Noah and the other occupants of the Ark stepped out into a very different world from the one they had previously known. Consider some of the implied physical changes to the world after the Flood:
1) The oceans were much more extensive, since they now contained all the Flood waters;
2) The possible thermal vapor blanket had been dissipated, so that strong temperature differentials were inaugurated;
3) Mountain ranges uplifted after the Flood emphasized the more rugged topography of the post-Flood continents;
4) Winds and storms were possible for the first time, as well as rain and snow;
5) The environment was much more hostile to man, especially because of the harmful radiations from space no longer being filtered out by the possible vapor canopy, resulting in gradual reduction in human longevity;
6) Tremendous glaciers, rivers and lakes existed, with the world only gradually approaching its present semi-arid state;
7) The lands were barren, until plant life could be re-established through the sprouting of seeds and cuttings buried near the surface.
(Adapted from The Beginning of the World, by Dr. Henry Morris, page 131)
Read Genesis 8:15-22.
The covenant (promise) God made with Noah before the Flood apparently became the standard for ancient governments and contracts after the Flood between a king and his subjects in which sovereign protection is offered in exchange for faithful obedience.
1. Read Genesis 6:13-22; 7:1-9; 7:13-16. What protection did God offer Noah? What was Noah’s responsibility?
2. During the Flood, God made good on His promise, carrying out His sovereign protection of Noah. After the Flood, how did Noah show his thankfulness to God for this protection? [Note: this is the first mention of an altar in the Bible. The first mention of a concept or practice is always significant to understanding its meaning for the rest of Scripture.]
3. Discuss Genesis 8:21-22.
· Why and how was God pleased?
· What did He declare?
· How does His promise affect us?
4. Read Genesis 9:8-17. (We will cover verses 1-7 later in the lesson.) God establishes a new covenant with Noah that does not depend upon anyone’s faithful obedience. This is an unconditional divine promise. What are the terms of this new covenant, AND what is the sign that God gives that He is keeping His promise?
5. The rainbow as a sign of the new covenant obviously had significant meaning to Noah. [It may have been a new thing for Noah to see.] As a symbol associated with God, it is also found in 3 other Scripture passages. How is it used?
· Ezekiel 1:28—
· Revelation 4:1-6—
· Revelation 10:1—
6. Read Genesis 9:1-7. Compare 9:1-4 with Genesis 1:28-30. What remains the same? What has changed?
7. Discuss the meaning of Genesis 9:5-6. Refer to the additional verses for understanding. What does God value? What responsibility does He delegate to man? (See “Deeper Discoveries” at the end of the lesson for an article to read concerning this issue.)
· Genesis 9:5-6—
· Exodus 21:12-14, 28-32—
· Numbers 35:16-32—
Read Genesis 9:18-29.
8. This is a less than noble picture of Noah. What do you think is the reason for this incident to be recorded in Scripture for us?
9. Noah’s sons reacted differently to their father’s drunken state, which revealed their character. Discuss the reactions and character of…
· Shem & Japheth—
10. Parents often have great insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their children. What did Noah discern and prophesy about each of his sons?
· Japheth [the oldest, whose name means enlargement/extension/prosperity]—
· Shem [whose name means honor/authority/character]—
· Ham [the youngest, whose name means hot/swarthy]—
11. Why do you think Noah didn’t curse Ham but instead cursed Canaan, one of Ham’s sons?
12. What is God’s opinion regarding mocking/disrespecting one’s parents? See Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:1-3.
13. Skeptics dismiss the idea of a global flood and claim that Noah’s Flood was merely local. Read Genesis 9:11 again. We still have local and regional floods that are often very destructive and deadly. Does that mean God has broken His promise? Why or why not? What assurance is there for us today that His promised protection is still operating?
14. Can you think of 10 wonderful reasons to honor your parents? Will you tell them? What 10 wonderful reasons do your children have for honoring you? What reasons would you like for them to have?
15. Recall a time when you saw a particularly special rainbow. What did you think about? What do you like about rainbows? What makes them special? Think about what you discovered in this lesson about rainbows. Praise God and thank Him now for His promise. Feel free to use any creative means to do so.
Read “Creation Answers: Receding Waters” and “Creation Answers: A Brave New World” following this lesson.
Consider: In what ways was the post-flood world different in physical aspect from the pre-flood world? What evidences of the flood can we still see in the present structure of the earth’s surface?
Many people seem to think that Noah’s Ark was a product of ancient folklore, a myth. But there is growing evidence that the account cannot be taken lightly. An ever-increasing number of scientists believe that geologic evidence indicates the worldwide Flood as described in the book of Genesis, was an actual historical fact. The formation of the ocean basins is one of the most perplexing questions to geologists. Equally perplexing is the uplifting of the mountains.
After the first five months, God did three specific things on behalf of Noah, his family, and the animals on the Ark.
1) God closed the ocean geysers and restrained (limited, restricted) the rain so that it was no longer torrential. The waters stopped rising. Genesis 8:3 says the water “decreased”, meaning the height had been reached by then and started falling down at that time.
2) God caused the Ark to come to rest on the mountains of Ararat. This is God’s grace also, to protect the occupants from what happened next.
3) God put forces into place to turn the raging waters into receding waters. Genesis 8:1 says He sent a wind. Psalm 104 gives us other clues about what God did at this time.
