Illawarra geology excursion

posted in: Landscapes | 51
Coal beds at the headland of Austinmer Beach, New South Wales.
Coal beds at the headland of Austinmer Beach, New South Wales.
Everyone had a great time last Saturday on the Illawarra geological field trip organized by Creation Ministries International. The weather was perfect and the enormous waves made the Blowhole at Kiama look like a fireworks display. It was also fantastic at the next headland, Bombo Point, which we visited in the afternoon. The people were amazed at the way the huge waves crashed high over the rocks.

There were 55 people on the coach and they came from far and wide. Some commuted from Sydney; one family came from Canberra. Ages ranged from 8 to nearly 80.

I started the day explaining some basic geological concepts, showing the significance of the evidence for geological events in the past. People were fascinated by the features that we saw. Some said they had lived in the area for years and often walked past the sites but never seen the significance of those features before.

I explained how the evidence would be interpreted by conventional geologists and I also explained how it would be interpreted from a creationist perspective, looking at the assumptions behind each view. People appreciated understanding how the evidence was viewed from each perspective and being able to make their own assessment from what they saw. It’s a pity that geological teaching at our universities does not follow this sort of a line.

Once you know what to look for, evidence for the catastrophic effects of Noah’s Flood is obvious everywhere. By the end of the day people were able to see it for themselves. They said they found the trip very interesting.

51 Responses

  1. Tas Walker

    Hi Berend, We have done some, Eastern Beach, Banks Peninsula, but they are few and far between. There are many excellent sites on both the North and South Islands.

  2. Berend de Boer

    Yeah, but I need someone to explain me what I’m seeing 🙂 But hopefully I’ll come to know somehow when such a walk is done. Eastern Beach (in Auckland I suppose?) would be perfect for me.

  3. David Mathews

    Hello Tas Walker,

    Is there any creationist interpretation of the geology of Mercury, Venus, the moon, Mars, and the moons of the gas giants?

    It would appear quite problematic attempting to use the standard creationists crutches when confronting the geology of the Earth when those are not available on waterless worlds which could never have experienced a global flood.

    The creationists say precious little about this subject, insofar as I can tell, just as the creationists routinely overlook about 98% of all geology (that is, geology outside of the Grand Canyon and Mt. St. Helens.)

    For example, there is profound geological evidence that Australia, India and Antarctica were once combined together as one continent before splitting into two and then into three prior to India colliding with tremendous force into Asia, obliberating the Tethys sea in the process while thrusting its limestone rocks five miles above sea level.

    Do you have any opinion about these matters?

  4. Tas Walker

    Hi David,

    I think you are displaying a lack of knowledge when you accuse creationists of overlooking 98% of all geology. Creationist scientists have done much research on the planets you mention and plate tectonics. I encourage you to do more reading.

    One recent article showed how the latest NASA pictures of the moon support the biblical account of its origin.

    Have a read of the articles listed under Q&A Astronomy (there are dozens of articles).

    Likewise, check out Q&A on plate tectonics.

    PS: I like your photos.

  5. David Mathews

    Hello Tas Walker,

    I think it quite safe to say that creationists regard 98% of all geology since I have actually read a large majority of creationists literature (it really isn’t that extensive so this is an easily accomplishable task in the internet age) and have also talked to plenty of creationists.

    To say that creationists have done “much research” on the moon and planets is … that’s just wrong. It isn’t even a “white lie” it is just plain wrong.

    The creationist article on the moon would embarrass anyone who isn’t dogmatically locked into an absurd manner of thinking:

    “Based on this evidence, the team, wearing their long-age evolutionary glasses, estimated that these scarps cannot be older than a billion years but could be as young as 100 million years—or even younger. That is quite an age range.

    “In fact, there is well documented evidence that geological activity is taking place on the moon’s surface at the present time”

    Care to guess the problem with the above sentences when compared to the creationists preferred time frame?

    I could go on but must direct your attention to the question which I asked about the tectonic relationship of Antarctica, India and Australia and their subsequent history.

