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Talk:Feasibility of the Great Flood

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Still not happy about the chronological snobbery comment so I've removed it again.

I had forgotten about this page after my discussion with Bradley petered out. Just looked at it again today.

The first sentence in the answer to the first issue still troubles me. Even today there is no known wooden vessel from any era that approached the dimensions of the ark. Where is the snobbery in pointing out that building such a thing thousands of years ago seems impossible at face value? It is a simple statement of fact. --Horace 05:43, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Claiming that something "seems" impossible is a "statement of fact"? On the contrary, it's not a statement of fact, it's a deduction based on (a) that modern people are (allegedly) incapable of building such a ship, therefore (b) ancient people would be less capable. For this to work, one has to assume that we are better able to do this than ancient people, which is the chronological snobbery. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:45, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
But we are better able.
Just as we are better able to build cars and space shuttles.
Fact. --Horace 06:47, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Why are we better able? In the case of cars and space shuttles, because they were only invented in modern times is a major part of the reason. On the other hand, wooden ships have been around for a very long time. Yes, there are more factors to consider than just when they were invented, but I want you to delve a bit deeper than just a simplistic "of course we are better able" (with carefully-chosen examples). If you can actually demonstrate that we are better able to build wooden ships than ancient people and that we couldn't do it now, then I'll accept that no chronological snobbery is involved in this instance. But if it's just assumed rather than demonstrated, then it's chronological snobbery. How many modern pyramids are there? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Asking "How many modern pyramids are there?" doesn't address the issue. It's very possible to create a pyramid today that would equal or surpass the great ones of Egypt, but there isn't a justification to expend the necessary resources to do so. Where the ark is concerned, there are two fundamental questions to be answered:
  • First, can reasonable people agree as to how many actual types and numbers of animals had to be carried, the provisions needed to sustain them for the duration, and the labor-effort needed to care for them for the duration described in the Bible?
  • Second, can reasonable people agree as to what ship-construction techniques would have been feasible at that time?
When I read up on the former, there are many assumptions about "kinds" reducing the number of animals to be carried, God forcing them to hibernate, and/or all of the animals being herbivores until after the flood for the ark story to be feasible. I have yet to read about a non-supernatural narrative that holds up to scrutiny, so trying to have a discussion about the feasibility of the ark narrative without a deus ex machina thrown in seems pointless.
When I read up on the latter, I've found computer models and extrapolations of how the barge model would be the most seaworthy one for the task, and how large wooden ships existed in ancient times when that was the state of the art. I don't count the person in Europe with his floating, scaled down ark, because that's more of a traveling theater than a working model of a deluge-survival vessel. What's always left out of these discussions, though, is the glaring problem that this vessel didn't just have to be seaworthy, but had to survive a global cataclysm that literally relocated continents in the span of a year if other aspects of YEC geology are to hold up. It's inconceivable to assume that modern double-hulled steel vessels and their passengers could survive that level of sustained trauma, so the only explanation for how one made of wood could do so is to assume that the ark remained in pockets of relative calm untouched by tsunami forces, "perfect storm" scale waves, or even floating debris strikes for all that time without supernatural intervention. In short, you either believe in natural odds beyond a lottery winner's fantasy, or you invoke the supernatural again.
I'll keep an open mind to evidence to the contrary, but in terms of our knowledge of animal physiology & diet, the principles of materials science, and today's level of engineering, there's no way to explain the feasibility of the flood or the ark without falling back on the supernatural, and once you rely on that fallback the point of "feasibility" becomes meaningless. --DinsdaleP 18:30, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I've only just read this, so sorry for the belated reply. I really can't recommend Woodmorappes "Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study" enough for information about this. The bibliography/reference section is about half the book, and provides a lot of information about intensive husbandry of animals. Woodmorappe's calculations for the number of animals taken on the ark (and indeed those available for the journey) do contain speculation, but are quite feasible (a point he makes himself a couple of times). I have read only one serious negative critique of the book (Morton's) but reading the critique with NA:AFS open in front of me showed many of Morton's objections to be false (i.e. Woodmorappe wasn't claiming what Morton claimed he was claiming) or simple repetitions of the objection that Woodmorappe was addressing without answering Woodmorappes work. Woodmorappe only briefly touches on the ark construction itself, but the Korean Seaworthiness study of Noah's Ark has useful and specific information. In particular this study calculates the maximum navigable waveheight at 43m. By contrast the WP article on rogue waves describes 30m waves as "veritable monsters" and posits "freak" waves up to 35m (the tallest measured is apparently 29.5m). The 'structural wave height limit for the ark calculated for an assumed 30cm hull thickness is "more than 30m". I have found that most of the "reasonableness" objections to the ark are based on qualitative arguments from incredulity rather than any hard numbers. Woodmorappe and the Korean team used hard numbers to demonstrate the safety, seaworthiness and feasibility of the ark.
Do you have any quantitative data regarding "floating debris strikes"? Thinking about this myself a couple of thoughts occur to me. The ark and any debris would be drifting, so the speed of any strike is going to be limited. The ark will have much more mass and structural integrity than any debris that does strike it. On the scale of the whole surface of the globe, just what is the possibility of 2 massive bodies colliding? I have done no research on this. Those are just my initial thoughts. BradleyF (LowKey) 06:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


