Varves

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 29, 2002.

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    [Administrator: this is being picked up from another thread and is being put in a topic of its own.]

    DAVID PLAISTED

    Patrick Parson gave a web link for an article about varves in a
    Japanese lake. I wonder -- are these varves still being laid down?
    Can we look at the varves laid down over the past 10 years and see if
    they look like the ones supposedly laid down 20,000 years ago?
    The problem with varves is that they are so thin, any kind of life
    on the bottom of the lake would stir up the sediment and destroy them.
    All it takes is a catfish rooting for food or a snail on the bottom
    or what have you, and goodbye to several years of varves! Plus falling
    detritus that should appear, and convection currents that should
    disturb the flatness of the bottom. My concept of ancient varves (if
    wrong please advise) is that none of these phenomena are present.
    This suggests that these "varves" were laid down by some other process,
    and I believe even some geologists have been perplexed about what they
    are.
    It would also be interesting to see if the time scale from this
    Japanese lake agrees with others.

    David Plaisted
     
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    PATRICK PARSON

    The Barbarian gave a web link for an article about varves in a
    Japanese lake. I wonder -- are these varves still being laid down?


    Yep. Two layers a year. One light, one dark. We can even track many
    things going on over a period of time by looking at (for example) pollen
    grains in the layers.


    Can we look at the varves laid down over the past 10 years and see if
    they look like the ones supposedly laid down 20,000 years ago?


    Yep. They do. Sometimes, a different mix of pollen and other things,
    but they all work the same. It's an interesting mental exercise to try to
    explain varves by other means. It's that seasonal change that makes
    alternating light and dark ones so difficult to explain away.


    The problem with varves is that they are so thin, any kind of life
    on the bottom of the lake would stir up the sediment and destroy them.


    Could. But often it doesn't. David, I want you to think about
    something here. Keep in mind that the scientists who do this have been
    working on such things for their entire professional lives. Suppose a
    systems administrator was telling you about some aspect of a network he was
    working on, and you asked him if he had remembered to provide for passwords.
    What do you think he would think about you? Do you suppose that scientists
    are any different? Do you think such things did not already occur to them?


    This suggests that these "varves" were laid down by some other process,
    and I believe even some geologists have been perplexed about what they
    are.


    The problem is twofold;
    1. We see them being laid down now, as they have been.

    2. No one can come up with any sort of alternative phenomena that would
    rapidly lay down summer and winter layers of varve at incredible speed, and
    then stop suddenly just when humans showed up to watch.
     
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    HELEN

    I got curious about the ‘varves’ and their ‘evidence’ for the ancient
    ages of the earth. So I started checking. The varve argument is, if
    you will excuse the expression, dead in the water as far as evidence of
    ancient ages is concerned. Here is some of what I have collected so
    far:

    Scientific American Feb 1989, p 11
    "Blame it on the Moon"
    or "Australian solar varves turn out to be mostly lunar"

    in which it is recorded that some varve formations in the Elatina
    Formation in Southern Australia were discovered not to be annual but
    monthly depositions. They are still called "varves"... "Williams has
    overturned his own hypothesis. After analyzing precambrian sediments
    from another part of S. Aust., he recently concluded that both they and
    the Elatina Sediments were shaped primarily by the moon's influence, not
    the sun's. Charles P. Sonett, Stephen A. Finney, and Cameron R.
    Williams of the Univ. of Ariz., who have also studied the Elatima
    sediments have seconded the new interpretation." The article records
    two depositions a month as tides waxed and waned. This gives 24 a year.


    Michael J. Oard also wrote "Varves - The First "Absolute" Chronology
    Part I - Historical Development and the Question of Annual Deposition"
    Creation Research Society Quarterly 29:2 (Sept., 1992)

    Here are some quotes from his article, part 1:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Measurements of the clastic rhythmites in non-glacial lakes
    indicate that more than one pari of laminae can form each year. For
    instance, Lambert and Hsu (1979a,b) report that 300-360 laminae formed
    in 160 years in Lake Walensee, Switzerland. The humber oand thickness
    of laminae varied with the location, which should make correlation by
    couplet thickness hazardous…The extra-annual couplets were formed by
    turbidity currents caused by either melting snow or heavy rain storms.
    The implications of this research are stated by Lambert and Hsu
    Our investigations supported de Geer’s first contention that
    sediment-laden flood-waters could generate turbidiy underflows to
    deposit varves, but threw doubt on his second interpretation that varves
    or varve-like sediment are necessarily annual!


    …Scientists have been studying the glaciers of southern Alaska for
    years. One glacier in particular, the Muir Glacier, has been receding
    about 410 m/yr up a fjord. This glacier simulates in many ways the
    melting of the ice sheet at the end of the Ice Age. Investigators have
    discovered that debris from the base of Muir Glacier and other glaciers
    in Muir Inlet is continuously fed into the fjord. The debris often
    forms rhythmites that are similar to varves in glacial lakes
    (Mackiewicz, et al., 1984, p. 115). The rhythmites are formed mostly by
    interflows and overflows because of the higher density of the brackish
    water in the inlet. The sedimentation rate in the fjord varies from 13
    m/yr at the terminus of one glacier to about 1m/yr at ice-distal
    locations (Mackiewicz, et al., 1984; Cowan, Powell and Smith, 1988, p.
    409). Most of this sediment is finely laminated silt and mud, and many
    couplets are deposited each year.

    The rhythmites in Muir Inlet are formed by combinations of semidiurnal
    tides, diurnal meltwater discharges, baroclinic waves resulting from
    water density differences in the estuary, heavy rain storms, and random
    debris flows. Smith, Phillips and Powell (1990) discovered that large
    diurnal meltwater variations, combined with twice-a-day tides
    (especially the large spring tides) form two rhymite couplets a day
    below deltas in Muir Inlet. Each couplet averages half a centimeter
    thick, and the sequence superficially looks like varves. Seiches,
    standing wave oscillations in an enclosed water body caused by
    earthquakes or strong winds, can also cause rhythmites (Ludlam, 1979).
    Some of these variables would also operate to cause rhymites in lakes.

