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Author Topic:   Why the Flood Never Happened
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Message 1891 of 1896 (721577)
03-09-2014 8:28 PM

Summary of sorts, or is it Highlights?
As noted by Percy there are a lot of posts on this thread, and mine number some 217 (this will be the 218th), second only to Faith. Without Faith this thread would not have covered the material involved.

The many problems with creationist flood geology is that it ends up with more questions than answers, and many contradictions besides being contrary to the behavior of the physical world according to the known laws of physics etc.

Foremost in this is the apparently magical way water behaves ... as if it had hands and an intelligence ... during the flood event. In ways not seen anytime since.

A major portion of this thread centered on the Grand Canyon, where the creationist claim is that it was carved suddenly by flood runoff. Through sedimentary layers deposited in a magically sorted time sequence during this flood.

Problem #1: when catastrophic outflow over earthen dams occurs, the result is a U shaped straight channel, as evidenced in the scablands, or the Palouse River (see Message 387), or at Mt St Helens (see Message 432), and not a meandering V shaped channel as seen in the Grand Canyon.

Problem #2: water does not erode at the bottom of the water column -- the fastest water flow is at the surface and the relative velocity drops with depth, reaching virtually zero at the bottom of the channel. It does not carve channels in cracks deep under water.

Problem #3: speleothems (see Message 46) in caves in the canyon walls show long ages passed as the river cut to different depths, demonstrating that the canyon was carved over many thousands of years. The dating is based on radiometric measurements of uranium deposited in the speleothems when they formed after the caves formed after the canyon was cut to their elevation.

Creationists don't like radiometric dating for several reasons, not least of which is that it shows the vast age of the earth, but they usually wave it away by saying that things were different before the flood.

IF the canyon was formed AFTER the flood, by the runoff, and the caves formed AFTER that and the speleothems AFTER that, then we are into the time when radiometric dating is valid, and this means a contradiction to a recently formed canyon.

Problem #4: the sloth skull and dung (see Message 709) that were found in one of the caves in the walls of the canyon, showing that it had lived after the canyon was formed. This is a prehistoric animal that has been extinct for thousands of years.

So this is another contradiction.

Problem #5: IF the flood outflow carved the canyon then why did it carve it in this location, when there is a lower and wider pass over the Kaibab ridge just a few miles north and another smaller pass a few miles south (see Message 886 and Message 954) ... at locations that are devoid of any erosion channel across the ridge.

It's not that I insist on a "dam model" here, rather it is taking the argument of a world wide flood that covers all land and then drains away and follow this to a logical conclusion: at one point the water was above this ridge, at a later time it was below, so at one time in between it was at a level that would flow across this ridge, and it would have eroded all the low points.

Why don't we see similar canyons in those locations?

Problem #6: IF the flood outflow carved the canyon then why aren't there many many more similar canyons carved by this flood water in other locations around the world?

What makes the Flagstaff Arizona area so special?

Problem #7: There are remains of a filled in river part way up the Grand Canyon (see Message 984 and Message 1014), one that meandered back and forth and crossing the canyon in several locations. When and how did this river form?

Problem #8: erosion of the layers part way up the canyon walls cannot be accounted for by the creationist model and thus they contradict the model as well.

Problem #9: sorting of material into layers with different sizes of materials that cannot occur in sudden deposits, layers that show terrestrial evidence, etcetera, all contradict a fast deposition during a flood.

Problem #10: tectonics records of fault lines cross the canyon in several locations, and if these fault lines determined the path of the canyon then there are several places where the river would have had a shorter path than where it flows, and there is no evidence of tectonic faults along the alignment of the canyon. When rivers do follow fault lines there is still evidence of those fault lines in the ground (Palouse river and one of the tributaries to the Grand Canyon are examples) and the channel is straight rather than meandering. Fault lines don't meander, and they generally occur in parallel paths (not crossing paths).

Positing a meandering crack that crosses fault lines and that is then carved out by standing water is not supported by either the evidence of tectonics OR the evidence of the way water behaves at the bottom of a water column.

This does not get into the extensive discussion of water behavior and the hydrology of both river flow and erosion patterns, nor does it go into the other discussions of age measurements (ie elements taken from the Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1 thread), but this is enough to show that the Grand Canyon cannot rationally be considered any kind of evidence for a world wide flood, rather it demonstrates an age of the earth much greater than a Young Earth scenario is required to explain all the evidence.

I have tailored my summary to pertain to creationist arguments in general, rather than answer points that Faith has made up, so that the general reader can see how hopeless it is to argue that the canyon is evidence of a young earth.

Based on the multitude of different information from different aspects of the canyon demonstrating an age of the earth much greater than a Young Earth scenario it would be delusional to think it was formed recently, rapidly, and by magical flood water.

