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Kronus

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A point was raised in the ye-geology thread, and I don't recall seeing it in other forums.  It seemed to me to be an important enough point to deserve its own thread, so here we are.

Noah's flood is suposed to have occurred in 2348 BC.  When people try to refute this they usually talk about geology, or how you would fit all the animals on the ark, or something like that.  The question I'd like to examine, however, is what about the people?

In order to avoid a protracted argument, I'll skip over the ruins of Jericho, dated at 7000 BC, and the ruins at Catal Huyuk (in present day Turkey) dated at 6000 BC, and jump straight to civilizations that were in existance at the time in question, c. 2500 BC.  At this time we had the Sumerians, in what is now Iraq, the Egyptians, the Minoans, in what is now Crete, as well as other tribes, towns, and cities scattered about.  ye-creationists would have us believe that all of these people died in 2348 BC, except for Noah, his 3 sons, and their wives.  8 people.  

Now, what's happening in the world around this time?  A great deal, in fact.  The pyramids of Gizeh were built, as well as the ziggurat of Ur.  Trade was occurring between civilizations, as were wars.  People were planting crops, raising families, and dying, much as they do today.  How do we know all this?  Do we have to rely on arcane radio-metric dating techniques?  Do we have to deduce this from a tiny bit of bone?  No.  We have written records.  Thousand and thousands of records, from all over the region.  Records of royal declarations of war, and records that Keros owed Neshbet two goats.  Records engraved in huge stone monuments, and records on a scrap of parchment, dropped in a tomb accidently.  

Nowhere, however, in the huge pile of records, do we see anything saying "rain keeps coming, moving to second floor", or "I'm the only one left, everyone else has drowned", or even, "Having said goodbye to great-grand-dad Noah, am now setting up camp in what used to be Memphis."  We just see a smooth chain of records, showing an unbroken chain of daily life, straight through the time when the entire world was supposed to be under water.  No mention of catastrophe, no mysterious gaps in the records, just life, continuing as normal.

 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 9:05 PM on May 17, 2004 | IP
Void

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I never usually bring the point up as I find most Creationists are either old earth or push creation back to 10,000 years to solve this problem (there is a gap in the biblical genologies apparently).

One extra point to think about is that from 8 people it would take quite a few generations to get enough people to occupy a city, let alone a country and let alone develop complex traditions, political structures, different languages!, and technology in several large civilisations across the globe.

I would estimate that if there were a global flood that wiped out man it would have to be about 10,000+ years ago at least to avoid inconsistancy with known history and also allow enough time for build up of civilisation.

(Edited by Void 5/18/2004 at 01:15 AM).
 


Posts: 66 | Posted: 01:15 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
TQ

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This is from the talk.origins newsgroup.  One of the members (lodger) is a former JW (as of about a month ago), who has just discovered evolutionary theory and realized the OEC JW's were wrong.  One of the elders of the JW's told him that instead of trying to find errors in the bible, find something that is correct.  Here's his post:

I really with to know exactly how you resolve
the question of how the earth managed to get repopulated quickly
enough to allow the rise of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Chinese culture
in the years immediately following the Flood.

Now, the way it's been explained to me is that all human civilization
arose post-Flood.  Using ages and dates in the Bible it's possible to
determine the exact year (starting from the creation of Adam at 4026
BCE):

From Adam's creation to the birth of Seth   130 years
Then to the birth of Enosh                  105 years
To the birth of Kenan                        90 years
To the birth of Mahalalel                    70 years
To the birth of Jared                        65 years
To the birth of Enoch                       162 years
To the birth of Methuselah                   65 years
To the birth of Lamech                      187 years
To the birth of Noah                        182 years
To the Flood                                600 years

Thanks to Bible geneology and chronology, the flood can be pinned to
2370 BCE, roughly 4,400 years ago as you said.

Anyhow, the progenitors of the modern human race were Ham, Shem and
Japheth, Noah's three sons and their wives.  They were fruitful and
multiplied after the flood down to around the time of Peleg when the
Tower of Babel was built.  The building of the tower lead to the
dispersion of various ethnic and language groups to all corners of the
Earth and the rest, as they say, is history.

It's impossible to work out from the Bible the exact time of the Tower
of Babel, but it's estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of
180 years after the flood based on when Peleg lived.  

Now, the earliest known Egyptian pyramid (the Step Pyramid) has been
dated to about 300 years prior to this date, the slightly later Red
Pyramid, Bent Pyramid and (of course) the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx
are all generally dated as occuring before the Biblical flood date as
well.  Of course, these datings must be off by somewhere in the
neighborhood of 500 years or so in order for their construction to
have occured post-Tower of Babel.  So, presuming thats the case the
next question is how many people needed to be alive in Egypt at the
time of the pyramids construction in order to facilitate said
construction?  It's really impossible to tell for certain, but the
generally accepted estimate is around 1-2 million people living in
Egypt at the time and a pyramid building workforce around 20,000
people.  

It's not only Egypt that needs to be accounted for, of course.  The
entire fertile crescent region, Sumeria, Accadia, Babylon itself, that
entire region was likewise populated shortly after the flood and a lot
of cities were built indicating minimally hundreds of thousands,
likely millions more people.  

In China, by around 2100 BCE (admittedly nearly 300 years after the
flood) the earliest recorded records of a Xia dynasty are known to
exist.  So, presumably the China-bound descendants of the flood
survivors, when scattered at Babel, took a while to migrate over there
and then developed their culture.  There were, apparently, tens or
possibly hundreds of thousands of people in China at this time as
well.

So, in an effort to determine if I could stick the to realities of
human biology and postulate a repopulation scenario, I wrote a
computer program today (I'm a programmer).  I made many unreasonable
assumptions by modern standards but I assumed that God would be using
miraculous abilities to accelerate and support the repopulation
effort.  My program takes various parameters but it starts with the
initial condition that 6 breeding pairs of humans (the Bible doesn't
indicate that Noah and his wife had more children than the three)
began to procreate at the fastest rate they could.  The reproduction
was divinely supported to be as effective as possible.  Here are the
groundrules, as optimistic as I could imagine them being:

- The maximum human lifespan is over 120 years old
- All women who are between the ages of 13 and 55 have sex once every
single week that they do not have their period or are currently
pregnant, on average 90% of all potentially pregnant women are
pregnant at any given time
- Their odds of successful fertilization per attempt are 1 in 3
- As soon as a girl turns 13, she begins producing children, no
exceptions and she stays active producing children until the age of 55
- There is no infant mortality
- There are no deaths during childbirth
- Death rates in general are dramatically lower than in modern times

My goal in this simulation was to see what would happen if
childbearing rates were accelerated enough to account for the
populations necessary for the Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Chinese
cultures.

Ive run this program a bunch of times and I know that it is relatively
flawed, but wherever possible I have tried to err towards miraculous
reproduction rates, not to simulate known population growth rates.
After 180 years from the Flood, at approximately the time period of
the Tower of Babel, the population of the Earth the app comes up with
numbers in the following ballpark (these are from a specific run,
random factors lead to slightly different numbers with each run
through):

- Population of the Earth: 61,162

Hey, not bad, I thought when I ran it the first time.  A decent seed
population for Babel, and only about 500 years after the claimed
Egyptian dates...  Then, I decided to break it down and I found
something fascinating...  They're almost all children under the age of
12:

- Girls under 12: 25,989
- Boys under 12: 21,446
- Adults (over age 12 qualifies as an adult here): 13,727

Also, at the time I stopped my simulation at 180 years, there were
6,694 women over the age of 13 of whom 5,291 were currently pregnant.
The rest were adult men.

So, there are some major problems at this point.  First, we're running
out of time because the dates of the Pyramids are getting farther in
the past and that gap can only get so big and maintain any
believability.  Second, a world made up of only about 7,000 "adult"
males, 5,300 pregnant women and 48,000 kids is not one in which the
population would spread out, build massive cities and monuments,
develop writing and all that  because they'd be spending all their
time raising children and finally, we're a few million people short.
The bodies simply aren't there.  You could keep this up for a few
hundred more years (and after I optimize the code a little I intend to
try) but I don't see how it's possible to keep up the required
population growth rates and still alleviate the problem of having too
many kids to adults, especially seeing as those adults are made up of
a lot of teenagers.  Humans only grow so fast.  Were the Egyptian,
Mesopotamian and Chinese civilations founded by hundreds of thousands
of little kids?  Did human gestation speed up to be fewer than 40
weeks?  How do you resolve this apparent impossibility.  I seriously
wish to know...




-------
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 02:43 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
Demon38

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Let's not forget about the New world!  From here: Caral

"Six huge, mound-shaped ceremonial platforms at Caral date from 4,000 years ago, an archaeological team reports in the April 27 Science. That makes the site, located in the Supe Valley about 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the oldest-known urban center in the Americas.
Construction occurred from about 4,090 to 3,640 years ago, the researchers say. Activity at the site may have begun as early as 4,700 years ago, Haas adds. "

Here we see huge urban centers being built by huge work forces who were not wiped out by a flood.  The ruins of Caral still exist  and show absolutely no signs of being wiped out by a flood.  
 


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 03:51 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
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Interesting insights!

It got me thinking about natural disasters in the ancient world. Now, we don't appear to have any historical record (outside of what is written in Genesis) of a huge flood either local to the Mediterreanean area, or on a global scale (please correct me if you know otherwise).

Now, were any natural disasters recorded by the Egyptians (for example) or indeed any other civilisations from that time period?

