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Young Earth Evidence. Folds in Sedimentary Rocks

Updated on September 19, 2015
Part of the 'Tonto group' of the Grand Canyon. Three types of sedimentary rock make up the structure. Muav Limestone. Bright Angel Shale and Tapeats Sandstone.
Part of the 'Tonto group' of the Grand Canyon. Three types of sedimentary rock make up the structure. Muav Limestone. Bright Angel Shale and Tapeats Sandstone. | Source

The discussion

Is there really evidence to support the claims of some Bible believing Christians that the earth is less than ten thousand years old? This debate has been raging for years (and will continue to rage for many more, I'd like to think that the hubs we write answer the questions "once and for all" but that would be a bit too much so in this hub I'll try and present the picture as complete as i know it to be and then at least we'll know the facts.

As I've been researching these hubs I've uncovered some startling facts that have left me amazed at how the earth is really put together and frustrated at the way both sides of the divide have behaved in presenting the facts.

First of all a bit of a statement of where I'm coming from. Personally I've never accepted evolution as to me it just didn't make any sense, how could a place so awesome and so beautiful to behold be the product of pure chance?

Now for the frustrating part. As I've looked into this I found that both sides have been "Economical with the truth" to say the least. The Old earth scientists will leave out the bits of the evidence that don't fit with their theory, and so will the young earth scientists. So what I'm seeking to do is present both sides with as much as I know about kept in so that we can all look at what was really going on and make our minds up. There may be bits I do leave out but that's because I don't know about them (can you write and tell me please? Thanks)

In the last hub in this series we looked at sedimentary Rocks as an indicator of a young Earth. But the sediment is not the only indicator! Another indicator is the fact that in places the rocks (the sedimentary ones) also have folds in the rock that fit the contours of the land yet don't break!

When you get a situation like this it's generally accepted that such formations can only be created by the rocks becoming malleable through processes that might involve heat, moisture and pressure. All three have to be applied in a precise manner so that the rocks don't fracture.

When one or two of the ingredients are there and fractures occur. These are known as EARTHQUAKES and are usually pretty devastating but there are places where the sedimentary Rocks didn't fracture and it left some unusual rock formations

One famous places this affects

The Grand Canyon is folded sedimentary rocks
The Grand Canyon is folded sedimentary rocks | Source

The Grand Canyon

Three hundred miles long, up to seventeen miles wide in places and almost a mile deep in places. At the top of the ridges the rocks are from the Cambrian period (approx five hundred and forty million years ago according to evolutionary geologists). We have always been told that the canyon was formed by erosion with water cutting through the younger sedimentary Rocks at the top into the older rocks below, only problem is the rocks below are from the same period!

What has happened is "rock folding" where due to pressure and other factors the rocks have changed shape and molded to the underlying bedrock seemingly without fracturing! The process is called 'Lithification' and is recognized by both sides of the argument.

Actually it turns out the rocks do fracture but they are so small that we would have a hard time seeing many of them. Some are even microscopic.

Evolutionary geology argues that the rocks were shaped like this over millions of years by constant pressure on the rocks, changes in heat and moisture making the rocks malleable and slowly shaping them over the millions of years. This would require the rocks to be literally re-molded multiple times and all without seemingly damaging the layers and fossils in the rocks.

Wikipedia tells us that the Canyon itself is only forty to seventy million years old when the process of pressure, heat and folding began, that is over four hundred million years after the sediment was laid down and hardened. At this time the process began (and would possibly have taken place multiple times since) that slowly bent and shaped the rocks into the shapes they are in today. The Colorado river then began to flow through the area cutting through the Cambrian rock into the older rocks below. It argues that the Grand Canyon is the result of erosion, but that directly contradicts what others say.

Creationists argue that this is impractical as it would require multiple events over millions of years where it all happened purely by chance and during those times new fossils from the newer period should also be in those rocks now (an area that size would have animals that died and fell into the malleable rocks) it the fossils are all from the Cambrian period.

Where else?

