The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

The stratigraphic column — not a figment of geologists’ imaginations

I have been involved in an online discussion regarding whether or not the geologic column (Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian-Devonian…) is real, or  some sort of figment of geologists’ imaginations. Dr. Jay Wile, on his Proslogion blog, has written a post entitled Yet Another Failure of “Geological Column” Reasoning. Please note that I consider Dr. Wile (author of the Apologia series of home school science textbooks) to be one of the better young-Earth creationists; one who is willing to point out the scientific and theological shortfalls of the overall YEC movement when he sees them.

Dr. Wile argues that the discovery of fragments of grass phytolyths (tiny glass particles in grass leaves) in Cretaceous dinosaur dung (coprolites) is evidence that the whole concept of the geologic time scale is in trouble. After all, we had been told rather authoritatively that there were no grasses in the Cretaceous; that grasses did not appear until a few million years after the demise of the dinosaurs. He draws a parallel between this and another “failure” of the the geologic column: living fossils such as Coelacanths. If the geologic column is built on fossils, and if we discover that some fossils occur later or earlier than we realized, then perhaps the geologic column itself is suspect.

In the comments on Dr. Wile’s blog post, I have argued that the geologic column is more of an observation than an inference. I realize from philosophy of science that observations can be highly biased; that we often find just exactly what we are looking for. The young-Earth creationists claim that this is exactly what has happened; that geologists, imbibed with evolution, were expecting to find some sort of evolutionary order in the fossil record, and therefore they went out and found it. When one points out that the geologic column was largely deciphered before Darwin, they respond by saying that there was plenty of evolutionary thinking before Darwin (e.g. Lamarck), and that this is what influenced the early stratigraphers.

One of William Smith’s geological maps. From Wikipedia: William Smith (geologist)

But is this what happened? Were the early 19th century geologists more influenced by evolutionary thinking, or by what they observed in sedimentary rocks?

In the early 1800s, William Smith compiled the first geologic maps of Great Britain. At first he focused on types of rocks, but he soon recognized that there were distinct fossil assemblages in the layers as well, and that these too could be traced across Britain .

Within the upcoming decades, scientists across Europe, and then in North America and elsewhere, began to make similar geological surveys. They discovered that not only were many fossils restricted to narrow bands of rock, but that there were many types that no longer could be found on Earth, and that there were consistent patterns in the order in which these fossils appeared in the geological record. This led to the construction (or discovery) of the geologic column. They eventually put labels on parts of the geologic column, such as Ordovician and Triassic.

Some of these early geologists were Christians, some were deists. Many were catastrophists, believing that the sedimentary rocks were the product of worldwide deluges, and many believed in the fixity of species. Few had the molecules-to-man picture that emerged after 1859.

That is a very brief summary of the development of the idea of the geologic (or stratigraphic) column, which is closely tied to the concept of geologic time. I want to make the case that the geologic column exists, that it is in need of an explanation, and that the standard geological explanation of deposition over millions of years works well, while that of the YEC Flood geologists falls far short.

The basic concept of the geologic column is that sedimentary rocks occur in the crust of the Earth in a specific sequence, and that this sequence has a global, rather than regional, basis.

Let’s start with the stratigraphic section that might be found at one location. This section would be a slice through the Earth. It might be exposed in a canyon or on a mountain side, or detailed by examining cores and cuttings as a well is extended deeper into the crust. My initial column (A) has five layers, which I will label 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

I am not all that concerned at this point whether those layers are sandstone, shale, or limestone. Instead, I wish to focus on the fossils. Layer 1 might contain marine fossils, such as trilobites and brachiopods. Layer 2 might also contain bryozoans and brachiopods, but of different genera than those found in layer 1. Layer 3 might contain corals. And so on for layers 4 and 5.

Now lets move down the road fifty miles and examine another section (B) of the sedimentary record.

Some of the layers clearly connect from A to B. This could be in terms of the rock types, the fossils, or both. But B has six layers, with B4 appearing between what was A3 and A4. Note that the correlation lines do not cross. This is not because of some evolutionary presupposition, but because the fossils in A1 match the fossils in B1, the fossils in A4 match the fossils in B5, and so forth.

