Re: Testing in historical science

Bill Payne (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 23:25:28 -0600

Glenn Morton wrote:

> Now lets see if we can show that trilobites
> didn't live at the same time as mammals. Mammals first appear in the
> Triassic, Trilobites died in the Permian. Everywhere around the world, the
> Triassic is deposited above the Permian which means that the Permian is
> older and the trilobites contained in them are older. The triassic strata
> of the Rocky mountains lies atop the trilobite bearing paleozoics, including
> rocks like the Leadville Limestone. The leadville is crinoidal and stained
> red at the top by the overlying triassic redbeds. The equivalent is the
> Madison in Montana, the Redwall in the grand Canyon, the Rundle in Canada,
> the Keokuk/Burlington in the Midcontinent, the Ft. Payne in Tennessee and
> Georgia. Since the crinoidal limestones can be traced far from where the
> mammal bearing triassic strata are, these regions also must be older than
> the Triassic.

What you are referring to as equivalent, I assume you mean to be time
equivalent. I am suggesting that what appears to be time equivalent,
based upon fossil assemblages and evolutionary assumptions, may in fact
not be time equivalent but rather facies equivalent. If the trilobites
(T - see below) lived in shallow seas and the mammals (M)lived on land,
and if the land sediments transgressed over the shallow sea deposits (as
we might envision if massive erosion of the land occured during the
Flood), then mammals would have lived contemporaneously with trilobites
and yet be buried above trilobites. In other words, the time line would
cut diagonally across the formation boundary between mammals and

Transgression of Land Deposits ---->

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ T L

> Since one can follow these beds immediately below the
> Triassic so far, there is very little place for the trilobites to live at
> the same time as the mammals.

Depends upon your starting assumptions. As you can see above, I have
plenty of room for the trilobites to live at the same time as mammals.