Grand Canyon: A Testimony Eroded in Stone

 

Erosion and sedimentation theory is one of the best evidences for a recent catastrophic flood that formed the Grand Canyon.  And there is no better place to study erosion than the Grand Canyon.  But, was it a little water over long ages of time; or was it like the Bible teaches, a lot of water over a relatively very short period of time?  We will present the evidences below and you be the judge.

The Grand Canyon provides three evidences that support the events described in the Bible:

  1. Erosion consistent with a catastrophic flood

  2. Sedimentation layers laid down quickly

  3. Billions of marine fossils

Does the evidence suggest a 4.27 billion years old canyon?

Does the evidence seen in the Canyon support this timeline?

Evidence #1: Erosion Consistent with a Catastrophic Flood

 

Time is not on the side of erosion. What we see in the canyon today does not indicate lots of time from the perspective of erosion.  Erosion is not just a past event, it is constantly happening every day, week, month, and year.

Rock slide on the Hermit Trail.

Even the frequency of rock falls in the Grand Canyon does not support long periods of time.  On the Hermit Trail, my brother-in-law Jeff and I spotted no fewer than three major rock falls (>100,000 cubic yards of material) which have occurred in the last 200 years.  At this rate of erosion, it would equate to 64 million rockslides in the supposed 4,270-million-year history of the Canyon.

 
That clearly is not what has occurred !

Rockslides on the Hermit Trail.

If these 64 million rockslides occurred, with each having 100,000 cubic yards (a relatively small rockslide), it would equate to more material than what was eroded from the entire Grand Canyon.  In other words, the Canyon walls would have collapsed and filled itself in.  Instead of a canyon, we would have the Grand Depression.

Take a virtual hike with me in the Grand Canyon as we talk about erosion theory and how erosion principles point to rapid canyon formation.

Evidence #2: Sedimentation Layers

 

When the Grand Canyon formed, it exposed hundreds of feet of sediment.  But the transition between layers is incredibly flat with no signs of erosion.  This indicates that one layer was laid on top of another layer in a relatively short period of time.

Kaibab Limestone
Toroweap Formation

Evidence #3: Marine Fossils

 

If the world was covered by a cataclysmic global flood, not only would we expect to find huge deposits of sediment, but we would also expect to find marine organisms that were buried in the sediment.  That's exactly what we find at the Grand Canyon.  Billions of buried marine organisms.  The fossils are well preserved and are indicative of an organism that was immediately buried and was not exposed to an environment that would cause decomposition.  Come explore with me and discover some of the types of fossils that you can find along the trails.

How can footprints be recorded in sandstone?  It is a problem that is hard to understand for both secular naturalists and creationists.  Secular naturalists believe that the Coconino Sandstone was deposited by wind and sand dunes.  Creationist point to evidence that it was deposited by water.  But, regardless, try leaving foot prints even for a week or a month in a sand dune or under water - they just don't last very long.  So, there must have been some very special circumstances to allow these footprints to be recorded for thousands of years.  It also must have been a global circumstance because footprints like these are not rare - they are found in many places around the world.  The Bible provides clues to how it may have occurred.  These fossil footprints are often found in sedimentary rock that has a significant amount of dolomite.  When combined with hot, caustic (lime) water, dolomite can turn into a type of "quick dry cement".  The global flood described in Genesis could easily have provided this unusual environment.  Animals trying to escape the flood waters struggling to reach higher elevations would have left their food prints in this hot muddy surface that was immediately covered with sediment by the incoming flood waters.  In the thousands of years after the flood, erosion has revealed the footprints that were cast in the quick cement showing us a picture of what was happening at the time they were recorded. 

For more information on this topic, click here.

Fossil footprints with tail drag
Fossil footprints with tail drag

4" diameter footprints spaced approximately 12" apart.

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Modern alligator track with tail drag
Modern alligator track with tail drag

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Fossil footprints with tail drag
Fossil footprints with tail drag

4" diameter footprints spaced approximately 12" apart.

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Fossilized foot prints observed in the Coconino Sandstone on the Hermit Trail.

The fossilized footprints can be found on the Hermit Trail towards the bottom of the Coconino Sandstone formation.  You will note that the footprints come in many different sizes and shapes indicating that more than one species was traveling that path at the same time.  For the most part, the footprints are all travelling the same direction.  This is a consistent pattern with animals that are trying to flee their situation and not consistent with animals that are going to and from a water hole or some other destination.  For me, fossilized footprints present great evidence of the circumstances described in Genesis 6 - 8.