In defence, only so far as to say, Steve Austin's essay is not quite as bad as it has been painted. There are plenty of valid criticisms that could be made of it.
I would say that of Steve Austin's points this one seems to be addressed at naive misconceptions held by (some) uninformed lay people. While it would be somewhat dishonest to present such as a valid attack on mainstream geology it is not an outright lie. (Others, are worse,though)
However, the quoted point only says that there are considerable gaps in the geological record at any given location. This thoroughly refutes any idea that large scale erosion at any particular location is "the end" of the geological column and of geological time. In mainstream geology such events are expected.
quote: I'd also like to point out that he's answering mainstream Geology in such a way that implies the standard view of the Geologic Column IS that identifiable stack of sedimentary strata I've been taking it to be.
That is, it is not just any old pile of dust or eroded material, it is not just any core sample, it is not just any sequence of layers of this that or the other, it does not include igneous rock and so on and so forth, which is what I've been arguing here.
In fact he says none of that.
quote: The Geologic Column is a specific recognizable formation of sedimentary strata that is found as partial stacks here and there, some more complete than others but none fully complete. Austin also makes clear that the individual strata ARE identifiable as separate recognizable sediments.
I'm not sure what the ten "systems" refer to that Austin talks about, as far as the rocks go, though they clearly refer to ten major time periods on the Geo Time Scale. He seems to be saying they can be identified by rock type, though, not just fossil contents.
You should read misconception number 5
Misconception No. 5. Because each strata system has distinctive lithologic composition, a newly discovered stratum can be assigned easily to its correct position in the geologic column.
Austin says that sequences of strata are helpful but individual strata are not diagnostic of any particular period. Even sequences only "may be" diagnostic.
Really Faith, if you are going to use a source you need to read it rather more carefully than you seem to have done.
quote: I know you are all convinced that the evidence shows this but I am not. Either the layers beneath the current deposition are not the Geo Column, or if they are then certainly the new deposits are not.
Perhaps you would like to - finally - explain that assertion.
If the strata on which modern sediments are deposited happen to be not part of the abstract geological column on some technicality why would it be significant ? Because certainly they must be part of the local geological column which seems rather more important.
And how can you know that future strata will not become part of a future geological column ?
This doesn't seem to be a view that is "BASED ON THE EVIDENCE".
quote: Starting with Percy's first post the main argument is that the geo column is all the rocks everywhere, although I've many times defined my view of it as specific to the particular strata that define the Geo Time Scale, that are very thick and very extensive and so on. I could also say it's the rocks that represent the ten systems of the time scale that Steve Austin tied it to, from Cambrian to Tertiary. And really, they should probably be defined as only those that contain fossils, since they are definitive of the Time Scale. Igneous rocks are not part of this. They may be part of some poster's idea of the geo column but they aren't part of mine.
That's a pretty weird idea. The idea of excluding strata without fossils is especially daft - even the reason give is false. The time scale is mainly worked out by geometric relationships between the strata with some distinctive fossils helping extend the scale where the relations of the strata can't be easily applied.
But in reading this the problem seems simple. Most of the argument is a massive obfuscation concealing the old claim that current deposits of sediment don't occur on a wide enough scale (complete with the old exaggeration of the extent)
And quite frankly the obfuscation begins to look like a deliberate tactic to justify the claims of "straw man". Statements which serve only to confuse the issue are answered as best they can be - only to be met with accusations of dishonesty. Whether the confusion is a deliberate tactic or not, it seems it is necessary to be suspicious of everything Faith writes and to demand the clear explanations that she is so reluctant (or perhaps unable) to give,
quote: That's good, that's an answer. But those places are awfully limited when you compare the great extent of some of the layers that extend across states and continents. The Sahara desert is often pointed out as an exception, since its extent is even greater than the whole of the USA, but the Sahara is not a rock layer.
Of course if the Sahara were a "rock layer" it wouldn't be an example. Any valid counter example would have to have loose sediment being deposited over a very wide area. It must be loose sediment - not rock.
quote: Anyone who can't see the evidence for the Flood in the miles-deep sedimentary strata and their fossil contents has no appreciation of what evidence is.
