Part 1 – Fossils
Welcome back to our next session in our Literal Genesis Series, where here we strive to hold firmly to scripture and loosely to the theories of men. Usually I like to say, us flawed human beings. It's the same thing.
Why do we hold firmly to scripture? Because it never changes. God's truth is constant and it doesn't change, nor does it need to change. Where, on the other hand, the ideas of men, particularly as it relates to this idea of rocks to rock stars or bacteria to basketball players, this macroevolutionary idea that things can evolve to become more complex over time, needs to be questioned. And we shouldn't hold on to that very firmly because that's not the idea we get from scripture.
Last time we wrapped up kind of a mini series on genetics. We talked about DNA and some pretty interesting facets around that, and this idea that in order for a macroevolution to work, it needs an engine. It needs something to add useful information. And what we realized was that the neo-Darwinian synthesis or this idea of macroevolution, the engine that's supposed to build better things and more complex things, actually takes organisms in the opposite direction over time. So that's why that was called evolution's extinction engine.
Today we'll switch gears a little bit. We will start another mini series, and this time we'll look at evidences for a global flood. You would think that if the entire earth was covered with water for a year-long time, like we read about the flood in the Bible, that it would leave some kind of evidence, that there would be some kind of scarring. You'd think there'd be something tangible we could look at. And today we'll look at the first of those evidences, which are the fossils themselves.
Okay, so very quickly, you have five seconds, name as many prehistoric animals as you can. Ready? Okay, what'd you come up with? If you had animals like the image below in mind, then you're not alone. Everyone that I've asked this question of, they come up with similar answers. So, something like a tyrannosaurus. If we start from the top left and we go to the right, we have the tyrannosaurus, there's hadrosaurs, ankylosaurus, apatosaurus and triceratops. So if these are the kind of animals you have in mind, when I said name a prehistoric animal, this is a hundred percent- someone always, at least, mentions one animal from this era.
Now remember our goal as Christians is, really as citizens of life, is to be critical thinkers, right? We don't want to accept things uncritically. And if I were to really analyze my question critically and say, well, what questions would I have about prehistoric? Everybody knows what prehistoric is.
Well, that's the word that I would probably want to focus on. And if we look at that for just a moment, this idea about this prehistoric, I grabbed this from Dictionary.com "Of or relating to the time or a period prior to recorded history."
Now, I know what you're thinking. Great, Kim, you've given us the definition of a word in which lies the very definition in the word itself, right? If we look at pre, pre means before history.
Why didn't you give us a definition? All right, it may be self-evident, but just hang with me here just a little moment longer. What I really wanted to draw our attention to was the example that Dictionary.com gives, and that's the sentence at the bottom. It says, "The dinosaur is a prehistoric beast." Hey, we all know that, right? Dinosaurs lived before there was a time of history, before there was written history, or did they? Well, let's delve into this a little further.
So this is our definition of prehistoric. And what I want us to get the understanding of is that we're inundated with things on a daily basis that oftentimes we don't really question. There might not even be a need to question it. Well, we need to question these things if we're going to be critical thinkers. And if we question this idea about prehistory, let's just make sure we understand it, and make sure we're all on the same page.
And that is, in order to have historical records, well, you first need a language. That seems pretty obvious doesn't it? Before I can write something down about an event in history or a person in history or a place in history, I need to have a language to do that. That seems self-evident. So prehistory would predate language. Does that make sense? Are we in agreement with that? If there is a period of time in which there were no language, that would be prehistory. That would be prehistoric. Okay, well that makes sense. Hopefully you're tracking with that.
Then let's ask a question here, the critical question. Did Adam have language? Now why do I start with Adam? If we go back to the history in Genesis, what day was man created? It was day five, right? So did Adam have a language? So how we answer this is going to impact a lot of things about how we look at this idea about prehistory.
If Adam didn't have a language and he had to learn it over time, well, then you could say there was a time of pre-history, a prehistoric time. Well, where do we get our answers to this question? We go back to the only reliable source of early history, of the universe for that matter, and that is scripture.
So right off the bat, we see God speaking to Adam and He's giving Adam instructions and then also a warning. How did He do that? Well, He used language. If we look at Genesis 1:28, He told Adam to,
"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."
- Genesis 1:28
Well, if Adam didn't have a language, how would Adam understand what fruitful meant, or be, or multiply, or earth? He wouldn't know what any of those things meant if he didn't already understand the language.
In Genesis 2:16 and 17, God told Adam,
"From the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat"
- Genesis 2:16-17
Again, if Adam didn't understand the language, if it was all just confusion he was hearing from God, how would he know what evil was, what knowledge was, what tree was and whether or not he should eat of that tree? He wouldn't have a clue. And it wouldn't be very just of God to give him instructions, and Adam simply not understand what He was saying.
