Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dotting the “I”s and Crossing the “T”s – Part I

We received the following comment recently: “I know you believe in Noah's flood and a young earth, but you keep using these erroneous ages of 30,000 years, etc. If there was a Noah's flood then the Ice Age had to occur after the flood. If the Ice Age happened between 3,000 BC and 2350 BC then those dates are all wrong. So the question is was there a mile deep glacier at the time of the Jaredites in North America or do you believe the glaciers were gone by 10,000 BC?” I.T. 
    Response: In this two-part series, we will discuss some of the problems we encounter in dealing with this type of thing, for in most cases we are responding to comments from people who do believe in the accepted “mainstream science” belief of an ancient 4.55-billion-year-old Earth, and though we try to make it clear that we do not, we use their dates to show that their argument does not work on the points they raise.
    Obviously, when people who feel the Earth is much younger as such the reader who commented above, or as we do that it is about 13,000 years old, any argument with “mainstream science” beliefs is automatically discarded by such old Earth people, and any points being made are rejected as irrelevant. Consequently, to counter the comment(s) being made, we use their dating system to show that their points are not correct.
An earlier comment from a reader suggested a map much like this one where he claimed there were bays open to the Atlantic Ocean from the Great Lakes Area and that the St. Lawrence Valley was flooded, providing easy access to the Great Lakes

As an example, the previous three articles were in answer to a point made in an earlier reader’s comment that between the end of the last Ice Age and when Lehi reached the Great Lakes (in their theory): 1) The Great Lakes had access to the sea via large inland bays of the Atlantic that reached the Great Lakes area, and 2) That the St. Lawrence valley was flooded and provided a so-called river access from the sea to the Great Lakes.
    This, they claim, which was based on a couple of articles they read and submitted for “proof” of their view, and supported, they felt, their belief in Lehi and the Nephites settling in North America. Consequently, the previous 3-part series dealt with the view of “mainstream science” or a portion of it, using their dates and events, to show that their information was inaccurate and downright fallacious based on the best “mainstream science” available of the events they were describing.
    Consequently, “mainstream science” claims the last Ice Age “ended” between 13,000 B.C. and 10,000 B.C., or as some claim, “years ago,” making it between 11,000 B.C. and 8,000 B.C. We do not treat those dates as facts, merely as their starting point. Thus the arguments in the previous three articles showed that, according to “mainstream science,” there were no bays of the Atlantic Ocean stretching anywhere inland near the Great Lakes, that the Ice Age filled in the land clear to the present area of New York City, etc., and even at one time beyond—as an example, as found in K.O. Emery and L.E. Garrison, (Science Vol.167, 1967, p684; and A.C. Redfield, S. Redfield, p687), among other supporting factors, “evidence that the shore lines along the eastern sea coast of the U.S.A. were right out to the edge of the continental shelf at the beginning of the down warping stage only a few thousand years ago,” which would have covered the time frame of Lehi’s voyage.
    In addition, the St. Lawrence Valley was never so flooded as claimed, and that the river was pretty much as we know it today, both narrow and shallow, again showing that Lehi in Nephi’s ship could not have sailed from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Ontario.
Originally there was one great ice sheet in the Northern Hemisphere, which tore in two when Panagaea split from the weight of the ice and (yellow lines) dividing (dotted red arrows) forming two large ice sheets: 1) Laurentide in Canada, which included Cordilleran and Greenland sheets; and the Fennoscandia in Europe and Asia, which included Kara, Barents and Scandinavian sheets

As for the Ice Sheets, there were two great land masses formerly covered with ice which suddenly lost their ice caps and began suddenly to uplift in order to restore “isotosy” (vertical balance). These land masses comprise a great half-moon shaped, glacial denuded (“shield”) zone in northeastern Canada and another one in Europe and Asia called “Fennoscandia.”
    Both of these land masses began to rise (following a sudden denudation of ice) at precisely the same time and have followed identical land-rise curves ever since. They are both still in the process of vertical adjustment (uplifting) and will be so for some time yet because of the "relaxation time” of the earth’s crust is in the thousands of years (relaxation time is the time it takes for the Earth to relax to the changed surface mass distribution which in some cases is longer than the periods of ice cycles). The date assigned to the beginning of these famous uplifts was about 10,000 years ago (W. A. Heiskanen and F.A. Vening-Meinesz, The Earth and Its Gravity Field, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1958; and W.R. Farrand and R.T. Gajda, “Isobases of the Marine Limit in Canada,” Geological Bulletin, No.17, Canadian Dept of Mines and Technical Surveys, Ottawa 1962).
    Incontrovertible evidence shows that at one time a single land mass existed upon which both of these Ice Sheets were connected in a single Sheet. In fact, the detailed patterns of the uplifted regions themselves bear this out; the land masses inward from these shorelines have exhibited gradually decreasing uplifts. Therefore, the depressed continental shield zone under the ice caps would have sloped downward toward the present shorelines.
    Under such circumstances the ice caps could not have remained stable but would simply have slid off into the seas if the two land masses had not then been joined together.
    It should also be noted that the outermost “isobase” and the present arctic and Atlantic shorelines define a semi-circular-shaped zone in northeastern Canada with the straight part of the half circle corresponding to the shoreline. Similar “isobases” in Fennoscandia define a similarly shaped zone for that (also uplifting) region. Most remarkable is the fact that the two zones fit together to complete a roughly circular one when fitting the continents back together as they were before they were divided off from the original continent.
    Thus the two semi-circular-shaped zones form a roughly circular zone corresponding to a roughly circular single ice sheet for the northern hemisphere of Pangaea.
    In addition, Geological evidence developed in1937 by Dr. Alexis DuToit, South African geologist, and reviewed in 1961 by Dr. A.J. Eardley, Professor of Geology, University of Utah, showed that the split that initiated continental drift (a rift zone predicted as to location by Alfred Wegener many years before it was found and identified) began along these identical shorelines evidently at the southern tip of Greenland, forking northward to define this presently ice-bound continent, the Arctic in and the far northern Atlantic basin, and southward to Antarctica to define the most of the present Atlantic  basin and Atlantic shorelines.
    According to Melvin A. Cook, formerly of the University of Utah, “An ice cap of the size described by geologist for the ‘Wisconsin ice age’ was large enough to have caused the disruption of Pangaea. As a matter of fact, this is the only mechanism yet suggested which can account for the force required to rupture the earth’s approximately 20-mile thick crust and force apart its continental fragment the required several thousand miles” (Prehistory and Earth Models, Random House TBS, Colchester Essex UK, 1966).
    It should also be noted that “mainstream science” believes that there have been at least five major ice ages in the Earth's history (the Huronian, Cryogenian, Andean-Saharan, Karoo Ice Age, and the current Quaternary glaciation). It is claimed by “mainstream science” that the current ice age, called the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene, when it is believed the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. 
   Since then, it is claimed, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacial periods, glacials or glacial advances. Further, that within the ice ages (or at least within the current one), more temperate and more severe periods occur. The colder periods are called glacial periods, the warmer periods interclacial periods, interglacials or glacial retreats, such as the claimed Eemian Stage (115,000 to 115,000 years ago).
(See the net post, “Dotting the “I”s and Crossing the “T”s – Part II,” for more information on this and why factual science shows that there was only one Ice Age.)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Were the Great Lakes Ever Open to the Atlantic? – Part III

