Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Geologist Reminds Us That Evolution is Not The Only Obstacle to Young Earth Creationism

The focus of the debate on science and creationism has largely been on evolution and that is what you find most of on sites like AiG and the Discovery Institute.  Typically, in the public schools, debates do not rage about the age of the earth.  They center on evolution.  David R. Montgomery, of the University of Washington and author of The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood
reminds us that evolution is not the only obstacle to young earth creationism.  He writes:
I don’t have to travel very far to make this case. There’s a slab of polished rock on the wall outside my department office that refutes so-called Flood Geology: the view that a global, world-shattering flood explains geologic history after the initial creation of Earth by God. This eight-foot-long slab is a conglomerate – a rock made from water-worked fragments of older rocks.

It’s what you’d get if you buried a riverbed composed of many different types of rock deep enough below ground for temperature and pressure to forge it into a new rock. Preserved in it, you can see the original particles of sand, gravel and cobbles made of various kinds of rock. And if you look closely you can see some of the cobbles are themselves conglomerates — rocks within rocks.

Why does this disprove the creationist view of geology? Because a conglomerate made of fragments of an older conglomerate not only requires a first round of erosion, deposition, and burial deep enough to turn the original sediments into rock. It requires another pass through the whole cycle to turn the second pile of sedimentary rock fragments into another conglomerate.

In other words, this one rock shows that there is more to the geologic record than creationists describe in their scripturally-interpreted version of earth history. A single grand flood cannot explain it all. Embracing young Earth creationism means you have to abandon faith in the story told by the rocks themselves.
Montgomery also reiterates the claim that young earth creationism is a break with established tradition:
Young Earth creationists imagine that people lived with dinosaurs and that Noah’s flood shaped the world’s topography. In fact, this brand of creationism, embodied by Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky, is actually one of the youngest branches of Christianity’s family tree.
Articles abound on just how badly the geological record accords with a strict, literal reading of the Genesis flood. Here are what I think are some of the best.
Happy reading!

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