The Uniformitarian Stratigraphic Column— Shortcut or Pitfall for Creation Geology?

 In CRSQ Public Articles Unorganized

Copyright
© 2003 by Creation Research Society. All rights reserved.


The
Uniformitarian Stratigraphic Column— 


Shortcut or Pitfall for Creation Geology? 



John
K. Reed and Carl R. Froede Jr.

CRSQ Vol
40 No 2 pp 90-98 September 2003



Abstract 


The end of the twentieth century saw a substantial increase in theories
attempting to explain natural history within a Biblical framework. The
proliferation of divergent models has opened the door to healthy debate,
but suggests that more clarity in the foundational issues of natural history
would be beneficial for creationism. In the arena of stratigraphy, one
of these issues is the role of the global uniformitarian stratigraphic
column (hereafter referred to as “the column”): is it a springboard
to accelerated progress or a quagmire? If the former, then it allows for
the immediate development of mature Flood models. But we assert the inseparability
between the column and evolution, uniformitarianism, and deep time. Therefore
logic demands its separation from any Flood models. This caution is reinforced
by the careless use of the column in some creationist models. Alternative
approaches to defining stratigraphy within the Christian Worldview are
needed and that work is underway. 



Introduction


Creation science has come a long way since its modern revival with the
issuance of The Genesis Flood (Whitcomb and Morris, 1961).
Several creationist models and numerous less-integrated interpretations
have been proposed, addressing the areas of tectonics and stratigraphy
(Table I). But once the Biblical basics of Creation and the Flood are
acknowledged, creationist models and interpretations tend to diverge significantly.
This raises questions about the structure of creationist natural history
and suggests that a consensus is needed on defining the questions, even
if there is disagreement over the answers. 


Of course, the present “frontier” nature of creationist research
may be one reason for this diversity of thought. However, we believe that
another reason is the paucity of thought about fundamental questions of
natural history and stratigraphy. Investigation in this direction could
foster agreement well beyond the Biblical text. At the root of the issue
is the relationship between the limited detail provided in the Bible and
empirical data that will presumably supply that deficiency. The fit between
empirical data and Biblical truth is not simple, and the important question
of how they fit is often unexplored and cannot be answered scientifically. 


Assumptions and methods are always worth examining, and questions about
them are never closed. If uniformitarian work is to be used, how much
and what kind of modification is first needed? Do we use data only, or
data and interpretation? If interpretation, how much? How can the two
be distinguished? How do we deal with data selection forced by presuppositions
or interpretation bias? What serves as an integrating framework for natural
history models? Until sound answers to these questions are consistently
applied, we are convinced that creationist models using uniformitarian
interpretation will enjoy limited success. Why? One reason is that these
models of earth history are developed within the context of the Naturalist
worldview and are thus at odds with Christianity on many levels. We believe
there are significant differences between a radical approach of evaluating
and reinterpreting data collected, analyzed, and published over many years
by the uniformitarian establishment and introducing a “Flood explanation”
on top of an essentially uniformitarian interpretation. 


Natural history is first and foremost history. It must be undergirded
and framed by theological and philosophical justifications. Science, in
a forensic sense, plays a secondary role, and must function in a mixed
question approach (Reed, 2001). This is quite distinct from Naturalism,
where science and natural history are considered synonymous (Cleland,
2001). But creationists should understand that confidence in historical
reconstructions is quite different from that derived from experimental
science. Apart from the consideration of specific historical events described
in Genesis, creationist natural history, and the nature and role of stratigraphy
will differ in significant fashion from that practiced by Naturalism by
virtue of profound differences in presuppositions and methods. 


Thus, creationist stratigraphic models can fail by not discerning the
“interbedding” of uniformitarian interpretation with data. The
difficulty of separating the “data” from the “story”
is enhanced by their merger in current technical literature—a situation
probably related to the undue confidence Naturalists place in their historical
reconstructions. Where creationists are not diligent to distinguish between
data and interpretation, we leave ourselves open to being duped. When
we seek to use uniformitarian data, we must beware of embedded assumptions
and hidden layers of interpretation in the final presentation. It is easier
to discern between data and interpretation if we are aware of the role
of uniformitarianism as the historiographic framework of the Naturalist
worldview. 


