EVIDENCE OF THE CREATION
Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2020 by Jeffrey J. Harrison. All rights reserved.
Photos are by the author unless otherwise attributed.
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To The Ends Of The Earth Ministries
Welcome! Incredible discoveries in Israel and the Middle East are helping us understand Jesus and the Bible more accurately than for almost two thousand years. To The Ends Of The Earth Ministries is dedicated to making this information known around the world. Join us as we explore the Jewish Roots of Christianity and take this exciting information to the ends of the earth. For more information, visit us online at www.totheends.com
Evidence of the Creation is one in a series of Landmarks of Faith Seminars that have been presented to thousands of students and in scores of churches in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and the Philippines. This particular Landmarks seminar draws on Pastor Jeff Harrison’s studies in Geology and Anthropology at Princeton University. He has also served as a study-tour teacher in Israel and studied with some of the top Israeli archeologists and scholars in Jerusalem. In addition to many years of traditional seminary study, he has been a Bible teacher, pastor, and missionary in Asia for nearly twenty-five years.
This book excerpt is being made available free of charge on our website in response to the many requests we have received over the years for transcripts of these seminars. You can help us get this information out to even more people by making a donation on our website. May God be with you as you learn and grow in him!
This is an excerpt from the first lecture of our Evidence of the Creation Seminar. For additional lectures request a seminar.
For more great teaching visit our website at www.totheends.com
Why would a Jewish Roots ministry do a seminar on the scientific evidence for Creation? Information about the Creation is readily available in many parts of the world. But when we were living in the Philippines, few pastors and churches had been exposed to the Creation teaching. After receiving many requests for this information, we decided to do a Creation seminar to introduce people to this important topic.
Since that time, this seminar has been enthusiastically received in churches and Bible schools not only in the Philippines but also in the United States and in Taiwan. We are now pleased to release this information to a wider audience online. We hope it will serve to encourage many to dig deeper into the facts that support the truth of the Creation.
Please note: The field of science is constantly changing. New evidence may make previous arguments invalid, and new solutions will be found with better answers to outstanding questions. This seminar is a snapshot photo of this ongoing process of discovery.
EVIDENCE OF THE CREATION
Lecture #1: Rocks
Evidence from Geology
Welcome to our latest seminar, Evidence of the Creation! In this seminar, we’re going to talk about the latest scientific evidence that God created the universe, just as it says in the Bible.
Many say that that the Creation is a religious belief, for which there can be no scientific evidence. But this is incorrect. For hundreds of years, scientists have been considering the evidence of Creation in the natural world. And in recent years, this evidence has convinced many scientists that the Creation and even the Flood of Noah were real, historical events—events for which there is evidence in the physical world around us! In this seminar, we’re going to explore the latest discoveries of scientists around the world: discoveries that are changing their views—and ours—about how our world came to be.
In this first section, we’ll study the evidence from the rocks, from geology, that points toward a Creation. In the next section, we’ll look at the evidence from the fossil record, including the dinosaurs and other strange creatures. The third section will be evidence from the stars, from astronomy. And the final section will be evidence from the miracle called life, from biology, including that amazing micro-computer known as DNA.
It wasn’t long ago that the evidence for Evolution seemed so strong, many Christians and Christian churches felt the need to adjust their beliefs and their teachings to stay up with the times. But today, how things have changed! Belief in a Creator, or as some say, a Designer, is now cutting edge. The people most likely to reject the theory of Evolution today are scientists! Thousands of professional scientists around the world have joined Creation Science organizations. And it’s not just scientists that are Christians that feel this way: many non-Christian scientists are also rejecting the theory of Evolution.
Perhaps you heard the news a few years ago that one of the most famous atheists in the world, a British philosopher by the name of Antony Flew, has now accepted that there must be a God. What changed his mind? The scientific evidence against evolution! Michael Denton, a well-known microbiologist, who is not a Christian, has rejected Evolution because of the scientific facts. And the list is getting longer every day. Top, award-winning scientists in Russia and Korea and many other countries have rejected evolution. Did you know that more than 40% of high school biology teachers in the United States reject the idea of Evolution! Why is this happening? Because after more than a hundred years of research, the evidence doesn’t match up with the theory of Evolution.
Many people are surprised to hear that there’s any problem with Evolution. It’s constantly taught in the media and in the schools. But the fact remains that many of the arguments found in textbooks and in television programs are no longer believed by leading scientists themselves. Science, I believe, is on the edge of a big change in the way it views the world.
THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS
My personal interest in geology dates back to my time as a student at Princeton University. I was fascinated by the bones and fossils, the evidence of ancient life. But during that time, I had a course that forever changed my view of science. It was a course in the history and philosophy of science.
Most of us have the idea that science studies the facts, the facts, and only the facts: that scientists are very precise, and that what they discover are eternal truths about the universe that never change. But in that class, I learned a totally new and much more accurate view of science: that while science does investigate the facts, the conclusions drawn from these facts can change, and do in fact change on a fairly regular basis.
