Why Believe In An Old Earth?
Evidence #3: Deserts - The Navajo
by Greg Neyman
Like the Coconino Sandstone that we looked at in the previous evidence, the Navajo Sandstone is also from the western United States, and it lies stratigraphically above the Coconino. Unlike the Coconino, however, this sandstone has largely been ignored by the YEC community. One article was written about it, in the young earth publication Technical Journal. Our rebuttal for this claim can be viewed here.
The Navajo is a desert-formed sandstone, that was formed about 200 million years ago, beginning with the Late Triassic, and ending in the Early Jurassic. It is a massive formation, up to 2,300 feet thick in some localities. It is very prominent at Zion National Park. Just like the Coconino, many of the evidences for this being a desert sandstone are the same; large cross beds, steeply angled, and fossil tracks. Strangely, YEC's rarely address this sandstone, instead focusing on the Coconino. However, just like the Coconino, it presents a problem for Noah's Flood. You cannot have a wind-blown formation right in the middle of a global flood.
Even more evidence is provided by the fossil record. While YEC's claim the flood wiped out most of the dinosaurs, there are no dinosaur fossils below the Navajo Sandstone, this being despite the YEC claim that the thousands of feet of rock below the Navajo were all deposited by Noah's Flood. How did the dinosaurs survive the flood depositing thousands of feet of sediment beneath them? They must be good swimmers!
As an interesting sidenote, the landmark young earth book on the Grand Canyon, called Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, spends a lot of effort trying to prove the Coconino is a water-deposited sandstone. If you look closely, though, the author inadvertantly disproves his own agenda. To prove the Coconino is water-created, on page 32, Figure 3.10 shows a plot of grain sizes for the Coconino, two modern water environments, and a "Desert Sand Dune." Through this plot, it is shown that the desert dune plots out to a straight line, whereas the Coconino, and the water environment sands, plot out as jagged, irregular lines. This is used as proof that the Coconino is not a desert sandstone.
The amazing thing is the source of the "Desert Sand Dune" grain size plots. The first paragraph in the right column, first sentence, gives the source as footnote number 44. If you turn to this footnote, the source of the desert sand grain size plot is "Stratigraphic Analysis of the Navajo Sandstone," published in the Journal of Sedimentary Petrology! Austin is using the desert-created Navajo Sandstone to argue that the Coconino is not a desert sandstone, like the Navajo.
However, in other places, the Navajo is claimed by YECs to be a water-deposited sandstone (Sand Transported Cross Country, by Andrew Snelling. Answers Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 4, October-December 2008. pp. 96-99. Also found online here). YEC's are trapped...they must claim that the Navajo is water deposited, because of their global flood model, yet Austin uses evidence of the desert-formed Navajo to argue against the Coconino! What a tangled web YEC's weave in order to support their claims.
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.
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