Genesis - Again!

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A poster says: “For every complex problem there is a simple solution—and it is wrong.”

When the study committee on Creation and Science reported to Synod 1991, two of its members asked synod to adopt Declaration F: “The church declares that the clear teaching of Scripture and of our confessions on the uniqueness of human beings as imagebearers of God rules out the espousal of all theorizing that posits the reality of evolutionary forebears of the human race.” A third member agreed with this position but with five other committee members urged synod not to adopt Declaration F because, in part:

  1. “Many members of the Christian Reformed Church are working in this area and…the church should allow them to contribute to a resolution of the problem. Further study in this area is necessary.
  2. The church should not bind the consciences of its members beyond what is the clear and indubitable teaching of Scripture and the creeds” (Agenda for Synod 1991, p. 412):

Against the advice of the majority, synod adopted Declaration F. Nineteen years later Synod 2010 declared that Declaration F was no longer part of our official position on creation and science. An overture to Synod 2011 contends, “the practical effect of that decision was to allow persons within the CRC to adopt evolutionary theories for the origin of humanity” (Agenda for Synod 2011, p. 634). The overture proposes a simple solution: that synod declare a paragraph of the 1991 report to be part of our official position on creation and science. The paragraph says, in part, “However stylized, literary, or symbolic the stories of Genesis may be, they are clearly meant to refer to real events…Any interpretation which calls into question the event character of the story told in these first and fundamental chapters of the Bible must be firmly rejected, whatever difficulties this may cause with respect to the scientific evidence” (pp. 403-4).

Is this really a solution? Though not impossible to do, synods generally don’t lift a single paragraph out of a report and declare it part of our official position. It adopts recommendations of study committees.

And how are we to understand “event character?” Genesis says that God made the first man by making a mud doll and breathing life into it and made the first woman by performing a surgical operation on the man. Are these actual events to be confessed or are they stylized, literary accounts that point to the real event: God is Creator? If scientists tell us that God’s testimony in his created world indicates that God used the processes of evolution to bring human beings into existence, doesn’t this also confess the same event: God is Creator?

Synods should resist simple solutions to complex matters. In an appendix to its report the 1991 study committee said, “If scientific activities continue apace in the next few centuries, one may anticipate many new discoveries that may be expected to have important implications for questions of origins. In particular, it should be possible to make much more definitive statements about the nature and origin of both the physical universe and its many diverse life forms, including man” (Agenda 1991, p. 433). The Human Genome Project has provided important information about human origins, and we are just beginning to understand the implications of these data.

The study committee noted, “Many members of the Christian Reformed Church are working in this area.” Synod needs to encourage those devoted Christian scholars to continue their study to help all of us more fully understand God's testimony in his Word Book and in his world book (Belgic Confession, Article 2). 

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Laughing at the idea of separate creation of species is an emotional reaction rather than a scientific reaction.   It's like laughing at the theory of evolution.   Blind tolerance is not the opposite of laughing;  that is the non-sequitor. 

You are right that the issue is not really about whether people are nice about other ideas;  its about whether the ideas are true.   But if your identity is wrapped up in an emotional attachment to the theory of evolution, then it will be difficult to retain perspective about whether any opposing ideas may have any merit. 

     

Quote:   "Yes. We have big brains and a desire to explain things - features that many people believe came from God. We use our brains to investigate the world around us, but, in so doing, we cannot assume a God.

This is because God is not controllable. You cannot do an experiment with God's involvement and without. But, by assuming no divine influence, we have been really quite successful in figuring things out. ie. Medicine, clean water, the nature of the solar system. We're good at this. Assuming a god did not work out - when we did that, people thought a chariot pulled the sun across the sky." 

This is an interesting quote because it reveals what you believe.   Why exactly is it that we cannot assume a God when we investigate the world around us?    Based on what assumptions?  

Maybe the fact that God is not controllable is the whole point.   By not seeing that, it causes all kinds of problems for us.    It causes us to assume that we can "control" the past.   Generally that is not good experimental science (it tends to be called statistical survey, which gathers information, but always guesses at cause and effect) , and is the opposite of what most experiments require, which is to control or establish controls for the future of the experiment.  

I do not see how assuming a God, stopped NASA from making it to the moon. 

Evolution says nothing about God?   I think it does.   It disallows God's intervention.   It relegates God to the blind watchmaker.   And because it does not allow God's intervention, it is forced to conclude that God is really just a human invention, an idea, another natural outcome of the evolution of the human race, which atheist evolutionists are quite convinced we will eventually evolve out of the need for. 

I work in science all the time.   Soil Science, agronomy, plants, animals, environmental, research.   I read abstracts of research from eight or nine professional journals regularly, and sometimes full length papers.   I attend scientific conferences.   Science is great!    It is a great tool for learning and discovery.   While my eyes glaze sometimes at advanced statistical analysis, I recognize it also as a great tool for making decisions about whether to accept a research conclusion or not. 

I love nature too!   We live on over four hundred acres of mixed vegetation land with several species of native trees, various grasses, reeds, cattails, deer, moose, mice, coyotes, numerous birds including a red-tailed hawk, dogs, cows, (no cats), garden, greenhouse, squirrels, woodpeckers, etc., etc.   I enjoy nature and sometimes have to fight nature, snow, weeds, mosquitos. 

So I understand natural explanations.   But I do not understand how one can explain nature, and not understand God better. 

If there was no macro evolution, then all species have existed together at some point. God would have had to create over time or the ark would have to be bigger plus the fossils should show modern animals with the dinosaurs. You people realize this isn't that important to what we are supposed to be doing?

The ark apparently was big enough for those animals that needed to be on it, plus the feed they needed, particularly if most animals were in the form of baby animals.      One example of an ancient fossil was the coelanth fish.   Ancient in the fossil record.   And it still exists today, ocassionally caught in fishing boats in Asia.  So perhaps you could also say it is a modern animal.   Question, why would you find mammal fossils in the same location as reptile dinosaurs?    Or why would you find swimming reptiles such as alligators or snakes in the same place as land reptiles?  

Short, sweet and to the point. I like this post.

.

Ezekiel 37:5
This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

Ezekiel 37:6
I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

 

Ezekiel 37:10
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army

Isaiah 42:5
This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those

Isaiah 42:5
This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:

Job 32:8
But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.

Participant

Hello.

I've just joined the Network, and enjoyed reading your discussion on a subject that is of great interest to me.

Let me make a few comments.

Science and theology are both human endeavors. When we do science, we learn about how God sustains and governs his creation, and when we do theology, we learn that God made everything that is, we learn how he covenants with humans who rebel against him, we learn of the plan of salvation, and we learn how to live as Christians. While scientists make mistakes sometimes, so do theologians. We have learned that we were mistaken about some things we thought the Bible clearly taught. Today, we may be at the point in our understanding of Genesis, where the Church was at the time of Galileo in their understanding of the structure of the solar system and universe.

I would encourage you to look at an interesting table at http://www.ualberta.ca/~dlamoure/1_beyond_handout_b.pdf. Surveys show that most scientists do not fall in the last column, as is commonly believed, nor in the last two columns. They are mostly in the first three columns. A high percentage of Christian scientists are not in the first column, but are concentrated in the second and third columns.

My Christian scientist friends believe that they serve God by studying his creation, and rather than finding reasons not to believe, they find their wonder and awe increasing as they learn more about his work.

As a Christian geologist, I am delighted that our theologians and other scholars are looking at Genesis more carefully. The key messages are, I believe, God is creator, and we should worship and honor him, but we fall very short. These messages are presented in the language of ancient times, using ancient understandings, and the idea of a three-tiered universe with an inverted dome above Earth, infertility always being the "fault" of the woman, ancient men being fertile only at ages that are multiples of 5 (usually; see genealogies), for example, are probably neither part of the message or historically accurate, even if they are in the Bible.

If you would like a copy of the table that I've highlighted a bit, drop me a note. I'm happy to answer geology questions, too.

Sorry for being long-winded!

Blessings.

Hello! Nice to meet you!

I just have a question about your comment:

"Surveys show that most scientists do not fall in the last column, as is commonly believed, nor in the last two columns. They are mostly in the first three columns."

Do you have a source for this? It's contrary to some of the surverys I've heard of, so I'd be very interested in a study or survey that showed otherwise.

And, as you can see, you're certainly not the only longwinded commenter here. :)

Thanks!

Stephanie

Participant

I based my comment on two surveys. One, taken a decade or so ago, showed that a large percentage of scientists are not atheists or even deists. Unfortunately, it was cited in a book that I don't have here at the cottage. I'll try to remember to check it on the 22nd or 23rd when I have access to the book.

The other survey was done a couple of years ago on Christian scientists. You can find it on the website of the American Scientific Affiliation at http://www.asa3online.org/Voices/2010/07/16/asa-origins-survey-with-corr.... You can also go to www.asa3.org, and search for "origins survey".

I should confess that I was a little careless in my statement that a majority or high percentage of Christian scientists believe something. It was a high percentage of Christian scientists participating in a survey, but that survey was conducted by the what I am sure is the largest organization of Christian scientists (which takes no position on origins, unlike some organizations that require members to take a particular position).

I hope this helps.

