Paleosols: digging deeper buries ‘challenge’ to Flood geology

by Tas Walker

Summary

Paleosols are a favourite objection used against the global Flood and the 6,000-year biblical age of the earth. Uniformitarians believe that paleosols (ancient soil horizons) are common throughout the stratigraphic record. Soils are believed to take hundreds to thousands of years or more to form and represent periods of earth history when the area was not covered with water. Thus, it is argued, paleosols could not have formed in the midst of a global flood. However, when two examples of alleged paleosols are examined, one in Missouri, USA and the other in Queensland, Australia, they do not stand up to scrutiny. The loose, friable horizons do not have the diagnostic characteristics of soils and the interpretation of a paleosol is inconsistent with the sequence of geological events required. Instead, the field evidence fits the biblical framework much better than the uniformitarian one. The soils examined did not form by subaerial weathering over a long time but by in situ ‘weathering’ during and after the global Flood.

One of the favourite objections against the global Flood and the 6,000-year biblical age of the earth is the claim that ancient soil horizons (paleosols) are common throughout the stratigraphic record. Soils are considered to have formed on land from bedrock due to chemical and biological weathering over long periods. The time envisaged for a soil profile to develop is of the order of hundreds to thousands of years or more.1 Since soils represent periods of earth history when the area was not covered with water, paleosols could not have formed in the midst of a global flood—so the argument goes.

One example of this claim is by Joseph Meert, Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of Florida, who used a baseball analogy to assert that paleosols are one strike of ‘three strikes against young-earth creationism’.2 He describes paleosols as an ‘anathema to young-earth (ye) creationism because they pose such a problem for the concept of the young earth’.

Meert says:

‘If you look at the photo at the top of the [web] page, you will see an excellent example of a well-developed paleosol in Missouri. [Reproduced as Figure 1, below] The paleosol is developed on a granite dated to 1473 Ma and underneath the upper Cambrian-age Lamotte sandstone.5 Paleosols are fairly common features throughout the standard geologic column …Why are paleosols so troubling for ye-creationism?

‘Ye-creationists assert that the the [sic] geologic record is mainly a recording of a global Gilgameshian flood (the Hebrews referred to this myth as the Noachian flood) and that most of the sedimentary rocks observed on earth resulted from deposition during this flood. Obviously, there is no chance for mature and thick soils to form during a global tempest such as the flood of Noah. …

‘[Paleosols are] data that clearly refute the notion of a global flood. Paleosols are ancient soils that develop during periods of extensive sub-areal [sic] weathering and they are sometimes preserved in the geologic record. The key is that paleosols are found throughout the geologic column and represent periods of earth history when the region they were found in WAS NOT covered by water. Paleosols in the midst of a global flood are not possible’ [emphasis in original].

Clearly Meert considers that paleosols have the potential to refute the global Flood. We agree! The concept of paleosols provides a good test for any biblical geological model. That we can use the Bible to develop a geological model that can be scientifically tested destroys the oft-repeated claim by evolutionists that ‘creation science’ is not science because it cannot be tested. We’re pleased that Meert acknowledges that biblical geology is a valid, scientific approach. But we do not agree that the biblical Flood has been falsified.Let’s consider the evidence a little more closely, because we will see a different story….

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