The Great Debators © discussion

16 views
Religion > Is the Bible a Historical Document?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 54 (54 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Prompt: Is the Bible a historical document?
This topic is to discuss whether the Bible can be considered Historically accurate. You guys already know my veiws, I hold that the Bible IS Historically accurate. To start this I may quote my posts 89 and 90 of the Creation v. Evolution topic. where I refuted several "inconsistencies" of the Bible. I thought that we should make sure the Creation v. Evolution topic stays on topic by creating this thread. So if you've always been wondering if there really is archeological proof of Ponteus Pilot having lived, or of Solomons wealth this is the thread for you.


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda (deeevoted) | 45 comments Mod
I love that not one story of the Bible has ever been disproved by archeological evidence. The longer we search, the more verification we find. Good idea, Andrew.


message 3: by Adam (new)

Adam No, the Flood never actually happened.


message 4: by Adam (new)

Adam There is not enough water on the planet to do that. Especially not in the time frame suggested by the Bible.

There is also no physical evidence of this happening either.


message 5: by Adam (new)

Adam If you prescribe to the "god can do whatever he wants" idea, then there's no actual debate. You will invariably win every argument because you can simply point out "ah ah, god can do whatever he wants".

I can point out all kinds of facts from physics, mathematics, biology, geology, chemistry, whatever, and you can simply respond with "God can do whatever he wants".

Even if I say "there is no physical evidence", you can say "God made it appear that way". At which point I can say "why?" And then you can respond with "he doesn't need a reason, he's God" or "humans aren't meant to really understand God". Either way you are not interested in discussing the facts as we have them.

So, now I'm confused as to the purpose of creating a debate group if you prescribe to this philosophy?


message 6: by Adam (new)

Adam Yes, but my response doesn't have to be specifically to you. My response is directed to the question you posed. You proposed an if/then/else sequence that essentially says that "if god did x, then he can do anything".

I didn't necessarily say YOU would respond with any of them, I merely pointed out that you COULD respond with those assertions if you prescribe to that type of claim.

My response to the Flood Myths is merely that it shows that flooding is a global phenomenon. Meaning, different peoples all over the earth have experienced flooding of one kind or another. It does not take a great leap of the human imagination to say "what if the WHOLE Earth flooded". Humans have been able to display great imagination throughout all of history, I don't see why this couldn't have been imagined by more than one peoples?


message 7: by Adam (new)

Adam Then I would ask, do all the flood stories claim to have been happening at the same time?

Usually if a major event is happening in the world other regions will corroborate the story at the same time. Does every single Flood myth claim they happened on the same date or do they have thousands of years apart?

Did someone go and check to make sure that Mount Everest was actually covered?

How much did Earth's rotational motion slow during this time frame? Would human life be very different after this period of breaking?

How did Noah breath on the boat at such a high elevation?

After the global flood, if we are to believe the Noah story, how did South America become repopulated? How did the animals get back there?As far as I know the land bridge between Asia and North America was not connected around the typical Biblical time of 10,000 years ago.

Also, why are there different races of humans? Or did Noah count Chinese and Japanese people amongst the different "species"?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

YEah.... the end of time has one but that book just has symbols to mean stuff..


message 9: by Adam (new)

Adam Well, then I'm more inclined to go with the Geologists here that say there is no evidence for a flood, rather than myths that could have been made up at anytime in mankind's history.

And even the end of time date is extremely suspect. Most of those "end of time" dates are false anyway, or written in such a way that you can't figure out what day it actually is haha.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah... plus if we died in 2012 at that curtain time not all people have the same time as us some r even almost a day ahead..... and the Mayans died out so they couldnt have make another calender


message 11: by Adam (new)

Adam haha, oh you're talking about the 2012 thing? There are Mayans still around actually, well people who believe the old stuff.

Anyway, the Mayan calender doesn't actually claim the timeline ends. It just says a new age is dawning, as in the cycle repeats. At least that's what I got out of this book:

Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation into Civilization's End


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh.... well still.... GOD LOVES US!


message 13: by Adam (new)

Adam And when I read the Bible all I can see is loves to kill us....


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

LOL.. i guess


message 15: by Adam (new)

Adam have you read the Bible?


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Well bits and pieces... not all the way threw


message 17: by Adam (new)

Adam then I how do I know you are sincere when you assert that "God Loves Us"?


message 18: by Alan (new)

Alan Adam wrote: "then I how do I know you are sincere when you assert that "God Loves Us"?"

