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The Bible and Geology
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Evolution related
It is said: “One thing is a fact: God doesn’t know much about geology! To say that the earth was created in a few days, is to stretch credibility to a maximum. After all, everybody knows that the earth is a few million (these days 4 billion) years old, or so the geologists say.”
What is the job description of a geologist? It is to find deposits of oil, coal, minerals, water, to determine the structure of the soil and rock for the erection of bridges, big buildings, road construction, building of dams, hydro electric schemes, tunnels, docks, et cetera. Geology does humanity a great service. Without geologists progress would be hampered.
But the problem comes in when geologists declare that the earth is very old. Where does the idea of an old earth come from? There are 8 men who gradually introduced the idea from the early 18th century. De Buffon said that the earth cooled off and was 78,000 years old. Laplace introduced the nebular hypothesis and long ages. Lamarck brought in the idea of biological evolution which needed long ages. Werner believed in the transgression and regression of the oceans and declared that the earth was a million years old. Hutton began with the uniformitarian model which professes that the layers of the earth were formed over long ages. He believed that nature was cyclical and there was no evidence of a beginning. Cuvier started to take notice of the fossils in the rock layers and realized that they must have been caused by periodic, catastrophic floods through long ages. William Smith, a drainage engineer, studied the rock strata and the fossils they contained and categorized them. From this the Geological Column was drawn up even though there is no place on earth that this complete Column can be seen. Charles Lyell was a student of Hutton and a uniformitarian and believed in long ages. Since the 18th century, the earth has become ‘older and older’ as evolutionists need billions of years to allow for their idea of the gradual development of nature.
Taking the Geological Column as his basis, Richard Milton worked out that the annual rate of deposition of the Cretaceous, Silurian, Ordivician, Devonian, the Carboniferous and the other layers is only .2 mm per year. Only in relatively modern times of the Cenozoic ‘age’ do the rates vary and speed up (R Milton, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, Park Street Press, 1992, p 23). So it still remains an unexplainable miracle how dinosaur fossils meters high could have fossilized if layers of rock were laid down at .2mm per year!
The idea that believers in the Bible and therefore the creation account, get from geology, biology and astronomy, is that not all relevant information is given to the public. But any information that might give the idea that the Bible is the truth, is conveniently ‘forgotten’. Why is the public not given answers to questions like: Can a slow rate of deposition (uniformitarianism) bury and fossilize trees, big dinosaurs, thousands of fish (in the Karoo formation in South Africa), the big coal fields (in Australia in the Latrobe valley), the amazing level of detail in many fossils found which can only be because of very rapid burial (Florissant in Colorado; Lincoln County, Wyoming; Baltic amber; Geiseltal, Germany; Scottish Devonian strata; Gobi Desert)?
If the earth is really millions of years old, what about vanishing coastlines like the White Cliffs of Dover, Nefyn in North Wales, the slope behind a hotel on the Isle of White, the Niagara Falls retreating? If some of these rapid regressions lasted for billions of years, they could add up to hundreds of thousands of miles which is of course impossible.
Dating methods that are accepted as absolutely reliable are still a problem. What about: Uranium radiohalos; radiocarbon in samples of coal, oil, gas, diamonds supposed to be millions of years old; Dr Melvin Cook’s questioning of uranium decay as criteria of geochronometry (work done in Zaire and Canada which has large uranium ore deposits); the missing of radiogenic helium; recent lavas from the Kilauea eruption in 1801 were measured as up to 22 million years old; with the potassium-argon method lava from the Kilauea eruption in 1801 was tested as ranging from 160 million years to 3 billion years old? There are many more examples.
It is easy to deride Christians and label them as ‘ignorant’. But to bring conclusive evidence that the earth is billions of years old, has not yet been done. In the meanwhile we can expect a very spirited defense of uniformitarianism and the idea of the old earth. Christians would do well to stick to the Biblical account until that time that geologists can bring experimental proofs of all their old age beliefs, making a sharp distinction between faith and facts.