Flood evidence?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Helen, May 16, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Barry and I just completed this page on his website.

    http://www.setterfield.org/snowballearth.htm

    It might interest some.

    In the meantime, we are leaving for southern California in a few hours and I won't be back until late Monday night -- so expect no responses from me until Tuesday at the earliest, please.

    Thanks.

    Helen
     
  2. Edgeo

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    Yes, this is quite interesing. However, I differ with the conclusions. Let's see what you say on the last page:

    No. The subrounded to angular nature of the clasts is not indicative of water transport. Ice-transported clasts are angular because so many of them are transported on top of and within the ice. Water cannot keep the clasts separate so they grind against each other to become abraded and rounded in water-transported sediments. The polished rocks you speak of are the ones forming the stable surface over which the ice flows. Even there, the ice will pluck fragments and maintain them unrounded within the ice. I am also confident of this interpretation because of the utter lack of sorting in diamictites. Sorting would be present in virtually any water-lain scenario.

    Doesn't say much for young ages, does it?

    From my reading, you misinterpret the snowball hypothesis put forward earlier in one of your posts. I am quite certain that the author(s) presented a scenario where the snowball and hot-house type environments alternated.

    A possible reason was even given by the authors. They suggested that a greenhouse effect was caused by the outgassing of carbon dioxide from volcanos. This fluctuation was to have aided in the evolution of living organisms. An hypothesis to be sure, but a working model that explains some features of the geological record and provides a framework for further research.

    I think you are laboring under a false premise here. The diamictites and stromatolite beds did not occur at the same time. In fact, it appears that the carbonates followed a period of warming(?) and may be part of a transgressive sequence; which is exactly what we would expect if the ice caps were melting during a warming trend.

    Actually, it is not. It is at the end of, or in between, according to my reading of your earlier citation.

    Why sudden? For instance, do we not recognize several Pleistocene glaciations in North America with warmer periods in between? Are we not, even now possibly in a relatively warm interglacial period?

    Of course. Do you think these geologists believe all water on earth was frozen at one time?

    You also make reference to some paleomag work that indicates low latitudes in the diamictites which are now occuring at high latitudes. You go on to question what forces could have caused this.

    First, I got the impression that the data was taken from diamictite clasts. If so, they are probably quite meaningless. Second, the easy answer as to how they were moved would be 'plate tectonics.' No flood or glacier could cause translation of a large terrane through 90 degees of arc on the surface of the earth.

    You also discuss the possible varve designation for some of the siltstones and dispatch that argument quite properly. However, from the pictures, I have a hard time believing that anyone would consider these sediments to have been varved in the first place. Do you actually have some evidence that this happened?
     
  3. Paul of Eugene

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    Let's not forget that identifying geological strata from before the cambrian era is working with material normally dated well over 500 million years old. The most accurate method of dating these is the use of analysis of radioactive isotopes; Helen and Barry claim that method is skewed, and this is a controversial claim in its own right - see the thread below, titled SETTERFIELD AND THE VARIABLE SPEED OF LIGHT MODEL.

    During the Cambrian era, we have mostly primitive sea life, all the forms of which are now extinct.

    It was the heyday of the tribolites. They were the most advanced form of life around.

    I don't think there are any fossils of "clean" animals from that era. There are no mammals from that era, no reptiles from that era, no humans from that era, no birds from that era, no insects from that era. The numerous tribolite fossils show they would have been fossilized also if they had been there at all.

    Not an auspicious time to pick to be the flood of Noah.
     
  4. A_Christian

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    The Flood happened in stages. Many sea creatures
    would have died first. The last creatures to
    die would likely have been the birds. Of course
    GOD preserved certain species of marine life.
    Perhaps, they were the most hardy.
     
  5. Meatros

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    And how did the coral survive?
     
  6. A_Christian

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    Meatros:

    Some experimentation would have to be done in that
    area. Could coral have been transplanted by
    the Flood action? Could God have protected it?
     
