Problems With The Physical Strata

The sedimentary rock strata are frequently not arranged as they ought to be—if they had been quietly laid down over millions of years.

Five primary problems are (1) fossils in wrong places, (2) missing strata, (3) geosynclines, (4) megabreccias, and (5) overthrusts. We will discuss all five in this concluding section.

ONGOING STRATA CONTROVERSIES—The strata charts in the textbooks and popular magazines look so very complete and organized. Yet, in truth, it is not so. The problems are so serious that running controversies were carried on for years between feuding strata experts. Because the evidence was so confused, no one knew who was right. Finally, they arbitrarily settled on patterns which are on the strata charts as we see them today.

For example, there is the Sedgwick-Murchison-la Beche controversy, which was fought over the Cambrian, Silurian and Devonian strata systems:

"Sedgwick was the first to describe the fossils of the lower Graywacke Strata, which he named the Cambrian system, after an ancient name for Wales. Eventually their studies led them to different levels of the Graywacke, where the mercurial and territorial Murchison claimed much of Sedgwick's domain for his newly founded Silurian system.

"Inevitably, almost all of the members of the Geological Society were drawn into the fray, and, when another geologist of the time, Sir Henry Thomas de la Boche, claimed part of the Graywacke for his Devonian period, the battle lines were drawn. For nearly a decade the Great Devonian Controversy, as it was called, raged on in the scientific journals. The political maneuvering behind the scenes was almost as convoluted as the Graywacke itself."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 401.

Elsewhere, *Milner explains how Murchison solved the controversy.

"The men were completely unable to agree on where the natural boundaries occurred. Murchison, however, found a way to resolve the dispute. He got himself appointed director of the National Geological Survey and simply ordered that the name "Cambrian" be deleted from all government books and geological maps."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 69.

Later, after both men were dead, part of Murchison's Silurian was renamed "Cambrian."

MIXED-UP FOSSILS—(*# 14/27*) Have you ever noticed that, on the standard strata time charts, certain fossils will always be in certain strata? That is another generalization in the evolutionary theory that does not prove to be correct. In reality, fossils are frequently found in the wrong place,—especially far below the strata where they are first supposed to have "evolved" into existence.

There are three ways that the experts deal with this problem: (1) Ignore the evidence. (2) When large numbers of fossils are found in solid rock below their proper strata, they are said to have been "downwashed" through the solid rock into lower strata. (3) When they are found above their theoretical strata, they are said to have "reworked" themselves into a higher strata. That is, they slipped, slid, or fell up through solid rock into higher levels.

REWORKING AND DOWNWASH—As noted in the above paragraph, "Reworking" and "downwash" are used to explain fossils which, by their location, disprove the theory. ("Overthrusts," to be discussed shortly, are used to explain much larger numbers of such fossils.)

"Fossils frequently occur where they are not 'supposed' to. It is then claimed that either the fauna [animals] or flora [plants] have lived longer than previously known (simple extension of stratigraphic range) or that the fossil has been reworked.

"In 'reworking,' it is claimed that the fossil has been eroded away from a much older host rock and has thus been incorporated into a rock of more recent age.

"The reciprocal situation is 'downwash,' where it is claimed that an organism has been washed down into rock much older than the time it lived and has become fossilized."—John Woodmorappe, "An Anthology of Matters Significant to Creationism and Diluviology: Report 2, " in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1982, p. 209.

POLLEN AND SPORES IN THE CAMBRIAN—

(*#15/4*) A related problem concerns the fact that pollen from flowering plants has been found in Cambrian and even on top of Precambrian rock! This, of course, is in total disagreement with evolutionary theory, which maintains that flowering plants did not exist until many millions of years later. This would mean that the "Cambrian explosion" included flowering plants!

(For a listing of over 200 out-of-place fossils, see John Woodmorappe, "An Anthology of Matters Significant to Creationism and Diluviology: Report 2, " in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1982, pp. 210-214.)

