Beached Whales

The title of the DpSU for the 20th of December is Whales in the Desert? The topic is interesting in that I’ve already heard of this find in the context of creationism – it was discussed twice on TWIGO:CP, in TerryH fails geology forever and more briefly in Terry vs The Whale, and inspired a post on We Couldn’t Make This Up.

Now, Mr Hurlbut made a slightly different claim than Mr Thomas does now. To quote the latter blog post:

His argument boils down to the fact that “How did eighty whales wash ashore, half a mile inland, and at an elevation greater even than the height of the Empire State Building?

Much of the criticism directed at TerryH on the RationalWiki page can be summarised by the following quote from Whoover in the first discussion link:

Here’s a site, not too far from the “coastal highway” expansion that uncovered the site. Its elevation is 151 feet. “Whale Hill” must be hella steep. OTOH, if the site were at 13,000 that wouldn’t hurt “evolutionists'” feelings.

(Terry claimed that the Atacama desert is 13,000 feet high, and argued that the fossils were found at a similar height. They almost certainly weren’t, but even if they were they had 7 million years to get there.)

The Atacama desert and surrounding regions Continue reading