In stratigraphy, a major issue is the use of the uniformitarian geologic
column in creationist models. We believe that creationists incorporating
the column will inevitably fail; but other creationists disagree. We propose
an objective solution. If it can be shown that the column rests, even
in its supposedly empirical aspects, on presuppositions of evolution,
uniformitarianism, and deep time, all inimical to creationism, then its
role in creationist models should be discontinued
. If empirical aspects
of the column are independent of those fundamental theological errors,
then its use can provide a significant shortcut to fruitful work by creationists.
We will examine the arguments, pro and con, for the role of the column
in creationist stratigraphy; examine issues raised by its varied application
in two creationist models, and discuss reasonable alternatives.


The Rock Record versus 
the
Geologic Column 


Before a discussion of the use of the column can be profitable, a distinction
must be drawn between the “rock record” and the “geologic
column.” Many treat them as synonyms, when in fact they are not.
“Rock record” is a descriptive term for those portions of the
earth’s crust open to human perception. Even the term carries historiographic
baggage. Embedded within is the assumption that historical truth can be
derived from examination of the rocks. Creationists and Naturalists agree
that this is possible, but the methods and conclusions differ, because
Naturalists 1) reject revelation, 2) do not manage uncertainty well, and
3) do little to distinguish between the perceptual rock record and the
conceptual geologic column. Most geologists are so accustomed to overlaying
the construct on local data, that little thought is given to its testing.
It is simply applied. 


However, the geologic column is more than just a descriptive compilation;
it is an idealized representation of the crust as it would be absent erosion
and nondeposition. It includes a historical framework not found in the
physical description of the rocks themselves; a definite, linear historical
sequence, absolute ages, tectonic history, paleoenvironmental interpretation,
and even an account of geomagnetic fluctuations through time. The distinction
between the rock record and the column is crucial for creationists parsing
the uniformitarian literature. Any statement that contains historical
propositions is by definition interpretive to some degree (Reed, 2001). 


The Role of Stratigraphy 


The definition of stratigraphy reads as follows: 


The science of rock strata. It is concerned not only with the original
succession and age relations of rock strata but also with their form,
distribution, lithologic composition [lithostratigraphy], fossil
content [biostratigraphy], geophysical and geochemical properties
– indeed, with all characters and attributes of rock as strata; and
their interpretation in terms of environment or mode of origin, and geologic
history (Bates and Jackson, 1987, p. 649). [Brackets added] 


The definition of lithostratigraphy reads as follows: 


The element of stratigraphy that deals with the lithology of strata and
with their organization into units based on lithologic character (Bates
and Jackson, 1987, p. 385).


However, lithostratigraphy depends on the assumption of superposition
(i.e., one layer stacked over another) and continuity to define age relations
between strata. Recent work has shown that even those assumptions can
be questioned empirically (Berthault, 2000). Lithostratigraphy cannot
provide accurate or widespread age relations between rocks. The definition
of biostratigraphy reads as follows: 


Stratigraphy based on the paleontologic aspects of rocks, or stratigraphy
with paleontologic methods; specif. the separation and differentiation
of rock units on the basis of the description and study of the fossils
they contain (Bates and Jackson, 1987, p. 71). 


Biostratigraphy simply follows the evolutionary model, which assumes that
fossils were not transported great distances and that the sediment which
encloses them is of the same age as the fossil. Neither of these assumptions
is likely in any Flood model. Conventional biostratigraphy would argue
that a comparison of similar clam fossils in the southeastern United States
with those found in Great Britain would require both similar paleoenvironment
and age. But outside of evolution, there is no meaningful way, in the
context of the Flood, for fossil comparisons to provide global correlative
ages.  


The incompatibility of conventional stratigraphy with any Flood scenario
and the necessary distinction between the rock record and the geologic
column illustrate the extent to which modern stratigraphy requires reevaluation.
Klevberg (1999; 2000a) provided a good introduction to both philosophical
and scientific challenges facing creationist stratigraphy. Since stratigraphy
is at the heart of modern natural history, it will be difficult to replace
stratigraphy without rebuilding most of natural history. If creationist
answers to these basic issues force interpretation sharply away from present
uniformitarian dogma on a broad front, then we must accept that and move
forward into the uncharted territory of a comprehensive and self-consistent
creationist stratigraphy. But not everyone agrees with this assessment. 


Adopt Portions of the Column: Pro 


Following a meeting held at Bolney House, Sussex, England in August 1996,
several young-earth geoscientists issued a statement outlining their position
regarding the use of the global uniformitarian stratigraphic column in
natural history (Snelling, Ernst, Scheven, Austin, Wise, Garner, Garton,
and Tyler, 1996). The group stated that while the entire construct of
the column was unacceptable, portions could be extracted (specifically
the biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic components) to provide a ready-made
framework for natural history models in creationism. They asserted that
the column was an empirical compendium of outcrops and subsurface data
and that its time periods could be transposed in the same sequence to
form a creationist framework. Obviously the absolute time scale would
be dramatically compressed. 


