Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review of Grand Canyon Argument against Old Earth Geology

UPDATE: Because the argument I'm presenting here based on the Grand Canyon that I try to keep focused on in the debate, is so simple it easily gets dismissed as simply ignoring the other pieces of this enormous puzzle, so I feel I have to explain why that's not the case.

The idea is that I'm pointing out something so essential that nothing else can challenge it no matter how many questions people might want to raise otherwise. If this argument shows as definitively as I believe it does that the strata cannot possibly be hundreds of millions of years old, then no other considerations can undo that conclusion. If this is true, then the particulars such as the angle of repose of the grains of sand in the Coconino Sandstone, for instance, simply cannot be used to prove the Old Earth but are going to have to be understood some other way.

This is the kind of argument I'm always looking for, the pivotal argument, the one that undoes all the others, and I think I've found it in this case (also the genetic argument but that one got garbled in the last debate round at EvC so I'm going to have to work on it some more.)

============================================ The original post: After some months of debate at EvC Forums I feel the need to restate my arguments here.  Over there anything I say is subject to such a barrage of strange objections it's easy to lose track of the simple point I'm trying to make. 

So I want to restate the argument for the Flood which is really mostly against the Old Earth point of view that has the earth about four billion years old. 

I have one very simple argument about that which is based on cross sections of the Grand Canyon - Grand Staircase area that runs from Arizona to Utah.

I've been unable to load any images into my blogs for some time so all I can do is paste a link to one of these cross sections:

Grand Staircase image

This shows the depth of the layers of rock at the north end of the Grand Staircase to be about two miles, and the number of layers to be roughly about 26.  Clearly these layers were originally continuous at that depth for more than two hundred miles to the Grand Canyon area and beyond, but the strata above the Kaibab level eroded away over the Grand Canyon and chunks of the strata above that level also eroded away in the Grand Staircase area, forming the stairs of the staircase.

This shows that all those layers were in place at one time, and this fact is emphasized by the intrusion of the magma dike at the north end of the Grand Staircase which penetrates upward through the entire stack from bottom to top, showing that it did not occur before they were all laid down.   It is also shown by the fault lines that split the whole stack; It is also shown by the distortion of the whole stack as a block as it follows the curve of the mound over the Grand Canyon.  If that rise had occurred before they were all laid down, the upper layers that were laid down later would not have remained parallel with the lower block of layers but would have been horizontal and butted up against the upgrades and curves.  That is not the case.  The entire stack as a whole follows the curves across the entire landscape, the layers all remaining parallel to one another.  It is also shown by the fact that the canyons and stairs were cut after they were all laid down.  Clearly they were all laid down and THEN there was a violent upheaval of some sort, tectonic force no doubt with attendant earthquakes plus the volcanic activity that is shown in the magma.  All this occurred TO THE ENTIRE STACK after it was all laid down.

What is my point?  My point begins with the observation that according to conventional Geology each of those layers represents a time period of millions of years.   Here's another diagram  showing the time periods assigned to the layers in the Grand Canyon. Scroll down about half way to see it.   Really wish I could post just the image, sorry it's so awkward this way.

Now consider that conventional Geology describes the planet Earth as a "very active" planet, and ask yourself why in that case those strata are depicted as so neatly parallel over what adds up to hundreds of millions of years, how ALL of them were obviously laid down one on top of the other before the land was tilted, before the mounded rise formed, before the canyons and stairs or cliffs were cut, before the magma rose up through the layers and before the faulting occurred.

The obvious conclusion is that those hundreds of millions of years did not happen.  It's all a fiction.

When I presented this scenario at EvC of course I got all kinds of objections.  "Well but surely each of those layers would show a great deal of activity if you looked into them minutely" for instance.  But of course that doesn't answer why they ALL follow the same contours as a block.   And "Really there's nothing odd about there being no activity on the planet for hundreds of millions of years, and then a lot of activity all at once."  Really?   They also suggested that this could have happened in this particular area and nowhere else. To this I can only say that you also find blocks of strata everywhere distorted by tectonic force as a block. There is nothing quite like the Grand Canyon of course which shows the Geologic Column to such a great depth. And they objected to the use of a diagram at all, as if the artist wouldn't have known not to draw the strata parallel if they weren't parallel. And of course the usual objections were raised about the Young Earth arguments as well, which became a major distraction from the main point I was making. 

But this one simple observation stands against the whole Old Earth argument.  I think it's open and shut myself.

From there I go on to argue that the actual appearance of the strata in that area is much better explained by the Flood, and that gets into all kinds of other considerations.  But rather than lay those out here I just want to keep it simple, showing that the conventional explanation does not account for the actual formation of the strata.

And yes, there is The Great Unconformity at the base of the Grand Canyon too.  I believe that also occurred at the same time as all the other activity I've described, and there are some posts on this blog about it, but it's not necessary to insist on that to make the point I'm making here.  Many creationists treat the Great Unconformity as already there when the Flood occurred and laid down the strata above it.   I don't, but it doesn't interfere with the point I'm making here to leave it at that.

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