Subject: Geology and creation Topics: }There are gaps in fossil record }Methods of dating

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Subject: Geology and creation Topics: }There are gaps in fossil record }Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate. }K-Ar dating of Hawaiian lava is wildly inaccurate. }Erosion should've dumped at least 30 times more sediment in the sea. }Top soil }Mississippi delta would have formed in 5000 years. }Niagara Falls-the rim is wearing back }Deterioration of earth's magnetic field }Not enough dissolved minerals in oceans. }Other "geological clocks" that suggest a "young" earth }Polonium halos }The animals couldn't have distributed themselves all over the globe. }Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana, Glacier Nat'l Monument. }Heart Mountain, north of Cody WY }Unexplained by uniformitarian model on which the evolutionary model is based }A near planetary collision }Shifting the poles rapidly over Hapgood's waveguide zone }"carcasses deposited in icy mucky dumps" }evidence of rapid removal and deposition of soil, forest in arctic. } the are no layers which require more than 6000 years to build up }no more fossils being made ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- }- There are gaps in fossil record where you'd expect intermediate forms. There are more fossils than Creationists will admit. Many intermediate forms are known--for example, the development of the mammal skull characteristics from the therapsida of Permian time. What gaps remain can be explained by erosion, lack of proper conditions for fossilization, the punctuated equilibrium model, or simply not looking in the right places yet. }- Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate. Exactly what is meant by "inaccurate" leaves much to be desired. Please see the August 1989 Scientific American article on the Age of the Earth. (page 90, by Lawrence Badash, "The Age-of-the-Earth Debate") } - K-Ar dating of Hawaiian lava is wildly inaccurate. That's why geologists don't pay much attention to analyses of rock samples unless their geological context is well understood. Since Hawaii is built on oceanic crust that is about 80-100 million years old (the age is known more precisely than this; I don't have the references handy), it was immediately obvious that the observed isotopic ratios didn't represent the ages of the rocks. Our confidence in radiometric dating techniques comes from years of careful comparisons to other radiometric techniques and to relative age determinations from biostratigraphy (fossils in layered rocks). In some cases, there are multiple isotope systems that may be analyzed in the same sample. Since these different systems react differently to the processes that disturb age recording, if the systems disagree with one another the age significance of the data is suspect. Geoscientists try to use all available tools in combination to make sure that they're not fooled by a single spurious analysis. In some journals, analytical results aren't publishable unless they're backed up by field relations and/or by other analytical methods. The particular case of young Hawaiian volcanic rocks is interesting for reasons other than the absurd age interpretations. Since these rocks are very poor in the potassium from which radiogenic argon decays, their argon content is determined largely by the composition of the argon in the rocks from which the Hawaii lavas were derived. The data tell us something about the composition of the mantle down to about 150 kilometers below the surface, where earthquake data tell us the lavas originate. The example of the Hawaii rocks is a Red Herring, as I will demonstrate momentarily. However, the answer to your last question is very simple. If you can date a rock by a number of different methods, involving different decay series, and if you arrive at the SAME AGE using any of a half-dozen different and completely independent methods, then you can be quite confident that the age you have measured is reliable. If you wish to dispute these ages, you have to come up with EVIDENCE that they are unreliable. It is not sufficient to wave your hands and express your skepticism. We all know you are skeptical, but saying "how do we know," without EVIDENCE to suggest that there is a problem, is just whistling past the graveyard. And now for the Red Herring. Creationists often bring up the example of the Hawaiian pillow basalts with anomalous K-Ar ages, but they neglect to mention that geologists _already thought_ that rocks formed under THESE PARTICULAR conditions would give unreliable K-Ar ages because they would trap argon before it can escape. The studies in question were performed to confirm this under controlled conditions, and thus to confirm to the scientific community that THIS PARTICULAR type of rock is unsuitable for radiometric dating. The misuse of this work by Creationists is particularly despicable, IMHO. } - Erosion should've dumped at least 30 times more sediment in the sea. }and all the continents would be worn to sea }level in just 14,000,000 years. Ever heard of plate tectonics? Please read: On Volcanism and Thermal Tectonics on one-plate Planets Solomon, Geophysical Research Letters, vol 5, no 6 June 1978 The Supercontinent Cycle Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988 } - Top soil--6 