Monday, 7 March 2016

Rotating Rocks of Ages Rock Creationism!

The Cantabrian orocline is a large structure that bends the Variscan orogen of Western Europe in NW Iberia.
Photo credit: J. Fernández Lozano et al.
New kinematic constraints on the Cantabrian orocline: A paleomagnetic study from the Peñalba and Truchas synclines, NW Spain

It's normally the plentiful evidence for evolution and against intelligent (sic) design, provided by the biological sciences, that creationists have to practice ignoring or dismissing with a wave of the hand and denialism, so it must be doubly difficult when evidence from geology shows their superstition is false too.

To make matters worse, this time it involves one of those pesky 'clocks' that the psychologist and Young Earth Creationist, Dr Paul D. Ackerman, PhD., made such a big thing of in his hilariously bad 'science' book, It's a Young Earth After All. This time the 'clock' is the record of Earth's magnetic field captured and fixed in the magnetic particles in minerals as rocks form.

This clock, like all the other similar ones to be found in nature, however, shows that Earth is very old. In this case, it shows Earth was around some 300 million years ago and was subject to gradual change due to slow plate tectonics. In this particular case, a large chunk of what is now the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) rotated through about 60o in the space of about 300 million years. Normal people would regard this as quite good evidence that Earth has been around for more than 300 million years, but no doubt YECs can think of a good reason why this doesn't mean Earth is older than about 6000 years.

The paper, which unfortunately sits behind a pay-wall, and for which the publishers even want money for permission to reprint the abstract, was published by a team led by Javier Fernández-Lozano from the universities of Salamanca (Spain) and Utrecht (Netherlands). They discovered that when the sediment from which the Spanish rocks were formed was originally laid down some 400 million years ago, the magnetic minerals in it orientated themselves according to Earth's magnetic field as it then was. This sea bed was near what is now the South Pole.

About 120 million years later, the same rocks were involved in a collision between what became northern and southern Europe, resulting in a mountain range and volcanic activity. This gave the rocks a second magnetic 'signal', recording the new orientation of Earth's magnetic field. The difference between these two signals shows that this part of the Iberian Peninsula, and possible a great deal more of it, rotated during this process.

Any creationist prepared to explain how this finding fits in with the notion that Earth is only a few thousand years old?

Reference:
Javier Fernández-Lozano, Daniel Pastor-Galán, Gabriel Gutiérrez-Alonso, Piedad Franco.
New kinematic constraints on the Cantabrian orocline: A paleomagnetic study from the Peñalba and Truchas synclines, NW Spain.
Tectonophysics, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.02.019


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2 comments :

  1. Yep, another nail in the 'creationist coffin'. Sadly, poor folk of the 'hard of thinking' ilk will simply ignore all sound evidence which contradicts their dogma led viewpoint. There is little that can be done to persuade creationists that their world view is erroneous as they are not prepared to enter the arena of cogent debate. And if they are foolish enough to do so: witness Nye Vs Ham, they come across as intellectually stunted and frankly stupid. But regardless, tis fine sport to bait these folk and, more importantly, to expose their foolish notions to a wider and hopefully scientifically receptive audience.

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    1. Apparently, Ham is forever boasting about how he won that debate. Either he doesn't understand what winning is or didn't follow the debate very well. :-)

      But in a sense of course he DID win the debate. What he achieved was making it look to some people that his version of creationism was being taken seriously by proper scientists.

      Delete

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