The uplift of the mountains
It happened quickly but did not terrify people
Today’s feedback from Peter R. of Australia, concerns the timing of the uplift of the world’s mountains. It’s answered by CMI’s Dr Tas Walker.
Recently I watched the new video “Is Genesis History – mountains after the flood”.
In this video the geologists say that evidence presents itself for the rapid rise of the mountains (and sinking of the valleys) after the Flood (no water erosion at the peaks and the folded sedimentary material at the top of many mountain ranges). I can see this.
This must have been extremely dramatic, maybe witnessed by Noah and his sons, or sometime later by their descendants.
Many cultures record the global Flood occurred but are you (or your many geological experts et al.) aware of any records other than biblical (Psalms) that report these massive shifts post Flood and when they happened. They must have been terrifying. I found nothing when I searched on Creation.com for tectonic plate shift post Flood.
I couldn’t find anything using google either but would love to find/read any written records if they exist.
Peter R., Cairns, Australia
CMI’s Dr Tas Walker responds:
Thanks for your email and question.
I found a short YouTube clip from the new sequel to Is Genesis History about mountains after the Flood. The clip was entitled How Did the Rocky Mountains Form? | Mountains After the Flood | Is Genesis History? It features Dr John Whitmore of Cedarville University. I think this is what you are referring to. The video is excellent and presents a good explanation for how Noah’s Flood related to the origin of the mountains. However, the timing “after the Flood” does raise some questions, as you indicate.
The quick answer is, “I’m not aware of any written historical records that describe any post-Flood, catastrophic events of such an enormous global scale as is evidenced by the geology of the Cenozoic.” I will discuss this below and provide relevant links on Creation.com.
You say, “This must have been extremely dramatic, maybe witnessed by Noah and his sons, or sometime later by their descendants. … [It] must have been terrifying.” Indeed, it would have been terrifying for anyone alive on the earth at that time.
You then say, “Many cultures record the global Flood occurred [e.g., Flood legends], but are you (or your many geological experts et al.) aware of any records other than biblical (Psalms) that report these massive shifts post Flood and when they happened. I found nothing when I searched on Creation.com for tectonic plate shift post-Flood. I couldn’t find anything using Google either but would love to find/read any written records if they exist.”
This highlights one of the ongoing debates among creation geologists about the detailed timing of the Flood. Some consider the Flood ended around the end of the Cretaceous (see the Geology Transformation Tool). This is sometimes called the low Flood boundary. Creation geologist John Whitmore who is interviewed in the above video clip would hold to that sort of a view. Consequently, such geologists place the enormous geological events that took place in the Paleogene after the Flood. That includes the uplift of the mountains, as stated in the title of the video clip.
Some creation geologists see the Flood peaking at around the end of the Cretaceous and retreating in the Paleogene and Neogene. In this view, the mountains rose in the second half of the Flood. The mountains were uplifted rapidly, but they did not rise all at once. They rose as the floodwaters were retreating over a period of six or seven months, their timing controlled by the movement of the tectonic plates and the location of the mountains on the continents. The timing of when the different mountains rose affected how much the retreating floodwaters eroded them.
The issue of the post-Flood boundary has been one of ongoing debate among creation geologists for several decades. There have been many articles on it, such as Is the K/T [now K/Pg] the Post-Flood boundary? Also there have been forums discussing the post-Flood boundary such as Post-Flood boundary analysis. It seems that the geological column provides a general Flood order but there are exceptions as explained in Geologic column general order. This is especially true for the Paleogene, which is when the floodwaters were retreating and the mountains were uplifted.
Your comment about the uplift of the mountains being dramatic and terrifying illustrates the problem of placing enormous geological catastrophe after the Flood. That needs to be explained if we assume a low post-Flood boundary. The higher post-Flood boundary does not have that problem. Noah and his family were still on the Ark, waiting for the waters to go down when the mountains were uplifted. No people or animals on the Ark were killed. The mountains did not rise after people and animals had left the Ark and dispersed over the earth. Indeed, if the mountains had risen at that time, it would have been terrifying for those people.
There have been post-Flood catastrophes and some have been recorded historically, such as the eruption of Vesuvius, the Jishi flood in China, and the 2004 tsunami in Asia. But I am not aware of any written historical records that describe any post-Flood catastrophic events of continental scale like those preserved in the geology of the Tertiary.
A good explanation of the timing of mountain uplift is presented in Mountains Rose, a review of the book by secular geologists Cliff Ollier and Colin Pain, published in 2000, entitled “The Origin of Mountains”. Ollier and Pain’s radical field deductions of folding of strata, of worldwide planation before the mid Pliocene, then uplift and dissection of the planation surfaces, fits in neatly within the Flood model, especially the Recessive Stage of the Flood.
All the best to you.
Geologist, Writer, Speaker