Saturday, August 04, 2012

Creationist pediatrician Ross Olson.

I did another piece on creationist Ross Olson and submitted it to the StarTribune. They have not run the last one, and I doubt they will run this one. I have taken the advantage here of inserting some appropriate links, and graphics which are not allowed by the newspaper.

Creationist Ross Olson wrote that understanding the age of the earth "requires
more technical knowledge." He then exposed a total lack of basic geological
knowledge. The Earth's crust is built of constantly shifting plates. Proposed in
the 1940s, plate tectonics was not widely accepted professionally until the late
1960s. Scientists are actually very conservative and demand a high degree of
certainty before accepting any new theory. They are moving both across the
surface, but also some are being pushed back down into the molten magma. As
these tectonic plates press against one another some bow upward, and others at
times ride up over a neighboring plate. This causes "up lift" and is how most
mountain ranges are built. When rock masses are pushed into the air, weather and
gravity act to wear them down. This erosion produces source material from
boulders to clay particles which form sedimentary layers, or strata. Also
discovered bedded in these strata are the remains of once living animals. A tiny
fraction of one percent of ancient life have left remains as fossils. The Alps,
the Appalachians, and the Himalayan mountains are examples of ocean basin
sediments that have been pressed up between tectonic plates. Nearly all of the
Earth's sedimentary history is the succession of ocean basins filling with
sediment, being up-lifted, and then eroding away. Interspersed are episodes of
volcanic eruptions, and asteroid strikes sometimes so massive that they altered
the global climate for tens of thousands of years.

James Hutton, a Scot surveyor and geologist in the late 1700s, discovered that
the biblical flood story could not account for this up lift and erosion cycle.
We know the exact place,
Siccar Point, and year, 1788, that any possibility of a literal Genesis Flood was eliminated forever. In 1802, Professor John Playfair who was with Hutton described it as viewing "far into the abyss of time." What Hutton saw was layers of sediment that had accumulated in the bottom of an ocean. They had then been compressed, folded, lifted out of the ocean, tilted as a massive stone block, eroded over many thousands of years while exposed to air in their hardened "lithified" state, resubmerged in the ocean, where later series of erosion deposits settled over them. Not finished, the newer sediments cemented, and were again uplifted, tilted, and eroded. Each of the erosion events eliminated some sediments that had been deposited millions of years earlier, and buried the survivors under "new" sediment. This is why creationists see "gaps" between "layers." The gaps are often real. Real geologists discover them. Creationists like Olson simply ignore the reason they exist- one fully known for over 200 years.

A cluster of errors are deposited in Olson remarks on the Grand Canyon. First,
between the Upper Cambrian ~505 ma and the Lower Mississippian ~360 ma is the
Devonian, ~408-360 ma. The Devonian era sediments in the Grand Canyon sequence
are a widely deposited sedimentary material called the Temple Butte Formation.

This is a series of submarine dolomites, sandstone, mudstone, and limestone from
the Middle to Late Devonian - 385 million years ago. The so-called "blending"
mentioned by Olson were in truth deep canyons cut into the older Cambrian rock
while exposed to air. These were eventually filled with Devonian strata of the
Temple Butte as the region once again subsided into a then shallow ocean. The
same erosion removed Ordovician, and Silurian deposits provided they had even
formed, since the entire area remained above water for many millions of years.
Olson's empty assertions that the Cambrian deposits had to "remain soft for 200
million years," or that a magical "flood" caused daily "tidal waves sweeping
over the entire globe" can only come from an imagination not limited by reality.

Olson makes too many errors, and misrepresentations to be responded to in
the 4125 character Commentary limit, and they must wait for a third post.


RBH said...

Olson reminds me of Patrick Johnston, an Ohio pediatrician and creationist. He once asserted on his (now defunct) radio program that "Wouldn’t you say that it’s a fair assertion to say that science has never seen order come from disorder. We’ve never seen complexity come from a random collision of anything?" That in an interview with John Freshwater, who eagerly agreed. Ugh. Is there a corollary to the Salem Hypothesis that mentions pediatricians?

Gary S. Hurd said...

Physicians have a social status of trust worthyness about like priests/preachers. What creationists and other anti-modernists want to do is destoy the credibility of teachers and scientsts.

They really piss me off.

Obviously, the Star Tribune is not going to publish these comments to correct their creationist bullshit.