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Charles Darwin, Geologist

Charles Darwin, Geologist | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Science blogger Greg Laden writes, "Everyone knows that Darwin was a biologist, and in many ways he was the first prominent modern biologist. Though Darwin scholars know this, many people do not realize that he was also a geologist."

 

But was he a good one?

 

YEC geologist Steve Austin visited the site of Darwin's camp on the Santa Cruz River in Argentina, interpreted by Darwin to be the result of slow erosion over a long time: "The river, though it has so little power in transporting even inconsiderable fragments, yet in the lapse of ages might produce by its gradual erosion an effect of which it is difficult to judge the amount."

 

However, as Austin shows in "Darwin's First Wrong Turn," (http://www.icr.org/article/darwins-first-wrong-turn/), Darwin seriously misinterpreted the geology. Basalt cliffs and boulders high above the valley floor actually mark the spillway of what is probably a glacial outburst flood. 

 

The Santa Cruz River itself is seriously underfit for its channel, highlighted in orange in the image above, which originates in the glaciers and glacial lakes of the mountains to the west.  The actual river follows the trace of the black lines, so you can see the contrast between the spillway and the current river channel.

 

Austin notes that Darwin "...saw the structure of the present valley and understood it to have been formed by the continued slow action of the modern river during the lapse of great geologic ages. Later, Darwin revisited the bogus methodology when he assumed that beaks of finches on the Galapagos were derived slowly during geologic ages from a common bird by the cumulative process called natural selection. ... Darwin was in error about the Santa Cruz River valley. What if young Darwin had correctly interpreted the colossal flood evidences within the valley? Would he have later entertained that biological extrapolation called biological evolution? ... It is evident that Darwin became a committed geological evolutionist before he became a biological evolutionist. Camp Darwin marks this young naturalist’s first scientific wrong turn."

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Conformable Contacts
Notes from the intersection of faith, reason and geology
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Raison d'etre

Raison d'etre | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

In geological terms, a contact is the place where two different types of rocks come together. This ezine is a place to find content from my favorite web sources on the the creation-evolution issue, with a focus on the subject of geology.  Just as the layers of a rock can be composed of many different materials, so my sources often differ in their assumptions and in their views on the issue, but their common intersection is the belief that this is an important subject.

 

(Image source:  Glyn Baker, http://www.geograph.org.uk/reuse.php?id=167895)

YEC Geo's insight:

While my interests are wide-ranging, as even a cursory glance at this site will show,  a subject of great personal interest to me is the preservation of biological material in fossils presumed tens to hundreds of millions of years old.  In my view, the increasing pace of discovery of such material is one of the strongest evidences in support of a young age for the earth.

 

Below is a continuously updated archive of articles I've found on the subject:

 

Radiocarbon in dinosaur bone: http://sco.lt/62cNg9 ;

Preserved coloration in dinosaur eggshell: http://sco.lt/7SdFej

Collagen and blood cells in Cretaceous dinosaur museum specimens: http://sco.lt/9D1Zy5, http://sco.lt/7IbqFt

18-million year old proteins in seashells: http://sco.lt/7f9ELB

15-million year old proteins in seashells: http://sco.lt/5E9l8T

Jurassic squid ink: http://sco.lt/7nbAVV

550 million year old tube worms: http://sco.lt/8xwAJl, http://sco.lt/4xoX6v

23 million year old lizard:  http://sco.lt/5qDwpt

46 million year old mosquito: http://sco.lt/8AQAuf

46 million year old beetle scales: http://sco.lt/68OHA1

70 million year old hadrosaur skin: http://sco.lt/8SaVEn, http://sco.lt/9L5UDB

160 year old mollusk melanin:  http://sco.lt/6QYbU9

Brian Thomas’ overviews:  http://sco.lt/92v9t3, http://sco.lt/5H0JSj

Archaeopteryx feather:  http://sco.lt/70tG8P

190-197 million year old sauropod egg proteins: http://sco.lt/7J3aSX

250 million year old coloration on trilobites: http://sco.lt/4xixrV

Cretaceous triceratops horn: http://sco.lt/6a9nlZ, http://sco.lt/5FtIBd

Bachelor’s thesis on fossil pigments: http://sco.lt/5mbfv7

350 million year old crinoids & 417 million year old eurypterid chitin: http://sco.lt/5Y3cVl

C-14 in dinosaur bones, a presentation at an AGU-AOGS conference that was later stricken from the conference records:  http://sco.lt/5OIu25

Soft tissue overview from Answers in Genesis: http://sco.lt/666kpl

Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s dinosaur tissue research: http://sco.lt/5VIvnl

Preserved coloration in 70 million year old mammal teeth: http://sco.lt/5H0JSj

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You Wouldn’t Want to Live on “Earth’s Cousin”

You Wouldn’t Want to Live on “Earth’s Cousin” | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"When the Kepler Space Telescope team announced the closest match to Earth yet seen, a planet named Kepler 452b, reporters went berserk with the “cousin” metaphor and other comparisons making it sound like a second home."

