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The Grand Canyon — Is It Just Over 6,000 Years Old?

Did the development of the Grand Canyon actually take hundreds of millions of years, or did it originate during a worldwide flood that can be measured in mere months? One thing is certain: mass destruction took place in the Grand Canyon like the world has never seen before or since.
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The Grand Canyon — Is It Just Over 6,000 Years Old?

Article#: 826

Of course the earth is just slightly over 6,000 years old, and that includes the Grand Canyon. Those who shrink back in horror, ensconced in the evolutionary dogma of billions of years, should take a moment to attempt to prove their position. Their first discovery should be that they can neither define truth nor proof. Secondly, they’ll find that their position can’t be proven because it’s simply not true. Concerning the origin of the universe and its age, evolutionary scientists have changed their opinions (that they often offer as truth) numerous times. But be advised that God’s Word stands sure. His Word never changes.

It wasn’t until the 19th century and Darwin that the principle of a young earth was seriously (or should I say "popularly") challenged. Much evil has cascaded down upon mankind because of this blatant rebellion against truth. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Exodus 20:11:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The initial dating of the earth is Biblically established by measuring the number of years between father and son to Abraham. For example: Genesis, chapter five tells us that Adam lived 130 years and begat Seth. Seth lived so many years and begat a son, and so on until Noah and the great flood. That time which transpired marked 1,656 years of world history. Genesis, chapter 11 takes the dating of the earth from Noah’s flood to Abraham. From Abraham to Christ, events are clearly dated in the Scriptures. Matthew 1:17 tells us there were 42 generations from Abraham to Christ. According to the thorough chronological dating of Bishop Usher, who died in the year 1656, the earth experienced 4,004 years of history until the birth of Christ. Now add on 2,004 years (today’s date) and you have an earth that is 6,008 years old.

MAN SAID: Foolishness! Everyone knows the universe and the earth are billions of years old. Just look at the Grand Canyon!

Now THE RECORD: The subject of this feature, which will again prove the veracity of scriptural history, is the Grand Canyon. This canyon found its beginning in the great flood that occurred in the days of Noah which took place 4,352 years ago.

In regard to the origin and age of the Grand Canyon, those who reject Biblical authority are flummoxed. Evolutionary theory just can’t explain the many realities of the 277-mile canyon that contradict its assumptions. In a book written by geologist Steven Austin, titled Grand Canyon: Monument To Catastrophe, the following quote from geologist/author Earle E. Spamer is found:

The greatest of Grand Canyon’s enigmas is the problem of how it was made. This is the most volatile aspect of Grand Canyon geological studies…  Grand Canyon has held tight to her secrets of origin and age. Every approach to this problem has been cloaked in hypothesis, drawing upon the incomplete empirical evidence of stratigraphy, sedimentology, and radiometric dating.  [End of quote]

Did the development of the Grand Canyon actually take hundreds of millions of years, or did it originate during a worldwide flood that can be measured in mere months? It’s hard to fathom the catastrophic force of Noah’s flood, which destroyed all that had the breath of life in its nostrils—with the exception of those creatures on the ark. Imagine a raging global flood, the breaking up of the fountains of the deep, fountains of water, and fountains of red-hot lava as well as a myriad of related devastations. Genesis 7:11-23:

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Today, testimony of this awesome flood is literally everywhere. If the electricity that is powering your computer is a product of fossil fuel (such as coal), then proof of Noah’s flood is at your fingertips. The world’s great coal and oil reserves are a result of a worldwide flood. But, could something as colossal as the Grand Canyon be developed in hours and months rather than the hundreds of millions of years purported by evolutionists?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Mount St. Helens. Fine rock layering with similarities to the deposits in the Grand Canyon were produced in just hours—as in nine hours—on May 18, 1980. The following excerpt is from geologist Steven Austin’s book, Grand Canyon: Monument To Catastrophe:

Consider, for example, the recent eruptions of Mount St. Helens. Although it was a small-to-average volcano—much smaller than many that have operated in the past—it accomplished a great deal of geologic work. In places, finely laminated deposits many tens of feet thick were deposited; elsewhere huge canyons were eroded. A layer of peat is still being deposited and trees are being buried in upright positions, although not in the place of their growth, etc. All of these "products," which were formed catastrophically, are similar to products of the past, thus providing analogies which we can use to interpret past events.

