One trouble with this Uniformitarianism concept is that the rock layers worldwide do not conform to the idea. Layers thought more ancient are consistently found above those expected to be more recent. Darwinists blithely explain that entire mountains were somehow turned upside down and/or transported 30-3,000 (!) miles or more in order to try to explain disorder in the rock layers. Also in nature you sometimes see mixed layers (like younger, older and then younger) or skipped layers (somehow going from 120 million years old to 280 million years old with no middle layers.)
Evolutionists have a great deal of trouble explaining bent and twisted rock formations such as these. It is obvious that this rock must have been convoluted while it was not yet entirely hardened. Now how do millions of years of nice, hard rock get folded like this without snapping? We aren't just talking small areas of rock, either!"
by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D.
Misconception No. 1. The geologic column was constructed by geologists who, because of the weight of the evidence that they had found, were convinced of the truth of uniformitarian theory and organic evolution.
Misconception No. 2. Geologists composed the geologic column by assembling the "periods" and "eras" which they had recognized.
Misconception No. 3. The strata systems of the geologic column are worldwide in their occurrence with each strata system being present below any point on the earth's surface.
Misconception No. 4. Strata systems always occur in the order required by the geologic column.
Misconception No. 5. Because each strata system has distinctive lithologic composition, a newly discovered stratum can be assigned easily to its correct position in the geologic column.
Misconception No. 6. Fossils, especially the species distinctive of specific systems, provide the most reliable method of assigning strata to their level in the geologic column.
Misconception No. 7. Sedimentary evidence proves that periods of millions of years duration were required to deposit individual strata systems.
Misconception No. 8. Radiometric dating can supply "absolute ages" in millions of years with certainty to systems of the geologic column. 10
Misconception No. 9. The environmental "pictures" assigned to certain portions of the geologic column allow us to accurately visualize what its "geologic ages" were like.
Misconception No. 10. The geologic column and the positions of fossils within the geologic column provide proof of amoeba-to-man evolution.
- R.Ritiand, "Historical development of the current understanding of the geologic column: part II," Origins, Vol. 9, 1982, pp. 28-47.
- Estimated by the author using data from J. Woodmorappe, "The essential nonexistence of the evolutionary-uniformitarian geologic column: a quantitative assessment," Creation Res. Soc. Quarterly, Vol. 18, 1981, pp. 46-71.
- D.V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, 2nd ed. (New York: John Wiley, 1981), P. 11.
- C. Brooks, D.E. James and S.R. Hart, "Ancient lithosphere: its role in young continental volcanism," Science, Vol. 193, 1976, pp. 1086-1094.
- R.V. Gentry, et al., "Radiohalos in coalified wood: new evidence relating to the time of uranium introduction and coalification," Science, Vol. 194, 1976, pp. 315-318.
- S.A. Austin, "Did the early earth have a reducing atmosphere?" ICR Impact 109, July 1982, 4 pp.
I will argue the middle position here: the geological column is a general Flood sequence with many exceptions. Furthermore, I advocate viewing the rocks and fossils through Flood glasses—through the actual mechanism that produced the rocks and fossils, the Genesis Flood. Why look at the rocks and fossils through a false philosophical system based on the hypotheses of uniformitarianism, an old Earth, evolution, and naturalism? Since I believe that the geological column is a general sequence of the Flood, I expect some overlap between a Flood classification and the geological column.
I advocate the model or classification of Walker (1994), which is similar to the model derived by Whitcomb and Morris in The Genesis Flood (1961). Although Froede (1995) produced a similar model, I prefer Walker's model mainly because it is more developed with defining criteria for his stages and phases. Klevberg modified Walker's timescale for the stages to correspond with the Flood peaking on Day 150 (Figure 1), which seems to be the Scriptural position and also corresponds to the 21 weeks of prevailing and the 31 weeks of assuaging in the Whitcomb-Morris (1961) model.
Is the Geological Column a Global Sequence?Secular scientists often claim that the fossil order represented by the geological column is an "absolute" global sequence. Is this true or just taken on faith?
In order to demonstrate that the geological column is a global sequence, four steps are necessary: (1) develop local columns for small areas, (2) tie local columns into a regional- or subcontinental-scale column, (3) integrate local and regional columns into a continental-scale column and (4) develop the overreaching global geological column. Presumably the first and second steps could be fairly straightforward, if the geology is uncomplicated and the lithology of the strata can be traced for long distances. But, in areas of tectonics, overthrusts (to be discussed below), and facies changes, the development of even a local column may be difficult or nearly impossible. The third and fourth steps become much more difficult since lithologies and fossils cannot be traced across continents and from continent to continent. It would seem that the task grows by orders of magnitude at these last two stages, becoming more hypothetical the greater the area of extrapolation. Woodmorappe (1999b, p. 24) noted:
As one moves from local all the way to global correlation by fossils, correlations become increasingly less empirical and more conceptual. This is because there are progressively greater differences (such as lithology, local fossil succession, and overall faunal character) as one moves even further geographically from a reference section in the type area."..."