    Do you agree that these three continents were at one time combined into a single continent and that it split first into two continents and then into three before India crashed into Asia and formed the Himalayan mountains?

    This is the question which really needs an answer and one which creationists haven’t ever answered. I have asked, by the way …

  6. Berend de Boer

    David: when those are not available on waterless worlds which could never have experienced a global flood.

    And I thought the people who don’t need crutches, believed Mars had been completely flooded in the past?

    But anyway, there’s always an asteroid to the rescue!

  7. David Mathews

    Hello Berend,

    * “And I thought the people who don’t need crutches, believed Mars had been completely flooded in the past? ”

    There is a difference between an ocean and a flood, otherwise it would appear that Noah’s Deluge still covers 70% of the Earth at the present moment.

    I notice that my most recent post has not escaped moderation. The question was a difficult one, wasn’t it, Tas?

    The creationists ignore 98% of geology and they aren’t so very good at the final 2% that they actually pretend to care about.

  8. Tas Walker

    Hi David,

    You can find a diagram of a creationist model that includes plate tectonics here. If you are familiar with creationist literature you should be aware that there is debate among creationist geologists about how plate tectonics unfolded during the Flood. There has also been different ideas about plate tectonics within mainstream geological circles.

  9. Berend de Boer

    David: This is the question which really needs an answer and one which creationists haven’t ever answered.

    Really? Why does that need an answer? What if creationist agree now with what I suppose is the majority view, and 50 years from now the majority view changes again?

    I really don’t see the need for an answer. It’s an interesting question, and opinions differ. Unless someone with a Tardis comes along, answers will remain somewhat speculative.

  10. Tas Walker

    Hello David: Yes, Noah’s Deluge still covers 70% of the earth at present. You said you were familiar with creationist literature. Your most recent post was approved as you submitted, and answered.

  11. Peter Burger

    Tas,
    How could such a thickness of fine grained sediment accumulate so quickly but not suffer soft-sediment deformation? (i.e., deformation under its own weight)

  12. Peter Burger

    Tas,
    Does the Bible make any reference to the surface of the Earth being remade by sediments or volcanics or any rocks at all being formed in the flood year?

  13. Tas Walker

    Hi Peter, There are lots of examples of soft sediment deformation in the stratigraphic record but I did not see any obvious ones around Illawarra while I was there. In the above beds at Austinmer i did not notice any soft-sediment deformation in the ashy horizons but the mud layers had wavy laminations. We’d have to consider each situation.

  14. Tas Walker

    Hi Peter, The Bible describes the Flood in Genesis chapters 6 to 9. It describes rainfall, water coming from “the fountains of the great deep”, water rising on the land, water covering the highest mountains, animals and people perishing, waters receding, mountains appearing and the lengths of time involved.

  15. David Mathews

    Hello Tas Walker,

    * “If you are familiar with creationist literature you should be aware that there is debate among creationist geologists about how plate tectonics unfolded during the Flood. ”

    This does not constitute an answer to my question. Let me repeat the question and I would like to hear your own personal answer not some excessively vague non-answer contained in a book:

    Geologists have determined that Australia, India and Antarctica were once combined together as a single continent. Geologists have determined that the original continent split into two and later three continents. Over the course of millions of years they have attained their present level of separation with India colliding with tremendous force against Asia, destroying the Tethys sea in the process and thrusting limestone five miles into the atmosphere in the Himalayan mountains.

    Do you agree with the geologists? Would you compress all of this geological activity within the time span of the flood?

    Please do answer as this is just one little bit of the 98% of geology which creationists ignore.

  16. David Mathews

    Hello Tas Walker,

    * “Yes, Noah’s Deluge still covers 70% of the earth at present. ”

    Was there no ocean pre-Noah?

    You have stumbled into an anti-science absurdity, Tas Walker. Geologists know that the oceans are billions of years old and the oceanic crust ranges between 1 day – 200 million years old.

    The oceans are not a remnant of Noah’s flood and Mars’ ocean wasn’t a component of Noah’s flood either.