Things such as wide scale famine, epidemics and earthquakes can have great implact on humans, and represent event that could be noted by contempoary historians.


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Broaden your perspective: http://www.talkorigins.org/
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 05:50 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
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Quote from Demon38 at 03:51 AM on May 18, 2004 :
Let's not forget about the New world!


Actually, I rather would.  The reason I was avoiding debate of the older ruins is that they pre-date writing.  Thus, their dating depends on using secondary techniques, like radiocarbon dating, which our creationist friends won't except as accurate.  Rather than go down that rat hole I'd rather stick with the clear, concrete proof provided by the mounds of written records.  


 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 09:37 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
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Great points, I especially like the computer simulation by the guy from talk.origins.

Another thing he could try would be to assume a migration from the tower of Babel to North America, it would be an inverse problem where you try to find the optimal number of people leaving at what time to reach the new world and populate using the same assumptions to the maximum possible population.  There would probably be a non-uniquness problem, but I bet he could come up with boundary limits less than the estimated native population before European colonization.


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love,
godyag
 


Posts: 33 | Posted: 10:26 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
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There's no need for a migration to North America.  After Babel, God confused their language and scattered the people across the world.  That, doubtlessly, would be the ye explanation for people in North America.

 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 10:47 AM on May 18, 2004 | IP
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In response to OR, there are many different flood myths present in quite a few cultures.  The problem with taking these as proof of a global flood is that they are almost all from cultures that originated in areas prone to flooding.  Also, there's the whole problem of "why doesn't every culture have such a myth?"  Then there's the fact that the genesis flood is based on the earlier Babylonian and Sumerian flood myths.


-------
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 12:10 PM on May 18, 2004 | IP
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Here is a reference that unfortunately I don't have a subscription to:

Teller, J., Glennie, K., Lancaster, N., and Singhvi, A., 2000, Calcareous dunes of the United Arab Emirates and Noah’s Flood; the postglacial reflooding of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf: Quaternary International, v. 68-71, p. 297-308.

It is work done by Dr. James Teller (http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~tellerjt/) on flooding in the Persian Gulf during the last glacial retreat.  He ties climate change, melting ice, and ice damming to a series of massive flood events in the Persian Gulf (sea level was lower at this time).  Anyway, it has been suggested that flood stories originated from these flooding events, which would be taken and adapted to each culture.  It would be one way to explain why many cultures around this region have a similar story but different details: the details would be exaggerated and changed to suit the culture and purpose of the story.

I will see if I can get a copy of this article.

(Edited by godyag 5/18/2004 at 2:39 PM).


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godyag
 


Posts: 33 | Posted: 2:38 PM on May 18, 2004 | IP
Sarah Laughter

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Quote from Demon38 at 03:51 AM on May 18, 2004 :
Let's not forget about the New world!  From here: Caral

"Six huge, mound-shaped ceremonial platforms at Caral date from 4,000 years ago, an archaeological team reports in the April 27 Science. That makes the site, located in the Supe Valley about 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the oldest-known urban center in the Americas.
Construction occurred from about 4,090 to 3,640 years ago, the researchers say. Activity at the site may have begun as early as 4,700 years ago, Haas adds. "

Here we see huge urban centers being built by huge work forces who were not wiped out by a flood.  The ruins of Caral still exist  and show absolutely no signs of being wiped out by a flood.  


I'm no one to argue for the flood story, but don't you think that this city is pretty shoddy evidence that the flood didn't occur?

There are at least four problems with it: earthware dams and many Indian Mounds in the American Southeast have survived being submerged or flooded for years. The "ruins" you speak of may be nothing more than well-built mounds that were able to survive a flood. Also, there was hardly anything there, according to the article, but mounds. What else would have been ruined by the flood?

Two: your time frame seems a little constricted. Or a lot. Most of the young-earth soft-minded people I know claim that the earth is 6000 years old--which leaves plenty of time for a flood to have occured before this city was built, if I read the article correctly. So, assuming the mounds weren't ever flooded, this doesn't even suggest that the flood didn't occur in the previous 2000 years since the earth had been created (in the Christan young-earth time frame).

Three: you suggested that there were no signs that the work forces were wiped out by a flood. I'm having a hard time following you. If there was a flood, why would it have necessarily wiped out the work forces in order for it to have truly existed? In other words, floods flood places whether they can wipe out work forces or not. It's just as possible that if there were a flood, that it occured at a time when the work forces had naturally died off or before they were born. I'm just not following you.

Four: there was absolutely no mention in the article whether it showed signs of a flood or not. So I'm assuming that you got those details from another source. I'd first have to read that source to agree with you on whether the ruins were ruined exclusively without the help of water.

On a side note: the contradictions that go back and forth between "scientists" and "fundamentalists" are often amusing, but the scientists I think are the most amusing of the two. Christians at least claim that much of what they believe in is miraculous. That doesn't eliminate their ability to reason, but it does at least excuse or explain them when they no longer reason and/or contradict themselves. But what do we make of a scientist who says with one breath that there couldn't have been any flood, and with the next breath that many of the mountains that we have were at one time under the sea (given the aquatic fossils we have found on the top of many of them)? Hasn't science proven that virtually all of the earth was at one point or another under water (either liquid or ice)?

I'm not throwing in on either side, but I do think the scientists could be a little more scientific. The Christians are about as Christian as they can be.

Sarah

 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 11:38 PM on June 7, 2004 | IP
Sarah Laughter

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Quote from Kronus at 9:05 PM on May 17, 2004 :
Nowhere, however, in the huge pile of records, do we see anything saying "rain keeps coming, moving to second floor", or "I'm the only one left, everyone else has drowned", or even, "Having said goodbye to great-grand-dad Noah, am now setting up camp in what used to be Memphis."  We just see a smooth chain of records, showing an unbroken chain of daily life, straight through the time when the entire world was supposed to be under water.  No mention of catastrophe, no mysterious gaps in the records, just life, continuing as normal


This is definitely a problem, but it's not an insurmountable problem. In fact, modern science encounters similar ones all the time. When archaeologists and evolutionists discovered that there was a truly mind-boggling difference in the complexity of fossil specimens, between the Early Cambrian and Late Precambrian period, and there appeared to be few transitional fossils between them, rather than admit that there was very little evidence for the evolution of the complex organisms, the scientists merely refered to the jump as the "Cambrian Explosion"--as though that somehow explained away the problem. Similarly, you could say that the flood simply destroyed everything that wasn't as hard (or close) to stone. Parchment disintegrates pretty quickly in water, and I seriously doubt anybody would have had the wherewithal to carve anything.

I think both the flood and the Cambrian Explosion are highly unlikely and in many ways unacceptable, but they are explained with this or that theory.

Sarah

 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 12:01 AM on June 8, 2004 | IP
Demon38

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I bowed out of this post because Kronos was right, the line of evidence he was presenting was not supported by my post.  But Sarah, you've dragged me back in.  

I'm no one to argue for the flood story, but don't you think that this city is pretty shoddy evidence that the flood didn't occur?

No I don't and I'll explain why.

There are at least four problems with it: earthware dams and many Indian Mounds in the American Southeast have survived being submerged or flooded for years. The "ruins" you speak of may be nothing more than well-built mounds that were able to survive a flood. Also, there was hardly anything there, according to the article, but mounds. What else would have been ruined by the flood?

The reed bags that the archaeologists used to obtain radiocarbon dates.  A flood of global proportions would have surely washed away these artifacts.  And these reed bags were so well preserved because the environment was so dry, a flood of any size would have submerged these reed bags for an extended amount of time and they would have qauickly rotted away.  Since they didn't and are so well preserved, this is evidence that there was no flood.
Also we have this: Flutes

"Inside a large sunken amphitheater, which could have held many hundreds of people during civic or religious events, Shady's team found 32 flutes made of pelican and condor bones and 37 cornets of deer and llama bones. "

A giant flood would have washed away or destroyed these instruments.

If you look at pictures Caral doesn't look like it had any flood damage, they are certainly more than just large mounds.  Low rent houses have been found that are made of mud and kane, these would most certainly not have survived a flood.

Two: your time frame seems a little constricted. Or a lot. Most of the young-earth soft-minded people I know claim that the earth is 6000 years old--which leaves plenty of time for a flood to have occured before this city was built, if I read the article correctly. So, assuming the mounds weren't ever flooded, this doesn't even suggest that the flood didn't occur in the previous 2000 years since the earth had been created (in the Christan young-earth time frame).

I thought the world wide flood was supposed to have occurred 4000 years ago...  Even if you play fast and loose with biblical dates, you have to account for the large population of  Caral.  Evidence, while not conclusive, indicates that the population was in the thousands.  If the flood occurred earlier, there simply wasn't enough time for 8 people to breed a population this large in a few thousand years.  And that doesn't even include the populations known to exist in Egypt, the Mediteranian, China at the time.  

Three: you suggested that there were no signs that the work forces were wiped out by a flood. I'm having a hard time following you. If there was a flood, why would it have necessarily wiped out the work forces in order for it to have truly existed? In other words, floods flood places whether they can wipe out work forces or not. It's just as possible that if there were a flood, that it occured at a time when the work forces had naturally died off or before they were born. I'm just not following you.

