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Author Topic:   Soracilla defends the Flood? (mostly a "Joggins Polystrate Fossils" discussion)
JonF
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Posts: 2602
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 1 of 190 (80827)
01-26-2004 10:09 AM


This thread is an ofshoot of the "What is the basis for a Creationist argument against Evolution?" thread. In www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=407&m=69#69 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=407&m=69#69">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=407&m=69#69 I challenged Soracilla to rebut " The idea of a global flood creating any significant portion of the geologic features of the Earth was abandoned by creationist geologists well before Darwin, because it could not be reconciled with the evidence. Many of them went so far as to assert that no global flood happened."

He has not directly addressed thast thesis, but he has made some claims about a global flood, and this seems like the appropriate forum.

Repeating some links:

Problems with a Global Flood (Second Edition): Producing the Geological Record
Why Geology Shows Sedimentation to Be too Slow for a Global Flood
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/trees.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/polystrate_trees.html

From www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=407&m=87#87 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=407&m=87#87">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=407&m=87#87 by Soracilla:

quote:
Yes, it's {polystrate trees - JRF} a common attempted rebuttal , but it's sadly lacking. Fossils of any kind passing through strata are pretty rare, and those that have been found do not pass thorugh layers of strata that conventional geology claims deposited at separate times or over long perods of time.

Actually, they are relatively common, even according to evolutionist sources. (See this link, second section.) For a Creationist viewpoint, see this link, and tell me what you think.

"Are you actually claiming that such a flood would leave no traces? No sediment layer? No great channels carved across the landscape?"...

No, I wasn't saying that. I was saying that such a catastrophic event could do who knows what to the earth, and to its strata and so forth. Perhaps, though, I speak out of mere ignorance, and I do apologize if that is so.


So, on to my reply:

Actually, they are relatively common, even according to evolutionist sources. (See this link, second section.)

Well, without numbers one man's "common" is another man's "rare". Since I haven't seen evidence of such things in numbers that are at all comparable to, for example, the number of fossil hominid skeletons, I'll stick with rare. But it's not a major point.

For a Creationist viewpoint, see this link, and tell me what you think

The fact that it starts with a common creationist lie isn't promising:

quote:
Sir Charles Lyell, friend and colleague of Charles Darwin, and principal architect of the principle of geologic uniformity, published his classic book, Principles of Geology, in 1830. In it he proposed that slow and gradual processes, operating on a local scale much as are seen today, had sculptured the earth's surface over vast eons of time. He denied the role of major geologic events, most especially the global Flood of Noah's day, insisting that "the present is the key to the past."

Lyell indeed said "the present is the key to the past" but, since we see catastrophes today and in recorded history, he did not deny the role of catastrophes or "major geologic events". He denied the Flood of Noah for the reasons I've already expounded. This mis-characterizatiopniof uniformitarianism is technically known as a "strawman" and is unfortunately common in creationist screeds.

And, reading on, it is pretty terrible "science". The claim is that "the trees have been moved to this location, washed in during a time of extensive and massive sedimentation". Yet no attempt is made to answer the first and most obvious question: "Why are most of them upright with their roots embedded in the same material?" (see THE FOSSIL CLIFFS OF JOGGINS, heading "Upright Fossil Tree Stumps", and note that your reference says "Some of the fossilized trees are inclined, not directly in vertical growth positions. A few are found upside down." {emphasis added - JRF}). The obvious suspicion is that Dr. Morris cannot answer that question and hopes that you don't notice.

(Apropos of this, that sort of thing is one reason why peer review is so important, and why most of the scientifi community ignores creationists as long as they publish only in their vanity press house organs, reviewed only for compliance with dogma).

And on and on. We get into the reasons for rejecting the uniformitarian hypohteses, and they're just terrible. Picking a few:

"None of the tree root systems are complete; all have been truncated." (your reference) is in direct contradiction to "Short stumps usually have well preserved root systems (Stigmaria) because they were filled in before the weight of accumulating sediment was sufficient to crush them. Tall stumps on the other hand have root systems which are difficult to see because they caved in under the weight of the overlying sediment long before it had accumulated enough to spill over the rim of the trunk and thereby enter the roots (Ferguson, 1988b)" (my reference). Given the quality of scholarship already demonstrated in your reference,and the fact that my reference has examined the site personally, I tend to beleive my reference (although I'd listen to further argument).

"A dead, hollow, and submerged stump could not persist for the long period of time necessitated for a second forest to grow and collect as peat." Why the h**l not, given the fact that they have survived to the present day?

"Segments of roots are often found inside the once-hollow trunks, while other fossil roots are normally detached and buried in the surrounding soil. This seems to be a very unlikely scenario for any growth in situ hypothesis." Say what? Why is it unlikely for any growth in situ hypothesis? Roots inside a hollow stump are evidence that something grew inside that hollow stump; that has absolutely nothing to do with the growth in situ hypothesis.

"The marine tubeworm, Spirorbis, frequently found in fossilized association with the fossil trees, implies that all were exposed to seawater." Well, duh but so what? Above he said "Two schools of thought exist within uniformitarian geologists, who variously interpret these beds as: (1) a flood plain in which a river occasionally overflowed its banks, burying the surrounding marsh in mud; and as (2) a coastal plain occasionally inundated by rising oceans." Marine tubeworms are certainly compatible with the second hypothesis and might be compatible with the first.

'Leaves seldom remain on a forest or swamp floor for long periods without decay, yet well preserved fossil leaves are abundant, thus indicating rapid burial." Ok, so freakin' what? The uniformitarian hypotheses he listed allow, in fact demand, rapid burial. Leaves seem to indicate to me that trees grew there, a point against the article's hypothesis.

I'm sick of this, the remainder is left as an exercise for the student. As far as I can see, it boils down to nothing at all.

No, I wasn't saying that. I was saying that such a catastrophic event could do who knows what to the earth, and to its strata and so forth. Perhaps, though, I speak out of mere ignorance, and I do apologize if that is so.

OK, then since you are claiming there was a flood, what geologic evidence do you propose for such a flood? Heck, I won't restrict you to geology, what non-Biblical evidence do you propose?

I suggest that you read my previously posted links before replying, and be prepared to defend your position. It's really boring to rebut the same old tired arguments over and over again.

{Topic title modified on 3/10/05. I added the "(mostly a "Joggins Polystrate Fossils" discussion)" part. - Adminnemooseus}

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 03-10-2005 13:33 AM


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Soracilla, posted 01-26-2004 10:25 PM JonF has not yet responded
 Message 7 by Bill Birkeland, posted 02-01-2004 10:25 AM JonF has responded
 Message 10 by Soracilla, posted 02-06-2004 5:27 PM JonF has responded
 Message 13 by RandyB, posted 10-22-2004 12:14 PM JonF has not yet responded

roxrkool
Member
Posts: 1477
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 2 of 190 (80898)
01-26-2004 4:40 PM


Soracilla writes:

No, I wasn't saying that. I was saying that such a catastrophic event could do who knows what to the earth, and to its strata and so forth. Perhaps, though, I speak out of mere ignorance, and I do apologize if that is so.


Soracilla, the flood, according to the Bible was a global event. That means across the entire planet, torrential rains resulted in catastrophic flooding (unless you want to suggest the rains were localized). The rains continued for 40 days and 40 nights until the tallest mountains on the planet were covered.

Now without getting bogged down in the details (of which there are thousands), at the point when the waters covered the tallest mountain, the rains ceased, and the waters began to recede, the entire planet would have been subjected to sediment deposition. Flood waters would have been carrying so much sediment that as soon as the waters calmed enough, they would have dropped their sediment load. This is not something that occasionally happens, only happens at certain scales, etc., but ALWAYS. It's a law of nature. For an entire year while the waters receded, this would have happened.

