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Author Topic:   Motley Flood Thread (formerly Historical Science Mystification of Public)
Minnemooseus
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Posts: 3668
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 571 of 877 (834780)
06-11-2018 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by NoNukes
05-30-2018 10:40 AM


Re: Nope, it's not for the "scientifically literate" and the public deserves more respect
NoNukes writes:

Percy writes:

You're confusing reporters and journalists with scientists, and mystification exists only in your own mind.

I think the issue is more fundamental than that. A physicist would not start every inquiry by proving that F = ma, and he would not question the origin of the sun every time he counted the number of sunspots on them.

Similarly, a scientist studying the Jurrasic period is not going to write a bunch of papers proving that the earth is old or proving that dating methods work. That groud was well covered decades ago. If a popular science book is written describing the same period, the authors are not going to cover that material either. They do assume that the earth is old, for reasons that were covered when they were in college in countless fields of scientific endeavor.

Etc.

I gave the message a "Post of the Month".

Via a new message elsewhere (hat tip to AZPaul3) I just rediscovered a relevant PZ Myers posting :

Writing synopses of science articles is hard

quote:
Really, itís harder than you think. Individual science papers typically build on a larger body of knowledge and donít stand alone; it is assumed that the reader has significant amounts of training in the subject at hand so that the authors donít bother to fill in all the background. When writing a summary of the article for a general audience, one has to provide a lot of context, without simply reiterating the contents of, for instance, a molecular biology textbook and a yearís worth of upper level biology education. And if someone writing a summary of an article lacks that knowledge altogether, the misinterpretations can be disastrously wrong.

Etc.

Moose

Edited by Minnemooseus, : Added some quote from the message this is a reply to.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by NoNukes, posted 05-30-2018 10:40 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 572 by NoNukes, posted 06-12-2018 12:39 AM Minnemooseus has acknowledged this reply

    
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 572 of 877 (834781)
06-12-2018 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 571 by Minnemooseus
06-11-2018 11:36 PM


Re: Nope, it's not for the "scientifically literate" and the public deserves more respect
it is assumed that the reader has significant amounts of training in the subject at hand so that the authors donít bother to fill in all the background.

I think your article describes half of the issue.

The other 50% is that by and large, the in question articles are not written to convince folks of things that are old hat. The intended purpose of every article, comic book, or TV show about the Jurassic is not to prove that it really happened tens of millions of years ago. Only a small percentage of the literature is intended to take on that question.

Complaining about a popular science article that does not take on your favorite issue is unreasonable in the extreme.

I wonder how many sermons don't include the pastor proving that Jesus was resurrected, but instead take that for granted.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!Ē

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


This message is a reply to:
 Message 571 by Minnemooseus, posted 06-11-2018 11:36 PM Minnemooseus has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14423
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 573 of 877 (834782)
06-12-2018 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 570 by Faith
06-11-2018 7:02 PM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
quote:

ABE: Sorry, I keep editing this because I can't make sense of it and keep having different thoughts about it. I'm back to thinking that although you denied it you are describing the original laying down of the strata, lower strata being eroded before upper strata deposited, but you are making this case from the whole deformed stack, which is what makes no sense. As I said, I think what we see in the deformed stack happened after all the deformation had occurred. There's really no reason to think otherwise. /ABE

In reality it is my ideas that make sense and yours that do not. We are not limited to simply classifying rocks as ďdeformedĒ or not. We can look at and analyse the deformation and we can tell the difference between different deformations.

Thus even if both strata are deformed we can see that there was deformation that affected the lower strata but not the upper strata. In that case we certainly canít assume that they occurred at the same time - in fact it is evidence that the upper strata werenít there when the initial deformation occurred.

We have a very clear examples in the Grand Canyon. The tilt of the Supergroup is distinct from the effects of the uplift - at the Canyon rim the Supergroup tilts up while the uplifted strata tilts down. Here it is your argument that makes no sense - we have two distinct events and no reason to say that they happened at the same time.