Let’s move over one or two counties, and examine a third series of layers, section C.

We can see that A1 correlates with B1 and C1. B2, however has disappeared somewhere between B and C, and a new layer, C6, has appeared at the top of the section. Note again that there is no crossing of the lines.

For a final look, I’ll add two more sections, D and E.

It is apparent that some layers correlate all the way across from A to E, others pinch out, and still others appear. Once again, there is no crossing of lines.

These are all hypothetical columns of rock. In the real world, the same types of patterns occur, and geologists have given names to sets of rocks, based on the fossils that they contain. The lowermost layers contain distinct assemblages of fossils that have been given the label “Cambrian.” Higher in the column, another distinct assemblage of fossils has been named “Ordovician.” This continues upward for the entire geologic column.

Don’t get distracted by the numbers at this point. I am not defending so much the age of the Earth right now, but the reality of the geologic column, and I have this diagram here as an illustration.

The well-read young-Earth creationist, at this point, will say that this entire column does not exist in any one place; that it is all an inference. Look at the Grand Canyon, for example. It only contains fossil-bearing rocks from the Cambrian, and Devonian through Permian (no Silurian, Ordovician, or anything younger than the Permian).

That objection is pretty easy to answer. First of all, if one looks at the broader context, the Cambrian through Permian rocks of the Grand Canyon can be traced laterally to where they are beneath rocks in Utah that have Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary fossils.

So in a distance of roughly one hundred miles, we can trace most of the periods of the geologic column. All that is missing is the Ordovician and Silurian. There are Quaternary deposits in this area, they just are not shown on the diagram. This sort of situation—correlation of layers—is the rule rather than the exception.

Second, there are a number of persistent sedimentary basins—areas that for one reason or another have continued to collect sedimentary deposits through much of geologic history—that do indeed contain layers from each of the geologic periods. If one drills into the Williston Basin (North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan), they will find the layers in the proper order. Starting from the bottom, there are layers from the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Quaternary. There is nothing out of order. This can be seen on the following stratigraphic correlation chart.

This really is a nice looking correlation chart; I encourage you to look at the full-scale version at the Core Lab web site. This chart (and others like it) show the same thing that I was doing with sections A-B-C-D-E earlier. Note that in the Montana and North Dakota columns at the far right of the chart, there are rocks from the Cambrian all the way up through the Quaternary. This chart only covers a corner of North America (British Columbia to Manitiba and down into parts of the United States). It could easily be extended to the whole of North America, and even to Europe and the rest of the world.

Note that the fossilized rocks express the same order no matter where you go. You simply do not find Cambrian rocks lying on top of Jurassic rocks. There is no crossing of the correlation lines. (Side note: YECs will often point to areas where older rocks are above younger rocks in areas that have been deformed by folding and faulting. If you undo the deformation, everything always slides back into place).

One can go to a number of basins throughout the world—in Libya, Bulgaria, China, Australia, Colombia, and elsewhere—and find exactly the same thing. It is not Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian-Devonian in North America, and Permian-Cambrian-Devonian-Ordovician in Europe.

Many of the better young-Earth creationists acknowledge that there is some sort of order to the fossil record. They know that there are only invertebrates in the lower parts of the column, that land vertebrates (amphibians and then reptiles) don’t show up until the middle, and that mammals don’t show up until the top part.

At the simplest level, there was the proposal that marine organisms got buried first, and then the slow moving amphibians and reptiles, and the mammals and birds, who were quicker, were able to run faster (or fly) and so escape the earlier Flood waters. But this verges on being nonsense, as there are terrestrial sediments deposited throughout the column. And there are lake deposits, and shallow marine deposits, and deeper marine deposits also scattered throughout the column. And am I supposed to accept that all mice were able to outrun the advancing Flood, but pterodactyls couldn’t?

