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Too Many Fossils for a Global Flood

Copyright 2003 G.R. Morton This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

Too many fossils for a global flood

Since the Hawaiian Islands have already been discussed, lets discuss the number of animals found in the fossil record.

According to global flood advocates, the global flood is responsible for the majority of the geologic column and it represents the remains of the preflood world. One biosphere was destroyed in this global cataclysm meaning that all the fossils we find lived on earth simultaneously prior to the flood. Thus we should be able to look at the number of living creatures and determine if it is possible for all the animals to live on earth at the same time. If not, then the global flood model has a tremendous problem. Only one biosphere was destroyed but if more than one biosphere is represented in the record, then the single global flood model can't be correct.

What do we see? There are clearly too many animals found in the geologic column. This is from my book Foundation, Fall and Flood, and I also for the first time post the references with this extract. There is more discussion below the references

The following is from Foundation, Fall and Flood


Too Many Animals

Advocates of the global flood claim that all the fossils are the remains of animals that died in the flood. Morris states,

"Still further, the creationist suspects that the fossil record and the sedimentary rocks, instead of speaking of a long succession of geologic ages, may tell rather of just one former age, destroyed in a single great worldwide aqueous cataclysm."37

If this claim is true, that the fossil record represents the remains of a single prediluvial world, then there should not be enough fossils to overcrowd the world. Most animals would be destroyed in the Flood, not preserved. Thus if the geologic column consists of one single biosphere which was destroyed in one year, there should be very few fossils and certainly not enough of them to fill up today's earth. But this isn't what we see. What we see are too many animals, which means that we have buried in the geologic column more than one biosphere.

Whitcomb and Morris cite with approval a paleontologist who estimates that the Karroo Formation of southern Africa is believed to contain 800 billion fossil vertebrates with an average size of the fox.38 There are 126 billion acres on the surface of the earth. Only 30 percent of this area is land, giving a land area of 38 billion acres. If 800 billion animals were spread over the 38 billion available acres, there would be 21 animals with an average size of a fox, per acre, from this deposit alone. This does not include all the vertebrate fossil deposits throughout the rest of the world. Assuming that the Karroo beds are only 1% of the fossil vertebrates in the world (the Karroo beds occupy much less than 1% of the sedimentary column) means that 2100 animals per acre occupied the preflood world. Since an acre is 4840 square yards, each animal would have only 2 square yards, or 18 square feet, of territory. That is an area only 4.2 wide by 4.2 feet long. This can be put in a setting that most Americans can understand. The average house lot is about a quarter acre. Can you imagine every house in your neighborhood surrounded by 525 hungry animals the size of a fox? I, for one, would not venture out of doors. Obviously this is far too many animals. [I don't believe Morris' numbers but if they are right, then this is the consequence--grm]

Too Many Plants

If we further consider the quantity of plant matter which must have occupied the single preflood world envisioned by young-earth creationists, these results pale in comparison. There are an estimated 15 x 10^18 grams of carbon contained in the coal reserves of the world.39 An acre of tropical forest contains 525 kilograms of plant matter per square meter.40 Assuming an 18% carbon content of plant matter41 we have 94.5 kilograms of carbon per square meter. Multiplying this by the number of square meters on land, we have approximately the quantity of carbon contained in coal, 15 x 10^18 grams. One can account for all the carbon in coal only by postulating a tropical rain forest over the entire world.
But this is impossible, because many of the animals in the fossil record require low productivity regions to survive. Grazing animals that live on grass can not live in tropical rain forests, because carpeting grasses do not live there. Now we have too many animals on each acre and almost too much plant matter. But we are not through. Whitcomb and Morris believe that oil and natural gas are the result of the decay of plants and animals that lived before the flood. These authors state,

"The exact nature of the organic material has been as yet quite unsettled, but there seems little doubt that the vast reservoirs of organic remains, both plant and animal, in the sedimentary rocks constitute a more than adequate source."

"Although the details are not clear, the Deluge once again appears to offer a satisfactory explanation for the origin of oil, as well as the other stratigraphic phenomena. The great sedimentary basins being filled rapidly and more or less continuously during the Flood would provide a prolific source of organic material, together with whatever heat and pressure might have been needed to initiate the chemical reactions necessary to begin the transformation into petroleum hydrocarbons. Of course, not all organic debris deposited during the Flood was converted into oil; apparently certain catalysts or other chemicals were also necessary, and where these were present, it was possible for oil to form."42

If all the oil were the result of the decay of organic matter, then there is far too much oil and natural gas in the world. There are 201 x 10^18 grams of carbon in the hydrocarbons of the earth. In all of the world's living things, there are only 0.3 x 10^18 grams of carbon. There is 670 times more carbon in petroleum than there is in every living plant and animal on earth. Surely the world was not 670 times more crowded at the time of the Flood than it is today!

Too Many Plankton

There are also too many microscopic animals. Most limestone is deposited by bacteria and invertebrate animals. The Austin Chalk, which underlies Dallas, is a 400-foot thick limestone bed made of the remains of microscopic animals, called coccolithophores or coccoliths. It is about 70% coccoliths. The coccolithophore is a small spherical animal, between 5 and 60 micrometers in diameter, each having about 16 coccoliths that separate upon the death. According to Stokes Law these animals would fall through the water at a rate of .1 millimeter per second. To fall through a 100 foot (33 meter) depth of water would take 4 days.

The time required to form the Austin Chalk is far longer than one year. The coccolith skeleton, when pressed flat, is about 1 micron or one millionth of a meter thick. A deposit of coccoliths 400 feet thick must represent many thousands of years of deposits. One hundred twenty-one million coccoliths could be stacked up like coins across the four hundred feet. The length of time necessary to deposit these 121 million coccoliths can be calculated by assuming the maximum density of living coccolithophores in the waters above. Such measurements can be made during an event known as a red tide.
Occasionally, growth conditions become so favorable that they grow beyond all reason. As many as 60 million creatures per liter of water grow and quickly use up all of the oxygen and nutrients in the water and then die. Their decay continues to use any oxygen entering the water and also gives off poisons. Fish who swim into one of these areas often die from lack of oxygen and the absorption of toxins emitted by the dead microorganism. These water blooms last only a few weeks as the microorganisms deplete the water's nutrients rapidly and die. However, even at their most dense, 60 million microorganisms per liter, only 39 layers of organisms are stacked in a single cubic centimeter. Thus, to stack 121 million coccoliths would require the death of nearly 8 million organisms. A 100 foot water depth, filled to the maximum with coccospheres, would only generate a thickness of six feet of chalk! The four hundred feet of chalk of the Austin formation would require 66 such blooms. If it required two weeks between each bloom to recharge the nutrients and one week for the bloom to occur, it would take 4 years to deposit the chalk. And these values are wildly optimistic for the deposition of chalk. This size bloom is not possible.

The coccolithophores remove calcium carbonate from the water to make their skeletons. In water depth of 100 feet there is not nearly enough calcium to deposit such a volume of chalk. One hundred feet of seawater contains only enough carbonate to deposit a little over 1-millimeter of carbonate. Thus, no bloom of the size mentioned above can even occur. Using the two-week recharge and one-week bloom mentioned above, it would take 7,000 years to deposit the chalk. Obviously, the chalk under Dallas would require much more time to deposit than merely one year. In southern Louisiana, the chalk is 2100 feet (640 meters) thick. I have drilled it. This would take considerably more time than seven thousand years.

Additionally, the quantity of chalk seen in the world is far too great to have been contained in the preflood world hypothesized by young-earth creationists. The Austin Chalk is a chalk deposit that stretches from Mexico along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana, a distance in excess of 800 km. In Mexico, the Austin Chalk is named the San Felipe Formation. A glance at the geologic data shows that the band is about 160 km wide and appears to average 120 meters in thickness.43 In the chalk in Texas alone there are enough dead coccolithophores to cover the earth to a depth of 3 centimeters. But Texas is not the only place on earth that has deposits of chalk. In Alabama and Mississippi, the chalk is known as the Selma. The Niobrara chalk - 5,000 km long, 1,400 km. wide and 6 meters thick - runs through much of the western part of the Great Plains of the United States.44 The Niobrara would add another 7 centimeters of cover to the earth. Throughout Europe Upper Cretaceous chalks cover large areas. The White Cliffs of Dover are made of chalk that is as much as 215 meters thick in parts of England. This chalk sweeps across southern Scandinavia, Poland and into south Russia where it attains an amazing thickness of up to 1000 meters. It is stopped by the Ural Mountains. The chalks of western Europe are enough to cover the entire earth to a depth of 83 centimeters.45 West of the Urals, in the Central Asian Tuar-Kyr mountain range, a deposit of chalk 20 meters thick is found. In Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, an Upper Cretaceous chalk is around 180 meters thick. If all the fossil record was the record of the destruction of one preflood biosphere, as Morris suggests, it must have been a crowded place. The worldwide quantity of dead coccoliths would cover the earth to a depth of one meter.

Too Many Diatoms

A deposit that is similar to chalk is diatomaceous chert. These siliceous deposits are made of little more than dead diatoms. A diatom is a small single-celled animal that lives in the sea. As diatoms collect on the ocean floor and are buried deeper and deeper, they are compressed and changed from a form known as diatomite, which is used in swimming pool filters, to opal. Upon further burial, with increased temperature and pressure, the opal is changed into chert. The Monterey formation of California is such a deposit. It is the light-colored rock that forms much of the landscape of southern California. The deposit is 1,200 kilometers long, 250 kilometers wide and averages half a kilometer in thickness. This single deposit of dead diatoms is large enough to cover the earth to a depth of nearly 1 foot, or 0.28 meters.
But this is not all. There are over 300 such siliceous deposits around the world. If each one of them is only one-fourth the size of the Monterey, then there are enough dead diatoms to cover the earth uniformly to a depth of 21 meters, or 70 feet! So we now have a preflood world which contains 2,100 terrestrial animals per acre (none of which are human), a tropical rain forest everywhere, 20 meters of dead diatoms over the entire globe and 1 meter of dead coccoliths. Where is everyone going to live? And we are not through.