    In summary, rhythmites that are believed to be varbes may be annual, but
    several mechanisms operate to produce more than one couplet in a year.
    It is difficult to distinguish between these mechanisms.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oard then goes on to discuss the attempts to distinguish varves from
    other forms of rhythmites, but shows that the criteria are nowhere near
    accurate enough for us to know when there is only yearly deposition and
    when it might even be daily, or twice a day…
    In each case, couplets of light and dark material are formed.

    From a paper in Geology of November, 1992, vo. 20, pp 1019-1022:
    This paper indicates also that varves are not annual events. The
    indication, in this instance, is that the varves outnumber the annual
    estimations by an order of magnitude (10 times). “…the rhythmite layers
    at Skilak Lake are not annual varves.”


    And the following are from two private correspondents who are
    professionals in the field of geology. I have not had time to get their
    permission to use their names, so I am quoting only the part of their
    letters which touch on this subject. However, in view of the above
    referenced material, I think their comments can stand on their own as
    knowledgeable:

    1. There is a large body of experimental and observational data that
    shows that varve-like
    sediments can build up very rapidly under catastrophic conditions. For
    instance, in 1960
    Hurricane Donna struck the coast of southern Florida and deposited a
    blanket of
    thinly-laminated lime-mud six inches thick. Another example comes from a
    Swiss lake, in which
    up to five pairs of layers were found to build up in a single year,
    deposited by rapid underflows
    of turbid water. The varves may represent the number of storms that
    passed over the lake and
    not the annual seasons as previously thought.



    2. The Green River Formation in Wyoming and Colorado is about 2000
    feet thick
    and supposedly took 6.5 million years to be deposited. The very thin
    laminations in the rock are thought by one school of uniformitarians to
    be
    seasonal deposits, in general, changing from light to dark coloration as
    the
    seasons changed.

    In several excavations by my wife and me in the Green River Formation in

    Colorado and Wyoming, we have found fish, coprolite (animal excrement),
    flying insects, grubs, leaves, and even a bird feather contained in the
    shale layers. The smaller fish would be approximately one-eighth inch in

    thickness, while one large gar fish we saw would have been about three
    inches thick. Using the uniformitarian rate of sedimentation by
    dividing
    the thickness of the formation by the length of time it took to deposit
    it
    (24000 inches divided by 6.5 MY), one can calculate the time needed to
    cover
    the fish by sediment. Approximately 0.0037 inches of sediment
    accumulated
    annually, taking 34 years to cover the small fish and 811 years to cover
    the
    large gar. Fish do not wait around for these lengths of times to be
    covered
    over and perfectly fossilized. Neither do the other fragile life forms
    we
    found. Many of the flying insects are preserved with their wings
    outstretched.

    Uniformitarians would counter that conditions in the ancient lake's
    water
    had just the right pH and lack of oxygen to keep soft tissues intact
    until
    fossilization could occur. However, tissue will deteriorate under the
    best
    conditions and anaerobic bacteria would probably have been present to
    feast
    on the organisms.

    From this formation, we have seen fish with erect fins that are in a
    coiled
    configuration with the head near the tip of the tail, having been buried
    in
    the swimming position. This is not a natural posture and position for a
    dead
    fish. A dead fish's fins relax along its body which is normally straight
    and
    assumes a posture 90 degrees from the swimming position. You can check
    this
    out along a lake shore by observing dead fish. Many of the Green River
    fish
    appear to have been buried very quickly even while still living.

    The many millions of Green River fish in a horizontal position which is
    indicative of a "normal" dead fish posture can be easily explained. If
    a
    great amount of sediment were blanketed suddenly over fish schools, it
    would
    carry them to the bottom. In doing this, it would turn most of the fish
    90
    degrees from the swimming position on their descent due to their shape.
    You
    can demonstrate this by "pushing" a fish through the water. The side of
    the
    fish will quickly face the direction it is being pushed. (Note: It is
    sometimes difficult to get fish to cooperate in this experiment!)
    Therefore, we would expect most fish which have been catastrophically
    buried
    to be in the "normal" dead fish position. Fish swimming near the bottom

    would have a greater chance of being buried in the swimming position as
    their bodies would not have time to turn as the advancing sediment
    overtakes
    them. I have a slab of Green River shale with several small fish in the

    "normal" position and one little fish buried in the swimming position.
    The
    loner was probably swimming below the others near the bottom when
    buried.

    At Mt. St. Helens, work by ICR has turned up very thin laminae that were

    formed in seconds or minutes by the volcano during hurricane force
    conditions during volcanism. Before these laminae were documented, it
    would
    have been thought impossible that such thin deposits could have been
    formed
    by such violent events. No doubt the Green River laminae could have
    been
    deposited similarly under catastrophic conditions. Uniformitarian
    assumptions have been rapidly crumbling under the bright light of real
    science.

    There is much more to study concerning the Green River Formation and its

    origin. I hope these observations might be of some help in your witness
    and
    defense of catastrophism in Earth history.



    And, finally, Barry found this for me, which he had told me about before
    when we were trekking through the Pitchie Ritchie Pass area of the
    Flinders Range in South Australia (on our honeymoon!):

    “The Elatina Formation and coeval Reynella Siltstone Member of the
    Marinoan glacial succession in South Australia contain cyclic tidal
    rhythmites of tidal-deltaic origin that provide a paleotidal record
    spanning sixty years.”
    Australian Geologist, No. 117, Ec. 31, 2000, p22 (from article entitiled
    “Proterozoic Equatorial Glaciation” starting on p. 21) by George
    Williams and Phillip Schmidt.
    Williams has also discussed this in Journal of Physics of the Earth, vol
    38, pl 475, 1990, and Reviews of Geophysics, vol 38, p. 37, 2000, and
    Episodes, vol 12, pl 162, 1989


    In other words, to claim that varves are evidence of annual, and only annual, series of depositions is wrong.
     
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    SCOTT PAGE

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Helen:
    In other words, to claim that varves are evidence of annual, and only annual, series of depositions is wrong.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In the past, you have brought up the same arguments on this topic. This is common – point out a few anomalies and proclaim the entire concept to be in error.