When you look at science from the point of view of history, you realize that what looks like a true statement today doesn’t look so true a few years later. And what every scientist believes in one generation can be completely different than what every scientist believes in another generation. For example, for a long time they told us that eating eggs was bad for you. Now, suddenly, eggs are good for you again. They used to say that eating chicken soup for a cold was just a myth. Now they say it’s not a myth, that there really is something in chicken soup that helps your body fight colds. Nuclear energy was once the hope of the future. Now, the waste from nuclear fuel production is a serious danger. And on it goes. What is today a wonderful new drug tomorrow is pulled off the shelves as dangerous.
This kind of change in science happens in a very predictable way: Before a major change, a lot of evidence begins to appear that doesn’t fit the accepted model. At first, this is dismissed or ignored. But then, at a certain point, the evidence that can’t be explained by the old model becomes so great, it can no longer be ignored. At first, scientists try to fit this new information into their old system. But eventually this forces a major change to take place, known as a scientific revolution. After such a revolution, suddenly the ideas of scientists have flipped over, and they all now believe what they once rejected—and reject those that still hold to what they all once believed.
For example, at one time, all scientists believed that the sun and the planets circled the earth—that the earth was the center of the universe. Then more detailed evidence appeared that contradicted this idea. For a long time, scientists tried to fit this new evidence into their old theory. But eventually, the evidence became so strong that they had to reject their earlier theory altogether, and switch to a completely new theory: that the earth and the planets actually circle the sun. This change in thinking is known as the Copernican Revolution. And revolutions like this, some large and some small, take place on a regular basis in science.
does this information from the history of science tell us? It tells us that
scientists are human just like the rest of us, and that their ideas are subject
to change and to fads just as in other areas of human life. In one generation,
one scientific theory is
in and the majority believes it. In the next
generation, another scientific theory is
in, and the majority believes it.
After I took this course in the history of science, it really puzzled me that scientists could be so confident about the truth of their conclusions. Because in the same way that today’s scientists laugh at the beliefs of previous generations of scientists, someday a future generation of scientists is going to be laughing at what scientists believe today. And this laughing and mocking gets even more dramatic when a major change is about to take place.
I believe that’s what’s happening right now in the Creation-Evolution debate. Those who believe in Evolution, which is still the majority of scientists today, are often strongly opposed to the teaching of Creation and related ideas, like Intelligent Design. They mock those who accept these ideas, and try to stop them from being taught in the schools, in the media, and in scientific journals. But why are these actions necessary? Think about it! If the evidence for Evolution were really as strong as many claim it to be, there would be no need to silence the opposition. Evolutionists would be encouraging people to look more closely at the evidence, because the facts would always prove them right. Right? But they’re not doing that. Why not? Because the facts are speaking all right. But they’re saying things that many Evolutionists don’t want anyone to hear!
Evolutionary thinking has already been forced to change by the evidence. Originally, evolution was against huge, earth-changing catastrophes of any kind, and taught only slow, gradual changes in the earth. But in the last fifty years or so, the evidence for huge catastrophes in the past has been growing.
I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of comets striking the earth and killing the dinosaurs. These ideas were once laughed at by evolutionists. But today, the evidence has forced them to return to catastrophes as a way to explain the geological record. This is known as neo-catastrophism. In fact, the major difference between Evolutionists and Creationists is becoming the difference between many catastrophes in the earth’s past, as Evolution now teaches, and one giant catastrophe known as Noah’s Flood.
Part of the reason the Creation-Evolution debate is important is that it affects such a fundamental level of human belief about the world: questions like why we exist and what the purpose of the universe is. While Evolution claims to be only about facts, in reality it’s the product of a particular philosophical view of the world: a philosophical view known as materialism. Materialism claims that the universe and all that is in it is made up only of things. In other words, that what you can see is all that there is. Spiritual beings and spiritual realities are simply assumed not to exist. This means that even the possibility of a Creator is rejected: everything, by definition, came about through processes that can be measured and studied physically.
Materialism does not bother to prove that spiritual realities are false. It just assumes they are false. End of discussion. And so if everything that exists is material, then everything in the universe must be able to be explained purely by the laws of physics and other sciences. Again, there’s no need to prove that this is true: it is simply assumed to be true, since spiritual realities are rejected.
this is not a very scientific point of view.
true science should be willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads. By
rejecting God from the start, materialism starts out with an unscientific
prejudice. If science cannot disprove God, then it should at least be open to
the possibility that God exists.
strongest argument in favor of materialism is that God cannot be seen with the
human eye. The Bible itself clearly states that
no man has seen God (John
1:18). If God could be seen physically, the philosophy of materialism would be
But materialism still has a big problem. Because each and every one of us is aware of a non-material process every day that materialism cannot explain. What is it? Our awareness of ourselves, or as it’s called, human consciousness: our minds. Not only am I aware of the things around me, I’m also aware that I’m aware of the things around me. There is a spiritual reality to man that cannot be explained by our physical bodies. Materialists claim that the mind—our awareness of ourselves—is the result of the activity of the human brain. But they have no way of proving it.
