More Flood Stuff – part 2, Rocks and Fossils

 

In part 1 I whittle on about Flora and Fauna (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/more-flood-stuff-part-1-flora-and-fauna/)

Geology and the Flood

Moving on from animals and plants, the mechanics and timescales of the flood as described in Genesis requires some very serious geological events. The word cataclysmic hardly seems appropriate; the activity would have been utterly incredible. Creationists will argue that it was the events of the flood that created the mountains we see today and that most of the flood water came from below the ground.

Beyond that, the layers of rocks we see today and the fossils we see in them are all formed from the flood events. Did the rocks before the flood have layers?

Rock layers deposited by a global flood could be believed if they were flat. There is still an issue over how the layers are so easily defined because layers deposited at the same time would have some mixing and the change between layers would be expected to be more blended rather than distinct. Another issue to consider is that today rock layers can be curved or even vertical. Sediment does not settle in stacks or neatly along a curve, rock layers that curve or stand up, but remain uniform, will have been bent after they formed because if the sediment was loose at the time it would have been shifted off its neat and even layers. Considering uplifted rock, this can only be done very slowly over many thousands of years because if rock bends quickly it tends to crack and break, hence earthquakes. This means that non flat rock layers could not have been formed as part of a global flood and the associated mountain upheavals, unless a miracle is invoked to keep the rock intact.

This miracle requirement rather makes a mockery of the whole idea of using geologic study to confirm creationist accounts. When the miraculous is required to complete the explanation then by definition, naturally explainable actions are done away with and cannot be used.

But look at all the fossils

Creationists also point at the flood as the cause of the fossils that we see today because all the animals that died in the flood would have been buried by the subsequent sedimentary layers. This, they say, is why fossils can be found halfway up mountains and it is a better explanation than plate tectonics pushing the sea bed up and creating mountains.

The mechanisms at play here are a problem for creationists. If the creationist explanation were true, I would expect the larger heavier animals to sink faster, along with the heavier sediment and the smaller lighter animals to settle slower, like the smaller lighter sediment. I would also expect the dead animals to drop quicker than most of the sediment and so the resulting layers would show more animals at the bottom and fewer and smaller animals at the top of the sedimentary layers. This is not at all what we see in the fossil and rock layer record. The observed evidence completely contradicts the expected result.

The timing of the flood events are also out of order. The claim is that the mountains were formed at the start of the flood as part of the “waters of the deep” bursting forth and supplementing the rainfall. This would mean that the mountains were formed before the sediment had settled and buried the animals and people. Talking of which, where are the people fossils?

Looking at the fossils in more details we can see that the vast majority of fossils show species that are not alive today and fossils that exactly match species we know and love today and conspicuously rare. The answer is typically that not all the animals which survived the ark also survived to today. For the flood account to be the single source of all (or at least most) fossils then the fossils what we see ought to be representative of the animals that were saved on the ark. Therefore besides dinosaurs, we should also see dogs and rabbits. I would also expect to see a drowned city full of bodies of modern humans fossilised, including evidence of clothes in the fossil. This is an example of a prediction based on creationism that should be possible to confirm but is lacking.

How long does it take to form a fossil?

The process of creating a fossil requires significant timescale because a chemical process is required to replace minerals in the dead body with the minerals from the surrounding material. It seems this process typically requires water and pressure. (http://www.discoveringfossils.co.uk/whatisafossil.htm) these mineralisation processes occur at rates that can be measured, which is how ages can be determined. Note the following AiG article on the subject spends precious little time talking about the actual fossilisation process (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab2/do-rock-record-fossils-favor-long-ages).

If fossils could be formed in just four thousand years, then scientists would be able to show that by burying an animal in the right conditions and showing that the process had started in only a few decades. This is a simple experiment that creationists can do to show the world how right they are.

Too many holes

The flood story is a very dramatic story but simply doesn’t hold water as an historical event. The bible account is vague and leaves way too much open for the readers to insert their own facts. This is what creationists do constantly and they should be honest about what they are doing and they should be even more honest about how critically they view the evidence of the world against what the bible says because none of it matches.