More sophisticated models have come along, such as various horizontal and vertical ecological zonation models. These models run into some of the same problems, as well as some additional ones. First is the problem of sorting. I would expect a worldwide Flood to at least sometimes have some turbulence, and to either mix groups of fossils together, or to put them out of order. Maybe even a little tiny bit. But it doesn’t seem to have happened. The order is Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian-Devonian…  It isn’t Cambrian-Ordovician-Mixture-Mixture-Mixture-Silurian, and it isn’t Cretaceous-Devonian-Permian-Cambrian. Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, likes to say, “If there really was a global Flood, you would expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth … which is exactly what you do find!”  No, if the sedimentary rock record were a product of a single giant flood, I would expect to find a giant mess. I would not expect to find Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian-Devonian…

A further problem with the ecological zonation models is that there would have had to have been plenty of critters still alive (and thriving) most of the way through the Flood. For example, think about all of the organisms of the Mesozoic Era (Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous). This includes not only the dinosaurs, but a host of mammals, birds, plants, and marine organisms, such as ammonites. Many of these organisms are unique to the Mesozoic, and even unique to subdivisions of the individual periods. Where were they all during the massive catastrophe that deposited the rocks of the Paleozoic? Vast areas of Mesozoic rocks are underlain by Paleozoic rocks. Were they huddled together on islands that had escaped earlier flooding? Were they floating around on mats of vegetation? Both of these proposals have very serious problems, but they are what the Flood geologists seem to be clinging to.

I’m barely getting started, and just scratching the surface. But I need to get back to Dr. Wile’s objection: that grass in the Cretaceous and Coelacanths in the Holocene are enough to discredit the whole thing. Do they? If anything, they discredit geologists and paleontologists who should have been a little more cautious in their statements.

The discovery of grass in dinosaur dung isn’t that big of a change. Paleobotanists had been saying that grass appeared sometime in the Paleocene or early Eocene (perhaps around 55 million years ago), and now we know that there was at least some grass around in the very late Cretaceous (a little over 65 million years ago). In any case, it appears that grasses were probably a minor constituent of the Mesozoic fauna. Perhaps I’m wrong on this. I don’t think any actual fossils of Cretaceous grass leaves have been found. In regards to the Coelacanth, which was once thought to have gone extinct in the Cretaceous but then discovered alive in the Indian Ocean, I think we should expect this sort of thing from time to time. There are fossils that, as far as we know, only lived in the Tithonian age of the Jurassic. Do we know everything? We should expect that for at least some of our index fossils (those fossils that are supposed to tell us the age of the rock in a very narrow range) that some survived somewhere and could even still be alive today.

These are little things. Grass appeared a bit earlier than we knew. Coelacanths survived throughout the Tertiary without leaving any fossils, but they are alive today. The plain and simple fact is that the geologic column exists. What the young-Earth creationists would need to find in order to overturn the well-established and well-justified concept of the geologic column is something like a mastodon in Devonian sediments, or an ostrich in the Ordovician. Until then, I’ll accept Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian-Devonian… as an observation that is in need of an explanation.

Grace and Peace

As an old-Earth creationist
I believe that the universe was created by the triune God of the Bible
I believe that the Bible does not dictate when this creation took place
I believe in a real Adam
in a real garden

in a real fall into sin

in real consequences for that sin

and in Jesus Christ as the only solution for sin

Amen

November 18, 2011 - Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Christianity, Creation in the Bible, Evolution, Geology, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Theistic evolution, Young-Earth creationism | , , ,

19 Comments »

  1. No, I don’t believe grass macrofossils are known from the Cretaceous. It’s also worth mentioning that those grass phytoliths that were found in dinosaur coprolites don’t represent the grasses we think of as dominating the plains of Africa today. Rather, we’re talking about the ancestors of rice and bamboo. There were no grasslands at the time of the dinosaurs; grasses were definitely a subordinate part of the flora. Grasslands didn’t come to dominate until ~30 million years later.

    Great article. Hopefully Wile will come to wrestle with it.

