Lyell’s Geology; short version

Lyell’s Geological column

The uniformitarian view of the Earth’s rock strata is only a theory, one way of interpreting the data. Lyell’s view that each strata represents vast geological ages and normal, current processes, instead of catastrophes was born more out of his desire to discredit the Biblical flood story, as Darwin later admitted, than from a careful unbiased study of the data. His view is now being seriously questioned by many modern geologists. Some of the evidence that Lyell ignored and that has caused scientists to begin to rethink uniformitarianism is:

·        Fossils are not formed under normal conditions, try throwing a dead fish on your lawn, and see if it is fossilized or quickly devoured by competing bacteria and predators.  In order to prevent rapid decomposition, fossils must be buried quickly.  There is no evidence today on the bottom of lakes or seas anywhere of any fossilization going on that compares in the least with what we find in the sedimentary rocks.  Rock strata which contain fossils had to have been laid rapidly, representing minutes or hours, not vast geological ages.

·        Over the vast majority of the earth, most of the strata are missing or found in the wrong order. In many places the older layers lay on the younger with no sign of over-thrusting, such as at Mt. Yamnuska, Alberta, where the Cambrian lays on top of Cretaceous. This is not surprising when you realize the concept of the column was formed long before most of the earth’s geography had been studied or radiometric dating had been used.

·        Multiple rock layers lie on top of each other with a knife like plane between any two beds that can be observed for miles with no sign of erosion between them. How could millions of years have elapsed between these great geological ages, without any erosion taking place?

·       Not only is there no sign of erosion between layers, there is no sign of bio-turbation (rooting of plants, animal burrows, worm activity.etc.) within the layers themselves. Yet scientists have observed that surface or single layers laid down by any process, are riddled with signs of life in a short period of time, unless quickly buried by other layers. Formations containing layers without bio-turbation had to have been laid very quickly, not slowly over millions of years.

·        Polystrate fossils (fossils that penetrate more than one geological layer) are common. For example, how could trees remain upright for thousands of centuries while two or more geological ages slowly buried them? Trees fall down and rot under normal, observable processes. Such fossils imply rapid deposition of these layers, not millions of years.

·         At Mt. St. Helens, hundreds of feet of sedimentation were laid down which contained many different layers of strata, and yet they were observed by scientists to have been deposited in hours, not the millions of years that previously would have been assumed.

            “Once an organism dies…there is usually intense competition for the nutrients stored in its body. This combined with physical weathering and dissolution of its hard parts soon leads to its destruction, unless the remains are quickly buried. These mechanisms contrast with the popular image of burial as a slow accumulation of sediment through long periods of time.”

 Behrensmeyer, American Scientist 72 Nov.- Dec.1984, 560

Gee, I wonder where that idea came from?


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