Dr. Steve Austin is a field research geologist with a PhD in Geology. His quest to understand the sedimentary processes that formed rocks and fossils has launched explorations into six of the world’s seven continents. His research adventures have taken him by helicopter into the crater of Mount St. Helens, by bush plane onto glaciers in the high mountains of Alaska, by raft onto the Great Barrier Reef, by canoe into coastal swamps of Australia and much more. He likes to climb high mountain peaks. He’s experienced the hazards of mudflows, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, boiling creeks, quicksand, flash floods, and encountered crocodiles and venomous snakes. He’s known for his field trips and field teaching events and has examined Dead Sea sediment showing earthquake disturbances. He has authored three books. He’s a member of the Geological Society of America, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society for Sedimentary Geology, the International Association of Sedimentologists, and the Creation Geology Society.
Do earthquakes give any indication as to the age of the earth? Dr. Austin believes the earthquakes recorded in the Bible tell the entire story of the book. One example he mentioned was what would likely be the greatest earth shaking event ever. It took place on day 3 of creation week when 340 million cubic miles of water was collected by God into ocean basins as the continents appeared.
Another example he gave deals with the global flood in the days of Noah. This flood covered all the high hills under the whole heaven but it started on the floor of the ocean. In Genesis 7 it indicates that the fountains of the great deep were broken up. So he contends that it was a ripping up of the ocean floor that created the flood.
Next he mentioned earthquakes as part of the following events:
–The judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.
–The rebellion of Korah.
–At the giving of the law of Moses.
–Jonathan and his armor bearer in the Philistine camp.
–Amos’s earthquake in about 750 BC, a quake that was probably the largest in the
last 4,000 years in the Holy Land.
–Just before the birth of Christ in 31 BC.
–At the tomb of the resurrection of Christ.
The bottom line? Earthquakes figure prominently in the Bible and Dr. Austin is attempting to find the disturbed layers from earthquakes in Dead Sea sediment.
Skeptics may say, ‘That’s fine, but is he finding geological evidence for the above listed quakes?’ Dr. Austin explained that when mud accumulates in the Dead Sea, it forms in very thin, precisely laid layers. When an earthquake occurs, it doesn’t mix up all the sediment, it only mixes up the sediment within an inch or two on the floor of the lake. Right at the sediment/water interface as the sediment accumulates, that’s where the earthquakes leave a record. That’s what he’s deciphering.
Is Dr. Austin able to determine a time frame of when biblical quakes occurred through sediment examination? Is Carbon-14 dating proof of evolution or creation? Why does he feel there was an earthquake at Sodom and Gomorrah? What is the purpose of biblical earthquakes?
These and other questions are answered on this fascinating edition of Crosstalk.