Full version is currently available as a PDF (1.22M) or see below for an excerpt of this article.
Geologic evidence of the Middle East and the globe, combined with Scripture, indicates that the Flood/post-Flood boundary is very late in the Cainozoic. Evidence from
place the Flood/post-Flood boundary during or after the mid-Pleistocene. It is not clear how the evidence presented could be interpreted in a different manner.
The Flood/post-Flood boundary is near the surface of the earth’s sediments, independent of one’s viewpoint of the geologic column, because:
There are serious constraints between a number of these evidence should one wish to alter the estimates in this analysis. An increase in post-Flood volcanism would decrease the available sunlight, limit photosynthesis, and reduce the growth of plants needed to generate post-Flood fossil fuels and other organic carbon found in sediments. Conversely, increasing post-Flood plant growth would impose a serious limit on the climatic impact and quantity of post-Flood volcanism.
A similar relationship exists between erosion and plant growth. An increase in erosion to create more post-Flood marine and continental sediments robs plants of stable soil in which to grow; this limits the post-Flood generation of organic carbon for fossil fuels and distribution throughout post-Flood deposited sediments. Conversely, a stable soil sufficient for plant growth to generate large amounts of organic carbon limits the amount of catastrophic erosion that can occur.
Rapidly varying post-Flood sea levels, with large changes in elevation, could move lots of continental sediment to the ocean, bury organic matter in continental interiors to become fossil fuels, and mitigate the effects of volcanism. However, this would dramatically delay the habitation of the Plain of Shinar and appear like additional global floods. More importantly, such a scenario implies that God’s promise about not sending another Flood and placing a bound on the sea is meaningless.
In addition, there are severe stratigraphic constraints on the relative amounts of sediment activity, volcanic activity, organic carbon composition and marine fossil content as a function of strata. One cannot arbitrarily choose the composition of earth’s strata one wishes to model.
The database for each of the different evidence would have to be dramatically in error in a quantitative manner to make a difference to the conclusions presented. Even the geology of the Middle East and the identification of the region of the Mountains of Ararat would require dramatic changes. A major re-identification of most sediments to earlier geologic strata would not alter the conclusions, because the boundary would have to remain near the surface of all the sediment.
There are a number of other evidence that when analysed also place the Flood/post-Flood boundary very late in the geologic column. Though the analyses are not ready for publication, the following evidence indicate a Late Cainozoic location for the boundary:
Implications of placing the Flood/post-Flood boundary late in the Cainozoic are serious. This late placement dramatically affects the timing of everything in a Flood model. If the conclusion presented here is accurate many important implications follow. Some of these implications are
There are many other less obvious implications of the mid to Late Pleistocene placement of the Flood/post-Flood boundary. Continued research will provide additional clues to these and other intriguing aspects of the Flood.
It is incredible that these evidence suggest that the majority of activity of the Flood occurred within the first 150 days. The remaining time during the year of the Flood must have been for preparing the surface of the earth for post-Flood life, that is, receding of the floodwaters and growing vegetation for food. The last few months of the year of the Flood was a calming of the earth after its most violent climatic and geophysical catastrophe.
Some may be concerned about the evidence of post-Flood man in strata dated older than the mid-Pleistocene—for example, the Laetoli footprints, circular stone arrangements, tools, etc. These do appear to be evidence of post-Flood man.
There appears to be enough flexibility in radioisotope and stratigraphic dating of Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments to accommodate finds that are clearly post-Flood. Radioisotope dating is usually interpreted in light of the stratigraphic constraints and fossil content. Stratigraphic correlations are flexible in the Pliocene and Pleistocene because of the loose nature of their definition, as well as the sometimes limited area extent of some Pliocene and Pleistocene continental deposits.318,319
Some have suggested that there was a significant time interval, that is, a few thousand years, between the end of the Flood and the beginning of the Ice Age. This might lengthen the duration of the elevated post-Flood precipitation which includes the Ice Age. My preliminary review of possible mechanisms to delay the Ice Age suggests that a greenhouse effect caused by
are the only likely candidates. Continued continental sprint after the Flood could maintain the elevated ocean temperature and precipitation but would not delay the Ice Age.
These or any other potential delay mechanism can be tested indirectly by proportionally increasing the prior quantitative estimates for volcanism, erosion, organic carbon generation and fossil fuel formation. My best estimates were based on having 1,000 years between the Flood and the Ice Age. Increasing this duration to 4,000 years stretches the Genesis genealogy beyond reasonable limits but only moves the boundary to the Pliocene at the earliest. Many more years would be needed to move the Flood/post-Flood boundary to a lower stratigraphic position.
In addition, independent of any quantitative assessment, moving the boundary before the mid-Pleistocene requires ignoring each of the following:
Although I do not perceive how the Flood/post-Flood boundary could be earlier than the Pleistocene, I am open to the ideas of others. The thoughts of readers with insight into alternate interpretations with quantitative assessments of the evidence are invited.
I thank Russ Humphreys for instilling his perspective that difficulties and challenges to the creation model are not problems but rather clues to the events of the Flood, pre-Flood times and Creation Week. I thank Michael Oard for his encouragement, publication of his monograph The Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood and his aid in understanding the Ice Age. Without the loving patience of my wife and two children, whom I thank the most, this research would never have been completed.
The late Roy D. Holt held an M.S. in physics and was employed at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (The Laboratories do not support this research, and neither affirm nor deny its scientific validity.) Roy was a founding member of the Creation Science Fellowship of New Mexico and held the office of vice president for five years.
Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.
“Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” This DVD features Bill Nye and Ken Ham debating one of the biggest questions concerning the scientific community today.
Answers magazine is the Bible-affirming, creation-based magazine from Answers in Genesis. In it you will find fascinating content and stunning photographs that present creation and worldview articles along with relevant cultural topics. Each quarterly issue includes a detachable chart, a pullout children’s magazine, a unique animal highlight, excellent layman and semi-technical articles, plus bonus content. Why wait? Subscribe today and get a FREE DVD download!