Publication of this position postdates its application. It reflects the
position of work conducted in the Grand Canyon (Austin, 1994) and the
Eastern Mojave Desert (Austin and Wise, 1994). The biostratigraphic and
lithostratigraphic portions of the uniformitarian stratigraphic column
were used to define the Flood/pre-Flood boundary. Other creationists have
also followed the general framework of the uniformitarian column in an
effort to adopt their concepts of the Flood to the global stratigraphic
construct (e.g., Holt, 1996; Morris, 1996). 


Several individuals from the Bolney House group presented their stratigraphic
concepts using the bio- and lithostratigraphic portions of the column
in a special symposium of the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal
(Garner, 1996a, 1996b; Garton, 1996; Robinson, 1996; Snelling, 1997; Tyler,
1996). Their adoption of the column coincided with a desire to drive “golden
spikes” at the pre- and post-Flood boundaries. However, to preserve
the integrity of the “stripped down” column, they had to invoke
multiple global catastrophes apart from the Flood to explain the various
“Periods” and “Eras” that did not fit the traditional
understanding of the Flood having caused most of the rock record. 


Use of the column as a creationist stratigraphic framework was advocated
by this group because: 1) it supposedly represents an empirically-derived
ideal relative age scale of crustal lithology, 2) it allows the global
correlation of strata, and 3) it provides a tremendous shortcut to deriving
creationist alternatives based on exhaustive local studies and subsequent
integration. Given the size of the creationist geological community, taking
leaps forward instead of small steps appears as an attractive alternative
to the work involved otherwise. But is it a leap forward or back? 


Adopt Portions of the Column: Con 


Following the special Flood/post-Flood symposium and the Bolney House
statement, several articles were presented by individuals who opposed
using the column to define Flood geology (Oard, 1996; Woodmorappe, 1996,
1999a; Froede, 1997). Woodmorappe’s contribution must be seen in
the context of his earlier work (Woodmorappe, 1981) arguing against the
existence of the column at all (an argument that remains compelling in
our opinion). 


The spate of publications discussing the placement of pre-Flood and post-Flood
stratigraphic boundaries in the new, compressed “creationist”
column sparked a negative test of its effectiveness in defining a Flood/post-Flood
boundary in the Gulf of Mexico Basin (Froede and Reed, 1999). After testing
several proposed boundaries in the column, we determined that none appeared
appropriate, and further concluded the failure to identify any
feasible boundary (coinciding isochronally with the column) suggested
that the adoption of the column was itself the problem. Tyler and Garner
(2000) protested that conclusion, but we reiterated that the column did
not aid Flood interpretation of the Gulf of Mexico geology (Reed and Froede,
2000). We leave it to the interested reader to draw his own conclusions
from our work and subsequent comment. 


That exchange is relevant because it raised several key arguments against
the use of the column in creationist stratigraphy. These can be summarized
as: 1) evolution is a necessary condition of the column, 2) uniformitarianism
is a foundation of the column, and 3) absolute time compression is not
as simple as it first appears, and does not resolve the differences between
the old-earth and young-earth frameworks. 


The relationship between evolution and the column is stated unambiguously
by the North American Stratigraphic Code. The code states (1983, p. 849):
 


Biologic remains contained in, or forming, strata are uniquely important
in stratigraphic practice. First, they provide the means of defining and
recognizing material units based on fossil content (biostratigraphic units).
Second, the irreversibility of organic evolution makes it possible to
partition enclosing strata temporally. Third, biologic remains provide
important data for the reconstruction of ancient environments of deposition. 


Stephen Jay Gould (1997, pp. 157–158) expanded on the problem addressed
by the writers of the stratigraphic code: 


A chronometer of history has one, and only one, rigid requirement—something
must be found that changes in a recognizable and irreversible way through
time, so that each historical moment bears a distinctive signature. Geologists
have long appreciated this principle in the abstract, but had not found
a workable criterion… Moreover, rocks are simple physical objects
formed by chemical laws and, as such, do not bear distinctive temporal
signatures. Quartz is quartz—conjoined tetrahedra with a silicon
ion in the center, surrounded by four oxygen ions, each shared with a
neighboring tetrahedron. So it was in the beginning and is now, and ever
shall be so long as nature’s laws prevail. Cambrian quartz is not
different from Pleistocene quartz. 


