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#1 wibble

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 04:45 PM

Here in Southern England we have swathes of Cretaceous chalk that varies in thickness between about 200m and 560m in thickness. The chalk is mainly composed of tiny (< 10 micron diameter) hubcap like calcite plates called coccoliths which form the outer covering of single celled marine algae called Coccolithophores. When they die the coccoliths rain down on the ocean floor and form calcareous ooze which is the source of this chalk. Contemporary accumulation rates are in the order of a few cms per 1000 years. Clearly at this rate you need many millions of years to produce something like the White Cliffs of Dover.

 

I'm wondering how the global flood believers here manage to squeeze the amount of chalk production required into such a small time frame as demanded by the this viewpoint (which is as I understand it that the sedimentary layers were all laid down during the year of the Flood).

 

I've read (creationist geologist) Dr Andrew Snelling's article which attempts to explain this

http://creation.com/...hick-chalk-beds

but it contains several extremely dubious statements in my opinion. He starts off by claiming 100m of ooze could be produced in about 200 years assuming a coccolithophore density of 13x106 cells per litre of ocean water. He cites one old reference for this figure but the best I can find in internet searches of contemporary high densities is in the region of 104.

 

He then mentions 'bloom' situations and cites a case near Jamaica with reported numbers of 10 million per litre. However, having read the paper that is cited for this claim it so happens that the paper is referring to dinoflagellates, not coccolithophores, which aren't even in the same phylum !

 

He then ratchets up the density further by stating an inadequately referenced figure of 10 billion 'microorganisms' per litre for an explosive bloom scenario. He assumes this density in the top 500m of the water column and equates the resultant figure to 1013 per cubic metre. A figure of 3x1013 coccoliths per cubic metre is then given as the observed density in chalk rock.

 

So he is basically saying that the bloom density is about the same as solid rock !?! and suggests that the chalk formations could then have been produced in 6 days.

 

Snelling does not adequately address the problem that these are phytoplankton and therefore require light (would be blocked out at high cell densities). He states that they are able to switch to heterotrophy (able to ingest organics) but this is only true of a few species and these are all weakly calcified.

 

Also, blooms can only occur in calm waters (not likely in a receding global flood scenario) and the coccoliths are so tiny that any current prevents them settling anyway.

 

As far as I can see, there have been no further explanations for chalk formations (let alone the rest of the limestones) within creationist circles since the original paper by Snelling in 1994 (who based some of the calculations on earlier work by Roth and Woodmorappe).

 

Do the Flood adherents here find the explanation feasible ?



#2 indydave

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 02:32 PM

>>

He then ratchets up the density further by stating an inadequately referenced figure of 10 billion 'microorganisms' per litre for an explosive bloom scenario. >>

 

The reference was from Roth's paper which mentions a location that had lots of "pollution from duck ranches".  In the flood scenario it is fair to assume lots of organic and animal pollution, above what is average for the ocean today...isn't it? 

 

>>He assumes this density in the top 500m of the water column and equates the resultant figure to 1013 per cubic metre. A figure of 3x1013 coccoliths per cubic metre is then given as the observed density in chalk rock.  So he is basically saying that the bloom density is about the same as solid rock !?! and suggests that the chalk formations could then have been produced in 6 days.>>

I don't get how you say that Snelling says it is the SAME density in the water as in chalk "rock."  It is 3x more in the rock as in the  water (under an explosive bloom scenario.)  That is NOT "about the same".  He then says that if this went down 500m of water, it would be enough to produce the 500m of chalk IN JUST 3 BLOOMS!...which could happen in just one MONTH!  So if you object to a 3 to 1 ratio (rock to water) concentration, then change it to 100 to one if you like.  So then there would need to be 100 such blooms.  I think they reproduce every 2 days or so...so that would be possible in just one year.  LESS than that if the special conditions of the Flood made the blooms even more "explosive" than explosive blooms today   Plus even in beds of "solid" chalk the particles leave spaces where water can stay...it is very porous "rock."  my guess would be it has a weight of maybe 1500kg/m3  So it should not be a surprise that such a light "rock" could have 3x the quantities.  And I believe (from what I've read) that the layers of mud thought to produce chalk must be greatly compressed before they would be considered chalk "rock."  And even with very "pure" chalk I believe much of the solid material is made of non-coccoliths.  