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    Comment by Jordan | November 19, 2011

  2. Thanks for taking the time to compile this article, including all the excellent graphics.

    I have set out the reasons why I think YEC belief is obscurantist, irrational and anti-intellectual in great detail on my Falsifiable Theology page on Blogger (see the History page on my Blog and link to it from there). However, by the age of 16 I had reached the same conclusion that most 18th Century clergy (i.e. amateur geologists) had reached that the Earth is unimaginably old. Nevertheless, as a student of geology in the mid-1980s, I was deeply hostile to the idea of evolution as an attempt to rid the world of the need for a Creator. I am still hostile to those people like Richard Dawkins who see it as such. However, I am equally unimpressed by people who insist that things are simple when it is patently obvious that they are not…

    Where my views clearly begin to diverge from yours, therefore, is that I cannot see anyway in which (at least) the first 12 chapters of Genesis can be seen as an accurate account of actual history; and feel very sorry for anyone who might consider it reasonable to look for the resting place of Noah’s Ark in southern Turkey… However, that is not the same as denying that all Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching mankind in the ways of righteousness… Therefore, although I acknowledge the problem that only sinners need a saviour (which pre-supposes the universal sinfulness of mankind), I do not accept that I must therefore adopt scientifically-untenable positions purely out of theological necessity. Neither life not God is that simple; and my God is not in the business of deceiving people: We live in a rational Universe, which can be explored and understood by rational minds. This is no accident; nor is the beautiful simplicity of mathematical truths such as 1+1=2. It is simply not good enough to claim that the Earth or Adam was created with the appearance of age, nor is it intellectually satisfactory to dismiss all supposedly-erroneous scientific deductions as being the result of devilish deception.

    So, I’m sorry but, humans and dinosaurs have never co-existed and to claim they did is to commit intellectual suicide; and put roadblocks in the way of others coming to faith: Therefore, YEC-ism is a 20th Century invention that contradicts the principles of exegesis laid down by Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. I apologise to anybody who may be offended or upset by anything I have said here, but I have spent much of my 46 years mulling this stuff over and, just as the Roman Catholic Church has finally forgiven Galileo for having the temerity to claim that the Earth was not at the centre of the Universe, I think Christians today must learn to forgive Darwin for having the bravery to suggest that the history of life on Earth is not as simple as it is portrayed in the book of Genesis…

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    Comment by Martin_Lack | November 21, 2011

  3. To say that all the untold trillions of fossils were formed during Noah’s Flood is clearly too ridiculous for words. A careful study of the verses in the Bible relating to the Flood show that it was in fact quite a gentle event-the waters took a long time to rise and a long time to fall so death came by drowing only-not rapid burial as fossilization requires. A careful study of numerous other verses in the Bible indicate the presence of living forms before the Genesis 1 account- which in fact starts with a flooded earth anyway. My view is that there were twelve or thirteen global floods which were violent but spaced by long periods of time in between. How long I do not know but violent enough to cause gigantic turbides that swamped over the then single land mass. The Geological Column most certainly exists and is best explained by a cycle of global floods for which an explanation is obvious once we know how the Earth was created and how it is structured internally

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    Comment by Leander R Pimenta | December 19, 2011

  4. Leander, I would love to hear your explanation of the Bible verses to get 12 or 13 gentle Floods. And your idea of living forms before Genesis 1. And how only the most recent one was gentle, but the previous dozen were violent.

    Sounds like Camping-style interpretation, but I could be wrong.

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    Comment by WebMonk | December 23, 2011

  5. There is a verse in the Bible which reads’ He sends His spirit and the surface of the earth is renewed.
    Genesis 1 also tells us the earth was lifeless and flooded at the time the Spirit of God hovered over the waters and also tells us that a supercontinent (called Earth) appeared above sea level. On this fresh ‘surface of the earth’ a new generation of life was created.
    The Geological column suggests to me there were twelve or thirteen previous immersions and reappearnces and resulting fossilisation for each submergence episode. Peter calls this the earth standing in the water and out of the water and overflowed with water.
    The last submergence was Noah’s Flood. This was not catastrophic as it took a over a year for the water level to rise and then fall. My book expains the precise reason for these almost cyclic sea level changes. In Noah’s time the earth had a firmament which the bible calls the heaven and was created on the second day. The firmament only covered one hemisphere and when this cracked sea water came through (called the floodgates and windows of heaven) but there was no massive amount of sediment that came through which was the case in all the previous flooding events. The Geological Column is a testimony of God’s word almost as much as the Bible is. We need to understand both and there is harmony in both. My book will be available in electronic form in about two weeks and print form about amonth later.