Hey...he wouldn't send me to hell for not believing in him if he didn't love me, right?


message 19: by Adam (new)

Adam Right, BUT you'd first half to believe in him in order for him to send you to Hell... and also to love you : P.


message 20: by Alan (new)

Alan Christeen wrote: "also, if you ave different religions, there are numorus floods in mythology. "

It should be pointed out that a lot of archaeologists now think that flooding in the Black Sea accounts for a lot of flood myths in Europe and Asia. If i recall correctly, the Black Sea was once a freshwater lake a good bit below sea level. At some point the Mediterranian broke through and flooded the area. Not all archaeologists agree with this theory, but it is interesting.


message 21: by Adam (new)

Adam Alan wrote: "Christeen wrote: "also, if you ave different religions, there are numorus floods in mythology. "

It should be pointed out that a lot of archaeologists now think that flooding in the Black Sea ac..."


I've seen some of the fluid dynamics done on this. They actually showed what archaeologists could expect if the Black Sea did flood, because the waters flow would be counter to the normal way or something. I don't remember the exact directions of fluid flow. But in any event the mathematical model predicted a very strange fluid flow and they corroborated that with the soil samples found when they took cores from the area.

They also showed a shift in species found in fossils in different core samples as well. They also theorized that the size of the Sea increased wiping out settlements on the coastal areas.

This doesn't account for ALL flood myths, but it could account for some of them. The Roman Myth could also just be a rehash of the Judaic one, since the Jewish Myth had already been borrowed entirely from the Sumerians almost. This pre-dates the Bible by thousands of years even.

see:

The Sumerians Their History, Culture, and Character (Phoenix Books) by Samuel Noah Kramer


message 22: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
I don't know when I will have time to jump into this debate as my next couple days do not allow for much leisure time, but when I do I will answer all your questions.


message 23: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (djinni) | 71 comments Plus, if there was a flood there would be obvious widespread evidence of such nature that it would be hard to mistake it for anything else. Like how it's hard to mistake the ash around Mt. St. Helen for anything BUT a volcanic eruption. A phenomenon of such magnitude would have left ocean life behind everywhere, all over the globe. Have you seen thousands of fish skeletons in the middle of a continent that date correctly to the supposed time of the flood?


message 24: by Andrew Eddy (last edited Jun 30, 2011 02:08PM) (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "Plus, if there was a flood there would be obvious widespread evidence of such nature that it would be hard to mistake it for anything else. Like how it's hard to mistake the ash around Mt. St. Hele..."
Oh but there is scientific evidence for a global flood.
Those who dismiss a universal Flood as a real event fail to note that scientific ideas change with time, as new discoveries are made. For example, geologists thought for many years that the geologic record showed no evidence of catastrophes. It was thought that every formation could be explained by uniformitarianism. Today, these ideas have changed and many geologists and scientists say that the dinosaurs died when a meteorite hit the earth—a catastrophic event.
Man’s ideas change, but the Word of God stands forever—“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). This has been the record of mankind throughout history. Scientific ideas are not a constant that must be taken as the final word. New evidence often comes to bear on theories, which causes them to be changed. If the world were flooded for a year, we should expect to find some geologic evidence of it. When modern theories are discounted, the evidence indeed is there. Most of the world is covered with sedimentary rocks (about 80%). Sedimentary rocks are those which are often deposited under water or associated with water. Sedimentary Rock: in geology, rock composed of geologically reworked materials, formed by the accumulation and consolidation of mineral and particulate matter deposited by the action of water or, less frequently, wind or glacial ice. Most sedimentary rocks are characterized by parallel or discordant bedding that reflects variations in either the rate of deposition of the material or the nature of the matter that is deposited ("Sedimentary Rock," Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-1997, Microsoft Corporation, All rights reserved).
According to The Dynamic Earth, 75% of the rocks seen on the earth are sedimentary in origin. 25% are igneous (volcanic). This is further evidence of the Flood. In some areas, sedimentary strata covers the earth around 5 miles deep. We understand of course, that not all of the geologic record can be explained by one Flood. There are many difficulties with this position. The biblical Flood probably caused many formations. Here is a description of one such formation: “A similar deposit is found at Agate Springs in Sioux County in the northwestern corner of Nebraska. What remains of the hill covers about ten acres. This bone bed was accidentally discovered in 1876. It contains the bones of rhinoceroses, camels, giant wild boars, and other animals, buried together in a confused mass as only water would deposit them. It is estimated that the bones of about nine thousand complete animals are buried on this one hill. … Hence, it is likely that many times that number of animals were brought together at this hill and buried there by the action of water.… This is a fact that is most important. Animals of every kind died in great numbers and wereburied almost instantly” (The Flood by Rehwinkel, 1951, Page 183, emphasis author’s).
Notice that this deposit was obviously made under water.
The fish fossils in Wyoming are a powerful testimony of a powerful catastrophic event in the past. This destruction probably occurred when the “fountains of the great deep” were broken up to flood the earth in Noah’s day. One result of such a catastrophe would be
volcanoes erupting and poisoning the sea, killing many creatures. This is probably the cause of these fish dying. There are many evidences that at sometime in the past, mountain tops were under water. You can hike in the mountains of the west and find seashells, fossils of fish and other evidence that these mountains were at one time covered with water. In summary, the Bible asserts that the Flood was “universal” and covered the whole earth.