Continued from the previous post regarding possible bays and inlets to the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean in antiquity. 
    According to Dr. Joerg Schaefer, a researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, the rocks of New York City are a climate archive, and most New Yorkers are unaware that they are living in the middle of a glacial event park." On Long Island, in Manhattan and at locations up the Hudson River toward Albany, Dr. Schaefers three-scientist team are measuring the retreat velocity of the last glacier. What makes this possible for the first time is a new age-measuring technique that has one simple, but seemingly unreasonable, requirement: the testing of relatively clean surfaces that have been undisturbed for 18,000 years.
    According to Dr. Schaefer, evidence has been found of the glacier retreat in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem; Inwood and Morningside Parks on the West Side of Manhattan; a pristine glacial expanse in Harriman State Park; and even a truck-size glacial boulder in Port Jefferson, N.Y. (a parking lot was built around it, given its size). "It's spectacular that in such an urban setting, there are these completely ancient features."
Two glacial erratics that were transported by moving ice at the height of the Wisconsin glaciations when the Laurentide ice sheet coveted what is now New York City to a depth of about 1000 feet (Bruce Gervais and Jackie Phillips, Universities Space Research Association)
In Central Park, Dr. Schaefer has employed a new scientific tool called "cosmogenic dating," a pioneering way of measuring the age of landforms, finding much of the visible bedrock was shaped by ice, and unmodified glacial features abound include striations (abrasion grooves that show the flow direction from northwest to southeast), glacial polish (caused when rock was buffed by sediment), chatter marks (gouges in bedrock made by glacier-dragged stones), and erratics (boulders stranded on bedrock by the glacier, such as Umpire Rock south of Heckscher Ballfields to the east of West 62nd Street, by the pétanque court).
    "As you see the deep grooves, you can almost imagine these big boulders gouging out the bedrock," said Neil Calvanese, vice president for operations of the Central Park Conservancy, which manages the park under a contract with the city. Through the years, the park has attracted research endeavors from astronomy to environmental science, and the United States Geological Survey has monitored ground water in the park, and Lamont has also maintained a seismograph in the North Meadow.
An elongated asymmetrical landform called a roche moutonnee, showing the direction of flow of the ice (Bruce Gervais and Jackie Phillips, Universities Space Research Association)

The key to showing that this area east of the Great Lakes was landform following the retreat of the last ice age glaciers, is in the identifying of beryllium-10, an unstable isotope, or radionuclide, which forms in locations that have been struck by cosmic rays, including rock surfaces. As glacial ice retreated, "it opened up the rock to cosmic rays," Dr. Schaefer said. "An isotope is created at the moment the cosmic rays strike the rock, and when the surface is exposed, the clock begins ticking."
    The unstable isotope formed in the rock has a half-life of 1.5 million years, a rate of radioactive decay that can be measured. Beryllium-10 accumulates in quartz, which has veined much of New York City's bedrock, including the Manhattan schist that underlies Central Park. Precision in identifying glacially exposed quartz "is crucial in taking the samples," Dr. Schaefer said, not only to get the right data, but also because, at $500 to $2,000 per test, the geological team cannot afford to choose too many wrong outcrops.
    Therefore, an unconventional but decidedly low-tech research tool was a 1782 British Headquarters map from the occupation of New York in the Revolutionary War. The team referenced its depiction of Manhattan's streams, lakes and landforms while roaming Central Park to identify undisturbed glacial outcrops. Dr. Schaefer and his team chiseled out small pieces of quartz, numbered them with red marker, digitally photographed them and fixed their latitude and longitude with a global positioning unit. In the lab, the rock was pulverized and, in a complex process, beryllium-10 was isolated from contaminants, then measured with a mass spectrometer to determine how long ago it had been exposed to cosmic rays.
    "We can date the retreat of the glacier to within 500 years with prime samples," said Dr. Schaefer, who is a geochemist. He hopes to reconcile his glacial-dating techniques with the ages of Hudson River marine sediments and marsh sediments. And his team hopes that study of the British Headquarters map may yield clues about subglacial water channels and patterns of ice-sheet melting, which tended to dump erratics in north-south alignments. So far, the worldwide evidence indicates that "wherever we look, the glacier seems to have decided to retreat at the same time.
    Evidently, though it has been long believed that ice sheets took a long time to melt, glacial systems, according to Dr. Schaefer, their melt "may be much more quickly moving than we thought before, and they may react on pretty small climate changes in a very dramatic way. The indications are that the rate of collapse is faster than previously believed." Some scientists have theorized that the rapid melting of prehistoric glaciers could have triggered powerful climatic change. Eventually, as the last ice sheet melted, the planet entered the relatively warm, unusually stable interglacial era it currently enjoys.
    The obvious point in all this is to show that ideas of the landforms to the east of the Great Lakes region, between the lakes and the Atlantic coast, were never huge bays, open to the lakes after the last Ice Age around 10,000 B.C. Any discussion or historical factors submitted in defense of such a landform concept is against all scientific data that has been found and measured. Therefore, the argument that there was access from the sea to the Great Lakes other than the St. Lawrence River in any time frame involving either the Jaredites or Nephites is completely without merit and has no place in a serious discussion of how Lehi could have reached Lake Erie by ship in 600 B.C.
    In light of all this, and our recent series on the inland water systems of the eastern and southern United States areas, it seems well beyond time to discard the idea of a Heartland Model or Great Lakes Model as the location for the Land of Promisesince Nephis ship or any other vessel larger than a canoe, as has been thoroughly shown by experts, could not have reached either location from the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast.
    While all these articles may seem like extensive overkill on the subject, it should be noted despite all the various ways modern science and continued new discoveries of the impossibility of Lehi or anyone else in history sailing up the St. Lawrence River past Montreal, or up the Mississippi River past Baton Rouge, has been shown time and again to have been impossible for most any vessel, especially one with the deep draft necessary to cross oceans, dogged insistence by some theorists of such happening in order to prove their theories is completely ill-founded. It is time for such theorists to face this reality and stop burying their heads in the sands and believing something could have occurred that has been proven to have not been possible.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Were the Great Lakes Ever Open to the Atlantic? – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding possible bays and inlets to the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean in antiquity. 
    In 2003, according to Wayne Reeves and Christina Palassio, this deep Laurentian flowing river was discovered beneath the area of the Great Lakes, where water still flows down this old glacier-formed depressionbut underground (Toronto's Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets,Coach House Books, Toronto, 2007, pp284285). 
    The source of this aquifer is the Georgian Bay, approximately 120 miles away.
    Since first proposed by Spencer in 1881, the Laurentian River system has been noted and delineated by different Ontario geoscientists, with the main drainage pathway for a significant portion of the Great Lakes Basin flowing from the Wasaga Beach area at Georgian Bay southwards through Simcoe County and York Region to Toronto where it has been traced into the Lake Ontario basin.
The Laurentian River, which flowed through the Toronto area, drained this great depression. It began from Lake Superior and flowed through the Lake Huron Basin, the Georgian Bay Basin and, through a valley in bedrock, now hidden by the Oak Ridges Moraine, to the Lake Ontario Basin and thence by the St. Lawrence Valley to the Ocean 

