by Stephen Caesar
Evolutionists deny the Genesis picture of rapid, post-Flood repopulation of the earth by plants and animals, claiming that once life first appeared, it took eons for animals and plants to populate the entire world. Mt. St. Helens has destroyed this claim. National Geographic featured an article entitled "Mt. St. Helens: Nature on Fast Forward," in which it referred to the eruption's aftermath as "a crucible of creation" and noted that the rapid recovery of life in the blast area "is a miniature fast-forward version of what happened over [supposedly] vast time frames of our planet's infancy, from primordial soup to the first wind-borne seeds" (Findley 112). The article reported: "‘All of us were surprised at the rate at which this landscape was colonized again,' says ecologist David Wood. ‘We were thinking, Gosh, how long is it going to be before anything comes back here?' Within just a few years scientists found flora and fauna pioneering in the niches created by the eruption's various geologic disturbances (ibid. 114).
The eruption also demonstrated catastrophic formation of geological features. Monument scientist Peter Franzen, commenting on the fact that a waterfall rapidly transformed the volcano's north slope into a canyon, stated: "You'd expect a hardrock canyon to be thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years old. But this was cut in less than a decade" (ibid. 121). The article also mentioned "new lakes in the upper Toutle [River] watershed created by deposits of mudflow debris across side canyons" (ibid. 124).
The New York Times also examined how Mt. St. Helens has shattered evolutionary assumptions, reporting that the eruption has "radically changed the way that biologists look at the creation and recovery of natural landscapes. In 1980, researchers say, it was dogma among ecologists that nature creates and recreates ecosystems in an orderly fashion with predictable parades of species rolling in: the early pioneering species first, which alter the environment, making possible the arrival of the second wave of species and so on, until the final array of plants and animals is in place.
"By providing the perfect laboratory to test such ideas-more than 200 square miles of newly devastated terrain-Mount St. Helens has turned that theory upside-down. ‘We knew very clearly what was going to happen afterward,' said Dr. Jerry F. Franklin, a forest ecologist at the University of Washington, ‘and we were very clearly wrong' (Yoon D5).
Stating that the blast area "is unrivaled as a model for ecosystem recovery," the Times reported: "According to the neat logic of ecological theory, mosses and lichens, able to survive the harshest conditions, should have been the first to take hold in these ruined places. Then wildflowers and other herbs should have come in, followed by deciduous trees and finally conifers like the firs and hemlocks. And recolonization should have rolled inward from the edges where life remained unharmed to the core of the devastation."
Instead, what created the new landscape was not this set of rules but theorganisms that were lucky enough to survive the blast (ibid.).
Dr. Franklin even used a biblical reference in admitting the wrongness of evolutionary assumptions:
"St. Helens was the epiphany where finally the scales fell from our eyes and we said, ‘Oh my gosh, we haven't been thinking clearly.' The most important things we need to think about are the legacies left in the landscape. The richness of the legacy of organisms that was there, the rapidity with which recovery occurred and the incredible diversity of ways in which organisms were able to survive-it just astounded us" (ibid.).
It is finally dawning on evolutionists: science does not substantiate old-earth assumptions. The biblical model for catastrophe and natural recovery is more plausible.
Findley, Rowe. (2000). "Mt. St. Helens: Nature on Fast Forward," National Geographic 197:5.
Yoon, Carol. (2000). "As Mt. St. Helens Recovers, Old Wisdom Crumbles," New York Times, 16 May.
Stephen Caesar is currently
pursuing his master's degree
at Harvard University.
He also serves as adjunct professor of literature at Newbury College in Massachusetts. He is the
author of the e-book
The Bible Encounters Modern Science.