  17. Joe Bell

    Hello Tas and others,

    The Illawarra excursion was great! Thanks for the big effort.
    It is amazing how many people are interested in Geology and want to talk about it (although not always from a Biblical perspective that’s OK). One lady back home told me she just bought a book on Australian Geology just to read. Biblical geology makes the time scales so vivid and immediate – just a few thousand years ago God flooded the world and the coal seam we saw is the vegetation from that pre-flood world! The same Bible tells us what He has planned for the future of course.

  18. Tas Walker

    Hi David,

    Yes, there was an ocean on the earth before the Flood (Genesis 1: 9–10), but it would have been much smaller thant today’s ocean.

    Concerning the age of the ocean, you need to ask yourself how they measured it. See The Fatal Flaw. Actually, the oceans provide evidence that they are not billions of years old. See Salty seas.

  19. Tas Walker

    Hi David,

    Your question begins, “Geologists have determined …” and ends with “Do you agree with the geologists?” This is an incorrect perception of the way geologists work. You are describing a sequence of hypothetical events that have been speculated to have occurred in the past, based on a limited knowledge of geological evidence in the present. A more accurate way to word the question would be, “Many geologists claim …”

    What do I think about that claim? I have an open mind about it at present. The events you describe may have occurred or they may have been quite different. But, if it did happen the way you describe, I would envisage that it happened during the one-year long global Flood.

  20. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “Yes, there was an ocean on the earth before the Flood (Genesis 1: 9–10), but it would have been much smaller thant today’s ocean. ”

    Now I am quite certain that the book of Genesis contains no information whatsoever regarding the sea level of the Earth prior to the Genesis Flood so I must conclude that the above statement is an example of wild speculation without any factual basis whatsoever.

    Given that there are substantial objective scientific evidences for sea level variations which have occurred over the last several million years I think it safe to conclude that the above wild speculation is thoroughly refuted from both a Biblical and a scientific standpoint.

    Are you familiar with the mythological precursors which the ancient Israelis utilized in order to create the Noah’s Flood myth? Biblical scholars have devoted several centuries to this particular subject and they have much to say.

    It would be extremely difficult to construct a legitimate scientific description of the Earth’s history from a myth which the Israelis borrowed with slight modification from their pagan neighbors … yes?

  21. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “You are describing a sequence of hypothetical events that have been speculated to have occurred in the past, based on a limited knowledge of geological evidence in the present. A more accurate way to word the question would be, “Many geologists claim …” ”

    No. Absolutely not. The Plate Tectonics theory spent nearly a century in gestation while the scientific establishment demanded incontrovertible evidence on its behalf. These things which I mention are based upon decades of objective scientific investigation throughout the entire world using multiple lines of independent evidence.

    I am not speaking about science fiction or wild speculation by scientists.

    If you disagree with the scientific description of Australia’s history you will need to offer some substantial scientific evidence to the contrary.

    You cannot. Catastrophic Plate Tectonics would have fried Noah and the animals on the Ark and it would have rendered the Earth inhospitable to human life for a time span greater than 10,000 years.

    So the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics speculation is thoroughly and eternally refuted. In addition there is nothing whatsoever in the book of Genesis which would allow for Catastrophic Plate Tectonics to occur (the pre-flood world is nearly identical to the post-flood world).

    * “What do I think about that claim? I have an open mind about it at present. The events you describe may have occurred or they may have been quite different. But, if it did happen the way you describe, I would envisage that it happened during the one-year long global Flood. ”

    No. Absolutely not. Continents do not travel thousands of miles, collide together and form Himalayan scale mountain chains within the time span of a year.

    Should any continent have behaved in such a manner during Noah’s Flood the results would have been quite tragic for Noah and the oceans would have boiled away transforming the Earth into a hellish environment for thousands of years — that is, until today.

    Given that Antarctica’s ice cap is much older than the supposed dating of the Genesis flood it is evident that the events described by science based upon numerous lines of independent evidence did not occur within historical times nor at any point during the last million years.

