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Questions and Answers about the Creation, Curse, Catastrophe (CCC) Geologic Model
An interview with Robert E. Gentet
© 2008
 
1. Question: What's the origin of the CCC model?

The CCC model was a long time in development. When I was in high school, back in the ‘50s, I took a semester geology course. I really didn't know what to do with all the seeming "evidence" for evolution and long geologic ages. I was a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod at the time. Their publishing company (Concordia Publishing House) had published a couple of books on the subject – The Flood by Alfred Rehwinkel (1951) and Genes, Genesis, and Evolution by Dr. John Klotz (1955). They presented the case for a recent, six-day creation and universal Flood that created the bulk of the fossil record. These two books were my introduction to Earth history from a Creation viewpoint.

In the late 50s I became a member of another Church. This Church also did not accept the evolutionary theory, but had a form of the "Gap Theory." This interpretation of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 allowed a large amount of time between the creation of the universe (1:1) and the literal, 6 day re-creation of life on the Earth (1:2ff). During the "gap," the sin of the angels had brought devastation on the Earth.

I believed and defended the Gap Theory for a number of years, until the mid-1980s. About this time, I realized the Gap Theory was not doctrinally defensible with the rest of the biblical record. However, something was also wrong with the popular Creationist idea that Noah's Flood could account for all (or most) of the fossil record.

I earned an MS in geology at Wichita State University in 1982. After earning this degree, I gradually began to formulate a possible explanation. A missing element in the 6-day Creationists' viewpoint was understanding the biblical and geologic record of the Earth after man's sin and the Curse placed upon the Earth as a result. The more I studied the Bible and the fossil record, I began to see a pattern in the strata that fit the biblical record better than any geologic model I had encountered.

In the early 1990's I was elected to the Board of Directors of Creation Research Society (CRS). There I came into contact with Dr. Erich A. von Fange, a professor at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI. He likewise had come to understand that a certain part of the geologic record originated between the time of Adam and the Flood. However, he didn't attempt to identify which strata were formed during this long time interval.

By the mid-1990's I had written my first CCC model paper and submitted it for publication in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. It was published five years later in the June 2000 CRSQ.

2. Question: How does the CCC model differ from other Young Earth geologic models?

The main difference is the CCC model's postulate of massive geologic activity between the time of Adam's sin (the beginning of the Curse on the Earth) and the Flood in the days of Noah. This geologic activity left sizable portions of strata with fossils.

3. Question: What are some other differences?

Since it is a Young Earth model, it accepts a literal 6-day Creation Week. However, the CCC model emphasizes the need to pay special attention to the details of Creation Week. The biblical record provides possible clues to understanding physical observations of the geologic record. Because the Curse on the Earth began soon after Man's Creation, strata and fossils then began to be formed due to local catastrophic events.

The distribution of plant and animal life on the Earth vastly changed from the time of Creation Week to the Flood and from the Flood to the present day. The original placement of the "kinds" of plants and animals (in various geographic areas) played a vital role in later fossil placement in the geologic record. The original creation locations determined if they were available for fossilization in an area due to geologic events. Then, subsequent migration played a vital factor in the vertical and horizontal fossil order.

The CCC model considers the Genesis 1 account to indicate that specific plants and animals were placed at individual "creation centers." For example, in [the Garden of] Eden God created specific plants and animals that Man finds most useful for food, clothing and shelter such as the angiosperms and mammals. Such life forms are commonly found in the upper geologic layers around the Earth. The lower strata accumulated before these "specialized" life forms had time to proliferate and migrate from their relatively small point of origin in Eden. Today, almost the entire Earth has "Eden type" plants and animals.

4. Question: Did you find any certain "key" that unlocked the seemingly evolutionary sequence of fossils in the strata?

Yes. One day I read in a geology book that the fossil succession sequence in the strata was similar to the food chain. The food chain is that sequence of life forms that mutually depend upon each other. Each animal, for example, needs a specific food supply. There is a biological web that holds life together in each ecosystem. And, furthermore, these ecosystems have as a base the "simple" one celled forms of life. Only more complete food chains provide subsistence for the "higher" life forms such as mammals and Man.

Then I saw the possibility that the geologic record actually preserved how life migrated from one "creation center" to another as favorable ecological conditions permitted. The food chain would become increasingly more complex in each region with the passage of time. The various Genesis "kinds" of plants and animals also branch out into many varieties during this time.

Such is exactly what the fossil record appears to tell us. Creatures suddenly appear in the fossil record in each specific location fully developed just as if out of nowhere. It's not that they hadn't existed elsewhere; they just hadn't inhabited this location because the food chain could not yet support them. The geologic record announces their arrival as it is built up in each area due to catastrophic effects. Life forms are killed, then suddenly buried and preserved, sometimes leaving us with great detail in the fossil record.