YEC Geo's insight:

I thought maybe there was a fair amount of over-hyping going on--that looks to be the case.

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This lake in Canada's North is literally about to fall off a cliff

This lake in Canada's North is literally about to fall off a cliff | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Heat and rain are melting headwall ice, exposing soil and sediment which is in turn washed away, revealing more ice, in a process that creates large slumps in the landscape.


YEC Geo's insight:

A real-life example of large-scale gullying.  Fascinating to learn how dependent the topography of the area is upon subsurface ice.

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▶ The Pacific Crest Trail in Three Minutes

"The entirety of a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike from the US/Mexico border to the US/Canada border across 2,660 mi / 4,200 km through California, Oregon, and Washington."

YEC Geo's insight:

This video's gained over 865,000 views in less than a month, and it's easy to see why--it's an enticing sampler of the incredible geology along the Pacific Crest trail.

 

Almost tempted me to start planning a multi-year attempt, until I saw this, by the same guy who made the video:  http://www.halfwayanywhere.com/trails/pacific-crest-trail/17-things-scarier-than-bears-on-the-pacific-crest-trail/

 

OK, maybe I'll stick to day hikes.

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Drones Are Becoming the Oil Industry's Guardian Angels

Drones Are Becoming the Oil Industry's Guardian Angels | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Self-piloting drones like the Boomerang are leading a small but fundamental change in the industry. In oil and gas, equipment doesn’t move without data—where to drill, how deep to go, and so on. With the traffic bottleneck removed, suddenly equipment can move more nimbly and exploration startups can get in the drilling game for a fraction of the traditional entry cost.
YEC Geo's insight:

Tech disruption coming to the oil bidness?

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Is Pluto Another Geyser World? “Shocking” Images Baffle Scientists

Is Pluto Another Geyser World? “Shocking” Images Baffle Scientists | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
This could represent a revolution in planetary science happening before our eyes. Everyone is saying these surfaces are “young” and all the experts are at a loss to keep them young-looking for billions of years.
YEC Geo's insight:

It'll be interesting to see how this new data is going to be interpreted.

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Drought reveals spooky stuff in Lake Mead—and gives a boost to tourism

Drought reveals spooky stuff in Lake Mead—and gives a boost to tourism | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
As the Southwestern drought continues to take its toll on Lake Mead, ominous strips of pale rock aren’t the only hidden pieces of its past to emerge. A concrete plant, the abandoned Mormon enclave of St. Thomas and a Boeing B-29 superfortress bomber are among the historical relics long obscured by the lake’s surface that are enjoying renewed visibility—and renewed interest from tourists.
YEC Geo's insight:

The upside.

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Lake Missoula flood: Scale model of the Genesis Flood

Lake Missoula flood:  Scale model of the Genesis Flood | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Not all of the Missoula floodwater was able to pass through a narrow gap in south-central Washington, so it backed up and formed an instant lake around 245 m (800 ft) deep in central Washington. This spread sediments up tributary valleys creating well-layered sedimentary deposits up to 30 m (100 ft) thick (fig. 2). This is a good example of how quickly thick layers can form in a flood.
YEC Geo's insight:

A textbook example of catastrophic deposition of thick sedimentary layers, with application to a global flood model.  On a worldwide scale, planation surfaces, tall erosional remnants, and deep water gaps are all much more easily explained by a catastrophic global marine transgression than by the accepted actualistic/uniformitarian consensus.

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California drought: Tom Selleck out of hot water, nudists in deep as water thefts spread

California drought: Tom Selleck out of hot water, nudists in deep as water thefts spread | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Allegations of water thievery are cropping up across California, as wells and creeks run dry in a punishing drought now in its fourth summer. But the penalties for suspected scofflaws, from the Bay Area to the Hollywood Hills, vary as much as the body types found in Lupin Lodge's skinny dipping pool."

YEC Geo's insight:

Expect to see more of this in more places, as water scarcity moves from being an inconvenience to becoming a more serious problem.  Kind of like people siphoning gas from cars in the oil crisis of the late 70s.

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Mount St. Helens, still steaming, holds the world's newest glacier

Mount St. Helens, still steaming, holds the world's newest glacier | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"By 1988, a permanent snowfield more than 200 feet thick nestled in the crater. In 1996, the first crevasses appeared — evidence that the frozen mass was in motion and met the definition of a glacier.