    Catasttrophic Plate Tectonics is a desperation theory for those who haven’t any other alternative. It is just plain unfortunate that Henry Morris wrote his book prior to the scientific world reaching a consensus about Plate Tectonics. The creationists ignored Plate Tectonics for decades afterward because it couldn’t possibly fit in with the flood theory nor any time span compatible with Biblical literalism.

    Plate Tectonics effectively refutes flood geology with the same sort of finality as Jesus’ Second Coming would refute atheism with finality.

    So how will you explain Australia’s former status as a single continent with India and Antarctica? Here is an event which required millions of years to occur and actually did occur over millions of years.

  22. Tas Walker

    Hello David,

    You said, “there are substantial objective scientific evidences for sea level variations…” Yes, these conclusions about sea-level variations are in agreement with Genesis, which describes the main event that produced them—an event that occurred about 4,500 years ago.

    You continued, “which have occurred over the last several million years.” Herein is the problem. You are not skeptical enough about the dates. All such dates are subjective interpretations based on biased assumptions coming from personal beliefs about the past. The actual geological evidence points to events happening quickly in geology, hence the resurgance of geological catastrophism in mainstream circles.

    Genesis is not derived from pagan mythology. See Noah’s Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic.

  23. Tas Walker

    Hello David,

    You say, “Here is an event which required millions of years to occur and actually did occur over millions of years.”

    You need to be more skeptical of the dates that are quoted. You also need to be more questioning of what is published by journalists and film makers about plate tectonics. Consider alternatives. Remember that there was no-one around at the time watching what happened. Professional geologists do no accept ideas from other geologists without question and argument.

  24. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “Yes, these conclusions about sea-level variations are in agreement with Genesis, which describes the main event that produced them—an event that occurred about 4,500 years ago. ”

    No. Sorry, but unequivocally wrong. I happen to live in the state of Florida and it alone preserves a record of sea level variations measured in the 100,000s of years, including the formation of caves during various sea level stages each and every one of which took much longer than 4500 years to form.

    In addition, there are coral reefs which also preserve a memory of various sea levels. The history and time span revealed by the coral reefs agrees with the history and time span revealed by the caves.

    Two independent lines of evidence which conclusively prove that the Earth’s history is measured in the millions of years.

    * “You are not skeptical enough about the dates. All such dates are subjective interpretations based on biased assumptions coming from personal beliefs about the past. The actual geological evidence points to events happening quickly in geology, hence the resurgance of geological catastrophism in mainstream circles. ”

    You are engaged in a circular argument. The above claim doesn’t actually refute or even marginally diminish the scientific evidence provided by Florida’s caves and fossil coral reefs.

    The scientists who worked all of this stuff out weren’t engaged in mere guesswork and speculation. They actually had to work within the realm of objective evidence to reach their conclusions.

    So if you want to compress the last 2 million years of history within the time span of a one year Noah’s Flood you are going to have to provide a similar level of objective evidence and rigorous scientific reasoning.

  25. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “You need to be more skeptical of the dates that are quoted. You also need to be more questioning of what is published by journalists and film makers about plate tectonics. Consider alternatives. Remember that there was no-one around at the time watching what happened. Professional geologists do no accept ideas from other geologists without question and argument. ”

    The above paragraph does not constitute a letigimate argument against the conclusions of science. The Plate Tectonics idea is established upon numerous independent lines of evidence and the time scale of these changes is also based upon numerous independent lines of evidence.

    The laws of physics also dictate how fast the plates can split apart, move apart and collide with each other in order to maintain the planet in a condition suitable for life. There are actual physical limits to how fast a continental plate can move so once it is established that Antarctica, India and Australia were once combined together into a single continent it is established that the Earth’s history is measured in the tens of millions of years.

    Do you disagree with the scientific conclusion that Antarctica, India and Australia were once a single continent?

  26. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “Genesis is not derived from pagan mythology. See Noah’s Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic. ”

    You are engaged in a disagreement with more than a century of Biblical scholarship by devout Jewish and Christian scholars. To dismiss such scholarship without reason is to behave in a non-scholarly manner.