One more example here: God brought the animals to Adam for naming. This is in Genesis chapter two. And how did Adam name those animals? By use of a language, of course. In Genesis 2:19 to 20, and this is a snippet of that passage here. It says,
"The man gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the sky and to every animal of the field."
- Genesis 2:19-20
This is how Adam named the animals. So again, we're thinking about this idea of prehistory. And if Adam had a language right off the bat from day five of creation, where are these millions of years of prehistoric information from? Now, if this is kind of hurting your brain a little bit, that's okay, it's supposed to. If this is uncomfortable, that's okay. This is the process of critical thinking. Some things are not very comfortable to think about, but believe me, when we get to the end and we rationalize it all out, it will be very productive and our brains will be nice and happy.
But the problem, the reason that this might be a little uncomfortable is because we've been indoctrinated into this way of thinking. Now what does that mean indoctrinated? Well, very simply, indoctrinated means that you accept a set of beliefs uncritically, You accept a set of beliefs without questioning them. You just accept them. Now you may think, well, I would never do that. Don't be so quick with that statement. We're all guilty of this in different aspects of our lives, but from a very young age on we've been indoctrinated to this way of thinking. Our universities, our public education, and in a lot of ways, our private education as well, this is what they teach. They teach this idea of pre-history, millions and millions of years before there was a language. So it's truly prehistoric. And we typically want to fit things like the dinosaurs into this prehistory.
Other ways we've been indoctrinated is movies. I mean who hasn't seen Jurassic Park? I know I mention this one quite often, but I enjoyed the movie. There are some times I can actually sit down and just blank my mind and uncritically watch the movie and enjoy it. Sometimes. It's really hard. There's so many things, so many questions that movie raises, but what's the idea behind Jurassic Park? The idea is that they've resurrected these animals that lived, when? Millions of years ago when there was no people, there was no language. It was a time of prehistory. So these are prehistoric animals.
Children are indoctrinated to this early on. I have had conversation with five-year-olds. You know, five-year-olds watch a lot of cartoons, they watch a lot of movies. They read their children's books. All of those sources are a source of indoctrination, of this idea of prehistory of millions and millions of years. Now, if you want to watch something very comical, watch me debate a five-year-old on the fact that there were people living at the same time as dinosaurs. They scrunch up their little faces and they can't accept that because they have already been ingrained by that age with this idea that dinosaurs lived way before humans. Actually, it's not very funny at all. It's a sad if you think about it.
So when we think about this idea of prehistory, it's really not compatible with a biblical worldview. Now, remember as Christians, this is where we want to start. We want to view life through the lens of scripture. And if we don't start with scripture, we're liable to get things wrong at the end. So the prehistoric mindset is not compatible with a biblical worldview.
Now okay, somebody is going to call me on this. All right, so technically Adam didn't come along until day six. So there were five days of creation where there wasn't a language. Okay, you got me on that one. So we have five days of prehistoric times in the entire universe. I'll give you that. But as soon as Adam came along, we had that language. It was on day six, and from then on, we had history.
So let's talk about this idea of fossilization. This is going to be the first evidence we look at for evidence in favor of a global flood. Before we do that, I want to talk about the idea that two people can look at the same piece of data, the same evidence, the same rock, the same fossil, let's say, and they could come up with two very different ideas about that fossil.
To illustrate this, I want to repeat a joke that I heard recently, and I'm probably going to butcher it. I'm not very good at jokes, but it goes something like this: There was a farmer out in the field one day and one of his cows was giving birth. It just so happens this was a breech birth. So the calf was coming out backwards and you could see the back end of the calf, you know, the legs and- the cow was having a hard time. And the farmer was doing what he could to help this cow, help this mama cow deliver this calf. Well, along comes a guy from the city. He's not used to seeing things like this, and he's driving by the field and he looks out and he just happens to spot the scene taking place out there in the field. He stops the car, parks it, turns off the engine, hops the fence, runs out to the farmer and says, "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen." And you can imagine the farmer's just kind of looking at him like, okay. And then the guy says, "I just have one question, how fast was that calf going anyway?" How fast was the calf? Okay, you'll get it later.
But here's the scenario where we have one set of data, the mama cow giving birth to a calf, and two different viewpoints. The farmer knew it was a breech. The guy from the city, he had other ideas as to how that scenario could have happened. Just remember that as we go through this, because when we talk about fossils, it's just data. It's just rocks. What do we really know about those fossils? We don't really know much in terms of observational science. Keep that in mind.
So as we go into this, what I first want to do is show you one view, this would be the secular view, right? The view that doesn't incorporate the Bible, and we'll look at this chart in that view.
Mass Extinction Events?