    At this point, the bedrock under Toronto has several dips believed to have been carved by the Laurentian River, which remains measure more than 15 ½ miles wide, 62 miles long and greater than 328-feet deep, with the sediments ranging from sands and gravels near the bottom and clay silts near the top ("Quaternary Geology: Toronto and Surrounding Area,Ontario Geological Survey, 1980).
    As for the condition of the Great Lakes and surrounding land forms, Dr. Joseph William Spencer, geologist and geomorphologist and best known for his work on the geology of southern Ontario and the Great Lakes, published a book titled The Falls of Niagara: their evolution and varying relations to the Great Lakes. He was one of the geologists who made a special study of the creation of the Great Lakes, stating that the last touch in the completion of the North American continent has been the making of these lakes. Thus, it can be said that after the last glacial period around 10,000 B.C., according to geologists, the landscape and topography of the Great Lakes and subsequent terrain to the east to the sea was 1) fixed and complete, and 2) the distance was even greater than it is today.
    In describing the ancient conditions, J. W. Spencer of the Royal Society of London, also added, "the lake district formed a great plateau at a considerable altitude above the sea, with some bordering mountains or high lands." (J.W. Spencer, Niagara as a Timepiece, Appletons Popular Science Monthly, ed. William Jay Youmans, Vol49, Appleton and Company, New York, 1896, p157). This district was high enough to permit the excavation of deep valleys, many of which have long since been filled up with sand and drift and now lie beneath the lake waters. The sea was then farther distant from the present lake region than now.In fact, todays landfall measurement shows that Lake Ontario is 243-feet above sea level, and that Lake Erie is 571-feet in elevation.
    In geologic time, according to Wayne Grady in The Great Lakes, it has been estimated that the foundational geology that created the conditions shaping the present day upper Great Lakes was laid from 1.1 to 1.2 billion years ago, when two previously fused tectonic plates split apart and created the Midcontinental Rift, which crossed the Great Lakes Tectonic Zone. A valley was formed providing a basin that eventually became modern day Lake Superior. When a second fault line, the Saint Lawrence rift, formed approximately 570 million years ago, the basis for Lakes Ontario and Erie were created, along with what would become the Saint Lawrence River” (Greystone Books, Vancouver, 2007, pp42-43).
When Lake Iroquois and Lake Algonquin existed, the northern area (white) was the retreating ice shield. These lakes formed in the great depressions caused by the Ice Age glaciers and were left when they retreated northward 

The Great Lakes are estimated to have been formed by deglaciation at the end of the last glacial period (the Wisconsin glaciation ended 10,000 to 12,000 years ago), when the Laurentide Ice Sheet receded (Grahame Larson and R. Schaetzl, Origin and Evolution of the Great Lakes,Journal of Great Lakes Research Vol.27, Num.4, 2001, pp518-546). The retreat of the ice sheet left behind a large amount of meltwater (Lake Algonquin and Lake Chicago) that filled up the basins that the glaciers had carved, thus creating the Great Lakes as we know them today. Because of the uneven nature of glacier erosion, some higher hills became Great Lakes islands. The Niagara Escarpment follows the contour of the Great Lakes between New York and Wisconsin, including Glacial Lake Iroquois and the Champlain Sea.
    It should also be noted that the land below the glaciers "rebounded" as it was uncovered. Because the glaciers covered some areas longer than others, this glacial rebound occurred at different rates. Historically, the Great Lakes, in addition to their lake ecology, were surrounded by various forest ecoregions (except in a relatively small area of southeast Lake Michigan where savanna or prairie occasionally intruded). Logging, urbanization, and agriculture uses have changed that relationship. In the early 21st century, Lake Superior's shores were 91% forested, Lake Huron 68%, Lake Ontario 49%, Lake Michigan 41%, and Lake Erie, where logging and urbanization was most extensive, 21%. Some of these forests are second or third growth (i.e. they have been logged before, changing their composition) 
Off the east coast of the U.S. showing that the crustal arrangement of the land east of the Great Lakes was part of a solid shield and shelf and could not possibly have been opened to become a bay without extensive plate tectonic movement, which would, therefore, still exist 