I may add more from other posts if I think it necessary, as there is a lot of information that has not been mentioned in this summary.

Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : space

Edited by RAZD, : spling

Edited by RAZD, : per admin request

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Message 1892 of 1896 (721606)
03-10-2014 4:07 AM

The basic argument: Grand Canyon
C ontrary to Percys usual misrepresentation of my argument, I certainly never claimed the Flood did not leave destruction everywhere, in fact Ive often said, on this thread as well I believe, that one thing that convinces me of the Flood is the generally wrecked condition of the planet. Hes apparently confused my explanation of the neat flat horizontal strata as caused by the Flood with some idea of overall neatness, whereas overall the planet is a tumble-down wreck. Also, although the strata are widespread across the planet, they are not continuous by any means; there are tossed and tumbled areas galore (apart from the areas of buckled strata I mean), many that look like they had to have been caused by moving water. The wreckage caused by the Flood would include the carving of the Grand Canyon and the stairs of the Grand Staircase north of it, and of the monuments of Monument Valley, by rushing water during the receding period of the Flood, also the Washington badlands which were carved by the later release of one of the post-Flood standing megalakes. Of course these effects are not confined to the western United States but they happen to be good examples.

As for the strata, although Percy ridicules the idea that a worldwide Flood would have created them, water IS known to sort sediments, and the truly absurd explanation is that of conventional science which imputes many millions of years to each slab of rock of one sediment and one only. That is the truly hard thing to explain, rock after rock after rock in an ascending column, all of different sediments, supposedly representing time periods of millions of years each.

Its quite popular to ridicule Flood hypotheses as magic water. RAZD refers to the apparently magical way water behaves ... as if it had hands and an intelligence ... during the flood event. However, the conventional interpretation could be described as the magical way TIME behaves, in the formation of two billion years of neat flat horizontal strata of separate sediments. Millions of years supposedly define the existence of each of the clearly segregated sediments of the Geologic Column. One is supposed to have been laid down during one period of many millions of years, then suddenly we see in this supposed time record an abrupt change to another completely different sediment, defining time by slabs of different kinds of rock. This is of course rationalized by all kinds of sophstry.

Percy also continues his straw man argument that I believe rocks are formed by drying, which of course I never said. I was answering in terms of hardening rather than lithification. Drying does harden mud sufficiently to hold its shape, and the strata were strongly compacted from the weight above which would force water out of them. Lithification could also have occurred sooner than some claimed, but thats another subject.

And yes I do believe that lateral tectonic force could buckle, move and erode deep strata without disturbing strata above, due in part to a slippage factor between different kinds of sediment. The rotation is vertical, not horizontal as the term seems to imply, its simply a lateral force that causes upward buckling. And the eroded material would have been pushed some distance, a quarter mile in the case of the quartzite boulder from the Shinumo layer thats embedded in the Tapeats sandstone. Im sure if you looked in the right place you could find a lot of rubble under the strata. In fact you might find some of it in the band of erosion between the unconformity and the layer above, and as part of the composition of the Vishnu schist.

RAZD also insists on his dam model when Ive been talking about water pouring from overhead into cracks opened by tectonic movement, underneath either a standing lake or the Flood waters just as they started to recede. The water wasnt necessarily terribly deep at that point.

This is all focused on the Grand Canyon but thats the main part of my argument so although there were other topics on the thread this is the point of it.

There may be more to say, so I consider this a post under construction. [ABE: I was echoing RAZD who said basically the same thing, but Percy has admonished me, not RAZD, not to follow through with this.]

ABE: I accept Percy's explanation that he was not singling me out. And I hope he doesn't regard my inclusion of a link to my latest blog post as a "substantive" addition, as it is simply a restatement of the basic argument I tried to keep focused in this thread.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : To add last paragraph plus link

Replies to this message:
 Message 1893 by Admin, posted 03-10-2014 9:08 AM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 1895 by Admin, posted 03-10-2014 2:02 PM Faith has not yet responded

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Message 1893 of 1896 (721609)
03-10-2014 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1892 by Faith
03-10-2014 4:07 AM

Re: The basic argument: Grand Canyon
Faith writes:

There may be more to say, so I consider this a post under construction.

Once a post is complete, please only use the edit facility to fix typos, correct mistakes and spelling errors, fix garbled syntax, and so forth. Please do not make substantial changes or additions. The concern is that after a thread is closed or in summation mode that people might continue discussion through edits to existing posts.

EvC Forum Director

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 Message 1892 by Faith, posted 03-10-2014 4:07 AM Faith has not yet responded

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Message 1894 of 1896 (721631)
03-10-2014 12:14 PM

Due to time constraints, I wish to only address Faith's contention regarding deformation confined to lower strata in an active tectonic environment.

