Geological Confirmations Of The Noachian Deluge -- By: G. Frederick Wright

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 059:235 (Jul 1902)
Article: Geological Confirmations Of The Noachian Deluge
Author: G. Frederick Wright

Geological Confirmations Of The Noachian Deluge1

G. Frederick Wright

Its Scientific Credibility

The main evidence of the Noachian Deluge must always be historical; but it is the prerogative of science to consider the degree of its intrinsic credibility, and so to remove unwarranted prejudicial bias. With this in view, in the present article we will limit ourselves to facts bearing upon the reasonable credibility of the supposition, that, since man came into the world, there may have been changes of land level of sufficient extent and rapidity to destroy the human race, and fairly to meet the demands of the biblical narrative when properly interpreted. The adequate discussion of this point calls for a somewhat comprehensive survey of geological theories relating to the general stability of land levels, and of the causes of the extensive changes of level which all admit to have taken place. The first of these has to do with the general question of uniformity in the action of geological forces. It will be in place, therefore, at the outset, to adduce the considerations which emphasize the fact that

Geological Forces Are Far From Being Uniform In Their Activity

Geologists may be roughly divided into three classes,— Catastrophists, Uniformitarians, and Evolutionists. The Catastrophists hold that nearly all the changes in the

earth’s surface have taken place with great rapidity. In their view, the species which succeed each other in the geological strata were, each and all, fresh creations. At each geological epoch, according to the Catastrophists, the board was swept clean, and a new record spread upon its surface. The mountains were upheaved by a single stroke of divine power, and the foundations of the great deep were broken up with equal suddenness. A hundred years ago the Catastrophists held the field against all opponents. Indeed, their theories were scarcely questioned by anybody.

But, largely through the influence of Sir Charles Lyell, in the publication of his “Principles of Geology” in 1830, the Catastrophists were in due time almost entirely superseded by the Uniformitarians. These hold that the present is a perfect measure of the past,—that all the vast geological changes to which the earth’s crust bears witness, were effected by the slow processes which are now going on. With this view, the Uniformitarians felt free, and were indeed compelled, to make unlimited drafts upon the bank of time, and allot hundreds of millions of years to a single geologic period, as though eternity alone limited the history of the earth’s changes. In one of Darwin’s famous calculations, three hundred and si...

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