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UNIFORMITARIANISM AND THE FLOOD -
THE DAYS OF NOAH - PART X

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 7, 2002


"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).


CNN had this cover story on their web site on June 21:

"Flood Carved Instant Grand Canyon on Mars"
   (cnn.com, June 21, 2002).

This news report went on to say:

Washington (AP) - Water...carved an instant Grand Canyon, a valley more than a mile deep, on the surface of Mars…according to a new analysis of pictures taken by spacecraft.

"Imagine more than five times the volume of water in the Great Lakes being released in a single flood and you'll have a sense of the scale of this event," said [Ross] Irwin, the first author of a study appearing in the journal Science. The force and volume of the water was enough to carve a valley 6,900 feet deep and 550 miles long within a matter of months, he said. Irwin said the study presents more evidence that Mars, now a cold, dusty place with water existing only as buried ice, was once wetter and warmer…The water is thought to have come from precipitation, rain or snow, from a warm atmosphere. Mars now has only a very thin atmosphere.

If Mars was once so wet, where did all the water go? Irwin said nobody knows for sure, but theories suggest that some of the water was chemically split into its constituent parts, hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen could then have escaped to space. The oxygen stayed on Mars…

(Associated Press, cnn.com, June 21, 2002).

My question is this: Why do these scientists say that this happened on Mars, but could not have occurred on this planet - at the Biblical Flood? The article went on to say,

Unlike Arizona's Grand Canyon, which was carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, Ma'adim Vallis [the canyon on Mars] was made "within a matter of months, certainly less than a year," said Irwin (ibid.).

What? When presented with the same evidence as the Grand Canyon, they say that a flood did this on Mars, but it took "millions of years" for the same thing to occur on earth. They say, "Flood carved instant Grand Canyon on Mars," but it couldn't have happened in so short a time on earth! This can only be seen as prejudice against the Biblical account of the Flood. They just refuse to come to the same conclusion that this could have happened on earth - when they are given the evidence. To put it plainly, these men are prejudiced against the Bible!

They say that this gigantic canyon on Mars was carved out by a flood within a few weeks, but the Grand Canyon in Arizona took "millions of years" to be carved out. They give both of these hypotheses without testing. There can be no true testing because the conditions under which these canyons were made cannot be repeated.

I give here the scientific method, from the University of Maryland:

Based on current information scientists develop hypotheses. These hypotheses are repeatedly tested to attain greater confidence in the generalizations of the hypothesis...

So, let's summarize the steps that have led up to this point. You began, as all good scientists must, with observations. You used these observations to formulate a generalization. When a discrepancy was found between the generalization and an observation, the generalization was changed.

Eventually, after the generalizations (i.e., hypotheses) are tested, challenged, revised, retested and rechallenged (and re-revised), a THEORY is developed. This theory remains subject to debate by all who question it and can present evidence to suggest to the contrary.

It must be remembered that all good scientists must be able to abandon their generalizations when new evidence contradicts them. Further, hypotheses must be testable, or they are of no value. And testing must continue, and be altered when necessary, to conform with the evidence. The scientist's query must always be, "What is the evidence?"

(www.aquaticpath.umd.edu/fishhealth/koch.html).

Uniformitarianism is the basis of modern geology. It is "the belief that existing physical processes, acting essentially as at present, are sufficient to account for all past changes and for the present state of the…geologic…universe" (John C. Whitcomb, Th.D., and Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Flood, Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961, p. xx). Charles Lyell (1797-1875) has been called "the high priest of uniformitarianism." Lyell taught that "the present is the key to the past." He believed that "present causes solely have operated in the past, and they have always acted at the same rate" (O. D. von Engeln and Kenneth E. Caster, Geology, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952, p. 25). Thus, uniformitarianism has no room for the Flood in its theory.

