Barry Setterfield is well-studied in geology and has some information for those who are curious about the concept of a young earth creationist point of view and the geological record. Further explanations of the geology as it relates to a young creation on the Setterfield Vc model is in the article "A Brief Earth History."
Responses to emailed questions:
The Geological Column
A Brief Earth History -- a survey of earth's geology through time and its possible causes
Interesting Geology at Second Valley -- evidence that many layers of rock were malleable at the same time and intrically folded.
Snowball Earth? -- deep layers of cobbled stone under even deeper carbon-rich sediments. Mainstream science answers do not fit the evidence.
Light Speed and Catastrophe 1 -- an introduction to the "Snowball Earth" idea
TIME, LIFE, AND MAN -- a chronological summary
The Bible and Geology -- a layman's summary
The Geological Column
Question: In your reply about the formation of the geological column, you said- "In other words, the geological column has been formed over a 3000 year period since Creation. A similar statement can be made for radiometric ages of astronomical bodies, like the Moon, or meteorites." The Bible says the Flood lasted for about one year. So how could it have been formed "over 3,000 years"?
Setterfield: A couple of points need to be made. First, the redshift observations show a systematic decrease in the speed of light. In fact the redshift data have allowed the cDK curve to be formulated with some exactness. It is a smooth exponential-type decline with a very small oscillation superimposed. As a result of the redshift data, the value of light-speed at any time in the past can be fairly closely determined.
Second, it is established from the physics of the situation that some atomic processes, including radiometric decay are light-speed dependent. More correctly, both light-speed and radioactive decay are mutually affected by the increasing energy density of the ZPE. Thus, as light-speed is smoothly dropping with time, so is the rate of radioactive decay upon which radiometric dates are dependent. The redshift data reveal that the bulk of this decay has occurred over a 3000 year period during which predicted radiometric ages dropped from 14 billion years down to a few thousand years on the atomic clock. More particularly, the Cryptozoic strata formed over a period of 2250 years, while the Phanerozoic strata formed over a period of 750 years.
The third point follows on from these two. You cannot account for all the radiometrically dated strata in a 1 year period. The whole process took close to 3000 years according to the redshift data. As a consequence, the data point to the geological column being formed by a series of catastrophes and their ongoing processes over three millennia rather than one catastrophe lasting just 1 year. If you turn the argument around the other way, one may predict that the strata from the Flood would date radiometrically from about 650 million years and younger. The Babel incident would correspond to events around 245 million years atomically, while the Peleg continental division would occur about 65 million years ago on the atomic clock. These are all significant atomic dates in the geological column.
Fourth, if you want to account for the bulk of the geological column and its dates in just one year, that would require the observed redshift sequence to undergo a massive jump at a set distance in space. This is certainly not observed. Likewise the value of light-speed would have to undergo a dramatic drop, a discontinuity, which the data do not reveal.
Fifth, the redshift data do something else. Evolutionists have been puzzled by some interesting facts. The asteroid impacts that ended the Mesozoic would have been expected to wipe out the dinosaurs. Yet a few dinosaurs were still there up to 2 million atomic years after the impact. They cannot account for this. However, the redshift data explains why. The speed of light at that point in time was about 500,000 times its current speed, so that 2 million years were just 4 years of actual time - soon enough after the catastrophe and the changing conditions it brought. The second puzzle that evolutionists have that has received a lot of attention in the Creationist press is the so-called "discordant" radiometric dates. There is a good reason for this, too. During much of the Palaeozoic, light-speed was around 1.5 to 2 million times its current speed. That means that the radiometric clocks ticked off about 2 million years in one orbital year. If a granite pluton was intruded into strata being laid down at that time, its interior would take some considerable time to cool. Time of the order of 10 years or more may not be unreasonable. That will give a spread of 20 million years in the dates from that structure. This might be considered to be an error of up to 10% in the radiometric date, when in reality it is quite accurate.