Ken

Participant

wow...  just caught up on this topic and it's posts...  well, what blows my brain is the concept of a God Who always was, is and will be, never had to be created... He's the "Uncreated Creator"... .   Then let's throw the angelic and demonic beings in to make it more interesting... when where they created, and how did lucifer fall, how was hell "created"  etc... for me, believing creation is easy after these. 

so if we struggle with the concept that God made the world like He shares with us in His Word in Genesis,  what do we do with believing in a God, that never had to be created and is perfectly good, all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, 3 in One Being, etc.?  That's the BIG step of faith for me... my mind cannot compute it...my mind "chokes" to borrow a crc pastor's phrase.  To me, creation is an easy step, if we are believing in an almighty, powerful God, Who has always existed, breathes light at 186,000 miles per SECOND... (yes, that probably caused quite a bang!  I could feel the concussion of a little M80 explosion)  He cares about  and numbers every hair on our head... mind boggling as well...  has our earth spinning @ 1000 miles per hour and I'm not sure what word to use for us hurtling around the sun @ a wild and crazy 67,000 miles an hour ((93Million mile radius x 2 X pi)/365/24hrs) and we're not even aware of it!

so here's my 5 loaves and 2 fishes worth... if it's from the LORD, He will multiply it...  last year my 10 year old son had to do a report for school, it was on Mt. St. Helens... in doing the research with him, we discovered that what happened in seconds/minutes through the explosion, later looked like it had happened over millions of years... I will try to find the article on this...

second, I have had Divine timing of events in my life, where the statistical probability is off the charts.  Not just once, but  often...  If this happened once in a lifetime, we could statistically accept it, but this is a fairly common part of my walk with Him as I follow the leading of His Spirit.  He surprises me with the most amazing timing that can only be orchestrated by Him.   So, what do you do with promptings by the Holy Spirit?  No scientific explanation for that. 

Is believing in creation ridiculous, irrational?  I call it super-rational.  God is often very counter-intutitive.  just think about tithing in a bad economy...don't make no sense... Oh, wait, that means it does, but only because God is part of the equation. 

 Just curious what those with the evolutionist view think about the molecular structure of laminin?   I will try to find something to post on that as well, but encourage you all to look it up.

lastly, I think it is interesting that there seems to be a lot of confusion about how the world started and how it's going to end...  these discussions are interesting, and I'm surprised at the energy put into this discussion, but as "nobody" posted...

" You people realize this isn't that important to what we are supposed to be doing? ""

so, if intellectuals think I am very "silly" and simplistic, I'm totally ok with that...  should they be ashamed that we are part of the same denomination?  I hope not..  .we need to honor the Church (not science), the Church is the Bride of Christ, and Jesus is very protective of His Bride.  I have struggled with denominational concerns on other issues, and still do, but the answer is not attacking each other, the Church.  Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood aka each other, it is against the enemy and he is the father of lies, it is his native language (Eph. 6/John 8).   as someone discussed in an earlier post, every world view (that is not 100% God's), has some truth in it... but  then the enemy twists and perverts the rest. 

 

ps. Ken, aka "nobody" - glad to see you're still here and posting =)

Participant

I'm not sure that the cryptic but friendly "Ken, aka 'nobody', postscript applied to me, but I'll add that I don't believe there are any coincidences. Providence is in operation all the time, but we just notice it more sometimes.

Ken

Participant

i tried to reply specifically to this post, but somehow messed up...  anyway, providential timing is amazing!  and I'm glad you are on the network and sharing your thoughts as well!  look forward to "hearing" more from you Ken Van Dellen =).

““Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 NIV

Participant

 on June 15 @22:25 there was a posting in this discussion by "nobody"...  who is also named Ken.   he hed been a fairly active "poster" on the network and I had been missing his posts, and somewhere on one of the forums I saw that in May he had requested his account to be closed... so when I saw the June post, but under the name "nobody" instead of Ken.  I was glad he was still involved.  however...  I haven't seen anything from him again, and praying he's ok... 

so Ken, if you read this... I miss your thoughts, and you are not a nobody...

ok... I was going to post something on Mt. St. Helens, and the network was denying access the other day, so will try to do that later...

Participant

I almost forgot, but in another blog this topic came up which reminded me I was going to post this article on Mt. St. Helens and its implications on evolution and for creation..

http://nwcreation.net/mtsthelens.html 

Participant

Geologists have long been aware that some deposits are, indeed, laid down catastrophically. We do not, however, extrapolate from that and conclude that ALL deposits are catastrophic. Yes, during a volcanic eruption "laminae" may be laid down rapidly. Those are made of volcanic debris that is erupted explosively. This does not mean that similar layers of other materials were also laid down rapidly.

For example, mud that has been deposited in an environment where there is no evidence of turbulence or rapid flow of water, would not be deposited rapidly. Indeed, when water transports a variety of particle sizes at high velocity, the larger (heavier) particles settle out first, as the velocity decreases, with the finest particles settling out last, taking some time to deposit, even when the velocity is essentially zero. This is illustrated by Stoke's law. (Warning: most of us will get bogged down quickly, even catastrophically, once we get past the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on this.)

Volcanic deposits of "cinders" and "ash" obey this law, too. Finer particles travel farther and settle more slowly. (This is a generalization. Various factors may affect the results.)

God governs and sustains his creation all of the time. Stoke's law illustrates one of the ways by which he normally operates, not capriciously and unpredictably. One God, in control of everything. We don't have to run around nailing things on trees to deal with the unknown.

The lack of evidence of turbulence or rapid flow of water would not mean that mud could not be deposited rapidly (within a day or two).   If mud enters the surface of a relatively deep water body which then becomes murky with silt and clay particles, these particles could begin to deposit fairly quickly without leaving evidence of turbulence.   It depends on how deep the water is.  With shallow water one would expect to see some horizontal differentiation, but not necessarily with deeper water over a relatively flat surface. 

With replenishment of the mud particles, the deposition of these layers could reoccur fairly frequently in a relatively short period of time.   

The other thing that one would expect to see in soil formations laid down over long periods of time, is evidence of erosion, and evidence of plant growth (roots, root channels).   Erosion would tend to break up sediment layers, leaving very few continuities.   Plant growth would distort and mix sediment layers, leaving organic residues between layers as well as mixed within layers.  Calculations of organic matter production over a thousand years, or over a million years, would give some clue as to how much material ought to be there.    If these things are not evident, then it would be more reasonable to suppose that neither erosion nor plant growth occurred between layers, which would in most cases lead to the conclusion that there was not time for these things to happen. 

While your comments are accurate, that is, not all deposits need be catastrophic, and while it is true that certain particles of different sizes and densities settle out in water at different rates, often at vastly different rates, we need to be aware that basically this says nothing about how slowly or how quickly the various laminae, as well as other earth layers, were laid down.  The different rates of settlement for   particles of various sizes deposited simultaneously in water,  tend to range from seconds to days, not to years or decades, even though this will vary a bit depending on the depth of the water. 

Participant

John,

You’ve posted two replies to my comments, so you’re way ahead of me. In an exchange like this, the last person to post is perceived as winning the argument, so I’ll have to get to work and keep responding. Another problem is that someone can post something that needs a response, but it would take a book, or at least a chapter, to rebut it. This happens with letters to the editor, where I’ve been unable to get an adequate response published because of space issues. Perhaps there is a bit more space here, although I’ve wasted a bunch with this paragraph, and you’ve raised several issues, when it would be better to address one at a time.

Early attempts to estimate the age of Earth (various researchers, 1800, time for deposition of “total sedimentary record” based on average present rates; Kelvin, 1897, cooling from a theoretical molten condition; Joly, 1899, increase in salinity of sea from freshwater to present salinity) did not allow for factors that we have since learned about. While such measurements cannot give us the age of Earth, similar strategies can give us information about the amount of time involved in the formation of parts of the geologic record. We can get a good estimate of how long it took for a large body of magma to crystallize in a mountain belt or for a coral reef in a limestone quarry to grow or for tectonic plates to diverge, based on measurements we take today. Unless you choose to believe that God created the world with a lot of apparent history in the rock record, of events that never happened, or that the “laws of nature” (i.e., the way God usually operates) were suspended in past times, so processes occurred much more rapidly than today, then you have to accept that Earth is very old.

You talk about what could happen and what geologists can’t do, and I prefer to talk about what does happen and what geologists can do. Perhaps we should take each of your concerns, one at time, and examine them.

Since you’ve talked mostly about sediment, let’s just take note of a few things. Sediment that is made of solid particles (clay, silt, sand, pebbles, cobbles, and boulders, in increasing size), has to have a source (region that yields particle of that composition), an agent of transportation, and a depositional environment. The rocks that form from these particles can indicate certain things about the source (such as the kind of rock), the direction the sediment was transported, the agent of transportation (stream, wind, glacier, etc.), and if it was deposited in a sand dune, lake, sea coast, etc. Sediment that is made of material deposited from solution (salt, gypsum, some limestones, etc.) might have come from the other side of the globe, so they tell us little more than the depositional environment, although studies of modern, similar environments can tell us about rates of deposition, revealing something about the time involved. For example, one researcher estimates that the Silurian salt beds in the center of the Michigan Basin are 2000 feet thick, with one single bed about 500 feet thick. It would be easy to calculate how much sea water would have to evaporate to yield that much salt (assuming present salinity), and then do calculations on how long that might take with various temperatures and with intermittent influxes of fresh water.

