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Author Topic:   Fossils, strata and the flood
killinghurts
Member (Idle past 3103 days)
Posts: 150
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 1 of 163 (558161)
04-30-2010 2:07 AM


It is often stated by creationists:

quote:
The fossils, and the sedimentary deposits they were entombed within, have simply been misinterpreted by the scientific community The fossil record is instead a recording of a devastating global scale flood.

Source http://www.nwcreation.net/fossils.html

Question:

If a catastrophic earth wide flood event occurred, why do fossils appear near perfectly sorted within the geological strata?

Wouldn't they have all been mixed up?

The question (yet to be answered) has been best clarified by Apothecus in this thread:

"Apothecus" writes:

In the fossil record, why are the single celled organisms found way down at the bottom, followed by progressively more complex organisms like trilobites, and on and on past early reptiles, amphibians, early mammals (in order, mind you), with early humans and their accompanying fellow "modern" organisms at the top of the heap?

This is what I would like a reasonable, evidence based answer to.

Edited by killinghurts, : added clarification to question


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AdminSlev
Member (Idle past 2750 days)
Posts: 113
Joined: 03-28-2010


Message 2 of 163 (558163)
04-30-2010 2:16 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Fossils, strata and the flood thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14819
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 3 of 163 (558167)
04-30-2010 2:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-30-2010 2:07 AM


There are some possible sorting mechanisms (such as hydrodynamic sorting), so a completely random order would not be expected. However the actual order observed is well beyond anything that could be expected from the Flood.

All YECs have is a collection of ad hoc hypotheses that do not come close to explaining the actual data.


This message is a reply to:
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 215 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 4 of 163 (558168)
04-30-2010 3:16 AM


Fossils?
Unfortunately for YECs, fossils have nothing to do with it.

In graduate school archaeology classes one of the principal lessons we learned was "if you want to find 10,000 year old sites, find 10,000 year old dirt."

The age of the flood is widely pegged to around 4,350 years ago.

If you want to find out what was happening about then, you look for deposits of that age. You end up with dirt, not rock. Soils, not geological strata. And no fossils.

The strawman of fossils and geological strata is just another example of YECs twisting scientific facts around in a futile effort to get them to support their beliefs.

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled "fossils and strata" thread.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Replies to this message:
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Kitsune
Member (Idle past 2409 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


Message 5 of 163 (558172)
04-30-2010 3:54 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coyote
04-30-2010 3:16 AM


Re: Fossils?
Out of curiosity, how would you date the age of the soil itself when there are no fossils present, and you're not dating the rocks or paying particular attention to the geological strata?
This message is a reply to:
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 6 of 163 (558174)
04-30-2010 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-30-2010 2:07 AM


Re fossils
Hi killinghurts,

killinghurts writes:

If a catastrophic earth wide flood event occurred, why do fossils appear near perfectly sorted within the geological strata?

Because they were laid down over a period of million's of years not all at once as YEC'S put forth.

Where in the Bible does it say the flood of some 4300 years ago was a catastrophic event?

It says it rained. It says the fountains of the deep opened up. and because of these the earth was covered with water. It does not say anything like what the YEC'S say about earthquakes, volcanic action or any of the things I read on this site.

The waters in the Bay of Fundy rises from 43' to 53' twice a day every day and have been doing so for a very long time. It is still there.

Just because people can not understand how the earth could be flooded by rising water does not mean that it did not happen.

In fact the entire earth declares that it has been covered with water at least one time in the past as the fossils in and on the mountains are evidence of such an event.


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 215 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 7 of 163 (558175)
04-30-2010 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Kitsune
04-30-2010 3:54 AM


Re: Fossils?
Out of curiosity, how would you date the age of the soil itself when there are no fossils present, and you're not dating the rocks or paying particular attention to the geological strata?

There are a variety of methods. Stratigraphy is one clue, just as it is in geological layers. If you have good stratigraphy there are often reliable bits and pieces within the layers that can be dated. Charred plant material is one of the more convenient things to date. I have seen some layers that have a lot of small animal bones that can be dated. Some soils are rich in pollen, which can be collected and dated. There are other materials that can also be dated, as well as a variety of new dating methods other than radiocarbon dating. I haven't used any of those yet.

In some areas of the country, such as the Pacific Northwest, thin layers of volcanic ash make nice time markers.

I do archaeology, so I generally date cultural materials rather than soils, but those cultural materials also allow you to get dates on particular soil layers.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
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Kitsune
Member (Idle past 2409 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


Message 8 of 163 (558185)
04-30-2010 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Coyote
04-30-2010 4:34 AM


Re: Fossils?
So if you're looking at a deposit that is older than C14 can date, are there any other absolute dating methods besides dating the layers of volcanic ash? You know what creationists always say -- they think their get-out clause is that if humans have made correlations between deposits and the types of things found in them, this is "circular reasoning." (I'm only bringing this up because you said that all you should have to do is date the soil itself.)

