Are Creationists Mistaken on How and How Long They Take to Form?

This week’s correspondence deals with rock layers and cave formations. CMI’s Dr Tas Walker and Dr Emil Silvestru respond.

C.N. writes:

At the following url I found many questions that may be reasonable.

[Weblink removed as per feedback rules—Ed.] These people claim that creationists create a straw man in order to knock it over. How accurate are they in their claims relating to geology and Christian understanding of the science of geology?

CMI’s Dr Tas Walker responds:

Hi C.

That article is an extract from a 1995 book by Alan Hayward. It looks like it is a republishing of his earlier 1985 book Creation and Evolution: The Facts and Fallacies. In that chapter he misrepresents Flood geology. It’s called ‘attacking a straw man’. For example, in one place he says:

“There is one quite astonishing example of the unwillingness of ‘Flood geologists’ to consider the implications of their theory. The sedimentary rocks are arranged in clearly defined layers, or strata. But floods only produce neatly stratified deposits under special circumstances, and then only in a limited total thickness. Floods generate so much turbulence that they commonly mix everything up, and so deposit a gorgeous mishmash. As we saw in the previous section, ‘Flood geologists’ themselves have recognized this fact when discussing the origin of conglomerates.

“Stratified deposits, on the other hand, are usually produced by slow, long-continued sedimentation. It is possible to see them forming slowly today, in many places where muddy rivers discharge into lakes or the sea.

“Consequently, the universal existence of thousands of feet of strata in the sedimentary rocks is powerful evidence that they were laid down slowly, one at a time, and not all at once by one great Flood. The response of ‘Flood geologists’ to this evidence is quite inadequate.”

This is not correct. The form of the strata that are laid down depends on the size of the flood. The layers, or strata, are evidence of rapid water flow in the ‘upper plane bed regime’. See the article Rock language: is there such a thing? for what floods can do and what the deposits look like. Also see the article Mud experiments overturn long-held geological beliefs about the deposition of mud that demonstrates that Haywood’s idea that mud means the strata were laid down slowly is wrong….

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