Charles Lyell & Niagra Falls A Study In Deceit
past is the key to the present. To understand the present, it is
necessary to understand the past and a story about Niagara Falls is an
excellent example of this fact.
In the early 19th century Charles Lyell was writing a book called The
Principles of Geology that promoted the idea of an old earth. Lyell
went looking for examples of age that he could use in support his idea
of an old earth and eventually ended up at Niagara Falls.
It had been observed for many years that Niagara Falls was wearing away the cliff that it fell over. The Falls that Lyell saw were about 35,000 feet back from where it had begun the erosion many years before, but the question was, how many years before? Lyell asked people in the area how quickly the Falls was eroding the cliff. The people who lived near the Falls told him that it was wearing away at about 4 feet per year. For Lyell this wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear, because at that rate the Falls would be too young to use in his book as support for an old earth. So Lyell simply invented an erosion rate of one foot per year. He published his lie of one foot per year erosion as fact in his book, so that he could claim that the Falls were 35,000 years old, too old to fit into a Biblical timeframe. Later measurements showed that the Falls were actually eroding at a rate of about 5 feet a year.
Some years later a young man about to take a trip around the world received a copy of Lyell’s book. That man was Charles Darwin. As Darwin read Lyell’s lies, he became convinced that the world was very old and that the Biblical history couldn’t be trusted. He then began to develop his ideas about evolution. Charles Darwin was a geological evolutionist before he was a biological evolutionist.
The story of Charles Lyell, Niagara Falls and Charles Darwin is an example of how one lie leads to another and how that lie can have an impact far beyond what the original liar might have imagined. The Bible tells us that Satan is the father of lies, this story shows how true that statement is.
Today evolutionists loudly proclaim that they have scientific tests that can determine the age of rocks and other items. Numerous tests of these methods have shown them to be utterly unreliable, but the most important thing to understand about this whole issue is that evolutionists were committed to the idea of an old earth long before any of their so called age tests had been invented. If all of their current tests were discarded, they would just think up new ways to lie about the age of the earth.
Many Christians today have bought into the lie of an old earth and are willing to distort the Bible to make it fit that lie. Yet if those Christians would take seriously what God told us in His book there would be no question about the age of the earth, it was answered a long time ago. In Genesis and Exodus God tells us four times that the days of Creation were ordinary days. Biblical history makes it clear that it happened a few thousand years ago.
Those who seek to compromise on the days of Creation or the age of the earth like to say that this is not a major issue, but a lie always distorts the truth. Those who believe the lie of the Gap Theory, theistic evolution or progressive creation, must believe that God brought about suffering and death in the world because He enjoyed it, not because it was the result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Those who believe any of these lies would make God into a monster, when the Bible tells us that God is a God of love seeking to redeem our moral failings.