisions, which over millions of years formed the rocks we see today? Or, is this evidence of the workmanship of an intelligent designer? Did God purposely leave us a model of rock formation in the magma and lava of the earth that would lead to His Word? Is the principle of separation of solid from water, or ‘land’ from the ‘seas’, a more intelligent alternative than what we are being taught today? The evidence speaks loudly and clearly and points to a Creator God.
What Do the Rocks Tell Us About the Flood?
Rocks contain important evidence about the origin of the earth. Geologists classify rocks into three basic types, based upon the processes by which the rocks are formed. The first type is igneous rock, which is formed from magma. If magma reaches the earth’s surface, it changes into the lava that spills from volcanoes. Once the rocks hit the surface, they are subject to environmental factors such as wind, rain, and even catastrophic events (like a worldwide Flood). These factors will cause rock to fracture into small pieces that become cemented together. Cement is made up of chemicals that, when mixed with water, harden in a short period of time. Rocks that are made up of small fractures or sediments are classified as sedimentary. The third type of rock is metamorphic—rock that has changed dramatically into a new chemical composition. For instance, limestone changes into marble when placed under tremendous heat and pressure.
A set of basic questions arises when one considers the processes required to form these three kinds of rock. The answers offered by the evolutionary model leave gaping holes in the search for intelligent conclusions. The catastrophic worldwide Flood model offers a more rational, coherent framework for answering these basic questions.
1. How Do the Sedimentary Rocks Get Hard?
Sedimentary rock needs water for cementing the tiny particles of sediment together. Where did the water come from? Evolutionists resolve this dilemma by waving the magic wand of ‘time’. They insist that the sediments are washed into rivers, lakes, and oceans, and then fall to the bottom and pile up in layers. After many years, these sediments harden in layers, with those on the bottom hardening first. The problem with this theory is that there are beds of sedimentary rock everywhere on top of the earth’s crust. Most of the large mountain chains are made of sedimentary rocks. How did all those sediments collect and become cemented together to make towering mountains? The logical answer is a worldwide Flood.
2. Is There an Alternative to Time as the Mechanism of Rock Formation?
Yes! Rock formation can be explained by means of two processes, compaction and cementation, both of which could have occurred within one year after the waters of the Flood began to subside.
Global floodwater would have collected a huge amount of sediment. When the floodwater came to rest, the sediment would have begun to fall out. At the beginning, before the water started to evaporate, there would have been a great deal of pressure on the bottom layers. This would cause compaction. Creation geologist John Morris explains this as a ‘pancake effect’.
When a pancake layer of sediments is covered with other pancakes, the sand grains are pushed closer together; squeezing the water out. Compaction is the first step in turning sediment into a sedimentary rock, but not the only step.1
The second step is cementation. The glue that hardens the rock is generated by the warm water and minerals produced by the effects of the Flood. It does not take a long time for the rock to harden into layers. The layers that are observed are actually strata of sediments called, as John Morris put it, “pancakes”.
This process need not take a long time. Remember, making sedimentary rocks is like preparing cement. To make cement, you need to have the proper ingredients and the right conditions. The waters would have been warm and deep at one time, giving the added energy needed for compaction. The worldwide Flood model provides the massive amount of water and sediment that would be needed to build the thick ‘pancake’ layering for the mountains present today. It makes for a more intelligent alternative.
3. What Supplied the Massive Pressure and Heat Needed to Make Metamorphic Rocks?
The heat and pressure required to make the vast amount of metamorphic rock in the earth’s crust is not available today. The source of energy to do that has to be tremendous and is not presently observed anywhere on earth. A catastrophic Flood that is spoken of in Genesis 6–9 could produce the forces needed to create metamorphic rock on the scale we now observe.
4. Why are Fossils Found in Abundance on Every Continent?
Fossils are traces of plant and animal life that existed in the past and are found only in sedimentary rocks. Creationists believe that fossils were deposited during the global Flood, an obvious source of the water needed for both compaction and cementation. Fossils number in the trillions and suggest a swift, catastrophic event that buried them before any decay or decomposition occurred.