The coarsest stuff would have dropped out first followed by finer and finer sediments. Logic tells us that this global flood layer is probably not going to be 1 or 10 or even 100 cm thick, it's going to be several meters thick at the very least. And again, this layer would have occurred over the entire planet. These sediments would be thinnest at higher elevations and thickest in the lowest elevations - ocean basins, valleys, etc. This layer has not been found in 200+ years of geologic study. Not even by early geologists who were creationists.

We have charts depicting eustatic sea level changes for millions of years. This eustatic curve can be correlated with, among other things, magnetic reversals, global black shale deposition, and global oil formation (which is why it's heavily utilized by oil companies). Your suggestion that we don't know what a flood layer/deposit would look like because we've never seen is in fact based on ignorance (no offense), especially since we are able to pick out hundreds of *other* relative sea level changes in the rock record.

Additionally, early geologists never witnessed astrobleme impacts, and although it took some time, they were able to recognize these catastrophic events and subsequently identify them throughout the geologic record. And those events are MUCH, MUCH more localized - contained within just a few square kilometers, often.

We don't need to witness a global flood to have a pretty good idea of what it would do. Physical laws don't change with time.


Replies to this message:
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Soracilla
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 190 (80939)
01-26-2004 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JonF
01-26-2004 10:09 AM


I'll just post this quick note so you will not think I am avoiding the challenge. I have read most of your links in part, but it will take some time to comprehensively go through them, especially since I only get to the evcforum a few nights a week. So I shall respond in a few days after I have read through the sites and researched the topic more completely. Perhaps I will find that I was mistaken this whole time, for you have some great arguments. Hope it is not too much trouble to ask you to be patient for me to respond with more than complete ignorance. Thanks, Soracilla.


The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
-Mark Twain
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by JonF, posted 01-26-2004 10:09 AM JonF has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by NosyNed, posted 01-27-2004 1:41 AM Soracilla has not yet responded
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8561
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 4 of 190 (80994)
01-27-2004 1:41 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Soracilla
01-26-2004 10:25 PM


Thank you for that, Soracilla. That is polite of you.


Common sense isn't
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Soracilla, posted 01-26-2004 10:25 PM Soracilla has not yet responded

Bill Birkeland
Member
Posts: 165
From: Louisiana
Joined: 01-30-2003


Message 5 of 190 (81076)
01-27-2004 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by roxrkool
01-26-2004 4:40 PM


Fossil Soils (Paleosols) at Joggins
It was written:

"quote:
---------------------------------
Yes, it's {polystrate trees - JRF}
a common attempted rebuttal , but
it's sadly lacking. Fossils of any
kind passing through strata are
pretty rare, and those that have
been found do not pass through
layers of strata that conventional
geology claims deposited at separate
times or over long perods of time."

As far as polystrate trees are concerned, I would recommend that Mr. Soracilla read my post about the polystrate telephone poles of the Philippines and the polystrate tree found in Atchfafalya River natural levee deposits of Louisiana that are clearly documented to be less two hundred years old. My posts can be found in the thread "Polystrate Telephone Pole and Bridge Observed in Philippines" at

www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=7&t=105&p=6 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=7&t=105&p=6">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=7&t=105&p=6

The Atchafalaya River polystrate tree occurs in sediments virtually identical to the Joggins deposits and the Philippine polystrate telephone poles occur in deposits virtually identical to the strata, in which the Yellowstone Petrified Forests are found. The fact of the matter is polystrate fossils are being formed in certain modern environments. This clearly demonstrates that they fail as distinctive proof of a Noachian or Biblical Flood.

Also, using Google, a person can find web pages about research demonstrating the presence of abundant fossil soils, called "Paleosols",within the strata at joggins containing the polystrate trees. Below are some web pages about fossils soils, called "paleosols", that occur throughout the strata containing the polystrate trees at Joggins.

1. MICROMORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF SELECTED
PALEOSOLS OF LATE CARBONIFEROUS COAL-BEARING
ROCKS EXPOSED AT JOGGINS, NOVA SCOTIA,
CANADA by M.G. SMITH and I.P. MARTINI
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~pmartini/in_prepa/M_G_SMITH_I_P_MARTINI_micro.htm
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~pmartini/pwnewf.htm

2. FLOODPLAIN DEPOSITS AND PALEOSOL PROFILES OF
THE LATE CARBONIFEROUS CUMBERLAND BASIN, JOGGINS,
NOVA SCOTIA BY M.G. SMITH and I.P. MARTINI
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~pmartini/in_prepa/M_G_SMITH_I_P_MARTINI_floods.htm

3. STOP 2 - JOGGINS FOSSIL CLIFFS
http://earthnet.bio.ns.ca/english/VT/ns/cumberland/2/

"The Joggins Formation section is
characterised repeating beds of river-
deposited ( fluvial) sandstones
occurring in channels and as more
extensive sheets, interbedded with
floodplain- deposited siltstones and
mudstones that often have paleosol
(fossil soils) development.
Paleosols are often deep red colour."

4. Teniere, Paul, 1998, Sedimentology,
Facies Successions and Cyclicity of a
Section of the Joggins Formation, Joggins,
Nova Scotia. Unpublished M.S. thesis,
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

An abstract of this thesis can be found at:

http://www.dal.ca/~es/abstract/ab_th_98.htm

In part, its abstract stated about fossil soils (paleosols) found in the polystrate tree-bearing strata of Joggin:

"Grey clay-rich mudstones classify as "seat
earths" or Gleysol paleosols and grey platy
mudstones are hydromorphic soils that
experiences less vegetative activity. Red
mudstones are Vertisols formed under
seasonal, oxidizing conditions. Carbonaceous
shales are clastic swamp deposits
and are associated with coals (Histosol)
formed in peat mires."

Some other references documenting fossil soils (paleosols) within the Joggins strata and directly associated with the polystrate trees found there are:

Smith, Mark G. (1995) Floodplain deposits,
Paleosol profiles and evidence of climatic
change from the Late Carboniferous Joggins
Formation, Cumberland Basin, Nova Scotia,
Canada. Program with Abstracts - Geological
Association of Canada; Mineralogical
Association of Canada; Canadian Geophysical U
nion, Joint Annual Meeting. vol. 20, pp.99

Smith, Mark G. (1990) Floodplain and Paleosol
profiles of the Carboniferous Cumberland coal
basin, Nova Scotia, Canada. American Association
of Petroleum Geologist Bulletin. Vol. 74,
no. 8, pp.1310-1311

The Joggins locality is the focus of intensive study with papers being published every year about it. The research that Morris and Coffin did at Joggins has long since been rendered antiquated and obsolete and repeatedly refuted by each additional paper and guidebook that is published on the geology of the Joggins cliffs. In fact, these papers show that the geologic observations made by both geologists are badly flawed by what they repeatedly overlooked to the point of being useless in any scientific discussion.