Too Many Crinoids [see picture at end of this post--grm]

The Mission Canyon formation in the northwestern United States is part of a truly remarkable deposit. It is largely made of the remains of dead crinoids, which are deep-sea creatures called sea lilies. Clark and Stearn report,

"Much of the massive limestone formation is composed of sand-sized particles of calcium carbonate, fragments of crinoid plates, and shells broken by the waves. Such a sedimentary rock qualifies for the name sandstone because it is composed of particles of sand size cemented together; because the term sandstone is commonly understood to refer to a quartz-rich rock, however, these limestone sandstones are better called calcarenites. The Madison sea must have been shallow, and the waves and currents strong, to break the shells and plates of the animals when they died. The sorting of the calcite grains and the cross-bedding that is common in this formation are additional evidence of waves and currents at work. Even in Mississippian rocks, where whole crinoids are rare fossils, and as a result, it is easy to underestimate the population of these animals during the Paleozoic era. Crinoidal limestones, such as the Mission Canyon-Livingstone unit, provide an estimate, even though it be of necessity a rough one, of their abundance in the clear shallow seas they loved. In the Canadian Rockies the Livingstone limestone was deposited to a thickness of 2,000 feet on the margin of the Cordilleran geosyncline, but it thins rapidly eastward to a thickness of about 1,000 feet in the Front Ranges and to about 500 feet in the Williston Basin. Even though its crinoidal content decreases eastward, it may be calculated to represent at least 10,000 cubic miles of broken crinoid plates. How many millions, billions, trillions of crinoids would be required to provide such a deposit? The number staggers the imagination."46

In just this one deposit, there are enough crinoids to cover every square inch of the earth to a depth of 1/4 inch. Where would the vertebrate animals (in the Karroo Beds mentioned earlier) live if the whole world were covered with crinoids? But this deposit is not the only crinoidal deposit. Rocks of the lower Mississippian age are largely composed of crinoidal calcarenites - translation: dead crinoids. Further north in Canada, the deposit of crinoidal limestones is called the Rundle, and it is called the Lisburne limestone in Alaska. Both of these beds contain vast quantities of dead crinoids. Farther south, the crinoidal limestone is called the Leadville Limestone in Colorado, the Redwall in Arizona, and the Chappell in Texas, the Burlington and Keokuk limestones in the Mid-Continent region. The Burlington alone contains another 719 cubic miles of dead crinoids.47 It is called the Edwardsville Formation in Indiana. This Mississippian crinoidal rock unit is called the Ft. Payne in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. But this is not the extent of this crinoidal limestone.
In Australia there is a deposit of crinoidal limestones called the Namoi and Bingleburra Formations.48 In Libya near the Timenocaline Wells, there is a 6 foot bed of crinoidal limestone.49 White crinoidal limestones are found along the banks of the Zilim River in the south part of the Ural Mountains.50 Belgium boasts a crinoidal limestone that reaches 2,100 feet thick.51 Without further documentation, which could have been provided, these crinoidal limestones are found in Egypt, Central Asia, and China. A Mississippian crinoidal limestone even tops Mt. Everest! With crinoids all over the Northern Hemisphere, where did land animals live? Where did the tropical rain forest live? Where did the diatoms come from? Where did the coal come from?

When it is realized that almost all of the limestone deposits in the world are biologic in origin, a problem quickly arises. There are 6.42 x 10^22 grams of carbon in the limestones of the earth and only 3 x 10^17 grams of carbon in the biosphere of the earth. The flood must have buried 214,000 times more living matter in limestone alone than is currently on the earth.

There are far too many dead animals to have fit on the preflood earth as envisioned by the global flood advocates. The fossil record can not even begin to be considered the remains of one preflood biosphere. It would have been too crowded! Glenn Morton, Foundation, Fall and Flood, (DMD Publishers, Spring TX, 1999), p. 83-86

  1. Henry M. Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution, (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1974), p. 21.
  2. Whitcomb and Morris, The Genesis Flood, op. cit., p. 160.
  3. John M. Hunt, "Distribution of Carbon in Crust of the Earth," American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 56:11(1972), p. 2273-2277.
  4. Edward J. Kormondy, Concepts of Ecology, (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969), p. 128.
  5. Alvin Nasan and Philip Goldstein, Biology, (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1969), p. 234.
  6. Whitcomb and Morris, The Genesis Flood, op. cit., p. 434.
  7. D. G. Bebout and R. A. Schatzinger, "Regional Cretaceous Cross Sections - South Texas," in D. G. Bebout and R. G. Loucks, editors, Cretaceous Carbonates of Texas & Mexico, (Austin: Bureau of Economic Geology, 1977), p. 4 see also the cross sections in the back of the book.
  8. H. C. Jenkyns, "Pelagic Environments," in H. G. Reading, Sedimentary Environments and Facies, (New York: Elsevier, 1978), p. 369.
  9. In Europe there are three main lobes of chalk deposition:
    London-Paris basin 700 km x 300 km x .25 km thick
    Scotland-Germany 1100 km x 600 km x .5 km thick
    Poland - Carpathian front 800 km x 400 km x .5 km thick
    Peter A. Ziegler, Geological Atlas of Western and Central Europe, (Amsterdam: Shell Internationale Petroleum Maatschappij B. V., 1983) enclosure 32. Using the area of ellipse
    pi x 350000 x 150000 x 250 = 4.1233 x 10^13 m^3
    pi x 550000 x 300000 x 500 = 2.5918 x 10^14 m^3
    pi x 400000 x 200000 x 500 = 1.2566 x 10^14 m^3

    The sum total is 4.2607 x 10^14 m^3
    American chalks 90% coccoliths 10% shale
    European chalks are 99 percent coccoliths; 1% is shale see (Peter A. Scholle, Michael A. Arthur and Allan A. Ekdale, "Pelagic Environment," in Peter A. Scholle, Don G. Bebout, Clyde H. Moore, Carbonate Depositional Environments, (Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1983), p.640)
    This is 3.8346 x 10 ^14 m^3. Divided by the surface area of the earth 5.11 x 1014 m^2, yields enough to cover the earth to .75 meters thick.

  10. Thomas H. Clark and Colin W. Stearn, The Geological Evolution of North America, (New York: The Ronald Press, 1960), p. 86-88.
  11. Robert H. Dott, Jr. and Roger L. Batten, The Evolution of the Earth, (St. Louis: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1971), p. 307.
  12. D. A. Brown, K. S. W. Campbell and K. A. W. Crook, The Geological Evolution of Australia and New Zealand, (New York: Pergamon Press, 1968), p. 158.
  13. Raymond Furon, The Geology of Africa, translated by A. Hallam and L. A. Stevens, (London: Oliver S. Boyd, 1963), p. 146.
  14. D. V. Nalivkin, Geology of the U. S. S. R., translated by N. Rast, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973), p. 334.
  15. Roland Brinkmann, Geologic Evolution of Europe, translated by John E. Sanders, (New York: Hafner Publishing Co., 1960), p. 46. see also Figure 14.
  16. Whitcomb and Morris, The Genesis Flood, op. cit., p. 273-277.
  17. See Martin J. S. Rudwick, The Meaning of Fossils, (New York: Neale Watson Academic Publications, 1976), p. 82.
  18. Rudwick, The Meaning of Fossils, p. 83.

When one looks at the amount of organic carbon on the earth, we find that it is many times more than exists in the current biosphere and from the above it is many times more than even a lush environment could allow.

petroleum nonreservoir 200 x 10^18 g carbon
Petroleum reservoir 1 x 10^18 g carbon
Coal 15 x 10^18 g carbon
Carbonate rocks 51,000 x 10^18 g carbon
living things .3 x 10^18 g carbon
J.M. Hunt, ""Distribution of Carbon in Crust of Earth, p. 22

Most of the carbon in carbonate rocks comes from the remains of animal life.

The picture shows the limestone chock full of crinoids. this is from NW England in the Lake District.

Encrinite Lake District
Read More »

Where were the animals at the beginning of the global flood?

Copyright 2003 G.R. Morton This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

Where were the plants and animals at the start of the flood?

What are the predictions of the YEC model with regard to fossils. To me that is an important question. The young-earth paradigm holds that God created the world about 6000 years ago along with all the animals we find both in the fossil record and alive today. Leonard Brand illustrates this view point:

“If Charles Darwin had examined his Bible and compared it with his theory, he would have found that although the Bible doesn't say anything against microevolution and speciation, it clearly states that the major groups of both plants and animals (including fish, birds, reptiles, mammals, human beings, and flowering plants [fruit trees]) were created by the end of creation week. This is definitely not compatible with part of his evolution theory.” Leonard Brand, Faith, Reason, and Earth History, (Berrien Springs: Andrews University Press, 1997), p. 94

Since Creation, especially since the Fall, creatures have only gone extinct. New animals have not been created. Many of the original animals on the earth died out during or shortly after the global flood being unable to adapt. AiG says as much about the dinosaurs:

“There is a lack of supporting evidence for any of these events! Instead, creationists suggest that most dinosaurs died as a result of the great flood described in Genesis 6-8. Dinosaur types which were preserved on the ark probably faced severe climate changes following the flood.”

So, what kind of fossil pattern should we expect to see in the geologic record? Partly it depends on where one places the global flood but wherever one places the flood, the pattern of fossils should look like:

Fossil Patterns

The above pattern will work with any taxonomic group. The YEC view has all groups, species etc created at the same time. Thus we should find evidence of grass, grass pollen, trees, etc as early as we find the trilobites.