East of the Great Lakes region, between the lakes and the Atlantic coast, the area was once covered by a vast crystalline shield of frozen water of this Laurentide ice sheet. It carved the terrain of the metropolitan area, and as it melted, dumped so much transported rock, gravel, sand and sediment that it created parts of Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey, including the barrier islands at the coast. It also deposited such notable landforms as Battle Hill, in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Northward, it formed part of the plateau and dissected southern rim of the Canadian Shield in the province of Québec, and is a western extension of the Laurentian Mountains, continuing across the Ottawa Valley into Ontario as the Opeongo Hills. Viewed from the valleys of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers, the south-facing escarpments of the Shield give the appearance of mountains 1600 to 2600 feet highthis Laurentian Region in Quebec extends over 120 miles northward from the scarps and to stretch from the Gatineau River in the west over 340 miles to the Saguenay River in the northeast, rising from a mean elevation of 1300 feet to over 3200 feet north of Quebec City in the Reserve Faunique des Laurentides.
    As for the falls themselves, according to J.W. Spencer in Appletons Popular Science Monthly (p16), the age of the falls is computed at thirty-one thousand years, with its present or last stage has been three thousand years. And according to this Science Monthly, these figures are based upon the severest analytical methods at present attainable. Thus it can be seen that the Falls, contrary to the uninformed opinions of some theorists, existed long before the time of their claim of the Nephites arrival.
    In fact, any way you look at it, the Niagara Falls, in their present condition and location date to 1000 B.C., four hundred years prior to the time Lehi is supposed to have sailed up that river from Lake Ontario and into Lake Erie, a direct vertical rise in the water flow of between 170 and 180 feet, and were actual falls somewhat like the present for thousands of years before that--there is no possible way Lehi could have reached Lake Erie in this theorist-claimed manner .
(See the net post, Were the Great Lakes Ever Open to the Atlantic? Part II, regarding whether or not the Great Lakes region was open to the Atlantic Ocean in ages past)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Were the Great Lakes Ever Open to the Atlantic? – Part I

For some reason, Great Lakes theorists and even some others, find it difficult to accept the fact that the Great Lakes area was not the home of the Nephites, nor even would it have been possible for Lehi to have reached this area in 600 B.C.
During the last Ice Age, northern North America, including the northern United States and the Great Lakes region, was covered with glacial ice
    First of all, it is comparatively well known that during the last Ice Age, northern North America was covered by an enormous glacier, which alternately advanced and melted with variations in the climate. This continental ice sheet formed during the period now known as the Wisconsin Glacial Episode, or the Wisconsin Glaciation, and covered much of central North America between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago. As the ice sheet disintegrated, it created at its front an immense proglacial lake, formed from its meltwaters, as the retreat of glacial margins is not caused by a reversal of the glacier's flow, but rather from melting of the ice sheet (R. W. Ojakangas and C. L. Matsch, Minnesota's Geology, University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota, 1982, pp. 106110). 
    It is important to keep this in mind, that is, that the Great Lakes were formed out of the melting glacial ice sheet. According to A.S. Dyke and V.K. Prest, among other geomorphological effects, this glaciation gouged out the five Great Lakes and the hosts of smaller lakes of the Canadian shield, filling with melt water, which extended from the eastern Northwest Territories, through most of northern Canada, and the upper Midwestern United States, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, to the Finger Lakes, through Lake Champlain and Lake George areas of New York, across the northern Appalachians into and through all of New England and Nova Scotia.
    At times, the ice sheet's southern margin included the present-day sites of northeastern coastal towns and cities such as Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Boston, New York City, and Great Lakes coastal cities and towns as far south as Chicago and St. Louis, Missouriand then followed quite precisely the present course of the Missouri River up to the northern slopes of the Cypress Hills, beyond which it merged with the Cordilleran Ice Sheet ("Late Wisconsinan and Holocene History of the Laurentide Ice Sheet," Géographie physique et Quaternaire, vol.41, Num.2, 1987, pp237-263).
    As this glacier began melting northward about 10,000 years ago, to the west and north of the present Great Lakes area a huge lake, called Lake Agassiz, was formed, growing to cover some 170,000 square miles, including much of Manitoba, northwestern Ontario, northern Minnesota, eastern North Dakota and Saskatchewan, larger even than the Caspian Sea and approximately the size of the Black Sea. It was called Lake Agassiz, and fourteen shorelines have been identified of its original existence.
Lake Agassiz, the Traverse Gap, River Warren and the Glacial melt ran to the west of the Great Lakes area, not to the east of the region, discounting any huge bays or water areas open to the Atlantic Ocean
    Between Minnesota and South Dakota, within the Traverse Gapan ancient river channel occupied by Lake Traverse, Big Stone Lake and the valley connecting them at Browns Valley, Minnesotathe River Warren was formed. When the Hudson Bay ice melted, the lake was completely draineda  process involving five stages over a four thousand year periodinto the Hudson depression, and the draining of the River Warren eventually led to the creation of the upper Mississippi River at Mendota, Minnesota, as well as the Minnesota River and the Red River of the Northa total of six rivers in all as well as Lake Souris, before it emptied, filling the Agassiz Basin.
    All these geological experts regarding the forming of the Great Lakes agree that these lakes were formed more or less in their present positions even further from the Atlantic Ocean than the distance is today. Yet, according to some, such as J. B. Mansfield (John Brainard Mansfield, History of the Great Lakes, Volume II, J. H. Beers &Co., Chicago, 1899), claim the Great Lakes were actually recessed Bays of the Atlantic coast. Mansfield writes extensively regarding evidences today of a large, currently buried riverbed that ran throughout the Great Lakes and around them, referred to as the Laurentian River system.
    It is important to note that before the Ice Age, this lost river that drained this region ran through the Toronto area. It had started from Lake Superior and flowed through the Lake Huron Basin, the Georgian Bay Basin and, through a valley in bedrocknow hidden by the Oak Ridges Moraineto the Lake Ontario Basin and thence by the St. Lawrence Valley to the Ocean. However, this period of which he writes, indicating buried river beds that are said to have anciently existed throughout the Great Lakes area, predates the last ice age, which is considered to have ended around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, or according to others, about 10,000 B.C., which makes Mansfields argument irrelevant regarding mans use of the St. Lawrence river or its existence as a Bay of the Atlantic, for the post Glacial period is well known and understood. 
    To fully understand this, these river beds, beneath the rock surface seen today, are filled with glacial debris, otherwise known as moraine, that is regolith and rock, which is nothing more than an accumulation of earth, stones and sediment carried and finally deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity.
    As the ice sheet of the glacier melted, water began to pond in the divide between the moraine and the ice front, with the ice acting as a dam since the water was unable to drain through the ice sheet, which covered most of the proglacial river valleys. Numerous small, isolated water bodies formed between the moraine and the ice front, and as continued melting and receding northward, these ponds combined into proglacial lakes. Where there was no available outlet, water levels continued to rise until reaching one or more low spots along the rim of a moraine, or the ice sheet continued to retreat, opening access to a lower portion of the moraine.
    When the moraine debris was near the surface, having been depressed into the Earth from the weight of the glacier, but now released, it pushed upward after the glacial melting, and formed supraglacial sediments over the landscape, or hummocky, drum-shaped hillocks. composed of supraglacial sediments from the ice surface.
    According to Kurt H. Kjaer and Johannes Krüger, this active process forms or reworks moraine sediment directly by the movement of the ice, known as glaciotectonism, which pushes moraines and thrust-block moraines, which are often composed of till and reworked proglacial sediment ("The final phase of dead-ice moraine development: processes and sediment architecture, Kötlujökull, Iceland," Sedimentolog, vol.48, no.5 , 2001, pp 935952).
(See the net post, Were the Great Lakes Ever Open to the Atlantic? Part II, regarding whether or not the Great Lakes region was open to the Atlantic Ocean in ages past)