Here is what is wrong with uniformitarianism. It is untestable. You can't test this theory. As the University of Maryland said:

It must be remembered that all good scientists must be able to abandon their generalizations when new evidence contradicts them. Further, hypotheses must be testable, or they are of no value. And testing must continue, and be altered when necessary (Scientific Method, ibid.).

"Hypotheses must be testable, or they are of no value," says the report. But the theory of an "instant" flood carving a gigantic canyon on Mars is not testable. The theory of a "slow" erosion causing the Grand Canyon on earth is not testable either. Since neither of these geological events can be duplicated today, neither theory is testable. The fact that modern scientists propose an instant flood on Mars and a slow erosion on earth simply shows that they use two untestable theories to prove the same results. Two great canyons are theorized to have come about in two different ways. The canyon on Mars came about, they say, through a flood, similar to the one recorded in Genesis. But, they say, the same type of canyon could not have been produced by a similar flood on earth. I say that this simply shows that they are prejudiced against the Bible!

I. They reject the Flood because they hold the theory of uniformitarianism.

Charles Lyell was a geologist who lived in the 19th century. He believed that present causes of geological change have always operated at the same rate, and in the same way, as they do today. This is called uniformitarianism. Lyell was against the idea that a catastrophe could have caused the geological formations we see on earth today. But the geologists who follow his uniformitarianism are inconsistent when they say that a catastrophe (a flood) caused that geological formation on Mars.

It is very interesting that the Bible predicts "uniformitarianism" quite clearly. Please turn to II Peter, chapter three, verse three. Here we are told that scoffers will reject the catastrophe of the Flood and embrace uniformitarianism:

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (II Peter 3:3-4).

This is a clear, plain prediction that people would come to believe what Charles Lyell taught in the 19th century about uniformitarianism: "All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

Now look at verse five:

"For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (II Peter 3:5-6).

They are "willingly ignorant" because there is plenty of geological evidence for the catastrophe of the Flood. The Grand Canyon is one of the geological evidences. There are many others. Dr. John C. Whitcomb and Dr. Henry M. Morris have given a detailed list of the geological proofs of the Flood in their landmark book, The Genesis Flood (John C. Whitcomb, Th.D., and Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1961). Anyone interested in this subject should get that book and study it carefully. Plenty of geological evidence for the Flood is given, showing that uniformitarianism is an incorrect theory.

II. They reject the Flood because they refuse to objectively evaluate
the geological evidence.

As Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Morris point out, those modern scientists who accept Lyell's theory of uniformitarianism do not correctly evaluate the geological evidence. They also do not take into account what the Bible says about the Great Flood.

Please turn to Genesis, chapter two, verse five. Before the Flood there was no rain,

"And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground" (Genesis 2:5-6).

Dr. Morris points out that there was a canopy of water enveloping the earth before the Flood

…in the form of a vast blanket of water vapor, extending far out into space, invisible and yet exerting a profound influence on terrestrial climates and living conditions. Such a "canopy" would have caused a world-wide warm, mild climate, with only minor seasonable and latitudinal differences… There would have been no rain in the form with which we are familiar, and this is exactly the testimony of Scripture (Genesis 2:5-6). (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Twilight of Evolution, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1963, p. 68).

Now turn to Genesis, chapter seven, verse eleven:

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights" (Genesis 7:11-12).

Notice verse seventeen:

"And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth" (Genesis 7:17).

Look at verse twenty:

"Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth…" (Genesis 7:20-21).

Now look at verse twenty-four:

"And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days" (Genesis 7:24).

In Genesis 7:11 we are told that the "fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." This means that great portions of water previously trapped below the crust of the earth fractured the surface until there was, as Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Morris tell us, "a gigantic catastrophe, beside which the explosion of the largest hydrogen bomb, or of hundreds of such bombs, becomes insignificant!" (The Genesis Flood, pp. 242-243).