    There are a number of glaring problems in the Genesis flood account which can only make sense within the context of the Biblical authors and redactors merging together Israeli theological beliefs within a borrowed pagan mythological framework.

    The flood account of Genesis is not the work of a single author as one might imagine a work of Divine inspiration would actually sound. There are at least two voices in the text and they don’t always agree.

  27. Tas Walker

    Hi David,

    You say, “The Plate Tectonics idea is established upon numerous independent lines of evidence and the time scale of these changes is also based upon numerous independent lines of evidence.” Yes, there are many lines of evidence used to support the plate tectonics paradigm, but our understanding of the earth is still sketchy. Scientific paradigms have been overturned in the past.

    You say, “The laws of physics also dictate how fast the plates can split apart, move apart and collide with each other in order to maintain the planet in a condition suitable for life.” Laws like F=ma. This means that if the force F is big enough then the acceleration a will be such that the continents will move quickly. And the force F that is needed depends on the resistance encountered which depends on the frictional coefficient between the continents and their base, and the strength of the mantle into which the plates are plunging. Also, recall that the planet was not in a condition suitable for life during Noah’s Flood (everything with the breath of life in it perished except those on the Ark).

  28. Tas Walker

    Hi David,

    You say, “The scientists who worked all of this stuff out weren’t engaged in mere guesswork and speculation. They actually had to work within the realm of objective evidence to reach their conclusions.”

    I don’t think you appreciate the fatal flaw with all dating methods.

    There are things that scientists can measure accurately and objectively. But there are things they can’t measure. And the problem they face is that they must know the values for these things in order to calculate a “date”. Since they can’t measure them, they assume them. You need to be more skeptical of the dates. Anything for which we have no historical confirmation needs to be regarded as speculative.

  29. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “Yes, there are many lines of evidence used to support the plate tectonics paradigm, but our understanding of the earth is still sketchy. Scientific paradigms have been overturned in the past. ”

    This is the sort of vague non-argument which gives creationism such a bad reputation. On the one hand you deny that plate tectonics is happening while on the other you claim that catastrophic plate tectonics happened.

    You’ll need to clarify your viewpoint regarding plate tectonics because it is contradictory.

    Please do so because in all the decades since science reached a consensus about this matter the creationists have ignored it and pretended that it doesn’t exist. It is part of the 98% of geological science that creationists routinely ignore because it refutes the claims of creationism.

    * “Laws like F=ma. This means that if the force F is big enough then the acceleration a will be such that the continents will move quickly. And the force F that is needed depends on the resistance encountered which depends on the frictional coefficient between the continents and their base, and the strength of the mantle into which the plates are plunging. Also, recall that the planet was not in a condition suitable for life during Noah’s Flood (everything with the breath of life in it perished except those on the Ark). ”

    Again, you will need to explicitly state whether plate tectonics is occurring or not. You are playing both sides of this question in a mutually exclusive self-contradictory manner.

    I will point out one thing, though: The Earth remained hospitable to life during Noah’s Flood as is proven by Noah’s ability to remain alive. Had the continents moved thousands of miles during the flood (something which the Bible doesn’t claim, by the way …) the oceans would have overheated, evaporated and Noah would have been cooked alive with everything else on the ark and the Earth would have become a sterile lifeless planet for a lot longer than 12,000 years.

    So the wildly speculative non-Biblical idea of catastrophic plate tectonics is refuted.

  30. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “There are things that scientists can measure accurately and objectively. But there are things they can’t measure. And the problem they face is that they must know the values for these things in order to calculate a “date”. Since they can’t measure them, they assume them. You need to be more skeptical of the dates. Anything for which we have no historical confirmation needs to be regarded as speculative. ”

    You haven’t actually offered an argument or a refutation of the conclusions of science regarding the age of the Earth in the above paragraph. The sort of sloppy reasoning contained above might impress an audience of people who would rather pretend that science is nothing more than speculation and guesswork but any informed person can see irrational desperation in the argument.