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    Comment by Leander R Pimenta | December 23, 2011

  6. Yup, that’s about what I expected.

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    Comment by WebMonk | December 23, 2011

  7. […] The stratigraphic column – not a figment of geologists’ imaginations. […]

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  8. I YEC ERROR

    I’ve done my own research and applied some logic that may help others take a better approach or view on several related matters. I find that many are not very careful when they read the Bible. They often conclude things before they have made sure they actually understand what they have read. Having studied the whole Bible, some parts many times, I can say with great certainty that the Genesis Creation account is an accurate historical account but the YEC view is incorrect for the following reasons:

    1. Plants were created on the 3rd day before the sun, moon and stars. How did they survive. In the Bible it states that God made light on the 1st day so there was light for His plants. He had a purpose for doing this which is a little complicated but I may go into this later if I have some time. In other words, God’s Creation order is not as man thinks, coming from his POV.

    2. YEC literalists state that Creation was accomplished in 6 literal days. However, 2 verses indicate that Creation did not take place in 6 literal days.

    A. Gen 1:14-19 is regarding creation of the sun, moon and stars. This means that a 24 hour day “as measured on earth” was not available until the 4th day.

    B. Now God rested regardong Creation on the 7th day. For sure God did not rest for only 24 hours. Therefore, it is evident that the 6 days for Creation are in fact periods of tme. In other words, God who lives outside of time, could have taken any amount of time He so chose, anywhere from near zero to many billions of years to accomlish each day’s period of time. Therefore, the Bible does not give the age of the earth. It doesn’t matter how long it took for God to create all that He did. Therefore, it is useless and futile to argue over whether earth is young or old but is old than YEC believes it is.

    II EVOLUTION IS FALSE

    However, this does not mean that God used Evolution (it would be diminishing God’s true power and abilities) to create nor advance life on earth or anywhere else for that matter. The problem is that many thought Evolution was a viable theory. They accumulated things true, seemed true and/or things assumed true then claimed Evolution was indisputable, which it isn’t. When one splits Evolution into various subcategories they are most often addressed under narrow-focus frames of reference. Its like looking through many small windows. You only see what is within each window’s POV. We need to pull back to a much larger “big picture” POV.

    Fact must be separated from speculation. W/o uncut film that starts from before the 1st signs of life to today, 1 species’ parts that have appearance of being in another are just more species. The scientific-method can’t prove the Big Bang, Evolution or the Abiogenesis theories. They are billions of years old COLD cases and we DIDN’T SEE it done. Therefore, Evolution claims are mostly speculation. Rather than try to pick apart many of the Evolution “scientific” claims I think its better to step back and look at some basic points that I believe disprove Evolution in its entirety:

    *1. We have 2 lungs, kidneys, ears, arms and legs. Each has NEAR PERFECT 3D MIRROR-IMAGE companion organs or limbs (NOT A COPY). IT CAN’T BE EXPLAINED AWAY. To make mirror-image organs takes FULL REVERSE ENGINEERING, knowledge of the companion’s functions and purpose or it can’t be created to perfection found in nature =2 WITNESSES in nature. This KILLS Ev/olution and therefore Abiogenesis claims.

    2. Our bodies are highly symmetrical 1 side to the other. It is impossible to accomplish w/o an outside overview POV so you can have full knowledge of the whole life-form.

    3. Cells and organisms are just copies of their parents and they pretty much only copy their parents and live as all their ancestors did. You won’t find a bird building a better nest than their parents and their chicks then build even better nests. You won’t see bears passing a better life to their cubs. And, some birds build nests (“external” objects -so these birds had to have something coded within them so that they could build an “external” object they have not seen before) w/o being taught to do so by their parants. Therefore, nearly blind cells must have 2 LIVES, 1 copying their parents and 1 SECRET life, working on changes or the Creator of all life is God.

    4. The fossil record doesn’t have millions of trial and error phyla that should exist if Natural Selection and/or the fittest survivor is the mechanism for a Creation source. The odds are so great against near perfection taking place for many millions of greatly diverse species that such precision can’t happen w/o someone 1st having full knowledge for what to do (even adding billions of years beyond the beginning of the universe can’t solve the probem). If this is not true millions more misfits with mistakes, having only 1 or 3 eyes in odd places, 1 leg growing out of a head, where a fin, arm, wing should be, etc. would exist instead of the perfection we observe in nature.