Friday, January 12, 2018

When the Andes Came Up – Part II

Continuing from the previous post, in which we discussed the fact that geologists haven't always agreed about the history of our planet. In fact, they have debated back and forth between catastrophism and uniformitarianism over the last few hundred years! We also discussed, in part, the ongoing struggle from catastrophism to gradualism to uniformitarianism and now a strong movement is heading back toward catastrophism.    However, in that process of ever-changing beliefs, theories, and understandings, during James Hutton’s period of gradualism, in 1789 was published by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Bulletin Volume of the famous dissertation “The Earth theory, or on terrestrial composition, disintegration and restoration of law.”
    In fact, it was read before the Society three years earlier in 1785 in a little known pamphlet called the “Abstract,” in which Hutton first announced publicly his famous Theory of the Earth.
It seems Hutton himself was the author of the “Abstract,” and that it was published in 1785, some three years before the Royal Society paper was issued in the Society's Transactions. The writer concluded that the “Abstract,” and not, as had been supposed, the Transactions paper, constituted the first form in which The Theory was published.
    At the time, Richard Kirwan, the famed and widely known Irish geologist, chemist, meteorologist and former attorney in the Irish bar, winner of the Copley Medal, a scientific award given by the Royal Society, and at the time President of the Royal Irish Academy, criticized Hutton and his work, accusing him of atheism and poor logic, and continued with a lively dispute with upholders of Hutton’s theory for many years. Later in life, Kirwan refused a baronetcy before his death in 1812.
    In answer to Kirwan’s criticism, Hutton published in 1795, a two volume, roughly 1200-page version of his theory, in which he described Earth as a living organism. His work would become influential for centuries, even inspiring Charles Darwin during his writings on evolution. Hutton’s idea was a major turning point in the field of geology, and established it as a proper science. In fact, today, he is considered “the father of modern geology,” and credited with claiming that the erosion of landforms, the deposition of sediments, the drifting of continents and the eruption of volcanoes, were all happening long ago, on roughly the same scale and at roughly the same rate as they are today.
He called his theory “gradualism,” which was popularized by another geologist, Charles Lyell, who expanded Hutton's theory of gradualism into the theory of uniformitarianism. Lyell observed processes that made small changes in Earth's features and inferred that similar changes had happened in the past. His fierce insistence that the processes that alter the Earth are uniform through time and viewed the history of Earth as being vast and directionless held sway for more than a hundred years, however, recently we have seen a rise in the theory of catastrophism once again.
    At the time, Hutton’s theory led to the idea that mountains are uplifted, valleys carved, and sediments deposited over immense time periods by the same physical forces and chemical reactions seen operating today, and sometimes described as gradualism—in which slow incremental changes, such as erosion, gradually created all the Earth's geological features.
    Thus, in its original form, catastrophism eventually fell from grace with the scientific community as they reasoned what they felt were more logical explanations for natural history. But catastrophism was renewed in international interest in the 1970s and has been gaining momentum ever since, partly because of a return to Biblical understanding, but mostly because modern measurement techniques, knowledge, scientific studies and findings have led numerous independent-thinking scientists to question Hutton’s views.
    Originally, of course, the theory and subsequently today’s continued belief, developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when both tradition and scientific laws were based on Biblical knowledge, and paramount was Noah’s Flood. This idea of catastrophism, believed by a growing number of geologists today, interprets the origin of the Rocky Mountains or the Alps as resulting from a huge earthquake that uplifted them quickly, and when viewing the Yosemite Valley in California they assert they were not carved by glaciers, but rather the floor of the valley collapsed over 1,000 feet to its present position in one giant plunge. Strict catastrophic theory also argues for long periods of inactivity following catastrophic events (a thorough understanding of this is outlined in our book Scientific Fallacies and Other Myths).
    So we have two prevalent theories today, one of which being Hutton’s gradualism and Lyell’s uniformitarianism on the one hand, which has the majority of support and has become entrenched in the public conscience and taught at schools and universities. The other is the much older theory of catastrophism that had shaped thinking for much of Earth’s scientific development prior to the end of the eighteenth century, and is now making a comeback among many scientists.
    As a side note, it might be of interest to know that Paleontology, which is the study of fossils, is concerned not only with their description and classification but also with an analysis of the evolution of the organisms involved. According to Paleontologists, simple fossil forms can be found, they claim, in early Precambrian rocks as old as 3,500,000,000 (3.5 billion years), and it is widely considered by them that life on Earth must have begun before the appearance of those oldest rocks. Thus, Paleontological research of the fossil record since the Cambrian Period has contributed much to the theory of evolution of life on Earth.
    Following this theoretical concept is a simple one—if rocks were used (indestructible matter) to build this Earth from other locations by Divine beings and indicated in the Pearl of Great Price, then the idea that this Earth has to be older than the rocks found on it, is fallacious and without merit—just a thought for consideration.
    As for the other comments submitted by the reader, such as “it is well known that the Andes rose over time,” that is a uniformitarianism view of geology, and one not shared by Biblical events and the word of God connected to them. That theory is well known among godless scientists who rely on their own knowledge and not the word of God. This blog does not agree with that theory.
    As for where the Andes were when they rose, the scriptural record says that “there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great (Helaman 14:23, emphasis added). That would seem to preclude they rose out of the water, but rose up from flat land (valleys), as we have continually stated. However, since there are valleys at various levels of elevation, it does not mean they rose from level ground at “sea level,” but simply that they rose up from land considered valleys by the Nephites.
    As for lands in Brazil rising. The entire continent rose, or tilted, with the west coastal area (according to Darwin) rising higher. Thus, the continent along the Pacific rim rose higher out of the water, as the mountains rose, bringing up the entire central area, called the Amazon Drainage Basin today, which is confirmed by geologists—we just differ in the time frame.
    Which brings us to the scriptural record that says the mountains rose during the crucifixion, that places the event around 34 A.D. In placing that Land of Promise in the Peruvian area, that means the Andes were the mountains which rose to a height “which was great” so they came up in 34 A.D. At what level (or various levels) they were before they rose during the crucifixion is not known.
    As for three hours. Yes, we are saying they rose during the events described in the scriptural record, which states quite clearly: “and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours” (3 Nephi 8:19).
    To our understanding there have been four major catastrophic events that affected either the entire Earth, or at least significant parts of it: 1) The Creation; 2) the Flood; 3) the Earth was divided; 4) the destruction in the Land of Promise during the Crucifixion.
    All of those events occurred suddenly and in a short period of time and had extreme effect on the Earth and its geologic makeup. In addition, there have been other catastrophic events that might have been more local in scope, but affecting geologic makeup none-the-less.
    In short, then, the events described in the scriptural record associated with the crucifixion found in 3 Nephi, depicts serious changes in the topography of the Land of Promise that took place in three hours and over a three day period. Obviously, this is not something the gradualism crowd is going to accept, for they rely on man's knowledge and not that of God. However, it  is clearly stated as how the Lord accomplished the events described.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

