Re: [creation_evolution_debate] when creationists visit your school: "Brown had taken quotes out of context"
- On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM, HumanCarol <humancarol@...> wrote:
Take an example from the creationist speaker's presentation, and take it apart. "Repeat what he said, what he didn't say (the part that he's embarrassed to reveal), then show why he's wrong." Milne gave a detailed, profusely illustrated rebuttal of Brown's treatment of the formation of the Grand Canyon, culminating with a comparison of aerial photographs of flood formations on Earth and Mars to photographs of the Grand Canyon. He told NCSE, "The climax was truly stupendous. Everyone sat staring at the slides thinking how obvious the marks were of the passage of the Spokane Flood and of the flood on Mars—and realizing, I think, that Brown had shown them no such things near the Grand Canyon."
After concluding by, "Telling 'em what I told 'em" — that creationists will always tell them that mainstream science is wrong about everything, don't believe them, check it out for yourself," Milne added a special twist. "I actually gave the students an assignment — comparing the evidence given by me and the other speaker and judging which seemed to be more credible." Milne gave the students copies of scientific articles from which Brown had taken quotes out of context. He circled the quotes, told the students to read the circled quotes and think about what they implied about the writer's views, then read the entire article and reconsider their earlier conclusions. Not only did this "evidence against misrepresentation" speak for itself, but it brought home the points of Milne's earlier presentation and gave students more time to absorb them.
http://ncse.com/book/export/html/3189Science Disproves Evolution:
Figure 42: The Grand Canyon. Probably the most spectacular of the seven wonders of the natural world is the Grand Canyon. It is awesome when viewed from its rim, but even more so from the air. From above, new insights become obvious, as you will see. For example, have you ever wondered how the Grand Canyon formed? Since the late 1800s, the standard answer has been that primarily the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon over millions of years. If that happened, wouldn’t you expect to find a gigantic river delta where the Colorado River enters the Gulf of California? It’s not there. Nor have geologists found it anywhere else. Where did all the dirt—800 cubic miles of it—go?
Notice the four segments of this river near the center of the picture. Compare the thin river with the canyon’s vast expanse. Could that relatively small river carve such a huge, wide, and deep canyon? If so, why hasn’t the same thing happened along dozens of faster and larger rivers? Why do hundreds of large side canyons, with no visible water source to erode them, enter the Grand Canyon?
In first studying this overview chapter and then the chapter on the Grand Canyon (pages 200–234), you will see a gigantic, focused water source and a surprisingly simple, but complete, explanation for the Grand Canyon’s rapid formation as well as where all the dirt went. As you might expect, the Grand Canyon’s origin is directly related to the origin of many other amazing and mysterious sights in the southwestern United States.
The Origin of the Grand Canyon
SUMMARY: Geologists admit that they do not know how the Grand Canyon formed, but for the last 140 years, they have insisted that the Colorado River carved the canyon over millions of years and somehow removed the evidence.1(Several obvious problems with this idea are mentioned in Figure 42’s description on page 108.) To these so-called experts, the canyon’s birth remains a “hazy mystery, cloaked in intrigue, and filled with enigmatic puzzles.”2 After studying those puzzles, we will examine the eight main proposals for the Grand Canyon’s origin and why they are rejected by almost all experts. Finally, we will consider two ancient, postflood lakes—Grand Lake and Hopi (HO-pee) Lake—that successively breached their boundaries and carved the Grand Canyon in weeks. This explanation not only unravels the confusion, but solves other major puzzles not previously associated with the Grand Canyon. For a quick explanation, see Figure 115 on page 205.
The Grand Canyon is the best and most famous earth science laboratory in the world. Although a few canyons are deeper or longer or steeper or wider, none can compare with the Grand Canyon’s scenic variety, massiveness, beauty, and three-dimensional exposure. It is 216 miles long,3 4–18 miles wide, and about 1 mile in depth. Writers describe the canyon in such lofty terms as magnificent, majestic, stupendous, inspirational, sublime, breath-taking, awesome, spellbinding, and earth’s greatest celebration of geology. The first reaction of most of the nearly 5 million annual visitors to the canyon is stunned silence.
Probably the foremost question visitors have is, “How did this happen?” Bruce Babbitt, former Governor of Arizona (1978–1987) and U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1993–2001), relates the answer given by John Hance. In 1883, Hance became the first non-Native American to live at the canyon. He was one of the canyon’s most colorful personalities, tour guides, and explorers.