A person who has died, for example, has exactly the same physical brain that he had when he was alive moments before. But in one case he has human consciousness, in the other he does not. This is a change that cannot be described just from a physical point of view. Many researchers working in this area started out with the belief that the mind and the brain were one and the same. But now after years of research, they’re convinced that an intention in the mind happens before the brain activity corresponding to that intention—in other words, that the physical brain is used by the mind to express itself. This is very similar to what the Bible teaches.
Not only that, human beings can also be aware of other non-physical spiritual realities: such as angels, demons, and God himself. Materialists reject these spiritual beings and spiritual experiences. But they still must take their own consciousness seriously, otherwise they would never be able to do their experiments and make their theories.
an even greater problem for materialists is that our awareness of the universe
through our senses is an accurate reflection of the real world. There
is no materialistic way to explain how this came to be. If the development of our
sensory organs was by chance, as evolution teaches, they would not necessarily
produce sensations that match the real world. This remarkable correspondence
between the human mind, our senses, and the universe is one of the truly great
mysteries of science. As Albert Einstein put it,
It is a miracle [that] the
world of our sense experiences is comprehensible. Yet science would be
impossible without this direct relationship between human awareness and the
But since most materialists reject the spiritual world, there is no discovery, there is no evidence that would convince many of them that God exists. Since they start out with the assumption that there is no God, they are only willing to consider evidence that fits this assumption. So it’s not that materialists find Evolution more convincing than Creation. It’s that they are not willing to consider the evidence for Creation at all. They’ve already decided in advance that God does not exist, and that therefore Creation is impossible.
But this assumption that God does not exist is a statement of belief or faith. It’s a religious type of belief, not something that can be measured or proven by science. Science has never proven that God does not exist. So when materialists, which include most evolutionists, say that Evolution is scientific while Creationism is not, this is a false statement. Both of these viewpoints are based on beliefs and use the facts to try to convince people of the truth of these beliefs.
are surprised to learn that several of the great founding fathers of modern
science were believing Christians, men like Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Johann
Kepler, Gregor Mendel, Leonardo da Vinci, Francis Bacon, and many more. This
is not just because society was more Christian in their day. Many of them believed
that studying the universe was to study the works of God and the mind of God. As
it says in Romans 1:20:
For from the Creation of the universe, God’s
invisible attributes, both his eternal power and divine nature, can be clearly
seen by considering what has been made.
Of course, not everyone that believes in Evolution is a strict materialist. There are Christians who believe that God used Evolution to create the world. But many have taken this position simply because that’s what they were taught in school, and have never seriously considered anything else.
So what else is there? What is the evidence for Creation?
GEOLOGY BEFORE DARWIN
Before the time of Darwin, the top geologists at all the top universities around the world understood that the large, flat rock layers found all over the world were physical evidence of Noah’s Flood. After all, when are sediments laid down in perfectly flat layers? When they’re mixed in water and deposited by water. Have you ever taken dirt and rocks and put them in a container filled with water, shaken it up, and let it sit for a while? What happens? Everything settles out in nice little layers, sorted according to the size, shape, and density of the different particles in the mixture.
That’s why these flat rock layers are called sedimentary rocks. They were originally deposited as loose sediments that later turned into rock. Have you ever looked at those flat rock layers? They’re perfectly flat, often for mile after mile, sometimes for hundreds of miles. Some of these layers, or formations as geologists call them, go across continents. What could lay down so much sediment over such a large area, and then lay down another perfectly flat layer on top of it? Nothing like this is happening anywhere in the world today. Even the horrible tsunamis that recently struck all around the Indian Ocean, one of the greatest disasters in history, left only small, local deposits of sediment—nothing at all like the huge rock layers that are found all over the world. So what could lay down these massive rock layers, if it was not a massive, global catastrophe like Noah’s Flood?
in the late 1800’s Charles Lyell (1779-1875), a lawyer by training, came along
with a different idea to explain these rock layers, the idea of uniformity or uniformitarianism.
He claimed that these rock layers had been laid down not in one sudden
catastrophe, but slowly, over vast stretches of time, in the way that soils or
sediments are laid down today. This is the view that
the present is the key
to the past. Since soils or sediments are being laid down very slowly today,
this meant that the earth was not just a few thousand years old, as people had
thought before this, but that the earth is millions of years old.
Lyell’s ideas influenced Charles Darwin. They fit right in with Darwin’s idea of evolution, which needed long periods of time for evolution to take place. At first, most scientists rejected these ideas. But an increasing number of people were becoming highly critical of Christianity and of religion in general. They were attracted to Evolution because it provided scientific support against the Bible.
This is when German scholars like Julius Wellhausen were attacking the accuracy of the Bible, claiming that much of the Bible was just myth, and had little or no factual basis. Whole civilizations mentioned in the Bible were claimed to be mythological—all of which, by the way, have now been proven to have actually existed. This is the time when Karl Marx was formulating his idea of communism, based on materialism and evolution. This is also when racist theories based on evolution became popular, which led to the anti-Semitic beliefs and actions of Nazi Germany in the Holocaust. They also led to racism against blacks and others in the United States and in other countries. And so soon, scientists began to interpret the layers in the rock as representing, not one sudden catastrophe, but the passage of long ages of time, of hundreds of thousands, and even millions of years, the millions of years needed by the idea of evolution.