When the Andes Came Up – Part I

Recently a comment was received that an answer would be too long for our comments section; besides, the information we feel is far too important to relegate it to that portion of our blog. The reason is, that much of the determination of the location of the Land of Promise hinges upon an understanding of the difference between “man’s time” and “God’s time,” and therefore, the difference between “man-made science,” and “true science,” or, if you will, between “fact” and “fiction.” And that fiction has worked its way into the public conscience and is considered by most people as “fact,” when in reality it is not. 
   The comment received had several parts, and stated in full: “First, just to clarify, are you saying that the entire Andes mountain range (and the country of Brazil) rose out of the water in three hours? To clarify, the Andes, of course, was not under water as it sounds like you are saying. But you must not be saying that. The Andes rose and land around the Andes rose including lands in Brazil. That caused the Amazon basin to eventually drain and be above water except for the giant Amazon river and its tributaries. It is well known that the Andes rose over time. The question is when E.R.
    Response: First of all, among geologists and nearly all science, mountains rise over long periods of time, meaning millions of years. That, of course, is the belief of most of science, and is connected to a belief that the Earth is 4.55 billion years old, which is an opinion not shared by this blog.
Second, it should be kept in mind that no one was around for millions of years to see whether that is how mountains rose or not. The fact that micro measurements are seen today is no guarantee that it is the way things happened in the past, yet that is the current stance of the field of geology, and of most geologists today. This idea stems from Charles Lyell’s opinion developed during the Scottish Enlightenment of the early 19th century, who stated that “the present is the key to the past (and, therefore is the key to the future),” meaning that observation of current geologic processes can be used to predict future geologic events.
    This, of course, stems from the belief of William Whewell, a British naturalist of the 18th century, who proposed in contrast to catastrophism (sudden cataclysmic events, such as Creation, Noah’s Flood, etc. that had been the basis of all thinking, including scientific, prior to that time) the theory of Uniformitarianism—which is the belief that the processes affecting Earth today are the same ones that affected it in the past.
    In geology, this is the doctrine suggesting that Earth’s geologic processes acted in the same manner and with the essentially same intensity in the past as they do in the present and that such uniformity is sufficient to account for all geologic change. This, of course, has led to the concept of “relative dating,” which is the science of determining the relative order of past events (the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, meaning the age is estimated.
    Of course, all of this is merely guesswork. Take for an example, the idea that a site has been dated by radiocarbon dating, dendro-chronology or tree-ring dating, or potassium-argon dating—however, since absolute dating methods are not always useful, that is the particular circumstances to which they apply do not exist at every site, archaeologists employ relative dating techniques. This means they place assemblages of artifacts in time, in relation to artifact type similar in form and function within “layer cake” type arrangement of deposits called strata, with the “older” layer beneath the “latest” or “newer” layer. Despite the well-known fact that stratigraphic sequences in the field are often unreliable, the system is still employed.
    This leads us back to the idea that while there are certain things that can be known about the past, when going back before man existed and make claims about events is another matter, requiring an understanding as to how such ideas came about.
    Third, this leads us to a need to understand how the geologic column (4.55 billion year old Earth) and a belief in what today is called uniformitarianism was established among the wise of the Earth, who, according to Paul are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
    Paul went on to add, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3). In this case, “itching ears” is described as “those who have ears itching to hear something new.” That is, people interested in their own opinions will surround themselves, or listen to others’ ideas, because they have an interest in hearing something different, something new, something not harmonious with the teachings of the past, or not consistent with God’s teachings.
    It seems clear that we are, today, in that situation which Paul described nearly two thousand years ago.
    So how did this “new” idea come about that promotes a theory of gradualism, that is, the extremely slow develop of earthly processes that take billions of years to achieve? Originally, man connected events seen around him to the Biblical history of Earth’s events. As an example, when a prominent theologian, Irish biblical scholar Bishop James Ussher in the mid-1600's work, Annals of the World, counted the ages of people in the Bible and proclaimed that Earth was created in 4004 B.C., geologists tried to work within a time frame that encompassed within that six thousand years.
    At the time, the Flood of Noah, accepted by all, was the foundation for what later became known as catastrophism, the sudden, catastrophic happening of the removal of all life, the sudden burying and compacting of geologic—the study of the earth’s physical structure and substance—arrangement seen on the Earth, and the subsequent action of receding waters carving out sudden deep canyons, gorges, valleys and gulfs. This resulted in a prevailing geologic theory of the time that all the rocks on the Earth were formed from sediments during a great flood.
