Does The Grand Canyon Confirm Geological Evolution?

A recent college basketball broadcast on ESPN TV turned into a quick creation vs. evolution discussion, which included a reference to the Grand Canyon of Arizona as an apparent argument for “evolution.” Bill Walton, a retired NBA basketball player who is now a sportscaster, gave his apparently Christian cohost, Dave Pasch, a copy of Darwin’s The Origin of Species and said, “I want to make sure you believe in evolution.” Pasch replied, “I don’t,” and later offered to bring Walton a book that refutes Darwin’s ideas. Walton later commented, “I believe in science. And evolution. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon.” Though the conversation may have been cut short by a producer, this statement seems to show that Walton thinks the Grand Canyon supports the idea of geologic evolution. But the Grand Canyon actually stands as a testament to catastrophe—the global Flood of Noah’s day!

Geologic evolution holds to the idea of uniformitarianism. This is the belief that most geologic features (like those at the Grand Canyon) were formed slowly over millions of years of slow and gradual processes. This version of Earth’s history stands in sharp contrast to the Bible’s account of history. According to the Bible, there was a catastrophic global Flood about 4,350 years ago. Such a Flood would have radically changed the Earth’s surface and would have shaped many of the geologic features we see today. When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, we got a small-scale glimpse of how a catastrophe can radically change the Earth’s surface. Mud flows produced from a subsequent eruption in 1982 carved a canyon 1/40 to the scale of the Grand Canyon in only a matter of hours!

The Grand Canyon Shows Evidence of a Massive Catastrophe

Far from supporting the idea of slow and gradual processes, the Grand Canyon shows evidence of having been formed in a massive catastrophe. The story told by most geologists is that the Colorado River slowly carved out the Grand Canyon over millions of years. But if this is true, where is the 1,000 cubic miles of material eroded from the canyon? It should be at the river delta in the Gulf of California, but it’s just not there. This is just one reason why even some secular geologists realize that the Colorado River couldn’t have produced the Grand Canyon.

But the geologic features of the Grand Canyon are perfectly consistent with a global Flood as described in Genesis. Here are a few examples: The Grand Canyon is home to a fossil graveyard of billions of fossilized squid-like creatures called nautiloids. This seven-foot-thick layer filled with nautiloids of different sizes covers at least 11,600 square miles. How did billions of these sea creatures all get buried at once above sea level?

Some of the sand in one layer of the Grand Canyon likely came from 1,800 miles away in the Appalachian mountains of New York and Pennsylvania. How would these sediments get transported such a vast distance? Also, several of the rock layers that make up Grand Canyon stretch right across North America! What would lay down sedimentary layers containing marine fossils across an entire continent?

Folded, Not Fractured

In several places the rock layers in Grand Canyon have been folded, some even at a 90 degree angle. This had to have happened while the rocks were still wet and pliable; otherwise they would have cracked, not folded. If these rock layers were laid down slowly over millions of years, then how did they remain soft for such a long time? They couldn’t have! The layers had to have been soft when the folding occurred. This means the layers weren’t laid down millions of years after one another. Also, if there were millions of years between deposition of many of the layers, there should be erosion at the boundaries between the layers. Wind and water should have created little valleys and gullies. But there is no evidence of any such slow and steady erosion between the layers! They must have been laid down rapidly one after another.

All of this flies in the face of the idea that the Grand Canyon was formed slowly and gradually over millions of years—but secularists need extremely long periods of time in order for the possibility of biological evolution to even be considered. Instead of showing evidence of a little water over a lot of time, it powerfully demonstrates the effects of a lot of water over a little bit of time. The Grand Canyon is not a testament to millions of years—it is powerful evidence of the global Flood of Noah’s day and its aftermath.

See the Flood Geology for Yourself

And you can see the Flood geology of the beautiful Grand Canyon for yourself through “biblical glasses.” Answers in Genesis along with Canyon Ministries is organizing a few rafting trips down the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River this summer. These trips, hosted by biblical creationists such as Dr. Andrew Snelling, Dr. Danny Faulkner, Dr. Terry Mortensen, and Dr. John Whitmore, will powerfully show you one of the most amazing testaments to God’s judgment on a wicked world. What better classroom than the canyon itself? I’ve been on one of hese raft rips, and it’s a tremondous learning experience—and a lot of fun. You can learn more about these unique creation vacations here. There are still plenty of seats left on Dr. Andrew Snelling’s nine-day April trip. This is a unique trip because you spend two extra days in the Canyon, which enables you to see much more than on any other raft trip. Hurry and reserve your seat before these trips fill up.

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