7 assumptions behind the geologic column

Ed Morris said:

I will instead point out a few very obvious facts about the geologic column…I believe the geologic column was the killer argument that first convinced scientists that the earth was old, and in many ways it is still the best, because it is so simple a child can understand it and see what an insurmountable problem it is for the young-earth view.

Additionally, it was essentially the final nail in the coffin in my own slow and painful departure (as an adult, not in college as a result of the influence of some godless professor) from my previously-cherished young-earth creationism.

But John Reed, speaking in another context, said:

But let’s examine the steps more closely. You have made several assumptions [when relying on the geologic column to conclude that the earth is billions of years old]:

  1. That there is historical content in the rocks
  2. That there is no other relevant source of historical information
  3. That the position of rocks in the field tells their relative ages
  4. That vertical positions of these formations and the ages of their bounding surfaces are the essence of their history
  5. That the formations were deposited slowly over long periods of time,  providing a representative sample of all those years
  6. That erosion has not removed enough evidence to impede historical reconstruction
  7. That the local column fits in the geological timescale.

None of these assumptions are proven by fieldwork—they are simply the context you absorbed in your [geological] studies. Thus, the timescale is not an empirical conclusion of your study, but the historical template by which you were able to develop interpretations.

Quote sources

  1. Morris, E. (2005). A Nonexpert Review of the Book “Refuting Compromise” by Jonathan Sarfati. Available http://www.noble-minded.org/sarfati_review.html. Last accessed 6th Dec 2014.
  2. Reed, J.K. (2013). Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale. Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, p. 47

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s