Re: pyramids - our technology is so far superior it's not even funny. If we had a reason to build a mass of rock to bury a dead leader, however, we could - and we could do it far more efficiently. As far as wooden boats, there are simple structural engineering issues with a wooden boat that large - look at what we were able to do once modern metal boat building techniques were adopted. Modern transport ships and warships utterly dwarf the biggest clippers ever built. Even our wheelbarrows are better. ħuman Number 19 00:33, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems to me that a number of people appear to think that just because you can build a 30 or 40 foot vessel out of wood that you therefore have the technological capability to build a 450 foot vessel out of wood. Nothing could be further from the truth and anyone with even a passing knowledge of the history of shipbuilding would know that. (I have a passing knowledge of the history of shipbuilding and I know it). Furthermore, let me make it quite clear that so far as an ark is concerned I would be happy with an ark that could withstand a normal year at sea. I note Dinsdale's comments above about global cataclysm but I do not require such a formidable test. Just a year in the equivalent of a modern ocean would be enough to satisfy me. --Horace 08:21, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
A lot of hand-waving there, and nothing specific.
...it seems to me that a number of people appear to think that just because you can build a 30 or 40 foot vessel out of wood that you therefore have the technological capability to build a 450 foot vessel out of wood. I don't think anyone's making that assumption.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:35, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
(This discussion deserves to be revived). Oh, but I think that they are Philip. As has been pointed out more than once on this page, the Ark is larger than any wooden ship known to have been constructed. Wooden construction is a technology like any other. Just because you can build a hut out of wood doesn't mean you can build a boat out of wood. Just because you can build a boat doesn't mean you can build a ship. Ships of any size are under extraordinary strains as a result of the movement of the water upon which they sit. The larger the ship the more significant the strain. The Wyoming was one of the largest wooden ships ever built at 350 feet LOD (a good 100 feet shy of the Ark). The following is from Wikipedia in relation to the Wyoming:
Because of the extreme length of the Wyoming and its wood construction, it tended to flex in heavy seas, which would cause the long planks to twist and buckle, thereby allowing sea water to intrude into the hold (see Hogging and sagging). The Wyoming had to use pumps to keep its hold relatively free of water. In March 1924, it foundered in heavy seas and sank with the loss of all hands.
The Wyoming was completed in 1909, more than 4,000 years after Noah's Ark. The technology to build the Wyoming was not available to Noah. So it seems to me that there is a legitimate question over the technology used to build the Ark. It may be that it was just not possible at the time. --Horace 04:53, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Oh, but I think that they are Philip. That's nice. But you don't produce any evidence (that they are thinking "that just because you can build a 30 or 40 foot vessel out of wood that you therefore have the technological capability to build a 450 foot vessel out of wood")
You don't know what technology Noah had available. Imagine if Earth's current population got wiped out except for you and your family. Would you know what to do to keep your car running? What about when you run out of supplies of petrol? You'd have to get all your own food. You would probably manage to grow some without any problems, but you would presumably try and shoot some game too. But what happens when you run out of bullets/shot? Make your own bow and arrow? My point is that you and your family would only be able to retain a tiny fraction of the world's technology. Even what you do personally know would probably be put aside as the priority would be to survive without help. Similar would have happened with Noah. Whatever technology that we know from history dates from after the flood, and may give us little clue to what was available before the flood when Noah was building his boat.
As for the feasibility of the ark itself, see the first reference in the article.
Philip J. Rayment 10:55, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, Philip, if the Earth's current population got wiped out, I might well have difficulty running my car. More significantly for the issues raised on this page however, my car, along with the other millions of cars driven by the other former denizens of the planet would become archeological artifacts to be dug up by future generations. In addition to cars, other such artifacts would include our iPods, our computers, our mobile phones, sky scrapers, aircraft and...(wait for it)... our ocean liners. Made of high grade steel of course (because who in their right mind would try to build a large vessel out of wood?). Is there any sensible reason to believe that Noah was, in any way, more technologically advanced than any other primitive tribesman? --Horace (Let's get him IPO) 11:11, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
What remained would depend on what sort of disaster wiped everyone out. You do have a point, but not a conclusive one. Perhaps your point means that there wasn't a lot of technology, but it doesn't rule out there being more technology than you might give the pre-flood population credit for.
Yes, despite your loaded question (presuming that Noah was a "primitive tribesman") there is reason to believe that he could have been more technologically advanced than you might realise. However, whether or not it's a "sensible" reason depends on your preconceptions about what pre-flood humans were like.
We have progressed from basic machinery to computers and rockets etc. in the space of about 200 years. Of course there was quite a bit of more basic development for several hundred years before that, such as windmills, lenses, etc. Some of this progress has been due to people having the spare time (over and above staying alive) to develop these things. Another thing to keep in mind is that we spend around 15 years of our lives learning from others then, say, 40 years learning from our own research. And after a period of retirement, we die and much of what we have learnt dies with us, as any books and papers we write will realistically only contain a fraction (even if a large fraction) of what we have learnt.
If Adam and Eve were created without fault, with excellent mental faculties, and although after the Fall these would have deteriorated, they and their descendants would have an intelligence that considerably surpassed ours. Add to that an environment that, despite requiring them to work hard, may have provided much of their needs naturally and therefore left them with plenty of time to do research. Also, instead of doing research for around 40 years then losing it when they die, as they lived for hundreds of years they may have been doing research for, say, 400 years (or a lot longer), i.e. perhaps ten times as much research lifetime as we now enjoy. This could have gone on for around one and a half millennium before the flood (compare to the few hundred years I mentioned for us). Therefore there is reason to think that they might have "advanced" technology.
That is very speculative, and I'm not claiming even that it's likely (to the extent I suggest). And that's the positive version; I've left out negative considerations. However, even presuming that I've grossly overstated the case, it still leaves the possibility that Noah had technology available to him greater than we might realise, and also possibly a different technology, one that at the very least made a large wooden a better possibility. My point really is that the argument that Noah couldn't have had suitable technology is itself based on an evolutionary view that mankind back then was quite primitive.
Philip J. Rayment 14:20, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
the problem with advanced materials is that they last longer than natural materials because nothing eats them.(bacteria) So if in Noahs time they had a process to laminate wood with a synthetic plastic resin (which can be made from plants) then we should be finding houses made with the stuff, spoons and other trinkets. Claims of titanium and aluminum on the ark find in turkey opens a huge problem because of the temperatures and working properties of each of these materials. Aluminum requires electricity to refine in quantity.
as an aside, it seems odd that the Bible doesnt comment on the wonders that the pre-flood civilization had. That kind of thing does tend to get mentioned in conventional history. It doesnt say that Cain loaded up his jalopy and motored over to another town. It gives the picture of a primitive agrarian society. One could also speculate that they could not write (or had not developed a written language yet.) Its that storage and access to information promotes technological growth. As does war. Hamster 16:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
the problem with advanced materials is that they last longer than natural materials because nothing eats them.(bacteria) That depends on how you make them. They have been making synthetic shopping bags for years, but in places are now using more advanced materials that are specifically designed to break down. I have to wonder about the durability of something that's been proposed for years now: biological computers.
So if in Noahs time they had a process to laminate wood with a synthetic plastic resin (which can be made from plants) then we should be finding houses made with the stuff, spoons and other trinkets. Are you referring to Noah retaining the technology, or of houses, etc. made from recycling the ark? The former I've already answered. I doubt the latter would stand up to scrutiny. Yes, they may be more durable, but necessarily 4,500 years durable?
Claims of titanium and aluminum on the ark find in turkey opens a huge problem because of the temperatures and working properties of each of these materials. If you are referring the Durinpar(?) site popularised by Ron Wyatt, that's been comprehensively debunked.
as an aside, it seems odd that the Bible doesnt comment on the wonders that the pre-flood civilization had. That kind of thing does tend to get mentioned in conventional history. Perhaps that's the point: it's mainly family history. But even so, it does include the following: Genesis 4:17, 4:21, and especially Genesis 4:22, which indicates that technology not generally accepted to have been developed until much later had been developed before the flood (and probably redeveloped after the flood).
It doesnt say that Cain loaded up his jalopy and motored over to another town. Cain was very early in the period, but granted it doesn't say that about anyone later, either.
It gives the picture of a primitive agrarian society. Not really, given the verses I mention above.
One could also speculate that they could not write ... Yes, one could speculate that, but is there any good reason to think that was the case? See also Colophons in Genesis and Genesis 5:1.
Its that storage and access to information promotes technological growth. That's a factor, but there's many others. See also this article which is pertinent to our discussion, and the part of this article where it refers to "pages 190-193". The former briefly and the latter moreso give some of the other reasons I referred to as to why there probably wasn't great pre-flood technology.
Philip J. Rayment 13:15, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I think one good reason to assume that they had no writing is the fact that there are many different writing systems throughout the world and many peoples who have no writing system of their own. This suggests that writing was only developed after the separation of languages. --OscarJ 13:53, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "different writing systems". Different languages are obviously because of God's actions. Different grammars are part of that. Different mediums (marks in clay, ink on papyrus or skins, etc.) can be explained by different materials available to different groups. Proposing that it occurred after Babel means that it developed independently in numerous locations, which is not far-fetched, but hardly the most obvious choice. The existence of people without writing systems can just as easily be explained by loss of skill following the forced migrations following Babylon. And why wouldn't they have developed writing before then?
By different writing systems I mean the Latin alphabet, the Cyrillic alphabet, the Arabic alphabet, the Indian Devanagari script, the Chinese writing system etc. Considering how different many of these writing systems are, I think it's more likely that many of them developed independently of each other, even though some were apparently influenced by others. If we assume that there was a writing system before Babel, does it still exist? Which modern writing system, or any writing system that we know of, would be the closest to it? --OscarJ 14:13, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
this would be excellent evidence in support of the Babel story,multiple proto languages popping up at one time, unfortunately its not what the study of linguistics shows. Hamster 17:13, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
You raise an interesting point, Oscar. If God wanted to forced people to separate, would changing their oral language be enough, or would he need to change their written language also? That is, if He just changed their oral language, they could still communicate by writing. This would be a nuisance, but may not be enough to cause them to separate. Therefore, it seems reasonable to me that when God caused them to speak different languages, he changed the written version of their languages also. Therefore the existence of different alphabets is not evidence against writing pre-existing Babel.
If we assume that there was a writing system before Babel, does it still exist? Which modern writing system, or any writing system that we know of, would be the closest to it? I don't know of any evidence with which to answer either question.
this would be excellent evidence in support of the Babel story,multiple proto languages popping up at one time, unfortunately its not what the study of linguistics shows. Hmmm. I wonder if it's only "excellent evidence" because you think it's not the case. The point you make is dependent on the chronology, which is evolutionary in nature. However, there is evidence similar to what you propose, albeit not chronological. Linguists have tried to construct a 'family tree' of languages, and are able to put most languages into families, but are unable to link the families back to a common ancestor. The number of families is usually around the mid teens to 20. Genesis 10 indicates that language and family groups coincided (e.g. Genesis 10:31), and as these groups seem to be based on Noah's 16 grandsons, 16 languages are suggested, right in the ballpark for the number of language families. Not proof, but good evidence.
Philip J. Rayment 12:18, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

