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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH561.2:

The order of fossils deposited by Noah's Flood, especially those of marine organisms, can be explained by hydrologic sorting. Fossils of the same size will be sorted together. Heavier and more streamlined forms will be found at lower levels.


Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., pp. 273-274


  1. Fossils are not sorted according to hydrodynamic principles. Ammonites, which are buoyant organisms similar to the chambered nautilus, are found only in deep strata. Turtles, which are rather dense, are found in middle and upper strata. Brachiopods are very similar to clams in size and shape, but brachiopods are found mostly in lower strata than are clams. Most fossil-bearing strata contain fossils of various sizes and shapes. Some species are found in wide ranges, while others are found only in thin layers within those ranges. Hydrologic sorting can explain none of this.

  2. The sediments in which fossils are found are not hydrologically sorted. Coarse sediments are often found above fine sediments. Nor are the sediments sorted with the fossils. Large fossils are commonly found in fine sediments.

  3. A catastrophic flood would not be expected to produce much hydrologic sorting. A flood that lays down massive quantities of sediments would jumble up most of them.

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created 2003-4-2, modified 2004-4-15