Inspirational Readings for Your Daily Walk with God:

Christian Mediation

 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

CREATION SPEAKS

 

7. A Flood of Waters

THE facts which have just been considered have shown us clearly that the rocks of the earth must have been produced by violent action, and not by slow, uniform action through long periods of time. We are now ready to study the problem of the cause and the nature of the great catastrophe by which the ancient world was overwhelmed. But what can we know of the antediluvian world? And what good would it do us to know? These are legitimate questions which doubtless arise in the mind of nearly everyone who believes in the literal Genesis record.

Let us suggest an answer to the latter question first, for it is simple. Practically all the facts of geology have been interpreted by scientists in terms of long geological ages. It is therefore almost impossible to read about or discuss geological matters without meeting the idea that there have been immense periods of time during which the stratified rocks were deposited. It is not sufficient for the diluvialist to merely deny the validity of the evolutionary views. 

Unless that denial is accompanied by facts which will show the scientific accuracy of the literal Genesis record, nothing will be accomplished by raising objections to the popular ideas. In other words, it becomes necessary for us to present to the world a positive scientific literalism if our views are to influence anyone beyond our own immediate associates.

A second reason for attempting to learn something about the world as it was when it came from the hand of the Creator is that we can thereby understand better the nature and extent of that great catastrophe by which it was destroyed.

ANTEDILUVIAN GEOGRAPHY

The ancient waterways were probably in the form of long, narrow seas forming a network over the earth. The basis for this conclusion is the fact that the deepwater fossils are found distributed in such a manner. The geologists have called these ancient seas “geosynclines,” and while we may not agree with all the details of the interpretation that they place upon this phenomenon, we may quite readily see in these lines of deposits a remnant of the ancient geographical distribution of certain forms of life.

Certain other areas, such as the great plains of the Midwest, the steppes of Russia, the vast stretches of the Sahara, and other like areas where thousands of feet of horizontal strata have been deposited over thousands of square miles, appear to be remnants of ancient lowlands which were buried by sediments washed from the highlands. They apparently contained both land and water areas, as fossil remains indicate.

Still a third feature seems to be clearly indicated. In many parts of the world the “shields,” huge blocks of crystalline rocks, give the impression of being the remnants of higher land masses whose greater portions have been removed to furnish the material for the sediments that filled the basins and covered the lower lands.

While these suggestions must be understood as being somewhat speculative in nature, yet they offer to us a fairly comprehensive background upon which we can build an intelligent understanding of the processes involved in the Flood.

CAUSE AND NATURE OP THE FLOOD

What caused the Flood? On this point we can say little. Yet it is hardly satisfactory to merely assert: “It was a miracle.” Plainly such an event as a world-wide destruction of the earth would be miraculous in that it involved supernatural manifestations of power. But to do no more than to declare the Flood a miracle is to put a stop to all investigation regarding it. For that matter, all processes in nature are miraculous in that they involve divine power. We do not refuse to study them because of this.

A study of the Genesis record of the Flood indicates three periods into which it may be divided. The first is the forty days of rainfall, which is part of the first rise of the waters culminating at the end of 150 days. The second period extends from the beginning until the time when the ark rested on the tops of the mountains. The third period extends from the lodging of the ark until the close of the Flood, when Noah and his family came forth and released the animals upon the dried surface of the ground.

During the first and second periods must have occurred the destruction of the original land surface. The intense erosion would tear away the lands and wash their materials into the bottom of the raging waters. During the third period the convulsions of the earth must have increased in violence so as to raise the present land areas above the waters.

The advocates of Flood geology believe that all the major geological features of the earth were produced during this short time, slightly more than a year in duration. On the other hand, popular geology ascribes these actions to long periods of time involving hundreds of millions of years. 

Probably the greatest single reason why the world fails to recognize the truth of creation lies in the fact that for 150 years geologists have been building up their data regarding the rocks, and have been interpreting them in terms of long ages, while the creationists have done practically nothing in a scientific way to meet this great aggregation of fact and theory. Creationists have been content to deny the evolutionary ages, but have not met the facts with an interpretation from the creationist standpoint. Let us see, in the next few pages, how some of the geological data can be fitted into the idea of a vast overwhelming Flood instead of into the long-ages theory.

The bottom of the rock formations wherever noted, whether on the “shields,” in the bottom of canyons, or beneath the stratified rocks, as revealed by well drilling, always proves to be formed of the “basement complex,” if one goes deep enough. This is a mass of crystalline rock which has been twisted, contorted, folded, broken, eroded, and penetrated everywhere by molten matter from deeper down. 

