Re: Testing in historical science

Bill Payne (
Sun, 16 Nov 1997 22:02:31 -0600

Glenn Morton wrote:

> to me that these algae have the same DNA sequence as modern forms.

Foul. You know I can't do that. Prove to me that they are different.

> >There's room enough on the table for more than one theory. As a
> >professional geologist, I agree with Moorad; physics is testable,
> >historical geology is guessable.
> Lets start with something simple. Consider Sandstone A in the diagram below.
> top
> sandstone
> shale
> limestone
> sandstone
> shale
> bottom
> Are you suggesting that if a sandstone lies underneath a sand, a shale, a
> limestone another sand and another shale, that it is only guessable that
> Sandstone A was deposited first? Are you suggesting that we can't tell that
> the difference between Sandstone A being deposited first or last? To
> deposit it last requires that someone or something lift up the top 5 layers
> and put Sandstone A underneath them. I would contend that this is not a
> guessable sequence of historical events!

Agreed. The Law of Superposition is fairly straightforward. However,
the rate and means of deposition are not evident and we can't rewind the
tape to see how they were deposited. In the case of coal seams, as I've
said before, the observations don't match the uniformatarian model of a
swamp deposit.