And then we have the erosion of the lower strata. The fact that this erosion cuts the deformed surface indicates that it occurred after the deformation. (And this certainly does relate to the ďoriginal laying downĒ of the upper strata - it is evidence that they were originally laid down on the deformed and then eroded surface of the lower strata.) So now we have two lines of evidence supporting the idea that there was an event which deformed the lower strata before the upper strata were deposited.

So far from having ďno reasonĒ to think that all the deformation occurred after the upper strata were deposited we have two very strong reasons to think that some of it occurred before the upper strata were in place. And we have examples of this for both regions you use as ďevidenceĒ


This message is a reply to:
 Message 570 by Faith, posted 06-11-2018 7:02 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 575 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 1:08 AM PaulK has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 29867
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 574 of 877 (834783)
06-12-2018 12:49 AM
Reply to: Message 572 by NoNukes
06-12-2018 12:39 AM


Re: Nope, it's not for the "scientifically literate" and the public deserves more respect
Complaining about a popular science article that does not take on your favorite issue is unreasonable in the extreme.

Seems to me you've completely missed the point. I thought I was going to post some more examples and maybe I yet will, but the point was that presentations of anything aimed at the public, on evolution, the ancient past, the time periods of the Geological Time Scale and so on, have a way of describing it all as flat fact, this happened, that happened, so and so was this sort of creature that did this sort of thing, there were such and such plants, the climate was such and such, all descriptions as if the writer was actually there looking at these things first hand instead of writing about a reconstruction of something that's entirely made up from extremely small clues found in a rock.

I don't think science articles even about well extablished findings written for the public take on such an air of certainty and absolute knowledge.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 29867
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 575 of 877 (834784)
06-12-2018 1:08 AM
Reply to: Message 573 by PaulK
06-12-2018 12:46 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
That's rather a tour de force there, I'm impressed, but it seems to me if the Time Scale interpretation were correct there should be lots and lots of erosion and deformation of all kinds between all the layers and not just occurring to any bunch of blocks of strata. But I think you are misinterpreting the evidence anyway, in both examples. That is, I think the situation is ambiguous enough to admit my interpretation that the erosion occurred after the deformation of the whole stack of strata, Similar situation in the GC area of course.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 573 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 12:46 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 576 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 1:19 AM Faith has responded
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14423
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 576 of 877 (834785)
06-12-2018 1:19 AM
Reply to: Message 575 by Faith
06-12-2018 1:08 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
quote:

That's rather a tour de force there, I'm impressed, but it seems to me if the Time Scale interpretation were correct there should be lots and lots of erosion and deformation of all kinds between all the layers and not just occurring to any bunch of blocks of strata

There wonít be erosion where there is continuos deposition (by definition) and erosion is usually visible. The fact that you look for erosion in very limited ways doesnít mean that it isnít there.

Deformation on the other hand will naturally affect multiple strata. Thereís no way to limit it to a single stratum. So obviously it is going to affect ďblocksĒ. Thatís why the absence of deformation or a particular deformation is significant - if a deformational event didnít affect a layer itís often because the layer wasnít there to be affected.

quote:

But I think you are misinterpreting the evidence anyway, in both examples.

But only because you assume that your conclusions are correct. Iím taking the simple and natural interpretation, and you donít have any evidence to counter that. And until you do you canít honestly claim that either diagram supports your assertions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 575 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 1:08 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 577 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 2:36 AM PaulK has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 29867
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 577 of 877 (834786)
06-12-2018 2:36 AM
Reply to: Message 576 by PaulK
06-12-2018 1:19 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
Well, in the end after going on your merry go round I have to come back to my first take. Just looking at the land surface itself it is very clear that the whole range of the strata were laid down and then deformed all in the same direction all together as a unit. There is one place where the deformation hiccupped but then continued on the same path as all the rest, and the far right is still hard to decipher but the overall lay of the land is all in one direction all as one block of strata. .


