Uniformitarism scientists and creation scientists have debated the age of the earth for many long centuries.  In order to account for an age of millions of years for dinosaurs to evolve, an earth that is billions of years old is necessary.  It seems that every new geologic or physical discovery automatically dates in millions of years upon discovery, thus further promoting the postulate of an old earth.

Creation scientists see the current evidence and new finds in a different light, however.  Placing the age of the earth in thousands of years as promoted by critical Bible study, they see a different set of circumstances unfolding.  And the arguments for a young earth grow more compelling when current scientific processes are more closely examined.  This article will examine geologic data in a logical and scientifically plausible forum.

In an effort to explain millions of years of evolution, scientists need an Earth that is billions of years old…

THE CREATIONIST’S FRIEND – MOUNT ST. HELENS

Mount St. Helens’ eruption in May, 1980 is an event that shocked the world with unprecedented might and power at the rate of 20 megatons of steam energy1.  It also has surprised the world by providing evidence that geologic processes, once assumed as taking anywhere from many thousands to millions of years, took only days, weeks and a few short years to accomplish.  This eruption caused many to reconsider this question:  Can such geologic processes observed truly happen through catastrophic events in a short time (like Noah’s Flood) or are they strictly accomplished by processes happening over millions and billions of years?

Over the space of about three hours on June 12, 1980, 25 feet of stratified deposits were laid down on the North Fork of the Toutle River.  The deposit occurred as a result of pyroclastic flows generated by collapse of the eruption plume of debris over the volcano1.  As a result, Mount St. Helens teaches us that stratification can and does happen rapidly in a catastrophe, and not just over a long space of time, as has been long assumed.

As well as being a site of rapid deposition of layers of strata, Mount St. Helens has also produced rapid erosion.  Once thought to take thousands or millions of years, the area around Mount St. Helens has revealed that the processes of erosion were as various as the geographic features that were formed.  As many as eight different processes of rapid erosion have occurred at Mount St. Helens, including the direct blast, debris avalanche, mudflows and water waves.  In fact, a mudflow occurred on March 19, 1982 as the result of another eruption that melted a snowpack in the volcanic crater, creating a mudflow.  This mudflow breached the deposits made in the North Fork of the Toutle River mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Yes, deposits can and do happen rapidly, as observed at this “geologic laboratory” and not necessarily over millions of years..

Mount St. Helens reveals a great deal of evidence that cannot be denied.  Geological processes that have been actually observed, and not assumed as true, include rapid deposits, rapid erosion and rapid formation of fossil deposits.  Each rapid process fits very nicely with a catastrophic event in a short period of time, such as the global flood in Noah’s day.

POLYSTRATE FOSSILS AND COAL FORMATION

Polystrate fossils are trees that are commonly found in coal mines that can go through several seams, or layers, hence the name poly (many) strate (strata) fossils.  The coal mines in which polystrate fossils are found are supposed to be millions of years old.  They have been found across the world, including North America, Europe and Australia2.

It is estimated that 1,000,000 logs floated upright in Spirit Lake on May, 1980 after water waves uprooted the trees with many of the roots intact in the vicinity of Mt. St. Helens.  Scuba divers and sonar scans confirmed that about 20,000 upright stumps were submerged and deposited on the floor of the lake in 1985.  The scuba investigations showed that some logs were buried in as much as three feet of sediment at the base and others were not buried in sediment, showing that they were deposited at different times and at different levels.  This example certainly brings new light to “petrified forests”, such as ones found at Specimen Ridge at Yellowstone1.  Geologists have long interpreted them as being deposited at different times over thousands of years.  Considering the rapid formation of these fossil deposits in Spirit Lake at Mount St. Helens, a rapid catastrophic event like Noah’s Flood seems to be a better explanation for the petrified forests at Yellowstone.

Trees are not able to survive for very long in salt water and with surrounding marine life.  So the following question must be raised:  How long would it take a tree submerged in salt water to die, rot and fall over?  If we believe evolutionary scientists, then we must assume that trees would not die, rot and fall over in millions of years until the coal deposits are allowed to form.  If we believe the Word of God, then clearly, polystrate fossils are the product of the Great Flood.

In addition to polystrate fossils, uniformitaristic science teaches that coal will take several millions of years to form, as peat is buried by mud at the bottom of an ocean, then becoming heated and compressed to slowly drive out water and other materials to slowly become coal.  Since mud accumulates very slowly at the bottom of the ocean, this process would theoretically take millions of years to accomplish3.

TIGHTLY FOLDED ROCK AND STRATA

Mountainous areas across the world have layers of rock which are bent and folded at deep levels, and some are nearly as tight as a hairpin4.  Evolutionary scientists claim that these folds were created millions of years after the rock solidified.  But these tight folds were formed in these solidified strata without any visible cracks.  This seems to be a hard pill to swallow.

Mount St. Helens’ eruption resulted in mudslides being deposited via catastrophic water action, with one mudslide after another canvassing the area like a stack of pancakes5.  These strata of rock look like any others one would see across the world, yet solidified in a short number of years, not in millions of years.  In the area of Mount St. Helens, there are several examples of tightly folded rock, which were formed before they solidified.  In this active, observable outdoor laboratory, we can see the work that was done under catastrophic conditions while still soft, much like clay being formed In the potter’s hands before being fired.  If one would try to form the clay after it has been fired (made solid), then it would likely break!

The catastrophic nature of these rock formations at Mount St. Helens show us that it is more likely that these tightly bent strata occurred at the hands of the worldwide flood described in Genesis, rather than millions of years after they became solid and likely to break.

CONCLUSION

In an effort to explain millions of years of evolution, scientists need an Earth that is billions of years old with geologic formations that took millions of years to complete.  Many of the assumptions and evidences used in support of an old Earth have never been seriously questioned, objectively tested or critically examined..  The working laboratory known as Mount St. Helens reveals overwhelming evidence that rapid deposits, erosion and formation of fossil deposits have occurred in a short period of time.  The very nature of polystrate fossils reveals that rapid, catastrophic events must have been responsible for their formation.  Tightly folded rock and strata testify that their formation must have happened recently and not in eons past.  All the evidence points to a catastrophic flood, just like what was recorded in Genesis thousands of years ago.

ADDED NOTE

I am providing a link from Creation Ministries International that explains more details about the age of the earth.  Click here to read this online article.

1 – The New Answers Book 3 edited by Ken Ham (Master Books, 2009) Why is Mount St. Helens Important to the Origins Controversy? By Dr. Steven A. Austin, pp. 253-262.

2 – The Book of Life edited by Stephen Jay Gould; Scientists, contributing; Illustrators, Peter Andrews.. [et al.] (Norton, 2000) p. 128

3 – The Young Earth by Dr. John Morris (Master Books 2007) pp. 102-104

4- http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4005.asp

5 – The Young Earth by Dr. John Morris (Master Books 2007) pp. 110-111

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3 Responses to “A Young Earth”


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