Yes, that about sums up the argument:-) I appreciate the time taken to
critique my post. Actually one point did give me pause and perplexed me for
some time. I looked up a few more articles and found out exactly what the
problem was. The original article did not describe the actual Praclaux
crater in much detail and I had assumed that it was a closed basin which
appears to have been incorrect. Not only does this help to answer some of
the questions raised in your critique but actually makes this example all
the more compelling as evidence against a recent global flood. See comments
>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,
Best I could do but seems logical, there just isn't much area from which
soil can be brought and deposited in this site. Actually there doesn't seem
to be any deposition whatsoever as the crater is essentially filled and only
a small wetland remains from which water runs out of region that had at once
been a closed basin. This is the point I didn't understand first reading my
primary reference but because clear upon further research. Moreover, no
deposition has probably occurred for the past 2000 years at this site since
by all indications the crater has been completely filled since the time of
>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.
Given what I said above this isn't a problem since the Ribains crater was
the result of an explosion that took place after the complete filling of
Praclaux and the ash fall from it was removed/eroded rather than deposited.
Ribains ash is found in other craters which are still being filled as one
>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
At the least it is widescale, not only because of the complete lack of
particular pollen grains over several meters in this one core but because
similar patters of pollen representations can be found in cores of other
craters over a wide area in Southern France. Therefore the whole flora of
the southern France must have changed.
>[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.
>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.
Two things make these unlikely scenarios: 1) I see no mention of any
charcoal in the sediment record and so fire likely was not a significant
force in the vegetative history of this region, 2) widespread vegetation
changes such as recorded are not likely without significant climatic changes
(spruce and fir just don't grow in particular environments) and human
effects on vegetation would be nil for the time we are talking about.
Adding the fact that no significant deposition has taken place in this site
for several thousand years we are left with 46 meters of sediment which
record at least five significant vegetation changes (significant because it
is not just one tree pollen but a whole suite of pollen types that represent
communities of plants in particular vegetative zones) all in the span of
2000 years. Cores correlated with the Praclaux crater suggest that it
filled in more than 40,000 years ago (various radiometric dating methods).
A core from another crater (which is still being filled) whose bottom
several meters overlaps the top meters of the Praclaux crater. It contains
several additional records of major vegetational changes. Added together
only the top couple of feet of this core represents the vegetation that has
been present for at least the past 2500 years if not much longer. I can see
no way to incorporate such amounts of deposition, vegetation change, and
volcanic activity in the space of only 2000 years. My "appearance of age"
friends even agree that these sequences cannot be explained as post-flood
and so attribute them to part of the original creation leading me to ask
"what effect did this literal flood have?"
As I said in my original post I am no quaternary geologist but even I can
see that the evidence is not easily interpreted as supporting a young earth
if at all.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dpt. Plant Biology, SIU
Joel and Dawn Duff ,-~~-.___.
1457 W. Lake Rd. #4 / | ' \
Murphysboro, IL 62966 ( ) 0
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