But as I found out in my geology classes in college, and since then, there are quite a few problems with explaining these formations as being deposited slowly over millions and millions of years.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A ROCK?
first problem is this: how did all these layers of sediment turn into rock? If
you ask most people that question, they’ll say that it takes millions and
millions of years to make a rock. But scientists themselves often say that
they’re not sure how layers of sediment turn into rock (a process called lithification).
Some layers of sediment never turn into rock. There are many places where you
can pick out sediment in supposedly
ancient layers with your fingers.
reason for this uncertainty is that it’s very hard to explain how the rock
layers of the earth could be formed under conditions as they are today. If the
present is the key to the past, there’s nothing in the present to help us
understand the huge rock layers of the earth.
But in fact, rock making is not such a mystery. Nor does it require millions of years. You can make a rock in just a few hours. How? That’s what you do every time you pour concrete: you’re making a man-made rock. What does it take to make concrete? Gravel and sand (which together are known as the aggregate) and cement, which is largely lime—and, oh yes of course, water! The cement or lime is what holds the aggregate together, just like in most rocks. And then you mix all the ingredients together, and let the mixture set, which usually happens when it dries out. So what does it take to make a rock? The same thing: The right ingredients all stirred up together in the presence of water. Then the mixture has to set, usually by drying out. And voila! You’ve got a rock.
Most of us have been told that the layers we see in the sedimentary rocks all around the world were laid down layer by layer over millions and millions of years. But this would be like laying down thin layers of cement or asphalt on a highway. Have you ever noticed what happens when they repair a road with a layer of cement or asphalt that is too thin? The new layer of material soon separates from the rest of the road and breaks off. Why? Because the new layer was too thin to adhere properly. That’s why, if they’re going to do the job right, they have to dig up a big section of the road right down to the dirt and start over again.
But when we look at the rocks of the earth, there’s usually no evidence that one narrow layer of rock was laid down long after the previous layer. If they were, you’d be able to peel them apart. Now there are a few places where the rock comes apart like that, layer by layer. But what we find most of the time is that a whole long series of layers, even up to a mile thick and more of tiny little layers, are one solid piece of rock. You can hit it with a sledgehammer, and those layers won’t separate from one another. How can this be? Only if it all turned into rock at once: the whole, huge column. It wasn’t one layer and then another after thousands and millions of years, each turning into rock separately. No. The whole thing set all at once—like one huge slab of concrete.
But how could this happen? How could all the cement be mixed into all these different layers of sediment to create one big rock? The answer is obvious: the cementing agents had to be mixed in when the sediments were laid down. This means that all those layers had to be laid down at basically the same time, so that they could all turn into rock together at the same time. And what could have mixed these cementing agents into such a huge amount of sediment all at once? Only a worldwide watery catastrophe like Noah’s Flood. It didn’t take millions and millions of years to make the major rock formations of the earth. It took only a short period of time: weeks, months, and years, not millions of years. Otherwise, there’s no way to explain how all those thousands of different layers of sediment set, in so many places, as a single huge rock.
If these layers of sediment really were deposited hundreds or thousands of years apart, as evolution teaches, where’s the evidence that each of these was once the surface of the earth? If evolution is true, first one should have been the surface for a while—maybe for a hundred or for a thousand years—then the next layer, and so forth. But if each of these layers was once on the surface, there should be little depressions where water ran off, little gullies. It should be broken up where trees and other plants were growing. There should be evidence of topsoil, and of roots, and pockets of erosion. But the layers you find in sedimentary rocks were never topsoil. They’re sterile. Nothing grew in them. Without topsoil, how could plants grow here if this was once the surface of the earth?
Instead, all you see is perfectly straight rock layers that were laid down all at once and set all at once. There’s no other way to explain how they are so perfectly flat: sometimes for mile after mile after mile—sometimes for hundreds of miles. On the earth’s surface today, even in very flat areas, there’s always something growing on the surface, or a ripple or bending or tilting of the surface: it’s uneven, even in the flattest plains in the world, like in the Great Plains in the United States: there are river gullies, little streams, it’s never perfectly flat. So why are all these rock surfaces so perfectly flat?
Evolutionists often claim that these areas were once under big lakes. Every place you go, like at a national park, they’ll tell you that the area was once under a big lake—and not just once, but several times in history. Why do they say that? It’s the only way they can explain all those sedimentary layers laid down by water.
But if an area was once a lake, and then was raised up (as they say it was) above water, and then millions and millions of years later settled down to become a lake again, how did it stay so perfectly level that the layers from the first time it was a lake match up perfectly with the second time it was a lake, millions and millions of years later? That’s an incredibly remarkable coincidence—not to mention that there’s no place on the surface of the earth today that is as flat as those rock layers: not even underwater.
