Thursday, 31 May 2007

The Grand Canyon: Could A Deluge of Water Cause This?


The Grand Canyon: The Consistent Work of Erosion, or one Super Global Flood?

In my previous post, I have attempted to analyze the implausibility and absurdity of the Noah odyssey. Apparently, one indignant reader was quite "unhappy" with what he thought was my staunch denial of the bible and the supernatural, which I would actually happily admit to, and that he actually claimed that the Grand Canyon, for all its splendor, was no more than the aftermath of that cataclysmic flood of the Old Testament.

I am quite positive that such a claim is, to many atheists such as myself, is nothing more than mere ridiculous, religious speculation, more to do with satisfying the beliefs of Creationists than to conforming to any sort of truth.

However, in order to satisfy the whims of this particular reader, I would attempt, once again, to analyze the Grand Canyon and perhaps debunk the "flood" story that was supposed to form this rather majestic specimen of Mother Nature and her elements.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon itself is a colossal, steep-sided gorge carved up by the Arizona River in the State of Arizona.

To most tourists who frequent the Grand Canyon, it is well known for its over-whelming size, as well as its awe-inspiring and colorful landscape. The depth of the basin - almost a mile at certain locations - meanders along the Colorado plateau.

Less understood, however, its the geological importance of the Canyon itself: It is significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon, providing an almost flawless assimilation of rock layers which record much of the early geologic history of the North American continent.

Given the geological nature of the Grand Canyon, a massive time span would have been required to achieve this spectacular specimen of Mother Nature:

1. The Colorado River basin (of which the Grand Canyon is a part) has probably took approximately 40 million years to develop.

2. The majority of the Grand Canyon gorge is probably less than five to six million years old. with most of the downcutting occurring in the last two million years. This odd discrepancy together combine to produce one of the most unique geographic columns ever seen on the planet.

3. The major geologic exposures in Grand Canyon range in age from the 2-billion year old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Inner Gorge to the 230 million year old Kaibab Limestone on the Rim.

In short, the Grand Canyon is a grand specimen of erosion. Young Earth Creationists, however, are disputing this claim: A one-time flood, and not millions of years of erosion, did the trick!

Creationist Bullshit: Grand Canyon Gorged By A Single Deluge of Water!

To a Creationist, any semblance of evidence, however massive, must be sieved and adapted via their narrow world-view, which, as it stands, is convoluted by their obscurantist, fiction-inspired book of Christianity, i.e the bible.

Despite consistent findings of rocks ranging from 6 million to 2 billion years old, these Creationists claim, rather staunchly, that a deluge of water (Noah's flooding episode) could result in the formation of this colossal gorge.

The question is, can a sudden deluge of flood waters hammer a gorge that deep and spectacular within a space of 40 days (That is, if you want to defer to the bible.)?

Herein, I shall analyze this possibility within a few vital scopes:

1. Composition of the Grand Canyon



Could a global flood cut through rocks of solid shale???

The majority of the Grand Canyon's composition and deposits consists of shales, granite, limestones, and other hard rocks and minerals. Such elements would have been very resistant to any type of water flow.

For water to produce such a gorge within a space of 40 days would have been a herculean task. Even if we suppose that the force of the flood would have to be the equivalent of a pneumatic drill (As I have countered in the previous post on Noah's ark), a uniform rainfall of such magnitude would have caused a general depression across the landscape, not a gorge as Creationists claim.

2. The Sheer Size of The Grand Canyon

For any super flood to eat out a 277-mile long, 1.6mile deep and an 18-mile wide gorge does require a superlative flight of imagination.

As a rule, floods do not gorge out depressions or rivers of any sort: Any river formed is the result of constant, consistent levels of water flow throughout an extensive period of time.

To even suggest that the Grand Canyon could have been cut out by a flood requires a sort of foolhardy leap of imagination, kind of like leaping out of a 100-storey building into the awaiting arms of paradise.

3. Limestones: Not Created by Floods!

No flood could carve out a limestone formation.........

Most importantly, limestones of those found on the Rim of the Gorge could not have deposited by the floods, since floods do not selectively deposit minerals at any specific spots, let alone create limestone formations!

To be sure, limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate: CaCO3). The composition of limestone consist of different minerals, of which one primary source stands out: Calcite.

Calcite can be secreted by marine animals, which eventually settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors. Another form of calcite buildup may be caused by the deposition of secondary calcite, which is present in precipitating groundwater in caves.

In short, there is no way that any form of floods could have resulted in the formation of these limestones.

Conclusion

Once again, the Creationist's attempt to smuggle their own brand of pseudoscience has failed to provide any discriminating evidence against real, scientific investigations.

If these fools of the lord want to play in the realm of real science, they'd better provide real, solid evidence, instead of depending on their stinky scriptures and non-scientific methods of proving their "claims".