With all due respect to one's belief system, actual research and reasoning should trump wishful rationalization.

The normal interpretation of deformed strata below undeformed strata is that the younger rocks were deposited after deformation and erosion of the lower strata. In fact, any other intepretation is hard to comprehend. the only exception is where there is some kind of detachment of the upper strata along which there is lateral motion. This would include overthrusts (which most YECs vehemently deny), obduction (which rasies the issue of convergent tectonic boundaries and subdution, another bogeyman for YECs), or some form of soft sediment deformation which is pretty well understood by mainstream geologists.

Any of these include major forms of evidence which refute Faith's premise. In all cases, deformation decreases with depth below the boundary. In virtually all cases, there is evidence of dislocation along the boundary such as breccias, mylonite, repeated stratigraphy, etc. Regardless of what professional YECs say, it is possible to find such features in every case of overthrusting or obduction. Maybe not at an individual site, but somewhere along the boundary there will be evidence. And we haven't even discussed what happens above the dislocation boundary.

In summary, the notion is rather silly in light of what is actually known about the rocks.

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Message 1895 of 1896 (721639)
03-10-2014 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1892 by Faith
03-10-2014 4:07 AM

Re: The basic argument: Grand Canyon
Faith writes:

There may be more to say, so I consider this a post under construction. [ABE: I was echoing RAZD who said basically the same thing, but Percy has admonished me, not RAZD, not to follow through with this.]

Either it wasn't there when I first read RAZD's summary, or I somehow missed it. You weren't being singled out.

EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1892 by Faith, posted 03-10-2014 4:07 AM Faith has not yet responded

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Message 1896 of 1896 (721886)
03-13-2014 8:29 AM

Wow, put into summary mode after only 1880+ posts?? We were just getting started ...

Seriously, this was a fascinating thread. I learned so much about geology from following it and researching for my own replies. Although some points did drift into other parts of the world, most of the thread was an exploration of the Grand Canyon. What an absolutely beautiful and fascinating area. I have been there and stood on the south rim near the Village, and can say that no picture or description you can find on the net can do the GC justice - not even close. The place is so incredibly vast and the scale is simply orders of magnitude greater than anything else I have ever seen (the Rockies of Colorado are a close second). Truly one of the wonders of the world! I am pretty sure we could get another 1800+ posts just describing various features and points of interest.

Anyway, the history of the GC is an incredibly complex puzzle, of which we only have a small percentage of the pieces to. Even professional geologists who have studied the area all their careers haven't fit all the pieces together and completely solved the mystery of the GC. We do, however, have enough pieces to be sure that the great flood DID NOT form the GC itself nor lay down the entire stack of sediment.

I have to agree with Percy that Faith did do a great job on this thread. On another thread, Faith suggests that I think she is the "dumb fundamentalist." Far from that, I think Faith is very well informed and argues her points better than most YEC that I have ever debated with. I give her kudos for that. In this thread, she did stick to what she sees as the scientific evidence for a flood and it wasn't simply an exercise in apologetics.

My problem is this: the history of the GC is an enormous puzzle, a puzzle with say 10,000 pieces, and Faith latched onto a just handful of those pieces and felt she could draw a conclusion about what the puzzle really looks like from that handful of pieces (one being the infamous cross-sectional view of the Grand Staircase). Actually, the problem is that she felt she already knew what the puzzle looked like so she found pieces that appeared to match what her preconceived image was, while ignoring other pieces that were presented or dismissing them as irrelevant. Granted we only have a small fraction of the pieces to this puzzle of the GC (maybe 1/4), but when you consider them all together, a great flood that laid down all the layers and then eroded the canyon is just not supported by the evidence nor is it even feasible.

One of my favorite "pieces" that I spent quite a bit of time looking into was the Coconino sandstone. Here we have a layer of sand, that is thought to have been deposited sub-aerially, very high up in the stack. In this layer we find preserved footprints of reptile-like creatures scampering around on the dunes. Some YEC researchers have tried to show that these footprints could have been laid down underwater. There arguments are somewhat convincing and I think it does show that some amount of water was involved, although I feel the exact conditions they were formed in is still uncertain. However, the problem is that we have LIVING creatures still running around. This constrains the age of this layer to the 40th day of the flood since all living things were dead by this time. Now you have the entire stack, some 3,000 feet thick, being deposited in 40 days!?!?! Game over!

I thought about proposing a thread to discuss some ideas about what how the GC actually DID form, but got distracted by other things. Maybe someday in the future I will get around to it. It is a very fascinating subject.


Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca

"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.

Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

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