OK, I was a little sketchy here, but a flood would have wiped out most of the remains of any population in the city, this isn't the case since we see signs that the population was in the thousands.  You made the point that mounds are all that's left and that this would be consistant with a large flood.  The evidence shows that there were more than just mounds, there were mud and kane huts, musical instruments, cobble stone paths, construction tools, evidence of irrigation canals, evidence of the crops they grew, etc.  These remains would have been washed away and destroyed by a flood.  The reed bags in particular would have been destroyed by a massive amount of water.  This evidence supports a non flood end for Caral.

Four: there was absolutely no mention in the article whether it showed signs of a flood or not. So I'm assuming that you got those details from another source. I'd first have to read that source to agree with you on whether the ruins were ruined exclusively without the help of water.

While it's not explicitly stated, from here:reedbags

"Because of the dry climate in Peru, the reeds survived the many of thousands of years that have elapsed, enabling scientists to age-date the site."

On a side note: the contradictions that go back and forth between "scientists" and "fundamentalists" are often amusing, but the scientists I think are the most amusing of the two. Christians at least claim that much of what they believe in is miraculous. That doesn't eliminate their ability to reason, but it does at least excuse or explain them when they no longer reason and/or contradict themselves. But what do we make of a scientist who says with one breath that there couldn't have been any flood, and with the next breath that many of the mountains that we have were at one time under the sea (given the aquatic fossils we have found on the top of many of them)? Hasn't science proven that virtually all of the earth was at one point or another under water (either liquid or ice)?

Now this is a self serving statement.  Whether fundamental christians believe in miracles or not doesn't explain the fact that we have no evidence for a world wide flood, evidence that would most surely have to exist if it were true, miracle or not.  Yes scientists say that there could not have been a world wide flood, what does the fact that at one time some mountains were not mountains and were under a sea?  Plate tectonics explains this neatly.  I don't see what the problem is with these explainations.  As to the Snowball earth hypothesis, I don't know enough about it to say if any scientists claim the entire world was covered with ice or not but I do know that ice and water are 2 different things and the earth could not possibly have been completely covered in water.  

I'm not throwing in on either side, but I do think the scientists could be a little more scientific. The Christians are about as Christian as they can be.

How, specifically, could geologists be a little more scientific?
 


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 02:15 AM on June 8, 2004 | IP
Demon38

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This is definitely a problem, but it's not an insurmountable problem. In fact, modern science encounters similar ones all the time. When archaeologists and evolutionists discovered that there was a truly mind-boggling difference in the complexity of fossil specimens, between the Early Cambrian and Late Precambrian period, and there appeared to be few transitional fossils between them, rather than admit that there was very little evidence for the evolution of the complex organisms, the scientists merely refered to the jump as the "Cambrian Explosion"--as though that somehow explained away the         problem.

I think it is an insurmountable problem.  In the first case we have mountains of human records that show no mention of a catastrophe that supposedly wiped out all life and records of civilizations that should have been wiped out but obviously were not wiped out.  They existed pre flood, during the supposed flood and after this supposed flood.
Creationists have no explaination for this that stands up to the evidence.  When we see overwhelming evidence of egyptians living before during and after this supposed flood, it falsifies it.  When we see middle eastern populations living before, during and after this supposed flood, it falsifies it.  And on and on....
To compare the fossil record of the Precambrian and the Cambrian, about 500 million years and older to the great amount of physical evidence and records from 5 or 6 thousand  years ago is ridiculous.  And the Cambrian explosion was never ment as an explaination, it was a description, because we didn't have a large amount of fossils to explain how the organisms evolved.  Of course, we have found many more fossils that are begining to show us how organisms evolved at that time, so we know much more about the Cambrian explosion now then we did when the term was coined.  And what a surprise, the theory of evolution is still the best explaination for it.  More evidence is found all the time that fills in the gaps of our knowledge, the predictions made by the TOE continue to be confirmed.

Similarly, you could say that the flood simply destroyed everything that wasn't as hard (or close) to stone. Parchment disintegrates pretty quickly in water, and I seriously doubt anybody would have had the wherewithal to carve anything.

But that's the problem, the flood didn't destroy everything, we have records, human records, from before during and after when this flood was supposed to have taken place.

I think both the flood and the Cambrian Explosion are highly unlikely and in many ways unacceptable, but they are explained with this or that theory.

Yes a world wide flood is unacceptable, it's just plain impossible, but the evolution of the life forms during the Precambrian and the Cambrian is supported by evidence so it is in no way unacceptable.
 


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 02:31 AM on June 8, 2004 | IP
Kronus

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It looks like Demon38 pretty well summed up my thoughts about Sarah's objections, so I'll just add this.  This debate is not a zero sum game.  If one side is shown to be wrong, that in no way increases the likelyhood that the other side is right.  It is theoretically possible that both sides are wrong.  So the fact that Sarah percieves a similar problem between Egyptian records and the Cambrian explosion is really irrelevant.  The quality of explanations for the Cambrian explosion has absolutely no bearing on the continutiy of ancient records.

And by the way, welcome Sarah!

(Edited by Kronus 6/8/2004 at 10:08 AM).
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 09:33 AM on June 8, 2004 | IP
godyag

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Hi Sarah, welcome

I am sorry but you just committed a series of mistakes.  Demon hit upon many of them, but the most important is your lack of knowledge on this subject.  The creation theory (as Gup has shown me) is actually organized and complex.  There are exact dates for events determined from the bible, a general outline can be found here:

http://www.uq.net.au/~zztbwalk/


Hasn't science proven that virtually all of the earth was at one point or another under water (either liquid or ice)?


Yes, but to generalize and say that therefore, there must have been one event is wrong.  You just can't skip over the details.

Also, the Cambrian Explosion is simply a label given to the sudden increase in fossils found all over the earth.  At the time that this was first observed the best model scientists could come up with was that conditions on earth changed somehow, allowing room for life to expand and diversify.   This theory has changed with new discoveries and observations.

There are a bunch of recent developments showing evidence for complex diverse life that predates the Cambrian explosion.  So, the "Cambrian Explosion" as a line between ancient simple life and complex organisms is becoming blurred.   My point is we just didn't make it up for kicks and giggles, it was simply the simplest way to explain the quick transition between a lack of diversity and large diversity.  You can refute that they evolved, fine, but you still have to come up with an explanation as to why they appeared.

There are many theories based upon the fragmented geologic record as to why this occurred,  but you said that:


I think both the flood and the Cambrian Explosion are highly unlikely and in many ways unacceptable, but they are explained with this or that theory.


It sounds as if you are familiar with them, since you have formed the opinion that they are both unacceptible.  What I don't understand is if you have learned about them enough to decide that they are unacceptible, how come you made those blaring mistakes listed above?   Perhaps you really don't know much about them, but have made your decision based on another reason?

(Edited by godyag 6/8/2004 at 5:15 PM).

(Edited by godyag 6/9/2004 at 2:50 PM).


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Posts: 33 | Posted: 5:13 PM on June 8, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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Gus?  



 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 11:52 AM on June 9, 2004 | IP
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LOL oops, sorry Gup!  I meant Gup.  I will edit.


Also, here is another possible explanation for the cambrian explosion:

Nature

(Edited by godyag 6/9/2004 at 2:51 PM).

(Edited by godyag 6/9/2004 at 2:51 PM).


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Posts: 33 | Posted: 2:49 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
Sarah Laughter

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Quote from Demon38 at 02:31 AM on June 8, 2004 :I think it is an insurmountable problem.  In the first case we have mountains of human records that show no mention of a catastrophe that supposedly wiped out all life and records of civilizations that should have been wiped out but obviously were not wiped out.  They existed pre flood, during the supposed flood and after this supposed flood.
Creationists have no explaination for this that stands up to the evidence...we have records, human records, from before during and after when this flood was supposed to have taken place.


Let's just keep this in context before moving in several directions at once. My response to Kronos was directly to what he said, and there was no indication in the quotation of his that I used that he was talking strictly about a young-earth creationism. Again, I'm no strong defender of creationism in general, but it does seem to me that old-earth creationism could very easily believe in a world-wide flood. Our knowledge of plate techtonics is relatively sparse--there just isn't enough there to tell us what the plates were like, say, 15,000 years ago when such a flood could have occured. Or not with absolute certainty. To summarize: I was arguing against the idea that science had disproven a world-wide flood outright. A four-thousand-year-old flood seems like an easy one to knock down (relatively), but I wasnt committing myself to any time period. Back when I was in college it was precisely this theory I actually heard a lecturer put forth to explain aquatic fossils on the tops of mountains, etc. There are stranger theories.

Yes a world wide flood is unacceptable, it's just plain impossible, but the evolution of the life forms during the Precambrian and the Cambrian is supported by evidence so it is in no way unacceptable.


Again, I disagree on both counts. If you mean a young-earth flood, then I'm inclined to agree with you. But if you mean an old-earth world-wide flood, I'd certainly be interested to hear the evidence against it. As for the Pre-Cambrian to Cambrian explosion, I'd also like to hear where this overwhelmingly supportive evidence is. My understanding is that in most of the digs in Australia, the biostratigraphic data indicates that we have almost universally moved from incredibly complex to suddenly incredibly simple organisms. Sure, here and there there are the needed transitional fossils. But when the Cambrian sediment, so to speak, has given way almost stunningly to the Precambrian slugs, we dont' have any successful theories (I haven't heard any) for where that in-between sediment and its transitional fossils are.

Please don't misunderstand me. I believe wholeheartedly in evolution; but I believe only what I see, and I see few transitions (and even the indication that there are none!) from the Pre-Cambrian to the Cambrian. Again, I'd like to know why you think evolution is still supported in that particular place in the TOE.

