David Montgomery: Noah's Flood and the Development of Geology

I’m on the lookout for quality teaching materials that are publicly available for my unaccredited college-level buffet-style ID/Creation college course.

There is really no need to re-invent the wheel when someone can lecture expertly on a topic. David Montgomery, professor of geology, does an excellent job of framing the historical development of YEC theory and geology. He gives good criticisms of YEC flood theory.

Excellent video, I highly recommend it for creationists and non-creationists to have a better understanding of how the debate is framed today and also historically. He presented the history of the debate better than ANY creationist I know!

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What debate would that be Sal? There isn’t any scientific debate at all over the fact a mythological Earth covering Flood 4500 years ago never happened. None.


It’s not a video, but you may want to consider “The Creationists” by Ronald Numbers. He did an in depth study on the history of modern creationism.


Thank you for the Numbers suggestion!

So what is your position then? He also does a good job of falsifying the common YEC claim that all of these flood legends are just tattered versions of Noah’s story. He does this by saying it is important to pay attention to the physical descriptions of events and many of the ‘flood’ legends are flood but they weren’t brought about by rains. Some describe earthquakes and then tsunamis and another the formation of a crater lake.


So what is your position then? He also does a good job of falsifying the common YEC claim that all of these flood legends are just tattered versions of Noah’s story.

I didn’t think he did a good job of falsifying the Noah’s flood explanation for the fossil record, that’s why I feel confident showing his video because the counter point will be equally difficult to deal with. He attacked a 1961 version of YEC – that’s like 58 years ago!

The YEC geology has also progressed since then, and the following 33-minute video argues from basic physics (such as rotational inertia) plus actual experiments that the strata are the result of fast processes, not slow ones.

There is are also geomorphological issues that Montgomery doesn’t deal with which YECs geologists (and there are at least 3 YEC universities with geology departments – Cedarville, Loma Linda GRI, Liberty). This is from a medical doctor at Loma Linda who is very sharp in making the arguments accessible:

They are found at multiple levels supposedly separated by millions of years of time. And, some of them even have central cores of clay arising from a layer of shale. How can a layer be preventing liquid water from getting through from underlying layers if it is itself still unconsolidated? What is so special about these areas that layer after layer of sediment retains the ability to squirt up into overlying layers? – to include those layers made out of silt as well as sand?Really now, it seems that a much easier explanation would be that the layers were in fact formed rapidly, one on top of the other, while they were all still soft. The pressure of the overlying wet sediments caused many of the underlying soft layers to squirt up all over the place through various weak points in the overlying soft sediments.

and then this:

obvious that the contact zones, between the various layers, are generally very flat and smooth relative to each other (though the layers may be tilted relative to what is currently horizontal or even warped since their original “flat” formation). Many of the layers extend over hundreds of thousands of square miles and yet their contact zones remain as smooth and parallel with each other as if sheets of glass were laid on top of one another (before they were warped). And yet, each layer is supposed to have formed over thousands if not millions of years? Wouldn’t it be logical to assume that there should be a fair amount of weathering of each of these layers over that amount of time? But this expected uneven weathering is generally lacking (see illustration).1 Just about all the layers have un-weathered or at best very rapidly weathered parallel and smooth contact zones. Long term erosion always results in uneven surfaces and this unevenness is only accentuated over time.


For this and other reasons, I find it way too hard to think this happened over millions of years. It doesn’t seem mechanically feasible at all for the millions of years explanation.

Oh my goodness. I have no idea how to engage with you on this topic as there is so much wrong in that video my jaw hit the floor. Basic physics is no friend of a global flood or a young earth that’s for sure. There’s a reason the Christian geological community started rejecting the idea hundreds of years ago.


Sal, I’ve been reading about Creationists attempts to explain the cratering on all the planetary bodies and moons in our solar system. Apparently this is a serious problem for them because the Bible is silent on the issue and thus feel forced to use uniformitarian assumptions and scientific data to determine what the Bible implies.

It boils down to two theories; one, that the cratering happened as part of the creation of these bodies on day four, literally transpiring in 24 hours, two, that cratering happened in two intervals, at creation and then a later event that actually triggers the flood and corresponds with Pre Cambrian geology.

Both are very poor attempts at explanation. How do you reconcile our solar systems history of cratering with Earth’s geology?

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I’ll watch these two vids. In all this it still comes down to the christian faith which is based on the bible as gods word. So denying creationism is denying Gods word and christianity, unless people assert clearly they do believe in Christianity but not creationism etc etc. however the world out there is getting away with attacking someones religion and using public money to do it. with no rebuttal in kind as usual.
all attention is great attention as the attrition of truth beats down the wrong side and raises the right side.

Well thanks for making space for that giant loophole!


