Biblical geology is a simple model that I developed to classify the rocks of the earth using a biblical framework of thinking.

In some ways it is a new idea but in others it is not.  The pioneers of geology looked at the world in the same way I’ve outlined on my biblical geology website. They assumed the Bible records the true history of the world and they used the Bible as their starting point to explain the rocks and fossils. One such pioneer was Nicholas Steno, who was a six-day young-earth creationist.

The thinking of the geological pioneers was never shown to be wrong. Rather, the cultural and political atmosphere of late 1700s early 1800s was such that the new-school geologists searched for a way to explain the past without reference to the Bible. The in-philosophy was Deism. The philosophy the geological writers came up with was called “uniformitarianism”, which is an anti-biblical worldview.

Charles Lyell, author of the influential book “Principles of Geology”, recognized that his new philosophy contradicted the Bible and he spoke of his desire to “liberate geology from Moses”.  They never engaged the issues but ignored any who critiqued their philosophy or presented alternative ideas based on the Bible. One biographer of James Hutton made exactly that point when he said that Hutton did not disprove the Bible but ignored it.

The Deism that underpinned the new geological ideas, even the early editions of Darwin’s Origin, morphed into the full-blown atheistic philosophy that has taken over the academic and cultural square of the west in the last 50 years, leading to the cultural wars and a strident censorship of alternatives.

It would be nice to break the stranglehold of that naturalistic philosophy, which disingenuously presents itself as “scientific” and excludes  other views as “religious”. But uniformitarianism, which dominates geological thinking today, is very much a religious philosophy and it should not be insulated from competing ideas.

UPDATE 24 June 2020: See some details here about me from some years ago.

I will try to post occasional comments on things geological on this blog. Enjoy.

4 Responses

  1. Sue

    Have you ever thought of how absurd it is to try to prove the existence of God via examining rocks, either on this planet or in the solar system altogether.

    And that do so implies that one is ALSO fully convicted of a dismal essentially godless reductionism.

    Plus we live in a day and age when every god-idea proffered by human being, in all times and places, is now freely available to anyone with an internet connection. There are quite literally thousands of them.

    And remember that two thirds of the worlds human population are not Christian, and that many Christians do not subscribe to your kind of Christianity either.

  2. Tas Walker

    Hi Sue,
    You indicate that you don’t yet understand the thinking behind this. It is not about trying to prove the existence of God. It is about understanding geology.

    You are right, there are so many claims out there about God, including the absurd claim that God does not exist. How are you to decide which is correct and which is not?

    Check out Who is the rightful owner.

  3. David W

    First of all, let me say, at the moment I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the conclusions you arrived at. I’m not going with or against your believes. But this one bit bugs me too much for me not to say something:

    “One biographer of James Hutton made exactly that point when he said that Hutton did not disprove the Bible but ignored it.”

    First of all, no source or reference? In this day and age, how I meant to know you didn’t just make that up? Am I to take your work alone that Hutton ignored the Bible, or that “one biographer” claimed he ignored it?

    But moving past that, I’ll just assume you are right and that one biographer said that.

    Science is not about disproving things. Its not about showing people that they are wrong in order to achieve a sense of superiority. However, it may be the case that when a theory is proven as fact, other theories are left as just theories.
    Saying that someone is wrong does not make you right. Its poor reasoning for your conclusion. Perhaps they are wrong and you might be right but providing evidence to show how someone else is wrong will only do just that: show them how they are wrong, the same evidence would not necessarily show that you are right.

    And so we move on to Hutton and the Bible.

    He had theories and geological ideas which he came up with from looking at the real world, he looked at what was on the ground beneath his feet. He had rocks he could actually touch, he could study them. He had an entire planet’s worth of rocks to test his theories on. A theory is no less important just because it does not reference the standard material of the time (ie, The Bible). He wasn’t trying to disprove the Bible. He was doing things like trying to show why a load of rocks dipping in one direction and dumped straight on top of a load of rocks dipping in another direction!

    Seeing as Hutton could walk along a beach or up to a cliff and see these formations in person, it just doesn’t make sense to go through a book which clearly won’t have the answers he is looking for (just like I’m not going to reference the Bible on how to make the perfect cheese omelette when I have a pile of eggs, a load of cheese, a saucepan and a free afternoon because I know the answer won’t be there and I can do some research for myself!)

    What I’m saying is, if Hutton did in fact purposefully ignore the Bible when conducting his research, perhaps he was trying to figure out the puzzle with a clean slate, without someone else’s ideas drawn all over it. He wouldn’t have gone out of his way to ignore the Bible out of spite. You shouldn’t take it that Hutton was insulting religion because he “ignored” the Bible when doing his work.

    As a final point, I want you to note I have not mentioned my personal religious beliefs and this whole comment is based on you assuming Hutton ignoring the Bible was a bad thing. I could go on to explain my own beliefs of religion and the Bible and taking the word of the Bible my estimation for build of Noah’s Ark (assuming it did end up around Ararat and the water rose 15 cubits above the “highest hills” to cover the mountains) but I fear that including it in this post may change how you view you opinion on how ignoring the Bible is a bad thing as far as scientific research is concerned.

    Reply 13 April 2011
    Hi David,

    I’ve been out for the country for a month. Search here for ‘ignored’ and you will find the source of the reference. Remember this is a blog, not an academic journal.

    My point is that the Bible records historical events that took place on earth, the most significant one being the global Flood. If that is so, then all our conclusions will be wrong if we ignore the Flood in our geological theorizing. It’s not about religion, it’s about history. It’s like trying to understand the history of Europe by purposely ignoring Napoleon.

  4. Adrian

    Hi Tas,

    I am looking for a short video clip or still, on granitic/quartzite landscape that was cut in a sudden dam or lack burst recently. It was used by Dr Mark Haywood in one of his presentations on CMI which now not available on the website.

    Do you recollect ever seeing any of this footage or something similar? I wish to show this to my Geography students.

    Tas Walker responds: It was about the destruction of the spillway of Oroville Dam in northern California in early 2017. You would find lots of videos on the internet of this event.

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