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Author Topic:   Geologic Column
Vacate
Member (Idle past 2378 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 10-01-2006


Message 31 of 51 (512182)
06-15-2009 7:03 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Peg
06-15-2009 6:47 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
Charles Lyells book 'Principles of Geology' explains all sedimentary rocks are deposited by extremely slow processes such as rain washing loose sand down a mountain slope to a river. Is this theory still current today? Or has it changed?

Landslides, floods, or other events could lead to faster depositing than rain washing loose sand down mountains. I would say the idea is incorrect.

the other thing i want to know is why geology and evolution are so closely linked? Shouldn't they be independent of each other?

They are independent. The are also linked in the same way that the topic of vehicles is related to the topic of highways.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 17174
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 32 of 51 (512197)
06-15-2009 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Peg
06-15-2009 6:47 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
Peg writes:

Charles Lyells book 'Principles of Geology' explains that all sedimentary rocks are deposited by extremely slow processes, such as rain washing loose sand down a mountain slope to a river. Is this theory still current today? Or has it changed?

I'm not sure why Vacate replied that Lyell's ideas were incorrect. Lyell certainly did not forget about landslides and such. While fast processes such as landslides do contribute to sedimentary layers, the vast, vast majority of sediments form from slow processes. For example, limestone layers accumulate at the rate of about a yard every 7500 years. That's pretty slow, yet the White Cliffs of Dover, hundreds of feet high, formed this way.

--Percy


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Vacate
Member (Idle past 2378 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 10-01-2006


Message 33 of 51 (512200)
06-15-2009 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Percy
06-15-2009 8:21 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
I only take issue with the use of the word all, not that I felt Lyell forgot about anything. Though I should have been specific about Pegs error in word choices (as I do not expect it was Lyells)
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 Message 35 by Percy, posted 06-15-2009 9:01 AM Vacate has responded

  
JonF
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Posts: 4122
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 34 of 51 (512207)
06-15-2009 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Peg
06-15-2009 6:47 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
the other thing i want to know is why geology and evolution are so closely linked? Shouldn't they be independent of each other?

They mostly are independent of each other, except in the sense that all science is a coherent linked web. What makes you think they are linked?

Some practictioners in either field will use the results from the other. The results in one field are consistent with the other.

Astronomers use the results of nuclear physics and chemistry. Shouldn't they be independendt? No.

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 17174
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 35 of 51 (512209)
06-15-2009 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Vacate
06-15-2009 8:25 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
I thought that might be the case but wasn't sure. I think the subtlety might be lost on Peg. I was afraid she'd conclude that you were saying that Lyell was wrong in general about how sedimentary layers form.

--Percy


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Vacate
Member (Idle past 2378 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 10-01-2006


Message 36 of 51 (512232)
06-15-2009 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Percy
06-15-2009 9:01 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
I was afraid she'd conclude that you were saying that Lyell was wrong in general about how sedimentary layers form.

I should have seen the other angle that could be taken and I appreciate you pointing it out. I focused on the word "all" however and had flashbacks of creationists pointing a fossilized trees still standing and thinking the only way to deposit sediment quickly is via a world wide flood.


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RAZD
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Posts: 19485
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 37 of 51 (512272)
06-15-2009 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Peg
06-15-2009 6:47 AM


geology and evolution
Hi Peg,

Charles Lyells book 'Principles of Geology' explains that all sedimentary rocks are deposited by extremely slow processes, such as rain washing loose sand down a mountain slope to a river.

Sir Charles Lyell was a contemporary of Darwin and a leading proponent of uniformitarianism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lyell

quote:
Principles of Geology, Lyell's first book, was also his most famous, most influential, and most important. First published in three volumes in 1830-33, it established Lyell's credentials as an important geological theorist and propounded the doctrine of uniformitarianism.[6] It was a work of synthesis, backed by his own personal observations on his travels.

The central argument in Principles was that the present is the key to the past. Geological remains from the distant past can, and should, be explained by reference to geological processes now in operation and thus directly observable. Lyell's interpretation of geologic change as the steady accumulation of minute changes over enormously long spans of time was a powerful influence on the young Charles Darwin. ...

... He was, along with the earlier John Playfair, the major advocate of James Hutton's idea of uniformitarianism, that the earth was shaped entirely by slow-moving forces still in operation today, acting over a very long period of time. This was in contrast to catastrophism, a geologic idea of abrupt changes due to unknown forces, which had been adapted in England to support belief in Noah's flood.


