Peter Wilders


#1

This is a continuation from another thread in which Peter Wilders has attempted to justify Guy Berthault’s attempt to demonstrate a problem as he sees it with a basic principle of geology. Peter posted a challenge to me prior to the thread being closed and I will answer him here. I don’t believe that this is the reason the other thread was closed, so I hope that this thread isn’t closed as well.

[quote=Peter Wilders]**COMMENT:

As a Catholic, it is difficult for me to ignore the deliberate ridicule sarcasm and even hostility of some participants posting on this thread. They should know that such tactics are considered by the Church at least as a grave sin against charity and, at the worst one of calumny. **
[/quote]

Before I even get into answering his claims, I want to point out that this is perfectly predictable by Peter. He does this in every single thread that I have seen him participate in. I don’t know if he does it because he is insecure with the debate or if he wants to cast a particular light on those whom he is debating. But, since he has declared both the current pope and the previous pope to be in “grave error” as he defines heresy, I don’t feel one bit embarrassed by his accusations.

Orogony writes:
Quote: **Just use that sideways definition of above and below and it all makes sense! **
I agree. In its simplest terms the lateral formation of beds or strata inevitably produces a lateral chronology; not vertical as required by the principle of superposition.

Straight from the source, folks. Do I need to say more? Geologists understand above and below to be a vertical relationship. His entire principle buster is therefore busted itself.

I wrote:

 Quote:
                A particle below another one means that if you draw a horizontal line, any particle below the line is below any particle above the line. They can be miles apart.            

The reason for saying they can be miles apart is to demonstrate that at any part of the bed or strata, the same phenomenon occurs. Depositing particles, in real life, are of course, only centimetres apart. In the diagram because of the current they succeed each other by a few seconds; indicated by the terms T1, T2, and T3 (T = time). The sorting of the sediments according to size is just as rapid. A bed will prograde as a function of the current velocity.

But the mechanics become more complex when multiple changes in current occur, because each change triggers off a new prograding bed on top of the bed already forming. The result, as shown in the video, is simultaneous vertical and lateral bed formation; vertical in the sense of beds forming on top of each other. Such formations are contrary to the principle of superposition which requires one bed to form completely before the next one starts to form on top of it. See the URL below.

Peter is arguing against something he doesn’t understand. No geologist expects a bed must be formed over the entire surface of the earth. Period. That is required, however, for Peter’s claim to be true. And he knows it. And he knows that those of you reading this who aren’t geologist probably don’t know that and therefore he can convince you that it is true. Then, once he shoots it down, he can claim to have invalidated an important geologic principle and therefore, evolution. Don’t buy it folks.

Geologists understand the concept of prograding beds. We have understood it for a very long time. We can see it in the field when we study sedimentary outcrops or in well cores or in seismic sections.

To my comment:

[quote]]…it should be noted that Berthault’s study of rock formation takes into account the paleohydraulic conditions of strata development.

Orogeny asked:

 Quote:
                                             **What rock formation? How many rocks has this guy actually studied? He did a flume study, not an investigation of rocks.**                                 

The answer to his question is given in Berthault’s website www.sedimentology.fr where recent paleohydraulic studies are mentioned, i.e.

**Several formations of Cambrian Ordovician sandstones of the St.-Petersburg area.

The Upper Jurassic division of Mesozoic rocks making up the main range of the Crimean Mountains.**
[/quote]

Which of those formations did Berthault visit, Peter? In the past, you told me that he didn’t personally inspect those outcrops. Are you changing your story now?

Peace

Tim
(continued on next post)


#2

(continued from previous post)

Orogeny also exclaims:

[quote]Wow, prograding bedding. Again, why didn’t we poor, dumb geologists ever think of that? Oh, yeah, we did. Nothing original here.

Why such a reaction? The professional sedimentologist/geologist juries (French and Russian) who examined the data would also have been famliar with prograding bedding, yet they considered the experiments gave original results.
[/quote]

Because it is incredible to me that you think that geologists are that ignorant of the very thing we study. I don’t know about those juries, but if they don’t understand prograding beds, they aren’t professional geologists. The experiments yielded legitimate results. The problem was the interpretation. That comes from not understanding freshman level geology.

** One of Orogeny’s other remarks needs a comment:**

[quote]
And of course, flow direction can almost always be determined. But you probably don’t want to admit that.

                             **But one of the objects of a paleohydraulic analysis is to determine flow direction. Tthere is nothing to admit; nothing to hide**.

[/quote]

Nothing to admit except that flow direction was discernible long before Berthault ever thought to invalidate a basic principle of geology. We knew how to do that without his help. Just as we knew about prograding beds. And that sediments deposited in a valley were younger than the rock formations found along the top of the ridges bounding that valley. Just like we geologists see this entire attempt to be what it is - a deception.

