SOR Pamphlet #3

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William H. Jefferys

Dec 8, 1984, 12:36:31 PM12/8/84
[Ray Miller]
>p.s. no replies to pamphlet # 3?? No one objected to it?? I can't believe
>that. The net must be slow again...

Anticipating your arguments, I answered your recent article about four weeks
ago. The net must indeed be slow for you not to have read it yet :-! Frankly,
it is annoying in the extreme to read your latest contribution, which shows
absolutely no indication at all that you considered the serious objections
to "Flood Geology" that I raised. Had you bothered to read my article
and the references I cited, you would have been spared the embarrassment of
posting the following:

> It turns out, however, that catastrophic evidence is widespread. Scat-
>tered across the globe are countless fossil graveyards, attesting to the rapid
>death of billions of organisms on a scale which is unimaginable under slow, un-
>iform processes. Evolutionists claim that ``the present is the key to the
>past'' but nothing has ever been observed in the present which can compare with
>the record of the geologic column. Space does not permit a full listing, but a
>few of the more interesting examples include: the South African Karroo forma-
>tion containing 800 billion fossils covering 200,000 square miles, England's
>Old Red Sandstone formation containing up to 1,000 fish per square yard and
>covering 10,000 square miles, the vast dinosaur remains in the Morrison Forma-
>tion of North America's mountainous west, etc. The billions of animals which
>formed such fossils did not die slowly over long periods of time. Paleontolo-
>gists have found ``literally scores of skeletons, one on top of another and in-
>terlaced with one another ... they all died together and were buried together''

In Schadewald's article [*Creation/Evolution* IX, p. 12], cited in my
posting of last month, it is pointed out that 800 billion fossils amounts to 21
per acre of the Earth's land surface. Conservatively estimating the fossil
content of the Karroo formation to be only 1% of the Earth's vertebrate fossils,
he finds that by Creationist reasoning there must have been at least 2100
vertebrates living per acre of the Earth's land surface at the time of the
Flood. Think of the amount of manure Noah must have had to slog through!
(Matched, perhaps, only by Creationist postings to the Net :-)

In the same article, Schadewald also estimates conservatively that "if all the
fossilized animals could be ressurected, they would cover the entire planet to
a depth of at least 1.5 feet". He asks, "what did they eat?" And he points out
that Creationists can hardly point to "the tropical paradise they imagine
existed below the pre-flood canopy because the laws of thermodynamics prohibit
the Earth from supporting that much biomass."

> With a few exceptions on both sides, most evolutionists believe in the
>concept of uniformitarianism, while most creationists believe in the concept of

I discussed this quite adequately in my earlier posting. The assertion simply
cannot be upheld on either side.

>This principle
>of superposition, where rocks from different regions are arranged according to
>the presumed evolutionary sequence, is used to construct the geologic table
>found in most evolutionary textbooks.
> But it is this same table, based upon the assumption of evolution, which
>is used as proof for evolution!

Creationist accusations of circular reasoning are blatantly false, as I pointed
out in my earlier posting. The main features of the geologic column were worked
out in the 75 years *before* Darwin published *Origin of Species*, using
principles which did not assume evolution.

>...For example, the creationist would expect to
>find marine-dwelling invertebrates such as trilobites on the bottom, since they
>lived on the ocean floor and would quickly become trapped as the sediments be-
>gan accumulating. Above the trilobites would be the various fishes. As the
>flood waters rose and began to cover the land, amphibians and reptiles would
>become the next victims. The last to be fossilized would be those organisms
>dwelling at the highest elevations, having the most mobility, and possessing
>the most intelligence. Obviously, this would be humans. Thus, the creationist
>predicts the same general ordering of fossils in the local columns as the evo-
>lutionist, but for entirely different reasons.

At this I would like to quote another of Ray's recent postings. Only the names
has been changed, to protect the innocent...

>Hand waving, Ray, pure and simple hand waving. Anyone can make any sort of
>assertions they wish. It's quite another thing to back it up with
>documentation, something creationists are quite reluctant to do.

I also addressed this issue in my previous posting. The fact is, Ray's
description of the fossil sequence isn't even right. For example, marine
invertebrates are not found only at the bottom of the geologic column, but
are instead spread throughout the fossil record, along with fishes when the
latter finally appear. Whales, which would be expected to be fossilized with
the first appearance of fishes of similar size and habitat, appear only much
later, after the rise of mammals (as predicted by evolution). Contrary to
the predictions of hydraulic sorting, fossils are not sorted by size at all.
Small, delicate fossils are commonly found below large, rubust specimens.

>...The creationist, however, is perfectly comfortable with excep-
>tions. Due to the chaotic nature of the catastrophic flood, and to the possi-
>bility of smaller post-flood catastrophes, occasional out-of-order sequences
>would be expected.

Right. Hydraulic Sorting, Mobility, Habitat, Intelligence explain the fossil
record very well. Except when they don't. Which is most of the time.

>And in fact,
>there is much evidence for contemporaneous existence, from ``modern'' tree pol-
>len in Cambrian rocks to human artifacts in the Ordovician period. No doubt
>the most famous of these so-called out-of-order fossils is the discovery of hu-
>man and dinosaur fossilized footprints in the same strata in Glen Rose, Texas

Come on, Ray, we aren't going to get into the Paluxy crap again, are we? You
should at least wait until after you read the soon-to-be published report of
the scientists who went there, and save yourself further embarrassment. As
for tree pollen in Cambrian rocks, who did this work? How do we know that
the samples weren't contaminated? I certainly hope this work wasn't done
in Austin, Texas, the "Allergy Capital of the World" :-)

>The conclusion is that the creation model explains the bulk of
>the geologic evidence better than the evolution model.

The problem is, Creationists seldom bother to follow up on even the
most obvious implications of their assumptions, as shown by the preceding
discussion of the Karroo formation. Ray's claim is thus an empty
one. As I asked in my previous posting, where is the detailed Creationist
field work, the careful comparison of theory and observation, the detailed
quantitative prediction of theory that characterizes genuine science? The
answer is, it doesn't exist. You will study Henry Morris' writings in vain
looking for much more detail than Ray has given here. These facts
demonstrate better than anything I could say that the real purpose of
"Scientific Creationism" isn't science at all, but propaganda.

"When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve"
Bill Jefferys 8-%
Astronomy Dept, University of Texas, Austin TX 78712 (USnail)
{allegra,ihnp4}!{ut-sally,noao}!utastro!bill (uucp)
bill%utastro...@ut-sally.ARPA (ARPANET)

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