Step Canyon

Yes, folks: That's a Video!

Finally, a That’s a Fact video that’s more creationism than theology. Indeed, it’s about the most famous of creationist canards – namely, that the Grand Canyon. Or rather, something they call the “Little Grand Canyon“:

(I’m not actually sure why that is working, considering that the previous one still wont display. The ICR is weird.)

If you’re heading to the Grand Canyon for vacation this year don’t be surprised if you run into a few crowds. Nearly five million people from all over the world visit this wonder of nature every year – that’s over a hundred times more people than when the park officially opened in 1919.

And it’s nearly a million more people than live in New Zealand. So?

Researchers also come to the 277 mile canyon to study the spectacular rock formations, fossils, and archaeological discoveries. Scientists still debate how long it took for the canyon to form, with many insisiting that it took several million years for the Colorado river to carve its way through.

“Scientists” debate? Only if ‘creation scientist’ isn’t an oxymoron – which it is. It is technically correct to say that scientists argue futilely with intractable nutjobs over the formation of the canyon, but that’s not what this is implying.

Also, “insist”? That makes it sound like they don’t have any evidence.

But other geologists think it’s much younger, and another famous North American landmark shows why.

“Other geologists” eh? Technically, John Morris, Andrew Snelling et al are geologists, but Andrew Wakefield is a ‘medical professional’ too, technically.

In 1982, just two years after Mt St Helens erupted, another seismic event in the area shook lose unstable rock, and created a fast moving mudflow that carved a canyon at the mountains base.

Pause the video at 0:58, and familiarise yourself with what you see. Note carefully the composition of the walls of this canyon.

Scientists have called it the “little Grand Canyon” because it looks like a 1-fortyth scale model of Arizona’s Grand Canyon.

Creation ‘scientists’ call it the “little Grand Canyon.” Everyone else calls it Step Canyon, and I don’t get the impression that it’s considered all that important.

Now, did you remember to look at the frame at 0:58? First, the walls of the canyon: That’s not rock, now, is it? It’s unconsolidated detritus from previous eruptions. Cutting through that stuff is in no way comparable to carving the Grand Canyon.

Second, this ‘little grand canyon’ goes down 2000 feet over a mile, which is rather steep – and gradients don’t scale in this way. Even if the Grand Canyon only dropped 2000 feet over forty miles, it wouldn’t behave in the same way as this little one.

Claims of any comparison are bunk. A little Grand Canyon exists, as it happens, but it ain’t this.

What’s amazing about the little Grand Canyon is that it formed quickly though a small catastrophic event.

Not really amazing, no – have the folk at the ICR never seen a mudslide, or at least its effects?

Scientists now see how larger canyons, like Grand Canyon, Could be quickly created through a massive catastrophic event, like the Global Flood of Noah’s day.

No. Again, they are not comparable. Yes, there are features that were carved by floodwaters, but the Grand Canyon is not one of them. None of them were formed by The Flood, however – in many cases it took several floods for them to be formed (see here, for example).

And that’s something to think about while you’re dodging the crowds at the Grand Canyon to get a glimpse of this magnificent monument to the power of our Creator.

Remember, while you’re at it, why this Flood apparently came about. “Magnificent” indeed…


Do you remember Dr Shorey’s planned video responses to the That’s a Fact series. Here’s his response to the first video, Measuring Billions:

Much better.

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One thought on “Step Canyon

  1. I’ve not watched the above video – but the US creationist bloggers are still posting on 18 January. I’ve just sent the following email to ICR, with the title ‘Burying the truth?’:

    http://www.icr.org/article/6598/ (see also http://www.icr.org/article/dinosaur-fossil-wasnt-supposed-be-there/)
    “One such question is why so many other animals apparently became extinct while this variety of ichthyosaurs survived. But this is only a problem if one assumes that the rock layers in question are separated by millions of years and punctuated by separate extinction events. Perhaps, instead, the local fossil-bearing rocks in England and Germany were deposited in rapid succession by tsunami-like waves associated with a global catastrophe, burying various groups of creatures in a sequence of quickly formed strata. This scenario needs no imaginative add-ons to explain why only certain species survived for “millions” of years longer than others, since the dogma of vast time doesn’t encumber it.”
    So you think a theory that is supported by reams of evidence should be abandoned because occasionally puzzling local findings are made? Is that how real science normally proceeds?

    “In 2011, workers learned of ankylosaurs, ichthyosaurs, clams, and ammonites packed in a Canadian sandstone. Those creatures originally lived nowhere near one another. What could have buried such diverse fauna together in the sand? Certainly, sea and land creatures were mixed in some catastrophe. The energy and extent of the worldwide Flood described in the Bible fits these eclectic fossil assemblages.”
    But the Bible doesn’t even mention dinosaurs – certainly not in the creation account. It only mentions animals that can be found in the Middle East – and found there within the last 5,000 years’ or so.

    I am also copying this to the Eye on the ICR blog.

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