From: Don Winterstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 10 2003 - 07:27:33 EDT
Others have pointed out that YEC protagonists are often very slick and polished, with ready answers to lots of questions, and you confront them publicly before a general audience at your peril.
Given that, I'd nevertheless be tempted to pose a question--along the lines of Dick Fischer's (below)--that I think would stump any YECer and at the same time would be simple enough to be comprehended by most attentive nonscientists. The question is: Where did the observed huge volumes of sedimentary rock come from? We know from oil wells and seismic reflection data worldwide that large geologic basins such as those covering most of Texas, much of Alberta and Saskatchewan and much of Colorado, Wyoming and California--among many other states--often have sedimentary rock down to two miles or more below the surface. Add it all up and it easily comes to millions of cubic miles of sedimentary rock worldwide. (One could do a quick and dirty calculation for North America from published geologic sections.) Almost all of this rock is fine-grained--shales, carbonates, sandstones and evaporites (salt & anhydrite), and much of it is fossiliferous.
The only explanation I've heard from YEC people is that it was deposited very rapidly in Noah's flood. But how could a single flood possibly deposit this much fine-grained material? Where would the flood waters have obtained it? If Noah's flood had been truly catastrophic so that it rapidly wore down what would have had to have been phenomenally high and extensive mountain ranges, it would have left large, rough chunks of more than likely crystalline rock, not the thick, smooth layers of fine-grained carbonates and shales that we actually see; and the sediments would have had very few embedded fossils. To get fine-grained sedimentary rocks from pre-flood mountains would require some kind of gigantic pulverizer in addition to lots of moving water. And then you'd need a fossil generator.
A related problem would be to explain how so much of this rock wound up below sea level. Presumably the pre-flood world topographically speaking would have had to have had almost nothing but deep oceans and very extensive and high mountain ranges. A further question then surfaces: why did almost all the sedimentary rock go to what are now continental land masses and not to what are now oceans? What kind of flood could have distributed deposition in such fashion?
An additional related problem would be to explain how the sedimentary material in such a violent system got segregated the way it did, so that first you have a thick layer of limestone, for example, and then a thick layer of shale. An even bigger challenge would be to explain how you could get a thick layer of salt or anhydrite or coal between, say, two shale layers in a presumably very turbulent and watery environment.
Someone on this list several months ago was saying that only rocks below the Devonian were laid by Noah's flood. This would not solve the problem, because in many areas you'd still have to deposit sedimentary rock several miles thick in just a few thousand years. Where does the Bible say these further catastrophes occurred? Were there lots of later catastrophic floods in historic times, and if so, where did they get their sediments?
The YECer thus seems to need lots of totally implausible ad hoc mechanisms. The accepted geologic explanations, on the other hand, while not without their difficulties, are generally rational and believable to people with moderately open minds.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dick Fischer
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 9:33 AM
Subject: Re: ICR/AIG claims
Here are ten observations that should stump any card-carrying YEC. Want more?
1. We have produced radiometric elements in particle accelerators with half lives too short to be found in nature. Due to the earth's great age, all have long decayed - yet they should be present on a young earth. YEC cannot explain the total absence of short-lived radioactive elements.
2. Knowing the amount of heat generated when radiometric elements decay, if all that heat were concentrated in such a short time span, it would have boiled away the oceans and incinerated Noah and his animals. YEC cannot explain how such a great amount of heat could be dissipated in such a short time period.
3. Meteorites and moon rocks have been dated with numerous radiometric techniques and always yield ages in the billions of years. YEC cannot explain consistent old ages in the rock samples.
4. No fossil animal remains have been found in miles thick pre-Cambrian sedimentary rock. YEC cannot explain this absence.
5. Fish, salamanders, and crickets have been found in caves that evolved over millions of years and no longer have eyes, their having bred in continual darkness. YEC cannot explain how animals could devolve eyes in such a short time period.
6. Magnetizeable materials in the ocean floor are oriented with the earth's polarity at the time they boiled up at the Mid-Atlantic rift and solidified. These show numerous reversals in polarity over many thousands of years. YEC cannot explain reversals in polarity.
7. The Cambrian, Jurassic, and Cenozoic Periods have identifiable animal life forms associated with them. We do not find any overlap in the fossil record as we would expect had they been homogenized in a global flood. YEC cannot explain how animal remains are consistently found grouped with the remains of other animals of the same period with no co-mingling with animals that lived at other periods.
8. Coral grows at relatively known rates depending on the species. We have found coral nearly a mile in thickness in places that would require many thousands of years of continual growing. No YEC scenario explains how coral could accumulate to such thicknesses in a such a short time frame.
9. When the continents split apart 200 million years ago, the continent of Antarctica drifted eventually over the South Pole. Dinosaur remains have been found there that existed when the continents were joined, but since mammals did not exist at that time there are no equivalent mammal remains. YEC cannot explain the absence of fossil remains of land-based mammals in Antarctica.
10. The sheer amount of coal and oil that has been found on the earth's surface could not have materialized from the amount of organic material that could have accumulated in the short time YECs allow between the creation and the flood. YEC cannot explain the abundance of fossil fuel found all over the earth.
Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
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