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Precambrian geology and the Flood

Published: 13 April 2019 (GMT+10)
en.wikipedia.orgDickinsonia-Costata
Dickinsonia costata from Ediacaran rocks of the late Precambrian

A.P. from the United States writes:

Hello, I would like to ask a question. I have been searching your site for articles about the Pre-Flood/Flood boundary. However, the only articles I can find are those about the Precambrian being from the Flood. I see a few problems with this, and so I would like to ask a few questions.

If the Precambrian is from the Flood, why do the fossils only appear from the Neoproterozoic on?

Why are these fossils still sorted by environment if they have been in turbulent waters for 40 days?

Although Andrew Snelling and Harry Dickens addressed Oard and other creationists about some of these issues, is there a reason for God to have accelerated radioactive decay, either in the Creation Week or the Flood?

There is a model by Don Stenberg in the Creation archive. Why was it discarded? It did not seem to have been dealt with properly, and it provides a good reason for decay.

Is there a good argument for why most Precambrian strata is not from the Flood?

Is CPT compatible with the Precambrian?

Thanks!

CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:

Dear A.,

Thanks for writing in. This is an area of research that sorely needs more attention. Dickens and Snelling have developed aspects of their model further, but there remain questions around some of their ideas (such as the biogenic origin of Archean stromatolites). Anyway, here are a few brief responses to your questions, given the material we have on the website (which I encourage you to read further).

If the Precambrian is from the Flood, why do the fossils only appear from the Neoproterozoic on?

Do they? What do we do with the massive amounts of carbon residues in the Precambrian, as well as fossils like the stromatolites in the Archean? We don’t have any firm answers to these questions yet, and creation researchers disagree on this matter. See Precambrian metazoans within a young-earth Flood framework and Creationist Geology: Where do the ‘Precambrian’ Strata Fit?

Why are these fossils still sorted by environment if they have been in turbulent waters for 40 days?

I think I would need some specific examples to respond to this question. On a general note, though, please see Beware of paleoenvironmental deductions and Paleoenvironments and the Bible.

Although Andrew Snelling and Harry Dickens addressed Oard and other creationists about some of these issues, is there a reason for God to have accelerated radioactive decay, either in the Creation Week or the Flood?

The belief in accelerated nuclear decay isn’t based on having a viable reason for it, but on the empirical evidence for it, such as radiohalos, anomalous radiocarbon, and ‘anomalous’ helium and argon retention in zircons and feldspar, respectively. The most intuitive reason for it I think is that it provided the needed energy for the various matter transformations that would’ve happened during Creation Week and the initiation of Noah’s Flood.

There is a model by Don Stenburg in the Creation archive. Why was it discarded? It did not seem to have been dealt with properly, and it provides a good reason for decay.

Dr John Baumgardner has rejected it. His reasons can be found here. But few others have responded to it. I think Dr Baumgardner outlines some important problems with it, but that doesn’t mean the basic idea can’t be reworked to accommodate the problems. From my understanding, Dr Stenberg is still working with his basic premise.

Is there a good argument for why most Precambrian strata is not from the Flood?

Actually, there are some creationists who think that much if not most Precambrian sedimentary strata are from the Flood. Dr Snelling used to (Creationist Geology: Where do the ‘Precambrian’ Strata Fit?), and Flood researchers Michael Oard, Tasman Walker and Max Hunter still do.

Is CPT compatible with the Precambrian?

Dr Tim Clarey, an ICR geologist and a supporter of CPT, has posited a Neoproterozoic megasequence within the Flood.1


A.P. from the United States writes:

wikipedia.orgKarijini-national-park
Banded iron formation at Fortescue Falls, Western Australia, is assigned to the Archean of the Precambrian.

Hello, CMI!

I have a question about antediluvian geography. On the ICR website, Timothy Clarey seems to have used the empirical sedimentary data to figure out pre-Flood geography. He has the configuration of Pangaea. However, paleomagnetic signatures seem to show that at the time of the Pre-Flood/Flood boundary a continent named Rodinia was rifting, as Snelling seems to think in his book, Earth’s Catastrophic Past. Is there a way to reconcile these two? And is there any evidence that Pangaea could have been the Pre-Flood continent instead of Rodinia or Pannotia? This doesn’t seem to fit the paleomagnetic evidence, but I haven’t studied it so I don’t know. This isn’t too pressing, but I was simply curious.

Thanks for all your help on my previous questions!

CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:

Dr Clarey has used the empirical sedimentary data to figure out some pre-Flood geography.2 In his 2018 International Conference on Creationism paper, he and his co-author Davis Werner try to recreate the pre-Flood continental configuration with respect to the Americas and Africa (since that’s all the data he has dealt with, so far). So, at present, Dr Clarey’s work is the most up-to-date research on these matters, but it’s still a work in progress. And it should be noted that Dr Clarey’s working pre-Flood configuration isn’t a straight copy of Pangea:

This is the first pre-Flood map created by creationists that is based on actual rock data. We placed the continents into a Pangaea-like (although slightly modified) configuration that allowed for a narrow pre-Atlantic Ocean and projected our interpreted locations of shallow seas, lowlands and uplands onto the base map. We recognize that debate exists over the pre-Flood continental configuration, with some advocating for an initial created supercontinent that was Rodinia-like (Snelling 2014a, 2014b). However, we chose a modified Pangaea because it has the most observable geological evidence to support it, including the best fit of the continents (Clarey 2016), and significantly reduces the plate motion required by not having to transform Rodinia into Pangaea (Baumgardner 2018). Baumgardner (2018) calls our Pangaea-like configuration Pannotia, but notes that they are very similar if Pannotia is rotated 110 [degrees] clockwise. In addition, the narrow sea (300 km) we placed between North America and Africa/Europe still allows for an early Flood subduction and closure of the pre-Atlantic and the formation of the Appalachians/ Caledonians. The width of this pre-Atlantic is based on P and S wave anomalies that diminish beneath the Appalachians below 300 km (Schmandt and Lin 2014).2

As to the paleomagnetic data, Dr Clarey informed me that, as we go back deeper into the rock record, the reconstructability of past continental configurations and locations gets more fuzzy because the paleomagnetic data gets less useful.3

Basically, there is a disagreement here, but it’s a relatively speculative endeavour, and we’re still in the early days of the research. Stay tuned for more developments!

Kind regards,
Shaun Doyle
Creation Ministries International

References and notes

  1. Clarey, T., Fountains of the Deep, icr.org/article/fountains-deep, 28 November 2014 Return to text.
  2. Clarey, T.L. and Werner, D.J., Use of sedimentary megasequences to re-create pre-Flood geography; in: Whitmore, J.H., (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 351–372, 2018; creationicc.org/2018_papers/32%20Clarey%20megasequences%20final.pdf. Return to text.
  3. Clarey, T., personal communication, 2 February 2019. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

How Noah's Flood Shaped Our Earth
by Michael J Oard, John K Reed
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Earth's Catastrophic Past
by Andrew A Snelling
US $60.00
Hard Cover
The Geologic Column
by John K Reed, Michael J Oard
US $15.00
Soft Cover

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