Yellowstone – Earth History

Yellowstone | ellowstone is the gateway to understanding earth history, in this episode we'll listen to Patrick Nurre as he shares information about the park and the earth. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #creationscienceYellowstone National Park – A Window into Earth History Episode 22

Yellowstone is the gateway to understanding earth history, in this episode we’ll listen to Patrick Nurre as he shares information about the park and the earth.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc and the Truth Seekers Mystery.

Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park signed into law in 1872 by U.S. Grant, 18th President of the United States.

The Park is 2.2 million acres, amounting to over 3,400 square miles of forest, mountain ranges, several lakes, 10,000 thermal features, 300 waterfalls and over 300 geysers. It is a veritable laboratory for getting a window into the past geological history of Earth. It is a testament to the Genesis Flood and its aftermath.

The origin of the word Yellowstone is unknown. Many think Yellowstone got its name from the altered and colored lava of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, most of which is colored a variety of yellow hues due to hydrothermal (or hot water) alteration within the canyon walls.

Yellowstone National Park is a small part of a much larger ecosystem. This ecosystem contains the greatest amount of fossil trees in the world, the largest fresh water lake in the US at altitudes over 7,000 feet, the largest concentration of geysers in the world, a vast glacially sculpted landscape and quite possibly the largest concentrated amount of volcanic ejecta in the world to have been erupted by volcanoes (9,000 cubic miles of volcanic material). To give you an idea of just how big that is, Mt. St. Helens erupted just .25 cubic miles of volcanic material in 1980.

Yellowstone is actually part of a greater volcanic feature dubbed a “supervolcano.” The main crater of Yellowstone is 45 miles long and 35 miles wide. Mt. St. Helens, by comparison, left a crater 1 mile wide and a ½ mile deep.

No one knows for sure what lies underneath Yellowstone. Geologists estimate that there is initially a depth of about 1-2 miles of a special type of volcanic rock called rhyolite, produced by explosive volcanoes. In addition, the temperatures just 400-500 feet below the surface are very hot.

There is no doubt that if one of these giants were to erupt today, it would have a devastating effect on our biotic globe and climate. Many geologists have proposed a sort of an ice age that would creep over several parts of our Earth.

Some ask if Yellowstone will erupt again. Despite what Hollywoood says, the official park literature states that they do not expect any kind of an eruption within the next 10,000 years. The closest eruption of any magnitude in our recent Earth history was in 1815 with the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia. 1816 has been called, “The year without a summer,” as freezing temperatures, and snow and crop failure were reported in June of 1816 throughout many parts of the world.  There have been many such eruptions in Earth’s geological past – the Mammoth Lakes Caldera in eastern California and the La Garita Caldera in southwest Colorado were two of the largest.

What would have produced this violent volcanic eruption? The Yellowstone eruption is a bit of a mystery in modern geology. It does not fit the typical plan for volcanic activity. Scientists tell us that most of Earth’s volcanoes lie along cracks in the Earth called The Ring of Fire. These cracks are labeled as the edges of shifting plates, as modern geology describes them. But Yellowstone does not lie along any edge of a plate. It is thousands of miles from The Ring of Fire. This is also true of the Hawaiian Islands, themselves made of many volcanic eruptions. Yellowstone nevertheless is a huge crack or hole in the Earth.

Many of us learned in school that volcanoes were the crucibles of creation; that our atmosphere and water and the early conditions for life on our planet came from millions of years of repeated eruptions. James Hutton, the Father of Modern Geology, in the late 1700s, viewed the Earth as having constantly recycled itself in volcanic eruptions, processes of metamorphosis and sedimentary deposition throughout untold ages. There is another way to look at this.

Genesis 1 says “In the beginning, God created the space and the Earth….” This is a far different picture of Earth history. One of the best things you can do in sharpening your worldview is to read and know Genesis 1. Very few Christians who know the Scriptural presentation of origins and the global Flood that followed.