This is the way it's kind of taught in the schools and how we learn about this growing up. What I have here is a graph of what's called Mass Extinction Events. The first thing I want to point your attention to is the top. We have this timescale, we go back 540 million years. So right off the bat as a Christian, we've got to decide how we're going to interpret this, don't we? Because way to the right of this chart, this is where humans come into play. All of this time is hundreds of millions of years before humans, this is prehistory. There's no language here. There's nobody to speak a language. There's no intelligent mind to even come up with a language. So already, we're going to have to figure out how we're going to interpret this, but we're going to go with this for now. We're going to come back to this chart a little later.
So we have these massive amounts of time here. And then the middle section here represents different periods and epics. In fact, you can see the colorization in the timescale. We start with the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, and all the way up to modern times. This chart represents the growth of life, the death of life, the growth of life, the death of life, and it goes something like this: 540 million years ago, we had these creatures. It's called the Cambrian explosion. We may talk about that in another session, but as time goes on, you see this getting thicker. So that means things reproduced. You have more and more animals. And then suddenly you've got this sharp drop-off where you have an extinction event, a mass extinction event. Something caused a certain percentage of the animals that lived during this time to die. How do they know? Well, they're actually looking at the rocks.
Okay, so they know there's a lot of animals that are buried in the rocks. I don't agree with these timescales, but again, we're going to go with it for now. Well, life goes on and then another extinction event, life goes on, another extinction event. Now what's listed here is five. In reality, there are six. There was one way back here that they talked about, two and a half or so billion years ago. But generally speaking, they just talk about these five in the last, you know, 490 million years or so.
Okay, so what are the boxes down below? So let's just kind of walk through this. And again, I'm going to walk through it from one view, right? The worldview that does not incorporate God or scripture, because if the Bible has anything to say about timeframes or anything to say about how the rocks might have formed, this is where we need to start, but we're not starting there. Okay, I want to make that clear. So starting with the bottom here at the end of the Ordovician, 445 million years ago, we see 50% of all the animal families died. Now, what they're talking about here is marine life, shallow marine creatures. You've got things like coral, coral reef systems, crinoids, so the flowering plants of the seas, and then there's some trilobites as well. So mostly these shallow marine creatures, 50% of them buried in the rocks all over the face of the Earth.
Time goes on, and then at the end of the Devonian period, we have another extinction event, 30% of all the animals. Now we still have marine life being killed here, but what's new is now we have fish, okay. Now, again, this is the rock record. Some people without a biblical worldview would say, this is the only reliable history of life on earth. This is it. This is the history book if you don't accept the Bible. This is all you have to go on. So it kind of makes sense the way they might interpret this.
Moving on, what's this? One-hundred and ten million years go by. Life is booming. Life is doing great. And at the end of the Permian, we have another extinction event, and this time 60% of all the animals- again, lots of marine life died, but what's new here? We now have insects and amphibians. Insects and amphibians. We didn't see these in the earlier rock layers. We see these in the later rock layers. And what I mean by earlier and later? It's really makes common sense. The first layer you lay down has got to be older than the last layer that's laid down, right? It's the order of a composition. And it makes sense, right? So in these later layers, now we're seeing insects and amphibians.
We go sometime longer, actually just 50 million years. We have another extinction event. This time, 35% of all animals. What's new this time? It's reptiles. We don't see the reptiles in these earlier layers, but we see them in the later layers. Then we have another really long timeframe here. It looks like 135 million years, if I do the math correct. Fifty percent of all animals went extinct. Now what's new here at the end of the Cretaceous? Dinosaurs. So we don't see dinosaurs in these earlier rock layers. We see them way out here, and then beyond this, and really kind of in the same timeframe, if you go up a little higher, you're going to see things like mammals, a little more so-called sophisticated type life.
So what's really true? What are we observing here? Well, here's what's really true. The fossils are real. We have fossils. You can't deny it. We've got fossils all over the face of the Earth. What also is observable and real is this general order to the rock layer. If I take this graph here and I turn it on its end, if I flip it 90 degrees, this is the lower rock layers, this is the upper rock layers, and this is the general order of fossils that we see in them.
So again, just looking at the rock layers without any type of biblical starting point or biblical worldview, this kind of makes sense doesn't it? Now I could take this a step further and say, this is also the general order of evolution, right? That this simpler marine life evolved into dinosaurs and mammals over hundreds of millions of years. If I don't have the biblical starting point, one could come to this conclusion fairly easy. Although even Darwin himself recognized that all the changes that would have to take place, you don't find those in the fossil record even today, but more on that later. We'll criticize that part of it later. For now, this is how we're going to read this chart.
