Ruptured Dam Offers Insight Into the Formation of the Grand Canyon


LiveScience: “Dam Burst Forces Evacuations of Grand Canyon” A lot of rain, a lot of water, and a gorge transformed in a matter of minutes. What can a ruptured earthen dam tell us about the formation of the Grand Canyon?

Around 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 17, the Redlands Earthen Dam near Grand Canyon National Park broke, overwhelmed by the heavy rain that this area in Arizona had received. The dam itself was located upstream from Supai, a village of the Havasupai Tribe (called the Hualapai in the report). There have been no reports of injuries, but several tourists and tribe members (around 170 people total) had to be evacuated by helicopter.

Park officials say that hiking trails and footbridges have been washed away and trees have been uprooted.

Fortunately, Supai village is located on high ground, and the rain-swollen rivers and sudden flood did not cause any reported damage. However, the low-lying areas did suffer from the overflowing waters. The gorge, located off the Grand Canyon, was reported to have been “devastated” by the flood. While information is slow to come, park officials say that hiking trails and footbridges have been washed away and trees have been uprooted.

The Grand Canyon has become iconic for the millions-of-years timescale of the earth (although just how many millions is a matter of debate). The basic story is that this massive scar in the earth was formed by the gradual flow of the Colorado River over a long period of time. Despite the major difficulties with this view, evolutionists require deep time in order to give their conjecture the veneer of respectability. But as Dr. Andrew A. Snelling, AiG–U.S., has pointed out about the claimed radioisotope dates of many millions of years for Grand Canyon rocks:

The calculated ages for all the individual samples from the same geologic formation [in the Grand Canyon] using the same dating method turned out to be vastly different . . . even for those closely spaced samples from the same outcrop of the same lava flow. The results are not even close to each other, although the samples should all have given the same age. . . .
Indeed, none of the isochron “ages” corresponds to the “date” for any theorized geologic event—neither the original lava eruptions nor the subsequent metamorphism. Clearly, the calculated ages are useless for dating any event.

Water can transform entire terrains in minutes.

Dam breaches like the one this week remind us that rather than forming over millions of years, the Grand Canyon is a testament to the amazing power of a lot of water over a little time (and a testament to the God who made this happen). Water can transform entire terrains in minutes, but without an eyewitness account, one might be tempted to think that such damage took a long period of time. Now, imagine what would happen if a dam that was much greater in size than the Redlands Earthen Dam were to rupture and let loose a barrage of water. What type of scar that would leave behind?

Most secular scientists look at that damage (what we call the Grand Canyon) and assume that such a monument must be old because of its massive size and because they refuse to believe that there is an objective source of information on how the canyon actually formed. But thanks to God’s Word, the Bible, creationists know that the Grand Canyon was likely formed after the waters of the worldwide Flood receded and a much larger dam gave way—the floodwaters making quick work of the ground in the way.

And for those who believe that the Flood mentioned in the Bible was local and not global, what would you say to the Havasupai who evacuated their homes because of something God said He would never do again (Genesis 9:8–17)? Would you tell them that God lied or didn’t know what He was saying? Doesn’t it make more sense that the Flood in the Bible was truly unique and global?

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