    From my archives, a tidbit from an old CARM exchanges, involving Helen:

    *************************************************
    “**** The best case scenario for YECs is 5 varves a year. FIVE. There are 6-10 MILLION in the Green River formation. Even if we consider that ANOMALOUS rate of 5 varves a year to be the norm in prehistory, the YEC model still comes up 1,195,000 or so years too short.
    Shall we be nice? Lets say that 100 varves a year form - 20 times the anomalous maximum observed rate. YEC STILL comes up too short by a factor of 10. Didn't someone say something about wishful thinking?”
     
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    KEVIN KLEIN

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Scientific American Feb 1989, p 11
    "Blame it on the Moon"
    or "Australian solar varves turn out to be mostly lunar"
    in which it is recorded that some varve formations in the Elatina Formation in Southern Australia were discovered not to be annual but monthly depositions. They are still called "varves"... "Williams has overturned his own hypothesis. After analyzing precambrian sediments from another part of S. Aust., he recently concluded that both they and the Elatina Sediments were shaped primarily by the moon's influence, not the sun's. Charles P. Sonett, Stephen A. Finney, and Cameron R. Williams of the Univ. of Ariz., who have also studied the Elatima
    sediments have seconded the new interpretation." The article records two depositions a month as tides waxed and waned. This gives 24 a year.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cool. So scientists are able to distinguish annual varves from more frequent ones.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The implications of this research are stated by Lambert and Hsu:
    "Our investigations supported de Geer’s first contention that sediment-laden flood-waters could generate turbidiy underflows to deposit varves, but threw doubt on his second interpretation that varves or varve-like sediment are necessarily annual!"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Lambert and Hsu also state:
    "We do not intend to make an unwarranted generalization that no varves are deposits of annual cycles. Figure 4 shows varves from the mesotrophic Lake Zurich where the light laminae represent chemical sedimentation prevailing during summers and the darker laminae detrital sedimentation during winters. A comparison of those varves with the non-annual varves of the oligotrophic Walensee shows that the annual rhythms of Lake Zurich varves are more regular, while the irregularity of the Walensee 'varves' reflects the unpredictability of the weather."

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In summary, rhythmites that are believed to be varves may be annual, but several mechanisms operate to produce more than one couplet in a year. It is difficult to distinguish between these mechanisms.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The whole point of the article was how scientists had identified the mechanisms that were depositing the layers. If they were "difficult to distinguish" then there wouldn't have been any paper at all!

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Oard then goes on to discuss the attempts to distinguish varves from other forms of rhythmites, but shows that the criteria are nowhere near accurate enough for us to know when there is only yearly deposition and when it might even be daily, or twice a day. In each case, couplets of light and dark material are formed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So now you're claiming that scientists can't distinguish annual varves from more frequent ones.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>From a paper in Geology of November, 1992, vo. 20, pp 1019-1022:
    This paper indicates also that varves are not annual events. The indication, in this instance, is that the varves outnumber the annual estimations by an order of magnitude (10 times). the rhythmite layers at Skilak Lake are not annual varves.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And then you quote an article that shows how they CAN distinguish annual varves from more frequent ones.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And the following are from two private correspondents who are professionals in the field of geology. I have not had time to get their permission to use their names, so I am quoting only the part of their letters which touch on this subject. However, in view of the above referenced material, I think their comments can stand on their own as knowledgeable:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If they are professionals in the field, why the concern about publishing their names? What journals have they published in? What was the topic of the articles? Why not give us this information so that you can establish their credibility.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>1. There is a large body of experimental and observational data that shows that varve-like sediments can build up very rapidly under catastrophic conditions. For instance, in 1960 Hurricane Donna struck the coast of southern Florida and deposited a blanket of thinly-laminated lime-mud six inches thick. Another example comes from a Swiss lake, in which up to five pairs of layers were found to build up in a single year, deposited by rapid underflows of turbid water. The varves may represent the number of storms that passed over the lake and not the annual seasons as previously thought.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cool, so scientists CAN distinguish annual varves from more frequent ones.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>(Long quote about alleged fossils in the Green River Formation)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Fantastic! This is groundbreaking stuff that should be published as soon as possible so that scientists can revise their models of how these formations came to be. These findings have or will be published soon I presume? (After all, they are professional scientists, right?)

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The Elatina Formation and coeval Reynella Siltstone Member of the Marinoan glacial succession in South Australia contain cyclic tidal rhythmites of tidal-deltaic origin that provide a paleotidal record spanning sixty years.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again, more evidence that scientists CAN tell the difference between annual and more frequent layered deposits.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In other words, to claim that varves are evidence of annual, and only annual, series of depositions is wrong.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed. But that wasn't the original claim. The original claim was that the deposits in Lake Suigetsu in Japan were annual. See this."]http://www.cio.phys.rug.nl/HTML-docs/Verslag/97/PE-04.htm]this[/URL].[/url]
     
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    PATRICK PARSON

    It's more than this, Scott. Whenever one points out this evidence from
    lakes, the "exceptions" always involve ocean tides, glaciers, storm
    runoff etc. But not lakes. The trick depends on confusing varves
    with laminae.

    You see, varves have seasonal changes, light and dark layers, with
    characteristic pollen that show the seasons. Laminae don't. Laminae
    can be laid down in a number of ways, mostly not seasonal. Varves are
    only laid down seasonally, twice a year.

    It remains true that no one can come up with a non-seasonal mechanism
    for varves that can explain all the differences in color and pollen
    content. Nor can they explain why varves suddenly shifted to the
    observed mechanism precisely when humans showed up to see them.

    You are correct, of course, in pointing out that even laminae
    demonstrate ages far beyond any that could be possible in a young earth
    scenario.
     
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    DAVID PLAISTED

    I appreciated Helen's post about varves. In all the discussions I
    had or saw about varves on t.o., the fact that varve-like structures
    can form more often than once a year was never mentioned.
    Scott says this doesn't preserve a young earth because even a factor
    of 5 or 10 in time would not make the Green River formation young enough.
    However, the "varves" in this formation give evidence of being formed
    very rapidly, as Helen indicated. The factor could be much higher than
    5 or 10 a year.