But what do we find in the fossil record? It looks more like:

Fossil Patterns

To show the problem, I went out and collected data on all the fish genera found in geologic history. Here are what the numbers show:

         total genera  living genera     extinct genera
Cambrian        1           0                 1 
Ordovician      5           0                 5 
Silurian       57           0                57 
Devonian      524           0               524 
Mississippian 163           0               163 
Pennsylvanian 106           0               106 
Permian        86           0               86 
Triassic      175           0               175 
Jurassic      146           5               141 
Cretaceous    340          38               302 
Paleocene     124          53                71 
Eocene        398         157               241 
Oligocene     321         207               114 
Miocene       496         320               176 
Pliocene      416         372                44 
Pleistocene   422         408                14 
Recent       3245        3245                 0

What is obvious is that fish donʼt appear in the geologic column all at once as the young-earth model would predict. They appear gradually, and go extinct. The earliest living fish genera appears in the Jurassic rocks not the Cambrian as would be expected by the young-earth paradigm. Here is a pictorial view of how the fish genera are sorted in the geologic column.

Fish Genera

One other thing which can be seen is the rarity of fossilization of genera. Today there are 3245 genera (the Recent period). The Recent period consists of only the past 10,000 years. Notice that only 12% of todayʼs genera are found as fossils. That number would be smaller if we were discussing species. Fossilization is incomplete and creationist claims that the record is essentially complete are false.

One can also see that as one goes backwards in time (up the list) one can see that fewer and fewer living genera of fish are found in the rocks. Why, in the context of a global flood do fish genera successively appear in the later stages of the flood? If they were on earth at the time of the first fish genera, why werenʼt they buried in the Cambrian with it? It is as if they were not on earth.

There are several reasons to expect some modern fish to have died early in the flood. First, fish have a limited lifespan. Most fish live less than 10 years with a few, like the halibut living 30 years. This means that in the preflood population there would be a significant fraction of old fish, ready to pass on to their reward. If there were 10 billion halibut, 330 million of them would be expected to die from old age during the flood. So during the flood year, normal mortality should have claimed some of the modern fish and the flood should have then buried and fossilized them. Secondly, due to the extreme turbulence of this global cataclysm, some of the fish should have been bonked on the head with rocks, boulders or just simply buried. A geologic column like that found in Oklahoma where 60,000 feet of sedimentary rocks are to be found requires that 164 feet of sediment be deposited each and every day. Surely some tired fish would get caught in such a cataclysm. Yet, as you can see from the above distribution, not a single genera of modern fish is found prior to the Jurassic period. Where were the 3245 modern genera of fish in the early part of the flood? Simply put, their absence is remarkable and clearly contradicts the predictions of the global flood. I want to emphasize that the oldest living genera in the Jurassic do not contain any living SPECIES of fish. The oldest fossil example of a living species of fish is that of a shark which is based upon the occurrence of shark teeth (supposedly diagnostic of each species) and that would show that the oldest living species is an Elfin shark from the Upper Cretaceous. (see~J.R. Norman, A History of Fishes, (New York: A. A. Wyn, 1949), p. 124)

How can a global flood advocate respond to the above distribution of fossil fish in the flood sediments? They could say that the fossil record is incomplete. They could say that the modern fish lived in different habitats from those which were buried earlier in the flood. Or they could say that God created new life after the flood. We will examine these possibilities one by one. Could the fossil record be incomplete? Well, it is, but young-earth creationists often criticize evolutionists for making that claim. Gish wrote:

"Sampling of the fossil record has now been so thorough that appeals to the imperfections in the record are no longer valid." Duane Gish, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record, (El Cajon: Master Books,1985), p. 42 (Gish makes the identical statement in Evolution: the Fossils say NO! p. 51)

Huse states:

"In time he [Darwin] argued, these connecting links would be found and the critical gaps filled. This convenient excuse, however, no longer offers any refuge for evolutionists." Scott M. Huse, "The Collapse of Evolution," (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), p. 42

So, if the fossil record is complete, then WHERE are the modern fish?

Could the modern fish have lived in a different habitat? Whitcomb and Morris would imply this is one of the main reasons that fish are not found with other animals (Henry M. Morris, Creation and the Modern Christian, (El Cajon, California: Master Book Publishers, 1985), p. 249). Whitcomb and Morris also state that the preflood sea bottoms should have been the first to be buried in the flood followed by the marine environment. So why are the early flood sediments devoid of modern species and genera of fish who HAD TO HAVE OCCUPIED THE VERY SAME PREFLOOD OCEAN! And what about modern species of crabs which live on ocean bottoms but are NOT found in the Cambrian? This obviously presents difficulties to the global flood concept.

Could God have created the new life after the flood? Yes, of course God could have. Of course this would be adding to the Scripture which is warned against in Galatians and Revelations. In other words, there is no evidence from Scripture that God engaged in a massive creation event after the flood.

Fish are not the only group presenting this challenge to the young-earth view point. As one goes back into the past, there are fewer and fewer living species found as fossils. There are NO modern mammalian species found in rocks older than the Miocene. The data is as follows:

Miocene         2 oldest
Pliocene       67 
Pleistocene   282
Recent       4631 species

The two living species found in the Miocene are the carnivore Callorhinus ursinus and the bat, Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum. I have plotted the most recent mammalian species duration in time. The picture below shows the pattern of mammalian species in geologic time except that it doesn't show all the species because Excel won't plot more than 4000 entries. But this clearly shows that the ancient mammals, found in the supposedly flood deposited sediments were different than what we have alive today. This is not a pattern which would be expected in a global flood

Mammal Species

The final implication of the data is that other than these (aggregate 282 species), ALL species found in the fossil record are different from those living today. The number of extinct species found in the various epochs of the Tertiary are:

Paleocene       604 
Eocene         1819 
Oligocene      1282 
Miocene        2988 
Pliocene       1119
Pleistocene     786

The average species is only found in one of these epochs. This implies that the fauna almost entirely turns over with the passing of each epoch. This is another difficulty for the global flood—explaining why different forms are deposited in the various layers, in spite of the fact that most ecozones are represented in each epoch.

On the genus level the numbers of members of extant mammalian genera in the various geological epochs is:

Triassic          4 genera-no living genera 
Jurassic         43 genera-no living genera 
Cretaceous       36 genera-no living genera
Paleocene       213 genera-no living genera 
Eocene          569 genera-3 extant genera 
Oligocene       494 genera 11 extant genera 
Miocene         749 genera 57 extant genera 
Pliocene        762 genera 133 extant genera 
Pleistocene     830 genera 417 extant genera 

This clear trend in the fossil record was used by Lyell to define the epochs of the Tertiary Era:

"The Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene Series were defined by Charles Lyell (1833) on the basis, not of lithology, but of the relative proportions of the living and extinct fossils each contained: Eocene contained 3 percent living species, Miocene 17 percent, and Pliocene 50 to 67 percent."~Don L. Eicher, Geologic Time, (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1976), p. 58

percentage living molluscan species
Pleistocene        90-100 percent
Pliocene            50-90 percent
Miocene             20-40 percent
Oligocene           10-15 percent
Eocene                1-5 percent
Paleocene               0 percent
~John W. Harbaugh, Stratigraphy and the Geologic Time Scale,
(Dubuque: Wm. C. Brown Co. Publishers, 1974), p. 40

If the molluscs had all been on earth from the very beginning, there would be no way Lyell could have defined the periods in that manner.

And what of grass. If God created grass along with the trilobites and dinosaurs, why is there not a single blade of fossilized grass, or fossilized grass pollen (which grass emits prodigiously) to be found earlier than the Eocene?

“New fossils provide the earliest unequivocal evidence of grasses. Spikelets and inflorescence fragments with included pollen from the Paleocene/Eocene Wilcox formation in western Tennessee have a suite of diagnostic characters that limits their affinities to Poaceae Associated vegetative remains are also suggestive of grasses, but are not well enough preserved for an unequivocal identification.” ~ William L. Crepet and Gwen D. Feldman, “The Earliest Remains of Grasses in the Fossil Record,” American Journal of Botany, 78(1991):7: 1010-1014, p. 1010

Where was the grass before this time? What is fascinating is that this is also just prior to the time that the first grass eating animals are found in the fossil record.

“Because Oligocene megafossil remains are the earliest generally accepted evidence of grasses, the major questions about their early evolution may also have significance with regard to the evolution of grasslands, hypsodont mammals, and various insects associated with grasses.” ~ William L. Crepet and Gwen D. Feldman, “The Earliest Remains of Grasses in the Fossil Record,” American Journal of Botany, 78(1991):7: 1010-1014, p. 1010

And interestingly other plants and animals show no evidence of having been on earth throughout the deposition of the geologic column. Oil comes from decayed organic matter, mostly marine organisms, but with traces of chemicals from other organisms. These chemicals are called biomarkers. They are organic molecules which are stable at geologic temperatures which are created by specific organisms and thus the existence of that organism can be determined by finding their biomarker signatures. This is like a detective finding human blood on the walls of a murder scene. In that case the blood can be matched to a given individual. In the case of biomarkers, they can be matched to a given taxonomic group.

When the organic matter is buried, and heated, it turns to oil and is expulsed from the source rock (the place where the organic material was deposited). By examining the oil, we can match the oil back to the source rock and we can see what organismsʼ death were responsible for creating the oil by looking for the biomarkers.

Oil created from Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian rocks have the biomarker for dinoflagellates:

“The occurrence of dinoflagellate-related steranes was also observed in the extracts and kerogen pyrolysates of two additional samples from the Lower Cambrian Buen Formation in North Greenland and the upper Riphean Visingo Beds (lower part) from Sweden. Skiagia and Comasphaeridium, which are present in the Lukati Formation high-fluorescent fraction, are dominant in Greenland sample and could be responsible for the dinosterane and 4[alpha]-methyl-24-ethyl-cholestane liberated from its kerogen.” ~ J. Michael Moldowan and Nina M. Talyzina, “Biogeochemical Evidence for Dinoflagellate Ancestors in the Early Cambrian,” Science, 281(1998):1168-1170, p. 1169

But they lack the biomarkers for land plants, diatoms and angiosperms. The biomarker for land plants is vitrain—a component of coal. Only after the Devonian, when land plants become numerous do we find oil source rocks containing land plants.