Have you ever looked at the bottom of a lake? They’re not perfectly flat, you know. They angle up at the edges, and curve down toward the middle. There are all kinds of little depressions and rises, high places and low places. Even the bottom of the ocean is not perfectly flat, but has canyons and mountains. Yet these rock layers, all over the surface of the earth, are perfectly straight, often for hundreds and hundreds of miles. How can that be?
PROBLEMS WITH EVOLUTIONARY GEOLOGY
problem for evolutionists is mountains. Why are they a problem? According
to evolutionists themselves, all the mountains that we see on earth today were uplifted
relatively recently, and all in the same basic geological period: the Pliocene
period. Why do they say that? Because there are recent rock layers, laid
down by water, up on even the highest mountains in the world. Why don’t we see
any older mountains? If evolution is true, you would expect to see mountains
on the surface of the earth that were raised up at all different times in the
past. But they weren’t. The mountains that exist today were all raised up at
basically the same time: the
age of mountain building as it’s sometimes
called. And if all the mountains in the world have recent rock layers on top
of them, rock layers laid down by water, that means that those mountains were
all under water in relatively recent times. Isn’t that interesting! I wonder
how that happened?
The evidence that they were underwater comes not only from the fact that these layers were originally laid down perfectly flat, just like everywhere else in the world, but that they’re filled with fossils of all kinds of sea shells and sea creatures. Even many native peoples noticed these sea shells and fish bones up on the mountains, and saw this as proof that the world had once been underwater in a great Flood. Maybe those native peoples weren’t so dumb after all!
Up in the mountains, many of these rock layers have been tilted by the same awesome forces that pushed up the mountains, some even to a ninety degree angle! But they were all originally laid down perfectly flat, which means they were originally laid down by water. Do you know that if you pushed all these mountains down to where they were before, and allowed the oceans to rise back up, as they would do naturally, the world would once again be completely covered by water in a huge Flood? Is that just a coincidence?
But there’s even more evidence that most of the layers on the earth’s surface were laid down at the same time and then turned into rock at the same time. What’s that? Polystrate fossils. These are fossils that cut through many layers of rock—sometimes, as in the case of big trees, through hundreds and hundreds of layers. How did this happen? Did the tree just sit there for millions and millions of years while the sediments slowly buried it, layer by layer? Of course not. The top part would have rotted away in just a few years at the most. So how could an entire tree be preserved long enough to be buried by so many layers, over thousands and millions of years? Well, obviously, it couldn’t. The only way a tree or other fossil can cut down through so many layers like this is if those layers were laid down rapidly, within a few days or weeks, not millions and millions of years.
Many of these polystrate fossils are preserved in the most minute detail, both at the top and at the bottom. There’s no evidence that they began to rot or decay before they were buried. Nor is there any evidence that they were later thrust down into the layers of sediment after those layers had been deposited. The layers come right up to the edge of the fossils, without any evidence of this kind of disturbance.
Another problem for evolutionists comes from meteorites and comets. Meteorites and comets are striking the earth’s atmosphere all the time. Most of them are quite small: the size of a grain of salt. So many of these strike the earth every day, that in a year’s time, it adds 14 million tons of dust to the earth’s surface. That’s a lot of meteor dust! This meteor dust has been measured directly on the ocean floor, and in the atmosphere. But there is none in all those huge, flat rock layers that evolutionists say accumulated over millions and millions of years. How can that be? If 14 million tons fall every year, and this can be measured directly in surface deposits on the earth today, why is there none of this in deeper layers? If these layers were once the surface of the earth over millions and millions of years (as evolutionists teach), there should be literally tons and tons of meteorite dust mixed in with these layers—enough to make a layer fifty-four feet deep over the entire surface of the earth! Where’s all that meteorite dust? There’s only one possible explanation: that all those layers, called the geologic column, were laid down together at one time, rapidly, so that there wasn’t time for any meteorite dust to accumulate.
Evidence that this actually happened can be seen at Mt. St. Helens, a volcanic mountain in the United States that erupted in 1980. Huge layered deposits, with lots of tiny layers, were laid down in just hours, and hardened into rock in a couple of years. That’s hard evidence for how the layering we see in the rocks of the earth took place. There is no hard evidence that it took place over thousands and millions of years: that’s pure speculation. But what we can actually see and measure with the tools of science tells us that these layers can be formed very quickly.
In fact, fossils themselves are clear evidence of the rapid formation of these layers. I still remember sitting in geology class at university, before I became a Christian, wondering why they never gave us a good explanation of how fossils form. The answer is easy. If you think too carefully about how fossils form, you will never believe that fossils have been forming over thousands and millions of years. Fossils just don’t form under the ordinary conditions of our world today.