This message is a reply to:
 Message 576 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 1:19 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 578 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 3:01 AM Faith has responded
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14423
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 578 of 877 (834789)
06-12-2018 3:01 AM
Reply to: Message 577 by Faith
06-12-2018 2:36 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
quote:

Well, in the end after going on your merry go round I have to come back to my first take. Just looking at the land surface itself it is very clear that the whole range of the strata were laid down and then deformed all in the same direction all together as a unit.

In other words you choose to ignore the evidence from beneath the surface.

Please explain how you can possibly hope to reach the correct conclusion by ignoring most of the relevant evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 577 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 2:36 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 579 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 3:28 AM PaulK has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 29867
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 579 of 877 (834792)
06-12-2018 3:28 AM
Reply to: Message 578 by PaulK
06-12-2018 3:01 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
Seems clear to me that the evidence beneath the surface occurred after the deformation.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 578 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 3:01 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 580 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 3:31 AM Faith has responded
 Message 581 by edge, posted 06-12-2018 9:00 AM Faith has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14423
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 580 of 877 (834793)
06-12-2018 3:31 AM
Reply to: Message 579 by Faith
06-12-2018 3:28 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
quote:

Seems clear to me that the evidence beneath the surface occurred after the deformation

Iíve explained to you why the evidence says otherwise. Please do me the courtesy of explaining the basis for your conclusion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 579 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 3:28 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 582 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 10:38 AM PaulK has responded

    
edge
Member
Posts: 4396
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 581 of 877 (834797)
06-12-2018 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 579 by Faith
06-12-2018 3:28 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
Seems clear to me that the evidence beneath the surface occurred after the deformation.

To what 'evidence beneath the surface' do you refer?

Edited by edge, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 579 by Faith, posted 06-12-2018 3:28 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 29867
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 582 of 877 (834799)
06-12-2018 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 580 by PaulK
06-12-2018 3:31 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
There is an overall problem with this example to begin with, that is hard to assess, and that is the kind of deformation it shows, which is very unlike all the other examples I've had in mind. That is, the usual situation is something visible on the surface, such as the tilting or buckling or twisting of the strata along the lines of the photos I posted.

The diagram of the UK is entirely different, the deformation is underground and it's hard to figure out what happened to bring it about. Maybe you or edge know but to me it looks like the sagging strata I associate with the Michigan basin and the Gulf coast, where a salt layer seems to be involved. But in this case there is no indication of a salt layer.

The sagging of the4 strata IS the deformation in this case. And it isn't like the others I mentioned in that the strata in those cases originate as a vertical unit at one location and then sag and expand as they sag or sink. The UK example has all the strata in a row across the horizontal level of the land rather than vertically stacked. In Smith's cross section they appear to have been tilted or buckled to all lie in a row. In the other diagram it's basically the same layout with some probably minor differences I don't know how to assess. In any case all the "time periods" are horizontally laid out and all tilted or folded in the same direction which is what strongly suggests the deformation happened to the whole stack of strata at the same time.

Underground they sag and thicken overall. They all follow the same basic pattern in parallel. That suggests deformation at the same time, as a unit. What you are focused on seems to me to have occurred at the same time as the deformation or afterward. The fact that the lower strata are cut off by what you are calling erosion while the upper are not doesn't suggest that the erosion occurred before the upper were deposited. That's because they all lie parallel to one another. Whatever happened to the lower strata had something to do with the sagging or deformation itself.

And overall we're talking about a whole stack of deformed -- sagged -- strata. If the upper layers had been deposited after the erosion occurred to the lower layers, it woule be more convincing if they were still straight and flat as originally laid down. Since they follow the basic sag pattern of the deformation it's too much of a stretch to accept your order of events.


Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 580 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2018 3:31 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 29867
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 583 of 877 (834800)
06-12-2018 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 581 by edge
06-12-2018 9:00 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
To what 'evidence beneath the surface' do you refer?