And in the Jurassic we find a new biomarker, which matches the rise of the diatoms:

“The biological precursors of 24-norcholoestanes remain unclear, but samples from more than 100 basins provide evidence that 24-norcholestanes show an initial increase above background in Jurassic oils, but they increase dramatically in Cretaceous oils, coincident with diatom evolution. The highest ratios are found in oils and rock extracts from Oligocene or younger marine siliceous source rocks in which the sources were deposited at paleolatitudes greater than 30o N” ~ A. G. Holba et al, “24-norcholestanes as Age-sensitive Molecular Fossils,” Geology 26(1998):783-786, p. 783

I was once in a geochemistry seminar when the teacher, a good friend, claimed that he could tell the difference between a Tertiary oil and all other oils. It was based on Oleanane, a chemical which angiosperms and only angiosperms create. I objected that angiosperms arose in the early Cretaceous. He replied that I was correct but that they were so rare until the very last stage of the Cretaceous that they left no record of oleanane in the rocks until the Maastrichtian (the last epoch of the Cretaceous). Thus he admitted that a few oils containing oleanane would not be Tertiary but 90% would be. His reasoning is based upon this:

“The results of the oleanane analyses are broadly comparable with those found for fossil angiosperm occurrences. The relative concentrations of oleanane to hopane, excluding the unusual Middle Jurassic and Neocomian occurrences, begin low, near the detectable limit of 3% during the Early Cretaceous and steadily increase to a plateau during the latest Cretaceous. Then, during the Tertiary there is a major increase.” J. Michael Moldowan et al, "the Molecular Fossil Record of Oleanane and Its Relation to Angiosperms," Science 265(1994):768-771, p. 769

So, as far as I can see, there is no explanation for this data within the typical creationist interpretive scheme. Why would even the biomarkers of animals be missing in the rocks of the early flood? If all animals were created at the very same time, the biomarkers should be there. My questions for young-earth creationists are these:

What would you tell a student who comes to you and asks how you explain this data?

Why do you think it is that Christian apologists never mention paleontological data at this level of detail? (and if one wants to complain about my use of the word ‘never’ then please tell me where the distribution of the genera of fish are discussed in a young-earth creationist paper)

How do you explain the data within a young- earth creationist framework?

Silence is really unacceptable because your children who go off into science will learn of such things. You better have good, defendable answers or they will reject your viewpoint.

Keywords: Leonard Brand, species, Noah’s Flood, global flood, creationism,dinosaurs,grass pollen, trilobites,fish genera,J. R. Norman,Duane Gish,Scott Huse,Henry Morris,John Whitcomb, Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum,oldest mammalian species, Callorhinus ursinus, appearance of species,Don L. Eicher,John W. Harbaugh, Charles Lyell,mollusks,grass, William L. Crepet, Gwen D. Feldman,petroleum, biomarkers, dinoflagellates, 4[alpha]-methyl-24-ethyl-cholestane, J. Michael Moldowan, Nina M. Talyzina,vitrain, A. G. Holba, oleanane, Maastrichtian, angiosperms, 24-norcholestanes

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Why Radiocarbon Dating Works—Lake Suigetsu

Copyright 2003 G.R. Morton This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

In 1998 I ran across an article on the internet talking about a Japanese lake which had calibrated Carbon-14 dating back to 43,000 years ago. The article said

Bottom of Lake Refines Carbon Dating Technique

By Kenneth Chang
Feb. 23 - Each spring, tiny plants bloom in Lake Suigetsu, a small body of water in Japan. When these one?cell algae die, they drift down, shrouding the lake floor with a thin, white layer.
The rest of the year, dark clay sediments settle on the bottom. The alternating layers of dark and light count the years like tree rings. That has allowed scientists to fine-tune a technique called carbon-14 dating, which is used to pin down dates for artifacts tens of thousands of years old.”

Source: “This Died How Long Ago?”

Anyway, I got the Science article to see what they were talking about. It is H. Kitagawa and J. van der Plicht, “Atmospheric Radiocarbon Calibration to 45,000 yr B. P.: Late Glacial Fluctuations and Cosmogenic Isotope Production,” Science 279(1998):1187-1190 and the picture below comes from that paper.

Here is the line of logic which shows that C14 works.

  1. We see the Lake bloom with algae every year, today.
  2. We see the algae die and make a white layer on the lake bottom.
  3. We have no reason to think that the white layers are formed in any other way.
  4. We see one white layer per year.

With this, we can then count the white layers to get what year the white layer was deposited. There are 100,000 of them in the lake (which presents its own problem for YEC apart from carbon 14)

In the layers are found some leaves and twigs which can be dated and then the dates compared with the layer count.. Below is the picture of the dating comparison. Clearly, carbon 14 and the white layer count come out pretty closely. If anything, however, the C14 is giving a slightly younger age than the white layer actually is. Because of this, we can know that carbon 14 works. Any explanation from the silent young-earth creationists?

I want the young-earthers to know in their heart of hearts that they can't explain this data. And if they can't explain the data, it means that they can't have the correct model of the earth history. Any explanation from the silent young-earth creationists?

Suigetsu Suigetsu Suigetsu Core

I finally had a friend chase down a picture of the Lake Suigetsu varves. Here it is.

Each of these white layers is an algal bloom.

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Going to the Bathroom in the Global Flood

Copyright 2003 G.R. Morton This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

One of the things which disproves the global flood are the minor normal activities of life and living which are abundantly clear in the fossil record. Today we will discuss coprolites or fossilized feces.

Coprolites comes from the Greek word, kopros, meaning dung. We find lots of dung in the fossil record and it says many things about the global flood and its impossibility. First, it says that the world could not be flooded by water all the time, because the animals would not be able to find food and after about 5 days, most animals would not have anything left in their digestive tracks. This means that as the flood went on, from the time when the Cambrian strata were deposited, on up to the Permian (half way through the flood) and into the Cretaceous and Tertiary (late in the flood deposition), there should be no vertebrate dung because the world had been flooded for more than 6 months by then. To find coprolites in the later sediments of the flood, means that the animal ate within 5 days of when he eliminated.

Modern examples of the speed of digestion are many. Take a cow. His digestion time takes 5 days (120 hours) (…). Humans can move food through the system in 12-72 hours depending on the food. In smaller animals, like mice, birds etc. the need for large inputs of food energy means short times in the digestive tract and thus there are shorter times between eating and excreting. The reason I am discussing how long it takes to move food through the digestive tracts is to time the last meal by the animals who left coprolites in the fossil record. Clearly, it is a matter of days between the last meal and the time when excretion of the dung became necessary.

Creationists have ignored this aspect of coprolite formation. They have tried to claim that if not for rapid burial, the coprolites would not be preserved. Daniel Woolley, in “Fish preservation, fish coprolites and the Green River Formation” TJ 15(1):105–11, 2001 said:

“Finally, the models cannot account for why large numbers of fish suffocated quickly, or how fish coprolites were preserved in abundance. Coprolites are statistically the most significantly factor correlated with fossil fish preservation in the Green River Formation. New experimental evidence on the faeces of modern fish show that faeces must be buried in less than 24 hours if they are to be preserved as coprolites in the fossil record.”

He then goes on to claim that experiments with fish dung in an oxygenated aquarium proves that no fish dung can be preserved under any conditions. Given that his experiment doesnʼt match natural conditions, it is irrelevant. We will come back to the issue of how dung is fossilized. It just takes the correct conditions.

Other creationist writers have dealt inconsistently with coprolites in the fossil record. Sarfatti claims that dino coprolites prove that carnivory was present at the time of Noahʼs flood but inconsistently doesnʼt give a single thought to the fact that dinosaur dung means that the animal ate within a few days of letting loose with that big one. He writes:

“Fossils of dinosaur bones with tooth marks and dinosaur coprolites (fossilized dung) with the ground-up bones of other dinosaurs are good evidence that carnivory was well established by Noahʼs Flood.”

The criticism above is true because dinosaurs donʼt appear in the fossil record in the Triassic around 230-240 million years ago. This is after the deposition of several thousand feet of Paleozoic strata. The Texas Gulf coast has numerous Mesozoic dinosaur tracks and they rest on at least 15,000 feet of sediment from the Paleozoic, where no dinos are to be found. And no dino coprolites are to be found. One must ask if the dinosaurs were constipated for the first six months of the flood.

Donald DeYoung does the same thing Sarfatti does. He too says things about dinosaur coprolites but then ignores the implication to the flood. DeYoung writes:

“For herbivores, the dinosaur dung is usually a rounded mass and varies from pebble-to basketball-sized. Herbivore droppings with broken-up pieces of conifers have been found at a site in Montana called the Two Medicine Formation. These particular remains are honeycombed with burrows made by dung beetles that scavenged the droppings while they were still fresh. The dinosaur-era beetles conflict with the usual evolutionary story, in which dung-eating beetles evolved long after dinosaur extinction. Coprolites from carnivorous or omnivorous dinosaurs are rarely found. A fossilized dropping found in Canada in 1997 contained 200 small bone fragments from other dinosaurs.” Donald B. DeYoung, “Dinosaurs and Creation,” (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2000), p. 93-94

The almost laughable thing about this quotation is that it takes some time for the dung-beetles to find the dung and then make burrows into it. Dung beetles also donʼt work underwater so this was a subaerial excavation project on their part. This data, presented by DeYoung with a straight face, proves conclusively that the area of this dung was above water during this time. But this time is supposedly when the global flood was taking place and all the earth was covered with water to at least 15 cubits.

But the idea that there was a global flood takes an even bigger hit when one considers that tiny animals like ophiomorpha line their burrows with fecal pellets. They eat as they burrow through the sediment so the time between ingestion and excretion is short. This is a common practice.

