Gregory, growing closer to Jesus every day:
Quote You seem to give agent-hood status as a replacement psychological Solomon strategy without the Solomon. Ecclesiastes might help. It doesn’t bite. Open and read, Mr. 70 yr-old. Why not give a new flavour a try. Your generation was sucked of its soul, as most sociologists who study the phenomenon globally would agree. The only way out: try.
I meant known to people who've paid attention to discussions of the subject matter.
Sorry in advance for a long post, but Sal's latest BS merits it.
Sal has done another instance of his usual disgusting misrepresentation of stratigraphy, sedimentology, and structural geology. He says, Quote “The first thing to realize is that few if any places on the Earth do we have the following column intact, in fact many of the “layers” are only layers in one’s imagination since they can be side by side or in some cases INVERTED!”
The earth has been active and changeable over a very long time, with bits of the crust going up and down like a very slow yo-yo, to the extent that we would not be surprised if nowhere ended up preserving a geologic column that had strata representing every geological period. However, there are actually a few dozen such places, with precise numbers depending on how you define “period”, but with considerably more present if you include places where you can cross all the layers obliquely because the layers have been tilted, a in England. In contrast, there are no places where you can find different “layers” side by side or inverted without clear evidence of an unconformity or faulting (e.g., strata filling a Paleocene valley that was cut into Cretaceous strata, hence putting Paleocene strata next to Cretaceous strata, or Precambrian strata clearly thrust up over Lower Paleozoic strata such as along the Lewis Overthrust in Glacier National Park, notwithstanding YEC misrepresentations to the contrary). Strata do get overturned or thrust up onto younger strata, but this happens in areas such as deformed zones between colliding continents, where an asteroid blasted slabs of rock out of its impact crater, or where a slab of strata slid off a swelling volcano.
Sal says, Quote “So do we have something that ought to change Nye’s mind. Absolutely!. Quote “Many people are surprised when they hear of these creatures being buried together and wonder why they never heard of it before. Below is one evolutionary paleontologist’s explanation.
Quote “We find mammals in almost all of our [dinosaur dig] sites. These were not noticed years ago … . We have about 20,000 pounds of bentonite clay that has mammal fossils that we are trying to give away to some researcher. It’s not that they are not important, it’s just that you only live once and I specialized in something other than mammals. I specialize in reptiles and dinosaurs.”
Consider how many more tens of thousands of fossil mammals in ‘dinosaur rock’ are likely being similarly ignored in other parts of the world, with the likelihood of finding even more representatives of the same kinds as modern-day mammals.”
So is there a possibility anomalies are edited out and instead a practice of false reporting (perhaps innocently done) has been perpetuated. They probably think something like: “We found a mammal, that’s clearly contamination because we know mammals aren’t in that era”. So thus we never hear official reports of the anomalies because the anomalies are regarded as contaminants since according to the false narrative, certain creatures didn’t live in certain eras."
So, what we have here is misrepresentations piled on misunderstandings piled on outright lies mixed with attempted slight of hand and nasty insinuations. The clear implication is that mammals in dinosaurian strata are somehow embarrassing and get pushed under the carpet. As someone who once got to be part of a paper in Nature because of half a mammal tooth in a dinosaurian deposit (because it fulfilled expectations, not because it refuted them), I’ve got to say that Sal is completely delusional here.
Mammals are inferred to have evolved in the Jurassic, so of course they are expected to be present in Jurassic and Cretaceous strata. They are however very rare and belong to very primitive groups of mammals. They also tend to have been overlooked, because people searching in dinosaur strata have mostly been dinosaur paleontogists who have been looking for large fossils, the sort of thing you can spot from horseback or while walking around upright. Mesozoic mammal fossils (typically small jaws and very tiny teeth) tend to be hard to see with a microscope, let alone while prospecting in the field, even if you are crawling, or digging very carefully, so few discoveries were made until searching methods were changed. With dry and wet sieving and bulk processing of concentrate back at the lab, sites that have yielded dinosaur bones tend also to have yielded bones of frogs, small lizards and mammals, which makes sense because if conditions were right for preserving one fossil they were probably good for preserving several more. That being said, you may have to process a ton or two of dirt to get a mammal tooth or two.
