Re: God and nature; miracles

From: bivalve (bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com)
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 14:52:49 EDT

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    >I simply interpret the data differently.<

    Any attempt to account for plate tectonics by compressing its action into a short time span requires differences such as throwing out the second law of thermodynamics and most of the geologic data. This interpretational technique is a bit overly different to suit me. However, I believe that your background is not in geology, so I supect this is more a case of not having the data than of throwing it out. In fact, it does not sound like data interpretation but rather like imposing formulas without examination of the data. Of course, you do not have to base your view on data, but it is important to recognize what the data are.

    >a tectonic cataclysm in Peleg's day resulting in the puzzle we see today.<

    The geologic evidence points to the assembly and breakup of at least two supercontinents. The current rate of motion ranges from a few centimeters per year to a few tens of centimeters per year, comparable to the growth rate of fingernails. If you assume that the opening of Iapetus (between North America and Europe, roughly equivalent to the modern North Atlantic) to a width about that of the present Atlantic, its closing, and the opening of the North Atlantic to approximately its present width all occurred during a year (during the Flood?), you need the plates to move at about 45 mph. To speed up plate motion requires a source of energy. It also requires a sink of energy, due to the second law of thermodynamics. The present-day rate of plate motion involves enough energy release to power the vast majority of earthquakes and volcanoes. Substantial speeding up will release enough energy to boil the oceans and cook all life.

    The breaking up of Pangea, which is usually what is attributed to Peleg's time in the scenario that you invoke (because no one has heard of Rodinia), began in the upper Triassic. Terrestrial fauna included tiny early dinosaurs, giant crocodile cousins (and tiny ancestral crocodiles, long-legged active runners), mammal-like reptiles, early pterosaurs, and diverse insects. The US straddled the equator. I do not think these can reasonably be postulated as the conditions during Peleg's day.

    Evidence for the past motion of continents include the magnetic polarity of rocks, the ages and characteristics of deposits and structures now divided onto different continents, the distribution of fossils, the distribution of climatic evidence, the patterns of seafloor spreading, and the measurement of present-day motion.

    >The stratified deposits when viewed in a pre-sudden division of the tectonic plates context.<

    Which deposits? What do you attribute to the sudden division, before, or after? The deposits found on the deep seafloors all postdate the breakup of Pangea, and so must be post-Flood in your scenario.

    >As you know, I regard strata dating techniques to be marginal, arguably junk, science.<

    If I knew, I had forgotten. What do you include as strata dating techniques? Why do you reject them? Do you know how many geologists, including many Christians, that this statement accuses of doing bad, if not dishonest, work?

    >I see the fountains of the earth and the deep and the heavens opening and causing massive changes and dissolving and laying down dramatic strata <

    Do you have specific physical processes in mind? What features would you expect such strata to have that would distinguish them from strata formed under more normal circumstances?

    It is possible to invoke miraculous fixes for all problems; however, this again is not interpretation of the data but rather claiming that the data are irrelevant.

        Dr. David Campbell
        Old Seashells
        University of Alabama
        Biodiversity & Systematics
        Dept. Biological Sciences
        Box 870345
        Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
        bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa

                     



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