5. Question: Where did Adam and Eve and other humans live during this "Adam to Noah" time and why don't we find massive gravesites of their bones?

This has been one of the most difficult questions to answer for Flood geology theorists. Massive human burial sites due to Noah's Flood are lacking – unlike that of other life forms. Flood geology models state that most fossil remains are evidence of the Flood. The lack of massive, human fossil graveyards presents a problem for the Flood model. However, the CCC model postulates that while much fossiliation may be due to catastrophic events, there are also many "time factors" preserved in the rocks that can't be accounted for in a one-year Flood event. For the CCC model, additional time frames from the beginning of Creation history until the present become important.

An interesting factor almost completely overlooked by Flood geology models is that geologic surface maps of the world show extensive areas of the continents totally bare of Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata (the rocks in which the bulk of the fossils appear)! Instead, these areas are covered by what is called pre-Cambrian strata or "basement" rocks. Most of these "basement" rocks do not contain any fossils. The CCC model calls them "foundations of the world" rocks – rocks mainly created swiftly during Creation Week.

The continents have undergone much change since Creation Week! The CCC model says this is what we would expect from the Genesis record and the Curse upon the Earth. In short, God has added a lot of real estate to the originally created land masses. Outwardly from these stable basement shield areas, much land surface has been created along the edges of the continents through geologic events. Mankind and "higher" animal forms (and plant) life originally lived in the stable areas. They migrated onto the newly developing areas as the continents grew in size due to catastrophic geologic events and as each local "food chain" developed.

6. Question: So what does this have to do with the lack of large human fossil burial grounds?

According to the CCC model much geologic activity happened between the time of Adam and Noah's Flood. However, humans were generally absent from the violent areas. They lived in the stable areas which even today are still pre-Cambrian at the surface (much of the Amazon basin, for example, is pre-Cambrian, yet is rich in vegetation.)

Per the CCC model, during the Flood massive erosion swept the continents as water poured down relentlessly for 40 days and nights. This contrasts with Flood geology models that lay great emphasis upon ocean waters transgressing the land. The CCC model reads the biblical record as emphasizing the water that came down from the sky. This inundation from the sky created vast rivers flowing out to the oceans and vast erosion of the strata. The waters probably swept all life forms off the land and great distances into the oceans. There they rotted and decayed or were eaten, probably leaving few remains for us to view today, thus the lack of large, human fossil graveyards.

7. Question: Do you have examples of this massive erosion caused by the Flood?

Yes! The whole Earth has preserved vast evidences of massive erosion! One such striking example is the American West where large areas now exhibit buttes, mesas, and plateaus. Large amounts of strata are missing. Similar situations exist worldwide. This means that we have vast evidence of Noah's Flood, but not in the way that many Creationists have envisioned!

8. Question: How was the geologic record of the Flood missed by early Christian geologists a couple hundred years ago?

Early Christian geologists assumed the Flood caused the strata in which the fossil record is preserved. However, later discoveries of "time indicators" were found in the strata. For example, many different types of fossil animal tracks are preserved. The dinosaur tracks are perhaps the most famous; but tracks of many other creatures have also been discovered. Some tracks are found in the midst of thousands of feet of strata with even more strata on top of them. Think of what this means! Tracks are made by living creatures. To have thousands of feet of strata laid down (presumably by the Flood) and then have creatures still living able to make tracks on them seems very far fetched indeed. Furthermore, these tracks are often very normal (not running) and many form patterns around what appears to have been ancient lake or sea shores. This evidence would argue for events spaced out over time – events fitting into the long pre-Flood world history, according to the CCC geologic model.

9. Question: Aren't dinosaur fossils found around the world and if so, wouldn't that mean that dinosaurs and men lived together?

No, not at all. In fact, fossil evidence shows that dinosaurs lived in rather narrow ecological niches near the ocean shores or inland seas or lakes. The rocks in which dinosaur fossils are found belong to areas which developed around the continental margins. New land was added onto continental margins due to catastrophic occurrences or events which affected the shorelines of ocean basins. These happenings occurred while most people were probably still living in the more stable, inland continental "shield' areas where the ecology was more human friendly. The dinosaurs lived (as ecologic conditions permitted) along the sea shores and inland for maybe 100 or so miles. In spite of "Jurassic Park" fantasies, humans and dinosaurs probably seldom saw each other and if they did, it wasn't a pleasant encounter.