But life is complex enough to change through a series of unrepeated states.
Today we attribute this irreversible sequence to the workings of evolution…

[emphasis added] 


The essence of natural history, captured by the column, is the working
of evolution that provides a strand to follow events inferred from the
rock record. Although some argue that Darwin’s publication of his
theory of evolution postdates the geologic column, it is clear that evolution
has a much longer history (Morris, 2000), especially in the Enlightenment
context that produced its 19th Century proponents. For example, Diderot
(1713–1784), the influential French thinker, accepted “Transformism,”
and Lamarck (1744–1829) heavily influenced Lyell (Barzun, 2000).
Gould (1997) also admits that 19th century geology, dominated by the views
of Hutton and Lyell, included biologic views of progress, common when
Lyell published his Principles between 1830 and 1833. So
evolution is part and parcel of the column. 


Evolution directs the erecting of the walls, but the foundation is uniformitarianism.
The assumption that the rock record represents a global, time-correlative,
representative snapshot of natural history demands it. Otherwise, global
correlation of “same age” rocks would be impossible, since different
depositional processes are expected to exist at the same time at different
places around the globe. Uniformitarianism’s necessity is clearly
seen in the assumption that ancient environments of deposition can be
reconstructed using modern analogs. Since we understand uniformitarianism
to be the historiographic presupposition of Naturalism (Reed, 2001), it
is only proper to consider it in opposition to a Biblical understanding
of history. The later part of the 20th Century saw the victory of a new,
“dilute” version of uniformitarianism, quite different from
Lyell’s original. Although the new version allows more flexibility
in interpreting depositional environments and processes, it only does
so at a hidden price. Consider that uniformitarians universally acknowledge
the absence of the vast majority of the rock record. With so much of the
empirical evidence gone, logic demands an inversely strict uniformitarianism
to further restrict uncertainty and provide some confidence in historical
interpretation. 


The claim that the column can be “fixed” by shrinking the absolute
time scale is quite attractive, and that attraction may help mask the
complexities of doing so. It is thought that the only modification needed
is a “simple” compression of the absolute time scale from 4,500,000,000
years to less than 10,000 years. But is this change quite so simple? If
I take a new car and run it through a hydraulic press I can compress it.
It may then be a car and it may be compressed, but will it work? Compressing
the timescale of the geologic column is not as simple as it might appear
because the time-rock-environment interpretative framework is designed
for uniformitarian depositional conditions. Thus, the issue is
not time per se, but the mode of deposition (uniformitarianism
versus catastrophism) and preservation (evolution versus extinction). 


Because of these different modes (i.e., catastrophism vs. uniformitarianism),
the proposed time compression cannot be uniform. There can be no one-to-one
correlation of X million years on the column to X thousand years on its
creationist analog. There is no correspondence between the vast majority
of the rock record being deposited by processes operating today over incredibly
vast periods of time, and a much shorter “uniform” history punctuated
by a one-year catastrophe. In the former, there is uniformity in the processes
producing the rock record; in the latter there is not. 


So, as we argued earlier (Reed et al., 1996), time is not even an appropriate
integrating factor in Flood stratigraphy at all. Consider; the mass of
the rock record was deposited rapidly and probably at varying rates in
different locations. How then can strata be considered globally correlative
in a time-stratigraphic sense? Diachronous sedimentation, not a problem
when the time scale is in millions of years, is a tremendous challenge
for Flood geologists intent on a time-stratigraphic interpretation. Instead
of trying to parse hours and days of depositional processes in a Flood
setting, we advocate the abandonment of time as the heart of stratigraphy.
We believe that depositional processes and their relative energy levels
are a better key to interpretation. However, we recognize that other factors
may be equally valid or even superior, and that question is worthy of
further debate among creationists. 


In spite of these difficulties, the willingness of young-earth creationists
to utilize the column in their models remains undiminished. If the arguments
in favor of the column are demonstrated to be superior, then those models
can proceed to be tested in other ways. However, if not, then the models
will have been proven to have failed at their points of contact with the
column even prior to other tests. 


