Wyoming Fossils: Coming to Grips with the Absurdity of the Flood Geology Model of Fossil Origins

Above is shown the general appearance of fossils in the geological column. You can see that dinosaurs are found in strata that bridge the first appearance of flowering plants. The evidence for flowering plants in coprolites of dinosaurs also exhibit the same pattern. Image credit: J. Duff
Above is shown the general appearance of fossils in the geological column.  Image credit: J. Duff

The sedimentary rocks of the Earth hold vast quantities of fossils.  Hundreds of years of careful observations have shown that fossils are far from random in their distribution but rather they appear in the geological column in a distinct pattern or order referred to as fossil succession.  How can we explain the observed distribution of fossils in the geological column?

One attempt to explain the origin and observed distribution of fossils comes from young-earth creationists (YECs).  The young-earth view proposes that much or most of the thousands of feet of fossil bearing rocks—and the fossils themselves—that make up the world’s land masses were deposited during a single catastrophic world-wide flood approximately 4350 years ago.  In reference to that Flood, Ken Ham and other YECs are fond of asking:

If there really was a Flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.  After which Ken Ham continues:  Well, that is exactly what we see – billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth!

Ken Ham is right about one thing. There are billions of dead things buried in sediments laid down in water although this is a vast underestimate of the number of fossils.  But how long was required to preserve all these fossils, how did it happen and how might we be able to discern these past events?

YEC Global flood proponents have proposed three possible mechanisms to explain the observed succession of fossils in the geological column: 1) Hydrodynamic sorting, 2) Differential escape, and 3) Ecological zonation.  None of these general proposals hold water when fossils and their geological context are examined in detail.

I have already provided numerous examples of the utter inadequacies of hydrodynamic sorting including my articles about  diatoms (Life in a Glass House: Diatoms shatter young earth flood geology), forams (Diatoms and Forams: Testing the Young Earth Flood Geology Hypothesis) and my article in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (Flood Geology’s Abominable Mystery).  Recently, differential escape seems to have fallen out of favor in YEC circles for good reason. It required that organisms running away from the Flood were preserved in the fossil record as a result of the organisms differing abilities to escape (eg. birds are higher up in the fossil record than the amphibians etc…).  Any close examination of the fossil record will quickly dispel this as a viable hypothesis.

A typical argument of ecological sorting in the fossil record because of successive drownings of ecosystems during the onset of a global flood. This one is from Harold Coffin in "Origin by Design" from 1983. Image from:
A typical argument of ecological zonation/sorting in the fossil record because of successive drownings of ecosystems during the onset of a global flood. This one is from Harold Coffin in “Origin by Design” from 1983.

The last mechanism – ecological zonation/sorting – has maintained its popularity among YECs.  YECs recognize that fossils are not randomly distributed in rocks with respect to the types of fossils found in any particular fossil formation. For example, usually fossils in a layers of rock are either marine or terrestrial in origin.  They propose that groups of fossils representing ecological communities would have been preserved in the fossil record such that deep ocean, shallow sea and then terrestrial fossils might be found as one moves up the geological column (see figure to the right).  However, why and how these might be stacked directly on top of one another in the geological column is not at all clear.

Most of the YEC’s audience is unfamiliar with the fossil record knowing it only from museums and movies.  Ken Ham’s description of fossils and simplistic models of a massive flood sweeping organisms to a quick death and preservation sound plausible to those unfamiliar with the fossil evidence.  So it may be a natural reaction among many followers or young earth creationism to wonder, why don’t scientists recognize the evidence of a single great catastrophe in earth’s history?

To illustrate one reason scientists do not consider the YEC model even plausible I want to take you on a trip to Wyoming and show you a portion of the fossil record.   I tell people that they go and look at fossils for themselves and ask: how did these particular fossils come to be in the place they are today?  A global flood doesn’t provide a realistic or even possible explanation for most of the fossils they will see. Those who have spent time collecting fossils and examining the geological context of where they are found quickly realize that flood geology models fall well short of providing any plausible mechanisms for explaining the observed distribution of fossils.

Until you are able to plan your own fossil observation excursion to witness this for yourself, I will do the next best thing and take you to some fossil sites that I visited not long ago.  I will provide some details about the locations were they are found and what kinds of rock they are found.  After we have made some observations we can ask the question: What is the best explanation for the origins of these fossils?  Were they all laid down in a recent global flood or deposited over long periods of time in a shallow sea?

