>This actually solves one of the major problems that the dead bodies to
>dust observation poses for old earth theories, to wit: where is all the
>dust that should have accumulated over the past 4.5 billion years? Since
>we are quite obviously not flailing around in pools of dust as deep
>as the Empire State Building is tall, there are only two options: the
>earth is 6000 years old, or the vacuuming undertakers clean it all up.
This reminds me of a passage in the book _The Eyes of the Overworld_ by Jack
Vance (my personal favorite writer). I'll type it in here (w/o permission).
The book is staged in the far, far future or Earth (the sun is red and about
to go out). A minor character named Lodermulch is talking to a member of a
===begin quoted material===
Lodermulch had been asked his opinion of the so-called Funambulous Evangels,
who, refusing to place their feet upon the ground, went about their tasks by
tight-rope. In a curt voice Lodermulch exposed the fallacies of this
particular doctrine. "They reckon the age of the earth at twenty-nine eons,
rather than the customary twenty-three. They stipulate that for every square
ell of soil two and one quarter million men have died and laid down their
dust, thus creating a dank and ubiquitous mantle of lich-mold, upon which it
is sacrilege to walk. The argument has a superficial plausibility, but
consider: the dust of one dessicated corpse, spread over a square ell, affords
a layer one thirty-third of an inch in depth. The total therefore represents
almost one mile of compacted corpse-dust mantling the earth's surface, which
is manifestly false."
A member of the sect, who, without access to his customary ropes, walked in
cumbersome ceremonial shoes, made an excited expostulation. "You speak with
neither logic nor comprehension! How can you be so absolute?"
Lodermulch raised his tufted eyebrows in surly displeasure. "Must I really
expatiate? At the ocean's shore, does a cliff one mile in altitude follow the
demarcation between land and sea? No. Everywhere is inequality. Headlands
extend into the water; more often beaches of pure white sand are found.
Nowhere are the massive buttresses of gray-whie tuff upon which the doctrines
of your sect depend."
"Inconsequential claptrap!" sputtered the Funambule.
"What is this?" demanded Lodermulch, expanding his massive chest. "I am not
accustomed to derision!"
"No derision, but hard and cold refutal of your dogmatism! We claim that a
proportion of the dust is blown into the ocean, a portion hangs suspended in
the air, a portion seeps through crevices into underground caverns, and
another portion is absorbed by trees, grasses, and certain insects, so that
little more than a half-mile of ascestral sediment covers the earth upon which
it is sacrilege to tread. Why are not the cliffs you mentioned everywhere
visible? Because of that moistness exhaled and expelled by innumerable men of
the past! This has raised the ocean in exact equivalence, so that no brink or
precipice can be noted; and herein lies your fallacy."
"Bah," muttered Lodermulch, turning away. "Somewhere there is a flaw in your
"By no means!" asserted the evangel, with that fervor which distinguished his
kind. "Therefore, from respect to the dead, we walk aloft, on ropes and
edges, and when we must travel, we use specially sancified footgear."
===end quoted material===