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The Ark Encounter Geology

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by Isaiah 41:10, Jun 21, 2021.

  1. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    So I was peeling through some photos of Ken Hams ark encounter displays and I stumbled across an honorable mention:

    Screenshot_20210621-220411~2.png

    So this is a classic case of a really problematic anti-scientific position that is YECism.

    The presentation basically suggests that dense and hardened rocks break when they are subjected to pressure and deformation.

    And so by this logic, if rock is not fractured and broken, but rather is wavy and ductile, then this rock therefore was not lithified and hardened, and by this logic, it was likely deposited by a global flood.


    So now that we've broken down the ark encounters claim, we can examine if it's true.

    I'm a geologist (by career, research, hobby and license) and it's easy for me to speak on these things, so here goes.

    I've been to countless rock formations up and down the east coast of the US and in some cases abroad. It's very common in the earth to find faults in rock formations.

    So common that, anyone reading this now, if you go to a rock outcrop near you, you will have a high probability of finding a fault. They're everywhere.



    What ken Hams ark encounter doesn't talk about, are things like antithetic faults, where minor faults occur perpendicular or at angles to a large fault. Nor does the encounter talk about how thrust faults typically break at 90° angles or that normal faults typically break at 60° angles.

    Screenshot_20210621-233404~2.png


    We have things like slickensides between faults, where rocks essentially carve and polish one another as they grind past eachother.


    Screenshot_20210621-222403~2.png


    Brecciated fault gouge is also very common in the angular unconformities. Breccias associated with these unconformities being angular fragmented jumbles of deposits caught between two crushing massive bodies of rock.

    Screenshot_20210621-222810~2.png

    And so, it becomes quite clear that in actuality, it's quite common that we find evidence, or more specifically, proof, that in between really every single period of geologic history, and throughout the entire history of earth, these were massive bodies of rock that were being deformed, and not actually soft sediment as the poster would have us believe.

    But there is still a question of why these other bodies of rock are folded and bent, but not broken.

    Which is to say that these are rocks that have been heated and melted.



    So every rock has its own physical properties. Some rocks have lower melting points than others and melt at different temperatures than others.

    But overall it's quite simple that every rock, when heated, much like a piece of plastic, can bend. And with enough heat, they become similar in state to something like play doh.

    Screenshot_20210621-223854~2.png

    And there are many studies on brittle and ductile deformation, studies on various types of rocks where people stick rocks in machines and in ovens and crush them to see how they break and fold.

    There's nothing abnormal about any of this. It's just the science of structural geology.

    So basically as rock is buried and otherwise subducts or has its melting pressure lowered by tectonic motion, it folds rather than breaks.

    But I will throw in one other detail to help bring this concept to life, and that is sheared and strained bilaterally symmetric fossils or otherwise symmetric "strain markers" as they are known.

    .

    So to continue:

    But I will throw in one other detail to help bring this concept to life, and that is sheared and strained bilaterally symmetric fossils or otherwise symmetric "strain markers" as they are known.

    See the following images:

    Screenshot_20210621-224422~2.png

    Screenshot_20210621-224305~2.png

    The above images are depictions of sheared bilaterally symmetric fossils.

    So just like the human body is roughly equal in form on the left side and the right side. Sea shells typically have symmetry to them. The right side equals the left side. Trilobites have symmetry etc.

    And these species are hard shelled. Much like the rocks they are contained in.

    And what we actually find are instances of ductile deformation of shelled organisms.

    Screenshot_20210621-224802~2.png

    Screenshot_20210621-230521~2.png


    (PDF) Strain Estimation from Single forms of Distorted Fossils - A Computer Graphics and MATLAB Approach

    Sometimes we even find cases where rock has sheared and it has essentially "spaghettified" or pulled fossils apart, and recrystallization has occurred in between fragments, such as in the above image, such as in the image of the fossil seen here:

    Learning Geology: Why perform strain analysis?

    Additional thoughts on folding of layers:
    Not sure how I made that jump from sedimentary to metamorphic and back to sedimentary topics, but anyway, It has come to my attention that the poster does distinctly depict sedimentary rock, and not metamorphic. No matter though, the causes of folding are the same in the vast majority of cases. And apparently some YECs have a history of overlooking fractures and brecciated material in folded sedimentary rock. I think it would be fair to ask the question of if the ark encounter poster accurately depicts the earth to begin with. Which is to say that if we were to find an outcrop much like the one in the poster, if we looked closely at it, is it even true that we would not find fractures within it? And the answer is that you would find fractures in it. In which case, the poster is a big giant straw-man to begin with. Which is really unfortunate for this ark encounter poster because it makes it even more dishonest than it already was.

    It should also be worth noting that, at least in my experience, most heavily folded rock that I've observed tends to be metamorphic, though in cases of shallow deformation, sedimentary rocks can be folded as well without undergoing metamorphosis.

    End of additional thought.

    And so, much like dense and rigid fossils undergo ductile deformation and they bend, rather than break.

    So to do rocks. And this is just a fact of creation (for Christians). We know that solid rock underwent ductile deformation, much like the sheared fossils. And that soft sediment deposits are distinguishable and different from the formations that Ken Ham is describing.


    So back to the original ark encounter ken ham poster, we can conclude a few things.

    A. The poster doesn't really talk about the plethora of evidence demonstrating that rock was lithified prior to deformation throughout the rock record.

    B. The poster doesn't acknowledge things like brittle and ductile deformation of rocks, nor does it touch on strain markers and deformation of bilaterally symmetric fossils which additionally prove the fact of ductile deformation of rock deep in the subsurface. And;

    C. The ark encounter essentially has taken an unreasonable, unscientific and quite frankly, a dishonest approach to preaching the gospel.

