Author Topic: nodules and nonsense - geology for those inclined  (Read 72 times)

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Offline velkyn

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nodules and nonsense - geology for those inclined
« on: April 06, 2017, 10:32:28 AM »
This is from a lengthy discussion with BibleStudent,30326.783.html?PHPSESSID=906d5b964bd0bfe238fda2d16b35f8ae about evidence for his version of his god and the essential events in its holy book. 

I’m going to focus on a link to an article that had a creationist claiming that the existence of mineral nodules on the ocean floor was evidence of the biblical flood (and young earther claims).  I thought this would be a good example of how many creationists depend on their own ignorance and the ignorance of their audience to try to invent evidence that shores up their faith.  I’ve asked (or will be asking when I put up the post) BS to give the arguments he thinks are most important, since he has claimed I’ve ignored those.  I certainly may have missed something but certainly not for trying.

BS gave a bunch of links to articles he thinks are evidence for the bible flood.  Here is this list offered: “I disagree that there is no evidence for a global flood.:

My focus is the article BS gave, and then the article that the “creation scientist” Hebert wrote .  and the original news story that was about the nodule field in the Atlantic off Barbados (look at this one for the photo).  This was offered as evidence that the bible is an accurate representation of reality, something BS has claimed is essential for his argument that his version of his god exists. 

When I pointed out the problems of the claims about the nodules in the articles, “The Charisma article has quite bunch of nonsense by “creation scientist” Jake Hebert .  He claims that magnesium nodules are evidence for this flood and that they were deposited rapidly and are rare.  They are neither and we have one more Christian making false claims.  He’s also one of those sad little men who still lie that geologists are “uniformitarian” which we (I’m a geologist) haven’t been since the 19th century.  Now what does your bible say about bearing false witness about others?   And what does it say about an article that says “evolutionary scientists are “perplexed” when not one was interviewed.  Why do so many Christians choose to make such false statements, BS?   It seems that many Christians are so unsure of their faith that they must glom onto any false claim in desperation.”

BS responded “No. He did not indicate that all nodules are evidence of a global flood.  What he said is that the nodules he was referring to were found in an unusual concentration.”

Reading the articles doesn’t support this, and though Hebert does mention the concentration in an area in the Atlantic, he does not indicate why this patch supports his hypothesis that the flood somehow caused the ocean nodules.  When this was mentioned again, BS said  “If you spent as much energy paying attention to the context in which I am referring to as you do trying to trap me or back me into a corner, you wouldn't make this kind of mistake. The article I linked to refers to a specific find: "Though other nodules have been discovered in the past, none were in such a concentrated area." The article didn't mention anything about an interpretation made with respect to all nodules. Therefore, the comment that I submitted which you are claiming is some sort of intentional dishonesty is a clarification of what the article was referring to. Cripes, why would I link to an article that I considered as possible evidence for the flood and then turn around and claim that the author has a contradictory assessment.”

Now, why a creationist would do many of their antics is up for debate.  However, it’s not hard to see that BS didn’t read the Hebert’s own article on ICR, (linked to in the Charisma interview article) he does make the claim that all nodules are evidence of the magic bible flood.  There is a claim that the concentration off Barbados is important somehow but Hebert does not explain why one patch of nodules is more important than another batch.  The most obvious reason for this is that Hebert had no idea that there were other patches and creationists tend to glom on to a news story of something different as a gap they can jam their god into.  This is demonstrated by BS’s need to support this claim of his “1)the definition of God is sound and rational 2) the Bible is an accurate representation of what has been revealed for us to know about Him and 3) the argument for His existence is sound and rational ….then we can logically deduce that He is a Being (agent) who possesses intellect.”  If he can’t find that evidence that shows his bible is an accurate representation of anything, his god goes *poof*

Now, consider the claims by the creationists.  A simple google search shows that their claims are not true.   The Wikipedia article on nodules states this:
“The largest of these deposits in terms of nodule abundance and metal concentration occur in the Clarion Clipperton Zone [mid Pacific) on vast abyssal plains in the deep ocean between 4,000 and 6,000 m (13,000 and 20,000 ft). The International Seabed Authority estimates that the total amount of nodules in the Clarion Clipperton Zone exceeds 21 Bt of nodules containing more than 270 Mt of nickel, 5.95 Bt of manganese, 234 Mt of copper and 46.6 Mt of cobalt.”    For more detailed information see Marine Manganese Deposits ( which goes into great detail on how nodules can form in many environments and which reports that nodules can be of different compositions higher up in a core as opposed to deeper in the same core, indicating changing environmental conditions that effect chemistry.

This indicates that Hebert’s claim of a special concentrated area is also false (the new site may be concentrated for the Atlantic basin but not the whole world).  There is also the issue that the bible claims that the flood was a world-wide 28,000 feet deep extraordinarily violent event.  Why is a singular patch of mineral nodules evidence for this, and say, not the even larger patches in the Pacific?   Nice photo here: from a Pacific patch, and other one from the atlantic:     Not much difference.