The suggestion has already been made that a part, at least, of this complex may have been produced during the second day of creation. In any case, its broken nature, and the presence of the intrusive dikes and other bodies that came up through it in a molten state, must be attributed to the violent action of the Flood. The rocking and rolling of the earth must have broken up much of the original “crust,” or foundation of the lands, and have produced this "basement complex.” The disturbance would have generated considerable heat, which would cause melting of the rocks in many places. In some instances it appears that the lower portions of some strata laid down by water action were subsequently melted away from beneath and incorporated into the crystalline masses below.

NATURE OF THE STRATA

The amount of molten matter involved is enormous. In the Lake Superior region alone more than 20,000 cubic miles of molten material came up through cracks in the crystalline rocks. In some the lava was poured out at later stages, after sedimentary rocks had been laid down. Such were the flows of the Pacific where the Columbia lava plateau consists of more than 200,000 square miles of this material. In the Snake River Canyon these lavas are more than a mile in thickness. The Deccan plains of India are of similar size and nature. All in all there is evidence of such terrific vulcanism at this time that it is hard for one to realize the immensity of its activity.

The rocks which are classed as Lower Palcozoic (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, and Mississippian) are made up largely of fine-grained, hard materials spread out in extensive layers, and containing remnants of comparatively simple, sluggish forms of life. Only in the Devonian are any land plants or animals known, and they are few and simple. 

The Lower Paleozoic rocks are abundant along the lines of the great network of waterways, the geosynclines already described, and to a limited extent elsewhere. The rocks plainly suggest that originally there existed many channels and scattered seas containing the types of life that lived at the bottom of the waters, where they were buried by fine silt, sand, and limestone washed down from the lands at the beginning of the Flood action.

One of the most interesting of geological features is the presence in many of these lower strata of black shale. These are thin layered masses of fine black sediment that appears to have been produced from the destruction of an original soil. This would have been one of the first results of the terrific rainfall at the beginning of the Flood.

The Upper Paleozoic rocks (Pennsylvanian and Permian) show marked contrasts with the ones below them. While there are still many types of simple water life, there appear large assemblages of shore forms and land life. The Pennsylvanian is generally described as a time of huge marshes filled with mosses, ferns, and fernlike trees, among which might be found many kinds of huge amphibians resembling giant frogs and salamanders. The burial of these plants and their subsequent solidification has given rise to the vast deposits of hard coals the world over.

In many parts of the world an extensive series of rocks known as the Mesozoic strata may be found more or less scattered above the Palcozoic rocks. These contain both land and sea life. Some of the trees are similar to those in the Pennsylvanian rocks, but there are many that grew on higher and drier land. The amphibians are gradually replaced by reptiles, many of which belong to the land rather than to the water.

Up until the close of the Palcozoic deposition the sediments appear to have been laid down as widespread strata, and to have undergone only a moderate degree of disturbance. But by the time the Mesozoic deposits were laid down, there appears to have begun a series of world-wide upheavals. Huge uplifts threw the strata into folds and broken masses. Many of the mountain areas of the world owe their beginning to the upheavals at this stage of the Flood.

The Tertiary deposits are of a still more scattered nature, often occurring in basins, such as the London-Paris-Belgium basin, the Irrawaddy basin, or the basins of the Rocky Mountain region. It is apparent that much of the material for the formation of the Tertiary beds was washed out from the upheaved strata of previous deposits, although the presence of mammals in the higher rocks indicates the fact that there were yet some places where these animals were able to escape the fury of the storm until the very last.

The closing days of the Flood were marked by the most violent disturbances of all. Not only did the upheaval of mountain ranges continue, with folding and splitting and sliding of huge blocks of the surface, but movements on a large scale took place in order to form the ocean basins. As the waters receded into these basins, the violence of the catastrophe was increased by the breaking out of the lava flows already described. In addition, thousands of volcanoes burst into active eruption, scattering lava and ashes over vast areas of the earth’s surface. 

The combination of upheaving mountain chains, receding ocean waters, tidal waves washing away the newly uplifted lands, the sheets and rivers of lava, and the belching of volcanoes everywhere must have presented a scene that staggers the imagination.

In the last few pages we have presented the interpretation of geological facts from the viewpoint of the Flood. Now we shall consider that which some may think should have been considered first. We shall inquire into the reason why the scientific world has accepted the theory of long geological ages and interpreted all these phenomena in that light rather than in terms of the Flood, as we have done.