If anything Lyell may have overemphasized the gradual processes observed in geology in so many areas, however I am sure he was aware of certain abrupt processes, such as volcanic lava and ash deposition, in addition to what is mentioned by Vacate and Percy.

Certainly, when we look at the layers of index fossils, such as the foraminifera, the gradual deposition of sediments makes sense because the organisms are different in the different layers, and in some cases can be observed to change in single layer groups.

Is this theory still current today? Or has it changed?

There have been several advances in geology that have affected the way the rocks and layers are regarded, with Plate Tectonics being the most radical change in thinking, and with radiometric dating operating as a validating check on the relative ages determined by superposition, but by and large the principles are still valid, albeit modified by modern thinking (just as evolution is modified by modern thinking from Darwin's formulations).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_geology

quote:
The history of geology is concerned with the development of the natural science of geology. Geology is the scientific study of the origin, history, and structure of the Earth. [1] Throughout the ages geology provides essential theories and data that shape how society conceptualizes the Earth.
...
In recent years, geology has continued its tradition as the study of the character and origin of the Earth, its surface features and internal structure. What changed in the later 20th century is the perspective of geological study. Geology was now studied using a more integrative approach, considering the Earth in a broader context encompassing the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere.[52] Satellites located in space that take wide scope photographs of the Earth provide such a perspective. In 1972, The Landsat Program, a series of satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, began supplying satellite images that can be geologically analyzed. These images can be used to map major geological units, recognize and correlate rock types for vast regions and track the movements of Plate Tectonics. A few applications of this data include the ability to produce geologically detailed maps, locate sources of natural energy and predict possible natural disasters caused by plate shifts.[53]

So yes, I would say that the field has changed since Lyell's book, and that it has grown more complex, building on the earlier knowledge and theories and how they explain all the evidence.

the other thing i want to know is why geology and evolution are so closely linked?

You can probably do significantly valid geology while knowing very little about evolution. Evolution helps to present some order to some layers via index fossils, but it is not necessary for the understanding of plate tectonics, uplift, superposition, etc.

Geology involves understanding the record of the natural history of the planet, and just as written history records events, so too does the geological record record the history of past events, including floods, volcanoes, earthquakes and the long durations of seas. This would be so even if no organisms formed fossils.

That certain organisms under certain conditions form fossils means that their actual individual existences in the past are recorded in the natural history of the earth. This record is not evolution, nor is it part of the theory of evolution, it is the record of what actually lived, and of what happened (floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, meteors, etc) to life in the past, whether evolution is a valid theory or not.

Life occurs in the present, so it is always acting on the surface, and what is left behind, to be covered by sediments and volcanic ash and the like, are small bits and pieces of the life that was occurring at the time those sediments and ash layers formed.

For the theory of evolution to be complete, in the sense of explaining all the known evidence, it needs to be able to explain not just what we see living around us today, but what we know of past life, from the geological record (climate and ecosystem), from the paleontological record (fossils), from the anthropological record (paintings and artifacts), as well as from the historical record (descriptions of dodos, etc, that are now extinct).

Understanding geology is essential to understanding that part of evolution that deals with ancient life, however it is relatively irrelevant to the continued process of life in the world today, acting as the canvas upon which the picture of modern life is drawn.

Shouldn't they be independent of each other?

Shouldn't all knowledge tie together into a unified whole? Astronomy tells us about stars and planets, physics tells us how they form and thus how the earth formed, chemistry tells us how molecules act and biology tells us about how life behaves.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Peg, posted 06-15-2009 6:47 AM Peg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 38 of 51 (512274)
06-15-2009 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by RAZD
06-15-2009 8:08 PM


Re: geology and evolution
Shouldn't they be independent of each other?

Shouldn't all knowledge tie together into a unified whole? Astronomy tells us about stars and planets, physics tells us how they form and thus how the earth formed, chemistry tells us how molecules act and biology tells us about how life behaves.


Why should they be independent?

Our sciences are human constructs, covering what appear to us to be logical subdivisions of natural and cultural history. But those subdivisions are not always clear cut; we have often established arbitrary lines between continuous phenomena.