Perhaps I’m telling you things you already know. I looked in vain at your profile to try to get to know you better.

If you want to talk about paleosols (buried soils), etc., let’s do it one topic at a time. My tired old brain gets overwhelmed, otherwise.

Ken

Yes, sediments need to have a source.  But our guesstimation of what the source was is suspect.

Salt beds are assumed to come from the sea, while the salt in the sea is assumed to come from the land.  Are we certain of our estimation of sources?  Why would we assume that ingredients for salt are legitimate if embedded originally among other soil particles, but not legitimate if in a pool or salt bed.  The originality of one vs the other is as much a philosophical as it is a scientific question. 

\it's not about suspending the laws of nature.   \it's about understanding the circumstances of nature at a time when no one was there to observe them.   and its about the possibility of discontinuities, dissimilarities,  of an environment that we cannot imagine, or have great difficulty imagining.  

Last week I saw the excavation of a pachyrhinosaurus.   I had always thought fossils would be buried under layers of rock.  This one was basically buried under fourty feet of clay, and originally probably under several hundred feet of clay before the creek eroded to expose it.   Unsolidified clay in this region can be virtually 700 feet thick with perhaps a few lenses of soft sandstone within.   I am finding that interesting.  

Or the petrified forest in northern arizona, where the trees have become rock, while the the sand around it has much remained as sand or relatively soft sandstone. 

I have also learned that under certain nutrient rich conditions, coral reefs can form much much quicker than the rates we usually see today.   I have been informed of instances of stalacites and stalagmites being formed in a fraction of the time that is presently considered to be an average formation time.   These are things that intrigue me. 

'Salt beds are assumed to come from the sea, while the salt in the sea is assumed to come from the land.  Are we certain of our estimation of sources?  Why would we assume that ingredients for salt are legitimate if embedded originally among other soil particles, but not legitimate if in a pool or salt bed.  The originality of one vs the other is as much a philosophical as it is a scientific question. '

Salt beds that come from former oceans often have remains of ocean life in them. That's how we know in that direction.

And we know that the minerals that make the sea salty came from land for a variety of reasons, including how the Great Lakes are saltier than river water. But see this for more info: http://www.utdallas.edu/~pujana/oceans/why.html

Yes, I think this idea is fairly certain.

You have made some good points here.  So my question is, can you apply your generalization to this situation of the silurian salt beds?  Did they have ocean  life remains in them.   And do we apply the same logic to the remains of sea life found on mountain tops, that seas must also have deposited that sea life in place? 

If we can assume that mountains moved dramatically from their original location under the seas, can we assume the possibility that these salt beds were also formed through some rather dramatic events, rather than a simple slow in-situ evaporation process? 

Your example of how some lakes, Great lakes, (and of course the Salton Sea, the Dead Sea, and Manitou Lake) have dramatically higher salt content than the rivers that run into them, does demonstrate that lakes and oceans tend to increase salt concentrations over time.  Five hundred feet of salt underground along with other layers to a cumulative depth of 2000 feet, is quite a bit, however.     

Participant

1. A geologic feature called the Michigan Basin has its margins roughly up along the Niagara Escarpment along the east side of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, through the islands in northern Lake Huron and throught the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, down along the west side of the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin, and then around across northern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, where it cannot be associated with any surficial features. The topographic features mentioned are the edge of a "saucer" of rock belonging to the time period geologists call the Silurian.

2. The Silurian rocks are primarily limestone and dolomite around the margins of the Basin, where many "patch reefs" of corals and other marine (saltwater) organisms are found in the rocks in outcrops and in the subsurface. (Geologists call these "pinnacle reefs" because of the way they appear on cross-sections with vertical exaggeration.) However,  along with limestone and dolomite, major salt beds (referred to above) toward the interior of the Basin and gypsum beds in a crude ring around the salt. This salt has been extracted in mines at Detroit and Windsor, and through brine wells at other places in the Basin, while the gypsum has been mined at Grand Rapids and the Tawas City areas of Michigan. This pattern can be correlated with the solubility of these rocks, salt being most soluble, and requiring the highest salinity to precipitate it.

3. While fossil organisms are found in the Silurian strata contiguous with the strata containing salt and gypsum, they are not found in those evaporites. We would not expect to find life in such a hypersaline body, any more than in the Dead Sea (as the name suggests) or in the Gulf of Karaboghaz on the Caspian Sea, where similar conditions exist.

4. The structure of the Michigan Basin indicates it underwent much more rapid subsidence in the Silurian than in much of the rest of the Paleozoic Era. That, the rock types (evaporites), and the presence of the peripheral reefs all suggest that the model of a lagoon with restricted seawater circulation is feasible to explain what happened here.

5. When we talk about the time factor, we need to consider the time needed for the reefs to grow, the subsidence to occur, and the evaporites to precipitate from the sea water.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I don't understand the parts about the mountains moving from under the sea or the Great Lakes having a high salinity.

Thanks Ken, for your information.  It made me look up the solubility of NaCl, which is about 35g/100g at normal temps and increases somewhat at higher temps.  This means to get 500 feet of salt, you would need about 1500 feet of standing water to contain it.  Otherwise it would simply begin to precipitate out, and would not require evaporation for all of it to deposit.   For 2000 feet of salt, you would need about 6000 feet of standing water to contain it, or if you had less water, then it would begin to precipitate out sooner.   Since these beds have salt in the center of a theoretical lagoon, the salt apparently did not precipitate out in the reefs and surrounding beds of limestone, gypsum and dolomite.   It precipitated out in certain locations. 

We can only guess how long it took for those reefs to form, and interestingly, the salt itself is in layers with some thin silt and clay layers interspersed, indicating muddiness in the water, but not a consistent muddiness.  It seems that the water was evaporating faster than water was being added.   Whenever water would be added to this area after precipitating salt, it would have to be already very highly concentrated in salt;  otherwise it would begin to disolve the salt at the ocean floor, since salt is easily dissovable, unless the concentration is already at about 35g/100g.   Most ocean waters have a salinity of about 35, which is 35g/L, or  only 3.5% (one tenth of Ksp).   This would tend to dissolve salts by water that would enter the basin. 

In one photo, I noticed about ten layers that included silt within the salt, or ten thin layers of silt/clay with ten larger layers of salt within one meter of depth.   Average salt deposition between presumed influx of new water would be about 3 inches.  This would suppose an addition of perhaps 150 inches (12.5 feet) of ocean water to get 3 inches of salt after it evaporates.  It would be odd for that amount of water not to dissolve at least about one foot of salt before it redeposited or precipitated out the salt again.   This would remove such a layer of silt and clay, or dissipate it perhaps. 

Ocean water evaporates at between 30 to 200 cm /year under present conditions.  This means that 12.5 feet of water (about 380 cm) would take about four to eight years to evaporate completely at 50-100 cm /year.  Yet there are no indications of muddiness during that time period.  No indications of water entering the basin. 

When the water was shallow, and when new water entered the basin, we might expect to find some water creatures carried along by the ordinary sea water or by the fresh water entering the basin, which would then be killed by the contact with the extremely high concentrations of salt in the water.   Perhaps they would leave some fossils, preserved by the salt, although the salt is also very corrosive and destructive at those concentrations.  Granted organisms would not preferentially live there, and so there would be fewer of them there. 

It might be interesting to imagine a much quicker process of salt deposition in the middle of some reef beds, much hotter water temperatures and quicker evaporation rates and higher initial concentrations, and assume that the reefs might have taken several hundred years to form under certain nutrient rich conditions. 

The marine fossils found on mountain tops supposes that seas at one time covered these mountains.  So either the seas were very high at one time, or the mountains were lower under shallower seas, and then moved up from out of those seas, perhaps simultaneously dissipating or moving the seas.  Or a combination of the two possibilities.   These are dramatic events, not normally observed by us, so the question is whether dramatic events not normally observed by us, could have also resulted in the silurian salt beds, rather than the slow methodical evaporation and entrance of waters in the basin that is supposed to be the origin of the 500 to 2000 feet of salt beds.   

The Great lakes having some level of salinity was mentioned by sevandyk, and I make no comment on it, other than that the Great lakes are not considered to be saline lakes since their salinity is not high enough for that. 

Anyway, intrigued by the possibilities. 

A note on the growth rates of coral reefs:  when growth rates are measured, they are not measured together with a change in ocean levels.  Rather certain assumptions are made about past ocean levels that correspond to varying observed changes in the appearance of layers in the dead part of the reef.   Many assumptions are made about the past.  Yet the optimum  zone of growth for a coral reef is in shallow, clear, warm water with a sufficient concentration of calcium, and yet not too much dissoved carbon dioxide .  Too near the surface, and growth slows;   too deep and growth slows or stops.   Reef corrals prefer temperatures of between 25C to 30C, and salinity of about 35 to 37 parts per thousand.  In fresh water, they do not grow, and would not survive in salty water concentrations necessary for precipitation.  Estimated growth rates range from 1 to 250mm per year, while some measured depth soundings seem to indicate growth rates of over 400mm per year. 

Coral reefs can be broken up by water and then collect in other locations as a foundation for a new reef.  It is possible for some reefs to have survived the flood while others were destroyed by it or severely broken up by it. 