Fossils all over the world show evidence of rapid burial. Many fossils, such as fossilized jellyfish, (a .Thousands of jellyfish, many bigger than a dinner plate, are found in at least seven different horizons of coarse-grained, abrasive sandstone in Wisconsin. [See James W. Hagadorn et al., “Stranded on a Late Cambrian Shoreline: Medusae from Central Wisconsin,” Geology, Vol. 30, February 2002, pp. 147–150.]) show by the details of their soft, fleshy portionsb that they were buried rapidly, before they could decay. (Normally, dead animals and plants quickly decompose.Coarse grains slowly covering a jellyfish would allow atmospheric oxygen to migrate in and produce rapid decay. Burial in clay or mud would better shield an organism from decay. If coarse-grain sand buried these jellyfish in a storm, turbulence and abrasion by the sand grains would tear and destroy the jellyfish. To understand how thousands of jellyfish were gently collected and preserved in coarse-grained sand, see pages 176–187.
Charles Darwin recognized the problem of finding fossilized soft-bodied organisms such as jellyfish. He wrote:
No organism wholly soft can be preserved. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 330.
Once again, a prediction of evolution is seen to be wrong.
u Preston Cloud and Martin F. Glaessner, “The Ediacarian Period and System: Metazoa Inherit the Earth,” Science, Vol. 217, 27 August 1982, pp. 783–792. [See also the cover of that issue.]
u Martin F. Glaessner, “Pre-Cambrian Animals,” Scientific American, Vol. 204, March 1961, pp. 72–78.) The presence of fossilized remains of many other animals, buried in mass graves and lying in twisted and contorted positions, suggests violent and rapid burials over large areas.c (c . Presse Grayloise, “Very Like a Whale,” The Illustrated London News, 1856, p. 116.
u Sunderland, pp. 111–114.
u David Starr Jordan, “A Miocene Catastrophe,” Natural History, Vol. 20, January–February 1920, pp. 18–22.
u Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone, or New Walks in an Old Field (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1858), pp. 221–225.) These observations, together with the occurrence of compressed fossils and fossils that cut across two or more layers of sedimentary rock, are strong evidence that the sediments encasing these fossils were deposited rapidly—not over hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, almost all sediments that formed today’s rocks were sorted by water. The worldwide fossil record is, therefore, evidence of rapid death and burial of animal and plant life by a worldwide, catastrophic flood.(Donald G. Mikulic et al., “A Silurian Soft-Bodied Biota,” Science, Vol. 228, 10 May 1985, pp. 715–717. “... preconditions for the preservation of soft-bodied faunas: rapid burial of fossils in undisturbed sediment; deposition in an environment free from the usual agents of immediate destruction—primarily oxygen and other promoters of decay, and the full range of organisms, from bacteria to large scavengers, that quickly reduce most carcasses to oblivion in nearly all earthly environments; and minimal disruption by the later ravages of heat, pressure, fracturing, and erosion. ... But the very conditions that promote preservation also decree that few organisms, if any, make their natural homes in such places.” Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1989), pp. 61–62.)
The fossil record is not evidence of slow change. d . (Harold G. Coffin, Origin By Design (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Assn., 1983), pp. 30–40.)

http://www.creationscience.com/online...

http://www.creationscience.com/online...

http://www.creationscience.com/online...

http://www.creationscience.com/online...

The above pictures show fossils that were fossilized in the very act of eating or digestion. These could not have taken more than a 24 hour day to fossilize.

These were fossilized in a great torrent of water and sediment, not in thousands of years of natural causes. These sorts of fossils are found all over the world.