Finally, there is a problem facing Creationists who require the majority of the geological column to be built up at the time of the Flood. In the first place, throughout the fossil record there are many examples of creatures eating each other. According to Genesis 9:3-5 compared with Genesis 1:29-30 and Genesis 6:21, the diet of all creatures was vegetarian until after the Flood. Therefore, fossils of creatures eating other creatures must be post-Flood if the Scripture is to have any relevance on this matter.
In the second instance, the fossil record poses some significant problems in another way. The mammoths of Siberia were buried near the surface, virtually in situ. Yet they are underlain by thousands of feet of sediments, some fossiliferous. If their demise was in the Flood, where were they during the first few months when those sediments were being laid, and how did their food supply have time to germinate and flourish since they obviously did not starve to death? A similar problem exists with the Paluxy dinosaurs. These Mesozoic prints overlie thousands of feet of Palaeozoic sediments. Their food supply and method of survival during the first few months of the Flood while surrounded with water is a conundrum, unless they perished in a separate disaster in the days of Peleg.
This problem of in situ fossils is repeated many times throughout the geological column. It cannot be explained by the ecological zoning argument, nor the action of turbidity currents and sorting. In Europe, eggs from dinosaurs such as Protoceretops are found in their nests. Other dinosaurs were entombed by windstorms that built up the Mesozoic desert dune systems. In each case they lay on top of Palaeozoic sediments. These Mesozoic sands in Europe and the USA are nearly all of non-marine origin. However, they all lie on top of marine Palaeozoic sequences. Such wind-blown sand systems take time to develop, as do the annual layers of dinosaurs nests found in them. So do the many coral deposits that overlie Palaeozoic strata. This model based on the redshift data allows these fossil species to develop in situ on top of existing sediments and then be preserved in a separate (Scriptural) catastrophe.
As a consequence, the redshift model necessitates a re-think of some basic Creationist traditions which are not necessarily supported by Scripture. Yes the Flood lasted one year, but the Scripture does not say that all the geological strata formed at that time. I am acutely aware that this will be most unsatisfactory to many creationists who have supported the traditional Model over the years, but it really does seem to overcome a lot of problems which that Model has. We may yet have to put this new wine into new wineskins. But let's see how things develop. I trust that this answers the question. (October 22, 1999).
Question: Then did the entire landmass increase in volume and extent up to Cenozoic?
Setterfield: The model I am favouring at present has the shield areas swept clear by the Flood and the debris deposited in the mobile belts surrounding them, which grew from there. Geological activity continued up to the Cenozoic. For example, in the Mesozoic, strata were being added around the edge of the supercontinent [H.H. Read and Janet Watson, Introduction to Geology, volume 2, Earth History, 1985, MacMillan Education Ltd, London, p. 180].
Thus the supercontinent was certainly added to, and grew, after the Flood. The supercontinent was then divided at the end of the Mesozoic and the separate fragments moved to their present position during the Cenozoic, which added to landmass in some areas and decreased it in others. Increases would include mountain building and decreases in areas that were submerged in the process.
Setterfield: Varves are apparently cyclical deposits, usually finely layered. It is presumed that they are annual, reflecting seasonal deposits. However, in some cases at least, it has turned out that these are not seasonal at all, but often diurnal, reflecting the tides, and therefore indicating up to two daily deposits. For instance, the Elatina Formation in South Australia averages 120-150 meters in depth (thickness) and, in some places extends to 250 meters thick. It is composed of very fine varve-like layered materials (laminations). It had been presumed that this formation took millions of years to form. Closer study indicated that these were not annual varves at all, but tidal deposits and several million years was then shrunk down to about sixty years for the Elatina Formation to be formed.
The articles are in
Australian Geologist #117, Dec. 31, 2000, starting on p. 22, in an article entitled “Proterozoic Equatorial Glaciation: Has Snowball Earth a Snowball’s Chance?”
Another article about this same thing can be found in the Scientific American of Feb. 1989, starting on p. 11, in an article entitled “Blame it on the Moon”.