Re: Gastaldo

Steven H. Schimmrich (
Mon, 24 May 1999 16:36:57 -0400

After some reflection, I've decided not to get involved in a lengthy argument
about coal formation, as a matter of fact I am going to switch to the digest ASA
list for a time and mostly ignore it. I have some papers I need to write this
summer and am moving to a permanent position in New York and life's too short
arguing this nonsense on a mailing list.

If Bill and others want to crow about how I'm a coward and how they won the
big debate, so be it. The harsh reality is that it's all a big waste of time
unless Bill and others who think all coals were deposited in a big bad flood
do some real research and publish the results in peer-reviewed journals.
Otherwise no professional geologist knows or cares what they think about it.

I've forwarded Bill's posted critiques of Bob Gastaldo's paper to Bob in
hopes that he'll comment on them. If he does (I hope he will), I'll post it
to the list for everyone's reading pleasure. Bob's homepage at Auburn is at

Have fun rehashing this stuff over and over and over again, I'm going to
try and get some real work done!

- Steve.

Bill Payne wrote:
> No. First of all, I wasn't asking you to evaluate my personal observations,
> I was asking you to evaluate my critique of Gastaldo's paper, which is
> published and which you have. As I've said before, I agree with Gastaldo's
> observations, I disagree with his conclusions. We can discuss Gastaldo
> w/o reference to my personal observations.
> Secondly, you ruthlessly criticize YECs for not going to the field and
> banging on rocks for themselves. I do go to the field and make personal
> observations, and you attempt to suppress my use of primary observations.
> You can't have it both ways. Although I understand your concerns, from
> my POV you are trying to limit me to using second-hand observations made
> by OECs. How would you like to use only published literature authored by
> YECs?
> Thirdly, these coals all look pretty much alike. Even the little I have
> read so far on Joggins suggests that those coal seams will be virtually
> the same as what I see in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. If it will
> set your mind at ease, I can assure you that I have never been to Nova
> Scotia (except for a refueling stop somewhere up there on a military
> flight to Europe), so I will be working solely from the literature when
> we talk Joggins.
> Again, I invite you or anyone else interested in coal to Alabama to see
> for yourself. In October, the Alabama Geological Society will host a
> two-day field trip in the Cahaba Coal basin, led by Jack Pashin and
> Richard Carroll, geologists with the Alabama Geological Survey. They're
> going to explain why this basin was a tidal lagoon at one time.

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