Given that, there is no need for any of the subfields of science to be independent of all the others. As was pointed out above, "Shouldn't all knowledge tie together into a unified whole?"

What is useful is for individual scientists to act as "peer reviewers" over others in their areas of study, and in closely related areas of study, catching mistakes and suggesting new avenues for research.

Scientists themselves should be independent, but I don't see any way of making all of the subfields of science independent of one another, nor any use in trying to do so.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2171
From: Big Spring, TX, USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 39 of 51 (512275)
06-15-2009 11:21 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Coyote
06-15-2009 9:59 PM


The King of Off-Topic Responses
coyote writes:

Why should they be independent?

Our sciences are human constructs, covering what appear to us to be logical subdivisions of natural and cultural history. But those subdivisions are not always clear cut; we have often established arbitrary lines between continuous phenomena.

Given that, there is no need for any of the subfields of science to be independent of all the others. As was pointed out above, "Shouldn't all knowledge tie together into a unified whole?"

What is useful is for individual scientists to act as "peer reviewers" over others in their areas of study, and in closely related areas of study, catching mistakes and suggesting new avenues for research.

Scientists themselves should be independent, but I don't see any way of making all of the subfields of science independent of one another, nor any use in trying to do so.

And what subfields there are in the geosciences!, their very names often indicate the cross-disciplinary nature. Where would geophysics be without physics? geochemistry without chemistry? planetary geology without astrophysics and observational astronomy? paleontology without biology?

When one understands and has that moment of epiphany concerning the interconnectedness of all natural science, well at least to me it more than rivals that magic time when a basic understanding of theory forces one to understand how every expression of mathematics is both interconnected and an incredible, beautiful expression of human intelligence. Or perhaps on a more personal level how music becomes an object of beauty and fascination, be it classical picked up from Warner Brothers cartoons in preschool or progressive rock when Foxtrot replaces Physical Graffiti, either one heard for the first time in all its majesty (although the classical is buried in time almost before memory).

I pity those who find some limited beauty only within the strict confines of a given narrow religion, family, clan, state, or nation. Indeed, I find the entirety of human knowledge itself a matter of awe, that great mix of history and other humanities, the gradual mental apprehension of the world in which we live be it past, present, or even in speculation about the future.

Sorry to gush, but to me my perceived reality is one great whole, statements of which are not very compatible with forums that by their nature, must focus upon the narrow topic at hand rather than be an appropriate venue for such delight in the interdisciplinary.

Edited by anglagard, : a bit of clean up to make it read better


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 40 of 51 (512286)
06-16-2009 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Peg
06-15-2009 6:47 AM


Re: consistent, pervasive, index fossils
Charles Lyells book 'Principles of Geology' explains that all sedimentary rocks are deposited by extremely slow processes, such as rain washing loose sand down a mountain slope to a river.

No, it doesn't. It explains that all geological phenomena are explicable by processes that continue today. Much of that is extremely slow, but Lyell most certainly does not exclude the operation of rapid forces - in fact much of the Principles is occupied with discussion events such as volcanoes and earthquakes. Floods and landslides are also discussed.

Is this theory still current today? Or has it changed?

Much of what Lyell outlined has survived, but it has tested, refined and greatly expanded upon. Among the most important principles included since Lyell's time are Evolution, Plate Tectonics and Radiometric dating.

the other thing i want to know is why geology and evolution are so closely linked? Shouldn't they be independent of each other?

Had the Earth been created then perhaps that would be so, but since it was not, the two are strongly linked. Biological forms are a very important driver of important geological factors - I'd highlight chalk beds*, and banded iron formations** as the most clear cut examples - and because of the continual change of organisms driven by evolution they provide clear dating means.

* - formed from the microscopic shells of trillions upon trillions of coccoliths.
** - formed by the oxidation of Iron caused by the release of oxygen into the atmosphere by microbial photosynthesis.

Edited by Mr Jack, : Typo


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19485
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 41 of 51 (512293)
06-16-2009 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Dr Jack
06-16-2009 4:45 AM


Sir Charles Lyell - Principles of Geology - on line
Hi Mr Jack

Charles Lyells book 'Principles of Geology' explains that all sedimentary rocks are deposited by extremely slow processes,...
No, it doesn't. It explains that all geological phenomena are explicable by processes that continue today. Much of that is extremely slow, but Lyell most certainly does not exclude the operation have rapid forces - ...