9outdent for clarity) So your position is that the tower of Babel, and the civilization of Babel consisted of Noahs grandsons and their immediate families ( and we wont worry about the original 8 people from the ark) ? Hamster 20:16, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

a point for Horace. Changing a humans language, both verbal and written, and lets toss in hand gestures and other physical gestures that allow communication, would require rebuilding sections of each persons brain. Both the auditery and visual centers would be involved, the language center, various bits of the autonomic nervous system all need to be revised. Not a problem for God of course, but delicate work. One wonders how many were killed over miscommunications. Hamster 20:16, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
If you are asking if it was only four generations (Noah, Noah's sons, Noah's grandsons, and Noah's great grandsons), then no. Just counting generations, there was Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, and Peleg at least. Of Peleg, the Bible records that "in his time the earth was divided" (Genesis 10:25), and this probably refers to the events at Babel. So that's at least six generations (more, if you allow for some of Peleg's descendants to be born before the event).
Regarding your comment to Horace about the change of language, I suggest that we don't yet know enough about how that works to say for sure what would be involved in the brain. Further, it's possible that written language was not changed, and there's no reason to think that gestures were changed. The point was to make communication sufficiently difficult that they didn't conspire together, not to totally stop all communication of any sort.
Philip J. Rayment 12:59, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Wow, you really believe this Genesis Bible stuff, don't you, Phil? I am so embarrassed for you. Also, you kind of make up your arguments (I would have used a word I know would have been censored) on the fly to sort of keep your God flying in the sky and your really ancient Book perfectly true. ħuman Number 19 08:05, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Animal Care

I am finding that the answer to: "The animals would have required care, specifically and near constantly" does not really address anything. The current answer given is: "Woodmorappe has demonstrated that Noah and his family could have managed the care of the animals."

