It was in the early 1920s that J Harland Bretz began examining all the canyons of eastern and central Washington's Scablands trying to understand the geological forces that created such a scarred landscape.(The area is called "scablands" because it looks like the land sustained great injury.) He came to the conclusion that the canyons like the one above (Palouse Canyon) were formed rapidly by a monstrous flood. Yet, he did not know were the water came from. He presented his highly documented evidence to the U.S. Geological Society only to be flatly rejected. He was instructed to go back and check his data. After all, modern geology knows that it takes millions of years to cut these canyons. The reason his peers rejected his theories can be summed up in their response to him, "What you are proposing sounds too much like a biblical flood." It wasn't until the 1960's and the completion of aerial photography that Bretz' theory was authenticated. Apologies were made but Bretz was bitter. He'd put up with rejection and ridicule by his peers for 40 years. He had performed solid geological surveys and presented solid evidence only to be rejected over and over again.
The truth comes out... it was a gigantic flood!
Thanks to the hard work of J Harland Bretz, we now understand that the canyons of eastern and central Washington and Oregon were formed rapidly by the Lake Missoula Flood. During the Ice Age, a 20 mile wide finger of glacier blocked off the Clark Fork of the Columbia River near Sandpoint, Idaho. The water backed up creating a huge lake that filled the river drainage to almost 1000 feet above the present location of Missoula, Montana. The water volume impounded was greater than the collective volume found today in lakes Erie and Ontario.
Here is what happened next:
Over time the lake became deeper (each year with the spring rains and ice melt accumulated ) resulting in great water pressure at the ice dam. This in turn caused small streams of water to began working through the 20 miles of ice. Eventually these streams began to leak on the back side of the ice dam. The water flow caused friction that melted the stream pathway through the glacier. This lead to a cataclysmic failure of the glacial dam. As the glacier exploded under the massive pressure of the lake behind the dam an 800 foot wall of water surged across central Washington scouring out the canyons like the one above in a matter of 3 to 5 days.
Today, people in Missoula, Montana can regularly see evidence of Bretz' flood. After a light snow, viewers may look up upon Mount Sentinel and observe the horizontal erosion lines from Lake Missoula lapping against the mountainside and then raising the next year.
At the 1923 U.S. Geological Society meeting when Bretz first presented his idea, yet was unable to explain where the water came from, a fellow geologist was reported to have leaned over and whispered to the person next to him, "I think I know where Bretz' water came from. This geologist had discovered the water ripples that are seen in the video below. These are like the sand ripples that you see in a clear flowing stream. The ripples that J. D. Pardee discovered in Camas Prairie, MT were over 30 feet high. Watch the video below to see just how big these ripples are. This film is taken flying at over 40 mph. The field is at least 4 miles long. The ripples extend high up on the mountain.
Check out this video of the miles of ripples left behind as Lake Missoula rapidly drained after the glacial ice dam burst
In this video, which was taken just to the left (east) of the ripple field (above), you can see the lake lap lines like those on the mountain above Missoula, MT
How many years did it take to create that canyon? You now know the rest of the story... The correct story. It took 3 days! We, at IBA, contend that canyon development can be better explained by catastrophic events as demonstrated by the Lake Missoula Flood!
This leaves us with a few follow up questions:
Why is it that Bretz' peers rejected his theory out right in spite of the evidence?
Why did his peers site "a biblical flood?"
The answer is quite simple:
There was a clear prejudice against any theories that would authenticate a biblical flood and give credence to a young earth.
It is no different today:
If you answered the question above with millions of years rather than a week you have been taught the same paradigm. That paradigm proved wrong in explaining the origins of the Washington Scablands. The issue between a creationist and an evolutionist is not the data; it is the paradigm used to interpret the data. The geologists of Bretz' day would not allow a paradigm that would evoke rapid processes because that would give credence to the creationists. In the fields of medicine and biology this is even more extreme. The evidence of biochemistry overwhelmingly demands an intelligent creator. The information in the DNA molecule of every one of your cells literally contains thousands of volumes of information that has been nano - recorded in a manner that is way beyond anything that our modern technology has produced. Yet, our textbooks unashamedly proclaim it happened by time and chance. The same textbooks are unable to give us any reasonable explanation as to how this remarkable information (that is required to make you) made itself.
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The Bible speaks of a worldwide flood in Noah's day that is responsible for much of the geology that we see today. A flood of that magnitude would leave behind massive evidence. To quote Ken Ham...We would expect to find "billions and billions of dead things found in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth."
Paradigm: a pattern or standard. In the case above, the paradigm of evolution demands extensive ages to allow for the imagined random chance of life to begin. Deep time (Millions of years) is assumed when interpreting geologic field data. Thus, when Bretz published conclusions that were outside the expectation of millions of years (to produce that canyon), it was rejected. His conclusions did not fit the pattern, the paradigm.
Billions and billions of dead things found in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth!
This is one strong piece of evidence that most of the sedimentary rock layers we find worldwide are not old. They were deposited rapidly in a massive catastrophe (the flood of Noah). This implies that the earth does not have millions of years of history... but only thousands of years. Evolution could not have occurred in such a short period of time. Bluntly stated: If the sedimentary rock layers are primarily from Noah's flood, then the earth is not proven to be very old. Huge age is needed for evolution. Without age, evolution is absolutely disproved. Everything is at stake. And the geologists of J.Harland Bretz' day understood what was at stake and they discredited his work for his entire professional career.
We suggest that Bretz, who was not in any way a creationist, was following the data where it logically took him. He discovered deep canyons that were formed in days. The Lake Missoula Flood of the Ice Age gives us a miniature model of what would have happened when water is flooding the earth. He was resisted because his conclusions suggested something other than millions of years. The data took him to the paradigm of rapid geological change. When this paradigm is applied to the general data found around the earth it suddenly becomes clear that modern Geology has been forcing the data (rock layers with a lot of fossils in them) into the millions-of-years-box. In reality, the data fits a worldwide flood much better.
We further challenge everyone with this assertion: When you see sedimentary rock layers like those found in the Grand Canyon, think of a massive worldwide flood lasting one year rather than millions of years. Then think: Wow, this is exactly what I would expect to find if the Bible was right.
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