Many creationists claim `Flood geology' accounts for most of what is found in the `record

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Many creationists claim `Flood geology' accounts for most of what is found in the `record of the rocks'. Yet simple observations prove that so many events happened over such a tremendously long time period that they could not possibly have occurred in the 4000 to 6000 years allowed by most cre- ationists. The following material describes a small portion of the geological history of parts of Oregon and Washington. A catastrophic series of flood basalts formed the Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington and Oregon somewhere between 13 and 17 million years ago. That this was a series occurring over a long period of time, and not a single event, is shown by the discovery of soil, plant and animal remains between the layers. _Landprints_ [1] says: Between the periods of eruption there was time for grasslands to reestablish themselves and again become inhabited by horses, camels, rhinoceroses, mastodons, and other creatures.... Remnants of a forest were preserved at Ginkgo Petrified Forest.... in central Washington. A rhinoceros fossil was discovered in 1935 in the basalts of Grand Coulee in Washington, by a Professor Beck. _How to Deep-Freeze a Mammoth_ [2] described the events: The original discovery was made by a party of hikers. In the basalts which crop out along Jasper Canyon, they observed a number of small caves, and amused themselves with investigating them further. In one of the caves they found some bone fragments, which were eventually turned over to Dr. Beck and which the pale- ontologist Chester Stock identified as belonging to an extinct rhinoceros. Dr. [D. E.] Savage later identi- fied it as the genus _Diceratherium,_ which lived in North America during the Miocene epoch, some 20 mil- lion years ago. Beck and one of his assistants visited the cave and found it to be small, elongated, and of a very odd shape. On the right there were two pairs of short, pipelike extensions, one pair being located at the very entrance of the cave.... while the other pair was located further inside the cave. Beyond that pair, the cave narrowed, then widened again, and ended. __________________________ 1 Walter Sullivan, _Landprints_, p. 152, Times Books, New York, NY, 1984. 2 Bjorn Kurten, _How To Deep-Freeze a Mammoth_, pp. 42-48, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986. English Edition The two scientists must have been thrilled to realize that they were in fact poking their heads into a 20-million-year old rhinoceros, through its left hind leg. This seemed to be the only rational explanation. Apparently, the flowing lava had engulfed the carcass of the rhinoceros, and when the lava cooled and the carcass decayed, the mold and the bones within it were preserved in about the same way as the famous molds in volcanic ash preserved at Pompeii. The mold had then remained buried for millions of years, until the river finally cut its way into the ancient lava flow.... exposing the cave. .... It turns out that the lava had been flowing out into a lake, where it formed _pillow lava_--large, plastic lumps with a tough and cooled surface but with a liquid, burning hot interior. These pillows were packed around the carcass of the rhino, which had been floating in the lake, and so have preserved the shape of its exterior.... Casts of the rhino have been made from the basalt mold; one of them is on exhibit in the Burke Museum of the University of Washington in Seattle. It seems to record faithfully the shape of the body of the extinct rhino. The head is especially rhino-like.... The head has been pulled up in a typical _rigor mortis_ posi- tion.... The animal was lying on its left side, and its body is very bloated, which suggests that it had died some time prior to its being embedded in the basalt. Per- haps it died from the heat and the gas that was given off by the eruptions. The final reconstruction thus shows a much slimmer animal, not unlike a modern rhino.... It confirms in all essentials the image that had been formed earlier of this animal, on the basis of fossil skeletons. In view of the above, the Columbia flood basalts could not have formed during or after the Flood--there is simply not enough time for the sequence of events to occur. The Columbia basalts are composed of several hundred individual flows, forming a plateau averaging half a mile thick. The flows buried the roots of already existing mountain ranges, leaving the tops of the mountains exposed. The highest in Oregon, the Wallowas, are over ten thousand feet. They are formed from ancient sea sediments, and they had to have much time in which to erode. Later, several hundred lava flows had to fill the canyons to a half-mile depth, with some of the flows cooling down enough for soil to form in the time between flows--enough to support a population of animals, some of which became trapped in subsequent lava flows. The Snake and Columbia Rivers later had to cut completely through the flows that had entered their original valleys. At the end of the last ice age water trapped in mountain- ous areas of Idaho and Montana by the Cordilleran ice sheet broke the ice dam at the mouth of the Clark Fork river and flooded eastern Washington and western Oregon, and ripped out the Columbia Gorge. These `Missoula floods' happened many times, leaving gravel beds in the Snake River valley, especially the Hells' Canyon area, headed *upstream*. Then Lake Bonneville in Utah, of which Great Salt Lake is a rem- nant, overflowed the Red Rock Pass in Idaho and scoured out more of the Snake River valley, leaving gravel beds headed downstream on top of the Missoula flood deposits. More Mis- soula floods occurred, again leaving gravel beds headed upstream on top of the Bonneville deposits. [3] To claim all this happened in the few thousand years since the Flood is incredible. One does not have to use radioactive dating methods to see this, but simply note the observed rate of soil formation on large volcanic flows, the fact that animals were found between flows, and a host of other things that could not possibly have formed in `Noah's Flood'. Can any creationist give a rational explanation for these events in terms of Flood Geology? __________________________ 3 John Eliot Allen, Marjorie Burns, and Sam C. Sargent, _Cataclysms on the Columbia_, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, 1986. Alan Feuerbacher alanf@atlas.pen.tek.com

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