Essentially, it is simply dismising the question by saying that a guy somehow demonstrated it was possible. It gives no details into how he got to that conlcusion, and more importantly how all of those animals could have been cared for at all.

Would anyone care to expand upon this? If really should be taken out if it can't/will not be expanded. --MikeRi 23:52, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, the answer is at least as detailed as the objection :). Until the objection is expanded (i.e. What care is needed by what animals and why is that a problem?) a general answer is sufficient for the general objection. I do agree that it would be good to include how Woodmorappe demonstrated this, and I will see about adding that detail. BradleyF (LowKey) 00:25, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Contradictory answers?

In one section there's this question and response:

Why do the fossil-bearing strata not match the flood model?
They do. A flood would first bury the bottom-dwelling marine creatures, then other marine creatures, then coastal-dwelling creatures, and so on.

Yet near the end of the article, there's this question and response:

Why is there not a single, consistent fossil layer containing the remains of all of the creatures that were supposed to be alive together at the time, like humans, mammoths and dinosaurs?
This question is a typically-fallacious question in that it questions the lack of evidence for a claim that flood geology does not make.

My issue is with the second answer, which seems to state that Flood Geology does not claim that creatures with a similar habitation should be fossilized together. However, the first answer relies on just that type of claim to explain evidence. If humans, mammoths, dinosaurs and proto-horses all lived at the same time because of the creation narrative, then they'd be consistently found together in fossil deposits because they'd all be moving to higher ground as the waters rose. One could argue that they were distributed unevenly across the planet at the time of the flood, but as the waters rose, the survivors would be increasingly concentrated into the smaller and smaller areas of land until they were drowned. So while there are some isolated places where fossils appear to be found from different evolutionary periods, these seem to be exceptions and not the rule as the flood model would suggest.

Also, we find fossils of creatures like trilobites in specific layers the evolutionary model explains, but according to the flood model they should be evenly interspersed with all other bottom-dwelling creatures from the time of the flood. That does not seem to be the case.

Finally, a point about the first answer - "A flood would first bury the bottom-dwelling marine creatures, then other marine creatures". How does a flood "bury" marine-dwelling creatures in the first place, let alone in distinct layers? --DinsdaleP 01:03, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

My own understanding is that there are 3 factors effecting "where" organisms would be buried. There is geographic location (i.e. we wouldn't expect trilobites to be evenly interspersed because they were not globally ubiquitous). There is the timing of "being caught" by the flood, as per the sequence mentioned above (although that is a generality). There is hydrodynamic sorting, in which size, density and shape play a role in the stratification of sediment. Marine creatures would be buried by the water-borne sedimentary material. The bottom dwellers would be generally buried under it (or in the bottom-most layers), and the other marine dweller would be generally buried in it.
This is pretty much a "from memory" response, so I apologise if it is a bit crude. BradleyF (LowKey) 01:27, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
The second answer is not saying that Flood Geology does not claim that creatures with a similar habitation should be fossilised together. It's saying that Flood Geology does not claim that there will be a single layer with all the fossils together in that single layer. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:22, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
So if we pass on the idea of a single floodcreated fossil layer, then, there are still inconsistencies in the idea of a Biblical-scale flood depositing the variety of layers that can be found worldwide. I'd agree with Bradley's statement that size, density and shape have much to do with the sorting of remains caught in a flood, but if I did some checking I think it would be easy to find many instances of fossil layers that serve as counter-examples to this. Some predictions:
  • The vast amounts of sediment washing into the seas that would surely have included the remains of land-based plants and animals washed into the oceans as the land was covered, but instead marine life is buried with marine life, and land-based plants & animals are found separately.
  • Marine fossils can be found in mountain ranges, but if these ranges were formed by the seabeds being lifted at the end of the flood, there should have been fossilized layers of land-based plants and animals mixed in since all were submerged together before the end of the flood.
  • Sediment in the water sufficient to suffocate marine life should affect most species in a similar manner, but we don't find fossils of fresh and salt-water fish together even though they would have been in the open water together, "pockets of fressh/saline water" notwithstanding.
Evolution predicts that small forms of marine life would precede larger forms with fossils found in layers accordingly. However, the Biblical narrative would have larger marine life settling and being buried under the layers of small life, which would be held in suspension longer because of turbulence. Fossil layers tend to support the small-to-large layering, and not the reverse. --DinsdaleP 17:37, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
...if I did some checking I think it would be easy to find many instances of fossil layers that serve as counter-examples to this. Just as there are many counter-examples to the evolutionary story. Reality is not that straightforward.
Sometimes creatures from different environments are found buried together, such as whale and a possum found together.[1]
I'm not sure if you're claiming with your second dot-point that land-based creatures would be mixed in with the marine creatures (which point has already been answered), or that there would be land-based creatures above the marine creatures. In the latter case, there would have been a lot of erosion (removing higher layers) as the land rose.
I also don't follow your third point, as to why fresh and salt-water fossils should be together.
Why would the biblical account have larger marine life settling before smaller? What matters to a fair extent is their density, not their size.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:29, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Handwaving