10. Question: Why do you say that the strata were, in general, deposited catastrophically?

The internal evidence of much strata shows catastrophic deposition. There are exceptions, of course, but the mere fact of the presence of billions of fossils in the rocks indicates sudden deposition. It's often been pointed out, for example, that North America was populated by millions of Bison, yet we only know that because we saw them. They were not preserved as fossils. Sudden death and burial is required for fossilization. Amazingly, this seems true even of limestone which is normally portrayed as being laid down exceedingly slowly over thousands or millions of years. This assumption follows the beliefs of the early uniformitarian geologists that "the Present is the Key to the Past" since limestone deposition today is slow. This original uniformitarian idea has now been seen to be misleading. It is now noted that only the "processes" of the present can be invoked, not necessarily present-day slow rates. In some Kansas Mesozoic limestone, for example, are perfectly preserved fish. One large fish even has preserved a smaller fish within it! The larger had obviously just eaten the smaller and the eaten fish is also perfectly preserved. Such perfect preservation strongly indicates that the limestone was deposited very rapidly (no digestion time) and not slowly over long time spans.

11. Question: Isn't the whole matter of the origin of the rocks a basic enigma?

Yes, this is very true. We see massive amounts of shale (originally mud), sandstone (originally sand) and limestone with all kinds of fossil remains preserved in them. Where did all this mud, sand, and limestone come from? To evoke the traditional "Rock Cycle" is not rational. While it is true that weathering breaks down rocks into their component parts, it does not necessary follow that the massive amounts of material needed to create the strata came about by that slow method of decomposition.

12. Question: Then, where did all the rock material come from, if not from the gradual weathering of rocks, etc.?

That's a good question and ripe for much further research. My hunch is that much of it pre-existed elsewhere and was suddenly transported into the region and deposited. First, remember that when God created the earth, He created many rock types (but not fossils in the rocks since fossils are evidence of once living things). We can assume that deposits of sand or sandstone, mud or shale, etc. were a part of the original Creation during Creation Week. These source materials could be re-deposited later and preserve fossils.

Furthermore, we are just beginning to discover what lies deep inside the Earth. There are such things as "mud" volcanoes – volcanoes that spew forth mud instead of igneous material. There are evidences that vast amounts of sand on the ocean floors can be catastrophically transported onto the land, etc. Certain forms of limestone (CaCO3) are precipitated out of water through chemical reactions. This is, in fact, how God set up a system to remove vast amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Otherwise we could end up like Venus with a harmful greenhouse effect that heats its surface to a temperature that would melt lead. We know at certain times in the Earth's history vast amounts of CO2 have been released from volcanic activity. It seems only reasonable that vast amounts of limestone originated quickly in order to keep the proper balance of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere.

Earthquakes can catastrophically destroy mountains and suddenly make large amounts of debris available. The geologic record shows this is what happened in some areas. The recent earthquake in China did this on a smaller scale creating earthen dams. These dams can suddenly burst and create further chaos downstream.

Many fruitful areas of research await us.

13. Question: Do the major eras (Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic) exist as horizontal co-existing fossil ecosystems? It seems that the fossil order is always a vertical Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic in that order. How, then, could they be horizontally expanding ecosystems?

The answer to this question involves many factors:

  1. All young earth creation models postulate all life “kinds” existed at the end of Creation Week. Therefore, any fossil order found in the geologic record is a shared question.
  2. Life exists in various ecosystems. This is true today and has been from the beginning.
  3. Eden, man’s first abode, is described with life forms associated with Cenozoic fossils. Eden (Cenozoic ecosystem) was very limited geographically in the beginning.
  4. The biblical indication is that other forms of life besides humans were created in very limited quantities. These other forms were also commanded to “multiply and fill the earth,” as were humans. Therefore, the CCC model envisions various limited "creation centers" (ecosystems) in the beginning in addition to Eden. Their extent is best estimated by findings in the fossil record. The marine Paleozoic seems by the fossil record to have been quite extensive in area.
  5. Large land areas on earth today have no Paleozoic/Mesozoic/Cenozoic strata. These areas are called shields. The surface rocks are Precambrian. These shield areas are remnants of the original land surfaces where land life could live in the beginning. Shield areas have remained geologically very stable.
  6. The shield areas are remnants of places where land plants and animals lived but were never fossilized. Other areas may also have existed “in the beginning” for land life but are now covered by strata.
  7. Paleozoic strata mainly contain shallow marine fossils from non-shield areas. It was here that the beginning effects of the Curse on the earth started recording the fossil burial sequence.
  8. The original distribution of life on the face of the globe is unknown. Fossil sequences found around the world record how local ecosystems changed over time.
  9. Paleozoic rocks increased the size of the original land areas (shields). God enlarged the land surfaces of the earth in preparation of human population growth and humankind’s future need for additional land.
  10. Ecological succession is very similar to geological fossil succession of life. Once the Paleozoic marine areas became new land areas, the preservation of the succession of land ecosystems could begin.
  11. Many different ecosystems existed on the shield areas (or other non-geologically active areas) and were not fossilized. These included the more “advanced” ecosystems such as the expanding Eden (Cenozoic). Ecosystems were fossilized in those areas where geologic activity was more common. These active geological areas produced vertical sequences of fossils (advancing ecosystems).
  12. The Paleozoic/Mesozoic/Cenozoic sequence is not found in all areas outside the shields. Sometimes entire Periods or even Eras are missing. Mesozoic or Cenozoic rocks, for example, can be found directly on Precambrian in some parts of the world.
  13. The location and arrangement of the land masses have changed since the beginning. As we shall learn in the following questions and answers, this helps explain why similar fossil assemblies are now found worldwide.
  14. In conclusion, horizontally expanding ecosystems “fed” the geologically active areas causing vertical sequences of fossils to be preserved. Adjacent ecosystems could exist without all being simultaneously preserved.
14. Question: It has been asserted that worldwide ash beds, shocked quartz and some iridium anomalies have been found at the breaks between Paleozoic/Mesozoic (Permian) and Mesozoic/Cenozoic (Cretaceous). These are said to be associated with massive extinctions of life and meteor impact events. How do these findings fit into the CCC model?