inches form in 5,000-20,000 years, but earth averages 7 to 8 } inches. Or erosion. Your county Soil Conservation Board will be happy to tell you why your topsoil is getting shallower, and what you can do to curb the problem. } - Mississippi delta would have formed in 5000 years. So? You have (given a steady-state system which it is NOT) identified a possible geographic feature less than 5k years old. }Niagara Falls-the rim is wearing back at a known rate and taken ~5,000 years }from its original precipice. That's neat - and the steady-state assumptions are? And how did you get the "original precipice" without deciding up front how old you wanted it? } - Deterioration of earth's magnetic field, at present rates, implies an } excessive field 10,000 years ago. The decay is not a steady state (you love this - Morris does, too). In fact, there is considerable evidence for reversals. The atlantic ocean floor as it spreads shown the weakening - reversing - strengthening recorded in its stone as the contenents spread from the mid-atlantic ridge. The usual creationist assumption behind this extrapolation is that the decay is exponential, which excludes the possibility of field reversals. The limited existing measurements cannot yet distinguish between exponential, linear, or other decay patterns. The source of the earth's magnetic field remains uncertain. A good summary of what is known is found in "Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo", SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 1988, p. 76-83. The field is expected to reverse sometime in the next few thousand years. A time scale on page 78 shows the reversals over the past 170 million years, as deduced from the magnetic patterns in oceanic crust. I counted about 200 reversals on the chart. The sun reverses its magnetic field every 22 years. } - Not enough dissolved minerals in oceans. dissolved minerals - the stuff moves in cycles, and as such most of the minerals are very close to their balance levels. Remember "carbon cycle"? The same general idea holds for everything else. Remember the space shuttle? Except for the last time, it has been landing on salt. Like from the oceans, remember? }Other "geological clocks" that suggest a "young" earth- }13-16) juvenile water (from volcanoes), oil deposit pressure, Stalactite Growth }(limestone) juvenile water is covered in those same computer models, and again nothing tricky is involved at all. oil deposites themselves require a time well over 6000 years to exist, so try again. stalactite growth - of some, perhaps. You are still identifying merely temporary features The formation of the Earth from Planetesimals Wetherill, Scientific American June 1981 The Steady State of the Earth's crust, atmosphere and oceans Siever, Scientific American, May 1974 The Evolution of the Atmosphere of the Earth Hart, Icarus, 33, 23-39, 1978 Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans Holland, Lazar & McCaffery, Nature vol 320, 6 mar 1986 Enhanced CO2 greenhouse to compensate for reduced solar luminosity on early earth Owen & Cess, Nature, vol 227, 22Feb 1979 How climate Evolved on the Terrestrial Planets Kasting, Toon, & Pollack, Scientific American, Feb 1988 Climatic Changes of the last 18,000 years: Observations and Model Simulations COHMAP members, Science vol 241, 26 Aug 88, p 1043-1052 } - Polonium halos indicate granite-producing magma cooled suddenly, not } over millions of years. Gentry's work is of particular importance because it involves actual field and laboratory work followed up by papers appearing in refereed scientific journals, offering some credibility to the field of "creation research." There is, however, a serious weakness in Gentry's work. It has been devoted almost entirely to the physics of the polonium halos, thereby neglecting the geological setting of the samples in which the halos are found. Because of this neglect, Gentry makes unwarranted generalizations about the nature of the world's Precambrian rocks. THE BASIC PREMISE Polonium halos are small spherical "shells" of radiation damage that surround radioactive inclusions within certain minerals in rocks, which Gentry has described in his book "Creation's Tiny Mystery." [1] The halos are formed by alpha particles released during the decay of an isotope. As an alpha particle nears the end of its path and slows, it causes disruption of the crystal structure leaving a small damage track. Over time, repeated decays from the parent isotope will leave a spherical halo of discoloration. The distance that an alpha particle travels depends upon the energy of the decay and that, in turn, is a function of the particular nuclide that decays. Theoretically, then, the radii of a series of halos that surround a radioactive inclusion permit identification of the specific decaying nuclides. Gentry has claimed that certain of these halos indicate that the granite "basement rocks" of the earth are "the primordial Genesis rocks" and were created instantaneously about six thousand years ago. Essentially, Gentry has found that in certain samples of Precambrian biotite (a mica) the inner ring halos for uranium and other nuclides in the decay chain which should be producing Polonium 210, Po214 and Po218 are missing; only the polonium rings for these three isotopes are present. In addition, Gentry observed little or