    5. Picture yourself boxed (and having near 0 intelligence) within a nearly blind microscopic cell (a lot smaller than a text period) and you have no way to sense much beyond your cell, trying to create a 3D organism that you can’t see, examine nor check to see what you are doing. These are real limits, so how could you invent millions of such diverse species to the perfection we find in nature? NO OTHER ORGANISMS EXISTED BEFORE. Therefore, either Darwin’s cell geniuses are more intelligent than all mankind or Evolution is a complete lie.

    6. Cells need DNA to function. DNA is useless w/o a cell so which came 1st a cell or DNA? DNA’s very complex (espially for higher life-forms) so the odds against figuring out and using DNA (in correct sequences and related processes) is many magnitudes higher than for pc program code. It is useless w/o an Intekkigent Designer to identify and assign its proper order. Give an ape a book. They can’t learn from whats written because they do not have the necessary intelligence. DNA is COMMON to ALL LIFE (they are the building blocks for ALL life). Therefore, an organism having 98% of another species’ DNA doesn’t prove that Evovlution is the responsible mechanism.

    7. No one has observed one species becoming a different species “type”. Fruit flies, mice and finches don’t become moths, rabbits or bats. Species splitting into 2 same species body type species is not proof of Evolution. Its simply a species’ adaptation to environment conditions.

    8. Look at the intelligent design, knowledge, time and energy that was needed to create and improve airplanes (also, note the many mistakes that were made). If people didn’t “learn” what to do we’d still be grounded.

    9. Creation is astronomically more complex than airplanes. The more complex an organism is it multiplies the intelligent design and knowledge needed to create it. Therefore, the Creation source is God or it couldn’t exist let alone evolve (Godf, knowing the various environments and changes that would take place within them, built in limited adaptation [its not” micro”-evlotion nor “Macro”-Eolution] so that organisms could survive).

    10. On top of all this Earth has the best orbit, gravity, axis, spin, atmosphere, magnetic field and water. The moon is the right size and has the best orbit for tidal cycles. Many foods taste good for life. Just 1 or 2 small differences for orbits and environments and most likely life would be very different. Higher life-forms would die off in short time if they survived at all.

    In conclusion: The claimed Evolution Creation process equals a blind man building a car he’s never heard of, seen, touched, heard or rode in. He couldn’t accomplish such a feat w/o 1st being taught aboutall the car functions and how to assembly all its parts for it to function . Cells have the same limits. Therefore, w/o an IDr we would not exist:

    III NOAH’s FLOOD TOOK PLACE

    A world-wide flood took place, the exact timing may never be known. 1st, Pangea existed (Gen 1:9). Only super water (the best medium having the best fluid dynamics to accomplish such a feat) pressure below and between the current continents can separate the continents such great distances (with all moving in a direction from a central point, not 1 against some other continent (it would still take God to cause it to happen). Also, God brought all the animals to Noah. He did not go out and fetch them. Also, Adam was the 1st chosen person not necessarily the 1st human.

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    Comment by Voice In Wilderness | February 18, 2014

  9. I have revised III NOAH”s FLOOD TOOK PLACE, to hopefull make it a little clearer, adding some details:

    A world-wide flood took place, the exact timing may never be known nor exactly what events where involved. 1st, Pangea existed (Gen 1:9). Only super water pressure (*water is the best medium in abundance on earth, having the best fluid dynamics to accomplish such a feat, providing a large enough and necessary cushion against the effects of friction, which would caused much greater tearing and splitting of the continents) below and between (Gen 7:11) the “current” continents can separate continents such great distances (with all moving in a direction away from a central point, not 1 turning another direction(s) and/or against some other continent [it would still require God to cause it to happen]).

    Note, God brought all the animals into Noah’s area. He did not go out and fetch them from all over the place, at such great distances in so many places, it would have taken years to accomplish. Also, Adam was the 1st chosen person not necessarily the 1st human.

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    Comment by Voice In Wilderness | February 19, 2014

  10. I also needed to make a change under II. EVOLUTION IS FALSE:

    The first sentence should start with: Evolution is in fact false and God did not use Evolution…

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    Comment by Voice In Wilderness | February 19, 2014

  11. Voice In Wilderness – why are you posting this here? Kevin’s post is about the stratigraphic column. Your comment is mostly about evolution, with a final paragraph about a world wide flood taken right out of Walt Brown’s playbook.

