Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hey... you're not a GEOLOGIST!

Notes from a non Geologist talking about Non Geology in a Geology context.

So I did this Geology / Science Track talk thingy at DRAGON*CON, and afterwards, a few folks asked if I could post some of my notes from the lecture.

Well shit yeah.

Here then, are some highlights from my notes from the talk about how we know the EARTH is older than six thousand years, as well as some facts I didn’t even get to.

When I have the audio from this event, I’ll let you know-

To those of you who were there and listened:



Get it?





[Just as a reminder, I didn’t even really talk about radiometric dating, because I wanted to use OTHER examples apart from carbon dating et al. Radiometrics however is STILL the best methodology for determining the age of things. I just like these other less famous ways too! Ok- Continue.]

Besides Radiometric Dating- how do we know the earth is OLDER than SIX THOUSAND YEARS

Here’s how-

1. Light-
With the universe, and even our particular galaxy being as mind numbingly HUGE as it is, it takes a LONG time for light to travel across these great distances. Since there are portions of our galaxy that are VISIBLE to us, but are 50,000 light years away, we know that the light from those stars has been traveling that long. We also can tell from the use of spectrographic reading how that light gets effected by other gravitational forces during its journey. So either the light has been traveling, OR god has CREATED the universe and its light in situ. If THAT’s true, it could also be JUST AS TRUE that god created the universe FIVE MINUTES AGO.


There is no way that 6, 000 years is enough time light to travel to us from distant visible stars.

2. Plate Tectonics-
The huge swaths of continental land that cover the earth are actually slowly moving plates. These plates have been traveling across the face of the earth for millions of years, and move at a measurable rate. The Himalayas have been formed by two such plates colliding into each other, and forcing the meeting front edges into a peak. This peak has been forming at about 3 inches per year for the last 100,000 years. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for Mount Everest to form.

3. Coral Reefs-
Coral grows at a lugubriously slow pace. It takes a hundred years to produce a few inches of growth. There are reefs on the planet that are over 4,000 feet thick. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for some large coral reefs to form.

4. Loess Deposits-
Wind blown silt deposits are known as Loess deposits, and there are areas in China that give an accurate yearly wind blown silt record of 300 meters of silt. These records go back MILLIONS of years, and are as consistent as can be. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for China’s Loess deposits to form.

5. Dendrochronology
The study of tree rings is an amazingly accurate science, and by using matching yearly ring sections, dendrochronologists can follow certain tree chronologies back continuously for thousands of years. The Bristlecone Pine trees of Northern California have been traced back to 7,000 BC. That’s over NINE THOUSAND years. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for the Bristlecone Pine Chronology to form.

6. Varves-
There are algal growth cycles in large lakes known as varves. These algae growths bloom in warmer weather, die in colder months, then sink to the bottom of the lake. Scientists can take sample plugs out of the bottom of the lake and count the layers to determine the age of these bodies of water. There are lakes in Japan (particularly Lake Suigetsu) that have over 45, 000 layers. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for these varve layers to grow, collect and form.

7. Moon Dust-
Space dust accumulates on the moon at an estimated annual rate of two nanograms per square centimeter. (A nanogram is one thousandth of a millionth of a gram). By this estimate there should be about and inch and a half of space dust on the moon (if it were indeed 4.5 billion years old) and guess what? That’s EXACTLY what the Apollo moon missions found. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for the inch and a half of moon dust to gather on the surface of the moon.

8. Helioseismology
As a star burns off its hydrogen as fuel, it accumulates more and more helium. Sound travels differently through helium than it does through hydrogen, so as sun-quakes occur, that difference in sound inhibition can be measured, obsered and calculated, and a star’s age can be determined. Using this method, our sun is said to be about 4.6 billion years old. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for our sun to have the percentage of helium to hydrogen that it does.

9. Mega Meteor Impacts
There is evidence around the planet for a number of gigantic, “global impact” type meteor collisions. One impact crater in Canada is 60 miles wide, as well as the famous impact site in the Yucatan that is believed to be the site where the Jurassic killing meteor landed. These impacts are HUGE worldwide effecting events that SHOULD be recorded in human history if indeed humans have been around since the beginning. You’d think that SOME civilization would mention the fact that the planet was covered in ASH at some point. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for these mega meteors to hit the earth and get NO MENTION by ANY civilization.

