The famous Green River Formation (including shale and limestone) covers tens of thousands

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The famous Green River Formation (including shale and limestone) covers tens of thousands of square miles. In at least one place, it contains about twenty million varves, each varve consisting of a thin layer of fine light sediment and an even thinner layer of finer dark sediment. According to the conventional geologic interpretation, the layers are sediments laid down in a complex of ancient freshwater lakes. The coarser light sediments were laid down during the summer, when streams poured run-off water into the lake. The fine dark sediments were laid down in the winter when there was less run-off. (This process can be observed in modern freshwater lakes.) If this interpretation is correct, the varves of the Green River formation must have formed over a period of about twenty million years. Creationists insist that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old and that the geologic strata were laid down by the Flood. Whitcomb and Morris therefore attempt to attribute the Green River varves to "a complex of shallow turbidity currents..." (p. 427). Turbidity currents--flows of mud-laden water--generally occur in the ocean, resulting from underwater landslides. If the Green River shales were laid down during the Flood, there must have been forty million turbidity currents, alternatively light and dark, over about three hundred days. A simple calculation (which Creationists have avoided for twenty years) shows that the layers must have formed at the rate of about three layers every two seconds. A sequence of forty million turbidity currents covering tens of thousands of square miles every two-thirds of a second seems unlikely. Henry Morris apparently has no answer to this. Biologist Kenneth Miller of Brown University dropped this bombshell on Morris during a debate in Tampa, Florida, on September 19, 1981, and Morris didn't attempt a reply. Fred Edwords used essentially the same argument against Duane Gish in a debate on February 2, 1982, at the University of Guelph, Ontario. In rebuttal, Gish claimed that some of the fossilized fishes project through several layers of sediment and that therefore the layers can't be semiannual. As usual, Gish's argument ignores the main issue, which is the alleged formation of millions of distinct layers of sediment in less than a year. Furthermore, Gish's argument is false, according to American Museum of Natural History paleontologist R. Lance Grande, an authority on the Green River Formation. Grande says that, while bones or fins of an individual fish may cut several layers, in general each fish is blanketed by a single layer of sediment. The few exceptions are explainable when one observes lakes where varves are forming _today_. It sometimes happens that a dead fish is too large to be covered by one semiannual sedimentation, and so its bones or fins end up protruding through newer layers that are later observed to form. When an object or animal is too large, this _must_ happen, and therefore such a protrusion cannot be used as evidence against a great age for the Green River Formation. --Robert Schadewald, "Six 'Flood' Arguments Creationists Can't Answer," _Creation Evolution_, Issue IX, pp. 12-17 (1982). The layers of sediment in this formation stretch undisturbed for many miles. There are 40 million layers in one part of this formation. All deposited within a year, without any disturbance such as would be expected from a "catastrophic flood"? Two remarkably thin, uniform, and miles-wide layers every three seconds? Turbidity currents? Give me a break! My challenge for Creationists to explain the Green River Formation as having been formed during the Flood still stands.


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