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Strata - The Grand Canyon

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Behold the Grand Canyon...


...majestic testimony to Earth's antiquity. With one glance you can see back two billion years.


strata
© Jim Thomas, with permission


Layer upon uniform layer of sediments of ancient seas. The oldest layers preserve bacteria and colonies of blue-green algae that gave Earth its oxygen. An orderly record of animal and plant evolution unfolds as you climb the canyon wall.


Sincere thanks are due to Jim Thomas, whose superb photographs and illustrations grace this page. Further information is available at http://www.edu-source.com/GCpages/CVOpage1.html, and more of Jim's illustrations are available for viewing and purchase.

Take a cross section of the canyon and see how geologists have named various layers.


strata
© Jim Thomas, with permission


strata
© Jim Thomas, with permission


Click on the names of the layers below to get an idea of how Earth appeared while each layer was forming. All images © Jim Thomas, with permission.

  • Kaibab and Toroweap
  • Coconino Sandstone
  • Hermit Shale
  • Supai Group
  • Redwall Limestone
  • Muav Limestone
  • Tapeats Sandstone


    strata
    © Jim Thomas, with permission


    Creationists say these strata were formed by Noah's flood...


    ...formed by the ebb and flow of the flood's surges. The references below will give the creationists' views, but simply viewing the visual evidence makes believing "flood geology" definitely an act of faith. Consider the simple evidence that is provided by the organization of fossils, age gradient of the strata, and last but not least, the occurrence of lava flows interrupting the formation of strata. Also there is much evidence of burrowing animals making tunnels through strata below their native layer, but never a case of them tunneling into strata above them.


    (If the strata were formed by a single flood, then pollen would be distributed throughout. However, the microscopic pollen fossils follow the same order as the larger fossil evidence. Tough to explian this simple fact away.)


    For some interesting questions about the flood myth.
    Noah's flood?
    Simple questions for an extraordinary hypothesis.
  • Where did all the fresh water come from? Where did it go?
  • If the sedimentary strata were formed by the great flood, why are there many igneous rock formations interspersed between sedimentary strata?
  • If the flood created the ubiquitous sedimentary rock layers, why are the fossils contained in the layers sorted by age across continents?
  • If dinosaurs were contemporary with biblical humans, couldn't there be more in the bible than a vague reference to leviathan and behemoth?
  • How could all saltwater fish survive the flood?
  • If man and dinosaur lived at the same time, why is there not one human fossil found in the same strata a dinosaurs?
  • Some fish were killed by the "violent action of the flood" is used to explain the abundance of fish fossils. But if the flood was violent enough to kill the fish, why are many fossils preserved in such detail?
  • How does the flood explain the existence of living species (kangaroos, koalas, that exist only in Australia, and are not in the fossil record on any other content?

  • But maybe the Canyon is only 10,000 years old...

    ...because individuals that interpret the bible literally believe the Earth is not older than 6 to 10 thousand years. One claim is that they have measured the age of a lava flow that is at the top of the Canyon is older than the age of a lava flow at the bottom. It would be difficult to explain how and older layer came to be above the younger strata. However, the method they used actually measured the age of the molten source of the lava flow, and not when the flow occurred.

    The details from Matthew S. Tiscareno's Superb Website:
    Problems with radiometric dating techniques are greatly overstated by most young-Earth advocates. They often cite isolated instances of implausible dates, but these are generally caused by obsolete dating methods, contamination that a good scientist would detect (and which does not affect the large majority of dates), or by attempting to date materials that are younger than the dating method's margin of error (using radiometric methods to date recent Hawaiian lavas or living sea creatures, for example, is akin to using an unmarked yard-long stick to measure the thickness of a human hair). Most modern radiometric dating uses the isochron method, which measures several different samples (and sometimes different decay paths) and correlates them. The isochron method basically cross-checks itself constantly, and results that do not represent real ages will fail the isochron tests. Consequently, the isochron method does not require any assumption about initial amounts of parent and daughter elements (a common young-Earth objection to radiometric dating). An important consideration with the isochron method, however, is to know what it is that you're dating. Plotting several samples on an isochron will tell you how long ago the samples were separated from one another. For samples from the same lava flow, this will give you the age of the lava flow. But for samples from different flows, there can be a residual isochron giving the age of the melting event in the Earth's mantle from which the flows were derived. This is exactly what ICR geologist Steve Austin measured in the Grand Canyon. He claims that Rb/Sr isochron dating of lavas at the top of the Grand Canyon gives ages older than Grand Canyon basement rocks (ICR Impact #224, http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-224.htm). However, since Austin's samples came from several different flows, he could not have been dating the age of a single flow, rather he was dating the magma chamber beneath the Grand Canyon, from which all of the flows came. Although Austin claims that his "anomalous ages" cast doubt on radiometric dating in general, the fact is that geochemists often use the same method Austin used to date melting events much earlier than the formation of the flows themselves. For a more detailed discussion of ICR's "Grand Canyon Dating Project," see Stassen (1999), http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icr-science.html. Another common objection to radiometric dating is that addition or removal of parent or daughter elements may have occurred. However, in most cases this would leave tell-tale chemical clues that scientists could detect (and indeed this frequently happens), and furthermore such contamination could not possibly account for all of the world's radiometric measurements, which are in good agreement. Finally, radioactive decay rates are known to be constant under all relevant physical conditions. The fact is that, although radiometric dating is imperfect like any other science, there is tremendous overall agreement among radiometric ages, as well as with stratigraphic (relative) ages, giving very strong circumstantial evidence for the reliability of radiometric dating methods. For a general overview of radiometric dating, see Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective by Christian geologist Roger Wiens (http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/resources/Wiens.html).


