Re: Mountains (and Baumgardner)

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Fri Apr 15 2005 - 19:29:56 EDT

I have read IMPACT no. 381 March 2005, "Recent rapid uplift of today's
mountains" by John Baumgardner. I have also had a quick look at a
library copy of the book "The Origin of Mountains" by Ollier and Pain
(OP). I now have the following questions for Bill Payne ( the order of
listing does not indicate importance, and I assume that if Bill does not
know some answers himself then he will check with Baumgardner).
1. Why has Baumgardner's essay just appeared, when the Ollier & Pain
book was published in 2000?.
2. In view of the fact that OP advocate an old theory (based on isotasy)
in place of a new theory (plate tectonics), what is all the fuss about?
3. Why is it such a big deal if some mountains have formed within the
last five million years? That does not mean that all mountains have
formed within five million years, and five million years is
incompatible with YEC anyway.
4. Why does Baumgardner put emphasis on non-uniformitarianism? (Have we
not advanced since Lyell's day? Why does the fact that some processes
occur on a short time scale rule out other processes occuring on a very
large time scale?)
5. Why does Baumgardner quote OP in support when OP say that plate
tectonics is not important for mountain building whereas Baumgardner
conludes that "the Flood involved an episode of extremely fast plate

Also, since we are talking about Baumgardner and Bill may have some
contact with him, I raise another question.
6. Why did Baumgardner allow his name to appear in the list of authors
of a paper, that was published in Science 280: 5360, 91-95, 1998, which
in the abstract reads "Computer models of mantle convection ... reveal a
150-million-year time scale for generating thermal heterogeneity in the
mantle ...", when he had as early as 1986 published contrary findings in
YEC technical literature?

 Don Nield

>Not sure what you're trying to say in your email. First you quote
>Baumgardner approvingly, then you say 5 My is outside the scope of the
>YEC timetable. So are you saying Baumgardner is right about the earth
>being 6000 years old, or do you think he's wrong?
>Baumgardner is right that some scientists think uplift in most of the
>high mountain ranges (forgot the Sierra Nevada) has happened in last 5
>million years. Other current thinking that he doesn't mention is that
>there's also evidence that some of the mountains (Himalayas and Sierra
>Nevada are the two ranges I know about) were uplifted more like 40 or
>50 million years ago and then had another, significant uplift pulse in
>the last 2-5 million years. Alternatively, much of the same evidence
>can be interpreted to see that as global climate shifted into a more
>severe icehouse, cold, glacially-dominated world, erosion increased
>2-5 million years ago. This erosion increased the amount of sediment
>deposited off-shore from the high mountain ranges. So this deposited
>sediment has been read by some to mean the uplift increased, which
>caused increased erosion rates, and read by others to mean a change in
>climate that cause increased erosion rates.
>So back to your email and quotation of Baumgardner, I fail to see how
>a debate over how to best read the geologic evidence in order to
>ascertain what happened 2-5 million years ago gives Baumgardner reason
>to believe in a young earth. Baumgardner misrepresents the
>conversations between "theorists" (I'm not sure who he'd be talking
>about here) and geomorphologists. I'm also not sure what Baumgardner
>is referring to when he writes of the uniformitarian expection. Such
>an expectation is not present in the minds of any geologists or earth
>scientists that I've interacted with.
>On 4/14/05, <> wrote:
>>Apparently you didn't comprehend my initial post. Baumgardner (see quoted the authors of "The Origin of Mountains" (Cliff Ollier and Colin Pain) as saying that all the high mountain ranges of the world - including the Himalayas, Alps, Andes and Rockies, rose from plains within the last 5 million years. "In terms of this time scale, these mountain ranges have all undergone several kilometers of vertical uplift since the beginning of the Pliocene about five million years ago." Last time I checked 5 million years was a little beyond the scope of the YEC timetable.
>>"This lack of agreement between field observation and uniformitarian expectation has led to conflict among specialists in the ranks of the larger earth science community. Theorists who address these matters, confident that their uniformitarian models are sound, tend to ignore the observational reports or reinterpret them as much as they can to match the predictions of their theories. Geomorphologists who focus on this topic, on the other hand, confident their observations correspond to reality, tend to dismiss the explanations of the theorists as hopelessly out of touch with the real world. However, because of the specialization that typifies most of science today, a sizable fraction of the earth science community is largely oblivious that the uplift history of today's mountains is even an issue at all."
>>I suppose we could say you and Glenn have placed yourselves into the oblivious category. This thread began with Stephanie:
>>teaching evolution & creation science in public schools...
>>From: Stephanie Burke <>
>>Date: Tue Mar 15 2005 - 13:49:28 EST
>>I am interested in soliciting opinions from ASA membership regarding the
>>teaching of evolution vs. creation science/creationism in American public
>>schools. Some questions to consider...
>>As "scientists teaching in the Christian perspective" how do you personally
>>handle teaching evolution, which most view as being in direct opposition to
>>the origins of life as outlined by the Bible?
>>What SHOULD be taught in public schools? Creationism? Evolution? Or a
>>combination of both?
>>Is there a way to present creationism in a non-biased, non-partisan way which
>>will not be misinterpreted by public school administration as forcing certain
>>religious views upon students?
>>Is it a violation of the First Amendment to teach creationism in
>>governmentally funded public schools? Do you view this as an issue of the
>>"separation of church and state?"
>>Any feedback would be greatly appreciated... thanks...
>>It is my opinion that science should be taught unfettered by allergic reactions such as those displayed by you and Glenn. Neither of you comprehended what Baumgardner was saying as he quoted Ollier and Pain; both of you jumped Baumgardner for his YEC views rather than commenting on the work he referenced. Stephanie asked: "Is there a way to present creationism in a non-biased, non-partisan way which will not be misinterpreted by public school administration as forcing certain
>>religious views upon students?" The two of you have shown that the answer to Stephanie's question is "NO." Scientific data which supports a model of earth history that lends aid and comfort to creationists is generally ignored or ridiculed.
>>Michael, you said "You see Bill my criticisms of YEC are based on extensive knowledge." Not this time Michael; this time your criticisms were based upon willful ignorance.
>>Since the paperback version of this book is ~$60 (hardback ~$150), then I doubt I'll be sending you a free copy.
>>-- "Michael Roberts" <> wrote:
>>Send me a free copy and I will read it. As it is I have too any YEC books,
>>often annotated for misquotation etc etc.
>>I have read most of the Impact series so I am not hopeful; that anything ICR
>>produces will be any good.
>>You see Bill my criticisms of YEC are based on extensive knowledge.
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Received on Fri Apr 15 19:31:47 2005

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