 

Also, one of AS's main sources is a paper by A.A. Roth...and Roth says that only 13×106 coccolithophores per liter of water (which is reported as what was observed TODAY, (citing Black, M. and D. Bukry. 1979. Coccoliths. In R. W. Fairbridge and D. Jablonski (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Paleontology, pp. 194-199. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences, Volume 7. Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania). ...rather than in the warmer and more nutrient rich waters during and after the Flood...would produce 54cm per year from just 100m depth of water.  If that were 500m...then it would be 270cm per year.  If the real production was not 13 MILLION but rather (as Snelling suggests) 10 BILLION...then you have 769x more than that...production per year. 

 

One other point...the YE Flood allows for there to be a collection of large amounts of all sorts of densities which are in suspension while the flow is fast enough, and then there is a sorting (of sorts <g>) that happens as the flow slows...with the finest stuff falling out LAST in a fairly pure state...and which could be far deeper and PURER than just what could be produced by normal blooms under still conditions over long time.  The AE's have no similar condition that could lay down very deep and pure sediments. 

 

So Wibble, in your slow-accumulation scenario, how do you explain the extreme purity of chalk layers?  Or the sudden burial of fossils?  I have not searched to find examples of these buried fossils (to know how large they are) but I've read reference to there being some.  If they do exist, how do you explain them under a very slow deposition scenario?  They would have the same argumentative force as polystrate fossils have. 



#3 indydave

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 02:53 PM

Here is what Dr. Walter Brown says about chalk.  His entire book can be found at creationscience.com   You can search it using the index page (Google Search is at bottom of left-hand column).

 

http://www.creations...Limestone3.html

 

Thick Limestone Banks and Chalk. Scattered off the east coast of the United States are thick limestone deposits. Most dramatic is the Bahamas Bank, an area 250 by 800 miles, where “seismic evidence suggests that carbonate strata may extend down as far as 10 kilometers [6 miles].”12

If limestone formed organically in shallow seas (the prevailing view), why would the seafloor slowly subside almost 6 miles to allow these accumulations? Subsidence rates would have to be just right during the millions of years needed for organisms to grow and accumulate to such depths. Besides, the seafloor cannot subside unless the rock below it gets out of the way.  That rock would have nowhere to go.

Apparently, the flood waters escaping from under the northeastern edge of the Americas hydroplate dumped limestone at the Bahamas Bank.13 Similarly, waters escaping from under the northwestern edge of the European-Asian-African hydroplate dumped limestone in and around what is now the English Channel. Later, in warm surface waters, rich in dissolved limestone, vast algae blooms—perhaps daily—produced the soft, fine-grained type of limestone known as chalk. As long as nutrients and sunlight are plentiful (as was the case following the flood) algae blooms will expand exponentially. The algae die quickly and sink to the bottom of the sea. Most famous are the exposed layers in England’s White Cliffs of Dover and France’s Normandy coast. [See Figure 142 on page 246.]

Some deep-sea sediments include the components of chalk: silicate and calcareous (limestone) structures secreted by tiny organisms, such as foraminifera and coccoliths (a type of algae). Today, when they die, their hard body parts settle to the ocean floor too slowly to (1) bury and fossilize larger animals or (2) achieve the purity seen in famous chalk deposits. Because thick and very pure chalk deposits worldwide preserve many large fossils, including soft-body animals, deposition had to be rapid. Secondly, the microscopic organisms that form chalk must have abundant sources of dissolved limestone and silica—exactly what algae blooms require and the warm waters from the subterranean chambers provided.



#4 indydave

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 03:19 PM

>>He states that they are able to switch to heterotrophy (able to ingest organics) but this is only true of a few species and these are all weakly calcified.>>

Since Snelling seems fairly certain of his point, what is your basis for saying this?  (Cite your source please). 

 

I saw this on wiki...

 

The upper photic zone is low in nutrient concentration, high in light intensity and penetration, and usually higher in temperature. The lower photic zone is high in nutrient concentration, low in light intensity and penetration and relatively cool. The middle photic zone is an area that contains the same values in between that of the lower and upper photic zones.[25]

 

It shows a chart of many species that are prevalent in the lower photic zone as well as some that have no depth preferences.  Because they are also TEMPERATURE sensitive and the upper depths have higher temps AND more light, I would wonder if you were to have higher temps (as with the Flood) and more nutrients, if that would allow them to propagate more at lower light levels.  Probably there is no data about that since they would probably just observe what normal water conditions are today.  I did notice this:

 

>>Generally, calcification of coccoliths occurs in the presence of light,>>

That suggests to me that they do not NECESSARILY need light to make the coccoliths.