Another excellent research book compiled by canyon river guide Tom Vail, published in May 2003, came into this world instantly challenged by evolutionists. The report I heard on the news was that Mr. Vail’s book was being sold in the Grand Canyon retail atlases, shelved with other academic material. The evolutionists wanted the book removed and assigned to the “inspirational section” of the gift shop. It seemed to me that the only obvious purpose for this was to demean the book’s credibility as a bona fide geological review.  In his book Grand Canyon: A Different View, Mr. Vail cites a host of acclaimed scientists who support the Bible’s record of the great flood and formation of the Grand Canyon. The first one we’ll cite is William Hoesch.

William Hoesch, who earned a B.A. and an M.S. in geology, spent several years in petroleum exploration. Presently a research geologist at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), he has had extensive international experience having taught geology in China. Hoesch had this to say concerning the Grand Canyon:

Two, and only two, major episodes of upheaval struck the Grand Canyon. First, enormous forces were required to tilt the thick package of strata found beneath the Great Unconformity, where the basement rock meets the first sedimentary layer. The apparent landslide deposits of the Sixtymile Formation, the dramatically disturbed bedding of the Shinumo Quartzite, and the emplacement of large igneous dikes all seem to testify that this upheaval did not take place over "long ages," but was instead rapid and catastrophic. The second major upheaval was the rise of the Kaibab Upwarp, a broad uplifted feature of the Colorado Plateau. The Canyon, in fact, cuts "across the grain" of this upwarp, instead of around it as one would expect. From Desert View overlook, it is clear that the sedimentary layers atop the North Rim are 3,000 feet higher than equivalent strata on the Marble Platform. Visitors to Carbon Canyon, the heart of this bent package of layers, are typically awestruck at how the layers look as if they were squeezed like toothpaste. This second great upheaval, like the first, appears to have formed in an instant, not an age.

Mr. Hoesch refers to one event that caused these two episodes to occur in rapid succession and in an instant: the global flood in the days of Noah.

A sizeable problem for evolutionists is the lack of erosion in the layers deposited in the canyon. If each layer was exposed to the elements for millions of years, why are there no signs of erosion or chemical weathering? Instead of the required erosion for the evolutionary model to be true, we find a multitude of layers with no signs of erosion or chemical weathering extending in a straight line for miles. This is just the kind of picture you would expect from sediment deposited very quickly by a catastrophic flood. Geologist Dr. Steven Austin, in his book Grand Canyon: Monument To Catastrophe, says:

For more than one hundred years, geologists have attempted, in a very deliberate manner, to explain the erosion of Grand Canyon by uniformitarian agents. The elegant notion that the Colorado River eroded Grand Canyon slowly, during tens of millions of years, has been demonstrated repeatedly to be at odds with the empirical data. Most geologists familiar with the geology of northern Arizona have abandoned the antecedent river theory.  [End of quote]

If the Grand Canyon was a product of erosion over millions of years, where did all the eroded material go? According to Vail, prior to the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado, as much as 500,000 tons of sediment per day—or 5,000 tons per second—were transported by the river. If this process took 70 million years or so to evolve, a chunk of earth five miles thick covering 137,800 square miles of drainage area would have been eroded. The question is, "Where is it?" Vail said, "This massive amount of material is nowhere to be found between the Canyon and the sea, as we would expect." [End of quote]

According to Dr. Austin:

The less-rational explanation of Grand Canyon erosion by stream capture (enlargement of a precocious gully) involves an accident of incredible improbability. Both the antecedent-river and stream-capture theories have the extraordinarily difficult problem of disposing of the products of tens of millions of years of river erosion. Thus, evolutionary and uniformitarian theories have failed to explain the history of the erosion of Grand Canyon.