As the adage goes: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs."

10 comments:

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

I appreciate your time and thought placed into this post whereby you assumingly give credit to a stupid, ignorant, no good debater (as you have felt so enlightened to consider me) to only boost your ever expounding ego (you said it, I am only agreeing). I have never claimed to be a know-it-all, but most assuredly you appear to consider yourself at the least in the top ten percent of human intelligence. I applaud you and have no reason to doubt that you are well read and enjoy the field of science.

[1] I noticed that you use words like “probably” and “approximately”, could you explain as to how/what the dating process of millions of years has been formulated for the Grand Canyon?

[2] Could you also describe the dating process of how to determine the “2-billion year old Vishnu Schist” and the “230 million year old Kaibab Limestone”?

[3] You say 40 days, but Scripture says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights with the water covering the mountains (and everything) and the water remained for 150 days. So at least if you use the Bible, give it the full time of the water working coming down and flowing away. Also remember that Scripture says it came down and up.

[4] In 1996 science did an “artificial flood of the Grand Canyon”. They found that “The flood demonstrated that sediment could be moved dramatically and that new beaches could be created.” [http://www.usu.edu/awer/pages/faculty/Schmidt/Newspaperclippings_files/scientistssupportflooding.htm]

[5] Where did “the products of tens of millions of years of river erosion” go? [http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i2/grand_canyon.asp]

[6] Is there a billion year gap between “the Tapeats Sandstone, which is dated at about 500 million years old, and the Hakatai Shale, which is dated at about 1.5 billion years old.” – “yet one lies right on top of the other”? [http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/gr-canyn.html]

[7] Is it true that “A major reason [that most now abandoned the idea of “the Colorado began to cut the Grand Canyon as much as 70 million years ago, before the region was lifted up”] is that even at the present rate of erosion in the Grand Canyon, it would take as little as 71,000 years to erode the amount of rock currently missing from the Grand Canyon.”? Also where is “all of the sediment that would have to be eroded away during 70 million years has not been located.”? [http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/gr-canyn.html]

[8] Could it be “that the canyon was formed when the Kaibab Upwarp acted as a dam for three lakes occupying much of Utah, Colorado, and northern Arizona. These lakes catastrophically broke through the Upwarp, and the Grand Canyon was cut out of solid rock by the drainage of these lakes through this breach in the dam.”? [http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/gr-canyn.html]

I stop with these questions of the mighty BEAST for now.

BEAST said...

Mr Splinter:

Kissing my ass won't stop me from debunking your myths.

Now, allow me to continue, as usual.

1. Probably you haven't read about carbon dating, eh?

In order to determine the age of the rocks, samples of the grand canyon rocks are collected, tested, data tabulated, and a mean average is collected. That would be the estimated age of the respective locations at the Grand Canyon which I have provided.

For purposes of shortening discussion and enhance your literary skills, I shall provide this website for you:
http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/about/carbon_dating.html

2. Given that the"active" period of the flood was 40 days, I would assume that much of the erosion would have to be resulted from the pounding effects of the rain (Which I estimated to be the effect of a hydraulic drill in my previous article). Any major erosion done would have to be withing these 40 days.

Receding floods would do well to collapse a hillside consisting of soft topsoil, but when the Grand Canyon is concerned, you need to take into account that the Grand Canyon is made up of granite, shale, limestone, etc, that kind of hard stuff which no single deluge of water can wash away.

"Moving of sediments" would not have accounted for the 1.6 mile deep gorge in the Grand Canyon, and if you examine the sure vastness and the cuttings of the Canyon, you would realize that this is no work of any flood.

4. I do not field any answers to Creationist websites. Reason? Creationism is not Science. I have reiterated this many times. Do not make me insult you for not paying attention again.

5. The sediments question is a interesting one. Obviously the sediments would have to be deposited along the rivers and gradually into the sea, kind of like the same thing that happens to rivers and their tributaries. Trying to trace all that material, well, is simply not possible, would I be wrong to say that?

The dam theory as reiterated by Duane Gish (Creation Science Institute CEO) is bogus. Like I said, the rocks would have been far too hard to be carved. And the natural course of the Grand Canyon indicates an points to a consistent pattern that indicates river flow, not a deluge of water.

BEAST said...

One more thing:

The difference in the time gap for Tapeats Sandstone and the Hakatai Shale is due different rates of deposition of sandstone and shale at different time periods.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Beast Boy,

If you did not see the sarcasm in my opening statement then maybe you are not as quick in your thoughts as you so proudly presume.

Is Carbon Dating absolute? Why is there so many “presumptions” about it? [here] Can’t presumptions be wrong, which would mean all of the dates would be wrong?

Interesting your link would not work. I even tried to go just to http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/.

Why do you discriminate against Creationists? Is it simply because they believe what you do not or because you refuse to accept their findings or just want to ensure that you are not persuaded from the thoughts you already hold so dear?