no uranium in the radioactive inclusion. His conclusion is that the polonium must have been primordial and, because of the short half-lves of the polonium isotopes (138.4 days , 0.000164 sec. and 3.04 minutes, respectively), the granite, therefore, must have been created in the solid state in "only a brief period between 'nucleosynthesis' and crystallization of the host rock." [1, p. 270] The fact that Gentry has published in Nature, Science and Medical Opinion and Review leads one to believe that there is a fair amount of support for his work, but Gentry avoids making direct creationist statements in these works -- it seems he is only cautiously trying to link the rocks of the Precambrian to the rocks that existed right after the Earth's formation - or creation. His book, however, leaves no doubt on his position: "Were tiny polonium halos God's fingerprints in Earth's primordial rocks? Could it be that the Precambrian granites were the Genesis rocks of our planet?" [1, p. 32]1 THE GEOLOGY The first curiosity that Wakefield uncovered was that the sites from which Gentry obtained his samples were not in the older Archean era of the Precambrian, as one would expect, but in fact were in the considerably younger (as dated radiometrically and structurally) Proterozoic era; specifically, the Proterozoic Grenville Supergroup of the Grenville Province, here in Ontario. This misunderstanding came about because Gentry is annoyingly vague on exact sites in his book. One mine, the Silver Crater Mine, is mentioned specifically, while the remaining sites are described only as being in Madagascar, New Hampshire and Norway. This tendency towards vagueness also occurs in his Medical Opinion and Review article, in which he refers to "the Wolsendorf (Bavaria) fluorite." [2] After some research, Wakefield tracked down the three sites, all near Bancroft in southern Ontario. Regarding the first site, the Fission Mine, it appeared to Wakefield that this was where Gentry obtained his fluorite samples and some of his biotite. Gentry denied this, saying they had come from Germany, but Louis Moyd of the Mational Museum in Ottawa indicated that samples from the Fission Mine were in fact sent to Gentry. I will break tradition briefly and quote Wakefield exactly, "it is clear we are dealing with intrusive calcite vein dikes (rocks containing mostly the mineral calcite and other minerals, such as mica) that are small in length and width and cut metasedimentary rocks which still retain bedding planes. Radioactive minerals abound in this locality. Percolating water from the hill the deposit occupies is strongly radioactive and was sold in the 1920s for therapeutic purposes." The second site, the Silver Crater mine, is related to the Fission mine and is a calcite intrusive of the same origin. Neither of these mines are in fact granites, a fact Gentry gets wrong. In addition, while Gentry claims that "halos occur in many mica samples which have not undergone metamorphism of any kind," the micas of the Silver Crater were indeed formed during metamorphism under the load of moderate-depthed overburden, whch has since been eroded off. Gentry's primordial biotite was in fact metamorphically derived. The third site, the Faraday mine, I will touch on only briefly. Gentry emphasizes that the oddity of the halos is that there is no uranium or thorium in the nucleus at the center of the polonium halos. Unfortunately for him, the Faraday pegmatite was mined for uranium -- a total of some four million tons of U(3)O(8) ore were mined for a total of 7.3 million pounds of uranium oxide until the mine's closure in 1984. The most common radioactive mineral was uranothorite, hence lots of uranium and thorium. Gentry's case rests heavily on a "God-of-the-gaps" approach to the halos; that is, it requires that there be no acceptable naturalistic explanation for the halos. Once such an explanation is found, Gentry's case crumbles. One paper that proposes such a naturalistic explanation is by N. K. Chaudhuri and R. H. Iyer [3]. I make no pretense about being able to understand the model they present; perhaps those with the necessary background will help out here. Gentry also has problems with accuracy in his quotation of other scientific sources. In one case, Gentry (p. 71) refers to a paper by N. Feather [4], saying that Feather discusses "clear mica (without any conduits)," but there is no reference to this in Feather's paper. In another instance, Gentry quotes Steven Talbott for scientific support and provides a copy of Talbott's article in the appendices of his book, but Talbott himself states that he has relied on two sources for HIS information: phone calls with Gentry and "the available technical literature", which turns out to be based on Gentry's own articles. What Gentry has in essence done is to reference himself and attempt to pass this off as independent corroboration. [1] Gentry, R.V., 1986. Creation's Tiny Mystery. Knoxville, Tenn. Earth Science Associates. [2] Gentry, R.V., 1967. "Cosmology and the Earth's Invisible Realm." Medical Opinion and Review. October, p. 79. [3] N.K. Chaudhuri and R.H. Iyer, "Origin of Unusual Radioactive Halos," Radiation Effects, 1980, vol. 53, pp. 1-6. [4] N. Feather, "The unsolved problem of the Po-halos in Precambrian biotite and other old minerals," Comm. to the Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, no. 