One time, when I was pastoring in Iowa, a raccoon got hit by a car out at the end of our driveway. I told my congregation, we’ll just watch it turn into a fossil. Did it turn into a fossil? No. In a couple of days, it was gone, eaten by something. Dead animals just don’t lay around long enough to turn into fossils. If a fish dies in a lake or the ocean, what happens to it? It floats belly up to the surface until something eats it. It doesn’t make a fossil. Even if it settles down to the bottom of a lake and is covered with dirt or sand, that doesn’t mean it will become a fossil. It will usually just disintegrate over time. A fossil is not the usual outcome when something dies.
The only way it can turn into a fossil is if it’s suddenly buried in just the right mix of sediments and in the presence of water. Today, that’s an extremely rare event, if it’s happening anywhere at all. Yet in the rock layers of the earth, there are billions and billions of fossils. Many of these are in an excellent state of preservation. You can trace every detail of the animal. Sometimes you can even see what was in its stomach when it died. This would not be possible if it was exposed to the weather for even a short period of time.
In many places thousands and thousands of fossils are heaped up together in huge fossil graveyards. These sometimes go on for mile after mile after mile. How did all those animals get killed all at once? How did they all get buried together so quickly? It was obviously a catastrophe far greater than anything seen on the planet today. Not only are these fossil graveyards wide, they are also sometimes quite thick. How did all these different kinds of animals get washed together in one place? Because it’s obvious that they were all washed together by a lot of water from over a large area. There’s no river in the world that could create such a huge disaster today. Yet there they are.
Another evidence that these layers were laid down quickly is the preservation of markings that, if made in the world today, would never be preserved. For example, some rocks preserve fossilized markings of rain drops striking what was originally a muddy surface. If raindrops fall on mud today, are they fossilized? No, of course not. They’re just washed away by the next rainstorm. The only way raindrops on a muddy surface can be preserved is if they are buried quickly. This tells us that each layer was buried very rapidly by the next layer.
The same thing is true of fossil footprints. If you step into mud or sand today, will your footprints be preserved for thousands of years? No. They will be gone in just a few minutes or hours, depending on the weather. For them to be preserved for a long time in a fresh condition, they have to be buried immediately.
There are many other markings of this kind, which geologists call ephemeral markings: for example, ripple marks in the sediment. Normally a ripple mark is removed by the next wave on the edge of a lake or an ocean. But lots of ripple marks in flat layered sediment can only mean one thing: each layer of sediment was buried quickly, before any erosion could take place. These ripple marks are one of the most widespread features found in sedimentary rocks. That would only be possible in a major watery catastrophe that took place very quickly: a catastrophe like Noah’s Flood.
ORIGINAL TISSUE PRESERVATION
Some people get the impression that all fossils are hard things like bones or shells that have turned into rock over the years. That's the way I was taught at school. But sometimes the original tissues of a plant or animal are preserved. So, for example, when we went to investigate a brown coal deposit in Iowa, we were surprised to see that it had not turned into rock, but was just a layer of tightly pressed leaves and other debris. You could dig them out with your hand, and you could pull out the individual leaves. They were not fossilized. They were the original leaves, still laying there in the sediment. You could crunch them up in your hands, just like any other dried leaves. The only thing unusual about them was that they had turned a dark brown. They reminded me of old flowers pressed in a book. At most, they looked like they were a few hundred years old, and certainly not millions and millions of years old.
preservation of the original tissues of plants and animals like this is found
not only in layers near the surface, but even in the deepest and so-called
oldest layers. This makes it very difficult to believe that these things
have been laying there for millions and millions of years with so little change.
The most interesting example of remains like this are the unfossilized dinosaur bones now being found everywhere. Not only is bone protein still present, even blood elements are sometimes preserved! How could bone protein and blood elements be preserved for millions and millions of years? If dinosaurs are really so old, that bone and blood shouldn’t be there.
Is it possible that these dinosaur bones are not so old after all? For many years, scientists never bothered to date dinosaur bones with the carbon-14 dating method, because it was assumed they were too old: carbon-14 is only good for dating back to 100,000 years or so. But recently, creationist scientists have been sending dinosaur bones to evolutionist labs for dating, without telling them what they were or where they came from. They were shocked when the radiocarbon dates came back at only 30,000 years old! Dinosaur bones only 30,000 years old? I thought they died out millions and millions of years ago! Well, maybe the story they’ve been telling us is wrong!
Dinosaur C-14 Results
In fact, it now appears there is a small amount of carbon-14 in every once living thing: even preserved tissues from the lowest levels in the geological record. If the world is really millions and millions of years old, this is impossible. But if the earth is actually quite young, and was only created a few thousand years ago, this is exactly what we would expect to find. Everything still has some carbon-14 because nothing is that old. Evolutionists have no convincing way to explain this residual carbon.
PRESSURE IN OIL WELLS
Another challenge to the idea that the earth is old is the amount of pressure found in oil reserves. What happens when they strike oil? In the old days, the oil would often explode up out of the well in what’s called a blowout. The oil came out with so much force, it would often destroy the oil rig. Sometimes pieces of the drill were shot out high into the sky. The first gusher in modern times, near Beaumont, Texas, sprayed out more than 800,000 barrels of oil before it could be brought under control. If that oil was really down there for millions and millions of years, how could it still have so much pressure? Sedimentary rock is porous. Even the densest sedimentary rock will release this pressure little by little over the years. In just a few thousand years, the pressure should be reduced to zero. So why do these oil reserves still have so much pressure? They must not be very old!