In Genesis 1 a straightforward reading would tell us that the Earth was created by an all-knowing, all-powerful God, with purpose and design. And this space and Earth and everything in them were created over a period of 6 days. This would make the origin of the Earth a relatively recent event in Earth history, quite at odds with modern geology. At the end of day 6, the Scripture states, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Earth, upon its completion, seems to have been a perfect place, fashioned by the Creator for very special people – Adam and Eve. There does not seem to have been death, disease, and other crippling effects of decay. But this is not what volcanoes produce. Volcanoes produce: sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen fluoride or hydrofluoric acid, very poisonous gases, as well as dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, acid rain, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and destruction of the ozone layer of Earth. In addition, these particles of dangerous things rise up into our atmosphere and affect our climate and disrupt our existence. For example, airports are closed and crops and animals are killed through the deposits in the form of thousands of tons of volcanic ash. All in all, volcanoes are destructive to man’s existence, not creative. Looking at things from a Biblical point of view, there is another idea to consider for the creation of volcanoes: the Genesis Flood.

Genesis 7:11 very effectively describes the first day of the Genesis Flood. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” To a geologist, this historical statement should cause one to think of many different geological events. For instance, huge cracks and holes could open in the crust of the Earth with the eruption of all kinds of hot water, nasty radioactivity, and lavas, and the ripping apart of soils laid down just 1500 years earlier. All of Earth now exhibits these effects in the rocks, topographical scars, and billions of fossil creatures and plants over the entire globe.

Geologists estimate that there are over 50,000 volcanoes of all kinds spread out over the surface of the Earth and on the ocean floor. Rocks and landforms that were a part of the original creation would have been changed or metamorphosed for the rest of Earth history as a reminder of the judgment of God. Only a remnant of the original creation remains. But the devastation of a global flood has left its mark as a reminder that God holds all mankind accountable for its rebellion. The Genesis Flood is the only world-wide catastrophic event in Earth history, mentioned in the Scripture, that all mankind experienced. It was not a localized judgment such as Sodom and Gomorrah. Cracks all over the ocean floor and present-day faulting and earthquakes are a testament that this global event indeed did happen.

However, geologists tell us that the Yellowstone volcano erupted 640,000 years ago. How do they know this? They don’t. The age is based upon an assumed behavior of radioactivity. Radioactivity or radioactive decay can be measured in the present, but we have no idea whether this decay rate has continued unabated into the distant past. Geologists merely assume it has been constant. They assume this because they refuse to consider the Genesis Flood as anything more than myth. But if the Flood indeed did take place, as Scripture records, then all geological processes we know today would have been affected by extreme heat, alteration and mixing of materials and violent chemical reactions.

So, how old is Yellowstone? From a Biblical point of view, the answer lies in historical documents, not in science. Science can only verify what it can observe, test and repeat. The Yellowstone supervolcano erupted at some point in Earth’s history. Deciphering that is a matter of examining historical documents and eyewitness accounts. The science of Yellowstone deals with excavating its fossils and identifying its rocks. But the origin of Yellowstone is a matter of history and that is the task before us.

Christians have three main sources for determining the age of Yellowstone:

  • The genealogies and chronologies of chapters 5 and 11 of Scripture
  • The witness of Jesus Christ who quoted from the book of Genesis more than any other Old Testament book of the Bible and took all that it stated at face value
  • The signs produced by the Creator throughout Earth history and witnessed by hundreds and in some cases thousands of people

As the chronologies in Genesis chapter 5 clearly indicate that there were a little less than 1700 years from Adam to Noah, then Yellowstone cannot be any older than about 4,500 years, the date of Noah’s flood. Any evidence of a volcanic eruption prior to that would have been wiped away by the Flood.

All these historical events have been recorded and preserved in our Scripture so that we might know who created us, what happened to the human race and how man can be restored to a right relationship with his creator.

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