Making Fossils- The General Thought
Okay, so the next question we might ask is, well, how's the fossil even made to begin with? Here's the general thought, and you'll notice in the above image that I've got here- this comes from the Historical Society of North Dakota. You can find this anywhere. I just happen to like their graphics, and I'll tell you why here in a little bit, but we start with Mr. Triceratops. He doesn't look like he's in good shape at all, right? What has happened to the triceratops? Well, he's passed. He's died, and I can see his bones. I'm not a medical guy, but that's not a good condition to have when you can see inside and see your bones. So what's taking place here is the decay process, right? He's out in the elements, the sun, the oxygen, you've got the scavengers, right? They're going to pick at the carcass. And this is what happens when an animal dies today. So scientists know this, right? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. You've got to bury this animal somehow. Because if you leave it out in the elements, it will completely disintegrate, including the bones.
In fact, right now in the process, what's happening is microbes, bacteria and fungi, they're attacking the collagen fibers that are in the bones because college is a protein. That's a source of nutrients, and these microbes are getting that nutrient. They're getting the collagen out of these bones. And after a few years, they're just going to crumble. They're not going to fossilize. So you have to get the animal or the organism out of the elements. You have to bury it.
And I noticed that he conveniently died near a water source. You'll see this play out through the scientific documentation over and over and over. And what you'll generally read is that a local flood comes along- and they're very, very careful to say it's a localized flood, a small-scale flood. So we have a little bit of water here. Now we have more water, enough to get this triceratops out of the elements before he decays and is scavenged quickly away. Once his bones sink to the bottom, now he begins the burial process, right? This muddy sediment started building up around him.
Now, you notice the green grass here? You may be asking where the water went? I'm going to to come back to that in a second. But hey, it's a localized flood, right? Waters come up, waters go away. So eventually you're going to have some green. And then over time, which we haven't talked about yet, he becomes a fossil at some point in this process. Now, if the fossil survives geologic processes like earthquakes and volcanoes, plate movements, erosion, all these kinds of things, then eventually the earth will erode, because that's what's happening to our continents today. They're continually being eroded, and he'll eventually be uplifted, so to speak, to where somebody could see him and recognize, "hey, that's a fossil." Actually, it's a very, very cool fossil. I would love to find a triceratops. This is the general idea.
And generally speaking, this makes a lot of sense as well, doesn't it? You've got to get the animal out of the elements so that it can go through the fossilization process. I think we've talked about this before. It's called permineralization in this case, where we have muddy sediments that are mineralized. They've got heavy amounts of minerals in them, and the minerals actually get in to the organism, and fills in all the empty spaces in the biological parts, and it forms an internal cast. And that's how this fossil is made. So we have to have the right elements to make the fossil. It can't just be any kind of dirt. It can't just be any kind of sediments. There have to be minerals involved. And this is the general process. Okay, it makes sense.
Now, two things before we go. I haven't talked about a timescale yet. That's the big question we're after here. And secondly, the reason I chose this graphic, you may find this kind of funny, in these two middle pictures here, we have a period of time where there's nothing but water, no land. Does that remind you of anything in scripture at all? It should. And then we have a time of vegetation. If you go to Genesis chapter eight and you see when the flood waters started to recede- so everything was covered and started to go down, and we'll look more about this in a future session. Remember when Noah sent out the dove, and he brought back some vegetation, right, an olive branch? Things are starting to green up. He sent out the dove after that, it didn't come back. I don't think the artist's really meant to depict something scriptural here. But to me, that matches. That's one reason I chose the graphic.
Okay, so what about this idea of time? How long does it take to make a fossil? Well, we need to go to an authoritative source. And for that, I've quoted someone from the London Museum of Natural History. Now, I visit Natural Museums of History all over the country. I love going to these museums. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating, but it's very, very fascinating. I love it. And the museum of all museums, let me put it that way, is the London Museum of Natural History. So that's why I went to this source. And they said, this process can take thousands, or even, what's that? Millions of years.
Right off the bat, again, if we're a Christian, we are confronted with this idea of prehistory, aren't we? Prehistoric time, millions of years before there were humans is how long it took these fossils to form.
So this is one view, right? I will say this. This is not observable. Just like the macroevolutionary process, it happens so slowly, supposedly, you can't observe it. This is the same type of situation. If something takes millions of years to take place, no single human being, or even a few human beings are going to be able to observe the whole thing. And even if you could somehow drill down in and live a million years and observe it, you've already tampered with the process because now you're allowing other microbes and oxygen down into the process.
So this is not even observable. Isn't that interesting? But yet we somehow know it takes millions of years. Does it really take millions of years? Obviously that's a loaded question. I'm leading you into the next slide, Time required to make a fossil.
"Researchers have discovered how to make proper fossils in a day."
July 27, 2018
One day! If you travel to Southwestern Missouri- beautiful country, lots of hills and trees, it's actually quite nice to drive through- there's a town there in which there's a Butterball Turkey plant. Now, if you like Turkey, especially coming up for Thanksgiving, I'm about to tell you some things that aren't so great about it, but the Turkey you get from the store and you put on your table and you cook and everything, that Turkey has gone through some changes, let's say.