“Typical dwelling traces include: Skolithos (a simple, unpaired pipe), Ophiomorpha (lined with faecal pellets - which determine a nodular outer surface to the burrow - usually associated with crustaceans), Teredolites (bivalve borings cut into driftwood), and Gastrochaenolites (bivalve borings cut into firm or rock substrates).” ( accessed 9-21-02)

Here is a picture of an ophiomorpha burrow.

Difunta Sandstone Ophiomorpha

The rough texture of the walls of this burrow are where the fecal pellets used to be. The animal canʼt do this instantly. The sand had to have been deposited and then the animal burrowed (he canʼt burrow before the sand is deposited) and while burrowing must excrete numerous fecal pellets and this canʼt be instantaneous either.

One can see the fecal deposits better on this orphiomorpha burrow from the North Sea. It is from Martin, M. A., and J. E. Pollard, 1996. “The Role of Trace Fossil (Ichnofabric) analysis in the Development of Depositional Models for the Upper Jurassic Fulmar Formation of the Kittiwake Field (Quadrant 21 UKCS),” in Andrew Hurst et al, editors, Geology of the Humber Group: Central Graben and Moray Firth, UKCS, Geological Society Special Publication No. 114, (London: The Geological Society), Fig 6d, p. 176

Ophiomorpha Burrow

Fecal pellets also are found in the burrows of larger animals. In the Triassic of South Africa, there are burrows made by therapsids which are on the line to mammals. Groenewald et al write:

“The burrow system described above from Locality 1 is totally devoid of fossil material. In contrast, a very similar but more poorly preserved burrow complex at Locality 2 contains partial or complete articulated skeletons of 20 individuals of the therapsids Trirachodon (cf. NMQR 3278-3296). Articulated skeletons, typically found encased in calcareous nodules, are partly curled-up in the terminal chambers, with the skulls facing toward the burrow tunnels.” Gideon H. Groenewald, Johann Welman, James A. MacEachern, “Vertebrate Burrow Complexes from the Early Triassic Cynognathus Zone (Driekoppen Formation, Beaufort Group) of the Karoo Basin, South Africa,”, Palaios, 16(2001):148-160, p. 153

We know three things about these burrows. The therapsids couldnʼt burrow until after the sediment was deposited and two, they were above water because the animals are airbreathing. We also know that several thousand feet of sediment exists below these. There is at least 2000 feet of Dwyka tillites, 6500 feet of Ecca Series sediments which have lots of coal, and then comes the Beaufort Group where the burrows are found.(Haughton,1963. Stratigraphic History of Africa South of the Sahara, p. 200-204) Thus these fossils must be late in the flood or at least in the middle. Yet there they are, burrowing in sediments above the water line and they were pooping in their burrows:

“Coprolites occur within some of the casts.” Gideon H. Groenewald, Johann Welman, James A. MacEachern, “Vertebrate Burrow Complexes from the Early Triassic Cynognathus Zone (Driekoppen Formation, Beaufort Group) of the Karoo Basin, South Africa,”, Palaios, 16(2001):148-160, p. 154

All of that takes time.

And consider a fossil from my personal collection, a turtle coprolite from the Eocene of Madagascar. Consider the turtle coprolite shown below which is from Betsiboka, Madagascar.

Turtle Poo

This coprolite, from my personal fossil collection, was deposited by a turtle in Eocene rocks. Geology says these rocks are 38-55 million years old. The coprolite today is rock-hard and has no smell. It is the mineralized poop from an Eocene turtle. How do we know it is turtle poop? Because even today, in Betsiboka, Madagascar where this was found, turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, they leave such deposits (only a wee-bit fresher) than what you see above.
Now, how do we know that this feces was not deposited during a global flood? Any guesses from the young-earth creationists? It is easy. The coprolite, which today is petrified rock, dried out prior to when it was fossilized. You can see the cracks which formed in the soft poop when it dried out. One can see this phenomenon occasionally in dog feces as they dry but not when the feces are fresh.

Now, the real question for the young-earth creationists is, what were turtles doing coming ashore during the global flood, when there wasn't supposed to be any land? If the feces were deposited in the ocean, it would not have the desiccation cracks in it because it couldn't have dried out. The turbulence of the flood waters would most likely have distorted or even dissolved the feces as it was swept against rocks and other objects by the flood currents. The fact that this feces simply dried out and was then petrified argues strongly against the global flood being responsible for these rocks.

For these turtle-fouled Eocene rocks and younger rocks which lie above them, these facts require that they are at least post flood. One can follow the Eocene rocks from Madagascar around Africa and Eurasia and across to India. In the Ocean the link is unbroken. The thickness of the rocks equal in age or younger (Post Paleocene) offshore India reaches 15 kilometers in thickness (see Curiale et al, AAPG86(2002):4:636). Thus the young-earth creationist, if he/she decides that the sediments I am speaking of are post-flood, must then account for 15 kilometers of post flood sediments offshore India. This is 50,000 feet of sediment. The young-earth creationist must ask himself how it is possible to non-catastrophically erode and deposit that much sediment within the past few thousand years. Clearly this is a difficulty. On the other hand if the young-earth creationist thinks that the sediments are flood sediments, they must explain how the turtles found dry land in the middle of the flood, so that lots of feces could be deposited and then have the time to dry out.

When looking at the next example consider whether or not the termites were constipated for 6-9 months because the sediments we find their feces in are high up and late in the geologic column. The Wealden is early Cretaceous. Collinson writes:

“One interesting example is provided by small hexagonally faceted cylinders which occur in the Early Tertiary of southern England (Palaeocene and Eocene). These are indistinguishable from faecal pellets of modern termites which utilize a gut flora to digest wood. Such coprolites occur from the Wealden onwards consistent with the known megafossil record of the group.” ~ Margaret E. Collinson, “Plant Evolution and Ecology During the Early Cainozoic Diversification,” Advances in Botanical Research, 17(1990):1- 98, p. 68

Tiny rod-shaped fecal pellets are found 2600 feet down in an oil well. The picture below shows them.

Fecal Pellets Fossilized

This is Silurian in age and the concentration of fecal pellets says that lots of time was spent producing them. Even though this was early in the flood, it still was many days after the world was supposedly covered with water.

In late Silurian times, as land plants evolved, we find fecal pellets which contain the spoors of land plants:

“Late Silurian deposits (about 415 million years ago) on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, Sweden, indicative of animals life. Small enigmatic pellets have been found in shale deposits that also contain the spores of land plants. The nature of the pellets was obscure until we realized that they are composed of microscopic fungal filaments (hyphae). It turns out that some modern soil-dwelling arthropods, living on a diet of fungus, produce fecal matter that is similar to the fossil pellets. Perhaps an ancient relative of a modern arthropod was feeding on a similar diet in the Late Silurian.” ~Jane Gray and William Shear, “Early Life on Land”, American Scientist, 80, 1992, p. 451

Why there were not land plants or spores in the waters of the flood prior to this time is a mystery which YECs have no explanation for.

Other evidence of animals eating lots of plants in the middle of the globally flooded world can be seen in the coprolites found in Wales:

“A few remarkable finds document the colonization of land by animals and plants in the mid-Palaeozoic, but much rarer is unequivocal evidence for plant-animal interaction. Here we announce the discovery of coprolites (fossil faeces) in Upper Silurian (412 Myr) and Lower Devonian (390 Myr) rocks from the Welsh Borderland that pre-date examples of similar composition in the Carboniferous by about 90 million years. The majority consist predominantly of undigested land-plant spores with varying proportions of cuticles, tubes and less readily identifiable (presumably plant) material.” ~ Dianne Edwards, et al, “Coprolites as evidence for Plant-Animal Interaction in Siluro-Devonian Terrestrial Ecosystems,” Nature, Sept. 28, 1995, p. 329

Since the globe was covered with water, were these animals swimming for 5 months?

We have already seen in previous posts about the bird droppings in the Green River Formation. Once again, these birds had to eat just hours before the excreta, and yet we find the droppings on layer after layer.

“Modern flamingos are primarily filter feeders, and the main diet consists of algae and microorganisms obtained from the diet consists of algae and microorganisms obtained from the water and bottom muds. Occasionally, however, flamingos will take a variety of small mollusks, crustaceans, worms and small fish. Stomach contents usually include an abundance of organic muds. There is suggestive evidence that the Green River Birds had somewhat similar habits. Within the matrix of the bird quarry, and mixed among the bones were hundreds of small clay pellets. At first these were thought to be coprolites left by small carnivores. Their abundance and composition, however, seemed contrary to that interpretation. The mystery may have been partially solved when we discovered almost identical pellets on the shores of east African Lakes where hundreds of thousands of flamingos concentrated.” Paul O. McGraw and Alan Feduccia “A Preliminary Report on a Nesting Colony of Eocene Birds” 25th Field Conference Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook 1973.p. 163-164

All the chalk of the world has been through the gut of animals. Chalk is formed from the remains of tiny microscopic organisms which could not sink to the ocean floor alone. But, below is how they get to the ocean floor to form the 2000 feet of chalk buried under Louisiana, which I once drilled:

“However, many components in pelagic sediments are much smaller than foraminifera and radiolaria. These include the calcareous nanofossils (average size 10 [micro]m), diatoms (average size about 50 [micro]m), and windblown sediments and volcanic material (less than 5-10 [micro]m). Such small particles sink very slowly. From sinking rate experiments in the laboratory, the average coccolith should take about 100 years to sink to the deep-ocean floor. In fact, typical ocean turbulence should theoretically prevent individual particles of this size from sinking much at all. However, the fact that fin-grained sediment has formed large accumulations on the ocean floor clearly demonstrates that these particles do sink by some process. A process for sinking was first suggested by Lohmann[1902]; sinking may be accelerated by fine particles combining into small bundles derived from small zooplankton, called fecal pellets. Fecal pellets are small (50-250 [micro]m) aggregations of fecal material covered by a pellicle, which protects the enclosed material. They contain large numbers of empty phytoplankton skeletons, which evidently survive ingestion by the zooplankton. A single pellet may contain 10^5coccoliths, or approximately 1 microgram of calcium carbonate.” James Kennett, Marine Geology, (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1982), p. 483-484

Thus Dallas, Texas, and Dover England are built on a dung piles.