Children loved John Hance, and to them he always explained how the canyon came into being. “I dug it,” he would say simply. This story worked well for years until one little four-year-old girl asked seriously, “And where did you put the dirt?” Hance had no ready answer; he never used that story again. But it bothered him the rest of his life, and when he was dying he whispered to his waiting friends, “Where do you suppose I could have put that dirt?” 4
That question still bothers geologists, because if the Colorado River carved the canyon, as commonly assumed, there should be a gigantic river delta where the Colorado River enters the Gulf of California. Instead, the delta is relatively tiny.
Colorado River. In fact, the puzzle is much more difficult. Geologists now agree that the Colorado River began flowing out of the western Grand Canyon only recently. Here’s why. Before the Glen Canyon Dam was built upstream from the Grand Canyon in 1963, the gritty Colorado River carried an average of 550,000 tons of sediment (sand, silt, and clay) out of the canyon each day—or 6 tons each second!5 West of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River cuts through a 650-foot-thick layer of Hualapai (WALL-uh-pie) Limestone whose topmost layers have been dated, using radiometric techniques, as less than 5,900,000 years old.6 If the river flowed through a lake that supposedly deposited this almost pure limestone, why are common river sediments not found in that limestone?7 Obviously, the river must have begun flowing there after that limestone was deposited—in geologic terms, recently. How recently? According to most geologists, within the last one-thousandth of the earth’s history!8
Groups of relatively young, water-transported rocks are on opposite sides of the western Grand Canyon—rocks that could not have been transported from one location to the other if the canyon blocked the way.9 Therefore, those rocks were first transported, then the Grand Canyon was cut and the Colorado River began flowing out of the western end of the Canyon. Since 1934, geologists have been trying unsuccessfully to find a previous location for the river or to learn why the river began so recently.10
Kaibab (KI-bab) Plateau. A quick look at a relief map raises another question. Why and how did the powerful Colorado River, flowing southward into northern Arizona along the east side of the Kaibab Plateau, suddenly make a right turn and flow west, up and over (or through) the high Kaibab Plateau? Rivers don’t flow uphill. Desert View, an overlook on the Kaibab Plateau just south of the Colorado River, rises 5,800 feet above the river. Just across the river, the land rises even higher.
All explanations for the Grand Canyon’s origin try to answer this question.11 Some say that the river was once a mile or more higher, and the land it flowed over eroded away. As it did, the river settled down on top of the Kaibab Plateau and cut through it—a process called superposition. Others say the river cut through the Kaibab Plateau along a fault (or crack). However, faults are generally perpendicular to the Colorado River, not parallel. Some believe that the land under the river rose, forming the Kaibab Plateau. As it did, the river cut down through the rising plateau. Two theories say that a stream flowing down a western slope of the Colorado Plateau continually eroded eastward 130 miles and eventually cut through the Kaibab Plateau—a process called headward erosion. (Notice how dependent these explanations are on millions of years of time, and how many untestable explanations can be proposed if millions of years are imagined.)
Missing Mesozoic Rock. Actually, cutting through the Kaibab Plateau is a relatively minor problem, and carving the entire Grand Canyon is not even half the problem. The Grand Canyon’s rim consists of hard Kaibab Limestone, typically 350 feet thick. When you walk to the canyon’s edge to look down, you are standing on Kaibab Limestone. It extends away from the canyon in all directions, covering about 10,000 square miles. However, rising 1,000 feet above this Kaibab Limestone at a few dozen isolated spots are softer (crumbly or weakly cemented) Mesozoic rocks; they are always capped on top by a very hard rock, such as lava. Obviously, lava did not flow up to the top; lava, which flows downhill, collected in a depression and hardened. Later, a fast-moving sheet of water flowed over northern Arizona and swept all the soft Mesozoic rock off the hard Kaibab Limestone—except for the few dozen spots capped and protected by hard rock.
Why must it have been a sheet of water? Falling rain would cut only channels. Flowing rivers or streams, even if they meandered for millions of years, would not uniformly sweep 1,000 feet or more of material off almost all of these 10,000 square miles of the fairly flat Kaibab Limestone. Besides, meandering rivers would produce meandering patterns. Therefore, before you can excavate 800 cubic miles of rock below the rim to form the Grand Canyon, something must sweep off almost all the Mesozoic rock above—a much larger excavation project. Surprisingly, the Mesozoic rock has also been swept off the Kaibab Plateau. How could water get so high? Maybe the sweeping process—the Great Denudation—occurred before the Kaibab Plateau rose.
