ICR and the Time Before the Flood (Flood Part #1)

So what does the ICR believe about the Flood?

Quite a lot of interesting stuff, to judge by my newly expanded (and easily updateable) page with the list of known ICR articles on the flood. There is so much stuff to wade through that this has had to become a series of articles from the original planned (and I use that word loosely) single article.

We will begin, then, with their beliefs about what the world looked like before the Flood:

First up, President of the Institute, John D. Morris, kindly informs us about the detailed and explicit information on the geography and climate of the pre-Flood world. Or rather he says that “Scripture doesn’t provide all the details” and then goes on to extrapolate them from the rather vague description in Genesis anyway, with amusing results.

[T]he world before the Flood evidently enjoyed substantial equilibrium. Scripture doesn’t provide all the details, but we get the impression that earth movements, ocean currents, and atmospheric circulation were at a minimum. Evaporation from one area fell that evening in the same general area, indicating a more gentle environment than today’s, which is dominated by major weather fronts that are in turn fueled by a greater temperature differential between the oceans and the continents. The tides still operated, but these were due to the earth’s rotation and the moon’s gravity. Earth basked in God’s created blessings, although sin and its resultant curse had caused the original Edenic “paradise” to be lost.

The problem with this is that an earth like this would be impossible. Such a world would require a situation where there were no “temperature differentials” anywhere on earth. None between the bottom and tops of the ocean, none between the layers of the atmosphere, none between the sun-ward and leeward sides of the earth, none even between the poles and the equator (see also the ICR’s notes on Genesis 8:1). That is what you need to get no wind, no ocean currents, no nothing. That would, however, be impossible. You naturally get such temperature gradients – even Venus has cold areas, for goodness sake – and to even them out you need “ocean currents and atmospheric circulation”. It’s just not possible. Admittedly, they give themselves wriggle-room with their “minimum” caveat, but that doesn’t really help…

If “Evaporation from one area fell that evening in the same general area” we have a problem. A river (yes there were rivers in Genesis, see the description of Eden, Genesis 2:10-14) has the tendency to take water away from an area, and if water that had evaporated fell only on the “same general area” there is no way to replace that water. We then get deserts, big ‘uns, all over the place. Hardly a “more gentle environment”…. Also, where were the rainforests in all of this? You understand that many of the plants and animals around today rely on the consequences of “temperature differentials” around the world for their existence, whether it be because they live in temperatures that are not the same as the mean global one, or for more exotic reasons, such as needing ocean currents to bring nutrients.

And I’m completely mystified as to what “The tides still operated, but these were due to the earth’s rotation and the moon’s gravity” means. What else would’ve caused them?

Another article tries to get around the whole “where did all the water go” thing by claiming that the earth was flatter originally, allowing them to make use of the fact that the oceans would cover the area of the earth to “about 8,000 feet” (~2500 metres). The ICR believes that the taller mountains were uplifted only after the flood had abated, and that there was some serious plate tectonics at that time, apparently to make up for what hadn’t happened previous. I don’t know if their Catastrophic Plate Tectonics Flood Model is even possible, and anyway this is the pre-flood article.

What I would really like to ask is ‘were you there?’, but apparently I shouldn’t. Instead, you’re supposed to ask ‘how do you know?’, so I shall:

How do you know?

What makes you think that “the pre-Flood/Flood boundary should stratigraphically lie at least as low as the Precambrian/Cambrian boundary” but you can provisionally assume that “at least many of the Archean sediments are pre-Flood in age”? Some evidence supporting this model would be nice.

Sure, you can bend the current facts and Genesis to vaguely correspond with this model (maybe. I’m a charitable person), but what predictions do they have? A few, but not many:

This model, like many Flood models, predicts the following:

  • a consistent, worldwide, initiation event in the geologic column;
  • most body fossils assigned to Flood deposits were deposited allochthonously (including coal, forests, and reefs);
  • most ichnofossils assigned to Flood deposits are grazing, moving, or escape evidences, and not longterm living traces; and
  • sediments assigned to the Flood were deposited subaqueously without long-term unconformities between them.

You will not that they talk about ‘sediments assigned to the Flood’ a lot. The very earliest sediments, they feel, were ‘pre-Flood’ while many of the later came down after the flood had abated and all the animals came out.

I’m going to argue that the third prediction, about trace fossils, is not actually a prediction of their model. They have a period of chaos following the flood (more on that later) lasting a hundred or more years – presumably some animals would’ve had a moment to breath. anyway, I thought everything was supposed to be bright and happy after the flood, and the whole thing ends on a positive note:

 21And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

22While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

There was no mention of this not being quite ready yet.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Next up: Dinosaurs

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One thought on “ICR and the Time Before the Flood (Flood Part #1)

  1. Pingback: Dinosaurs! (Flood Part #2) « Eye on the ICR

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