Rocks at one time had to be soft or have a liquid flow over them and bury them. Castings of thousands of fish have been found in sedimentary layers. If these fish had lain on the ground exposed to the elements, they would have disintegrated rapidly. Fish bones and scales do not harden … they scatter. Yet there are fossilized castings that show bone, and even scale, as if somebody took a picture and embedded it in the rocks. One would have to conclude that these fossils, as observed today, had to be the result of a catastrophic event that would cause rapid burial. The fossil evidence points to a worldwide Flood.
Geological Column and Inherent Problems
The geological column is a popular timetable used to date different strata by the use of fossils. Geologists have found that classifying rocks by comparison of fossils in all parts of the world is a very valuable tool. Part of the historical geological record is made using index fossils that span 570 million years. Theoretically, the whole geological record goes back in time some two billion years. These index fossils have specific characteristics. Most come from marine hard shell material. Of all the millions and millions of fossils, 95 percent are marine in nature. Index fossils have to fit certain criteria. They must:
1. Be found over wide areas
2. Be unique and distinguishable in character
3. Be of an organism that lived for a short period of time
4. Be present in abundance in rock layers.
Fossils, in general, are distributed by kind, as follows:
• 95% shallow water invertebrates, mostly shellfish
• 4.75% algae and plants
• 0.238% insects and remaining invertebrates
• 0.013% fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals2
A Tidy Sequence?
The geological column theorizes that the complexity of fossils in the ground will increase as one ascends the column toward the earth’s surface. If you were to dig a big hole, you might expect to find, according to the geological column, an orderly progression of fossils, with the most simple at the bottom and the more complex toward the top. The theory holds that successive strata are marked with index fossils. It is important to note that sedimentary rocks, the rocks in which all fossils are found, cannot be dated directly by radioisotope dating methods; instead, these rocks are often dated by means of index fossils.
Were you to find an index fossil, you would be able to determine its age by locating it in a diagram of the geological column, and seeing what age has been assigned to that rock layer. But how were the ages of the layers and their index fossils originally determined? Their ages were assigned based on the presupposition that rock layers were deposited slowly and gradually, and that the fossil record represents a succession of life forms over millions of years. Of course, the evolutionists argue that this sequence of fossils is a record of evolution.
However, while it is true that there is a general order to the fossil record, the textbook depictions of the geological column present too tidy a picture. In fact, many fossils are out of sequence according to evolutionary expectations, like the footprints of four-legged land animals which appear 18 millions years earlier than Tiktaalik, the fish that evolutionists claim is just beginning to evolve legs.3 Also, some organisms like the Wollemi pine tree disappear from the fossil record for spans allegedly representing millions of years, even though they are still alive today.4 It is common for scientists to discover fossilized creatures in rocks they previously thought were too old or too young to contain them.
Besides, nowhere in the earth is the complete geological column observable. There are only sections available in different parts of the world. One of the most impressive formations is the Grand Canyon. There are several geological layers representing the Paleozoic Era exposed in the canyon. Even with the biggest hole on earth, the Grand Canyon, the geological formations, compared to the complete record, are terribly incomplete.
The extensive research of John Woodmorappe, who has analyzed data from around the world on the geological column, has led him to the following conclusion:
Since only a small percentage of the earth’s surface obeys even a significant portion of the geological column, it becomes an overall exercise of gargantuan special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary-uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geological periods. The claim of their having taken place to form a continuum of rock/life/time of ten biochronologic ‘onion skins’ (geological column) over the earth is therefore a fantastic and imaginative contrivance.5
More Geological Challenges
The geological column concept also relies on the presupposition that long periods of time elapsed between each stratum. John Morris, a geologist and the President of the Institute for Creation Research, notes evidence in his book, The Young Earth, that contradicts this claim and points to the rapid deposition of rock material by a catastrophic event.
1. Surface features
Ripple marks, raindrops and animal tracks are found on sedimentary rocks. These imprints had to have the right conditions to harden. The rock material was apparently soft enough to make impressions, but had the capacity to harden quickly.