Do you need MORE evidence? The archeological/geological record is full of evidence for a worldwide flood.


message 25: by Alan (last edited Jun 30, 2011 03:07PM) (new)

Alan Most of that comment about sedimentary rock was vague and unspecific enough that it can't be directly disproved. I did find it interesting that your Nebraska fossil deposits are to be found on a river. Truly amazing, that you'd find flood deposits in a river valley.


All that you've really established is that soft bodied organisms rarely make fossils, but do sometimes; there's a lot of sedimentary rock on a planet covered by water; a planet covered by water with an active hydrosphere shows evidence of floods in the past; and that there are some really cool fish fossils out there.


message 26: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (djinni) | 71 comments tl;dr

"Those who dismiss a universal Flood as a real event fail to note that scientific ideas change with time, as new discoveries are made. For example, geologists thought for many years that the geologic record showed no evidence of catastrophes. It was thought that every formation could be explained by uniformitarianism. Today, these ideas have changed and many geologists and scientists say that the dinosaurs died when a meteorite hit the earth—a catastrophic event."

Basically, you say this.

1. Science once changed something.
2. Everything science says isn't true.


message 27: by Adam (new)

Adam Actually Andrew this didn't answer a single one of the questions I posed to you. I was sincerely hoping for some real insight. I have a few more serious questions, but you haven't addressed my simpler ones yet.


message 28: by Adam (new)

Adam Andrew wrote: "Oh but there is scientific evidence for a global flood.
Those who dismiss a universal Flood as a real event fail to note that scientific ideas change with time, as new discoveries are made. For example, geologists thought for many years that the geologic record showed no evidence of catastrophes. It was thought that every formation could be explained ..."


Andrew use spaces between your paragraphs.

There are a few problems here.

1) You cite creationism sources, these are not peer reviewed by the scientific community
2) You cite the origin of species. At the time of it's writing Darwin did not have full proof of his hypothesis.
3)You provide NO dates from when these alleged catastrophic events took place.

Your entire post basically says "catastrophic flooding happened in certain parts of America." The end.


message 29: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "Actually Andrew this didn't answer a single one of the questions I posed to you. I was sincerely hoping for some real insight. I have a few more serious questions, but you haven't addressed my si..."

Sorry for not answering your questions sooner it is not for lack of answers.

"Then I would ask, do all the flood stories claim to have been happening at the same time?"
Myths do not have a date. But it is certianly interesting that most of the flood myths have much in common:
1 family saved
family makes a boat or raft
Water covers entire earth
They offer sacrifices afterward

"Usually if a major event is happening in the world other regions will corroborate the story at the same time. Does every single Flood myth claim they happened on the same date or do they have thousands of years apart?
That is impossible to prove. Just as it is impossible to prove the exact date homer died. We simply do not have enough evidence.

Did someone go and check to make sure that Mount Everest was actually covered?
Yes seashells and other ocean "left overs" have been found on Mount Everest.
"How much did Earth's rotational motion slow during this time frame? Would human life be very different after this period of breaking?"

Please explain, you lost me on this one.

How did Noah breath on the boat at such a high elevation?
There is an explanation to this which makes sense of many other questions as well: Before the flood there were only hills, no mountains. It was the earthquakes and volcanos during and immediately after the flood which formed the mountains we now see. This explains several things as the not as much water is needed since there was no need to flood up to the mount everst level, but only up over the "high hills". So also they where at an elevation which it would have been perfectly easy to breath.

"After the global flood, if we are to believe the Noah story, how did South America become repopulated? How did the animals get back there?As far as I know the land bridge between Asia and North America was not connected around the typical Biblical time of 10,000 years ago."

Whoa! where did you get that date? If you take all the Bibles dates and add them up you get creation approximately 6000 years ago and the flood approximately 3600 years ago. The most common understanding among Biblical literalists (which I agree with) is that The continents were all one "supercontinent." It was not until several generations after the flood that the continents broke apart to what we see today. This would allow plenty of time for the people and animals to spread to other continents


“Also, why are there different races of humans? Or did Noah count Chinese and Japanese people amongst the different "species"?”

NO!!! There are no “races”! We are all from the same family (Noah’s and before him Adam’s). See Noah had three sons and their wives who were on the ark. From them came all the races (Specifically: Ham=African, Shem=Middle Eastern (Arabs/Jews) Japheth=Caucasian) But all of these were sons of one man (Noah). It is Evolution rather than Christianity which teaches racism. Evolution teaches that different “races” evolved from lower species. The Bible teaches that there is only one race: namely the HUMAN RACE.