China also gives evidence that eating was taking place during the middle of the flooded earth. I guess this means that the mammals doing the eating were accomplished swimmers, being able to swim for several months and then eating after months of not doing so. And since it is clear that the speed of the digestive system means that these animals ate during the very latest part of the flood, one must ask him or herself how this occurred when the world was covered with water.

“Evidence of hair from several extinct mammals has been recovered from a rich accumulation of fossil excrement from the Late Paleocene beds of Inner Mongolia, China. The highly unusual and previously undocumented depositional occurrence consists of hundreds of mammalian carnivore coprolites (fossil faeces) and a lesser number of probably raptorial bird regurgitalites (fossil pellets). The fossil hair occurs as impressions and natural casts in the extremely fine-grained, calcareous matrix that cements the skeletal remains within these faecal structures and preserves even the cutiular scale pattern on individual hair. Hair from at least four mammalian taxa, most notably the multituberculate lambdopsalis bulla, has been identified.” Jin Meng and Andre R. Wyss, “Multituberculate and other Mammal Hair Recovered From Palaeogene Excreta,” Nature, 385(Feb. 20, 1997):, p. 712

Coming back to the Green River Catfish coprolites, Woolley fails to mention to his readers that Buchheim and Surdam believe that the evidence supports the idea that the fish were a resident population of a lake, not of a global flood.

“Abundant apatitic fish coprolites (commonly 100 to 350/ m3) are associated with the fossil catfish. These abundant fish coprolites, ranging from a few millimetres to 2.5 cm and averaging about 1 cm in length, further suggest a resident fish population during deposition of the oil shale units.” H. Paul Buchheim and Ronald C. Surdam, “Fossil Catfish and the Depositional Environment of the Green River Formation, Wyoming,” Geology 5(1977):4:196-198, p. 198

How are coprolites fossilized? By bacteria:

“The fossilization of herbivore feces in terrestrial environments is a rare event. They are composed of organic constituents that can be metabolized by a variety of small organisms, contain high levels of microorganisms at the outset, and lack the high concentrations of calcium phosphate often found in carnivore feces. How, then, might herbivorous feces become fossilized? Numerous studies demonstrate that bacteria can facilitate the rapid authigenic deposition of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate under mildly alkaline anaerobic conditions with suitable sources and concentrations of calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. The basis of this phenomenon is apparently the general ability of bacteria to modify critical chemical gradients over small distances and, thereby, create local regions in which calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate can become saturated and crystallize from solution. Thus, it is plausible that mineralization of the xylem capillaries in the dinosaur feces was catalyzed by bacteria that had colonized the capillaries and began soon after deposition when bacterial metabolism was still active. It is believed that the present study may be relevant particularly to taphonomic sequence and mechanism in the fossilization of herbivore feces, inasmuch as it suggests a means to initiate mineralization rapidly and to create a structural scaffold sufficiently robust to preserve some details of plant structure and histology.” Thomas C. Hollocher, Karen Chin, Kurt T. Hollocher and Michael A. Kruge, “Bacterial Residues in Coprolite of Herbivorous Dinosaurs: Role of Bacteria in Mineralization of Feces,” Palaios 16(2001):547-565, p. 561

Woolley, of course, doesnʼt mention any of this to his readers, letting them think there is no explanation. That is a typical YEC approach.

Let me end this by citing a 19th century preacher who would be appalled at Sarfatti and DeYoungʼs acceptance of the existence of coprolites. This 19th century fellow would think that they were entirely too liberal in their views:

“And in maintaining his hypothesis that most fossils are mere archetypes--mere plans or models--of existences to be the archetypal dung proves rather a stumbling-block, and the English clergyman waxes exceedingly wroth against the geologists. ‘We cannot,’ he says, ‘believe in such things as coprolites. They are only a curious form of matter commanded by Him who has made the flower to assume all shapes as well as all hues. He who would not allow so much as a tool to be lifted up on the stones that composed his altar, would certainly not allow the work of animals to compose his creation, much less, then, their dung.’ The geological assertion that the Creator of this world formed it in some parts of coprolites savors very much of Satan or Beelzebub, the god of dung. Geologists could scarcely have made a more unfortunate self-refuting assertion than this.” Hugh Miller, Testimony of the Rocks, (New York: Hurst and Company, 1857) p. 399

I suspect that YECs wonʼt deal with this anymore than they have dealt with anything else I have posted. And while some can claim that it is because they donʼt have interest in these things, they canʼt claim YEC is a superior model until they respond to data like the above. Any explanation from the YECs? If there is, I will be surprised.

One gentleman tried to say that the cracks on the turtle dung above were not due to drying out. He said that they came out that way and cited a post where he photo'd his dog's dung. His original post can be found here.

Here is what I replied:

What you have is not the same type of ‘cracks’ as is shown in the Turtle coprolite. On the turtle coprolite the cracks are angular

  _    _
/   \/   \

This is a clear sign of the top part of the squarish crack having shrunk in length compared with the interior. This is a characteristic of the outer layer drying out in relation to the inner part of the dung. In your dog's example (a very fine example it is), the cracks go clear around the dung and are probably due to the compressions of the intestines and the compression of different parts of the feces together. In other words, joints, not desiccation cracks.

Also note that the cracks in the turtle dung are irregular, yours are very smooth and regular. That is a significant difference.

Your cracks do not seem to affect only the outer layer of the dung. In the turtle dung you can clearly see that the crack doesn't cut deep into the feces.

For these reasons, I will stand by the desiccation view. One sees the same pyramidal type structure in lake bottoms when they dry out and produce deep desiccation cracks. The cracks get smaller as one goes deeper because the top of the lake bottom has shrunk in relation to the wet (expanded) mud deeper. So, what I see on the Turtle coprolite fits what one sees in a dried out lake bottom. V-shaped irregular cracks which affect only the outer layers. With your dog, those joints seem to go all the way through the dung.

Turtle Poo

To further verify what I said about the cracks on the turtle coprolite being due to drying out (desiccation), I scanned the edge of the fossil to highlight one of the cracks. You can clearly see (especially at the A point) the v-shaped nature of the crack. This is a classic desiccation crack meaning that the dung partially dried out prior to fossilization. And that takes time. Why would the very wet, very deep global flood dry turtle dung out?

Keywords: ophiomorpha, therapsids, Thomas C. Hollocher, Hugh Miller, Karen Chin, Kurt T. Hollocher, Michael A. Kruge, chalk, Paul Buchheim, Ronald Surdam, catfish, Jin Meng, Andre Wyss, multituberculata, coccolith, Gotland, Sweden, flamingos, Green River Formation, James Kennett, Alan Feduccia, Paul McGraw, Jane Gray, Diane Edwards, feces, faeces, Silurian, William Shear, Wealdon, Margaret E. Collinson, Cretaceous, England, turtle coprolite, Betsiboka, Madagascar, Dwyka Tillites, S. H. Haughton, Jonathan Sarfatti,Cynognathus, Karoo, South Africa, Gideon H. Groenewald, Johann Welman, James A. MacEachern, trace fossil, Fulmar Formation, Humber Group, Kittiwake Field, coprolites, M. A. Martin, J. E. Pollard, skolithos, skolithus, fecal pellets, Andrew Hurst, Gastrochaenolites, teredolites, dung beetles, Daniel Woolley, dung, dinosaur tracks, cows, Donald DeYoung,global flood, Noah's flood,young-earth creationism

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Droughts in the Global Flood

“The Multiple Droughts During the Global Flood”
Copyright 2003 G.R. Morton, This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

Everyone knows what happens when a lake dries out. The mud dries and cracks form. We find such things in the global flood. One of the things that is very difficult for the global flood advocates to explain is why, during a global, wet water catastrophe, there are so many places in the world which experienced drought. These areas dried up and left mudcracks as evidence of the drying throughout the geologic column. Everyone is familiar with mudcracks and the fact that they take several days to several weeks of drought to dry out the sediments sufficiently to form. When we find such things in the fossil record, young-earth creationists often claim that they are synaeresis cracks, which are dewatering structures. This is a false claim as synaeresis cracks are easily distinguishable from genuine desiccation cracks. Consider what the experts say.

Simpson and Eriksson note that synaeresis cracks are discontinuous:

“Discontinuous dikelets are considered to be characteristic of synaeresis cracks that are of no paleoenvironmental value (Donovan and Foster 1972; Anderton 1976; Soegaard and Eriksson 1985). Alternatively, the discontinuity of the dikelets could be due to limited exposure in the tidal cycle that prevented muds from drying completely (cf. Allen 1983).” (Simpson and Eriksson, 1990, p. 94)

Reineck and Singh note that the cross-section of the crack is different in synaeresis cracks (dewatering):

“Such subaqueous shrinkage cracks differ from subaerial desiccation cracks in that they are not so well developed, the cracks are rather narrow, and they do not possess well developed V-shapes in transverse sections. In general, subaqueous shrinkage cracks are less regular in form and often incomplete.” (Reineck and Singh, 1980, p. 60)

The young-earth creationist, Steve Austin, implies that all desiccation cracks are synaeresis cracks. He writes:

“Thick sedimentary rock sequences containing shrinkage cracks are frequently claimed to have required repeated wetting and drying of the sediment surface, thereby requiring a lot of time in what would normally appear to be a rapidly deposited sedimentary sequence. Plummer and Gostin urge caution when interpreting ‘mudcracks’ in rocks as evidence of drying.

