Youtube video author Aron Ra, former president of the Atheist Alliance of America, attempts to explain how geology disproves Noah’s flood. I have provided my own comments and references below the video.
Overall, I am not convinced of AronRa’s position. He commits straw-man fallacies, ad hominem attacks, fallacies appealing to authority, and several other tactics that are not academically sound.
Whether you are an atheist or Christian, I welcome your thoughts. May the discussions begin!
RE: Fallacy of appealing to authority. AronRa does this several times in his discussion. He mentions Wildwood Claire, Tim Helbel, and an overwhelming majority of “true scientists” who are Geologists that reject biblical flood geology.
He also attacks the intentions and motivations of Dr. Snelling, who has written extensively on flood geology, yet is “secretively” a skeptic according to AronRa. How can AronRa know this?
Furthermore, I don’t want to appeal to authority myself, but Dr. Snelling has a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Sydney, not some Christian community college.
RE: At 3:14, AronRa continues his diatribe without any objective evidence or arguments for or against Noah’s flood. He commits a straw man fallacy by saying Dr. Snelling and others who are part of the “pseudo-scientific” enterprise have to write a statement or commitment of faith that “force” them to believe in the Genesis narrative, regardless of objective evidence.
However, the document says perceived or apparent contradiction, which is weaker verbiage than “against scientific fact.”
Nevertheless, AronRa uses this debate tactic to argue that Christian scientists have already made up their mind and so their views are therefore invalid.
I find this ironic, considering Caroline Crocker (Ph.D. – Cell Biology at George Mason University), Richard Sternberg (Ph.D. – a former evolutionary biologist with two Ph.D.’s and editor of the Smithsonian Institution), and many others have been fired for their rebellion away from the evolution doctrine of faith. Once again, this proves nothing for both sides.
RE: At 8:05, I think AronRa makes his first objective position as to why Noah’s flood is impossible. First, he finds some commonality with creationists, yay! We all believe in Pangaea.
However, he quickly denotes that if Noah’s flood were to be true, then 3.5 billion years of plate tectonics would have to happen in one year. So the argument essentially is that since plate tectonics currently move at centimeters per year, it would be impossible for continental drifting to happen 10,000 or so years ago according to the young earth model.
There is a phenomenon called runway subduction, where if the heat between the denser rocks of the ocean floor and the less dense continental rocks are not acted upon at a sufficient rate, the viscosity of the slab can decrease, which will cause the tectonics to move at meters per second, which is a much faster rate than the uniformitarian model.
Therefore, it is possible for the process to happen much faster than the current model indicates. I will appeal to a source here because I don’t completely understand the science behind this. I am not a geologist.
Dr. Baumgardner states: “An imaging process called seismic tomography has revealed a ring of dense rock at the bottom of the mantle. Since its location corresponds approximately to the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean, it appears to represent a subducted ocean crust (Figure 2).
Located inside this ring of cold rock is a blob of less-dense rock that appears to have been squeezed upward toward the crust.
If one assumes that the density of the cold ring is comparable to that of the surrounding material, which is the most straightforward assumption, this ring is 3,000 to 4,000 °C colder than the inner blob. This is completely unexpected in the conventional plate tectonic model since it can take about 100 million years for a slab to descend all the way to the base of the mantle.
At that time, one would expect any such temperature differences to have evened out. However, in the catastrophic plate tectonics model, such a temperature difference is to be expected if the slab rapidly subducted into the mantle just a few thousand years ago.”
Also, if this process was slow as the uniformitarian scientists would argue, how do they explain planation surfaces? Only large massive fast-moving water would be able to extensively erode these large sedimentary areas. Also, do you know how these geologists explain the massive sand pile up in the Gulf of Mexico?