Evolutionists cannot explain the Grand Canyon by their model. They attempt to buttress their beleaguered cause with errant dating of rocks and fossils. They make incorrect assumptions that create long, bogus ages. Three of these false assumptions follow:

1. They assume that the history of the world and its creatures have evolved over hundreds of millions of years, when in truth, on the day it was created (around 6,008 years ago), it appeared to have history, but in fact was only seconds old.

2. The doctrine of uniformitarianism is an assumption that declares that all processes of nature have occurred at a steady pace since the beginning of time. This is foundational to evolution’s claims of great age. Unfortunately for them, there were two instant influxes of tremendous energy that could not be considered uniform by any thinking person—one was the six days of creation and the other was the worldwide flood.

3. The first two assumptions make and support assumption number three, which concerns the huge ages projected by radioisotope dating. Keep in mind that when 2 + 2 = 5, all of your mathematical computations will be incorrect, no matter how eloquently you present your case.

In his conclusion of the thorough review concerning radioisotope dating, Dr. Austin said:

Estimating the "age" of a rock by radioisotope dating is analogous to telling time with an hourglass. In the case of the hourglass being used to tell elapsed time, we must know (1) the number of sand grains in the upper and lower chambers when the instrument was inverted, (2) that no sand grains have been added or removed from the instrument during the time period we are attempting to measure, and (3) that the rate of sand falling through the instrument has remained constant. In the case of radioactive isotopes being used to tell "age," we must know (1) the initial number or ratio of daughter isotopes when the rock formed, (2) that parent-or-daughter isotopes have not been added to or removed from the rock since the rock formed, and (3) that the "decay constant" describing the radioactive decay of parent has, indeed, remained constant during the history of the rock.

Austin also said:

The "isochron-age" estimate for a suite of rocks, as the "model-age" estimate for a rock, assumes an initial condition which cannot be confirmed by laboratory analysis. For the "isochron age," the initial condition must be assumed, that the suite of rocks was sufficiently mixed, with respect to the daughter. Do analyses of the radioactive isotopes of Grand Canyon rocks give reliable estimates of their ages? Are Grand Canyon lava flows really one billion years old? Careful study of the isotopic abundances of three important geologic units of Grand Canyon shows that no coherent picture of "age" emerges.  [End of quote]

The following is the bio of Dr. Andrew Snelling, found in the credits of Grand Canyon: A Different View:

Andrew Snelling, Ph.D. Geology, Australia—He has a B.Sc. with first class honors in applied geology from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Sydney. He worked for a number of years in the mining industry in locations throughout Australia undertaking mineral exploration surveys and field research. He has also been a consultant research geologist for more than a decade to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for internationally funded research on the geology and geochemistry of uranium ore deposits as analogues of nuclear waste disposal sites.

According to Dr. Snelling, "Contrary to what is widely believed, radioactive dating has not proven the rocks of the Grand Canyon to be millions of years old." [End of quote]

A final word on radioisotope dating from Dr. John Baumgardner, also from Grand Canyon: A Different View, follows. Dr. Baumgardner is hugely qualified and well known globally for the development of the TERRA program—a 3-D spherical finite element model for the earth’s mantle. He said:

One of the chief mental barriers to accepting the Grand Canyon’s magnificent horizontally bedded layers as the product of a single recent global Flood is the belief that radioisotope (radioactive) dating proves that these layers were deposited hundreds of millions of years ago. This extremely important issue motivated the formation in July 1997 of a research team known as the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) group. Its primary purpose was to address head-on the conflict between the youthfulness of the planet that a straightforward reading of Scripture would indicate, and an earth age of millions to billions of years provided by dating methods using long half-life radioisotopes such as uranium and potassium. The team recognized this as a key issue that must be answered in a credible way if the concept of a recent creation and a global Genesis Flood are to be taken seriously. The RATE research initially focused on the long-age radioisotopes commonly used for dating, but it soon became apparent that carbon-14 (C-14) data, supposedly from very old fossil organisms, also represents an extremely important piece of the puzzle. Probably the most astounding discovery is that undecayed C-14 appears to be present in material representing fossilized life through the entire geological record! Using the standard C-14 dating assumptions, these analyses seem to require that the origin of life on earth goes no farther back in time than about 70,000 years. When one takes into account the massive changes that a global flood would have caused to the biosphere, the time scale implied by the data collapses to approximately 5,000 years.  [End of quote]

Was it truly a flood—Noah’s flood, as God describes it—that created the Grand Canyon? Dr. Terry Martenson, who has a Ph.D. in the history of geology, says that for many the Grand Canyon is "Exhibit A" proving the authority and veracity of the Biblical record.

One thing is certain: mass destruction took place in the Grand Canyon like the world has never seen before or since. In 1966, a geologist discovered that a layer of the lowest member of the Redwall Limestone was heavily populated with nautiloid fossils, a type of sea going mollusk. They were all destroyed by water action, entombing them in the rock. This 1966 discovery of the nautiloid graveyard is now memorialized on Grand Canyon maps as Nautiloid Canyon. According to Dr. Austin, "The fossil bed occupies an area of at least 7,700 square miles and contains an average of one fossilized nautiloid per square yard." [End of quote]

According to Dr. Baumgardner:

This sort of dramatic global-scale catastrophism documented in these layers implies a distinctly different interpretation of the associated fossil record. Instead of representing an evolutionary sequence, the record reveals a successive destruction of ecological habitats in a global tectonic and hydrologic catastrophe. This understanding readily explains why Darwinian intermediate types are systematically absent from the geological record—the fossil record documents a brief and intense global destruction of life and not a long evolutionary history! The types of plants and animals preserved as fossils were the forms of life that existed on the earth prior to the catastrophe. The long span of time and the intermediate forms of life that the evolutionist imagines in his mind are simply illusions. And the strong observational evidence for the catastrophe absolutely demands a radically revised time scale relative to that assumed by evolutionists.  [End of quote]

In regard to the layers of the Grand Canyon, author Ken Ham, director of Answers In Genesis, and America’s most sought-after Christian speaker, said:

The evidence from the layers is consistent with their having been laid down catastrophically, by the hydrodynamic action of water—exactly as we would expect from the global Flood of Noah.  [End of quote]

The sea-going fossils found in the Grand Canyon, such as coral, shells, sea lilies, snails, plants that continually amaze evolutionary geologists, all testify of Noah. According to Dr. Austin:

Most of the materials that compose Grand Canyon strata did not come from local erosion and transportation of immediately underlying strata, but from distant erosion and interregional transport. Thousands of cubic miles of Coconino Sandstone, covering tens of thousands of square miles of Arizona, could not be derived from the erosion of underlying Hermit Formation. Supai shales and sandstones, which everywhere overlie Redwall Limestone, could not be derived from the limestone. A flood model for catastrophic, interregional erosion, transport, and sedimentation explains the evidences for long distances of sediment transport.  [End of quote]

The doctor is saying that the deposits in the Grand Canyon came from somewhere else, and from long distances. For more information concerning the formation of the Grand Canyon, I recommend the two books referenced in this feature. The authors did a most thorough and admirable job.

GOD SAID, Exodus 20:11:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

MAN SAID: Foolishness! Everyone knows the universe and the earth are billions of years old. Just look at the Grand Canyon!

Now you have THE RECORD.


King James Bible

Austin, S., Grand Canyon: Monument To Catastrophe, Institute for Creation Research, 1994

Vail, T., Grand Canyon: A Different View, Master Books, 2003

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