    I will offer an analogous argument for your consideration:

    1. There is no evidence whatsoever of Biblical inspiration received from a Divine source.

    2. Since there is no evidence on behalf of inspiration it is accepted as guesswork, i.e. “faith” by believers.

    3. Given the lack of evidence and the subjective acceptance of infallibility by emotionally motivated believers who display many other irrational traits, it is very unlikely that the book of Genesis contains any factual information regarding historical events such as the origin and history of the Earth, the origin of the plants and animals, the origin of humankind, and the life histories of the Patriarchs.

    Hence it is proven that Noah’s Flood is not a historical account of actual events which occurred on the Earth at any point during the last 12,000 years.

    The conclusions of science are therefore exonerated and the battle between science and religion is resolved.

  31. Peter Burger

    Tas,
    Are you aware of e.g.,
    C.H Eyles, N. Eyles, V.A. Gostin, 1998. Facies & allostratigraphy of high-latitude, glacially influenced marine strata of early Permian Southern Sydney Basin, Australia; Sedimentology, V 45, Issue 1, pp 121-162.

    C.H Eyles, N. Eyles, V.A. Gostin, 1997. Iceberg rafting and scouring in the early Permian Shoalhaven Group of New South Wales, Australia: Evidence of Heinrich-like events? Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, V136, Issues1-4, pp1-17.

    Retallack, J. 1999. Postapocalyptic greenhouse paleoclimate revealed by earliest Triassic paleosols in the Sydney Basin, Australia. Geol. Soc. Amer. V111, no. 1, pp 52-70

    Abstracts at least available on-line.
    (Paleosols are ancient soils)
    PB

  32. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “There are scholars who have a different view from the one you have described … ”

    Those two people that you reference are most certainly *not* scholars and their arguments don’t amount to any sort of scholarship within any context.

    The book of Genesis contains too many internal contradicts to be the work of any one author, especially not of a single author receiving Divine inspiration dictated by God. There are between 2 – 4 distinct voices in the Biblical text.

    There are internal contradictions in the Noah’s Flood myth which could only result from an editor redacting two quite distinct myths into one account and incapable of resolving all of the differences.

    Of course, the entire Old Testament is littered with contradictions, absurdities, historical inaccuracies and myths borrowed wholesale from Israel’s pagan neighbors.

    So I wouldn’t recommend anyone read the Noah’s Flood account in the same way they would read the newspaper. The Biblical authors were not journalists, were not historians and were not scientists.

    They took great liberties with history when it suited their own purposes and that includes their own contemporary history. Objective history is a modern invention and wasn’t in existence at any point during Biblical times.

  33. Tas Walker

    Hi David,
    You say, “The book of Genesis contains too many internal contradicts …”
    “There are internal contradictions in the Noah’s Flood myth …”
    “… the entire Old Testament is littered with contradictions, absurdities, historical inaccuracies and myths …”
    These are wild claims and that is all they are—wild claims. If you want people to take you seriously you need to provide some evidence—give an example of a contradiction within the account of the Flood in Genesis 6–9.

  34. Tas Walker

    Hi Peter,
    I have not read those particular references you cite but I am familiar with the claim that the Permian in Australia was a time of glaciation. I have seen the Permian rocks at Hallett Cove, SA, the sandstone deposits at Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania, and the Permian at Wollongong. I think the glacial intepretation for these deposits is wrong.
    Notice that the title of your second reference ends with a question mark, indicating that the authors are throwing the idea out there—in other words, the authors even think it’s speculative.
    You make a good point. A period of glaciation, such as the Permian Glaciation, is not feasible to have occurred during Noah’s Flood. But when you look at the evidence (such as so-called ‘dropstones’ and striations plus the nature of the sediments containing them) it is more consistent with a catastrophic deposit than a glacial environment. This is one of the things we talked about on the field trip.
    Have you read: Oard, M.J., Ancient Ice Ages or Gigantic Submarine Landslides, CRSQ Monograph No 5, CRSQ Books, 1997? This documents the substantial difference between the geological evidence for the most recent Ice Age and the evidence for the previous alleged ones, including the Permian one.
    Concerning paleosols, I have written about paleosols showing how the soil interpretation is philosophically driven and does not match the evidence.