Some recent papers about Joggins are:

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (1999) Fire ecology
of a Late Carboniferous floodplain,
Joggins, Nova Scotia. Journal of the
Geological Society of London. vol. 156,
pp. 137-148.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (2000) Fire ecology of
the Carboniferous tropical zone.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,
Palaeoecology. vol. 164, pp. 339-355.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (2001) Fire ecology of a
Late Carboniferous floodplain, Joggins,
Nova Scotia. Atlantic Geology. Vol. 37,
no. 1, pp. 109-110.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (2003) Response of Late
Carboniferous tropical vegetation to
transgressive-regressive rhythms at Joggins,
Nova Scotia.Journal of the Geological
Society of London, July 2003, Vol. 160,
no. 4, pp. 643-648

Gibling, M. R.,and Davies, S. J. (2003)
Architecture of coastal and alluvial
deposits in an extensional basin; the
Carboniferous Joggins Formation of Eastern
Canada. Sedimentology. Vol. 50, no. 3,
pp. 415-439

The papers by Falcon-Lang (1999, 2000, 2001) are interesting in they provide clear evidence of many of the Joggins polystrate trees had been charred by forest fires before being buried and the presence of abundant of charcoal within fossil soils that formed the former forest floor. A person needs to ask Dr, Morris how forest fires could char the Joggin trees while they are being washed around and later buried by a Noachian Flood. Also, these papers document clear examples of polystrate trees being firmly rooted in unmistakable fossil soils (paleosols) and soundly refute, along with other papers Young Earth creationists simply pretend don't exist, the claims by both Coffin and Morris that these trees were washed in and buried by a Noachian / Biblical Flood.

Yours,

Bill Birkeland


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Replies to this message:
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roxrkool
Member
Posts: 1477
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 6 of 190 (81078)
01-27-2004 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Soracilla
01-26-2004 10:25 PM


No problem.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Soracilla, posted 01-26-2004 10:25 PM Soracilla has not yet responded

  
Bill Birkeland
Member
Posts: 165
From: Louisiana
Joined: 01-30-2003


Message 7 of 190 (81950)
02-01-2004 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JonF
01-26-2004 10:09 AM


Morris's Impact Article No. 316 On Joggins Polystrate Fossils
JonF wrote:

"Actually, they are relatively common,
even according to evolutionist sources.
(See this link, second section.) For a
Creationist viewpoint, see this link,
and tell me what you think."

The "this link," to which Jon F refers, is "THE POLYSTRATE TREES AND COAL SEAMS OF JOGGINS FOSSIL CLIFFS - IMPACT No. 316 October 1999 by John D. Morris, Ph.D.*. Below I discuss each of the "reasons" used

http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-316.htm

It is hard to provide a short answer to all of the points raised by Morris (1999). However, the overall quality of the logic, research, and arguments of Young Earth creationists concerning polystrate fossils can be seen in "Arguments for Rapid Sedimentation" used by Morris (1999). First, Dr. Morris engages in a common Young Earth creationist misrepresentation that "rapid sedimentation" can only be the product of an extraordinary catastrophe, i.e. the Noachian of Biblical Flood. The reality of this situation is that there are numerous ordinary processes, from river floods to volcanic eruptions that can produce brief periods of rapid sedimentation sufficient to bury and preserve upright trees as polystrate fossils. For some documented examples, a person need only go back to a previous thread of mine, "Polystrate Telephone Pole and Bridge Observed in Philippines" at:

www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=7&t=105&p=6 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=7&t=105&p=6">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=7&t=105&p=6

Morris (1999) stated:

"Dr. Harold Coffin has listed several reasons
(summarized and extended below) to consider
that the trees have been moved to this location,
washed in during a time of extensive and
massive sedimentation.5"

NOTE: footnote no. 5 refers to Coffin (1993).

Reason No. 1

"1. A distinctive soil level is missing. Only a
few of the trees arise from the organic coal
layers. Often the trees rest on top of a coal
seam, but roots seldom penetrate into it as
they would if the tree grew in a peat bog.
Those stumps arising from non-organic layers
have no possible soil present."

Coffin (1993) is completely wrong in claiming that distinctive soil layers are missing within the sedimentary strata containing polystrate trees and exposed at the cliffs at Joggin. This claim is readily refuted by numerous studies of these coal measures such as:

1. MICROMORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF SELECTED
PALEOSOLS OF LATE CARBONIFEROUS COAL-
BEARING ROCKS EXPOSED AT JOGGINS, NOVA
SCOTIA, CANADA by M.G. SMITH and I.P. MARTINI
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~pmartini/in_prepa/M_G_SMITH_I_P_MARTINI_micro.htm
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~pmartini/pwnewf.htm

2. FLOODPLAIN DEPOSITS AND PALEOSOL PROFILES
OF THE LATE CARBONIFEROUS CUMBERLAND BASIN,
JOGGINS, NOVA SCOTIA BY M.G. SMITH and I.P. MARTINI
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~pmartini/in_prepa/M_G_SMITH_I_P_MARTINI_floods.htm

3. STOP 2 - JOGGINS FOSSIL CLIFFS
http://earthnet.bio.ns.ca/english/VT/ns/cumberland/2/

"The Joggins Formation section is
characterised repeating beds of river-
deposited ( fluvial) sandstones
occurring in channels and as more
extensive sheets, interbedded with
floodplain- deposited siltstones and
mudstones that often have paleosol
(fossil soils) development. Paleosols
are often deep red colour."

4. Teniere, Paul, 1998, Sedimentology, Facies Successions and
Cyclicity of a Section of the Joggins Formation, Joggins, Nova
Scotia. Unpublished M.S. thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax,
Nova Scotia.

An abstract of this thesis can be found at:

http://www.dal.ca/~es/abstract/ab_th_98.htm

In part, its abstract stated about the underclays, also called "seat earths,":

"Grey clay-rich mudstones classify as "seat
earths" or Gleysol paleosols and grey platy
mudstones are hydromorphic soils that
experiences less vegetative activity. Red
mudstones are Vertisols formed under
seasonal, oxidizing conditions. Carbonaceous
shales are clastic swamp deposits
and are associated with coals (Histosol)
formed in peat mires."

Some other references documenting fossil soils (paleosols) within the Joggins strata and directly associated with the polystrate trees found there are:

Smith, Mark G. (1995) Floodplain deposits, Paleosol profiles
and evidence of climatic change from the Late Carboniferous
Joggins Formation, Cumberland Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Program with Abstracts - Geological Association of Canada;
Mineralogical Association of Canada; Canadian Geophysical
Union, Joint Annual Meeting. vol. 20, pp.99

Smith, Mark G. (1990) Floodplain and Paleosol profiles of the
Carboniferous Cumberland coal basin, Nova Scotia, Canada.
American Association of Petroleum Geologist Bulletin. Vol. 74,
no. 8, pp.1310-1311

The fossil soils within the strata exposed at Joggins, Nova Scotia demonstrate two important points, which refute the ideas of Dr. Coffin. First, they show that the rapid sedimentation, which formed some of the strata, wasn't continuous. Contrary to what Dr. Coffin's ideas require, brief period of rapid sedimentation were broken by long period of nondeposition during which the fossil soils formed. Finally, during the long period of nondeposition, the surface, in which the soil formed, was land, not underwater as Dr. Coffin argued. In some cases, the rate of sediment accumulation for the stack of sediments that comprise the strata exposed in the Joggins cliffs that soil formation occurred at the same time that sediment accumulated as indicated by overthickened A and B horizons within some of the fossil soils.

Papers by Falcon-Lang (1999, 2000, 2001) are also interesting in they provide clear evidence of many of the Joggins polystrate trees had been charred by forest fires before being buried and the presence of abundant of charcoal within fossil soils that formed the former forest floor. A person needs to ask Dr, Morris how forest fires could char the Joggin trees while they are being washed around and later buried by a Noachian Flood. Also, these papers document clear examples of polystrate trees being firmly rooted in unmistakable fossil soils (paleosols) and soundly refute, along with other papers Young Earth creationists simply pretend don't exist, the claims by both Coffin and Morris that these trees were washed in and buried by a Noachian / Biblical Flood.

