Creation Science

Creation Science Rebuttals

Institute for Creation Research

Impact #134: Redwood Hoax?


by Greg Neyman

© Old Earth Ministries

First Published 14 March 2003


     Author Dorothy E. Kreiss Robbins wrote an article in 1984, which can be found on the Institute of Creation Research website, titled "Can the Redwoods Date the Flood?"  In the article, the author makes a case for the apparent young age of the redwoods (about 4,000 years old) as proof that the redwood groves began growing again, after the Flood of Noah killed all the original trees.

     While most of the article is logical, it does not prove that the Flood of Noah has anything to do with these trees.  While there are a few trees in the world that are older than 4,000 years, their numbers are very limited.  However, the lack of many old trees proves nothing.  For most trees, there is a maximum height/mass that a tree can achieve before it succumbs to the forces of weather and gravity.  By her statements, if there were no Flood, we would see some trees 10,000, 20,000 years old, and over a thousand feet in height.  That defies logic and common sense.  There obviously is some limiting factor in their lifespan.  Using this same reasoning that she proposes, we should see other species of trees, like oak trees, that are thousands of years old...but we don't.


     However, there is one major flaw in her proposal.


     She gives the story of a small grove of 12 trees, which formed downstream of the main groves, after a flood in the 1880s.  In this example, she has proved that a flood event can distribute the seeds.  In her summary, in C.2, she claims this is proof that Noah's flood would have distributed seeds, thus replanting the redwood forest after the flood.  She claims that the worldwide flood eventually receded, finally giving the conditions needed (i.e. the local flood) for reseeding the forest.

     However, let's take a look at the conditions during a worldwide flood.  Young earth creationists Baumgardner and Burnette have shown in their model for the ocean currents during a worldwide flood, that you would get currents that top out at 194 miles per hour, centered over the continental land masses in gyres.  At that speed, the existing redwoods would have been stripped of their branches, and all the seed-bearing cones would have been carried away, and scattered all over the globe.  Then, as the water receded down to the conditions of the local flood as she proposes, there would be no seed cones left to deposit.  Most seeds would be deeply buried in the sediments deposited by the flood and would not yield new trees. 

     Even if new trees were grown from these seeds, the distribution pattern is not consistent with our current tree population.  In fact, what we should see is this...small redwood groves all over the world.  The seeds would have been equally distributed over the globe after being carried along by such fast currents for over a year.  However, they are only in California.  This is not consistent with a global flood model as proposed by the author.

     She could come back and say the currents were not that strong, but that would ruin many other young earth claims.  The young earth creation science proponents need the theories of the Baumgardner/Burnette model, because it contains the necessary forces to cause the erosion needed to deposit all the sedimentary rock layers of the world.  (see my article on Stratigraphy).




     By tying together two young earth theories, we have disproved that redwoods can be used as proof of a worldwide flood.  The creation science model for the flood cannot explain why redwoods exist in only one spot in the world, and cannot be used as evidence of Noah's Flood.



     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.




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