Thursday, 1 January 2015

Debunking "Scientific Evidence for a Global Flood" Part 5 - Fossil raindrops and animal burrows in the geological column refute a global flood

Flood geologists betray their lack of familiarity with the evidence against their worldview when they naively advance arguments that confirm the impossibility of a global flood in the belief that they actually support it. The compiler of SEfaGF asserts that:
Animal tracks and other ephemeral markings (ripple-marks and raindrop imprints) have been preserved throughout the geological column. Rapid covering of these markings is required for this preservation worldwide - ie. by a global flood.
This is nonsense. Flood geologists claim that the geological strata were deposited during the flood, which, given that they claim it created structures such as the Grand Canyon, would by their own logic be a powerful, destructive phenomenon. However, during a raging flood, the YECs argue that strata were laid down, received the impact of raindrops, dried out, were covered by more strata, all while a raging ocean and fierce storm  was occurring.

Furthermore, given the presence of fossil animal burrows through these strata, some animals were managing to crawl their way through wet soil without drowning and creating burrows in wet soil that somehow managed not to collapse around them. The assertion, far from proving flood geology actually destroys it, and it is a testament to the scientific illiteracy of those making it that they fail to grasp this point.

Geophysicist Glenn Morton not only used to be a YEC, but was active in the organised YEC movement, until the geological evidence he saw in his work as a geologist for the oil industry confirmed to him the reality of an ancient Earth, and the impossibility of a global flood. The compiler of SEfaGF claims that trackways and raindrops prove a global flood, but in fact they demand slow deposition, as Morton points out:

One of the fascinating aspects of the geologic and paleontologic record involves the capturing in stone of slow processes which are incompatible with the young-earth creationist idea of a global flood. Below is a modern slab of hardened mud taken from the Bay of Fundy. It shows that when the mud was soft, a bird walked across it. The bird feet sank into the mud. But then at a later time, after the bird took his stroll, it rained and a few drop imprints were left in the mud, which then hardened. This preservation took place about 60 years ago. The slab of hardened mud was pried up from the sediments around the Bay of Fundy and moved to a museum.

From this, we know that such features can form today, that they don't require exceptionally catastrophic conditions for their formation, and thus when we see such things in the fossil record, we are not free to claim that such features need a global flood. Besides, several things are very clear from this type of deposit. 
1. The water depth was no deeper than the bird's legs. 
2. When the rain happened, there was no water covering the layer at all. If there had been, the water would have absorbed the drops impact rather than the mud. 
From this we know that this modern feature was formed without any water covering at all. 
Just for completeness sake, here is another modern example of raindrop imprint preservation.

Now, we find similar things in the fossil record. Below is one from the Triassic of Massachusetts.

 One can see two animals walked across this slab, one (NE-SW) while the mud was very wet, the other (E-W) while the mud was a bit dryer. At the last, you can see tiny circular raindrop impressions all over the slab. Like the modern examples above, we don't have to appeal to a global flood to form such slabs. And such slabs show that there was a period of time while various animals walked on the mud, and while the mud slowly dried out allowing a firmer track impression on the east west track.  
One of my favorite track photos is from Raymond Moore's 1933 Historical Geology. It shows a shoreline with a dinosaur walking into the water (not fleeing from the water). The slab above the waterline is rainpitted, below the waterline, there are no raindrop impressions because the water absorbed the impact. 

This simply doesn't look like a global flood deposit. 
But it just isn't raindrops which are found in the fossil record. Hail impressions are preserved as well.
 Below we can also see modern vs. ancient ice crystal imprints. Remember that to form ice crystals, the mud must freeze, and this takes several hours, which is inconsistent with a one-year global flood which deposits 50-100 feet per day.
Here are the modern ice crystal imprints. 

 This example is from the Devonian.

The features discussed above clearly don't require a global flood to form. Indeed, quite the opposite, they indicate a slow rate of deposition. [1]
This evidence alone is enough to bury the YEC claim, but it is not the only evidence against a global flood. Morton notes the existence of burrows in the Haymond Formation in Marathon Basin, Texas, and notes:
Several items can be deduced from these observations. 
  1. It is obvious that the burrowers prefer to burrow into the shale rather the sand.
  2. The burrows in the shale were present when the sand was deposited. Why? because the sand filled the hole (burrow). 
  3. There were few burrows in the sand as there are no fingers of shale poking down into the sand as there are sand fingers poking down into the shale. 
Lets try to explain this in a one year flood. Give each shale layer 1 day for recolonization of burrowers the deposit would require 41 years to be deposited. But that is a real problem. The Haymond bed is 1300 m thick and only represents a small part of the entire geologic column. All the fossiliferous sediments in this area are 5000 m in thickness. To do the entire column in one year requires 1300/5000*365=95 days for the time over which the Haymond must be deposited. This means that 157 sand/shale couplets per day must be deposited. That means that the burrowers must repopulate the shale 157 times per day, dig holes, be buried, then survive the burial to dig again another 156 times that day. Shoot, Sisyphus only had to roll the boulder uphill once a day. What on earth did these burrowers do to deserve this young-earth fate? 
We know that the burrowers who were buried did not survive. If they had, they would have had to dig up through the sand to escape their entombment. There are no burrows going up through the sand. And if there had been these burrows, there should be little circular piles of sand with a central crater pocking the entire upper surface of the sand. We don't see these…This is an indication of lots of time between the deposition of the sand and the digging of the burrows. It simply isn't credible to have these burrowers dig burrows at a rate required by the Noah's flood viewpoint. [2]
Finally, the presence of pollen layers between layers is completely irreconcilable with that of a flood which would mix things up. Morton notes:
The global flood view would view the geologic column as having been deposited during a one year global flood. The pollen found in with the rocks would mostly have been given off by plants before the flood and we should expect a thorough mixing of the pollen with no clear starting and ending points in the geologic column. All pollen should be found at all levels because according to the YEC model, all plants were on earth prior to the flood and were doing their thing, releasing pollen and spores into the wind. And then the flood would stir it all up. After all, the flood was a turbulent and chaotic event, eroding miles of pre-flood rock and depositing miles of new sedimentary rocks. 
What do we find?  A recent article in the AAPG Bulletin discusses pollen found in rocks in Northern South America, Venezuela to be exact. As one drills deeper into the sediments of Lake Marcaibo (a prolific oil producing region) one encounters the pollen in a predictable pattern.  I have used the data in that article to construct a slightly modified spreadsheet from what is presented in the article. You can easily download the spreadsheet here and see for yourself that the pollen appears in a predictable pattern with species appearing and disappearing in an ordered pattern.  There is no chaotic mess as would be expected under the global flood model. [3]
Game, set, and match to mainstream science The global flood hypothesis is falsified by this data.