Please post any other questions you may have, although I am no scientist or archeologist, I will do my best to answer them. The Bible DOES have answers to every question which you may have.


message 30: by Adam (last edited Jul 01, 2011 12:42PM) (new)

Adam Before I answer any of this... you seriously think the world was flooded in 1589 BCE?

I don't see "FLOOD" anywhere on this list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16th_cen...

P.S. 10,000 years ago for the earth creation is the date I've heard most often amongst creationists.


message 31: by Andrew Eddy (last edited Jul 01, 2011 12:52PM) (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "Andrew wrote: "Oh but there is scientific evidence for a global flood.
Those who dismiss a universal Flood as a real event fail to note that scientific ideas change with time, as new discoveries a..."


I will work on finding you some "non-religious" sites which agree agree here are what I have found so far:

This is a National Geographic archive which tells of some of the flood "myths" which corroborate the Bible:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/bla...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo1Fjt...

http://crev.info/index.php/content/na...

I will edit this post as I find more, thanks for your patience.


message 32: by Adam (new)

Adam The site you linked says they theorize it was the Mediterranean combining with the Black Sea.

Also, can you get me an estimate of the elevation of these hills? I have never heard this claim and it is utterly ridiculous if you claim it happened in 1500 BCE.


message 33: by Alan (new)

Alan Evolution teaches that different “races” evolved from lower species.

Not correct. Evolution teaches that different "races" of people are regional adaptations of a common root stock.

P.S. 10,000 years ago for the earth creation is the date I've heard most often amongst creationists. That figure is a compromise figure, i think, guessed at by creationists who allow that the bible may not contain an unbroken geneology from Adam to the time of Jesus. Bishop Ussher is the most commonly quoted biblical literalist to have added up the years, and came up with a creation date of 4004 BCE. He even had a day, month, and hour figured out, but i forget what it was.


message 34: by Adam (new)

Adam Thank you Alan. That must've been awfully confusing for the Sumerians around that time. That was during the Al-Ubaid period, if I remember correctly.

They must have been quite shocked to hear a booming voice from the sky proclaim to create all the things that were already around them...


message 35: by Alan (new)

Alan Also, can you get me an estimate of the elevation of these hills? I have never heard this claim and it is utterly ridiculous if you claim it happened in 1500 BCE. I second this request, along with any more information about the continents separating a few generations after the flood idea. I'd also be interested to hear your explanation of why, if all mountains are the same age, why is it that some are (far) more heavily eroded than others despite similar climates.


message 36: by Adam (new)

Adam Alan wrote: "Also, can you get me an estimate of the elevation of these hills? I have never heard this claim and it is utterly ridiculous if you claim it happened in 1500 BCE. I second this request, along with..."

Oh and to present my rebuttal to anything that might be said about this: (Alan you might enjoy this read and also using it as a rebuttal).

Supercontinent Ten Billion Years in the Life of Our Planet by Ted Nield


message 37: by Alan (new)

Alan Adam wrote: "Thank you Alan. That must've been awfully confusing for the Sumerians around that time. That was during the Al-Ubaid period, if I remember correctly.

They must have been quite shocked to hear a ..."


Equally astonishing for the Chinese, who somehow domesticated rice, pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and dogs before they were created.


message 38: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Alan wrote: "Evolution teaches that different “races” evolved from lower species.
"Not correct. Evolution teaches that different "races" of people are regional adaptations of a common root stock."
Okay. But Darwin's Theories are very racist. (I can give you quotes if you want, but maybe we should make another thread for this.)

P.S. 10..."


I agree with Bishop Ussher's dates which put creation at 6,004 years ago.


message 39: by Adam (new)

Adam Alan wrote: "Adam wrote: "Thank you Alan. That must've been awfully confusing for the Sumerians around that time. That was during the Al-Ubaid period, if I remember correctly.

They must have been quite sho..."


Indeed. I think the Onion actually has an article about this:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/sume...


message 40: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "The site you linked says they theorize it was the Mediterranean combining with the Black Sea.

Yes, I know.
Also, can you get me an estimate of the elevation of these hills? I have never heard this claim and i..."


Yes, the elevation of the "High Hills" was approximately 1.3 miles (6,864 feet). The flood happened in 1600-1700 BC.


message 41: by Andrew Eddy (last edited Jul 01, 2011 01:15PM) (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "Thank you Alan. That must've been awfully confusing for the Sumerians around that time. That was during the Al-Ubaid period, if I remember correctly.

