According to Gary Parker in The Fossil Book, the geologic column represents the order in which things were buried during the flood.  He also indicates that these layers roughly correspond to habitats starting with the sea-floor in the cambrian and going through swamps and jungles on the way up. 

Now, there could be a good deal of scrambling during a catastrophic flood, but if this model is true then the Jurassic layer (for example) would represent a swampy jungle with plenty of ferns but no flowering plants.  The Cretaceous would represent a similar jungle but include flowering plants.

I like the general idea of this model, but I have a few questions.  First, what about sea animals like plesiosaurus that are found in the Cretaceous layer?  Were they just open sea animals that happened to be buried here?  Or were they really denizens of a swampy jungle?  Or does this layer represent more than one habitat?  Or is this layer arbitrarily identified by evolutionists with an agenda, and there really is no clear boundary for splitting fossils by layer?

All the evidence I have heard about fits with Parker's model, but I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts?

Tags: Fossils, column, geologic, habitats, layers

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Careful sorting and then orderly deposit is evident in some fossil layers, but others are quite jumbled and mixed.

Yes, sorting by habitat is a probable factor.

But hydraulic sorting based on fluid dynamics, weight, specific gravity might also be a factor. Like the sorting of material along a seashore, you see similar specimens pile together as if some intelligence gathered shells of a certain kind, when on the contrary the respond to the force of the water similarly, like material in a centrifuge.

I know when I throw a bunch of garbage in my sink at work and then begin to rinse it all down the drain, some particular types of garbage always lead the way and then other objects stubbornly resist being moved by the water. If I have thrown some old shrimp in the sink, then even tend to line up in a certain direction!

There is also a danger in assuming how the flood happened that it was systematic and neat and orderly in how the waters rose. But if we recall that there were multiple traumatic sources for the waters of the flood then the orderly deposition of fossils might need to be more a rare occurrence in our thinking.

So, I would think that sometimes the remains found in a particular layer would often be from multiple habitats, but likely adjacent habitats.

So, how rigid of a habitat would you think that we should consider the layers to represent?  More specificallly, triceratops is found in the Cretaceous, but not the Jurassic; Stegosaurus turns up in the Jurassic, but not the Cretaceous.  Does this indicate to us that stegosaurus didn't like flowers and rarely crossed paths with triceratops, or that stegosaurus was slower than triceratops and couldn't get away from the rising flood waters as fast?  My brother and I debate this regularly, but I am interested in other opinions.
I think the answer to David's questions is yes.
Just curiosity--what is the maximum number of layers found in one place?  I was watching an evolutionist program about "prehistoric" life, and they acted like some places have four or five layers on top of one another.  This wouldn't be a problem, because areas where sediment rested during the flood would probably attract more sediment, but it would be interesting to know. 

I think it may be a good idea to first try to account for the world “that then was” in terms of land, plant and animal distribution prior to the Global Flood.

Immediately preceding Noah’s Flood the world would have contained all the fossils in living form (they became fossils because of the Flood), dispersed throughout the land which appears to have been a single continent under a climate that in all likelihood was more or less evenly distributed around the earth.

Then suddenly WHOOSH! BANG! RUPTURE! THUNDER! etc. the “springs of the deep” are opened, torrential rain pours down and probably volcanoes erupt and earthquakes break open the ground.

Lets freeze frame this particular moment in time and try to work out who and what was where.

In general, we would expect river dependent life to be at, in or near rivers; broadleaf-eating animals to be within easy reach of such plants, arboreal life to be foraging and gambolling in the tree-tops and dinosaurs ploughing the farmer’s fields LOL. OK maybe raiding, but certainly living in the same land and era as humans. I suppose we won’t know exactly what each type of dinosaur ate or its preferred haunts in the land at that time but I think it would be safe to assume they would nearly all be in habitats that suited their lifestyle. This then is the worldwide scene, in general, just minutes after God shut Noah and his family, together with all the representative kinds of animals, in the ark.

Unfreeze frame: the moment the earth is rent apart by the gigantic and unstoppable forces that power the Global Flood, there is not only pandemonium and fear coursing throughout the entire earth but total rearrangement of ALL the earths’ constituents – rock, rivers, mountains, fauna, flora, climate – you name it, it was affected by this unimaginable catastrophe because God said (Gen 6)

6:7: ......  I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

And again (Gen6: 11-13):

 6:12: And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

6:13: And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  

This Global Flood rearranges the ENTIRE surface of the earth. So if a triceratops was sleeping in a bed of ferns at latitude 290 and longitude 140 before the deep opened up it would be at latitude 2 longitude 10 buried in so-called cretaceous rock 1 year  post flood.

I need to end here for the time being but will continue as soon as I get the chance. I hope this contributes something to this debate.

Four or five? I seem to recall that have seen photos single petrified trees cross through 8 or 10 layers! It sure looks to me like there are four or five HUNDRED layers in the Grand Canyon!

The layers do not represent ages, eons, or eras, not even years, but each layer may represent a week of the Flood year, or several layers may represent successive waves of a single tsunami over a period of a few hours. Other layers may represent week long flows of a current, while others may represent successive tidal surges.

But all of these were deposited in the Flood year, with a few exceptions of major local and possibly continental events in the few centuries following the Flood during the period of primary residual catastrophism.

If we were to be given a total number for all of the known strata, all the layers, how many would that be? I wonder too.

I was referring to the more general layers (cambrian, silurian, carboniferous, etc.) than the many layers within each group.  Of course, you are right, there are droves of individual layers of strata in each place, but I was more meaning how many of the general layers can be found on top of one another.

Jim Brenneman said:

Four or five? I seem to recall that have seen photos single petrified trees cross through 8 or 10 layers! It sure looks to me like there are four or five HUNDRED layers in the Grand Canyon!