Participant

John, please excuse me for being so slow to respond. I'll try to do better.

The Silurian patch reefs around the Michigan Basin may be 140 meters tall. That's a fact, not an assumption. I don't believe that I've expressed anything so far that requires an assumption, certainly not any unreasonable assumption. Of course, it seems fair to assume that coral reefs of the past were marine, as they are today. How much time are you allowing for a 140 meter reef to grow during the flood?

Earlier you referred to mountains rising from the sea, presumably to account for marine fossils at high elevations. I think you also said that we do not see mountain-building occurring today. Mountains are growing today in the Andes, Alps, Himalaya, Japan, and other places. We can use GPS to track the movement of lithospheric plates. When we look at mountains in various phases of their growth and decay, we can discover the historical sequence of that cycle. First, marine sediment accumulates on continental shelves and slopes, such as on our east coast, on a passive continental margin. When subduction occurs, the margin changes from a passive margin to an active margin, and mountain-building (orogeny) occurs. The marine sedimentary rocks that formed on the shelves and slopes are squeezed, producing faults (including thrust faults) and folds. When the subducting portion of the converging oceanic crust reaches sufficient depth, it melts, producing huge magma bodies, feeding volcanoes in a belt along the mountain range and eventually becoming granitic masses. The heat and pressure converts some of the igneous rock that has formed, and the marine sedimentary rock, into metamorphic rock.

While the orogeny is occurring, erosion sets in, removing rock. For a time, uplift exceeds erosion, and the mountains continue to grow. Eventually, the uplift slows and finally stops, as the convergence of plates ceases, and erosion become dominant. This is oversimplified, however, and we need to understand that the whole thing doesn't happen smoothly, as described. Unloading by erosion may result in a buoyant uplift (isostatic adjustment), followed by further erosion.

I'll encourage you to search the Web for information on plate tectonics. Today, subduction is occurring in Japan, the Aleutians, the Philippines, the west coast of South America, and elsewhere. It occurred earlier where the Himalaya is, as India moved toward the rest of Asia. Now, the northern part of India is shoving under the Himalayan Plateau, causing it to rise.

Alternatively, the world was created with records of all of these events, giving the appearance of age and that they really happened, but didn't. That's the only alternative, unless you are willig to assume that subduction, reef growth, evaporite deposition, and other processes were accelerated - GREATLY - during the year of the flood.

Oh, you spoke of salinity and evaporite deposition. The salt beds in the Silurian of the Michigan Basin have numerous, thin interbeds of anhydrite (anhydrous calcium sulfate ~ gypsum). These indicate that the salinity of the sea water decreased intermittently. Sea water with normal salinity washing over the reefs and into the lagoon from time to time would have that effect. It is difficult to find another. So we are left with intervals in which evaporation increased the salinity and caused salt to precipitate, followed by intervals in which added seawater decreased the salinity to where anydrite precipitated rather than sodium chloride (salt).

Ken, don't worry about being slow to respond.  No problem. 

You said the silurian reefs "may be" 140 metres tall.  That sounds uncertain.  They either are, or they aren't.  Or we don't know.

I didn't say that they formed during the flood, just quicker perhaps than we think.  At 400mm per year, or approx one-half metre per year, it might have taken about 300 years to form. 

As far as some mountains growing at about one inch per year, apparently due to glaciers receding in some cases and resulting in decompression or a change in subsurface equilibrium, this is not normally visually observed.   It must be precisely measured because it is such a slow small growth.  But perhaps growth has not always been constant, and not always at such a slow rate.  The following comment suggests that at times the growth rates have been twenty times as fast.  And maybe the assumptions for this change in growth rate are still flawed, and maybe growth rates have been even faster. 

"...Who knew mountains, like awkward teens, could have sudden growth spurts? According to a new study published in Science (sub. required), the Andes mountains may have doubled their height in as few as 2 - 4 million years -- suggesting that the latest plate tectonics science may need some revision.

Conventional thinking had it that mountain ranges tended to rise gradually over a period of several million years. Indeed, most geologists had pegged the Andes mountain range's "age" at roughly 40 million years and had attributed its formation to plate tectonics.

Carmala Garzione's research, however, seemed to indicate otherwise. Garzione, a professor of geology at the University of Rochester, and her colleagues examined the sediment record and found that the Andes had slowly grown for tens of millions of years before suddenly spiking between 10 and 6 million years ago -- a process they call "delamination":..."
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/06/growing-mountains.php

Sea water entering the basin would indeed have the effect of adding salt, and thin layers of calcium anhydrite as well as the thin layers of silt.  My question is whether it required the length of time to do all this that the present theory suggests, or could it have happened much quicker. 

Participant

Thanks, John. I thought you sounded like an impatient guy who wanted everything to happen rapidly - reef growth, evaporite precipitation, plate movement, mountain growth, and my responses. :)

I apologize for not being clearer. When I said Silurian patch reefs in Michigan "may be" 140 meters tall, I was not expressing uncertainty at all. Their dimensions are well known, having been measured in drill cores and by remote sensing, such as seismic logs. Perhaps it would have been clearer had I said "as much as" 140 meters tall. I'm trying to give you facts to consider, and am trying to avoid "perhaps", "might have", "could have", and "may have", which I see sprinkled throughout your posts. I'm not at all uncertain. Are you? Your comment about reef growth, "At...approx one-half metre per year, it might have taken about 300 years to form", is a case in point. You can plug in any number you want, realistic or not, and get the result you want, but that doesn't prove or disprove anythiing. You need to consider all of the data.

I evidently confused you when I introduced post-glacial rebound in connection with mountain growth. Both involve isostatic uplift as a result of unloading, but the former is demonstrated in post-glacial shorelines of the ancestral Great Lakes in the Great Lakes states, notably Michigan, while the latter is demonstrated in mountainous regions. Yes, this takes careful measurement because it is so SLOW, but it is measurable.

Your material on the growth of the Andes is confusing to me because it is unclear what is a quotation and what is your commentary. However, I would suggest that you look at the numbers.Words like "slow", "gradually", "fast", and "suddenly" are relative terms. Consider a "growth spurt" in a teenager. So the Andes may have had a growth spurt, and geologists have discovered something we didn't know before. This doesn't significantly change the plate tectonics model, and is a much more complicated situation than reef growth or evaporite deposition.

In answer to your final question, let me ask how much sea water would have to evaporate in order to precipitate the amount of salt in the Salina Group in Michigan. Of course, you could speculate on temperature, wind, salinity of sea water at that time, etc., and some assumptions would have to be made, but might they not be reasonable assumptions? Or should we say, "It might have been really hot or really windy or the sea had a really high salinity"?

Remember that the subsidence of the Michigan Basin, the growth of the fringing patch reefs, and the deposition of the salt and gypsum during this time, however long it all took, are just a small part of the geologic history of Michigan (as an example of Earth history). The deepest crustal rocks in Michigan are granites and metamorphic rocks, the kinds of rocks that we find in the depths of mountain belts, and the surface of this basement rock is rather flat, which suggests that there were mountains here at one time, and those mountains were eroded away. Running in a curve, from Oklahoma to western Lake Superior, where it passes between Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula, and down through the Lower Peninsula in sort of an L-shape, is a rift valley, like the one in East Africa, splitting those ancient mountain roots. (The copper-bearing basalt beds and conglomerates, thousands of feet thick, of Isle Royale and the Keweenaw are a stretch of this rift valley that is at the surface, rather than buried under later sedimentary rock.) On top of the basement is sedimentary rock, 14,000 feet thick in the central part of the Basin, much of it deposited during subsidence, and most of it marine. It contains the record of a succession of life, and indicates various depositional environments. It tells of transgressing and regressing seas in the continental interior, while the continental margins were flood more continuously, but not always. Layers nearer the surface have coal beds and plant fossils in rocks indicative of coastal flood plains and stream channels. On top of it all, in most places, are the glacial deposits, with moraines, drumlins, and other landforms, including old shorelines that curve upward from south to north, recording the post-glacial uplift. Yes, we can wonder about how long it could take for some salt to precipitate, but there's a lot more than we need to consider. More than I have time and space to discuss here. 

It's exciting to study the creation and see what God has done. He has done more than most people imagine.

Spontaneous, Natural, Physical ResurrectionBy rey | Published: July 12, 2011

Oh the universe is full of amazing and wonderful things and very few subjects have been the source of more fiery debates than the topic of evolution. But in all the hubbub of debates about creation, or intelligent design, or cosmological origins one major facet of the Christian faith goes unnoticed: the explanation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Though the evidence for evolution is vast and far reaching and applied to origins, none of the same thinking has been weighed and married to this oft-neglected field.  If we as Christians are failing in our embracing evolutionary models in regard to Creation, we have been woefully neglectful in explaining the resurrection of Jesus Christ in terms of modern science.

In this post, I wish to posit a few possible reasons why the resurrection was not a miracle, but actually quite natural, spontaneous, and purely physical and why the Church must embrace this explanation to prepare for the future, especially in light of the overwhelming amount of data in support of biological evolution.

 

The proof I can offer is not as nebulous as it may seem. We Christians often supply a few proofs that the resurrection happened so we don’t have to belabor the point. He was seen among witnesses. His grave was indeed empty. His death was sure. And the actual resurrection accounts for the apostolic beliefs.

