(this was more enjoyable to write than reviewing bad television(which is damning with faint praise), but we’ll get to that next post. And yes, it’s long. Such a great surprise 🙂 ).
Diana’s claims about science are always curious, but nothing new in the realm of young earth creationist claims. I reviewed her claims about the universe here. She came back to tell me I was wrong, notably without addressing any points or questions I had. Diana now wants to teach me about geology and fossilization. You can find her post here. I thought this deserved a blog post on its own, as an opportunity to point out creationist failures and lies again. All of these topics have been covered before in this blog, so if you are a long time reader, you may want to give this post a pass.
Update: There is much information and discussion down in the comments.
This is written addressed to Diana.
For someone who claimed she was so very ignorant, it is pleasantly edifying to see that your claim was false. You are still quite ignorant of the subject under discussion, but you thought that you could lie in order to bait me. It is fascinating when Christians intentionally lie. It does seem to indicate that you have no more belief in it than I do.
It is also interesting that you think to ask me these questions rather than reading a book by a known expert in the subject of fossilization and evolutionary theory. One would think that those are simply too scary for you to consider since they might show you that you are wrong. I will of course do my best to show that. I know that you are not interested in learning, but in search of any evidence at all that your creationist claim are true. I do believe that you are a young earth creationist. I have recently encountered an old earth creationist Christians who is sure that the earth isn’t only a couple of thousand years old nor that all animals poofed into existence as they appear now, nor that there was a world-wide flood. I wonder, which of you should I believe? It seems none of you since neither one of you has any evidence whatsoever. And you both insist that you are the Christian with the “truth”.
The silliest thing is that you, Diana, have no problem in accepting the same science that supports evolutionary theory and fossil formation as long as it provides you with modern comforts. You are quite a hypocrite.
You ask what is the necessary environment for fossils to be formed? And then you acknowledge that you know what paleontologists say and what I have already said. Are you looking for a different answer? Why? I have no idea why you give me a link to something I already know and that is filthy with popups. What bizarre behavior. If you wish a good site, with plenty of reference to scientific journals, I would recommend the Wikipedia entry on fossils. It has an excellent bibliography.
Why is there such a profuse fossil record all over the world? Because there were biological entities all over the world and there was the proper conditions for fossilization, see above.
Yes, fossilization does seem to usually require quick burial. It doesn’t always; something could have been died, mummified, then been covered; something could have been reduced to its hard parts before fossilization and that’s all that was fossilized (coral, calcareous shells, bones, etc), etc.
Why yes, sedimentary rocks are formed by deposition in different ways and in different environments. I took a couple of courses on this in exhaustive detail (I’m a geologist) and most 7th graders know the basics. Again, what bizarre behavior to tell me something I already know. I really do advice that you find other websites than those that are for educating children. The concepts are understandably simplified but they do no present the entire picture.
Coal can be the fossil record of forests. It’s more likely to be the fossil record of swamps or peat bogs. It comes from anaerobic environments, burial and compression(which causes heating). Western PA is noted for coal. There was large river delta there at one point, full of swamps as is the Mississippi Delta. The mountains to the east eroded and buried this feature, causing the compression and then the coalification.
Quite a non-sequitor, your baseless claim that “For there to be so many fossils to suddenly appear is a miracle.” Now we are back talking about the Cambrian Explosion. Your ignorance in this is quite notable, so dependent on being willfully ignorant.
The Cambrian “explosion” is not a sudden event, as you, Diana, so desperately try to claim. I believe I have already told you this. The Cambrian period was around 40-53 million years long. In contrast, humans, chimps etc split about 5 million years ago (8 – 10 times as short). If we compare it to the claims of young earth creationists, 53 millions years just for one period (which was around 540 million year ago) is 4000 to 5300 times as long as the supposed age of the earth. As I have already told you, there was likely a great extinction event just before the Cambrian started and that opened up a lot of niches for critters to evolve into, just like how evolutionary theory predicts and is thus shown accurate. I would ask you a question here: Do you know what evolutionary theory says? If you don’t, it’s curious to watch someone who doesn’t understand something to attack it as wrong. I would recommend a couple of books to learn about it: Why Evolution is True by Coyne and Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Nye. If you are indeed interested in learning as you claim, then you will read these books or others. You can get them for free from your local library or through it through interlibrary loan.