‘Shrinkage cracks can form not only at the sediment-air interface by desiccation processes but also at the sediment-water interface or substratally by synaeresis processes.’ (page 1147) (Austin, 1984, p. 272-273)

But what Austin doesn't tell his readers is that Plummer and Gostin note that synaeresis cracks are easily distinguishable from desiccation cracks. Desiccation cracks exist on more than one layer, i.e. have more than one generation; synaeresis cracks are one time events. They write:

“Desiccation mudcracks are generally continuous, polygonal, and often of several generations with v- or u-shaped cross-sections that are infilled from above. Synaeresis cracks, on the other hand, are generally discontinuous, spindle, or sinuous in shape and of one generation only, with v-or u-shaped cross-sections that are infilled from either above or below.” (Plummer and Gostin, 1981, p. 1153)

The picture below shows what it is like to have more than one generation:

Synaeresis cracks

Clemmy notes that synaeresis cracks are randomly oriented and incomplete:

“Randomly oriented incomplete cracks, often having a characteristic bird's foot shape and formed during subaqueous dewatering (possibly aided by salinity changes; Donovan & Foster, 1972) are termed synaeresis cracks.…
○“Whilst they are not unique to lake sediments, syneresis cracks are particularly abundant in ancient lacustrine formations (Devonian-Arcadian basin, Triassic - Lockatong Formation, Eocene - Green river Formation).”(Clemmey, 1978, p. 264)

I am going to show a comparison of the most complete set of synaeresis cracks I have seen, which were made in a laboratory under carefully controlled conditions. Even so, one can clearly see the difference between these synaeresis cracks (in which the crack doesn't cause a separation of the two sides of the crack). The synaeresis crack is more like a fold or wrinkle than like a desiccation crack shown below it.

Synaeresis Cracks

The synaeresis cracks were generated by flocculating (rapidly depositing shale) and thus it is a phenomenon of shale, not of limestone which will become important below.

I note these differences up front so that no one can claim that the cracks I will show below are synaeresis in origin. One more piece of background information before looking at various age desiccation cracks. The geologic column is in the order as follows:


Thus when we find Cambrian desiccation, it lies in rocks beneath the rest. And when we find Miocene cracks, they are above most of the rocks being beneath only the Recent, Pleistocene and Pliocene. One must remember that whatever one thinks about the geologic column, the order represents a relative time line—e.g. the Cambrian was deposited earlier than the Ordovician etc.

The global flood was supposed to have covered the entire earth with water and deposited the entire geologic column, according to most flood advocates. A moderate thickness of sedimentary rock of 15,000 feet would require the average deposition of 41 feet of sediment per day for 365 days to account for the strata. That is almost 2 feet per hour. Under these conditions, we should not expect to find lots and lots of desiccation cracks in the geologic column. The plain fact is, desiccation cracks are quite abundant in the column. Given that desiccation cracks can be found in each and every geologic period, the earth was never covered with water because it would be impossible for the sediments to dry out beneath thousands of feet of water. Lets start with a set of desiccation cracks with an unknown age. This is from Peru and is along one of the roads.

Desiccation cracks

The thing that is fascinating about this is that the layer used to be flat when the mud was soft and when it was drying out. The drying would have taken some days. This alone would argue against the 2 feet per hour of flood deposition. But after the cracks were formed and the rock dried out, the next layer of sediment came and deposited inside the cracks filling them with a slightly different material. (once again, more time). Then the rock was lithified (more time) and eventually the rock was upraised to a vertical position in the Andes. The entire sequence of events requires more time than the global flood advocates allow.

Drought in the Cambrian

Archibald Geikie, as long ago as 1903 noted that the Cambrian was full of desiccation cracks.:

“The rocks of the Cambrian system present considerable uniformity of lithological character over the globe. They consist of grey and reddish grits or greywackes, quartzites, and conglomerates, with shales, slates, phyllites, or schists, and sometimes thick masses of limestone. Their false bedding, ripple-marks, and sun-cracks indicate deposit in shallow water and occasional exposure of littoral surfaces to desiccation.” (Geikie, 1903, p. 909.

Occasionally the drying out in the Cambrian became so great that salt was deposited.

Cambrian Salt Pseudomorphs

The salt crystals formed in the sediments beneath the sandstone, then dissolved and the sand filled in the crystals leaving the form of the crystal only now molded in sand. This is a true drought in the Cambrian.

Drought in the Ordovician.

Ordovician Dessication Cracks

This is from the Ordovician of the Ozarks. Once again, another drought affected the global flood, drying out the earth's surface while it was all wet! Yeah sure. Ordovician mudcracks are found elsewhere as well:

“Sedimentary structures suggestive of deposition in a predominantly intertidal environment, possibly supratidal in parts, are common in the Gap Creek Formation. They include desiccation cracks, algal laminae, intraclastic beds, small scale cross-bedding, fossil trails, erosional truncation, scour-and-fill, abundant vertical burrows, and some horizontal burrows.” (McTavish and Legg, 1976, p.461)

Drought Cracks in the Silurian

Silurian Desciccation Cracks

One can see the multiple generations of desiccation cracks on the upraised slab at the top right of the above outcrop. This is something that synaeresis can not do. And this is a limestone, not a shale where synaeresis cracks form.

Drought in the Devonian

Another drought occurred during the Noahic flood in the Devonian. Here are some desiccation cracks from

Devonian Desciccation Cracks

Drought in the Mississippian

As we move up the geologic column the global flood once again finds itself without water and the land drying out. Here is a Mississippian example:

Mississippian Desciccation Cracks

Like the case in Peru, this rock shows a similar sequence. Mud deposited (takes some time); mud dries out (takes a few days); cracks infilled with more material (takes some time); mud lithified (takes some time); then uplifted to a vertical position (takes some time). These sequences argue against the view that 41 feet of sediment each and every day was being deposited on these rocks.

Drought in the Pennsylvanian

The Pennsylvanian Minnelusa formation which contains three features which are incompatible with the flood. First there is a desiccated dolomite with desiccation cracks. Secondly, there are two anhydrite layers with a peculiar “chicken-wire” structure (Achauer, 1982, p. 195). Thirdly, the sands are cross-bedded in a fashion identical to modern desert dunes! The importance of these three features is that desiccation is not likely in a world wide flood, and “chicken-wire” anhydrite only forms above 35 degree C. and near the water table. (Hsu, 1972,p. 30). This type of anhydrite is deposited in the Persian Gulf area today. Fossils include brachiopods, cephalopods, gastropods, fish teeth, crinoids pelecypods. None of the Minnelusa beds are likely to be deposited under flood waters.

With all these droughts, one wonders where the global flood was!

Drought in the Permian

In western Pennsylvania, the Permian was a time of drought, as it was over much of the world. Salt was deposited in Kansas, West Texas, as well as in Europe. Dean notes

“By contrast, the evaporites in the Permian Zechstein basin are more than 600 m thick, with a total volume of more than 2 X 109 Km3 and a NaCl:CaSO4 of about 5:1 (Borcher and Muir, 1964).” (Dean, 1978, p. 81)

In Texas the Castile formation was deposited. King relates that 928.5 x 10 15 cubic feet of water had to have been evaporated during this time (King, 1947, p. 475) The young-earther should note that complete evaporation is hard to accomplish when the world is covered with water.

Below is a desiccation crack from the Permian. It is from an excellent web page which tells about other items indicating drought.

Permian Desciccation Crack

Drought in the Triassic

The Triassic also was a time of worldwide drought. Red beds, salt (Zechstein of Europe). And once again, in the middle of a global flood, we find the world running out of water and everything drying out. Here is a Triassic desiccation crack.

Triassic Desciccation Cracks

During the formation of this rock, the 41 feet of deposition per day ceased so that a dinosaur could take a stroll on the mudcracked and drying rocks. Doesn't look like a global flood to me, but several of my YEC friends claim that if I only had the right framework I could interpret this as due to a global flood. Unfortunately, they never seem to give me their explanation for these features.

Drought in the Jurassic

Below is from St. George, Utah. The Jurassic there holds dinosaur tracks but they also, like the Triassic above, have multiple layers of desiccation cracks. Once again, there must have been several months when the flood waters and sedimentation ceased to have any effect. Once again, the global flood was stopped by a drought. Drought in Jurassic

You can learn more about this site at

Here is a dino track and on the left you can see the desiccation cracks:

Dinosaur Tracks & Desciccation Cracks

Drought in the Cretaceous

The Cretaceous example comes from South Texas where on a field trip along Pipe Creek. There are 6 ledges along the creek, each having a carbonate hardground with burrows and desiccation cracks filled with evaporitic minerals.

Desciccation Crack with Celstite

The celstite is an evaporitic mineral which fills the desiccation crack. Once again, the Cretaceous seems to be short on water for the global flood. And the six ledges with all of this clearly shows that 41 feet per day were not being deposited here. There is about 15,000 feet of sediment below these rocks and used to be a lot of sediment above them prior to the erosion which has dumps lots of this sediment out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Drought in the Tertiary

From France:

“Periodically, desiccation of the basin produced mud-cracked horizons locally with bird and mammal footprints. At the end of this arid period, an extensive development of algal mats covered the whole area of the basin.” (Truc, 1978, p. 189-190)

And here is a picture of mudcracks from the Eocene of the Tertiary from the Green River formation, which YECs often claim is due to a global flood. At least parts of that deposit were lacking waters of the global flood.:

Green River Eocene Disciccation Cracks

What we have seen here is that the entire geologic column lacks evidence of a global flood. The world was drying out during the time the YECs claim that the world was underwater. Global flood advocates will most assuredly not have a rational explanation for all these desiccation cracks up and down the entire column. And this is why no one pays any attention to YEC in the geological sciences. They can't explain anything.


When discussing desiccation cracks, one man on TheologyWeb suggested “The ‘geologic age’ idea is probably flawed. Now if you could show the same thing at one vertical location that would be far more compelling.”