The layers do not represent ages, eons, or eras, not even years, but each layer may represent a week of the Flood year, or several layers may represent successive waves of a single tsunami over a period of a few hours. Other layers may represent week long flows of a current, while others may represent successive tidal surges.

But all of these were deposited in the Flood year, with a few exceptions of major local and possibly continental events in the few centuries following the Flood during the period of primary residual catastrophism.

If we were to be given a total number for all of the known strata, all the layers, how many would that be? I wonder too.

It certainly contributes something.  It is important to remember that everything was buried under catastrophic circumstances, and that, although it is exciting to say "T. Rex lived here", it would be more accurate too say "T. Rex died here."  We can't really know how far everything got shifted during the flood, but I believe we can see roughly what habitat each animal preferred based on its fossilized surroundings.

Francis M Russell said:

I think it may be a good idea to first try to account for the world “that then was” in terms of land, plant and animal distribution prior to the Global Flood.

Immediately preceding Noah’s Flood the world would have contained all the fossils in living form (they became fossils because of the Flood), dispersed throughout the land which appears to have been a single continent under a climate that in all likelihood was more or less evenly distributed around the earth.

Then suddenly WHOOSH! BANG! RUPTURE! THUNDER! etc. the “springs of the deep” are opened, torrential rain pours down and probably volcanoes erupt and earthquakes break open the ground.

Lets freeze frame this particular moment in time and try to work out who and what was where.

In general, we would expect river dependent life to be at, in or near rivers; broadleaf-eating animals to be within easy reach of such plants, arboreal life to be foraging and gambolling in the tree-tops and dinosaurs ploughing the farmer’s fields LOL. OK maybe raiding, but certainly living in the same land and era as humans. I suppose we won’t know exactly what each type of dinosaur ate or its preferred haunts in the land at that time but I think it would be safe to assume they would nearly all be in habitats that suited their lifestyle. This then is the worldwide scene, in general, just minutes after God shut Noah and his family, together with all the representative kinds of animals, in the ark.

Unfreeze frame: the moment the earth is rent apart by the gigantic and unstoppable forces that power the Global Flood, there is not only pandemonium and fear coursing throughout the entire earth but total rearrangement of ALL the earths’ constituents – rock, rivers, mountains, fauna, flora, climate – you name it, it was affected by this unimaginable catastrophe because God said (Gen 6)

6:7: ......  I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

And again (Gen6: 11-13):

 6:12: And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

6:13: And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.  

This Global Flood rearranges the ENTIRE surface of the earth. So if a triceratops was sleeping in a bed of ferns at latitude 290 and longitude 140 before the deep opened up it would be at latitude 2 longitude 10 buried in so-called cretaceous rock 1 year  post flood.

I need to end here for the time being but will continue as soon as I get the chance. I hope this contributes something to this debate.

David said: It is important to remember that everything was buried under catastrophic circumstances, and that, although it is exciting to say "T. Rex lived here", it would be more accurate too say "T. Rex died here."

True dat. What miffs me without fail is when scientists report finding a fossil in a particular area, say a desert, and the fossil was of a creature associated with a forest, then they say that area “was probably once a forest”. Such assumptions are the stock in trade of evolutionists since they believe in uniformitarianism.

But, picking up from where I last left off, the Flood would have drastically changed the pre-Flood landscape and topography to the extent that when Noah and family first stepped off the ark they would hardly have recognized the earth they knew the year before.

Jim’s explanations of how the different layers formed during and after the subsidence of the Flood waters pretty much sums it up. So I believe the general sequence of layers are indicative of these subsidence patterns, though not to the exclusion of other tectonic forces. I read a very good article on evidences for a global flood, when I find it I will provide the link to it.

i think F Russell is right.

This yEC sees the breakup of a single land mass during the flood year and so mighty powerful moving water would move sediment loads wherever ot wanted.

In fact i can see whole sections or states of land being picked up and deposited on previous moved sections.

The rock strata looks exactly like what it is. Segregated flows piling on each other during the flood year and then squeezed into rock.

All one needs to imagine is great powerful flows in the water. after a initial drowning perhaps.

The continents did break up and fast.

Creationism has not, i think, seen moving water as the origin  of all strata below the k-t line.

Continental drift (or better REDEYE) showing there was once a great land mass was one of the best things to come along for creationism. It explains what happened at the flood with the land and explains the dumb configuration of land masses today.

It makes more sense God originally made a single chunk of land. 

I think that to get an understanding of the geologic column you have to look at it from at least two angles.

The first would be from a general point of view of how the Flood would have occurred and the dynamics involved on a universal level. Say you were sitting on the moon and had an outside view of the turmoil happening on the earth as first the flood waters rose with the rain lashing down and then, after the 40 day rain period came to end, of how the waters were receding during the remaining 10 or 11 months.

Of particular importance would be Gen 8:1-5 wherein (vs 1) God made a wind to blow over the earth (read waters), the abatement of the waters after 150 days (vs 3) and the continued receding of the waters until and even after the tops of the mountains were seen (vs 5).
I imagine there would in all probability be a variety of forces at work during this stage, such things as subduction, plate tectonics, mountain raising, valley deepening and non-linear pressure systems affected by varying flood depths at different points around the globe. Keep in mind that the dead and dying flora and fauna are within this water/soil/rock/vegetation matrix, swirling around within this matrix but at the same time being sorted according weight (the heavier sinking lower than the lighter), some caught within vegetation mats etc.

The second angle would be from a view within the flood itself, like cruising around in a sub and being able to go from one location to another. I envision that this view would be affected by a wide variety of conditions some of which we could not even imagine, but which nonetheless would greatly affect the layering of the various soil horizons and the deposition of the now mainly dead animals within them.

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