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Ordovician Extinction Event

22 May 2023
Biology, Catastrophism, Geology

Another confusion created by uniformitarian dating of sediments laid down at extinction events – this time at the end of the Ordovician. We are told it is weird as it involved the imposition of an Ice Age – or a polar ice cap in the wrong position, one might add. Some 443 million years ago 85 per cent of species are thought to have disappeared because of a short lived ice age – or rather, coinciding with evidence of what looks like an ice age. A new study questions this theory, one of several at the Ordovician boundary, as they say the actual massive loss of diversity started millions of years prior than hitherto believed, during a warming phase. The warming therefore preceded the glacial conditions. Like the Cretaceous, much later, uniformitarian dating of sediments laid down in the upheaval, are said to have accummulated over millions of years. In reality, a big enough upheaval will have created a much more rapid laying down of sediment – and layers of sediment. For example, an encoounter with a big space rock could have caused massive amounts of sediment laid down quickly – as it must have done at both sides of the Cretaceous boundary event. The impact would have created warming, firstly, and was perhaps followed by a nuclear type winter – cold conditions, possibly glacial, in the aftermath. None of this requires or detracts from the idea the earth is very old, only in how geologists have re-invented the past. In a catastrophist interpretation the near extinction event is real and biology in the aftermath evolves from those species that managed to survive – on land and in the sea. It all starts again as the survivors adapt to niches in the environment. On at least 5 occasions – going by the claim there were five major extinction events – and numerous less disastrous catastrophic events. One might even envisage the geological record as a catalogue of catastrophes rather than a true picture of the past.

The Ordovician is famous for its coal beds, and these are generally thought to have been laid down over a long period of time. It is possible they were laid down quickly, in one conflagration, or a succession of upheavals. Sediments laid down quickly is a concept alien to uniformitarian thinking, although in recent times there has been acceptance in geological circles of a compromise of sorts. If the geological column is really a catalogue of major events that would mean long periods of geological history have gone unrecorded. Mostly, because nothing out of the ordinary was happening. However, this does not detract, either, from the idea localised catastrophes laid down geological beds of gravels, sands, and that sort of thing, at any point in the past. Flash floods can easily create a bed of gravels, and heavy persistent rain can also cause mud streams to form beds of silt, etc. For example, road builders have been exploiting local gravel and sand beds laid down in the Holocene for as long as roads have been made. It is  still a catastrophist picture of the past as localised events are a record of volcanoes, landslides and mud slides, earthquakes and flash floods etc, but on a lesser scale than the bigger extinction events – or the medium, and more common, extinction event [where only some species died out]. Geology is global when it is big, and local when it is smaller in scope and magnitude.

The problem is that when geology was first studied it attracted a lot of amateur sleuths, some of whom were vicars and priests, and therefore attached to the Noah Ark myth. Vicars were educated people with a lot of time on their hands, mid week, and therefore perfectly placed to investigate the new science that developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. The uniformitarians were opposed to the inclusion of religion beliefs in science and went out of their way to eliminate all trace of catastrophes from the geological record – which is why these sedmentary layers surrounding the big events are thought to have formed over millions of years instead of in weeks or months – or even years. The baby was thrown out with the bath water. Unless the West reforms geology and then it is pretty certain the Chinese will do so within a few years, or a generation or two, as they do not have the same body of myth. They have their own version of mythology – and therefore, Noah’s Flood is meaningless.  Of course, Chinese scientists that attend Western universities will be indoctrinated into the anti-Noah frame of mind, and accept uniformitarian ideas. It might be more useful to analyse the Noah Flood as a myth – an ancient event that may in fact have a cosmic origin rather than an earthbound one. Unfortunately, the whole subject is generally delineated by two sides that never compromise or are prepared to look at the whole in an impartial way. Ideas are fixed. That is what consensus amounts to, I suppose. The same applies to movement at the poles. The consensus view is that the poles are stable and can never move – but that idea was fixed prior to the discovery of the role of electro-magnetism in the solar system and in the universe in general. Who knows for certain.

Se https://phys.org/news/2023-05-ancient-mass-extinction-event-strange.html … and https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2023.04.009

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