There are a number of locations on the earth where all ten periods of the Phanerozoic geologic column have been assigned. However, this does not mean that the geological column is real. Firstly, the presence or absence of all ten periods is not the issue, because the thickness of the sediment pile, even in those locations, is only a small fraction (8–16% or less) of the total thickness of the hypothetical geologic column. Without question, most of the column is missing in the field.
Secondly, those locations where it has been possible to assign all ten periods represent less than 0.4% of the earth’s surface, or 1% if the ocean basins are excluded. Obviously it is the exception, rather than the rule, to be able to assign all of the ten Phanerozoic periods to the sedimentary pile in any one location on the earth. It does not engender confidence in the reality of the geological column when it is absent 99% of the time.
Thirdly, even where the ten periods have been assigned, the way in which they were assigned can be quite subjective. It is a well known fact, for example, that many unfossiliferous Permian rocks are ‘dated’ as such solely because they happen to be sandwiched between faunally-dated Carboniferous and faunally-dated Triassic rocks. Without closer examination, it is impossible to determine how many of the ‘ten Phanerozoic systems superposed’ have been assigned on the basis of index fossils (by which each of the Phanerozoic systems have been defined) and how many have been assigned by indirect methods such as lithological similarity, comparable stratigraphic level, and schematic depictions. Clearly, if the periods in these locations were assigned by assuming that the geological column was real, then it is circular reasoning to use the assigned ten periods to argue the reality of the column.
Finally, the geological column is a hypothetical concept that can always be rescued by special pleading. A number of standard explanations are used to account for missing geological periods, including erosion and non-deposition. Clear field evidence, such as unconformities, is not necessarily needed before these explanations are invoked. Similarly a range of standard explanations is used to account for the fossils when their order is beyond what the column would predict. These include reworking, stratigraphic leaking, and long-range fossils. Even if all ten periods of the column had never been assigned to one local stratigraphic section anywhere on the earth, the concept of the geological column would still be accepted as fact by conventional uniformitarian geologists.
To the diluviologist this means, of course, that only the local succession has to be explained by Flood-related processes. Very seldom do all ten geologic systems have to be accounted for in terms of Flood deposition.
There is no escaping the fact that the Phanerozoic geologic column remains essentially non-existent. It should be obvious, to all but the most biased observers, that it is the anti-creationists who misrepresent the geologic facts. The geologic column does not exist to any substantive extent, and scientific creationists are correct to point this out.
First published in Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal13(2):77–82, 1999
All Rights Reserved. [Updated: November 17, 1999]
Morris, H. and Parker, G., What is Creation Science? Master Books, El Cajon, 1982.
Woodmorappe, J., The essential nonexistence of the evolutionary-uniformitarian geologic column: a quantitative assessment, Creation Research Society Quarterly18(4):201–223, 1981. Reprinted in Woodmorappe, J., Studies in Flood Geology, 2nd Edition. California, Institute for Creation Research, 1999.
Hayward, A., Creation and Evolution: The Facts and Fallacies,Triangle, London, pp. 117–119, 1985. [Ed. note: see Geology and the Young Earth for more refutations of Hayward’s scientific errors and outright heresies]
Morton, G., Foundation, Fall and Flood, 2nd Edition, DMD Publishing Co., Dallas, Texas, p. 33, 1995.
< http://www.flash.net/~mortongr/geo.htm> (end June 1999)
Clark, H.W., Fossils, Flood, and Fire. Outdoor Pictures, California, 1968.
Morris and Parker, Ref. 1, pp. 230–232.
Morton, Ref. 4. Does Morton repeat the same wrong claims in his latest edition (1998) of this book? And if not, does he acknowledge his errors publicly?
Clark, Ref. 6, p. 55.
Woodmorappe, J., Studies in Flood Geology. 2nd Edition. Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, p. 105, 1999. This is an anthology of articles previously published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly from 1978 to 1983, as well as in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism in 1986 and 1990. In contrast to the spiral-bound 1993 1st edition, this new edition has a conventional cover, upgraded drawings, common pagination, a list of study questions, and a comprehensive index to geologic topics.
Morton, Ref. 4, pp. 33–34.
Woodmorappe, Ref. 10, p. 126
Woodmorappe, Ref. 10, p. 121
Austin, S.A., Ten misconceptions about the geologic column. ICR Impact, No. 137, 1984
Woodmorappe, Ref. 10, pp. 40–47
Morton, Ref. 4, p. 34
Woodmorappe, Ref. 10, p. 38
Woodmorappe, J., Studies in Flood geology: clarifications related to the ‘reality’ of the Geologic Column. CEN Tech. J.10(2):279–290, 1996
Woodmorappe, Ref. 10, p. 128
Wonderly, D.E., Neglect of Geologic Data. Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, Pennsylvania, 1987
Watson, R.A., Absence as evidence in geology. Journal of Geological Education 30:300–301, 1982
Woodmorappe, Ref. 10, pp. 107–122
Appendix V Radioactive Halos In A Radiochronological And Cosmological Perspective Robert V. Gentry* Columbia Union College Takoma Park, Maryland 20012
If the earth was created, it is axiomatic that created (primordial) rocks must now exist on the earth, and if there was a Flood there must now exist sedimentary rocks and other evidences of that event. But, if the general uniformitarian principle is correct, the universe evolved to its present state only by the unvarying action of known physical laws and all natural phenomena must fit into the evolutionary mosaic. If this fundamental principle is wrong, all the pieces in the evolutionary mosaic become unglued. Evidence that something is drastically wrong comes from the fact that this basic evolutionary premise has failed to provide a verifiable explanation for the widespread occurrence of Po halos in Precambrian granites, a phenomena which I suggest are in situ evidences that those rocks were created almost instantaneously in accord with Psalm 33:6,9: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." I have challenged my colleagues to synthesize a piece of granite with