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Chapter 3

 How Prehistory Got Expanded From a Few Thousand to Hundreds of Thousands of Years

There does appear a problem with understanding these prehistoric sites as having been ended by the Flood. According to the present prehistoric chronology such sites as I describe as Flood burials extend for hundreds of thousands of years, from the Middle Paleolithic to the Early Bronze Age! It is however noteworthy that prehistoric eras are defined by archaeological type styles rather than successive strata at continuously occupied sites. This explains why the current prehistory of man jumps from Africa to the cavemen of Europe during the Ice Ages, then back to the Ancient Near East at the end of the Ice Age where begin agriculture and cities, but still jumping from site to site for thousands of years. Contrary to the claims, “the world’s oldest cities” weren’t continuously occupied for 10,000 years. The strata of Jericho, supposed the world’s oldest city, show destructions at various times including the fallen walls of Joshua’s Middle Bronze Age Jericho and a Flood-caused end of the Early Bronze Age city. (see Kathleen Kenyon’s stratigraphic drawing of ancient Jericho on page 100)

Scientific archaeology got its beginnings in the early nineteenth century by those studying prehistoric sites in Scandinavia. Some of these ruins contained artifacts of bronze and iron, but others had only artifacts of stone. Christian Jurgensen Thomsen (1788-1865) decided the way to date these ruins from earliest to later would be according to whether they contain artifacts of stone, bronze, or iron. Thus, came what we know as the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age that precede the ruins of the first historically known peoples. The Scandinavian archaeologists knew that civilization had spread to their own land from the lands of the ancient Orient but had little difficulty fitting these stages well within the about six thousand years era of man as can be calculated from the Bible. Then something happened to vastly expand the age of man.

I mentioned in the Archaeological Evidence what clued me to the great problem in prehistoric chronology. It was the Glacial Kame prehistoric burials in America’s upper Midwest which are essentially identical to the Hopewell burials along the Ohio River (see above).[1]  Archaeologists recognize the same culture is responsible for these burials, but the former are found under kames, supposed to have been deposited by glaciers during the Ice Age. The Hopewell burials which are part of the larger Adena culture are currently dated to around the time of Christ but the lowest burials in these mounds are of the much earlier Archaic cultures of America. The upper levels of these mounds which were used as burials by the historic American natives do date from the time of Christ though being of an entirely different material culture, one possessing bow and arrows and sand-tempered pottery. Because the historic American natives were accustomed to burring their dead in temple mounds, the top of these mounds would have been reasonable places to bury their dead if these mounds already existed, as had been the case since the time of the Flood.

But why would ancient Americans living in Wisconsin have gone to the great trouble of digging beneath Ice Age glacier deposits to build elaborate houses for burying their dead? And why would ancient Americans living in Ohio have spent vast amounts of time and resources to build elaborately furnished mausoleums only to cover them with dirt! The truth is, the mounds in both US states were created in the same way as the tels in the Ancient Near East, by eroded soil from the same great Flood. The Archaic cultures of America were ended by the Flood in the third millennium before Christ. So were Neolithic and Early Bronze Age cultures all over the world.


The Diluvium geological deposits before being re-envisioned as a long Ice Age.

We should not be surprised by my discovery because the geological evidence which we now associate with a supposed Ice Age was originally understood as evidence of a great deluge. As the name by which they were first described indicates, these diluvium deposits which we now attribute to the Ice Age were at the time of their discovery seen as evidence of a worldwide flood. Not all geologists agreed that the diluvium was the Noah’s Flood of the Bible nor even that it covered every mountain but most agreed with Georges Cuvier, the world’s leading geologist, that some great flood as vaguely remembered in the Flood accounts of many nations was responsible. The American Journal of Science, America’s oldest and most prestigious scientific journal, was founded on diluvium geology.[2]

The stratigraphical understanding of the earth still being used in modern geology developed from seeing land arising from a receding ocean, an understanding originally based on the ninth verse of Genesis and taught by the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716). The mining school known as geognists identified the first rocks to appear from the ocean beginning with granite as Primary strata. Rocks which had been compacted since the initial creation were called Secondary strata. The Tertiary strata were initially supposed to have contained the bones of animals who died in the Flood. Due to the discovery of the diluvium, the Flood was then understood as appearing in the topmost Quaternary washed up deposits which lacked the regular strata of the lower deposits.