  35. Tas Walker

    Hi David,
    You accuse creationists of wildly speculative ideas.
    The wildly speculative idea is that the universe formed itself by natural processes, non-living chemicals arranged themselves into a self-replicating living cell, and that this cell diversified into every living creature alive on earth today, and that your brain, which is supposed to be the result of random chemical processes has any connection with logic or reality. That idea goes against cause and effect, was not observed, cannot be replicated, has no detailed plausible explanation for how it could happen and is self-refuting.
    On the other hand, the events of the Bible were witnessed by people, documented in writing and can be checked out when people have the willingness to approach the situation with an open mind.
    Of course, the Bible does not give all the geological details for how Noah’s Flood unfolded, and there are various creationist models for how that may have happened. But it is nonsense for you to claim the biblical account is refuted because there is a detail that you cannot understand. The whole enterprise of scientific inquiry is to investigate problems to understand what is going on. Instead of being part of the problem open up your mind and think of possibilities.

  36. David Mathews

    Hello Tas,

    * “These are wild claims and that is all they are—wild claims. If you want people to take you seriously you need to provide some evidence—give an example of a contradiction within the account of the Flood in Genesis 6–9. ”

    1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven [a] of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

    13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.

    This is the famous contradiction regarding the number of animals entering the ark. Scholars have troubled over it for centuries and most Christians simply gloss over it but it actually is quite revealing as evidence of at least two voices in the flood myth.

  37. Tas Walker

    Hi David,
    Your claimed contradiction on the number of animals on the ark is an old one. Thanks for quoting the verses from Genesis 7 because that makes it clear there is no problem. The only scholars who have “troubled over” this are those trying to find a contradiction. This was one of the so-called “myths and misconceptions” that New Scientist mentioned in 2008 and it was thoroughly refuted then. Here is an extract of the refutation:

    Short answer: This is a misleading objection because Genesis 7:2 actually states:
    “You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female.”
    So most animals were in pairs, while the small fraction of clean animals were in sevens—three pairs and one for sacrifice after the Ark landed (cf. Genesis 8:20 ff.). Genesis 7:9 & 15 state ‘by twos’, not ‘one pair’. That is, it refers to the mode of entry into the Ark, i.e. two at a time.

    Detailed answers: How did all the animals fit on Noah’s Ark?

    There is no contradiction. It is simply an explanation of how many of which sort of animal were selected and how they were loaded.

  38. Peter Burger

    Tas,
    Where do the glacial deposits of the Western Australian Archean & Proterozoic fit?

    Why only 1 Ice Age when there is evidence for multiple ice ages, especially in the Quaternary of the Northern Hemisphere?

    And the evidence is that during Quaternary Ice Ages Australia was dry & windy; not lush & green.

  39. Tas Walker

    Hi Peter,

    Your questions are answered in Mike Oard’s book “Ancient Ice Ages or Gigantic Underwater Landslides”. The way a geologist interprets geological deposits as past ice ages depends on their interpretive framework. The uniformitarian geologist assumes the world is millions of years old and that some cyclic process has caused ice ages. That assumption drives his interpretation of evidence.

    On the other hand, the biblical geologist realizes that you cannot have an ice age during the Flood, and that drives his interpretation. The evidence actually fits better within the biblical framework.

    The Western Australian Archean and Proterozoic “ice ages” were not ice ages but underwater landslides.

    The multiple Quaternary ice ages of the Northern Hemisphere were not separate ice ages but multiple advances and retreats of the single post-Flood Ice Age, which lasted about 500–700 years.

    Go to Creation.com Q&A Ice Age and you will find dozens of articles on this dealing with the geological evidence and its interpretation.

  40. Peter Burger

    Tas,
    So what age are the WA Archean & Proterozoic “underwater landslides”?
    What about the lush-green vs dry-windy Australia of the most recent ice age?