Reason No. 2

"2. The vertical stumps often penetrate two
or more strata, including thin seams of coal.
Often they overlap other trees, arising from
overlying layers. A dead, hollow, and
submerged stump could not persist for the
long period of time necessitated for a
second forest to grow and collect as peat.

In case of reason no. 2, the problems envisioned by Dr. Coffins exist only in his imagination. The fact of the matter, in areas of high sedimentation, i. e., the Atchafalaya Basin of Louisiana, it is possible for a dead hollow stump to persist long enough for multiple strata to accumulate around it and for overlaping levels of forests to develop. For example, geologists and archaeologists are currently studying an area around Indian Bayou within the Atchafalaya Basin south of Krtoz Springs, Louisiana, where a person can find a modern analogue to the overlapping sets of tree trunks illustrated by Coffin (1993). In that area, the partially buried stumps of dead trees and trunks of live trees protrude through several feet of alluvium and are surrounded by younger trees growing on the surface of the floodplain. If an additional episode of alluviation was to deeply bury this area, then two layers of upright, vertically overlapping tree trunks as has been found in the Joggins Cl;iffs of Nova Scotia would be created. Thus, the presence of overlapping layers of polystrate fossils fails to provide any real proof that they were washed in from elsewhere and buried by any extraordinary catastrophe.

Reason No. 3

"3. Segments of roots are often found inside
the once-hollow trunks, while other fossil
roots are normally detached and buried in
the surrounding soil. This seems to be a
very unlikely scenario for any growth in
situ hypothesis."

There are a couple problems with the evidence presented in "Reason no. 3". First, as discussed by Ferguson (1970), it is virtually impossible to determine from a two-dimensional slice of a root exposed in the face of cliff whether it is either a fragment of a root or complete root attached to a fossil stump. It is impossible to follow the root or see into the cliff in order to determine whether the root either ends in a broken end or is connected to a stump. Because the rock has been eroded to form the cliff, it is also impossible to determine whether the part of the root that was eroded along the enclosing rock to create the cliff face ended in either with a broken end or was attached to an upright trunk.

Finally, if these trees were growing on the floodplain of active river systems, there would be nothing unusual about finding fragments of their roots inside hollow trunks and in the surrounding sediments. As a river laterally migrated back and forth across its floodplains, it devours the sediments exposed in it cutbanks. The trees, including their roots, that fall into the river along with the bank sediments would be broken into pieces. Then, currents would transport fragments of tree and roots downstream and, during floods, distribute them all across the floodplain. Naturally, some pieces of root would be caught within the hollow trunks and deposited along with sediments on floodplains. The nothing inconsistent or unusual about fragments of roots being found inside the hollow trunks of polystrate fossils.

Reason no. 4

"4. Leaves seldom remain on a forest or swamp
floor for long periods without decay, yet
well preserved fossil leaves are abundant,
thus indicating rapid burial.'

It is true that leaves would rapidly decay on the floor of a swamp or forest. However, Dr. Coffin incorrectly judges the abundance of the well-preserved fossil leaves within the strata exposed at Joggins Cliffs. He also mistakenly implies that they are found in the underclays and other paleosols, which represent the actual floor of the swamp or forest. Rather the well-preserved fossil leaves are largely restricted to laminated and otherwise cross-bedded sandy strata that enclosed many of the polystrate trees at Joggins. The fossil leaves are found mainly within these sediments because their rapid accumulation during major allowed for the preservation of these fossils. Such deposits are commonly deposited as the result of flooding within river valleys and delta plains.

Reason no. 5

"Some of the fossilized trees are inclined,
not directly in vertical growth positions.
A few are found upside down. None of the
tree root systems are complete; all have
been truncated.'

First, the presence of inclined trees and a few, rare, upside down stumps of fossilized trees fails to be indicative of an extraordinary catastrophe having deposited the strata exposed in the Joggins Cliffs and transported the polystrate trees before deposition. Major river floods are quite capable of pushing and burying standing trees in inclined positions. The upside-down trees illustrated by Dr. Coffin consist of stumps lacking any significant length of trunk attached to them. Again, a major river flood would be quite capable of transporting tree stumps, depositing some upside-down, and burying them. As also falsely argued for the trees in the Yellowstone Petrified Forest, the present of a few transported stumps and logs doesn't prove that well-rooted polystrate trees had been transported.

Finally, Dr. Coffin is simply wrong about "none of the tree roots" being complete and having all been truncated. The fact of the matter is that polystrate trees do have intact root systems. The presence of intact root systems, forced some of them to argue that these root systems sank intact downward into the underclay, while it was soft mud. Gastaldo (1983, 1999) has refuted such models.

Concerning the presence of intact roots, Ferguson (1988) stated:

"Short stumps usually have well
preserved root systems (Stigmaria)
because they were filled in before
the weight of accumulating sediment
was sufficient to crush them. Tall
stumps on the other hand have root
systems which are difficult to see
because they caved in under the weight
of the overlying sediment long before
it had accumulated enough to spill
over the rim of the trunk and thereby
enter the roots."

The erroneous statements made by Dr. Coffin about the fossil stumps lacking roots and the absence of fossil soils strongly demonstrate that the field observations made by him contain significant inaccuracies and serious factual errors concerning the geology of the Joggin Cliffs. Such errors clearly indicate that his observations are of doubtful reliability and in need of independent verification before they can accepted as valid and accurate observations.

Reason no. 6

"The marine tubeworm, Spirorbis,
frequently found in fossilized association
with the fossil trees, implies that all
were exposed to seawater."

A major problem with is argument is that Coffin (1993) has likely grossly overestimated the frequency with which fossil of Spirorbis occur within the strata exposed at the Joggins Cliffs. For example, within a measured section illustrated by figure 4 of Davies and Gibling (2003), the occurrence of Spirorbis is noteds only at **two** specific intervals just over 40 meters (130 ft) apart and about 400 meters (1300 ft) below the main polystrate forest beds. This measured section indicated that none of the seven beds containing upright stumps were associated with Spirorbis fossils. Instead, Davies and Gibling (2003) found that Spirorbis fossils occurred within thin, laterally persistent, fossiliferous, dark grey-black, brackish-water limestone beds containing ostracods, bivalves, gastropods, rare fish bones, shark spines, and agglutinated foraminifera.

What Dr. Coffin and other Young Earth creationists don't seem to understand is that there is nothing anomalous for thin brackish water beds containing a mixture of marine and nonmarine fossils to accumulate within either a coastal or deltaic plain setting. Within a low-lying coastal or deltaic plain setting, small changes in relative sea level, because of rising sea level, regional subsidence, or combination of both, can cause the formation large brackish-water bays either within the interdistributary marshes of deltas or the interchannel areas of floodplains. Such bays would be ideal for the accumulations of brackish-water limestones containing a mixture of marine, i.e Spirorbis, and nonmarine, i.e. ostracod and bivalve, fossils. The structural graben, in which the strata containing the Joggins fossil forest accumulated, and rapid, glacially-moderated sea level cycles happening at the time these sediments accumulated provided excellent mechanisms for the occurrence of rapid rises in sea level and associated rapid flooding of these plains (Heckel et al. 1998). Such flooding would quite easily explain the formation of extensive bays, within which the Spirorbis-bearing limestone beds would have accumulated (Davies and Gibling 2003). Thus, the Spirorbis fossils fail to provide any evidence that the polystrate trees were transported in from elsewhere.

Reason no. 7

"The surrounding sandstones are
crossbedded, implying rapidly
moving water."

