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Relative dating principles geology

Preface for blog: The first two-thirds of this essay deals with the rock formations of the Grand Canyon – what they are, and how and when they formed.

This should be educational and understandable to readers without a science background.

The low rainfall in the region reduces vegetative cover, so the colorful rock layers remain exposed to view.

This deep gash in the earth provides a window into the geological past.

Nearly all geologists understand these layers to have been deposited over the course of hundreds of millions of years.

This essay starts with a tour of the Grand Canyon, noting evidence that shows the Canyon rocks are indeed very old.

An alternate point of view is Young Earth (YE) Creationism.

YE creationists hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible, which does not adequately take into account the intent of the Scriptures or the historical circumstances of their authorship.YE creationists are convinced on religious grounds that the earth is only about 6000 years old, and that most of the sedimentary rock layers on earth (including those in the Grand Canyon) were laid down in the Noahic Flood around 2500 B. This view, also called Flood geology, is widely influential among conservative Christians in North America.High school and college educators, especially in certain regions of the U.S., are likely to encounter students with strongly held YE beliefs. They have significant reasons behind their beliefs.Understanding these reasons can help teachers treat these students in a helpful and respectful manner.These students have been taught that their faith requires a literal interpretation of Bible passages which portray both a young earth and a world-wide deluge that reshaped the earth’s surface.Further, they have been taught that the facts of nature actually support Flood geology.There is a cadre of YE creationists with scientific credentials who publish articles which claim that mainstream science is mistaken on matters such as the age of the earth.As a window into current YE creationist thinking on the subject, we use a recent (September 11, 2010) article in WORLD magazine.WORLD is a biweekly news magazine with a Christian perspective.The author of this article, Marvin Olasky, accompanied 5 YE creationists on a rafting trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and relays their views on the geological features.

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