Carved in Stone
Timothy Clarey. 2020. Institute for Creation Research. ISBN-13: 978-1946246257
This is a welcome new book that relates geological evidence to the global Flood. The author is a professional geologist with many years of experience in the oil industry. He has compiled geological data from nearly 2,000 stratigraphic columns, including many oil cores, covering North America, South America, and Africa. The data-based discussion gives the book its strength and its major contribution to the study of Flood geology. The result is a readable, informed, and useful book presenting an interpretation of the rocks that does not assume the materialistic philosophy that restricts most modern scientists to exclusively materialistic conclusions.
The core idea of the book is based on the relationship of the biblical Flood to six megasequences identified by geologists. A megasequence is a “package” of sedimentary deposits that is bounded by major gaps both above and below the “package.” Clarey’s approach differs from the more common method based on using fossils to mark divisions of the geologic column. In other words, it builds its primary argument on the sedimentary record rather than on the fossils. Of course there is a relationship between the standard divisions of the geologic column and the megasequences, but the two systems differ in how they are divided into units. Megasequence boundaries often do not coincide exactly with the standard divisions of the geologic column. For example, the first megasequence, the Sauk, ends within the Ordovician layers, not at the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary.
The book has twenty chapters and nearly 500 pages. Each chapter begins with a short, very helpful, summary. After an introductory chapter, the next four chapters give valuable background, including rocks, description of megasequences, time, and fossils. The sixth chapter describes the theory of catastrophic plate tectonics developed by John Baumgardner. This theory is especially important to the author in developing his conclusions. The next fourteen chapters present a tentative model of the Flood, starting with catastrophic plate tectonics, and moving through each of the megasequences and analyzing their relationship to the biblical description of the Flood. The last six chapters discuss the Ice Age, speculate on the pre-Flood world, and address the issue of time in the rocks. A helpful chapter on coal and oil is included.
The book is not for carrying around in your pocket. It measures approximately 9.5 x 11 inches (237 x 280 mm) and weighs nearly five pounds. It has a multitude of illustrations and photographs and is written in accessible language, although probably best suited for readers with some college-level science background. There are a few typos, as with all books, but they do not disrupt the argument. One typo is on page 288, where the diagram should be of African rocks but instead is of South American rocks. Fortunately, other chapters have the correct figures. The lack of an index is a significant fault, but the Table of Contents provides many helpful subheadings. I found myself wishing that the author would spend less time in statements of philosophical victory, but this is only a slight distraction from the force of the large amount of data brought to bear in favor of his conclusions.
I disagree with the author’s statement on page 87 that the “behemoth” of Job 38 is “clearly a sauropod” dinosaur. If we do not know the identification of “behemoth” we cannot know it is a dinosaur. In my view, the fossil evidence strongly indicates that no dinosaurs lived after the Flood. (There are no dinosaur bones in archeological contexts, or in any sediments above the Cretaceous. Drawings are not reliable evidence, as they can distort living creatures or portray imaginary ones). Many scholars suspect the passage in Job refers to a hippopotamus, described in the language of poetic hyperbole. On the other hand, it is reasonable to suppose that the early post-Flood peoples carried with them stories of pre-Flood “monsters” such as dinosaurs, and it is possible that Job’s “behemoth” refers to a creature know only from cultural memories of the pre-Flood world. This could include a sauropod dinosaur, or some other extinct animal. It is best to be cautious in speculating on the identification of the “behemoth.”
Jim Gibson, PhD
Geoscience Research Institute