My family and I attended a couple of sessions of the Answers in Genesis Conference being held at Grace Church in Des Moines last night. One of the sessions was entitled “Why can’t a day just be a day?” This session was challenging the notion of our earth being billions of years old and promoting a young earth position (which I hold).
They ask without the concept of millions of years would anyone believe evolution is true? No, it would be incredibly hard to believe. Geologists look at geological formations with the assumption that sedimentary layers, canyons, fossils, etc – all of these demonstrate a process that occurs of thousands and millions of years. Take for example the Grand Canyon, many of us were taught that it was created by a little water over a long period of time.
Why couldn’t it have happened from a lot of water over a little bit of time? What event has taken place that would have been catastrophic enough for that to have happened? A worldwide flood perhaps?
They showed a video about the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980 that demonstrates what a lot of water can do in a short amount of time. I was unable to find the video online, but I did find an article by John D. Morris, PhD at the Institute of Creation Research website that explains why Mt. St. Helens has been studied extensively by ICR:
In general, ICR holds that most of earth’s rocks were formed rapidly during the great Flood of Noah’s day, not over the millions of years of supposed geologic history. But here’s the problem. Geologists like to study modern rocks and the processes which form them, and infer past circumstances. Yet Noah’s Flood was a totally unique event, unlike any in our experience. Those geologists who assume uniformity in history thus seem to have an advantage. But the rocks really do appear to have been formed by dramatic processes operating at rates, scales, and intensities far beyond those we experience. Only modern, local catastrophes, such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens, can give us a glimpse into earth’s geologic power, particularly as we expand our thinking onto the worldwide scale of Noah’s Flood. Thus the Mount St. Helens catastrophe becomes a scale model for the great Flood.
Keep in mind that most of the damage done by the eruption was water related. Mount St. Helens had been glacier-covered, and when it got hot, water raced down the mountain as a mighty flood, eroding soil, rocks, trees — everything in its path — eventually redepositing them at the foot of the mountain. Volcanic episodes added to the fury. When the eruption calmed, up to 600 feet of sediments had been deposited, full of plant and animal remains. Now the sediments have hardened into sedimentary rock and the dead things have fossilized. Furthermore, wood is petrifying. Peat (the precursor to coal) has formed. A deep canyon has been gouged out. Many features which geologists are taught take long ages to form, were seen to happen rapidly. Igneous rocks which formed since 1980 yield radioisotope dates of millions of years, but are obviously much younger in age.
In modern catastrophes we can see that they can rapidly do things that geologists insist take an incredible amount of time, things that Morris the Flood did on a grander scale. These features geologists mistake for being evidence of great age. Morris quips, “Earth doesn’t really look old, it looks flooded.”