Re: YEC and interpretations (was: Re: asa-digest V1 #3214)

From: Don Winterstein (
Date: Mon Mar 24 2003 - 18:07:24 EST

  • Next message: bivalve: "Re: YEC and interpretations (was: Re: asa-digest V1 #3214)"

    Michael Roberts wrote:

    >If catastrophic plate tectonics be correct, at what speed did the Indian
    >subcontinent impact into Asia to form the Himalayas. Are there any
    >physicists who can work out the momentum and kinetic energy in India and
    >what energy was dissipated at impact. Also what would be the effects on the
    >surrounding regions?
    >If the impact took place during the Flood India must have been sailing at
    >the rate of several knots.

    Allen Roy wrote:

    >Paleomagnetic data can be reconciled within a young earth
    > framework and global noahic flood with catastrophic plate tectonics and
    > rapid geomagnetic reversals.

    I was hoping Allen was going to shed some light on this problem. Plate tectonics data and data on the Devonian reefs of Alberta constitute perhaps the two best data sets a minimally informed scientist might use to convince an open-minded YEC that the world is not as young as he thinks. If plate tectonics data are no longer useful for this purpose, I'd like very much to know why.

    Allen has not responded, and I can understand why no one has taken up Michael's challenge: Plate tectonics is very messy science, and your average physicist would not touch it with a ten-foot pole. Consequently, I've taken it upon myself to do a Creation Research interpretation of plate tectonics. Perhaps Allen would be so kind as to tell me whether I'm on the right track or not.

    First, a brief sketch of fundamentals: Hot, viscous rock wells up at a spreading zone such as a mid-oceanic ridge. The rock is rigid enough to apply pressure on surrounding solid rock and thus pushes the solid rock away. (Other forces driving the rock are no doubt also at work.) The solid rock is an integral part of a plate that can extend for many hundreds of kilometers. At the far side of such plate is a second plate. Where the first plate comes in contact with the second plate, it often dives under it, creating a subduction zone that, from the friction of rock on rock, causes earthquakes and volcanoes.

    My objective is to show how the phenomena associated with plate tectonics could have happened in, say, a year's time instead of a hundred million years or so. The first requirement is to get the process to drastically speed up relative to its current sub-snail's pace. One might suppose we could speed up the process by having the hot rock at the spreading zone well up much faster. A problem is that such rock is already not far below its melting point, so if we tried to speed it up, it would soon liquefy, flow as liquid lava and cease to exert any force on the plate. The plate presumably would slow down.

    Minor detail, says the true Creation Researcher. God can simply put a few billion strong angels to work pushing the plates, and the molten rock would just fill in the space behind them. But what about the subduction zone? When plates collide at very high speed, the resulting friction would cause huge volumes of rock to liquefy. Easily solved: Get a few billion more angels to circulate water through it, water that would be readily available from Noah's world-wide flood. While the angels are pushing the plates, God would be sitting there playing with the Earth's magnetic field, making its polarity reverse perhaps every week or so and thus causing the observed magnetic striations. Meanwhile, several billion very intelligent angels would be going around to all the lava flows in the world, including those from the spreading zones, speeding up the rates of radioactive decay in just the right way so as to make the rocks appear progressively much older than their true age the farther they are from the spreading zone.

    One of the important observations of sea-floor spreading is the systematic increase in ocean-floor depth away from the spreading zone, an increase that is rather precisely accounted for by thermal contraction of ocean-floor rock. To take care of this, God would simply assign a few billion more angels to cool off the rock at faster than the normal rate (by circulating water again?) so that we get the observed depth dependence.

    So I think I've accounted for the major observations in a fairly simple and elegant way. If anyone thinks this would take too many angels, well, God could just make more, couldn't he? The problem I still have with this theory, however, is that I can't understand why God would go to this trouble. But, as the Psalmist says, who can understand his ways?

    So, Allen, is this the sort of theory you were thinking of? Have I overlooked anything important?


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