Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 12 August 2005
Morris sets out to explain to his readers the nature of faith, and how it ties to the creation debate. Many of the issues here are OK and do not need to be addressed. He does continue his use of picture stories, and uses many examples from Jesus' life to tie the reader up into an emotional argument which contains little in the way of hard evidence.
Faith Believes When Experience is Contrary to God's Word (Page 72)
Morris has set his course firmly on planting the idea that if it is contrary to God's Word, we must accept God's word without question. I do agree with this, but Morris carries it further. Naturally, he sees old earth creationism as contrary to God's Word, thus when we see old earth evidence, we should ignore it, and focus firmly on a young earth. This "blind acceptance" is exactly what Glenn Morton describes in his article Morton's Demon. The young earth mind blocks out all evidence contrary to his position. Morton's story is an interesting one. He was at the Institute for Creation Research, and wrote articles in defense of young earth creation science. He finally came to the realization the earth is old, and left ICR.
The Bible, however, does not say "Believe in a young earth and be saved." The Bible does not make any claim as to how we should interpret the "days" of creation. Accepting an old earth is not contrary to God's Word, as Morris would have people believe. It is contrary to a young earth interpretation of the same Word of God.
Despite this, Morris keeps hammering away at young earth creationists, encouraging them to have blind acceptance of the young earth viewpoint. He uses the words of Jesus, to Jairus..."just believe." This chapter continues this theme of "just believe" throughout the following pages. Young earth creationists don't need to think about it...just believe. If they did think about it, they would conclude the earth is old...Morris recognizes this and encourages people just to accept it on faith. A very interesting approach used by Morris in this chapter!
Faith Believes In Spite of What the Crowd Says (Page 73)
Not much here of substance. At the end, he concludes, "According to their faith, it happened. Is that the measure by which God judges us or works in our lives? Does the level (amount, quality, depth, firmness) of our faith affect the way God reveals himself to us?
With this paragraph, he is hammering home his point to the young earther, admonishing them that if they don't have faith (in young earth creation science), then God may judge you by this. It is a veiled threat to young earth believers not to stray from the path.
Faith Is Based on the Word of God (Page 74)
I have no issues with this statement. Naturally, Morris turns it against old earthers. He says "Why would anyone who claims to submit to the authority of God's Word question the words of God?" Old earth believers do not question the words of God...we question young earth interpretations of the words of God. We trust God...we just don't trust you!
Faith Does Not Let Science Supersede God's Word (Page 75)
I agree with this heading completely! He goes on to say "Science involves discovering information and predicting effects that can be tested." Many geologic processes have been observed and tested, which testify to vast ages for the earth's rock formations. For example, depositional rates for sedimentary rocks can be described mathematically, and reproduced in a lab. However, let's examine the young earth model for deposition during the Flood, which they call science, and see if it can be duplicated.
The Grand Canyon has a rock layer called the Coconino Sandstone. It is roughly 315 feet thick. Young earth creationists Steven Austin and Andrew Snelling have argued that this sandstone was deposited during the Flood. They must do so, because the sandstone is thought by most other geologists to be of desert origin. Obviously, you cannot have a wind-blown, desert-deposited sandstone right in the middle of Noah's Flood!
They argue for this water deposition in several documents, both in print and on the web. A web document can be viewed by clicking here.
They propose that the volume of sand deposited in this formation, which is roughly 315 feet thick and covers an area of 200,000 square miles (or 447 miles long and 447 miles wide) is about 10,000 cubic miles by their estimates (using these same numbers they give yields a volume of 11,931 cubic miles). They claim that the sand was brought in from the north, over the period of several days, by ocean currents, which, in their own words, "The maximum current velocity would have been almost 5.5 feet per second (165 cm or 1.65 metres per second) or 3.75 miles per hour. Beyond that velocity experimental and observational evidence has shown that flat sand beds only would be formed." And, in the next paragraph, "Now to have transported in such deep water the volume of sand that now makes up the Coconino Sandstone these current velocities would have to have been sustained in the one direction perhaps for days." Please note, they propose the formation of this 315 foot thick sandstone in only a few days.
There are numerous problems with this young earth creation science model. First, how do you erode the material at that speed? The material for the sandstone has to be eroded from it’s present position, and transported hundreds of miles. The erosion rate would be so slow that you probably would only end up eroding a handful of sand from bedrock in a few days. Even if the sand was just lying there, ready to be moved, it would still fall far short of being able to move that much sand. Why? They cannot exceed 5.5 feet per second, or else they won’t get the cross-bedding that is evident in the Coconino Sandstone. There are individual layers within the Coconino, known as cross-beds. Each bed forms as a unit, as the water (or wind) advances sediment over the edge of the advancing sand front. They must do this numerous times, over and over, to build up the 315 foot thickness.