Sarah


(Edited by Sarah Laughter 6/12/2004 at 9:07 PM).
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 9:06 PM on June 12, 2004 | IP
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Quote from godyag at 5:13 PM on June 8, 2004 :
Hi Sarah, welcome

I am sorry but you just committed a series of mistakes.  Demon hit upon many of them, but the most important is your lack of knowledge on this subject.  The creation theory (as Gup has shown me) is actually organized and complex.  There are exact dates for events determined from the bible, a general outline can be found here:

http://www.uq.net.au/~zztbwalk/


Thanks for the tip, but thanks to my Baptist background I'm already well aware of the "system." As you can see in my response to Demon38, I was talking about creationism in general, not young-earth creationism specifically.

Not that anybody here is guilty of it, but I for one am pretty tired of the criticisms of scientists against young-earth creationism. If I may level another criticism against my own team again: it's easy enough to swagger around after defeating young-earth creationism on the level of science (they also swagger around after defeating evolutionists on the level of metaphysics). But I have been reading posts by other intelligent creationists who seem to have the best of both worlds: a conviction of the facts of science, but also a conviction of a transcendent realm I've never actually encountered. I don't often see old-earth creationism and evolution in conflict (though obviously others would disagree with that).

Sarah


(Edited by Sarah Laughter 6/12/2004 at 9:19 PM).
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 9:18 PM on June 12, 2004 | IP
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Hi Sarah.

I was in fact refering to a young earth flood in my discussion, sorry for not making that clear.  I've never run across any old earth creationists on these forums, so I'm not really up on what they believe.  I have a couple of question in particular.  I realize this may or may not be what you believe, but if you could fill me in on the gist of what oec's believe, I'd appreciate it.  First off, when they say old earth, are they talking thousands, millions, or billions of years?  And the world wide flood, is this still Noah's flood?  If so, when was it supposed to have happened?  

If you could point me at some web sites that you feel give a good presentation of old earth creation theory I'd appreciate that too.
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 10:17 PM on June 12, 2004 | IP
OccamsRazor

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Hello Sarah Laughter. I hope you do not mind me adding to a couple of your points.

Sarah Laughter wrote: Again, I'm no strong defender of creationism in general, but it does seem to me that old-earth creationism could very easily believe in a world-wide flood. Our knowledge of plate techtonics is relatively sparse--there just isn't enough there to tell us what the plates were like, say, 15,000 years ago when such a flood could have occured. Or not with absolute certainty.


Off all the areas of science concerned with the ancient earth, plate tectonics is fortunate to have some of the strongest direct evidence to support it. Plate reconstructions have been made into the early Paleozoic, and the closer to the present you get the better constrained they are. Post 200 Ma and they are better still as modern day seafloor survives in this time frame.

As to where the plates were 15000 years ago, those postions have been quite precisely constrained.

This page has a neat tool that will generate plate positions 15000 (0.015 My) years ago:

ODSN Plate Tectonic Reconstruction Service

To summarize: I was arguing against the idea that science had disproven a world-wide flood outright. A four-thousand-year-old flood seems like an easy one to knock down (relatively), but I wasnt committing myself to any time period. Back when I was in college it was precisely this theory I actually heard a lecturer put forth to explain aquatic fossils on the tops of mountains, etc. There are stranger theories.


With regard to the idea of a flood, I suppose that depends what you mean. If one argues for an event that submerged every point of land currently above sea level, you would expect some very striking geological evidence of that today.

Again, I disagree on both counts. If you mean a young-earth flood, then I'm inclined to agree with you. But if you mean an old-earth world-wide flood, I'd certainly be interested to hear the evidence against it.


There is a flip side to that off course- what is the geological evidence for a global flood at date x?


The thing with flood geology (in a technical sense) is that is a construct of ye-creationists who seek to demonstrate the world is but 6000 years old. This conclusion has not been arrived at based on observations of the geological record- it has been decided before any of the "science" is done, so every examination it performs is an excersize in fitting evidence to a very constrained set of predetermined conclusions, with no room for an expansion of the "hypothesis". YEC's are not going to suddenly write an article saying their latest explorations indicate the world is 50,000 years old, for the same reasons they are not going to say its only 4233 years old.

Okay- to get to the point, if such a flood has occured sometime in the history of the earth, it would have left evidence (I suppose, the further back in time you go, the less chance there is of any of that evidence being preserved). As long as a date is attached to such an event, it will be held under the scrutiny of what is observed in the rock record.

As for the Pre-Cambrian to Cambrian explosion, I'd also like to hear where this overwhelmingly supportive evidence is. My understanding is that in most of the digs in Australia, the biostratigraphic data indicates that we have almost universally moved from incredibly complex to suddenly incredibly simple organisms. Sure, here and there there are the needed transitional fossils. But when the Cambrian sediment, so to speak, has given way almost stunningly to the Precambrian slugs, we dont' have any successful theories (I haven't heard any) for where that in-between sediment and its transitional fossils are.

Please don't misunderstand me. I believe wholeheartedly in evolution; but I believe only what I see, and I see few transitions (and even the indication that there are none!) from the Pre-Cambrian to the Cambrian. Again, I'd like to know why you think evolution is still supported in that particular place in the TOE.

Sarah


The problem with the "Cambrian explosion" is it a term based as much around the distribution of the fossil evidence there is as opposed to an interpretation of what actually happened.

As you said, there are the single celled fossils of the proterozoic, a "jump" then the soft bodied casts of multicelluar Edicara, a "jump" and then the hard bodied Cambrian forms (the explosive bit) as characterised by the Burgess Shale.

There is a lack of much intimediate evidence at the moment, so it is difficult to put even rough constraints on the speed and diversification of  early multicellular animals. However there is research going on in this field, and just because we lack evidence for this paricular period (at the moment at least) does not mean evolution was not at work- our conclusions are just more limited as a result.

Finally, another poster linked this brief article about life before the Cambrian:

Evidence grows for life before fossils


(Edited by OccamsRazor 6/13/2004 at 03:39 AM).


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Broaden your perspective: http://www.talkorigins.org/
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 03:35 AM on June 13, 2004 | IP
Sarah Laughter

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Quote from Kronus at 10:17 PM on June 12, 2004 :
Hi Sarah.

I was in fact refering to a young earth flood in my discussion, sorry for not making that clear.  I've never run across any old earth creationists on these forums, so I'm not really up on what they believe.  I have a couple of question in particular.  I realize this may or may not be what you believe, but if you could fill me in on the gist of what oec's believe, I'd appreciate it.  First off, when they say old earth, are they talking thousands, millions, or billions of years?  And the world wide flood, is this still Noah's flood?  If so, when was it supposed to have happened?  

If you could point me at some web sites that you feel give a good presentation of old earth creation theory I'd appreciate that too.


I'm afraid I don't know of many. You know how the popular media is. It would be difficult to guage just what the ratio is between old-earth and young-earth creationism amongst Hindus and Christians (I think they are both the largest anti-evolutionists, religion-wise), but I'm going to guess that it's not what it seems. The young-earth creationists are the most shrill and usually help journalists fill attention-grabbing quotas, but my gut feeling is that the oecs are rather prevalent. I'm afraid I can't point you to any websites; most of my encounters with them are either from books or anecdotal. My brother is an old-earth creationist and I will ask him and get back to you on it. I gather from him that old-earth creationism is more popular than admitted (as he himself says, "who likes to read about those people who have everything?" ;) )

Old-earth creationists like de Chardin believed in the millions of years, and I strongly suspect so do most oecs. So that my own beliefs are clear: I accept evolution for the most part, but as a rule I don't fill in any gaps for evolution which I think need filling in by hard evidence (though I obviously need to learn more on the techtonics!). But in terms of belief, I am a rigid agnostic: I don't rule out the existence of God (hence my defence of the possibility that creationism might be true), but neither can I fill in their gaps for them.

I should say one thing: I realized only after I made my last post how rude I must have appeared. I didn't mean that coming down on young-earth creationism wasn't fruitful, or trying to work out the general gist of it wasn't worthwhile--I only meant a certain attitude which I have found thankfully lacking in this and other similar discussions in this forum; which is why I felt okay coming down on the attitude and not the act itself without stepping on anybody's toes (no pun intended).

Sarah


(Edited by Sarah Laughter 6/13/2004 at 4:24 PM).

(Edited by Sarah Laughter 6/13/2004 at 4:26 PM).
 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 4:23 PM on June 13, 2004 | IP
Sarah Laughter

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Quote from OccamsRazor at 03:35 AM on June 13, 2004 :
Hello Sarah Laughter. I hope you do not mind me adding to a couple of your points.


Not at all!

Off all the areas of science concerned with the ancient earth, plate tectonics is fortunate to have some of the strongest direct evidence to support it. Plate reconstructions have been made into the early Paleozoic, and the closer to the present you get the better constrained they are. Post 200 Ma and they are better still as modern day seafloor survives in this time frame.

As to where the plates were 15000 years ago, those postions have been quite precisely constrained.

This page has a neat tool that will generate plate positions 15000 (0.015 My) years ago:

ODSN Plate Tectonic Reconstruction Service


I haven't had a chance to look at this yet, but I certainly will. My bad for making a ludicrous claim. But my original point still holds...

With regard to the idea of a flood, I suppose that depends what you mean. If one argues for an event that submerged every point of land currently above sea level, you would expect some very striking geological evidence of that today.