Marble Canyon. To form the Grand Canyon requires first forming Marble Canyon, which is directly upstream (northeast) of the Grand Canyon. The two canyons join where the Little Colorado River enters the Colorado River. John Wesley Powell, who led the first documented expedition through these canyons in 1869, gave them different names, because they are so dissimilar.13 Marble Canyon is narrower, straighter, shorter (61 miles long), and has steeper walls. The two canyons are like two adjoining pipes; any explanation for one pipe should also explain the other pipe, even if they have differing shapes.
All the thin strata in and around Marble Canyon tip in directions that form a curious, but consistent, pattern. People floating southward inside Marble Canyon sense that they are falling. That sensation is caused by an optical illusion. The strata inside the walls of Marble Canyon tip up to the south, so as one floats downstream, one rapidly moves past lower and lower layers in the narrow walls to the immediate left and right. Relative to a fixed point on the ground, one is actually dropping only about 8 feet each mile, a hardly perceptible rate.
Easily seen from above Marble Canyon are layers in Echo Cliffs (to the east) and Vermilion Cliffs (to the west) that tip up toward Marble Canyon. At the southern end of these cliffs, the layers also tip up to the south, toward the Grand Canyon 30 miles away. [See Figure 119 on page 208.]
Another unusual feature of these cliffs and others in the region is the lack of rubble, called talus, at the base of the cliffs. Certainly, freezing and thawing cycles acting for millions of years on the cliff faces would have reduced them to a sloping pile of loose rocks. Even if the cliffs were young, the process of lifting up or carving cliffs should have left considerable talus.
Side Canyons. Dozens of large side canyons intersect the main trunk of Grand and Marble Canyons and cut down to the level of the Colorado River. These side canyons also have their own side canyons, all connected like branches on a big, bushy tree. Surprisingly, most side canyons, at least today, have no source of water that could have carved them—or basins above that could have held much water.
Had these side canyons formed before the main trunk of Grand and Marble Canyons, most would extend through to the opposite side of the main trunk. They don’t. Had these side canyons formed after Grand Canyon and Marble Canyon formed, many would not cut down to the Colorado River, especially with no visible source of water to carve them. Therefore, these side canyons probably formed at the same time as Grand and Marble Canyons.
Some side canyons, called slot canyons, are much narrower than they are high. [SeeFigure 132 on page 218.] The narrower they are, the less water was needed to carve them. How then, with so little water, were some slot canyons carved so deeply?
A few side canyons are “barbed.” That is, they connect to the main canyon “backwards,” similar to the barbs in barbed wire or fishhooks. Tributaries almost always enter rivers at acute angles, but the barbed canyons are oriented at obtuse angles. Very strange.15What happened?
Figure 112: Nankoweap—Region of Unusual Erosion. This view is looking southeast from 4,400 feet above the ground. The Little Colorado River enters the southern end of Marble Canyon at the top center. The yellow line encloses a region of unusual erosion. Notice that on the top of the high Kaibab Plateau, streams do not flow into the many canyons that are cut into this southeastern portion of the Kaibab Plateau. So, what cut these side canyons, and why are they in such a localized area? Why would the terrain east of Marble Canyon, which is at least 2,000 feet below the top of the Kaibab Plateau and most of this erosion, be so smooth? On top of Nankoweap Mesa are slumps, landslides, and rockfalls. How can rocks fall and mud flow onto the top of a mesa?
Nankoweap Canyon. One large side canyon, Nankoweap (NAN-ko-weep) Canyon,enters the Colorado River from the west, near the southern end of Marble Canyon. Nankoweap Canyon has more than 40 archaeological sites, including granaries, but today is usually dry and barren, although Nankoweap Creek flows at times.
Nankoweap Canyon begins high on the southeastern slope of the Kaibab Plateau. [SeeFigure 112.] Flowing water from many directions cut this side canyon and its many tributaries into a previous avalanche and mud flow. The mineral composition of the boulders mixed in this debris show that the avalanche came out of and off the Kaibab Plateau. These flows had to be voluminous, recent, violent, and fast. The flow was voluminous and recent, because it produced the Grand Canyon’s largest tributary delta—which, to this day, has not been swept away by the powerful Colorado River. The flow was violent and fast, because large, partially rounded boulders lie up to 200 feet high on both sides of the last 1,000 feet of Nankoweap Creek. Some of the lower boulders are larger than a man.16
The Great Unconformity. Fossils are found only in the layers above an almost perfectly horizontal plane named the Great Unconformity. In the Grand Canyon, it lies about 4,000 feet below the rim and is exposed above the Colorado River for 66 miles. Above the Great Unconformity the layers are all sedimentary and almost always horizontal; below the Great Unconformity lie either basement rock or thick, steep (10°–20° slope) sedimentary layers with no fossils.
