Geologic Correlations

In our quest for more scientific correlations with the scriptures, we should consider what events spoken of in scripture should show up in the scientific record. Eight events in scripture seem to lend themselves to scientific investigation more so than others. This include:

1. Fall of Adam
2. Noah's Flood
3. Earth's Division in the Days of Peleg
4. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
5. Moses' Plagues in Egypt
6. Joshua Holding the Sun Still
7. Isaiah Making the Sun Retrogress Eleven Degrees
8. The Signs at Christ's Birth and Death
9. The Signs Which Will Proceed Christ's Second Coming

Of these eight, four are especially critical, because they would show up specifically the geologic record. These for are commonly known as "The Big Four."

1. Fall of Adam
2. Noah's Flood
3. Earth's Division in the Days of Peleg
4. The Signs at Christ's Birth and Death

Each of these correlates perfectly with a geologic event, minus one thing: the dating scale (which problem we already addressed).

The Fall of Adam did several things unique in the history of the earth. It brought death and reproduction to the earth (see ARE "SCIENTIFIC" AND SCRIPTURAL HISTORY COMPATIBLE? for scriptural support). Wicander and Monroe explain the Cambrian explosion saying, "At the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, animals with skeletons appeared rather abruptly in the fossil record. In fact, their appearance is described as an explosive development of new types of animals." They continue saying that "the mechanism [which] triggered this event is still unknown" and they conclude that "Whatever the ultimate cause of the Cambrian explosion was, the appearance of the skeletonized fauna and the rapid diversification of the fauna during the Early Cambrian was a major even in Earth's history (300-301). Every major detail of this event seems to correspond with what we would expect to find in the fossil record in relation to the Fall of Adam. It seems beyond dispute that the Fall of Adam and the Cambrian explosion are the same event.

Hundreds of years later we come to the next big geologic event mentioned in scripture: Noah's Flood. This flood covered the entire earth and killed the majority of life on it. It should therefore be easy to spot in the geologic record. The Permian mass extinction fits perfectly with what we'd expect to find (again minus the time scale). This event has several characteristics that support this theory. Apparently, the extinction was very sudden. Evidence shows that over 90% of all phyla died within a few vertical feet of geologic sediment (including insects--this was the only mass extinction to effect insects). The marine animals and food chains that have to stay in shallow water (like corals that require sunlight) were nearly all wiped out. There was a huge influx of organic carbon-12 into the oceans evidencing massive plant destruction on land. Throughout the period leading up to the extinction, sea level slowly fell only to rush back onto the continents in the fastest marine transgression ever. There was major climatic changes all across the globe. Sediments show a fungi spike, suggesting massive amounts of dead vegetation being dumped into costal areas. The largest continental flood basalts ever spewed from crustal fissures in Siberia. The bottom sediments on continental shelves become suddenly anoxic, again suggesting massive raise in sea level (Sherman 64-69).

The next of the Big Four came a relatively short time later: The Earth's Division in the Days of Peleg. The separation of Pangea is known to have happened after the Permian extinction. By mapping plates, dating rocks, and tracking hotspot islands scientists can trace the path of the continents fairly accurately. They also know that it happened in phases.

The final event of the Big Four should be characterized by massive mountain building events (orogenies), especially in the Americas. It would likely be the most recent mountain building event. Again, we find a perfect correlation, this time with the Cenozoic Orogenies. These mountain building events caused massive changes to the Alpine-Himalayan mountain chain. It involved uplift in the Wasatch Mountains, the Tetons, and the Andes. There was also large volcanic activity (Wicander 415-419).

When presented with these correlations, many people naturally question about dinosaurs. If these events during which dinosaurs were alive happened while men were alive, how do they fit in? A quick examination of the scriptures (and other historical sources) will show a vast amount of cultural memory of these animals, although the name dinosaur had not yet been invented (see Job 40:15-23; Job 41:1-33; Psalms 74:13-14; Jeremiah. 51:34; 2 Samuel 21:16-22; and others including the story of Jonah, and the numerous references to dragons). Dinosaurs have been highly popularized and romanticized in our culture. As part of this popularization, many false conceptions have been taught about these animals. Because of these false conceptions many people see the dinosaurs as belonging to a totally different world. They imagine that they were so different that they must have been part of a former creation or entirely different scheme of things. The dinosaurs and their world are portrayed as being so different that it seems impossible that they may have existed in the age of man. In order to get past some of these misconceptions one must learn that: dinosaurs were not nearly as big as Hollywood makes them out to be. (i.e. T-rex could not step on a Ford Explorer, he was actually only about as big as a Truck other than his tail. Giraffes are taller than any T-rex. Even Diplodocus, the longest terrestrial dinosaur to exist, was only about the size of an elephant if you take away his long skinny neck and tail). Although things on average were much larger during dinosaur days, the largest animal ever to exist is still alive today (the great blue whale). Many plant and animal families that lived during dinosaur days are still alive today such as the alligator/crocodile, the sea turtle, the opossum, and virtually EVERY single marine family known today. Animals during the Mesozoic era were generally 1/3-2x as large then as they are now (i.e. alligators grew to be about 40ft in length. Many reasons have been set forth as to possible reasons why like this article). The dinosaurs that have been popularized by the media are exceptionally large for their kinds. Dinosaurs only ruled the earth for a very short time-from the Flood to Abraham or about 344 years. They multiplied so rapidly because they had little competition and prolific reproduction rates. In reality there were not very many species of dinosaurs.

Works Cited