A similar but slightly different story.
Field trip to a roadcut which exposes a sand/blackshale/sand with marine
fossils/pure white sand sequence from bottom to top. The basal sand has a
few dinosaur bones in it within a few miles of here, the shale has lots of
pelecypods, a few small ammonites and other stuff in it including an
ocassional shark took. The overlying sand that alos contains marine fossils
has a few sharks teeth in it also. This entire sequence is on the edge of a
mesa and looking away from the high side of the road cut you look out over
10s of miles of river valley some 300 feet below.
The teacher said the black shale was deposited in a shallow bay in a
re-entrant from the open sea and that the overlying sand marked a beach
sequence etc. One student said they didn't believe there had ever been a
bay or lagoon there much less one that opened into an open ocean. I realize
this is the opposite view commonly expressed by those who doubt geologist
but I think you will get the point of the story.
The teacher then replied: "Well if you don't believe my interpretation then
it looks to me like you re left with one of the following: Sharks lived on
land or I came out here and buried all these fossils to fool you. Now
unless you have yet another explanation for what we are looking at I ask:
"which of those 2 explanations would you like to defend?
The way I heard the story from the teacher many years later the student
offered no alternative theory.
I will close with a paraphrase "Nothing is as hard on a bad geological
theory as a good outcrop". To which I will add, "or a good lab experiment".
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jonathan Clarke" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2002 2:33 PM
Subject: Re: YEC and loss of faith
> Without replying to anyone, just a personal experience.
> Every year I lecture for a week at the YWAM college in Canberra as part of
> on science, humanities, and culture. I talk about the history and
workings of the
> earth, environmental stewardship etc. A key part of the course has been a
> the field looking at the Devonian sediments to the east of here at Wee
> After some explanation about the significance of biota, sorting,
> sedimentary structures for interpreting sedimentary environments, they
> Part of a bioherm where they can see soliatry and colonial rugose corals,
> corals, stromatoporoids, and assorted hash in a mud matrix. I as them to
> in what sort of environment such an assemblage is likely to form.
> A laterally equivalent succesion of bedded wackestones and packstones with
> similar biota. I again ask them consider what sort of environment these
> formed in and ask them to say why it might be different to the previous
> A siltstone succession interbedded with the limestones. I ask them to
> fossils (brachipods, bivalves, gastropids, and crinoids) and then to
> the environment is different from the two limestone localities.
> All very standard stuff, exposing students, almost none of whom have any
> let alone geology background, to some basic principles of stratigraphy,
> palaeontology, sedimentology, getting them to see that rocks are not ink
> which we see what we will, but natural documents which can be read. They
> should get a sense of the vastness of geological time and response with
> wonder at God the creator.
> But not always. Two years ago there was one lady in tears because of the
> which her world view had been challenged by the discovery of the reality
> faith survived, whether by denying geology or by changing her world
picture, I do
> not know.
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