Genesis is history and can't be forced to fit with evolutionary theory

I read extensively, a few years ago, presentations on all sides of this debate, with charges and counter charges. The best I could come up with is that it wasn’t conclusive either way, but several authorities judged that more took the young earth view than the old, but that both were represented. And if that is what it true, it is interesting but doesn’t inform us too much one way or the other. Well, I don’t remember the specifics this far out, just the summary conclusion I reached, and that may also be a bit faded these years later.

If many views were present then must some of them have been wrong? Were some perhaps not really Christians at all? I suspect if you could access what each of them believed you would conclude that all were indeed Christians. From what I can tell the mission of this website is primarily to spread the word that those who become convinced of the rightness of science need not leave their faith behind, that science and faith can be compatible. I don’t think anyone here questions the faith of those who hold to YEC, only the long-term durability of a faith at odds with science.


Great to see you’ve looked into it already. In which case I definitely recommend checking out the book I recommended. I don’t know what presentations you were engaging with so perhaps i am misunderstanding your use of these terms. However, I would gently suggest that when discussing the Patristic period both old earth creationist and young earth creationist are anachronistic descriptions.

“Presentations” is not very definitive, I agree. Well, full length books, articles, lectures and YouTube videos to be more precise. I may look at the recommended book as well–I don’t think that was on my original reading list. We have recently downsized our living space and concurrently, our library. So I will see if I can obtain this through inter library loan. I just received Who Was Adam Rana and Ross from Walla Walla University Library, so will read that first.

Also, I find in my “research” that YEC, OEC and EC all state that their motive is primarily removing obstacles to faith so that people can come to know Jesus Christ as Savior. One YEC individual credibly reports tens of thousands of people reached with the Good News through creation evangelism (in a nominal Christian nation moving toward secularism) with thousands of decisions for Christ. Frankly, I hesitate to be more specific because I fear that some overly zealous EC might create confusion by launching a counter initiative to set these folks straight. Philippians 1:15-18 should inform us on this issue.

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I could not agree more. Personally, it bothers me not where a Christian ultimately lands on creationist issues. I don’t seek to ‘convert’ others but will discuss it if I am asked directly or if it comes up (like here on the forum for example). At the end of the day, so long as they have thoroughly thought through the implications of the their creationist position I’m good.

What I do take issue with is certain creationist groups who seem to be more concerned with total ideological victory than gracious dialogue and mutual growth in the faith. Iron sharpens iron, but not so one can publicly shiv fellow believers for their views on science and evolution. Christ is all in all not creation theology (of whatever flavour). On that point, I’m glad we can unite on common ground. :slight_smile:

Be blessed, Liam


I read extensively, a few years ago, presentations on all sides of this debate, with charges and counter charges. The best I could come up with is that it wasn’t conclusive either way, but several authorities judged that more took the young earth view than the old, but that both were represented.

I know that to people who don’t see much geologic information it could appear to be inconclusive. I can assure you it isn’t. For one, try to explain the 157 times per day a year long flood requires for each couplet of shale and sand. That is 9 minutes for each layer of shale, burrowing and then sand deposition. Apart from the problems of souring these two different lithologies, shale doesn’t even settle out in 9 m. Shale is made up by extremely small particles. Have you ever stirred up the muddy bottom a lake and lost the ability to see anything in the muddy water? That is shale.

Furthermore, throughout what would be flood deposits, the fossiliferous rocks, we have animals behaving at every level like there is no flood going on.

From the Cambrian, the lowest level of generally fossiliferous rock (yes I know there are Precambrian fossils, but young earthers generally say the fossiliferous sediments were deposited by the Flood.

Let’s consider one thing before we go further, the thickness of the fossiliferous rocks. I did a paper with another geophysicist and we proved from gravity and seismic that 200 miles south of New Orleans there were 50,000 feet of sediment. She did other work and showed under New Orleans, where the Missisippi River has been dumping sediment for more than 200 million years, there is 75,000 feet of sedimentary rock. But even a modest 36,500 ft thickness, which is not uncommon, requires 100 feet per day of average deposition during the flood. As you look at the pictures, ask yourself why there at these rates of deposition why all the fossils are not found at the bottom of the flood? Ask yourself how they had time to make theses tracks. From below are oldest to youngest, (lowest to highest in geologic column.