    Patrick Parson and Kevin Klein state that there are tests to
    distinguish (yearly) varves from (more frequent) laminae. The
    implication is a) there is a test for this that is 100 percent
    reliable b) the test applies to ancient varves as well as recent
    ones c) the test has been applied to all the cases in question
    d) the test has revealed that they are all yearly varves (the ones
    used to calibrate Carbon 14 dating, and Green River varves). However,
    these implications are not well supported. Some literature
    references to the fact that such a test exists, would be helpful.

    The 1989 Scientific American article mentioned a reinterpretation of
    some varves. Before this work, these varves were considered to be
    yearly. If there is a reliable test for this, then why wasn't it
    used? One would not expect these geologists to be ******. Was the
    test just developed around 1989?

    In some cases, the varves were known to form more rapidly simply
    because someone could watch them form. Oard also states that it
    is difficult to distinguish yearly varves from more frequent ones.
    In other cases, evidence may have shown a more rapid formation but
    this evidence may have been external to the varves themselves.

    If there are 6 - 10 million varves in the Green River formation
    and each one was annual then this lake existed for 6-10 million
    years. How much material was deposited each year? How much did
    the bottom of this lake rise in 6-10 million years? It must have
    been deep at the start. I suppose it was 24,000 inches deep which
    is 2,000 feet. Lakes today don't last nearly that long, but it
    is possible.

    Dave Plaisted
     
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    PATRICK PARSON

    The Barbarian Replies:
    David Plaisted incorrectly assumes that usable scientific tests must be 100%
    accurate. In reality, no human-designed tests are ever 100% accurate.
    There will always be errors.
    If for example, a medical lab reports a false positive or a false negative
    for some medical condition every now and then, it does not mean that that
    test is incorrect, or the that the vast majority of patients so served by
    the lab were incorrectly diagnosed.

    With regard to the Green River varves, I don't know how many lakes are as
    deep as 2000 feet, but there are a good number of them. It certainly
    represents an extreme case for varves, but extremes also happen in all
    things.

    The most compelling case for varves are not the fossil formations, but the
    ones still working today. It seems odd to argue that the varves in that
    Japanese lake weren't formed by seasonal deposition, when we see that very
    process in operation now. I would welcome any other explanation that would
    account for the observable facts.
     
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    EARL DETRA

    David:
    I appreciated Helen's post about varves. In all the discussions I
    had or saw about varves on t.o., the fact that varve-like structures
    can form more often than once a year was never mentioned.


    I find it interesting that you slide so easily from "varve" to "varve-like" in this discussion. Helen has done the same in her post. I know that sometimes other rythmites might be mistaken for varves, but can you show that this has been the case in the Green River Formation or in Lake Shigetsu(sp?), for instance?


    David:
    Patrick Parson and Kevin Klein state that there are tests to
    distinguish (yearly) varves from (more frequent) laminae. The
    implication is

    a) there is a test for this that is 100 percent
    reliable

    b) the test applies to ancient varves as well as recent
    ones

    c) the test has been applied to all the cases in question

    d) the test has revealed that they are all yearly varves (the ones
    used to calibrate Carbon 14 dating, and Green River varves).


    Wow, you read all of that into a relatively simple statement that there are methods of discriminating between annual and more rapid laminae deposition? That's pretty good.


    David:
    However, these implications are not well supported.


    Which isn't surprising to someone who did not infer them, but that's just me.


    David:
    Some literature references to the fact that such a test exists, would be helpful.
    The 1989 Scientific American article mentioned a reinterpretation of
    some varves. Before this work, these varves were considered to be
    yearly. If there is a reliable test for this, then why wasn't it
    used? One would not expect these geologists to be ******. Was the
    test just developed around 1989?


    No, but evidently someone made an erro in this case. So, yes, some varves at some locations may not be varves. You have a bit of work ahead of you if you want to disprove all varve locations.


    David:
    In some cases, the varves were known to form more rapidly simply
    because someone could watch them form. Oard also states that it
    is difficult to distinguish yearly varves from more frequent ones.
    In other cases, evidence may have shown a more rapid formation but
    this evidence may have been external to the varves themselves.
    If there are 6 - 10 million varves in the Green River formation
    and each one was annual then this lake existed for 6-10 million
    years. How much material was deposited each year?


    Not sure. Probably on the order of millimeters per year.


    David:
    How much did the bottom of this lake rise in 6-10 million years? It must have
    been deep at the start.


    Not necessarily. Subsidence is common in intermontane basins. However, we know that it was not deep all the time since there are evaporite deposits interbedded with the lacustrine sediments.


    David:
    I suppose it was 24,000 inches deep which
    is 2,000 feet. Lakes today don't last nearly that long, but it
    is possible.


    This was an intermittent lake and we know that the depocenter shifted several times. There are some basins with much thicker accumulations of sediments.

    I especially enjoyed Helen's recounting of how the fish died catastrophically in Lake Gosiute (Green River Formation). However, it still puzzles me as to how all of those fish died at once but are scattered throughout at section that is thousands of feet thick. It seems to me that they should all be found in one layer... Is this the case?
     
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    KEVIN KLEIN

    Several people have raised questions about varves that I personally could
    not answer. So I contacted an expert:
    http://www.llu.edu/llu/grad/natsci/buchheim/buchheim.html


    Here are my questions and his responses:

    1. How sure are we that the GR varves represent an annual formation and not
    something more frequent? What are the key lines of evidence that support
    this conclusion?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>We do not know the answer to this question yet. All we can say is
    that the
    laminae couplets are probably NOT varves; that is annual couplets. The
    papers listed below discuss this issue:

    Buchheim, H. P., 1994, Paleoenvironments, lithofacies and varves of the
    Fossil Butte Member of the Eocene Green River Formation, Southwestern
    Wyoming: Contributions to Geology, vol. 30, No. 1, p. 3-14.

