Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

Mark Vuletic

Assertion

Scientific methods for dating rock strata are disproved by places where supposedly older strata rest upon supposedly younger strata.

Analysis

I. Caused by the well-understood natural process of overthrust

Normal geological processes are able to thrust older layers of rock on top of younger layers in certain regions. These processes leave discernible effects which geologists can detect. Creationists seek to repudiate overthrusting by hiding the evidence for it from their audiences (Eldredge 1982:105-108).

II. Is overthrust ad hoc?

Paleontologist Niles Eldredge responds to the charge that overthrusting is an ad hoc hypothesis designed to save the "evolutionary" geological column:

Do paleontologists really invoke overthrusting just to save their story? Are there no independent ways to demonstrate that massive dislocation of strata has occurred? Well, there are—the main one being that, along all faults, in places where both sides of the rocks are exposed, there is (naturally enough) a zone of pulverized rock caused by the scraping of the two masses against each other. In addition, slickensides, essentially scars of the movement, are typically seen on the faces of the rocks on both sides of the fault. (Eldredge 2000:111)

References

Eldredge N. 1982. The Monkey Business: A Scientist Looks at Creationism. New York: Washington Square Press.

Eldredge N. 2000. The Triumph of Evolution: and the Failure of Creationism. New York: W. H. Freeman.

Last update: 9 Jan 2015

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