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One of the points of contention between young-earth creationists and those who believe in an old earth is the global Flood of Noah’s day. If someone who believes the Bible wants to declare that the earth is billions of years old, to be consistent, they will typically deny a global Flood as well and say that the Flood only affected a certain region of land (that it was a local event) or that it never happened at all!
One of the evidences we see for a global Flood is the sediments that have been transported long distances and deposited in layers spread right across continents. For example, the sand for the Grand Canyon’s Coconino Sandstone was likely transported from as far away as Wyoming. In southern Utah, the sand for the 2,000-foot-thick Navajo Sandstone was likely transported from as far away as the Appalachians of Pennsylvania and New York. If what the Bible says is true—that there was a cataclysmic, global Flood—then this is exactly the sort of evidence we would expect to find!
There have been news reports recently that debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan (which occurred on March 11) is washing up on the shores of Alaska and Canada. So far they’ve found soccer balls and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and there’s more on the way. The debris has been floating since the aftermath of the tsunami some 14 months ago, slowly making its way across the ocean. The tsunami, which resulted from a magnitude 8.9 earthquake, was an incredibly violent event. There is footage of it carrying vehicles and buildings along as it moved inland. And now, over a year later, debris is still being carried by ocean currents and being washed ashore on another continent.
As devastating as that one tsunami was, it was simply a fraction of what the global Flood would have been. Genesis 7 says that in the global Flood, all the high hills and the mountains were covered, and all flesh (all land animals and humans) was swept away and died. We know from Genesis 8:2 that the “fountains of the deep” broke up and spouted water, and then rain poured down from the sky. The global Flood was certainly a cataclysmic event of global proportions!
The tsunami that hit Japan was able to carry buildings, ships, and vehicles inland, and then move the debris out into the ocean currents to be carried to other places. The force behind that tsunami, though it was devastating and killed many people, was almost nothing compared to the force behind Noah’s Flood. There is no doubt from a young-earth creationist’s perspective about how the rapidly deposited layers of sediment that were clearly carried across the face of the earth got there—the force of a global Flood brought them there.
The evolutionary and millions of years view of the fossil record and rock layers is that these layers and fossils were laid down over millions of years, little by little. Charles Lyell (a contemporary of Charles Darwin) popularized the idea of uniformitarianism, which claims that “the present is the key to the past” (that processes acting today have basically always acted that way in the past). Unfortunately for Lyell and those who followed him, the present is not the key to the past—God’s Word is! And God’s Word tells us that there was a global Flood, for which we find evidences all over the world.
For a more detailed explanation of these evidences, see Dr. Andrew Snelling’s article series, “Geologic Evidences for a Global Flood,” and The New Answers Books, volumes 1 and 3, have chapters about the Flood of Noah. For information about our Ark Encounter project (the building of an evangelistic, full-size Noah’s Ark), go to www.ArkEncounter.com.
Even a tsunami can be a good reminder to us of what Noah’s Flood was really like.
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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.