GROWTH OF GEOLOGICAL THEORY

The story goes back to the beginning of the fifth century of our era, when the church father Augustine explained creation as having taken place “in potentia,” rather than in actuality. In other words, he taught that God did not actually create a finished world. He created the world, Augustine taught, in a simple state, and endowed matter with properties whereby it could develop into a higher state. Thus was brought into Christianity the Greek concept of a universe operating by means of resident forces. The introduction of such a philosophy laid the way for acceptance of full-fledged evolution by the Christians as well as by others.

When modern science began to develop in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was based on this evolutionary mode of thought. Therefore by 1800, when the science of geology really began, the scientists were so given over to the Augustinian doctrine that they seemed never to have given any serious thought to the possibility of any other interpretation of the past. The Genesis record of creation was assumed to be merely a legend or myth told by Moses to explain the origin of the earth in language that simple, unlearned people could understand. Few, if any, educated men at the beginning of the nineteenth century believed that the days of Genesis were real twenty-four-hour days.

The first attempt to explain the origin of the rocks of the earth in a modern “scientific” manner was made in 1785 by James Hutton of Edinburgh. About the same time an English surveyor and canal engineer, William Smith, discovered that certain strata in England always contained certain kinds of fossils. Smith’s discovery was called to the attention of the geologists, and they immediately seized upon this fact as a clue to the relative age of the rocks everywhere. Since the layers of rocks represented deposits made during successive ages, they argued, it would be easy to determine the age of the rock by observing the fossils they contained. Thus was laid the foundation for the modern theory of geology in which the fossils are used to classify the rocks and arrange them in order of their supposed ages.

Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison immediately began investigation of the lower rocks of England and Wales. They were able to distinguish four groups of rocks below the coal measures, which correspond to the American Pennsylvanian. After much controversy these rocks were named, in order from the bottom, the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian.

An apparent confirmation of their belief that these rocks represented a universal series of deposits was found in the fact that on the continent of Europe and in New York similar series were discovered. The New York system thus became the guide to the identification of the rocks in areas farther south and west, where similar strata occurred. By the middle of the nineteenth century the idea had been quite generally accepted that the sequence of the fossils as seen in England and New York was practically worldwide, and actually represented the successive geological ages.

A careful study of the situation in the light of all that we have already discussed will suggest that the evolutionary interpretation is not by any means a necessary one. Granting that there is a certain degree of similarity between the Paleozoic rocks of England and America, and that the sequence of strata found in these countries is much like that found in several other countries, it nevertheless may be shown that this sequence of certain fossil strata can be explained in another way.

It is a basic principle of science that the unknown must be explained by the known as far as available information will allow. Applying this principle to the interpretation of the fossil sequence, what conclusion would one reach, if he were to judge entirely by the situation he sees in the world around him, and if he were unbiased by any preconceived theory?

In our modern world we find different kinds of plants and animals at different levels, both in the sea and on land. Living creatures are associated together in life zones. It is easy to conclude that in the world as God created it there must have been life zones, for it is quite obvious that if we are to believe in a direct creation by an omniscient Creator, we should find certain assumptions almost unavoidable, among them the following:

1. The earth’s surface would be diversified by mountains, plains, lakes, seas, and streams at different levels.

2. These diverse features would be the home of many different types of plants and animals.

3. These plants and animals would be grouped in communities according to their individual adaptations to the varying environmental conditions, and these communities would, in their broader aspects, constitute the major life zones.

4. The adaptation of plants and animals to the environment would be much more exact than at present, inasmuch as the Creator, according to the Divine Record, pronounced it “very good.” There would be a close correlation between structural features and zonal distribution.

5. There would be a much more complete series of life forms than now exist in our present world.

With this in mind, we can readily see how the orderly arrangement of the stratified rocks can be interpreted as remnants of the ancient zones or provinces that were broken up and destroyed by the Flood.

This is made possible by the fact that in the Flood the waters rose gradually over a period of five months rather than sweeping over the lands all at once. This gradual rise of the waters and the progressive destruction of the zonal system of the original life of the earth laid down the ascending series of fossil bearing rocks. Had the men of 150 years ago realized this truth, geological theory would have had an entirely different history than it has had.

This “ecological zonation theory” is suggested as a substitute for the popular theory of long geological ages. A complete discussion of this theory appears in the author’s larger work. (H. W. Clark, The New Diluvialism, Science Publications, Angwin, California, 1946.  

CONTINUE