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    Comment by tkhelble | February 20, 2014

  12. As a professional Geotechnical Engineer I have to deal with aspects of the stratigraphic column almost everyday and I have to say that while I find the YEC interpretation of it totally unacceptable I also find it hard to believe it was formed by slow uniformitarian processes. What I have come to believe is that almost all the rocks we have on the Earth today were formed from sediments and not the other way round. This means our starting point in trying to understand the stratigraphic column is the ORIGIN of the sediments which range in size from minute clay particles to silts, fine sands, coarse sands gravels and cobbles. I believe that the Earth was formed by accretion of these sediments which were contained within an ice cold rotating disk of gas and dust which became sorted out in useful concentrations by magnetic and gravitational attraction as well as centrifugal and centripetal forces so that the Earth accreted these sediments in identifiable concentrations as it grew layer by layer. A vast amount of the accreted sediments subsequently became heated up and fused together to form basaltic and granitic rocks but also a vast amount of late arrival sediments did not fuse together and remained loose or weakly cemented. According to the Bible water to form the oceans emerged from the depths below well after the accretion process was completed and it is this water that swirled in tidal waves that subsequently picked up and deposited the previously accreted sediments into the many sedimentary basins we find on the Earth today. Each of these depositions was a catastrophic event and occurred over a very long period during which life forms of various kinds were created and destroyed. What happened about 6000-10,000 years ago was only the creation of the present life forms. The stratigraphic column contains fossils only of previous life forms which I believe were created by God for the benefit of the angels who were in fact the first intelligent inhabitants the Earth well before God created human beings in His image only a few thousand years ago. This explanation of the stratigraphic column I think agrees with all we know about it from science but it also has sound biblical support.

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    Comment by Leander R Pimenta | February 21, 2014

  13. @ tkhelble: Generally I find that many of these sites compartmentalize many of what are really related in the “big picture” view what is the “FULL” actual truth. I used windows for an exmple regarding compartmentalization problems in my 1st post & why I was including the Evolution problem. Its similar to looking through a fly’s eye but focusing on only some facets & their field of view while ignoring others that could in fact be just as or more important if we were to include more facets & a wider field of view or if we shifted our focus to other facets & their fields of view.

    Usually, those who discuss YEC &/or the flood are at least indirectly are bringing up things that “could” or should be considered relative to discussions regarding Evolution and whether it is true or false or inconclusive. When Evolution’s relative position is often set aside it can leave one the impression that some of these related issues still have legitmacy as viable explanations when in fact they do not when properly included & examined. If there is in fact evience that Evolution is not a viable theory then we can redirect our attention to what might be the correct path to solving the problems we are examining & possible solutions.

    I for 1 have never heard of Walt Brown but there are so many books out there 1 may not ever find that book or other books that could give you info you want or need. Knowing that many don’t have time to spend looking for & reading the many things that “might” be related to what you want to know, I try to consolidtae what I know so that someone might have an eaiser chance finding out a new thing they didn’t know. I could write books on these subjects but that wouild take more time & it could end up being just another book among many for someone to read & I couldn’t be sure it would reach a wide range of audiences where I believe it should be circulated.

    Also, I was thinking that if God’s other objective ( other than the destruction of evil men) was to separate the 1 continent into several He could have used super high pressre water jets to lift the various new continents & that might not have allowed a world-wide flood to have the same effect on the Geological-column as it might have had had it all come from flooding strictly over & from above the land mass. Moreover, since only God could cause such a super massive flood He could easily have used much more water than was available on the earth & then removed any water that He considered in excess to bring about the end of the flood. In turn it would be much harder to determine which parts of earth’s layers show what actually happened & when, especially since as I pointed out we did not see any of this happen.

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    Comment by Voice In Wilderness | February 21, 2014

  14. tkhelble — I don’t have a whole lot of “problem comments” so I tend to let things slide.

    Voice — I don’t mind occasional comments that are “off topic” as long as they don’t get too long or numerous.