The psalmist said in Psalm 104:6-9. “The watery deep covered it [the earth] like a garment; the waters reached above the mountains. Your shout made the waters retreat; at the sound of your thunderous voice they hurried off – as the mountains rose up, and the valleys went down – to the place you appointed for them. You set up a boundary for them that they could not cross, so that they would not cover the earth again.”
“Rebuke” (verse 7) implies the waters were a chaotic force to be calmed and conquered.
Notice that the mountains rose up, the ocean basins sank. The continents were raised up above sea level as new mountain chains were formed. That just doesn’t happen without a lot of lava also being released. Water ran downhill forming new valleys and filling large, deep ocean basins now defined by the nearly vertical continental edges. God altered earth’s topography to set the boundary.
· Continents once below sea level having thick deposits, especially marine
· Soft sediments folded, thrust, overturned and uplifted in a short time
· Massive volcanic deposits throughout the rock record.
· Mass erosional features from receding waters.
· Larger and deeper ocean basins to hold the receding water.
The landforms we see today are a result of the Flood, not Creation or millions of years. Let’s examine the evidence.
During the Flood, the break up of the crust must have released tremendous amounts of water, magma, and associated heat. And the erosion of the pre-Flood mountains and land surfaces had resulted in great quantities of sediments being deposited in the seas. This undoubtedly left earth’s crust in a highly unstable condition very possibly resulting in a redistribution of weight on the surface and a shifting of land surfaces. It is highly probable that the post-Flood continents were once the bottom of the pre-Flood seas.
The continents were obviously once below sea level. Thick water-laid sediments full of marine fossils are deposited on them. Those same rocks have been uplifted thousands of feet, folded, thrust and overturned on a gigantic scale. Major faults (due to cracking and shifting of rock) dominate the landscape. Even in the United States. It is believed that most of the present mountain ranges have been uplifted almost simultaneously and during relatively recent times (70 million years ago). Marine fossils are found at the top of the highest mountains, including Mt. Everest!! The question is not their existence but how recently were they formed and how long did it take?
Scientists say the terrain where today’s mountains exist, in most cases, was nearly flat and near sea level when the recent intense pulse of uplift began. Not only flat, but also covered with thousands of feet of fossil-rich sediment. Marine fossils are found at the top of the highest mountains, including the Himalayas and the Andes.
· These are very difficult to explain for evolutionary geologists. No continents are underwater today for the simple reason that continental crust is made of lighter rock than oceanic crust making the continents more buoyant in the mantle like Styrofoam on water.
· And, nowhere can you find flatness of a shallow continental sea for hundreds of miles in all directions as the sediment deposits demand. And, have it stay that way for millions of years as pile after pile of sediment is laid down.
· Grand Canyon is currently 7-8000 ft above sea level. The land supposedly went up and down several times, remaining almost completely flat. The ocean was over the continent each time. Harder to believe than considering it a onetime event!
· And, it appears that all the world’s mountains rose almost simultaneously just a “few million years” ago—yesterday in earth’s history.
The big question then is how recent, and how long did it take?
1. Release of water and magma would cause readjusting of oceans and continents. As new ocean floors cooled, the rock became denser and sunk deeper into the mantle allowing water to flow off the continents. Movement of the water off the continents and into the oceans would have weighed down the ocean floor more and lightened the continents, resulting in the further sinking of the ocean floor, as well as upward movement of the continents.
2. The collision of the tectonic plates would have pushed up mountain ranges also, especially towards the end of the Flood.
Mountains form by folding of rock layers (the Appalachians, Arbuckles of Oklahoma), faulting (the Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend region of west Texas), volcanic eruption above the surface or bulging from below after hardening below the surface (Mt St Helens, Stone Mountain in Georgia), uplift of land above sea level (the Ozarks), or a combination of the four (the Rockies). What would the evidence be that such activity didn’t take millions of years?
According to the evolutionary view, many rocks were already hundreds of millions of years old at the time of uplift. There is a problem with this view. The strata are too tightly bent!! In many mountainous areas, strata thousands of feet thick are bent and folded into hairpin shapes. If the rocks were old at the time of folding and uplift, having been deeply buried and cemented for years, they should behave in a brittle fashion, shattering in the process. No gradual process can deform rocks into tight folds under normal temperature conditions without fracturing them. Once a rock becomes hard, it is extremely difficult to bend it without breaking it. Rocks would be expected to behave in a hard “brittle” fashion, not a soft “plastic” fashion. Closer examination of many folded rock layers indicate that they were formed while still in a soft, uncemented state. Most of these show no evidence that the rocks were subjected to high temperature and pressure. The evidence points toward “Soft Sediment Deformation.” Examples:
· Grand Canyon—the same rocks that are perfectly flat at Grand Canyon village are standing in a near-vertical orientation a short distance away. The Tapeats Sandstone, now a very hard rock, was bent from horizontal to vertical in a space of 100 feet or so. It is supposedly 550 million years old. Yet, the time of bending was 480 million years later! No evidence exists of the cement binding the grains together having been broken. In order for folding to take place without fracturing, each grain in the rock layer has to rotate. So, it had to be done while they were still soft, like mashed potatoes moving—every grain had to rotate. This is called plastic deformation. But it only takes a few hundred years at best for sandy sediments to turn to stone in the presence of high overburden pressure and adequate cement. Evidently, the Tapeats wasn’t very old. This eliminates time— folding occurred less than millions of years after deposition.