But this in no way implies that God couldn’t have used spontaneous and natural processes to ensure that this resurrection would happen. We must not allow magic or miracles to discredit the very reasonable faith that we Christians embrace!

First we have to admit that Jesus was fully man so he was limited by the knowledge of his day. He didn’t have a clue how he would live again or even if he would live again. He was under the impression that the “glory” was the process of dying (read the entire book of John) and then he cried about it when he was going to die. That’s not the reaction of a person who knew that they would die and come back.

Second, the disciples were surprised by the resurrection. They didn’t have a clue he would do what he did and that would only make sense if it was in fact spontaneous and natural.

Third, we have perfectly good explanations for a physical, random, non-miraculous resurrection. For example, we know that there are an infinite amount of Earths. Given an infinite amount of Earths, there are an infinite amount of circumstances. Just like our Universe came into being because in an infinite number, the chances of something happening are sure to happen, then the chance of a person dying and coming back from the grave most definitely would happen. In fact, I’d bet in this infinite series of worlds, there’s a good chance that each of us get our chance at resurrecting randomly.

Even if we didn’t posit infinite Christs, we can posit infinite physical universes where the laws of death and life are different.  With science firmly in our grip we can conclude that God used processes—like an infinite multiverse or infinite Christs—to arrive at a natural, spontaneous , physical and non-miraculous resurrection from the dead.

We haven’t even looked at Quantum particles which can be in two quantum states at the same time until observed. So Christ, while observed, w as in an alive state (a binary position of 1) and then he was in a two simultaneous states of dead and alive (0 and 1). If the quantum vacuum can bring something in from nothing, then the chance for Christ going from one binary state to a second one is infinitely possible. Heck, this could be a midichlorian process for all we know.

Fourth, we Christians need to stop being afraid of scientific explanations especially since Science is God’s hands. The very smart people (who incidentally are much smarter than us) have told us that the impossible is just that and if it’s physically possible it’s infinitely more probable than the impossible. We need to stop being unscientific, embrace the sciences which are also God’s revelation, his second Bible as it were, and teach that Christ’s resurrection was natural, spontaneous, physical even if ultimately belonging to God.

In conclusion, we must embrace this lest Science, and the world, moves on in their Copernican revolution leaving us behind mumbling about our magical myths. If we truly want to engage the world and not be relegated to a position of non-importance, we must employ robust scientific thinking with the defense of our faith proving that God is not only reasonable, he is constant. We cannot allow Christianity to become a cult—but this is what will happen if the Church continues to turn its head from scientific explanations!

While I appreciate your comments Hedzer, i think you miss the boat when suggesting that christians are afraid of scientific explanations.  Whether God chose a method to heal the blind that was supernatural or natural but unknown is not the primary issue.  When we fully understand what we call the supernatural, perhaps it will seem natural to us.   But we do not need to suppose that God can only work by methods that man in his sinful condition ought to be able to understand.  God is not limited to our parameters.  God is not limited by our capacity or by our knowledge, nor by our arrogance.   And our scientific explanations today are sometimes just as arrogant as the opinions of the 'scientists' of copernicus and galileo's day, or the doctors and healers of Jesus day. 

I just became aware of another book called: "Unlocking the mysteries of creation."  The Explorer's guide to the Awesome Works of God.   copyright 2002.   by Dennis Petersen.  Master Books, Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638.

I have just opened a copy of this on CD, and I don't know if the book is available on-line.   But it raises some very interesting questions just in the first fifty pages, and makes points about the unreliability of radiometric dating, for example, among other things.   The book is about 240 pages long with numerous references sited.   Dennis first obtained a B.S. (science), and a M.A. in museum administration, spending several years as a museum curator, and then later took courses at a Canadian Bible College, and then taught there for four years.   He founded the Creation Resoure Foundation in California.

I'm not suggesting that he is more expert than everyone else, but he asks good questions, and reveals many inadequacies of the evolutionary paradigm. 

So in addition to Walt Brown's book, this one might be worth reading.

Participant

John, I have an entire shelf of books by Christians on the issue of origins, and covering the entire spectrum of views from young-Earth creationism to evolutionary creation, and many of them misquote or quote out of context what scientists have written, distort or misrepresent the data (either deliberately or unwittingly), and show vast ignorance of the subject. Judging from the reviews of these two books on Amazon, they are probably more of the same. Usually the more "orthodox" such books are, the worse the science is. Some Christian writers even simply recycle material gleaned from other writers, and use "mined quotes" from books that have lifted quotes out of context. Often authors have minimal education in the field they write about, such as engineers writing on geology, paleontology, etc. This is embarrassing to many Christian scientists.

On the subject of radiometric dating, many are "expert" on the subject who have never done anything with it. Suppose that you were manufacturing something, and you occasionally sent a sample to a lab to be analyzed for quality control. Would you do that if you knew ahead of time that the lab technique was unreliable and the results worthless? You wouldn't waste your money. Yet, you recommend an author who claims that geolgists are doing exactly that, paying for results that they know are worthless. Just as geologists, paleontologists, archeologists, and others, have uncovered the Piltdown hoax, the Nebraska man hoax, the dinosaur man-track hoax, and others, they would certainly, by now, have exposed the radiometric dating hoax. However, geologists use radiometric dating, and they have ways to check, using alternative isotopes, to verify that results are reasonable. (I won't say "accurate", because even you state your age, knowing your date of birth, you are accurate only within a certain range, +/- a year and not down to the second or...)

Incidentally, I know the former manager of a large lab that does radiometric dating, who was asked by a geologist affiliated with the Institute for Creation Research to date a recent basalt sample from Hawaii. The manager pointed out what this geologist probably already knew, that relatively young volcanic samples give very old radiometric dates by the K-40/Ar-40 method, because a lot of non-radiogenic argon in the magma is trapped in the resulting volcanic rock, noting that it is not their practice to date such material. He was told to go ahead and do the dating, and the lab was paid for the work. The ridiculous result has since been published as an example of the unreliability of radiometric dating.

A good article on radiometric dating written by a Christian is at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/wiens.html. I know there are Christian websites that disagree with this article, but if we look at the whole story, the radiometric dates make sense. (See my outline of Michigan geology, above.) If you want to use Genesis 1 as a rebuttal, consider when Earth was created - not in the seven days listed there. Theologian John Walton, in his book The Lost World of Genesis One, Intervarsity Press, makes the case that Genesis one is talking about the dedication of an existing creation. It's worth reading, even if you disagree, to get a different perspective on this subject.

Since you seem interested in geology, let me recommend "The Bible, Rocks and Time" by Davis Young and Ralph Stearley, published by Intervarsity Press. The authors are two Christian geologists writing about geology. (Note: They are not writing out of their field. Both have done research in geology, as well as teaching the subject.) The book presents facts and data about God's world, and explains how geologists interpret the data, while discussing how they, as Christians, integrate this with their faith. It's a little technical, but they explain things well, and I think you will understand it quite well.

Ken, wow. Good response. I’ll try to respond to both of your posts in this one response.

You said:  "I'm not at all uncertain. Are you? Your comment about reef growth, "At...approx one-half metre per year, it might have taken about 300 years to form", is a case in point. You can plug in any number you want, realistic or not, and get the result you want, but that doesn't prove or disprove anythiing. You need to consider all of the data."

My response is that yes, I am uncertain about many things. That is what makes learning interesting. I realize that plugging in .4 m per year does prove or disprove anything; it merely indicates a possibility. This number is possible, based on some present day data, but that does not mean that it actually happened that way. But even if it took twice as long or four times as long, then the reefs could have formed in 1200 years.

 

You said: " our material on the growth of the Andes is confusing to me because it is unclear what is a quotation and what is your commentary" I try to put quotation marks around quotes – I believe I did that there

You said: "So the Andes may have had a growth spurt, and geologists have discovered something we didn't know before. This doesn't significantly change the plate tectonics model, and is a much more complicated situation than reef growth or evaporite deposition." The article indicated some significant changes to the plate tectonics model would be required. But my point was only that the amount of time for something to happen in geological history still appears to be relatively fluid.

You asked: "In answer to your final question, let me ask how much sea water would have to evaporate in order to precipitate the amount of salt in the Salina Group in Michigan. " I think I already gave a number for the amount of normal sea water to evaporate, something between 1500 and 6000 feet of water. For highly saline water, slightly more than a tenth of that amount would be required.

You said: "The deepest crustal rocks in Michigan are granites and metamorphic rocks, the kinds of rocks that we find in the depths of mountain belts, and the surface of this basement rock is rather flat, which suggests that there were mountains here at one time, and those mountains were eroded away."

My reply is that your reasoning could go both ways based on what you are saying here. In other words, in this location, the granites and metamorphic rocks remained in place, rather than being uplifted into mountains. The Canadian Shield is full of this type of rock as well, which is near the surface. The literature indicates a belief that this used to be many large mountains at one time. The reasoning is that rocks found under mountains are similar. Other evidence is lacking, apparently, since as mountains erode, the roots of mountains rise up. So in this case of the Shield, any mountain roots would be much smaller than they were originally, but then how would we know really? The article I saw also indicated that there used to be hundreds of volcanic belts in this area, each one with several hundreds of volcanos and numerous vents.