Short Summary:  Fossils are found in discrete units of the geological column. They are typically found in natural ecological assemblages rather than random collections of ecologically unrelated species.  The fossils described here were not deposited over a short period of time by hydrodynamic sorting, differential escape or ecological zonation.  The communities of fossils found in central Wyoming are best explained as the product of long periods of accumulation in alternating shallow seas, tidal flats and beaches caused by changes in sea level and continental uplift over time.   These preserved communities of organisms are not a chaotic assemblage nor are they sorted by size or mass.  These communities are stacked on top of each other therefore not the result of zonation in the pre-Flood world.  These fossils, like billions of others, demonstrate that young-earth flood geology is void of explanatory power and thus not a viable working hypothesis.

All of the locations I am going to take you are places that I found myself along with my family on summer vacation.   I hiked many miles in the badlands of the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming.  On those hikes I looked for fossils and took pictures and samples at places where I found them.   I have already shared pictures of several of these locations and some of the fossils that I found (see links in discussion below).  Here I want to share a few more fossil sites that I found and compare multiple fossil locations.

Below I provide an overview of the fossil locations and then I examine what we can learn from the fossils in Wyoming about the history of the earth.

fossil-collections-bighornbasin2016-wyomingAbove I note on this Google map screenshot the approximate location of places were I collected Jurassic Period fossils in June of 2016.  There is an additional sight just below the map east of Worland.  The distance between the furthest locations is about 40 miles apart. All of these locations had multiple species of fossils.

Let’s take a quick look at some of these sites.

Site 1:  Sheep Mountain, Wyoming

I shared many pictures from this site before (see: Hiking through the Jurassic Period in Wyoming). Below is a picture I took that I have annotated to show where my sons and I collected fossils.


Below is a picture of the surface shown on the left side of the picture above. These are Gryphaea fossils which are a bivalve clam.


Below is a picture of the ground representing what we saw on the other side of the ravine in the first picture. These are fragments of a flat bivalve shell—not Gryphaeae —and remains—called Belemnites—of an extinct squid.  In my post about hiking through the Jurassic I talked about these Belemnites in more detail.


Site 2:  Red Gulch Region 

Below is a picture I took after climbing a large hill overlooking the Red Gulch dinosaur trackway site. A few weeks ago I wrote about the Dinosaur tracks found here and the other fossils in the immediate vicinity (see:  Walking in the Footprints of Giants).   Just above the dinosaur tracks in hard limestone rock are several dozen feet of soft shales that are loaded with Gryphaea clam shells.  In the picture below I have indicated the general area where Gryphaea fossils can be found in great abundance eroded out of the rock and sitting on the surface.  As I climbed the hill above these rocks I encountered rock with no discernible (i.e. visible to the naked eye) fossils and then I came upon a portion of a hill-side that was covered with fossils.

redgulch-fossilsites-bighornbasinwyomingBelow is a picture of the hillside covered with pieces of bivalve shells and Belemnites.  Does that sound familiar?  I saw the same fossils in the same order at the location on Sheep Mountain but I was about 20 miles from that site here at Red Gulch.


Below is a closeup of some of the Belmnites on the surface of the side of the hill. I did not notice them at the time but there are also a couple of pieces of crinoid stems on the surface as well. Crinoids are animals that also lived in shallow seas and left behind copious numbers of fossils in the geologoical column.

belemnites-crinoids-redgulch-wyomingDown the hill but just above the dinosaur tracks in the hard limestone we found many Grypheae fossils. In the picture below most of the layers of rock you see above the dinosaur tracksite have Gryphaea fossils.  Here are a couple of my kids working to pick a few small ones out of Sundance Formation shales that make up the side of the hill.


On the flat surface just above where my kids are above, many more pieces of Gryphaea fossils can be found.


Site #3:  Tensleep, Wyoming dinosaur region

Below Hyatsville, Wyoming we took a small side road and eventually reached a hill my van could not climb.  We then hiked about two miles further west into the badlands.  Eventually we worked our way up another hill and stumbled upon millions of shell fragments and Belemnites.  The soil type and the fossils appeared the same as those I had seen at Red Gulch and Sheep Mountain but we were another 20 to 25 miles south of the Red Gulch site.

Below is a picture of the surface on the hillside showing abundant Belemnite fragments.


