Re: Mt. St. Helens and catastrophism

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Thu Aug 18 2005 - 04:52:39 EDT

Unless he had Glenn Morton's level of motivation to fight YECs, why would a qualified geologist bother rebutting such arguments in detail?

Stratification as a rule is a secondary indicator of rock age: Layering by itself simply indicates that different materials were deposited at different times and (almost always) that upper layers formed later than lower layers. It cannot say anything precise about how much later. If samples are available only from a small area, it would take detailed analyses of layer constituents (e.g. index fossils) to get a quantitative idea of layer age. Fossils in the recently formed St. Helens strata are certain to be all of contemporary organisms, and hence analyses of them would correctly indicate that all the layers formed over a short time interval.

Strata in volcanic rock are by themselves wholly irrelevant to a case either for or against YE. (I'm curious as to why anyone should have thought they were relevant!) Geology does not argue (except in special cases unrelated to volcanics--e.g. varved shales) that stratification by itself is relevant for determining the age of a rock or the time required to form it.

You need more than this?!


  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:35 PM
  Subject: Mt. St. Helens and catastrophism

  Have any qualified geologists written a good rebuttal of the popular YEC
  argument for catastrophism that is based on deposition of stratified rock
  and formation canyons that occured in the Mt. St. Helens eruption? I think
  the original creationist analysis was by Steve Austin (the six million
  dollar man?), and I am seeing it cited frequently in YEC literature.

  If a published detailed rebuttal does exist, I'd really like to know about
  it. I'd like to find both a detailed "high-level" analysis version and a
  simplified "layperson" version of such a rebuttal. I quite sure that
  however stratified the eruption flows and deposits appear in Austin's
  photographs, detailed inspection of the layers would easily demonstrate
  that they are manifestly different that stratification that occurred by
  normal processes over millions of years. It's just that I haven't been to
  the site and I don't have the qualifications to describe those differences.

Received on Thu Aug 18 04:59:19 2005

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