 

But things really got weird in 2004."

YEC Geo's insight:

Interesting article about the world's youngest glacier.

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More than 50 small earthquakes hit Ventura County

More than 50 small earthquakes hit Ventura County | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
More than 50 small earthquakes have been recorded since Wednesday near the town of Fillmore in Ventura County, according to a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist.
YEC Geo's insight:

Fillmore is located on the north bank of the Santa Clara River, which is remarkable for the width of the valley in relation to the actual width of the river (underfit, in other words).  Here's a link to a map of the location, along with some interesting information about Fillmore:  http://mapq.st/1H8bO5Q

 

For the more curious, here's a link to a free Google ebook about an early geologic investigation of the area: http://bit.ly/1Sd2eEk 

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Draining Condit Dam, Washington State, shows effects of receding floodwater

Draining Condit Dam, Washington State, shows effects of receding floodwater | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

From Tas Walker's blog. Contains a link to an amazing video of the erosive power of water.

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Fossilized mating insects demonstrate instant burial

Fossilized mating insects demonstrate instant burial | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"The earliest record of fossilized copulating insects has recently been unearthed in China (see figure 1) in sediments from the Middle Jurassic. While much is known of the reproductive behaviour of extant (still in existence) insects, examples of fossilized mating individuals (i.e. showing ‘behaviour’) are very rare. Of 33 reported cases in the entire insect fossil record (e.g. fireflies, mosquitoes, plant hoppers, leaf hoppers, water striders, bees, and ants), 27 were preserved in amber (fossilized tree resin), with only six found in compression fossils, including the one examined here. This new find replaces the previous oldest specimen of a pair of non-biting midges (true flies) discovered in amber from the Early Cretaceous."

YEC Geo's insight:

It was mind-blowing to learn that there are 33 reported cases of fossilized mating insects.  Not only did they have to be buried in flagrante delicto, but the preservation method had to lack  destructive energy.  The first condition invalidates slow gradual burial, the second invalidates a flash flood-typical current of moving water that would tear the delicate insects apart.

 

Clearly more work needs to be done here on the depositional conditions that would satisfy two seemingly contradictory requirements.

 

One possible hypothesis is that the insects (and other similarly preserved fossils) were killed by catastrophic poisonous outgassing.  That would have dropped them in their tracks, so to speak.  Then steadily rising sediment-laden water could have buried the corpses.

 

See here for a modern instance of mass biologic death by outgassing:  http://sco.lt/547Lw9  

 

Explains a lot of things, but the geographic scale would have to have been much larger than what happened in Cameroon.

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If it looks like a dinosaur and walks like a dinosaur--it's not necessarily a dinosaur

If it looks like a dinosaur and walks like a dinosaur--it's not necessarily a dinosaur | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Bird-like tracks in Argentina that were previously attributed to an unknown group of theropods are now assigned to Aves, simply on the basis of radiometric dating.

 

Here's the problem--if morphology is not sufficient to identify tracks as theropodian, how can we possibly decide which of the hundreds of thousands of Mesozoic tracks are birds and which are theropods?  Obviously, it doesn't matter what they look like, only what their age is.

 

And if birds and dinosaurs both existed at the same time, and morphological characteristscs are insufficient for identification, as this article implies, then there's no way to tell for certain which tracks are from birds and which are from dinosaurs.

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Erosion Found In Other California Bridges After Highway Collapsed From Flash Flood

Erosion Found In Other California Bridges After Highway Collapsed From Flash Flood | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
The damage to interstate highway bridges from flash flooding in Southern California's desert over the weekend proved more widespread than initially thought, with construction crews working Tuesday to reinforce spans over three gullies.
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Scientists Describe Job's 'Springs of the Sea'

Scientists Describe Job's 'Springs of the Sea' | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"New research into water circulating from the ocean, into seafloor crustal rocks, and back into the ocean echoes one of the questions God asked Job thousands of years ago."

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Collapsed California bridge earned 'A' rating just last year

Collapsed California bridge earned 'A' rating just last year | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Built in 1967, the Tex Wash Bridge sits on Interstate 10, linking Los Angeles to Phoenix. Located just east of Palm Springs, Calif., the bridge is owned and maintained by the California Department of Transportation, or CalTrans. Officials there said they were investigating how a highly rated bridge managed to fail so spectacularly.
YEC Geo's insight:

What do the Indus, Mississippi and Yellow Rivers all have in common with this story?  Channel migration--up to 300 miles at times, in the case of the Yellow River.

