June 29, 2015 | David F. Coppedge

Did Dinosaurs See the Grand Canyon?

Evolutionists and creationists agree that dinosaurs did not look over the rim of Grand Canyon – but for different reasons.

To understand how a feature was made, it’s helpful to know how old it is. Unfortunately, for one of Earth’s most striking features—the Grand Canyon of Arizona—age estimates vary widely. The Geological Society of America admits that a consensus age has been hard to come by:

The age of the Grand Canyon (USA) has been studied for years, with recent technological advances facilitating new attempts to determine when erosion of this iconic canyon began. The result is sometimes conflicting ages based on different types of data; most data support the notion that the canyon began to erode to its current form about six million years ago. Then even newer, “high-tech,” data became available and questions were again raised about whether the western end of the canyon could be older.

Two numbers are used as general time markers for these alternate hypotheses. The first suggests that the canyon may have started incising 17 million years ago. The second suggests that the canyon may have looked largely as it does today 70 million years ago. The time contrast between these hypotheses is striking, and any accurate concept of the canyon would have to be consistent with all observations.

The press release ends by citing a new study that claims the western end of the canyon, at the Grand Wash Cliffs, must be “younger than the fault slip that occurred 18 to 12 million years ago.” Then it concludes, “Comparing their data to other datasets suggests that the notion that the canyon starting eroding around six million years ago is still the best scientific idea for the age of the Grand Canyon.” Notice that they call it a “notion” and an “idea.” It’s interesting that the spread of age estimates for the fault slip (6 million years) is equivalent to their estimate for the entire erosion of the canyon itself. If so much erosion occurred in that time farther to the east, why was there so much less erosion at Grand Wash Cliffs? Why did all the canyon’s erosion wait to commence till another 6 to 12 million years had passed after the fault slip? The theory seems incoherent, but is based on “general time markers” secular geologists rely on for reference.

Dinosaur Viewpoint

Setting aside that question for now, their “notion” precludes dinosaurs having seen the Grand Canyon. The older age (70 million years) might have permitted some dinosaurs to see the western part at least. But the beasts should have been long gone if the fault slip was 18 million years ago. So the answer to PhysOrg‘s question, “Did dinosaurs enjoy Grand Canyon views?” is “Definitely not.”

“We are confident the western canyon is younger than 6 million years and is certainly younger than 18 million years,” said Andrew Darling, a graduate student in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. The research is published online June 10 in the journal Geosphere.

The problem with the assertion is that studying the age of the Grand Canyon isn’t easy.

Measuring time can be tricky when everything you’re studying is eroding away. And the whole region has been eroding for a long time, so not much is left of the landscape that was there when the Grand Canyon started forming. Yet, most people think the Grand Canyon is young – around 6 million years old based on what is preserved.

Creationists would agree that the canyon “is certainly younger than 18 million years”—a lot younger! And they would agree that dinosaurs never saw the Grand Canyon. Their reason would be that the canyon formed after the great Flood of Noah’s day. The dinosaurs had all drowned during the Flood year, the last holdouts leaving footprints in Navajo sandstone at levels thousands of feet higher than the canyon sediments. The canyon sediments preserve only marine creatures buried in the early stages of the Flood. Possibly centuries after the Flood, a dam breach from a remnant inland sea carved the canyon when the sediments were still soft, according to a leading creation model.

Eastern Grand Canyon shows rapid downcutting after sheet erosion

Eastern Grand Canyon shows rapid downcutting after sheet erosion

The only possible way a dinosaur could have seen the Grand Canyon, in this view, would have been for descendents of surviving species taken on the Ark to have migrated to North America after the Flood. Migration and repopulation of the continents was expected to be rapid across land bridges when sea levels were low. Petroglyphs of dinosaur-shaped animals provide some tantalizing hints that early human migrants to the Colorado plateau saw dinosaurs. Conditions after the Flood were either no longer suitable for them, or else humans hunted them to extinction. Still, a few dinosaurs might have looked over the rim and said, “What a magnificent view! This should be a national park!”

The creation model has long been a target for scoffers. This month’s announcements about soft tissue in dinosaur bones (6/09/15) and carbon-14 in dinosaur bones (6/18/15), however, have effectively falsified millions of years and confirmed creationist predictions (6/10/15), leaving the young-earth view the only one standing to explain those results. It’s time to turn the tables and laugh at the way secular moyboys use “millions of years” like a magic wand to explain everything they never saw, having denied the only eyewitness account.




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  • Robert_Saunders says:

    Since the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, and the Grand Canyon is considerably younger than that, the answer is NO.

  • TasWalker says:

    Creationist geologists have to two main scenarios for the formation of Grand Canyon. One is that the Canyon was eroded by the breaching of a post-Flood lake that formed on top of the plateau. Another is that the Canyon was formed by receding floodwaters at the tail end of the Flood. creation.com has an article “A receding Flood scenario for the origin of the Grand Canyon” that explains this scenario well.

  • James Johnson says:

    So how do you explain dinosaur remains and tracks in Jurassic age sandstone not far from the Grand Canyon in Tuba City? These layers are newer than the layers found in the Grand Canyon. If they were destroyed in the flood why are there zero remains in the Grand Canyon and all dinosaur remains are found in layers deposited later?

  • TasWalker says:

    James, there is a general pattern/order to the way sediment was deposited and fossils were buried during Noah’s Flood. To understand the factors we would need to know a lot more about the events and processes of the Flood than we know now, such as: the arrangement of the pre-Flood continents, the origin of the sediments, the distribution of the animals and plants, the movements that occurred in the earth’s crust, and the movement of the water over the earth. The phenomenon of ‘living fossils’ gives an insight into how animals can be alive on the earth yet leave no fossil record. Chapter 15 of the Creation Answers Book discusses these factors and you can find it by searching for “chapter 15” on creation.com. Search also for “living fossils” and “Lazarus taxon”.

  • skiersal says:

    Have you ever flown over the Pacific Northwest? I did, just a couple of years ago. I looked down to see evidence (in my experience) of a great global flood. Whenever I over-water newly turned up earth, it always runs off in the same pattern of crevices, silty deposits, layers, etc. The Grand Canyon must have experienced the same pattern of creation by a massive global flood…Noah’s flood. More confirmation in my mind that the Bible is true and can be believed as history and fact.

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