Posted by: paulgarner | April 24, 2009

Not bad for some Cadbury’s cream eggs

Harold W. Clark's The New Diluvialism (1946)

Harold W. Clark's The New Diluvialism (1946)

Back in February, when he was planning a visit to the UK for the Genesis Kinds conference, Todd Wood struck a deal with me. In exchange for a box of Cadbury’s cream eggs, Todd said he’d bring me a book that he thought I’d be very interested in. He was right. And here it is. It’s an original copy of Harold W. Clark’s book, The New Diluvialism, published in 1946 by Science Publications of Angwin, California.

Those of you who are familiar with the history of creationism might recognize the name of Harold W. Clark. Clark was a former student of George McCready Price, one of the pioneering Flood geologists of the twentieth century, and succeeded him as professor of science at Pacific Union College. Although they started off as friends, the two men later fell out with one another over their views on geology, as documented by historian Ronald Numbers in his book, The Creationists (1992 pp.123-129). The source of the disagreement was Clark’s modification of Price’s Flood theory to embrace the reality of the geological column and the existence of a former ice age. Price was having none of this and a prolonged feud, often bitter, developed between former teacher and pupil.

Clark's Plate 7 (opposite p.72) depicting his reconstruction of the pre-Flood "life zones"

Clark's Plate 7 (opposite p.72) depicting his reconstruction of the pre-Flood "life zones"

The New Diluvialism was one of the broadsides in this ongoing debate between Price and Clark over Flood geology. It’s the book in which Clark first proposed that the observed order of the fossil record could be explained by the successive burial of communities of pre-Flood organisms, what has come to be known as the ecological zonation theory. The photo to the left depicts Clark’s much-reproduced reconstruction of a pre-Flood landscape showing a series of “life zones” at different elevations.

Clark’s book was certainly an important milestone in the history of creationism because his ecological zonation theory, albeit in a much modified and more sophisticated form, has become the backbone of most contemporary creationist thinking concerning the fossil record, or at least that part of it which is considered to have been deposited during the flood (see Garner 2009 pp.199-203).

So thanks, Todd, for this great addition to the library. And I hope you enjoyed the cream eggs.

References

Clark H. W. 1946. The New Diluvialism. Science Publications, Angwin, California.

Garner P. A. 2009. The New Creationism: Building Scientific Theories on a Biblical Foundation. Evangelical Press, Darlington.

Numbers R. L. 1992. The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

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