Paraconformities (was test questions)

From: Bill Payne (
Date: Sun Mar 30 2003 - 21:51:10 EST

  • Next message: Bill Payne: "Re: appearance of age and the goodness of God"

    On Fri, 28 Mar 2003 20:19:59 -0500 "bivalve"
    <> writes:

    > Plains and plateaus are my modern analogs.

    I have just completed 7 weeks of field work in the Great Plains of west
    Oklahoma, and those Plains are too irregular to form the flat (plane)
    strata we see in Grand Canyon and other locations of the West. We do see
    mesas (tabletop mountains) which, I agree, are very flat, but not very
    extensive, having been cut by erosional channels.

    > Sure, they usually have
    > river channels, but there is flat land between the channels that is
    > eroding relatively evenly. The odds that a particular outcrop will
    > have a channel running through it is less than 100 percent.

    This is the weakness of your proposed mechanism. The Grand Canyon is
    more than any "particular outcrop." The exposures there are tens of
    miles long, some of the gaps in deposition are supposedly millions of
    years, and yet the strata above and below the gaps are flat and
    continuous. The only two ways I can see to accomplish these results are
    by (A) sheet-flow erosion, or (B) nearly continuous deposition, i.e.,
    breaks in deposition of minutes, days or possibly years, but not millions
    of years.

    > Ordinary rainfall will do the job nicely.

    No, this will create channels and canyons - which we do see in the mesas,
    but do not see in many paraconformities.

    > However, this raises a
    > more basic question that needs answering before this discussion can
    > get anywhere. What is your flood model? You need to provide a
    > coherent model and to show that it fits the evidence as well or
    > better than conventional geologic explanations.

    There you go, David. Michael said these arguments can't stand up to
    scrunity. I have presented three arguments, two of which I yielded, but
    this third one you first said you weren't motivated to research and
    answer, now you have tried to respond and probably are beginning to see
    that your answers are strained by the data. So you try to shift the
    focus by jumping to the big picture. Michael tried to avoid this
    altogether with his curt reply and his claim to be "bored" with this
    argument. Both tactics, yours and Michael's, are common in these types
    of discussions, and indicative of a certain insecurity.

    > The fact that you
    > can find problems with any scientific theory does not automatically
    > mean that a particular alternative is better.

    No, but if I can offer better solutions to the problems than you can,
    then one begins to wonder. After all, isn't this how science is supposed
    to work?

    > Likewise, invoking
    > the Flood to do anything they want is a popular way for Flood
    > geologists to damage their scientific credibility.

    First, I haven't invoked the Flood to do anything I want, and second, as
    a PG, I am mildly offended (and also mildly amused) by your inference
    that I have damaged my scientific credibility. In response to Michael's
    challenge, I have attempted to offer empirically-based alternatives to
    conventional interpretations of geology. I have yielded on two counts,
    but in light of your and Michael's failure to provide reasonable support
    for your view of paraconformities I am standing firm on this one until I
    see a stronger defense.

    > For example, why
    > would the Flood produce sheet flow?

    You are asking the wrong question. You should be asking if sheet flow is
    the best explanation for the observations. You're letting your paradigm
    drive your conclusions, rather than following the science where it leads.

    > What layers were produced by
    > the Flood?

    Again, wrong question. You should be asking whether a Flood acting over
    a short period of time or rainfall acting over millions of years would
    best explain our observations of the paraconformities I have cited.


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