10. Super Volcanoes
74,000 years ago, the Toba Caldera volcano in Sumatra threw into the air more than 3,000 times the ash that left Mt. Saint Helens. There is no mention of a volcano like this by any past culture. Much like the meteor impacts, you’d think that this would have made the record SOMEWHERE. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for super volcanoes like this to erupt and go unnoticed.

Here some more I DIDN’T get to mention during the lecture.

11. Ice Ages
There have been 20 instances of ice sheets expanding and spreading to cover huge portions of the Earth. Every time this happens, there is physical evidence that remains and indicates each unique ice spreading event. These ice sheets move at a VERY slow pace, because it takes a foot of snowfall to produce an INCH of glacial ice. These walls of glacial ice would be ripping up and down the earth like Tidal Waves for them to fit into the young earth model. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for 20 ice ages to occur and spread.

12. Hawaii-
The Hawaiian islands are made up of the tips of slowly building volcanic strata. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for the Hawaiian island to form and look the way they look.

13. Coal-
It takes millions of years for enormous amounts of vegetation and organic material to turn into coal. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for the AMOUNT of coal we have to form.

14. Salt Deposits
In Utah, there is an enormous underground deposit of salt that has been left there from the slow evaporation of an ancient sea. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for a steady stream of water to evaporate that much salt.

15. Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon has been formed not by a flood, but by a slow steady carving of the various geologic layers by a combination of the Colorado river (or its ancient progenitor) and the uplifting of a plateaus by mountain building events. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for the Grand Canyon to form and look the way it looks.

16. Ice Cores
There is a consistent, measurable annual record contained within the ice of the Antarctic. Removing and measuring ice cores can show all kinds of annual info. Many of these ice cores samples date back hundreds of thousands of years. There is no way that 6,000 years is enough time for these cores to look the way they do.

NOW- These are some of the things that I found on my own, just by hunting around the internet. I’M SURE there are MANY more examples, but these sixteen or so are a good start to use whenever debating with someone. Remember that when they said that god just made it APPEAR that way… you say that that means god JUST made us appear (with memories intact) too... and that he’s a coniving, deceptive prick.



hooami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hooami said...

Hey Geo,
That was totally awesome. I wish that there were more people like you.

People treat science like some foreign thing that no one can understand without some super brain. Science (when you get right down to it) is the art of not fooling yourself. All scientists do is look at the world, make observations and look for repetition. Kids do the same thing when they eat paste or poke something with a stick to see what it does.

Scientists just have older and more sophisticated sticks to poke things.

richard said...

George; good notes. I've reposted them for some people of religious delusions in my home town...


Wish I'd had the chance to see your panel; I love when musicians do science.

Much To Do About Nothing, the Blog said...

Oh I hope you get audio , I so need to memorize these facts for the next time my bible thumping coworkers start telling me how "wrong" science is.
Keep being cool!
Dwight in Ottawa Canada

Mark A. Siefert said...

George, great post, just one slight error. The Yucatan asteroid hit in the Cretaceous period not the Jurassic.

Simon said...

It's another algal bloom, but chalk is a good example.

Google image search for:
"coccolithophores bloom"

gets satellite imagery showing the process is still going on. Some of the best imagery is in the English channel, so you can see new chalk being deposited near the white cliffs of Dover.

The creationist nutters have tried to explain it, and apparently it was all produced in the flood (which presumably was global and deep enough to cover the cliffs of Dover to 500m) at some mammoth rate of production (rather than millimeters per decade as is happening now, and according to the geologists has been happening like this for the last 140 million years).

How all the flint got embedded in it when the seas must have been a thick white fog of chalk production throughout the flood is a mystery to me. Indeed how anything survived such a thick white fog of chalk production is a mystery, no doubt Noah had fish tanks on his ark for all the whales or some such obvious work around I've overlooked.

Why coccoliths no longer reproduce like bunnys on viagra is also a mystery, perhaps they evolved out of it ;)

Coccolithopodes - definitely interesting flora (? fauna?).

Simon said...

Oops millimeters per century... Either way a lot more than 6000 years.