As you can imagine, when the plant gets a Turkey, there are a lot of unedible parts. Okay, we'll leave it at that. It's not very nice to think about. Tons and tons of these unedible parts are thrown out. Well, they were being thrown out. A company, I believe they're called Changing World Technologies. They moved into town, the same town, adjacent to the Butterball Turkey plant. And they now take those unwanted parts of the turkey. And what do they do with those parts? They convert them into crude oil. Now, obviously this process takes millions of years, so you've got be very- no, it doesn't take millions of years! It takes two hours.
When they get the parts in, they run it through their process. Two hours later, they've got crude oil. This particular plant in Missouri, I believe they process like 200 tons of inedible Turkey parts every single day. I didn't know we processed that many turkeys in America, but apparently we do. Now the plant could do this. In fact, it's already doing this with much more than just Turkey. So they can do this with old tire parts. They can do this with plastic. They can do this with municipal waste. Pretty much any carbon-based source that you bring into the plant, it can convert it into crude oil. In fact, this same company was doing this in Texas or probably still is, and they were taking a total of 400 million tons of inedible turkey parts and making four billion barrels of light Texas crude oil every year. And do you know what the only by-product of this process is? Water. So it's carbon neutral, friendly. Very, very fascinating.
Now, how did they do this? I'm going to describe it in a very simple way, but it actually took someone with some intelligence to figure this out. It wasn't me. But what they do is they take these biological leftover parts and they apply pressure, water, and mineralized sediments. Let that sink in just for a moment, so water, pressure, mineralized sediments.
In fact, the sediments are absolutely mandatory they found out, because what those minerals do is during the fossilization process, remember, they get into the organism and they fill in the spaces? Well they also remove volatile molecules that would prevent fossilization from ever taking place. You have to have the mineralized sediments, or you don't get a fossil in this case. So it turns out things may not take as long as we typically think they should, under the right conditions.
Now, if I had a pet triceratops, totally cool. I would be okay with that. Let's say the pet passed one day, not so cool. And I buried it in the backyard. I'd have to dig a pretty big hole to bury a triceratops, but it's not going to fossilize is it? It's not the right conditions. It's top soil. It's dirt. Where's my mineralized, watery sediment? I don't have it. The same thing that will happen to it on the ground happens to it in a shallow grave, as well. It just decays, deteriorates, microbes and fungi.
So you need the right conditions to make a fossil. And under the right conditions, it can happen very, very quickly. Okay, everybody tracking so far? So does everything fossilize? Because we seem to have a lot of fossils around the Earth. So that's a natural follow-up question. Well, again, we go to our authority, go to our source, right? London Museum of Natural History. Not putting these people down at all, brilliant people. I'm going to visit this museum one day. I would love to, but what do they say? They say, no, not everything fossilizes. In fact, very few things do. A specific set of circumstances and conditions are needed for fossilization to occur. So it is actually a very rare event. You need certain conditions.
This is why if you go back to the original scientific papers and you read about some of these fossil finds, what you see is in every one of these, they paint a scenario of a flood because they know when something dies, you've got to get it out of the elements. You've got to get it in muddy, mineralized sediments. So they say, well, this animal was living, then a flood came, this animal was living and a flood came, or this animal died and a flood came. It was always a flood. Flood, flood, flood. Some type of water with muddy sediments. These are part of the circumstances that need to be present in order to make a fossil. The other part of that is pressure. You just can't barely bury an animal, even in mineralized sediments, and get a fossil out of it can you? There's got to be at a certain amount of pressure.
Okay, so it's very rare, we get that. And we can see that today that's experiential, right? When things die on the road and you drive by it day after day after day going to work, at some point, it's just gone isn't it? It doesn't become a fossil. This is experience. This makes sense to us. But I keep going back to this question about the number of- how many fossils are there? Do you think there are hundreds of thousands? Well, I'm starting way too low. What about millions? No, not millions. Billions? No, more than billions. Generally, it has been stated that there are trillions of fossils in the rock layers on the surface of the earth, and guess what? This includes things like Antarctica and the North Pole. When I say the North Pole, I'm not talking about the very top of the North Pole, but above the Arctic Circle, there are fossils. Now, many of these are above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, for example, dinosaurs, big ones, and even further up, we find these fossils.
So literally everywhere. Every continent we have these. Now trillions is beginning to be a smaller number. And not just because of- I could talk about America's deficit now. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to get political, but trillions is not a big enough number, even when it comes to fossils. Why is that? Because if we think about it, the coal layers that are still with us all around the Earth are estimated to be over one trillion tons of coal. And what's coal? It's fossilized plant material, right? So just in the coal alone, we have trillions of fossils.
