It is often instructive to see how great minds wrestled with the demise of time-honored beliefs in the face of an avalanche of evidence to the contrary. This is what makes the current wave of flood geology all the more inexplicable. The evidence against a world-wide flood has just gotten better, not worse over time. As young notes:
The issue for flood geologists is not whether extrabiblical evidence is relevant to biblical interpretation but rather how to interpret that evidence. Having already employed, without benefit of external evidence, a hermeneutic that demands a literal interpretation of the Bible, flood geologists are prepared to do anything but accept the mainstream scientific evidence that flatly refutes their claims that the earth is geologically young and that a global deluge deposited the fossiliferous strata. They have thus been forced either to appeal to miracles or to construct elaborate theories that manipulate the extrabiblical data to fit their view of what must be true.As Henry Morris wrote:"The only Bible-honoring conclusion is, of course, that Genesis 1-11 is actual historical truth, regardless of any scientific or chronological problems thereby entailed." [Henry Morris, Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth] This philosophy was also played out in the RATE project where the results were overseen to make sure they corresponded to a "scriptural" understanding of prehistory. He writes this in his conclusion:
Some Christians delight in contrasting the infallible Word of God (that is to say, the Word of God infallibly interpreted by them) with the fallible ideas of sinful human beings and on that basis reject scientific conclusions they do not like. Scripture does oppose purely human philosophies, human pride, and human sin. But does the Bible oppose everything human? Science is a human endeavor that requires the input of fallible humans, but that hardly means that it is anti-Christian, and it certainly does not prevent Christians from accepting and using the results of science. Even the most doctrinaire advocates of a literal reading of Genesis 1-11 are selective in their objections to the findings of the scientific community.And yet they continue to peddle the same old myths. Read the whole thing.
How many of them deny that the earth orbits the sun rather than the other way around, for example? How many object to the science that made high-tech electronics, manned missions to the moon, or modern drugs possible? When so many scientists of such a diverse array of worldviews are able to achieve a virtual consensus regarding a given body of evidence, we had better pay attention. When for the past two centuries thousands of geologists from around the world, including numerous Bible-believing Christians, insist from a lifetime of experience in looking at fossiliferous rocks that those rocks are extremely old and had nothing to do with a global deluge, then the church must listen. Commentators who dismiss or disparage that body of geological knowledge solely on the grounds of their commitment to a principle of interpretation might do well to question their commitment to truth in a larger sense. Is it likely that they will arrive at a sound understanding of what God is saying in the biblical text if they reject a sound understanding of what God is saying in the created order? The extrabiblical data pertaining to the flood have been pushing the evangelical church to develop a better approach to the flood story and indeed to all the early chapters of Genesis.