A short Book Review
By Fr. Abram Abdelmalek
The Geologic Column
Perspectives Within Diluvial Geology
by John K. Reed, Michael J. Oard, Editors
This book (115 pages)is a collection of many papers and articles. The editors best described as a “Symposium”. The authors are known for their wide experience and deep knowledge in both secular and creation sciences. In addition to the editors (who hold Ph.D. and M.Sc. respectively), the list includes Terry Mortenson, Ph. D. in geology, Peter Klevberg, B.S. a geologist, Carl Froede, Jr. B.S., P.G. a geologist, David J. Tyler, B.Sc. and M.Sc. in physics and Ph.D. in management, Harold Coffin, Ph.D. in zoology, and Emil Silvestru, Ph.D. in geology. The book contains 9 chapters, five of them are followed by engaging “Forum Discussions” and by an extensive appendix on sequence stratigraphy. Every chapter ends with an exhaustive list of references.
In the introductory Chapter 1, the editors skim through the historical development of the deep time world view and how it contested the dominant biblical view since the publication of James Hutton near the end of 18th century on uniformitarian theory which was followed by Charles Lyell’s “Principals of Geology” 1930. Darwin’s, greatly influenced by them, reintroduced the idea of evolution of species on his book “On the Origin of species by means of natural selection” 1n 1859. That led to emergence of the two rival theories. The uniformitarian theory became the mainstream one for almost a century especially with the innovation of radioactive age dating techniques which were applied on rocks to give what is claimed to be the “absolute age”. Marrying the absolute with relative ages, the Geological Timescale was developed. With the reemergence and the resurrection of the “Neocatastrophism” during the middle of the 20th century and “Creation Science and Flood Geology” movement in the later decades of the last century, uniformitarianism faced a real challenge. During the time span, the new emerging research in biology caused the Darwinian theory to retract steadily, however not in peace but with furious resistance and aggression.
After scanning the history of the development of the standard Geological Timescale, the Old Earth Theory and Catastrophism over the past 2 centuries in Chapter 2, the book discusses some important tools to develop a better model for “Flood” stratigraphy. The view of the authors of Chapter 3, is that stratigraphy is an empirical science and should be separated from “Historical Geology” as it could be interpreted without the burden of uniformitarianism. In other words, the Standard Geologic Column could prove a useful tool for both school of thoughts regardless of the age labeling. This conclusion was resonated positively in the following chapter 4 through some field observations and theoretical arguments. Tyler, in Chapter 5 gives more evidence of why diluvial geologists could accept the geological column within a biblical timeframe. He discusses the destructive nature of the flood (Mabbul) and the marine recanalization in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons of the Geologic Timescale as an example on how to apply it as a tool. In my views, this approach disagree with the previous chapter on the importance of stratigraphic correlation techniques as he did not provide room for the creation week rocks, the Edenic and the preflood periods. He puts the start of the flood with Hadean i.e. the very first existence of the earth. He referenced some authors who believe in this scenario, however, for the academic neutrality, he should have discussed other scenarios or simply states that he is using this as a mere example without the intention of affirming its correctness.
This briefly covers the first five chapters of the book. The last four chapters will be reviewed in the next issue in God’s will.