Arching. Researchers have long noted that Grand Canyon and Marble Canyon lie on a long, 277-mile arch. Vertical cross sections (perpendicular to the Colorado River) show how the sedimentary layers and basement rock directly below, arch upward.18
Figure 113: Grand Canyon Profile. This profile, showing the thickness, shape, and elevation of each of the major sedimentary layers, extends from 36°00'N, 112°17'W to 36°24'N, 111°56'W.17 Basement (nonsedimentary) rock is in black. Note the differing scales (vertical in feet and horizontal in miles). At these scales, the Colorado River, at the tip of the left arrow above, would be smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. (Could that “dot of a river” carve the huge, wide canyon above it?) In general, Grand and Marble Canyons cut down into a broad arch that extends for the length of those canyons. This particular profile cuts across faults; one of the most dramatic aligns with the East Kaibab Monocline, which will be discussed later. Notice how the layers under the monocline thin to the left.
Each cross section differs slightly, depending on where it is drawn. For 46 miles along the highest portion of the arch, the canyon descends into the dark basement rock itself—a steep slot (up to 1,200 feet deep) called the inner gorge. [See Figure 114.] Immediately above this inner gorge lies the Great Unconformity, and above that boundary lie horizontal sedimentary layers stacked almost a mile high.
Figure 114: Inner Gorge. How could a river cut a slot, up to 1,200 feet deep, into such hard, crystalline rock? When a river erodes down through soft sedimentary layers and encounters hard basement rock, further erosion should be primarily horizontal, into the softer, flanking sedimentary layers. Any erosion into the harder rock should form a shallow, bowl-shaped channel, not a deep, nearly vertical cut.Either way, the eroded walls of this inner gorge should be smooth, but instead are jagged. If the river started to cut a deep slot, boulders (not easily moved by even a fast-flowing river) would fill the bottom of that slot, preventing further scouring and deepening of the slot. In fact, the inner gorge looks as if it cracked vertically as the rock below arched upward.
Our Focus. While the key question concerning the Grand Canyon is how it formed, other matters can easily distract us: the canyon’s beauty, modern history, early habitation, and exploration; the mind-numbing list of geologic terms and terrain names; and the excitement and stress of navigating its many trails and the Colorado River itself. Hundreds of books have told and retold these stories, so we will avoid those fascinating diversions and focus on the key question of the Grand Canyon’s origin. A reward may await us. As usually happens in science, when a persistent enigma is finally solved, answers to seemingly unrelated problems are also discovered.
> >Tin: Have you read this paste job yourself ?
> > ---excerpt---
> > Take an example from the creationist speaker's presentation, and take it
> > apart. "Repeat what he said, what he didn't say (the part that he's
> > embarrassed to reveal), then show why he's wrong." Milne gave a detailed,
> > profusely illustrated rebuttal of Brown's treatment of the formation of the
> > Grand Canyon, culminating with a comparison of aerial photographs of flood
> > formations on Earth and Mars to photographs of the Grand Canyon. He told
> > NCSE, "The climax was truly stupendous. Everyone sat staring at the slides
> > thinking how obvious the marks were of the passage of the Spokane Flood and
> > of the flood on Marsand realizing, I think, that Brown had shown them no
> > such things near the Grand Canyon."
> > After concluding by, "Telling 'em what I told 'em" that creationists
> > will always tell them that mainstream science is wrong about everything,
> > don't believe them, check it out for yourself," Milne added a special
> > twist. "I actually gave the students an assignment comparing the evidence
> > given by me and the other speaker and judging which seemed to be more
> > credible." Milne gave the students copies of scientific articles from which
> > Brown had taken quotes out of context. He circled the quotes, told the
> > students to read the circled quotes and think about what they implied about
> > the writer's views, then read the entire article and reconsider their
> > earlier conclusions. Not only did this "evidence against misrepresentation"
> > speak for itself, but it brought home the points of Milne's earlier
> > presentation and gave students more time to absorb them.
> > http://ncse.com/book/export/html/3189
Is there even one point that you are
willing to stand behind IN YOUR OWN
Or will you yet again need to flee in
terror when we confront you on substance ?