This "reason" fails miserably both as an argument for an extraordinary catastrophe, i.e. a Noachian or Biblical Flood, either having deposited the strata containing the polystrate trees at Joggins or transported the polystrate trees into the Joggins area from elsewhere. As in case of the "rapid deposition" of sediments, "rapidly moving water" can occur and does occur as the result of ordinary processes, both noncatastrophic and catastrophic. In modern environments, ordinary processes and "normal" catastrophes, i.e. major floods and lahars, regularly deposit cross-bedded sediments. Both Dr. Morris and Dr. Coffin are apparently unaware that rapidly moving water and the cross-bedding that it creates are very common in many modern environments, including the flooding of alluvial and deltaic plains, as documented in basic publications such as:

Bridge, J., 2003, Rivers and Floodplains - Forms, Processes and
Sedimentary Record.Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK. 504 pp.,

Boggs, S., 2002, Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy,
3rd ed., Prentis-Hall, New York. 726 pp.

Reading, H. G., ed., 1996, Sedimentary Environments, 3 rd ed.
Blackwell Science, Oxford, 688 pp.

Walker, R. G., and James, N. P., eds., 1992. Facies models.
Geological Association of Canada, Toronto, Canada. 409 pp.

By themselves, neither cross-bedding nor "rapidly moving water" imply the existence of an extraordinary catastrophe like the Noachian / Bliblical Flood. Thus, of either cross-bedding or "rapidly moving water" imply nothing about the Joggin polystrate trees having been moved in from elsewhere by such an extraordinary catastrophe.

Reason No. 8

"The hollow vertical trees are
typically filled with different
sediments than the surrounding
matrix. The internal sediments
are themselves crossbedded."

As discussed and illustrated both by Ferguson (1988) and Gibling (1987), the infilling of the hollow lycopod trees by sediments of different types and the presence of cross-bedding within them is completely consistent with these polystrate trees having been buried on either alluvial or deltaic plains.

Reason No. 9

"The long axis of both the partial
roots and the rootlets have a
preferred orientation as would result
from movement, not growth in place.
The direction parallels current
direction as discerned from ripple
marks and crossbedding."

The data on which this "reason", argument, is directly derived from Rupke (1970). Ferguson (1970) noted the preferred orientation of the roots reported by Rupke (1970) corresponded to the orientation of the outcrops, the cliffs, at Joggins. Ferguson argued that Rupke (1970) failed to realize the fact that roots cut at lower angles by the cliffs would be more readily seen, found, and measured than roots that were cut at higher angles to right angles by the cliffs. Thus, the preferred orientation noted by Rupke (1970) reflects only the visibility of the roots in outcrops, instead their actual orientations. None of the geologists, who have visited the Joggins Cliffs, have been able to replicate the results of Rupke (1970) and have been unable tofind the orientations he found. As result, the arguments in Reason no. 9 only offers evidence, together with Dr. Coffin's inability to find any roots at the Joggins Cliffs, of the rather sloppy and error-prone fieldwork that is conducted by some Young Earth creationists. (NOTE: N. A. Rupke is a Young Earth creationist as demonstrated by Rupke (1973).

Overall, the so-called research concerning the Joggins Cliffs that Young Earth creationist have published and articles that they use to argue, i.e. Morris (1999), is the type of writing a person finds in term papers and projects undergraduate historical and physical geology classes. It is characterized by shallow research of existing research, simple-minded, full of all sorts of obvious errors, logically flawed, and just amateurish in it execution. It is the poor quality of writing in articles like Morris (1999) and textbooks like Coffin (1993) that have earned Young Earth creationists the distain and more typically, indifference, of conventional geologists.

Finally, Ferguson (1988, p. 15-16) described the process by which these polystrate trees were created as:

"The sequence of diagrams on the following page, shows how
a lycopod tree at Joggins was gradually preserved. The bottom
of each stump you see and any preserved roots are commonly
surrounded by shale, and this is overlain by several feet of
sandstone, which surrounds the lower part of the trunk. We
know that shale is formed when mud becomes rock under
pressure and that sandstone was originally sand.

So the sequence of sedimentary rocks we find around the
base of the fossil trees at Joggins suggests that mud was
slowly deposited in the flood plain, permitting trees to become
established and grow to maturity (A). Then, when the river
burst its banks after a heavy rainfall, it brought in coarser
sediment from the river channel which surrounded the tree
and killed it. Later, the top of the tree was blown over by
wind, leaving only a hollow stump (B). The inner tissues of the
stump continued to rot as sediment accumulated around the
trunk over the years (C). After the interior rotted and the
upper part of the tree was removed, sediment accumulated
until it reached the rim of the trunk, spilled into its interior
and rapidly filled it (D). It was at this stage that the hollow
stumps acted as traps for unwary reptiles and amphibians.
The bark of the tree was slowly converted to coal, which
explains why the tree stumps are now surrounded by a thin
cylinder of coal. The coaly layer, about 1 cm thick, is all that
is left of the bark around the base of the fossilized tree stump
shown in the photograph below."

This process is illustrated at:

http://museum.gov.ns.ca/places/joggins/tree.htm

References Cited:

Coffin, Harold, Origin by Design, 1993, Hagerstown,
Maryland Review and Herald Hagerstown, Maryland,
pp. 117-133.

Davies J. S., and Gibling, M. R., 2003, Architecture of
coastal and alluvial deposits in an extensional basin:
the Carboniferous Joggins Formation of eastern
Canada. Sedimentology. vol. 50, pp. 415-439.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (1999) Fire ecology of a Late
Carboniferous floodplain, Joggins, Nova Scotia.
Journal of the Geological Society of London. vol. 156,
pp. 137-148.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (2000) Fire ecology of the
Carboniferous tropical zone. Palaeogeography,
Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. vol. 164,
pp. 339-355.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (2001) Fire ecology of a Late
Carboniferous floodplain, Joggins, Nova Scotia.
Atlantic Geology. Vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 109-110.

Falcon-Lang, H. J. (2003) Response of Late
Carboniferous tropical vegetation to transgressive-
regressive rhythms at Joggins, Nova Scotia.
Journal of the Geological Society of London,
July 2003, Vol. 160, no. 4, pp. 643-648

Ferguson, L., 1970, Sedimentary evidence for the
Allochthonous origin of Stigmaria, Carboniferous,
Nova Scotia: Discussion. Geological Society of
America Bulletin. vol. 81, pp.2531-2534.

Ferguson, L., 1988. The Fossil Cliffs of Joggins,
Peeper Books, Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax, Nova
Scotia. 48 pp.

Gastaldo, Robert A., 1999, Debates on autochthonous
and allochthonous origin of coal; empirical science
versus the diluvialists. In Kelley, Patricia H., Bryan,
Jonathan R., and Hansen, Thor A, eds., pp. 135-167,
The evolution-creation controversy; II, Perspectives
on science, religion, and geological education.
Paleontological Society Papers, Vol. 5. The
Paleontological Society. Lawrence, Kansas.

Gastaldo, Robert A., 1983, In situ Carboniferous
arborescent lycopods; a case against floating
arborescent lycopod peat mats. Geological Society
of America. Abstracts with Programs. vol. 15, no. 2,
p. 50

Gibling, M. R., 1987. A classic Carboniferous section;
Joggins, Nova Scotia. Geological Society of America
Centennial Field Guide - Northeastern Section. vol. 5,
pp. 409-414.

Heckel, P. H., Gibling, M. R.,and King, N.R., 1998,
Stratigraphic model for glacial-eustatic Pennsylvanian
cyclothems in highstand nearshore detrital regimes.
Journal of Geology.vol. 106, pp. 373-383.