The authors are actually proposing that a 30 foot tall sand wave can be moved over 400 miles in less than a week, with a current of only 5.5 feet per second. In a matter of a few days, a single sand wave, under ideal conditions, would be lucky if it were to manage a move greater than 100 feet…400 miles isn’t possible. And they have to move at least 10 of these sand waves!
Imagine this…at milepost 0, the water starts moving. The first water current carries thousands of grains over the edge of the sand wave, and continues going, leaving the advancing sand wave far behind, until that first current is 5 days away, or 400 miles away…but the sand wave is 399 miles behind, as it slowly advances. And somehow, the authors expect the average reader to believe this model!!! (This is where "faith" comes in, according to Morris).
Second, it is obvious that young-earth creationists come up with these theories, and they are posted to the web or published, and they don't consider the impact to each other's theories. In an article by John Baumgardner and Daniel Barnette, “Patterns of Ocean Circulation Over the Continents During Noah’s Flood,”, these creation scientists have developed a model for creating ocean circulation to cause the erosion needed to deposit all these layers of rock, and they say that the ocean currents are up to 87 meters per second, in a cyclonic pattern over the continents. With such forces in action over the continents and their margins, the only place for deposition is the deep ocean basins. The Coconino, did not form in a deep ocean basin, otherwise we could not be able to see it.
However, if you accept the Coconino Sandstone as being laid down by the Flood during a current of 5.5 feet per second, you in essence deny that the erosion forces proposed by Buamgardner and Barnette took place. But, if you deny this, you don't have the sand to deposit in the Coconino formation!
Of course, if you accept the Baumgardner and Barnette theory, then you eliminate the theory of the floating forests being used to make the coal deposits we see today! (see my article on this). We are at least proving one erosion theory...if you closely examine young-earth theories, they erode!
Third, a rate of 5.5 feet per second equates to 3.75 miles per hour (about as fast as you can walk). Remember, the authors' state that the sand moved into place in a few days. Since the formation is 447 miles across, at 3.75 miles per hour, it would take the water itself 119.2 hours (about 5 days) to reach the other end of this sand formation. How is water at this rate going to deposit sand 447 miles away in "a few days," when after only five days the water itself barely reaches the other side?
The authors conclude "Consequently, this enormous volume of sand would have to have been transported a considerable distance, perhaps at least 200 or 300 miles (320 or 480 kilometres). At the current velocities envisaged sand could be transported that distance in a matter of a few days!" How can they conclude this!!! In a matter of a few days they can barely get the water there, much less move the sand too!!! Morris, the author of our After Eden book, would say, "Just believe it on faith."
Even if this was feasible, what about the other 16 layers of sedimentary rock? Look at the cutaway on the Answers in Genesis article, showing the layers of rock in the Grand Canyon. The Flood model must deposit those as well! With only 375 days maximum of water upon the earth during the flood, these rock layers must average 22 days of deposition per layer! The young earth model cannot begin to accomplish this, nor can it ever be tested.
According to Morris on page 77, "In short, to be considered science or scientific, a piece of knowledge must be testable, reproducible, and falsifiable. I just falsified the entire young earth model for depositing rock layers during the Flood of Noah. It can be discarded as bad science.
To see the full rebuttal on the Coconino Sandstone, click here.
Faith is Supernatural and Outside Testable Science (Page 78)
I agree. However, it has nothing to do with our discussion of the age of the earth, as both young and old earth creationists accept supernatural events in the creation.
Morris throws in more stories of Jesus, building upon the emotional content of the chapter without adding substance.
Faith Has Its Foundation in Creation (Page 79)
I can agree with this statement. Morris uses Romans 1:19-23 to argue that God is angry with anyone who mars His Glory and majesty. This passage is talking about idol worship, and has nothing to do with creation.
The last sentence of this section says, "Maybe it is not possible to find faith if we ignore the unversal language of creation." He is insinuating that old earth creationists have not found faith because we twist creation to our own desires. Earlier, he said that we were Christians...now he doubts it. It is merely another planting of a false seed in the young earth mind, to indicate that old earth believers really don't have faith. The message is if a young earther slips into old earth belief, they don't have enough faith...so don't do it.
Faith Believes in the Supernatural Power and Authority of God (Page 81)
I have no problems with this statement. However, he goes on to say that hybrid theologies (old earth belief) "undermine the core foundation of our faith." After 81 pages, I have read nothing that provides any valid proof that this statement is true.
On the whole, this chapter is an admonishment to the young earth camp to trust young earth creation science, and don't abandon the path. It is very telling of the thoughts behind young earth creationist leadership at the Institute for Creation Research (and Answers in Genesis). They are very alarmed at their losses, and are desperately seeking to turn the tide. I know that young earth creationism is in decline, but this tell-tale chapter really speaks volumes about the seriousness of their situation.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.