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Author Topic:   Which view makes sense of the fossil record ?
herebedragons
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Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 3 of 48 (734679)
08-01-2014 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
07-30-2014 6:11 PM


Even without considering evolution (which further helps explain the order) the view that the order in the fossil record is explained by change over time in the species inhabiting the Earth (i.e. different species at different times).

Yea, the interesting thing is that this sequence of progression was largely worked out before Charles Darwin conceived of his theory. Lyell published Principals of Geology in 1830 - 33 and Darwin published On the Origin... in 1859. Contrary to typical creationists accusations, Darwin's ideas were influenced by Lyell's observations, not the other way around. The sequence of fossil progression was not developed based on the assumption of evolution. I think that is pretty compelling support.

However, YECs have to assume that all those creatures lived contemporaneously (which creates another set of problems). But to them, fossils are only dead things that are stuck in a piece of rock, not a progression through time. So the order which they are stuck there only gives the illusion of progression. What is unfortunate is they feel the need to explain the entire fossil record as being caused by one single cataclysmic event in a naturalistic, non-miraculous way.

What alternative can Young Earth Creationism offer that is anything like as sensible ?

Of course you know what some of the standard arguments are; hydrodynamic sorting, some creatures could swim, some could run to higher ground etc. So they can mix and match whatever suits the particular whim at the time. There is just no objective explanation for the fossil order from a YEC point of view and don't expect one to be forthcoming. They require ambiguity to maintain their position.

Faith claims - for reasons yet unstated - that the explanations offered by mainstream science for the fossil record are "weird" and "ridiculous".

Not true. She has stated her reasons many, many times.

In all fairness though, I sometimes have trouble visualizing millions and millions of years. It is hard to imagine a world so different from ours going on and on for hundreds of millions of years. It is just kinda mind boggling. But it certainly makes more sense than all that activity happening in 6,000 years. If YEC claims were more like "the earth is young, closer to a million years old rather than 4.6 billion", I might be more inclined to lend it some credence, but it's harder to wrap my head around 6,000 years than it is an old, old earth.

HBD


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by PaulK, posted 07-30-2014 6:11 PM PaulK has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 10:44 AM herebedragons has responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 31 of 48 (734746)
08-01-2014 10:23 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 10:44 AM


That's a way out-of-date view that amazes me... I can't believe you are this mis-informed about what we believe!

Really? Honestly, I don't read much creationist literature any more. I just find it too unreliable and ends up being a waste of time. The thing is that I don't think there are two creationists who can agree on the details of flood geology, since they don't really have an objective methodology to their madness.

However, my "out-of-date view" is still quite mainstream creationist thought. How about:

quote:
When most people visit Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, their eyes are riveted on the spectacular walls, which display about 4,000 feet (1.2 km) of flat-lying sedimentary rock layers (limestones, sandstones, and shales). Filled with the buried remains of plants and animals, these layers must have been deposited during the Flood, which God sent to destroy every living substance on the face of the earth. -(emphasis mine)

Source

Or this:

quote:
However, it supposedly took 270 million years to deposit these particular layers. Surely in that time the Tapeats Sandstone at the bottom would have dried out and the sand grains cemented together, especially with 4,000 feet (1,220 m) of rock layers piled on top of it and pressing down on it? The only viable scientific explanation is that the whole sequence was deposited very quickly—the creation model indicates that it took less than a year, during the global Flood cataclysm. So the 520 million years never happened, and the earth is young. (emphasis mine)

Source

Here is a couple of examples of why creationist sources are a waste of time. In this article we would expect to find billions and billions of fossil organisms.

quote:
The countless billions and billions of fossils in these graveyards, in many cases exquisitely preserved, testify to the rapid burial of once-living plants and animals on a global scale in a watery cataclysm and its immediate aftermath... When we again read the biblical account of the Flood and ask ourselves what evidence we should expect, the answer is obvious—billions of dead plants and animals buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the world. And that’s exactly what we find.