11, 1978. And for a more recent: In the 6 October 1989 issue of SCIENCE magazine (Vol 246, #1 pp 107-109), there is a report on work with Radiation Induced Color Halos (RICHs) in quartz, suggesting a mechanism for the "Po halos" that removes their utility as Creation Science evidence. The abstract and first two-and-a-half and last one paragraphs of the report, giving a summary of the problem and the authors' conclusion: ABSTRACT "The radii of radiation-induced color halos (RICHs) surrounding radioactive mineral inclusions in mica generally correspond closely to the calculated range of common uranogenic and thorogenic alpha particles in mica. Many exceptions are known, however, and these variants have led investigators to some rather exotic interpretations. Three RICHs found in quartz are identified as aluminum hole-trapping centers. Whereas the inner radii of these RICHs closely match the predicted range of the most energetic common alphas (39 micrometers), the color centers observed extend to 100 micrometers. Migration of valence-band holes down a radiation-induced charge potential might account for these enigmatic RICHs. Such RICHs provide natural experiments in ultraslow charge diffusion. "In 1907 Joly pointed out that microscopic color halos commonly observed surrounding small inclusions of radioactive minerals were caused by damage produced by alpha particles emanating from the inclusions. Shortly afterwards, Rutherford noted a close correspondence between the radial size of halos and the energies of the alpha particles. A number of workers have described and measured these radiation-induced color halos (RICHs) and, from their sizes, have tried to match them with specific radionuclides in the inclusions. Although it seems possible to relate the sizes of most of the described halos to alpha emitters in the U and Th decay chains, there are many exceptions. Particularly controversial have been two (perhaps artificial) classes of RICHs referred to as Po halos and giant halos. "The Po haloes are RICHs that have a size and ring structure apparently comparable with the range in silicate minerals of alpha particles emmited by uranogenic Po radioisotopes of mass 210, 214, and 218, although this interpretation has been challenged. Significantly, rings that can be attributed to the other five alpha decays in the 238-U seroes seem to be lacking. That the half-life of 218-Po is 3 min has not deterred some investigators from proposing separation of Po from its radioactive progenitors before its inclusion in minerals. Indeed, Po halos have even been offered as possible evidence of an instantaneous creation. "Giant halos are anomalous RICHs that have radii extending more than approximately 47 um from the edge of the inclusion..." [Their proposal is that aluminum inclusions can create a semi-conductive area where beta particles can cause diffusion and discoloration over a very large area] "...We strongly suspect...that the sizes and structure of giant and Po RICHs in mica are also artifacts of radiation-induced conductivity and their explanation requires neither unknown radioactivity nor an abandonment of current concepts of geologic time." }- The animals couldn't have distributed themselves all over the globe. This is written at the time Wagener proposed Continebtal Drift for the first time. He is rejected by the geologists of the day, but now Plate Tectonics is well accpeted among geologists and is used to construct paleobiogeography that explains fossil distrubutions. And like horses (that man transported), camels, pandas, kangaroos, marsupials,.. In fact, this supports the evolutionary postulates in that the distribution matches transportation capabilities. What is more interesting is why are not animals everywhere? If they all got themselves originated from one place (did this twice, supposidely - everyone was originally present in Eden for the naming and everything was together again in the ark) why are not marsupials found everywhere? Ibid old world vs. new world species. The Supercontinent Cycle Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988 Alfred Wegener and the Hypothesis of Continental Drift A. Hallam, Scientific American Feb 1975 }- In some places older fossils appear above young ones. } - Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana, Glacier Nat'l Monument. }Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana including Glacier Nat'l Park }Here inorder to explain the problem of much older fossils superimposed }on much younger rocks we have a massive sheet of rock 6000 ft+ thick }and 100+ miles long moving some 65 (or more) miles with no trace of friction }or distortion... EVEN THOUGH THE ROCKS THEY REST ON ARE CRETACEOUS SHALES }AND MUDSTONES WHICH WOULD SHOW DISTORTION QUITE EASILY! In "The Rocks and Fossils of Glacier National Monument", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K (1959) C. P. Ross and Richard Rezak note: Most visitors, especially those who stay on the roads, get the impression that the Belt strata are undisturbed and lie almost as flat today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished so many million years ago. Actually, they are folded, and in certain places, they are intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the park, it is possible to observe places where the Belt