Flood models and flat-earthers
Published: 4 December 2011 (GMT+10)
This week, Dr Tas Walker answers a question about different opinions in the creationist community of the location of the boundaries of the Flood in the rocks, and Dr Jonathan Sarfati points out to a skeptic that the world’s most prominent flat-earther today is actually an evolutionist!
N.O. from Sweden writes
I recently read an extensive 1996 article from your Journal of Creation, which discussed the fossil record and the flood.
To me, Robinson seems to talk against many of your major claims of flood geology. As an example, he seems to say that the suggestion that the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary represents where the end of the flood, is false (p. 64), and that we have been trying to ‘reorder’ the data so it fit the creation model. Yet, it seems like CMI is still using the argument that the cretaceous/tertiary boundary represents the end of the flood. Robinson also claims that some of the leading creationists have been using argument straight from ‘Darwinian apologetics’ when they say that the lack of human fossils are the result of an incomplete fossil record, despite the fact that creationists often says that the fossil record are fairly complete.
Robinson seems to say that none of the land animal fossils are from the flood. He also seems to be sceptical many of the claims about rapid distribution of animals after the flood. What do you say about that?
I haven’t found any papers arguing against Robinson on your homepage, and wonder if we have to change the view of where the flood/post-flood boundary is? If we are not careful, sceptics might use this debate to say that creationism is a weak and vague worldview.
CMI’s Dr Tas Walker responds:
Thank you for your comment on the Flood/post-Flood boundary. This has been a contentious issue among creationists and it continues to be so. The discussion in CEN TJ 10(1) (Now Journal of Creation), all those years ago, was an effort to sort out the differences with papers on different views. Robinson’s view is quite extreme in that he put the post-Flood boundary very low in the geologic column. In fact, since that paper he has put his boundary even lower toward the bottom of the Precambrian and that creates huge problems.
There were quite a number of people in the 1990s who put the boundary in the Paleozoic, such as Garner, Tyler and Garton, Scheven, etc. Their view became known as the European model or the Recolonization model. In that view they claim the Mesozoic and Cenozoic provides a record of the recolonization of the earth since the Flood. We think that this model presents huge problems for the plausibility of Flood geology because it requires too much post-Flood catastrophe to explain the enormous volumes of sediment deposited in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. We think that this model will lead to the ‘disappearing Flood’ because this model assigns the geologic evidence for the Flood to Post-Flood period.
There are a number of articles on our site that argue for the Post-Flood boundary being late in the Cenozoic, which is what CMI scientists hold. Creationist geologists who make a good case for this are Holt, Oard, Froede and Woodmorappe. Do a search for these authors as well as “post flood boundary” on creation.com and you will find much discussion on it. Search also for “geologic column” and you will find articles (by Oard in particular, one called Is the geological column a global sequence?) that explain the late-Cenozoic boundary.
It is worth noting that Paul Garner has since changed his mind on the location of the boundary and holds to the boundary being much higher than he advocated in TJ 10(1). You can find using Google an article he wrote called “Time for an Upgrade?”
This is a very important issue and the range of creationist ideas promoted in the past has meant it can be confusing. You suggested that skeptics could use this against the creationist worldview. But I don’t agree with those who say debate is a bad thing and claim the creationist worldview is weak.
On the contrary, debate is a sign of progressive and energetic inquiry and research. It is a good thing for scientists to debate different models because this exposes the weakness in the poor models and helps strengthen the good models. Hold the models loosely but hold the Word of God tightly.
Back to the boundary, in our view, the late post-Flood boundary makes very good sense of the geologic data.
All the best,
Kevin E. from the United States writes:
My science question is the following: The beliefs posted on this site in the about us/ what we believe section state that the earth was made in “six 24 hour periods.” How is this unique only to our solar system when observational evidence from NASA and other scientific space programs shows that in all cases, extra solar planets (planets orbiting another star other than our sun) form an accretion disk and takes millions of years compared to days? Another question: Is the earth still flat?
CMI’s Dr Jonathan Sarfati replies:
It’s interesting that you ask us about the flat earth, when the leader of that movement is one of your fellow evolutionists:
“The Flat Earth Society is an active organization currently led by a Virginian man named Daniel Shenton. Though Shenton believes in evolution and global warming, he and his hundreds, if not thousands, of followers worldwide also believe that the Earth is a disc that you can fall off of.”1
If he had stuck to the Bible, he wouldn’t have made that error. See articles under Does the Bible really teach a flat earth?
If you demonstrate some seriousness in your questions (or at least try more informed quips that aren’t so easily turned back on you), I’ll discuss how extrasolar planets pose a problem for nebular models of solar system formation. See for example Solar system origin: Nebular hypothesis, Planets and migrating theories, and Solar system formation by accretion has no observational evidence.
Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
- Wolchover, N., Ingenious ‘Flat Earth’ Theory Revealed In Old Map, Live Science, 23 June 2011. Return to text.