The Grand Canyon isn't the only part of the globe that has this phenomena. There are others listed below

1. The Appalachian ridges and valleys

2. Lulworth Cove (Dorset, England)

3. The Akwapim Togo ranges (Ghana)

4. The Jura Mountains (Between France and Switzerland, part of the Alps)

5. Nunavut. Canada

6. Crete

7. Carpathian Mountains (Ukraine)

8. Zargos Mountains (Iran/Iraq/Turkey where Mount Ararat is!)

Where folded rock formations are found (these aren't the only ones, but they're what I found)

show route and directions
A markerJura Mountains -
Jura Mountains, 2318 Brot-Plamboz, Switzerland
get directions

Folded rocks found here

B markerGrand Canyon -
Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
get directions

Cambrian period rocks folded formations

C markerLulworth Cove, Dorset, England -
Heritage Centre, Main Rd, Lulworth Cove, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5RQ, UK
get directions

Amazing rock formations. Folded

D markerAkwapim Ranges, Togo -
Togo Mountains, Togo
get directions

Bordering Togo and Ghana

E markerCrete -
Crete, Greece
get directions

Small Island with amazing rock features

F markerCarpathian Mountains -
Carpathian Mountains, Romania
get directions

G markerZargos Mountains -
Zagros Mountains, Iran
get directions

H markerMount Ararat -
Mount Ararat, 76000 Karagüney Köyü/Iğdır Merkez/Iğdır, Turkey
get directions

Traditional site where the Ark landed

How folds are formed (the traditional view)

The other view (the Biblical one)

The Argument

The discussion isn't over the process as the actual process has been settled and both pretty much agree what happened, it's over when the process occurred and what the results were!

When Lithification occurs it's like concrete setting. The soft malleable rock is shaped into whatever form it's going to take and then over a period of time dries out and sets hard. The question is can that rock then 'unset itself' to bend without breaking or with only or tiny tiny cracks only an eighth of an inch across (less than 10mm) to microscopic cracks seen only under a microscope (remember we are talking of millions of tons of rock here).

It has been shown in laboratory conditions that rock can do this with only small fractures, but we are talking on millions of tons of rock doing it repeatedly over a couple of hundred million years!

The real question is could the earth do that without any guiding hand to make it all happen in such a way?

The 'Other' view

The traditional view and the one that is widely accepted is the view that it happened over millions of years, but it's by no means accepted everywhere, and it's not just the the 'cranky Christians' who read nothing but the Bible that reject this view. In fact the people leading the rebellion against the traditional view are world renown Geologists and Physicists who tell us that things can't have happened this way as the chances of it being able to happen are just too slim!

Evidence to the contrary of the traditional view is slowly coming out but it's not liked by everyone! Just like the evidence for the sediment in the last hub this evidence is also challenged and ridiculed as being from people who don't know what they are talking about (yet both sides have doctorates from the same universities!).

This 'Other view' is one that says the folds in the rock formations were caused by a cataclysmic event of literally Biblical proportions as the Earth was ripped apart in a series of massive explosions (NO! Not Aliens invading!!!) as described in the book of Genesis Chapter 7

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Notice in the account that the water came from two sources! We often talk of the water from above the ground but it also came from below! The result was that the earth was literally ripped apart causing massive damage and creating the fractures in the tectonic plates we see today.

After the initial explosions (that killed everything on the surface of the planet that weren't in the Ark) the waters began to settle resulting massive amounts of sedimentation with the dead creatures settling on the floor of the flooded areas to be quickly buried and folded into the positions we see them today. Once the sediment had settled and the waters receded the rocks dried out and set hard into the formations we see today.

Easy to read and informative (written by an ex Atheist)

Dr Brown explains his theory

In conclusion

This hub really is just an introduction to the whole subject. Did the earth over millions of years slowly and methodically deform the rock structures into what we see today? or was it a huge catastrophe like the one that supposedly killed off the dinosaurs but one that happened relatively recently?

To me one of these scenarios takes a lot of faith to believe in. The faith to say that it all happened by chance over millions of years! I was originally going to leave my own conclusion out of this hub but the reality is I just can't bring myself to accept that it was by chance and took so much precision on behalf of blind nature to accept the traditional evolutionary view!

One major cataclysmic event that ripped the earth as it was known at the time (we do know that it the distant past the continents were joined into a super-continent!) makes far more sense! I realize very few will agree with this, but at least in this hub you begin to see why I see it this way!

