Are you thinking what I am thinking? [B]

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Dinosaur footprints found in Nelson reads the title of a news piece in NZ Herald.

What makes this discovery special is the unique preservation of the footprints in an environment where they could easily have been destroyed by waves, tides, or wind.

Northwest Nelson was largely submerged under the sea between 70 and 20 million years ago and the footprints would have been covered by hundreds of metres of marine sediments.

With the development of the modern plate boundary, New Zealand was uplifted and northwest Nelson emerged from the sea.

Isn’t it interesting that dinasaur footprints are often associated with water. You’ve got to have some unusual phenomenon happening in a very short span of time for footprints to be preserved. Sounds pretty much like The Flood to me.

Well, if science be true, it will eventually meet and agree with the Bible, rightly interpreted. If the previous sentence is not true, it does not matter. Nothing matters after that.

Are you thinking what I am thinking? [A]

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3 responses »

  1. “Isn’t it interesting that dinasaur footprints are often associated with water.”

    The vast majority of fossils are associated with marine or freshwater sediments because water (and to a lesser extend, wind) is how the sediments are carried about.

    I also wonder how you would discriminate between the artefacts of THE flood and some other (less extensive) flood.

  2. Because I’m in a pedantic mood (and because it’s interesting) I’ll comment further that trace fossils are usually found where there is a change of grainsize between the sediment in which the trace (burrow, footprint whatever) was made and the sediment that covers the trace.

    Of course, there may be plenty of cases where the trace was covered with the same sort of sediment but you aren’t likely to identify a footprint made in mud and covered with more mud that looks just the same.

    One thing that commonly happens is that the trace is made in muddy sediment (because mud is gummy and holds burrows and footprints) which is then covered with sandier sediment. Sediment of a larger grainsize requires more energy to carry it along so this might happen as the result of a flood (for example, annually when glacial meltwater is released). The coarser sediment is more porous so it becomes saturated with water and inorganic calcite is deposited in the pores forming a sandy limestone (or calcareous sandstone). The cemented sediment is harder than the mud so it resists erosion and preserves a positive cast of the trace.

    There’s a whole science of trace fossils (burrows, footprints, scrapes, resting impressions, droppings, algal concretions etc) called palaeoichnology.

    Cool eh?

    • Logophile messaged me about this comment and we had a chat.

      L: I have written an essay on your blog, because you commented on an interest of mine and I could not restrain myself

      L: trace fossils are cool; there were lots of pretty ones in the rocks I studied for my PhD because I studied a greensand layer so there were green and white striped ones

      N: From my vantage point, I dont have a doubt about the flood that happened during Noah’s time. So probably tend to indiscriminately see the flood in everything. However it is also true, that that flood, assuming it happened, was not just a flood. It changed the surface of the earth in many different ways. “. . . on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth” So that new land structures were formed— mountains where there were previously none, and so on. So what happened at that point was catacysmic and fast, and ideal for quick preservation of organisms. Not all dinosaur footprints, for instance, would be because of The Flood, but many would be, is my feeling. Which is why I feel like pointing the connection between water and fossil. But then from what you say, I admit that this need not be always The Flood.

      L: Well I guess what I was saying is that fossils are nearly always associated with water because they are only found in sediments and those are deposited (mostly) by water; some are by ice, some wind, some by gravity (slumping etc) but that is less common

      N: yes, I see that

      L: so it seems not very profound to point out that water is involved; how could it not be; in this case you seem to read a lot into what is not so significant

      L: also, of course, we already see (just by glancing at the TV) that floods and at least locally cataclysmic events are pretty common

      N: But when they talk of dinosaurs having had a party and dancing and things like that, I feel like screaming out: but why dont you mention the flood also, instead of concocting something like that. Surely in the light of what is thought to have happened at the time, it is a very real possibility

      L: I didn’t read the report in the Herald; sounds silly – I’ll read it

      N: ok

      L: Well I’ve got all the way to the second paragraph before finding a mistake

      L: There are dinosaur bones in the rocks near Shag Point

      N: That is a mistake?

      L: no they say that this is the first record of dinosaurs in the south island

      N: ah ok

      L: Where is the stuff about the party? in the video?

      N: Let me see

      L: I must say though, that I can’t see why they would mention THE flood because I don’t know how they would infer that it was THE flood rather than A flood

      N: not in this particular case. I am referring to the other article. still looking for it. One minute

      N: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,441561,00.html must be the one I saw I thnk.

      L: but I don’t see why finding footprints is so significant

      L: flood wise I mean

      N: ok

      L: because even if there is one superflood, we know that there have been zillions of other floods

      L: how could we distinguish?

      N: true

      L: for any particular print

      L: there would have to be some signature

      N: yes

      L: and I don’t know what you would look for

      L: it’s not proof against – but neither is it proof for

      L: just neutral

      N: except know that a good number of the fossils we see are from the flood probably. But which ones, no way of knowing

      N: that is from the way I think

      L: but fossilisation isn’t an especially catastrophic thing

      L: things die

      L: get stuck in mud

      L: more mud covers them up

      L: fossils

      L: why does that have to be mostly about the flood

      L: even if there was such a flood – fossils would surely be generated all the time

      N: But like you pointed out, preservation of something like footprints requires something to happen quickly. More so when full animals are preserved.

      N: That is not something that happens ordinarily

      L: but things do happen quickly

      L: some places flood every year

      L: every rainy season or every thaw

      L: fast enough to drown things

      L: or bury things

      L: I actually find the notion that the flood generated lots of fossils uncompelling because very catastrophic events are usually too violent to preserve delicate fossils

      L: they are crushed or broken up

      L: or scoured away

      N: ok

      L: mineralisation is a common way for fossils to be preserved – if they are in a quiet environment, covered by porous sand they can be mineralised without being destroyed by burrowing algae or fungus

      N: yes

      L: in very deep water, calcite is actually soluble (hence the phenomenon of “marine snow” where the tops of seamounts are covered by calcitic fossils) so I guess that would be a way to map the extent of a global flood

      L: because you could estimate what the depths should be

      N: you should have continued as a geologist hahaha

      L: then I would be living in Mt Isa

      L: or Siberia

      N: haha

      N: cold

      L: or hot

      N: ah

      L: not very child friendly either

      L: and science is so competitive

      L: everyone is attacking everyone else

      L: scary

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