RATES OF EROSION
Another problem comes from the erosion of the earth’s surface. Rain and wind are constantly eroding the surface of the earth and washing it into the sea. These erosion rates are known and have been measured. And the evidence indicates that these rates were even greater in the past. But even using present day rates of erosion, there should be much more sediment in the ocean than there actually is: thirty times more, if the earth is really several billion years old. The delta of the Mississippi river, for example, should be much, much larger than it is.
In fact, at present-day rates of erosion, all the continents on earth would be eroded down to nothing in only 14 million years. Only 14 million years! But evolutionists claim that the mountains of the world have been standing for many more millions of years than that. How can that be, if at present-day rates of erosion, which are even less than erosion in the past, those mountains would have long since eroded into the sea? Not only that, but many mountain ranges still have the appearance of being quite young, with sharp, angular features that they would not have if they were millions and millions of years old. The numbers just don’t add up.
Another difficulty for evolutionists is that many rivers are too small for the channel they’re flowing in. Evolution teaches that the canyons rivers flow in were cut down by those rivers slowly, over millions and millions of years. But many of these rivers are too small for that. They don’t have enough force to cut down through the rock they’re flowing through even with millions of years of time. The Colorado River, for example, can’t budge some of the boulders found in it.
Not only that: these rivers flow over floodplains that have already been dug out far beneath the current depth of the river, and then filled back in with sediment. That’s why these are called undersized rivers. Have you ever looked at a river canyon that cuts through hard rocky cliffs or hills with a lazy meander? How would that be possible even with billions of years of time? There’s really only one explanation: the river cut through while the sediments were still soft.
This is how the Grand Canyon formed. After the Flood, it took a long time for water to drain off the surface of the earth, especially in low spots, which became big lakes. There was one of these big lakes just northeast of the Grand Canyon: Grand Lake. But then suddenly, perhaps because of an earthquake, the water cut through one of the sides of this huge lake and came crashing down through still soft sediments to create the Grand Canyon. This was not in millions and millions of years, but in days. Even some evolutionists are coming around to this point of view, that the Canyon was formed suddenly.
SOFT SEDIMENT DEFORMATION
What’s the evidence that most of the layers of sediment on earth were set down at the same time and were all soft at the same time? There are many, many places on the earth’s surface where these layers have been distorted by powerful geological forces. But this usually did not affect just a single layer, but the whole sequence. See in the photo below how all the layers are bent and curved equally? In some cases, this can be explained by slow pressure bending the rock. But in many other cases, the bending must have taken place before the sediments turned into rock.
In some areas, this bending happened at the same time that the rock was heated to a high temperature. This partly melted it and then deformed it. (This is known as metamorphism.) But not all deformed rock shows evidence of being heated like this. Many are simple sandstones, with no evidence of heating.
The rock in the next photo looks three-dimensional, but it’s not. It’s a perfectly flat piece of solid rock. So how did all those little layers slip past each other, or bend or twist in this way? It couldn’t have happened after they had set and turned to rock, or they would have just cracked and broken. So that means that the whole column must have been soft at the same time, faulted at the same time, and then set into rock at the same time! This is more strong evidence that the earth’s sedimentary layers were laid down all at once and set all at once. And that means that the layers of rock that we see today do not represent the passage of millions and millions of years of time, but of a single, horrific catastrophe that we know as Noah’s Flood.
THE AGE OF THE EARTH
But if all this is true, why do evolutionists claim that the earth is 4.6 billion years old? Actually, the age of the earth can be calculated by hundreds of different methods, all of which give different results. Most of these methods give a very young age for the earth. Some give an older age, and a handful give a very old age for the earth. So how do we know which one is right?
Most scientists today point to the very oldest results. But that doesn’t explain why most methods of calculating the age of the earth give a much, much younger age. Unless these younger ages can be shown to be false, the older dates must be treated with caution. And since these very old dates are arrived at by radiometric dating, which is based on assumptions that cannot be proven, they must be considered suspect.
So what are some of these different methods? Chemicals wash down off the continents at rates that can be measured. If we assume that these rates have been constant, and that the seas started out with none of that chemical in sea water, and since they continue to accumulate in the ocean, by simple mathematics we can calculate the age of the sea. Since scientists agree that the seas have been present since the earliest ages, this will also give an approximate age for the earth. Using this method gives the very different results you can see here:
Chemicals in Ocean Water
One thing you can see right away is that even the very oldest date here, 164 million years, is much, much younger than the currently popular age of the earth at 4.6 billion years old. And nearly half of these chemicals give dates 100,000 years or less. So here are a total of thirty-two different age determinations for the earth that give an age far, far younger than the one method used to arrive at a date of 4.6 billion years. What does this tell us about the age of the earth? At the very least, it tells us that the earth is likely to be much, much younger than 4.6 billion years.