    The famed European scientists of the time had a very strong tendency of interweaving their studies of the Bible with their studies of natural science. When it came to Earth's history, they looked to the biblical story of the great flood to help them understand the geologic events of the past.
    Early geologists, including William Buckland, a paleontologist, Georges Cuvier, a zoologist, and Adam Sedgwick, a geologist, claimed that catastrophism was a sound scientific theory, and that its argument that Earth’s features—including mountains, valleys, and lakes—primarily formed and shaped as a result of the periodic but sudden forces as opposed to gradual change that takes place over a long period of time.
    Cuvier, who lived in France at the turn of the century, was in a time in history where learned men looked to the Bible for their studies of natural science. When it came to Earth's history, they looked to the biblical story of the great flood to help them understand the geologic events of the past. He noted in the geologic fossil record a lot of mysterious gaps; that is, certain species would show up for long periods of geologic time and then suddenly disappear. Combined with his impressions of the violent natural disasters recounted in the Bible, Cuvier's observations made him believe that most of Earth's history was characterized by geologic catastrophe, which emerged and spread among scientists of the day as the theory of catastrophism.
    This theory held that Earth's features were mostly accounted for by violent, large-scale events that occurred in a relatively short amount of time. So, a species that went extinct was probably killed off by a giant natural disaster. An impressive mountain range was probably formed by worldwide earthquakes and eruptions.
    Cuvier and other scientists of that period believed that most major features of the land we see today were established a very long time ago by very dramatic events. These events would not at all resemble the small-scale natural disasters we experience in our time. The drama was over, immortalized in religious texts, never again to be seen on such a huge scale.
    However, along came James Hutton, in the last half of the eighteenth century, a Scottish geologist, chemical manufacturer, and agriculturalist, who theorized that a continuing process formed and destroyed the rocks and soils of earth, not some catastrophic event. He believed that the process was long and drawn-out and didn't believe that there was anything happening long ago that wasn't still happening on Earth today and stated that “the present was the key to the past.”
Speaking about the natural history of the earth, Hutton was quoted saying “we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.” Hutton’s theory was based on granite, which makes up the bulk of the continents, was igneous rock, and that igneous rocks could form at any time when slowly cooled. Hutton's paper also described sedimentation as the weathering of rocks by a variety of external forces, such as wind, water, and ice. These sediments are then brought to the ocean by rivers and deposited on the seabed. Over time, the lake bed and seabed sediments are uplifted and once again subjected to weathering, continuing the never-ending process.
    Hutton demonstrated that unconformities, missing layers of the geologic record, in sedimentary layers were ancient erosion surfaces, and that a set of rocks separated by an unconformity must have formed by the deposition of the first layers, followed by the uplift and erosion of those layers, and further followed by deposition of a second set of layers.
    This interpretation demonstrated that new rocks can form to replace those that have eroded away, which chipped away at the prevailing theory that all the rocks had been formed at once during a great flood.
    Thus, the belief in catastrophism, which had been the theory that the Earth had largely been shaped by sudden, short-lived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope, such as Noah’s Flood, and other Biblical events, lost out to Hutton’s theory of gradualism.
(See the next post, “When the Andes Came Up – Part II,” for more on this idea as to where and when the idea that the Earth was billions of years old originated)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Was the Destruction in 3 Nephi Merely Cosmetic? – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the meaning of the destruction described in 3 Nephi. 
   The computer-generated model of co-founder of marine geophysics, Sir Edward Bullard, which ignored shorelines like others have used, developed the theory of geodynamo, pioneering the use of seismology to study the sea floor, measure geothermal heat flow through the ocean crust and the first to find new evidence for the theory of continental drift.
    Even so, in the Bullard fit, David Pratt of Saint Martin’s University, in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, claims there are still a number of glaring omissions, such as ignoring overlaps which cover more than 1,864,113 square miles. Another problem is that the whole of Central America and much of southern Mexico—a region of some 1,304,879 square miles—has been left out because it overlaps South America. In addition, the entire West Indian archipelago has also been omitted. 
    In fact, as tests show, much of the Caribbean is underlain by ancient continental crust, and the total area involved, 186,411 square mile overlaps Africa. Then, too, the Cape Verde Islands-Senegal basin is underlain by ancient continental crust, creating an additional overlap of 187,000 square miles. Several major submarine structures that appear to be of continental origin are also ignored, including the Faeroe-Iceland-Greenland Ridge, Jan Mayen Ridge, Walvis Ridge, Rio Grande Rise, and the Falkland Plateau.
Proposed Supercontinent Pangaea