Models Incorporating the Column 


Two models, the recently-introduced Creation/Curse/Catastrophe (CCC) model
and the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) model, demonstrate pitfalls
in creationists’ use of the column. CPT has been extant since at
least 1994, but has been the focus of a recent dialogue in the Creation
Ex Nihilo Technical Journal
. In contrast to the efforts of the Bolney
House Group, neither model appears to have carefully considered their
adoption of the column. The CCC model eviscerates its essential time-stratigraphic
function, while keeping the shell, presumably for its reputation as an
interpretive framework. The CPT model relies on the column to justify
lines of evidence borrowed from its uniformitarian parent without carefully
identifying or sorting those aspects of the column and evidences for plate
tectonics that are derived from and upheld by uniformitarian interpretation.
Neither model addresses the evolutionary and uniformitarian links in the
column, nor do they present arguments demonstrating how the column can
be used in a creationist framework.
 


The Creation/Curse/Catastrophe Model 


The CCC model (Gentet, 2000a; 2000b) proposes that most of the geologic
record is a result of extra-Flood catastrophes associated with the divine
curse of Genesis 3. The model appears to accept the column as a framework
of correlation and description of the global rock record, but closer evaluation
reveals that the essential time-stratigraphic structure of the column
has been overturned in favor of a paleoenvironmental interpretation. Instead
of the geologic periods representing time-stratigraphic divisions, the
Phanerozoic eras are said to represent preserved distinct ecosystems,
resulting from the work of the 3rd, 5th, and 6th days of creation. 


The introduction of this model has raised many questions (Akridge, 2000a;
Froede, 2000a; Klevberg, 2000b; Reed, 2000a; Woodmorappe, 2000). An issue
common to all was the curiosity over the sudden disappearance of the Flood
from “Flood geology.” Gentet’s reply (2000b) and subsequent
letters by supporters (Aufdemberge, 2001; Lain, 2001) failed to address
this revolutionary change. Critics likened the CCC model to the “tranquil
Flood” theory, not because it explicitly advocated a tranquil Flood,
but because the contention that the Flood would not have left significant
geologic evidence above and beyond an erosion surface seemed identical
in terms of field investigation. The continuity of the “creation
ecosystems” before and after the Flood also needs to be reconciled
with textural evidence regarding the alteration of the earth’s surface
by the destructive power of the Flood (Genesis 6:13, II Peter 3:6). 


Although the CCC model is correct in its insistence on an explicit Biblical
foundation, we believe that it employs improper exegesis and goes well
beyond the bounds of the Biblical text. We find no textural reason for
assuming that the curse of Genesis 3, with specific penalties described
in that chapter, provides a basis for global natural catastrophes prior
to the Flood. We invite Biblical scholars and theologians to carefully
examine these aspects and publish their findings in the Quarterly


However, our immediate interest with CCC model is its unique utilization
of the column. It is interesting that the CCC model abandons the fundamental
time-stratigraphic nature of the column without seriously questioning
its relationship to evolution, uniformitarianism, and deep time. It simply
seems to automatically assume that the column accurately captures a rock
record that accurately reflects the three paleoenvironments (Paleozoic,
Mesozoic, and Cenozoic) buried before the global Flood, but neglects
to discuss why there is any need to retain any of the column after
jettisoning its basic structure. Uniformitarian geoscientists clearly
understand the limited nature of the column in accurately defining past
paleoenvironments (Ager, 1993a; 1993b; Braunstein, 1974; Hallam, 1981;
Reading, 1996; Selley, 1985; Walker and James, 1992). It is puzzling that
the advocates of the CCC model do not see this conflict. We hope that
further explanation of the handling of the column in the CCC model will
be forthcoming. 


The Catastrophic Plate Tectonic Model 


Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (Austin et al., 1994) grew out of discussions
about the role of plate tectonic theory in creation geology. The central
concept of runaway subduction and subsequent accelerated plate motion
arose from computer modeling studies (Baumgardner, 1986, 1990, 1994a,
1994b). It was deemed that a simple time compression (similar to the modification
of the column) was sufficient to allow CPT to piggyback onto the evidence
for its uniformitarian parent (Snelling, 1995). Questions about this arrangement
were raised (Reed et al., 1996; Reed, 2000c), but have been ignored until
a dialog sponsored by the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal
(TJ Editors, 2002; Oard, 2002a; 2002b; 2002c; Baumgardner, 2002a; 2002b;
2002c). Many issues related to both catastrophic and uniformitarian plate
tectonics were discussed, but the issue that attracts our attention here
is the manner in which CPT utilizes the column. It illustrates concerns
mentioned earlier about distinguishing between data and interpretation. 