I've tried to represent both arguments fairly but there may be important points that are missed out, if you know of anything missed in the hub then please leave a note so that I can look into it.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.



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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      He can, but it can also be that we don't have a full grasp of some of the 'dating techniques' and when we look at the whole picture some things that should agree (like the rock formations) tell a different story.

      I'd say the one piece of evidence alone isn't conclusive, but when we put all the evidence together we should get a clearer picture! Take a look at the hub "Soft tissue in dinasaur bones"

      Blessings and Merry Christmas


    • Rich kelley profile image

      Rich Kelley 2 years ago from The Ekklesia

      I like to remind people that the God I believe in can in fact make something that man thinks is millions of years old.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Actually had time to sit at my computer and go through some of the stuff you sent through (most of the other replies was written on a 'smartphone' literally 'on the go')

      I just checked and on the Tonto Group according to Google the Permian Kaibab Limestone and Cocachino Sandstone do occur in the Grand Canyon but not listed as being in the Tonto Group. The three types of rock found in the Tonto Group according to the map you sent through are all in the Cambrian Period (I did insert a picture with the list of the rocks at the beginning of the article, replacing the initial one which was actually of the Southern Alps).

      As for why the rocks don't remain 'perfectly congruent' (by which I presume you mean "uniform" then if you follow the "young earth argument" it would be because of flooding and tidal actions.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Please look up the article 'Rock layers folded, not fractured' on the Answers in Genesis site by Dr Andrew Snelling. That is where the my discussion starts with it.

      My understanding is that early on the canyon was a plateau over millions of square miles that the forces of nature worked on to shape.

      The debate isn't about the process but about the speed at which it happened with some saying millions of years (wikipedia says one group says upto 70 million years but another says only 8 million years).

      Young Earth creationists say it took place over a very short period of time (one year)

      My purpose for the article was to show that there are alternative views on the age of our earth, this hub is only part of a series on the age of the Earth showing men and women of science who hold alternate views on the age of the Earth. I appreciate that others will hold differing views and that is fine as my own views have changed slightly in writing the (five so far on this subject) hubs.

      As for the work done in demonstrating 'plasticity' of sedimentary rock, I have rrad about it and in my view it goes nowhere near far enough to explain how the process can happen repeatedly over millions of years.

      You said yhat you have neither the time or inclination to go through the sites, that's fine, we can agree to disagree!


    • profile image

      Henry Youngman 2 years ago

      Which one? I lack either the time or the inclination to read the entirety of all of them in search of the one statement that the rocks at the top of the Grand Canyon are the same age as those at the bottom. If you can't defend your argument on your own, you shouldn't be making it.

      Since I've actually *been* to the Grand Canyon - to both rims (there aren't "ridges," since the canyon is cut into the relatively flat Colorado Plateau) and to the floor of the Inner Gorge, several times - I'm at a loss as to how anyone could look at this feature and claim it's a fold. On what basis does your primary source come to this conclusion: observation? measurement? research? correlation? comparison? There must be *some* reason.

      Speaking also of folds, there is a wealth of research across dozens of fields concerning the tensile strength of different materials under confining pressure. That research demonstrates that it is quite possible for a plate of sedimentary rock with a surface area of millions of hectares to deform plastically - in layman's terms, "bend."

      Last, if you wish to argue that all anticlines are draped over some pre-existing feature, explain why the internal stratification of folded sedimentary rocks does not remain perfectly congruent with the outline of that feature. Explain why it is common for the relatively ductile sedimentary rocks such as shale to be thick at the crests and troughs of folds and thin on the flanks, but more brittle rocks maintain consistent thickness throughout.

      Once more, I'm not asking for your references. You're the one who wrote this, if you know it to be true then you must be able to defend it.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      The references are in the links provided in the hub.


    • profile image

      Henry Youngman 2 years ago

      Small problem, Lawrence:

      The "rocks at the tops of the ridges" aren't Cambrian: they comprise the Permian, Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone, which are about 300 million years younger than Cambrian Tonto Group.

      Please be so kind as to provide a supporting reference for your statement; so that readers may compare it to such sites as


      Henry Youngman

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      So true! I'm constantly amazed at how beautiful and awe inspiring our home here on Earth is!