The diluvium lay above the lower and very deeply stratified Primary and Secondary deposits including those which contained the fossils of fish and dinosaurs. They also lay just above the Tertiary deposits which contained the bones of early mammals. But they lay just below the alluvial strata created from the seasonal floods of present-day rivers. The diluvium occurs at various depths as might be expected from the deposits of a flood. Ordinarily, the diluvium is far deeper than the topmost alluvium, and unlike either the alluvium or the strata that lay below, the diluvium had no simple bedding pattern. What but a great Flood could explain such chaotic deposits and this sudden extinction of Europe’s earlier wildlife.

The diluvium consisted of a variety of rocks and soils and contained the bones of extinct animals which aside from their larger size and geographical distribution were like those still roaming the earth. Among the types of soil found in the diluvium were gravel, sand, clay, the rich loess that cover the earth’s fertile plains, and clay mixed with rocks called boulder clay. Today, the diluvium is everywhere covered by a layer of topsoil that formed after the diluvium was deposited some few thousand years ago. One can inspect the diluvium by digging through the topsoil that cover unimproved lands everywhere except at places like the eroded sides of mountains.

Though the source of the diluvium seemed to have been some flood, geologists did not agree concerning its cause. Jean DeLuc (1727-1817) attributed the flood that deposited the diluvium to an exchange (a “revolution”) between earth and sea. D.G.D. Dolomieu (1750-1801) believed the diluvium was created when giant tidal waves either carried arctic birds south or swept tropical animals north. Among the animals which this Flood seemed to have made extinct in Europe were elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceros, hyenas, and apes. Horses and camels which then roamed in America also suddenly went extinct. Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), father of the science of paleontology, could only explain these extinctions as being due to a great flood which Cuvier also explained as a “revolution” of land and sea. Importantly, Cuvier’s pointing to extinctions due to 3 earlier revolutions was key in establishing the geological acceptance of an ancient earth. Thus, it was the discovery of the true geological evidence of Noah’s Flood that established geological acceptance of an ancient earth!

Inside the Kirkdale cave near Liverpool England, William Buckland (1784-1856) explored a hyena’s den containing the gnawed bones of elephants and other animals now only found in the tropics. These remains were sandwiched between two layers of stalagmite, the upper layer covering the diluvium which drowned these cave dwellers. But even those like Jean DeLuc, Dolomieu, and William Buckland who identified the diluvium with Noah’s Flood sought natural rather than supernatural causes.

Jean DeLuc pointed to the diluvium as evidence against James Hutton’s theory of the earth as having always functioned in a uniform manner. As DeLuc explained, the present course of rivers cannot be so ancient. Else erosion would have long ago filled river lakes. The deltas where rivers flow into oceans being of limited extent were likewise evidence of the recency of the rivers. Contrary to Hutton’s theory, steep V-shaped banks of rivers show that they could not be responsible for the wide U-shaped valleys through which these rivers meander.

Some of the most powerful evidence for a recent flood concerned two additional kinds of phenomena. One was the still-preserved frozen carcasses of now extinct animals found in the frozen tundra of Siberia. Some of these animals were eating at the time of their death. How could vegetation suitable for sustaining elephants be growing in such arctic conditions and how could their carcasses have not decayed aside from being somehow frozen immediately following their death? Had water from a worldwide Flood suddenly covered them, it would have turned into ice as the warmer waters receded.

The other evidence of a great flood in the recent history of the earth were rocks, some the size of houses, lying on the earth’s surface which had gotten displaced as much as hundreds of miles from their geological origin. Ordinary erosion could not explain the displacement of these erratics, which didn’t necessarily follow river valleys. But a great tsunami or flooding from the ocean might. Sir James Hall, a disciple of Hutton, suggested the erratics had once been under water where they had gotten frozen into icebergs. He believed that earthquakes in the middle of the ocean caused waves of translation to lift the icebergs from the ocean which then drifted onto land to the place where they currently lay. Thus, he explained how the rocks carried by these icebergs caused the parallel groves and scratches which he observed on the surface of the erratics and bedrock near Edinburg, Scotland.  