 

I know Snelling personally (though never have met him...just numerous emails) so I could probably get some answers from him on this topic.



#5 wibble

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 04:29 PM

>>
He then ratchets up the density further by stating an inadequately referenced figure of 10 billion 'microorganisms' per litre for an explosive bloom scenario. >>
 
The reference was from Roth's paper which mentions a location that had lots of "pollution from duck ranches".  In the flood scenario it is fair to assume lots of organic and animal pollution, above what is average for the ocean today...isn't it?


Thanks for the info, I've just found Roth's paper. The full quote is "The pollution from large duck ranches on the borders of Moriches Bay, New York is thought to contribute to a peak concentration of phytoplankton of more than 10 billion organisms per liter". Thought to contribute ? Very vague and there's no reference. Such a large figure seems extremely unlikely, this claim needs to be far better supported.
 

>>He assumes this density in the top 500m of the water column and equates the resultant figure to 1013 per cubic metre. A figure of 3x1013 coccoliths per cubic metre is then given as the observed density in chalk rock.  So he is basically saying that the bloom density is about the same as solid rock !?! and suggests that the chalk formations could then have been produced in 6 days.>>

I don't get how you say that Snelling says it is the SAME density in the water as in chalk "rock."  It is 3x more in the rock as in the  water (under an explosive bloom scenario.)  That is NOT "about the same".  He then says that if this went down 500m of water, it would be enough to produce the 500m of chalk IN JUST 3 BLOOMS!...which could happen in just one MONTH!  So if you object to a 3 to 1 ratio (rock to water) concentration, then change it to 100 to one if you like.  So then there would need to be 100 such blooms.  I think they reproduce every 2 days or so...so that would be possible in just one year.  LESS than that if the special conditions of the Flood made the blooms even more "explosive" than explosive blooms today   Plus even in beds of "solid" chalk the particles leave spaces where water can stay...it is very porous "rock."  my guess would be it has a weight of maybe 1500kg/m3  So it should not be a surprise that such a light "rock" could have 3x the quantities.


I said its about the same density because the reference is to coccoliths (the external calcite plates of the coccolithophore) for chalk rock while for the water column it was for the whole cell. Each coccolithophore cell has between 5 and 20 coccoliths which makes your scenario even more difficult. Have you ever held a piece of chalk rock ? I'm well aware chalk is porous, its an important aquifer for water supply in SE England but its a still a proper solid rock with weight, its not like pumice or something.

Timewise, you've got a lot less than a year, as you've got to lay down all the previous layers from the Precambrian onwards first.

 

And I believe (from what I've read) that the layers of mud thought to produce chalk must be greatly compressed before they would be considered chalk "rock."  And even with very "pure" chalk I believe much of the solid material is made of non-coccoliths.

Not sure how that first statement helps you, you would need an even greater starting density of live cells. Second statement, at least here in England, the majority constituent is coccoliths, followed by foraminifera and minor amounts of shelly material.
 

Also, one of AS's main sources is a paper by A.A. Roth...and Roth says that only 13×106 coccolithophores per liter of water (which is reported as what was observed TODAY, (citing Black, M. and D. Bukry. 1979. Coccoliths. In R. W. Fairbridge and D. Jablonski (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Paleontology, pp. 194-199. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences, Volume 7. Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania). ...rather than in the warmer and more nutrient rich waters during and after the Flood...would produce 54cm per year from just 100m depth of water.  If that were 500m...then it would be 270cm per year.  If the real production was not 13 MILLION but rather (as Snelling suggests) 10 BILLION...then you have 769x more than that...production per year.


10 billion is an extremely fishy figure. Not to mention the issue of penetration of light (which you haven't addressed) which wouldn't manage 5cm let alone 500m at that kind of density.
 

One other point...the YE Flood allows for there to be a collection of large amounts of all sorts of densities which are in suspension while the flow is fast enough, and then there is a sorting (of sorts <g>) that happens as the flow slows...with the finest stuff falling out LAST in a fairly pure state...and which could be far deeper and PURER than just what could be produced by normal blooms under still conditions over long time.  The AE's have no similar condition that could lay down very deep and pure sediments.