Morris, J. D., 1999, Polystrate Trees and Coal Seams
of Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Impact no. 316, Institute for
Creation Research, Santee, California (October 1999)
http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-316.htm

Rupke, N. A., 1969, Sedimentary evidence for the
allochthonous origin of Stigmaria, Carboniferous,
Nova Scotia: Geological Society of America
Bulletin. vol. 80, pp. 2109-2114.

Rupke, N. A., 1973, Prolegomena to a Study of
Cataclysmal Sedimentation. In Walter E. Lammerts,
ed., pp. 141-179, Why Not Creation. Presbyterian
and Reformed, Nutley, N.J.

Some Additional URLS

THE FOSSIL CLIFFS OF JOGGINS
Laing Ferguson, Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B.
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/earth/waton/s931.html

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/places/joggins/joggins.htm
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/places/joggins/tree.htm

STOP 2 - JOGGINS FOSSIL CLIFFS
http://earthnet.bio.ns.ca/english/VT/ns/cumberland/2/

Coal-Age Reptiles
http://www.nature.ca/notebooks/english/coalrep.htm

THE CLASSIC PENNSYLVANIAN LOCALITY OF JOGGINS, NOVA SCOTIA:
PALEOECOLOGY OF A DISTURBANCE-PRONE WETLAND ECOSYSTEM
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2002AM/finalprogram/abstract_38839.htm

DRYLAND VEGETATION IN THE PALEOZOIC: THE PENNSYLVANIAN
RECORD FROM JOGGINS, NOVA SCOTIA
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2003NE/finalprogram/abstract_50970.htm

LATE CARBONIFEROUS PLANT ECOLOGY ACROSS AN ALLUVIAL
PLAIN TO COASTAL PLAIN TRANSECT, JOGGINS, NOVA SCOTIA
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2001AM/finalprogram/abstract_8811.htm

SEDIMENTOLOGY AND FOSSIL BIOTA OF A PENNSYLVANIAN
“WATERHOLE” DEPOSIT IN A DRYLAND ALLUVIAL PLAIN
SETTING, JOGGINS, NOVA SCOTIA
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2002AM/finalprogram/abstract_41390.htm

Status Report on the Scientific Case for Designation of Joggins
as a World Heritage Site.
http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/pdf/02re01/calder.pdf.

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs
http://museum.gov.ns.ca/fossils/sites/joggins/index.htm

FOSSILS IN NOVA SCOTIA
http://www.chesterbound.com/joggins/fossils.html

Yours,
Bill Birkeland

[This message has been edited by Bill Birkeland, 02-01-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by JonF, posted 01-26-2004 10:09 AM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5050
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 8 of 190 (81965)
02-01-2004 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Bill Birkeland
02-01-2004 10:25 AM


Re: Morris's Impact Article No. 316 On Joggins Polystrate Fossils
Mr Birkeland, you've done it yet again! This post, too, needs to be archived somewhere like TalkOrigins, linked to the "Index of Creationist Claims" that Marc Isaac has over there. Brilliant, and I deeply appreciate your hard work on and clear exposition of these topics.

And ahh, Krotz Springs, Louisiana! That was the first place I ever tasted boudin! As I think I mentioned on the other polystrate thread, that is also near where we drilled into cypress stumps buried 50 feet or more beneath the bed of the Atchafalaya.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Bill Birkeland, posted 02-01-2004 10:25 AM Bill Birkeland has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 2602
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 9 of 190 (81972)
02-01-2004 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Bill Birkeland
02-01-2004 10:25 AM


Re: Morris's Impact Article No. 316 On Joggins Polystrate Fossils
Thank you very much. A much more complete, professional, and scholarly discussion than my brief and amateur analysis.

I would love to see this in the T.O. archive ... will you give your permission?

[This message has been edited by JonF, 02-01-2004]


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Soracilla
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 190 (84003)
02-06-2004 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JonF
01-26-2004 10:09 AM


I do apologize for my lateness in getting this in, for I've completely forgotten. After reading through your links I found few things that I could answer well with my current knowledge, and the arguments were quite well stated. However, there are a few things that bother me still about accepting your position.

One, I found the articles on the Creationists forfeiting their previous beliefs rather unpersuasive on the whole, for the mere fact that Creationists did forfeit their beliefs does not do anything beyond making one prone give the view a fair hearing.

Two, the polystrate tree rebuttals were mostly composed of saying that Evolutionists in our current age do not believe in uniformitarianism, and such trees can be created by the earth quickly moving over a tree (by volcanic rock moved by the eruption, sand dunes moving, or other explanations). But one thing bothers me: if such a quick movement of the land happened and the tree was fossilized in that, it still does not account for the different layers the tree goes through. For if the layers are divided because they are marks of millions of years before, why would a fossilized tree be polystrate if it fossilized in the same layer of earth that covered it? It seems to me that if a tree became fossilized, regardless of how, it would remain in one layer, the one in which it fossilized. But we don't see that; the trees go through layers that represent millions of years, and I cannot possibly see how that is possible by your view of the ages of the layers in the earth.

Also I'd like to say that I was never trying to prove that the Flood happened by appealing to polystrate trees, just that they show that the layers cannot represent ages millions of years long.
Soracilla


The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
-Mark Twain
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by JonF, posted 01-26-2004 10:09 AM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
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JonF
Member
Posts: 2602
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 11 of 190 (84044)
02-06-2004 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Soracilla
02-06-2004 5:27 PM


the polystrate tree rebuttals were mostly composed of saying that Evolutionists in our current age do not believe in uniformitarianism.

Actually, most of us do believe in uniformitarianism; but we do not believe in the straw-man caricature of uniformitarianism that creationsist attack.

But the polystrate tree rebuttals cannot realistically be said to consist of "saying that Evolutionists in our current age do not believe in uniformitarianism". They consisted of detailed analyses of the observed evidecne and how that evidence came to be as it is, pointing out how superficial and error-riddled the creationist "analyses" were, and examples of such things forming today over relatively brief perios of time.

But one thing bothers me: if such a quick movement of the land happened and the tree was fossilized in that, it still does not account for the different layers the tree goes through. For if the layers are divided because they are marks of millions of years before, why would a fossilized tree be polystrate if it fossilized in the same layer of earth that covered it?

Because those particular layers are not "divided because they are marks of millions of years before". Polystrate trees are found only where there is evidence of relatively fast deposition separated by tens or hundreds, perhaps sometimes thousands, of years.

the trees go through layers that represent millions of years

No, they don't. Read the references already provided.

Also I'd like to say that I was never trying to prove that the Flood happened by appealing to polystrate trees, just that they show that the layers cannot represent ages millions of years long.

OK, polystrate trees don't prove that the flood happened, and the layers they penetrate don't represent millions of years. We agree.

What does prove that the flood happened.?


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 Message 10 by Soracilla, posted 02-06-2004 5:27 PM Soracilla has not yet responded

Bill Birkeland
Member
Posts: 165
From: Louisiana
Joined: 01-30-2003


Message 12 of 190 (84320)
02-07-2004 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Soracilla
02-06-2004 5:27 PM


Soracill commented:

...text deleted...

"Two, the polystrate tree rebuttals were mostly
composed of saying that Evolutionists in our
current age do not believe in uniformitarianism,,,,"

The polystrate tree "rebuttals", actually explanations instead of real rebuttals, said absolutely nothing about "Evolutionists" not believing in uniformitarianism. These interpretations, i.e. messages 4 and 7 of this thread, are excellent examples of the use of uniformitarianism to interpret the geologic record. The modern processes described in the rebuttals, i.e. the episodic accumulation of fluvial and deltaic sediments in a gradually subsiding coastal plain, as in case of the Joggins polystrate trees, along within sea level rise, coastal subsidence, the deposition of layers of sediments by major floods, and the deposition of a layer sediment by a lahar are all events that have been observed by geologists on modern flood or coastal plains. Using these modern processes and the characteristics of the sediments that they created to explain the formation of polystrate trees and the sediments enclosing them are excellent examples of how uniformitarianism is used to interpret the rock record.

I am quite baffled and amazed how anyone can state the so-called "polystrate tree rebuttals" were "composed of saying that Evolutionists in our current age do not believe in uniformitarianism" when uniformitarianism is an integral part of these rebuttals / explanations. In fact, the so-called "polystrate tree rebuttals" are clear examples of how uniformitarianism can be used to interpret how polystrate trees are formed contrary to what Mr. Soracill stated above.

Also, I am quite puzzled why Mr. Soracill talks about "Evolutionists" in this context. In a discussion about the origin of polystrate fossils, whether a person accepts evolution as a valid scientific theory is completely irrelevant. How polystrate fossils form has nothing to do with evolution, rather it a matter of sedimentology, pedology, stratigraphy, and other disciplines that can be independent of evolutionary theory. For example, an Old Earth creationist can be quite comfortable with the conventional explanation of how polystrate fossils formed and, still not accept evolution as a valid scientific theory.

Soracill also stated:

"and such trees can be created by the earth
quickly moving over a tree (by volcanic rock
moved by the eruption, sand dunes moving,
or other explanations). But one thing bothers
me: if such a quick movement of the land
happened and the tree was fossilized in that,
it still does not account for the different
layers the tree goes through."

First, the fossilization of the polystrate trees, or any other polystrate fossil, occurred after it was completely buried. During the time that polystrate trees were buried, they were still wood. It was only after burial that compression, coalificatiom, petrification, or other fossilization processes took place.

Second, in case of the volcanic deposits, each mudflow doesn't represent a volcanic eruption. Only the first, bottommost layer often represents a single eruption, as in case of Mt. St Helens, this mudflow was created when the eruption melted snow capping the volcano's summit. The additional layers that bury polystrate trees, found in volcanic sediments, represent later mudflows created by major rainstorms unrelated to the initial volcanic eruption. These later layers were deposited by mudflows created by the erosion of abundant loose volcanic material off of the volcanic summit. So within a period of a few years, multiple layers of volcanic sediments repeatedly enclosed, eventually bury, and preserved the trees within floodplains. After a few years, all of the loose material is either eroded off and the growth of vegetation on the volcano prevents any further erosion from forming mudflows that deposit layers. Then a hundred to a thousand years later, the volcano erupts and starts the process over again. Thus, every hundred to thousand years, multiples layers of volcanic sediments accumulate over a period of a decade or so, which often contain polystrate trees. In the time between each eruption, a soil develops in the uppermost layer before it is buried by mudflows from the next eruption. This process goes on and on as long as the volcano is, or line of volcanoes are, active. Over a long period of time, if there is regional subsidence, a thick sequence of volcanic sediments, as found in the Petrified Forest of Yellowstone accumulates. This is a classic example of a uniformitarianism explanation where processes that can be observed to happen in the present in Central America Mt. St. Helens, Philippines, and numerous other volcanic terrains, are used to interpret ancient deposits found in the geologic record.

Finally, in case of an alluvial or deltaic plain, each layer, enclosing a polystrate tree, represents individual, major flood events. As in case of the Atchafayala River, it starts with a backswamp along a minor bayou covered with trees far from the main river channel. At that point, because of regional subsidence and sea level rise, the valley is filling in at the rate of only a foot or so per thousand years. Then, the main river or deltaic distributary channel changes it course by occupying the former placid bayou. Immediately, each year, the annual river flood overflows the channel and dumps sediments across the former backswamp rapidly burying these trees with a layer for each major flood. The accumulation of sediment continues until the natural levees are high enough they are no longer flooded at regular intervals. At that point, the floodwater and sediment exits the river through breaks in the natural levees and build large delta-like features, called splays, over the adjacent backswamp. As thee splays built away from the river channel, more trees are buried. Eventually, the river builds a ridge that lies in elevation above the surrounding backswamp. At that time, the rates of accumulation within the floodplain are such that trees are no longer buried upright. Eventually, once every 1,000 to 2,000 years, the channel of river will shift into the backswamp, which now lies at a lower elevation and establish a new course. At that time, the rapid building of natural levees and splays along its new course will bury more trees upright and create a new set of polystrate trees along its new course. As long as the coastal plain over which a river flows continues to subside, its channel will continue to switch back and forth and deposit sediments and create new polystrate trees whenever it changes its course. The same thing will happen as delta periodically shift their courses and areas where they depositing sediments. This is a uniformitarianism explanation, in which river and deltaic processes observed in modern river and delta plains and the characteristics of the bedding, structure, and texture of the sediments that they produce can be used to interpret ancient strata found in the rock record.

Mr. Soracill further stated:

"For if the layers are divided because they are
marks of millions of years before, why would a
fossilized tree be polystrate if it fossilized in the
\same layer of earth that covered it?"

The fact of the matter is that layers are neither divided nor recognized because are "they are marks of millions of years before". Layers are simply defined by physical break of some sort separating a layer from the layer above and below it that can be observed in field. The amount of time represented by these breaks vary greatly, i.e. from two days, two months, two years, two thousand years, two hundred thousand years, two million years, to even more. As discussed above, it possibly for a polystrate tree to be buried within multiple layers of sediments, each deposited by single brief event followed by a longer period of nondeposition, i.e. two weeks, two months, two years, and so forth, before the next event adds another layer around the tree. Then, after those layers accumulate deep enough to bury the tree, the accumulation of layers ceased for a few thousand years before another set of layers accumulate. Of course, the break representing the few thousand years of nondeposition will be associated with a soil, when buried would become a paleosols (buried / fossil soil). The amount of time represented by any individual break between beds can vary from days to millions of years.

If a person reads the citations cited in my previous posts in this thread, they will find that breaks that are either major erosional unconformities or associated with fossil soils (paleosols) occur throughout the strata containing the polystrate trees at Joggins. The layers containing polystrate fossils are clearly periods of very rapid deposition followed by periods of nondeposition, as evidenced by fossil soils (paleosols), and major periods of erosion, as evidenced by unconformities consisting of valleys incised into underlying deposits and later refilled by renewed sedimentation. In case of the Joggins strata, a vast amount of time is represented by breaks associated with formation of paleosols and incised valleys.

(NOTE: An example of a cross-section of an incised valley can be found in "Fig. 6. Sequence stratigraphic model for the Tonganoxie paleovalley" at:
http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/Current/1998/buatois/buatois5.html
http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/Current/1998/buatois/GIFS/Fig6.GIF

How this incised valley was created by changes in sea level is illustrated in Figures 30 through 32 at:
http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/Current/1998/buatois/buatois10.html

Other figures in the "IFV Workshop" at:
http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/Workshops/IVF2000/watney-ivf/tocnav640.html )

Mr. Soracill further stated:

"It seems to me that if a tree became fossilized,
regardless of how, it would remain in one layer,
the one in which it fossilized."

This simply is not true. If a series of events, which are closely spaced in time from days to months to years, each deposit a layer around a single upright tree, it can become encased in multiple layers of sediments. This is what was directly observed to happened over the space of 2 to 3 years at Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines, with telephone poles, houses, and nearby trees as discussed in previous posts. This also what happened to an upright tree found in the natural levees of the Atchafalaya River over about 200 years as discussed in a previous post. If multiple events each deposit a layer of sediment around a standing tree over a short period of time a series of layers will accumulate around a tree. Such a tree buried by multiple, individual layers, by definition, is a polystrate tree. Once buried, it will, with time, become fossilized and become a polystrate tree. There is simply no reason to argue that a tree should remain or become fossilized just in one layer when theoretical models and **modern examples,** demonstrate, as an absolute fact, that trees can be buried by multiple layers of sediments by either nromal (noncatastrophic) fluvial or volcanic processes and eventually become fossilized.

