The Global Catastrophic Model

Yes, the flood is coming soon… But give them a moment to build up to it.

Basically, in order to provide basis for the occurrence of the Great Flood, the creationists are attempting to revive the old model of Catastrophism.

The history is this: in the good old days (ie before Darwin and the like) people thought that the world’s features were created by large-scale catastrophes (like really big earthquakes, floods etc). As time passed, a more Uniformitarianist view emerged in the geological community. They now thought that there was very little effect on the environment by catastrophes, and that the processes that caused all of the geological formations on earth were the same as what can be seen to be taking place at present. (A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is wonderful on this topic, btw). However, over the last few decades, it has been found that there is evidence for both Catastrophism and Uniformitarianist, and that both have a role.

The attractiveness of Catastrophism over Uniformitarianism to creationists goes without saying. With pure Catastrophism, you have no need for vast expanses of time, and you can get in the Biblical Flood via the back door (more on that in a few posts). It could come as no surprise then to hear that whoever wrote the “Earth Sciences” section is advocating that “Geologists must deliberately and unabashedly discard outdated uniformitarian thinking and adopt, without reservation, a global catastrophic model”. Rarely is it rue that science decides in favour of one two arbitrary ends of a spectrum (evolution vs creationism being an exception as far as I am aware – they don’t seem easily combinable). Science is nuanced and is never simple, especially in a case like this. The current model still requires long periods of time, punctuated by the occasional catastrophe, like the various asteroid impacts over the millennia. Floods, however, do not figure prominently here, however, and I have a feeling that we are about to see a classic bait-and-switch (they’ll reel you in with volcanoes and asteroids, and then change to the Biblical Flood), as well as the straw man we are already seeing (they’ll demolish the position of pure Uniformitarianism that nobody holds any more).

There’s nothing much here about the model itself, however, which is a pity. I also object to the statement that “History is not open to scientific testing”. You can still make predictions and falsify them, for example you can search for transitional fossils.

Next: The evidence (although ominously the URL for the page is /worldwide-flood/).

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