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Graveyard Under Los Angeles

22 March 2019

At https://phys.org/print432185795.html … work on an extension of the Metro system under Los Angeles has found numerous fossilised remains of Pleistocene animals that once roamed the grassland and forest that existed in the Bay area back then –  from mastadons to rabbits, camels to bison and horse bones – to elephant and sabre toothed cats.

Robert has sent an up to date link to the story from https://crev.info/2019/03/los-angeles-fossils/ … which is a Creationist or Young Earth take on the subject. As always, some interesting points are made about the mainstream news bites. Los Angeles is famously the home of the La Brea tar pits – which has a remarkable uniformitarian explanation. This is that over thousands and millions of years the odd animal has fallen into the sticky morass and unable to free themselves died and were fossilised. It is a graveyard for lots of creatures – many of them predators. The author makes the claim that the new finds contradict this nice story told to countless thousands of school children on their visits to the museum of the tar pits. The new fossils are found in sediments – not in tar (hence he has a point). It is a massive graveyard of Ice Age mammals – but how did it occur. The clue of course is in the sediments – and the evidence seems to point to a watery experience. A sloth was found in sediments containing charcoal and this suggests the beast was preserved in a mudslide that resulted from wildfire. The tar pits appear to be all part of the grander scenario, an oily sink hole if you like that was overwhelmed as well. There are apparently many such seepages of oil offshore of Los Angeles.

However, the author then spoils it all by laying out his own point of view. Creationists must decide if these are pre-flood, mid-flood, or post-flood deposits (hedging his bets it would seem). However, as the author also notes the bones are mostly, if not all, disarticulated – separated and jumbled, hence a watery explanation would seem appropriate. He also claims some human remains have been found – but does not elaborate. He also makes the point there are an extraordinary number of predators represented in the remains (but it is unclear if he means in the tar pits or the sediments). Dire wolves are them most numerous species, he says. Did a massive tsunami wave swamp the Los Angeles basin and run up the shore and inland -swirling and jumbling the remains. The author takes this as evidence of 'the flood' but it could equally represent an abrupt change in the geoid – or massive seismic activity (or even an impact or atmospheric explosion creating geological change). We may wonder as fresh looking clams and echinoderms, even sharks teeth, can be found fossilised in the Los Angeles area. The author calls it an inundation of the sea in line with his belief in a universal flood but a tsunami wave appears to be more appropriate. Is there any incentive for mainstream uniformitarians to investigate further? Will it be ignored and the tar pits narrative kept in full throttle?

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