The Flood

Abstract: This essay consists of several observations which imply that the flood was a historical event.

1) The bible claims that the flood covered the highest mountains. (Genesis 7:19)

Dr Mike Searle has found fragments of coral and conodonts which were once swimming on top of Mount Everest (ref 1). He observed, "Rock samples collected from the summit of Everest are relatively unmetamorphosed impure limestones, often still containing fragments of conodonts and corals." (ref 2) Scientists claim that this is because the world's highest peak was at sea-level many years ago, and due to subduction, the Everest was pushed upwards gradually. This claim is not true as it overlooks the fact that if Everest was pushed upwards slowly, conditions would not have been favorable for the corals to be preserved. On the seashore where waves smash shells against each other and against mineral grains in the sand, abrasion reduces these hard parts to sand-sized particles and then to mud (ref 29). However, if the flood covered the highest mountains and if the marine sediments were deposited at that time, then after the flood receded, the temperature on top of Everest would have been cold enough to preserve it, and there would not be continuous waves to bombard these corals.

2) The bible claims that God sent wind, then the waters receded. (Genesis 8:1)

Loess is a type of soil that is composed of fine grains and is transported by wind. Large deposits of loess have been found at high altitudes (Ref 3,4). The reason why large deposits of loess are associated with high altitudes is because these strong winds were blowing when the waters were receding and the mountain tops were becoming visible. The wind probably carried the exposed soil from these mountain tops and deposited them at a slightly lower altitude.

 China's Loess Plateau is close to the mountains. Image taken from ref 5.

3) Marine sediments were deposited after human beings inhabited our planet.

Conventional wisdom believes that marine sediments found all over the globe were deposited millions of years ago before humans lived.  The principle of superposition in geology states that layers below were deposited earlier than the layers above. Evidence of human civilization has been found Koonalda cave 60m below the Nullarbor plain (ref 6). The surface of the Nullarbor plain consists of limestone formed from marine sediments and sand (ref 7). Rock art has been found in these caves (ref 8), indicating that these caves were once used as dwelling places, as humans often practise home decoration.

4) Highlands with marine sediments were not due to uplift.

It is often claimed that uplift associated with plate tectonics caused mountain building events that moved marine sediments thousands of feet upward (ref 11). Brachiopods, coral, mollusks, sea lilies, worms and fish teeth have been found on top of the Grand Canyon (ref 9).

(Image taken from ref 10)

If the marine sediments were deposited first, then lithified and then the layers were uplifted, the layers would be wavy, with a mountain peak where the uplift is maximum. Lithified rocks are not malleable. To lift an entire lithified plain, without breaking the surface rocks, we need a very even force.

(This diagram illustrates how malleable layers would look like if the layers were uplifted by anti-gravitational forces. Taken from ref 12)

 This photo of the Grand Canyon shows that the layers are horizontal. Taken from ref 13

Just after the flood, the Colorado plateau would have been a plain, with only its top layer visible. But due to erosion, primarily caused by rivers, we now have the Canyon. We don't see broken rocks on the surface. All broken rocks we see are due to erorion.

5. Coal depth is an indicator of the pre-flood topology

The flood would have buried preflood forests, causing them to be transformed to coal. If the forests were located in a valley, with a catchment basin surrounding it, the sediments deposited above these forests would have been hydrologically sorted. The depth of coal below the surface of the Kaiparowits plateau is less than 2000 feet, except at the central basin, where it is 2000 - 8500 feet deep (ref 14).

 Depth of coal at the Kaiparowits Plateau. Image taken from Figure 19 of ref 14.

The horizontal layers of the Kaiparowits plateau can be seen in the picture below:

 Kaiparowits Plateau. Image taken from ref 15

6. When exactly did the flood happen?

According to biblical chronology, the flood occured at about 2300BC (ref 16). We can date the flood radiometrically from any fossil that was buried during the flood. Dr Robert Gentry has measured the ratio of U238/Pb206 in Uranium radiohalos found in coal. Halos are created when alpha emissions from radioactive centers produce concentric shells of coloration (ref 18). He measured this ratio to be varying from 2230 to 27300 (ref 17).