That would in turn depend on when the flood had occured. Oecs such as de Chardin believed wholeheartedly in a deluge, and in many cases have looked to the fossil evidence on the tops of mountains as evidence of a flood at an undetermined time.

There is a flip side to that off course- what is the geological evidence for a global flood at date x?


Indeed, but because of the lack of a date with the oecs, it's obviously easier for them to make the claim of a world-wide deluge. But I will have to look for that evidence I have come across that mentions similar fossils on the tops of different mountain ranges. That is the only scientific evidence I've heard for a very large flood (indicating a world-wide flood, etc.).

The thing with flood geology (in a technical sense) is that is a construct of ye-creationists who seek to demonstrate the world is but 6000 years old. This conclusion has not been arrived at based on observations of the geological record- it has been decided before any of the "science" is done, so every examination it performs is an excersize in fitting evidence to a very constrained set of predetermined conclusions, with no room for an expansion of the "hypothesis". YEC's are not going to suddenly write an article saying their latest explorations indicate the world is 50,000 years old, for the same reasons they are not going to say its only 4233 years old.


Indeed, and as I've said, if I were a creationist I wouldn't be a young-earth creationist. But again, I think the same criticism can be leveled against some aspects of evolutionary theory.

Somebody who is incredibly interesting in this whole debate is a man named Owen Barfield. His Saving the Appearances is very telling in this regard: hardly anybody in the evolutionary or creationist fields is exempt from at one time or another simply rearranging their theories to "save the appearances," i.e., make the data fit the theory. When the TOE revealed a gap between two major periods of fossils (a gap which, while peppered with evidence relative to what we have for the organisms that existed before and after the gap), I think the "Cambrian Explosion" was brought in to save the appearances. If I restrain from giving my faith to one side, I'm not going to give it to the other. Again, I'm not saying that evolution is false (far from it), but it would appear to be capable of the same sorts of rear-guard actions we see in yec. I'll play devil's advocate and point out that much of evolutionary theory has been a matter of proving post facto what were, for all intents and purposes, predetermined conclusions. That seems less of a crime for both sides--the real problem is when neither side will admit where it has merely introduced another theory or stop-gap to keep from admitting an actual gap or hole.

Okay- to get to the point, if such a flood has occured sometime in the history of the earth, it would have left evidence (I suppose, the further back in time you go, the less chance there is of any of that evidence being preserved). As long as a date is attached to such an event, it will be held under the scrutiny of what is observed in the rock record.


For the second statement, totally agreed. But the oecs have the advantage of not having to fix a date. For the first statement, again, all my evidence is books and anecdotal. (To have been interested in evolutionary theory or its opponents is to have been introduced to how many theories every month!) Again, if memory serves, the flood is relatively early for the oecs, at least sometime around some of the early utterly upright fossil specimens.

The problem with the "Cambrian explosion" is it a term based as much around the distribution of the fossil evidence there is as opposed to an interpretation of what actually happened.


Yes! I think in the minds of most laymen, the "Cambrian Explosion" is an explanation of the gap (it's not, it's a vague description of the gap), which detracts from the fact that there dozens if not hundreds of theories orbiting this one problem: where are the fossils that would conclusively show that there are no jumps but rather clear transitions?

As you said, there are the single celled fossils of the proterozoic, a "jump" then the soft bodied casts of multicelluar Edicara, a "jump" and then the hard bodied Cambrian forms (the explosive bit) as characterised by the Burgess Shale.

There is a lack of much intimediate evidence at the moment, so it is difficult to put even rough constraints on the speed and diversification of  early multicellular animals. However there is research going on in this field, and just because we lack evidence for this paricular period (at the moment at least) does not mean evolution was not at work- our conclusions are just more limited as a result.


But we have to admit how serious this limitation is. I'm not at all saying that it disproves evolution. But watch as the creationists catch on to how serious that gap is: I can't tell the future, but look for more and more creationists (especially oecs) mocking the scientists and demanding the "evidence." And if we're consistent, we have to admit that it's not fair to demand evidence from them and then not provide evidence for what is sometimes considered the most important transition of all: from soft-bodies to hard bodies.

Finally, another poster linked this brief article about life before the Cambrian:

Evidence grows for life before fossils


(Edited by OccamsRazor 6/13/2004 at 03:39 AM).


Well, to play devil's advocate again, there are a whole lot of "could have been's," "maybes," and "likelies" in there--too many to really hang your hat on. And there are only three sources in the article: the two scientists and the other journal. I agree that this is but one of the major theories that could help explain the Cambrian Explosion (I'd be interested to know exactly what system was used to date the trilobites in question, and I was also a little dissatisfied with the large 30-million-year time gap in there). But as the two scientists themselves admit: the fossil record and the theory that is being brought about to explain a gap in the record don't yet jive: "If you accept the fossils at face value, all these distinct types of mammals appear in the fossil record shortly after the dinosaurs go extinct and within 10 million years or so things as different as whales and bats appear." I just didn't find this article all that conclusive.

Sarah

 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 5:07 PM on June 13, 2004 | IP
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Now, what's happening in the world around this time?  A great deal, in fact.  The pyramids of Gizeh were built, as well as the ziggurat of Ur.  Trade was occurring between civilizations, as were wars.  People were planting crops, raising families, and dying, much as they do today.  How do we know all this?  Do we have to rely on arcane radio-metric dating techniques?  Do we have to deduce this from a tiny bit of bone?  No.  We have written records.  Thousand and thousands of records, from all over the region.  Records of royal declarations of war, and records that Keros owed Neshbet two goats.  Records engraved in huge stone monuments, and records on a scrap of parchment, dropped in a tomb accidently.  

Nowhere, however, in the huge pile of records, do we see anything saying "rain keeps coming, moving to second floor", or "I'm the only one left, everyone else has drowned", or even, "Having said goodbye to great-grand-dad Noah, am now setting up camp in what used to be Memphis."  We just see a smooth chain of records, showing an unbroken chain of daily life, straight through the time when the entire world was supposed to be under water.  No mention of catastrophe, no mysterious gaps in the records, just life, continuing as normal.


One of the chief difficulties in arguing one side or the other is the need to avoid oversimplification. Yecs are often enough not at all aware of what the so-called "Fathers" of Christianity taught regarding the ages and time frames of old-testament scriptures, and so they end up oversimplifying their own (supposedly their own) position. But I've read enough of these Fathers to know that generally most of the early Christians did not interpret the scriptures literally, and when they did the literal interpretation was the least interesting to them. I mean people like Clement of Alexandria, Justin the Philosopher, Origen, etc. etc. To them, time itself changed as time progressed, so that it would have been as absurd to them to speak of Adam having lived a literal thousand-plus years, as it would be to quantify the so-called "ages of ages" by which so much time is measured in the Bible.

In short, I think you've got to choose which of the two you're arguing against: the modern-day evangelical yec, or the truly intellectual and much-hard-to-pin-down movers and shakers who helped make Christianity (as an example) of what it was. The Hindus are also interesting along these lines: to them, the world is immeasurably older even than the evolutionists make it out to be, and the written scriptures according to them do describe a very old flood (the story of Gilgamesh).

But there is this problem as well. We do have a written record of the flood, two in fact: it's in the Pentateuch and the Gilgamesh story. The trouble is whether or not a theory can be formulated that would explain in some plausible way why this flood was such that no written records but these two would have survived it. And I think Demon38 answered that one inadvertently: if reed bags wouldn't survive a flood, surely parchment wouldn't have? I'm afraid you're going to have to rely on outside evidence (such as the ancient buildings of Ur and Babylonia and Caral) to buttress anti-flood statements.

Sarah


 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 02:10 AM on June 14, 2004 | IP
OccamsRazor

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Sarah Laughter wrote:
I haven't had a chance to look at this yet, but I certainly will. My bad for making a ludicrous claim. But my original point still holds...


Sorry, I was not intending to make your position appear ludicrous. To address your initial point, I agree I can be argued that it is easier to put a flood within an old earth time frame, although in my opinion at least, that could be a position that relies on the abscence of supporting evidence, as opposed to something that directly upholds the idea.

That would in turn depend on when the flood had occured. Oecs such as de Chardin believed wholeheartedly in a deluge, and in many cases have looked to the fossil evidence on the tops of mountains as evidence of a flood at an undetermined time.


Indeed, but because of the lack of a date with the oecs, it's obviously easier for them to make the claim of a world-wide deluge. But I will have to look for that evidence I have come across that mentions similar fossils on the tops of different mountain ranges. That is the only scientific evidence I've heard for a very large flood (indicating a world-wide flood, etc.).


On an initial examination a fossil of a water living organsim on top of a mountain could suggest such a place had once been submerged.

However, geological examination provides an explaination for such distributions- fossil bearing rocks in mountain belts have been "forced up" as part of thrust belts when two bodies of continental crust collide. So in actuality, these fossils originate from a (generally) marine environment that existed under the prevailing sea level conditions of the time (N.B. this a very brief look at mountain building, and the many lines of evidence that support it).

Another issue that must be considered is the prescence of fossils at all points of altitude. Most of the areas of high elevation on the earth are mountian belts, many of which contain fossil bearing rocks. However, there are a number of giant volcanoes (such as Mt. Kilimanjaro whose summit, Uhuru Peak is at 5896m above sea level) that are as high as some mountain ranges. Now, if we are using fossils on top of Mt. Everest (8848m ASL) as evidence of a global flood event, we would reasonably expect to find fossils on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro- but we don't. And this is not the only volcano where this example can be seen.