series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs and canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the park to the east. Ross and Rezak repeatedly show how "crushed and crumpled" the rocks in the thrust fault are: The intricate crumpling and crushing in the immediate vicinity of the main overthrust, visible in localities like that near Marias Pass, (shown in figure 139), must have taken place when the heavy overthrust slab was forced over the soft rocks beneath... In some places only a single fault surface formed, with crushed and crumpled soft rocks beneath... Rocks between these faults were crumpled and crushed in a variety of ways. In some places the zone in which fracturing occured was as much as 2000 feet thick; generally it must have been at least several hundred feet thick. The statements made by you that there exists "no indication of friction [?] or structural distortion in either the Lewis thrust plate or overridded [sic] surface!" and "In order to explain the stratigraphic imposibility [sic] of such older rocks over younger rocks thrust model is invoked" (don't they teach grammer at the Colorado School of Mines?) is misleading at best and an outright lie at worst. I'm trying to decide if you are ignorant or just plain dishonest. If you'd like to see photographs of the actual thrust fault which we are discussing, may I suggest that you examine the December 1988 issue of the _Geological_Society_of_America Bulletin_? I'm sure your library receives it. While it is true that the thrust fault is often described as being "knife sharp" and there is little structural distortion above and below it, the fault is undoubtably present. You can walk up to it in places and place your hand on it. The thrust model, as you put it, was not just invoked without any supporting evidence. Geologists, unlike creationists, gather data and use it to support their theories. While the actual mechanics of overthrusting may still be poorly understood, geologists are making progress in understanding it (there have been hundreds of papers published on it). }Heart Mountain, north of Cody WY }If you believe that a large block of limestone could be moved uphill }for that distance without becoming pulverized I have some land in Fl. you }would be interested in... Or would you be more interested in the Brooklyn }Bridge? aka }Heart Mountain, north of Cody WY }A huge mountain of Paleozoic limestone setting on top of Eocene/Miocene }clastics... no indication of friction... no indication of pulverization... }yet in order to avoid the failure of uniformitarianism geologists predict }that this "block" of material was broken off from Sunlight Basin and moved }by the vibration of volcanic eruptions over a 3000 ft. structure (the Dead }Indian hill block fault) for a distance of over 25 miles. "in order to avoid the failure of uniformitarianism" is a biased judgement that does not address the issues, I will ignore it. William G. Pierce in his article "Heart Mountain and South Fork Detachment Thrusts of Wyoming" in American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin Vol. 41 (1957), notes that the level Cambrian strata broke off along a bedding plane, and slid downhill. The thrust block slid over younger rocks, parts of the thrust block eroded away, and a volcano finally deposited some debris over the area where a piece of the block had once stood. The volcanic debris, not being a part of the original thrust block, never slid. Pierce also notes that the thrust block strata are often grossly deformed even when the underlying strata are not. He shows how the strata from one piece of the thrust block are often sliced across at a slant, forming an angle with the horizontal strata underlying the thrust fault. If you will allow me to quote from Strahler's book _Science and Earth History_ (Note: Bill Jefferys mentions this book frequently. I advise everyone who reads this group to run not walk to the library and GET it. It would be most useful for Bob Bales and Joe Applegate to read this. Challange to Bob Bales. I will read any creationist book you wish me to, and post a critique to the net if you will read this book and post your critique of Strahler. Why do I think Bob won't take up the challenge?) >From Chapter 40 page 393: For reasons as yet undertermined, the entire layer of post-Cambrian strata simply began to glive as a unit southeastward over a bedding surface located immediately under the massive Bighorn dolomite formation of Ordovician age and above the topmost Cambrian formation. This layer detached itself along a vertical breakaway fracture shown at the left. Movement was evidently on a very low downgrade, decling some 650 meters in elevation from the breakaway fracture to the end of teh bedding slip zone, a horizontal distance of some 50 km. As the rock sheet traveled, it broke up onto blocks on a sucession of vertical tension fractures. The blocks thus became separated by open gaps, in which the bedding plane of gliding (identified as the Heart Mountain fault) was exposed at the surface. Geologists have applied the term "tectonic erosion" to the surface exposure of a fault plane by sliding away of the overlying mass. End quote. So it seems 1) it didn`t move uphill as you claim. and 2) there was pulverization of the rocks. }These just two of the unconformities which are unexplainable by the }uniformitarian model on which the evolutionary model is based... But the point is, whenever one small area is undisturbed, its fossils are found in a very definite order from top to bottom. The fossils close to the top resemble modern species far more than the fossils closer to the bottom. When fossils are occasionally found in the "wrong" order, one finds that the rocks are in disturbed areas like mountain ranges, where the sediments are being squished up and out over the surface of the earth like an ice cream bar crushed in a vice. These mountain sediments show plenty of physical evidence of overturning and overthrusting that has nothing to do with fossils. Therefore, geologists who avoid overturned rocks when they determine the fossil sequence are not commiting circular reasoning. William Smith, a canal engineer, was the father of modern stratigraphy. He was the first to notice that the higher rocks consistently had different fossils than the lower ones did. He was also a creationist, and used his discovery only to make money, yet the whole of geology today is based on his discovery. Geology is self-correcting, so of course, there is always an infinitessimal chance that it will someday contradict evolution, or perhaps render evolution a poorer explanation of the evidence than creationism. It will no doubt take something a bit more serious than the anomalies Joe mentioned here. We're still waiting. }A near planetary collision or an asteroid impact could do a lot of geomorphic }change! And geologically overnight! yeah, and it would probably kill everything, given the size it would have to be. see national geographic, june 1989, 'the march toward extinction', p. 662, especially the chart starting on p. 666. >Shifting the poles rapidly over Hapgood's waveguide zone would be just as >effective and fast! what's wrong with the possibility of shifting them slowly? } - "carcasses deposited in icy mucky dumps" } - evidence of rapid removal and deposition of soil, forest in arctic. }No, the evidence plainly points to the removal of large areas of soil and }forest along with their rapid deposition and freezing in the artic... now }what besides a tidal surge of immense proportions would do that... and if }such a surge wiped the face of Asia and Alaska, why is it unlikely to extend }it to Mesopotania, where it would have depositied it's debris in the vicinity }of Ararat! Severe temperature changes are known to be responsible for great catastrophic mortalities. Such mortalities are typically associated with unusually cold spells or severe winters. Severe storms are also responsible for catastrophic kills and quick seimentary deposition. During hurricanes and other severe stormes, bottom sediment can be stirred up to a considerable depth and easily bury animals. There is absolutely no question that modern day catastrophes are constantly occuring and that many of these can result in catastrophic kills and rapid deposition of sediment. In short, fossils and fossil graveyards are being formed today. You may be correct in assuming that the evidence of rapid deposition you cite is generally evidence for some catastrophic mode of formation, but you are incorrect in assuming that only the Genesis Flood can account for such deposits. Especially in the face of the great amount of other evidence in direct conflict with the Genesis Flood hypothesis, evidence of slow deposition, evidence in coral reef formations, evaporite deposits, fossil lake deposits, glacial deposits, and desert deposits. When we look at the sedimentary rock record we find some deposits that bear evidence of having been formed by moving water and could have been formed in flood water, but by no means are all rocks like that, in fact there are a considerable number of formations that could not have formed in surging flood waters at all. } the are no layers which require more than 6000 years to build up - the abyssal plain ? - the Greenland icecap - Green River Plus, at the statellite-measured recession rate of the NA continent, the Atlantic gets a Real Big age. This is consistent with the mag stripes alongside the mid-Aatlantic ridge. } A while back I heard a Southern Baptist preacher declare that }no more fossils were being formed because the rate of sediment deposition }today is too slow to capture and preserve anything. } This, he said, is proof that the flood happened because that }would have been the only time the rate of sediment deposition would }have been high enough to make fossils. (I didn't bother to ask him how }he explained the layering of fossils, but I'm sure he would have used }some variation of the idea that the larger fossils naturally floated }to the top and the small ones settled to the bottom.) There was a bit of wondering going on amongst the dinodiggers on why so many fossils of a particular type had a specific distribution, especially when that distribution was of a single kind, large numbers, and not uncommon. A light flashed when it was realized that herding animals today, when fording a river, sometimes panic. The stampede occurs IN the river, and many drown. The distribution of animal bodies downstream appear to be the same as those dinosaur distributions. Thats one. Tar pits work quite well today. That's two. I've seen stuff deposited in marine sediments. That's three. There are about a dozen cars mostly buried about 9 miles from here where a parking lot caved in into the drainage ditch/river feeder caved in. I have little doubt that any small animals in the parking lot went with them. That's four. Sedimentation rates look like they are going like gangbusters to me. Look at the estuaries filling in. Look at the marine channels filling in. You don't get sedimentary build up on top of hills. Article 1643 of sci.skeptic: Path: ncsuvx!mcnc!xanth!samsung!gem.mps.ohio-state.edu!