I replied:
Ok, I will do it. This is a well from the Williston Basin. It has rocks from all ages there in vertical succession. There are 8 layers of desiccation cracks vertically above one another. (you should be careful what you ask for)

Here is the depths from a well in Montana in the deepest part of the basin. I have interspersed the comments from my web page and other sources. My web page is The footage is the depth the formation is found in the W. H. Hunt Larsen #1 well in Montana:

Tertiary Ft. Union Fm ..........................100 feet
Cretaceous Greenhorn Fm .......................4910 feet
Cretaceous Mowry Fm........................... 5370 feet
Cretaceous Inyan Kara Fm.......................5790 feet
Jurassic Rierdon Fm............................6690 feet
Triassic Spearfish Fm..........................7325 feet

“A continental mode of deposition is suggested by the red color of the sediments. This color suggests oxidation, possibly resulting from periodic wetting and drying (Barchyn, 1982, 1984). This is further substantiated by desiccation cracks in the shaly interbeds. The anhydritic nature of the sediments also suggests periodic emergence of the depositional surface.” Richard D. Le Fever, Julie A. Le Fever, “Newburg and South Westhope Fields—U.S.A. Williston Basin, North Dakota” in TR: Stratigraphic Traps II, 1991, AAPG, p. 177

Permian Opeche Fm..............................7740 feet

“The products of the desiccation stage are desiccation <cracks> in halite and red sediment, microcrystalline salt crust, intergranular and pipe-filling halite cement, and displacive halite and anhydrite crystals.” Kathleen Counter Benison (1), Robert H. Goldstein, “Sedimentology of Ancient Saline Pans: An Example from the Permian Opeche> Shale, Williston Basin, North Dakota, U.S.A.” Journal of Sedimentary Research, Section A: Sedimentary Petrology and Processes Vol. 70 (2000), No. 1. (January), Pages 159-169, p. 166

Pennsylvanian Amsden Fm........................7990 feet
Pennsylvanian Tyler Fm.........................8245 feet
Mississippian Otter Fm.........................8440 feet
Mississippian Kibbey Lm........................8780 feet
Mississippian Charles Fm.......................8945 feet
Mississippian Mission Canyon Fm................9775 feet
Mississippian Lodgepole Fm....................10255 feet
Devonian Bakken Fm............................11085 feet
Devonian Birdbear Fm..........................11340 feet

“Birdbear formation with desiccation, caliche development (caliche is widespread in west Texas- a dry area) and burrows.” (Ehrets and Kissling, 1983, p. 1336; Halabura, 1983, p. 121) my web page


“Devonian events include early cementation of desiccation structures and intergranular spaces, localized vuggy and moldic porosity development, and dolomitization and formation of intercrystalline porosity.” Gerald C. Blount, “Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, and Diagenesis Related to Porosity Development and Destruction in Jefferson Formation, Northwestern Montana: ABSTRACT” AAPG, Aug.1986, p. 1032

Devonian Duperow Fm...........................11422 feet
Devonian Souris River Fm......................11832 feet
Devonian Dawson Bay Fm........................12089 feet

“This study shows that the mudstone was deposited in environments that ranged from saline- and dry-mudflat to distal alluvial-eolian plain, and that the dolostone formed in a Coorong-like environment. New evidence shows that the lower Burr Member was deposited in an oxygen-restricted environment. Data indicate that the environment in central Saskatchewan was more oxygen-restricted. From base to top, the depositional environment of the Neely Member changed from relatively deep, offshore settings, through higher energy, shallower water conditions represented by domical stromatoporoids, to intertidal and supratidal conditions. The Hubbard Evaporite Member was deposited in salt pan to saline mudflat environment, and the overlying First Red Bed formed in environments that ranged from saline mudflat, dry mudflat to distal floodplain.” C. Gu, Ph.D. thesis, 1998; DISS. ABSTR. INT., SECT. B v.59, no.6, p.2633-B, Dec. 1998.

Devonian Prairie Fm...........................12180 feet
Devonian Winnipegosis Grp.....................12310 feet

“The lower Devonian is the Winnepegosis formation and it consists of a bioclastic (meaning made up of the shells of dead carbonate producing animals) limestone, and the upper part is interbedded carbonate with anhydrite. Mud cracks are also found as are burrows.(Perrin, 1983, p. 54, 57.) There is no sand, no shale so it is hard to see how this could be the flood deposits. Anhydrite is an evaporitic mineral and not compatible with a global flood.” My web page

Silurian Interlaken Fm.........................12539 feet

“This formation consists of carbonates, anhydrite, salt, with minor amounts of sand. Layers throughout this deposit are also burrows and mudcracks from drying out of the layers (Lobue, 1983, p. 36,37). There are also intact corals of a totally different type than are alive today. The Paleozoic corals are belong to one of three groups - only one of which is found in Mesozoic rocks; the other two became extinct at the end of the Paleozoic. The four-sided corals are only found in the Paleozoic. Modern corals of the 6-sided or 8-sided kind are not found until the Triassic.” my web page

Ordovician Stonewall Fm.......................13250 feet
Ordovician Red River Dolomite.................13630 feet

“Dense dolomites are present well down in the Red River, and in the outcrop area immediately to the north abundant mud cracks (desiccation cracks?) and ripple marks in the Red River dolomites were reported by Byers (1957, p. 27) and Byers and Dahlstrom (1954, p. 70).” J. W. Porter, J. G. C. M. Fuller, “Lower Paleozoic Rocks of Northern Williston Basin and Adjacent Areas” AAPG Bulletin, Jan. 1959, p. 154

Ordovician Winnipeg Grp.......................14210 feet
Ordovician Black Island Fm....................14355 feet
Cambrian Deadwood Fm..........................14445 feet
Precambrian...................................14945 feet

So, name deleted, can you explain this? At least 8 levels of desiccation cracks in the Williston basin all vertically in one place. How does this happen in the flood?

There are lots and lots more of these examples.


  1. Achauer, C. W., 1982. “Sabkha Anhydrite: The Supratidal Facies of Cyclic Deposition in the Upper Minnelusa Formation (Permian) Rozet Fields Area, Powder River Basin, Wyoming,” in _Depositional and Diagenetic Spectra of Evaporites_, SEPM Core Workshop No. 3 Calgary Canada, June 26-27, 1982. pp 193-209.

  2. Austin, Steven A., 1984. Catastrophes in Earth History, ICR Technical Monograph 13, (El Cajon: Institute for Creation Research).

  3. Clemmey, Harry 1978. “A Proterozoic Lacustrine Interlude from the Zambian Copperbelt” in Modern and Ancient Lake Sediments, ed. by Albert Matter and Maurice E. Tucker (London: Blackwell Scientific Publications 1978)

  4. Dean, Walter E. 1978. “Theoretical Versus Observed Successions From Evaporation of Seawater,” Marine Evaporites, SEPM Short Course #4.

  5. Fouch, T. E. and W. E. Dean,1982. “Lacustrine and Associated Clastic Depostional Environments,” in Peter A. Scholle and Darwin Spearing, editors Sandstone Depositional Environments, (Tulsa: AAPG)

  6. Geikie, Archibald, 1903. TextBook of Geology, Vol. II, (London: MacMillan & Co.)

  7. Hsu, Kenneth, 1972. “When the Mediterranean Dried Up,” Scientific American, Dec. 1972, pp 26-36.

  8. King, Ralph H. 1947. “Sedimentation in Permian Castile Sea”, Bulletin American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 37:3.

  9. Kuenen, Ph. H. 1965. “Value of Experiments in Geology,” Geol. Mijnbouw, 44:22-36.

  10. Lockley, Martin and Adrian Hunt, 1995. Dinosaur Tracks, (New York: Columbia University Press).

  11. Longwell, Chester R., Richard Foster Flint and John E. Sanders, 1969. Physical Geology, (New York: John Wiley and Sones, Inc.)

  12. Mctavish, R. A. and D. P. Legg, 1976. “The Ordovician of the Canning Basin, Western Australia”, in M. G. Bassett, editor, The Ordovician System, (Cardiff: University of Wales Press)

  13. Nilsen, T. H., 1982. “Alluvial Fan Deposits,” in Peter A. Scholle and Darwin Spearing, editors Sandstone Depositional Environments, (Tulsa: AAPG)

  14. Plummer P. S., and V. A. Gostin, 1981. “Shrinkage Cracks: Desiccation or Synaeresis?” Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, Vol. 51:4, Dec 1981.

  15. Reineck, H. E. and J. B. Singh 1980. Depositional Sedimentary Environments (New York: Springer-Verlag)

  16. Schrock, Robert R. 1948. Sequence in Layered Rocks, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.)

  17. Schuchert, Charles and Carl O. Dunbar, 1933. A Textbook of Geology, 3rd ed. Pt. II, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.,)

  18. Simpson, Edward L.and Kenneth A. Eriksson, 1990. “Early Cambrian Progradational and Transgressive Sedimentation Patterns in Virginia: An Example of the Early History of a Passive Margin,” Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 60(1990):1:84-100.

  19. Truc, G. 1978. “Lacustrine Sedimentation in an Evaporitic Environment: the Ludian (Palaeogene) of the Mormoiron Basin, Southeastern France”, in Modern and Ancient Lake Sediments ed. by Albert Matter and Maurice E. Tucker (London: Blackwell Scientific Publications)

Keywords: “synaeresis cracks, Winnipegosis formation, Interlaken Formation, Spearfish formation, Birdbear Formation, Dawson Bay formation, Opeche Shale, Williston Basin, Green River Formation, Castile Formation, dinosaur tracks, celestite, carbonate hardground, chicken-wire anhydrite, Zechstein, salt crystals, flood sedimentation rate, desiccation cracks, desciccation cracks, dessiccation cracks, mud-cracks, mud cracks, mudcracks, global flood, Noah's flood, young-earth creationism, dryness in global flood, Tertiary, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, Permian, Pennsylvanian, Mississippian, Devonian, Silurian, Ordovician, Cambrian”
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