It's because of the undisturbed gradual nature of calcareous accumulation that we find some of the best examples of step by step evolution of various fauna (the sea urchin Micraster and bivalve Inoceramus being good examples. These changes are observed through time in the vertical sections of chalk rock. This would not be shown in the scenario you stated (not enough time for evolution and all macro organisms dead and/or buried anyway by previous sediments). Also chalk is associated with flints which are scattered amongst the chalk or concentrated in seams at various heights. And then you have the hardgrounds where ooze accumulation ceased for a period allowing a crust to develop and various organisms to build populations.
 

So Wibble, in your slow-accumulation scenario, how do you explain the extreme purity of chalk layers?  Or the sudden burial of fossils?  I have not searched to find examples of these buried fossils (to know how large they are) but I've read reference to there being some.  If they do exist, how do you explain them under a very slow deposition scenario?  They would have the same argumentative force as polystrate fossils have.

The purity is because the deposits were laid down far from land, away from contaminating sediments from rivers etc. There was less land in the late Cretaceous as sea level was much greater than today, no or minimal polar ice existed due to much warmer climate.



#6 wibble

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 04:34 PM

Just seen that you posted more while I was typing, will try to respond tomorrow as its late now

#7 indydave

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 06:35 PM

>>Thanks for the info, I've just found Roth's paper. The full quote is "The pollution from large duck ranches on the borders of Moriches Bay, New York is thought to contribute to a peak concentration of phytoplankton of more than 10 billion organisms per liter". Thought to contribute ? Very vague and there's no reference. Such a large figure seems extremely unlikely, this claim needs to be far better supported.>>

 

Seems to me it is the source or cause, NOT the rate that is in question.  Whatever caused it, someone (whoever Roth had read) seems to not question the amount, but just the cause. 

 

>>>I said its about the same density because the reference is to coccoliths (the external calcite plates of the coccolithophore) for chalk rock while for the water column it was for the whole cell. Each coccolithophore cell has between 5 and 20 coccoliths which makes your scenario even more difficult.>>

Why so?  It seems that YOUR position is the one with the problem since the 10 billion organisms /liter of water number would (apparently, unless some mistake in reporting was made) generate even LARGER amounts of shelly material to form what is measured in chalk.  You just have an incredulity problem picturing that many cells in just one liter of water.  Maybe it is impossible as you suggest, but it works out to about a 99.9/.1 (water to cell) ratio...see below.  If each cell can make 10 liths, then the 10 million cells / liter ACTUALLY OBSERVED in non-Flood conditions TODAY means it could result in 100 million liths per liter.  That is already at a rate that is 1.3% of the 10 billion liths figure that Snelling says Woodmorappe reported.  (And it should be noted that Snelling uses the word "yet" which to me expresses some doubt of his own about the Snelling figure.)  Even if there is some discrepancy ...which you may have correctly pointed out...what the REAL question is is simply whether under ideal "bloom" conditions could the thickness of coccoliths we observe as chalk layers be produced rapidly in the Flood scenario.  If it WERE really 10 billion cells per liter (or 1013 per cubic meter), Snelling says JUST 3 BLOOMS would produce all the chalk on Earth.  What if the blooms were to happen every 3 days, which is possible?  So you COULD have a lot less than 10 billion cells per liter and still produce in less than a year what is seen today.

 

 

>>Not to mention the issue of penetration of light (which you haven't addressed) which wouldn't manage 5cm let alone 500m at that kind of density.>>

 

I did too address it...but you ignored me.  I mentioned the wiki info that shows many species which live at low light levels, and suggested that perhaps it is only the temp or nutrient level that is why they would want to be at higher (more light) depths and it does not nec. mean they could not thrive in lower light.  Here's another thought...the liths are supposed to be TRANSPARENT in water.  So as thick as you might have them, the light might still be enough to feed/energize the orgs to considerable depths.  I am certainly open to my making a mistake here, but acc. to Roth, there are 60 x 10-12 grams per coccolith.  So if you had 13 billion of them per liter, all of them would weigh .78 grams.  The rest would be water.  So (by weight) the proportion is 999.22 to .78 or 1281 parts water to 1 part transparent calcium carbonate.  Or if you want to say there were 13 billion cells and each had 10 liths, then fine...you can say the ratio is 992 to 7.8 or whatever.  It is still way more water than liths.  I can't see why there is that much of a light problem...even if there ARE 13 billion cells or 130 billion liths per liter.  I would think they could thrive in that dense of a population without much problem even TODAY...and in a Flood scenario thrive even BETTER due to warmer temps and more nutrients. 

