Geological Indications

Most creationist work in the interpretation of the geology of the earth relates to the flood event, with its global resurfacing by catastrophic means. The polonium radiohaloes caused by alpha decay of radioactive isotopes are one of the few phenomena that have been addressed which seem to point back to creation week. The presence of 218Po haloes in biotite, for example, appear to be a signature placed in the rocks about three minutes after creation. (Some might interpret that as three minutes after activation of the process of decay, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics.) The heat from volcanic emplacement, the traditional interpretation for growing biotite crystals, would erase the haloes within hours, as proved by laboratory observations.

Most of the justification for vast geologic ages comes from radiometric dating. We are told that certain rocks are millions to billions of years old. There are self-consistent regional patterns of dates, suggesting the trustworthiness of the findings. Such 'dates' are inconsistent with the biblical time scale of only thousands of years. This is an area in which further study is important and progressing. For now we have numerous examples in which radiometric dating gives the wrong answers, such as 1/3 to 3 million years for Mount St Helens lava, historically dated at 10 years old. Potassium-argon dating, upon which most of the geologic column and especially hominid fossils are dated, is particularly prone to 'excessive argon' which gives inflated ages.

It appears that one or more of the basic assumptions for radiometric dating are violated in the usual measurements. The first assumption is that the amounts of 'mother' and 'daughter' isotopes are known at 'time-zero', with the daughter amounts assumed to be zero. Yet the rocks might be put in place with a non-zero daughter/mother ratio, invalidating the assumption. Secondly, there may be leaching into or out of the rock of the various mother and daughter elements, invalidating the assumption of a 'closed system'. Dating cannot be accurate if the radiometric clocks are being reset. The third assumption is that the rate of decay has been constant throughout geologic history. However, we have only measured that rate for about a century. While it seems risky to extrapolate such rates by up to eight orders of magnitude, for now it appears that the third assumption is generally valid. What we do know with generally great accuracy are the present ratios of mother and daughter isotopes and the present decay rates. To my knowledge creationist scientists do not yet have a good replacement theory of radioactivity, and so such important work must continue.

There are numerous indicators of age that give dates much less than the radiometric clocks. The amount of helium in the atmosphere is more consistent with the biblical time scale than with millions and billions of years. The amount of salt in the oceans is much less than would be deposited during the supposed vast geologic ages. Present erosion rates would level even the Himalaya Mountains to sea level in roughly ten million years. Therefore it is absurd, for example, to have the present Pocky Mountains of North America standing high above sea level for over fifty million years with so many of the peaks being in relatively youthful erosion states today.

The creationist scientists do not yet have any commonly accepted criterion for separating those rocks that date from the creation week from those laid down by the Genesis flood. Neither is there general agreement on which rocks are post-flood, though there are numerous strong proposals.

In considering the flood phenomena, I believe we must identify one or more mechanisms for the rapid destruction of hard crystalline rocks. Simple inundation by water is inadequate, because rocks can be submerged for ages without significant deterioration, as proved by underwater archaeological sites. The process of cavitation of water requires high speed (more than 30 m/s), and shallow (less than 10 metres deep) water, but it can destroy hard steel. Direct hydraulic pressures of high speed water are more probable destructive agents. Somehow, we need to properly account for the levelling of great mountain ranges within a small fraction of a year. It is my view that there is also need to address the continuity of matter during the flood. The sediment material came from somewhere. We need to identify the sources and account for the volumes of the sediments that were laid down. Deposition rates seem slow under today's conditions. Yet the preservation of fossils indicates that the rates were much greater when the enclosing sediments were laid down. The topography of the erosion and deposition surfaces of the past seems to be different from what we observe at today's surfaces. Past surfaces seem flatter over greater areas, which would be consistent with global resurfacing during the flood. Much more could be addressed with respect to flood studies, but this series of articles is particularly about creation week.

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