I have thought about cratoring over the years and like the subject becauses it forces conclusions. A hole in the ground has a date.
before the fall the universe was perfect so no cratoring anywhere. no broken pieces flying about anywhere.
I don’t see the flood as related to the massive crators on our planet or others.
the crators above the k-t line, the flood line to be, are always smaller and not close to where mankind started after the flood. As expected as God wouldn’t let them land on us.
so the hugh ones are pre flood. they were filled in by flood sediment.
so it was between the fall and flood.
no people to hit.
yet i have a hypothesis. not sure but a hypothesis.
i think all the great crators, possibly, struck within days or weeks of the fall.
there is in the book of revelation there is verses about a war between Satan and gods general MICHAEL. it says a third of the stars are thrown to earth. Usually they say this is about the future but i think it was a past event in context of the verses. So in the cosmic war a third of the stars were sent towards the earth to destroy it to stop the prophecy of the one to kill the serpent and Michael etc swated them aside. however a tiny, wee nit of shrapnel got through.

Another point on these has been creationists attempts to say AHA pluto has no crators or the moons crators are on only one side IN ORDER to show fast and furious episodes of cratoring.
So not just two theories(hypothesis) but a lot of boiling.

I’m hip and know people here and in my church and by math it must be heaps of evangelical christians who are not agreeing with genesis. We are working on them.

Sal has been pushing that same video for years. Dozens if not hundreds of people have pointed out its many fatal flaws. Do you think Sal ever listened to a single word that was said to him on the topic of geology? :roll_eyes:

Thanks for the heads up. I almost started to respond about the ridiculous polystrate trees argument. It is certainly not very encouraging for me to take anyone seriously who has been corrected but still repeats the same error over and over. It’s okay to make mistakes and misunderstand things of course as I’ve seen @stcordova do in the one Cosmology thread.

The original video by Montgomery is quite good and I’d recommend it to people as well. Again it is really good research that helps demonstrate that these flood legends from around the world were definitely not caused nor have their origins in a global flood.


I think a more appropriate term than “progressed” is “evolved,” on the basis of selection, even.

I posted numerous examples of geologic features impossible to form in a one-time one year Flood just last month in the previous Geology thread involving Sal. Guess how many he and the other YECs here responded to? :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d repost them and even more examples in this thread but I’m sure they would get the same “attention” from the YECs. Then they have the chutzpah to claim they are interested in the “Da Truth”.


I do think that it is really interesting the arguments that are made from the young earth community. In the 17th and 18th centuries it became increasingly obvious that a single event could not describe the features of the earth surface… and the effects of such a flood became diminished more and more at all… Some people still proclaimed with the chutzpah you mention:

One of the most influential scriptural geologists was George Fairholme , whose masterwork New and Conclusive Physical Demonstrations Both of the Fact and Period of the Mosaic Deluge was issued in 1837. Fairholme lamented the fact that belief in a universal deluge was vanishing and that such scholars as Sedgwick and Buckland had recanted their earlier diluvialism. Despite the growing body of evidence to the contrary, Fairholme optimistically announced that evidences of a general deluge had recently assumed “the character of complete demonstration …by a mass of exclusively physical testimony.” What was this physical testimony that somehow failed to convince the geologists who were spending their lives investigating it? Undaunted by the widespread knowledge of the existence of unconformities, conglomerates, and steeply tilted strata of constant thickness, Fairholme forwarded the untenable claim that the sedimentary rocks contained no evidence of great age and were deposited rapidly and continuously in a moist state so that each individual stratum was unconsolidated when the next layer was deposited on top of it.


The Bible makes no such claim.

Moreover, what exactly does a “perfect” universe entail? How do you define “perfect” in such a context? And what scriptures can you cite to support your claim?

So you have decided that a “perfect” universe requires that “no broken pieces” fly about? How did you decide this?

Are stars made of rock and “shrapnel”? How could enormous plasma bodies be “thrown to earth” without vaporizing the earth?

What does the acronym “AHA” stand for? I’ve never seen that before.

I’ve never heard a creationist make this claim. Indeed, photographs of the far side of the moon ever since 1959 have included innumerable craters of all sizes.

I don’t understand how this alleged “boiling” relates to craters.

Is it possible that you are conflating “not agreeing with Genesis” with not agreeing with you?


There was never a reason to reject the flood etc ideas of genesis. Also I think its likely that these very few geologists in those years were already denying scripture and prejudiced against.
If the bible was Gods word then one would just think harder to give answers for a hundred questions about things. If them rejecting the flood should carry weight then why did not the acceptance of the flood before that carry weight. Its not about a few dudes but about the merits of the evidence starting with the evidence the bible is gods word.

The universe was perfect, without death, and perfect. You deny this claim of genesis then good grief.
The stars were swated away during the war. Just a few scraps got in. Why misunderst6and my point?
The whole point is about crators.??
I understand that one side had a great deal more. Now this is from my memory. It was in need of explanation I remember. However if better observation shows a equal distribution then thats okay. its a minor point and i do remember some creationists bringing it up somewhere.