From the Cambrian, worm tracks, and ripples. this is shallow water.

From the Pennsylvanian,


Triassic. A dinosaur walked into a still body of water. How do I know it is still water? Rapidly running water would wash his prints away immediately. this isn’t the flood. There are rain drops on the shore. Remember, this layer lies above several thousand feet of supposedly flood deposited sediment, so this isn’t the start of the flood.

Mesozoic age. A horseshoe crab had time to peacefully die as he walked in a spiral, slowly dying. this was not a rapid death by the flood.

From the Paleocene, Ducks nibbled their dinner as if nothing special were happening.

And all the while these animals are living their life as if no flood is going on, Plants are growing in sediments which are in the middle of the flood deposited fossil sediments
Contrary to claims that there are no roots under coal, I will show you two cases, one from Canada and one from the US. both show the roots of plants which formed coal. The plant matter wasn’t washed in as YECs claim. The first is from the Cretaceous of the US, the second two are from the Cretaceous in Canada. Both show plants acting like there was no flood.

Edited to add, It took me a while to find the source of the picture below. I got a pic of this from a friend I worked with. Here is what I wrote about it before. It is from the Cretaceous not the Pennsylvanian, so I edited that to fix it as well, Often the claim is made that the entire geologic column was deposited in a huge catastrophe which lasted only 1 year. There is much evidence that the geologic column took a long time to be deposited. A core taken from the Murfin Drilling Co. Colorado State No. 1-16 well at the end of 1983 showed about 250 successive layers of roots in a 3-foot length of core. Below is a small part of the core which shows the roots and the layers that they truncate into. Each layer represents one year of growth. This core represents about 10 years worth of growth. The data from this core is inconsistent with the concept that the geologic column was rapidly deposited. I must emphasize that this coal was found in the middle of the geologic column there in Colorado below several thousand feed of sediment. My friend said he nicked this piece from the core cause he found it so interesting and they were looking for oil, not coal. lol


I will show that worms, clionid sponges etc are doing their thing, burrowing into rocks and sediments later.


It’s interesting that a trained geologist can’t see anything but an old earth in the rocks (or that to “see” a young earth requires avoiding or misinterpreting masses of evidence). The parallels with what a geneticist sees in genomes vis a vis evolution is similar.


t’s interesting that a trained geologist can’t see anything but an old earth in the rocks (or that to “see” a young earth requires avoiding or misinterpreting masses of evidence). The parallels with what a geneticist sees in genomes vis a vis evolution is similar.

In this age, where degrees and training mean so much, in the interest of absolute honesty, I was trained as a physicist. I never had a geology class in my life until I got into the oil industry. Most of my ‘training’ came from seeing what was in the rocks. I spent 10 years reading nothing but geology, and eventually knew enough that at various times in my careers, I had Ph. D. geologists working for me and because I was broadly trained and their Ph. D.'s left them absolute experts in a tiny area of geology, I often knew more than they did about the topic our group was assigned to. I will acknowledge that they were always better than me when the issues revolved around mineralogy and chemistry.

It was my lack of knowledge of geology, early on, that made me susceptible to young-earth creationism. The Physics problems YEC brings? Well, I believe God can do what he wants, so that is how I handled those problems.

Training can take many forms, academic training ain’t the end all be all.


Genetic systems gain information same way that computer algorithms gain information about how to play strategy games better than humans without any input of information from the way that human have learned to play those games. It is a learning algorithm and the only real difference is speed. What takes evolution millions and billions of years, humans centuries and millenia, a computer can do in hours and days.

I said I would show what sponges and worms were doing during he flood deposited sediments. The problem I keep seeing over and over was that the animals were behaving normally during the time of the flood. I found this very strange and bothersome. I remember going on my first carbonate field trip south of Austin Texas to see the Glen Rose and Edward’s formation. We saw a set of 5 stacked ‘hard pans’. These are very dense limestone surfaces which are very hard. As one goes below the hard pan one sees softer lime muds which grow increasingly softer until suddenly they rest on another hard pan below the first one. Above the original hard pan was very soft limey mudstone which again, over about 4-5 feet grew increasingly hard until another hard pan was found.