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    Comment by geochristian | February 21, 2014

  15. Leander (#12) — I don’t see the slightest reason, biblical or scientific, to believe that “almost all the rocks we have on the Earth today were formed from sediments and not the other way round.” I have looked at your web site in the past (it doesn’t seem to be working tonight).

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    Comment by geochristian | February 21, 2014

  16. Geochristian (#15) Sedimentary rocks were ofcourse formed from sediments and limestone rocks from calcareous deposits but I would love to know what you believe is the origin of basalt and granite and everything else in the interior of the Earth.

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    Comment by Leander R Pimenta | February 22, 2014

  17. Leander — Perhaps your word “sediments” is the problem. You propose that Earth was formed from “sediments.” If these sediments are things like what we find in meterorites—chondrites and iron-nickels and so forth—then perhaps your concept is OK, because you can get to basalt by differentiation from a blend of asteroid material, but chemically you cannot get to basalt from what we normally think of as “sediments.”

    But still, I don’t see your hypothesis as having a good biblical foundation. Like YEC, it reads a whole lot into a few verses that aren’t necessarily trying to give us scientific details.

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    Comment by geochristian | February 22, 2014

  18. To geochristian (#17)
    Meteorites, chrondites, iron nickels etc did not appear from nowhere- they are accretions of tiny particles that were contained in the gigantic rotating disc of gas and ‘dust’ from which the Solar System was formed. My hypothesis is that included in this dust were also tiny particles of ALL the rock minerals found on Earth today.
    The Bible does tell us that the ‘Earth’, meaning a supercontinent, was ‘spread’ upon the waters and I explain that Pangaea was really a planetissimal that accreted from sediments and under God’s control soft landed and spread out on the then entirely water covered Earth. This makes more scientific sense to me than the theory that Pangaea developed on one side of the Earth only by continuous volcanism. For me Science is God’s book of nature and like the Bible needs interpretation. There is good harmony between the two unless one or the other has been incorrectly interpreted.

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    Comment by Leander R Pimenta | February 23, 2014

  19. I’ve studied evolution-denialism for years but this absolutely incredible line of “reasoning” absolutely amazed me:

    >*1. We have 2 lungs, kidneys, ears, arms and legs. Each has NEAR PERFECT 3D MIRROR-IMAGE companion organs or limbs (NOT A COPY). IT CAN’T BE EXPLAINED AWAY. To make mirror-image organs takes FULL REVERSE ENGINEERING, knowledge of the companion’s functions and purpose or it can’t be created to perfection found in nature =2 WITNESSES in nature. This KILLS Ev/olution and therefore Abiogenesis claims.
    >
    >2. Our bodies are highly symmetrical 1 side to the other. It is impossible to accomplish w/o an outside overview POV so you can have full knowledge of the whole life-form.
    >

    I wonder what this commenter would say after being shown the complex M-symmetry of various crystals! (That must be a whole lot of “reverse engineering” going on!)

    Never in a million years (!) would I have ever predicted that someone could conclude that symmetries are proof of reverse engineering! I wonder if this commenter ever saw a child fold several times a small circle of white paper and then make a quick series of notched scissor cuts. When unfolded, the resulting “snowflake” shows surprisingly complex, multi-axis symmetries—all without any “reverse engineering” or study of the “original” pattern. Indeed, it’s a generally mindless activity that children do for fun and to create snowflake tree ornaments at this time of year.

    This example is a reminder of the fact that the science-ignorant people who think they know better than the scientists of the academy (and that they can easily and casually find all sorts of errors in their work) are not just uninformed. The ministry leaders who promote this sort of nonsense are also incredibly unobservant and don’t self-critique their own ill-conceived conclusions. Have they ever considered discussing their “discovery” and “reasoning” with a scientist from the relevant field and seeing if their idea holds water? No, they ignore the commands of scriptures, including the Proverb which teaches: “There is safety in many counselors”. Indeed, some of those ministry leaders fit the description of the oft-cited fool in that book of the Bible: “The fool scorns instructions” and “who mocks those with knowledge.” We have so many false teachers within so many churches today because too many fools who scorn instruction are allowed to spew their folly.

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    Comment by Bible & Science Forum: Professor Tertius | December 9, 2015


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