Re: Theoretical interpretation

Steven Schimmrich (
Thu, 06 May 1999 22:43:53 -0400

Allen Roy wrote the following, in response to my comments:

>> Why should I do your work for you? Don't you feel any responsibility to
>> educate yourself on geology since you've made a career of criticizing it?
>> Have you even read any papers on diagenesis? Would you even understand
>> them? Yet you feel free to criticize the hard work of thousands of geologists
>> while apparently never even bothering to learn about what you're criticizing?
>> While impuning their character at the same time (in previous posts). How
>> unbelievably arrogant!!!
> While I have not yet acquired formal training in geology, I am educating
> myself as fast as I can by thorough reading and studying of as many books and
> articles as I can find and have time to do. I have NO criticisms with geology,
> only with interpretations of the valid science being done. There is nothing at
> all difficult to understanding about any field of geology. I am not criticizing
> the science being done by thousands of geologist. I only disagree with some
> prevailing interpretations. A scientist who hangs his ego onto this or that
> interpretation can be expected to react emotionally rather than consider
> thoughtfully.

The claim that you're just criticizing a couple of little interpretations in
geology is complete nonsense.

A few points:

- If your "Creationary Catastrophism" is true, then virtually all of mainstream
geology is wrong. You are indeed criticizing the entire science of geology.

- You're not interpreting data differently, you're IGNORING data. How can you
propose a radical new interpretation of all sedimentary rocks yet admit being
ignorant of the thousands of studies done in sedimentary diagenesis.

- You claim to be educating yourself by reading many books and articles. Tell
us the names of any which are concerned with sedimentary diagenesis. Want a
list - I taught "Sedimentary Petrology and Environments of Deposition" last

- My ego has nothing to do with what is going on in geology. If I were to
disappear tomorrow, geology would still be the same. You are the one
with the ego Allen. You're the one who has a long history (we've been
arguing on these mailing lists for years now!) attempting to overthrow all
of science while admitting that you know little about what it is you're

>> You are the one proposing a radical new interpretation of Earth history
>> which would refute most of geology, astronomy, biology, archaeology, physics,
>> etc. It's therefore YOUR responsibility to present hard evidence and data
>> supporting your ideas. It's your responsibility to show why the thousands of
>> studies on the process of diagenesis in clastic rocks are wrong. It's not the
>> job of everyone else to prove your ideas are false. Why should they bother? As
>> far as virtually all geologists are concerned, people who KNOW that what you're
>> proposing has no basis in fact, your ideas are nothing more than classical
>> pseudoscience. And, like all pseudoscientists, you claim all of science is
>> incorrect, that there's a massive conspiracy among scientists, and demand that
>> people prove you wrong yet you refuse to educate yourself on what you're
>> criticizing and never concede that you're wrong when people do refute your
>> silly claims.
> My proposal does not refute geology, astronomy, biology, archaeology, physics in
> any way! I am simply proposing an alternative interpretation using the sciences of
> geology, astronomy, biology, archaeology, physics, ect. There is a big difference
> between actual science being done in these fields and interpretations of the data
> thus acquired. Geology does not mean Uniformitarianism. Geology does not mean
> Ager's Neo-catastrophism. Geology does not mean Creationary Catastrophism. Geology
> is the field of scientific inquiry concerning the earth's structure. How one
> interprets the data acquired by science is determined by how one see the world.

"Creationary Catastrophism" IS incompatible with all of the sciences. Not just
with their interpretations but with their basic data. That's been abudantly shown
in this, and other, forums. Of course, when you refuse to present any data in
support of your idea it's easy to pretend it's just a simple matter of choosing
between two equal models. It may be easy to fool laymen with that idea Allen but
it just doesn't fly with anyone with more that a passing knowledge of science.

> The more I learn in scientific fields in general and in geology in specific,
> the more I find that actual scientific data does not pose insurmountable evidence
> against Creationary Catastrophism. It is interpretations of that data which
> causes all the charges and countercharges of pseudoscience. Anyone who cannot
> understand the difference between scientific data and interpretations of that data
> is severely lacking in their education regardless of their educational achievements.
> I have yet to find anyone, other than yourself, who is so certain of their theories.

They're not MY theories Allen! It's not between our private interpretations of
data. It's about Allen Roy speculating about the formation of sedimentary rocks.

Your speculations:

- contradict everything learned during the past two centuries of geologic inquiry,
- are proposed in the absense of ANY supporting evidence (other than Scripture),
- were developed without having studied sedimentary diagenesis in any detail,
- and are easily REFUTED by anyone caring enough to look at the data.

Yes, data has to be interpreted. But you're not interpreting the data differently
Allen, you're flat out IGNORING the data because you are either unfamilar with it
or don't understand it.

>> YOU SHOW US why all the work done by all the scientists over all the years should
>> be thrown out of the window because of your armchair theorizing on rock formation
>> based upon Allan Roy's special interpretation of Genesis. Why should we not simply
>> regard you as a religiously-motivated crank?
> I have no interest in throwing out the scientific work done by scientists. I only
> disagree with some of their theorizing. Can the results of scientific inquiry in
> the field of geology be interpreted within a sensible understand of Genesis? Of
> course.

With a "sensible" understanding of Genesis? I agree. I just think the YEC
interpretation is not "sensible" :).

> Now, back to science. I have yet to hear any reason how trace element analysis,
> cathodoluminescense examination, fluid inclusion analysis, and oxygen and strontium
> isotopic values impact Creationary Catastrophism.


That's what science is. Not proposing a wild idea at odds with all of science,
proposing inane analogies that sound good to the uniformed (limestone's like cement
- it might as well be like lime jello!), and refusing to provide any evidence for
your idea or perform any research but instead asking everyone else to refute it.
That's classic pseudoscience.

- Steve.

   Steven H. Schimmrich                         Assistant professor of geology
   Department of Geology and Geography (office)
   Calvin College                      (home)
   3201 Burton Street SE                        616-957-7053, 616-957-6501 (fax)
   Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546