The fossil record is not “actually massive proof of a world-wide flood.” If there had been a world-wide flood, it would be very easy to see the remains. One question I will ask you directly, Diana, is when did this magic flood occur? How many years ago? Surely you know since you know how old the earth is, correct? We can see just how ridiculous the whole bible flood myth is right here in all its gory details.
But let’s pretend this magic flood did happen like the bible describes: “on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” Most creationists claim that this was a very violent event. A very violent event, blowing rocks and earth apart, would suspend a lot of sediment in the water (whole ocean basins full if we are to believe Brown and Baumgardner (the other claims are even more silly, see above flood link). This sediment would be of various grain sizes, from colloid particles (what you need a high power microscope to see), clay sized particles (less than 2 micrometers), silt, sand, gravel, pebbles, cobbles and boulders (boulders can be quite big).
We would also have all of the detritus swept up in the flood, plants, and dead bodies of humans, animals, fish etc. Fish would be quite dead because salt water fish and fresh water don’t like the same conditions.
Now all of these physical objects, from the colloid particles up to the boulders, whales and dinosaurs have physical characteristics, like buoyancy, suspension, etc. If there was one singular event that placed all of these objects into motion, and it settled within a year (per the bible), we would have one singular layer of sediment that was sorted hydrologically from coarse at the bottom to fine at the top that was meters thick. We do not have this. In this layer, we would see all other detritus sorted by similar construction and buoyancy, dependent on rotting. There could be some mats of floating plants. And there could be some animals and humans that gained temporary safety there. However, most animals and humans would not have such refuge. They would die, bloat, rot and sink, forming a layer of hydrologically sorted remains of similar properties, for instance humans with similarly sized dinosaurs and lobsters with trilobites. We don’t see this at all. There could be a possibility of a another layer of these remains from the possible mats higher up in the layer with the finer material also hydrologically sorted. We don’t see that either. We do see flood deposits aka diliviums, but not for some ridiculous world-wide event. We know exactly what they should look like.
What we do see is very defined types of sediment layers and fossils are sorted by complexity across layers. Only within layers do we see hydrological sorting. This means no magical flood.
It’s also just wonderful to note that TrueChristians can’t even agree on how such a world-wide magic flood could have occurred. They all have such hypotheses but they all fail showing any evidence. They all also such absolute ignorance of basic science that they are just a riot to read.
Now, you could insist that your flood, and every other “miraculous” event in the bible magically had the evidence removed by you god. That’s called the last Tuesday gambit, where you may as well claim that we were created last Tuesday and that we only remember anything before that, with all of the evidence we see created to intentionally give us a false impression.
Again, there is nothing “quick” as you claim. Fossils were made of different animals from different eras over billions of years. Nothing supports the lie of young earth creationists that the earth is only thousands of years old. Not physics, not chemistry, nothing. You depend on an a priori assumption that your god exists and that your particular version of your particular religion is the only right answer. Nothing supports this at all.
What you think is rather hilarious. Geologists haven’t believed in uniformitarianism as you are trying to define it for decades, so you depend on superseded information to retain your beliefs. This entire assumption: “I think this leaves scientists in a quandary. If they admit to a catastrophe, then their uniformitarian (millions of years) views on the formation of the fossil record go out the window, but if they don’t admit to a catastrophe then they have to explain the Cambrian explosion, and the pre-Cambrian fossil record does not explain the varied life forms found in the Cambrian explosion.” Is built on a lie that you have created for yourself through your willful ignorance.
What geologists theorize, and the evidence supports it, is that the same events that happen now happened in the past, and that includes catastrophes. Geologists are sure that there were catastrophes: the Siberians traps, the Deccan traps, the Chixulub impactor, various jokulhlaups (glacial outburst floods, the Channeled Scablands are one cool instance; and the English Channel seems to be another) This shows us that you aren’t interested in learning at all; you are only interested in supporting your false claims. It’s as silly as watching someone insist that bodily humors are still followed by modern endocrinologists.
Diana, your world view is false. The claims you make are intentional lies because you have kept yourself intentionally ignorant of the actual research and have demonstrated that to be true by your actions. You are a hypocrite because you accept science when it makes you comfy but not when it equally shows that your myths are nonsense. You are one more reason to know that your religion has no claim to truths or a decent humane morality. There are indeed Christians who are good honest people but the religion doesn’t make them that way.
Note: I found a new site for quotes about atheism and religion: http://www.atheistrepublic.com/atheist-quotes-sayings Looks like it has some good forums and other bits for atheists too.