The CCC model understands that spectacular volcanic and/or meteoric events have happened in the past and been recorded in the earth’s strata. However, their placement within the biblical time frame isn’t necessarily determined by the Flood or any other biblical event.

Some young earth models place these events after the Flood, while others within the Flood. The CCC model using the Scriptures as a guide postulates two universal strata horizons. The first horizon was caused by the sudden emergence of land on the third day of Creation Week. This caused universal erosion upon all land areas. We find such a worldwide erosion break at the top of Precambrian rocks. The other worldwide erosion break is higher in the geological sequence. It is due to the mega-flooding runoff erosion from the 40 days and nights of torrential rains of the Genesis Flood Event. This worldwide erosion marker is seen locally at various geological horizons, but commonly in the USA it is just after the Mesozoic/Cenozoic boundary (early Tertiary)

The whole subject of mass extinctions in the fossil record is highly controversial. While it is true that a large number of species have disappeared since Creation Week, the reasons for this need not be linked to specific biblical events. They constitute the total result of what the Curse upon the earth caused at various times and ways.

For example, the well-known "Permian Extinction" was not a global event, but rather a catastrophe that struck an ancient internal ocean (Paleo-Tethys) of the world’s super-continent of that time (Pangea). This area contained a Permian ecosystem and the resulting breaking up of Pangea made it appear to be a worldwide event. Instead, it was a local ecosystem (Permian) that was devastated and whose fossils were redistributed by plate movement into various separated regions.

15. Question: The fossil record gives evidence of animals eating other animals. Some say the Bible limits carnivorous animals to post-Flood because of Genesis 1:29-30 and 9:3-5. If this is true, then the fossil record is only of post-Flood events. The CCC model says fossils have been forming since sin entered the world, long before the Flood. How does the CCC model reconcile the Genesis statements with fossils dating from before and during the Flood?

The answer lies in biblical interpretation. Do these Scriptures limit carnivorous animals to post-Flood?

First, it is true that Genesis 1:29-30 indicates that originally both humans and animals did not eat meat. God’s express purpose was that plants would fulfill dietary needs. Yet, it is plain that animals were used for clothing and in sacrifices to God. It is also clear that the world before the Flood became exceedingly lawless. Sin changed everything. Violence filled the world (Gen. 6:11-13). It is reasonable to believe that the animals also became violent in their actions.

If Genesis 9:3-4 is carefully read, it will be seen that only man is given permission to eat meat after the Flood. This is in contrast to the earlier time when both man and animals were given only plants to eat. This implies that some animals had already turned carnivorous.

Genesis 9:5 has been used by some to say “every beast” was given permission to eat meat at this time. Clearly this can’t be true since every beast isn’t carnivorous. Rather, a key in biblical interpretation is the context of the verse in question. What is the actual subject being discussed?

The context is the high value that God places upon human life. If someone is murdered, then the murderer has his own life to forfeit. This could be at the hand of human government, here instituted in Scripture for the first time. Or, the murderer could find his/her end by the hand of an angry relative or even by an animal. The context has nothing to do with diet, but rather the punishment of a murderer.

Fossil evidence of animal violence against other animals is not limited to the time after the Flood. God’s statement about diet in Genesis 9:3 cites only humans. Animals are not mentioned because animals had already turned carnivorous before the Flood. Genesis 9:5 cannot be used because the subject matter (see also verse 6) is no longer diet but what happens when human life is taken.

In summary, the CCC model does not restrict carnivorous animals to post-Flood times. Both the Scriptures and the fossil record reveal carnivorous animals roamed the world after sin entered.

16. Question: Do you have anything further to add about the CCC model?

I would urge the reader to study the two CCC model articles available on the CreationHistory.com website. Then, write me an e-mail with further questions or comments at Contact@CreationHistory.com. I look forward to adding to this question and answer section.

Further Reading:

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