So you would not listen to any scientist that believes in a Creator? Hmmm… I guess that goes along with you saying even if they found the ark it wouldn’t prove anything. Funny how you say you are a person of facts, yet have made clear you would even reject facts presented if they come from Creationists or are seemly against what you already believe.

The difference in the time gap for Tapeats Sandstone and the Hakatai Shale is due different rates of deposition of sandstone and shale at different time periods. -- So for a billion years there was nothing between the two layers? How do you prove what you said about “different rates at different times”? Sounds like a make shift answer to me.

But hey I’m not really here to convince you (you asked me to come) for you have already said many times you are smarter than me and you have no desire to listen to anything a Creationist has to say. And there are far more important things than the Grand Canyon although it is a splendid look indeed.

Have a great weekend!

BEAST said...

Sigh. Do you think I am really THAT DUMB?

Most of the morons who claim that carbon dating is "wrong" really haven't stepped into a laboratory before.

Ok, let us assume I am trying to measure the acceleration of gravity, which, we know through physics, is 9.81 m /sec2. In every experiment, there would have to be a few sets of readings, and inevitably, not every reading will be the same result. That is because unseen factors could have affected the readings, but the end reading should not deviate far from the actual reading.

I am not a scientist, Mr Splinter, but I know my science because I have done metallurgy tests in my college days, and if you have to go through what I did, you would know what I mean.

In Science, there isn't such a thing called "absolutes", and I think I have once mentioned "potential falsifiability" to you, but if you think that explanation makes science unconvincing, perhaps you might want to suggest turning off your lights, your PCS and every thing that has to do with science and technology.

Carbon Dating is accurate, and if it isn't, why would you think scientists are using it to test for the age of fossils and stuff? Could you find a better way to date things? Oh yes! The Bible! Yes, that sick book that is supposed to predict historical events, blah blah blah........

Fuck Creationism. These morons are not even bothered to check up their facts. You do not bring in data from pseudo science to present ideas of science, and if you do, the natural thing for me is to discredit you. How would you say if I present data to you that the Flood was actually caused by Aliens? Wouldn't that sound shitty too???

The difference in the time scale: One must take into account that the Grand Canyon was the combined result of geological movements, deposition and gradual, slow erosion. The deposition of shale would have taken place in one area and not the other can be because that the lower precipitice may have not been exposed to the elements. Simple as that.

You are right when you say I do not have time to hear what Creationists have to say. They just wanna argue their "science" without presenting any real piece of evidence. They don their fucking white coats and pretend to be scientists when they really are just frauds and quakers. Building a "Creationist" Museum doesn't mean Creationism is science. Its just.......Bullshit!!!!

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Evolution Handbook

I have recently come across this site. You may have already heard of this site, I hadn't. It is discussing the flood or at the least a catastrophic event in history.

I realize that you have said that you do not like to read from Creationists, but I believe its references are also from non-Creationists. But I'll understand if you really don't want to take the time to read it.

This is not really to persue the argument any further but I would like to know if there is anything the writer poses to be interesting or worthy of science within it, in your opinion.

To me it is pretty interesting, but you may already know science that may disagree with some or all of what they say.

You can reply here, I will check back.

BEAST said...

Ok, dorkie, this is a bit long, so you will have to excuse me for "nik-and-pix". I am quite willing to discuss other issues you want to highlight in this rather distorted "evolution handbook" of yours.

1. "Within that strata is to be found billions upon billions of fossils. These are the remains—or the casts—of plants and animals that suddenly died. Yet fossilization does not normally occur today; for it requires sudden death, sudden burial, and great pressure."

The writer who claims that "sudden deaths and burials" are required for fossilization, is, quite frankly, not entirely correct
As a matter of fact, fossilization occurs when:

1.Parts of the animal that have died become mineralized, mostly the exoskeletons and hardened parts (That is why shark fossils are very rare, cos they have cartilage, not bone.)

2.Animals that are fossilized need not depend on sudden burial: While carcasses need to be covered with sediment as quickly as possible, "sudden" burial is not necessary, and there are certain conditions when it is not necessary at all:
-if an organism becomes frozen, desiccated

-comes to rest in an anoxic (oxygen-free) environment such as at the bottom of a lake.

3."MOST SPECIES ARE ALREADY EXTINCT— Some great natural catastrophe occurred earlier in history, for most of the species which have ever lived are no longer alive!"

No one doubts that more than 99% of the fauna and flora that have existed have bitten the dust. There are several reasons for this, and science have earmarked five important extinction periods that actually explains and accounts for this extinction. I actually wrote a piece for an online company with regards to this issue. If you want I can give it to you, provided you do not reproduce it (I may get sued for copyright infringement).

4."But just as there are no transitional forms today, there are none in the past either!"