Each hardpan shows tiny clionid sponge burrows by the thousands. Clionid sponges are notorious for boring into limestone for their homes and in the process they recycled the lime and destroy the original fabric of the lime rock. I was so bothered by this I took a piece of the hardpan to study it at home. Here is a scan of it

The greyish white material filling the crack which runs from the lower left to the upper right of the formation is celestite, an evaporite mineral. After the burrows were dug, the surface was uplifted and dried out a bit, cracking in the process. The evaporation deposited celestite in the crack. This surface was one of 5 similar surfaces on 5 different rock layers along a creek bed near Austin Texas. Each was the top of a sedimentary cycle. How did that happen in a flood, which in that area has about 20,000 feet of sedimentary rock supposedly deposited by the flood.The average deposition rate would have been about 55 feet per day. what I saw in that cliff was about a day’s worth of sediment. It seems that the clionids had time to reproduce by the thousands four times that day and over a wide wide area, miles in extent, bore into surfaces, get burried with no chance of escape for these little guys and then one or two survivors starting the process over–all in about 5 hours time for each cycle. the math didn’t work.

Below is a picture showing 5 of the hard pans(they re not evenly spaced, the creek level is a hard pan, but it wasn’t hard enough to support the weight of dinosaurs as their foot prints are to be found on this creek bed–walking around as if there was no flood going on.

Below, some kind of creature was busy boring into this Pennsylvania sandstone. It was on a fence post in my neighborhood. I called the developer to find the name of the rock supplier and they told me it was Pennsylvanian sandstone but refused to tell me where the quarry was. I guess they don’t like geologists snooping around their quarry. lol

These creatures, whatever they were (can’t be ants cause they are not believed to have lived then), didn’t seem to be aware that a raging flood was going on. They carried the dirt out of their burrows (there has to be a way to make the void in the rock) At rates of 55-100 ft per day of sedimentation one must bow in amazement at how rapidly these creatures worked.

Below is one of my favorite fossils, I collected the central one on a mountain top near Saltillo Mexico. This is how it looked in situ. Today the borrow, with layers of varnish to strengthen it, sits upright on my shelf. A burrow like this requires lots of time and this animals, who was digging in Eocene rocks, didn’t notice any flood around him.


We have spoken about the thicknesses of the geologic column I though I would show an oil field from the Tarim basin of China which is between 3200m. at the top of it. The seismic section below and the seismic map below that, show a karsted Ordovician terrane. Karsting happens to limestone when it is exposed to rainwater for a long long time. Hundreds of thousands of years at least. A cave is nothing more than a really really big karst. Karsting does not happen if sea water is covering the limestone. It has to be fresh water. The ragged reflector seen on the buried hill I the seismic below is the start of the karsting.

From the seismic you can see that this karsted mountain is buried by about 3000 m of younger sediment. The entire seismic section, which doesn’t represent the bottom of the sedimentary rock is about 22,000 ft or 7,000 m If they tried to say this is flood deposited it would require about 6 feet per day of deposition on average, and Karsts would not have time to form. The spaces opened up by the karsting, filled with natural gas and oil and this is a very big field.

China’s geology is basically the paleozoic which includes the Ordovician karsted mountain, which was later covered by younger lake deposits. Over all that is a great description of China’s geology

At various places throughout China the Ordovician rocks are on the surface and being karsted today. I took a weekend in Guilin along the Li river in South China to see some of these amazing limestone formations. the bumps seen on the seismic are caused by things like this:

Below is a Karst from a Michigan oil well and the karst is filled with salt. The limestone was exposed to rainwater for hundreds of thousands of years and then the formation above this limestone is salt. The area became a shallow salt pan and salt filled the karst. I took a picture of this from another colleague who found this to be utterly fascinating. If you enlarge the photo there is a bryozoan, an old fossil in the limestone right next to the salt-filled Karst.

