> I didn't bother because Keith Miller jumped in and you and he had long
>discussions about coal formation (and Keith knows a lot more about it
>than I do).
Ah, yes. Keith's reply, to which I suppose you are referring is at:
I was discussing Gastaldo, and Keith brings in his view of paleosols
which, according to Keith, have few if any roots: "In the buried
Holocene and Pleistocene soils that I have briefly examined, I have yet
to see any intact root systems. Intact root systems
have very poor preservation potential in soils (although they are
preserved), the microstructure and chemical/mineralogical zonation is
is commonly preserved." [IOW, the roots used to be there, but they have
Keith recently said that he had read and agrees with Gastaldo, yet when I
pointed out an obvious contradiction between what Keith and Gastaldo had
said, Keith went into full retreat
(http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/199904/0376.html), where I quoted
"Modern trees on saturated substrates do not send down penetrating roots.
There is no need to send down roots for water, and the roots need to
have access to oxygen to respire. Their roots are thus very shallow. It
is likely that the soil features and rooting observed in paleosols
underlying the coals is unrelated to the conditions (climatically, and
ecologically) that existed during peat formation. [snip] Furthermore the
underclays you and Gastaldo describe are not "intensely" rooted anyway."
[IOW, the roots were never there in the first place.]
and I replied:
4) You previously stated that you agree with Gastaldo. In his 1984
paper, page 108, Gastaldo states: "That the stigmarian axial systems
embedded within the underclays (paleosols) of coals represent stands of
lycopods in non-peat and peat accumulating environments is
unquestionable." In light of your statement ..., do you agree with
this statement of Gastaldo? If so, how do you reconcile the two?
And Keith replied (http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/199904/0380.html):
"I cannot comment further on anything regarding stumps and large root
systems within coals. I have seen trunks and stumps perhaps only twice in
the field as part of fieldtrips. I did not have the time to examine them
closely. The basis of the recognition of the in situ origin of the great
majority of coals is simply not based on the presence or absence of
and large rooting structures."
Large rooting structures and their cross-cutting relationship with
adjacent strata are _precisely_ what Gastaldo used to make his case for
the in situ origin of coal.
So, is Keith the best defense you can muster, Steve? Keith admits: "I
have seen trunks and stumps perhaps only twice in the field as part of
fieldtrips. I did not have the time to examine them closely." Keith says
that "Furthermore the underclays you and Gastaldo describe are not
"intensely" rooted anyway", while Gastaldo says: "That the stigmarian
axial systems embedded within the underclays (paleosols) of coals
represent stands of lycopods in non-peat and peat accumulating
environments is _unquestionable_." Keith knows a lot about paleosols,
but, by is own admission, very little about coal and underclays. Keith
says the presence or absence of stumps and large rooting structures is
irrelevant, while Gastaldo says the presence of stigmarian axial systems
unquestionablely proves that coals formed from in situ trees. Keith's
statements are diametrically opposed to Gastaldo's, yet Keith never said
or admitted that he and Gastaldo are at odds, he just retreated.
I'm not a Seventh Day Adventist, Steve, so you can't accuse me of having
no choice but to prove YEC the way you do to dismiss Art; I'm not making
up imaginary stuff to buttress my arguments so you can't call me a liar
like you usually do YECs; and I'm not going away so you can't keep
putting me off on your challenge to discuss the Joggins, Nova Scotia coal
But first you and I have some unfinished business relative to Gastaldo.
You asked for and received my critique on Gastaldo. You have
demonstrated in the past your ability to research and formulate
reasonable arguments, as you did in your Sat, 09 May 1998 response (see
ASA archives) to my post on the Coconino sandstone. Now it is time for
you to quit hiding behind Keith and once again rise to the occasion: If
you agree with Gastaldo, point out where my logic fails. If you agree
with me, have the courage to admit it and let's move on. You may take
your time, but you may not refuse this engagement without losing face,
"One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off."
(I Kings 20:11)
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