· The situation at the Grand Canyon is far from unique. There are many other places where now very hard rocks must have been deformed while in a soft, unconsolidated condition. The Rocky Mountains are full of such occurrences. The Appalachian Mountains likewise. Closer to home: the Arbuckles in southern Oklahoma. One such occurrence might be passed off as an anomaly, but the world is full of examples of soft sediment deformation, just as it should be if the earth is young and the Flood is really responsible for most of the world’s geologic features.
Rockwall, TX is named after some very unusual rock walls—sandstone and limestone dikes (a vertical, wall-like feature buried underground) that are several miles long and 150 ft high. Contrary to the popular rumor spread by local citizens, they are not walls built by a prehistoric race of giants. They were evidently squeezed upward from a sandstone layer below into a thick limestone layer now found at the surface. But, old-earth geologists say the source sandstone bed was already millions of years old at the time of the squeezing. Yet, there is no evidence of cracking or breaking in the sandstone dikes. All points to the sand being semi-fluid when it was squeezed into the overlying cracks. Many similar sandstone dikes are found elsewhere such as west of Colorado Springs and in Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah.
During the past, lava evidently flowed much more freely than now—spouting from craters, and pushing upward from immense cracks. Lava built up the land as volcanic rocks mixed with sedimentary rocks everywhere. Huge quantities of granite bulged up from below the surface to form great domes such as Pikes Peak and Enchanted Rock. Ps 104:32 says, “He touches the mountains and they smoke.” Some examples are:
· Columbia Plateau in the Northwestern U.S.—Built up by oozing lava flows stacked one on top of another in rapid succession, covering 65,000 square miles in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and northern California several thousand feet deep AND built Earth’s most stupendous rock formation, stretching for a thousand miles along the shores of Canada and Alaska. The eruptions, probably occurring during the late Flood or early post-Flood, produced a lake of lava thousands of times larger than anything witnessed in historic times.
· India’s Deccan Plateau—This is formed by a lava deposit that is two miles thick!! No doubt, lava poured out of the earth for years after the Flood ended.
· Mt. Ararat—One of the volcanic mountains formed in an earlier period of the Flood is Mount Ararat along with other similar mountains in the upland regions of what is now Armenia. The Ararat region abounds in what is known as pillow lava, a dense lava rock formed under great depths of water. The mountains also include certain sedimentary formations containing marine fossils.
As the water and magma burst forth and reduced pressure under the ocean basins, and the waters of the canopy washed down into the ocean basins, you would have a shifting of isostatic equilibrium, meaning the heavier rocks would sink and the lighter ones would rise. Supposedly the continental rocks are lighter than what is at the bottom of the oceans! The Grand Canyon is currently 7-8000 ft above sea level yet it supposedly went up and down several times as layers were deposited and eroded. The ocean was over the continent each time. That is harder to believe than a onetime event!
Continental shelves and slopes plus drowned submarine canyons indicate sea level was once several thousand feet lower than today. Some parts of the sea bottom have obviously dropped. Lots of “seamounts”—nonvolcanic, flat-topped drowned islands— exist in the middle of the ocean. No explanation. Actually, most of the earth is still covered with water from the Flood. Over 70% of earth’s surface is submerged at an average depth of over 2 miles. Much water is stored in the form of huge continents of ice at the north and south poles. It is also said that if you could level off the land and the ocean bottom, the ocean would cover the earth’s surface to a depth of 2 miles.
Once the crust began to move (the previous land surfaces downward to form the new ocean basins, the previous sea bottoms and their new deposits of stratified sediments upward to form the new continents), the waters began to drain off the emerging lands, “and the water receded steadily from, the earth” (Genesis 8:3). According to Dr. Henry Morris, the expression in the Hebrew indicates a rapid subsidence, as would have been expected under the circumstances. What would you expect to find? What do you find?
The rapidly receding floodwaters have left behind leveled-off land with remnant high spots, terraces from receding water levels, and huge drainage gullies. Initially, rapid withdrawal of water would have scoured wide, flat surfaces across the landscapes though sometimes being deflected around resistant areas forming remnant hills, mesas and buttes. Some examples are:
· Llano Estacado or “Staked Plain”—This landform stretches from Glen Rio, Texas, to Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Early travelers put stakes into the ground to find their way from place to place on this almost featureless surface. Looks like a countertop that has been wiped clean.
· Mesas and Buttes—Some areas resisted the sheet erosion so formed the mesas (wide ridges) and buttes (narrow ridges) in west Texas, New Mexico and other places in the west such as Monument Valley. If you have driven from here to Albuquerque NM, you’ve seen lots of these.
· Devil’s Tower—This is the throat of a volcano that has a flat top. As overlying sediments were removed, the top of the already cooled lava forming Devil’s Tower was leveled off. And, the softer sediments were removed from around it. By the way, the presence of the vertical joints is evidence of ample available water to migrate into the rock, evaporate and exit out thus cooling the rock. The next time you notice these interesting vertical columns at a tourist site, think of the Genesis Flood.
· Gulf Coast sediment basins—The Great Plains in the heartland of America became one gigantic alleyway of floodwaters draining off the continent. And, all the eroded sediment had to go somewhere. It may be found along the Gulf Coast—extending through the coastal lands and onto the present continental shelf. Wedge-shaped deposits, thicker on the Gulf end (40,000 feet) and nearly horizontal (tilting 1˚), extend from the Dallas area toward the Gulf. A surface rock layer near Nacogdoches is buried 14,000 feet below Galveston. It would have taken more water power than the few river systems located in east and southeast Texas—the Sabine, Trinity, Brazos, and Colorado—to lay down up to 40,000 feet of sediments, thousands of square miles in area! The inland edge was uplifted by faulting which further enhanced drainage and cementing of the sediments.