Tim Clarey, Ph.D. from Western Michigan University states: In the U.S. Gulf Coast region, the Upper Jurassic Norphlet Sandstone rests right on top of thousands of feet of Middle Jurassic salt, known as the Louann Salt. Secular geologists believe this sandstone layer was deposited by the windblown accumulation of sand in an arid environment. These kinds of deposits are commonly called aeolian deposits.1
Secular scientists never address or explain exactly how this claimed desert deposit supposedly formed across much of the offshore Gulf of Mexico region and came to lie directly on top of thick salt beds.
And recent discoveries in deep water make this interpretation even more improbable as the sand layer is far more extensive than originally thought
RE: At 9:35, AronRa states there would be too much kinetic energy to account for the flood. The intensity of the heat from the plate tectonics moving so quickly would have vaporized the planet and no future life would be able to survive. The same statement could be made for the theory that a large asteroid hit the earth, causing the dinosaurs to become extinct.
However, based on Dr. Vardiman’s explanation (Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences, Colorado State University), the flood makes more geological sense.
In his research, he determined the same concentration of oxygen isotopes in foraminifera that lived on the seafloor as the conventional, evolutionary time scale. If the biblical flood were true, the shape of the cooling curve would be more dramatic. His model estimated that the steepest portion would have been approximately a 20 degree Celsius change.
This is an exponentially large change, considering that El Nino events, which cause major storms, only need oceanic temperatures to change one or two degrees.
Dr. Vardiman gives four atmospheric effects that would have resulted from this massive kinetic energy increase from plate tectonics and the flood. First, there would have been greater evaporation, which would have led to large storms, especially in the polar regions.
Additionally, large contrasts of atmospheric temperature would have produced strong winds and heavy precipitation. Due to the heat, there would have been a large bloom of aquatic life, leading to more abundance of carbon dioxide in the air; this would have led to radiational cooling and even more precipitation.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Vardiman thinks this fast cooling gives the best explanation for the ice age.
RE: At 12:05, AronRa says that the Grand Canyon could not have possibly been carved out by a global flood. Only rivers can do that. Not even uniformitarians have a strong hypothesis as to how the Grand Canyon formed. One theory is that an ancient lake carved the canyon through a cascading series of waterfalls.
Others believe possibly the Colorado River influenced it. There are several hypotheses so let’s give the creationist a chance.
Dr. Brian Thomas (Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry, University of Liverpool) debunks the uniformitarian’s position. In his article, Age of Grand Canyon Remains A Mystery, he gives at least 3 observational facts that contradict the slow process ideology.
First, he mentions that the Grand Canyon’s sedimentary rock layer is not just located in Arizona, but across many portions of North America. Long ages would fail to explain how tens of millions of years of erosion had left no trace in this flat sedimentary layer. Second, the igneous rock that was produced by lava in the grand canyon layers can’t explain the millions of years idea.
Radiometric dating in this area has been very subjective. Lastly, Dr. Thomas says, “Third, across 300 million supposed years, the strata never tilted! If they had, then the iconic Grand Canyon layers would be slanted wedges, not the pancake-flat wavers that they are.”
Dr. Thomas continues to argue his position: “Rebecca Flowers, the lead author of the Science study, tried to wave off the age discrepancy. She suggested that the old “conventional models” that indicated 5-6 million years did not take into account the possibility that the canyon may have reversed its flow of direction at some time or times in the distant past, according to Science Now.
For example, Flowers said, “changes in the slope of the terrain over geological time could have altered the flow of the ancient river.” But there is no evidence that the Canyon ever flowed backward. And according to evolutionary age assumptions discussed above, there were no changes to the terrain’s slope for 300 million years.
On that basis, why would anyone expect northern Arizona to tilt during the last 70 million when Flowers suggests the canyon was carved?
I find this article fascinating because there is contradictory evidence from the uniformitarian position. This doesn’t necessarily prove a global flood, but it indicates the uncertainty of their position. And what is troubling, these scientists continue to maintain that their position is coherent and factual.
The Grand Canyon is still a mystery on both sides, but it looks like the grand canyon is a lot younger than geologists presumed.