The subject of the age of the earth and the age of the world ocean is a matter of extreme importance. If there is evidence for an old ocean, then this could be used to support the evolutionist’s supposition that life arose from primitive, inorganic marine chemicals over a billion years ago. If, however, the world ocean can be shown to be a relatively youthful feature, then the evolutionist would seem to lose his case by default.
Two basic models for the world ocean can be imagined. According to evolutionary-uniformitarian geologists, the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. The world ocean is supposed to have formed by outgassing of water by volcanic processes early in the earth’s history. By no later than 1 billion years ago, in the popular scheme, the ocean reached its present size and chemical condition, and primitive one-celled life forms had already evolved by chance processes from lifeless chemicals. For a period of at least 1 billion years the ocean has remained at roughly constant salinity while the single-celled creatures evolved into mollusks, fish, reptiles, mammals, and finally man. During this vast period of time the continents have been eroding more or less continuously with debris being steadily deposited as sediments on the ocean floor.
An alternate to the evolutionist’s view of the ocean is the creationist’s view. According to the creationist, the ocean formed very recently—perhaps only 10,000 years ago. The earth in its original condition was covered with water (Genesis 1:2), but later God formed the ocean basins by gathering the waters together allowing the dry land to appear (Genesis 1:9). The ocean again covered the earth during the universal Flood in the days of Noah, and returned to their present basins following the Flood.
The purpose of this paper is to examine erosion and sedimentation rates to see who has the better model for the world ocean.
The floor of the ocean is blanketed by a layer of poorly consolidated material called sediment. Small rock particles and precipitated chemicals derived from the continents, especially by streams, form the bulk of this sediment. Chemically precipitated calcareous ooze is the most common deep ocean sediment, while continent-derived sand and mud is most common in the shallower ocean and nearer to shore….
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