by Terri Kammerzell
Truth of Genesis Ministry Partner
August 24 marked the 1,941st anniversary of the world-famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, making the annual date “Vesuvius Day.” Even to date, this was one of the largest volcanic explosions in recorded history, wiping out the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. Creation scientists would argue that the actual largest volcanic eruptions happened about four millennia prior to Vesuvius, when the earth was rocked by the cataclysmic event of Noah’s Flood. We’ll discuss that a little more in a few weeks, but this week I wanted to point out the common effects of both a worldwide flood and a large single-volcano eruption, namely in the way we can learn from the sedimentary rock formed in the aftermath of each type of event.
What is sedimentary rock?
Billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.
To tell you more about sedimentary rock, I reached out to my friend Russ Miller, the Off Grid Creationist, for a short interview. Russ has lots of experience at the Grand Canyon and Grand Staircase, as he has been leading Christian-based tours since 2004 and has been teaching on the topic since 2001. He’s taken several thousand people on his tours and has even rafted the entire length of the Canyon a dozen times, including a nine-day trip with a group of ten geologists. Although nobody can really know the whole Grand Canyon, his extensive experience and biblical perspective helped clear some things up for me. I hope you will enjoy reading his answers to my questions too!
TK: How was the Grand Canyon formed?
Russ Miller: The region’s geology could be described as being convoluted. Missing layers, layers interspersed with massive lava flows, and even layers with a mix of sandstone and limestone pose a lot of questions. But considering the massive amounts of stratified sediments that have been removed, combined with the lack of evidence as to where the missing sediments have been deposited, the Global Flood from the days of Noah best explains the formation of the Grand Canyon and the Grand Staircase.
Even then, there are several viable options as to how the Canyon formed. One holds that retreating flood waters removed the missing strata, more than a mile deep in some areas, leaving behind the Grand Staircase, just prior to the formation of the Kaibab Upwarp. Then the upwarp acted as a huge earthen dam that trapped some of the late floodwaters. Later, the dam collected runoff from the Colorado Plateau until the waters it held breached the upwarp and cascaded through, eroding Grand Canyon in a matter of days. Another theory holds that retreating flood waters removed the missing mile-plus of strata from the Grand Staircase region, and as the waters began to dissipate, a water channel formed which cut into the Colorado Plateau and carved Grand Canyon through the upwarp at the end of the global flood. There are other viable hypotheses as well, and ongoing research is trying to determine which option is the most likely to have occurred.
TK: How do modern day volcanic eruptions help us understand the sedimentary rock that was the result of Noah’s Flood?
Russ Miller: For one, in volcanic eruptions and their aftermath, we’ve been able to observe several events that created finely stratified sedimentary layers in a matter of minutes. Old-earth beliefs, which have provided the foundation for Darwinism, Naturalism, Humanism, and the various compromised positions held in Christian circles today, are all based on the belief that the earth’s crustal sedimentary layers formed slowly over millions of years of time rather than quickly during the Global Flood. Thus, such a flood destroys all death-before-Adam beliefs.
Also, the radiometric dating failures on lava flows and rock, observed to have formed as a result of recent volcanic activity, bring into serious question the ancient ages assigned to the sedimentary layers via the Geologic Time Scale. This opens the door for the correct starting paradigm regarding the formation of the earth’s sedimentary layers: the Global Flood that occurred during the days of Noah.
TK: So now we understand that the majority of the Grand Canyon is made up of sedimentary rock that was laid down by waters of Noah’s Flood, but what is under the sedimentary rock?
Russ Miller: There are ten primary sedimentary layers that make up the walls of Grand Canyon and below them, in certain areas, are the Grand Canyon Super Group strata. Below the stratified layers seen in the walls of the Grand Canyon are non-stratified igneous and metamorphic rocks which include various schists and granites. For the sake of discussion, let’s focus on where the Tapeats Sandstone, the lowest of the ten primary layers, sits atop the non-stratified basement rock in the lower regions of the Canyon.
I believe the flood waters eroded sediments and that the moving waters separated those sediments by grain size, weight and density before depositing them to form the sedimentary layers that make up the crust of the earth today. Non-stratified rocks reveal where the erosional event ended, leaving behind what was there prior to the Global Flood: original creation rock.
At Grand Canyon, the Tapeats Sandstone sits atop non-stratified creation rock and reveals where creation physically met with God’s judgement. In fact, I can take you to where you can put your thumb on creation rock and your fingers on flood layers. Powerful proof in favor of the truth of God and His Word.
TK: Can you tell us a little more about your ministry?
Russ Miller: Our ministry is basically my wife, Joanna, and I. We went into fulltime creation ministry back in 2000, and since then God has allowed me to share thousands of church service messages; author five creation-oriented books, including COSΤ; write and illustrate two kids’ coloring books; develop twenty PowerPoint seminars, our Grand Canyon & Grand Staircase tours, and “Off Grid Creationist” videos; and more. I’ve shared on college campuses and at national conferences, and I’ve appeared on many worldwide Christian television programs: always encouraging people to believe the Bible—word for word and cover to cover.
Though raised in a Christian home, I strayed from God during college (I have over 170 college credits), where I was an all-division baseball player. I was on my “road to Damascus” when, at the age of thirty, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to return to Him and I started attending church again. Ten years passed, and I became a church Trustee, though still believing that God had used “millions of years leading to evolution” to develop His creation. During this time, I also spent eighteen years developing a nationwide management firm while building houses “on the side.” Then I obtained video tapes of several creation speakers and God used them to light a fire in me to study the creation-evolution issues, obtaining knowledge from creation speakers, scientists, and even the die-hard Darwinian faithful.
I felt God’s calling to do something more important than making money, and in late 2000, I gave my business to a valuable co-worker and began Creation, Evolution & Science Ministries.
TK: Thank you, Russ Miller, for taking the time to answer my questions!
If you’re looking for a way to avoid being sedentary, a visit to the Grand Canyon could be just what you need! And you could even let Russ give you an up-close tour of the sedimentary layers. Find out more at creationministries.org.
Don’t just take our word for it! Visit YouFormedMe.com/geology/sedimentary.html to read, watch, and listen to supporting research and commentary from scientists, doctors, theologians, and more!
This blog is from a special series of “Creation Fun Facts” by Terri Kammerzell, starting from June 10, 2020. Read the introduction at TruthOfGenesis.com/blogs/building-a-biblical-defense-of-creation.