Re: Mountains

From: <>
Date: Sat Apr 16 2005 - 00:08:32 EDT

Bill Payne wrote:
>Apparently you didn't comprehend my initial post. Baumgardner (see quoted the authors of "The Origin of Mountains"
(Cliff Oliver 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.

As with other readers, this also confuses me. First of all,
I do not see how mountain building 5 Myrs ago can reconcile
much with the 6000 yr old earth. He selects data from here and
there that shows a technical dispute over what exactly is happening. None of
these disputes by Oliver and Pain seem to be in any
accord with a 6000 year old earth or the proposed "catastrophic
processes unleashed in the Flood" (quote from paragraph 5). These
seem to be Baumgardner's views. To the best I can discern
from the article, Oliver and Pain appear to be making issue
with the mechanism of upheaval.

In the ICR publication, Baumgardner consistently makes the
usual strawman attacks on "uniformitarianism". Looking
back in my geology textbooks, I'm not sure who coined the
name "uniformitarianism", James Hutton or Charles Lyell,
but at any rate, Hutton observed a cyclical nature in
geological changes and observed that ordinary processes
operating over long periods of time can effect great change.
Time and pressure, time and pressure. It seems the emphasis
of his work was on weathering and plutonic episodes that
would bring about orogeny. I suppose these might be taken
as "uniform" in the sense of "continuous". Lyell seems
to bear the full name of uniformitarianism, and it seems
maybe these early works did assume that processes were
"continuous". I guess there are no significant earthquakes
in the UK, so I can't think they are so much at fault there.
Still, the name remains __in honor of__ the powerful
deductive reasoning they used, not because we should take
this 1830 view of the world literally. My textbooks all
indicate that processes can occur at different rates in
the past, but the principle of uniformitarianism assumes
that (because the physical laws should remain unchanged
over all time) we can work our way backwards into the
distance past and make some reasonable assessment of
what actually happened. The detective uses this principle
to catch a criminal. The criminal who goes into a courtroom
and pleads that the laws of physics have changed since
yesterday, will have the gavel come down on him.

I am well aware of the bible and the flood, but Baumgardner says

"...the only way to fit all these observations together
in a consistent manner is to conclude that the Flood
involved an episode of extremely fast plate tectonics
that cycled the pre-Flood ocean floor, as well as that
formed early in the cataclysm, into the earth's mantle.2
The energy to drive this event was readily available in
the form of gravitational potential energy of the cold,
pre-Flood ocean floor rocks. The stress-weakening
tendency of silicate minerals comprising mantle rocks
allows the process to unfold in a runaway manner.3
Laboratory experiments document that these minerals
can weaken by as much as 8-10 orders of magnitude for
shear stress levels that can occur in the mantles of
planets the size of the earth."
(quote from

I fail to see how the 5 Myrs say much of anything about
putting the issue of a young earth together in a
"consistent manner". What appear to be assumed is
that the earth __must__ be 6000 years old and a global
flood __must__ have happened, and therefore, we will
__find__ a "consistent manner" (i.e., ramrod this
data) into something that satisfies this view.

Moreover, you are welcome to _believe_ the world is
6000 years old, but to make a case for it, you need
to have markers that point clearly to it. There is
no indicate from anyone except the assertions of
Baumgardner himself that these catastrophic events
occurred 5000 years ago. So far, it seems Noah would
have been baked, broiled, steamed and pounded by
countless tsunamis to get so much mountain building
and fossilization to occur in a 1 year period. And
supposedly this went on after the flood for 200 years.
Where are the accounts of these in writing? China,
Egypt and (I'm pretty sure) Mesopotamia and the
Indus Valley all had writings as far back as 5000
years ago and some of it is readable to scholars. No
great accounts of the rise of the Himalayas and violent
earthquakes seem to be indicated (as far as I know).
What account do the Aztecs have of a rise of the Andes
or the Rocky Mountains? Indeed, where are they and
Chinese in the records anyway?

We cannot get cultural data to fit, we cannot get
scientific data to fit, we cannot get anything at
all that consistently points back to 6000 years except
the faith of YEC proponents.

>"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."

Conflict yes, but doubt about how to do science, I think not.

[large snip]

>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 Oliver 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.

I don't think Glenn or Michael are oblivious, but they have
lost most of their patience. I suggest that you also
consider what Paul says about making your brothers fall.
I'll grant you the last word.

I suggest the following:
Rather than pointing out petty faults in the current
scientific model, you need to find a clear way to show
that the scientific data points to a 6000 year old earth
in every aspect of study: astronomy, geology, anthropology,
history, and economics. You have not done that. In
isolation, some of the YEC models __might__ be consistent,
but viewed holistically, they are simply not. The greatest
error seems to be that whereas the YEC folk can find petty
discrepancies in the scientific model, they never admit to
 the enormous discrepancies in their own model. At least
admitting that you have serious problems with your model
would be more earnest than what I see.

>Since the paperback version of this book is ~$60 (hardback ~$150), then I
doubt I'll be sending you a free copy.

Can ICR send (or loan) Michael a copy?

By Grace alone we proceed,
Received on Sat Apr 16 00:11:44 2005

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