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Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened

Here’s a geologist’s critical analysis of false perceptions held by many creationists about the origin of the Grand Canyon and the age of the Earth.

Young-Earth creationists claim that the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Grand Canyon and the Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Grand Staircase north of the canyon, in which Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks occur, were deposited during Noah’s worldwide flood about 4,500 years ago (Hill 2002; Hill and Moshier 2009). I realize that readers of Skeptical Inquirer accept modern scientific views on this subject, but this examination of the creationist claims might be useful when communicating with others less imbued with scientific thinking.

There are at least twenty-one scientific reasons a worldwide flood recounted in the Bible cannot have happened.

1. The stair-stepped appearance of erosion of sedimentary rocks in the Grand Canyon with sandstones and limestones forming cliffs and shales forming gentle slopes cannot happen if all these rocks were deposited in less than one year. If the Grand Canyon had been carved soon after these rocks were deposited by a worldwide flood, they would not have had time to harden into solid rock and would have been saturated with water. Therefore, the sandstones and limestones would have slumped during the carving of the canyon and would not have formed cliffs (Hill et al. 2016).

2. Salt and gypsum deposits, more than 200 feet thick, occur in the Paradox Formation in Utah just 200 miles north of the Grand Canyon, and these deposits are the same age as the Supai rocks in the Grand Canyon that were supposedly also deposited by Noah’s flood. Similar salt deposits, up to 3,000 feet thick, exist in various places on all continents and in layers of all geologic ages, and these deposits can only be produced by evaporation of sea water. Such evaporation could not have happened in repeated intervals in the midst of the forty days and forty nights of raining and during the supposed continuous deposition of sedimentary rocks by a worldwide flood and in which the only drying and evaporation is said to have occurred at the end of the flood (Collins 2006; 2009; 2012; Hill et al. 2016).

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The War on Science, Anti-Intellectualism, and ‘Alternative Ways of Knowing’ in 21st-Century America