Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Evolutionists base their understanding of the history of geology on uniformitarianism. They believe what was is what is. The world has operated in the past as it does today. Existing physical processes, acting at present rates, account for all geological formations. They cannot prove this, but use it as the basis for determining geologic ages. Any appeal to worldwide catastrophes is rejected.
Creationists view geological history through the lens of catastrophism. They believe fossil layers are impossible to make sense of without belief in catrastrophism, more specifically, a worldwide flood. Creationists see in fossil records mass destruction, death, and burial by water and its sediments. The fossil record is understandable when viewed in light of Noah’s flood.
Before the deluge, water vapor filled our atmosphere (GN 1:7), creating a vast protective canopy, resulting in a marvelous, worldwide, greenhouse effect. With the climate universally warm and mild, there would have been no deserts and no ice caps. The latter formed quickly after the deluge, and helps explain why many woolly mammoths frozen in Alaskan and Siberian ice died suddenly by choking or drowning, not by freezing.
The protective canopy would have filtered out harmful radiation from space, which accelerates the aging process. This helps explain patriarchal longevity in Genesis 5, and the huge size of early reptile fossils.
Before Noah’s flood, there was no rain as we know it (GN 2:5, 9:13). Earth’s lush vegetation was due to moisture rising from the ground. Artesian springs (GN 2:10-14) made rivers.
During the flood, fountains of the deep opened (GN 7:11, 8:2). Huge reservoirs of water locked under Earth’s crust were released.
Most Creationists believe Noah’s flood was worldwide. The whole idea of constructing an ark would have been foolish if the Flood had only been local. People and animals would have needed only to migrate out of the flood plane.
The idea of Noah’s flood is distasteful to many for it indicates God is serious about sin. He judges and punishes evil.
Most scientists gladly believe the canyons on Mars were carved by catastrophic floods. They embrace this theory though no liquid water exists on Mars.
On the other hand, 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water, enough water to cover the planet 1.7 miles deep, and there are over 270 universal flood legends, hailing from various religions and cultures all over the world.
Earth certainly seems a much more plausible candidate than Mars for catastrophic floods, but most scientists refuse to believe Earth experienced a worldwide flood. If the story weren’t in the Bible, scientists would probably have no problem with the possibility.
Another evidence favoring a worldwide cataclysmic flood is the fossil record. Fossils are a testimony not to evolution, but to destruction, a witness that “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Peter 3:6).
Fossils by definition imply sudden death and rapid burial. Otherwise, the carcass would have been destroyed by bacteria, scavengers, or other means of decay. Each fossil is a witness to catastrophic deposition.
Fossils provide a worldwide cemetery, massive graveyards of land animals that make sense when seen as herds overtaken by vast sediments hurled by the Flood waters.
Fossils are God’s way of preserving all over the Earth for everyone to see, as long as Earth endures, a huge monument to His fixed wrath against sin and to His Sovereign rule over the created Universe.