 

Here are SOFT creatures whose bodies were covered QUICKLY with coccoliths. 

 

http://www.discoveri...ion_fossils.htm

 

chalk_fish.jpg  chalk_starfish.jpg



#8 indydave

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 10:05 AM

>>He assumes this density in the top 500m of the water column and equates the resultant figure to 1013 per cubic metre. A figure of 3x1013 coccoliths per cubic metre is then given as the observed density in chalk rock.>>

 

There might be a typo here, because if one coccolith weighs 60 x 10-12 grams, then 3x1013 coccoliths would weigh only 1800 grams.  A cubic meter of 2.0 density rock (like chalk?) should weigh 2000 KILOgrams.  So this seems to be off by a factor of about 1000x.  That is, UNLESS coccoliths constitute only 1/1000th of the content of chalk rock...and I doubt it is that small. 

 

So maybe the error is not in the "too large" amount of coccoliths per cubic meter of water, but rather a mistake was made for what was the amount of coccoliths per cubic meter of chalk rock. 



#9 indydave

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 10:26 AM

Notice my BOLD emphasis.

 

http://www.detecting...esmondFord.html

 

How are these challenges answered by Young Earth Creationists (or Young Life Creationists like myself)?

 

Well, under certain conditions these microscopic creatures are able to mass-produce themselves in truly enormous quantities - hundreds of thousands of times more than usual.  These masses of microscopic life are called, "algal blooms". 

 

Usually, these blooms are associated with significantly increased nutrients that enrich the water as the result of some sort of contamination/pollution event or catastrophe or when the water becomes exceptionally warm.  Sometimes these blooms become so massive that they can be seen from outer space (see illustration; Link). These bloom conditions produce up to 10 million organisms per liter of ocean water.6

 

Now, consider that calculations that assume only 100 organisms per liter of ocean water show that the entire thickness of the White Cliffs of Dover could be produced within 1,000 years.3 What would a concentration 100,000 times as great do to this time span?    

 

INDY:  So with only 10 million (not 10 BILLION) per liter, it seems the quantity could be produced in 3.65 days. 

 

But what about the sheer mass of chalk-type calcium carbonate produced?  All the limestone contained within the Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary layers form around 17.5 million cubic meters of rock.  Not all of this is chalk, of course, but let's just assume that it is for a minute. Some fairly simple calculations show that only 12.5 million square kilometers of ocean area (only 2.5% of the Earth's surface) is needed to produce 17.5 million cubic kilometers of chalk within 1,700 years given a concentration of only 100 organisms per liter.4 Again, given the nutrient-rich bloom conditions described above, that certainly doesn't seem all that overwhelming to the concept of a young geologic record - does it?

 

The problem with anti-catastrophist arguments is that many of them assume that these chalk beds had to have been formed within the one year of the Noachian Flood.  That's not true at all.  The Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary layers likely followed the main flooding event before the continents had been split apart and started forming large mountain chains and ocean trenches.  The ocean basins immediately after the main catastrophe of the Noachian flood would have been fairly shallow and filled with massive quantities of nutrients.  The microorganisms would have gone wild producing diatomaceous blooms larger than can be imagined - large enough to bury and preserve very large creatures, like articulated whales!  How does one bury a whale in chalk at a rate of a few centimeters per thousand years?

 

Age%20of6.jpgIn this line, the fairly recent discoveries of fossil whales (Miocene/Pliocene) in western Peru are quite interesting. Leonard Brand (Ph.D. in Paleobiology from Cornell) comments, "In our survey of the area, we found the fossil remains of more than 100 whales in an area of less than two square kilometers… What was even more exciting was the well-preserved nature of the fossil remains. . .  Typically, when a whale dies at sea, the carcass falls to the bottom and becomes the source of a rich ecosystem. Many species of sea life benefit from the decaying remains at each stage of the process. Within four to six months, the whale carcass has been mostly stripped down to the bones. At that point, other species of organisms burrow both into the bones and the surrounding sediment. Within a year or two, the whale bones show much evidence of these burrowing animals." 5 

