Real Science Vindicates Creationists … Again
A “MEGAFLOOD” FORMED THE ENGLISH CHANNEL
Interestingly, this is the conclusion of a recent study published in the leading scientific journal Nature. The lead author, Sanjeev Gupta, saw similarities between the English Channel and the Channeled Scablands of Washington formed by the Missoula Flood referred to above.(48) My guess is that as more and more geologists become aware of the major shift in thinking from gradualism to catastrophism caused by the Palouse Canyon debate, we will see more articles like this one by Gupta et al. The authors of this study note that a massive flood was a popular explanation for the English Channel early on, but that evidence to support the theory was lacking. Now, thanks to advances in technology, support for this theory is available and is quite convincing. The authors conclude that normal fluvial processes are inadequate to explain these features and that a megaflood is the only reasonable explanation.
SOME INTERESTING EXCERPTS FROM THE RELEVANT ARTICLES
FROM THE NATURE ARTICLE …
Catastrophic flooding origin of shelf valley systems in the English Channel
Sanjeev Gupta1, Jenny S. Collier1, Andy Palmer-Felgate1 & Graeme Potter2
Nature 448, 342-345 (19 July 2007)
Our study provides the first direct evidence that a megaflood event was responsible for carving the English Channel valley network. Normal fluvial processes cannot explain erosion of the Northern Palaeovalley, because before flooding no significant river was sourced from the Weald–Artois ridge to the east16 (Fig. 1). [So how can you insist that normal, fluvial processes formed the Grand Canyon? Possibly now you will change your view and admit that creationists have been right?] Tidal scour is not a viable mechanism because the superposed dendritic drainages indicate subaerial exposure of the valley floor after incision. Erosion by glaciers5, 6 is untenable, because there is no evidence that these advanced into the English Channel17. Our observations are consistent with erosion by high-magnitude flood flows, as in the Channeled Scabland, in which analogous landforms were indisputably formed by catastrophic drainage of the glacial lake Missoula1, 13 (see Supplementary Information for additional discussion). [Thanks. And it only took conventional geologists 40 years to admit Harlan Bretz was right about the Channeled Scablands. How much longer will it take for them to admit that creationists are right about all other aspects of Flood Geology? 40 more years?]
FOOTNOTE #1 TO THE NATURE ARTICLE
The Study of Superfloods
Victor R. Baker*
Science 29 March 2002:
Vol. 295. no. 5564, pp. 2379 – 2380
Large, high-energy floods are both rare and dangerous. [Rare. Yes. Like … there’s only been ONE … ever] Evidence of their impacts in the geologic record is often subtle, but the greatest obstacles to advancing the knowledge of superfloods have come from misapplied scientific logic. [Quite an understatement!] Particularly troublesome are flawed notions of hypothesis testing, verification, and the principle of simplicity. Contrary to conventional views of scientific methodology, there has never been a general theory of superfloods that could be tested, confirmed, or falsified by observation and experiment. Instead, as in much of geology, observation has preceded theory, and understanding has emerged as previously unrecognized phenomena were discovered.
Methodological problems with the study of superfloods began early, at the inception of geology as a science. The influential 19th-century geologist Sir Charles Lyell passionately advocated a regulative principle for validating the inferences that geologists make about the past. Presuming that geologists reason by induction, Lyell thought that such a principle was necessary if geological inferences about past causative processes were to achieve the same kind of certainty as those made in experimental sciences like chemistry and physics. It was Lyell’s most capable critic, the Cambridge polymath William Whewell, who in 1832 named this principle “uniformitarianism.” Epistemological uniformitarianism holds that scientifically reliable inferences about the past must be confined to invoking only the slow-acting, low-magnitude processes currently in evidence to human observers.
This principle was applied blindly by Lyell’s intellectual descendents well into the 20th century. [Yes, it was, but alas … many skeptics don’t like me saying so] In the 1920s, Bretz’s documentation (1) of the spectacular effects of late-glacial flooding in the Channeled Scabland region in Washington state met with immense criticism from the scientific community. Not until the 1960s was it generally accepted that this flooding was caused by catastrophic failure of the immense ice-dammed Glacial Lake Missoula along the southern margin of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, which covered the northwestern mountains of North America about 20,000 years ago. [Interesting how hard headed academics can be when they do not wish to believe something.]
For the whole story of how geologists laughed at Harlan Bretz about his megaflood theory of the formation of the Washington Channeled Scablands and the Palouse Canyon, click HERE. They’re not laughing anymore.
In the footnotes of the article referenced above, there is another interesting article referenced in the journal Science entitled “The Study of Superfloods.”(49) The author highlights the failure of Lyellian principles as evidenced by Bretz and the Channeled Scablands debate, then goes on to list many other instances of evidence which has accumulated over the last 40 years for catastrophic failures of ice-dammed lakes, which in turn explain canyon and channeled scabland features much more satisfactorily than any gradualist explanations. Examples include the southern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, the Altai Mountains of the upper Ob River basin in Asia, the upper Yenesai river basin in Tuva, the Columbia basin and others.
WHY SO CONTROVERSIAL?