The evidence PaulK was referring to.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14423
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 584 of 877 (834801)
06-12-2018 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 582 by Faith
06-12-2018 10:38 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
quote:

There is an overall problem with this example to begin with, that is hard to assess, and that is the kind of deformation it shows, which is very unlike all the other examples I've had in mind. That is, the usual situation is something visible on the surface, such as the tilting or buckling or twisting of the strata along the lines of the photos I posted.

It is complex, and what is going on underground doesnít show in the surface. And that is why you need to look below the surface. It is absolutely not a case of the strata being deposited horizontally and then all tilting together. In fact the evidence pretty clearly indicates that there are multiple events and that they occurred during deposition.

quote:

The sagging of the4 strata IS the deformation in this case

But it is not a simple sagging as I pointed out. The Cretaceous strata are mildly tilted up towards their Western end, but underneath the lowest strata are rising quite steeply towards the East. This makes absolutely no sense assuming a single deformation.

quote:

The UK example has all the strata in a row across the horizontal level of the land rather than vertically stacked. In Smith's cross section they appear to have been tilted or buckled to all lie in a row. In the other diagram it's basically the same layout with some probably minor differences I don't know how to assess.

Underground itís much close to vertical stacking for most of the diagram. With at least four eroded surfaces - showing at this scale! - between layers.

quote:

In any case all the "time periods" are horizontally laid out and all tilted or folded in the same direction which is what strongly suggests the deformation happened to the whole stack of strata at the same time.

Except where they arenít which indicates separate events, occurring before some of the strata were deposited. The Eastern end again is just so obvious.

quote:

Underground they sag and thicken overall. They all follow the same basic pattern in parallel. That suggests deformation at the same time, as a unit.

Again, except where they donít

quote:

The fact that the lower strata are cut off by what you are calling erosion while the upper are not doesn't suggest that the erosion occurred before the upper were deposited. That's because they all lie parallel to one another. Whatever happened to the lower strata had something to do with the sagging or deformation

Absolutely not. If they were parallel to the upper strata they couldnít be cut off. What you mean, I think is that the upper strata is roughly parallel to the eroded surface - which is not parallel to the strata. But that is a very different thing and consistent with my view, not opposing it. The more so since there are large irregularities in the lower strata not reproduced in the upper.

quote:

And overall we're talking about a whole stack of deformed -- sagged -- strata. If the upper layers had been deposited after the erosion occurred to the lower layers, it woule be more convincing if they were still straight and flat as originally laid down.

That there has been later deformation doesnít really hurt my point much. The evidence is still there.

quote:

Since they follow the basic sag pattern of the deformation it's too much of a stretch to accept your order of events.

Again youíve raised no valid objection to my order of events or explained the evidence in terms of your order.

The situation underground still looks like multiple deformational events and multiple cases of large scale erosion occurring while the strat were being laid down (of course the strata were not being laid down while erosion was occurring but they were laid down before and after)


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edge
Member
Posts: 4396
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 585 of 877 (834814)
06-12-2018 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 584 by PaulK
06-12-2018 11:41 AM


Re: Smith diagram showing underground strata
It is complex, and what is going on underground doesnít show in the surface.

Actually, it does show up at the surface.

Just not on this section.

Remember Siccar Point? From that exposure, we know that gently dipping Old Red Sandstone overlies steeply dipping (and folded) Silurian and older sedimentary rocks.

The other thing to remember is that the Caledonian Orogeny that folded the older rocks, was situated to the north and west side of the British Isles. Consequently, the farther east you go (to the right), the less effect of that orogeny. This effect is directly exhibited by more folding of the rocks at the left end of the section.

Just as with the Colorado Plateau area, strong deformation occurred more closely to the edge of the continent (Utah, Nevada and points west).

Deformation or not, intense or not, Faith still disregards the erosional unconformities present in the diagram.


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