With regards to point #7 (Baumgardner's admission that "the Flood catastrophe cannot be understood or modeled in terms of time-invariant laws of nature"), the creationist response is handwaving because the question posed was: "what are the plausible mechanism(s) for runaway subduction?" and Creationists respond by saying "Baumgarder has explained the mechanism", however a mechanism that "cannot be understood or modeled in terms of time-invariant laws of nature" is (by the definition of nature) implausible. Can anyone cite a plausible mechanism? NormalChristian 15:46, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Baumgarder has proposed a mechanism for runaway subduction. That proposed mechanism has a problem with heat, for which he proposes a divine change in the laws of nature. The mechanism has been explained, even though the mechanism has a problem. What you are saying is that because the mechanism has a problem, the entire mechanism is implausible. Okay, that's a judgement that you can make. But if we throw out every explanation because of some problem with an otherwise-good explanation, then we would long ago have thrown out the Big Bang, evolution, and so much more. Philip J. Rayment 14:07, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
The big bang and evolution have nothing to do with this discussion. What I am saying is that because the mechanisms proposed by Baumgardner cannot be understood in terms of the laws of nature, the mechanism is implausible. What you are saying is that systems which can't be modeled or even understood in terms of the laws of nature are still believable. Could you elaborate on your conception of plausibility? NormalChristian 17:54, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
...systens which can't be modeled or even understood in terms of the laws or nature... That's what the big bang and evolution have to do with this (in that they suffer from this at least as much as does runaway subduction). LowKey 21:31, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
some specifics please ? runaway subduction generates enough heat to melt the entire planet to slag without divine intervention. What laws of nature does evolution break, what does big bang hypothesis break remembering the limitations that are clearly stated for times prior to 10-47 seconds after boom. (really psssssst rather than boom) Hamster 22:00, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
he he. I just had an image of a shadowy figure in an overcoat saying, "Psssssst. Wanna buy a universe?" LowKey 23:47, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I have the same question that Hamster does: What laws of nature do evolution and the Big Bang break? For that matter, which are consistent with the Genesis creation? Sterile
Evolution: biogenesis - for a start (pun intended)
Big Bang: Gravity, C, matter/antimatter symmetry - also for a start (same pun).
Sterile, can you perhaps rephrase your last question? I'm not sure what you are asking. LowKey 23:42, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
biogenesis , the idea that living things come from other living things ? evolution, the theory that living organisms change over time, and show a pattern that indicates common ancestry ? abiogensis, the theory that life can arise from non living materials under the right conditions ? it is true that abiogenesis has holes but it has not been studied for very long and recent reports are very promising. HERE on YOUTUBE or THIS Website Gravity behavior is understood at particular scales but appears to break down at very small scales. It seems likely from recent literature that gravity will be a quantum effect but isolating the Higgs boson is needed first. Again research at quantum levels is hindered by available equipment. Hamster 00:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
dont know what you mean by matter/antimatter symettry. Theres a bunch of theoretical physics that deals with various symettry issues. C ? as in speed of light, again I am not aware of any special issues. Theres some stuff with gravity and entangled particles that raise issues of how they are communicating, or if that really applies but a better understanding of quantum physics is needed. Hamster 00:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
in a scientific theory it is permitted to say "we dont know that" or to include a working hypothesis that explains a lot of the data but maybe doesnt explain everything, and then see what comes from it, or if a new idea can do better. Thats quite different from actually stating "and now God steps in and " Hamster 00:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Um, creation and abiogenesis could violate the "law" of biogenesis. Except that all the abiogenesis hypotheses are grounded in chemistry and physics, while creationism occurs as a "poof" that violates just about every law there is. Good ol' god-of-the-gaps explanation, anyone? There is no reason to think God is the best explanation. Furthermore, evolution is predicated on passing on and variation of genes from the previous generation.... How is that not consistent with biogenesis? Sterile 02:16, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

(EC)

Evolution requires a first living thing, thus requires abiogenesis when the "law of nature" is biogenesis. Abiogenesis is only considered at all because it is a pre-requisite for evolution, and all of the research to date that I have read (or read about) indicates that it will not occur naturally. I will have a look at the Harvard link, but I don't do youtube.
Matter/Antimatter symmetry is the natural law that matter and anti-matter are created in equal proportions, and destroyed in equal proportions. The big bang requires either the creation of a universe-worth of matter without the creation of any antimatter, or the destruction of a universe-worth of antimatter without the destruction of any matter. Both are naturally impossible. The "theoretical physics" around symmetry issues is a lot of speculation about "baryogenesis" which is defined as the "unknown process" which occured to allow our universe to exist. LowKey 03:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Sterile, how does a living being creating life violate biogenesis? The abiogenesis hypotheses use chemestry and physics but are actually grounded in the unshakeable assumption that it must have occurred.
There is no reason to think God is the best explanation at least if one can invent such a paradoxical event as a "naturalistic miracle" like abiogenesis or baryogenesis. "Fudge of the gaps" perhaps? LowKey 03:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
TOE does not require abiogenesis. Abiogenesis would be an answer to the beginning of life on earth but there are other possibilities. Admittadly some of these options simply move the question somewhere else. One could argue that abiogenesis is biblical, in that if God could do it, how did he manage it ? This is wandering a lot from Flood Feasibility. Hamster 14:15, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

