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Flood Carves a Channel Through Uniformitarian Ideas

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Most of us have been pressed by geologic literature, park rangers, or cave tour guides to believe that today’s prominent geological features such as caves and canyons are the result of millions of years of slow, uniform processes. The tale is spun that millions of years of slight modifications have brought about the amazing features that dot the geological landscape. The problem with these deep-time scenarios (millions and billions of years) is that they are simply false. There never have been millions of years of uniform geological processes slowly and gradually carving out rock canyons and caves. Instead of these imaginary years of uniformitarian processes, modern catastrophes give us an excellent look into how things actually happened.

In June 2010, John Matson wrote an article for the Scientific American Web site in which he reported about a huge catastrophic flood in Texas that occurred in 2002. Matson noted: “At Canyon Lake, a reservoir north of San Antonio, water rushed over the dam’s spillway, pouring into the valley below. Within days a 50-meter-wide channel now known as Canyon Lake Gorge had been carved into the soil and bedrock, drastically transforming the landscape on a short timescale” (Matson, 2010). Michael Lamb, a geologist from the California Institute of Technology who studied the effects of the flood, “found that the landscape below Canyon Lake had been remodeled in just three days or so, during which hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of rock and sediment were flushed downstream” (2010). Matson also stated: “The 2002 Texas flood was powerful, plucking meter-sized limestone boulders out of the bedrock and carrying them away to leave a channel that in places exceeds 12 meters in depth.”

The implications of such a flood are clear. If huge channels over three stories deep can be carved in bedrock in a matter of days, then catastrophic flooding on a larger scale could easily be responsible for carving much larger canyons in brief periods of time (cf. Butt, 2002; Butt, 2003; Butt, 2004). The false assumption of uniformitarianism, by which so many people have been taught to believe in billions of years of Earth history, cannot be logically sustained in the face of such clear evidence for the catastrophic origins of geological features like canyons.

Furthermore, not only do such catastrophic floods undermine the uniformitarian ideas so often used in geologic writings, but they also add credence to the biblical account of the Flood. If local and regional floods that are confined to small parts of single states can perform so much geological work in a few days, imagine the geologic formations, canyons, caves, and crustal displacement that a global flood which lasted several months would cause. The next time geologic literature or a park ranger insists that a certain feature was carved over millions of years by uniform processes, think about the massive amount of water that carved the huge 150 foot wide, 36 feet deep channel in Texas in just a few days. Not only did that flood “remodel the landscape” of the area in three days, but it helped to scourge the geological landscape of false uniformitarian ideas of deep time as well.


Butt, Kyle (2002), “Scoffers in the Last Days,”

Butt, Kyle (2003), “Changing Their Tune About the Grand Canyon,”

Butt, Kyle (2004), “The Little Grand Canyon,”

Matson, John (2010), “Data Deluge: Texas Flood Canyon Offers Test of Hydrology Theories for Earth and Mars,”

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