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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH570:

The earth was relatively flat before the Flood. Most of the world's high mountains were formed during the Flood. This explains how all the waters in the oceans could cover all the mountains at the time. It also explains how mountains formed (from the violence accompanying the Flood) and the existence of marine fossils on mountains.


Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., pp. 127-128.


  1. This claim originated before the theory of plate tectonics existed as an explanation for mountain building. Plate tectonics, however, solved the problem in terms of relatively gradual processes we see working (and still building mountains) today. All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

  2. The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

  3. Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded.

Further Reading:

McPhee, John, 1998. Annals of the Former World. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux. (This collects four previous books by McPhee -- Basin and Range, In Suspect Terrain, Rising from the Plains, and Assembling California -- which may also be obtained separately.)
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created 2003-8-3