Regarding my statement:

 Quote:
                                             **This is where Guy Berthault`s work challenges the principle of superposition. It shows why no chronological conclusions can be drawn from strata alone. Based on the superposition principle, B would be wrongly said to be older. **                                 

**which was supported by a simple but clear diagram. Orogeny without ** either counter diagram or explanation states:

[quote]
**…he is absolutely, demonstrably incorrect. It does show why no one should listen to Berthault. **

I have given my demonstration, in all equity should he not give his; preferably in schematic form?
[/quote]

Well, first off, I already have. I gave you the same diagram you used. It doesn’t take a geologist to see that you consider sideways the same as above and below. Heck, you even said so very authoritatively in the post I am replying to.

However, my posting a diagram is not necessary. Your diagrams are meant to deceive people into believing your cause. It is for you to make your case. I am not the one making a very wild claim.

Peace

Tim


#3

Since this is a thread named after him, I’ll re-link the critique Alec made of Wilders/Berthault’s geology:

Revolutionary Geology or Extravagant Hubris

Phil P


#4

Just published in mid-December is this interesting paper by Schieber et al – Accretion of Mudstone Beds from Migrating Floccule Ripples, Science 318, 1760–1763, Dec 2007. It describes flume studies of clay suspensions in a recirculating flume that is designed so that it does not destroy floccules on recirculation. To cut a long story short, the experiments demonstrate that fine clays can be deposited in relatively high currents by the formation of floccules (which are large particles formed by the physical and chemical aggregation of fine clay particles) which themselves aggregate into prograding ripples which initially form on the underlying bed and which also form by successive accretion resulting in laminae if the clay is added to the flow in pulses. This is pretty revolutionary stuff as the basic notion that geologists currently use is that mudstones deposit only in quiet environments. This experiment shows that mudstones can also form in significant currents below a critical flow velocity of about 25cm/second - similar to the transport and sedimentatio of fine sands. Since mudstones comprise some 2/3 of the rock record, this indicates that reanalysis of the conditions in which particular mudstone beds were formed is advisable. That means a huge reassessment ogf the sedimentary conditions of a large part of the record. Of course, it does not mean that all or even most mudstones were formed in conditions of significant flow - it remains likely that many were formed in quiet conditions as was previously accepted.

Now what is the lesson here for us in the Berthault discussion? Well there are no hubristic claims that *all *of geology should be revolutionised, no ridiculous suggestions that the Grand Canyon sediments were deposited in a single event, no foolish flood geology, no faulty logic suggesting that because mudstones can be deposited in conditions of substantial flow then they always are. Just a calm assessment of the science, which includes potential ways to distinguish between mudstones and shales deposited in quiet and higher flow conditions, and a suggestion that published interpretations of ancient mudstone successions and derived palaeoceanographic conditions should be re-evaluated. What a contrast with Berthault’s nonsensical bluster.

Who are these guys whose scientific modesty so far exceeds Berthault’s?:
John Southard: Emeritus Professor at Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, MIT, PhD in 1966, author of many papers, exemplary teacher of geology, researcher both in the field and the lab, journal editor etc.
Juergen Schieber: Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, PhD in 1985, expert on shale deposits and sequence stratigraphy, significant field work as well as laboratory work, publication of 30 plus formal papers, contribution to twelve books, 70+ conference papers.

Hmm.

Alec
evolutionpages.com/berthault_critique.htm


#5

Thanks Alec. I just read the abstract and another fasinating abstract from the peer-reviewed scientific journal SCIENCE:

SCIENCE 14 DECEMBER 2007:
VOL. 318. NO. 5857, PP. 1760 - 1763
DOI: 10.1126/SCIENCE.1147001
Abstract: Accretion of Mudstone Beds from Migrating Floccule Ripples
Juergen Schieber,1* John Southard,2 Kevin Thaisen1

Mudstones make up the majority of the geological record. However, it is difficult to reconstruct the complex processes of mud deposition in the laboratory, such as the clumping of particles into floccules. Using flume experiments, we have investigated the bedload transport and deposition of clay floccules and find that this occurs at flow velocities that transport and deposit sand. Deposition-prone floccules form over a wide range of experimental conditions, which suggests an underlying universal process. Floccule ripples develop into low-angle foresets and mud beds that appear laminated after postdepositional compaction, but the layers retain signs of floccule ripple bedding that would be detectable in the rock record. Because mudstones were long thought to record low-energy conditions of offshore and deeper water environments, our results call for reevaluation of published interpretations of ancient mudstone successions and derived paleoceanographic conditions.
1 Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
2 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/318/5857/1760

