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article imageColumbia Plateau - Canyons: Lava, Floods & Time

By photoguy     Mar 5, 2007 in Technology
The deep river canyons cut through the massive basalt lava flows of the Columbia Basin Plateau are somewhat of a geologic anomaly. Lava flows, floods, erosion and time are obvious; but when and how can only be assumed. This is my view.
I have always been fascinated by the study of geology. In the Columbia Plateau region of Eastern Washington, near my home, the massive geological formations are perhaps the most outstanding and mind boggling in comparison to other formations in the United States. I find myself gazing in awe at the massive formations and pondering the different theories of the geologists as to how it might have formed. Those theories are, of course, closely tied to the theories of evolution.
I find myself in disagreement with both the geologic explanation and the evolutionistic interpretation. I have included a website as a source for the reader’s information as background material; however, I do not propose to make direct reference to that article in this post, which is entirely my own original work, based upon my own reading, thoughts and observations.
The photograph that I have included is of the Palouse River Canyon downstream of Palouse Falls, which I have already shared ( with the readers of Digital Journal. The canyon shows the basalt layers of the intermittent lava flows and the erosion of the basalts by the river and/or the large scale floods of the region, but on somewhat smaller scale than that of the Columbia River.
I would like examine some of the assumptions made by the geologic community to explain the geologic formations. First, there were obviously huge flows of volcanic lava over a period of time resulting in layered basalt up to hundreds of feet thick. I would not dispute that. Secondly, there was obviously at least one flood or huge amounts of water that eroded the basalt layers creating deep canyons through which flow the rivers of the area.
The geologists, however, say that the flows of lava are each approximately one million years old and between each flow there was a massive flood perhaps from melting glaciers or the breach of an ice dam during or after the ice age. Possible, I guess, but I as I view the formations, I can not visualize how they could possibly of been created under that scenario.
Assumption ------- the layers of basalt are least one million years old.
How do you know that the rocks are one million years old?
The explanation: Because the earth is billions of years old, the rocks must therefore be at least one million years old. (A theory but not necesarily a fact)
How do you know the age of particular layer?
The explanation: The rock in that layer has certain fossils; therefore the rock is one million years old. Okay, if that were true, how do you know the age of the fossils?
The explanation: The fossils are one million years old, because they are located in that layer of rock. (“The Young Earth”, John D. Morris, 1996) That circular reasoning assumes that each statement is true and each is used to prove the truth of the other. To illustrate the fallacy of this reasoning, I would like to use a mathematical analogy:
…………A + B = C
…………if A = 2
…………if B = 3
…………then A + B = 5
…………therefore C = 5
Therefore it would then perhaps seem logical that “C” always equals 5. That would, however, be a simple example of circular reasoning, since if the value of “A” or “B” were to be changed to say “4”, then “C” would no longer equal 5. Or perhaps one could say that “All scientists are persons; I am a person; therefore because all scientists are persons, then I am a scientist”. Right? …..Wrong? I may be a scientist; but not by virtue of the fact that I am a person; but because I have training or experience as a scientist.
I said that I would dispute the assumption that there were many basalt flows each followed by a flood. The geologists tell us that after each lava flow that a flood eroded the deep canyons while the lava was still soft thereby creating the rivers that flow at the bottom of the canyons. Okay, that is good.
But logically, I would interject that this is not possible. On each side of the canyon (river), the rock layers match those on the other side. Based on my observation and that of the geologists that is a true statement. But logically, let’s say that there was a lava flow and a river eroded a channel through the still soft lava (or basalt). If a time period of say one million years passed, then the lava would be expected to become very hard and the process of erosion would become minimal. Then if there were a second lava flow, would the lava then flow across the canyon eroded one million years ago so that the layers on each side would match? I do not think so. The new lava would enter the canyon and flow downstream, perhaps filling the canyon, but the layers are each side would not match. One could still say that the river was able to keep up and again erode the soft lava, but still the layers would not match on each side.
My explanation is that, yes, there were numerous lava flows, and at least one flood. But, all of the layers of lava basalts would have been soft enough that the ensuing flood would have eroded all of the layers at the same time. This appears to be the only scenario that would explain the similarities between the layers on each side of the canyon. This hypothesis would be in keeping with the “Young Earth” rationale; however, I do not recall reading any other works presenting such a hypothesis. But it works for me.
This has been a very long post; and perhaps could have been, or should have been broken down into two posts. I reserve the right to expand on this post at a future time.
More about Creation, Geology, Canyon