And then in this article they excuse the lack of human fossils in lower layers on the extreme rarity of fossil preservation.

quote:
Thus the vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) together make up very little of the fossil record—in fact, 5% of 5%, which is a mere 0.25% of the entire fossil record. So comparatively speaking there are very, very few amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal fossils, yet so much is often made of them. For example, the number of dinosaur skeletons in all the world’s museums (both public and university) totals only about 2,100. Furthermore, of this 0.25% of the fossil record which is vertebrates, only 1% of that 0.25% (or 0.0025%) are vertebrate fossils that consist of more than a single bone!

Now if there are billions and billions (2 billion) of fossils (as we would expect from a flood) and only .25% are vertebrate, that should be 5 million vertebrate fossils. Can't these people do simple math? Or do they lie on purpose?

In the article you cited, the author puts the flood/post flood boundary at the late Cenozoic. I am not sure where he puts the start of the flood, but Cenozoic is pretty much the entire geological record of sedimentary rocks.

So I am not all that mis-informed after all.

HBD

Edited by herebedragons, : typo


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 10:44 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by JonF, posted 08-02-2014 8:35 AM herebedragons has responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 32 of 48 (734751)
08-01-2014 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 10:41 AM


Yet the coelecanth and whales exist today

Do you realize that coelacanth is an order of bony fish, not a species. It is not like a single species survived 65 million years without notice. Put this in perspective with this chart of the Order Coelacanthiformes genera, including extinct and extant genera.

That 65 million years that coelacanth "went missing" is barely a hiccup in the overall picture.

So the order itself, can't be conflated with a particular explanation of that order, as though the order represents the explanation.

The question was: How does YEC explain the order of the fossil record? Your answer amounts to "all answers are equally valid."

Faith is just one member, not the official, relevant PHD expounder of Flood-models..

We don't want you to argue for Faith. Let's hear your explaination for how flood geology explains the fossil record.

These are my views, I won't take Faith's position, to be honest I prefer to give my views at forums like this, and then let people decide for themselves.

But you haven't given us your position. Just some rhetoric about how we don't respect creationist ponderings.

HBD


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 10:41 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Minnemooseus, posted 08-02-2014 9:01 PM herebedragons has responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


(6)
Message 35 of 48 (734790)
08-02-2014 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by mike the wiz
08-01-2014 1:28 PM


I tried really hard to make sense of what your objection here really is. I think it boils down to this: We make an observation and then develop a theory based on that observation. The original observation is not then considered evidence in favor of our theory. In a way, that is a valid point especially in a simplistic model like your colored ball illustration. However, it is a complete oversimplification of the the actual situation.

Darwin made several observations including the fossil record, bio-geographic distributions, similar but distinct species, through which he recognized patterns of distribution through time and space and patterns of variation.

He developed his theory as an explanation for why those patterns that he observed existed. Actually, at this point, theory is not the correct term to use. What Darwin wrote was more of a thesis. The evidence he cited was intended to justify his thesis. Imagine if when I write my Masters thesis I am not allowed to use the evidence that I collect over the next 2 or so years that I work on my project to write my thesis. That would be silly; the evidence supports, or justifies, my thesis (if it doesn't, I won't pass my exams).

In order for Darwin's thesis to become elevated to the status of theory, it would need to be supported by additional evidence. Not the same evidence he used to justify it originally, it needed to be additional evidence. But it could be evidence of the same type as Darwin used originally; what else would it be? So do additional observations confirm the original observations? Do new observations fit into the patterns that Darwin used?

Another point, Darwin is hardly the final authority on evolution. I don't know why he always comes up in these types of discussions. While he had the general idea right, he was wrong on so much of it. We have so moved past Darwinian evolution. We have now moved through NeoDarwinism and into the Modern Synthesis. And I believe that within 10 years we will have moved past the Modern Synthesis and into a new era of evolutionary theory. Each stage building on the previous and expanding it based on new knowledge.

