Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Those Crazy Creationists!

After reading his completely moronic article on the recent collapse of one of Australia's most famous geologic formations, I see Dr Tas Walker (the book of Genesis forbids periods after abbreviations) received his PhD from Kellogg's Cornflakes University by sending in enough UPC symbols. One of the "Twelve Apostles", a set of limestone rock stacks off the Port Campbell Coast and formerly known as the "Piglets", crumbled to the ground on July 3rd, 2005. Now the Creationist Crazies are using this as evidence for young Earth erosion.

First, Dr Tas Walker (apart from having a real cool name) holds a PhD in engineering and not geology. Second, coastal limestone rock formations are known to be geologically unstable. Lastly, this is an excellent time to illustrate the logical fallacies of shoehorning and selective thinking.

Here is the formation prior to 7-3-05:


Here it is after the collapse:

Credit: Parks Victoria

Famed geologist/engineer/creationist/Cornflake connoisseur Dr Walker states:

"We are told that The Apostles started to form up to 20 million years ago when erosion gradually attacked the limestone cliffs of Port Campbell. No wonder everyone is surprised when one collapses."

I'm not surprised. Rock stacks and arch formations are geologically proven to be inept in avoiding erosion. Here comes the science. Throw in the fact that limestone is one of the most soluble of all sedimentary rocks and one would think Dr Walker would be surprised it hadn't collapsed yet. The Southern Ocean is known to have strong winds and high waves, which serve to quickly damage the southern coast of Australia. Face it, this stack was on it's last legs.

This does not stop the Creation movement from using this example to prove erosion does not take millions of years. They are forgetting the fact that these formations went through a process that was referenced above. First, the masses were formed by sediment and biomass. After a time, a cave was formed, followed by an arch. The arch caved in and formed the stack. This process is even documented in the Creationist article! Says Walker:

"But there was a similar collapse in 1990 when London Bridge, a natural rock arch to one of the stacks, gave way not long after people walked over it. Two people had to be rescued by helicopter. "

Yes, a process which took millions of years. It was going fine until some jackass walked on it. Now, if that stack collapses next week, it might do more for their argument. As it is, I would bet my whole collection of Thundercats action figures the London Bridge stacks have a while to live. Or maybe the Answers in Genesis people are suggesting people have to walk over land masses Paul Bunyun style to cause erosion? I don't follow their logic. Probably because logic is Kreationist Kryptonite...

Quoth the good Dr "...These eroding Apostles have a similar message to the original Apostles of Jesus’ time, one concerned with the authority and reliability of God’s Word. This world is young, just as the Bible records."

To quote two of my favorite bloggers: Bwahahahaha!!

I get it. Since we can see one example of erosion in our lifetime, that means that it occurs quickly. Strange that we can't see Grand Canyons being made, and strange that glaciers are not moving faster, slicing through terrain. This is a perfect example of selective thinking: finding something that supports your position and ignoring the rest of the evidence.

This phenomena is expected and predicted by science. Scientists make a theory and test it. Creationists wait for something to happen, then shoehorn it into their religious beliefs.

Thanks for playing Dr Tas. Try again.

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