  7. Meatros

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    It's actually a rhetorical question as there are coral that have survived quite a long time (older then the 'flood'). The problem with a global flood is that these 'old' coral would be dead. They are not.
     
  8. Helen

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    You also discuss the possible varve designation for some of the siltstones and dispatch that argument quite properly. However, from the pictures, I have a hard time believing that anyone would consider these sediments to have been varved in the first place. Do you actually have some evidence that this happened?

    Yes, as recorded by Barry here:
    http://www.setterfield.org/geology.htm#varves

    Regarding the rest of your post, I'll let Barry respond. He is sleeping off a very long weekend of lectures and dinners and such. We got home at 11 last night and I have encouraged him to sleep all day today. But I'll show him your post later and I'm sure he will want to respond. He is the geologist, not me!
     
  9. Helen

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    The following is entirely from Barry:

    I understand the points being made in the entire posting here. However, several other points also need to be made clear concerning the South Australian diamictites.

    In answer to item 1.

    Firstly, my use of the word “polished” to describe these clasts in the diamictite is obviously conveying an incorrect impression. None that I have seen are “polished” in the way that happens with ice-transported debris. Within a few kilometers of the diamictites, there are striated platforms and other polished rocks from the Permian glaciation, an entirely different event, which has left an entirely different looking set of strata. The glacial erattics from that event have a different character to the clasts in the Neo-porterozoic diamictites. So there are no clasts in the Neoproterozoic deposits which are polished in the way that is expected of glacial transportation.

    Furthermore, there is no stable surface over which ice has flowed. The polished, striated, chatter-marked surfaces which SHOULD exist if the diamictite is a glacial deposit DO NOT EXIST in South Australia. There is abundant evidence of these surfaces for the Permian glaciation in South Australia, but none for the Neoproterozoic. Yet the exposed surface on which the presumed glacial activity occurred is visible in an abundance of places in the Adelaide area. This is a further reason for considering an alternate origin for these strata.

    The point I made about the angularity of the clasts is relevant here because it IS indicative of water transportation in this instance. The photos of the angular clasts were all of the lower diamictite – those derived from local rocks in the immediate area. A sudden onrush of water would have picked them up and deposited them again without much distance being traveled and without much time in the water. Their angularity would naturally be preserved since they would have had no time to be rounded off. By contrast, the middle and upper diamictites contain clasts from distant areas. It is significant that those clasts derived from 300 kilometres away are rounded. That is to be expected in any water transportation scenario.

    The final point in this paragraph relates to the comment that sorting would occur in any water-lain scenario. This does not gel with the interpretation often given to the diamictite immediately below the Tapley Hill sequence. The diamictite there is considered to be downslope gravity flows resulting from turbidity currents set off by tectonic activity, that is to say earthquakes. If this explanation works for that diamictite, it also works for the rest. Therefore, if the rush of waters remained turbulent, continual mixing will occur, so no sorting would be expected.

    Items 2 and 3:

    The matter of stromatolites is then raised. The entire thrust of this part of the discussion was to point out to those Creationists who feel that the “Flood did everything” that this was something that they needed to factor in to their thinking.

    I am well aware of the oscillation between an ice-covered earth and a hothouse earth that the Snowball Earth theorists are proposing. And I am well aware that the Brighton Limestone “cap” is a warm water deposit in that interpretation. However, another point also needs to be made. The matrix for the lower diamictite is also dolomitic. Since dolomite represents a warm-water deposit, this indicates that the lower diamictite, at least, does not originate from glacial conditions. But to return to the stromatolites, which occur near the top of the Tapley Hill sequence below the Brighton Limestone. The key matter here is that the Tapley Hill sequence follows conformably on the diamictite without any break. Furthermore, there is no change in rock type or structure throughout this Tapley Hill sequence, yet stromatolites occur near the top. It would therefore seem that warm water conditions prevailed throughout the formation of the Tapley Hill sequence. Therefore, since it follows conformably on from the diamictites below, and since it has stromatolites near the top, this may indicate that there was also warm water conditions for the formation of the diamictites. The massive extrusion of warm water from the earth interior in a catastrophic fashion can then account for both sets of strata in a logical manner.

