It’s the middle of the afternoon and everyone is going about their business as usual. The farmers are in their fields tending to their fields and shepherds are tending their flocks and herds. Children are looking forward to the end of the school day. Moms are home getting ready for their kids to come home from school and thinking about what to prepare for the evening meal.
All at once the ground begins to vibrate. A few seconds later it the vibration turns into violent shaking up and down and back and forth. A deafening roar emanates from the earth beneath them. The land around them looks as if it has wave after wave rolling across it. Standing is impossible and people fall to the ground where they are tossed about like pebbles. Everything in the houses falls to the ground and then the houses themselves begin to crack and crumble.
Finally the ground settles down and the quake is over. People regain their composure and begin to survey the damage around them. They look for loved ones and care for the injured. Many are in shock and can’t believe what had just taken place.
A few moments later, a distant cry is heard and all eyes turn in the direction of the coast. To their horror, a giant wall of water is rushing towards them. The giant wave wipes out all of the buildings in its way. They try to run, but soon see the futility of escape. Moments later their world goes dark as they are swept away in the raging torrent. The further the waters moved inland, the darker they grow as they scour the soil from the face of the earth.
To the residents of northern Japan, this wasn’t just a story. This past Friday, their world was turned upside down but the largest recorded earthquake to ever hit the island nation and the fifth largest recorded quake anywhere in the world. The earthquake measuring a magnitude of 8.9 was strong enough to move the Japanese island of Honshu 8 feet to the east. According to NASA experts, the quake also increased the earth’s rotation by 1.9 milliseconds.
The cause of this quake was the movement of one tectonic plate slipping underneath another plate. These plates are constantly exerting pressure against each other until a point is reached when the pressure becomes greater than the friction holding them together. When that happens, one plate suddenly jolts over or under the other.
As I listened to the news and watched the videos of the tsunami and widespread damage, it started me thinking about Genesis 7:11 which states:
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
Many prominent creation scientists believe that before the Genesis Flood, there was one supercontinent. That continent broke apart when the fountains of the deep burst forth. Dr. John Baumgardner has created a computer program that demonstrates how this could have happened.
Now imagine if one supercontinent began to split apart and shift rapidly across the earth’s surface how powerful the earthquakes and tsunamis would have been? What just occurred in Japan would be no more than feeling a truck drive by compared to the massive tectonic movement during the Flood. The violence of the quakes would have destroyed everything built by man; that is everything that wasn’t protected by the hand of God – the Ark. It may have been powerful enough to cause some of the taller mountains to partially collapse, possibly lowering some of their peaks.
The tsunamis would have been so huge and powerful that they would have sheared off huge areas of land. If you saw how dirty the 30 foot tsunami in Japan was as it moved inland, imagine how much more silt and debris 100+ foot high tsunamis would have carried with them. All of this soil, sand, rocks and debris would have been carried and spread over large areas and redeposited elsewhere. Through a variety of processes including hydrostatic sorting, locations, particle size, etc, the material carried by the waves and currents would have left different materials in different layers. A prime example are the layers in the Grand Canyon.
That much material in the waters would have rapidly precipitated out to the bottom of the oceans, seas and basins. Those marine organisms that live on or near the bottom would have been the first ones to be buried. Since this was a global event, the amount of waterborne material would have continued to precipitate and bury a large percentage of other marine organisms. As the lands were completely inundated, the same process would have buried them as well. The rapid burial would have also created conditions that would favor the preservation of many of them as fossils.
As we all pray for the people of Japan and for a fast recovery from this terrible disaster, may you also reflect on how those people that were not on board the Ark felt when the fountains of the deep burst forth and the rains fell. It most assuredly was a horrendous way for them to die. And may you also reflect on God’s promise to never again destroy the earth with water, but that He promised that one day He will again judge the earth and this time with fire:
Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation. “For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:3-7
Baumgardner, John, Ph.D., Runaway Subduction as the Driving Mechanism for the Genesis Flood, Third International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, PA, 1994.
Baumgardner, John, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: the Geophysical Context of the Genesis Flood, Technical Journal, Vol. 16(1), April 2002, pp. 58-63.
USGS Scientists Say Massive Force of Quake Moved Island 8 Feet East, Denver Post, March 12, 2011.