If you are a young-earth creationist, my point is not to drive you into a crisis of faith but to offer you a way to maintain Biblical historicity, and a historical Genesis 1. I would suggest it is better to have a different interpretation of scripture than to give up on Christianity entirely. My views on Genesis and its history can be found at The Migrant Mind: Days of Proclamation: Historical Reading of Genesis 1 and reading the posts upward from there

Edited to add: just an hour after I posted that, I looked on my favorite oil industry site and found an article that a well in the Tarim basin found oil at 8882 m.

The discovery was made in the Tarim oilfield in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang in a well deep 8,882 meters (29,140 feet), which was first drilled in July last year.

that is 79 feet per day of average sedimentation during the Flood. Karsts simply wouldn’t have time to form.


Hi Craig,

Imagine that you did not grow up being taught that the earth is round and, further, that you had never learned much about the geometry of the earth. Now imagine further that you listened to a debate sponsored by the Flat Earth Society, where they invited two geologists from a local university to stand alongside their own panel of speakers.

What impression would you have about the state of the debate? Would you say something like this?

it wasn’t conclusive either way, but several authorities judged that more took the flat earth view than the spherical, but that both were represented. And if that is what it true, it is interesting but doesn’t inform us too much one way or the other.



‘History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning ‘inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation’) is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof.’

So far so good.

‘Events occurring before written records are considered prehistory.’


‘History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events.’

But still.

‘Scholars who write about history are called historians.’


‘History also includes the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them.’


‘Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur [or The Flood]), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the “disinterested investigation” required of the discipline of history.’

Ah well.

Indeed, the ‘world’ in Noah’s day (assuming this is not mythical in nature - Im not sure) was very limited, just as the world in Luke’s day was typically referring to the Roman ‘world’. There is also a problem with translating Hebrew to English - often the nuances in meaning are ignored.


Why aren’t you sure?

i could argue… “so will be the coming of the Son of Ma” then mean not global? Only a local day of the Lord?

I think partial preterist readings are possible in which many (but not all) texts speaking about Jesus’ coming were fulfilled by the events in AD 70. Even “local” events can have worldwide impact. AD 70 was cataclysmic to the Jewish world.

Part of the reason I’m okay with such readings is that they allow the texts to be more connected to actual history. A prediction that wars and rumours of wars would come before the end isn’t that useful in the grand scope of human history (when do we not have wars or rumours of wars?), but given within the specific context of pax romana, it had real meaning.

But regardless of whether partial preterism is correct, Jesus clearly points to his future coming using a local event, the destruction of Sodom that “destroyed all of them.” That alone rules out any requirement for the flood to be global for Jesus to speak of it in that context.


Now that I have come back to this subject, I have been trying to understand the evolutionary creationist/ Theistic view of “sin” and the “Adam/Eve” that committed it. Exactly which descended of man in his evolution rebelled against God by enacting a free will and disobeyed? Or should I say, which common ancestor would it had been? Or, at what point in your theory would sin have entered in?


First: we need to be absolutely sure we need the concept of Original Sin. The Eastern Orthodox communities (with the possible exception of the Russian church) has rejected the Augustinian version of Original Sin for nearly 2000 years. That’s millions and millions of Christians who have lived good and valuable Christian lives - - without thinking humans were already born with sin.

Second: But if we set the “First” item (above) aside, @swamidass has been pioneering discussions about how important computer simulations are regarding genealogical expansion within any given population. Adam and Eve (whether created de novo, or specially selected from the natural human population) could have sinned in an Eden-like grove, and then upon expulsion, Adam/Eve’s descendants began to inter-marry with the rest of humanity.

Under those circumstances, computer simulations show that it would only take about 2000 years for the Adam/Eve ancestry to co-opt the entire human population - - in time for everyone alive at the time of the birth of Jesus to be literally descendants of Adam.

And this is where my heartburn comes in from GAE. Sure the entire human population would be the descendants of Adam “on paper”. But there would be no trace left of their DNA so what is supposed to come from this paper relationship? It might mean something if we were tracing royalty or membership in the preisthood. And if you trace all the way back to A&E how many other ancestors would you have at that level of great-great-great…?