Remember back in session one, we were talking about the white chalk layers that we find all around the world that are made up of all those tiny little foraminifera? Well, again, scientists say in that chalk layer are trillions of fossilized foraminifera.
So between those two layers alone, we've already got trillions. Scientists are now beginning to speak in terms of quadrillion. What's a quadrillion? Well, that's a one with 15 zeros after it. It's an estimate of how many fossils we have around the globe. Just to put that number into perspective, because I don't deal in quadrillions. I don't know about anybody else. That's a really, really big number. If I were to start counting at a rate of one number per second- one, two, three, four- and I wanted to count to a quadrillion, it would take me over 31 million years to get to one quadrillion. So that kind of puts it in perspective? It's a really, really big number.
So something's not making sense, right? Here comes the critical inquisitive nature of myself. Fossilization is a very rare event, but we have quadrillions or even trillions? Something doesn't make a lot of sense here. Did we really have that many localized floods in the past, over hundreds of millions of years? Well, that's certainly one theory. I don't think it's the best theory. Again, here's the question: Why do we have so many fossils all around the globe and in every state and country I visit, well with the exception of Hawaii- that's a volcanic islands, a little bit different- I find fossils everywhere I go. They're literally everywhere.
Some of the kids that know me, know I like fossils. They'll pick up rocks in their driveways, and guess what? Many times they'll bring them, and there'll be a trace fossil in there. They're literally all over the place. So this is a very good question to ask. It's one of those critical thinking questions that needs to be asked: Why do we have so many if it's such a rare process? And even if you give the history, even if you think starting at 450 million years ago, things started to fossilize, that's not enough time to fossilize one quadrillion pieces or animals. It's just not enough time. So what do we do? At this point, I think we've waited long enough. Let's go back to our biblical worldview. If the Bible has anything to say about geology, this is where we want to start.
Now, the Bible is not a geological handbook. I'm not going to go become a geologist in college with nothing but the Bible in my hand, but it talks about an event that affects geology and it describes it over three chapters. You think that's pretty important? Three chapters to describe this event. This is where I need to start. Let's start in Genesis 7:17,
"Then the flood came upon the earth for 40 days and the water increased and lifted up the ark so that it rose above the earth."
- Genesis 7:17
Two things, real quick, to point out about this verse. One is the ark. Don't picture a small little bathtub-toy type of an ark. We'll talk more about the ark in an upcoming session, but if Noah really was to preserve two of some kind, seven of the other kinds of all the living kinds, there'll be thousands of animals on this alone, right? This must have been a fairly huge-type ship.
And we had the dimensions. We know how big it was. We don't have to guess. The other thing is this idea about "the water increased and lifted up." If you're a scuba diver or if you're a snorkeler or if you've ever done any free diving, you know about what I'm about to tell you- that is, the deeper you go, the more pressure is put on your body, and you feel it right here in your ears, don't you? Technically what's happening is for every 33 feet of water depth, you have one atmospheric pressure on your body.
So the first 33 feet, that's one atm. The second 33 feet, when you go 66 feet, that's two atm's and so forth. We can only take so many atmospheric pressures against us as living things. In fact, at about 18 atm's, our lungs would completely collapse. So this, we know this by experience. The deeper you go, the more pressure you have put on you. That's why vessels like submarines have to be pressurized, right? Because of all the pressure coming in, we've got to figure out a way to put the pressure out or otherwise the whole thing collapses. Keep in mind, the more water you have, the deeper it goes, the more pressure you have. All right, next verse, verse 18,
"The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the Ark floated on the surface of the water."
- Genesis 7:18
I want to key in on this word prevailed. We just read where it rained for 40 days. That wasn't the end of the flood. It wasn't 40 days and done and over. In fact, we'll read in an upcoming session where 150 days the water prevailed.
It got deeper and deeper and deeper. Think about atm's, atmospheric pressures, all this pressure increasing, increasing, increasing. Any living thing or dead thing for that matter, that might've been caught in the current underwater, in muddy sediments, think about all that pressure happening on them. It's not a pleasant thing to think about, is it? And there's a reason for that, we'll get to as well. It shouldn't be a pleasant thought. Verse 19,
"And the water prevailed."
- Genesis 7:19
Again, prevailed, it's building and building. All those atmospheric pressures are continuing to grow,
"more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains," where? "everywhere under the heavens were covered."
- Genesis 7:19
I don't know how many Christians I talk to that like to hold onto this idea that the flood of Genesis was a localized flood.
How do you get local flood out of this verbiage? "All the mountains everywhere." Does it say all the mountains in Mesopotamia or all the mountains in, you know, this part of the country or the world? No, it doesn't say that. "All the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered." How tall were these mountains? I don't know.