Re-envisioning the diluvium as coming from the deposits of drifting icebergs

Charles Lyell (1797-1875) and his geological student Charles Darwin (1809-1882) became the chief proponents of the iceberg drift theory. According to them, erratics and various types of soil then attributed to a Flood came from the bottom of frozen oceans. But instead of being deposited on land by tidal waves, Lyell taught that the present lands and sea oscillate in relative elevation. As the oceans rise and the land sinks, great rafts of icebergs drift onto land where they dumped erratics and other kinds of soil that had gotten frozen into the icebergs. He therefore renamed the diluvium as the drift. According to Lyell, these great rocks were also responsible for shaping valleys and digging lakes, including the Great Lakes of America which lay just above the diluvium. It was a fantastic theory, but Lyell would bury these details in an encyclopedia of geological history and empirical observations that he had gathered from different parts of Europe and America.

According to Lyell, the slowly shifting elevation between the ocean and land was responsible for many floods over hundreds of thousands of years. In addition to the rising ocean floor being responsible for seashells buried in mountains, floods caused by rising oceans and sinking land lifted and carried great rafts of icebergs to the places where they dumped the erratics and what were then understood as diluvium deposits but which he saw as having gotten frozen into the icebergs. Thus, Lyell used the depth of the drift to estimate the gradual and uniform period required to deposit what was then understood as the diluvium, guessing it to be several hundred thousand years. These floods could not have been the same as Noah’s Flood in the Bible, which however was precisely Lyell’s aim. Lyell did allow that Noah’s Flood might have been a local one limited to region of the Caspian Sea.

Lyell presented this theory in his three-volume Principles of Geology, the first volume published in 1830. Defending his drift theory against the diluvium, Lyell followed the Scottish minister John Fleming who proposed that the extinction of the large fauna found in the diluvium was due to human hunters. He pointed to George Scrope’s failure to find evidence of the diluvium in the mountains of Auvergne but could explain steep and narrow valleys as entirely due to erosion. Scrope found volcanic tephra on the top of the mountains which Flood waters should have washed away. But diluvium lay deep below several flows of lava from Mt Etna in Sicily, indicating that it was deposited long before humans walked the earth.

These aspects of Lyell’s Principles of Geology are overlooked in popular writings because the chief aim of this book was to defend James Hutton’s claim that, given sufficient time, uplift of the earth stemming from intrusions from below together with ordinary erosion could explain all the earth’s geological features. Lyell aimed to explained geology apart from extraordinary catastrophes as those claimed by diluvialists such as Cuvier and Buckland. He also challenged the claims of the geognists (see page 21) that the strata of the earth were created from gradually diminish oceans. But the chief obstacle to these claims was explaining away the most recent catastrophe, then believed responsible for the diluvium deposits.

Though ignored by critics and supporters alike, Lyell’s use of percentages of living species to define the earth’s recent geological eras (which Lyell himself invented!) wasn’t based on mammals, the most recent and rapidly changing form of life, but on shellfish, the earth’s oldest form of life which aside from still ongoing adaptations to new environments hardly changed over this recent period. The blame however should be shared with Georges Cuvier who used freshwater shellfish to define the entire range of geological periods based on fossils. In 1808, Cyprien Prosper Brard suggested that these freshwater mollusks were the result of a great diluvial quake that had mixed shells of various kinds. Thus, Cuvier’s “last” Flood was sufficient to have mixed these freshwater mollusks with the more ancient fossils. But Cuvier needed his earlier “revolutions” to defend extinctions against Lamarck who supported Brard. Brard also pointed out that mollusks continuously adapt to changing salinity. Thus, they can be no reliable marker of time.

