The Magnetic Field of the Moon

Strength of the Moons magnetic fieldUnlike the Earth the Moon lacks a global magnetic field (though it does still have a field of sorts) but evidence from rocks brought back by the Apollo missions shows that this was not always the case. We haven’t seen an article on planetary magnetism from the ICR in some time now, but they used to be quite common. Brian Thomas’ latest, The Moon’s Latest Magnetic Mysteries, breaks the silence.

The topic is a recent paper in PNAS, “Persistence and origin of the lunar core dynamo” – the paper is not open access, but a conference abstract on the same subject is available as is a article. The methodology is quite interesting: Continue reading

Dating the Grand Canyon

Stratigraphy of the Grand CanyonAs easily accessible American landmarks, Mt St. Helens and the Grand Canyon feature disproportionately in young Earth creationist publications. For example Brian Thomas’ Monday article was called Age of Grand Canyon Remains a Mystery.

It is one thing to calculate the age of a layer of rock – this is a textbook application of radiometric dating – but quite another to date a canyon, say, that has cut through said rock at an unknown point later on. Less direct methods of dating must be used, and there is therefore a greater potential for disagreement (at least between scientist’s interpretations of the results). The more generally accepted date for the age of this particular canyon is 5-6 million years, but a recent paper in Science offers evidence in favour of the alternative view, that it was carved almost completely by around 70 million years before the present. Both dates are much more than 6000 years, but that doesn’t faze Mr Thomas: Continue reading

Cavitation and the Flood

The Glen Canyon Dam in 1984 (during floods the following year, but you get the idea)John Morris’ Acts & Facts article for this month is a little different from that of the last two months, in that it doesn’t resemble ‘filler’ quite so much. The piece is called simply Cavitation, and argues that the Grand Canyon could have been formed via this intriguing process.

Cavitation, as Wikipedia informs us,

…is the formation and then immediate implosion of cavities in a liquid – i.e. small liquid-free zones (“bubbles”) – that are the consequence of forces acting upon the liquid.It usually occurs when a liquid is subjected to rapid changes of pressure that cause the formation of cavities where the pressure is relatively low.

Continue reading

Step Canyon

Yes, folks: That's a Video!

Finally, a That’s a Fact video that’s more creationism than theology. Indeed, it’s about the most famous of creationist canards – namely, that the Grand Canyon. Or rather, something they call the “Little Grand Canyon“:

(I’m not actually sure why that is working, considering that the previous one still wont display. The ICR is weird.) Continue reading

Flood ‘Evidence’ Raises More Questions Than It Answers

Yes, I thought I’d try and see if I could come up with a DpSU style headline myself, and I reckon I did pretty well…

I was (almost) lead to believe that we’d be reviewing the evidence for Catastrophism in general in this article (it was titled Worldwide Catastrophic Evidence is Everywhere after all), but, as I expected, it’s all (yes, all) about the flood. Which is odd, considering the next article is entitled “Much Evidence Exists for a Worldwide Flood“. This is not surprising, really, considering that most of the stuff that is making geologists blend Catastrophism into their explanations are rather unpalatable to Creationists. The K-T impact wouldn’t really help their case, you understand.

To go over the meat of the article:

Fault surfaces that contain zones characterized by microbreccias and pseudotachylite are evidences for rapid displacements.

And why is this evidence? You need to explain this, rather than tossing out science-sounding words… I’m guessing they’re talking about sedimentary layers containing breccia, which is apparently a bit like concrete with rocks in it, where the pseudotachylite” here is presumably the concrete (It is also associated with impact craters, but I doubt that’s what they’re talking about here).

Beveled surfaces below, within, and above thick strata sequences provide evidence of rapid flood and post-flood erosion. Sheetform beveled surfaces below and within thick strata sequences provide evidence of widespread sediment sublimation during a global flood (e.g., the paraconformity between Coconino Sandstone and Hermit Shale on Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon).

According to wikipedia, “A beveled edge refers to an edge of a structure that is not perpendicular to the faces of the piece.” What “sediment sublimation” is supposed to mean I don’t actually know – search for it in google in quote-marks and this article is top of the list! Paraconformity is “a type of unconformity in which strata are parallel; there is little apparent erosion and the unconformity surface resembles a simple bedding plane.” (source)

What the author seems to be saying is that the flood caused rapid laying down of sediment and it’s partial erosion, followed by more sediment. This isn’t evidence for the Flood so much as interpreting the evidence from the perspective of the Flood having happened, a key difference. None of this can’t explained by other means.

As further evidence for the worldwide nature of the flood, ancient human cultures across the globe appear to possess legends recounting a great global flood.

Classic argumentum ad populum here – just because lots of people believe it, doesn’t make it true. See wikipedia on the potential origins of the Flood myths of the world.

I’m going to combine the next few articles together with some “Related Articles” to comprehensibly cover (or thereabouts) the ICR’s position on the flood. As I alluded to in the title of this post, there are a few questions I want answered about the flood (in no apparent order):

  • Where did all the water come from?
  • Where did it go?
  • How high was the water?
  • If the water completely altered the landscape, why does Genesis 2 talk about the Euphrates and Tigris, which presumably did not exist at the time?
  • How do they explain sediments that have been turned and then had more sediments put on top of them?
  • How long did the planet take to dry out after all that time?
  • How did the flood erode the grand canyon but fail to erode the entire earth?
  • How come fossils are generally consistent with regards to their position in the geologic record
  • It is sometimes said that animals were initially not carnivorous before the flood – does the ICR believe this and what is there explanation for dinosaurs fossilised with their dinner inside them?
  • How are there different layers in sediments if they were all laid down largely together?
  • Why do some places have different layers than others?
  • What was the salinity of the flood-waters?
  • What happened to the oceanic currents during the flood?
  • Why isn’t there sediment from the Flood all over Antarctica?
  • Why can’t we see the flood as a major disturbance in ice core samples?
  • How permafrost formed between the Flood and now when it is thought to take far, far longer?
  • Why there isn’t huge amounts of DNA in fossils, far more than the measly specks that Brian Thomas is so fond of seizing on?
  • Why Dendrochronology (tree rings as gauge of climate) can extend back for more than 10 thousand years without noticing any global flood?
  • How you get footprints in the Coconino Sandstone mentioned above? It’s neither the top nor bottom layer in the sequence – I presume that it was still under water (I’m talking about Lizard footprints here).
  • How all that extra Iridium got into the K-T layer, but not any of the others?
  • Why don’t we have a layer of petrified wood at the bottom of the sediment, but nothing of that nature above it?

And probably a few million more also, which I can’t think of right now.

I also have a few questions about the Noah’s Ark aspect, some of which I have mentioned before:

  • The whole the-whole-thing-couldn’t-actually-float-if-made-from-contemporary-materials thing?
  • What they fed the animals on?
  • How a colony of bees is supposed to recover from a population of a single queen and a useless drone? \
  • How small flightless birds such as the kiwi are supposed to have gotten from the far corners of the earth to Mesopotamia in time to catch a boat, and then back again?
  • What all the trees were doing at the time?
  • Where did they put all the faeces?
  • Are Dinosaurs “Birds of the Heavens” and therefore require not 1 but seven pairs of each “Kind”? Where do you draw the line?
  • Do you really believe all this stuff about dinosaurs and dragons?
  • Define “Kind” anyway…

And so on. I don’t mean to Gish Gallop, I just want to see what is left by the end…