The Chattanooga Shale

ShaleFor his November geology article John Morris gave a report on the Devonian Chattanooga Shale, which he called an “evolutionary enigma.” According to Morris the “evolutionary” explanations for its formation are all wrong, and the Flood did it.

The most common sedimentary rock type is known as shale, made up of tiny silt or clay particles cemented together. Tiny particles are easily carried along by moving water. Thus, in uniformitarian thinking, shale particles take an inordinate amount of time to fall through a column of water and settle on the bottom, even when the water is completely calm.

To the extent that this is true (it probably is, but I’m no geologist), the conditions under which the sediment that becomes shale falls to the bottom of the water column will be based less on “uniformitarian thinking” so much as the laws of physics and our knowledge of fluid dynamics. Morris never does explain how shale could be laid down in the tumultuous conditions of the Flood, though he assures us they do indeed exhibit evidence of “catastrophic deposition.” Continue reading