You said: [quote]"John, I have an entire shelf of books by Christians on the issue of origins, and covering the entire spectrum of views from young-Earth creationism to evolutionary creation, and many of them misquote or quote out of context what scientists have written, distort or misrepresent the data (either deliberately or unwittingly), and show vast ignorance of the subject. Judging from the reviews of these two books on Amazon, they are probably more of the same. Usually the more "orthodox" such books are, the worse the science is. Some Christian writers even simply recycle material gleaned from other writers, and use "mined quotes" from books that have lifted quotes out of context. Often authors have minimal education in the field they write about, such as engineers writing on geology, paleontology, etc. This is embarrassing to many Christian scientists."[/quote]

My response: Yes, probably, some material is recycled from other writers. But the evolutionary theory proponents do this all the time. Continually. Many evolutionary geologists do nothing else than recycle the thoughts of others. And many of those thoughts are already recycled. Generalizations about "orthodoxy" and "worse science" is also a recycled thought, and the judgement about "worse science" is often based on whether it fits with the prevailing paradigm or not. From my point of view, the absolutely worst science has been the evolutionary science around the assumed evolution of man. Distorted and misrepresented data, fossils, fraud, unscientific assumptions, etc. When some words by some evolutionary scientists are quoted out of context, it is simply to highlight the fact of what they have said, and not to sugar-coat it. Many evolutionists ignore those statements because they are too difficult to deal with.

You said, "On the subject of radiometric dating, many are "expert" on the subject who have never done anything with it."

My reply is that the experts should be able to use radiometric dating objectively. But it is not as simply as a chemical test for chlorine, or for acidity, or for aluminum or arsenic in water. Radiometric dating requires a tremendous number of assumptions. The actual testing of chemical content of material, including the evaluation of proportions of various isotopes, is not the problem. That can be done objectively. What cannot be done objectively is the assumption of what that proportion should have been originally, which is what the whole radiometric dating process relies on.

 

 

You said:[quote] "Incidentally, I know the former manager of a large lab that does radiometric dating, who was asked by a geologist affiliated with the Institute for Creation Research to date a recent basalt sample from Hawaii. The manager pointed out what this geologist probably already knew, that relatively young volcanic samples give very old radiometric dates by the K-40/Ar-40 method, because a lot of non-radiogenic argon in the magma is trapped in the resulting volcanic rock, noting that it is not their practice to date such material. He was told to go ahead and do the dating, and the lab was paid for the work. The ridiculous result has since been published as an example of the unreliability of radiometric dating." [/quote]

This illustrates my point. Is the dating method determining the age, or is the assumption about age made already before the dating method is used? If the method is ridiculous for this known- to- be- relatively- young basalt, then how can the same method be used to indicate that some other basalt is very old? Maybe it is also young?  

Participant

Thanks. Wouldn't you expect a good response from me?

"This number is possible, based on some present day data, but that does not mean that it actually happened that way. But even if it took twice as long or four times as long, then the reefs could have formed in 1200 years."

As they say in the computer industry, garbage in garbage out. I question the source of your "present day data". Regardless, other evidence mitigates against anything that rapid in the Silurian, one of which is the rate of subsidence. Believe what you will, but one needs to consider the whole situation, and not just plug in a number that gives results that we like.

"I try to put quotation marks around quotes – I believe I did that there"

If you had, I would have had no difficulty distinguishing the quotation from your comments. Sorry!

"The article indicated some significant changes to the plate tectonics model would be required. But my point was only that the amount of time for something to happen in geological history still appears to be relatively fluid."

Not at all. We can predict what will happen, given a set of conditions. If one or more conditions is unknown, then we get unexpected results, which can happen in complex situations, but most situations aren't very complex. In this case, look at the time intervals you quote.

"Garzione, a professor of geology at the University of Rochester, and her colleagues examined the sediment record and found that the Andes had slowly grown for tens of millions of years before suddenly spiking between 10 and 6 million years ago -- a process they call 'delamination'...."

This research suggests that, rather than growing at a fairly constant rate over millions of years, the Andes grew at a more rapid rate for several million years. So? If this research is correct, conditions changed making the rate of growth change. That's like saying if we have heavy rain the creek will flood. What is more likely to occur, the "normal" situation or the anomalous situation?

One of my professors at the University of Michigan was a fine Christian (Presbyterian) man who was involved with InterVarsity. He once told me or a group of students that he believed that science developed to the extent it did in the western world because Christians believe in a God of order. He does what He says, and we can count on it. This man said, and this is slightly political incorrect, that people in other parts of the world in those days "were running around nailing things to trees". This was in reference to polytheistic ideas of weather gods, tree gods, rock gods, etc. God wants us to understand His creation, and has directed us to do so. Note that the Bible remarks about Solomon and others studying the plants and animals, and talks about constellations. Some Christians are fearful of what they might discover if they explore the creation. How sad!

"your reasoning could go both ways based on what you are saying here. In other words, in this location, the granites and metamorphic rocks remained in place, rather than being uplifted into mountains. The Canadian Shield is full of this type of rock as well, which is near the surface. The literature indicates a belief that this used to be many large mountains at one time. The reasoning is that rocks found under mountains are similar. Other evidence is lacking, apparently, since as mountains erode, the roots of mountains rise up. So in this case of the Shield, any mountain roots would be much smaller than they were originally, but then how would we know really? The article I saw also indicated that there used to be hundreds of volcanic belts in this area, each one with several hundreds of volcanos and numerous vents."

My friend, this is not reasoning, it is fact. I am telling you what we find when we go out and look with our eyes open. We find that in mountainous areas, there is granite (igneous rock) and metamorphic rock under sedimentary rock (if any still remains). Coarse-grained igneous rock can form only deep underground where magma will cool very slowly. It takes a long time for a large magma chamber to crystallize, and in mountain belts we find that this has happened repeatedly - intrusion, cooling and crystallization to form a batholith (large granite body), and repeat, and repeat. Around and above the batholiths is metamorphic rock, which forms under high pressure  and at high temperature, such as we find deep underground. It is possible to determine the depth, pressure, and temperature at which various minerals found in these rocks would develop. This is the kind of rock that the Canadian Shield is composed of. The conclusion is that mountains once existed there, and have been eroded down to their foundations (what I called roots, and made you misunderstand). That took a while, don't you think? When that tremendous weight was removed, the region uplifted broadly. That would initiate another cycle of erosion, and more, until equilibrium was established. No, my reasoning doesn't go both ways.

Let me suggest that you check out http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/understanding.html for some background on mountain building. Focus on convergent plate boundaries. The theory of plate tectonics was formulated in the early nineteen-sixties, and there are still questions. There always are. The more we learn, the more questions we have. However, it answers many questions about topographic features, seismicity, volcanism, biogeography, paleomagnetism, stratigraphy, and, more recently, what our GPS units indicate about relative motion of continents.

"Yes, probably, some material is recycled from other writers. But the evolutionary theory proponents do this all the time. Continually. Many evolutionary geologists do nothing else than recycle the thoughts of others. And many of those thoughts are already recycled."

John, is that a Christian thing to say? It's good to be inclusive, but this is an unfair generalization. Besides, Christian writers shouldn't model their behavior on the despicable behavior of atheistic evolutionists, should they? (Sarcasm!) Some Christian writers repeat arguments that others have made, often using examples that have been previously discredited (such as the Paluxey man tracks), and including quotes from scientific articles that have been taken, not from the original source, but from other anti-science books or books of mined quotes. (Look up "quote mining" to learn about books by Henry Morris, for example, that misrepresent what scientists have written, and turn unbeliever more strongly against Christianity.) I think this is different than a professional paper citing the research that others have done and the evidence they have obtained with respect to, say, the rocks and fossils of a particular locality. Even a Bible commentary cites other research.

"...the judgement about 'worse science' is often based on whether it fits with the prevailing paradigm or not."

No, what I meant in referring to the quality of the science in some such books, is that the authors simply do not know the subject well enough to discuss it intelligently, and often are not current with their information.

"...the experts should be able to use radiometric dating objectively. But it is not as simply as a chemical test for chlorine, or for acidity, or for aluminum or arsenic in water. Radiometric dating requires a tremendous number of assumptions... What cannot be done objectively is the assumption of what that proportion should have been originally, which is what the whole radiometric dating process relies on."

If you want to dispute something, you really need to be well acquainted with it. Have you read the article I gave you a link to above? "..tremendous number of assumptions"? Do you know that there are ways to check dates? Of course, radiogenic isotopes are, by definition, the result of radioactive decay, so it is reasonable to assume, yes, that the radiogenic atoms in a sample began to accumulate when the mineral they are in crystallized.

I'm spending way too much time on this, and I need to use my time more productively. I don't mind answering an occasional question, but I don't have time for long debates via keyboard, especially when we're bouncing from topic to topic. We can play "What about this?" and "What about that?" for the rest of our lives. I'm trying to write a book on Michigan geology, and I'd like to finish it while I still have my wits about me.

Nice talking with you, John. I'm not sure that anyone else is interested in such long "comments".

That was quick, Ken.  (for someone who thinks everything must happen slowly...) :o) 

 You said, [quote]" As they say in the computer industry, garbage in garbage out. I question
 the
 source of your "present day data
"."[/quote]  My response is that the documented rates of growth of coral ranges from one to 250 mm of growth per annum, and using a different measurement technique, up to 400mm per annum.  This is very optimistic true, but perhaps questioning it without examining it is not fair. 

