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Dave Matson Young Earth Geologic Column Fictitious

Dr. Hovind (G3): The fictitious geologic column (invented in the 1800’s to discredit the Bible) does not exist anywhere in the world except in textbooks.

G3. Oh, sure, those early creationists invented the geologic column to discredit the Bible! That just makes loads of sense, doesn’t it? Is it possible that Dr. Hovind, who taught earth science for 13 out of his 15 years as a high school science teacher, doesn’t understand the concept behind the geologic column? The thought boggles the mind! On top of that, Dr. Hovind is simply wrong in his claim that no place on Earth has a full set of representative strata.

John Woodmorappe, a young-earth creationist, has admitted that representative strata from the Cambrian to the Tertiary have been discovered lying in their proper order in Iran, by the Caspian, the Himalayas, Indonesia, Australia, North Africa, Canada, South America, Japan, Mexico, and the Philippines! (Woodmorappe, 1981, p.46-71. See especially, pp.62 & 67). Furthermore, Glenn R. Morton, a professional geophysicist, has reported that portions of Alaska also contain strata representing all these geologic periods lying in their exact textbook order. (Phone conversation between Edward Babinski and Glenn Morton, as relayed to me.) Sometime later he identified three wells for me in McKenzie County, North Dakota, which had penetrated all the geologic periods in their correct order. Morton also indicated that the East China Sea, the Juixi (pronounced jewshi) basin in China and many more areas could be added to the list. So, the geologic column definitely does exist! That is to say, the geologic column is nicely illustrated in various localities. (Wherever we find relatively undisturbed areas where the obvious signs of mountain building are absent, the strata is always in the textbook order. Some of the geologic periods may be missing, either because they were never laid down or because they eroded away, but the order is preserved. See Topics G4b and G4c for a discussion of missing and out-of-order strata.)

Showing that the geologic column is fully represented in various places is not my main concern here. Far more important is Dr. Hovind’s fundamental misunderstanding of the geologic column, which seems to be shared by many creationists.

The geologic column is an abstract, conceptual tool that gives order to the overall geologic record. It’s like a yearbook with the pictures of all the 9th graders in it. No one expects that every one of those 9th graders will belong to a particular club or show up for a particular dance! Neither does the geologist expect that every locality will exhibit all the known strata. The point is that the earth’s strata has a very definite chronological order to it, and that overall, ideal order, physically represented by all the known strata, is usually what is meant when one refers to the geologic column. Different localities will, to varying degrees of completeness and perfection, illustrate that ideal order.

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