Mr. Soracill further stated:

"But we don't see that; the trees go through
layers that represent millions of years, and
I cannot possibly see how that is possible by
your view of the ages of the layers in the
earth."

As conventional geologists already know, the layers encasing a polystrate tree **don't** represent "millions of years" as Mr. Soracill, like many Young Earth creationists, mistakenly and falsely claim that conventional geologist argue. The set of layers containing a polystrate tree represents only a few years to a couple of hundred years of deposition. However, after that period of rapid deposition, as evidenced by fossil (buried) soil, the accumulation of sediments stops for hundreds to thousands of years, before sediment accumulation begin again for another couple of hundred of years and then stops again to resume later. If sea level falls and the river cut down into its floodplain, then sedimentation might stop for hundreds of thousands of years until sea level rises and the river fills in the valley and is able wander back and forth across the coastal plain again.

Thus, there is only a very brief period of rapid deposition, during which polystrate trees can form that alternate with very long periods of slow deposition, nondeposition, and, erosion. The vast amount of time in any sequence of fluvial and deltaic strata is represented by very long periods of either nondeposition or very slow deposition. Within any thickness of fluvial or deltaic sediments, the vast majority of time is found within major breaks separating **sets of layers** with not every break representing a long period of time. If a person has good outcrops to look at, they will find that these breaks are associated with well-developed fossil soils; major erosional unconformities, i.e. incised valleys; or some combination of these.

Mr. Soracill finally stated:

"Also I'd like to say that I was never
trying to prove that the Flood happened
by appealing to polystrate trees, just
that they show that the layers cannot
represent ages millions of years long."

The fact of the matter is that conventional geologists already know, and have known for many, many years, that the **specific layers** enclosing polystrate trees didn't accumulate over millions of years. Conventional geologists already agree with Mr. Soracill that the set of layers **surrounding a polystrate tree fossil** accumulated relatively rapidly within a period of years to a couple of centuries. Here, Mr. Soracill is trying to "prove" an idea that has already been accepted by conventional geologists, as a matter of common sense. If he would read the articles about the Joggins polystrate fossils cited in previous articles, he would find that there is no disagreement with him on this point by conventional geologists and paleontologists. The issue, which Mr. Soracill is trying to address, exists only in the imagination of Young Earth creationists. The fact that the Young Earth creationists, from whom Mr. Soracill obtained such misinformation, make this claim only showed how very little, if anything at all, these people actually understand how conventional geologists interpret the origin of polystrate fossils.

If a person looks above and below the set of layers containing the polystrate trees, they will find breaks associated with fossil soils (paleoesols) representing hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years nondeposition. Also, they will find erosional unconformities, such as incised valleys, which represent the long periods of time during which erosion and nondeposition occurred within the flood or deltaic plain. Also, within fluvial and deltaic sediments, there are thick layers of backswamp and interdistributary clays, which don't contain polystrate trees. These sediments also represent long periods of time during which sediments very slowly accumulated. These strata don't contain polystrate fossils because they accumulated over period of time. Although rapid deposition of a set of layers, resulting in the formation of polystarte trees, might have occurred within a flood or deltaic plain, either very slow, no deposition, or even erosion of sediments occurred for even vaster amounts of time. In fact, the vast majority of time lies within the breaks associated with fossil soils and unconformities. For good examples of fossil soils (paleosols) found in ancient floodplain deposits, a person can read:

Retallack, G.J., 1983, Late Eocene and Oligocene
paleosols from Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
Geological Society of America Special Paper no, 193,
82 pp.

Kraus, M. J., 1997, Early Eocene alluvial paleosols:
pedogenic development, stratigraphic relationships,
and paleosol/landscape associations: Palaeogeography,
Palaeoeclimatology, Palaeoecology. vol. 129,
pp. 387-406.

Kraus, M. J., 1999., Paleosols in clastic sedimentary
rocks. their geologic applications. Earth-Science
Reviews, vol. 47, pp. 41-70.

Kraus, M. J., and Gwinn, B. M., 1997, Controls on
the development of early Eocene avulsion deposits and
floodplain paleosols, Willwood Formation, Bighorn
Basin. Sedimentary Geology. vol. 114, pp. 33-54

Kraus, M. J., and Aslan, A., 1999, Paleosol sequences
in floodplain environments: a hierarchical approach,
In: Thiry, M., ed., Palaeoweathering, Palaeosurfaces
and Related Continental Deposits, International
Association of Sedimentologists, Special
Publication. 27, p. 303-321.

McCarthy, P. J., Martini, I. P. and Leckie, D. A., 1997,
Anatomy and evolution of a Lower Cretaceous alluvial
plain: sedimentology and paleosols in the upper Blairmore
Group, southwestern Alberta, Canada. Sedimentology,
vo. 44, pp. 197-220.

Retallack, G.J., 2001, Soils of the Past. Blackwell
Science Inc; 2nd edition (February 15, 2001)
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref=0632053763&site=1

One last matter is that polystrate fossils are actually relatively rare. They have not been found within the vast majority of fluvial and deltaic deposits that have been described in detail. Thus, the conditions allowing for their formation aren't as common as Young Earth creationists pretend them to be. For example, the strata containing the vertebrate fossils in Badlands National Park are fluvial in nature and well explored. Yet, not one single polystrate fossil has been found within them. The rarity of polystrate fossils indicates that very special conditions are needed to create and preserve them. Thus, they represent depositional environments that can't be considered either typical or representative as falsely presumed by Young Earth creationists in their arguments.

Yours,

Bill Birkeland

[This message has been edited by Bill Birkeland, 02-08-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Soracilla, posted 02-06-2004 5:27 PM Soracilla has not yet responded

RandyB
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 190 (151975)
10-22-2004 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JonF
01-26-2004 10:09 AM


Polystrate Fossils of Joggins
I have personally looked into the fossil trees of Joggins, Nova Scotia and came to the conclusion that most likely NONE of the upright trees in all of this 14,000 feet of strata are in situ -- meaning that it seems quite likely that they were entombed in this strata as a result of a great flood, such as what we read about in the book of Genesis. For those who want to know more about why (or how) I came to this conclusion, go to www.earthage.org and click on the Polystrate Fossil Trees link.

I also, while studying this, came across compelling evidence that this strata is quite young (probably less than 10,000 years old). This is because of the organic material that is still present in some of the fossilized logs and unfossilized shells.

In addition, I came across very strong evidence that these deposits were not the result of "rivers" that overflowed their banks, but rather for marine influences.


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Lam
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 190 (152004)
10-22-2004 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by RandyB
10-22-2004 12:14 PM


Re: Polystrate Fossils of Joggins
Welcome to EvC.

Would you like to discuss your reasons and evidence to support your claims?


He's not dead. He's electroencephalographically challenged.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by RandyB, posted 10-22-2004 12:14 PM RandyB has not yet responded

roxrkool
Member
Posts: 1477
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 15 of 190 (152121)
10-22-2004 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by RandyB
10-22-2004 12:14 PM


Re: Polystrate Fossils of Joggins
When you say "personally looked into," does that mean you actually visited the site, or mapped it, or something like that?

Also, what literature have you looked at to come to your conclusions?


This message is a reply to:
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