 Radiohalo. Image taken from ref 19

This variance of U:PB ratios can be understood using the following analogy: If we mix water and oil, then freeze this mixture, and then measure the C:O ratio at different locations, we would obtain varying ratios of C:O. At locations where there was a large oil droplet, the C:O ratio would be high, and at locations where there was a small oil droplet, due to the excess water, we would obtain a small C:O ratio.

In the same way, the measured ratio of U:Pb depends primarily on the initial ratio during the formation time of the radiocenter. The initial ratio of U:Pb in turn depends primarily on the geographic location. At countries that export lead, we may expect a high concentration of Pb in its soil and rivers, while at countries that export uranium, we may expect a high concentration U in its soil and rivers. The solubility of U compared to Pb in water is also different.

Eventhough we cannot determine the initial ratio of U:Pb and hence the exact age, we can calculate an upper bound for the age. If we start with the assumption that there was no Pb initially, then whatever Pb206 present today is radiogenic Pb produced from the in situ decay of U238. If we take into consideration that there might have been some Pb present initially, then there would be less radiogenic Pb, implying a younger age.

To claim that the age calculated based on the decay of U238 to Pb206 is an upper bound, we also need to show that there has been no addition of U238 or removal of Pb206 from these radiocenters after the trees were buried. Transport of water in wood while it is upright is possible since water evaporates from the leaves when exposed to the sun, enabling water to be sucked from the roots through its capillaries (ref 20). But after a tree is felled or buried, transport of water in its capillaries is unlikely.

Based on the measured ratio of U238:Pb206 in these Uranium radiohalos and the arguments presented above, the calculated upper bound for the age of the flood is less than 1 million years. Dr Libby (discoverer of C14 dating) has carbon dated a buried forest at Wisconsin, and obtained an age of 11000 years (ref 21).

7. The process of cementation and lithification

The time taken for sediments to harden to solid rock is probably not very different than the time taken for wet cement to harden. A researcher, G. Friedman placed a sardine can in an area of sea-level highstands.  He found the sardine can one year later and found that it was lithified to approximately 382 g of hard oolitic limestone (ref 22). A lithified footprint can be formed when a creature walks on a riverbed which is wet and then dries up during summer.

8. Were fossilized footprints formed during the flood?

Gilmore, in 1927, pointed that of the hundreds of trackways that have been observed at the Grand Canyon, almost all of them are going up the slopes of the crossbedded layers. This is expected from animals seeking higher ground (ref 23). McKee and later researchers discovered that the Coconino sandstone below the footprints of the Hermit Trail consisted of coarser grains, while finer grains were above these footprints (ref 24). This is expected from hydrologic sorting (Stokes' law).

9. Dinosaur Tracks 

Dinosaur tracks at Utah and Colorado are associated with coal mines (ref 25), which suggest that the tracks were made while their forests were in the process of being buried. Dinosaur tracks and sea shells have been found together (ref 26). Dinosaur foot prints have been found with their hind marks missing (ref 27). The dinosaurs were probably walking on their toes because the flood waters had risen, and they were trying to keep alive until their last breath.

10. How were these footprints preserved?

We know footprints made at the beach last only until the next wave. Footprints made in the desert last only until the next gush of wind. How did these tracks survive so long? Eventhough waves would have existed at the surface of the flood, the velocity of water at the feet of these animals would be small if the water is fairly deep. Whenever a fluid flows over a stationary surface, e.g. the bed of a river, or the wall of a pipe, the fluid touching the surface is brought to rest by the shear stress at the boundary. The velocity increases from the boundary to a maximum in the main stream of the flow (ref 28). Due to the velocity being zero at their feet, there was nothing to wash away their impressions. After the flood dried up, the soil lithified and the tracks were cemented.