One other thing: Massive sheet erosion might explain the absence of human and large animal fossils in the remaining Flood sediments. The last to be buried—the floating, less streamlined creatures—would be the first to get eroded away and redeposited in the ocean basins.
Other evidences of receding waters are terraces and remnant valleys.
· Terraces—Terraces are water lines left behind by subsiding water. Ancient water lines can be clearly seen along the coasts of all continents. California cities are built on them.
· Great Inland Lakes—As the waters drained off the continents, every bowl-shaped basin became a lake. Terraces are also found along the great inland lakes that have now dried, such as Lake Bonneville, Death Valley.
· Carved Valleys Adopted by Rivers—In less flat areas, the receding waters would split into channels, which cut deep valleys in the soft, unconsolidated earth. Practically all river valleys are far deeper and wider than their present river systems require indicating they once carried a far greater volume of water. More in line with a flood than river erosion.
So, there’s evidence of receding waters. A lot of water, not a lot of time.
Studying the continental shelves and slopes plus drowned canyons extending out from land-based rivers indicates that sea level was once several thousand feet lower than it is today. Some parts of the sea bottom have definitely dropped. This is particularly noticeable in oceanic “seamounts” (or, guyots)—about 70,000 volcanic, flat-topped drowned islands in the middle of the ocean. The cones have been seemingly chopped off at an average depth of 5-6,000 feet below sea level. Evidently, those volcanoes on the ocean floor grew up to the surface of the lowered ocean where their peaks were eroded and flattened by wave action. Later, sea level rose several thousand feet as ocean basins sank deeper, water continually drained off the land, and glaciers melted. No explanation for the seamounts being there.
The earth’s features appear to have been fashioned largely by rapid, catastrophic processes that affected the earth on a global scale. Could it be the effects of the Genesis Flood? Yes. The evidence matches the prediction. A lot of water, not a lot of time.
1. What Geologic Processes Were Operating during the Flood?, John Morris, Back to Genesis #189, September 2004, page d.
2. When Did the Mountains Rise?, John Morris, Back to Genesis, March 2005, page d.
3. Recent Rapid Uplift of Today’s Mountains, John Baumgardner, Impact #381, March 2005.
4. Warped Earth, David Allen, Creation 25(1), December 2002, pages 40-43. www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i1/warped.asp
5. Were the Huge Columbia River Basalts Formed the Flood?, John Morris, Back to Genesis #185, May 2004.
6. Devil’s Tower and Bible Glasses, Tas Walker, Creation 24(3) June 2002 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v24/i3/devils_tower.asp
7. Creation Road Trip, Dave and Mary Jo Nutting at www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n1/creation-road-trip.
8. Creation Road Trip: More Destinations, at www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n1/creation-road-trip-more.
9. Utah’s Testimony to Catastrophe, Andy McIntosh, May 8, 2007 at www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/utah-testimony-catastrophe.
10. Evidence for the Run-off of Flood Waters, Michael Oard, audio at http://www.answersingenesis.org/events/bio.aspx?Speaker_ID=24.
11. Noah’s Flood Q & A, Answers in Genesis website
12. Grand Canyon: Monument to the Flood DVD, book.
13. The Genesis Flood, Henry Morris and John Whitcomb.
14. The Genesis Record, Henry Morris.
15. In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, Dr. Walt Brown. Online version at www.creationscience.com/onlinebook.
16. There are a number of excellent videos about the Flood—Evidences: The Record and the Flood; Raging Waters; Fossils and the Flood; The World That Perished
Noah and the other occupants of the Ark bravely stepped out into a very different world from the one they had previously known. The land looked different. He wouldn’t have recognized any familiar landmarks. New rivers and lakes needed to be explored and named. The mountains were higher and more rugged looking. Seeds and cuttings buried near the surface would be sprouting. But, the lush forests were gone. There must have been a sense of aloneness on this vast land.
But, the land surface quickly took on the look of a mature landscape, one that had been there a long time. Why do I say this? Because observations in the world show that mature landscapes don’t take millions of years to develop.
Erosion of fresh surfaces takes place very rapidly then slows down as equilibrium is reached with the stability of the surface, plant coverage, etc. Just watch a recent excavation and preparation of land for building. If it rains right after sloping land is smoothed out, gullies will form in the soft land with little effort. Over the next few weeks, if it rains again, the gullies will deepen. But, that will stop as grass and weeds take hold on the unconsolidated earth and as the size of the gully becomes adequate to handle water flow on that slope. It will stop changing. And, within a few months, the slope will look like it had been there for years. You’ve seen that before, haven’t you?
Mature looking landscapes such as those in mountains or on islands don’t take long to develop. We don’t have continents going up and down below sea level to observe, but volcanic mountains make excellent laboratories.
· Surtsey Island—In 1963, Surtsey Island was born in the ocean near Iceland. Within 3-5 months, the waves had reworked the island edges into level, sandy beaches. Within a few years, wind and rain had weathered the lava into soil for hollows and glens to become lush meadows. The official Icelandic geologist Sigurdur Thorarinsson wrote for National Geographic in 1964: “… in one week’s time we witness changes that elsewhere might take decades or even centuries … Despite the extreme youth of the growing island, we now encounter a landscape so varied that it is almost beyond belief.” Another scientist said, “…it gives the appearance of being thousands of years old.”
