The end of the twentieth century saw a substantial increase in theories attempting to explain natural history within a Biblical framework. The proliferation of divergent models has opened the door to healthy debate, but suggests that more clarity in the foundational issues of natural history would be beneficial for creationism. In the arena of stratigraphy, one of these issues is the role of the global uniformitarian stratigraphic column (hereafter referred to as “the column”): is it a springboard to accelerated progress or a quagmire? If the former, then it allows for the immediate development of mature Flood models. But we assert the inseparability between the column and evolution, uniformitarianism, and deep time. Therefore logic demands its separation from any Flood models. This caution is reinforced by the careless use of the column in some creationist models. Alternative approaches to defining stratigraphy within the Christian Worldview are needed and that work is underway.
Creation science has come a long way since its modern revival with the issuance of The Genesis Flood (Whitcomb and Morris, 1961). Several creationist models and numerous less-integrated interpretations have been proposed, addressing the areas of tectonics and stratigraphy (Table I). But once the Biblical basics of Creation and the Flood are acknowledged, creationist models and interpretations tend to diverge significantly. This raises questions about the structure of creationist natural history and suggests that a consensus is needed on defining the questions, even if there is disagreement over the answers.
Of course, the present “frontier” nature of creationist research may be one reason for this diversity of thought. However, we believe that another reason is the paucity of thought about fundamental questions of natural history and stratigraphy. Investigation in this direction could foster agreement well beyond the Biblical text. At the root of the issue is the relationship between the limited detail provided in the Bible and empirical data that will presumably supply that deficiency. The fit between empirical data and Biblical truth is not simple, and the important question of how they fit is often unexplored and cannot be answered scientifically.
Assumptions and methods are always worth examining, and questions about them are never closed. If uniformitarian work is to be used, how much and what kind of modification is first needed? Do we use data only, or data and interpretation? If interpretation, how much? How can the two be distinguished? How do we deal with data selection forced by presuppositions or interpretation bias? What serves as an integrating framework for natural history models? Until sound answers to these questions are consistently applied, we are convinced that creationist models using uniformitarian interpretation will enjoy limited success. Why? One reason is that these models of earth history are developed within the context of the Naturalist worldview and are thus at odds with Christianity on many levels. We believe there are significant differences between a radical approach of evaluating and reinterpreting data collected, analyzed, and published over many years by the uniformitarian establishment and introducing a “Flood explanation” on top of an essentially uniformitarian interpretation….
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