sea floor mud: RE: ICR; June 2005

From: Duff,Robert Joel <>
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 14:51:40 EDT

Glenn et al,
Wow, I have to admit even I was shocked at some of the things on that list. I thought for sure some of them would have been left of since the last time he published the list. I'm particularly appauled by "not enough mud on the sea floor". Glenn's comments on his web site have been around a long time. I've taken a bit of a different approach to address this one for 5 years and yet it seems there have never been read or listened to. Now that I read Glenn's comments again I see that I should add some of his observations to my response because I don't address the total sedimentation rate but even take the YEC numbers as acurate but still find they have problems. When I got this message I was actually doing some writing on the very topic and so I will just copy what I have below. My quote from Humphreyes is from an older version of his "top 15" list.
quote from my manuscript:

                Dr. Humphreys[1] is probably best known for his list of “15 evidences for a young earth” which can be found widely distributed on scientific creationist’s web sites. The only one that we will examine here is his fourth evidence:


“4. Not enough sediment on the sea floors

The latest geological theories (plate tectonics) say the ocean floors are 200 million years old. At the present rate of sedimentation from the continents, there should be many kilometers of sediment on the ocean floor. Yet on the average, the ocean floor has only about 250 meters (800 feet) of sediment. This implies that the present ocean floors have existed less than 15 million years. Some evolutionists would argue that theories of subduction (large areas of ocean floor pushed deep into the earth) could overcome this problem. However, the slow rate of subduction implied by the ‘200 million’ years mentioned could not dispose of more than 10 per cent of the incoming sediments, far too little to account for the discrepancy. Also there are large areas of sea-floor (e.g. the Tasmania Sea off Australia) which cannot be part of such ‘subduction zones’. For these reasons, the argument for the youth of the sea floors appears valid.” (15 evidences for a young earth, by D. Russell Humphreys;


Humphry’s 4th point seems outright misleading, current geological theories only necessitate that a very small portion of the ocean floors may be up to 200 million years old. To non-scientists, the implication of the first sentence is that the ocean floor in general is 200 million years old and as a result of this misunderstanding the rest of the appears to follow logically. Even the second sentence is misleading as it implies that the whole ocean floor should be covered by many kilometers of sediments, yet the ocean floor is different ages and hence is covered by differing depths of sediment. How interesting that the amount of sediment is given as an average because by doing so Humphreys doesn’t have to acknowledge that there are portions of the ocean floor that are covered by over 6000 meters of sediments and these places correspond to the oldest portions of the ocean crust as predicted. Rather than a uniform distribution the sediment distribution is consistent with a gradually spreading ocean floor rather than one created in the space of a few days to maybe one year. Also the thickest layers of sediments are found at the subduction zones and thus a large portion of the sediments are being recycled into the earth’s mantle or are adding to the continental crust by accretion.


[1] Dr. Russel Humphreys is a speaker for “Answers in Genesis,” a creation science organization located in Kentucky and directed by Ken Ham. These evidences can be found repeated on dozens of creation science web sites.

> 4 Not enough mud on the sea floor
        This one is answered at
> 5 Not enough sodium in the sea
        This one is answered at
        There is a limited amount of salt which can go into the ocean and they never
        ever talk about that.
> 6 The earth's magnetic field is decaying too fast
        Ignores the fact that a dynamo can create a reversing magnetic field
        Glatzmaier and Roberts 1995. Nature 377:203-209 and ibid., Physics of the
        Earth and Planetary Interiors 91:63-75
> 7 Many strata are too tightly bent
> 8 Biological material decays too fast
> 9 Fossil radioactivity shortens geologic "ages" to a few years
> 10 Too much helium in minerals
> 11 Too much carbon in deep geologic strata
        Yeah, there sure is too much carbon in the geologic strata for it to
        represent the remains of a single pre-flood biosphere
        petroleum nonreservoir 200 x 10^18 g carbon
        Petroleum reservoir 1 x 10^18 g carbon
        Coal 15 x 10^18 g carbon
        Carbonate rocks 51,000 x 10^18 g carbon
        living things .3 x 10^18 g carbon
        J.M. Hunt, ""Distribution of Carbon in Crust of Earth,
        p. 22
> 12 Not enough Stone Age skeletons
        Have they never heard of the word 'decay'? Burials are only an artifact of
        sedentary farming societies.
             "Returning to the disposal of the body, hunters regard this as a means
        of isolating the dead person's spirit, but it may be isolated for either of
        two reason, to get rid of it entirely or to limit its activities so that it
        may be used. The concept stated above greatly widens the range of disposal
        techniques. The easiest way is simply to abandon the body at the place of
        death, and to avoid returning to that spot until the disturbance is over,
        usually after several years, when the dead person's spirit has had time to
        go away. The Mbuti Pygmies used to abandon it before they were taught by
        the Negro villagers to bury their dead. The Veddas of Ceylon, who lived in
        rock shelters during the rainy season, did the same. They had so many
        shelters available that they could afford to leave some of them unoccupied
        until the remains had disappeared. In tropical rain forests insects and
        animals make short work of bodies, and if they are buried or covered with
        earth, the lateritic soil is so acid that bones may disintigrate in less
        than a year. In 1965, I excavated a cave in a diamond-mining concession in
        Sierra Leone and found no bones at all, although the soil was full of stone
        implements and chips. A schoolteacher stationed there told me that she had
        once buried a dead dog to get its skeleton for use in her zoology class, and
        when she dug it up a year later even the bones had rotted away.
        "In other climates people who camp in the same places at least once a year
        could hardly follow this practice, nor could those who live in permanent or
        semipermanent villages. Where there are plenty of caves and rock crannies,
        or hollow trees, these apertures are natural depositories, and frquently
        used. Where firewood is abundant, cremation is a quick and dramatic
        solution, particularly if the ground is frozen in winter and burial at that
        time is out of the question. Another easy method is to secure the body high
        up in a tree.
             "But however hunting and gathering peoples dispose of bodies they
        usually do so individually in separate places, for graveyards are an
        artifact of sedentary life. The Maidu of California had special burning
        grounds, and the Nootka deposited some of their dead on mortuary islets,
        towing the bodies out to them in unmanned canoes. The Eskimo of Nunivak
        Island buried their dead in shallow graves, about a quarter of a mile away
        from their villages. In these burial places skulls and long bones could be
        seen lying about where they had been disinterred to make room for new
        bodies. These Eskimo have no fear of corpses or old bones, once the proper
        rituals have been performed, and, in fact, they formerly made use of parts
        of bodies as amulets to help them in hunting." ~ Carleton S. Coon, The
        Hunting Peoples, (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1971), p. 331-332
> 13 Agriculture is too recent
        When was it supposed to have been invented?
> 14 History is too short
        When was writing supposed to be invented?

Received on Fri Jun 10 14:53:02 2005

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