You said [quote]"Regardless, other evidence mitigates
 against anything that rapid in the Silurian, one of which is the rate of
 subsidence."
[/quote]   How would you measure or determine the rate of subsidence in the past?   
 
You said,  [quote] If this research is correct, conditions changed making
 the  rate of growth change. That's like saying if we have heavy rain the creek
 will flood. What is more likely to occur, the "normal" situation or the
 anomalous situation
?"[/quote]   My response is that both the unflooded and the flooded situations are normal.  The question is how often the creek floods, how long it stays flooded, and how high it floods.  How often do we have the heavy rain.  Yes, conditions changed making the rate of growth change.  But this is only based on present knowledge assumptions compared to knowledge assumptions of yesteryear.  What will tomorrow's knowledge assumptions do to the rate of growth?  The actual rate of growth was what is was.  It was only our perception of this rate of growth that was mistaken, according to this research.  And I maintain that our perception may still be mistaken.

   
You said, [quote]"... he believed that science developed to the extent it
 did in the western world because Christians believe in a God of order
."[/quote]  I think that is true, to some extent.  But God's order is not always our order.  Our perception of God's order is not automatically correct. His statement:" He
 does what He says, and we can count on it
." is in fact what we disagree on  since God said he spoke and it was so, and he created in six days.   Yet you disagree.  So you cannot really count on it.   

You also seem to be assuming that just because a Christian disagrees with evolution that he must not be interested in science, in studying plants and rocks and physics and chemistry.  That is an unfair and unscientific assumption. 

 You said: " My friend, this is not reasoning, it is fact.  ..... The conclusion is that mountains once existed there, and have  been eroded down to their foundations."  What is fact is that metamorphic rock is there.  What is reasoning is that metamorphic rock is caused by high pressure and heat and therefore must have occurred deep underground at a slow pace.    However, lack of evidence is not proof.  Lack of sedimentary rock, lack of surface silt and clay, or lack of mountain foundations is not proof that it once was there. 

An automobile crawling along at 20 km/hr is not proof that it once was going faster (just because most automobiles can and do travel faster most of the time).  Nor is it proof that it has always travelled at 20 km/hr.  
 
This applies also to mountain building.  The paradigm of uniformity ignores the possibility of dramatic, unexpected, violent, cataclysmic conditions and happenings.  I know that a possibility of something is not proof that it happened.  But observing present conditions is also not proof that uniformity is the only possibility. 

 You said: [quote]" I think this is
 different than a professional paper citing the research that others have
done  and the evidence they have obtained with respect to, say, the rocks and
 fossils of a particular locality
."[/quote]  I agree that professional papers cite sources differently.  No problem.  But many scientific textbooks have regurgitated evolutionary theory far beyond what the science proves, and continue to do so even when evidence has discredited the conclusions, particularly on the evolution of man.  Some of those textbooks have cartoons of man's evolutionary ancestors which have absolutely no basis in fact or evidence.  Yet they feel the liberty to draw or conceptualize based on their feelings and assumptions, and do not withdraw the book when it rapidly becomes out of date, inaccurate, and proven to be wrong on this point.  As far as the Paluxey footprints are concerned, many of these Christian geologists are not convinced they are discredited. 

As far as turning an unbeliever more strongly against christianity, as you suggested Henry Morris had done, it reminds me of God hardening Pharaoh's heart.  Would we blame God for that?  or was pharaoh already determined to be god  unto himself?   How about the evolutionists who are determined to destroy the faith of christians?  to laugh at scripture?  to deride a God who spoke things into existence?   to mock the possibility of six days?  to scoff at man from dust?  to hold in derision the concept of sin? 

 You said: "Of  course, radiogenic isotopes are, by definition, the result of radioactive
 decay, so it is reasonable to assume, yes, that the radiogenic atoms in a
 sample began to accumulate when the mineral they are in crystallized
."  My response is yes, of course.  But you would still need to know the original ratio at that place and time. 
 You said:[quote] " Nice talking with you, John."[/quote]

Taking this quote out of context, I will say thankyou.  Have fun with writing your book.        h

Participant

"That was quick, Ken. (for someone who thinks everything must happen slowly...) :o) "

That's cute, but you haven't been paying attention. I don't think everything must happen slowly, but there is no avoiding that some things have. You didn't like some examples I gave you, so I'll try a few more.

The opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Most would consider present rates of plate motion, based on GPS, to be a reasonable basis for calculating the time it took. It's interesting that the radiometric dates for ocean crust rock match nicely with the rates of today. They also match with the Palisades sill and other igneous rock in rift basins from Massachusetts to Virginia. Of course, one could say that we don't know Pangea ever existed.

The Hawaiian islands. Radiometric dates of volcanic rocks match well with the rate of plate motion there, and support the theory that there is a mantle plume under Hawaii (island) Pacific Plate that has produced volcanoes on Kauai to Hawaii, and earlier on island that are now reefs to the northwest of Kauai. The stages of erosion of the islands indicate that their age increases northward, from 0 to 60+ millionyears.

India. Paleomagnetic measurements of the rocks of India indicate that it has moved northward across a wide range of latitudes. The radiometric dates correspond well with current plate motion rates.

"How would you measure or determine the rate of subsidence in the past?"

It would be rather difficult without the use of radiometric dating which you don't accept (even though other data, such as the plate motion examples above, indicate that it is reliable). However, we could consider rock mechanics and present rates of rock deformation. The thickness of rock that accumulated in the Michigan Basin during the part of the Paleozoic in which the Basin was actively subsiding, would require an astonishing rate of subsidence to occur in the length of time that you will allow, causing a huge release of energy.

"My response is that both the unflooded and the flooded situations are normal."

Some of your responses make me empathize with Alice after she fell down the rabbit hole. If I told you that throwing a match into a puddle of gasoline on the ground under our atmosphere will always cause an explosion, you would say that maybe things weren't always the way they are now. Thank God for not changing the laws of nature that He established while humans have been taking notes, anyway!

"What is fact is that metamorphic rock is there. What is reasoning is that metamorphic rock is caused by high pressure and heat and therefore must have occurred deep underground at a slow pace. However, lack of evidence is not proof. Lack of sedimentary rock, lack of surface silt and clay, or lack of mountain foundations is not proof that it once was there."

This is another example of the strange world in which you live. Laboratory experiments have been done on metamorphic processes. We know what temperatures and pressures are required to produce various minerals, and therefore at what depth they formed, which in turn determines the thousands of feet of rock that would have to be eroded away to expose them. I don't really care how fast mountains erode away. I have no reason to want it to be slow, but that's the way it is. Rushing streams and powerful glaciers move down mountains and erode the rock, but it still takes a long time. As I mentioned, the removal of a load of rock leads to isostatic uplift, although not to the original elevation - think of removing most of the part of log floating above water, and how much it would rise as a result, followed by more erosion. How much time will you allow for the Andes or the Himalaya to erode down to a plain?

Lack of sedimentary rock? Sometimes we do find sedimentary rock on mountains, and formation of metamorphic rocks and huge igneous rock bodies does not occur at the surface, so what would you propose was on top of a region where such rocks are found today, if not sedimentary rock?

Lack of mountain foundations? Metamorphic rocks on a regional scale and large igneous bodies (batholiths) are mountain foundations, and they prove that mountains were once there - unless you want to say that they were created and didn't form.

It's simple forensic science. If the victim is found with a hole in his head, gunpowder residue around the hole, and a bullet is in his brain, we conclude that he was shot, even if there is no gun present. If there is residue on his hand, and the gun is in his hand, we may even conclude that he shot himself, although a killer could have held the victim's hand on the gun when the killer pulled the trigger.

I once went to a gravel pit with a young-Earth friend who wanted to discuss gravel with me. We saw some grooves on a vertical face, and he suggested that a raccoon had tried to climb up, although no raccoon was present. How could he know?

"But you would still need to know the original ratio at that place and time."

And we do. We know that there is no radiogenic daughter product in a mineral or rock at the time it forms from magma, and when one half-lfe has elapsed, the ratio will be 1:1.

All questions in this response are rhetorical. I have to move on. If you would like to ask a specific question, use the link at www.wheaton.edu/acg.
 

Just a correction for a mistatement I made above:  the amount of ordinary present day seawater to evaporate to produce between 500 to 2000 feet of salt, would not be 1500 to 6000 feet.   1500 to 6000 feet of water would be required to solubilize all the salt at the maximum capacity of water to hold salt in solution.   Normal seawater would require about ten times that much, about 15,000 to 60,000 feet, if it was assumed to be directly vertical water above the salt beds.   However, if the area of seawater was much larger than the salt beds, for example about ten times as large an area, then the water would not have to be that deep, and  then 90% of the seawater could evaporate before salt started to precipitate.   If the residual seawater accumulated above the salt beds, then it could deposit all the salt there.  

If much of the origin of the salt water was subterranean, it may have had a much higher concentration of salt than ordinary seawater.  Given the apparent volcanoes that existed in the region at one time, and the heat associated to increase evaporation rates, maybe something else happened than mere entry of ordinary sea water and its evaporation at normal atmospheric temperatures. 