    Buchheim, H.P., and H. P. Eugster, 1998, Eocene Fossil Lake: The Green
    River Formation of Fossil Basin, Southwestern Wyoming, p. 1-17. In J.
    Pittman, and A. Carroll (eds.), Modern and Ancient Lacustrine Depositional
    Systems. Utah Geological Association Guidebook 26.

    Buchheim, H.P. and Biaggi, R.E., 1988, Laminae counts within a synchronous
    oil shale unit: a challenge to the "varve" concept. (Abstract) Geol. Soc.
    America, Abstracts with programs, 20(7):A317.

    Grande, L., and Buchheim, H.P., 1994, Paleontological and sedimentological
    variation in early Eocene Fossil Lake: Contributions to Geology, v. 30, no.
    1, p.33-56.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    2. Some have claimed there are fossils that extend through multiple layers
    and therefore the layers cannot be annual. Do these kind of fossils really
    exist in the formation? If so, do they in any way contradict the annual
    cycle theory?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This claim, to my knowledge, has not been documented in the secular
    geologic
    literature.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    3. Since the layers are many thousands of feet thick, does this mean the
    lake was at one point many thousands of feet deep?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>No. Detailed geologic studies provide evidence that subsidence of
    the basin
    bottom kept up with or exceeded sedimentation rate. So a lake could be
    relatively shallow and still accumulated a thick sequence of
    sediment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This quote from Buchheim1994 above provides some interesting insight into
    how scientists distinguish varves from other types of formations:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In most modern lakes where varves occur, they occur below the
    thermocline or chemocline in the anoxic bottom waters and their near-shore
    time equivalent is composed of massive or bioturbated marl or carbonate
    (e.g. Fayetville Green Lake in New York; Brunskill, 1969). Because the
    origin of the varves is due to annual precipitation events in the open water
    (Brunskill and Ludlam 1969), rather than deposition in response to inflow
    processes, deposition is of even thickness. It was also expected that it
    would rapidly change from a kerogen-rich laminated micrite to a bioturbated
    micrite at the point where the lake bottom ascended above the hypolimnion,
    assuming the lake was permanently stratified (meromictic) with an anoxic
    hypolimnion.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't think anyone is claiming that this model provides a 100% reliable
    way to determine if layered formations are annual or not. The key point is
    that scientists can detect annual varves with some degree of accuracy and in
    all cases it supports an earth much older than YEC allows. Even in the
    Green River formation analyzed by Prof. Buchheim above, the difference
    between the shoreline (where the layers are more frequent) and the center
    (where the layers are more seasonal) is only 30%. In a worst case, the
    deposition processes might allow for a handful of layers annually, which is
    still well short of the several layers a DAY required for YEC to be valid.


    Kevin Klein
     
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    SCOTT PAGE

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>

    David:
    Scott says this doesn't preserve a young earth because even a factor of 5 or 10 in time would not make the Green River formation young enough. However, the "varves" in this formation give evidence of being formed very rapidly, as Helen indicated. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Please expand on this. Was this form Helen’s anonymous but highly respected sources? And how rapidly were they formed?
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    The factor could be much higher than 5 or 10 a year.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Perhaps. I also mentioned a rate of 100 a year, 10 to 20 times the maximally ‘observed’ rate of ‘varve’ formation. If we take the low end estimate:

    6,000,000/100 = 60,000

    60,000 years is some 10 times longer than allowed by a YEC perspective, and this if we assume that repeating, alternating couplets of sediment are laid down at the fantastic rate of nearly 10 a month, or a couplet every 3 days or so on average.

    What phenomena have been seen to produce such a rate (keeping in mind that not all laminae are actually varves)?
     
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    HELEN

    OK, I've got the idea now!
    They are varves ONLY if they form yearly. Everything else is laminae.
    So if something that was thought to be varves is found out not to
    be, then they shift definition and become laminae. That sure makes it
    easy to prove varves are only formed twice a year!

    And since that is the way we see it in a lake now, that is the way it
    always was for that lake, storms, earthquakes, and the like
    notwithstanding! (Japan does have earthquakes, I believe...)

    In the meantime, LAMINAE by whatever name, are KNOWN to form at
    different rates in different places for different reasons. In addition,
    large lakes have lapping waves -- even little lakes can! Storms make a
    big difference in these waves.

    But that NEVER happened wherever there are varves! They simply build up
    quietly, undisturbed, for what? millions of years? Just thousands?

    And, oh yeah, Pat -- many laminae come in dark and light layering...

    It is not a matter, folks, of this or that anomalous situation being
    thrown up against the varve evidence of ancient ages, but of a number of
    evidences all over the world of rapidly forming thinly-layered, dark and
    light laminae forming due to a variety of reasons. To somehow use varve
    'evidence' that the earth is so old, it must be shown that these are
    indeed ONLY annual buildups for the entire course of their
    accumulation. That can't be done. We have no way of knowing.

    Take one million varves. The lake is dry and so there is nothing left
    to show us but one million varves. Except, of course, for the
    polystrate fish fossils. But let's ignore them for the moment.

    Suppose these are laminae instead. Suppose these are tidal laminae. A
    couplet twice a day. Four layers a day. One million divided by four is
    250,000. That is a bit less than 685 years. Not that I think the lake
    was left undisturbed even for that amount of time...

    In short, the varve argument is invalid. Whether the earth is old or
    young, there is too much evidence now of rapid layering to be able to
    honestly use the varve argument

    [ February 02, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    PATRICK PARSON

    Right. By definition, varves are seasonal deposits in lakes. Tidal
    couplets don't look like varves, because they don't have those alternating
    light and dark bands. Closer inspection also shows that they don't show a
    variation in pollen content in every pair. That is how some laminae that
    were thought to be varves were shown to be not.

    Until someone can show that that lake in Japan had some kind of wonderful
    mechanism that could, many times a year, drop the appropriate layers,
    including correct pollen grains, which would seamlessly change to to the
    process we see today when people started looking at them, we have no choice
    but to conclude that these varves are what the evidence says they are.

    That there are many other ways to form laminae in other circumstances is not
    an objection to the existance of varves, which we still see forming in that
    lake, year, after year, after...