 

So, how did the whales in western Peru meet their end? "These whales were incredibly well-preserved," Brand observes, "suggesting that they were covered quickly." Brand found that the whale remains were blanketed by a thick layer of diatomite (silica remains of diatoms). These tiny creatures, known collectively as plankton together with dinoflagellates, are part of the food source for whales. In modern times, diatomite normally accumulates on the sea bottom at a rate of a few centimeters per thousand years. "We also found beautifully preserved baleen," he adds. Baleen refers to the filtering feather-like structures in the whale's mouth that are used to strain out food (plankton) from the water. "Whales feed by gulping in water and forcing it out through the baleen, trapping the tiny plankton." Baleen is actually more akin to the human fingernail or toenail in its structure. "The well-preserved baleen supports the theory of a quick burial to an even greater extent." 5 Other similar though arguably less dramatic discoveries have also been published in earlier papers.7

 

But why did these whales (and other kinds of preserved creatures) die in the first place? "There is more and more evidence that red tides--blooms of diatoms and dinoflagellates--produce toxins which can kill large animals and fish," he says.5 These massive blooms were so large that they not only killed the whales, but buried them in thick layers before any significant decay could set in.  If this find does not prove the reality of rapid chalk deposition, I don't know what does?

 

The very purity of these chalk beds should cause one to question the uniformitarian paradigm.   It is very hard to imagine how the very high level of purity of calcium carbonate could have been maintained over millions of years without the incorporation of significant amounts of contaminate material?  Rather, given a period of relative calm following a series of shortly spaced massive watery catastrophes on a global scale (as indicated by the Biblical account and numerous extra-Biblical cultural legends of a Noachian Flood), the oceans would have been both relatively warm and nutrient rich (from all of the killed, buried, and floating organic material).  Such a situation would have produced massive algal blooms on a global scale such as the world has never seen before or since.8 

 

 

  1. Schadewald, R.J., 1982. Six 'Flood' arguments creationists can’t answer. Creation/Evolution IV:12–17 (p. 13).
  2. Morton, G.R., 1984. The carbon problem. Creation Research Society Quarterly 20(4):212–219 (pp. 217–218).
  3. Roth, A.A., 1985. Are millions of years required to produce biogenic sediments in the deep ocean? Origins 12(1):48–56.
  4. Woodmorappe, J., 1986. The antediluvian biosphere and its capability of supplying the entire fossil record. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh, C.L. Brooks and R.S. Crowell (eds), Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Vol. 2, pp. 205–218.
  5. Leonard Brand, Taphonomy of fossil whales in the Miocene/Pliocene Pisco Fm., Peru, Dept. of Natural Sciences, Loma Linda University, 2004 ( http://www.llu.edu/l...brand/whale.htm )
  6. Seliger, H.H., Carpenter, J.H., Loftus, M. and McElroy, W.D., 1970. Mechanisms for the accumulation or high concentrations of dinoflagellates in a bioluminescent bay. Limnology and Oceanography 15:234–245.
  7. (Reese, K.M. 1976. Workers find whale in diatomaceous earth quarry. Chemical & Engineering News 54(42):40.).


#10 wibble

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 04:25 PM

Usually, these blooms are associated with significantly increased nutrients that enrich the water as the result of some sort of contamination/pollution event or catastrophe or when the water becomes exceptionally warm.  Sometimes these blooms become so massive that they can be seen from outer space (see illustration; Link). These bloom conditions produce up to 10 million organisms per liter of ocean water.6
 
Now, consider that calculations that assume only 100 organisms per liter of ocean water show that the entire thickness of the White Cliffs of Dover could be produced within 1,000 years.3 What would a concentration 100,000 times as great do to this time span?    
 
INDY:  So with only 10 million (not 10 BILLION) per liter, it seems the quantity could be produced in 3.65 days. 


I'll just respond to this point quickly as I haven't time to go through the rest right now.

It seems to be that Roth was employing some sleight of hand with his calculations. He's trying to make out that 100 organisms per litre is very little and that this can be scaled up in a bloom situation. In actual fact the 100 per litre already refers to a massive bloom (of foraminifera). I don't know how accurate his reference is but my search for foraminifera bloom densities states a typical maximum of >1000/m3 which equates to just  >1 individual per litre.

reference

The bloom of 10 million organisms per litre figure he uses to extrapolate is not foraminifera but dinoflagellates. Why is he mixing up taxa like this, is it because he didn't have the figures he wanted ?