A closer image of the Belemnites in this region.

belamnite-shells-dinositeBelow is another Belemnite but also abundant fragments of clams. These are the  same type of clam shell fragments I found at Sheep Mountain, the Red Gulch area and near Shell, Wyoming.


Other sites:  Shell, Wyoming and near Tensleep, Wyoming

Near Shell, Wyoming we found a hill with the same order of fossils.  Grypheae fossils in the lower portion of the hillside and then some broken bivalve shells and Belmnites higher up on the hill side.   Also, just west of the town of Tensleep, Wyoming I saw some Gryphaea fossils but at that location there was no higher ground since it had eroded away so there was no opportunity to see if the same Belemnites would have been in that area before it was eroded.

What did I observe and what can we learn from these fossils? 

Fossils represent communities of organisms not a random assemblage of species:  Where I found Gryphaea bivalve mussels they appeared as natural populations. There were large (2 inches) and tiny (<1/4 inch) complete shells and fragments of large and small shells.  It is as if this was a shallow sea where a community of shells lived with old, young and deceased members all together.    Separate from the layers of rock that contained these Gryphaea communities I found an abundance of different bivalve shells and Belemnites.  Both of these fossils were represented by diverse sizes (1/4 inch to >5 inches) representing vast populations of each species. Since squid would have lived in the water column but the bivalves would have been living in the sediment there is no reason to expect to find these fossils together in a flood model which uses hydrodynamic sorting or differential escape to predict fossil distributions.  Why would trillions of the same species of Gryphaea or Belemnite be preserved in one set of sedimentary rock but other species of the same kind of organism be found – according to other fossil hunters – in layers above and below these layers? In a chaotic worldwide flood how would massive populations including babies and adults all be swept together apart from billions of other specimens of a different species?

The same order of fossils can be observed over a hundred square miles:  Without any foreknowledge of most of the fossils that I would find when I visited Wyoming I came across multiple locations up to 60 miles apart in which I found the same community of fossil types in the same stratigraphic order.   In 30 to 50 feet of shale I found Gryphaea fossils and some crinoids and then there was rock above these which contained no visible fossils. Above that were another 30 to 50 feet of shale that contained abundant bivalve shells, Belemnites and a different species of crinoid.   These observations are in contradiction to any hydrodynamic sorting explanation. Why would different species of crinoids which are the same size and approximate shape be separated into different layers with none found in a layer of rock in between? Why would Belemnites of every size only be found in one layer of shale and not found in the layers of shale below if all these layers of sediment were deposited in one large flood?

The fact that these communities of species can be found stacked on top of each other directly contradicts the ecological zonation/sorting hypothesis of flood geologists.  At the same time hydrodynamic sorting and differential escape are nonsensical explanations for these fossils.

A far simpler explanation is that these fossils represent the remains of populations of organisms living in communities in a shallow sea for long periods of time.   In this case, a plausible scenario includes: Gryphaea fossils living near shore were exposed to successive inputs of new sediment into that sea and the build of up small-bodied micro-organisms (eg. coccoliths) which gradually covered and preserved many shells.  As sea levels rose, Gryphaea bivalves no longer found the area a good environment for survival and different communities of organisms arrived in the now deeper waters. Several different species of flat bivalves now took residence on the sea floor and squid swam in the shallow seas.  As the squid died and their flesh decayed the hard rostrums collected on the sea floor along with the shells and were preserved. Later as the seas was filled with sediments and/or sea level fell the entire area was exposed to the air and now deposition of sediments from streams from the surrounding mountains continued to add new sediments on top of the marine sediments. These new sediments record footprints of dinosaurs, dinosaur bones and other terrestrial organisms.

The shale rock of the Bighorn Basin record for us an easily read history of the waxing and waning of a shallow sea not a chaotic global flood. Lest anyone think that maybe this is just the preservation of a pre-Flood environment as it was the day the Flood began, you should know that more than 6000 feet of additional sedimentary rock – mostly marine – is below the layers that we are concerned with today. Those rocks also contain fossils and so they had to all be deposited before these layers could be put down. How could a global flood deposit more than one mile of sediment and then have what appears to be deposits from a placid sea filled with just a few species of which somehow escaped being preserved before but then were ALL preserved at just this one moment in time?

Standing on a hillside in Wyoming with the evidence of the fossil record sitting right at your feet, the absurdity of the YEC flood geology model becomes all too clear.

The following amendment to Ken Ham’s saying is required:   If the Earth really is millions of years old, what would the evidence be? Quadrillions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, volcanic ash and landslides, all over the earth.  Well, that is exactly what we see – quadrillions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water, volcanic ash, and landslides, all over the earth!

This article was originally written for and published on this site August 20, 2016

32 thoughts on “Wyoming Fossils: Coming to Grips with the Absurdity of the Flood Geology Model of Fossil Origins

  1. I always shudder a bit whenever I see the “Billions of dead things everywhere proves Noah’s Flood”—as if Noah’s Flood would be the best or even the only explanation for such. It is such an insult to everyone’s intelligence. Even when I was a Young Earth Creationist long ago, I hated that argument. Surely there must be many YECs today who find it woefully simplistic.

    Of course, just as embarrassing is the fact that such a recent flood involving what many YECs claim was some five miles deep SHOULD have left obvious evidence everywhere we look. Back in the early 1960’s I can remember pastors who at least had the honesty to admit to that lack of evidence and they tried to explain it. The most common explanation for the lack of flood evidence which I heard from pulpits said that God puts the remembrance of sin behind him, so he miraculously erased much of the flood devastation from the face of the earth.

    Also among the worst of “Noahic flood evidence” in Young Earth Creationist literature is the Grand Canyon. I’ll never understand the appeal of that one. Squeezing all those strata into the single year of the flood boggles the mind.

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  2. My favourite bit of evidence against differential escape, which I read about in an older article here, is the presence of copious dinosaur coprolites that are found only in the same layers as dinosaurs. Surely under the flood model, coprolites should be near the bottom of the column.


  3. You should do an article about the buried forests in Wyoming. Flood theorists claim the raging waters swept up all the trees and uprooted them and transported the whole forest many miles. The dirt in the root systems kept all the trees upright and set them down in sediment. Then the waters uprooted more forests and deposited them on top of the earlier trees. It must have done this 27 times or so. SURELY we see this happen today! I m sure however the YEC audience won’t consider that absurdity but just say amen and sing a hums and go home.

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    1. Yep, so many similar examples are available to write about. One reason I haven’t done so yet is that YECs have a handy explanation for these forests. They will claim floating mats of vegetation were buried by the churning flood waters. Yes, that is not really plausible but it sounds more plausible than any of the arguments for how quadrillions and quadrillions (a preview of my next post!) of multiple-sized belemnites could end up deposited in just one layers of sedimenatary rock. BTW, I have seen the petrified forests in Yellowstone at specimen ridge. I don’t have picture unfortunatley.


      1. “Yep, so many similar examples are available to write about.”

        Frankly, after a while I feel like it is hopeless trying to reason with someone who thinks that “After the flood, Australian animals returned to that continent on virtual conveyor belts of floating vegetation debris.” is a compelling explanation. However, that one almost sounds brilliant compared to the “Volcano eruptions propelled animals through the air over vast differences.” Doesn’t that sound more like a cartoon episode? (It would include words like “Ka-boom!!!!” written across the scene.)

        Now that Ken Ham has his Ark Encounter filled with confidently declarative signs on the exhibits inside his ark-shaped tourist trap—and those signs represent the epitome of “flood geology” and “creation science”—-I would like to be there the first time some little kid listens to some docent’s far-fetched explanation and asks with his/her carefully practiced contempt, “Were you there?”


  4. Excellent information and analysis in all above. There is NOTHING that favors Flood-fossil Geology. I would appreciate some discussion of Hebrews 11:3, which says that what we see is not from what was seen. So Earth’s coal can’t be from plants buried by the Flood. But this applies equally to Old Earth arguments, if you assume that what looks old has to be old. I’d rather go with God saying that his thoughts and ways aren’t ours. and so think that the work of an eternal God would be purposefully created to appear old. And if God only is unchanging, then every kind of change would be included in such a total creation. That corrects evolution theory, which claims only change through time. So what about Hebrews 11:3? GLL


    1. This only stands up to scrutiny as long as you dont look too closely. First, from your argument I cant see why the earth has to look old. There is no need for God to let the world look old if it isnt, except he wants to trick people. There is no inherent necessity to include any "change" into the creation as you put it. So what is the purpose that you claim God has for creating an earth that only seems old?
      If the earth looked new, you would never come up with the idea that it lacks the appearance of age. But now that the earth looks old, people come up with these rather weak explanations for it.
      Furthermore you get into big epistemological troubles. There is no red line in the ground that marks the end of the "pseudo history" and the beginning of the "real history", so how do you know what you dig up is real? This is the end of archeology or any scientific research of the past, as you can never be sure, what really happened. And then you can
      t be sure of anything, as you never know if God somehow just wants the thing you are studying to seem to be something completely different after all…
      Maybe we were all created five minutes ago along with all our memories…
      Science works (and technically all of our life) because we take for granted, that what we perceive of the world at least somehow corresponds with reality. If you let go of that, you even lose your bible, as e.g. the Letter to the Hebrews is translated based on rigorous historical studies…
      And finally, why would God create apparent age that looks so much like evolution took place? Wouldnt it be so much easier for all his followers, if it looked as if a "literal" reading of genesis was true (granted that God doesnt want to decieve us. you probably dont want to go there)?
      No, the earth looks old because it is old. That is the only reasonable explanation.
      So to sum it up: I dont think that what you think about Hebrews 11:3 is what the vers actually means…
      I hope this all made some sense, as I`m not a native speaker… ;)

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  5. Derek, thanks for the discussion. You’re right, it’s only what looks real that “makes sense,” that you can predict for the next day. I’ve thought about how Earth could look new. There would be no stratigraphy – a result of God’s created laws of physics. And no change of fossil species up the record – a result of DNA variability also created by God. So we would KNOW by this lack of change that a start of all things had to be recent. That would be a “walk by sight” when, from the start, God says to “walk by faith.” Adam had to believe (if God had to tell him) that he was just a day old in an Eden that looked as if it had been growing there for years.

    And thanks for picking up on us NOT KNOWING when real time starts. That’s the crazy part of it. Just pick a date – only it can’t be at any time after human sin in real Bible History – because God can’t be the Author of real death. It’s always a first thought that God wants to trick us – but the Bible says that “God is love,” so that’s out. And God doesn’t lie, so everything, by his created rules, has to appear as if it actually happened. And if God throws in a miracle (Earth water-covered) it has to leave no evidence (a walk by sight for Ken Ham and the rest) – actually a walk AGAINST sight, as secular folks (or NH) have been shouting out at them all this time.

    So I’m stuck in the middle, telling the secular world that there is NO EVIDENCE for our universe, and life, being self-created. And telling Bible folk that they have NO EVIDENCE (just the Word, a walk by faith) for God’s Flood. Then there’s things like Devils Tower in Wyoming that seem to be God’s special creation inviting both parties to look for a middle ground. Impossible in Flood time, but also improbable if a couple million years of erosion to expose it (1,300 feet down to the river around it) didn’t leave it a pile of rock and gravel. The flat St. Peter (and equivalent) sandstone is the same – neither side says much on how or from where it originated.

    Trust yourself on understanding Hebrews 11:3 – it’s the same in Greek as in English, plain and simple, with no theological twists. It’s just that, apparently, nobody that I know of has seen what was always there, a blanket statement focused exactly on any specific that interests us. Gosse (“Omphalos,” 1857) answered “last Thursdayism.” But God could not create me with a memory of death, making him the Author. As far as “rigorous history,” I chose 6000 B.C. for my Flood date because you find more “interruptions” there in Prehistory than elsewhere – and it was the max that I could go, adding 40+ unknown names to Noah’s descendants.

    I haven’t answered WHY God would create a Virtual History, if the “to fool us” answer is out. I’ve come up with 3 or 4 basic need-to-do-it answers, but I need to post this now and get going. Maybe, before I come back, somebody will give us one that hasn’t come to my mind yet. Start with any hint already in the Bible. GLL


    1. Well, thanks for your clarifications, but I still cant see how your explanation gets us anywhere. If God cant be the author of death in your memory than how can he be in the fossil record? I dont get that, that makes no sense… And you are wrong, the God of the bible does not hide his miracles, they were checkable, as you can see for example with Jesus healing of the leper whom he send to the priests to check.
      With your logic Jesus would still be lying in the tomb, so that we can walk by faith. That is a bultmannian approach, but not what the God of the bible expects from us…
      This smells a bit like a (new) form of gnosticism, where only the true enlightened people have access to the truth and the material world is suspect. But as Paul puts it in Romans 1, people can find out something from nature about the God who made it. And what you find points to an old earth and a developement of all living beings from single cell organisms to human beings and that in every discipline of the natural sciences, if we like it or not… Even your DNA in every of your cells shows this history (see e.g. http://biologos.org/blogs/dennis-venema-letters-to-the-duchess/series/adam-eve-and-human-population-genetics).
      So either God worked through evolution or he made it look like he did. If the latter is true, there is no other possibility than that he wants people to believe it and so to trick them and wants only the true “gnostics” to know about it. I cant see how this has any resemblance with the God of the bible… There IS EVIDENCE, a lot of, though it may not look like what you expect or want…

      Maybe the reason why nobody has seen what you see in Hebrews is, that what you see is not there. I do trust myself and wise scholars, e.g. F.F. Bruce: “Greek speculation about the formation of the ordered world out of formless matter had influenced Jewish thinkers like Philo and the author of the Book of Wisdom; the writer to the Hebrews is more biblical in his reasoning and affirms the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, a doctrine uncongenial to Greek thought.” (NICNT). I dont know which translation you use, but the only way to come to a conclusion like you do, is to interprete “aiones” as “ages” which is a literal but not a good and definitively not the best translation in context. Thats why by far most of the translater use “world” or “universe” instead (https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Hebrews%2011:3).
      So, I dont see it in this vers nor in any other part of the bible how it could be biblical to think that God created apparent age, except that it is convenient for you…
      In accordance with the rest of theological reasoning it is far more likely and convincing, that God revealed himself in the framework of the knowledge and culture of the respective time (what can be seen in other instances throughout the bible).

      ps: I dont see how the Devils Tower or St. Peters sandstone add any credibility to your argument. I`m not a geologist but as I see it, they do have a good concept of how these formations came to be. Your lack of imationation of processes over millions of years is hardly any evidence for or against anything…


      1. don’t disagree with your reasoning per se, but while i hear much about God being “deceptive” with age appearance, no one comes forward with any sort of description of what, let’s say, a six thousand year old earth would look like. Obviously, if your going by billions of years, then you are leaving out any sort of ex nihilo creation. Adam was one day old, but i get the feeling he looked much older, say twenties or thirties. Same with Eve. Unless your going by God of the gaps hopping into the evolutionary process somewhere along the way, picking two hominoids and changing them into full humans. See the difficulty? To recap, if someone who adheres to billions of years and evolutionary processes is conversing with someone who is a yec, the paradigms are totally different, and actual understanding and agreement becomes virtually impossible. The terms and processes are totally different. If God did create it all, at once, fully mature, what do you think that universe, with our earth, should look like? This is where including evolutionary process and billions of years becomes impossible to correlate with a young earth and universe. Two totally and radically different processes. Can’t be reconciled. And hasnt been, in spite of all the attempts by oec’s to do so. It just won’t work. Something has to give. The bible goes or science goes. I respect those who chose one or the other more than those who try to reconcile the two perspectives. Too much dishonest and disingenuous tweaking goes on, and does no honor to either viewpoint.


  6. I’m not sure if I missed this, and I could have, but isn’t another big problem with the YEC theory the fact that there are layers that aren’t covered with fossils? How can you get multiple layers of sediment, some absolutely filled with fossils, and others with fossils almost entirely absent, if they’re all jumbled together in the Flood? Am I missing something?


    1. You haven’t missed anything at all. This is what is remarkable about the fossils when you find them. The can be abundant in one layer and then near impossible to find in another. How could quadrillions of different sized belemnites be deposited just in one layer but now in the 20 feet of rock above them? I should probably make it clear for anyone who thinks that they can drive through Wyoming and just hop out of the car and load up on fossils that it isn’t that easy. Despite there being quintillions of fossils there, most of the rock there is fairly devoid of fossils. On my hikes I saw nothing for a mile at a time crossing over many different rock layers. Then suddenly you come to places where the ground is just made of fossils like a beach made of shells.

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    2. Maybe I’m missing something here too, but can either of you explain how layers lacking these fossils are more a problem for YECs than OECs?

      I don’t see how the claim that “quadrillions of belemnites” being deposited in a flood-prone area for millions of years followed by millions of years suddenly completely lacking belemnite fossils is more believable than different kinds of layers being deposited during a single event.

      Surely subterranian flows of sediments lacking belemnites could easily have covered layers that do contain belemnites. Or again, am I missing something?

      What I would expect to see here, rather than empty layers, is a slow progression of fossils from belemnite to squid. But somehow, unfortunately, floods were not available during that period of time.


  7. Certainly, every miracle in the Bible was an obvious reality, as when Israel ate manna for so long in the wilderness. But for us today, we have only the Word telling us that (and the fact that God as Preserver, second by second, is holding together the very atoms). I think it would help if you keep an eye on the main problem: wanting others to believe the Bible and then trust Jesus for eternal salvation. You need credibility. One obvious way to establish some trust is to admit that Yes, there is every reason to doubt “theories” that dump fossils all together in the Flood, and then no fossils at all in strata above or below. You see John Mackay on YouTube showing trilobites – but he never got back to me asking HOW the Flood happened to “deposit” them in sets – as also the ammonites in 3 major sets of dinosaur time. Isaiah 42:5 works for me as well. “That which comes out” is the Hebrew TSeeTSaiM, and the start of the verse is in Creation time. Isaiah wrote it, and lived in Jerusalem, where the limestone that “came out of” local quarries was – therefore – created as such. None of the above PROVES a thing to your unbelieving friend, but it shows your homework.

    Obviously, as a Christian friend working the Human Genome Project 25 years ago told me, Neandertal could never have lived – too little C14. So you need a Creation date later than that. I’d like Gobekli Tepe overlooking the plains below to be a summer meeting place for Cain’s nomad descendants, when it was forested, and hunted animals may not yet have learned to fear man. So I’m willing to imagine any charcoal from there to be from trees created already long dead, with less C14. And yes, apparently God let no Flood water disturb the Suigetsu site. And no, Ken Ham’s “ark” didn’t point into wind/waves. You can show that yourself with a 21″ 1×4 nailed to a 21″ 2×4, with projections, set into a 1/2″ wave pond.

    “Age” was needed, if God wanted us to have nuclear energy, the uranium concentrated by floodplain organisms making the deposits. The same for gold, concentrated into fossil stream beds in Africa & California. Same for coal & oil, impossible if from atmospheric C14 from Creation time that kept Creation really hot until plants captured it all in time for the Flood to supposedly bury it (early or late plants separately, just to tell today’s creationists NOT to lie in God’s Name). It’s not just the St. Peter rock that makes my point vs. Deep Time. ANY wide strata far more extensive than anything seen happening today begs the question, “Why not more erosion evidence cutting in everywhere before another flat layer comes in?”

    It’s a problem, if God’s Creation was so flawed that people and angels fell so fast. Less of a problem if you can suggest that God didn’t just set them out with a cheerful, “See how you do!” If distant starlight is a problem, a stellar explosion (or just the light of it) could be a reminder for the angel that saw it, “So your glory can end, should you go against me.” For people (supposed to stay holy while filling Earth) any bone seen eroding out would come with God still there to say, “Be warned; that’s what death looks like.” So two big “negatives” become a positive for apologetic.

    If uranium was just THERE and not in the context of delta sediments (as where Danube enters Black Sea), then any Christian today could give his witness: See that proves Creation. That would be a walk by sight. Except for every Bible miracle (in situations needing extra “push”), God’s big deal for everybody is “Walk by faith.” The real mystery to chew on is God telling us that he determined (in Himself) that Jesus should be our Savior even BEFORE Creation (as the Bible says). If I can’t understand that, or explain the WHY of a created geography, there’s God telling US all, “My ways and my thoughts are not yours.” Also, in Isaiah, God being a “hidden God” by choice – so why not hide yourself behind every appearance of a created Deep Time? (Google: wls essay file – for a great paper on the Hidden God.) And here I’m saying, “If God knew before anything that Jesus would enter a sin/death world, then if there was no sin/death in geology 5 or 10 or 20 feet down and going on DOWN, then anybody today could argue: That proves an original sinless world. Another walk by sight – so not what a hidden God would want. Let me know if you think that Created Fossils and God’s Son willing to be our Savior before Creation could be seen as one package deal mystery of God. More I can’t say.

    I did spend 1993-2013 writing a 99-scene Noah screenplay covering 150 years – geography of Turkey the same before as after the Flood. And it all worked out to every possible detail, with a real Ark needing to float sideways on a gentle world ocean, breeze over the roof as over the wing of an airplane or the mound of a prairie dog. Noah’s sons married 5 to 10 years pre-Flood, coming from the peoples of the Baltic, the Indus, and a Green Sahara, where they ended up after Acts 17:26. God wouldn’t let human sin ruin an original good plan now, would he? GLL


    1. Last comment: You obviously leave commen ground of reasoning, as there is no possible way to falsify your statements. That is ok, but a bit strange given that you are “wanting others to believe the bible” and that you therefor “need credibility”.
      So there is no real ground for discussion and that is not what I think credibility looks like.
      But you know the main problem is, you didnt do your homework. If you can show me that you come to your conclusions by exegesis rather than reading your views into the bible (which is called eisegesis) I could imagine taking your imaginings a bit more seriously…


    2. GLL,

      Why do you think this condescending collection of lies is going to persuade anyone? God holds the atoms together. Really? The only other place I’ve seen this in a Chick Tract (the one where Hovind was a science adviser). If we translate this into English, what it means is: “I think you are so dim-witted and ignorant that you won’t know what the strong and weak forces are, so I’ll tell you a lie suited to my estimate of your gullibility.” Its rather distasteful to read such malice.


  8. Thanks, NH.

    As a non-scientist YEC, after reading your article, the basic challenge these present to YEC Flood Geology you say very succinctly here:

    “Lest anyone think that maybe this is just the preservation of a pre-flood environment as it was the day the Flood began, you should know that more than 6000 feet of additional sedimentary rock – mostly marine – is below the layers that we are concerned with today. Those rocks also contain fossils and so they had to all be deposited before these layers could be put down. How could a global flood deposit more than one mile of sediment and then have what appears to be deposits from a placid sea filled with just a few species of which somehow escaped being preserved before but then were ALL preserved at just this one moment in time?”

    Have you the interest or chance to interact with any YEC geologist on this point? If so, can you share their response? If not, might I try and post it here?

    Yours is a legitimate, informed question that requires an equally legitimate, informed response.



    1. Hi, thanks for taking the time to read the article. I haven’t had any direct interaction on this specific point but have interacted on similar points about the vastness of the fossil record. I would be happy to have any responses posted here.


  9. For “No Apologies” — You can Search: youtube john morris update flood 2013. This gets you an “expert” near-end-career YEC extravaganza of geologic unreality adding up to more than a mile anywhere. Sadly, just arm-waving. (But I think continent-wide strata are equally a problem for long age theorists, secular or not.) This is why Hebrews 11:3 suits me – that “what we see” now, as in Apostolic times, is ALL part of “creatio ex nihilo.” Thus God is pleased to “hide” himself as Isaiah says, while we walk by faith, not sight. — And on John Ray and the “when” of the Flood, you can ask your friends if they ever asked themselves why the Ark sat aground for 7 months before unloading. It was winter in SE Turkey, while dust blew to bury roots of drifted vegetation. So the Ark year was early May to mid-May. ‘Nuff said. GLL


    1. “It was winter in SE Turkey, while dust blew to bury roots of drifted vegetation.”
      But why assume that the ark landed in Turkey? I don’t know of any strong evidence for today’s “Mt. Ararat” location–although I’d love to see some. (There were multiple “traditional” ark landing sites in the ancient world, such as in Arabia. Some writers even claimed that they could inspect the remains in their day.)


  10. I just stumbled upon these articles while looking into the evidence of an old Earth provided by lake varves. I have yet to find better or more well written articles refuting the nonsensical claims of flood geology than I find here. Thank you for putting forth the effort to that end!


    1. you know Jeremiah, when i see fear words like “nonsensical” used pejoratively, i get suspicious whether or not i am going to read a reasoned, objective, review of a topic. How about you? I’ve got some links i can give you, or books to read, about the nonsensical belief that life came from non-life. All written by atheistic evolutionists? Would you like some? Or how about some articles where scientists pretend they can use historical science to prove or disprove operational sciences nonsensical claims. Interested?


  11. It can be shown that it is numerically absurd for a year-long flood to transport enough sediment to deposit a single identifiable formation in the geologic record. I showed this in an article in the Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith back in 2011, and no YEC/flood geologist has yet produced a response, even though Steve Austin suggested to me on the phone that he might do so. I also produced a slide presentation of the findings in my artilcle and posted it on Slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/TimHelble/were-most-of-earths-fossilbering-sedimentary-rock-layers-deposited-by-noahs-flood The YEC leaders just ignore evidence like this and Joel’s article here, because they know it isn’t necessary to keep their followers loyal.

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