Hence, we are presented with a problem- if a global flood put marine fossils on top of the world's high mountains, why did it not put them on the summits of the great volcanoes?

This is not the only area where the nature of the local "rocks" presents difficulty with an explaination of a globe submerging flood, but I've just stuck with the fossils for the moment.

Indeed, and as I've said, if I were a creationist I wouldn't be a young-earth creationist. But again, I think the same criticism can be leveled against some aspects of evolutionary theory.


I'm not sure about particular examples from evolutionary theory, but it is a fair point that science can slip into using weak models to explain observations- this is a challenge to all scientists to ensure their conclusions are robust and stay within the reality that they can define or test (a fascinating debate of this nature is currently going on in vulcanology over the use of the mantle plume model as a cause for vulcanism- but thats another can of worms entirely!).

Somebody who is incredibly interesting in this whole debate is a man named Owen Barfield. His Saving the Appearances is very telling in this regard: hardly anybody in the evolutionary or creationist fields is exempt from at one time or another simply rearranging their theories to "save the appearances," i.e., make the data fit the theory. When the TOE revealed a gap between two major periods of fossils (a gap which, while peppered with evidence relative to what we have for the organisms that existed before and after the gap), I think the "Cambrian Explosion" was brought in to save the appearances. If I restrain from giving my faith to one side, I'm not going to give it to the other. Again, I'm not saying that evolution is false (far from it), but it would appear to be capable of the same sorts of rear-guard actions we see in yec. I'll play devil's advocate and point out that much of evolutionary theory has been a matter of proving post facto what were, for all intents and purposes, predetermined conclusions. That seems less of a crime for both sides--the real problem is when neither side will admit where it has merely introduced another theory or stop-gap to keep from admitting an actual gap or hole.


I think the nature of the relationship between evolutionists and creationists has lead to a quite confrontational existence where the other side seizes on any apparent weakness in the others position (although you can probably guess who I consider to be the worst offenders). This possibly has lead certain members of parties to make claims ahead of what they can actually be sure off. However, there is an important distinction. The science is progressive- its workers will adapt to new evidence and ideas, and work is always open to the professional scruntiny of peers. If you read some of the science of evolution in more depth, there are writers who are quite open about the limits of our knowledge, and make no attempt to hide it (on the web there is thepalaeos.com page, which is excellent, abeit highly technical, in this regard).

Yes! I think in the minds of most laymen, the "Cambrian Explosion" is an explanation of the gap (it's not, it's a vague description of the gap), which detracts from the fact that there dozens if not hundreds of theories orbiting this one problem: where are the fossils that would conclusively show that there are no jumps but rather clear transitions?


Always a tantalising prospect, what a Burgess Shale like fossil assemblage would do if found post Edicara, pre "Cambrian explosion". As to where- don't ask me, I only work here

But we have to admit how serious this limitation is. I'm not at all saying that it disproves evolution. But watch as the creationists catch on to how serious that gap is: I can't tell the future, but look for more and more creationists (especially oecs) mocking the scientists and demanding the "evidence." And if we're consistent, we have to admit that it's not fair to demand evidence from them and then not provide evidence for what is sometimes considered the most important transition of all: from soft-bodies to hard bodies.


Is that the most important transition? it certainly is in terms of what is actually preserved as fossils (but I always find attaching words like important to be tricky when looking at evolutionary history). I'm not sure we will ever see fossils of such forms- their age and nature (some, if any, hard parts?) make them very poor candiates to survive to today as fossils.

The Cambrian explosion does present a "target" to those wishing to criticise evolution, but to single it out in itself will only be yet another exercise in the old game of "God of the gaps".

I have to say (rather wearily, I might add) that I never cease to be amazed by how YEC's manage to make faults in aspects of evolution/ToE etc... they are very inventive to say the least.

Well, to play devil's advocate again, there are a whole lot of "could have been's," "maybes," and "likelies" in there--too many to really hang your hat on. And there are only three sources in the article: the two scientists and the other journal. I agree that this is but one of the major theories that could help explain the Cambrian Explosion (I'd be interested to know exactly what system was used to date the trilobites in question, and I was also a little dissatisfied with the large 30-million-year time gap in there). But as the two scientists themselves admit: the fossil record and the theory that is being brought about to explain a gap in the record don't yet jive: "If you accept the fossils at face value, all these distinct types of mammals appear in the fossil record shortly after the dinosaurs go extinct and within 10 million years or so things as different as whales and bats appear." I just didn't find this article all that conclusive.

Sarah


I agree with you there- the article does contain alot of conjecture. My interest is from the point of view that it shows research is underway at the moment on the Cambrian explosion, rather than just letting it lie, so to speak. I wonder actual paper the GLGS published was like...


One final point with regard to the flood idea. Is it really science that should be trying to accomodate a notion such as a world wide submergence of every bit of land on the earth, or is it the adherents of such an idea who should be examining the source and history of such a belief, asking themselves "is this history, or is this poetry?"


(Edited by OccamsRazor 6/14/2004 at 07:43 AM).


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Posts: 92 | Posted: 06:18 AM on June 14, 2004 | IP
Sarah Laughter

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Quote from OccamsRazor at 06:18 AM on June 14, 2004 :
To address your initial point, I agree I can be argued that it is easier to put a flood within an old earth time frame, although in my opinion at least, that could be a position that relies on the abscence of supporting evidence, as opposed to something that directly upholds the idea.


Yes and no. There are plenty of historical items that we accept as more or less fact without having "hard" evidence for them. (We knew that Aristotle's spin-off school of the Academy existed, but it wasn't until a few years ago that were able to find it--1000 years of digging just to find one school, and we knew roughly where it was all the time!). The suggestion from the literature or the historical accounts (either true or apocryphal) gives us reason to pause--whether to doubt or believe. And the absence thing cuts both ways. I am looking primarily for accuracy from both sides. There is little-to-no geological evidence for an old, world-wide flood. But there is also no conclusive evidence against such a flood. Don't get me wrong; I know that the anti-flood argument has more going for it at one important level. But: what it has going for it, it seems to me, justifies its assuming, for its own sake, that it is right in its conclusions, but not in saying that it has for intents and purposes eliminated the potential validity of other theories.

However, geological examination provides an explaination for such distributions- fossil bearing rocks in mountain belts have been "forced up" as part of thrust belts when two bodies of continental crust collide. So in actuality, these fossils originate from a (generally) marine environment that existed under the prevailing sea level conditions of the time (N.B. this a very brief look at mountain building, and the many lines of evidence that support it).


Agreed on the mountain building and for the prevailing explanation for how fossils appear on the tops of mountains. But if I may pose one of my own questions: it seems to me highly unlikely that such a ponderously long and relatively violent (if something moving at the speed of a glacier could be considered violent) process would leave fossils intact, and at such shallow depths in the sediment. That in itself suggests that the fossils, if they were pushed up with the sediment, made it on incredibly long odds. But those odds get even longer when one considers that it's difficult enough (relatively speaking) to get good fossil specimens in areas that haven't seen as much "violence." What were the odds that two or more plates crushing against one another would 1) leave the fossils intact, 2) leave them shallow, and 3) leave them relatively plentiful? Note: I don't know enough about plate techtonics to know if there is a readily available answer to this question, and this is a question I came up with myself. I've never encountered it as an argument against geological evidence of evolution.

Another issue that must be considered is the prescence of fossils at all points of altitude. Most of the areas of high elevation on the earth are mountian belts, many of which contain fossil bearing rocks. However, there are a number of giant volcanoes (such as Mt. Kilimanjaro whose summit, Uhuru Peak is at 5896m above sea level) that are as high as some mountain ranges. Now, if we are using fossils on top of Mt. Everest (8848m ASL) as evidence of a global flood event, we would reasonably expect to find fossils on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro- but we don't. And this is not the only volcano where this example can be seen.


Why would we reasonably expect to find fossils on the top of Mt. Kili? I would have thought the exact opposite is true. Such an active volcano is going to be regularly shifting its own soil far more rapidly than any large, geological mass that I can think of. When one thinks of all that an area surrounding a volcano goes through over thousands of years, it hardly seems likely that anything would survive. The heat radiation itself would sooner or later simply liquify if not evaporate anything embedded in the rock. Obviously the mud deposits at the base of any volcano is going to be a different story, producing excellent circumstances for fossil preservation (in my small knowledge of geology, so I surmise). But the peaks and sides of a volcano have to be a terrible place to preserve anything, I would have thought.

Hence, we are presented with a problem- if a global flood put marine fossils on top of the world's high mountains, why did it not put them on the summits of the great volcanoes?


For all we know it did, or did not. The volcano would have simply eliminated the specimens if there had been a flood. We're getting back into geological artifacts and away from written records again (sorry Kronos), but it would be interesting to know what specimens have been found throughout the Pacific Fire Rim.

a fascinating debate of this nature is currently going on in vulcanology over the use of the mantle plume model as a cause for vulcanism- but thats another can of worms entirely!).


Scientist humor. ;)

However, there is an important distinction. The science is progressive- its workers will adapt to new evidence and ideas, and work is always open to the professional scruntiny of peers. If you read some of the science of evolution in more depth, there are writers who are quite open about the limits of our knowledge, and make no attempt to hide it (on the web there is thepalaeos.com page, which is excellent, abeit highly technical, in this regard).


Much appreciated. As I have maintained elsewhere, it seems to me that science in general and evolutionary theory in particular as a monolithic, contiguous body exists primarily in the minds of laymen and theorizers--not the scientists themselves. Scientific laymen (like ourselves) come a dime a dozen. But to the few-and-far-between scientists the thing they're studying appears to change in their hands all the time.