Ken, no need to begin insulting me.  It will not help your case.   "I have not been paying attention."?  While its true that it takes some time to digest another person's comments, I am indeed paying attention, and my comment was made quite light-heartedly, just as yours was earlier about my supposed propensity for assuming everything happened quickly.   Nor do I claim that the laws of nature have ever changed;  only our perception of them, and how they apply. 

Have you ever read Walt Brown's book, "In the Beginning:  Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood."   He looks only(almost only) at scientific principles, mathematics, physics in terms of evaluating his hypothesis.  Even supposing he was not entirely accurate in every aspect, since after all he is pieceing together something by extrapolation, he provides a new way of looking at the geologic evidence. 

About plate motion, as I said before, (were you paying attention...:o)  )  present rates of something are not indisputable indicators of what happened in the distant past.   We cannot do this with automobiles, with technological advancement, and probably not with plate tectonics.   If we only used present rates of observation, we would not come up with theories of hundreds of belts of ancient volcanoes consisting of hundreds of individual volcanoes and vents each, in the Canadian Shield area. 

You said:  [quote] We know what temperatures and pressures are required to produce various minerals, and therefore at what depth they formed, which in turn determines the thousands of feet of rock that would have to be eroded away to expose them. [/quote]  You are merely assuming that there is only one way to form the temperatures and pressures to produce various minerals;  this is your blind spot.   Even the fact that you produced them in a lab would indicate that there are other ways of doing this, but you cannot conceive of other circumstances, so you assume they do not exist.  Your uniformitarian paradigm is worn like a pair of blinders, methinks. 

You said, [quote]formation of metamorphic rocks and huge igneous rock bodies does not occur at the surface,  [/quote]

but, wikipedia and others disagree, "Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Igneous rock may form with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks " wikipedia

You said: [quote]We know that there is no radiogenic daughter product in a mineral or rock at the time it forms from magma, and when one half-lfe has elapsed, the ratio will be 1:1 [/quote]

If this were as simple as it sounds, then using the K-Ar method to detect age of basalt formed by a recent volano would not be a problem.  However, as you earlier admitted, some non-radiogenic product (presumably the same isotope indistinguishable from the radiogenic) was also trapped in the basalt (igneous).   So your statement is misleading.   Its presumption appears to be  incorrect. 

From Roger Wiens(Los Alamos, NM), "Although potassium-argon is one of the simplest dating methods, there are still some cases where it does not agree with other methods. When this does happen, it is usually because the gas within bubbles in the rock is from deep underground rather than from the air. This gas can have a higher concentration of argon-40 escaping from the melting of older rocks. This is called parentless argon-40 because its parent potassium is not in the rock being dated, and is also not from the air. In these slightly unusual cases, the date given by the normal potassium-argon method is too old". "  

The assumption is that these cases are unusual.  

 

Participant

John, I wasn't insulting you. We operate in two different reality systems, and now things are getting touchy. We both benefit from the application of the geologic principles that you disagree with, so God gives gifts to us both, even though we disagree on how He operates. Enjoy the Earth resources that He guides the geologists to find for us to use.

I'm going to opt out of email alerts to comments here, so if you don't get replies, it's not that I'm ignoring you, it's that I don't know that you posted.

Blessings,

Ken

Don't worry too much about the insults.   I can handle them (dish them out too, if necessary), but be gentle....   I just pointed out the effect of your comment. 

I wonder if you guys could continue your discussion over email.  Every time you post, some of us are getting (multiple) emails and this seems to be a conversation just between the two of you. 

Participant

I'm very sorry about that, Rob. I'm new at this, but I thought the idea was to discuss things here, rather than in email. Furthermore, I wasn't aware that email addresses of correspondents were available. However, when I received my email notification of this comment from you, it had options for opting out of comments at several different levels.

This is taking way too much of my time, and I'm trying leave, but I keep getting drawn back in. It must be some kind of curse!

Rob (and everyone else) - Each email notification gives two unsusbscribe options at the bottom: 1. unsubscribe from a specific discussion, 2. unsubscribe from all notifications across The Network. The first option is what you want.

Having said that, your suggestion is still a good one if no one else is participating in the discussion any longer. That's always a bit of a judgement call though, as some might want to listen in.

Anyway, I hope this unsubscribe info helps. It's easy to opt out of email notifcations for a specific discussion whenever you want to.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this discussion - it's been a popular one!

Thanks Jonathan -- I tried looking the other day for how to do that, but I couldn't find it under my account settings (however, now I saw the link in the email).

 

And I apologize if I came across as being negative -- I don't want to discourage the conversation, as it's a worthwhile one to have.  I just thought this one might have worked better via email after it came down to just the two people.

I was asked to be a guide for Synod 2011.  I was discouraged because so few people commented.  I was told by the Network people, "Don't be discouraged.  A host of people listen in even though only a few comment."  So, let Rob sign out if he wishes, but let others benefit from Ken and John's discussion.  Carry on!!

Thanks for your comment, George.  It is appreciated. 

Many people often think that evolution is a scientific explanation and "creation" is a religious explanation.   Nothing is further from the truth.   Macro-evolution is actually a religious explanation for our existence, which depends on supernatural events such as genesis of life from non-life (for which there is no scientific evidence), or such as the big bang (which has never been observed, is not testable, repeatable as scientific "facts" must be).   Nor is there a preponderance of evidence for the development of "more advanced" species from other species.   Nor is there any significant observable evidence of the constant attempt of various species to differentiate into new species.   The cited "evidence" is sparse, and highly debatable. 

The evidence of DNA replication indicates self-correction in DNA mistakes, as well as the simple unlikelihood of survival of significant DNA mutations that might lead to new organs or new species. 

It is also interesting that the theory of uniformitarianism was first initiated not by scientists, but by a lawyer named Charles Lyell, who postulated that "the present is key to the past".  Ironically, "As his eyesight began to deteriorate, he turned to geology as a full-time profession.["(Wiki)   Although Lyell was a teacher of Darwin, "Lyell, a devout Christian, had great difficulty reconciling his beliefs with natural selection . '(Wiki)   Eventually he did somewhat reluctantly endorse evolution as a theory. 

Charles Lyell got his idea of uniformity, the present is the key to the past, from James Hutton, who originally apprenticed as a lawyer but who trained and became a physician.  

 It is also interesting that Charles Darwin was not originally a scientist, but rather had an education and degree in theology.  He began with attempting to get an education in medicine (which was pushed by his doctor father), but neglected those studies, and eventually achieved an "ordinary" degree (Bachelor of Arts) in order to become a parson (his father's second choice).   It appears he was not too interested in following his father's wishes.   He never did become a parson. 

He was influenced slightly by Lamark who theorized on ''acquired" inheritance, which has since been discredited.   He was also influenced more by Thomas Malthus, who postulated that the world would run out of capacity to sustain human life as the human race continued to populate.   He had lots of money from his father, and this allowed  him to roam the world, as well as to get in the door with various teachers, societies, and educated men. 

Thomas Huxley was defender of Darwin, and influenced the thought of the day.  In one debate,    " Thomas Huxley's legendary retort, that he would rather be descended from an ape than a man who misused his gifts, came to symbolise a triumph of science over religion.....  Huxley portrayed a polarisation between religion and science. He campaigned pugnaciously against the authority of the clergy in education,  aiming to overturn the dominance of clergymen and aristocratic amateurs under Owen in favour of a new generation of professional scientists (Wiki)" ." 

The influence of Darwin's own thoughts and speculations on evolution and survival of the fittest, as well as the adoration and support of the people of the day, led to Darwin's perception of God and faith and the body of Christ. 

 quote] "To Darwin, natural selection produced the good of adaptation but removed the need for design, ] and he could not see the work of an omnipotent deity in all the pain and suffering such as the ichneumon wasp paralysing caterpillars as live food for its eggs.[ He still viewed organisms as perfectly adapted, and On the Origin of Species reflects theological views. Though he thought of religion as a tribal survival strategy, Darwin still believed that God was the ultimate lawgiver.[ Darwin remained close friends with the vicar of Downe, John Innes, and continued to play a leading part in the parish work of the church,[ but from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church.  He considered it "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist"[ and, though reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he wrote that "I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally ... an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind. (Wiki)"[/quote]

It would have been better for him and for science if he had remained an agnostic about evolution. 

 

For an example of what impact evolutionary theory had on Charles Templeton, a preacher and friend of Billy Graham, and an argument about the age of the Grande Canyon, you could check this link:  christianima.com/wazooloo  and look at episode 13. 

For those who are interested, creationist Ian Juby has a new video on youtube about the errors of whale evolution, as well as "the faint young sun", and other topics.  youtube.com/user/wazooloo   You can also view his previous videos on this site, or view his presentations on the miracle channel. 

An interesting description of DNA, how it's replicated, stored, packaged, etc.,  from a Christian perspective.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLx8NnhRdC4&list=UU23yiJV4Bkagj5dkH-UyHFA&index=2

The method by which God created, reveals His character, don't you think?   An interesting video by Juby interviewing three scholars/scientists/speakers/writers who have researched on the implications of evolutionary thought on social morality.   It's called the Dark Side of Darwinianism.   The dogma's of evolution, natural selection towards survival of the fittest, onwards and upwards eugenics, are discussed in this video.  http://www.youtube.com/user/wazooloo

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