    Item 4:
    A comment is made here namely “Do you think these geologists believe all water on earth was frozen at one time?”

    Basically that is precisely what they were proposing. They look at the oceans themselves being frozen over to some surprising depths. Yet this is contradicted by the rock data from South Australia, among them the Whyalla Sandstone, a windblown sand. This is one reason why Williams, from the Geology Department of Adelaide University, has pointed out that snowball earth is not a viable proposition.

    Your comments indicate that you thought that the paleomagnetic data were obtained from the diamictites. They were not. They were obtained from the Marinoan rhythmites which were considered glacial because of occasional dropstones. This is the data that indicated the rocks were laid down at sea level at the equator. I was not questioning the forces to change the location of this suite of rocks from an equatorial to a high latitude. What was questioned was the interpretation that these rocks were glacial in origin. If they really are glacial, then that gives impetus to the snowball earth scenario, since the whole world must be iced over to great depths, including the oceans, if the glacial origin for these rhythmites is accepted.

    However, the whole snowball earth scenario hangs on these rocks being glacial in origin. The nearby Whyalla sandstone gives a lie to this interpretation. Therefore, a warm water origin for these rhythmites would seem preferable, and the occasional dropstone explained in some other way. If these strata are the result of the massive extrusion or outgassing of water from the earth’s interior rather than glacial activity, then the problems that snowball earth have may be overcome. If this approach is adopted, it provides a consistent story that is in harmony with events in the Solar System.

    Barry Setterfield.
     
  10. Edgeo

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    So, the Permian tillites have polished clasts? Can you document this for us? Frankly, I don't believe I have ever seen a glacial clast that is truely polished. I therefor do not expect it.

    So, if it exists in the Adelaide area, why do you discount it as having existed in other areas? I don't suppose you might consider such an area to have been eroded away or concealed by more recent sediments...

    Or they could be tillites. If the source was so nearby, why is it so hard to find?

    Any pictures? I have a problem here and that is that if the fragments were transported by water, they should show some kind of sorting and yet, by definition, they don't.

    Except that turbidity current deposits are one of the best examples of lateral and vertical grading in the geological record.

    Maybe it doesn't. Who is making the explanation? If it were a turbidite, why is it also a diamictite? This is confusing.

    No. Turbidite are well zoned, both laterally and vertically.

    So the dolomite was a stromatolite deposit? I think you jump to a conclusion here. Is the matrix truely dolomite or is it simply dolomitic. There is a big difference. I also suggest that you look at other origins for the dolomite. I have some ideas, but would like to see what you come up with.

    Possibly correct, but it seems to have been redeposited under glacial conditions.

    But if the Tapley Hill sequence is at the top, why is not only the top a warm water deposit?

    Except that you have not shown that the diamictites are actually warm water deposits and that they are continuous with the 'warm' water limestones.

    Frozen over, possibly, but I see nothing that indicates a solid hydrosphere.

    No problem. Even in the coldest parts of the Pleistocene glaciations, there were broad regions of low precipitation in which there was no ice.

    I would not say that this is very conclusive.

    Good. I wasn't clear on that.

    I don't follow. You said that the entire hydrosphere was frozen. How do you get ryhthmites?

    [/quote]However, the whole snowball earth scenario hangs on these rocks being glacial in origin. The nearby Whyalla sandstone gives a lie to this interpretation. Therefore, a warm water origin for these rhythmites would seem preferable, and the occasional dropstone explained in some other way. [/quote]

    Then your theory needs to explain them.

    I have no problem with abandoning the snowball theory at all. In fact, I think there are many skeptics in this vein. The problem I have is that there was anything horribly unusual in the origin of the diamictites. I don't believe that 100% of the hydrosphere had to be frozen to give us more of a 'slushball earth' perhaps, with some open areas of emergent land and even some exposed water. I still don't know that any serious proponents of a the 'snowball earth' theory carry it quite to the extreme that you seem to indicate.
     

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