Young Earth Creationism: Geological evidence and the age of the Earth

June 17, 2020

Young Earth Creationism: Geological evidence and the age of the Earth

Tasman Walker & Ron Neller

Perhaps the best-known image encapsulating geological data is the geological column. Its eras reach back past the Cambrian 540 million years ago, the Archean 2,500 million years ago, to the formation of Earth 4,600 million years ago. These ages clearly contradict Genesis, which describes God creating the earth in six days some 6,000 years ago. This conflict drives the quest to find a way of reading Genesis to accommodate billions of years.

Separating facts from beliefs

It is rarely appreciated that the geological ‘data’ presented are actually a hybrid of observable facts and philosophical beliefs. Rocks, fossils, strata, and landscapes are facts observed ‘in the field’. However, they do not come with a story attached to them, or a date. The dates and story come from the geological community’s long-held belief system, which denies that God created everything in six literal days, and that Noah’s Flood was a real event that deluged and destroyed the whole earth. It also asserts that present-day geological processes, such as water erosion, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, have always operated at the limited scale that they currently do. That is, there never was a geological process that engulfed the world and operated at a global scale. This philosophy is called ‘uniformitarianism’ and, remarkably, it is described in 2 Peter 3:5–7.

It is this philosophy that implies the earth is billions of years old, an idea that arose in geological circles long before radioactive dating developed. So, if we are to properly consider geological data, we must first remove the naturalistic prejudice. We must also recognize that the techniques used to convert the data into dates are flawed.

However, we can accept the order of the rocks and fossils as shown on the geological column because usually these are based on observed relationships. Thus, we can interpret this geological evidence within the biblical framework.

To correctly interpret the geological data relevant to the age of the earth, we cannot restrict our focus to Genesis 1–3. We must also consider Genesis 4–11, which describes the global Flood and chronological data in the genealogies. Noah’s Flood is key because it washes away the need for recourse to millions of years in explaining the strata shown on the geological column. The strata are not recording deposition over millions of years but mostly the formation of rocks and fossils during the year-long Flood.[1]

Consistent with Genesis

Abundant geological evidence contradicts the long-age uniformitarian philosophy that present-day processes have always operated on the earth. Instead, the evidence points to rapid catastrophic processes, as expected from Noah’s Flood. Here are some:

Extensive sedimentary deposits: Layers of sediment kilometres thick cover immense areas of the continents—evidence for vast continental flooding. The Great Artesian Basin sediments in eastern Australia provide a good example. The uniformitarian philosophy does not anticipate global flooding, but only localized sedimentary deposits confined to lake beds, deltas of rivers, and along narrow strips of coastline.

Catastrophic deposition: These vast sedimentary deposits display evidence of rapid and energetic deposition. Geologists describe various strata as deposited in a ‘fluvial environment’ or a ‘high energy braided stream system’;[2] that is, large volumes of sediment-laden water flowing rapidly across large areas depositing sediment. Such sediments are not being deposited across continents today.

Landscape features: Many landscape features are difficult to explain under uniformitarianism. These include vast plateaus that retain their relatively flat surfaces and steep sides despite supposed millions of years of erosion, thousands of water gap features (when a river, albeit small, cuts neatly through a mountain range),[3] and coastal great escarpments thousands of kilometres long not formed by faulting, but Flood run-off.[4]

Fossils: Although we see large numbers of fossils in past sediment layers, fossilization is rarely observed in the present. When animals die, they are quickly scavenged. Decades of research at thousands of sediment-measuring stations, in all climate zones, demonstrates that insufficient sediment is currently supplied for fossilization. Most of the fossils we now see were buried during the Flood year.

One fossil example of myriads involves a dinosaur herd buried in Mongolia.[5] More than 25 dinosaurs were excavated within the same layer of mudstone, generally facing the same direction and remarkably well preserved.[6] Most of the dinosaurs were in a crouching posture and their limbs were plunging down into the underlying mud. Their hind legs were often still bent, indicating that they were struggling to escape. Also, the overlying sediments were deposited rapidly, burying their soft parts before they rotted away.

Evidence is abundant

Space prevents us detailing more of the abundant fossil evidences for the biblical Flood, such as well-preserved whale fossils in Chile,[7] a dinosaur graveyard in Alberta Canada,[8] plesiosaurs buried in Queensland,[9] and a school of fish buried in USA.[10] Nor does it permit discussion of geologic features indicative of Noahs’ Flood, such as tree fossils cutting across multiple strata,[11] landscapes planed flat by floodwater,[12] large boulders transported by water hundreds of kilometres from their source and deposited on plateaus,[13] and many more.

The other main source of age dating used by mainstream science, radioactive dating, is discussed in the section entitled ‘Text and Evidence’ below.

Seeing the evidence

Noah’s Flood has left overwhelming evidence of large-scale watery catastrophe that contradicts the uniformitarian philosophy, and washes away the need for millions of years, yet many geologists do not see this evidence. They tend to see what they believe, and when data contradicts their philosophy, they seek to resolve the contradictions, rather than looking at other possibilities. The geological evidence for the reliability of the biblical account and a young age of the earth is overwhelming and compelling for anyone open to consider it. And it is this evidence that connects the biblical account of creation with the world of geology.

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[1] See this explained: M.J. Oard, ‘The geological column is a general Flood order with many exceptions’. J. Creation Vol.24(2), 2010, pp78–82, (URLs in this article accessed May 2020.)

[2] R.W. Day, et al., Queensland Geology, Geological Survey of Queensland, 1983, pp127–128.

[3] R.J. Neller, ‘Complex water gap feature –Krichauff Range, Northern Territory, Australia’. J. Creation, Vol.34(1), 2020, pp3–4.

[4] M.J. Oard, ‘Coastal great escarpments caused by flood runoff’. Creation Vol.37(4), 2015, pp46–48.

[5] ‘Young dinosaurs roamed together, died together’. Eurekalert, March 2009,

[6] D.J. Varricchio, et al., ‘Mud-trapped herd captures evidence of distinctive dinosaur sociality’. Acta Palaeontol. Pol. Vol.53(4), 2008, pp567–578.

[7] T.B. Walker, ‘80 whales buried mysteriously in Chilean desert’.

[8] M.J. Oard, ‘Watery catastrophe deduced from huge Ceratopsian dinosaur graveyard’. J. Creation Vol.16(2), 2002, pp3–4,

[9] T.B. Walker, ‘Deluge disaster’. Creation Vol.26(3), 2004, pp28–31,

[10] P. Robinson, ‘A swimming school of fish fossilized in real time’,

[11] T.B. Walker, ‘Polystrate fossils: evidence for a young earth’. Creation Vol.29(3), 2007, pp54–55,

[12] M.J. Oard, ‘It’s plain to see’. Creation Vol.28(2), 2006, pp34–37,

[13] J. Hergenrather, ‘Noah’s long-distance travellers’. Creation Vol.28(3), 2006, pp.30–32,

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