      I've just finished another hub on the subject about stuff we've been finding in Dinosaur bones that was stunning and a real 'eye opener' to write!

      Glad you enjoyed this one


    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes Lawrence, our earth is beautiful and not by happen-stance. You made this very interesting or I should say enhanced the interest.

      Thank you and Blessings


    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      It sure is interesting! Some of the things we are discovering about the Earth's distant past are really challenging what we thought we knew!

      The Cambrian period is important as thats when the fossil record literally 'explodes' with life.

      You're right about all the things animal life has gone through and is still with us, but the challenges of today are more insidious as they are man-made

      Glad it made you think


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely something to think about and discuss over the dinner table. I never really gave it much thought, but in the way of ornithology, birds have been around since the dawn of time. Now, what amazes me, after all they went through in the early days, they survived that better than they do with the events of today. Pretty frightening, isn't it?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thank you for the compliment

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Yes, I really enjoy your work on this topic.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thanks for the comment. I'd read that carbon dating methods are considered too unreliable for fossil dating (even evolutionary scientists accept that) so the main method they use is potassium/argon and uranium238 dating but both of those have issues too. I haven't looked too closely at them yet but it seems to depend on whom you talk to that the margin for error is between 1% (evolutionists say) and 50%!

      The main point of the hub was to show that there are viable alternatives to the traditional dating methods that give very different pictures to what we're told but fit together much better.

      Glad you enjoyed the hub


    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you for the insightful comment. The hub shows how that no matter which view you take you still end up with the need for a designer for it to all work.

      The hub also shows that there is a viable scientific alternative to the old earth scenario that explains the fossil record.

      The theory isn't accepted everywhere but thats nothing new!

      There will be more hubs in this series (this is the fourth) where we'll look at the fossil record but I'm still reading up on that area.



    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you for the visit and vote up. I think that no matter which way you think of it you come up with one conclusion, that both speak of one thing. That science is now leading us to the conclusion there is a designer behind it all!

      Glad you enjoyed the hub


    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you for the visit and I hope your hubby enjoys the hub. I love reading about science though the more I think about it the more I realize that both the young earth and old earth arguments literally scream one word at us DESIGNER!

      Glad you enjoyed the hub


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      In an advanced geology workshop 15 years ago, a professor presented to us the evidence that the folds in the rock make younger fossils look as if that are older than the old fossils folded below them on the diagonal. None of them millions of years old. Foolish things to confound the wise!

      In my hard science training and work with geology, physics, calculus, engineering, and astronomy, I know that all the carbon dating techniques we use are correct only to +/- 60,000 years. Anything more is marginal in accuracy for an additional 10s of 1000s, and further out, not possible mathematically; and the laws of mathematics & physics apply to all the universe.

      For accurate measurement and an extrapolation that could be believable, then 100,000 years or double that is the oldest we could be. If it is 10K, then that's fine for me. Reality is reality, whatever it is and it does not change God's status with me or all creation.

      Thanks for your work here!

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 2 years ago from The Great Midwest

      I am a man of faith, so I admit to a certain bias. However, I find that evolution as a scientific theory depends upon the occurrence of many unlikely events to explain its conclusions. The hub here provides another example via the Grand Canyon, of how several things never scientifically proven in the present are used to explain the past.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Fascinating read and I agree with your conclusions that there is no way it could all be by chance!

      Thanks for all of your research and hard work put into this most interesting hub, dear Lawrence.

      Up and across except funny and sharing everywhere

      Blessings always

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I know what you mean. I read a great quote from a physicist/theologian this weekend that said "science and religion are friends not foes in the quest for knowledge"

      Hope you had a good weekend


    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Lawrence - Great hub (and one that I will share with my husband--he is a retired hydrogeologist). Like you, I do not believe in evolution. When you consider how every bit of our world, every atom fits together so perfectly--how could that be the result of mere chance? However, there are two Bible verses that might give some satisfaction to both sides (those who embrace the old earth theory and those who believe in the new earth theory) -- 2 Peter 3:8 "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" and "A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night." What are your thoughts on those verses?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Science fascinates me. Faith does not. I mean that in a good way. We need both in this world. Loved this read.