Science 4 January 2008:
Vol. 319. no. 5859, pp. 85 - 88
DOI: 10.1126/science.1148397

Abstract: Intermittent Plate Tectonics?
Paul G. Silver1* and Mark D. Behn2

*Although it is commonly assumed that subduction has operated continuously on Earth without interruption, subduction zones are routinely terminated by ocean closure and supercontinent assembly. Under certain circumstances, this could lead to a dramatic loss of subduction, globally. Closure of a Pacific-type basin, for example, would eliminate most subduction, unless this loss were compensated for by comparable subduction initiation elsewhere. Given the evidence for Pacific-type closure in Earth’s past, the absence of a direct mechanism for termination/initiation compensation, and recent data supporting a minimum in subduction flux in the Mesoproterozoic, we hypothesize that dramatic reductions or temporary cessations of subduction have occurred in Earth’s history. Such deviations in the continuity of plate tectonics have important consequences for Earth’s thermal and continental evolution. *

1 Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA.
2 Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mail Stop 22, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5859/85


#6

I think Peter Wilders mentioned the Grand Canyon.(?) Here is a shocker! No wonder people have been lead astray. The book ***The Grand Canyon: A Different View *** by Tom Vail (1) in NPS’s bookstores! :mad: Thank goodness for the American Geophysical Union and six other earth sciences societies as well as the American Institute of Biological Sciences requesting its removal.

SCIENCE 16 JANUARY 2004:
VOL. 303. NO. 5656, P. 308
DOI: 10.1126/SCIENCE.303.5656.308D

*The National Park Service (NPS) is investigating whether its bookstores at the Grand Canyon should be selling a book claiming that the canyon was created 4000 years ago in the biblical flood.

Last month the American Geophysical Union and six other earth sciences societies as well as the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) wrote Joseph Alston, superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, urging him to stop the sale of a 2003 book, The Grand Canyon: A Different View. The book contains creationist essays compiled by Tom Vail, whose Canyon Ministries, according to the blurb on Amazon.com, offers “Christ-centered voyages through the canyon.”

Although the bookstores are managed by a private entity, the Grand Canyon Association, “most visitors to the park will not distinguish between it” and NPS, notes the National Center for Science Education. The book has been sent to headquarters “for review in terms of the book’s appropriateness as a sales item in a National Park,” according to a letter from NPS to AIBS.*

sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/303/5656/308d?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=Grand+Canyon&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

  1. **The Grand Canyon: A Different View **by Tom Vail "view the Grand Canyon with 23 creation scientists and theologians from around the world."
    canyonministries.com/content/view/40/68/
    http://www.canyonministries.com/content/view/40/68/

I don’t support the National Center for Science Education if they think there is no harm done by selling that book.


#7

Alec:

But it supports some Berhault’s contentions, does it not? And this comes 20 years after Berhault’s work at the University of Colorado and the subsequent papers.

Berthault G. 1986, Sedimentology—experiments on lamination of sediments, C.R. Acad. Sc. Paris, 303 II, 17, 1569–1574.
Berthault G. 1988, Sedimentation of heterogranular mixture—experimental lamination in still and running water, C.R. Acad. Sc. Paris, 306, II, 717–724.
Julien P, Lany, Berthault G., 1993, Experiments on stratification of heterogeneous sand mixtures, Bulletin of the Geological Society, France, 164–5, 649–660.

Maybe Berhault’s work contributed this field?

Of course academically refereed papers are going to be conservative in what they say. I am sure that Berhault’s are also.


#8

No, it does not.

And this comes 20 years after Berhault’s work at the University of Colorado and the subsequent papers.

Berthault G. 1986, Sedimentology—experiments on lamination of sediments, C.R. Acad. Sc. Paris, 303 II, 17, 1569–1574.
Berthault G. 1988, Sedimentation of heterogranular mixture—experimental lamination in still and running water, C.R. Acad. Sc. Paris, 306, II, 717–724.
Julien P, Lany, Berthault G., 1993, Experiments on stratification of heterogeneous sand mixtures, Bulletin of the Geological Society, France, 164–5, 649–660.

Maybe Berhault’s work contributed this field?

Nope, Berthault’s experiments didn’t include clays. Flume studies existed long before Berthault ever decided to invalidate a basic geological principle.

Of course academically refereed papers are going to be conservative in what they say. I am sure that Berhault’s are also.

I’m not sure how you define conservative in this context, but coming to the conclusion that Berthault did based on his experiments doesn’t even come close to conservative in my book. Fancifull, delusionary, ridiculous maybe, but not conservative.

Peace

Tim


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.