LowKey, could you explain your logic for me? Runaway subduction doesn't gel with the laws of physics, but (as you claim) neither does the big bang, therefore runaway subduction is realistic? Is that your argument? Please help me understand how anything about the big bang affects how runaway subduction is physically impossible. Are saying that systems which can't be modeled or even understood in terms of the laws of nature are still believable? Could you elaborate on your conception of plausibility? Thanks. NormalChristian 13:37, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I think LK's point was that theories can gain broad acceptance even while there are aspects of them that appear to contravene accepted laws, on the assumption that the apparent contradictions will eventually be resolved by further research. The Big Bang [he says] is an example of such a theory, and he also accepts the runaway subduction on this basis. That is the relevance of the Big Bang here. It clearly does not have a direct bearing on runaway subduction.--CPalmer 14:41, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. While I agree that unrealistic theories can gain broad acceptance, how does that make them realistic? I guess that is my question for LowKey. NormalChristian 14:52, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, your question is for Philip, but he answered it before you asked it. Does 1 problem make the theory unrealistic? If so then why accept Big Bang and TOE which have many problems? Flipside: If they are accepted as realistic despite the problems, why should runaway subduction NOT be accepted as realistic? I think Philip's point is that you are applying a standard selectively. LowKey 02:16, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Does 1 problem make the theory unrealistic? If the problem is with reality (as is the case with Baumgardner's mechanisms), then yes. No red herrings or tu quoques about it. Can you admit that the mechanisms are implausible? If not, on what grounds? NormalChristian 15:36, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Tu quoqué is itself a red herring here. The point is that explanatory models can be posited even when they have quite serious flaws, as a step on the way towards finding out the whole truth and ironing out those flaws. So if person A says "your model has serious problems", it's legitimate for person B to say "yes, I know, but I'm trying to work them out". You can't criticise people purely on the grounds that they don't have all the answers, because nobody has all the answers.--CPalmer 15:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with pretty much everything you said, but it still doesn't make something implausible plausible. Things that can't be modeled or understood in terms of the real world are implausible. If you disagree, you must be using a different definition of plausibility. I don't think I can make this any clearer, so I'm going to try from a different angle in the section below. NormalChristian 17:26, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
(@cpalmer) that is to a large extent true however if the flaw in a model is very substantial the model may not be accepted as a working hypothesis until it has a possible solution to the flaw. The fact is that the Earth did not turn into a molten ball 4000 years ago, and did not wobble in its orbit to the degree that rapid plate movements would involve. Most theories that have holes in them do have substantial evidence that the model does fit and explains well. Hamster 23:01, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
CPalmer and Bradley (LowKey) have answered most of the points here, but I want to add a bit about my thinking. I'll use a couple of analogies in an attempt to make my point clearer. Suppose someone was stranded on a deserted island, and wanted to be rescued. They come up with a plan to telephone a friend to send help. There is a problem with this plan, however: they don't have a telephone! The plan is not at all feasible. In my second analogy, the goal is to get a laminated photograph to a friend in another town by the end of the day. The problems are that you don't drive and there's no public transport, you don't have a laminator, and the photograph is a digital one on your computer and you don't have a suitable printer. So you formulate a plan to copy the file onto a USB memory device, call a taxi to take you to a shop in town that can print your picture, then to another shop with a laminator, and then to the other town to deliver the photograph. The catch is that you don't have the money for the taxi, the printing, and the laminating. Do you have a feasible plan? Unlike the plan of the person on the deserted island, I would say that the plan for the photograph is feasible, except for the problem of the lack of money. Similarly with Baumgardner, I'm saying that he has a feasible mechanism, except that there is the problem of too much heat. Yes, in both cases that means that the idea as a whole doesn't work, but in saying that the "mechanism is feasible", I wasn't meaning that the idea as a whole works. Philip J. Rayment 03:56, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Baumgardner's mechanism from a creationist perspective

Understanding the effective equivalence of speeding up physics and slowing down time is key here; if you dispute or don't understand that fact, please raise it first and raise it alone.
As my previous efforts to convince creationists that Baumgardner's mechanisms are implausible seem to have failed, I'm going to put on my creationist hat to show that creationists already know Baumgardner's mechanism are implausible. If time-variant physics were applicable to the Genesis account, physical reactions could be sped up or slowed down (which would be, in effect, like speeding up or slowing down time). If physical reactions could be sped up, God's creation could have experienced the equivalent of billions of years of physics (and in effect billions of years of time) in the days of Genesis. But young earth creationists already know this couldn't have happened. Unbeknownst to Creationists, their insistence on what they often call "literal/24-hour days" implies an insistence on time-invariant physics. Therefore, Baumgardner's mechanism is not only implausible, it's impossible. NormalChristian 19:04, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Jim Scully's "new" question

I think the question needs to be rephrased so that it actually questions something specific bout the Great Flood, rather than the current vagueness. There is no direct link apparent between the question and , at least without a number of inductive steps being spelled out (Jim Scully's edit summary when reinstating that question is a start). The question does seem to be a a follow-on question from the previous one, which is even more general. Maybe the two should be merged into a single question/objection (or maybe each should be made specific as to what actually constitutes the objection) so that they can be answered coherently. LowKey 01:22, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

seems fairly clear if one assumes that velociraptors and mastadons and sabre toothed cats (fossils) are not found in the same layers of sedimentary rock. One might posit that they lived at vastly different times but thats contra-flood. You could argue that as proto birds the raptors hate getting wet toes and so perched on the tallest rock they could leap to, and waited to drown, but thats kinda sick. A flood model should show raptors above mastadons but thats not what is found. Hamster 03:41, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Why do the fossil-bearing strata not match the flood model? They do. A flood would first bury the bottom-dwelling marine creatures, then other marine creatures, then coastal-dwelling creatures, and so on. hmm, a flood would not kill marine creatures unless it destroyed their environment. God did not worry about them so he must have been happy they would survive , or he intended to kill them all. Bottom dwelling marine creatures would simply keep moving above the sediment layer as it built up. As they died they would have appeared in the new sediment, along with land animals washed out to sea by the flood. If the flood happened today , a future geologist would expect to find fish, deer, beavers, and people all buried in one sedimentary layer washed off land masses by the rivers and deposited in the river delta. As it rained catastrophic mudslides would occur in the saturated hillsides, carrying anything on them into a lower area and covering them, so again, we get river fish, woodchucks, squirrels , cows and people buried together. It would take extreme events to then disinter these buried animals and sort them in any order. Hamster 03:57, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides which can bury bottom-dwelling creatures and even fish before they have time to flee. See here. Bottom dwelling marine creatures would simply keep moving above the sediment layer as it built up. You need to stop thinking of the flood as a gentle rise of water levels, and recognise that creationists understand it as a major hydraulic and tectonic catastrophe. Philip J. Rayment 04:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
and I have asked before for the Biblical support for such an understanding, my Bible mentions no such activity in the entire Flood narrative. Hamster 05:25, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
You say This wiki is a young earth creationist website that ignores whats found in the world in favor of literal bible interpretation, at your userpage but here you seem at a loss because we are not doing that, but examining "what's found in the world" and showing it to be consistent with the Bible without the need for "ignoring". Make up your mind, please. LowKey 06:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Further to Bradley's valid comment, neither does the Bible say that it was a gentle rising and lowering of the water levels, yet you seem to assume that. And it does say that "all the springs of the great deep burst forth". What does that mean to you? Doesn't it at least suggest something more devastating than a shower? Philip J. Rayment 06:58, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

