Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Ultimate In Uniformitarianism

I remember one time sitting in on an evening seminar run by a Creationist where the speaker fervently tried to prove Creationist science by attacking heathen...I mean, secular science.

[News flash - there is no Christian science and there is no secular science - there is just science. If what you claim can be tested and verified, adequately explains reality and has predictive power, it will be accepted, regardless of the position it supports or the religion of the person who discovered it]

Anyway, the speaker used a slide in his presentation which he claimed proved a worldwide flood was because of the presence of coal in regional Victoria. There was a brief explanation about how the Noachian flood did some kind of terraforming, which then started a process that gave way to mass formation of coal (paraphrased, probably badly, and I apologise beforehand if I got it wrong - happy to be corrected).

I don't remember the whole spiel the speaker gave, but one thing struck me - the claim of the formation of coal as proof of the Noachian flood is actually proof against it.

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Creationists hate uniformitarianism. OK, so do my fingers when I have to type blog posts on the topic, but Creationists can't stand it.

So just what is uniformitarianism? Basically, it's the scientific philosophy that the "present is the key to the past" which was originally quoted by William Whewell, and when applied in the sciences of geology, it's the idea that the same processes and cycles that affect the Earth in the present day can be studied to determine the conditions of the earth in the past - thus, by observing current phenomena and interpreting data, we can get a very good idea of what happened eons ago.


This is poison for Creationists because, using heretical science...sorry, I meant science, we can demonstrate that the earth is billions of years old. This goes directly against the Literalist narrative that God made the entire universe, not just the earth, in six literal days.
And so it goes that if Creationists can destroy uniformitarianism, then they think God wins by default, hence their enormous efforts in what I will frankly call scientific misinformation.


Unfortunately for Creationists, Uniformitarianism has much more explanatory and predictive power than 'the-flood-did-it', no matter how many trips to the Grand Canyon they take.

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But let me turn this around and allow me to liberally reinterpret the word uniformitarianism for a second.

To me, the Noachian flood is the ultimate in a uniform worldwide process. According to the Literalist Creation belief, the whole world was underwater for a year after 40 days of constant rain (which roughly calculates to an average of 9.2cm of rain per hour every hour), so by that logic, we then have to assume that the same hydraulic and geologic forces were at play the world over in the one year time span.

So what should we see if the world was indeed covered in kilometres upon kilometres of water?

Firstly, we should see Grand Canyons everywhere! If the Grand Canyon was indeed caused by a catastrophic flood, then a worldwide catastrophic flood should have made Grand Canyons the world over.
Under the uniformity that the Noachian flood determines, there is no logical reason why the Grand Canyon is somehow the largest. Every canyon created by the Noachian flood should be the roughly the same shape, size, width, height, depths and be composed of exactly the same materials in exactly the same places - because exactly the same forces were involved.

However, this is not what we see. We see canyons, yes, but they're vastly different, not only in topography, but also geology.



Secondly, if there was a worldwide flood that was powerful enough to fracture and carve out the dense rock of the Grand Canyon, we should then expect to see everywhere in the world be pretty much exactly the same height above sea level.

The hydraulic forces of the Noachian flood were apparently able to smash out enough rock to make a 5'000 square kilometre formation in under a year, and according to some Creationists, the Grand Canyon was formed in minutes - however if that were the case, the whole Grand Canyon should have been flattened - there's no logical reason why some rock somehow managed to stand, some rock wasn't, and why some segments of the Canyon are shaped in curves, such as Horseshoe Bend.

If we extrapolate this to consider the whole world, then assuming that the hydraulic forces involved in the creation of the Grand Canyon were also involved in equal measures the world over (and I don't see any logical reason not to assume this, unless God determined that some parts of the world deserve to be more hydraulically fractured than others), we should see 5000-square kilometre rock formations on every continent, maybe even every country and even every state, to the point that the entire world has clearly undergone large-scale topographic hydraulic fracturing.

We should also see no mountains, as well as the entire disappearance of natural rock formations - because if the Grand Canyon was carved out by a uniform worldwide blast of water, then everywhere was.

And if everywhere was, there should be very little difference in topography between countries.

But again, we do not see this. As an example, just down the road (almost literally) from where I live are The 12 Apostles, a formation of limestone stacks that sit just off the coast of Victoria which makes for a popular tourist attraction.

The fact that a number of the 'apostles' have collapsed over the years is a testament to the fact that water can indeed erode stone and rock - but again, if there was enough water to smash out the Grand Canyon 4000 years ago, then how come the limestone of The 12 Apostles has to be left to natural forces to erode - The 12 Apostles should not exist in the first place.

Also, if the whole world underwent catastrophic hydraulic fracturing, not only should we see a topographically-flat world, but we should see mountains be created at the rate of metres per day.

Mount Everest is 8848 metres tall. It has been 4000 years since the Noachian flood. By that maths, Everest has been growing at an average linear rate of over 2 metres per year. Which is strange, because no-one seems to have noticed the rapid growth.

Or, if the rate of growth wasn't linear, there must have been a time after the flood when the growth of the mountain peak slowed to a crawl, but only after the growth rate started off on an exponential basis - imagine, Mt. Everest raising up at tens, if not hundreds, of metres per year, with not one person noting the sudden growth rate.

Thirdly, we should see a homogenisation of both topographical features and of biodiversity all around the world. Everywhere in the world should look roughly the same, and have the same flora and fauna. 

Remember, the entire world was covered in water, and we know from floods and tsunamis that large volumes of water have the capacity to do large amount of flattening of local topography.

On top of that, according to the Bible, all the remaining animals of the world existed in one place, so we would expect a slow migration outwards from the ark's landing place.
But again, we do not see this. Every country has unique flora and fauna - there are no native kangaroos in Japan. There are no native lions in Australia. 

Also, every country has unique topographical features - the white cliffs of Dover are only in England. Australia has desert rock formations such as Uluru and the Devil's Marbles. The only place in Australia that seemingly has limestone stacks (which is what The 12 Apostles are) is in south-western Victoria.

Under the hypothesis that a hyperdestructive worldwide flood caused by rainfall of 9 cm per hour for days on end that had enough hydraulic force to carve out the Grand Canyon, there should be no more rocks - especially erodible ones. 

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Unfortunately, while Creationists rally against Uniformitarianism, there are two things to realise:

1. Uniformitarianism is a useful tool in the field of geology because it has a lot of explanatory power. In fact, it is the basis of the science of geology.

2. The ultimate in uniform processes, a worldwide flood that covered every single mountain in the world above the highest peak, has left very un-uniform results, as is if it never happened at all.

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Think about it...


Regards,

Damien (quiterationaldad@gmail.com)

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