Friday, 6 February 2015

This Could Be Good News For Creationists!

Credit: The University of New Brunswick
Seafloor grooves record the beat of the ice ages

Scientists have discovered an amazingly accurate natural clock, more accurate even than the magnetic reversal clock found in mid-ocean ridges which makes an indelible record of every magnetic reversal Earth has gone through since the continents split and the oceans opened up. This new discovery should be great news for creationists because, if their beliefs are correct, this natural clock should prove once and for all that Earth was created just a few thousand years ago.

Now, you'd think that if science had found such evidence, not only would it be world news but the scientists would be being lauded by Christians and Muslims alike and would be being heaped with prizes and awards and the science books would all be being hurriedly re-written with some very red faces appearing on TV to explain what went wrong.

You would also expect all those creation pseudoscientists like Ken Ham, Michael Behe, Kent Hovind and the Discovery Institute professional anti-science liars to be rushing into TV studios to praise science and proclaim the irrefutable scientific evidence for creationism.

So why is this not happening?

Because the discovery doesn't confirm creationism of course - I'm such a tease!

It confirms what science already knew - Earth is very old and creationism is nonsense.

Creationist have been desperate for such a clock for decades, even inventing them and misrepresenting the science to pretend they have them, as psychologist and creationist pseudo-scientist with no higher science qualifications, Dr Paul D. Ackerman did in his appallingly bad science book, It's A Young World After All.

This book is so bad that it even has to be given away by Answers In Genesis. Never-the-less, you'll still find it being quoted and the claims in it presented as proof of creationism. I sometimes wonder if the way Ackerman tried to use science to support creationism and so badly failed is the reason creationists have turned their backs on science and are now trying to discredit it and encourage people to distrust it. However, it introduces the idea of a cosmic clock of some sort and, since so many creationists once acclaimed Ackerman's 'clocks' as irrefutable proof of a young Earth, it's going to be difficult for them to eschew this real one.

The discovery is that the ridges forming parallel subterranean hills and valleys either side of the midline and in which the record of magnetic reversals is embedded, themselves record long-term cycles as well as the expansion and retreat of ice sheets during the cycles of glaciation and interglacial warm spells. The evidence for this is in complementary papers by two groups of geophysicists who have carried out extensive studies of two such ridges systems.

One of these, the results of which were published yesterday in Science analysed data recorded by a Korean icebreaker working across the Australian-Antarctic ridge south of Tasmania. The other, accepted and peer-reviewed in Geophysical Research Letters, but awaiting proof-reading and typesetting, etc. prior to formal publication, deals with a fast-spreading area of the seafloor near Mexico known as the East Pacific Rise.

Step back and think about this: Small variations in the orbital parameters of the Earth — tilt and eccentricity and wobble — are recorded on the sea floor.

Richard Katz, geodynamicist, University of Oxford, UK
The first of these, by a team from Britain, USA and Korea, found there was synchrony between the ridges and all three of Earth's cosmic cycles (the two Milankovitch periods due to tilt, orbital eccentricity and wobble or precession) of 23,000 and 41,000 and a glacial period of 100,000 years respectively. This synchrony was found in a transect representing a million years - which is a bit of a sod if you're trying to force-fit this into a 6,000 year-old Earth so it conforms with a sacred, preconceived conclusion. This must be why creationists working for the Discovery Institute and the Institute for Creation Research never publish stuff like this because it would conflict with their oath to never publish anything which contradicts a literal interpretation of Genesis, if they told the truth.


Glacial cycles redistribute water between oceans and continents causing pressure changes in the upper mantle, with consequences for melting of Earth’s interior. Using Plio-Pleistocene sea-level variations as a forcing function, theoretical models of mid-ocean ridge dynamics that include melt transport predict temporal variations in crustal thickness of hundreds of meters. New bathymetry from the Australian-Antarctic ridge shows statistically significant spectral energy near the Milankovitch periods of 23, 41, and 100 ky, consistent with model predictions. These results suggest that abyssal hills, one of the most common bathymetric features on Earth, record the magmatic response to changes in sea level. The models and data support a link between glacial cycles at the surface and mantle melting at depth, recorded in the bathymetric fabric of the sea floor.

In addition to those cycles, when the team used a computer simulation to test the effects of ice ages, when sea-levels fall due to water being locked up in land ice, it could be seen that the ridges were taller and the magma thicker, due to less pressure making it easier for magma to emerge from the spreading crack in the sea floor. When sea-levels rose again the rate subsided and the ridges became shallower.

It also appeared that an increase in volcanic activity associated with lower sea-levels and more ice may have lead to an increase in global warming and a reduction in ice, leading to an increase in sea-levels and a reduction in volcanic activity. It seems perfectly feasible that, with the present arrangement of Earth's landmasses and tectonic activity, each ice age may seed its own destruction and each interglacial period may seed a new ice age.

The second paper is significant because it deals with a fast-spreading area of seafloor where ridges and valleys tend to be less distinct because magma tend to flow into the valleys and the hills are less stable, so confirmation of these cycles in this area.


Seafloor eruption rates, and mantle melting fueling eruptions, may be influenced by sea-level and crustal loading cycles at scales from fortnightly to 100 kyr. Recent mid-ocean ridge eruptions occur primarily during neap tides and the first 6 months of the year, suggesting sensitivity to minor changes in tidal forcing and orbital eccentricity. An ~100 kyr periodicity in fast-spreading seafloor bathymetry, and relatively low present-day eruption rates, at a time of high sea-level and decreasing orbital eccentricity suggest a longer term sensitivity to sea-level and orbital variations associated with Milankovitch cycles. Seafloor spreading is considered a small but steady contributor of CO2 to climate cycles on the 100 kyr time scale, however this assumes a consistent short-term eruption rate. Pulsing of seafloor volcanic activity may feed back into climate cycles, possibly contributing to glacial/inter-glacial cycles, the abrupt end of ice ages, and dominance of the 100 kyr cycle.

Here again we see the same evidence of these mid-ocean ridges being synchronised not only with the Milankovitch cycles but with ice ages exactly in line with what the first team found but in a different ocean and a different type of ridge system.

So, one of the best 'cosmic clocks' yet found and it fits perfectly with current estimates of the age of the Earth, which is of course entirely consistent with Darwinian evolution, the distribution of land animals on the different land masses, the age of the solar system and the age of the Universe.

And still not a single piece of authenticated evidence to support a literal interpretation of the Bible or the ancient Bronze Age origin myths it contains. This discovery could have been such good news for creationism, if only their notion had any connection to the real world. I wonder how the creation industry will dismiss it or try to keep it from the people who give them money to be mislead and misinformed.

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