Re: YEC/Geology

From: Jonathan Clarke (
Date: Sat Jul 20 2002 - 22:44:31 EDT

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    Hi Bill

    It has been a while since we crossed swords.

    Bill Payne wrote:

    > On Thu, 18 Jul 2002 09:48:20 +1000 Jonathan Clarke
    > <> writes:
    > > The heart of Michael's comment was "Creationists do the cause of the
    > Gospel
    > > incredible damage."
    > According to Scripture it's just the reverse:
    > "Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him
    > who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord
    > and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide
    > yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and
    > of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from
    > my hand. You will lie down in torment." (Is 50:10-11)

    Not sure I see the relevance of this passage to the issue in question,
    perhaps I am dense. However I have other Scriptures that I believe are
    relevant. All quotes from the GNB:

    "They tie onto people's backs loads that are heavy and hard to carry, yet the
    aren't willing even to lift a finger to help them carry those loads." (Matt
    23: 4)

    By inflicting on Christians a biblical hermeneutic, an esigesis, and an
    understanding of science that produces enormous cognitive dissonance,
    prevents effective integration of vocation and faith, and sets people up
    crises of faith, the leaders of the YEC movement are like the scribes and the
    Pharisees. When people stumble, they don't even show Christian compassion,
    but label them apostates and heretics.

    "How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites!
    You give to God a tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill, and
    cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the, Law
    such as justice, and mercy, and honesty." (Matt 23: 23a).

    The leaders of the YEC movement are very strong on the literal letter of
    creation in six days, yet they ignore, indeed pervert, the Biblical texts
    which show than all scripture is revealed in the world picture of the day.
    Furthermore, in their defence of YEC they will repeatedly pervert, misquote,
    and fabricate data, and are ruthless in their dealings with those who
    disagree with them.

    "Because of you Jews, the Gentiles speak evil of God." (Rom 2:24b).

    Because of the leaders of the YEC movement (and all to many of their
    followers), the name of God and His church is cursed by unbelievers, people
    are turned away who might otherwise hear the gospel. I have seen this happen
    again and again with friends and colleagues and it pains me deeply.

    Many of my best friends are YEC, and they remain friends despite this.
    However, in the end YEC is not good theology or good science, nor, in all too
    many cases, does it lead to good Christian practice in the area of vocation.

    As for the rest, Glenn is well able to look after his end of things.


    > > You wrote:
    > >
    > > "The problem I have encountered with many scientists is their complete
    > refusal
    > > to admit that their theories or hypothesis are not facts. They cling
    > to them
    > > with great faith but seem to be unable to deal with genuine challenges
    > to
    > > numerous assumptions."
    > >
    > > Since we are talking about YEC, please give specific examples with
    > respect to
    > > fundamental geological principles, particular in the area of
    > stratigraphy,
    > > sedimentology, palaeontology.
    > I'm growing tired of this (as I know certain others are), expecially
    > since those of us with the background to analyze the origin of coal (with
    > the exception of James) "seem to be unable to deal with genuine
    > challenges to numerous assumptions", but since Jon (?) asked for an
    > example, here it is again.
    > Glenn posted some photos of coal seams from Alabama back in May. Glenn
    > basically refused to engage the data. On May 20 Glenn wrote: "Bill, as
    > I have many times said, transported material is seen today in the
    > Okefenokee. So what. We aren't having a global flood today, that I am
    > aware of. Glub glub.... Transported material is occurring today, and
    > does not violate any 'model' that I might have. Why do you never pick up
    > on this point."
    > On May 25 I wrote:
    > *****************
    > "You keep coming back to the Okefenokee so I guess in your mind that is
    > the end of the discussion. I'm afraid though, that you are not listening
    > to what I have said. Let me repeat what I think I have said before, and
    > ask you to tell me how to resolve what I see as glaring inconsistencies
    > between the empirical data and the swamp model.
    > First of all, I do not deny that vegetation mats float and are grounded
    > in the Okefenokee Swamp. These mats are a tangled mass of roots, stems,
    > tree trunks, limbs, leaves, etc. If this mass of vegetation were
    > vertically compressed 10 times and coalified, it would still reflect the
    > tangled nature of the original mat. If a one-inch layer of volcanic ash
    > were deposited across the swamp, it would blanket everything and follow
    > the topography of the swamp. If the swamp existed for another 1,000
    > years after the volcanic ash layer was deposited, we would find that the
    > ash layer had been eroded where it draped across water courses. The ash
    > layer would also be disturbed by bioturbation from growing trees.
    > If this hypothetical swamp were then buried due to land subsidence and
    > marine flooding, the trees growing in the swamp would be preserved in
    > growth position, with their roots attached. The organics from the swamp
    > might eventually become coal, and the sediments might become rock. We
    > would then have a coal seam which was derived from a swamp. What would
    > be the features of this sequence?
    > Here are features commonly found associated with eastern US coal seams:
    > A) General lack of stigmarian axial root systems beneath the coal seams;
    > B) General lack of either tree stumps or roots in partings;
    > C) Commonly extensive, continuous nature of thin partings;
    > D) General lack of vertical tree stumps/trunks in the sediment overlying
    > coal seams, and general lack of attached roots where vertical tree
    > stumps/trunks are found;
    > E) Generally consistent total coal seam thickness between areas
    > containing splits and those that contain no splits;
    > F) Generally consistent thickness of coal seams draped over
    > contemporaneous slopes.
    > G) Generally razor-sharp contact of coal with its substrate.
    > We would not expect to see any one of these features in a swamp deposit,
    > yet you get all six in coal seams. As I said recently when you mentioned
    > the Okefenokee, there is nothing planar about a swamp. Yet the top and
    > bottom contacts of coal, along with any partings or splits, and the
    > internal structure of coal are all planar and were, for the most part,
    > nearly horizontal at the time of deposition. The Okefenokee has water
    > courses, vegatative islands, trees with trunks growing up and roots
    > growing down. None of this is horizontal (except on a macro scale), and
    > would not be planar, even if compressed 10 times.
    > So Glenn, I do accept your statement that there are drifting vegetation
    > mats in the Okefenokee; I do not accept your implication that these
    > drifting vegetation mats in any way explain the coal seams we see in the
    > eastern US. But maybe I have missed something here. Can you or Jonathan
    > or Michael or anyone reconcile the empirical observations, as seen in the
    > photos you have posted for me, with the swamp model for coal formation?"
    > **************
    > As far as I know, there were no further responses. I don't really expect
    > any substansive response this time either. I expect to see the OECs to
    > continue to say things like: well, nevermind - you know the drill.
    > Bill

    "It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long
    survive when men have seen the earth as a pale crescent dwindling against the
    stars, until at last they look for it in vain".

    Arthur C. Clarke

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