How can you say the question is "vague?" It asks about a specific example. Do you mean that it is not obvious how it follows from the previous question? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the model you're proposing suggests that the fossil record can be explained by the Flood, right? Basically, the creatures that lived at lower elevations were buried in lower strata and the animals that lived at higher elevations were buried at higher strata. That is what is meant by "and so on." Am I understanding that correctly? The specifics should be spelled out in the previous question, rather than simply stating "and so on." If my understanding of the model (The Flood buried the animals at the elevation where they lived.) is correct, I think my question is a valid one. We wouldn't really expect to see all of the dinosaurs and other early at one level and all of the large mammals at another level. We'd expect to see the walruses and sea lions down with Odontochelys and the other early (or if you prefer, "so-called early") creatures that lived near the ocean shore. We'd also expect to see terrestrial dinosaurs and terriestrial mammals buried together. But that's not what we find. Jim 17:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

That is what is meant by "and so on." Am I understanding that correctly? Yes, although the answer was overly brief, in that it read as though this was the only factor controlling how things were buried. I've expanded it a little, and should expand it more. Philip J. Rayment 03:15, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I've added a bit more, but I'm not sure how to simply explain the following point. The evolutionary claim is that there is an order to the fossils, from most primitive at the bottom to most advanced at the top (or something like that). And in a very general sense, there is some truth to this, although it's not as exact and precise as it's often made out to be. The following is very simplified, but illustrates a couple of points. And remember that nowhere on Earth does the entire geological column exist. So in one place you might have something like this:
Fossil dinosaurs
Fossil amphibians
Fossil swimming fish
Fossil bottom-dwelling creatures
And in another you might have this:
Fossil elephants
Fossil amphibians
Fossil swimming fish
Fossil bottom-dwelling creatures
So the evolutionist says that the fossil record clearly shows a progression from simple to more complex (or primitive to advanced or whatever). And indeed this does appear to be the case. But the creationist can also point out that it shows the ecological zoning of where creatures live. And indeed it does.
Now the question has been asked why we don't find dinosaurs and elephants together. Part of the answer is that it's a matter of chance. To the extent that the above diagrams are correct, we don't find them one on top of the other either (more on that in a moment). Note also that the vast majority of fossils are of marine creatures, and the vast majority of those are of the bottom-dwellers. That is, the numbers of fossil dinosaurs and elephants is, relatively speaking, extremely low. So them not being found together may be nothing more than a matter of chance.
This doesn't answer the evolutionary claim that the elephants are not found as low down in the record as the dinosaurs. But is this really the case? In my diagram above, they are both found near the top. That the particular deposits that they are found in are not considered to be contemporaneous could simply be due to the idea (evolution) interpreting the evidence. That is, because elephants are supposed to have lived later, therefore their respective rock layers are considered to be not contemporaneous.
So in summary, creationists have to explain the overall order (and have done so with the ecological order of burial answer), but perhaps there simply is no answer needed to the detailed order claimed by evolutionists.
So how do I put that very simply on the article page?
Philip J. Rayment 03:41, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if it helps, but here is a crude summary I posted last October in relation to a similar question. My own understanding is that there are 3 factors effecting "where" organisms would be buried. There is geographic location (i.e. we wouldn't expect trilobites to be evenly interspersed because they were not globally ubiquitous). There is the timing of "being caught" by the flood, as per the sequence mentioned above (although that is a generality). There is hydrodynamic sorting, in which size, density and shape play a role in the stratification of sediment. Marine creatures would be buried by the water-borne sedimentary material. The bottom dwellers would be generally buried under it (or in the bottom-most layers), and the other marine dweller would be generally buried in it. LowKey 05:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I didn't really ask about evolution, but rather about this model. If the model is correct, on your table we would find walruses (or early species of such) and sea lions (and sea otters and polar bears) between the swimming fish and the amphibians. However, we don't find them there. Rather we find them in higher layers. How does the model account for this? Jim 15:19, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
See my most recent post above. Disparate geographic locations; disparate sizes, shapes and densities. Creationwiki has a reasonably good (albeit quite summary) description here. LowKey 00:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
And to think, you were accusing me of being vague. To the extent you're making an argument/offering an explanation here, it seems to be that shoredwelling mammals are more buoyant than fish and amphibians. Am I right about that? Did the people who developed this model actually investigate the differences in buoyancy among the different species kinds of animals to see if their model was accurate? Jim 03:21, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If the model is correct, on your table we would find walruses (or early species of such) and sea lions (and sea otters and polar bears) between the swimming fish and the amphibians. However, we don't find them there. Rather we find them in higher layers. Do we? Can you please point me to some evidence (that this is generally the case)?
Did the people who developed this model actually investigate the differences in buoyancy... You know, buoyancy was a factor that LowKey didn't mention.
Philip J. Rayment 14:19, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Can you please point me to some evidence (that this is generally the case)? You mean do I have the time/interest/expertise to find multiple examples of coastal mammals in the upper layers? No, I'm not going to be sucked into the fool's errand of trying to convince you evolution is true. I do note that Thalassocnus and Desmostylia fossils were found in the Miocene layer, to take two of many examples, which would place them well above the first amphibitans. Tell you what: This is your model, why don't you find one example of warlruses being found in the layers between early fish and amphibians? I don't think I'm willing to disbelieve the conclusions of basically every expert working in this field just on your say-so.
You know, buoyancy was a factor that LowKey didn't mention. He mentioned "density." Here's Wikipedia's article on buoyancy (note the diagram in the upper left of that page), and here's a formula for calculating it. Jim 16:34, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
You seem to be creating straw men to destroy. Firstly I was quite specific about not invoking a single mechanism/factor, but you have chosen to interpret a sub-factor of one of the factors I mentioned as if that sub-factor were the only factor of the model. Density does directly reult in bouyancy, but there is much more to it than that. It also effects inertia relative to size, and thus the effectiveness of motive forces. I also mentioned location, size and shape; which you seem to have ignored completely. Secondly, it is you - not we or flood geologists - claiming that walruses should according to flood geology be between fish and amphibians; and you seem to arrive at this by focussing only on one factor as if it were the only factor of the model (note that here you have chosen a different "only factor" than in your previous objection). You then challenge us to provide evidence that your misinterpretation is true! You need to stop treating each factor in isolation, and remember that the several factors interacted. For instance, a factor that I had not mentioned is one of ability to escape the flood for a time (which does bear on your original question) because it is a factor that is dependant upon the factor of geographic location (the creatures would have to avoid sudden inundation/burial, and would also need an escape route) and also I am unsure about the effects of such temporary escape on likelihood of preservation. Also remeber than when you say "between" in the stratigraphic sense you are referring to between in the geologic column, which is a synthetic construct which does not actually exist in the real world. I will be looking for more details on the flood geology model, but probably not immediately (I still have a long planned essay that I want to complete, amongst other considerations) and I will probably place whatever I find into the Flood Geology before bringing it here. LowKey 00:18, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

