Top 5 Creationist Claims About Grand Canyon: #1 The Great Unconformity Was Caused By Noah’s Flood, Part 2

In part 1, I looked at the phenomenon of the Great Unconformity, a gap between Grand Canyon layers that spans more than a quarter of Earth’s history. Though geologists understand how unconformities like this occur, creationists have a rather different view about what formed the Great Unconformity.

Steve Austin, the dean of Grand Canyon creationist geologists, writes in the book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe:

Most creationist geologists regard the Great Unconformity as the feature formed during the tectonic and erosive catastrophe at the onset of Noah’s Flood.

Austin argues that “shallow, fast floodwaters” caused “intense scouring and erosion of the pre-Flood rocks” resulting in a “very conspicuous planar surface of erosion (‘the Great Unconformity’), believed to represent early erosion and the onset of Noah’s Flood.”

In this view, the missing rocks at the Great Unconformity came not from normal geologic processes but from the most catastrophic, most unusual event ever to befall our planet: a universal, worldwide Flood that scoured the entire surface of the Earth. Let’s take a closer look at this remarkable claim.

grand canyon's rocks

To understand what creationists claim about Grand Canyon during Noah’s Flood, we need to first understand that geologists parse Grand Canyon’s rocks into three main groups:

Short Bio

Steve Newton is a former Programs and Policy Director at NCSE.

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