Excellent distinction.

... - in fact much of the Principles is occupied with discussion events such as volcanoes and earthquakes. Floods and landslides are also discussed.

You can find the entire book on-line at:
http://www.esp.org/books/lyell/principles/facsimile/

Chapters 18 to 26 are devoted to volcanoes and earthquakes.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Dr Jack, posted 06-16-2009 4:45 AM Dr Jack has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 42 of 51 (512298)
06-16-2009 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by RAZD
06-16-2009 7:52 AM


Re: Sir Charles Lyell - Principles of Geology - on line
You can find the entire book on-line at:
http://www.esp.org/books/lyell/principles/facsimile/

That's the first edition, is it not? I have the twelfth here; which was completed shortly before his death and published shortly after. It includes a discussion of Darwin's works and their links to Lyell's ideas.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19485
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 43 of 51 (512347)
06-16-2009 6:02 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Dr Jack
06-16-2009 8:44 AM


Re: Sir Charles Lyell - Principles of Geology - on line
Hi again, Mr Jack

That's the first edition, is it not?

It's the 1830 edition.

Lyell, Charles 1830. Principles of Geology, Vols 1-3. London: John Murray

Check out other publications available from this source
http://www.esp.org/whatsnew/

Wright, Sewall. 1931. Evolution in Mendelian populations. Genetics, 16:97-159.

Dobzhansky, Th. and Queal, M. L. 1938. Genetics of Natural Populations. I. Chromosome Variation in Populations of Drosophila Pseudoobscura Inhabiting Isolated Mountain Ranges Genetics, 23: 239-251.

Haldane, J. B. S. 1934. A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection Part X. Some Theorems on Artificial Selection Genetics, 19: 412-429.

Some pretty good stuff and original sources for a lot of older works not normally on line.

But this is getting off topic. Might be a good Links and Information item.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3858
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 44 of 51 (831820)
04-24-2018 9:17 PM


BUMP
Maybe a good place to do some reading and carry on discussion of things "geologic column"?

Adminnemooseus


Or something like that©.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 10772
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 45 of 51 (832744)
05-09-2018 10:59 AM


Topic Resurrection
Nosy Ned writes:

There are a number of claims made by creationists about the geologic column.
Let's look at them one at at time.

Valid Link For This Debate: GEOL 104 Dinosaurs: A Natural History

Quetzal writes:

There is NO one, single, irrefutable, powerful proof of evolution. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.
On the other hand, there are dozens if not hundreds of different lines of evidence from a myriad of different disciplines that, taken in toto, provide sufficient evidence that to deny the fact of organic evolution would be tantamount to denying the existence of light or gravity.

I thought that(...) it might be interesting to poll the forum to see what we can come up with as a list of lines of evidence which we feel are the most compelling. Maybe it could be added as a FAQ to the site, or something. Not specific cases (such as a particular transitional fossil or the evolution of an antifreeze glycopeptide from a digestive enzyme in Arctic fish, etc), but rather the broader lines of evidence.

I'll start out with a few that I consider indicative, and then leave it open for others to add:

1. biogeography: why are species distributed around the globe as they are? Why are closely related species found geographically near to each other? Why are continental islands full of terrestrial endemics that are different from anywhere else - but whose nearest relatives are on the adjacent continental masses? Why are oceanic islands filled with endemic birds, insects and plant life, but few if any mammals?

2. convergent forms: Why are similar adaptations to specific environmental conditions found in vastly different organisms (i.e., placental wolves and marsupial Thylacinus cynocephalus) in widely separated parts of the globe? Why DOES the diversity of life fit so neatly into a nested hierarchy of similarity?

3. geology/paleontology: Why are the layers of rock so conformal around the world - to the point that you can correlate ages and sequences from one part of the world to another in many cases? Why are the sequences of fossils invariably time-correlated, regardless of where they are? Why don't we find mammals or angiosperms, for instance, in the oldest basement rocks?

4. molecular biology: Why can we often correlate relationships between organisms based on molecular biology with relationships based on morphology?

5. Ecology and population genetics: Why do we see variation from one end of a species range to the other, such that at the extremes they appear as completely different species? How can we explain ecological specialization, local extinctions, the effects of ecosystem degradation, the sanctuary effect, ecological zonation, niche partitioning, etc?

ENJOY

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

  
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