Edited by Kitsune, : No reason given.


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Coyote
Member (Idle past 215 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 9 of 163 (558224)
04-30-2010 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Kitsune
04-30-2010 6:53 AM


Re: Fossils?
So if you're looking at a deposit that is older than C14 can date, are there any other absolute dating methods besides dating the layers of volcanic ash? You know what creationists always say -- they think their get-out clause is that if humans have made correlations between deposits and the types of things found in them, this is "circular reasoning." (I'm only bringing this up because you said that all you should have to do is date the soil itself.)

You would have to google that. I use C14 dating and haven't experimented with those other methods yet.

And creationists say a lot of things...


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Lenoxus
Junior Member (Idle past 2752 days)
Posts: 1
From: State College, PA, USA
Joined: 05-09-2009


Message 10 of 163 (558317)
04-30-2010 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ICANT
04-30-2010 4:27 AM


Re: Re fossils
Whoever wrote the the story of the Flood pretty clearly intended to describe an amount of time much less than millions of years:

"Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."

"For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth."

"The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days."

"By the first day of the first month of Noah's six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. "

In any case, it all is said to happen well within the lifetime of one man, who lived for slightly less than a thousand years (!).

Perhaps the whole thing is not meant literally, but merely as "allegory"; if so, what is it an allegory for?

(As far as I can tell, it fits very well into the "evolutionary tree" of Middle Eastern flood myths… a myth like any other.)

Edited by Lenoxus, : typo


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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 11 of 163 (558332)
04-30-2010 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Lenoxus
04-30-2010 4:16 PM


Re fossils
Hi Lenoxus welcome to EvC,

Lenoxus writes:

Whoever wrote the the story of the Flood pretty clearly intended to describe an amount of time much less than millions of years:

I did not say anything about how much time was accumulated during the flood.

I am an old earth creationist and do not belive everything was laid down during the flood as YEC'S do.

You can find my position on creation here: Message 1

Lenoxus writes:

Perhaps the whole thing is not meant literally, but merely as "allegory"; if so, what is it an allegory for?

(As far as I can tell, it fits very well into the "evolutionary tree" of Middle Eastern flood myths… a myth like any other.)

Well I believe it was literal and did happen.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
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subbie
Member (Idle past 69 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 12 of 163 (558338)
04-30-2010 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ICANT
04-30-2010 4:27 AM


Re: Re fossils
In fact the entire earth declares that it has been covered with water at least one time in the past as the fossils in and on the mountains are evidence of such an event.

Fossils on mountains are only evidence of a Noachian flood if you assume that the mountains have always been that high. Given that there are massive amounts of independent evidence showing that this is not the case, the only reason to make this assumption would be to save the flood myth. This, of course, would amount to circular reasoning.

You are entitled to your own beliefs. You are not entitled to your own facts.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19818
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 13 of 163 (558363)
04-30-2010 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by subbie
04-30-2010 5:29 PM


Re: Re fossils
Hi subbie,

Fossils on mountains are only evidence of a Noachian flood if you assume that the mountains have always been that high.

And that the flood lasted for hundreds of years, so that the multiple strata could be built up, generation after generation after generation.

Along with the slow change in species from layer to layer, perfectly sorted.

Enjoy.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.5


Message 14 of 163 (558371)
04-30-2010 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Kitsune
04-30-2010 6:53 AM


Re: Fossils?
So if you're looking at a deposit that is older than C14 can date, are there any other absolute dating methods besides dating the layers of volcanic ash?

There are. Cosmic rays make radioactive chlorine and boron in the surface layers of rocks, and these can be used to date, say, when boulders were laid down by a glacier. And quartz grains fluoresce for several millenia after being exposed to sunlight, which can be used to see how long grains have been buried.


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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 15 of 163 (558372)
04-30-2010 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by subbie
04-30-2010 5:29 PM


Re: Re fossils
Hi subbie,

subbie writes:

Fossils on mountains are only evidence of a Noachian flood if you assume that the mountains have always been that high. Given that there are massive amounts of independent evidence showing that this is not the case, the only reason to make this assumption would be to save the flood myth. This, of course, would amount to circular reasoning.

Where did I mention a Noachian flood?

I did make the statement:

ICANT writes:

In fact the entire earth declares that it has been covered with water at least one time in the past as the fossils in and on the mountains are evidence of such an event.

Is it a fact that all those fossils were deposited there when the mountains were covered with water?

subbie writes:

You are entitled to your own beliefs. You are not entitled to your own facts.

Am I entitled to scientific facts?

That is what I was pointing out. It is a scientific fact those fossils of sea shells in and on the mountains are there because those mountains were covered with water at one time.

If that is not a fact then will you explain how they got there?

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
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