Lyell’s new uniformitarian theory of the earth met with considerable skepticism among geologists, but not because it removed Noah’s Flood from geology. The opposition was to his uniformitarian view which suggested that animals neither evolved nor went extinct. Lyell believed that dinosaurs were still to be found alive someplace in the still unexplored earth! More significantly, opposition to Lyell came from the fact that he denied that the fossil record showed evidence of increasingly complex life. Nor did geologists like using unpredictable volcanic eruptions as a reliable measure of time. Due to erosion, they knew that the diluvium wasn’t to be found everyplace and especially on the sides of mountains. Moreover, how could the small populations of humans living before modern transportation have been responsible such great extinctions!

What geologists did like was how Lyell’s uniformitarian science explained geology entirely by natural causes, the same as had attracted many to James Hutton’s theory of the earth and would latter cause them to favor his disciple Darwin’s theory of evolution. The diluvium would no longer be viewed as deposits of a single Flood but as an extended geological period currently known as the Pleistocene. Thus, Lyell used his drift theory to explain all the phenomena previously seen as evidence of a sudden and single worldwide Flood. Despite the rejection of his uniformitarian geology by most geologists and eventually by Lyell himself, Lyell saw his chief accomplishment as ‘having rid geology of Moses.’

The Ice Age

In the meantime, a new theory emerged to explain the diluvium deposits that Lyell and Darwin were then attributing to iceberg drift. This theory had developed in Switzerland where existed both erratic stones and mountain glaciers. If the great displacement of the erratics had previously been attributed to the waters of a tidal wave caused flood, perhaps they could also be explained by a slow-moving frozen flood such as the glaciers which flow from high mountains like the one by which we are gathered. The popularization of this theory to explain the worldwide deposits of what was then known as the diluvium was the work of the world’s leading expert on fossil fish. Louis Agassiz was already a well-known scientist when he became the pioneering advocate of the Ice Age.

Agassiz first presented his idea to the 1837 Swiss Society of Natural Sciences where it received a completely negative reception. The great Alexander Humboldt advised Agassiz to return to studying fossil fishes. Even so, Agassiz presented his idea in a memoir outlining the historical evidence for oscillating glaciers in Switzerland and proposed that vast ice sheets once covered Europe. Agassiz shared the idea with his friend William Buckland, who by now was willing to abandon the diluvium theory for which he had been the chief advocate. What most impressed Buckland was that parallel grooves along bedrock could be better explained by glaciers sliding large erratics across bedrock than could Lyell’s iceberg drift theory. But Aggassiz and Buckland assumed the same kind of Ice Age glaciers were also responsible for the diluvium that the latter had found in the tropics of southern Asia!

Buckland’s support was key. By 1846, when Agassiz came to America to take a position at Harvard University, the Ice Age was all the rage in Europe and America. Agassiz soon embarked on a trip to Brazil to study the evidence of glacier deposits in the Amazon jungles, where he found them. As Buckland had found evidence of the diluvium in the jungles of Southeast Asia and in the highlands of the Himalayan Mountains, Agassiz concluded that glaciers had once covered the entire earth. Not surprisingly, Agassiz’s teaching of what was then called Snowball Earth had the effect of cooling enthusiasm for an Ice Age. Thus, Lyell and Darwin continued to prefer their drift theory to such a non-uniformitarian theory as a recent great Ice Age.

In 1852, a scientific expedition to Greenland discovered that great ice sheets covered the island. Later in the century, ice sheets  were discovered in Antarctica. As southern limits to northern ice sheets became accepted, so did the Ice Age. The diluvium does appear somewhat differently in the northern climates where less vegetation grows. Even to this day, the attention given to explaining an Ice Age now restricted to the colder northern regions deflects attention from the fact that the diluvium which by then was being called the drift is also to found in temperate and tropic regions.

