FW: An old response

Thu, 31 Aug 95 10:36:00 CDT

This is very interesting, I think that you might enjoy some of this
To: CRSnet (Creation Reflector)
Subject: An old response
Date: Thursday, August 31, 1995 10:11PM

Christopher Wayne Ashcraft:

Among a set of canopy/hydroplate posts which Lucky was kind enough to
send to me I ran upon a post from you dated 26 June, 1995, to which I
feel that (in spite of the time elapsed) I should reply. If these
issues were already addressed in posts of which I do not have
evidence, I apologize for the duplication of information and you can
ignore my comments.

You wrote:
"Fossiliferous limestone is generally the accumulated remains of
the marine organisms which developed prior to the flood and were
destroyed during the deluge."
I have addressed this issue on the CRSnet before, but again I will
suggest that creationists must seriously consider non-biogenic
sources for most of the carbonate of the Flood. The micritic nature
so common in Paleozoic and Mesozoic carbonates is without parallel in
the modern world of biogenic carbonates, and may be better
interpreted by carbonate precipitation. A study by Steve Austin and
myself on the Redwall Limestone in the Grand Canyon (to be presented
in poster form at the Geological Society of America meeting in New
Orleans this fall) concludes that at least the uppermost Whitmore
Wash and lower Thunder Springs Members of the Redwall Limestone were
deposited chemically in a hydrothermal vent environment. The rather
'typical' Paleozoic nature of the Redwall suggests that other (maybe
most?) Paleozoic carbonates were formed in a similar manner.

You also wrote:
"The theory that the Cenozoic strata are post flood deposits
also seems erroneous. The widespread, laterally continuous
nature of these strata is only consistent with a global flood
perspective and the density of the fossil constituents are
inconsistent with the extremely limited post flood population
This is certainly not my experience. Except for occasional extensive
lacustrine (lake) deposits (e.g. the Green River Formation) and
continuous coastal deposits (e.g. the Gulf Coastal Plain sediments),
Cenozoic sediments are rarely continuous across regions larger than
counties. The Cenozoic is widely known for what is commonly called
'basinal deposition', because the sediments are usually not
correlatable beyond a very limited basin (i.e. local in areal

You also wrote:
"...precambrian (Proterozoic/Archaean) deposits are most likely
preflood deposits, which generally possess life forms that
naturally colonize subsurface sediment and which were
subsequently buried during the deluge preventing decomposition
and causing fossilization"
By far the most common Precambrian fossils are cyanophytes, which are
photosynthetic bacteria ('blue-green algae'). Photosynthetic
organisms cannot reasonably be considered 'life forms that naturally
colonize subsurface sediment'.

You also wrote:
"The differential placement of animals [in Flood sediments] is
easily explained through natural expectations based on
differential habitat elevations and the ability of the
individual to avoid the event (migratory potential,
environmental tolerance, intelligence). Burrowing forms are
expected below bottom dwellers and bottom dwellers below all
other aquatic forms based on a flood perspective".
Since you maintained in another place in your post that you feel that
Precambrian sediments are pre-Flood, then your claim here would be
that the first Cambrian forms were burrowing forms followed by
'bottom dwellers'. Yet, the Cambrian sediments have traditionally
been identified by the first evidence of trilobites. Although it is
likely that most trilobites were benthic, the eyes of trilobites and
the abundance of *Cruziana* (trilobite trackways) seem to suggest
that it is improbable that they are true 'burrowers'. Although there
are usually vertical trace fossils below the first trilobites (e.g.
*Planolites* and/or *Skolithos*), it is likely that these are escape
burrows, not living burrows. Your expectation of burrowers before
'bottom dwellers' is not born out in the lowermost Flood sediments.

You continued:
"...The differential placement of land animals also parallels
the flood expectation: preceding from lowland inhabitors
(swamps) and burrowing forms to highly mobile forms. Any
significant deviation from the expectation tells us something
about the animal, such as it having inhabited fresh water as
opposed to salt or cold bloodedness causing an earlier death
than others with the same mobility potential".
I would consider the whales a significant deviation from this
expectation. They are nectonic organisms, not terrestrial, therefore
I would have expected them to have been buried BEFORE the 'lowland
inhabitors' (e.g. 'labyrinthodonts' in the Devonian), but they were
not (they are first seen in the Paleocene). Given that they are
mammals I do not expect to be able to interpret them as cold-blooded,
and given that they are often buried with marine invertebrates and
currently live in the marine realm, I do not expect to able to
interpret them as fresh-water. This simplified biozonation model is
not as universal in its explanatory power as you seem to indicate.

You also wrote:
"Concerning the continental drift theory: The primary evidence
has always been the existence of tropically indicative fossils
in areas which currently do not possess tropical conditions.
...without the fossil record conditions of prior tropical
conditions the continental drift theory would never have been
Historically, continental displacement theory was first proposed
because of the fit of the continents on either side of the Atlantic
(eighteenth and nineteenth century). Therefore, unlike you claim,
ecologically anomalous fossils are not as essential to continental
drift theory as you claim. Furthermore, there are many far more
powerful evidences of continental displacement than tropical fossils
at high latitudes (e.g. polar wander curves). Continental drift
theory (or the larger plate tectonics theory) would not be
significantly impacted by the lack of evidence of tropical conditions
at high latitudes.

Kurt P. Wise.