Biological activity on the top of the surface can easily destroy the internal structure of sedimentary rock layering. The earth has always been biologically active, and therefore all the layering effects should be void. This is not the case. There is a distinct pancake layering in the geological record, demonstrating that little or no biological activity has been going on. The layering had to take place catastrophically.
3. Lack of soil layer
If each layer represents a long period of time, then activity on the earth by living and nonliving forces would have produced weathering, water erosion, and chemical deterioration. Biological interactions with earth would have formed a soil layer. Soil supports all living systems. The layers of rocks have no fossilized evidence of a past existence of organic soil. There is layer upon layer of rock and no hard evidence of unambiguous ancient soil horizons. One would have to conclude that layering of this rock was a one-time event, not multiple periods of time ranging in the millions of years, as evolutionists propose for the geological column.
4. Soft sediment deformation
The sedimentary layers are deformed in places. These layers bend like a wave or contort in a downward or upward fashion. How does hard, brittle rock bend without cracking? According to the worldwide Flood model, there were heat and sediments falling out during the Flood, giving a layering effect. The sediments were soft and could be molded easily at the beginning of this process. They gradually settled and hardened in the way we see them today.
5. Polystrate fossils
Numerous examples of trees that have been petrified and pass through several layers of rocks have been discovered in the fossil record. These stone trees are embedded vertically in the layers of the geological column, supposedly across thousands or millions of years. This is bad news for evolutionists. Creationists have explained this scientifically, using the Flood model, demonstrating that the catastrophic force of floodwaters and movement of the surface of the earth dislodged these trees. As the sediments began to fall, making layers of rock, so did the weighted, unbalanced trees. They landed vertically in the sediments. When the earth began to drain, the sedimentary rocks were hardened in layers, surrounding the tree and making it a geological phenomenon.
Fossils and Evolution
In theory, the fossil record ought to be an excellent source of evidence for evolution. Given the claim that it is the record of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary change, it should show examples of the development of each species at every stage of the evolutionary process. In fact, it does not. It is an embarrassment. Over the decades, paleontologists have admitted that the fossil record is woefully incomplete from an evolutionary perspective.
The evolution tree that is proposed should be supported with actual fossil evidence. When we evaluate what has been found, one would have to conclude that the cupboard is bare. Millions upon millions of fossils have been collected to date, but comparatively few fossils are even put forward as transitional forms, that is, fossils of organisms in an intermediate stage of development between steps on the evolutionary ladder. Furthermore, these fossils are often fragmentary and open to many interpretations. Their intermediate status is based on highly questionable claims, often disputed by other evolutionary scientists.
In actuality, the fossil record supports the idea of distinct and separate kinds, just as is spoken of in Genesis 1:24: “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds …’”.
Dr. Tom Kemp, curator of the zoological collection at the Oxford Museum of Natural History, wrote:
As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the record, persist for some millions of years virtually unchanged, only to disappear abruptly.6
The late Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard paleontologist, said:
The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of the fossils.
The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology—we fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favoured account of evolution by natural selection, we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.
The history of most fossil species include two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1) Stasis—most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless; 2) Sudden appearance—in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’.7
1.John Morris, The Geology Book, Master Books, Green Forrest, Arkansas, 2000, p. 36.
2.John Morris, The Young Earth: Revised and Expanded, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2007, p. 74.
3.Tas Walker, Is the famous fish-fossil finished? Tiktaalik, the transitional star, faces an evolutionary dead-end, Creation 32(3):38–39, July 2010.
4.Sensational Australian tree… like ‘finding a live dinosaur’, Creation 17(2):13, March 1995.
5.John Woodmorappe, Studies in Flood Geology, Institute for Creation Research,
El Cajon, California, 1999, p. 128.
6.Tom Kemp, A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record, New Scientist, Vol. 108, Dec. 5, 1985, p. 67.
7.Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution’s Erratic Pace, Natural History, May 1977, pp. 13–14.