    * * *

    second email added

    I just happened to see this web site, in which a discussion of the very
    misinformation presented earlier about laminae and varves is discussed.
    http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/age.htm


    Note the remarkable correlation between C-14 dates and number of varves, as
    well as the comparision of Helen's laminae vs genuine varves.

    [ February 03, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    EARL DETRA

    Helen:
    They are varves ONLY if they form yearly. Everything else is laminae.


    In fact, varves are laminae also, just a very specific type.


    Helen:
    So if something that was thought to be varves is found out not to
    be, then they shift definition and become laminae. That sure makes it
    easy to prove varves are only formed twice a year!
    And since that is the way we see it in a lake now, that is the way it
    always was for that lake, storms, earthquakes, and the like
    notwithstanding! (Japan does have earthquakes, I believe...)
    In the meantime, LAMINAE by whatever name, are KNOWN to form at
    different rates in different places for different reasons.


    This is correct. "Varve" is a very specific term.


    Helen:
    In addition, large lakes have lapping waves -- even little lakes can! Storms make a
    big difference in these waves. But that NEVER happened wherever there are varves!


    Actually, it depends on the wave base; but yes, lacustrine sediments can be relatively undisturbed by waves. Some sediments in the Green River Formation probably show wave or current action.


    Helen:
    They simply build up quietly, undisturbed, for what? millions of years? Just thousands?


    Certainly for thousands. How many ripple marks do you see on the deep abyssal plain?


    Helen:
    And, oh yeah, Pat -- many laminae come in dark and light layering...
    It is not a matter, folks, of this or that anomalous situation being
    thrown up against the varve evidence of ancient ages, but of a number of
    evidences all over the world of rapidly forming thinly-layered, dark and
    light laminae forming due to a variety of reasons. To somehow use varve
    'evidence' that the earth is so old, it must be shown that these are
    indeed ONLY annual buildups for the entire course of their
    accumulation.


    Actually, it is the only thing that makes sense in some cases. I agree that the term varve has been thrown around a bit indiscriminantly on these message boards, but there are geologists that have spent a lot of time with these things. If you have a particular case we could discuss it. It is not simply a matter of light and dark layers, by the way, but the composition and grain size of the layers.


    Helen:
    That can't be done. We have no way of knowing.


    Quite an assertion for a lay person. You know there are a lot of things that couldn't be done in the past, but people are doing them.


    Helen:
    Take one million varves. The lake is dry and so there is nothing left
    to show us but one million varves.


    I know of nowhere that one million varves have been counted. Do you have a reference on this?


    Helen:
    Except, of course, for the polystrate fish fossils. But let's ignore them for the moment.


    Where are there polystrate fish fossils in varved sediments? You have the advantage of me again.


    Helen:
    Suppose these are laminae instead. Suppose these are tidal laminae. A
    couplet twice a day. Four layers a day. One million divided by four is
    250,000. That is a bit less than 685 years.


    So, we can't tell tidal lamina from varves. Well, if you say so.


    Helen:
    Not that I think the lake was left undisturbed even for that amount of time...
    In short, the varve argument is invalid.


    Because you think that a lake could be left undisturbed for thousands of years? With all respect, I need a little more assurrance than that.


    Helen:
    Whether the earth is old or young, there is too much evidence now of rapid layering to be able to
    honestly use the varve argument.


    There has always been evidence of rapid layer formation. There is also evidence of much slower layer formation. What do you mean by this? Are you saying that all layering was rapid?
     
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    HELEN

    Earl, thank you for your response. In part my post before this one was
    a bit sarcastic, because of the quickness to change the identification
    of ‘varve,’ which is defined as an annual phenomenon, to ‘laminae’ when
    it suddenly appeared not be annual. In once sense this is quite
    understandable, but then to hear the claim that thus all varves are
    annual deposits (when they have to be that way because of definition),
    is like the sort of half-truth which leads to deception. Very often the
    discussion will be on the numbers of layers which build up and the speed
    with which some, at least, have been seen to occur. One of the very
    common opposition remarks at that point is to say that “varves are
    annual events we can count.” – and that effectively sidetracks the point
    the discussion was dealing with.

    One of the points I was trying to make was that there is no way of being
    able to determine when a lake’s deposits might have been influenced by
    external influences, whether it be storms or earthquakes. The majority
    of lakes are also receptors of a number of rivers. Even with actual
    varve formations, an early spring thaw, followed by another freeze and
    thaw can throw off the count, as can summer flash floods. Things just
    don’t stay calm on earth for hundreds, let alone thousands, of years.

    When I said there was no way of knowing regarding the build-up rate and
    thus the identification of varves as varves, you said, “Quite an
    assertion for a lay person. You know there are a lot of things that
    couldn't be done in the past, but people are doing them.”

    But it was not my assertion on my own. Just above is the post by Kevin
    Klein stating when he wrote in to ask questions at
    http://www.llu.edu/llu/grad/natsci/buchheim/buchheim.html

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Here are my questions and his responses:

    1. How sure are we that the GR varves represent an annual formation and
    not something more frequent? What are the key lines of evidence that
    support this conclusion?

    We do not know the answer to this question yet. All we can say is
    that the laminae couplets are probably NOT varves; that is annual
    couplets
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In addition, the material by Oard in the reference I quoted from also
    states the same thing, with references. So that was not a lay opinion,
    but referencing the opinions of experts in the field.

    You asked about one million varves.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> For instance, we could count the Green River formation in
    Wyoming. It contains more than 4,000,000 layers, or varves, identical to
    those being laid down today in
    certain freshwater lakes. The sediments are so fine that each layer
    would have required over a month to settle.
    http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/varves.html <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Then you asked about polystrate fish in these varves. Please note they
    are not called varves if the fish are in them.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Archer, Allen W., and Howard R. Feldman, 1994. Tidal rhythmites
    in fine- grained Carboniferous limestones, U.S.A: Geobios, v. 16, p.
    275-281.