What we don’t have in the Mesozoic are fossils of modern types of placental mammals. Also, Cenozoic placental mammals all occur in their own very marked and exception-free sequences in Cenozoic strata
Sal then cites a particularly revolting Dutch creationist video that perverts large areas of sedimentology and stratigraphy in devious ways. It is a somewhat more sophisticated version of the ignorant YEC tripe that Sal usually deals in. We have known for a couple of centuries that deposition can vary from extremely slow to astonishingly fast (although our knowledge of both extremes has expanded considerably), so instances of fast sedimentation do not disprove instances of slow deposition elsewhere. We know that thick fast deposits tend to be characteristically different from slow deposits (although not infrequently we lack the clues that can tell them apart), and that they occur in characteristically different settings. Mudflows, landslides, impactites, floods, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions all have a high potential for very rapid deposition. They tend to do things like bury soils and whatever is living immobile on the surface that is about to be buried. Allluvial fans, areas around volcanoes, deltas, rivers, and areas below fault scarps and the like all lend themselves to instances of rapid deposition. Lake floors free from river influx and deltas and abyssal plains in deep oceans experience fairly slow deposition. Although many fossil deposits clearly record catastrophic floods, many others do not (not all floods are gigantic, and not all fossil deposits involve water, let alone moving water). The Dutch video really needs book-length refutation, but does not merit it. Any sed/strat text will show why the video makes a sham of its misrepresentation of time-transgressive stratigraphy (rock units that cross time planes). For example, when a delta fills in a lake or builds out into the sea, you get a “delta layer” (really a delta package) that is older at the back end than at the front end because it built out laterally over time. (Likewise, the upwind end of a snow drift is usually older than the downwind end, because the pile has grown downwind over time.) However, this in no way overthrows standard ideas about stratigraphy: go back to Dunbar and Rogers (a classic text from 1957) for a clear explanation of how this happens, why it is expected, and how to tell if you are dealing with an instance of it, albeit at a fairly coarse scale. The video also puts a lot of stock into ecologic and hydrologic sorting of fossils. Both occur, of course, but trying to explain the whole geological column and biostratigraphy this way is just delusional. Note that insects that were buried in amber occur in geological strata according to their evolutionary order, NOT according to the shapes and sizes of the chunks of amber that contain them: how did that happen? The earliest grass fossils occur much higher in the fossil record than the earliest fir trees: is this because fir trees cover lowlands and grass only grows on mountain tops? Likewise, water lilies first occur later than the first tree ferns: is this because water lilies can outrun tree ferns? Without exception, all reefs of scleractinian corals occur in strata younger than those with all reefs of tabulate and rugose corals: given that reefs vary from less than car-sized to more than city-sized, what is there about scleractinian coral reefs that allows them to get sorted separately and deposited later, and how did so many (or for that matter, any) happen to get transported and deposited right-side-up, balanced on little tiny triangular points exactly matching their growth position? YEC geology is bullshit from one end to the other, and Sal is completely full of it.
UD scored an own-goal a few days ago, in the post entitled “Bat family 36 million years older than thought” (presumably 'than scientists had thought :) ), with the implication that scientists and the modern theory of evolution are wrong again.
The details show that the research actually fulfills a couple of predictions made by previous evolutionary studies. Mzopodid bats are now restricted to two species in Madagascar, and Madagascar has almost no Paleocene to Pliocene vertebrate fossil record to speak of, and no fossils of Myzopodids were previously known (except possibly an early Pleistocene humerus from East Africa). However, people who study myzopodids have long thought that myzopodids are among the most primitive of the Noctilionoidea superfamily of bats, which are themselves one of the earlier branches of the microchiropteran branch of bat evolution and which are now most common in South America. So one prediction is that there should be some fairly ancient (mid-Cenozoic) fossils of myzopodids. The second is that a distribution of a goup of mammals in Madagascar and South America implies that the group got underway in the remnants of Gondwana as it was fragmenting (but before bats could not longer get to increasingly isolated landmasses like Madagascar and South America.) This in turn implies that fossils of these guys could well turn up in Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. Well, Gregg Gunnell et al. just turned up two species in Africa, in 37 million year old strata.
Endemic Malagasy vertebrates (and large portions of the rest of Madagascar’s biota) show early Cenozoic African origins (lemuroid primates, tenrecid afrotherians, euplerid carnivorans, and nesomyine muroid rodents), so this is another instance in the same pattern.
Incidentally, “News” also asks, “What exactly does ‘primitive’ mean, by the way? In this context? Is it a term that should be retired?” Primitive means split off early in the history of the parent group under discussion, retaining some distinctive characteristics of the group at that stage in its evolution, and lacking some later derived innovations. This shouldn’t be a mystery to someone who pretends to even a mediocre level of understanding of the subject.
Missouri's House Bill 1472, which would require school districts to allow parents to have their children excused from learning about evolution, is in the headlines, after the bill was referred to the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education on February 3, 2014.
Reflecting on the Ham-Nye Creation Debate: Intelligent Design Stands in a Great Scientific Tradition
Listening to Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor on the Brain and Intelligent Design, Rubik's Cube and Jerry Coyne's Blog
With the recent debate between Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis attracting as many as three million viewers, it is likely that interest in creationism/evolution debates will skyrocket. Writing in The Scientist (February 7, 2014), NCSE's Ann Reid and Glenn Branch warn that "formal oral debates between scientists and creationists are by and large counterproductive — at least if the goal is to improve the public's understanding of evolution and the nature of science, and to increase the level of support for the teaching of evolution uncompromised by religious dogma."
South Dakota's Senate Bill 112, which would, if enacted, provide that "[n]o school board or school administrator may prohibit a teacher in public or nonpublic school from providing instruction on intelligent design or other related topics," was killed in the Senate Education Committee on February 6, 2014, according to the Rapid City Journal (February 6, 2014).
IN ENV...this point was registered: Whatever you think of the Ham-Nye debate or the presenters, intelligent design was off-topic.
Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute gives his take on the debate. "Ham talked about some science here and there, but almost all of what he said focused on trying to support a young earth viewpoint. Since he's not a scientist, the great majority of his arguments amounted - over and over again - to "Because the Bible says so." Nye's main argument was, "Because the evidence says so," and he cited a lot of reasonable evidence for an old earth. While Ham did make a few effective points that you don't have to accept evolution to do good science, the compelling scientific evidence for design in nature got skipped over".