Glacier scientists tell us that rocks freezing to the bottoms of glaciers operate like a great file, scraping the earth below them. Rocks do freeze to the bottom of glaciers, but the tensile strength of this part of the glacier is the greatest of any part of the glacier. Instead of scraping the ground, it will just retard the flow of the glacier. The geologist Sir Henry Howorth was appalled by the notion that ice sheets could defy the laws of gravity by flowing uphill, even over mountains, digging out deep lakes by dragging great boulders. It was however scarcely less difficult to believe than Lyell and Darwin’s equally fantastic drift theory. That geologists could be convinced of an Ice Age was Howorth’s ‘Glacier Nightmare.’ [3]

If not a dream, there was a feat of great imagination behind drawings of a miles-high wall of ice sliding towards what is now New York City. Though much lower, such ice cliffs as can be seen in Greenland or Antarctica are created when icebergs fall into the ocean, but where on flat earth might they fall? Glaciers do move towards the ocean through sloping valleys in the same way that unfrozen rivers flow toward the ocean. But to imagine a lateral force to propel icesheets across flat land, even uphill(!), glacier scientists must imagine snow somehow falling only in selected spots from which these icesheets are somehow supposed to spread. Even so, permanent ice covering builds up slowly and gradually in the frozen tundra and melts in the same slow way and without dragging rocks aside from what might flow from meltwaters. Agassiz’s Ice Age theory however was not inspired by ice sheets covering flat lands, but by observations of erratics and deposits found in the valleys of mountain glaciers.

This summer, I had an opportunity to view just how these rocks tumble from this ice-capped mountain by which we are gathered. As the case of mountains throughout the world, Agri Dagh slowly grows causing rocks to fall from its higher levels. The winter snows cause the mountain’s glaciers to grow and freeze the rocks beneath them. During summer melts, dams of water gather under the lower extensions of these glaciers. Our host Ahmet Ertugrul sent me a video that he recorded of a rapidly gushing stream of water shooting down this mountain from inside the glacier. The rushing stream of water was carrying rocks, large and small. It is gravity not glaciers that is responsible for most “Ice Age” deposits. Whatever deposited erratics along with loess, sand, and boulder clay across great plains, it could not have been glaciers. It could have been great amounts of swiftly moving water.

As to where to find the sources of this water one need only follow the sources of the erratics. In the northern and Alpine regions, they will be the source of the flow of what are now supposed as once Ice Age glaciers. But they can be found as well in temperate and tropic regions, resulting from the great underground quakes that led to the mixing of shells as pointed out in 1808 by Cyprien Prosper Brard (see p. 27 above). The emptying of the underground reservoirs that fed rivers and lakes prior to this event caused a considerable rise in the elevation of land which has been wrongly explained as being due to the melting of Ice Age glaciers. This also explains the rising of the mountains as the internal parts of the earth continue to empty their internal water, the same kind of virgin water that we now see expelled by volcanoes. It’s why evidence of ancient vegetation that can grow only at low altitudes can now be found near the place where we are meeting, which is about one mile (1625 meters) above sea level.  

Calculating the era since the Flood

Inspired by two of DeLuc’s observations: (1) that river deltas date from the time of the Flood and (2) that silt lying above ancient monuments under river deltas might serve as a measure of time, Dolomieu traveled with Napoleon’s troops to Egypt where he hoped to find a monument beneath the Nile Delta by which he might use to calculate the time since man first appeared in Egypt. Unfortunately, Dolomieu’s work ended with the downfall of Napoleon, but others continued this work as published in the famous Description de lEgypte between 1809 and 1829. Based on the 72-foot depth of a monument found in the delta and his estimated mean rate of sediment build up in the delta of 2.5 inches per centuries, M. Rosiere calculated the time since the placement of the monument of to be about 30,000 years. That was at least 25,000 years too early, but no one in those days knew any better.

Other geologists believed they had a way of determining the time since the Flood deposited the diluvium, though it was coming to be seen as either the time since the drift or the Ice Age had made these deposits. As everyone acknowledged, the American Great Lakes rested on diluvium deposits. The erosion of Niagara Falls by the Saint Lawrence River had begun at Lake Ontario. Knowing the time since the Flood was a matter of estimating the rate of erosion of Niagara Falls and multiplying that by the distance of the Falls from Lake Ontario. In 1829, the British geologist Robert Bakewell used historical information from the people who lived near Niagara Falls to estimate the rate of erosion. Based on estimated erosion of 3 feet per year, Bakewell calculated that it had been about 10,000 years since Niagara Falls began eroding from Lake Ontario, then seen as being the time that had passed since the great deluge.

