Ager's Opinion of Young-Earth Creationists Dr. Kevin R. Henke
Dr. Kevin R. Henke
The following material may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author is properly acknowledged
and the material is not altered, edited or sold.
In recent years many geologists, especially Derek Ager, have recognized the importance of ancient NATURAL catastrophes in forming the geologic record. Modern "uniformitarianists" (also called actualists) realize that the geologic record is a product of both LOCALIZED NATURAL catastrophes (including: ancient earthquakes, hurricanes, meteorite impacts and landslides) and slow and gradual processes (such as solar evaporation to form salt deposits, blueschist metamorphism and most dolomitization).
Although there is absolutely no evidence that any of these non-contemporaneous, localized and natural catastrophes had anything to do with a Biblical worldwide flood, young-Earth creationists (YECs) are fond of hijacking Ager's neocatastrophism and attempting to exploit it to support their flood myth. A good example of the misapplication of Ager's ideas may be seen in a recentessay by YEC Tas Walker. (For further discussions on the invalid geology in Walker's "pipe dream," see the following essay by Gary Hurd.)
Like many YECs, Walker invokes Ager (1993) to prop up his medieval views. However, Ager (1995) did not appreciate YECs distorting his ideas to support "Noah's Flood." Specifically, Ager (1995, p. xi) vents his frustrations with both YECs and the antiquated Lyell Uniformitarian extremists by making the following statements:
"For a century and a half the geological world has been dominated, one might even say brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell. Any suggestion of 'catastrophic' events has been rejected as old-fashioned, unscientific and even laughable. This is partly due to the extremism of some of Cuvier's followers, though not of Cuvier himself.
On that side too were the obviously untenable views of bible-oriented fanatics, obsessed with myths such as Noah's flood, and of classicists thinking of Nemesis. That is why I think it necessary to include the following 'disclaimer': in view of the misuse that my words have been put to in the past, I wish to say that nothing in this book should be taken out of context and thought in any way to support the views of the 'creationists' (who I refuse to call 'scientific')." [Ager's emphasis]
Ager, Derek, 1993, 1995 (paperback edition), The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Great Britain.