MORE EVIDENCE OF A YOUNG EARTH
But this is not the only line of evidence that the earth must be young. The alluvial fans of large rivers like the Mississippi River are not large enough to have been accumulating for millions and millions of years. All the sediment in the Mississippi Delta, at current rates of sedimentation, could have accumulated in only 5,000 years!
Niagara Falls is retreating at a known rate: about three or four feet every year. To get from its original starting point to its present position would have taken not millions of years, but only 5,000 years!
The layer of topsoil on the earth is an average of seven to eight inches deep. Beneath this, the ground is completely sterile. Without that seven to eight inches, there would be no plants, no crops. It’s vital to our survival. Scientists calculate that six inches of topsoil could be produced in somewhere between 5,000 to 20,000 years. If the earth is really so old, why isn’t there more topsoil?
New water is added to our oceans constantly by volcanic eruptions. About 20% of what comes out of a volcano is water in the form of steam. This water is not surface water, but water from beneath the surface of the earth, water that has never been on the surface of the earth before. Geologists call this juvenile water. The evidence indicates that there were much larger volcanic eruptions in the past than anything we see today. But even using current rates of eruption, if the earth is really old, the oceans should have fourteen times more water than they have today.
Not only that, but at current rates of eruption, rates happening right now today, the lava poured out by these same volcanoes would be more than the volume of all the continents on earth! And all the evidence says that there were even larger volcanic eruptions in the past. Yet volcanic rock (igneous rock) is only a small fraction of the rock we actually see on the surface. Where is all the rest of this rock? This tells us that the earth is young, not old!
Helium is produced by the breakdown of radioactive uranium and thorium found in the earth’s crust. At current rates, if the earth is billions of years old, there should be up to a million times more helium in the atmosphere than there is. Where is the missing helium? Some have claimed that it must be escaping into outer space. But there is no evidence that this is happening. The present amount of helium in the atmosphere indicates an age for the earth of only 10,000 to 15,000 years.
It used to be thought that the world’s coral reefs were very ancient. But actual studies have shown that coral grows quite rapidly. Seeding techniques are now used that can reestablish a damaged coral reef in just a few years. We now know that all the existing coral reefs in the world could have developed in only about 5,000 years. If the earth is really billions of years old, why are there no older coral reefs?
The oldest trees in the world are bristlecone pines found high in the mountains between California and Nevada. The oldest of these trees are only about 5,000 years old. But they seem perfectly capable of living a much longer time. Why are there no older living trees, here or anywhere else? The oldest redwoods are estimated to be about 4,000 years old. Redwoods are extremely hardy trees, resistant to fire, disease, and insects. Why are there no older trees? The currently living redwoods are the first redwoods to grow in the places they are currently growing. There is no evidence of earlier redwood trees growing in those forests. Why are there no earlier trees there? And why did all the oldest trees currently growing seem to start growing all at once? What disaster could have destroyed all living things before this time?
If you’ve ever visited a cave, you’ve been told that the stalactites and stalagmites found there took millions and millions of years to form. But stalactites have also grown in mining shafts that are only a few years old. Under the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., five foot long (1.7 m) stalactites have grown in less than fifty years. And there’s a place in Wyoming in the United States where a farmer stuck a pipe into a spring that built up a huge flowstone formation in just a hundred years!
You’ve also probably heard that coal takes millions and millions of years to form. But the evidence tells us that these coal deposits were washed into place, as even some evolutionists acknowledge. At Mt. St. Helens, coal was formed on some of the trees surrounding the volcano in just minutes by the heat of the eruption. Minutes!—not millions of years. Similar evidence can be seen in the fossil record.
We think of mummies as very old, but the oldest human mummies, like the mummies of Egypt, that can be historically dated are only about 4,000 years old. Why are there no mummies earlier than that? In fact, the earliest human civilizations themselves, which provide the only really reliable dates for the past, are no older than about 5,000 years. Why is that? Why is there no earlier evidence for civilization? Why does it appear suddenly, fully formed in the Middle East, just after the time the Bible gives for Noah’s Flood?
REVIEW OF LECTURE #1: As we have seen, the evidence of the rocks of the earth points not to an ancient earth, billions of years old, but rather to a young earth, only a few thousand years old. The rock layers of the earth’s surface show that they were laid down by a watery catastrophe, just like the Flood of Noah mentioned in the Bible. Rather than forming over millions of years, these rock layers were laid down rapidly and turned into rock all at once, creating the solid rock mountains we see around the world today in a matter of years, and not millions of years.
This is an excerpt from the first lecture of our Evidence of the Creation Seminar. For additional lectures request a seminar.
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Evolutionists claim it has been
mixed into the crustal rocks over time. But
even if this were so, there’s not enough nickel, cobalt, and other elements
common in meteorites to account for that fifty-four feet of material.
 In other words, there was much more water flowing in them at some time in the past, as in the rapid drainage that took place after the Flood.
 There is no evidence that they are precipitating out of sea water.
 Adapted from Henry Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984, pp. 440-41.