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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CD202:

Sandstones and shales cover large areas, larger than we observe being produced today. This is consistent with deposition by a global flood, not with uniformitarianism.


Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 102-103.


  1. Sandstones, shales and other formations often do not have uniform ages. For example, the extensive St. Peter Sandstone of central North America was deposited at different times in different locations.

  2. Shales form mostly from mud on the ocean floor, which does cover large areas. In the late Ordovician, much of North America was covered by a shallow sea. Much shale formed there over millions of years, to be exposed when the sea level lowered.

    Sands occur mostly along shorelines. When a shoreline recedes gradually, sands can be left covering a large area.

  3. A catastrophic flood would not be expected to produce such large amounts of shale and sandstone. The particle sizes in these sediments is uniform; the gravel, sand, and mud have been sorted apart into different areas. The high energies in the flood would mix everything together. At best, a flood could redeposit sands or muds that already existed, and it would take millions of years for such quantities to form.

    Furthermore, shales are sometimes found atop sandstones. A single flood could not deposit both. Even more impossible for a single flood, we also see multiple layers of sand or shale interleaved with other materials, such as volcanic ash [Nanayama et al. 2003].


  1. Nanayama, Futoshi et al., 2003. Unusually large earthquakes inferred from tsunami deposits along the Kuril trench. Nature 424: 660-663.

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created 2003-8-6, modified 2004-9-9