That was far too recent for Lyell, who had a need and thus a tendency to multiply the number of geological eras and expand the duration of each. Lyell himself created the many subdivisions of the Tertiary and Quaternary periods. To expand what Lyell called the most recent era, currently known as the Holocene, Lyell guessed the erosion to be only 1 foot per year to calculate at least 30,000 years. Lyell was no doubt acquainted with the calculations published in the famous Description de lEgypte.

This is important for understanding the scientific methods of the man most responsible for shifting the authority recognized by European Christians from the Bible to science and for wresting the sciences from the Christian universities to become secular professions. Though they appreciated his wide acquaintance with geological history and his reporting and addressing geological observations from all over Europe and America, even Lyell’s close friend Oxford Professor Adam Sedgewick recognized that Lyell functioned more as an advocate with a case to win than as an unbiased observer of empirical observations, something admired in the earliest days of geology. Lyell was in fact a lawyer by training. In the nineteenth century, when geology served as the mother science from which most of the other historical sciences developed, Lyell functioned as did the politicians in the social circles of Europe where he sought audience. From the death of Georges Cuvier, another scientific politician who ruled the previous era, Lyell presided over geology and the sciences which sprang from geology. There is no need for putting science in quotes because government sponsored science, which is how the historical sciences are funded today, remains the most political of professions. Secular governments determine what is scientific, not so much according to truth but to whatever their laws will recognize.

In 1878, Alexander Winchell calculated the rate of erosion for St. Anthony’s Falls near the beginning of the Mississippi River and found that the Ice Age must have ended only about 8,000 years ago. However appreciative that this famous European geologist took note of geology in America, American geologists such as Yale’s James Dana didn’t like Lyell so cavalierly dismissing their careful work. Strong opposition from American geologists who had a true empirical basis for their measurements restrained Lyell from expanding the Holocene, the time coming to be known as ‘the end of the Ice Age,’ to 30,000 years.  I will explain below how Lyell agreed to compromise the time since the end of the Ice Age as being 12,000 years ago.


[1] Photos from Wikimedia Commons. Kame in left photo is in Scotland. Whether it also contains burials as do the kames in Wisconsin, see discussion p. 55

[2] For a review of the geological history behind this chapter, c.f. Martin J. S. Rudwick’s two masterful volumes Bursting the Limits of Time (2005) and Worlds Before Adam (2008) published by the University of Chicago Press

[3] Sir Henry H. Howorth, The Glacial Nightmare and the Flood (Vol I, 1892; Vol II, 1893)


  • Reply March 8, 2023


    The Entrance of Sin and the Dinosaurs

    The biblical account of Creation suggests that the curse that followed the fall of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:14-19) caused biological changes that led to changes in the diet and behavior of many animals, giving rise to current competitive relationships, predation, and parasitism. Although the Bible does not describe these changes in detail, they are interpreted today as genetic modification, since we know from science that such major changes would require genetic alteration. We do not know whether the changes occurred immediately or developed over several generations, but they were in full evidence by the time the dinosaurs were buried by the Flood.

  • Reply March 9, 2023


    Link Hudson how does this make any sense to Brett Dobbs Philip Williams ?

  • Reply March 9, 2023


    • Reply March 9, 2023


      Brett Dobbs I dont think Philip Williams would agree here on young earth

    • Reply March 9, 2023


      Brett Dobbs most of these “convincing” arguments are addressed in Ancient Light. Actually before the sixties few conservatives Christians held to a young earth. That’s because there was no old earth version of a worldwide Flood. This changes with my work, as you can read in Ancient Light. BTW, the fish destroying worldwide Flood is hardly the one mentioned in the Bible.

      Ancient Light from this Mountain: A book that will change the world!

    • Reply March 11, 2023


      Brett Dobbs The most convincing evidence for a young earth is the Word of God.

    • Reply March 11, 2023


      Duane L Burgess The most convincing evidence for a young earth is NO young earth #@ All Philip Williams

    • Reply March 11, 2023


      Duane L Burgess you need the Holy Ghost baptism. But you will have to humble yourself to God.

  • Reply March 11, 2023


    suppose you read this one? Abram Lechuga John Digsby

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