Sunday, October 9, 2011

Index Fossils continued: evidence or interpretation?

On that same thread about index fossils I posted on below, Percy as Admin responds to Dr. A:
Dr Adequate writes:
Fossils Are Dated By Theory
But you see this is nonsense from beginning to end; as its author could have found out by some such expedient as reading a beginners' textbook on geology and noticing what it actually said.
[Percy writes] You may be implying the same thing, I can't be sure, but to me it seemed that Buz was confusing evidence itself with the interpretation of evidence within a theoretical framework.
Dr. A should have been called down for not describing what exactly was wrong with the information linked by Buz, as should Rox and Paul K too for that matter, as it's impossible to know what they think they were saying. Exactly HOW is it "nonsense" Dr. A? What on earth do you think a geology textbook would say that contradicts what the creationist said? It's a fact that certain fossils are used to identify the age of rocks, you certainly can't object to that.

But to respond to Percy's point about confusing evidence with the interpretation of evidence, I'd say that's not Buz's problem or the creationist's at the site he linked either, I'd say it's the old-earther/evolutionists' problem. The website was not wrong about the facts as I show in my previous post: the fact is that certain fossils are identified as index fossils that can be used to identify the age of a certain layer by their appearance there. That is fact, Buz didn't get that wrong, neither did the creationist who wrote the article at that link.

What you all must be objecting to is how that fact is used within the creationist paradigm. It's YOUR confusion, not the creationists.' That is, from the creationist perspective the Geologic Column that defines the supposed ages of all the strata and their fossil contents is wrong, at the very least a huge unproven theory. The Flood explains the strata and the fossils. And the evidence for the time periods of the conventional geological model is just about nonexistent. But they take it as proven fact to the extent of identifying these particular fossils for the purpose of defining the age of any particular rock they happen to be found in. It's the AGE question that's the unproven theory. On the creation model the strata and their contents are to be identified in terms of their position in relation to each other, their depth, their location. They were all laid down in the same event so age is not relevant.

However, it's interesting, I think, to consider that the index fossils that identify age according to conventional geo theory COULD be used to identify depth or location on the creationist model just as they are used to identify age on the old earth model. That is, there is enough predictability of the location of certain fossils to make the chosen ones useful for identifying the kind of rock you are looking for that normally occurs at a certain depth in the strata. It's not AS predictable as they usually claim but it is nevertheless predictable ENOUGH for that purpose whether to define the age of a rock or simply its depth. Either concept should be just as useful for finding whatever you are looking for, whether oil or coal or whatever. What is important is identifying the right rock at the right level.

What the creationist is objecting to is the circular reasoning that supports the age interpretation. He's right.

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