Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Andrew Snelling's fourth article in a series on flood evidences makes the claim that large masses of sediment that have been transported cross country prove there was a worldwide flood.1 He starts out by claiming that "Evidence indicates it was carried across entire continents by water circling the globe." However, as any scientist knows, the burden of proof in a scientific claim lies with the claimant, and although Snelling makes this claim, he provides no scientific data to back it up.
His only proofs is in his claims that uniformitarian geologists cannot explain these things. However, this simply is not true. Snelling will not accept the explanations that are given by geologists. He cannot...not because the science is bad, but because it is contradictory to his unscientific beliefs in a young earth.
Sediment Transported Long Distances
Snelling refers back to the previous articles in this series, claiming that no slow and gradual (uniformitarian) processes are capable of producing fossiliferous rock layers. We have previously shown this to be false...just ask any geologist for an explanation. We have a great understanding of the processes that created the fossiliferous rock layers (see the links in the To Learn More section at the bottom of this page). Of course, Snelling is merely "preaching to the choir", which is his young earth audience, which fully accepts his claims at face value without scientific proof. He even states, "Though evolutionary geologists are loath to admit it, only a global flood in which the ocean waters flooded over the continents could have done this." Nothing is farther from the truth! Geologists are not loath to admit it because there simply is no evidence to support it...there is not a single piece of geologic evidence that even remotely suggests that there was a worldwide flood 6,000 years ago.
Rarely has even Snelling started an article with so many false claims against geologists....the kinds of claims that he can only get away with if the audience is young earth creationists. Snelling gives no scientific proofs for his statements. They are merely his opinion. Science is based on fact, not opinion.
When he gets past the false claims, he uses the Coconino Sandstone as evidence. He claims that water brought in sediment from the north, and deposited it in its present location. (FYI, the Coconino is a desert sandstone, and was not formed underwater). He claims it had to come from farther north than the extent of the underlying rock formation, the Hermit. Geologists would agree that the sand came from far away, which proves nothing. Old earth geologic processes easily explain the gradual buildup of sand in the Coconino, as the winds slowly blew it in over millions of years. (For a more detailed view of the Coconino, click the link above. To learn about other problems with desert sandstones, click the desert sandstone link above.)
To my delight, Snelling uses the Navajo Sandstone as his next example. Although Snelling describes how the sand for this formation probably comes from the eastern United States, this is no problem whatsoever for old earth geologists, contrary to his claims.
However, Snelling has a much bigger problem with the Navajo. He is claiming that this formation was deposited underwater, when in fact it was also a desert sandstone. And what's worse, Snelling even admits it in a young earth book. In the book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, the editor, Steven Austin of ICR, tries to defend the young earth theory that the Coconino was deposited underwater. 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 against the Coconino as being desert in origin. Snelling is a reviewer of this book, and thus is implicated in its claims. In one place (the web article this page refers to), Snelling claims the Navajo is an underwater sandstone formation, whereas in the Grand Canyon book, he accepts the claim that it was a desert sandstone).
Snelling claims that "the evidence is overwhelming that the water was flowing in one direction." However, there is no evidence whatsoever that water formed the Navajo. We can say, however, that the evidence that the wind was blowing in one direction is correct.
Snelling is displaying a commonly used tactic of young earth theorists. He claims that geologic formations present a problem for old earth beliefs, when in fact there are no problems whatsoever. He is crying wolf, when in fact there is no wolf. However, since he is a young earth authority, his readers will accept his words as truth. To young earth ministries, that is all that matters...keeping the faithful happy. However, for those of us who recognize the real conclusions of the scientific data, we can easily see the silliness of these young earth claims.
1 Sand Transported Cross Country, by Andrew Snelling. Answers Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 4, October-December 2008. pp. 96-99. Also found online here.
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Aeolian Processes - Explains how wind moves sediment
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