"Message in a Bottle": More Distortions of Geology
from Creation ex nihilo Magazine
Kevin R. Henke, Ph.D.
In Message in a Bottle in the June-August 2000 issue of Creation ex nihilo, Dr Taz Walker once more presents a distorted view of geology by calling an ordinary calcite (?) precipitate with a 19th century bottle "extraordinary." The article talks about a bottle from an 1852 ship wreck being firmly entombed in a "solid rock-like mass" or "conglomerate." Taz never tells us what minerals are in the "rock-like mass," but ordinary calcite would be a good guess. Taz goes on to proclaim that this chunk of cemented ship debris refutes "claims" by geologists that sediments take "millions and millions of years" to solidify into rocks.
Contrary to Taz's statements in this misleading article, geologists NEVER claim that ALL sedimentary rocks, such as stalagmites, require "millions of years" to form. Some stalagmites and other limestones may only form in only a few years. Anyone with hard water knows that leaky showerheads and faucets will be coated with calcite (limestone) in only a few months. We can also find limestones in the Bahamas with modern Coke bottles entombed in them.
Although limestones may lithify quickly, other rocks, such as blueschists (which are ignored by creationists) do require millions of years to form. Blueschists contain unique minerals that ONLY form under special high pressure and low temperature conditions. These conditions have been thoroughly defined by high pressure laboratory experiments and thermodynamic calculations. To form blueschists, sediments must be buried about 20 kilometers into the Earth. Next, they must be held there LONG ENOUGH so that the special amphiboles will grow at the relatively cool temperatures of 200-400C. Increasing the temperatures to speed up the process will only destroy these temperature sensitive minerals or prevent them from forming. At these low, sluggish temperatures, it just takes time for the special minerals to grow, even if water is present. Finally, the blueschists must begin their long 20 kilometer journey back to the Earth's surface in such a way that the minerals are preserved and not exposed to violent and destructive processes.
As a geologist, Taz should know better than to make these misleading statements in his article. These types of distortions drove me out of creationism. Taz should also realize, as I have told him many times before via email, that geologists use actualism and have for many decades. Actualism states that the geologic record is a product of BOTH slow and gradual processes and NATURAL catastrophes. The creationist version of "uniformitarianism" is an invalid straw person argument.