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_  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
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_  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.
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-
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. 
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,