They must have been quite shocked to hear a ..."

Can you give me your references. Much of the dating used for those civilizations are off in their reckoning.


message 42: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Alan wrote: "Could I have any more information about the continents separating a few generations after the flood idea. I'd also be interested to hear your explanation of why, if all mountains are the same age, why is it that some are (far) more heavily eroded than others despite similar climates?"

I have an excellent article for you which is a creationists response to that question:

Here is the link: http://creation.com/eroding-ages

Eroding ages
by Tas Walker
It was James Hutton, the Scottish physician-turned-geologist, who suggested in 1785 that the earth was immensely old. His famous assertion that there was ‘no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end’ paved the way for Darwin’s theory of evolution.1 Today most geologists take Hutton’s views for granted. Evolutionists generally accept that the continents formed at least 2.5 billion years ago.2 The published ages of parts of Australia are greater than 3.0 billion years. Much of the rest of the continent is said to be 3.0 to 0.6 billion years old.3 A similar story is told for other continents —the age of their basement rocks is in the billion-year range.

These ideas are found to be wholly unconvincing once we take a closer look. We find that there are many geological processes that indicate the continents are not as old as evolutionists say.4 One such problem for the old-age idea is erosion. The continents cannot be billions of years old because they would have eroded away long ago. There should be nothing left.

Measuring erosion
Water is the main culprit that dissolves many minerals, and loosens soil and rock from the landscape, transporting them to the ocean. Day after day, year after year, like an endless procession of freight trains, the rivers of the world cart tonnes of decomposed rock across the continents and dump it in the ocean. By comparison, the amount removed by winds, glaciers and ocean waves pounding the coastline is small.

Water can do its eroding work once it falls as rain. It collects into regions called drainage basins—areas easily identified on a topographic map. By sampling the mouth of the river, we can measure the volume of water discharged from the basin and the amount of sediment it carries. It is difficult to be exact because some sediment is rolled or pushed along the bottom of the river. ‘Bed load’, as it is called, is not easily observed. Sometimes an arbitrary allowance is included to account for it.

Another problem is how to handle rare catastrophic events. Although these can transport huge quantities of sediment in a very short time, they are almost impossible to measure. Bed load and catastrophe both transport more sediment than is measured directly.

Nevertheless, sedimentologists have researched many of the world’s rivers and calculated how fast the land is disappearing. The measurements show that some rivers are excavating their basins by more than 1,000 mm (39 inches) of height in 1,000 years, while others move only 1 mm (0.04 inches) in 1,000 years. The average height reduction for all the continents of the world is about 60 mm (2.4 inches) per 1,000 years, which equates to some 24 billion tonnes of sediment per year (Table 1).5 That is a lot of top dressing!

Disappearing continents
On the scale of one human life-span, these rates of erosion are low. But for those who say the continents are billions of years old, the rates are staggering. A height of 150 kilometres (93 miles) of continent would have eroded in 2.5 billion years. It defies common sense. If erosion had been going on for billions of years, no continents would remain on Earth.

This problem has been highlighted by a number of geologists who calculated that North America should have been levelled in 10 million years if erosion has continued at the average rate.6 This is a ridiculously short time compared with the supposed 2.5-billion-year age for the continents. To make matters worse, many rivers erode the height of their basins much faster than average (Table 1). Even at the slowest rate of 1 mm (0.04 inches) reduction in height per 1,000 years, the continents, with an average height of 623 metres (2,000 feet), should have vanished long ago.
Mountains and the Flood

Uplift of continents and mountains, and deepening of ocean basins in the closing stages of the Flood, help to explain that the water which temporarily covered the whole earth (after mostly coming from subterranean sources—the ‘fountains of the great deep’) is now in the oceans. Here is where God has ‘set a bound that they may not pass over, so that they do not turn again to cover the earth’ (Psalm 104:9).

If the surface features of the earth were totally flattened out, water would cover the globe to a depth of 2.7 km (1.7 miles). That is still much less than the height of Mt Everest (some 8 km [5 miles]) and other Himalayan mountains.

However, the Flood waters did not have to be this deep in order to cover ‘all the high hills that were under the whole heaven’ of the pre-Flood earth (Genesis 7:19). The Himalayas show clear evidence of having been pushed up after layers of fossil-bearing Flood sediments had been deposited. Thus the ‘high hills’ (mountains) before the Flood were different from those we see today, and were probably not much higher than 2 km (1.3 miles). Much of this pre-Flood mountainous mass may have been eroded away during that year-long cataclysm.

