It seems the gentleman's argument against a recent, global flood reduces
to the following:
1. The eruption that formed the Paraclaux Crater occurred after (or at the
end of) the global flood hypothesized by recent creationists.
2. The eruption that formed the Paraclaux Crater occurred more than 4,000
3. Therefore, the global flood hypothesized by recent creationists could
not have occurred within the last 4,000 years.
Point 1 is based on the claim that the ash from the eruption that created
the Paraclaux Crater is found on top of sediments that recent creationists
attribute to the hypothesized global flood. The issues raised by this
claim are (a) whether the ash layer in question can traced definitively to
the eruption in question and (b) whether the sediments in question are
Point 2 is based on (a) the depth of the sediment in the Paraclaux Crater
and (b) the shifting pollen profiles within that sediment. Regarding basis
(a), rather than simply challenge the accumulation of over 46 meters of
sediment within 4,000 years, the writer argues from the ash layers within
the sediment that over 24 meters of sediment had to have accumulated in the
1500 years between 2,000 B.C. (the Flood date he assigns to recent
creationists) and 500 B.C. (the date from which he claims this region was
inhabited). His position is that the youngest ash layer must have fallen
before the area was inhabited or else there would be some record of it.
Since he claims the area was inhabited by 500 B.C., he reasons that the
ash-fall was before that date. Given his claim that the crater was formed
after the flood hypothesized by recent creationists, the 24 feet of
sediment below the upper ash layer must have accumulated in that 1500-year
At this point, the writer simply asserts that this is too short a time for
this to occur. He declares "[t]here isn't much flowing into the area
because of the height of the lake so the opportunities for deposition of
sediments is slim." That seems terribly subjective, and dare I say,
unscientific. This is especially so when one considers the reference to
the other crater in the area (Rabbains) that had a 30-meter core taken and
did not contain ANY tephra layers. According to the writer, this means
this crater was formed after the Praclaux Crater AND after the two
eruptions that left ash layers in the Paraclaux sediment. If that be so,
it accumulated at least 30 meters of sediment in less time than Praclaux
accumulated 21 meters.
And speaking of that other crater, notice the claim that it developed AFTER
Praclaux but did not deposit any ash in Praclaux. If this volcano could
erupt without leaving any ash layer in the Praclaux Crater, then other
volcanos could erupt without leaving any ash layer in it (the other
volcano). This seems to cast doubt on using ash layers to determine which
volcano formed first.
Regarding basis (b), the questions are whether events other than large
scale changes in local flora can account for the pollen shifts in the
sediment and whether large scale changes in local flora can occur more
rapidly than the writer assumes. I am clueless as to the variables
involved; perhaps those with expertise on such matters will share some
[I will make an attempt on the pollen shifts. AR]
About 100 years ago the Ingram side of my family bought a farm in the
rolling, grassy hills South East of Lebanon, Oregon. At the time there
were but a hand full of an assortment of trees on the section of land.
They added a fruit tree orchard near the house. Only a portion of the
land was cultivated and the rest was grazeland.
Today, the entire farm (still held by various members of the family,
although no one has lived on the farm for nearly 40 years) is densly
forested with mostly pines which grew up on their own. They are now
selectively cut to pay taxes. What happened on the farm is representative
of what happened throughout the foot hills of the Cascade Range lineing
the Willamette valley.
The main point is, what was once open grass lands, is now forest.
In under 100 years the pollen balance on the family farm has
It is rumered that for centuries the local native americans set the grass
lands on fire each year (If not naturally set afire by lighting). This
was to provide abundant grass for the deer and other grazing animals near
After the white man came, the land was divided up, and fires were a
threat rather than a friend. And so, saplings that would have died in
the grass fires had a chance to take hold and the forests took over.
During the summer of 1996, thousands of acres of forests near Flagstaff,
AZ (where I live) were burned following a prolonged drought. In a very
short time, the pollen balance in the area dramatically shifted.
--- Conclusion: Fire, can be a capricious, but decisive factor in changing the pollen balance in a few centuries or in a few days. Thus, change in pollen content of core samples in lake bottoms, while recording the facts, does nothing with respect to time. They may represent long slow process, or quick, catastrophic actions.