Bible or Geology?
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One of the themes I keep returning to here is the issue of the biblical flood and the Grand Canyon. Late last month, on my most recent trip to the Canyon, I took in a geology talk by one of the park rangers at the North Rim.
The ranger arrived a few minutes early and invited questions prior to her talk. The first question was from someone who wanted to know if she dealt with the creationist view on the canyon.
The ranger took the question in stride. She replied that this was a geology talk, geology is a science, and as such, she would be presenting only the scientific view on the formation of the Grand Canyon. If someone wanted to know the creationist view, there was a book available in the bookstore. Also, there were many different native North American myths on the formation of the Canyon which she would not be discussing either. This talk was intended to present the geological perspective.
The answer served the purpose of closing discussion on the issue, and a good presentation on the geology of the canyon followed. I noticed that the companion of the questioner was wearing a prominent "Jesus is the Answer" logo on her shirt, and sat through the presentation with a scowl on her face.
An understanding of the geology of the Grand Canyon does provide the answer of how the canyon was formed. Jesus does not give the answer, the bible does not give the answer, science gives the answer.
A few days later, taking an easy day to recover from the North Rim to South Rim hike, I was driving to Page, Arizona and I saw a sign "Horseshoe Bend Overlook" and decided to check it out. I was not sure what I was going to see, but it was only supposed to be a 1 1/2 mile return hike to the overlook. So I parked, and headed up the trail and over a small hill where you get a first glimpse of the bend.
From a distance, it is not all that impressive. You can see that the Colorado River has cut a twisting path through the plain. But the depth of the canyon and how dramatic the bend is does not stand out.
However, when you get to the edge of the canyon and see the route the river has taken, it presents a real "WOW" factor.
(click for a larger image - 1000 x 669)
1,100 feet below your feet, the Colorado River makes a complete U-turn and a little more as it wends its way around Horseshoe Bend on the route from Glen Canyon to the Grand Canyon.
Just look at the path of the river. Which is more believable?
- this remarkable deviation from a straight path was carved in a few months by a huge volume of water, remnants of a global flood, rushing to the sea; or
- this remarkable deviation from a straight path was carved over hundreds of thousands of years by a meandering river which got locked in its path when it reached stone.
The answer is obvious.