The flood would have completely reworked the geology of the Earth because a lot of people have this question. Well, how could there be enough water to cover Mount Everest? You don't need enough water to cover Mount Everest. How do we know? Mount Everest is a post-flood mountain. It's got rock layers. It has fossils in it as well. There are trillions of dead things buried in Everest. All the way up to the top, we find fossils, a lot of sea fossil, marine fossils. That's a post-flood mountain. It didn't exist before the flood. So I don't know what the highest land mass was before the flood. Nobody knows. All we know is this would have completely reworked the surface of the Earth with all this pressure and all these things. Living things, obviously, don't live very long in a flood and under all this pressure.
What are the things that we needed to make a fossil quickly? We needed water, mineralized sediments, and pressure. Do we have that here? We've got all the right ingredients. So how long did it take for all these things that were alive to become fossils? That I don't know. But I do know it didn't take millions of years, and that's experiential, that's evidential.
Then, the last verse, verse 20,
"The water prevailed." Again, prevailed is building all this pressure. "15 cubits higher, and the mountains were covered."
- Genesis 7:20
What does this mean? Let me illustrate it with a story. When my daughter and her cousin were very young, they were being watched by their grandmother one day, and they thought it would be cute, as little kids think things are cute- we adults don't think they're so cute, although this was kind of cute. Well, they went into the bathroom one day and they plugged up the bathroom sink. They turned the water on and they let the water rise, let the water rise. Why? Because they could. I don't know, maybe they wanted to see what would happen. What do you think happened when the water got to the top of the sink level? Did it just keep building straight up, straight up? Of course not. It spilled over onto the floor and started to build up on the floor. They did get in trouble for that.
But think about the verbiage here, "The water prevailed higher than the highest mountain. The water doesn't go up and stop, it spills over. Everything was covered with water. There was immense pressure taking place here. However high the highest peak was pre-flood, I don't know. This is a lot of water and we'll have a session coming up where we'll look at maybe what are the mechanisms that could have started this? And how could we cover the continents with water? Stay tuned for that.
So we've got the right conditions. This is my point. We've got the right conditions to make a fossil and to make a fossil on fast order. Now let's come back to our chart. Our chart that we looked at, not through a biblical lens, but through a secular lens.
Mass Extinction Events? Another Look
Now let's look at it again. This time let's switch lenses, right? Let's go to the Bible. We've just read some of experts from Genesis six, seven, and eight, talking about the flood. So we've got an idea that there was a lot of water, a lot of sediments, right, a lot of pressure. And the first thing I want to do is wipe out the timescale. Again, there's no room for prehistory in the Genesis account. So many Christians try to fit this in somewhere because they want to hold on to this idea that there must have been prehistoric times. There's no room for it in Genesis, And as we talked about in our second session, it causes theological issues one after the other, after the other.
Remember how many New Testament writers wrote and referred to Genesis as literal history? All of them. That's going to be hard to work in your theology because you've compromised something very early in history. Okay, so let's go back to our slide, replace the timeframe with the one-year-long global flood, thereabouts. It was really close to a year long, maybe, 20, 30 days longer, depending on how he would have kept the calendar based on the moon or other principles. Anyway, so let's say it was a year-long global flood.
Now we're going to look at the same events here with that lens, but we're going to have to get rid of these extinction events because now these become flood stages. We will build a flood model in an upcoming session, but right off the bat, we kind of got a hint today that it wasn't just done in 40 days, right? That was one stage. Then we had a prevailing stage where water prevailed, and then we had another prevailing stage. And then we had a stage where the water subsided. So we had all these different stages. We need to view the rock layers through that lens of the flood stages.
And let's see if that makes sense, okay? See if this makes sense, stay with me. We'll go back to the lower rock layers, where we had all these things die and become fossils. These are shallow marine creatures. If you are a coral and you are living your life in the ocean, things are beautiful. Things are great. Maybe you're at 30 feet. Maybe you're down to 60 or 70 feet. Things are great. We know that the flood started in the oceans. Scripture says, "The fountains of the great deep burst forth," (Genesis 7:11).
Well, we're going to investigate that in another session. I keep saying that. Trust me, we're going to get to these things in more detail, but we know it started in the oceans. And if you're a coral and there are hundreds of tons of muddy sediment coming your way, where do you go? How do you get out of the way of that? You don't. You're buried in muddy sediment, tons of it, all this pressure, and as water increases and pressure increases, you begin to fossilize, end of story, which may explain why 95% of all the fossils, all these quadrillions of fossils that we find are shallow marine creatures. Where are they going to go? If you're trilobite, maybe you're going to move your legs as fast as you can to get out of the way of that muddy sediment, but you're going to be overtaken. So you may not be buried with the coral. You're going to be pretty close to it.
