Creation Science

Creation Science Reviews

Creation Ministries International Daily Feature

Kettle River Gorge Nonsense

16 January 2007


Review by Greg Neyman

© 2006, Old Earth Ministries


     In the daily feature for 16 January 2007, Creation Ministries International published an article by geologist Emil Silvestru titled "Rivers, rocks and ... Shakespeare."1   In this article, Silvestru discusses the Kettle River Gorge in British Columbia.  For some background, the Kettle River is a 175 mile long (282 km) tributary of the Columbia River in northeastern Washington in the United States and southeastern British Columbia in Canada.

     In the article Silvestru discusses canyon erosion within hard rock, and states that canyons are supposed to deepen over millions of years.  His conclusion is that most of the walls of the canyon or gorge should be polished from top to bottom.  He says that even with subsequent slope breakdown, traces of polished sections should be left at various heights.  He claims that in walking along the gorge, you can see cliffs that are 50 meters high, but only the bottom 3 meters are smooth from erosion. 

     However, the photographs that he shows do not support his cause.  Photo #1 does show smooth surfaces of what appears to be a rock outcrop that is only three meters high...which is the height of his smooth rock claim.  It contains smooth surfaces from top to bottom.  How about a photograph of the top 47 meters, which is supposedly not smooth?  For some unknown mystery, he does not provide these!  If he really wanted to prove his point, the photographs should show more than just the three meters that are smooth.

     To support his claim of rough rocks, he does display one photo (number 3) that shows a rough surface, but he states this is a volcanic agglomerate.  One would expect this to be rough.  Note the switch in rock type...earlier, the rock that is supposed to be smooth was a granite...a totally different rock!  If he wanted to prove that the granite higher than 3 meters above the water was not smooth, he should have pictured granite...not volcanic agglomerate!  This deception is so blatant that I can hardly believe it comes from a PhD in Geology!  This is what I would expect from a middle school student.

      Silvestru also fails to give the proper ages and geologic background for the Kettle River.  It is part of the Columbia River system, which resulted from the uplift of the Cascade mountain range, approximately 2 million to 700,000 years ago.  Although he makes it sound like old earth proponents think the river has been there for millions upon millions of years, in reality it is a very young river.2 

      Finally, he contrasts this with the young earth view of rapid carving, from the Flood of Noah.  He alludes to the Lake Missoula flood, which he states happened a few thousand years after the flood.  This is a total misunderstanding of the Lake Missoula flood.  The flood was not a single event, but a series of at least 40 floods occurring over a 2,000 year period from 15,000 to 13,000 years ago.  He does provide a link to a Missoula flood article, which contains its own inaccuracies which mislead the young earth reader.  Rest assured that there is clear evidence for the dating of the floods, and for the multiple flood events, which geologists today universally accept.


     This is one of the weakest young earth articles I have read.  It uses omission and deception to get the point across to the young earth reader...which is, sadly, one of the main tactics used in many young earth works.   



2   Columbia River History

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