Re: Gastaldo

James Mahaffy (
Thu, 20 May 1999 20:43:58 -0500

Steven Schimmrich wrote:

> I'm willing to discuss both Gastaldo and Joggins. But I am at the tail end of finals
> here at Calvin (meaning I have a lot of grading to do), am preparing materials for a
> summer course starting next Tuesday, and am going away for a few days this weekend. I
> will do so next week. In your discussions, however, you can not continue to reference
> coals which you've seen in Alabama, etc. but for which there is no published information.

I agree with Steve that to be fruitful discussion of coals - must include an understanding of
some of the basic literature. But one of the things that makes Bill a bit better than a
number of YEC's in a discussion of coal is that he has seen coal in the field. His empirical
observations are valid to bring to the table. Anyone that deals with softrock should combine
the literature and theory with their own field observations. So it is not fair to ask him
not to refer to his own field observations (which almost sounds like what you are asking).
It is fair to be aware if those are the same or different than most of the local geologists.
Alabama may not have a lot of literature on its coals but I would be surprised if there are
not a number of survey and other studies on at least some of the coals (there are in most
states that I have looked at). In fact I suspect Bob G. may be one of the more recent chaps
to have studied some of these. The minimum to ask Bill is to have a good grasp of the major
studies of the coals he likes to refer to. It doesn't mean he has to agree with these, but he
should be aware of any studies which are interpreting his coals differently.

But Steve is right if Bill's argument is based only on unpublished information (his
observations), he or I or Keith or anyone do not have much of a basis for discussion. So Bill
argument based only or mainly on what you have seen that is not published is not easy to

> --
> 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

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