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    Snakes with Legs - Snake Evolution

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    Seeing is believing...


    ...You don't have to examine the fossil record to find snakes with legs. Here are reptiles that are alive and well with legs playing a greater or lessor role in their locomotion. Clearly we have "intermediate species" right among us.


    leglessness in snakes
    Leglessness in Snakes


    leglessness in snakes
    Cape Dwarf Burrowing Skink


    leglessness in snakes
    Alberts Burrowing Skink


    leglessness in snakes
    Breyers' Long-Tailed Seps


    leglessness in snakes
    Large Scaled Grass Lizard

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    Polydactylity - Extra Fingers and Toes

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    Polydactylity...


    ...Extra fingers and toes are evidence that mutations can easily produce additions to the body plan.


    six toes, six fingers


    six toes, six fingers
    "You know and I know there are people out there who have made six holes-in-one and more," Bill Brown said. "I don't believe there is anybody in the world who has made six holes-in-one that has six toes on one foot."
    Credits: ANDREW DAVIS TUCKER/STAFF
    Augusta Chronicle


    six toes, six fingers


    six toes, six fingers


    six toes, six fingers


    six toes, six fingers


    six toes, six fingers


    six toes, six fingers
    The Amish present a high incidence of polydactylity due to a limited gene pool.

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    Human Tails

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    Visual Evolution: Tails on Humans
    was formerly www.visual-evolution.com

    All images are copyrighted as noted. All other images are believed to be in the public domain. Please advise if you believe otherwise. Content copyright 2001-2004 Visual Evolution. Keep it real.

    Atavistic structures in individual members of a species arise from a defect in the individual's genetic development. A gene may not turn on (or off) at the right time.


    These abnormalities differ from vestigial organs, that are genetic holdovers from a species' ancestors. These organs (e.g. appendix) occur in all members of a species, but have lost their original functionality.


    According to CECIL ADAMS:

    "Still, at one point in his/her life, every human being does have a tail. Human embryos have a tail that measures about one-sixth of the size of the embryo itself. As the embryo develops into a fetus, the tail is absorbed by the growing body, but some traces remain even in adults. Occasionally, a child is born with a "soft tail," described by one embryologist as containing "no vertebrae, but blood vessels, muscles, and nerves, of the same consistency as the short tail of the Barbary ape." Modern procedures allow doctors to eliminate the tail at birth, but some children have had to learn to live with them.


    Some images have been increased in size, and colorized for clarity.


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    human tails


    Some Creationists say "Occasionally a human baby is born with a tail-like appendage and this is said to be evidence that our ancestors had tails. Actually, such rare congenital deformities are usually a type of fatty tumor having no relationship to the tail of a monkey." You have the intelligence to judge for yourself.

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    Human and Dinosaur Footprints

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    Visual Evolution
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    All images are copyrighted as noted. All other images are believed to be in the public domain. Please advise if you believe otherwise. Content copyright 2001-2004 Visual Evolution. Keep it real.


    Enough about the "human" and dinosaur footprints already...


    ...even the Institute for Creation Research discourages using the "evidence." The Paluxy Riverbed near Glen Rose, Texas has many dinosaur tracks. Some are worn or were distorted when made. Some desperate creationists insist that there are human footprints mingled with the dino prints. Ironically, every paleontologist and geologist alive would give their eye teeth to have genuine evidence of human and dinosaur prints intermingled.


    This fraud comes in two flavors. First are the outright manmade carvings, as shown below, that locals produced and pawned off on the gullible. Below is one of several unnatural-looking prints acknowledged by Glen Rose residents to have been carved by local resident George Adams during the late 1930's. These carvings are always "loose" (removed from the context of the riverbed.) Then there are the "wishful thinking" tracks that are described with phrases like "By following the trail back under the river bank, seven more very human like tracks were exposed." Actually there is not one valid, scientific example of tracks made by a human.


    People like Carl Baugh keep beating that old invalid drum, though. What About Carl Baugh? Enjoy more outrageous insights by Carl Baugh from the Institute For Biblical and Scientific Studies.


    The Burdick Prints
    An alleged "giant man track" from Glen Rose, Texas, regarded by most researchers as a carved print and considered dubious even by most creationists. For an exhaustive discussion of this phenomena, we thank Glen J. Kuban and Gregg Wilkerson.
    An encyclopedic review of the (in)famous Burdick Prints.


