Posted: May 28, 2020 1:30 am
by Itsdemtitans
Well, it has been a while, hasn't it? I hope you all are doing well! I know I certainly am. Your high school idiot who happened to like arguing with creationists is halfway to becoming an actual geologist now.

Anyways, I have something I wanted to share with you guys. It regards the issue of fossil soils, known as paleosols, and how they're a bit of a problem for so-called "Flood Geology" and YEC in general.

According to Young Earth Creationist (YEC) proponents, the majority of fossil bearing sedimentary rock were deposited in a one year long global flood. These strata represent the rapid and often chaotic accumulation of sediments, brought on by massive tsunamis, turbidites and other mass flow events, hypercanes, or even bolide impacts and massive volcanism. They overwhelmingly expect to never find evidence of gentle and slow processes, or of normal everyday conditions.

Of course, that very evidence is commonplace in the geologic record. One of the most common examples is that of paleosols (fossil soils). Paleosols represent periods of weathering, where exposed rock was eroded and transformed into soil that was later buried and lithified. Often these paleosols contain abundant evidence of in-situ plant growth (in the form or roots) as well as animal burrows showcasing normal conditions, not a global flood. These paleosols often occur in successive horizons as well; showing vast amounts of time passed to permit the formation of many soils in one location...time that neither Flood Geology or YEC have at their disposal.

YEC proponents have attempted to give several responses to the issue of paleosols in an attempt to salvage flood geology. Their arguments are summarize briefly below:

1. The rocks formed from sediments that were exposed to volcanic acid rain, which chemically leached the materials to resemble paleosols either during or shortly after the Flood.

2. The layering in the rocks are not soil horizons, but are actually individual Flood layers, and these layers just happened to repeatedly deposit in the exact orders that mimic horizons in paleosols.

3. The rocks are not paleosols, but formed from hydrothermal solutions after sediment burial and during diagenesis, or from magmas, metamorphism, or other chemical or physical diagenetic processes (such as oxidation, reduction, lithification, etc).

None of these objections do anything to refute the identity of many documented paleosols, as Dr. Kevin Henke has shown with examples from the Morrison Formation, Vega Formation, and many other formations. Paleosols from these and many other localities contain unambiguous evidence that they are indeed paleosols. For example, twenty paleosols from the Vega Formation have been noted to contain a variety of A, B, and C horizons, as well as well-preserved organic rootlets, burrows, carbonate nodules, deeply penetrating root traces within fifteen separate A horizons, and other features. These and other paleosols show no evidence of any hydrothermal or volcanic alteration, nor any evidence of metamorphism or diagenesis via post-burial magmatism, in their chemistry and mineralogy.

So, the fact remains that none of the mechanisms proposed by creationists to explain away paleosols in their “model” are actually a problem with regards to identifying genuine paleosols. As Henke put it excellently in his essay on the Morrison Formation:

“However, paleosol features can be distinguished from diagenetic, hydrothermal, metamorphic and igneous features on the basis of their chemistry, mineralogy, and textures. For example, large differences in stable isotope results between dinosaur remains and surrounding sediments can rule out substantial diagenetic alteration (Bojar et al. 2010). That is, diagenetic reactions would tend to equalize isotope results in adjacent materials. Also, the mineralogy of the sediments can rule out diagenetic, hydrothermal, metamorphic, and igneous processes (Jennings et al. 2011, p. 41). For example, hydrothermal solutions produce minerals, such as primary tourmaline and epidote, which are not present in sedimentary paleosols or other sedimentary rocks.”

He also sums the situation up nicely:

“That is, it’s highly improbable that sedimentological processes would consistently act to produce numerous clay, calcite, and organic deposits at different stratigraphic levels that just fortuitously happen to have the same order, mineralogy and chemistry as A, B and C horizons and other pedosol features. It’s far more likely that the paleosols are real and Flood geology is wrong.”

For much more specific details regarding the paleosols at specific localities, and how they do not line up with YEC attempts to dismiss them, I highly recommend you check out the linked essays. And furthermore, I hope you all enjoyed this little blip!