Coal Beds, Creationism, and Mount St. Helens
Originally posted by dmz
There's plenty to choose from. Take the crispy outside-chewy inside of the T-Rex bones, or the realization that the traveling [in America, a T-Rex] 'Sue' exhibit lists rapid depostion as the reason she was so well preserved. How can you have coal without a rapid desposition of some MASSIVE overburden/sediment?
There are thousands of other topics out there that scream 'massive cataclysm'.
But nothing that holds up which would support the claim of a cataclysm in the specific Biblical form
of a global flood some 6000 years ago or there about. Massive local floods in many locations at different times over millions of years? Sure. Global-scale catastrophe like an asteroid or comet impact? Sure. Noah-like floods a blink of an eye ago on the geological scale? Only with the most wishful thinking and careful cherry-picking of evidence, while being very careful not to ask the wrong questions, can even get you close the the Flood story.
As if none of the previous conversation even took place, you start bleating your tired "show me" demands about flagella and the like, completely missing the point.
The believability of Noah's Ark stands or falls on its own -- the relative believability of evolution hasn't got a thing to do with it. What claim are you making? Are you claiming that Noah's Ark is eminently, scientifically believable, or are you retreating to the position of merely claiming "My bullshit doesn't stink any worse than yours!"?
Geology alone, without any Darwinian thoughts, without regard to what a single living thing descended from, stands massively against the reality of the Noah story. I know how creationists love their little anecdotes about things like badly-done carbon dating showing a Big Mac or whatnot to be 1.5 million years old -- but if you try to use that shop-worn creationist tactic, you do so only by completely missing the fact that not one substantial bit of modern geology, most especially when it comes to the broadest non-Noah-like brushstrokes of the great geological picture, relies on any such garbage data.
Just because police have supposedly clocked trees at 80 mph with their radar guns doesn't mean cars can't go 80 mph, that radar guns used properly can't produce meaningful measurements, or that you can make up your own "theory" that cars go 50,000 mph when nobody's looking. Games creationist play trying to discredit unfavorable dating techniques amount to pretty much the same thing.
Known rates of erosion and material deposition, the particular patterns and types of sedimentation and geological strata formation found all around the world, ice core data, tree rings, size and growth patterns in coral reefs, now-possible measurements of continental drift and mountain formation -- all point squarely at a world totally different from the one painted by a naively literal reading of Biblical fairy tales.
Throw in life sciences, still without invoking evolution, just looking at current distributions of animals and plants, numbers of species, varieties of habitats, studies of mitochondrial DNA and the rates of mutation thereof -- and the Noah's Ark story becomes even more preposterous.
"Feasibility studies?" Playing word games with ancient Hebrew names for animals and diddling with what a "kind" might mean until you get small enough a number of "kinds" to cram into a wooden boat isn't "feasibility".
No one would ever, ever reach the conclusion that the world looks like, and got to where it is right now, via anything like the Biblical Flood by objectively looking at the raw data available now, or even by seriously looking at what data was available a hundred years ago.Only
by starting with the Ark story and by having some inexplicable, ambiguity-hating need to believe you've got yourself The Complete Literal Truth in one handy-dandy Book would ever lead anyone down the path to believing in a fairy-tale like global flood in recent history, or believing in a massive burst of speciation starting from the limited gene pool of a small collection of creatures from only a few thousand years back.
It's not about "feasibility studies" (none of which hold up well to much critical scrutiny). It's not about if you can conjure up some "Well, you can't prove it didn't
happen" series of lucky coincidences, laws of physics that change at just the right moment in time to save your story, and of course, a healthy helping of as many miracles as it takes along with an especially selective approach to very generously interpreted available data.
It's about whether this planet and the life living upon it look anything like what one would expect following a massive global flood some 6000 years or so ago, and the subsequent re-population of the world from a small collection of specimens crammed into a single wooden boat at that time.
The answer is clearly no. This world does not look at all like that, and all the available data scream that fact -- without even having to come anywhere near your favorite evolutionary straw men to reach that conclusion.