Many students of the creation movement have noted that the publication of The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris (1961), was used by God to catalyze the modern revival of creation thinking. Up until that time, most scientists and many theologians held to some form of theistic evolution. Most had been intimidated into accepting long ages and evolution.
While liberal theologians accepted theistic evolution, recognizing the fossil record as evidence for long aeons of evolutionary progression, conservative theologians like C.I. Scofield placed these long ages and evolution in a supposed gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This world was destroyed as Satan fell from heaven. Then God recreated the same sorts of creatures in the six days of Creation Week. "Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains" (note on Genesis 1:11 in Scofield Reference Bible). Thus, the key which drove both camps was the enigma of the fossils.
The same is true today. Ask an Old-Earth advocate for evidence of long ages, and he will point to the geologic record. Ask an evolutionist for evidence of evolution and he will point to the fossils. So the question remains—what does the creationist do with the rocks and fossils? The answer—the Flood.
The Flood of Noah's day, as described in Scripture, was worldwide in scope and catastrophic in intensity, involving the breakup of great subterranean storehouses of water and other
material (i.e., "the fountains of the great deep," Genesis 7:11), and intense rainfall ("the windows of heaven"). It resulted in the death of "all that was in the dry land" (v.22) as "the mountains were covered" (v.20).
As we know from observation, floods do a great deal of geologic work. A worldwide, year-long, mountain-covering, cataclysmic flood would do unfathomable damage—eroding here, depositing here, uplifting here, and down-warping there. Many animals, primarily marine shellfish, would be buried in the sediments. The sediments themselves would evidence their cataclysmic origin and be found on a regional scale. Thus the Flood would necessarily lay down the rock and fossil record.
In the last few decades, even evolutionary geologists have grudgingly acknowledged the catastrophic nature of nearly all rock units. They have likewise acknowledged that the marine shellfish, which make up the vast majority of the fossils, are essentially identical to their modern counterparts, within the limits of variation and adaptation. The rocks themselves are now known to be continuous on a regional, sometimes continental scale, with almost all sedimentary rocks, full of marine sediments, found on the continents, not in the oceans.
*Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.