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High mountains were raised during the Flood (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (High mountains were raised during the Flood (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CH570:

The earth was relatively flat before the Noachian Flood. Most of the world's high mountains were formed during the Flood. This explains how all the waters in the oceans could cover all the mountains at the time. It also explains how mountains formed (from the violence accompanying the Flood) and the existence of marine fossils on mountains.

Source: Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., pp. 127-128.

CreationWiki response:

This is another example of an argument from an old source. Much work has been done on this topic since The Genesis Flood was published in 1961. (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. This claim originated before the theory of plate tectonics existed as an explanation for mountain-building. Plate tectonics, however, solved the problem in terms of relatively gradual processes we see working (and still building mountains) today. All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements which caused them have been mapped, their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a Flood had no part the solution.

The fact that uniformitarian scientists have a theory that might explain mountain building does not negate the possibility of a catastrophic model.

Some creationists question the legitimacy of the plate tectonics theory. The following are links arguing that it doesn't work.

Other creationists have proposed a model of rapid plate tectonics, and one of the leading plate tectonic researchers believes that only the Flood adequately explains it. It also needs to be noted that the idea of plate tectonics predates publication of The Genesis Record, and in fact an early version of plate tectonics was proposed by a creationist over 100 years ago, partly on the basis of the history recorded in Genesis.

2. The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

This argument is flawed in that it assumes that the mountains were solid rock at the time. Mountains are formed mainly out of sedimentary rock, which would not have completely hardened until years after the flood. When mountain building was occurring during the later stages of the Flood the rock would still be plastic enough that relatively little heat would be produced.

3. Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded.

The claim that the Appalachians are much older than the Rockies is based on uniformitarian assumptions. The Appalachians could still be older than the Rockies even if just by a few days, weeks or months. Also, the height of the Rockies would have placed them above the maximum Flood level, whereas the Appalachians are not that high. The result is that the latter naturally would have been more eroded by the flood water.