<----- You seem to be creating straw men to destroy. No, I'm trying to understand the model.

Firstly I was quite specific about not invoking a single mechanism/factor, ...Secondly, it is you - not we or flood geologists - claiming that walruses should according to flood geology be between fish and amphibians; and you seem to arrive at this by focussing only on one factor as if it were the only factor of the model Because both Philip's chart and your own description seem to treat altitude as the most important factor.

I also mentioned location, size and shape; which you seem to have ignored completely. Because you don't describe how they fit into the model.

You then challenge us to provide evidence that your misinterpretation is true! No, I asked if calculations of relative buoyancies had been made to see if this was actually a serious attempt to develop an explanation.

OK, so here's where I am with this so far from your explanations: The walruses started out basically at what was sea level in the pre-Flood world, but because of their buoyancy and swimming ability managed to make it farther up than the fish and amphibians. Even though the fish could obviously swim (and at least those with swim bladders were buoyant) they were immediately innundated and buried.

Good luck with your essay. I appreciate you don't want to continue this, but is there a book you can refer me to? Jim 02:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

I did say "seem to be" for a reason :) .
both Philip's chart and your own description seem to treat altitude as the most important factor. Sorry if you interpreted it that way, but I did mention several factors, then stressed that it was several factors at work including an edit summary that they were interacting.
I appreciate you don't want to continue this... Actually I would, and intend to, but I am obviously going to have to find some better (i.e. more specific and more up-to-date) resources. When I find something, I will point you at it so you can help yourself. LowKey 06:54, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
... I'm not going to be sucked into the fool's errand of trying to convince you evolution is true. Wise move, given that the evidence is not very convincing! But of course that was not what I was asking. I was asking for evidence of a specific claim you made.
Because both Philip's chart and your own description seem to treat altitude as the most important factor. My chart was very generalised; it was intended to give the broadest overview, not to be an accurate guide for every last fossil. That is, I'm accepting (rightly or wrongly) that where bottom-dwelling creatures are found in the same formation at swimming fish, the bottom-dwelling creatures will generally be below the swimming fish and so on. But not that this will always be the case, nor that it's so fine-tuned that the order somehow matches the claimed evolutionary order very precisely at all. Also note the following:

A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semi-popular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks...One of the ironies of the creation-evolution debate is that the creationists have accepted the mistaken notion that the fossil record shows a detailed and orderly progression and they have gone to great lengths to accommodate this 'fact' in their Flood Geology.— David Raup[2]

So when you make specific claims about the order (such as finding creatures such as walruses above the amphibians in the same formation), I feel justified in expecting you to back them up.
Philip J. Rayment 02:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Not a debate page

There's another problem, and that's the one that is explained here. I intend to re-delete Jim Scully's question on those grounds alone. Philip J. Rayment 04:01, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

that gives me the entire archive page, which I am so NOT reading to try to find your point. It is your wiki, do what you like, but you have not answered valid points about whats shown by studies of the existing rock stratas , and fossil beds. Not one mixed mammal / dinosaur layer has been found, no mixed trilobyte/ rabbit / human fossil layers either. Hamster 05:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Something must be wonky with your browser. It's the first post in the "Starting again" section. LowKey 06:09, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't spell out that I was linking to a particular section of the archive page, but I did, and as Bradley says, it's the first post in that (relatively-short) section.

The article is a list of FAQs. My question was intended to be in keeping with that. It seems a fairly obvious question, based on the evidence, and I would have thought that the creationists who came up with the model described in the previous question in the article would have considered the objection and have an answer for it. Jim 17:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

The article is a list of questions that anti-creationists typically raise, and to be on this page you need to document that they do raise them. Coming up with your own questions turns it into a discussion page, which it's not. Philip J. Rayment 03:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
So it's simply a page of refutations to things that people may read elsewhere? Fair enough. Jim 15:20, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
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