Like the Bullard fit, the Smith & Hallam reconstruction of the Gondwanaland continents tries to fit the continents along the two-thirds of a mile depth contour on the continental shelves. The South Orkneys and South Georgia are omitted, as is Kerguelen Island in the Indian Ocean, and there is a large gap west of Australia. Fitting India against Australia, as in other fits, leaves a corresponding gap in the western Indian Ocean.
    Robert Sinclair Dietz, a scientist with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey as well as a marine geologist, geophysicist and oceanographer, and John C. Holden, a scientific illustrator, who based their fit on the 1.2 mile depth contour, still have to omit the Florida-Bahamas platform, ignoring the evidence that it predates the alleged commencement of drift. In many regions the boundary between continental and oceanic crust appears to occur beneath oceanic depths of 1.2 to 2.5 miles or more, and in some places the ocean-continent transition zone is several hundred kilometers wide.
    This obviously means that any reconstructions based on arbitrarily selected depth contours are flawed, casting some doubt on Alfred Wegener’s theory that, among other criteria, the continents fit together like puzzle pieces, which is also known as continental fit. Given the liberties that drifters have had to take to obtain the desired continental matches, their computer-generated fits may well be a case of GIGO, i.e., “garbage in, garbage out.”
    As stated by David Pratt in Sunken Continents and Continental Drift: "The curvature of continental contours is often so similar that many shorelines can be fitted together quite well even though they can never have been in juxtaposition. For instance, eastern Australia fits well with eastern North America, and there are also remarkable geological and paleontological similarities, probably due to the similar tectonic backgrounds of the two regions. The geological resemblances of opposing Atlantic coastlines may be due to the areas having belonged to the same tectonic belt, but the differences—which are rarely mentioned—are sufficient to show that the areas were situated in distant parts of the belt."
    H.P. Blavatsky regarded the similarities in the geological structure, fossils, and marine life of the opposite coasts of the Atlantic in certain periods as evidence that “there has been, in distant pre-historic ages, a continent which extended from the coast of Venezuela, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Canary Islands and North Africa, and from Newfoundland nearly to the coast of France.”
    The point is, that through these plate tectonics we can see the movement of the Earth into its current position from the previous understanding that at creation, and before the earth was divided in Peleg’s day, the earth was one solid land mass with the oceans in the north countries. Obviously, the movement or separation of this one land mass into the several continents we see today, would have been a catastrophic event, and would have been accomplished in a relatively short period of time.
Around 2300 B.C., “unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan” (Genesis 10:25). And we learn that “Peleg lived thirty years and begat Reu, and Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years” (Genesis 11:18-19), which means that at some point in this 239-year period of Peleg’s life, the Earth was divided.
    Thus, the solid land mass of the Earth that existed prior to this time was broken up and divided into what we now see as continents. This process began sometime earlier during the Flood (see our work Scientific Fallacies and Other Myths for an understanding of what took place during that preparation for the Flood of Noah and the period right before and following).
    For those who think this scripture about Peleg refers to the nations of the earth being divided, the original Hebrew word used and translated as “land” is arez or erets, אָ֫רֶץ, which means just that, i.e., “land” or “earth. “ It is translated as “earth” 655 ties in the Bible, and as land 1581 times (it is translated as “countries” only 59 times, and ground 119 times). 
    Stated differently, the word "earth," related to the Hebrew eres, was used commonly in the ancient Near East with the meanings of "earth," "ground," and "land." Only its context will indicate if reference is made to the whole world (the planet), to the surface of the earth on which life is lived, or to a territory of the earth.
    The Hebrew eres (earth) occurs more than 2500 times in the Hebrew (and Aramaic) Old Testament. Even a cursory look at this word in scripture will suggest that its meaning varies within the Old Testament just as is the case with its usage outside the Old Testament, and it includes the idea of planet earth, earth surface, and land. Thus, eres refers to the whole earth (or planet, as we say); for example in expressions such as "the God of heaven and of the earth" (Genesis 24:3), "creator of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:19, 22), and "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool" (Isaiah 66:1).
    This does not mean that the earth was always perceived as a sphere then as now. Thus, it is described (poetically) as having four corners (Isaiah 11:12) and ends (Isaiah 40:28). It is also said to have a center; literally, a navel (Ezekiel 38:12), and it could tremble and quake (Psalm 18:7) and stagger like a drunkard (Isaiah 24:19f).
    Secondly, in addition to the two-part division of the world into heaven and earth (planet), a three-part division also appears in the Bible. Heaven is above, the water beneath, and the earth is the dry land in between (Exodus 20:4; Psalm 135:6). In these cases eres (earth) refers to only the dry surface, or the land of the living (Psalm 52:5; Isaiah 38:11). Of course, it also provides the dead with their graves (Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 31:14). Moreover, the dry dust and the waste places are part of it (Deuteronomy 28:23; 32:10; Psalm 107:34; Jeremiah 2:6).
    Thus, not just the earth's life giving surface, but its specific and various materials are indicated by eres. A person can be pinned to it (1 Samuel 26:8), and blood can be spilled upon it (1 Samuel 26:20). At this point eres receives a meaning akin to that of adama (ground, soil, earth), but primarily it is the ground upon which life can thrive (Genesis 1:11f; 27:28; Deuteronomy 1:25). Finally, eres means "land" in the sense of circumscribed territory. Thus, we find "the land of the north" (Jeremiah 3:18); "the land of the plain" (Jeremiah 48:21); "the land of the fathers" (Genesis 31:3); "the land of their captivity" (1 Kings 8:47); "the land of the Canaanites" (Exodus 13:5); "the land of Israel" (1 Samuel 13:19); "the land (territory) of Benjamin" (Jeremiah 1:1); and "land of Yahweh" (Hosea 9:3).
    Once again we must conclude without a clear definition of our term. Earth, dry land, ground, territory, all are suitable and common translations of the Old Testament word eres. Only the context can guide us in the selection of a proper translation. Thus, in Genesis 10:25, the earth was divided means that the ground, planet, land of the earth was divided, which is a pretty clear indication that what was meant was that the land masses were separated from one another, or divided into continents.