· Mt. St. Helens—The same thing has been seen at Mount St. Helens over the past 25 years. Within just three years, 90% of the original plant species were already growing within the blast zone. Return of many animals soon followed. So, today the diversity of species living in the area is approaching its pre-eruption levels.
It’s not reasonable to assume that the earth has always been shaped by passive everyday processes. If, however, the bulk of the past geologic activity took place under intense conditions in a brief space of time, it’s not unreasonable to determine that mature landscapes could have developed within a few years rather than millions of years.
Another landform that is attributed to millions of years of development is the underground cave. But, the evidence does not agree. So, let’s look at it:
To have large caves like Mammoth cave and Carlsbad Caverns, you need great thicknesses of limestone. These are found all over the earth’s surface. Dallas and Fort Worth are both built on very thick limestone layers. We have small caves throughout our area. Creation scientists believe that most limestone layers accumulated during the Flood because they normally contain large numbers of catastrophically buried fossils (usually corals and shellfish) buried in limey mud.
To get that you need lots of dissolved calcium and carbon dioxide (already present in the ocean water) plus a change in temperature. During the Flood, volcanoes added massive heat to the ocean. The warmer the water, the more the dissolved CO2 changes to CO3, (called carbonate) which quickly combines with calcium to form the mineral calcium carbonate. CaCO3 is heavier than water so it drops out. This is the source material for limestones. So, increase in ocean temperature would be associated with increased lime muds available for deposit. Nowhere on the earth is limestone being deposited on such a mass scale. But, limey muds being deposited are cementing within a few years showing that this is possible.
These limey muds were buried rapidly under huge amounts of other sediments. The weight on top of the lime sediments would compact them, and tend to expel the water they contained, probably through internal cracks formed while the sediments were hardening. Mud tends to form cracks when it dries. The stage is set for caves.
Floodwaters receded and eroded the sediment layers above so that the layers of lime sediments would now again be near the surface. Groundwater would continue to permeate the limestone along those internal cracks where the rock would have been weakest. This happens today.
Calcium carbonate dissolves in acid. For months after the floodwater receded, excess groundwater made acidic by volcanic ash or decaying organic matter would be moving through these new semi-soft rocks below the water table, dissolving the rock. A new cave system would develop at that level.
Geologist Steve Austin studied the famous Mammoth Cave Upland region of Kentucky and determined that a cave 180 feet long and 3 feet square could form in one year. If even remotely similar rates of formation occurred elsewhere, huge caverns obviously could form in a very short time. On the contrary, at the rate those caves are being dissolved now, nothing would have been left after the supposed two million years age of those caves.
When the excess groundwater drains away, the water table would be at a lower level so that the newly hollowed caves would be filled with air instead of water. Surface water continues to flow downward creating the stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone in the cave systems.
These are known to form more rapidly than the usual “thousands of years explanation” when adequate water is present. In tropical areas, caves and their formations develop much faster than those in more temperate regions because of higher annual rainfall. Large stalactites are also found growing everywhere—in shopping centers, schools, universities, and even in multi-storey car parks. None of those are older than 100 years! One stalagmite in Carlsbad had grown so fast it was able to preserve a complete bat before the creature had time to decompose. A newly formed cave in Mexico has crystals as large as telephone poles that scientists say may have formed in 30-100 years because of the extreme temperatures and humidity.
Conclusion: It’s possible to consider that caves and their formations resulted more from the after-effects of the Genesis Flood than through slow and gradual processes over millions of years.
A third landform often stated as Exhibit A for an old earth is the canyon. Especially the famous canyons like Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo and, of course, the Grand Canyon. Just how long did it take?
The official story on the Grand Canyon is this: the rocks demonstrate slow and gradual processes over eons. The fossils document evolution’s march through time, with simple creatures at the bottom and complex ones at the top. The Colorado River took 70 million years to erode the Canyon. With such an authoritative story who could doubt?
Well, there is room to doubt, and even many old-earth advocates are revising their views, talking about catastrophic deposition and runaway erosion within the last one million years. They aren’t talking about Noah’s flood yet, but they might as well be!
Recent events have cast a new light on canyon formation that address several observations such as the fact that nearly all canyons are vastly larger than the river system it contains. Here are two examples:
· A new canyon formed last century near Walla Walla, Washington in less than 6 days. In March 1926, an obstruction in a series of irrigation ditches, built in 1904, forced dammed up water to be diverted to a small side ditch (10 ft deep, 6 ft wide). In less than a week, what once was an insignificant ditch became a gully, then a gulch then a miniature Grand Canyon——1500 ft long, 120 ft deep—carved through silt, sand and solid rock!
· At Mount St. Helens in one day’s time, layers of ancient solid rock, 500-ft thick, were eroded by fast-moving mud flows and water to produce several mature looking canyons 100 feet deep only 4 years after the initial eruption. Later, creeks formed at the bottom of the canyons. The canyons caused the creeks, not vice versa!! Is this a clue to post-Flood canyon formation? Gravity plus a lot of water; not a lot of time.
