Re: Not me too!!

Steven Schimmrich (
Sat, 09 May 1998 18:49:10 -0400

At 05:35 PM 5/9/98 -0600, Bill Payne wrote:
>Jeffrey Greenberg wrote:
>> ...The fossil-bearing concretions, mostly sideritic iron/claystones are
>> distributed in a pattern indicating an elaborate ecological zonation.
>> The coals and their associated flora/fauna must certainly be
>> developed in situ without significant redistribution (rafting, etc.).
>> The different environments, "swamps", etc. are easily distinguished
>> by the assemblage of organisms. Coastal environments are particularly
>> well delineated as proximal or distal.
> The vegetation could have been stripped from the land en masse by a
> single tsunami tidal wave into a shallow sea and retained the original
> ecological zonation it had on land, even though it was now floating.

Perhaps you can refer us to a modern analogue of floating mats covering
hundreds of square miles?

>> Again we see that there is an overwhelming case for coal
>> development in place as opposed to allochthonous.
> You have possibly oversimplified the situation. It could have developed
> in place and then become allochthonous, without becoming mixed. In
> fact, in a massive floating mat covering hundreds of square miles, it
> would be virtually impossible to mix everything up.

Same question as above.

>> This does not at
>> all rule out "floating mat" environments, but they are the exception,
>> the odd case.
> What criteria do you use to differentiate between the two? Are the
> underclays identical beneath allochthonous and autochthonous coals?
>> Anyone wanting to push the opposite situation is
>> beating a dead horsie.
> IOW, "My mind's made up; don't bother me with the facts." I must say,
> this discussion has taken a decidedly different tack from what I had
> expected. Gastaldo at least focused on the data of Austin and attempted
> to refute the data directly, not by relying upon indirect,
> "circumstantial" evidence which, as I have pointed out above, can be
> interpreted in more than one way. Before now, I had not realized how
> pervasive is the tendency within science to selectively cull data in
> order to protect the integrity of any particular paradigm. I had
> assumed that scientists would generally incorporate *all* of the
> available data into any given model, and admit the areas where the data
> did not fit, which would highlight where additional research is needed.
> This defense raised by Keith, Steve, and now Jeff ("Anyone wanting to
> push the opposite situation is beating a dead horsie") raises the question:
> How much relevant data has been ignored in other areas of geology?

I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black as the saying
goes. I see those pushing the floating mat hypothesis ignoring piles of
evidence for autochthonous coal formation and loudly trumpeting some
ambiguous data which may or may not indicate allochthony for a few localities.

- Steve.

   Steven H. Schimmrich
   Physical Sciences Department (office)
   Kutztown University      (home)
   217 Grim Science Building         610-683-4437, 610-683-1352 (fax)
   Kutztown, Pennsylvania 19530