Genesis 7:11 continues, "And the windows of heaven were opened." This indicates that the great canopy of water surrounding the earth's atmosphere came crashing down in torrents of rain. Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Morris say:

The picture then is of awesome proportions. The vast "waters above the firmament" poured forth through what are graphically represented in the Scriptures as the "floodgates of heaven," swelling the rivers and waterways and initiating the erosion and transportation of vast inland sediments. At the same time, waters and probably magmas were bursting up through the fractured foundations of the great subterranean deep (The Genesis Flood, p. 265).

The volcanic eruptions and floods of water rushed fiercely across the face of the earth, washing large deposits of fish and other organisms onto the highest mountains, carving out the Grand Canyon, and uplifting the great mountain chains.

What natural cause triggered the Flood? Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Morris say it was "possibly the passage of the earth through a meteorite swarm or the sudden extrusion of large amounts of volcanic dust into the air" (The Genesis Flood, p. 258). Wooly mammoths were entrapped in permafrost in Siberia and Alaska. The great dinosaurs were wiped out.

Dr. Whitcomb and Dr. Morris point out that the great fossil deposits are evidence of the Flood:

It is inconceivable that deposits of this sort could be really due to normal, slow autochonous processes. Unusual transportation and rapid burial are indicated…the Sicilian hippopotamus beds, the fossils of which are so extensive that they have actually been mined as a source of commercial charcoal; the great mammal beds of the Rockies; the dinosaur beds of the Black Hills and the Rockies, as well as the Gobi desert; the astounding fish beds of the Scottish Devonian strata, and on and on. To attempt to account for these vast graveyards in terms of present-day processes and events...is absolutely impossible! And yet it is in deposits such as these that most of the fossils are found on which is based much of the generally accepted uniformitarian scheme of historical geology (The Genesis Flood, pp. 160-161).

So, we conclude that the uniformitarianism of the 19th century geologist Charles Lyell is faulty, and that the Genesis Flood occurred, exactly as it is recorded in the Bible!

Why do these people reject the Flood, as revealed in Scripture and attested to by geology? The answer is given in our text. Turn back to Matthew, chapter twenty-four, verse thirty-eight:

"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).

Which brings us to the third point.

III. They reject the Flood because they are concerned
only with material things.

Christ said that the people in Noah's day were concerned only with "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" (Matthew 24:38). In other words, they were concerned only with the material things of life. They were unprepared when the judgment of God fell.

Isn't that the way most people are today? Christ said, "As the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37). Isn't that the way people are today - all around us? They are not interested in church. They are not interested in getting saved. They are only interested in partying, sex, liquor, drugs, and wild music. All they think about is making money and having fun. They give no thought to the salvation of their eternal souls.

The Bible describes them perfectly.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:1-5).

When my boys were very small they were given a book about Noah and the Flood. It had a picture in it of a line of people standing near the ark, before the Flood came. That line of people were laughing at the preaching of Noah - who warned them of the coming Flood and their need of salvation. A few days after they read that book my wife took the boys, who were then about five years old, to the bank. There in the bank was a line of people, laughing and talking. They looked just like that line of people in the book. Little Wesley raised his hand, and started preaching like Noah! He said, "No! No! You people - the Flood is coming!"

They laughed - but he was exactly right! Judgment is coming! Are you prepared? Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Christ rose from the dead, and ascended back to Heaven. He is there now, seated at the right hand of God. You must come to Christ. Your sins must be washed away by His Blood. If you do not come to Christ, you will not be prepared when judgment falls!


(END OF SERMON)


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Timothy 3:1-5.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"In Times Like These" (by Ruth Caye Jones, 1944).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

THE OUTLINE OF

UNIFORMITARIANISM AND THE FLOOD -
THE DAYS OF NOAH - PART X

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:38-39).

I.   They reject the Flood because they hold the theory of
uniformitarianism, II Peter 3:3-6.

II.  They reject the Flood because they refuse to objectively
evaluate the geological evidence, Genesis 2:5-6; 7:11-12;
Genesis 7:17,20-21,24.

III. They reject the Flood because they are concerned only with
material things, Matthew 24:38,37; II Timothy 3:1-5.