The Grand Canyon did get eroded, but probably not by the Colorado River. Examining the evidence reveals that erosion was rapid, not so long ago, and the waters carried the debris far to the west, not like the modern Colorado River. The main erosional features are typically those of soft sediments, not hard rock.
One current explanation is called the “Breached Dam” theory. There’s evidence that large lakes once existed upstream. It is speculated the canyon formed as the natural dams were breached. Later the river developed at the bottom of the canyon.
As mentioned above, some geologists are grasping the idea, especially after recognizing that the Channeled Scablands of Washington were likely formed by waters breaching an ice dam holding back ancient Lake Missoula in Montana. Also, at Yellowstone National Park, a canyon called “The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone” is now said to have been gouged out in one week by the water that broke through an ice dam, of course hundreds of thousands of years ago! This is a good example of how even evolutionists recognize such canyons can be formed quickly—yet they mock when creationists talk about the catastrophic origin of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
So it is possible to interpret Grand Canyon rocks as having been laid down by the Flood, the area uplifted late in the Flood year, with trapped Floodwaters carving out the canyon itself while draining off the uplifted continents. Interestingly enough, Havasupai Indian legend says that there was a flood over the earth, then the canyon formed by excessive drainage from the flood. Could Palo Duro Canyon in Texas have formed this way as water drained off the Llano Estacado? What about other large canyons?
It’s interesting that secular scientists are increasingly suggesting that catastrophic processes, including the mighty force of water, explain much about the earth’s surface today. These features truly could have been formed by a watery global catastrophe and the subsequent unstable earth, which occurred ~4,400 years ago. Landscapes are evidence of the work of gravity, wind and a lot of water, not necessarily a lot of time.
It was a “New World” for Noah and his family as well as for the animals.
Well, if God brought the animals to Noah from all over the earth, He certainly could make sure they spread out again. There are some clues as to how animals get from one place to another.
As animals moved out from the mountains of Ararat, they would have most likely traveled by land. Populations of animals may have had centuries to migrate, relatively slowly, over many generations. As they migrated, they rapidly increased in number. A recent example of this was seen after the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 when the decimated elk herd bounced back through an increase of multiple births per cow allowing the herd to grow rapidly. Those populations may have separated from one another, thus allowing variation to develop as the gene pools were reduced.
We’ll talk about the Ice Age in the next section. But, one thing of note is that as ice formed on the continents, water was removed from the oceans lowering sea level somewhat. Land bridges connected separate landmasses were exposed, giving animals a means to get to different continents. Perhaps by swimming.
The animals could also have migrated by catching rides on vegetation mats floating on the ocean surface. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the island remnant remained lifeless for some years, but was eventually recolonized by a surprising variety of creatures—insects, birds, lizards, snakes and even a few mammals. One would not have expected some of this surprising array of creatures to have crossed the ocean, but they obviously did. Present day observations of lizards catching rides on vegetation mats in the Caribbean Sea confirm this.
The ancestors of present-day creatures and plants may have established daughter populations in different parts of the world, but most of these populations subsequently became extinct because they weren’t suited to that climate. Kangaroos didn’t make it in Africa, but the group in Australia survived. Hummingbirds didn’t make it in Europe, but the ones in North America survived. You wouldn’t expect to find fossils of those creatures in other parts of the world unless those fossils had been buried by the Flood.
It’s not a hurdle for creationists to explain how the animals migrated to various parts of the earth and established unique populations in single locations. For man and animals, they left the Ark to brave a new world.
Besides all the changes in the landscape as floodwaters were draining off the land, the climate would have changed as well, at first in the polar regions, later among the tops of the new tall mountains. This could have brought on the “ice age.”
An “ice age” is a time of extensive glacial activity that covers a relatively large area with ice. During the Ice Age, which ended a few thousand years ago, 30% of the land surface of the earth was covered by ice. Less of Europe and Asia than you probably knew. In North America an ice sheet covered almost all of Canada and the northern United States. We know this from the deposits left behind by the advancing and retreating ice sheets plus other surface features. Today’s polar ice caps and alpine glaciers are the remains of those vast ice sheets. The evidence points to just one ice age, though.
To accumulate and maintain large sheets of ice requires 3 conditions: 1) increased evaporation, 2) increased snowfall, and 3) decreased snowmelt. Evolutionists find the cause of the Ice Age a mystery. Obviously the climate would need to be colder. But global cooling by itself is not enough, because then there would be less evaporation, so less snow. How is it possible to have both a cold climate and lots of evaporation? All three requirements are met by the Flood model, especially through extensive volcanic activity during and after the Flood and the residual warm oceans following the Flood. Let’s examine how these provided the conditions for an ice age.
For increased evaporation, the key is more heat in the ocean.
· The opening of the “fountains of the great deep” caused tremendous volcanic activity. We saw evidence for that last time in the massive volcanic deposits all over the earth. Extensive volcanic activity with large lava flows, particularly undersea, would have added huge amounts of heat to the ocean.
· Also, movements in the earth’s crust would have released high-pressure outflows of deep, hot water reservoirs. The rapid Flood currents would mix the warm water, driving it from pole to pole. Warm water would prevent the formation of ice in the sea.
· As a result, the warm ocean would have a much higher level of evaporation than that in the modern cool ocean. Under such conditions, most of the resulting snow would fall in the middle latitudes and polar regions.
· Studies of ocean floor sediments show that the oceans were at one time 40˚ warmer than today. This would encourage evaporation and more snowfall available to higher latitudes and elevations. You would expect to find thick snow accumulation forming ice sheets.