Funny thing he mentioned this, because the author most probably have never heard of the mudskippers, fishes that can actually breathe in air and in water.......another prime example of a living missing link between fish and amphibian. The platypus is another one.....

Besides living specimens, scientists have accounted for many so-called missing links, from fossils that have been found, but there again, the Creationists will always claim there are no missing links because when you find one, there is always another "missing link" between the one found and the previous one.

5. "FOSSIL PLACEMENT—The slowest-moving creatures were buried first; after that, the faster-moving ones. As the waters of the worldwide deluge rose higher and still higher, they first covered the slowest-moving water creatures and buried them under sediment."

A whole lot of crap. The author is trying to account for animals in different stratas as a phenomena caused by the flood rather than age placement linking to an old Earth. I don't think I need to go on for this one.

Conclusion

I am obliging you on this count because I need to show you why I do not waste time pouring through pseudoscience, or skeptics who just pick on scientific views and eschew them to suit their particular beliefs.

If these morons want to play in the real world of science, go to the fields to do some real scientific work, not look for some stupid pieces of wood and claim it is an ark.

I hope I have clarified my position.

Beast

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

I have read your reply. It is no secret that I am not versed in the science of evolution, etc. as you. I also realize that apparently there are Christians which do believe in evolution, but this actually amazes me more than an atheist saying they believe in evolution. I can understand why someone would agree with science regarding evolution that does not believe in God, but I fail to see how one can say they believe in God and the Bible and still believe in evolution.

I understand you have presented science's proof, but I myself am still not convinced. It is common knowledge that Christianity is based on faith, although we believe that nature and all that we see shows us the handy work of a Creator. True we cannot show you the Creator and speak of how the Creator has come about, because being God (the Creator) He is above the creature (supernatural) and is independent of creation meaning He has no beginning or ending, needing nothing. Can we answer every single question someone may have about God, etc.? No, for to have the ability to explain all that God is and does would make us equal with an all knowing, all powerful God. But you know all of this if you used to be Baptist.

I am personally not convinced of evolution, but here is a honest question I was thinking of today: Is it necessary that all living creatures have developed from a single starting point? Has science ever discussed multiple seperate simultaneously starting points for mankind, animals, reptiles, fish?

I'll do some more research. I realize that you have said that I cannot get objective science from Creationists, but is there not also a chance that Evolutionists (even some) that may not be objective as to if they were to find something against or disturbing to evolution? Can all scientists really be totally objected putting all of their personal views aside in the face of something that may discount what they already hold to be true or believe in? I am just thinking of people as people, not just scientists.

I don't mind discussing things, it just seemed you got a little carried away with all the excess comments and such on my blog. All I can do is give what I believe to questions asked and pose questions to that which I do not believe.

BEAST said...

I get what you mean.Currently I am working on an entry based on my experience in my baptist church.

It may be true that some scientists do get carried away by certain findings, stuff such as teleportation of light (a recent physics phenomenon) which some have suggested could give rise to matter teleportation, and the light.

But science is more than just mere emotions. The scientists themselves may be overwhelmed, as some physicists will tell you, because they work and slough for years, sometimes decades, and not find a thing to justify their hypothesis. When they find something significant, one can hardly blame them for their enthusiasm.

But it is the hard facts that scientists product that are really the product of their labors. Even your bible says to judge people by their fruits.

As for me getting carried away, I didn't really like the way you say certain things, which comes across to me as stupidity with a tinge of arrogance. I am not really out to spew any sort of hatred against anyone in particular, I simply judge by what others say, not who they are, and its nothing really personal.

Beast

Anonymous said...

I can see from your writings that you feel you have a grasp on the "real" world and that the Bible is just a book written on a whim. First, have you ever read the scriptures to see what they have to say? Have you ever been able to prove anything wrong? Second, if you want to make some quick money, there is a gentleman, who lives in Florida I think, by the name of Kent Hovand that has a standing offer of $1 million to anyone that has actual proof of the Faith based "science" of Evolution. You could just be that guy. Have you ever seen or heard of the canyon at Mt. St. Helens. Formed fairly quickly, and all it had was a small volcano, a little water, and a small amount of time, and it carved a canyon 1/40th the size of the Grand Canyon in a matter of days. If the Bible is true (which I know to be so), the events occurring during the flood, would be of such a catastrophic magnitude, that we could not imagine what could happen during the 40 days of flooding, plus the time of run-off. The Scriptures say that at the end times, there will be scoffers who will reject the creation and the flood. It also says let a wise man stand alone in his wisdom, and let a fool stand alone in his folly. I pray that the Lord would touch your life in a way that you have to know who He is and willingly reject Him, because He gave everything most precious to Him to you. Would you give up a child, or even your car, for people who you knew would hate and reject you because they don't want to have to say I am sorry.

May Yahweh open you eyes and heart.

Aaron