I had recently read this as evidence for a young earth. Is this really any evidence?
--The almost complete absence of evidence of erosion or soil layers or the activity of living things (plant roots, burrow marks, etc.) at the upper surface of the various strata (showing that the stratum did not lay there for thousands or millions of years before the next layer was deposited).
--Polystrate fossils (usually trees) that cut through more than one layer of rock (even different kinds of rock supposedly deposited over thousands if not millions of years). The trees would have rotted and left no fossil evidence if the deposition rate was that slow.
--Soft-sediment deformation—that thousands of feet of sedimentary rocks (of various layers) are bent (like a stack of thin pancakes over the edge of a plate), as we see at the mile-deep Kaibab Upwarp in the Grand Canyon. Clearly the whole, mile-deep deposit of various kinds of sediment was still relatively soft and probably wet (not like it is today) when the earthquake occurred that uplifted one part of the series of strata.
Edited by AdminNosy, : I took the liberty of editing the topic title to make clearer what it is about.
The almost complete absence of evidence of erosion or soil layers or the activity of living things
That's not even true: there are bunches of both all over the geologic record. The Grand Canyon has paleosols that have been discussed here before. Any petroleum geologist can tell you about buried erosional surfaces - there's one about a mile below my chair on top of the Horseshoe Atoll. The Bartlesville Sand in northern Oklahoma has 'em, too.
Yes, specific references are essential. And very rarely forthcoming.
I have found polystrate fossil claims to be the most poorly documented of their claims (with the possible exception of Gish's bullfrog protein claim). When a local creationist activist demanded I explain polystrate fossils, I asked him for a reference and he had to admit that he couldn't produce a single one (and this guy is so bad that it was virtually impossible to get him to admit to anything).
Many years ago I did get one creationist to produce a reference. The claim was from the ICR's Steve Austin (formerly "Stuart Nevins") and his scientific reference was included. Austin misrepresented his source. Furthermore, part of Austin's claim depended on strata being laid down at a very slow constant rate for the thousands or millions of years between the formation of the top and the bottom layers of the formation, whereas the referenced article not only discussed episodic rapid depositation (eg, from localized flooding) but also discussed the geological evidence used to distinguish between rapid and slow depositation and pointed out the layers in the formation in question that had resulted from rapid depositation. In other words, this claim, as to most polystrate fossil claims, depends on misunderstanding and misrepresenting basic geology.
1. There are thousands of erosional surfaces in the geologic column. Some of these are called paleosols which are just ancient soil horizons. Sometimes these are stacked upon eachother indicating repeated series of soil formation. Other erosional surfaces are called erosional unconformities.
Most of these, especially the paleosols, DO SHOW evidence of living things such as plants, burrows, etc.
Whoever made the claim that these things do not exist did so completely blind of the evidence.
2. Polystrate fossils do cut through multiple layers (somtimes) but these are layers that do not represent millions of years. Some layers are deposited much faster than others. In the case of polystrate trees, often a mudslide can bury a tree in an instant. You can find pictures on the net of polystrate telephone polls. Obviously these didn't take millions of years to form.
3. Solid rock is known to deform plasticly under pressure. We can do this in the lab. There is no requirement that rock must be soft in order to deform. In fact, if rock is soft when it deforms it does not react in the way we see it in the geologic column. Other evidence that rock was hard when it deformed are clear evidence of fossil and clastic strain. That is where a fossil or other element in the rock is stretched in the direction of the deformation of the rock. If the rock had been soft when this happened, the fossils would not have streched with the rock. In order for a fossil to deform WITH the rock it must be PART OF the rock and that means the rock was hard.
In short, people who bring up these "evidences" really are only speaking in a fantasy world. Even a remedial knowledge of the actual evidence from geology, something you would get within a few weeks of freshman geology courses, shows that these are either lies or come from people who are VERY SERIOUSLY ignorant of reality.
Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)