Now, let’s again look at what else Dr. Hebert said “"These metallic pellets provide strong evidence that most seafloor sediments were deposited rapidly, not slowly and gradually over millions of years. Are these nodules evidence of the Genesis Flood?"  Of course he thinks so, and goes on to try to support his claim.  However, it is not uncommon for a theist to ask a rhetorical question like this, and when shown that his claims aren’t true, he will insist that he was “just asking a question”, otherwise knowin as “jaaq’ing off” in order to avoid responsibility for his claims. Dr. Hebert seems to have his degree in atmospheric physics, but even that isn’t clear.  He seems to have written his thesis and after that, nothing else except non-peer reviewed articles based on other creationist articles on subjects he has no education in.  It always amuses me that so many creationists, rather than use their specialty, they hie off and do something that they are ignorant of.  One would suspect that they know that their specialty doesn’t support their beliefs and must find a way to baffle with bullshit in another subject.     

Now, if the magic flood happened everywhere, as per the bible says, and Hebert’s claim that the flood was the causation of such things as very round mineral nodules (note: the claims of very round are evidently an attempt to imply some intelligent factor in their creation; they aren’t particularly round, about as “round” as any handful of stream cobbles or potatoes), then these extraspecial nodules should be everywhere, not just off of Barbados. They aren’t.  The fact they vary in composition, depth and location means they didn’t come from one event. Scientists are not “baffled” by them, for they work from basic chemistry, and it could be the two main theories both are at work or we may have yet to discover the actual reason (still no god needed).  We also know their growth rates in the ocean and they do not form in a few thousand years.  It takes quite a lot longer than that.

Now a real article about the finding of these has nothing about BSs flood nonsense:  and this is an excellent example of how a TrueChristian intentionally misreprents what was actually said to invent some claim that his fairy stories are true.  Dr. Hebert ignored the parts where facts that destroy his claims were made.”These particular nodules were discovered in waters roughly 16,400ft and 18,000ft (5,000 and 5,500 metres) deep.One theory as to how they formed is through chemical reactions in seawater that were boosted by microbes.Another suggests the nodules were created by precipitation of metals from seawater, especially from volcanic thermal vents.These metal balls consist of the manganese and contain iron and other coveted metals such as copper, cobalt or zinc.Since the 1970s, they have been considered a possible source of raw materials.But due to the large water depths and the associated technical complexity and potential environmental damages, no commercial exploitation is currently in sight.At the same time, manganese nodules are scientifically of great interest since they can be used as climate and environmental archives.”   

There’s also the problem that these nodules are made up of different mixtures of metals and can be shown not to have come from one event as would be required for them to have arisen from the magic flood.  Again, no evidence of rapid deposition of sediments in any time when the flood is claimed, nor of any magical massive bloom of foraminifera at any time (they are very easy to identify and no big layer has ever been found in any time that a believer may hazard as when the magic flood happened (BS himself has claimed that the date of the flood (and exodus and cruxifiction.) are unknown)  My college advisor did his doctorate in forams so I got to know a lot about them. 

I think my favorite in this is where Hebert insists that rapid deposition is necessary for nodules to grow, and that they must grow really really fast (per the papers about the lakes and reservoirs) and then says that slow deposition is necessary for them to grow, and they grow really really slow.  Creationists need editors.

“These metallic pellets provide strong evidence that most seafloor sediments were deposited rapidly, not slowly and gradually over millions of years. Are these nodules evidence of the Genesis Flood?”

“Hence, nodules are found mainly in the uppermost sediment layers because these upper layers were deposited slowly enough to allow nodules to grow.” 

Except for, you know. all of the ones found at depth existing, the fact that slow deposition means less dissolved material in the water to concrete and grow and thus slow formation, and if they grow so fast, then the rapid deposition shouldn’t have bothered their formation at all. We also don’t’ find one huge layer of flood debris, including critters and plant life, in the ocean basins where it would have ended up, thanks to gravity, vast thicknesses with humans and all sorts of modern animals, and broken up boats, houses, trade goods, etc.    We do have turbidites,  but they are localized and per the bible they should be everywhere.  We have the expected mix of nice slow layers that depend on yearly changes in flora and fauna, and we have the occasional sudden and violent volcanic eruption or landslide that punctuates them. 
Nodule growth is one of the slowest of all known geological processes: Kobayashi, Takayuki (October 2000). "Concentration profiles of 10Be in large manganese crusts". Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B. 172 (1-4): 579–582. doi:10.1016/S0168-583X(00)00206-8. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
Dr. Hebert refers to papers that supposedly show that manganese nodules form much faster than we know oceanic nodules do, but alas, he does the usual creationist thing, he profers a paper, hoping no one looks at it and sees that the environments of formation are entirely different (links to the actual papers: Lake Oneida and the Altai reservoir:

Hebert remains intentionally deceptive and trying to claim that geology is uniformitarian (assuming that no sudden massive evens happen) when that has not been the case for decades, if not is a very common creationist tactic to attack long outdated information as if it is modern research to try to claim some upper hand and to present long outdated information as fact if it supports their nonsense.  And though this is getting into the weeds, I hate to tell poor Hebert that geologists have no problem with planation surfaces. There is discussion about what exact term should be used where, but the physical form exists no matter what one might want to call it.     

More info on the nodules can be found here: 

What we end up with is a series of false claims, based on intentional misrepresentation of information for the benefit of theists who desperately need to convince themselves and others their fairy tales are true,  with the result of again showing that the bible is not an accurate reflection of realty. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB