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

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 059:236 (Oct 1902)
Article: Geological Confirmations Of The Noachian Deluge
Author: G. Frederick Wright


Geological Confirmations Of The Noachian Deluge1

G. Frederick Wright

According to the account of the Flood in Genesis, while it was so extensive as to need special arrangements to preserve the animals associated with man, the catastrophe was, as geologists reckon time, of short duration. Still, if we can consider the one hundred and twenty years of warning which was given to Noah as covering a period of subsidence, culminating in the final catastrophe described by the sacred writer as of a year’s duration, we should have a progress, in the main, so slow and gradual that it could scarcely be observed from year to year, though very likely producing the most wide-spread destruction of animal species which so evidently took place about the close of the glacial period; while the more rapid rise of the land, intimated in the biblical story by the short duration of the flood, would account, as we shall see, for a large class of phenomena, which we are about to describe.

But the influence of such a brief subsidence must be looked for, not in the general phenomena connected with the fossils in the ordinary rocks or with the dislocation of mountain strata, but in those superficial deposits of gravel, sand, loess, and clay which everywhere girdle the shores, border the valleys, and mantle the upland plains of the continents. To discriminate in these superficial deposits

between those which are due to the slow action of existing agencies and those which are the result of a wide-spread movement is by no means always an easy matter; yet much has been done in this direction during the last twenty-five years, with the remarkable result, that, whereas existing local causes are seen to be sufficient to account for the larger part of the erosion of gorges and river valleys and the deposition of sediment of various degrees of coarseness over broad plains, a large residuum of phenomena demands the presence of causes which have now either altogether ceased their activity, or have so diminished their force as to be inadequate for the explanation of the facts. I have perhaps been as active as any one in efforts to discriminate, in the superficial deposits in the northern part of North America and in Northwestern Europe, between those which are the direct result of the great ice invasion of the glacial period,2 and those which are the effects of local and more limited causes, and have, therefore, been strongly predisposed to attribute as much as possible to direct glacial agency, especially as it so easily accounts for the larger part of the gravel deposits over these areas which were earlier attributed to a submergenc...

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