5) Anomalous FossilsEvolutionists often tell us that there are no contradictions to the evolutionary fossil order. However, they have to explain many anomalies in order to make the geological column "consistent." One type of anomaly is finding two fossils of different ages in the same layer.
If the evolutionist cannot extend the stratigraphic range of the fossils, he must determine which fossil represents the true "age." If the strata are considered young, the "old" fossil is simply assumed to have been "reworked," eroded from "much older" strata and incorporated into younger sediments. Often, their only criterion for reworking is an expected evolutionary order rather than the condition of the fossil. However, if "old" organisms are reworked into "young" strata, wouldn't the "old" fossil be pulverized?
In the opposite case, a "young" fossil is found in "old" strata, and evolutionists assume that the "younger" organism was buried within "old" sediment and fossilized. This is called "downwash." This could happen if a "young" organism became trapped and fossilized in a cave, sinkhole, or bog within "old" sediment or sedimentary rock. If the strata remain unconsolidated until after the "young" organism is buried, it would be difficult for the "old" organism to have remain unfossilized for millions of years.
Woodmorappe (1999c, pp. 87–92) compiled 200 published instances of anomalous fossils from the literature. This was not an exhaustive search. Most of these instances involved microfossils, which is why I am especially skeptical of the biostratigraphy of various microfossil groups, such as foraminifers and diatoms. Taxonomic manipulation, along with reworking, casts doubt on the use of microfossils as index fossils. Anomalous fossil occurrences are not rare (Woodmorappe, 1999c, pp. 92–94). Furthermore, if evolutionists under-report examples of anomalous fossils, they may be quite common, while evidence for reworking or downwash is rare! It seems that reworking is just an ad hoc explanation to make the geological column "consistent." The real impact of anomalous fossils would be to broaden the fossil range in the geological column, thereby reducing confidence in index fossils.
6) Out-of-Order FossilsA second type of anomaly in the fossil record is the situation in which "older" fossils are found above rocks that contain "young" fossils. These out-of-order fossils are the opposite of the evolutionary hypothesis. Out-of-order fossils are considered "impossible" by evolutionists, and so are dismissed as the result of overthrusting. An overthrust involves "older" strata being pushed over "younger" strata at an angle less than 45°.
Robinson (1996, p. 35) claimed that overthrusts are based on geophysical evidence and not out-of-order fossils. This is true for some, but the Lewis overthrust in Montana and Alberta (Figures 10–12) was identified based on fossils. In the Lewis "overthrust," Precambrian rocks supposedly slid tens of kilometers eastward up a low slope over "Cretaceous" rocks. There is a 900 million-year out-of-order time gap at the Lewis "overthrust," and this time gap was first based on out-of-order fossils. Bailey Willis (1902), who first hypothesized the "overthrust," found "Precambrian crustacean shells" in the upper block above the "Cretaceous" strata. The Lewis Overthrust may or may not be a true overthrust, but the determination should be made by geological and geophysical methods and not by fossils."
Some "overthrusts" display a reversed metamorphic grade in which the upper block is more highly meta-morphosed than the lower block. Metamorphism is supposed to increase with increasing depth. So, this is support for the overthrust concept in these cases. However, it is possible that the metamorphic grade associated with "overthrusts" could be chemically caused (Silvestru, personal communication) or caused by the migration of heat and fluids during deformation (Hubbard, 1996). Overthrusts, if they are real, could possibly be explained by catastrophic underwater emplacements during the Flood. Creationists need a comprehensive analysis of overthrusts.
Does the Geological Column Represent the Flood Depositional Sequence?These problems should make any creationist cautious in applying the geological column to the Flood. We seem to be divided by those who believe that the geological column is an exact sequence of the Flood and those who want to entirely discard the column. After many years, I have come to the conclusion that the geological column represents the general order of the Flood with many exceptions, and that its application should be made with caution for the reasons enumerated above.
In examining fossils and fossil successions with regard to the Flood, we must distinguish between animals that survived the Flood and those that did not. This distinction will help determine whether a fossil was buried by the Flood or is post-Flood. The animals that God brought onboard the Ark were a male and female of each unclean kind and seven of each clean kind. These animals had to be terrestrial and breath air (Genesis 7:21, 22).
The Genesis kind cannot be equated with modern species in many cases (Woodmorappe, 1999e, p. 136). If the kind is at the genus level, the ark needed only 16,000 animals (Woodmorappe, 1996), primarily mammals, birds, and reptiles. Many other organisms could have survived the Flood outside the Ark. Therefore, all mammals, reptiles (including dinosaurs), and likely all birds had to be dead by the time the water started retreating off the land around Day 150 (Genesis 7:22-8:3). So, evidence of a live mammal or reptile would indicate either an early Flood or post-Flood time. Marine organisms, such as foraminifers, could potentially represent early Flood, late Flood, or post Flood..."