SKIPPING—(*#16/7Problems with Skipping*) Still another problem in the fossil record has been given the name "skipping." A species will be in a stratum, and totally disappear from the next stratum or two above that, and then reappear again. As mentioned earlier, in some cases a species disappears, never again to be seen until our own time when—there it is—alive and well on planet earth!

MIXED-UP STRATA—(*#19/34 Mixed Strata and Overthrusts*) The problems with the "geologic column" of strata and fossils keep getting worse! We have been discussing problems with the fossils,—but now we will turn our attention to the strata itself, and we learn that the situation becomes totally unmanageable! Evolutionary theory falls helpless in the process of trying to reconcile these insoluble hurdles to its success.

MISSING STRATA—Surprising as it may seem. the only evidence for the geologic succession of life is found in the strata charts of the geologists and in their imagination.

Nowhere in geological formations can we find (1) all the strata in order. (2) all the strata—even out of order. (3) most of the strata. in order or out of it. Instead we only find little bits here and there. and frequently they are mixed up (out of their theoretical sequence).

Never are all the strata in the theoretical "geologic column" to be found in one complete sandwich—anywhere in the world! Most of the time only two to eight of the 21 theoretical strata can be found. Even that classic example of rock strata. Grand Canyon. only has about half of them. But the missing strata should be there!

How can strata be missing? Yet this is the way it is everywhere on earth. In the Southwest United States, in order to find Paleozoic strata, we would need to go to the Grand Canyon. To find Mesozoic requires a trip to eastern Arizona. To find Tertiary, off we would have to go to New Mexico. Nowhere—anywhere—is the entire geologic column of the evolutionists to be found. for it is an imaginary column.

"Practically nowhere on the earth can one find the so-called 'geologic column.' In fact, at most places on the continents, over half the 'geologic periods' are missing! Only 15-20 percent of the earth's land surface has even one-third of these periods in the correct consecutive order. Even within the Grand Canyon, over 150 million years of this imaginary column are missing. Using the assumed geologic column to date fossils and rocks is fal-lacious."—Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 15.

"Data from continents and ocean basins show that the ten [strata] systems are poorly represented on a global scale: approximately 77% of the earth's surface area on land and under the sea has seven or more (70% or more) of the strata system missing beneath; 94% of the earth's surface has three or more systems missing beneath; and an estimated 99.6% has at least one missing system. Only a few locations on earth (about 0.4% of its area) have been described with the succession of the ten systems beneath (west Nepal, west Bolivia, and central Poland) . . The entire geologic column, composed of complete strata systems, exists only in the diagrams drawn by geologists!"—S.A. Austin, Impact 137, November 1984, p. 2 [emphasis his].

The next few quotations contain startling admissions. We do well to carefully consider what they tell us:

"If a pile were to be made by using the greatest thickness of sedimentary beds of each geological age, it would be at least 100 miles [161 km] high . . It is of course, impossible to have even a considerable fraction of this at any one place."—*O. von Englen and *K. Caster, Geology (1952), pp. 417-418.

"Whatever his method of approach, the geologist must take cognizance of the following facts: There is no place on the earth where a complete record of the rocks is present . . To reconstruct the history of the earth, scattered bits of information from thousands of locations all over the world must be pieced together. The results will be at best only a very incomplete record.

"If the complete story of the earth is compared to an encyclopedia of thirty volumes, then we can seldom hope to find even one complete volume in a given area. Sometimes only a few chapters, perhaps only a paragraph or two, will be the total geological contribution of a region; indeed, we are often reduced to studying scattered bits of information more nearly comparable to a few words or letters."—*H. Brown, *V Monnett, and *J. Stovall, Introduction to Geology (1958), p. 11.

"We are only kidding ourselves if we think that we have anything like a complete succession for any part of the stratigraphical column in any one place."—*Derek V. Ager, Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (1981), p. 32.

Evolutionists explain that the proper word for them are "unconformities": it would not do for scientists to use the phrase "missing strata,"—for if they are missing, then where did they go? Did billions of years of life on earth suddenly vanish?