 

Just goes to show that there's more to the integrity of a bridge than it's engineering specifications.  To paraphrase a well-known parable, if the foundations aren't sound, the bridge won't hold against the rising waters, no matter how well-constructed it is.

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The Awesome Power of Lava: Watch Metal Burn!

The Awesome Power of Lava: Watch Metal Burn! | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
In this video, you'll see how powerful lava is. I especially loved the tree roots asploding. Pay close attention to the chain link fence as it burns - this stuff is so hot it sets metal afire! Also parking lots, tires, and, buildings. And the lavafalls - spectacular!
YEC Geo's insight:

Very interesting, seeing the destructive force of lava.

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It's Raining Spiders! Weirdest Effects of California Drought

It's Raining Spiders! Weirdest Effects of California Drought | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Brown lawns, fallow fields and higher water bills are all the predictable outcomes of the California drought.

The Golden State is in the midst of its driest period on record. But all that warm, dry weather affects more than just lake levels and snowpack — it has some downright weird effects, too.
YEC Geo's insight:

Interesting.

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Pluto Is Young

Pluto Is Young | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Gesturing with his hands, Spencer ended with a bizarre notion: “This is telling us that you do not need tidal heating to power ongoing, recent geological activity on icy worlds. That’s a really important discovery that we just made this morning.” The crowd applauded this open-ended statement that leaves unanswered the question, What, then, is capable of powering recent geological activity?
YEC Geo's insight:

Good question.   David Coppedge, a former NASA Jet Propulsion Lab employee, gives a logical answer, beginning, "We didn’t expect our predictions to be confirmed so quickly. Well, maybe we did."

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Where Are the Earth’s Impact Craters?

Where Are the Earth’s Impact Craters? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Is it reasonable to assume hundreds of millions of years passed with so few traces of impacts?
YEC Geo's insight:

With implications for flood geology.

 

For lagniappe, here's a link to images of some impressive craters, including the one above, the "eye of Quebec":  https://www.newscientist.com/gallery/spectacular-earth-impact-craters/

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The Great Unconformity and the Sauk Megasequence

The Great Unconformity and the Sauk Megasequence | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"The uniformitarian scientists claim that the Great Unconformity represents a long period of continental denudation, well over a billion years at many locations. This is in the context of attempting to explain the evolution of biomineralization by means of the geochemical effects of prolonged continental weathering and denudation.  However, erosion does not form planation surfaces today, except locally when a river floods and erodes its banks.7 Planation surfaces are being destroyed by present-day erosion, especially by running water that forms channels and valleys."

YEC Geo's insight:

In a logically consistent uniformitarian paradigm, planation surfaces would not exist in solid bedrock.  Examination of any topographical map shows that rivers incise, they do not plane.  Flat depositional plains only exist in alluvial valleys, as a result of overbank flooding, and even then, channels are incised into the surface.

 

There is no reasonable way to use currently scaled erosional processes to produce a planation surface in, say,  quartzite sandstone,  for example.

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Do underwater volcanoes have an effect on El Nino?

Do underwater volcanoes have an effect on El Nino? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Last week I postulated that the El Niño/El Niña effect was not due to solar or atmospheric conditions, but actually caused by underwater volcanic activity along ocean ridges off the West coast of South America. To see whether my theory held water I decided to look into the Argo Float data to see if there it was showing a warm upwelling of water in this region. I apparently was correct.
YEC Geo's insight:

An interesting discussion, mainly in the comments section, on whether underwater vents have a causative effect on El Nino.

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L.A. OKs Hollywood skyscrapers despite quake concerns

L.A. OKs Hollywood skyscrapers despite quake concerns | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety has signed off on geology reports that found that no active earthquake fault runs under the site of the Millennium Hollywood development, even though the state geologist last year concluded there was one."

YEC Geo's insight:

Apparently, new studies concluded that the fault was "too old to be active."  Let's hope they're right. 

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Dinosaur Thighbone Found in Marine Rock

Dinosaur Thighbone Found in Marine Rock | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
More important, in order to fossilize, the carcass would need to have been buried very rapidly in order to prevent decay or scavenging by other creatures. This would be true regardless of whether the carcass was found in a marine or land sedimentary environment. And such rapid burial requires catastrophic conditions.
YEC Geo's insight:

Another instance of problematic preservational requirements.  For a large animal to be buried quickly enough before decay occurs, catastrophic deposition is required.  However, non-continuous, non-gradual accumulation creates problems for stratigraphic interpretation (http://sco.lt/8jJhBp).

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Azerbaijan spa treats customers in crude oil baths

"A spa in oil-rich Azerbaijan offers customers a chance to treat their health issues by bathing in crude oil."

YEC Geo's insight:

I guess that's one way to deal with the the oil glut.

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