Here's an illustration: Darwin observed a sentence that looked like this:

_ _ o _ _ _ _ _ n _ _ _ _ _ n _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ m _

He theorized that the sentence said "Evolution is change into time" (they talked weird back then)

NeoDarwinism made new discoveries.

E _ o _ _ _ i _ n _ s _ _ _ n g _ _ _ _ _ t _ m _

The new discoveries confirmed Darwin's original thesis. The Modern Synthesis made some new discoveries that largely confirmed Darwin's thesis, but found some flaws in it.

E _ o l u _ i o n _ s c h _ n g _ _ v e _ t _ m e

Now we can see that it actually says: "Evolution is change over time."

Sure we don't have every piece of the puzzle yet, but all the pieces we have support the theory.

Now what your contention is is that Darwin's original observations are not part of the evidence that this sentence says what it says. In fact, you seem to say that even subsequent observations are not evidence since they are of the same type as Darwin used.

So, again the question is: "How does YEC explain the evidence better?" The YEC thesis says the sentence reads "The earth is only 6,000 years old." how does that fit with the evidence we have that looks like this:

E _ o l u _ i o n _ s c h _ n g _ _ v e _ t _ m e

Note: This was an illustration not actual evidence

HBD


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by mike the wiz, posted 08-01-2014 1:28 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2014 11:09 AM herebedragons has responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 36 of 48 (734791)
08-02-2014 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by JonF
08-02-2014 8:35 AM


It becomes like a shell game with creationists. The best I can make out of it is the flood deposited the "fossil bearing" layers of sediment. However, they can shuffle the shells around to say geological column, Grand Canyon, pretty much whatever supports the notion at the time. I have found very little objective criteria as to what THE flood deposits are. The article Mike cited from CMI does about the best job of it. However, defining flood boundaries is only the very first step in supporting the idea.

HBD


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by JonF, posted 08-02-2014 8:35 AM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by JonF, posted 08-02-2014 1:33 PM herebedragons has not yet responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 38 of 48 (734796)
08-02-2014 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by RAZD
08-02-2014 11:09 AM


Too bad it didn't land on $5000, this one's a softball.

HBD


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2014 11:09 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 41 of 48 (734885)
08-03-2014 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Minnemooseus
08-02-2014 9:01 PM


Re: The modern coelacanth is an extreme deepwater marine fish
I think that any creature living or having lived in that environment is highly unlikely to make it to any fossil deposit that man can see. Why? Because we find marine fossils when and where the seas have transgressed up onto the continents.

That's a very good point. Also very unlikely to be preserved in the first place. Deep marine sediments accumulate very slowly, like at the rate of less than 5 cm per 1000 years. At that rate it would take several thousand years just to cover a 6' coelacanth skeleton.

Further reading on preservation of deep marine sedimentation - Mélange

This article is about breccia that forms at continental margins. Perhaps you were referring to how slumping and gravity flows related to formation of Mélange would cover deep ocean sediments?

Or perhaps you meant to reference Pelagic sediment. Not sure.

Either way, its a good point that deep water coelacanths would be unlikely to preserve. I quickly looked for information on ancestral species, and it appears that early coelacanths were not deep water fish. I am not really clear on this though, since most information is on the modern species.

HBD

Edited by herebedragons, : No reason given.


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Minnemooseus, posted 08-02-2014 9:01 PM Minnemooseus has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by edge, posted 08-03-2014 10:47 AM herebedragons has not yet responded
 Message 43 by RAZD, posted 08-03-2014 12:55 PM herebedragons has responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1513
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 44 of 48 (734935)
08-03-2014 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by RAZD
08-03-2014 12:55 PM


Re: The modern coelacanth is an extreme deepwater marine fish
with their diversity I would not be surprised that they used to inhabit a number of ecologically diverse depth environments.

IIRC, the coelacanth was at one time thought to be the direct ancestor of tetrapods, and while that has been more recently amended, it would suggest that at least some of the early forms were found in more shallow waters. They also thought that the coelacanth used its fins to walk on the sea floor, which also was later amended.

HBD


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by RAZD, posted 08-03-2014 12:55 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
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