"Potentially more important to geological thinking are those unconformities that signal large chunks of geological history are missing, even though the strata on either side of the unconformity are perfectly parallel and show no evidence of erosion. Did millions of years fly by with no discernible effect? A possible though controversial inference is that our geological clocks and stratigraphic concepts need working on."—* William R. Corliss, Unknown Earth (1980), p. 219.

How can it be that the geologic column is so incomplete, when evolutionary theory teaches that it was quietly, slowly laid down uniformly over millions of years? The truth is that the rock strata point us back to a terrible worldwide catastrophe—a Flood,—not to millions of years of gradual soil deposits from dead plants and windblown soil.

THE GRAND CANYON—A visitor to the Grand Canyon gazes down upon a major fissure in the earth's surface that is a mile [1.609 km] deep. The Colorado River winds its way for 200 miles [231.8 km] at the bottom of this canyon. By the time the visitor departs, his head spins with U.S. Park Service lectures, diagrams, and films about names such as Kaibab, Toroweap, Devonian, Permian, and Cambrian, and numbers ranging through millions of years.

But what the tourists are not told is that the Grand Canyon—which has more strata than most areas—only has FIVE of the TWELVE major strata systems (the first, fifth, sixth, and seventh, with small portions here and there of the fourth). Totally missing are the second, third, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth!

Listed below are the 12 major strata systems—from top to bottom—as they are given in the schoolbook charts of the so-called "geologic column. " Those strata which are found in the Grand Canyon are shown in larger type. The Devonian, which is only found in part here and there in Grand Canyon strata, is in smaller italic:

12 — QUATERNARY

10 — CRETACEOUS 9 — JURASSIC 8 — TRISSSIC 7 — PERMIAN 6 — PENNSYLVANIAN 5 — MISSISSIPPIAN 4 — DEVONIAN 3 — SILURIAN 2 — ORDOVICIAN 1 — CAMBRIAN

The Grand Canyon was formed rapidly: "The plain fact of the great number of para-conformities found in the Canyon is strong evidence in favor of short-term deposition. If many millions of years separated these various strata, how do evolutionists explain the anomaly of a river [the Colorado] taking 'only a few million' years to cut through some 8,000 feet [2,438 m] of sediments which supposedly took up to 500 million years to be laid down, when those same strata exhibit no sign of erosion themselves.

"The obvious and simplest explanation is that these sediments were laid down in too brief a time span to allow erosion, and then scoured out by a large body of moving water much bigger than the present-day Colorado, and not very long ago."—A. W. Mehlert, Creation Re-

search Society Quarterly, June 1987, p. 28.

All in all, the Grand Canyon is an outstanding evidence of the Genesis Flood.

"One of the most spectacular evidences of what a year-long, worldwide Flood would accomplish may be seen in Grand Canyon of Arizona. This gigantic formation is in some places more than 5,000 feet [1,524 m] deep, 25,000 feet [7,620 m] across, and extends for more than 100 miles [160.9 km] to the east and west."— John C. Whitcomb, World that Perished (1988), pp. 74-75.

The Colorado River lies at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, yet it is a typical winding river—the type found in fairly flat terrain. Winding rivers do not cut deeply! It is the straighter, steeper rivers with swiftly rushing water, which deeply erode soil and hurl loose rocks along its side downstream.

The Colorado is a serpentine river in flatter country. It could not possibly have carved out the Grand Canyon, unless: (1) a colossal amount of water was flowing; (2) the sediments comprising the canyon walls through which it was cutting were soft; that is, they had only recently been laid down by flood waters and had not yet solidified into solid rock, and (3) a rather sudden event caused that flowage of water!

These are exactly the conditions which the Flood would have provided. The Colorado River drained an immense area in Utah and eastern Nevada. A lake covered that entire area, and an uplift caused the water to rather suddenly drain out. See chapter 14, Effects of the Flood, for more on events during and just after the Flood.