  41. Tas Walker

    Hi Peter,

    They are not ice ages, and I am aware of articles in the mainstream literature that dispute the ice-age interpretation also. These intepretations generate their own bandwagon efect with conferences, papers, journals and careers dependent on them. However, there are all sorts of problems with the Precambrian ice ages concept including problems for the development of life and problems with how the ice age was triggered and what conditions led to its end.

    I’m aware of the greening of Australia and the drying/browning. The greening is how the Paleaozoic and Mesozoic sediments are interpreted. These are Flood sediments. The browning is post-Flood.

    Update 2.10.2010: Hi Peter, I misread your question. You asked “what age are the WA Archean & Proterozoic ‘underwater landslides’?”

    Some creationist geologists suggest they formed during Creation Week on Day 3 as a result of the dry land apperaing. Other creationist geologists suggest the Precambrian is early Flood. I’ve not taken a detailed look at them yet but I lean to the view they are early Flood deposits.

  42. Peter Burger

    Tas,
    Surely a better answer to my question of 8.54pm 22nd September must be “No, the bible makes no reference to any remake of the Earth’s surface or the development of any rock units at all in association with the flood”.

    To be true to scripture, wouldn’t it be better to accept that nothing other than “…rainfall, water coming from “the fountains of the great deep”, water rising on the land, water covering the highest mountains, animals and people perishing, waters receding, mountains appearing…” occurred.

    The bible clearly states that no rocks formed so why the need for any “biblical geology”?

  43. Tas Walker

    Hi Peter,

    You said, “The bible clearly states that no rocks formed.” I’ve never seen where it says that. Reference please?

    Did you see how a little bit of extra rainfall cut Canyon Lake Gorge, Texas, in a few days in 2002? Google that name and look at the amazing images. An article on it in Nature Geoscience called “Rapid formation of a modern bedrock canyon by a single flood event” said:

    Deep river canyons are thought to form slowly over geological time …, cut by moderate flows that reoccur every few years. In contrast, some of the most spectacular canyons on Earth and Mars were probably carved rapidly during ancient megaflood events.

    The Bible describes Noah’s Flood like this:

    For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:17–24)

    It’s hard to imagine that event leaving no geological evidence.

  44. Gerrit Bos

    Tas,
    I’m a recent reader of your blog, but wanted to complement you on how you show patience and class both in your moderation (allowing posts with some substance though often somewhat baiting language) and in your responses to these posts. Well done.

    I’m not a geologist, but I also find your model quite credible on the face of it, and look forward to seeing it tested more and more in creationist circles against actual geologic formations. A nice one to see evaluated for me personally would be the rocks of the Saint John River valley near Grand Falls New Brunswick, Canada. I remember reading at the display there, and in the book “Origins” by Ron Redfern that they are considered by long-age reckoning to be 500 Million years old. (See picture on Page 56 of Origins) (Full book is on books.google: Origins by Ron Redfern on Google

  45. Richard

    Just want to know if you are running any more geological field trips of Austinmer etc anytime soon? Possible to get a tour without the creationists perspective? 🙂 If not still interested.

    Hi Richard, Nothing planned at this stage. Tas

  46. John Williams

    Hi Tas,
    I’m just wondering because I’m doing an assignment and you seem like a really smart person who’s “clued up”, could you explain to me how the Austinmer Headland and the different layers formed? Also, if you can, explain to me the importance of this geological site to the Illawarra’s economy?
    Thanks so much if you can help and I’d really appreciate it!

    Reply:
    Hi John,

    I’ve been in South Africa for a month and have not been able to reply. I hope that you were able to get your information OK.

    The Austinmer Headland is part of the Sydney Basin and that formed as the result of sediment, vegetation and animals being washed into the area during the Inundatory stage of Noah’s Flood. The basin contains much coal as a result of the vegetation that was buried and coalified, and this is the economic significance of the geology to the region. The coal deposits outcrop around Illawarra as well as around Newcastle. They are deeply buried in the Sydney area. I just did a brief article on the geological history of the Sydney area.

    Tas Walker, 13 April 2011