Monday, August 8, 2011

Dealing with some arguments against the Flood

D Wise who posts at EvC forums has his own site on the debate, or really, on what's wrong with creation science. He's amassed quite a collection of arguments against creationist arguments, many against the Flood. This is an improvement over the endless refrain at EvC that the Flood has been discredited many times over although most of the time all they offer is that refrain and leave it to the reader to figure out what evidence they have in mind. So it's helpful to see all the arguments mustered in one place, as D Wise does on this page.

It's a formidable collection and I'm sure I won't be able to address more than a few of them, but I'd like to do whatever I can, and I'll take them in the order he's presented them:

First, I just want to note that he's extremely offended at the statement of belief made by the late Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research:
Notice that they [some Christian geologists] suffered severe crises of FAITH, not of GEOLOGY! This should not come unexpected, considering Dr. Henry Morris' teachings about geological evidence, teachings which the ICR lives by:
"No geological difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inferences of Scripture." (_Biblical Cosmology_, page 33)

"The data of geology, in our view, should be interpreted in light of Scripture, rather than distorting Scripture to accommodate current geological philosophy." (_Science, Scripture, and the Young Earth_, page 6)
In short, if it don't fit our theology, then either make it fit or ignore it. To that, his son and heir apparent, John Morris, has added (and many at the ICR seem to concur and actively teach): if it refutes the smallest part of our theology, then it disproves our entire theology. No wonder those students suffered so at seeing their faith crumble before them; this is one of the more distasteful and destructive consequences of the "Dark Side of the Farce."
Of course we can't expect an unbeliever to grasp the importance of the credal statement by Henry Morris, but all Christians should certainly embrace it -- it is the Light while the Dark Side is the offense taken against it. The Bible is God's word, not to be subjected to dissent or argument, that's the nonnegotiable foundation. And yes, we either have to find a way to reconcile science with it or simply leave science alone until enough is known to make the reconciliation. There is no other alternative, whether Wise and other unbelievers find this "distasteful and destructive" or not. Our faith and the world will always be at enmity.

Of course this assumes RIGHTLY reconciling science with scripture, although Wise accuses creationists of all manner of dishonesty, and I'm not going to get into that because I haven't followed all the creationist claims. The one time I specifically asked an evolutionist for an example of such dishonesty he described what was really only a confused wrong idea about what evolution teaches, not dishonesty at all. In fact I haven't yet seen an example of what I would have to agree is dishonesty. Not that it doesn't exist, I wouldn't know.

So I generally avoid those issues, but I'll weigh in on the basics. One of the basics is that God's word trumps ALL. Period.

That said, on to the science issues (I've added the headlines):


Also speaking at the 1986 ICC was Harvard paleontology graduate student Kurt Wise (no relation, I'm sure), who surveyed what is known about the speed of formation of the three major kinds of rock. While he found that many kinds of sedimentary rock can form rapidly, igneous rock is another matter. While a small chunk of granite can conceivably form in a short time, many massive bodies are known, such as huge granite batholiths, some of them 10 kilometers in diameter, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Under the most favorable conditions, such formations would take about 100,000 years to cool, instead of the 6000 to 8000 years required by Flood Geology. Metamorphic rock is worse since it must first be formed as sedimentary rock, be heated, and then cool off.

During the question period, geophysicist John Baumgardner pointed out that Wise's figures had been very conservative and that much more time would be needed for rocks to form. He also offered sheer forces as a source of heat and pressure for metamorphic rock, but Wise countered that many metamorphic rocks show no signs of sheer.
[It's "shear" but anyway]. As I've been refining my view of the formation of the Grand Canyon I came to the question of how the granite and schist at the base formed. I've explained the Great Unconformity at the base as brought about by the volcanic eruption that is evidenced by the magma (granite) intrusions in all the illustrations as well as by the uplift of the area of the canyon itself, and logically the granite and metamorphic rocks were also formed by the same eruption.

There's heat and pressure generated by the volcano plus the weight of the strata overhead for that part of the transformation -- the metamorphic rock or in that case the schist -- and if all this occurred while the Flood waters were still on the earth, which I'm arguing was the case, there would have been plenty of water everywhere to exert a cooling effect on the rising magma. The strata would be saturated and oozing water for some time to come, a cooling effect on the order of a gigantic Wet Blanket some two to three miles deep in the Grand Canyon area.

I don't know about New Hampshire but granite batholiths form deep in the earth under the same blanket of strata everywhere -- there are many illustrations on the web that demonstrate this. They spread out horizontally to great distances, apparently kept from pushing upward by some barrier above, such as a few miles' depth of wet sediments. The magma does also push up through the strata in separate fingers that cool to dikes over time, burning through all the layers to the surface where lava overflows and making horizontal "sills" of magma between layers on the way up. (The computer I'm using doesn't have enough power to allow me to post some diagrams but eventually I'll try to put some up).

The batholiths would be relatively thin vertically and in contact with the wet rock above for their entire horizontal extension. The rock immediately above would heat up from contact with the magma, even while exerting a cooling effect in return, but there's plenty of water above that point of contact to keep trickling down through the layers to continue the cooling effect for a great while to come. Eventually the magma would be cooled to granite batholith, which it seems to me would occur appreciably faster under these conditions than the usual calculations take into account -- they assume dry rock -- though no doubt not nearly as fast as lava cools on the surface.

More to come from D Wise's list of arguments.

Yes, I know geologists are used to encountering water underground. Would they recognize the effect of a few miles' worth of damp sediments on rising magma that occurred over 4000 years ago? And how would they recognize it?

Email correspondent gave me some calculations about how the weight of the strata wouldn't be sufficient to form metamorphic rock within the time span I'm allotting, or to cool the magma I think he also said but I'll have to reread it to be sure. Somebody is going to have to translate the math into descriptive English if they want me to accept any of it. For all I know it doesn't represent the situation I have in mind at all.

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