Shortly after the Flood, while volcanism was at its height and the strata was still soft, the ground heaved upward over a vast area, which emptied Lake Bonneville. That flowing water drained toward the southwest, forming Grand Canyon. Great Salt Lake is all that remains of the ancient lake. If you ever visit the area, you will see the former shoreline of the lake, high on the surrounding moun tains.

Notice that the Colorado did little in the way of hurling rocks downstream. This is because the Grand Canyon had not yet hardened into rock when it was cut through. If the Colorado had carved the Grand Canyon out of solid rock. we would find huge tumbled boulders in and alongside of the stream bed. But such is not seen. In contrast, later glacial action, after the rocks had hardened, did move large boulders in other areas; for example, they are to be seen in the Merced River below Yosemite.

STRATA GAPS—We are learning that there are not only fossil gaps. there are strata gaps as well! Together. they spell the doom of the evolutionary theory, as it is applied to sedimentary strata and the fossil evidence.

The earth is supposed to have gradually been covered by one after another of the 12 major strata systems. listed above. over a period of millions of years. If that is true. why are a majority of those 12 strata systems missing from any given locality in the world? Why then are less than half present in that great classic of them all: the Grand Canyon?

If the sedimentary rock strata was slowly formed over millions of years in a uniformitarian manner. then all the strata should be found throughout the world. Keep in mind that evolution teaches that "each strata represents the accumulated sediment from a span of millions of years at a certain earlier epoch in earth's history. " If this theory were true, then ALL the strata would have to be found evenly, everywhere on the globe.

Here is a statement in scientific jargon: "Many unconformity bounded units are considered to be chronostratigraphic units in spite of the fact that unconformity surfaces inevitably cut across isochronous horizons and hence cannot be true chronostratigraphic boundaries."—*C. Hong Chang, "Unconformity-Bounded Stratigraphic Units, " in Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, November 1975, p. 1544.

Here, in everyday English, is the meaning of that statement: Many of the tilted, folded, and mixed-up fossil strata are theoretically supposed to measure long ages of time, but in reality there is such confusion that it is impossible for such strata to measure anything!

THE EVIDENCE IN THE ROCKS—If it was the Genesis Flood which suddenly formed the rock strata, then we would expect to find the strata just as it now is.

This is what we would expect to find:

(1) Pockets of inundated, covered animals here, and others there. (2) Mixed-up and missing strata everywhere we look. (3) Geosynclines (twisted and folded strata) frequently found. (4) Megabreccias (giant boulders) as a regular occurrence in the strata. (5) Upside-down strata. (6) Overthrusts, in which "more recent" strata lie buried deep beneath "older" strata. (7) Vertical tree trunks (polystrate trees) in place, from bottom to top spanning through various "ages" of strata. (8) The slowest marine creatures in the lowest strata, slowest land animals higher up. (9) Birds less frequently found since they could fly to the higher points. (10) Apes very difficult to find, and man almost impossible to find—since both would know how to reach the highest points and cling there. Their bodies would then float and decay without being covered by sediment. (11) Complex life-forms would be found in rich profusion at the very bottom of the fossil-bearing rock strata (the Cambrian "explosion"), with next to nothing beneath it. (12) And, amid all the fossil strata,—only the same separate, distinct species we now see on earth and in the sea, plus some which have become extinct—with no transitional forms to be found anywhere in the rock strata.

GEOSYNCLINES—In many places, layers of sedimentary rocks have been buckled into folds. Some of these folded rock strata are small, others are massive and cover miles in area (folded mountains). In some places the strata angles itself downward into the earth, or upward, breaking off as the sharp edge of high mountains (fault block moun-

THE MATTERHORN—The evolutionists tell us this mountain climbed 30 to 60 miles over other mountains, to its present location (see p. 510).

GEOSYNCLINES—Here is a description of the different types and parts of folded mountains (p. 499).

Matterhorn and Folded Mountains 537

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