CPT relies on the column to validate interpretations that are in
turn presented as data. For example, Baumgardner (2002) states that the
regularly decreasing age of the seafloor from the midocean ridges to the
continents is a key piece of evidence for CPT. However, the conclusion
of this age distribution rests in part on the application of the column
and its dating scheme to seafloor sediments. Baumgardner (2002) applies
relative dating comparisons based on microfossil assemblages. But these
assemblages are assigned their relative ages based on their evolutionary
succession! 


Plate tectonic theory illustrates why the “simple” compression
of the absolute time scale of the column does not resolve problems in
migrating from an old-earth uniformitarian framework to a young-earth
catastrophic alternative. One problem is the inability to resolve even
the relative timing of uniformitarian plate tectonic events with
the sequence demanded by the Genesis Flood. For example, uniformitarian
plate tectonics is an ongoing process with repeated continental
joining and separation (Froede, 2000b; Hoffman, 1988; Rogers, 1996; Windley,
1993). CPT appears to include only one catastrophic episode of plate motion
and subduction, followed by quiescence (Baumgardner, 2002a; 2002b; 2002c). 


Alternate Approaches to

Creationist
Stratigraphy 


While the desire to incorporate the column into creationist stratigraphy
is present, the necessity is not. Creationists have proposed other stratigraphic
approaches. An early, exhaustive evaluation of the distribution of fossils
by Woodmorappe (1983) led to the development of his “TAB” model—TAB
standing for “tectonically-associated biological provinces.”
In 1994, Walker presented a stratigraphic model at the Third International
Creation Conference. His model proposed a framework for defining strata
on a timeline extracted from the Bible. He applied his model at locations
in Australia (1996a; 1996b) and New Zealand (2001). Froede (1995) published
a similar timescale, based on events described in Genesis and Job. This
timescale was used for comparison in an evaluation of the column in the
Gulf of Mexico basin (1999). Reed, Froede, and Bennett (1996) advocated
geologic energy as the integrating factor in creationist stratigraphy. 


Theoretical alternatives have been complemented by field studies that
have ignored the column. Akridge (1998; 2000b) and Akridge and Froede
(2000) described and interpreted strata found in the area around Lookout
Mountain (NE Alabama-NW Georgia border) with reference to the Genesis
Flood without relying on the column. Interpretation outside the column
was also applied to gravel deposits found in Montana and sections of Canada
(Klevberg, 1998; Klevberg and Oard, 1998; Oard and Klevberg, 1998). Reed
(2000b) described and interpreted strata associated with the North American
Midcontinent Rift System with respect to depositional energy levels rather
than the column. Reed (2002) applied the same method at the Palo Duro
Basin, Texas.  


Conclusion 


The uniformitarian stratigraphic column encapsulates the modern geologic
interpretation of the earth’s crust. Unfortunately, that interpretation
includes the rejection of the Christian worldview in favor of Naturalism—a
worldview that replaces a reality founded on God’s Creation and governance
of the universe with an impersonal, uncaring mechanism. It also substitutes
Christianity’s confidence in a truth granted by God’s revelation
with an unstable positivism that succeeds only when it pilfers Christian
doctrine. Finally, it sterilizes a meaningful and rich history, substituting
a timeframe designed to dismiss the immanent presence of the Creator,
and fills its endless ages with pseudo-scientific “just-so”
stories. When we consider the vast chasm that lies between Naturalism
and Christianity, we do not see how creationists can escape the necessity
of razing that worldview until no two stones are left standing, and then
rebuilding natural history and its derivative stratigraphy from the ground
up. 


Creationist proponents of adopting the stratigraphic column believe that
they are simply incorporating an empirical construct without any stain
of Naturalism. We are confident that they decry any influence of Naturalism
in creationism and gladly eschew its tenets. However, we fear that they
are missing connections between the column and that worldview and we challenge
them to examine more closely the assumptions, methods, and conclusions
that surround the column. We hope that they come to see the difference
between the perceptual and conceptual. If it quacks like a duck… 


Acknowledgments 


We thank our spouses for allowing us the time and opportunity to research
and write this article. We also thank Dr. Emmett Williams and Mr. Jerry
Akridge for their helpful comments. Any mistakes that remain are our own.
Glory to God in the highest! (Prov. 3:5–6). 


References 


CRSQ:
Creation Research Society Quarterly 


CENTJ: Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 


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___. 1993b. The new catastrophism: The importance of the rare
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   .. 2000a. CCC issues. CRSQ 37:202-203. 


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