Always a tantalising prospect, what a Burgess Shale like fossil assemblage would do if found post Edicara, pre "Cambrian explosion". As to where- don't ask me, I only work here


Evolutionists can dream, too, can't they? ;)

Is that the most important transition? it certainly is in terms of what is actually preserved as fossils (but I always find attaching words like important to be tricky when looking at evolutionary history).


Fair enough.

I'm not sure we will ever see fossils of such forms- their age and nature (some, if any, hard parts?) make them very poor candiates to survive to today as fossils.


But we are the ones who have been big on the put-up or shut-up. I guess we might just have to eat some humble pie.

The Cambrian explosion does present a "target" to those wishing to criticise evolution, but to single it out in itself will only be yet another exercise in the old game of "God of the gaps".


Yes and no. For one thing, Christians have always taught and believed that God gave an integrity to nature that was such that, if God ever acted in the way of a miracle, he would thereby be creating such a gap. Ironically, if God does exist, "God of the Gaps" is probably not at all the worst thing you could call him. He, she, or it apparently wanted his believers to know that he was a God of the Gaps--in a sense.

Secondly: if scientific evidence leaves a gap, it is not necessarily out of line for the creationists to lay hold of it. Every fact needs an interpretation, and every theory needs a fact. It's in everybody's interest to make sure that the evidence and the gaps are all being treated truthfully. The peer review must sooner or later submit to reviews outside of the field.

I have to say (rather wearily, I might add) that I never cease to be amazed by how YEC's manage to make faults in aspects of evolution/ToE etc... they are very inventive to say the least.


Your bias is against the creationists, and my bias is against both I'm afraid. It seems to me that both sides are very creative.

One final point with regard to the flood idea. Is it really science that should be trying to accomodate a notion such as a world wide submergence of every bit of land on the earth, or is it the adherents of such an idea who should be examining the source and history of such a belief, asking themselves "is this history, or is this poetry?"


Both I should think. But let's assume the latter. They feel (and I sympathize with them) that they haven't yet seen evidence that this is what you call "poetry" (again, I'm speaking for creationists in general, not yecs specifically)--but you should know, we obviously have different ideas on poetry as well! I'm pretty familiar with most of the major cosmogenies and cosmologies of antiquity, I would think, and it was not for nothing that Heisenberg said, near the end of his life, that few scientific theories did more than merely reiterate what the Presocratics had speculated on.

But to get back to Kronos's point, some of that "poetry" speaks eerily alike about a world-wide flood. The geological evidence is pretty strong against a yec flood. But I still haven't seen any reason to believe that paper or writing of any sort would have survived such a flood. Forty days wouldn't have been enough to significantly bury the paper away from where the water would get to it, and the speed with which the water filled the earth would have produced violently fast and effective brushfire flooding. Everything as flimsy as paper would have been beaten to death.

Sarah

 


Posts: 8 | Posted: 4:10 PM on June 14, 2004 | IP
godyag

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Hello Sarah,


Firstly, sorry for assuming that you were referring to YEC.  I have just recently got caught up with the YEC hypothesis, and since all threads I have read so far were referenced to it, I applied it to you as well.

I appreciate your critical view of science, but many of the questions and problems you seem to be referring to have sound theories with supporting evidence.  Basically you have a lot of catching up to do.  I will try and fill you in on some of the details, but if you really are interested I suggest registering for a few courses at your local university.  Or at the very least purchase a few text books.


Agreed on the mountain building and for the prevailing explanation for how fossils appear on the tops of mountains. But if I may pose one of my own questions: it seems to me highly unlikely that such a ponderously long and relatively violent (if something moving at the speed of a glacier could be considered violent) process would leave fossils intact, and at such shallow depths in the sediment. That in itself suggests that the fossils, if they were pushed up with the sediment, made it on incredibly long odds. But those odds get even longer when one considers that it's difficult enough (relatively speaking) to get good fossil specimens in areas that haven't seen as much "violence." What were the odds that two or more plates crushing against one another would 1) leave the fossils intact, 2) leave them shallow, and 3) leave them relatively plentiful? Note: I don't know enough about plate tectonics to know if there is a readily available answer to this question, and this is a question I came up with myself. I've never encountered it as an argument against geological evidence of evolution.


http://www.cnr.colostate.edu/avprojects/97proj/mtns/web_docs/
Look here for some nice diagrams.

Sediments (along with marine organisms) are deposited on the ocean floor or on the bottom of an inland sea.  The ocean floor is made up of a series of plates that drift and rotate on an oblate spheroid shaped earth driven by convection of the mantle.  Ocean plates are much thinner than continental plates and are generally made up of denser rock (basalt and gabbros as opposed to continents that contain much more felsic rocks).  When an oceanic plate meets with a continental plate the denser and thinner oceanic plate is subducted beneath the continental plate.  Some of the lithified and unconsolidated sediment from the ocean floor is accreted onto the continental plate, while the crust of the continental plate is "folded" and "faulted" (crunched up and bent).  This creates a complex "hodgepodge" of rocks in which for a mountain belt.  It is possible to observed the structure of a mountain using a variety of geophysical methods (seismic, gravity, magnetotellurics etc.) combined with geologic mapping to reconstruct the series of events that occurred to create the mountain range (cross-cutting relations, superposition, index fossils).  

Now, rocks behave plastic-like under great pressures and temperatures (which most people know).  However, rocks also behave plastic like over large scales.  For example, it is possible to observe rocks that are "bent" right at the surface.  Another example of this is isostatic rebound: like  Hudsons Bay where the speed that crust is rising after the enormous weight of the glaciers has recently been removed, can be measured (http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/isostasy1/#Evidence).

 The speed that oceanic plates move is much slower than I suspect you think.  The creation of mountain ranges does involve vast sums of energy, but the word "violent" might be a little misleading.  Tectonic plates presently move around 0 - 1.5 m per year.  Recent work suggests that at times in the past tectonic plates may have moved much faster (twice as fast or so).  So, when a mountain range is created there are no giant explosions of rock, with mountains forced up before your eyes reducing rock to giant piles of rubble destroying any strucures within them.  They are gradual events punctuated by volcanism and earthquakes.  The Himalayas are presently in the midst of mountain building (orogeny, or orogenesis), even parts of the Rocky Mountains are still growing.  The earthquakes reported around the world are examples of tectonic activity that are involved in orogeny.  

It is very normal and frequent for fossils to find themselves on top and inside of mountains, since many mountain ranges are associated with the collision of oceanic plates.  There is little reason for the fossils themselves to be destroyed.  Fossils themselves are just rocks, the original "bones and shells" have long been dissolved and replaced by other minerals.  So, it is usually just the shape or "casts" that we observe in a fossil.  Because rocks behave plastic like and are able to deform, fossils are preserved very well.  It is common to find fossils that have been distorted by large scale "squishing" and "stretching" of rocks.  Fossils are not just found on top of mountains, they are also found within them.  I routinely drill oil wells as deep as 5 km into a mountain to find oil, and there are plenty of fossils in the rocks that we remove.  In fact, some oil reservoirs are composed of almost entirely of shells and other fossils.


Much appreciated. As I have maintained elsewhere, it seems to me that science in general and evolutionary theory in particular as a monolithic, contiguous body exists primarily in the minds of laymen and theorizers--not the scientists themselves. Scientific laymen (like ourselves) come a dime a dozen. But to the few-and-far-between scientists the thing they're studying appears to change in their hands all the time.


Yes, but that is a little misleading.  Scientists are always questioning each others work, and yes, theories change with time and new evidence.  However, the division is not as large as you seem to think.  The changes and "updates" are usually very specific and detail orientated.  When a large change is proposed for a theory it makes the news.  Generally, the things you are questioning (at least so far as I have heard) are currently not under a great debate among scientists.  As Occams Razor eluded to there is a debate among scientist as to the nature of Mantle Plumes.  It is not a question of whether they exists or not, it is a detailed question about how they form and how they interact with the crust.  

Theories are things that have been scrutinized and criticized until they reach a form where they are widely accepted.  Until this point they are just hypotheses.  (Generally, there are a few exceptions of course).


Secondly: if scientific evidence leaves a gap, it is not necessarily out of line for the creationists to lay hold of it. Every fact needs an interpretation, and every theory needs a fact. It's in everybody's interest to make sure that the evidence and the gaps are all being treated truthfully. The peer review must sooner or later submit to reviews outside of the field.


Well, if the hypothesis they propose goes against a theory with strong evidence to support it, then it is out of line.  Every fact needs an interpretation based on evidence or some form of logic.  Gaps should be filled in with the simplest model that fits with accepted theories.  If you want to negate a theory you have to find evidence that contradicts it.


But to get back to Kronos's point, some of that "poetry" speaks eerily alike about a world-wide flood. The geological evidence is pretty strong against a yec flood. But I still haven't seen any reason to believe that paper or writing of any sort would have survived such a flood. Forty days wouldn't have been enough to significantly bury the paper away from where the water would get to it, and the speed with which the water filled the earth would have produced violently fast and effective brushfire flooding. Everything as flimsy as paper would have been beaten to death.