    Human Footprint Fraud
    Photo (C) 1986, Glen J. Kuban


    If you need further evidence that these are carvings, examine a cross section of the top "print." Many stromatolite fossils are seen. These structures are interrupted by the depressions, indicating that material was removed. The stromatolite morphology, with upward rather than downward curvature, indicates that the sedimentological "up" direction of the rock slab is opposite the "up" direction of the print; in other words, the print was carved on the bottom of the slab. (From Kuban)


    Human Footprint Fraud
    Photo (C) 1950, Clifford Burdick


    Here is a quote from a leading Creationist website describing the photo at left. This is typical of the 'in situ" prints they use for evidence. Spectacular, isn't it?


    Human Footprint Fraud


    "Spectacular Track #4 close-up displays all five toes, instep and heel, surrounded by dramatic 'mud push-up' typical of real footprints, but not erosion. The depressed print extends into a slightly raised dinosaur track similar to the one just inches to the left. This sequence of tracks displays a right-left pattern and is consistent in length (about 10")."
    Source: bible.ca/tracks/utp-upper-taylor-platform-mcfall-trail.htm

    Human Footprint Fraud


    Human Footprint Fraud


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    Continental Movements

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    The Earth has always been changing...
    Below are the original drawings of geographer Antonio Snider-Pellegrini made in 1858. These two maps showing his version of how the American and African continents may once have fit together, then later separated. This idea was ridiculed at the time, however as knowledge grew, the motion of the continents was verified by several independent facts.


    Continental Drift


    The periodic reversal of the Earth's magnetic field has been "recorded" by the solidifying magma on the ocean floor. The fossil record also tells the facinating story of our continents separating and joining.


    The changing magnetic field of the Earth has been recorded.


    Continental Drift


    In the 1950s, zebra stripe-like magnetic patterns were found "frozen" in the rocks of the ocean floor. Obviously, the ocean floor had a story to tell, but what?
    A theoretical model of the formation of magnetic striping. New oceanic crust forming continuously at the crest of the mid-ocean ridge cools and becomes increasingly older as it moves away from the ridge crest with seafloor spreading (see text): a. the spreading ridge about 5 million years ago; b. about 2 to 3 million years ago; and c. present-day.


    In 1962, scientists of the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office prepared a report summarizing available information on the magnetic stripes mapped for the volcanic rocks making up the ocean floor. Two young British geologists, Frederick Vine and Drummond Matthews, and also Lawrence Morley of the Canadian Geological Survey, suspected that the magnetic pattern was no accident. In 1963, they hypothesized that the magnetic striping was produced by repeated reversals of the Earth's magnetic field. About the same time as these exciting discoveries were being made on the ocean floor, new techniques for determining the geologic ages of rocks ("dating") were also developing rapidly.


    Continental Drift


    The direction of the magnetism in the rocks on the ocean floor reversed over millions of years. the measurements matched the theory. The remarkable similarity of these two profiles provided one of the clinching arguments in support of the seafloor spreading hypothesis.


    Actual magnetic striping in the Pacific Northwest. The center part of the figure -- representing the deep ocean floor with the sea magically removed -- shows the magnetic striping mapped by oceanographic surveys offshore of the Pacific Northwest. Thin black lines show transform faults that offset the striping.


    Continental Drift


    Continental Drift


    As noted by Snider-Pellegrini and Wegener, the locations of certain fossil plants and animals on present-day, widely separated continents would form definite patterns (shown by the bands of colors), if the continents are rejoined.


    Continental Drift


    Measurements made with the Global Positioning System are sensitive enough to detect motion of the Earth's tectonic plates.The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of 24 satellites which is used for navigation and precise geodetic position measurements. Daily position estimates are determined from satellite signals which are recorded by GPS receivers on the ground. Data from a global receiver network were collected by the International GPS Service for Geodynamics (IGS) and analyzed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Horizontal velocities, mostly due to motion of the Earth's tectonic plates, are represented on the maps by arrows extending from each site. This technology is now being applied to study earthquakes in the Los Angeles basin.

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    Science vs. Creation Science

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    Visual Evolution
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    Frequently asked questions...


    Q. How does mainstream science differ from creation science?


    "Science is a process of searching for fundamental and universal principles that govern causes and effects in the universe. The process itself is a method of building, testing, and connecting falsifiable models to describe, explain and predict a shared reality. The method includes hypothesis, repeatable experiments and observations, and new hypothesis. The prime criterion in determining the usefulness of a model is the ease with which the model correctly makes predictions or explains phenomena in the shared reality." From Young Skeptics website.


    Contrast this to the stated goals of ICR: "All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the creation week described in Genesis 1:1-2:3, and confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11. The creation record is factual, historical, and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false. All things which now exist are sustained and ordered by God's providential care. However, a part of the spiritual creation, Satan and his angels, rebelled against God after the creation and are attempting to thwart His divine purposes in creation."
    Source: www.icr.org/abouticr/tenets.htm


    So... the end result of any "creation" research must support their unchalangable assumption. This is not science, this is religion. (By the way, if Satan is "attempting to thwart His divine purposes" apparently their god is not all powerful. What does this imply for christian monotheism?)


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