The Grand Canyon and Change

The Grand Canyon and Change

The Bible tells us that God designed planet Earth with the capacity to change, and the geologic and fossil record agrees with that. The Grand Canyon is one of the most fascinating places on Earth. By going to the bottom of the canyon eight times and floating on the Colorado River four times, I have seen the history of change and its benefits to humans. I have also seen the harm that humans have inflicted on the Colorado River.

The Grand Canyon is not just one massive layer of rock. The canyon exhibits multiple layers of different kinds of rocks, and each layer has a different story to tell. At the bottom of the Grand Canyon, we see rocks forged in Earth’s creation. They are tilted and eroded with a layer of sedimentary rocks on top of the eroded surface. The sedimentary rocks contain the remains of creatures that lived in an ocean that once covered the region. One animal is the trilobite, similar to today’s horseshoe crabs. A layer of petrified mud called Bright Angel Shale rests on top of the sandstone, and Mauv Limestone covers the shale layer. Limestone is only deposited in deep oceans, so change was involved.

The sea became shallower for a while and then deeper again, indicating climate change. This deeper layer is called the Redwall Limestone, but the red is caused by iron minerals seeping from rocks above it. This limestone layer is 800 feet thick and is covered by the 700-foot-thick Supai formation, which contains corals, crinoids, and gastropods not seen in earlier layers.

With a warmer climate, the ocean became shallow enough that land plants could exist. More change happened, and the area became a desert, laying down the Coconino Sandstone. That layer contains frosted sand grains produced by high winds blowing the sand, which does not happen underwater. We can see lava flows on top of some of these layers, revealing the change produced by volcanic activity. Then, a shallow sea developed and got deeper, producing the Kaibab Limestone with many ocean creatures we don’t find in earlier layers.

Over time, a series of geological changes transformed the area we now know as the Colorado Plateau. These changes, including the uplift of the land and subsequent erosion, are what we see today in the Grand Canyon. They are a testament to the dynamic nature of our planet and the resources it has provided for human survival.

Some people suggest that Noah’s flood produced the Grand Canyon. They are ignorant of petrology – the study of rocks. The canyon is 278 miles long and gives a solid testimony to the patience and wisdom of God. Noah’s time was yet to come when all of these layers were deposited, and Noah’s flood is not recorded in the rocks or biology of ancient times. Saying that God created all of these layers and fossils to fool us makes God a liar, and James 1:13 says God never misleads us. Make sure the evidence supports your convictions – not unquestioning belief in denominational teachings or blind faith in chance as the causal agent for Earth and its amazing features and living things.

— John N. Clayton © 2024