Not necessarily, I think the likelihood of artifacts from ancient civilizations being preserved would be high.  Many cultures in that part of the world have similar folk stories about a global flood, I agree that this is important.  But since I see no evidence of a world wide flood in the geologic record I don't believe that a flood occurred.  As I posted earlier, perhaps there as a massive flood in that part of the world... or perhaps most of the cultures in that area of the world have a similar heritage, and hence have similar folklore.  There are many possibilities that are all up for interpretation.  




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Posts: 33 | Posted: 6:14 PM on June 14, 2004 | IP
OccamsRazor

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[b]Quote from Sarah Laughter at 4:10
Yes and no. There are plenty of historical items that we accept as more or less fact without having "hard" evidence for them. (We knew that Aristotle's spin-off school of the Academy existed, but it wasn't until a few years ago that were able to find it--1000 years of digging just to find one school, and we knew roughly where it was all the time!). The suggestion from the literature or the historical accounts (either true or apocryphal) gives us reason to pause--whether to doubt or believe. And the absence thing cuts both ways. I am looking primarily for accuracy from both sides. There is little-to-no geological evidence for an old, world-wide flood. But there is also no conclusive evidence against such a flood. Don't get me wrong; I know that the anti-flood argument has more going for it at one important level. But: what it has going for it, it seems to me, justifies its assuming, for its own sake, that it is right in its conclusions, but not in saying that it has for intents and purposes eliminated the potential validity of other theories.


But is that so surprising? a scientific approach will look at what supports theory X and what does not. If it fits the observations better than theory Y, then it is a better model to use. None of the evidences from geological mapping of large portions of the earth has led workers towards a conclusion that there was a global flood in earths history.

As for evidence for an old flood, if we are going to look at it from a geological perspective, we at least need a time for when it occured- then you can start to compare world wide stratigraphy to see if there anything to support such a view.

Agreed on the mountain building and for the prevailing explanation for how fossils appear on the tops of mountains. But if I may pose one of my own questions: it seems to me highly unlikely that such a ponderously long and relatively violent (if something moving at the speed of a glacier could be considered violent) process would leave fossils intact, and at such shallow depths in the sediment. That in itself suggests that the fossils, if they were pushed up with the sediment, made it on incredibly long odds. But those odds get even longer when one considers that it's difficult enough (relatively speaking) to get good fossil specimens in areas that haven't seen as much "violence." What were the odds that two or more plates crushing against one another would 1) leave the fossils intact, 2) leave them shallow, and 3) leave them relatively plentiful? Note: I don't know enough about plate techtonics to know if there is a readily available answer to this question, and this is a question I came up with myself. I've never encountered it as an argument against geological evidence of evolution.


To address your three points fossils getting into mountains:

1) Uplifted sedimentry rocks can be subjected to varying degrees of deformation in a mountain building episode. Fore-arc sediments we see making up parts of mountain ranges have only going to be subjected to regional tectonic stresses- they have not generally been subjected to greatly elevated pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions found in metamorphism that are usually associated with the destruction of original sedimatary features- including preserved fossils. So what we will see are either largely unaltered fossils, or examples that have undergone strain within thei rocks, but can still be identified as fossils (indeed, such fossils are a useful indicator for the stresses rocks have been subjected to in mountain building).

2) By shallow I take it you mean exposed at the surface? if so, these rocks originate in forland basins (ie. the body of water that would have existed between the two approaching continents). As the collision begins, the sediments that were deposited in the basin tend to be forced up in sheets that are stacked ontop of one another as the basin is closed by the approaching contiental crust masses. So it is not particularly unusual that they are found near the surface.

3) As I said in 1), we don't always expect fossils to be entirely destroyed by the stress generated by a contiental collision. Apart from that, the other control would be abundance of life in the basin before hand. Also bear in mind some rocks are in essence a giant fossil, being composed of calcite from dead organisms, like limestones.

Why would we reasonably expect to find fossils on the top of Mt. Kili? I would have thought the exact opposite is true. Such an active volcano is going to be regularly shifting its own soil far more rapidly than any large, geological mass that I can think of. When one thinks of all that an area surrounding a volcano goes through over thousands of years, it hardly seems likely that anything would survive. The heat radiation itself would sooner or later simply liquify if not evaporate anything embedded in the rock. Obviously the mud deposits at the base of any volcano is going to be a different story, producing excellent circumstances for fossil preservation (in my small knowledge of geology, so I surmise). But the peaks and sides of a volcano have to be a terrible place to preserve anything, I would have thought.


Well, with my example of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I chose it for the reason it is no longer an active volcano. The most recent eruptions are dated at ~100,000 years ago, and the oldest activity dates back to ~1,500,000 years ago. So if we take the most recent eruptions at 100,000 years ago that leaves all that following time in which a global flood could have occured and deposited marine sediments and fossils onto the mountain. But we don't see that- there are not only no marine fossils on the mountain, the only sediments we see are those associated with atmospheric weathering.

For all we know it did, or did not. The volcano would have simply eliminated the specimens if there had been a flood. We're getting back into geological artifacts and away from written records again (sorry Kronos), but it would be interesting to know what specimens have been found throughout the Pacific Fire Rim.


I'll get back to you on that one.

a fascinating debate of this nature is currently going on in vulcanology over the use of the mantle plume model as a cause for vulcanism- but thats another can of worms entirely!).

Scientist humor. ;)


Yes the point was made with humour, but it is serious

Yes and no. For one thing, Christians have always taught and believed that God gave an integrity to nature that was such that, if God ever acted in the way of a miracle, he would thereby be creating such a gap. Ironically, if God does exist, "God of the Gaps" is probably not at all the worst thing you could call him. He, she, or it apparently wanted his believers to know that he was a God of the Gaps--in a sense.


I did not mean to say that God is a "God of the gaps", but was refering to how some detractors of whichever bit of science is open to scrutiny use the gaps to argue the whole field cannot be accepted, rather than making a direct challenge to what is observed (although this gets critisiced as well).

Secondly: if scientific evidence leaves a gap, it is not necessarily out of line for the creationists to lay hold of it. Every fact needs an interpretation, and every theory needs a fact. It's in everybody's interest to make sure that the evidence and the gaps are all being treated truthfully. The peer review must sooner or later submit to reviews outside of the field.


Some good can come of all those articles on Answers in Genesis and Insitute of Creation Research. Seriously though, you are right scientific theory, whatever the subject has to be robust and able to defend itself, adapt or be discarded.

and my bias is against both I'm afraid. It seems to me that both sides are very creative.


Really? I'm interested to hear what specifically leads you to hold this opinion.

Both I should think. But let's assume the latter. They feel (and I sympathize with them) that they haven't yet seen evidence that this is what you call "poetry" (again, I'm speaking for creationists in general, not yecs specifically)--but you should know, we obviously have different ideas on poetry as well! I'm pretty familiar with most of the major cosmogenies and cosmologies of antiquity, I would think, and it was not for nothing that Heisenberg said, near the end of his life, that few scientific theories did more than merely reiterate what the Presocratics had speculated on.


To clarify my use of the term poetry- I use it in the sense that elements of the Bible can viewed by Christians as being poetic (ie. a story to explain a point or make an analogy, sorry don't have an example except for the start of Genesis of the top of my head) or historic, as in an account of something that actually occured, like the Gospel's descriptions of Jesus's time of ministry.

But to get back to Kronos's point, some of that "poetry" speaks eerily alike about a world-wide flood. The geological evidence is pretty strong against a yec flood. But I still haven't seen any reason to believe that paper or writing of any sort would have survived such a flood. Forty days wouldn't have been enough to significantly bury the paper away from where the water would get to it, and the speed with which the water filled the earth would have produced violently fast and effective brushfire flooding. Everything as flimsy as paper would have been beaten to death.

Sarah


No doubt 40 days (well, 150 in total if you count the draining time) underwater would have had a profound effect on the records of  every human civilisation around the globe. But we have civilisations before the flood, at the floodm, and after the flood that seem to have carried on their business without suffering any flooding catacylsm.

On flood stories in cultures throughout history, I never knew how many there were:

Flood histories


(Edited by OccamsRazor 6/14/2004 at 7:56 PM).


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Posts: 92 | Posted: 7:43 PM on June 14, 2004 | IP
OccamsRazor

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godyag wrote:
As Occams Razor eluded to there is a debate among scientist as to the nature of Mantle Plumes.  It is not a question of whether they exists or not, it is a detailed question about how they form and how they interact with the crust.


Ah, I should explain my point further as I was rather vague to begin with, and I don't want to mislead.

There are a group of researchers who are currently questioning the whole concept of mantle plumes; do they actually exist at all? and if they do have they been overused as an explaination for "hotspot" volcanism?

This is their webpage: Mantleplumes.org


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Posts: 92 | Posted: 8:10 PM on June 14, 2004 | IP
Genetique

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Thinking of the flood, here's a quote from the annotations of Quest study bible, next to Genesis 5:
The Creator made men and women to be immortal, nevertheless, death - the result of sin-progressively decreased human longevity until 70 or 80 years because a normal lifespan ... some theorize that prior to the flood, the atmosphere was somehow more favorable to prolonging life, perhaps by cloud cover than more effectively screened radiation from the sun

LOL!


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Posts: 2 | Posted: 1:48 PM on June 17, 2004 | IP
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if any of you want to know what Christians have to say about anciant high tech, go to www.s8int.com  
i have found many interesting things in there. ancient nukes, atlantis and other underwater cities, and pics of 2 million pound pieces of stone that have been carved of of mountain and moved. way to heavy for modern day tech to move


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Posts: 16 | Posted: 7:04 PM on July 10, 2004 | IP
    
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