Saturday, January 12, 2008

Absurd catastrophism


If there was an icon for 'blogging on non-peer-reviewed non-research', in the style of 'blogging on peer-reviewed research', this post would qualify for it. Although it is advertised as publishing "cutting-edge, peer-reviewed, creationist research papers", Answers Research Journal (published by Answers in Genesis) is definitely not cutting-edge, not peer-reviewed, and is clearly not research. The evidence: the first few materials that are available online. There is a paper on "catastrophic granite formation"; here is a passage that gives you a flavor:
"Thus the formation of granite intrusions in the middle to upper crust involves four discrete processes — partial melting, melt segregation, magma ascent, and magma emplacement. According to conventional geologists (Petford et al. 2000), the rate-limiting step in this series of processes in granite magmatism is the timescale of partial melting (Harris, Vance, and Ayres 2000; Petford, Clemens, and Vigneresse 1997), but “the follow-on stages of segregation, ascent, and emplacement can be geologically extremely rapid - perhaps even catastrophic.” However, as suggested by Woodmorappe (2001), the required timescale for partial melting is not incompatible with the 6,000–7,000 year biblical framework for earth history because a very large reservoir of granitic melts could have been generated in the lower crust in the 1,650 years between Creation and the Flood, particularly due to residual heat from an episode of accelerated nuclear decay during the first three days of the Creation Week (Humphreys 2000; Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin 2005). This very large reservoir of granitic melts would then have been mobilized and progressively intruded into the upper crust during the global, year-long Flood when the rates of these granite magmatism processes would have been greatly accelerated with so many other geologic processes due to another episode of accelerated nuclear decay (Humphreys, 2000; Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin 2005) and catastrophic plate tectonics (Austin et al.1994), the likely driving mechanism of the Flood event."
Here is what I honestly do not understand. Let's accept for a moment the idea that granites can form relatively fast, and pretend that radioactive dating has some major issues, as these people claim (it doesn't, of course), so that all the granites on Earth fit the 6000-year timeframe. But what about the stuff that the granites were generated from? That must be older, right? And if the whole crust is less than a few thousand years old, what about the mantle? And, if one can speculate about "accelerated nuclear decay during the first three days of the Creation Week" or "catastrophic plate tectonics", why not just say that granites were created on the second day, after the mantle was ready to start convection by the end of the first day? Or, even better and simpler (Occam's razor!), why not just come up with something like:
And God said, Let there be granite: and there was granite. And God saw the granite, that it was good: and God divided the crust from the mantle.
I am looking forward to the time when somebody realizes that the Universe was created yesterday, and it is only an illusion that we have been around for a bit longer than that. Imagine all the wonderful research opportunities that such a revolutionary working hypothesis would generate. I can already see papers and headlines like:
Updated relativity theory shows that time is shorter than you think

Plate tectonic hit-and-run: after hitting North America yesterday with several microcontinents, the Pacific Plate continued to subduct as if nothing happened

Fossil record from 4:15 pm yesterday shows that lightning-fast giant snails were abundant on Earth for more than 7 minutes

Accelerated ice flow during the last few minutes of Creation Hour is likely responsible for death of Ötzi the iceman

Scuba diver killed by massive rain of pelagic forams

Catastrophic hair growth in early humans
Additional research ideas are welcome; 'Answers Research Journal' is calling for papers now.

UPDATE: In my rush to publish the above results, I forgot to mention some previous work on similar subjects: Afarensis - an expert in points to the Precambrian archaeology -ist, who suggested long ago that the Cambrian explosion was caused by a bacteria trying to form a synthesis with a mitochondria and that peanut butter is a leftover from this explosion. I would only add that there is new evidence suggesting that the Precambrian started at 1 am yesterday, after Creation Hour ended, and it probably lasted for several hours, until the bacteria committed adultery.

4 comments:

Mark said...

Are you implying the authors can't explain the difference between a granitic gneiss and a nice granite?

zs said...

I think they can explain anything. According to the same author, "rapid metamorphism of rocks during the Genesis Flood" is quite feasible, "consistent with the infallible record of God's Word". What is perplexing to me is the urge of young-earth creationist geologists to show that every geological process can take place in a few weeks or years, so that they fit their 6000-year worldview. Apparently, they don't want to leave much to God's creativity during Creation Week.

Ian said...

After reading both articles in the premier issue, I must say I'm nearly speechless. This new journal manages not only to produce terrible science, but it's actually pretty bad religion as well. The other article, questioning on which of the creation days microbes appeared, should be as unacceptable to believers of Christian mythology as it is to non-believers, as it uses modern findings about symbioses to structure, and thus limit, how God could have created life. Their God is unfettered by any law of physics or logic, but apparently needed to divide the creation of peanuts, corals and termites into three separate days of labor. They are better off rejecting all laws, and all limits. At least then it's still a good story.

afarensis said...

To clarify, I'm am not an expert in Precambrian Archaeology. The Precambrian Archaeologist is a guest poster on my blog. He posts once a year on April 1st.

 
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