According to the record in Genesis, there was a time when the entire surface of the earth was inundated with water. This possibility has been ridiculed because of questions regarding the origin and destination of all the extra water that supposedly would have been required to accomplish this.1 But newly described fossils of marine creatures found in a rock quarry in Bermuda indicate that ancient sea levels used to be 70 feet higher than they are today, which presents a puzzle to standard geological thinking.2
Geologist Paul Hearty’s investigation a decade ago into similar sea-level signs “was met with skepticism among geologists,” but his team’s new data is even more compelling. Hearty and Smithsonian zoologist Storrs Olson, whose research appears in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, found “cobbles and marine sediments,” along with “rim cements.” These features could only exist where they were found if the sea level had been sustained at a higher elevation.3
There is little room for doubt now that sea levels have changed over time. This evidence does not fit with naturalistic theories of origins, which assume that presently observable processes were responsible for all past geologic events. Such an assumption arbitrarily omits the testimony of ancient written records, including the Bible and its account of Noah’s Flood. According to Scripture, the ancient earth was overflowed by water entirely. Thus, at some point, the sea level would have been higher than it is today.
The evidence at Bermuda can be interpreted according to either a creationist or an evolutionary viewpoint. However, the naturalistic evolutionary view must blindly guess at what could have caused the ocean to be 70 feet higher in the past, while Bible-based history relies on the eyewitness account of a world-destroying flood—a fitting place to begin an interpretation of the Bermuda marine fossils.
- It has been noted elsewhere that “if the earth's surface were completely flat,…water would cover the earth to a depth of about 8,000 feet.” (Morris, J. D. 2003. Did Noah’s Flood Cover the Himalayan Mountains? Acts & Facts. 32 (9).) More than enough water exists to account for the global Flood, and the reshaping of the earth that would have taken place during such a cataclysm is reflected in the deep oceans and high mountains that currently exist.
- Scientists Uncover a Dramatic Rise in Sea Level and Its Broad Ramifications. Smithsonian Institution press release, February 9, 2009.
- Olson, S. L., and P. J. Hearty. 2009. A sustained +21 m sea-level highstand during MIS 11 (400 ka): direct fossil and sedimentary evidence from Bermuda. Quaternary Science Reviews. 28 (3-4): 271-285.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.
Article posted on February 25, 2009.