And what about these other stages? Why not all of this at once? Again, when we look at a mechanism for the flood, it's one theory, and again, we hold loosely to theory.
So what I'll tell you in a future session may not even be the way it happened. We're going to hold loosely to it, but it matches the evidence. And when we have something that matches from the Bible, it has extraordinary explanatory power. And this is what we look for in science, something that's able to explain the phenomenon that we see. So you can imagine that there was a lot of sloshing- to be non-technical about it- going back and forth with the water and the muddy sediments.
And in fact, you would have had pieces of the continental shelf breaking off due to the process that we'll talk about later. You might even have the continents sinking a little bit and going back up, sinking and going back up. So you'd have water coming in, water going out, water coming in. You'd have these different stages.
The first things that are going to get inundated are the things that can't go anywhere. They can't get away from the devastation. The second thing, fish. Why weren't they buried with the coral? Fish can swim, to put it very simply. They're going to swim away. Have you ever been snorkeling or scuba diving, and you start going towards that beautiful school of fish? If you get a little too close, what happens? They sense danger and they're gone, right? They're not going to stick around. Well, unless you're feeding them, then you might get some to stick around. The fish are going to move away as fast as they can. But can fish jump out on land and start running up to a high hill? They can't. They're eventually all going to be inundated in those same muddy sediments. Sloshing going on, water coming on the continents, water coming off the continents.
The next thing we have are insects and amphibians. They don't live with the coral. They don't live with the fish, right? Amphibians may come in and out of the water, but they're usually at the water's edge. These are things that would be at a later flood stage. Now, how later? Well, we only have a year to work with, so it's not like it's a long time later, but this would represent itself as a different layer in the rock layers.
Well, another stage, now you're going to get reptiles. Reptiles can move. They can move away from the source. Do they really have to move? They don't live in the water anyway, right? So they're going to be in a different rock layer because that's their habitat. That's where they live in life.
And then finally, the things like the dinosaurs- now, this chart doesn't show mammals, but mammals would be included in here as well. Dinosaurs don't live in the reef system. They don't live at the water's edge. They might live in a boggy swamp area. We'll talk more about that later, but typically wherever they are, they're going to try to get to a higher land source. It's not like everything rushed to the center of a continent. You have Hills everywhere, right? Things would have rushed to the closest hill to get out away from danger. So naturally they would have been buried towards the end of these final stages of the flood.
So do you see how it's possible to take the same kind of data, the rock layers, the quadrillions of fossils and rock layers, and look at it without a biblical worldview, and come up with one interpretation; look at it with a biblical worldview, and come up with a completely different interpretation? That much shorter timeframe matches the descriptions that we see in scripture.
See to me, when we start with the scripture, when it touches on geology, and I start there, I've got amazing explanatory power. I can go out and look at these same layers, and I make more sense of them. I don't have to invoke some crazy theories about rocks being shoved down into the mantle and somehow uplifted, and there's theories out there on the way these things are formed, it's absolutely mind-boggling, so complex.
Now, I'm not saying that there's no complexity in geology. There is. There's some things that are hard to explain, even from a biblical worldview, but this is where we need to start. This is where we need to start our science. Otherwise you may end up asking the question, "how fast was that calf going anyway?" Because you're going to start with the wrong assumptions. You're going to end with the wrong conclusions.
Okay, so in summary, when we hear about these mass extinction events, I want you to just mentally do this: kind of erase that and think about one extreme extinction event. Now, although if we're going to be technical about it, the only things that really went extinct during the flood could have been marine life, marine organisms, because they weren't on the ark. They very well could have had all, one complete kind, wiped out.
But what we do know about the ark is that all the land animals and the reptiles and the flying animals, they were preserved, right? So they didn't go extinct. There was a lot of them that died, right? Everything that wasn't on the ark would have been buried in the rock layers. So it wasn't exactly an extinction event, but it was really, really close to it.
The quadrillions of fossils, this is what we want to focus on today. The first evidence that we want to look at that favors or supports this idea of a global flood, it explains it very well. Otherwise, it's very difficult to explain why we have so many and why they extend in rock layers that are so vast. You take some of these rock layers in the Grand Canyon that go into the midwest and on up to the north, these giant slabs, right, with all these dead things in them, that doesn't sound like a local flood to me. That's a pretty massive flood right there. And we see the same thing all over the earth. It's a rare event but it's best explained through scripture. It's best explained by the Genesis flood.
So again, start with the right assumptions, and those assumptions are based on scripture, when scripture has something to say about it- scripture doesn't have things to say about every discipline of science there is, but when we do have something in scripture, we definitely want to start there.
So that's what I wanted to cover today. Thank you so much for your attention. In our next session, we're going to look at our second evidence that favors a global flood, and that is rapid burial. So until next time, I thank you so much.