The key to snow rather than rain falling in an area is cooling.
· Warm water and cold continents are a recipe for powerful and continuous snowstorms, whose behavior can be estimated using basic weather principles.
· Volcanoes cast volcanic dust and aerosols (very small particles) into the stratosphere where they were trapped for several years following the Flood. These particles would have reflected some of the sunlight back to space and caused cooler summers, mainly over large landmasses.
· Extensive volcanic activity would have continued for a number of years after the Flood and then gradually declined. By the way, there is abundant geologic evidence of extraordinary volcanic activity during the Ice Age, which would have replenished the dust and aerosols in the stratosphere (the layer of the atmosphere from 12 to 21 miles above the earth’s surface). Ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica also show abundant volcanic particles and acids in the sections associated with the Ice Age.
Slick continents, denuded of vegetation, would radiate heat back to the atmosphere. Volcanic ash would have reduced incoming solar radiation, enhancing the cooling. The result would be cooler summers, not necessarily colder winters. In 1883, Krakatoa in East Indies sent up 3 cubic miles of volcanic dust into the stratosphere, which was then distributed globally. This caused red sunsets for 10 years and lowered the average temperature of the earth 4˚ F for about 3 years. One volcano affecting the atmosphere for 10 years! So, it’s reasonable to conclude that conditions for creating an ice age were met by the Flood.
· Two B-17 Flying Fortresses and 6 P-38 Lightning fighters landed on the Greenland ice sheet during WWII. These aircraft were buried under about 250 feet of ice and snow in about 50 years. This means the ice sheet has been accumulating at an average rate of 5 feet per year. So, at that rate of accumulation, the 4000-ft thick Greenland ice sheet could have formed within the past 4500 years rather than the 160,000 years claimed by evolutionary scientists.
· A flag, tent and sledge left at the South Pole by Antarctic explorer Amundsen in 1911 are now 40 feet under the ice. Antarctica is drier so the ice is accumulating more slowly than in Greenland. But, that may not have always been the case.
Meteorologist Michael Oard who specializes in “ice age” studies speculates that the accumulation of ice to its maximum depth (average 2,300 ft) over much of the Northern Hemisphere would have taken about 500 years.
Taking into consideration ice sheet meltback (about 33 ft per year along the edge, but slower in the interior), the gigantic glacial ice sheets (after the peak in accumulation) would have melted within 200 years. Of course, Greenland and Antarctica would have continued to grow because of their high latitude and altitude. Thus, the total time for the Ice Age is a maximum of only about 700 years (500 years to accumulate, 200 years to melt).
This means that from about 2350 B.C. until 1650 B.C., the ice sheets seriously affected life in Europe and North America. Interestingly, there’s a possible reference to this time in the book of Job.
“From whose womb does the ice emerge, and the frost from the sky, who gives birth to it, when the waters become hard like stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?” (Job 38:29-30)
Job lived near Arabia. God spoke to Job as though Job was aware of sheets of ice (glaciers—hard as stone) up north in Europe and ice packs covering the polar regions of the oceans. Job lived between the time of Noah and Abraham so the Ice Age must have followed soon after the Flood.
Land close to the warm oceans and on either side of the equator would still have had a pleasantly warm climate like today. Two-thirds of the land was NOT covered by ice.
Present day deserts were well-watered. Israel is described in the Old Testament as a lush land flowing with “milk and honey” producing abundant, large fruit. Today, it’s dry and desert, made green and productive through irrigation. In the Sahara Desert, dwarf crocodiles survived into the 20th century and lived in isolated lakes or pools along several wadis of the high western Sahara. People once lived in the Sahara Desert along with a variety of tropical and aquatic animals. They have left countless stone tools, pottery, and pictures of those animals carved on the rocks. Explorers have even found fishhooks and harpoons!
If you had all that water tied up in glaciers, the ocean levels would be considerably lower, in fact the sea level was ~600 ft lower at this time. The evidence for this is the drop off from land’s edge to the continental slope edges. Because of this lowered sea level, land bridges connected continents and islands, thus assisting the migration of animals and later people after the Flood.
Eventually, the seas gradually cooled, so evaporation would decrease, therefore the snow supply for the continents would also decrease. And as the ash settled out of the atmosphere, it would allow sunlight through. So the ice sheets began to melt. Sometimes the melting would have been rapid enough for the rivers that drained these ice sheets to flood. These catastrophes would have happened about 700 years after the Flood. Sea level rose to its current level. Rain declined in the middle latitudes, too, so that deserts formed.
When the ice began to melt, about 500 years after the Flood, large lakes would have built up. Sometimes, natural ice dams would have contained them for a while. But when these finally cracked, the lakes would have burst through. This water can have tremendous destructive power.
· The “Spokane Flood”—Glacial Lake Missoula in Montana at the end of the Ice Age was perched behind an ice dam at 4,200 feet above sea level. Only Washington State stood between it and the Pacific Ocean. When this ice dam failed, 500 cubic miles of water poured westward across an area twice the size of New Jersey at freeway speed. This has been nicknamed the “Spokane Flood.” It scoured the basaltic bedrock carving giant channels that are now dry (called coulees), deposited gravel/boulder bars over 300 feet high, and left dried waterfalls that dwarf Niagara Falls. The resulting landform is the Channeled Scablands in eastern Washington State. The Grand Coulee, a trench 50-miles long, one to six miles wide, and 900 feet high, was chiseled through hard basalt and granite.
