Chapter 36

John Morris, Geological Engineering

by Dr. John Morris
Featured in In Six Days

My confidence in God’s Word is confirmed every time I look at the scientific evidence, and every time I look at the scientific evidence, my understanding of God’s Word is enhanced.

Dr. Morris is president of the Institute for Creation Research. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in geological engineering and a Ph.D. in geological engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He is the author of several books in the area of origins and the Bible.

There are two categories of evidence which I keep coming back to as confirmation of creation: (1) that of the incredible design and order in living systems, and (2) the separateness of the basic body styles of plants and animals in the fossil record.

Regarding design, even the smallest single-celled organism, the kind which evolutionists say are similar to those which evolved spontaneously from non-living chemicals, is complex beyond our own ability to understand, let alone recreate. Scientists are just now beginning to understand how the cell works, which genes accomplish which functions, etc., but have no clue as to how these systems may have originated by natural processes. Even the simplest cell is more complex than a super-computer, and yet evolutionists attribute much greater design to chance in the name of science when it relates to the origin and evolution of life.

Living systems bear the stamp of God’s creative activity and could not be the result of chance processes.

The cell has been compared, not just to a super-computer, but to a thriving metropolis full of industries, buildings, and factories, each containing super-computers, all functioning together to make this metropolis function. The ability of a cell to carry out its variety of functions, to repair itself when damaged, and to reproduce offspring of like complexity is beyond the ability of any item created by human ingenuity. Obviously, living systems bear the stamp of God’s creative activity and could not be the result of chance processes.

While the study of living systems gives us evidence in the present that life could not have arisen by chance, a study of the fossil record gives us an indication as to what that life was like in the past. Once again we see unthinkable complexity and variety, but we find no evidence at all of evolutionary origins. If evolution has occurred, it must have involved innumerable “in-between” forms between the various plant and animal types. Yet, the fossil record contains no such intermediate forms, and evolutionists are left scrambling to explain how animals could have descended from supposed common ancestors without leaving any fossil trace.

The fossil record shows (1) that life forms manifest little or no change during their history, (2) that most fossil types are virtually identical to their living descendants, (3) that fossil types appear in the fossil record without ancestral lineages, and (4) that fossil organisms either became extinct or have survived into the present. This is exactly what should be present if creation has occurred. The fossil record, while vaguely compatible with evolutionary stories, clearly favors the creationist interpretation.

The real key, however, for resolving the creation/evolution controversy is in a study of the age of the earth. Evolution demands long periods of time, but if the earth is much younger, as the Bible teaches, then evolution is even more foolish. Obviously, since scientists are limited to a study of present evidence, they cannot go back in time and observe past processes. What we study are the results of past processes.

As a geologist, I am convinced that the surface of the earth appears to have been shaped and remolded in the past by an incredibly dynamic watery cataclysm. The biblical Flood provides the key. If such a Flood happened, as the Bible says it happened, then it would have accomplished great geologic work. It would have eroded material from one location and deposited it in another, and in those muddy sediments would be animals and plants which had died in that Flood. Over time, those sediments would have hardened into sedimentary rock, and the dead things would have hardened into fossils. Thus, from a flood geology perspective, the rocks and fossils are the results of the Flood of Noah’s day.

Yet, evolutionists consider the fossils to be the evidence of evolutionary transition, and they consider the rock units to contain evidence of millions and billions of years. I feel they are misinterpreting that evidence, wrongly using it in support of evolution and an old earth. Without the rock and fossil records, there is no evidence worthy of the name to be used by evolution and old-earth concepts. Thus, the Flood of Noah’s day is the bottom line issue.

Locked in the present, wondering about unobserved history, scientists are not without tools. The proper technique to use in evaluating competing models of earth history is for advocates to formulate their models as best as possible, and then make “predictions” about the evidence. These are not predictions about the future, but predictions about the nature of the evidence. If the biblical Flood really happened as the Bible describes, then we would expect the geologic results of that Flood to show their cataclysmic origin, the result of processes operating on rates and intensities far beyond those operating in the present, and they would be operating on a regional scale. My evolutionary colleagues advocate slow and gradual processes having been responsible for the geologic units while operating on a local scale. Having formulated the two competing models, we can go to the evidence and see which set of predictions best fits.

As creationists have been maintaining for decades and as even secular geologists are starting to admit, we see much evidence for catastrophe in the rock record. From turbidities to tempestites to evidence of hurricane activity, etc., etc., catastrophism is becoming the rule in geology. Furthermore, by plotting the areal extent of these deposits, we can see that the products of these cataclysmic events in the past were operating on a regional or continental scale with hints toward global continuity. While we didn’t see the events taking place, the results of those events are supportive of the biblical doctrine of a global cataclysmic Flood and not at all supportive of standard evolutionary ideas. If indeed these rocks and fossils are the result of a global Flood, then there is no evidence for evolution, nor for an old earth.

Questions sometimes arise which I can’t immediately answer on a scientific basis, but whenever they do arise, I go back to the rocks and fossils and remind myself that the Flood of Noah’s day is their obviously ultimate cause. Moreover, while I don’t understand all the details, I am confident that the secular model of slow and gradual processes is not capable of explaining the broad features of the evidence of the past.

My real confidence in creation and young earth ultimately comes, of course, from Scripture. Fewer doctrines are taught with such clarity in Scripture as recent creation and global Flood. The word “day” in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11, etc., can only mean a solar day. The fact that God created the various plant and animal types “after their kind,” as repeated ten times in Genesis 1, absolutely prohibits them having descended with modification from previously existing kinds. The continual repetition of global terms in the Flood context erases any possibility of a local flood. Of course, Jesus accepted creation, the Flood, and the young earth as did the other New Testament writers, most particularly Peter and Paul.

As a Christian and as a scientist, my confidence in God’s Word is confirmed every time I look at the scientific evidence, and every time I look at the scientific evidence, my understanding of God’s Word is enhanced. Truly God’s Word and God’s world are both accurate self-authenticating and mutually reinforcing records of the unobserved past.

In Six Days

Can any scientist with a Ph.D. believe in the idea of a literal six-day creation? In Six Days answers this provocative question with 50 informative essays by scientists who say “Yes!”

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