These rates not only erode the idea of billion-year-old continents but also crumble the concept of ancient mountains. In general, mountainous regions with their steep slopes and deep valleys are eroded fastest. Erosion rates of 1,000-mm (39 inch) height reduction per 1,000 years are common in the alpine regions of Papua New Guinea, Mexico, and the Himalayas.7 One of the fastest recorded regional height reductions is 19,000 mm (750 inches) per 1,000 years from a volcano in Papua New Guinea.8 The Yellow River in China could flatten a plateau as high as Everest in 10 million years.9 The mountain ranges, such as the Caledonides of western Europe and the Appalachians of eastern North America are even harder to explain because they are not as high as Everest, yet are supposed to be several hundred million years old. If erosion has been going on for this long, these mountains should not exist.10
Erosion is also a problem for flat land surfaces that are considered very ancient. These surfaces extend over large areas yet show little or no sign of erosion. Furthermore, the surfaces have no evidence of having had any other layers on them. An example is Kangaroo Island (southern Australia) which is about 140 km (87 miles) long and 60 km (37 miles) wide. Its surface is said to be at least 160 million years old, based on the fossil content and radioactive dating. Yet it is extremely flat over most of its area.11 The land is virtually the same as when it was uplifted—erosion has hardly touched the exposed surface. How could it stay so flat for so long without being eroded by 160 million years of rain?
Looking for an out

Why do the continents and mountains still exist if they are being eroded so quickly? Why do so many landforms, claimed to be old, show no sign of erosion? The simple answer is that they are not as old as claimed, but ‘young’ like the Bible says. However, this is not philosophically acceptable to evolutionary geologists, so other explanations are sought—in vain.

For example, it is suggested that the mountains still exist because uplift is constantly replacing them from below.12 Consequently, the mountains would have been eroded and replaced many times over in 2.5 billion years. However, although uplift is occurring in mountainous areas, such a process of uplift and erosion could not go on for long without removing all the layers of sediments. We would therefore not expect to find any old sediment in mountainous areas if they had been eroded and replaced many times. Yet, surprisingly, sediments of all ages from young to old (by evolutionary dating methods) are preserved in mountainous regions. The idea of continual renewal by uplift does not solve the problem.

Another idea suggested to solve the problem is that the present rates of erosion being measured are abnormally high.13 According to this argument, erosion was much less in the past before humans interfered. Human activity, such as land clearing and farming is said to be why we are measuring such high rates at present. However, quantitative measurements on the effect of this human activity have found that erosion rates are increased only 2 to 2.5 times.14 For this explanation to solve the problem, the increase would need to be several hundred times greater. Once again, the explanation does not work.

It has also been suggested that the climate in the past was much drier (because less water would mean less erosion).15 However this idea goes against the evidence. The climate was actually wetter, as deduced from the abundance of lush vegetation in the fossil record.
Continents are young

The ‘slow and gradual’ story, suggested by the Scottish physician Hutton two hundred years ago, does not make sense. Old-earthers claim that the continents are over 2.5 billion years old, yet using their own assumptions, the continents should have eroded away in 10 million years. Note that this 10 million years is not the estimated age of the continents.16 Rather, it highlights the bankruptcy of uniformitarian ideas. Geologists who believe the Bible consider that the mountains and continents we have today were formed as a consequence of the Flood of Noah’s day. When the continents were uplifted at the end of the Flood, the incredible energy of the retreating floodwaters carved the landscape. Not a lot, geologically speaking, has happened in the 4,500 years since then.

Erosion rates of some major rivers of the world
Table 1:
Average lowering of the land surface within the drainage basin in mm (inches) per 1000 years.17
Wei-Ho
1350 (53)
Hwang-Ho
900 (35)
Ganges
560 (22)
Alpine Rhine and Rhone
340 (13)
San Juan(U.S.A.)
340 (13)
Irrawaddy
280 (11)
Tigris
260 (10)
Isere
240 (9.4)
Tiber
190 (7.5)
Indus
180 (7.1)
Yangtse
170 (6.7)
Po
120 (4.7)
Garonne and Colorado
100 (3.9)
Amazon
71 (2.8)
Adige
65 (2.6)
Savannah
33 (1.3)
Potomac
15 (0.59)
Nile
13 (0.51)
Seine
7 (0.28)
Connecticut
1 (0.04)