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!ucbvax!APLSTAR.JHUAPL.EDU!jwm From: jwm@APLSTAR.JHUAPL.EDU (James W. Meritt) Newsgroups: sci.skeptic Subject: gaps in the fossil record Message-ID: <8911011858.AA05481@aplstar.jhuapl.edu> Date: 1 Nov 89 18:58:12 GMT Article-I.D.: aplstar.8911011858.AA05481 Posted: Wed Nov 1 13:58:12 1989 Sender: daemon@ucbvax.BERKELEY.EDU Lines: 78 } the evidence from the fossil record to support evolution is largely } missing and that critical gaps indicate a single creation of life } as it is today. Such a prediction by creationists is rare. The implication of this is that if gaps in the fossil record are ever filled, creationism is falsified. Those outside professional paleontology often find it difficult to access what the fossil record does and does not show. As someone who works within the field of human paleontology and human evolution, I often find it odd when I am told that the number of human fossils is much too meager to allow the sort of extrapolation claimed by biologists for human ancestry. This may have been true 20 years ago, but it certain is not the case now. This might lead one to wonder if the fossil record is not also underrated in the are of other organisms as well. An article in the book _Science and Creationism_, edited by Ashley Montague, addresses this point. The article is by noted paleontologist Roger J. Cuffey, one of the witnesses called to testify in the now famous Arkansas creation science case in 1982. Allow me to quote form the article, entitled "Paleontological Evidence and Organic Evolution,": "If we read the paleontologic literature (especially if with the background of professional paleontologic training and experience) we find that the fossil record contains many examples of such transitional fossils. These connect both low-rank taxa (like different species) and high-rank taxa (like different classes), inspite of the records imperfections and in spite of the relatively small number of practicing paleontologists. Because of the critical role which transitional fossils played in convincing scientists of the occurrence of organic evolution, paleontologists have been appalled that many otherwise well- informed persons have repeated the grossly misinformed assertion that transitional fossils do not exist." Cuffey the goes on to list no fewer than 185 references in the paleontologic literature documenting such transitional forms. One of my favorites is the fossil Therapsid, Diarthognathus. In the fossil record, reptiles are distinguished from mammals by the number of bones that form the lower jaw. This is not a trival distinction, since the musculature of the reptilian jaw is different from that of mammals and would require such a re-design. Essential, reptiles have a lower jaw made of three bones (dentary, articular and quadrate) while mammals have only a single bone (the dentary), with the articular and quadrate relocated to the middle-ear (reptiles have only one ear ossicle, mammals have three. The relocation of this bones is observable embryologically in modern mammals). Therapsids are "mammal-like reptiles" and have a number of traits that put them midway between mammals and reptiles. The skull is larely reptilian but the dentary is much larger than in modern reptiles and other fossil reptil groups. Also, the therapsids have heterdont teeth (different shapes for different functions as in mammals) and limbs located underneath the body, rather than out to the side (not as far underneath as in mammals, however). Diarthrognathus is a therapsid with both a mammalian and reptilian jaw joint. Both are functional, but the mammal-like joint seems to have been the most functional. The quadrate and articular bones are very reduced. The animal is literally hafe-way between a mammal and a reptile. One more thing. I think it unfair to list Denton with other respected biologists. Denton is not a biologists and, while not religious either, had his own philosophical axe to grind against what he felt are the dehumanizing implications of evolution. A recent review of Denton's book appears in the July-August Issue of the NCSE Reports (published by the national center for science education ). The review, by biologists William M. Thwaites, points out the numerous errors, misintepretations and misrepresentations in Denton's book. Denton, as do many religious creationists, relies on outdated material often quoted out of context, and does not seem to understand the implications of the examples he uses, especially those using biochemical evidence. Thwaite concludes: "...Denton's book is just another typical anti-evolution tract. It shows that Denton is motivated, not by a desire to understand the workings of nature, but by apparent fear of "agnostic," "materialistic," and "skeptical outlook of the twentieth centure."

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