Debate with a Creationist
I am currently having a debate with a Creationist and she sent me the following response. Any point by point assistance here?
What do you think about the arguement that fossils indicates rather unusual climate conditions? What I mean by that is that under normal conditions organic material is very efficiently broken down by other living organisms in the community, such as carnivores, scavengers, fungi, and bacteria. For example, in a short period of time the millions of buffalo were killed in the US, yet to our knowledge not a single fossil buffalo has been recovered. What about similar observations of lemming suicide runs and other mass death events. For a fossil to be preserved at all the organism usually must be buried rather quickly after death, or while alive? Why is there little to no evidence of these?
The rather abundant fossils in the fossil record seem to suggest that rapid depositional events characterized most of the creation of the earth's sediments. Many of the fossil bivalve shells are found in life position, with both shells connected and closed. Yet, the bivalve's muscle holding the shells together tends to decay soon after death, resulting in the separation of shells. Many fossil echinoderms are found in partial or complete form. Among animals, the echinoderms (being composed of hndreds of tiny plates) may be some of the most sensitive to breaking apart as they decay. Their general integrity would seem to argue strongly for rather rapid burial. Even dinosaurs show evidence of rapid burial. Very often dinosaur bones are found together in the same sort of arrangement they had while the organism was alive. Yet, in the case of dinosaurs, they are often buried in boneyards where the entire animal is rarely found. This appears to indicate that although not enough decomposition had occurred to permit the scattering of all the bones, there was enough activity to rip the dinosaur bodies apart in large pieces.
What about the timeframe in which fossils are formed? It was once thought that fossilization required very long periods of time. Now we know through repeated laboratory experiments (that are even patented - opalization process) that fossils can be formed rather rapidly from a few days (coal, oil) to a few months (organic material in volcanic ash). It would appear then through repeatable experiments that the nature of fossils themselves indicate a very rapid and recent formation.
I think we would agree on the above?
I believe your response would be the astroid strike theory. I would disagree with that theory as I stated previously. So could we agree that some sort of geologic catastrophe would be a reasonable explanation? I'm sure you are knowledgeable of the evidences of fine lamination, topography changes of up to 100 ft., erosion of hundreds of feet through solid basalt, formation of deltas, swamp and hot-water spring ecosystems have formed in the immediate wake of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens' in 1980. All these things were long thought to require hundreds to thousands of years to form occured in no less than 9 years. The similarities between the "buried forests" that occured immediately after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens' and Yellowstone National Park's buried forests suggests that perhaps the latter forests were formed in decades, not millennia. In fact, study of geologic catastrophe has repeatedly taught us that virtually every geologic feature about us can be formed quickly. Labratory experiments confirm field observations that very fine lamination can occur under conditions of very rapiddeposition. Floods,both ancient (like the Bonneville Flood) and modern (Indian Ocean Tsunami), have taught us that dozens to hundreds of feet of sediment and even solid rock can be eroded and then redeposited in hours to days. Observations of canyons over time suggest that canyons only erode deeper during floods. If this is true, then it would mean that every canyon is evidence of geologic catastrophe.
Well...thoughts? You are surely familiar with Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT). We all are since the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and all the devastation we've seen in Haiti, Chili, etc. I would argue that CPT would support the Biblical account of the foundation laid in Genesis 1:9 and 7:11,19. Can we go there?"
I would appreciate any and all comments from you guys!