I will post the references for this in the next post.


message 43: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
References and notes
Hutton, J., Theory of the Earth with Proof and Illustrations, discussed by Press, F. and Siever, R., In: Earth 4th ed., W.H. Freeman and Company, NY, USA, pp. 33, 37, 40, 1986. Return to text.
Roth, Ariel, Origins: Linking Science and Scripture, Review and Herald Publishing, Hagerstown, 1998. A number of references about the growth and preservation of continental crust are cited. Return to text.
Parkinson, G., (ed.), Atlas of Australian Resources: Geology and Minerals. Auslig, Canberra, Australia, 1988. Return to text.
Morris, J., The Young Earth, Creation-Life Publishers, Colorado Springs, USA, 1994. Explains a number of geologic processes that support the view that the earth is young. Return to text.
Ref. 2, p. 264, collates erosion rates from a number of sources. Return to text.
For example, Ref. 2, p. 271, quotes Dott & Batten, Evolution of the Earth, McGraw-Hill, NY, USA, p. 155, 1988, and a number of others. Return to text.
Ref. 2, p. 266. Return to text.
Ollier, C.D. and Brown, M.J.F., Erosion of a young volcano in New Guinea, Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 15:12–28, 1971, cited by Roth, Ref. 2, p. 272. Return to text.
Sparks, B.W., Geographies for advanced study, In: Geomorphology 3rd ed., Beaver, S.H. (ed.), Longman Group, London and New York, p. 510, 1986, cited by Roth, Ref. 2, p. 272. Return to text.
Ref. 2, p. 264. Return to text.
Ref. 2, p. 266. Return to text.
For example, Blatt, H., Middleton G. and Murray, R., Origin of Sedimentary Rocks, 2nd ed., Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall, p. 18, 1980, cited by Roth, Ref. 2, p. 266. Return to text.
Ref. 2, p. 266. Return to text.
Judson, S., Erosion of the land—or what’s happening to our continents? American Scientist 56:356–374, 1968. Return to text.
Ref. 2, p. 266. Return to text.
It is the upper limit of age; the true age could be anything less, e.g., the biblical age of about 6,000 years. Return to text.
Adapted from Roth, Ref. 2, p. 264. Return to text.


message 44: by Alan (new)

Alan When you copy and paste so much that i can actually tell what web sites you're using, it doesn't really constitute a debate. I have not pasted information from the USGS, university, or other geology websites at you, i'd appreciate the same courtesy. Worse, the absurd amount of text you dropped in your post doesn't even answer the question i asked.

Your post overly long quote says nothing at all whatsoever about continents separating years after the flood. It says nothing about why, if all mountains are the same age, they aren't all similarly eroded.


message 45: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Alan wrote: "Oh-- if you'd like to read Andrew's "post" in it's original typeface, you can find it here: http://creation.com/eroding-ages"

I did give that in my post.


message 46: by Alan (new)

Alan I did give that in my post Yeah, i caught that after i posted... i found the site by googling a random sentence.


message 47: by Adam (new)

Adam Andrew I have found a fatal flaw in your claim. I just re-read the entire Flood story in Genesis. There is NO mention of earthquakes. Furthermore there is no mention of hills. In fact it says the water covered the mountains and it was 15 cubits above the highest peak.

So the Bible doesn't seem to corroborate your Hill Theory... sorry.


message 48: by Adam (new)

Adam Andrew wrote: "Adam wrote: "Thank you Alan. That must've been awfully confusing for the Sumerians around that time. That was during the Al-Ubaid period, if I remember correctly.

They must have been quite shock..."


I linked one above The Sumerians by Samuel Noah Kramer.

The dating isn't wrong, Creationists understanding of dating techniques is what's wrong.


message 49: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
"The dating isn't wrong, Creationists understanding of dating techniques is what's wrong."
Please explain...


message 50: by Andrew Eddy (new)

Andrew Eddy | 95 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "Andrew I have found a fatal flaw in your claim. I just re-read the entire Flood story in Genesis. There is NO mention of earthquakes. Furthermore there is no mention of hills. In fact it says t..."
Yes there is look at Genesis 7:19 (I am using NKJV).
If you look in the Hebrew, the word "Mountian" used in this verse and verse 20 means "high hill".

The earthquakes are mentioned in Genesis 7:11 (NKJV)
"In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

when it says "broken up" in more modern language that means "earthquake".


« previous 1
back to top