Either way, erosion rates indicate that only a fraction of
deep time would be needed to produce the rock record.
Discussion: the sedimentary record and time
Since the earliest days of geology, the sedimentary rock
record has been viewed from the perspective of its purported
incompatibility with the Genesis Flood. Geologists claimed
that the volume of rock was too great to have been deposited
in a year-long flood, but then drew the flawed conclusion
that if the sedimentary record does not support the Flood, it
automatically supports uniformitarian deep time (figure 1).
That was a case of belief driving interpretation. The inherent
circular reasoning in that train of thought remains an
unacknowledged flaw of ;historical science;.
Geologists have become so accustomed to arguing in this
circle that they rarely, if ever, re-examine their assumptions.
If one assumes uniformitarian history, then one will
automatically conclude that the sedimentary record ‘proves’
uniformitarianism, and the circle perpetuates itself. This
circular reasoning is evident at all scales; even calculations
of rates based on a measured thickness and stratigraphic
ages of the top and base show this flaw. Schwab20 compared
depositional rates of 75 basins, but in every case he derived
rates from a thicknesses/time calculation that assumed
uniformitarian history. Needless to say, his ;rates; were
much lower than those observed today.
Furthermore, the uniformitarian method assumes gradual
slow deposition and often ignores field realities. Reed53
showed how this kind of ‘rate’ calculation could not explain
field features of basalt flows at the Midcontinent Rift
System. Supposedly, these flows took more than 21 Ma to
form, but the physical constraints on the flows and the sizes
of their vents indicate actual emplacement of each flow in
hours, similar to those of the Columbia River Basalt. In
Kansas, the basalt flows—the actual rock record—would
require 120,000 years of ;dead time; between each flow
in order to reach the assumed 21 Ma. And yet all evidence
of erosion between subsequent layers is lacking to support
that ;dead time;. The basalts are merely flow atop flow.
More than 99.99% of deep time is thus unrecorded by the
actual rock record in that case.
In similar cases, where thick sections of sedimentary
rock formed quickly or where the bulk of the stratigraphic
section is composed of hiatuses, the same problem
occurs. And these sedimentary layers also show little, if
any, evidence of erosion between one layer and the next.
The physical evidence to support the claims of deep time
between the layers is missing, just like between the lava
flows described above.
Geologists, committed to uniformitarian deep time, thus
demonstrate themselves to be dogmatists, not empiricists.
Clues to that dogmatism were manifested early on, with an
unwavering support for deep time, even when its quantity
was increasing by orders of magnitude between the mid-18th
to mid-20th century. Buffon challenged biblical history with
a 75,000-year-old Earth. Werner thought it over a million,
and Kant, in 1790, estimated many millions of years. 54 In
1860, John Phillips placed the base of the Cambrian at
96 Ma and Darwin estimated that natural selection would
require a billion years to produce the tree of life. Kelvin
restrained these speculations with physical calculations that
ranged down from 400 Ma in 1863 to 24 Ma in 1897. But
Holmes (1913) used a radiometric geochronology to set
Earth;s age at 1. 6 Ga, and Claire Patterson calculated the
current accepted date of 4. 55 Ga in 1953.55 Even though the
jump from Buffon to Patterson was nearly four orders of
magnitude, stratigraphers were always able to reconcile that
remarkable range of ages with uniformitarian sedimentation,
simply because their frame of reference was ‘anything but
the Bible’. The stratisphere5 was shoehorned into tens of
thousands of years and then stretched to fit billions, all
the while telling the same story—no Flood. If today’s
sedimentary record is supposed to illustrate billions of
years, those earlier accommodations were impossible, and
thus the original reasons for rejecting the Flood are shown
to have been subjective and flawed.
In evaluating the relationship between the sedimentary
rock record and Earth’s past, the hard data available
are limited to estimates of the total volume of Earth’s
sedimentary rocks and observed sedimentation rates. The
severe disjunction between these two empirical data points
yields one inescapable conclusion—there are far fewer
sedimentary rocks on Earth than should have been deposited
over 4. 5 Ga. Uniformitarian geologists facing this reality
have only bad options to explain the discrepancy. One is
higher rates on a younger Earth. That is unacceptable.
The other, and most commonly used, is that the record
is mostly missing sections, thanks to erosion. However,
the unintended consequence of this solution creates the
question-begging scenario of an unrepresentative record.
That strikes a blow at the heart of the idea that earth history
is known with scientific certainty. The only other option
would be for geologists to accept the discrepancy between
rates and volume as an indication that their core method
of actualism is wrong.
Attempts to work around this problem abound, although
many geologists like Ager15 simply seemed to accept it
as a feature of the rocks and ignore the consequences.
Others are more concerned and advance explanations.
Rocks were eroded. 13 Rocks were subducted. Rocks did
not have sufficient accommodation space, or sediment
accumulation rates have increased over time. 12 Rates today
are anomalously high. Any or all may be correct, but all these