· The Quick-freeze of the Arctic Ocean—Scientists are now considering a massive catastrophic burst of an ice dam in Siberia, on the scale of the Spokane Flood releasing huge amounts of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean. Salt water stays liquid below 32 °F and is denser than fresh water. So if melt-water poured into the Arctic Ocean, it would tend to float on top, and freeze. The resulting ice layer would cover much of the ocean’s surface. The air above this sea ice is deprived of heat and moisture from the ocean. The snow that soon falls will reflect much of the sunlight back to space, cooling the air further. As a result, there would be a tremendous cold front over the land, and the temperature over the adjacent land could drop 54 °F in a week. This, with the added wind chill, could possibly explain the frozen mammoth carcasses and the apparently sudden change in the climate.
· Niagara Falls—As the ice sheets melted, some of the meltwater remained pressurized under the ice. This is believed to have carved out the Finger Lakes in New York State during the Ice Age, and a similar process may have excavated part of the Niagara Gorge. Water from the melting glaciers would have greatly swelled the flow of the Niagara River causing rapid erosion of the newly deposited and hardened rock beneath. Add to that any scouring by glacial ice or meltwaters beneath glaciers, only 4,400 years are needed for the present day gorge to form—well within the biblical time frame.
We’re going to talk about this more in the next lesson. But, it’s significant to say that any groups of people moving north from where the ark rested in Turkey and where the populations were dispersed from Babel would naturally run into climatic conditions that are very harsh. This would affect how they daily lived and established communities, the ability to provide nourishing food, and the size of the populations. By the way, some animals grew to giant size after the Flood as well. The mammoth we’ve seen. Scientists can usually tell what deposits are post-Flood—they don’t have the same characteristics of the rapidly deposited Flood layers filled with drowned creatures. Some other bones of giants found in post-Flood deposits are: a camel 12 feet tall, deer
Everywhere, we see layer upon layer of sediment laid down by the sorting action of moving water and also find great fossil beds intermixed with the sediments. These fossils seem to have been formed by sudden burial from a tremendous flood which prevented their rapid decay and decomposition as minerals replaced their cellular structure. Our vast deposits of oil, natural gas, and coal are called fossils fuels. Evidence indicates that they are the carbonized remains of great masses of plant and marine life which were washed together. Today, after years of pressure, heat, and chemical changes, these buried remains form the great coal seams and oil reservoirs that fuel our modern economy.
More and more evolutionary geologists today are returning to the concept of local catastrophism as the explanation for all types of geological features and formations. Catastrophic events not everyday processes appear to explain the formation of mountain ranges, deposition of thick sequences of sedimentary rocks with fossils, initiation of the glacial age, and extinction of dinosaurs and other animals. More and more creationist geologists and other scientists are returning to the concept that all these local catastrophes were essentially contemporaneous and continuous, making up a complex which was nothing less than a worldwide cataclysm. If Noah’s Flood laid down the rocks and the fossils, there is no evidence left for evolution and an old earth. Because it so restructured the surface of the earth, any attempt to reconstruct earth history without using Noah’s Flood is doomed to failure.
So What? There are 14 references to the Flood in the NT including Jesus’ own words. Combined with all this evidence, it must be true! God’s Word Can Be Trusted
1. Setting the Stage for an Ice Age, Michael Oard, Answers 2(2), April 2007 at www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/setting-stage-for-ice-age.
2. Mammoth—Riddle of the Ice Age, Jonathan Sarfati, Creation magazine, 22(2), March 2000 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i2/mammoth.asp.
3. Frozen in Time, Michael Oard, online book at www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/FIT/index.asp.
4. Tackling the big freeze, Interview with weather scientist Michael Oard, Creation 19(1), December 1996 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i1/freeze.asp.
5. Mammoth Q&A at www.answersingenesis.org.
6. Ice Age Q&A at www.answersingenesis.org.
7. Mammoth among the pharaohs?, Dennis Swift, Creation magazine 19(4), September 1997 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i4/mammoth.asp.
8. Ice Cores and the Age of the Earth, Larry Vardiman, Impact #226, April 1992.
9. The lost squadron, Carl Wieland, Creation magazine, 19(3), June 1997 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i3/squadron.asp.
11. Lubenow, Marvin L. “Surtsey: A Micro-Laboratory for Flood Geology,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Volume 16, June 1979 at www.creationresearch.org/crsq/abstracts/sum16_1.html.
13. Do ancient stalactites really exist? Evan Jamieson, Creation 16(1), December 1993 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i1/stalactites.asp.
14. Rapid Stalactites, by Stephen Meyers and Robert Doolan, Creation 9(4), September 1987 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v9/i4/stalactites.asp.
15. A Canyon in Six Days, John Morris, Creation 24(4), September 2002 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v24/i4/canyon.asp.
16. How did animals get from the Ark to places such as Australia? Don Batten (editor), Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland, The Revised and Expanded Answers Book, Chapter 17 online at www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/faq/migration.asp.
17. Surtsey, the Young Island that Looks old, Carl Wieland, Creaiton magazine 17(2), March 1995 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i2/surtsey.asp.
18. After Devastation, the Recovery, Keith Swenson and David Catchpoole, Creation magazine 22(2), March 2000 at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i2/recovery.asp.