Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter
|Chapter 9 - Fossils and Geology: Slow or Fast?|
1. How are fossils formed, according to the theory of uniformitarian historical geology?
traditional accepted view is that fossils were the result of processes pretty much like
those taking place on earth today.
The term "uniformitarian" refers to the idea that geological processes such as erosion, sedimentation, and earth movements have remained pretty much the same in character and rate for most of earth history. Fossils are generally found encased in sedimentary rock, rock which was deposited by water in the form of loose sediments which were then compressed and cemented to form solid stone. Since in the traditional theory most sediments were laid down very slowly, those plants and animals which left fossils must for the most part have been covered and fossilized slowly. Also, the vast deposits of the fossil fuel, coal, supposedly were formed from forests and peat bogs which grew slowly, died, were covered with sediments slowly in the same location in which they grew, and were finally compressed to make coal.
2. Where can fossils be seen being formed today?
|Answer: Present earth conditions are not producing fossils such as are
found in abundance in fossil bearing rocks.
Fossils like those found in the rocks are not today observed being formed anywhere on the earth by the gradual processes just described. When plants and animals die they are immediately attacked by scavengers, fungi, and bacteria, which destroy them before they can be buried by sediments and fossilized. Any appreciable formation of fossils apparently requires sudden entrapment and rapid burial, a catastrophic process.1
3. Do fossils generally give the appearance of having been formed by slow or by rapid processes?
|Answer: A great
many facts point to rapid, catastrophic burial of the plants and animals which are found
as fossils today.
The entire fossil record is much more easily understood to be the result of global flood action of great rapidity and violence, rather than of the relatively slow processes mostly observed today. British paleontologist Derek V. Ager believes that most fossils were produced in short periods of catastrophic activity separated by long periods of relative quiet.8 However, as we shall see, there is much evidence that the sediments which he believes to represent slow deposition were also laid down rapidly.
4. Are sixty-five petrified forests stacked one on top of the other at Specimen Ridge in Yellowstone Park? Does this famous geological formation represent a vast span of time?
evidence shows that the Specimen Ridge "fossil forests" are not the remains of
forests which grew one on top of the other during long periods of time. Rather, it appears
that trees from distant forests were ripped up and transported by water to be dumped at
Specimen Ridge. The facts strongly indicate that the standard view long held by geologists
is completely wrong.
The traditional view held by geologists is that the Yellowstone petrified tree formations represent many forests which grew one after the other. Each took hundreds of years to grow before it was buried by volcanic ash and slides of volcanic breccia (sharp-edged chunks of volcanic rock cemented to form a solid rock). Then another forest grew on top of it, only to suffer a similar fate, until perhaps as many as fifty to sixty-five forests had been buried and petrified. This explanation has been accepted without question for almost a century. However, recent detailed research has brought to light much evidence that contradicts this traditional view.
Dr. Harold Coffin has conducted careful studies over a number of years on all aspects of the Specimen Ridge formations. Some of the facts that do not fit the picture of forests' being buried where they grew are as follows:9
These and other facts strongly contradict the uniformitarian view. The evidence better fits the view that trees were ripped up and transported from another location by water and dumped in place at the same time that repeated volcanic eruptions were layering the area with ash and breccia. The evidence supports the view that this happened rapidly, not slowly over periods of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years.
5. Do the erosion and deposition of sediments seen today explain how sedimentary rock layers could have been formed in the past?
major features of the sedimentary rock strata cannot be explained in terms of the
processes seen on the earth today. Two excellent reviews of this subject have been
published by Dr. Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research, to whom we are
heavily indebted for much of what follows.10
All of these evidences from geology and many more point to a violent, catastrophic past history of the earth. They imply global flood with associated volcanic and mountain building activity which changed the face of the earth.
6. Are the rock layers and their embedded fossils always found in the same order, with simple fossils on the bottom and complex ones on the top, in the same order in which evolution is said to have occurred?
are many places on the earth where rock strata and fossils are found in the reverse order
from that predicted by evolutionary theory. Many of these are very difficult for
geologists to explain. If they cannot be explained, the evolutionary history gets turned
around backwards, which is embarrassing for the theory ofhistorical geology.
Dr. Walter Lammerts has compiled references in the scientific literature to hundreds of such reversals of evolutionary geology.30 Sometimes a reversal can be shown to be caused by the overturning of a fold in intensely deformed sediments. But in other cases folding cannot explain it. The stock explanation in such cases is that a "thrust fault" allowed older strata containing simple fossils to be slid out on top of younger rocks contain complex fossils.
The most famous example of a so-called thrust fault is the Lewis Overthrust, covering some 13,000 square miles of mountain ranges in Montana and British Columbia. However, the physical evidence that an entire system of mountain ranges slid thirty to sixty miles out on top of underlying strata is absent. A thick layer of ground-up mixed rock from the two layers should be found between the upper and lower members of the supposed overthrust structure. It is nowhere to be found, not at any of the known exposures of the contact surface. The rock layers appear to have been conformably deposited one on the other in the normal manner. If the simple algae fossils in the upper layers (rocks classified as Precambrian dolomite) were not supposedly a billion years older than the complex marine fossils in the lower layers (classified as Cretaceous shale), the idea of a thrust fault in that area would never have occurred to geologists. but the theory of evolution must be saved at any cost, so heroic feats of geological imagination are performed to explain away the obvious facts.31
Another related type of evidence which is embarrassing to the defenders of the traditional geological claims is the discovery of many different kinds of pollen in Precambrian rocks.32 This information would have flowering plants appearing on the earth up to a half billion years too early to fit in the theory of evolution. Perhaps the evolution and the years are really imagination.
7. What is the biblical picture of earth history?
the Bible does not give a detailed picture of earth history, it does provide a framework
for interpreting the fossils and rock strata. The opening verses of the Bible indicate
that in its original form the earth was surrounded by water, perhaps in violent activity.
Thus the earliest sedimentary rocks formed would be devoid of fossils, for life had not
yet been created. This was on the first day of creation, ten thousand or so years ago. On
the third day of creation God lifted the original continental mass from beneath the
waters. Probably until the Flood, thousands of years later, the level of the dry land was
generally lower and more even than today, the mountains much lower than today's mountain
ranges. Sea level was considerably lower and the land surface therefore greater than at
present. When God judged the sinful human race with the Flood of Noah, rain fell and
perhaps additional water was brought to earth by special divine provision, and juvenile
waters poured out through fissures in the crust of the earth in tremendous volume. In
addition, the ocean bottoms and the land surface may have changed their relative levels,
the former rising and the latter sinking.
The effect was to cover the land surface totally and subject the entire earth to the action of global water currents and wave action of cataclysmic violence. The land surface was deeply eroded and every living thing swept away. The sediments with the dead plants and animals were deposited to form the strata observed today with their content of fossils. Great earth upheavals, volcanic activity, vast lava outpourings, and rapid mountain building accompanied the latter part of the Flood and continued for centuries afterwards on a diminishing scale. Perhaps in the centuries after the Flood the original land mass began to separate into the present continents. Genesis 10:25 may refer to a crucial stage in this separation, as well as to the division of the nations at Babel. In the post-flood period glaciers advanced and retreated. Gradually the conditions on the earth stabilized, the land and seas were filled again with living creatures, and the descendants of Noah spread around the world.
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