Cordova and Runyon on the fossil record

How so?

Great question, and this is good chance, like this thread to review material for the college course and Creation Forum I teach. I’ll start a thread to that effect shortly. I’ll alert you when the thread is up.

There are arguments for and against the young fossil record, and I’ve collect some for and against. I think the responsible thing is to report the data we have in hand, problems and all.

Thanks for asking.

God bless.

I’m a paleo. I’m down to discuss it


I think the geological questions would be the first big hurdle, but there are certainly paleontology questions that could be addressed.

How did those supposedly young fossils find themselves in old rocks? How can we explain the correlation between the fossil species and the ratio of parent and daughter isotopes in the rocks around them? I don’t see how a young fossil record can explain these features.


How so?

So, because we don’t know everything, therefore we know nothing. I had hoped for better from you.

I’d like to know, since I’m told all fossil-bearing strata is Flood deposited, why the fossil bearing strata varies in radiometric age over 3.5 billion years? Shouldn’t strata all mixed and deposited in the same year long Flood all date the same age? I’ve heard the YEC tale of how the Flood did “hydrodynamic sorting” of the fossils. How did the Flood manage to sort the strata by isotope ratios?


@stcordova just a heads up, it’s very unlikely I’ll respond to anything this weekend. It’s Labor Day and I’ll be in Atlanta for the Bama game and the Braves game. So Im taking a break this weekend. But I’ll for sure discuss next week.

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Sal: Would you care to address the K/T boundary clay?

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@stcordova just a heads up, it’s very unlikely I’ll respond to anything this weekend. It’s Labor Day and I’ll be in Atlanta for the Bama game and the Braves game. So Im taking a break this weekend. But I’ll for sure discuss next week.

Next week sounds promising. I’m a Nationals and Orioles fan. Our teams will cross paths. :slight_smile: Anyway, you guys got a beautiful stadium. WOW!

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For the sake of most of this discussion, I will assume the Universe is Old, the Solar System is Old, the Earth is Old, many rocks dated billions of years are old, at issue is the time of death of the fossil and also the mechanism of entombment.

The first question I pondered is if we have a big fossil, like say a big dinosaur, is – “how did it get buried?”

Did the burial process itself take a long or short time. My understanding is, that as a matter of principle, it must be fast, it cannot take millions of years lest the creature get scavanged.

So, if one claims the fossil record took millions of years to happen, at least this would entail rapid burial of to create one strata with for certain fossils and then rapid burial to create another strata with certain fossils as a matter of principle.

My acquaintance Joel Tay, whom I met at ICC 2018, who does have some training in evolutionary biologist explains the problem in the first 5 minutes. The main point is from about 1:45 to 4:38.

I did some back of the envelope calculations and extrapolated a rate of accumulation if we presumed 1 kilometer of sediments and 500 million years to accumulate. Well, that would be on the order microns per year! It would take tens of thousands of years to bury a dino. It would be just too long. So the burial had to be fast.

The next problem is the Faint Young Sun Paradox of astrophysics. It would require a miracle of fine-tuning the global warming mechanisms to keep the Earth from being a snowball during the Cambrian. The oceans would have been frozen. So, the paleontological record would require miracle of fine-tuning just to make it possible in the first place.

The next problem that always really bothered me – we have millions of square miles of the same sedimentary layer, sometimes spread between continents. What was the source of that layer, and then why did another layer stop accumulating and then another source of sediments kick in? How big must the sources have been – like continent size mountains???

That was the beginning of my skepticism about the account of the fossil record accumulating over millions of years.

Yes the radiometric issues are serious, but I became motivated to explore possibilities of alternate nucleosynthesis and decay such inspired by the Proton-21 lab in the Ukraine.

I don’t think your uniformitarian assumptions make much sense. We observe landslides that bury things quickly all the time, as well as several other sorts of processes that quickly bury things, such as tar pits and floods. None of them deposit microns per year, unless we are averaging over very large time periods.

Why do you make a uniformitarian assumption here? I though YEC didn’t do that?


I don’t think your uniformitarian assumptions make much sense.

This was to set up an argument by contradiction, I assume the thing I was trying to disprove as true to show that it is actually false. I didn’t mean to imply I actually thought the sedimentary accumulation was slow.

Land slides might account for a local burial, but then how does this account for large strata stretching continents and filled with fossils.

But the thing you assumed is something that nobody thinks. That’s what’s known as a strawman argument.

Have you ever considered consulting any real geology? There are indeed explanations of these things. Deposition is episodic. Lots of small, local events happening over a broad area result in just the sort of formations you mention here. How else to get cross-bedded sandstones? The more you learn about geology, the less your concerns make sense.


Flood geologists are looking into the mechanisms, this was co-authored by the chair of the department of Geology, Cedarville:

"The Coconino Sandstone" by John H. Whitmore and Paul A. Garner

That would seem to have nothing to do with the question other than the fact that it involves sandstone. Do you even read the things you cite?


Ah, they’re “looking” for mechanisms. Best that they not downplay the issues.

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The large strata you refer to, would seem to be limestone deposits? Filled with shells of sea creatures?? Unless you have something else in mind, that’s a very different environment from how most land creatures might become fossilized.

Water-deposited sediment is more likely than landslides, I think.
Maybe you have visited Dinosaur National Monument?


This is one of my favorite YEC stumpers. :slightly_smiling_face: It’s a site in Bolivia with a 300’ tall almost vertical limestone wall covered with dinosaur tracks. Over 5000 footprints total in over 400 distinct tracks from at least 8 different species. The area was a flat tidal basin 68 MYA when the dinos trod there. Over time it was covered under additional sediment and lithified, then plate tectonics lifted and tilted the whole slab and which was recently exposed by a combination of erosion and quarrying in the area.

Lots more photos can be seen here

This 300 ft Wall in Bolivia has over 5000 Dinosaur Footprints

I’m told the Creationists are “looking for mechanisms”. :slightly_smiling_face:


Looks like the dino tracks wall in Bolivia has stumped at least two more YECs. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Don’t be so thrilled. It seems as if every single question asked of them has similarly stumped them. At least, they have made no replies.