must be explained during post-Flood catastrophism. It could
be explained by how fast mammals multiplied and spread
all over the world. Those that were fast would end up in the
early Tertiary fossil record, while those that were slow would
end up in the late Tertiary fossil record. Or there could have
been a systematic change in climate that favoured certain
mammals instead of others (see below). Regardless, in
order to maintain the fossil order, mammals must go extinct
in a certain order. How could so many different types of
mammals go extinct over the entire earth throughout the
Tertiary? Surely post-Flood catastrophes would not wipe
out one particular mammal everywhere across the earth at
the same time. For instance, why did the titanotheres, those
rhinoceros-like beasts with strange horns, all go extinct in
the late Eocene?
It is claimed that the early Cenozoic was wet and warm,
favouring certain types of mammals. Then the climate
became cooler and drier in the late Cenozoic, causing the
extinction of the early Cenozoic mammals and favouring
other types of mammals that now show up in the strata of
the late Cenozoic.
38 Wise and Richardson state:
“Many of these animals would become extinct by
the catastrophic and changing environments after the
Flood, but many others would survive for a time—
long enough to produce new generations of different
organisms [within their kinds].”
It is further claimed that the wet early Tertiary favoured
those animals with a browsing diet, and the drier late Tertiary
favoured those that ate grass.
41 That is why horses found in
the Tertiary supposedly evolved longer teeth and legs with the
earlier ones unable to survive and hence going extinct. The
above scenario is simplistic from a climatic and environmental
point of view, assuming post-Flood catastrophism, because
it would be a generalization with many exceptions. In a wet,
warm post-Flood climate, there would always be dry, cool
areas and in a dry, cool climate, there would be warm, wet
areas. So, one would expect that in the above climates very
few mammals would be systematically wiped out globally.
Janis et al. state in respect to supposed horse evolution, still
used to date sedimentary layers:
“The story of evolutionary progression to the
present-day genus Equus also overlooks the fact that,
in addition to the mid Miocene radiation [spreading
out] of the hypsodont Equinae [horses with long
teeth], there was also a radiation of more specialized
horses within the subfamily Anchitheriinae. These
equids were obviously committed browsers (very low-
crowned cheek teeth), with stocky limb proportions
suggestive of a preference for closed habitats such as
woodland (parentheses theirs).”
So, you can see that there were browsers even during
the dry late Tertiary.
Those who believe in post-Flood catastrophism must
explain with a realistic mechanism the order of extinctions
of a large number of different mammals in the Tertiary
fossil record, all going extinct within several hundred years
after the Flood.
Explaining the scope, provenance, and history of organic
deposits in the Cenozoic with respect to the Flood has been
a source of much controversy in the creationist literature.
Different parties have suggested different factors are more
important than others in determining where the post-Flood
boundary should be located. This paper summarized
seven features of the Tertiary organic material record that
are better explained by Flood processes than post-Flood
processes, such as heavy precipitation and mass wasting.
Tertiary coal deposits, comparable in scope to other coal
deposits unequivocally from the Flood, imply a history of
burial by thousands of metres of sediment, heating to about
200°C, and erosion of the thousands of metres of sediment—
the scale and history clearly fit a Flood explanation better
than post-Flood catastrophism. The formation of amber is a
unique process that uniquely fits Flood processes. The large
quantities of oil and gas that originate in Cenozoic sediments
provide a similar problem for post-Flood catastrophism to
explain as with Tertiary coal. Thick, pure micro-organism
skeletons have accumulated in the Cenozoic, which does not
seem plausible in a scenario invoking heavy precipitation
and mass wasting.
There are three mammal conundrums if the Tertiary were
post-Flood. First, hardly any mammals would have died in
the Flood while many millions were overwhelmed, buried,
and fossilized after the Flood. Second, mammal graveyards
found in thin Tertiary layers are also difficult to explain.
And third, the evolutionary order of the mammals must be
accounted for by post-Flood catastrophes.
These factors favour a Flood mechanism for Tertiary
organic remains, and Tertiary sedimentary rocks.
1. Oard, M.J., Flood processes into the late Cenozoic—sedimentary rock
evidence, J. Creation
30( 2): 67–75, 2016.
2. Holt, R.D., Evidence for a late Cainozoic Flood/post-Flood boundary,
10( 1):157, 1996.
3. Seeland, D., Origin of thick Lower Tertiary coal beds in the Powder River
Basins, Wyoming and Montana—some paleogeographic constraints, U.S.
Geological Survey Bulletin 1917—Q, United States Geological Survey,
Washington, D.C., 1993.
4. Hámor-Vidó, M., Hofmann, T. and Albert, L., In situ preservation and
paleoenvironmental assessment of Taxodiacea fossil trees in the Bükkalja
Lignite Formation, Bükkábrány open cast mine, Hungary, International
J. Coal Geology 81:203–210, 2010.