More Flood Stuff – part 1, Flora and Fauna

More Flood Stuff – part 1, Flora and Fauna

In my researching for my last flood post (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/animal-evolution-post-flood/) I found much more that I wanted to comment on and so left the bits that were not specific to animal evolution for another post.

The more I look at creationist claims, the more I see a dependence on the flood story. The flood account is crucial to the creationist because of the evolutionary argument and how it dictates global geology. Every discussion on the age of the world and animal evolution will at some point include the story of Noah, his ark and the flood that saved them. As such, the flood account is of huge importance to the creationist and so it shouldn’t be surprising that there are a lot of words dedicated to the subject.

With that out of the way, let’s hit the myth some more.

Oh look a dinosaur

AiG takes a stab at the dinosaur issue (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/what-happened-to-the-dinosaurs) and brushes off their fate as little more than ‘oh dear they, they failed to survivce’. Of all the different species of dinosaur, are we supposed to simply accept that not one managed to live long enough after the flood to be described by later generations? The AiG article criticises scientists for being curious over their fate and for admitting that we don’t yet know the full story and for continuing to try to solve those mysteries. To AiG its simple, they existed but they don’t now and that’s because the world is sinful and man isn’t perfect so those the flood didn’t kill died anyway. Who needs curiosity when there is a simple answer? I’m guessing lions, crocodiles and eagles were luckier in the lottery of God’s judgement.

I find the AiG explanation both dismissive and depressing. Are they not at all curious over where the post flood dinosaurs went and how they died out?

It is precisely because of suggestions like that, that secular scientists point at creationists and accuse them of not doing any science. Those accusations are justified because all AiG does is critique scientific results and frame their objections in a creationist tone. In the AiG article I have linked to above, there is actually no scientific study, just conjecture, objection and bible references.

Oh the Plants, what of the plants

Recently there has been a lot of rainfall in my part of the UK; rainfall to such a level that many farms in the area have been underwater for 2 months or more. Near my house there is some open land that was underwater for months last winter and then again this winter. As I write this the standing water has almost all gone and some areas are now dry enough to walk on again. There are patches of rotten grass and shrubs. Plants do not do well when underwater for months at a time.

The idea that, after a year under a global sea, trees would be able to blossom again to the point a bird could take a leafy branch only weeks after being exposed to air again is simply impossible. For that to work the tree could have only been fully submerged for a few weeks, certainly not months. A tree submerged for that period of time would have died and been unable to grow again. This is the same for pretty much all plants. The land near me will survive and grass and shrubs will grow again quickly, that’s because there are plants close by which have not been submerged and, being spring, there will be seeds and pollen in the air to take up the place of the dead plants. Also, the water on this land is fresh, not salty. A global ocean would still be a salty ocean and that is even more devastating to submerged plants.

If we take the flood story at face value and assume that the earth was fully flooded at the end of the 40 days of rain and then it slowly began to drain away, then the draining needed to happen rapidly for the world to not be utterly devoid of useable vegetation. However, many creationists accept that the ark would have been afloat for about a year. This means that in order for high up vegetation to survive, the water would have had to keep rising after the rain stopped in order for the submerged time to be drastically reduced. This requires interpretation of the events because there is not enough detail in the story to know for sure. AiG are shameless in their adding of detail where it suits them (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v7/n1/how-did-plants-survive-flood). You will see in the article that they confidently state that plants must have had built in survival mechanisms, more incredulously they roll out the tautology that of course plants survived because we see plants today. Neither of these are satisfactory explanations.

To address the salt water issue, the AiG article above posits that the seas were less salty at the time of the flood and became more salty post flood. I’m not sure if they also mean they were less salty before the flood. This might have had an effect on the ability of plants to survive a prolonged period underwater, but the period of time is still far too long, even for fresh water. As already stated, plants today don’t last more than a few weeks under water.

Have they since evolved to become less tolerant of being submerged?

The other problem for the salinity argument is that today we see fish that live in salty water and fish that live in fresh water. Both types can be sensitive to changes in the levels of salinity which means the mildly salty water of the global flood would have killed both types of fish. Presumably those fish have evolved since the flood and are now less able to live in water with those salinity levels and require either fresh water or more salty water.

The arguments for the flood are deeply flawed and simply do not hold together either logically or scientifically.

Stand by for part 2, geology and fossils.