One of the evidences commonly used in support of the Biblical account of Noah’s Flood is the presence of fossils on the tops of some of the highest mountains in the world. Even near the summit of Mt. Everest, there are rock layers containing organisms which once swam in the sea. This goes right along with the Biblical statement that “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered” by the Flood waters (Genesis 7:19).
Although the argument is a valid interpretation of the evidence, it does not “hold much water” with evolutionary geologists. They respond that these fossils merely prove that the mountains were under water at some time in the past. Then major forces in the earth slowly pushed them up from below sea level to their present elevation. To them, the whole earth has gone through many cycles of mountains rising up and being eroded away and then the ocean basins being pushed up again to form mountains. They see well-eroded mountains as older ones, and sharp, jagged mountains as more recently raised.
The reader should note that the tops of the mountains consist of layers which contain fossils. This indicates that the layers which form the mountains were deposited by water and were not part of the mountain to start with. A student of Scripture would note that Psalm 104:8 says that the mountains rose up and the valleys sank down. This appears to be at or near the end of the Flood. The passage not only helps answer the question of where all the water from the Flood went, but also gives us the clue that the mountains prior to the Flood were not nearly as high as they are now.
So, according to the Creation/Flood model, the fossil layers were laid down during the year of the Flood. At the end of the Flood, God caused the mountains to rise up. As the water ran off the earth, the mountains were eroded along with the mountain valleys and canyons. The different amounts of erosion on the mountains indicate during which stage of the Flood the mountains rose up. Highly eroded ones still had plenty of Flood waters eroding them while the sharp ones came up near the end of the whole process and thus did not have a lot of erosion.
Note that the evolutionary geologist and the creationist geologist are both looking at the same evidence and coming up with different interpretations. One is looking through long-age uniformitarian glasses while the other is looking through short-age catastrophic Flood glasses. Which interpretation is right? If we look at the evidence strictly as scientists with no help from historical evidence, we might be hard pressed to decide. However, if we use all the available evidence, including God’s written record of a global Flood, creationists have a distinct advantage in interpreting the data. Which is right? I’ll go for the Scriptural account. God’s Word won’t fail us! Fossils on mountain tops stand as a testimony of God’s Word.
Originally published in the May/June 1996 Think and Believe newsletter.