Perhaps you could explain your concept of evidence because it does not seem to be the one that everyone else uses.
I know that you assume that the Flood created the strata but this is not a position that seems even remotely sensible, and to take that assumption as evidence is silly. And since you also assert that it is impossible to work out what the Flood would have done, even you can't consistently claim that it is anything more than an assumption.
I also know for a fact that your position on the fossils requires taking the fossil record as merely a large number of dead things without considering any of the other information we have discovered about the fossil record. Information which rules out the Flood as a plausible cause.
On both counts we cannot say that either the strata or the fossil record should be counted as evidence for the Flood, as the word is usually understood.
quote: But my point was that you are missing the forest for the trees.
I think that anyone who has read my posts can see that that is not true. In the case of the strata I'm not even looking at anything more detailed than the evidence you claim to be using. Even when looking at fossils the order of the fossil record - to use just one example - is a pervasive large-scale feature that clearly is not a minor detail that can be so easily dismissed.
quote: The big picture is that the strata and the fossils are OBVIOUSLY excellent evidence for a worldwide Flood.
It's obvious to me that they are not. That they are not even weak evidence for a worldwide flood. That they show no sign that a worldwide flood occurred at all.
quote: As long as you say there is no evidence for the Flood you are obviously misunderstanding the evidence
There's nothing obvious about that. Indeed I would say that a correct understanding cannot be established by fiat and certainly cannot be based on suppressing strong evidence to the contrary.
quote: How all the strata and the fossils aren't sufficient evidence I can't fathom
They're not things we would reasonably expect the Flood to produce.
What I find odd is that you spend a lot of time repeating your assertions on this point and no time at all rationally defending them.
quote: Just because they can be interpreted other ways, to fit into the Old Earth/ evolutionist scenario, doesn't make them any the less clear evidence for the Flood
It's rather more important that they can't be sensibly interpreted as evidence for the Flood.
quote: I'm only talking about the broad issue of there having been a worldwide Flood and I know that happened no matter what.
In other words you assume that the Flood is unquestionable fact, and it seems that your understanding is quite severely warped by the strength of your conviction. Is it so hard for you to imagine that what seems obviously true to you might be obviously false to others ? It's happened often enough here.
I think that the more important point is the the Flood can't reasonably account for them. Even ignoring the obvious problems that Faith wants to dismiss, the scale and variety of geological structures argue against a single short event accounting for everything. And when we consider the fossils we can't ignore the ordering, or the absence of so many familiar species from strata we should expect to contain them if the Biblical account was even remotely true.
quote: And within my very carefully defined understanding of The Geologic Column they are, the only exception THAT I'M AWARE of being the Cardenas. Sorry if I've missed others but I don't remember them. All the tuffs are NOT in The Geo Column AS I DEFINE IT. That WAS the context whether you like it or not
I guess that you are going to have to explain how your definition of "The Geologic Column" can include intrusive igneous rocks and exclude tuffs. And why anyone would adopt such a definition.
Here's your claim again:
All this stuff about the igneous rocks came up way back when I said they aren't part of the geologic column as I envision it and that when they are seen there it is as intrusives, or dikes and sills.
It certainly seems to me that your definition ought to include tuffs.
quote: If the tuffs are one of your examples then they are not examples of what I was talking about within the context given, as I SAID. The tuffs do NOT occur within what I've been calling The Geo Column, and what I've been calling the Geo Column IS the context.
I asked you to explain why they are excluded. There is no explanation there, just an assertion.
quote: Well, of course YOU wouldn't, because you think the Bible is a myth, but if it ever hit you that it's not, that it is in fact all true, all real, a revelation of truth you couldn't ever guess at, you'd have a whole different perspective on these things. And if the revelation hit you suddenly I'm sure you'd be knocked to the floor by it and take weeks or months, really years, to get back to anything remotely normal
None of which would change the fact that natural explanations work perfectly well - and even better than the Flood. And an honest person would admit that, even if they personally believed in the Flood.
And certainly I hope that if it happened to me that I wouldn't feel the need to claim that things were evidence for the Flood just because I needed to attribute them to the Flood.
It's pretty clear that your assumption that the myths of Genesis are literally true governs your views much more strongly than you care to admit.