The author of this Science study notes that these studies are “highly controversial.” Interesting, isn’t it? Why would they be so controversial? I can think of no other reason except the strong bias against catastrophism, caused by the strong anti-historical-nature-of-Genesis bias of many 19th century academics in many fields. Perhaps geologists know where this “neo-catastrophism trail” will lead. Perhaps they realize that to admit a megaflood created the English Channel and many other features similar to it in various parts of the world means they may have to admit that a megaflood created the Grand Canyon. God forbid! If that happens, then much of what they learned about geology in school should be thrown out the window. If the Grand Canyon was formed catastrophically and mainstream geologists have been wrong about it all these years, then what about all the other things geologists have been saying? Like how 2 miles of fossil bearing sedimentary rock occurring all over the globe was supposedly laid down gradually over millions of years. Maybe they will have to admit they are wrong about that too. Which, of course, is what modern creationists like Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, authors of the landmark volume, The Genesis Flood(50), have been saying since 1961.
GLOBAL FLOOD EXPLANATION FITS THE EVIDENCE MUCH BETTER
Morris and Whitcomb have been saying things like the following for years …
1) Huge canyons like the Grand Canyon are better explained as catastrophic erosion, not gradual erosion
2) Huge thicknesses of sedimentary rock are better explained as being laid catastrophically, not gradually
3) Massive quantities of fossils buried in rock layers all over the globe, most of them being marine fossils are better explained by catastrophic burial, not gradual burial
4) Repeated uplift and downsinking of entire continents as required by uniformitarian explanations is not compatible with observed horizontal limits and tapering of formations
5) What kind of a windstorm would be required to deposit the 300 foot thick Coconino Sandstone aerially? Impossible. The Coconino is better explained as a water-laid deposit just like the rest of the layers.
6) The written and oral histories of hundreds of cultures all over the world include an account of some sort of flood containing many of the key elements of the Biblical account. This fact cannot be satisfactorily explained by numerous local inundations happening in various places.
Please refer to my recent Formal Debate at RichardDawkins.net for more detailed discussion on evidences for the Flood of Noah which includes a discussion on the civilizations of China and Egypt being founded post-Flood.(51) I continued this discussion here at IIDB and showed evidences for an astronomical date of 2170BC for the Great Pyramid, which of course would have been built after the Flood and would have required a large work force. I showed in my discussion that a large workforce would been quite possible.(52) Also, David Rohl has shown evidence that conventional dates for the founding of Egypt are likely wrong and that this event should be moved forward by as much as several hundred years.(45) This in turn lends support to the inferred dates for the Great Flood of Noah and the Dispersion at the Tower of Babel. With these things in mind, the objection that Flood skeptics raise about the civilizations of Egypt and China existing through the supposed dates of the Flood loses its force.
Does the evidence presented here for a megaflood cause for the formation of the English Channel prove the historicity of the Global Flood of Noah? No. But it shows very clearly that conventional wisdom in academia — in this case in the field of geology — can be horrendously wrong. And that they can persist in this error for over a hundred years! My post today should serve as a huge dose of humility for any arrogant geological thinking about how wrong creationists are and how silly the Genesis Flood account is and so on. As it turns out, the creationists were right about the catastrophic formation of the Palouse Canyon and will probably turn out to be right about the catastrophic formation of many other similar features all over the world, as this English Channel article so amply illustrates. And they will ultimately turn out to be right about the catastrophic formation of the sedimentary layers themselves and about the catastrophic separation of the continents –remember Antonio Snider-Pelligrini who came up with Plate Tectonics … CATASTROPHIC Plate Tectonics, that is.
NOTE: These footnotes begin at (40) because this post is an excerpt from a formal debate at IIDB. Click HERE to read the full debate.
(40) Sanjeev Gupta, Jenny S. Collier, Andy Palmer-Felgate & Graeme Potter, “Catastrophic flooding origin of shelf valley systems in the English Channel,” Nature 448, 342-345 (19 July 2007)
(41) Sanford, John, Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, New York: Ivan Press, 2005. Dr. Sanford is a highly successful Cornell geneticist who with over 70 published scientific articles and over 25 patents. He came the conclusion from study in his own field of genetics that the Primary Axiom of Evolution — Random Mutation + Natural Selection — is wrong.
(42) See Dr. Allen MacNeill’s recent comment that the Modern Synthesis of the Theory of Evolution is dead, “Long Live the Evolving Synthesis.” http://www.uncommondescent.com/archi…#comment-69014 Dr. MacNeill is a Cornell professor who made a name for himself last summer by teaching a class about Intelligent Design. Many evolutionists were furious that he would dare to even give ID exposure at all. See his blog at http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/
(43) McDowell, Josh, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Vol 2, Here’s Life Publishers, 1975, p. 51. McDowell was a Biblical skeptic in college and set out to disprove Christianity. But oops! He became a Christian in the process because he realized that it was true after all!
(44) Garrett, Duane, Rethinking Genesis: The Sources and Authorship of the First Book of the Pentateuch, Baker Book House, 1991. See page 13 and following for his discussion of how the Documentery Hypothesis is now dead in spite of many scholars still supporting it. They are essentially animating a corpse.
(45) Rohl, David M., Pharoahs and Kings: a Biblical Quest, Crown Publishers, 1995. See my blog for some highlights from the book. https://afdave.wordpress.com/
(46) https://afdave.wordpress.com/2007/02/01/more-useful-quotes-for-creationists/ Search the page for “Ager”.
(47) http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2954 See also Ref. 49 below.
(48) “Making the paper: Sanjeev Gupta — How a map of the English Channel explained Britain’s island status”, Nature 448, xv (19 July 2007).
(49) Victor R. Baker, “The Study of Superfloods,” Science 29 March 2002: Vol. 295. no. 5564, pp. 2379 – 2380
(50) Morris, Henry M., Whitcomb, John C., The Genesis Flood, Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961.
(52) Great Pyramid Discussion at IIDB w/ Dean Anderson