    So what happens when little Timmy is brought to the museum by his parents at the age of 10, he learns a bunch of "fake science", then goes into the world and gets his thoughts broken by actual scientists? Let's hope he doesn't abandon his faith as a result.

    And this is just me spending a few minutes roaming the internet. Imagine the dishonesty that could be uncovered if I decided to actually visit the ark encounter theme park.

    I suppose I'll just have to pass on that "opportunity".
     

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  2. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have duplicated the thread...
     
  3. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    Yea, in the past people have asked me to make the post in the non-believer section so others can comment, so sometimes I'll make it over here so they can comment and don't feel left out. But I think it's equally important to get Christian perspectives where they can bring more of a biblical case to the topic.
     
  4. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Understand - there should be a way of doing this without duplicating...
     
  5. Astrophile

    Astrophile Newbie

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    First, the rocks in the ark's poster look like sedimentary rocks, not metamorphic rocks, and they also look as if they have been fractured and even brecciated as well as being folded. Second, I have myself seen sedimentary rocks along the Cornish coast almost as severely folded as the rocks in the picture. I expect that if I had looked more closely I should have seen that these rocks were fractured and faulted as well.
     
  6. Bradskii

    Bradskii Well-Known Member

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    Very well done indeed. Great explanation. And I have to say that if someone like myself had posted that (I couldn't - I have no expertise in this area) - someone with 'atheist' in their details, then anyone who might have been considering the possibility that Ham and his cronies are correct, then the post would have been discounted as someone trying to persuade people to deny God.

    Well done again. And, incidentally, great to see someone who loves his work as much as you do.
     
  7. Ophiolite

    Ophiolite Recalcitrant Procrastinating Ape

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    An excellent post, but I share @Astrophile 's objection to your assertion that sedimentary rocks are not subject to folding. In my experience they can be. I would ask you to revisit that thought, then comment.
     
  8. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    Oh yea, I did think about that after I posted. I'll edit, thanks!
     
  9. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    I think the sad part about this topic is that the rabbit hole goes deeper into discussion of if someone who made the ark poster actually looked close enough at the formation to point out the absence of faults, or if they intentionally overlooked them.

    I never put it behind me that more bags of tricks await.
     
  10. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    Alright, I made some minor adjustments and expanded on some thoughts.

    I've added the following to the OP:

    "Additional thoughts on folding of layers:
    Not sure how I made that jump from sedimentary to metamorphic and back to sedimentary topics, but anyway, It has come to my attention that the poster does distinctly depict sedimentary rock, and not metamorphic. No matter though, the causes of folding are the same in the vast majority of cases. And apparently some YECs have a history of overlooking fractures and brecciated material in folded sedimentary rock. I think it would be fair to ask the question of if the ark encounter poster accurately depicts the earth to begin with. Which is to say that if we were to find an outcrop much like the one in the poster, if we looked closely at it, is it even true that we would not find fractures within it? And the answer is that you would find fractures in it. In which case, the posted is a big giant straw-man to begin with. Which is really unfortunate for this ark encounter poster because it makes it even more dishonest than it already was. End of additional thought."

    And I removed that statement of mine regarding metamorphic rocks. It seemed to be conflicting with much of my response. And yet, it should deserve some mention that many heavily folded layers are metamorphic and aren't actually sedimentary. So I'll find a way to stick it in to word it properly.
     
  11. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I tweeted the post a bit to correct and expand on some fine details.

    But yea, that's really a tough part about it.

    There are great christian scientists such as those of the biologos foundation and I happen to be a fan of Ken Miller and his writings.

    But yea, I think that extremes of a topic tend have big voices. And I think it's also true that a lot of scientists are somewhat introverted and often times aren't particularly vocal.

    And I think a combination of those things is problematic in the public realm.

    And we saw a lot of this even during the pandemic where people with somewhat extreme positions had risen up in the public eye. And even though scientists continued to operate behind closed doors of labs, it's always the loudest speakers that tend to control public thought. Which oftentimes includes atheists of popular media.

    And Ken Ham I think is on the opposite side of that scale. Him and the 2 or 3 YEC "geologists" behind him (pardon the quotations but I can't view them in a positive light), they can get tax breaks and financial aid and basically large sums of cash to build giant fancy entertainment centers such as the ark encounter. And while it's true that they are acting to counter-balance extreme atheism, I think they're doing it at the expense of science. Whereas the atheist side of the scale is claiming that science.

    And in my opinion, that science should probably be somewhere in the middle, rather than completely stripped away from (or rejected by) the church.
     
  12. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    That makes it wrong and proves Ham and yec are right.
     
  13. Bradskii

    Bradskii Well-Known Member

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    I agree. And I'm an atheist, not an anti-theist, so whatever my personal opinions and whatever I say or post, it is most definitely not with a view to dismantling someone's belief. However, those who do deny science and try to bend it to fit their literal interpretation of scripture are doing more damage to the Christian faith then any number of atheists could.
     
  14. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    It's too bad most of the posts are in " believers only" .
    Why do you think that is?
     
  15. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    More of a biblical case?
     
  16. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    sounds like you found some faults in Ken Hams position
     
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  17. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    Good to see you under your new name on this side of the boards. Anyhow, if you would like a local challenge, Try Lost 4 Words video and see if you can address at least part of it.
     
  18. Isaiah 41:10

    Isaiah 41:10 Well-Known Member

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    Is there a post about that? I've never heard of it.
     
  19. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    I think that conclusion would be reasonable given this is a Christian forum and your perspective is not Christian. There tends to be an implicit motivation by nature of what faith or not-faith you declare with topics like these, unless of course your say otherwise
     
  20. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    Here.
     
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