    Abstract: Analyses of fine-grained limestones reveals that many exhibit
    fine-scale laminations. Laminations can be normally graded and consist
    of a coarser-grained
    lower part and a finer-grained upper part. The upper part can also
    contain finely disseminated organic material. Despite the similarities
    of such graded laminae to
    yearly varves and turbidites, it can be demonstrated by use of
    laminae-thickness periodicities that some graded laminae are reasonably
    interpreted as the product of
    tidal processes. Within siliciclastic systems, modern analogues of such
    processes are available for comparison. In fine-grained facies of the
    Salem Limestone (Visean;
    Indiana, U.S.A.), periodicities observed within sequential-laminae
    thicknesses indicate a dominant control by neap-spring tidal processes.
    Similarly, laminae within
    limestones of the vertebrate-bearing Hamilton paleochannel (Stephanian;
    Kansas, U.S.A.) exhibit similar features, including fine-scale tidal
    bundles. This limestone is
    noted for the abundance of articulated fish fossils. Carbonates
    containing articulated fish from the Wild Cow Formation (Stephanian; New
    Mexico, U.S.A.) , exhibit
    diffuse laminations; however, closely associated siliciclastic mudstones
    contain laminae that exhibit tidal periodicities. There are many
    similarities between tidal
    periodicities and patterns of lamination thicknesses of these rocks. A
    tidal interpretation for these rocks allows for localized, very rapid
    rates of deposition. Such
    rapid deposition may, in part, help to explain how articulated fish and
    other vertebrates can become preserved within such fine-grained
    limestones.
    http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~aarcher/abs94.htm <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Here is an interesting quote:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Young Earth Creationists point out that fossilized fish that span
    hundreds of couplets are found in the shales. They argue that dead fish
    could not have lasted
    hundreds of years without disintegrating; hence, the varves do not
    indicate seasonal depositions. Chemical analysis of these sediments,
    however, reveals that the
    water of the lake in which the varves formed was very alkaline. The dead
    fish, in effect, were pickled; they would not decompose and would have
    lasted for such
    duration as it took to cover them with sediments.
    Dr. Perry G. Phillips
    ]http://www.ibri.org/Tracts/varvetct.htm<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    For example, the Green River basin (Figure d30iv) is famous for its
    lake fish fossils and 600 meter thick lacustrine oil shales (actually a
    kerogen rich limestone).
    http://geowords.com/histbooknetscape/d30.htm

    You can buy one if you like… :D
    http://www.stonesbones.com/fishy.htm


    And finally, no, I am not saying that all layering is rapid. I am
    saying that we don’t have a foolproof way to distinguish between varves
    and other types of laminae, and thus to use a varve count as any kind of
    indication of age of the area is not a good argument in a
    creation/evolution discussion.

    [ February 03, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    I would certainly be interested in hearing about the rapid depostion
    of varves that also showed alternating bands with an apparent seasonal
    distribution of pollen. That seems impossible, Helen, since such a
    thing would require multiple summers and winters in a single year.
    That being so, we certainly have an effective way of determining which
    laminae are seasonal varves,and which are not. "Foolproof" is, as the
    man says, impossible given a sufficiently talented fool, but like all
    scientific and technical tests, "highly reliable" is sufficient. Note
    that the methodology is good enough to check laminae previously thought
    to be varves, to say whether or not they actually are.

    I remain interested in anyone's explanation for the varves still forming
    in that Japanese lake, as to how a rapid mechanism could sort pollen and
    then smoothly switch over to a seasonal mechanism when we started paying
    attention.

    Seems too incredible to consider seriously.

    [ March 11, 2002, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    SOS

    Regarding Noah's flood, no one knows for sure what the events of the past
    were really like and what the magnitude of an event like the flood could
    actually do. But if an event like Noah's flood occurred, there would
    certainly be many years of post-flood traumas producing great (but
    non-universal) catastrophes. The time span for depositing laminated strata
    would not be limited to merely the yearlong flood event.

    However, we know that turbidity currents today can produce thousands of
    alternately laminated structures in one fell swoop and can produce what
    would normally be considered deposits from slow deposition in still waters,
    like shale. In the book Black Shales, by P.B. Wignall, Oxford Science
    Publications, New York, 1994, there is a chapter on "transgressive black
    shales - a stratigraphic enigma", which discusses how these black
    shales can be associated with either the transgressive surfaces and/or also
    maximum flooding surfaces.
    It uses examples from the Late
    Carboniferous of northern England, the Pleinsbachian, and Toarcian stages of
    upper Jurassic of England, and the Callovian Lower Oxford Clay. The various
    models are discussed in terms of their association with maximum flooding and
    basal transgressions.
    (quoted from a review of the book).

    Liquefaction of deposited sediments can also produce sorted laminates from
    homogenous sediment mixtures that very closely resemble varves. We also know
    that currents can sort homogenous mixtures into finely alternately laminated
    deposits.

    To me, the "varves" are not really a problem for YEC's. Preserving fish,
    crocodiles, birds, etc. with biannually produced paper thin sediments is a
    problem for evolutionists, especially where the waters were supposedly
    shallow
    and not anoxic. Landslides are a possibility of preserving these
    creatures, but then are you admitting that landslides can produce the thin
    laminations that are so varve-like?
    Concerning the Green River Formation, for example, I would be wrong to imply
    that creationists have all the answers, but then uniformitarians don't have
    all the answers either. I know that there are still questions about the
    types of "varves" that appear in the Green River formation and I can only
    assume that some creationist group has on going work in that area. We do
    know that laminations do occur in sediments that are not produced by
    seasonal varves. The laminates produced in the Mt. Saint Helens pyroclastic
    flows is an example but, being directly volcanic in origin and nature, not
    directly related to the fine silt deposits typical of shale.

    Without repeating the sentiments of Helen and David (whom I agree with), I
    thought I would toss out a couple of examples for comment:

    Here's a link to an abstract wherein what appear to be varves are not:
    http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2001SE/finalprogram/abstract_4677.htm
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Western Tennessee clay deposits belonging to the Middle Eocene
    Claiborne Formation have yielded abundant plant fossils and have been well
    studied taxonomically; however, little agreement exists concerning their
    depositional environment or the events which formed the deposits.
    Clay
    lenses consisting of leaf-bearing dark-light "varved" laminae are typical.
    ...The occurrence of well preserved leaves within single laminae belonging
    to upland/lowland assemblages, consistancy of clay sedimentology through the
    sequence, lack of change in flora vertically, absence of disrupting
    biogenetic structures, and "varve" like repetitions indicates that all of
    the "varves" may have formed in a short interval of time, rather than
    seasonally, as the result of repeated influxes during a single rainy
    season.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    The abstract does not say why the "varves" are not true varves. Is it
    because of the lack of organic substances in the repeating couplets? I don't
    know. It certainly indicates that varve-like structures can accumulate more
    rapidly than "true" seasonal varves. While the rates indicated are still far
    short of what is required by YEC's for formations like the Green River
    formation, the question of the test for true varves remains.

    As a follow-up question for both creationists as well as evolutionists, I
    would like to know if any of the sedimentation experiments where currents
    were shown to deposit alternate thin strata laminations used pollen in their
    homogenous mixtures. To me, pollen is just another particle to be sorted
    like the sand grains. If one alternates on a regular basis, why not the
    other?

    In this article we see where a whale is covered by diatomaceous earth
    (supposedly taking quite a long time to do so):
    http://www.icr.org/research/as/drsnelling6.html
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    to STP:
    We know why varves (as opposed to other laminae) have alternating high
    and (nearly absent) levels of pollen. We can watch them forming today.
    The pollen falls during the summer, when the dark layer happens, and ceases
    in the winter, when the lighter layer falls.
    That's still happening in various places. It appears that the "out" for
    creationists is to conflate laminae with varves. But I'm still waiting for
    someone to explain a mechanism for the observed phenomenon.

    Because no one can find an alternative explanation, varves represent a
    simple and effective refutation of YE theory. It's not the only one, to be
    sure. Coral atolls also clearly rule out a young Earth. But varves are
    still the most effective demonstration of an old earth.

    * * *

    correction by author in subsequent email:

    When I last posted on varves, I think I wrote that pale varves are winter
    deposits. They are, of course, summer deposits. If I messed up, please
    make this note of correction.

    [ March 13, 2002, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    KEVIN KLEIN

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>One of the points I was trying to make was that there is no way of being able to determine when a lake’s deposits might have been influenced by external influences, whether it be storms or earthquakes.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Don't you think these kind of events might leave telltale signs? Like sudden discontinuities in the layering? Or inconsistencies in the depth of the layers? Or changes in the composition of the layers? If you were a scientist, would that tip you off to the occurrence of an external event?


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>When I said there was no way of knowing regarding the build-up rate and thus the identification of varves as varves, you said, "Quite an assertion for a lay person. You know there are a lot of things that couldn't be done in the past, but people are doing them."

    But it was not my assertion on my own. Just above is the post by Kevin Klein stating when he wrote in to ask questions at http://www.llu.edu/llu/grad/natsci/buchheim/buchheim.html


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here are my questions and his responses:
    1. How sure are we that the GR varves represent an annual formation and
    not something more frequent? What are the key lines of evidence that
    support this conclusion?

    We do not know the answer to this question yet. All we can say is
    that the laminae couplets are probably NOT varves; that is annual
    couplets


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This quote doesn't support your claim at all. If Prof. Buchheim had "no way of knowing" what the deposition rate of the layers was, then what basis would he have for his conclusion that they were not varves? In fact if you read any of his published works you would see that he in fact has an excellent idea what the depositional mechanisms are (and they're three orders of a magnitude beyond what is required for a young earth).


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In addition, the material by Oard in the reference I quoted from also states the same thing, with references. So that was not a lay opinion, but referencing the opinions of experts in the field. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    According to this web site
    http://www.youngearth.org/michael_oard.htm


    Michael Oard is a meteorologist with a degree in atmostpheric science. That hardly qualifies him as an "expert in the field" on matters of geology.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For instance, we could count the Green River formation in
    Wyoming. It contains more than 4,000,000 layers, or varves, identical to
    those being laid down today in
    certain freshwater lakes. The sediments are so fine that each layer
    would have required over a month to settle. http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/varves.html
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This same web site also says:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Studies of present-day lakes don't always show two layers per year. There might be a cycle of 2, 3 or 4 distinct sediments, and then the same cycle repeats. But in the Green River varves, the cycle has only two layers - a fine light sediment, and an even finer dark sediment.

    And of course the occasional storm might add an extra layer. However, this hardly turns millions of layers into a 6,000 year project.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Then you asked about polystrate fish in these varves. Please note they are not called varves if the fish are in them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Are they not called varves BECAUSE they don't have fish in them, or do they not have fish in them because they are NOT VARVES?

    And remember, according to Prof. Buchheim regarding polystrate fossils:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This claim, to my knowledge, has not been documented in the secular geologic literature.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And finally, no, I am not saying that all layering is rapid. I am saying that we don’t have a foolproof way to distinguish between varves and other types of laminae, and thus to use a varve count as any kind of indication of age of the area is not a good argument in a creation/evolution discussion.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think every reasonable person agrees that no method of historical inquiry is foolproof. The question never was, "Can we make a foolproof determination of the age of this rock formation?" The question is, can we make a reasonable, educated estimate of the age with a significant degree of confidence?

    Too often it seems your response when confronted with a scientific conclusion is "they can't possibly know that." (You've used a similar phrase three times in the post I am quoting). Without you knowing what the scientists know (remember for many this is their life's work), how can you possibly make such blanket statements about what they can't know?
     
  20. Administrator2

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    DAVID PLAISTED

    In lakes today there are many evidences of a thriving ecological system:
    decayed fish bones at the bottom of the lake, snail shells, worm trails,
    plant roots, and so on. If the Green River formation really dried up
    repeatedly (evaporates were claimed to exist there) then it should have
    at times been shallow enough to have such an ecosystem. I wondered if
    these evidences have been found, and if not, why not? I realize that
    there are some fossils found in this formation (even if not in the
    refereed literature) but is the number and distribution of the remains
    found consistent with lakes today? Also, well preserved fossils would
    not be found in the bottom of current lakes, depositing only a small
    amount of sediment per year.
    Dave Plaisted
     

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