Also, I think its a mistake to think that adding excessively more nutrients is going to constantly increase productivity because other limiting factors come into play such as lack of oxygen in such an enriched environment. Going back to coccolithophores it seems they often actually bloom in nutrient depleted situations where they have a competitive advantage, at high nutrients other plankton such as diatoms do better.

 

The source you asked for in an earlier post regarding heterotrophy of coccolithophores is here:

https://www.google.c...hophore biology

(look at pdf file)



#11 indydave

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 09:11 PM

>>It seems to be that Roth was employing some sleight of hand with his calculations. He's trying to make out that 100 organisms per litre is very little and that this can be scaled up in a bloom situation. In actual fact the 100 per litre already refers to a massive bloom (of foraminifera). I don't know how accurate his reference is but my search for foraminifera bloom densities states a typical maximum of >1000/m3 which equates to just  >1 individual per litre.  The bloom of 10 million organisms per litre figure he uses to extrapolate is not foraminifera but dinoflagellates. Why is he mixing up taxa like this, is it because he didn't have the figures he wanted ?>>

 

I think it is pretty unfair...and a bit loathsome...that you want to besmirch Roth, as if he's pulling some switcheroo to deceive his audience.   So what if he used dinoflagellates (which he simply called "a microscopic bioluminescent protozoa") as an example of how reproduction rates can jump dramatically under ideal conditions for such microscopic marine life?  Notice in the following, how he even suggests caution about a conclusion that such rates could be sustained.  (Emphasis mine).

 

Roth: "The pollution from large duck ranches on the borders of Moriches Bay, New York is thought to contribute to a peak concentration of phytoplankton of more than 10 billion organisms per liter. On the other hand, if the Ca ion input was limited, the expected increase in CO2 in the water resulting from decaying organic matter would favor the dissolution of carbonate shells reducing the rate of accumulation. The total picture appears much more complicated than the few comments this note will allow."

 

Why would a deceiving trickster trying to pull off "sleight of hand" include that cautionary statement which results in reducing the amount of accumulation?  He also wrote:

 

Roth: "It must be emphasized that the high rates given above are optimum and do not appear at all to represent average present-day rates. The figures given represent the biological potential of these organisms."

 

He is trying to show the POTENTIAL these organisms have, not what is normally seen or even seen PRESENTLY under less than optimum conditions.  Why would a deceiver include that statement, Wibble?

 

Also, he SAID that the 100/ liter amount WAS a "HIGH concentration".  How exactly do you figure he was "trying to make out that 100 organisms per litre is very little" when he TELLS us it is NOT little but "HIGH CONCENTRATION."   AND he never attempted to "scale up in a bloom situation" as you accuse.  Show us where he did that, supposedly.  Readers can find his article here:  http://www.grisda.or...igins/12048.htm  and see for themselves.  He merely used that HIGH number to show how long was the MINIMUM for accumulation of the actual measurement of 100 m of foram sediment in the ocean...i.e. 1000 years.  Half the ocean ooze that is formed from organisms is forams and the other half are coccoliths.  He simply began talking about the forams.  There was no intent to deceive.  Did YOU (Wibble) intend to deceive US about that?  I HOPE it was simply due to your not being careful reading rather than your looking to find some evil motive and/or intending to mislead us about Roth's honesty. 

 

>>Also, I think its a mistake to think that adding excessively more nutrients is going to constantly increase productivity >>

 

Nobody SAID it WOULD "constantly increase."  There would be other limiting factors too.   

 

>>because other limiting factors come into play such as lack of oxygen in such an enriched environment.Going back to coccolithophores it seems they often actually bloom in nutrient depleted situations where they have a competitive advantage, at high nutrients other plankton such as diatoms do better.>>

This conflicts with this statement from wiki:

 

"It has also been proposed that the added weight of multiple layers of coccoliths allows the organism to sink to lower, more nutrient rich layers of the water".  It implies they want to be in higher nutrients, not lesser. 

 

Also this:

 

"This structure, which is unique to haptophytes, coils and uncoils in response to environmental stimuli. Although poorly understood, it has been proposed to be involved in prey capture."  So if they are trying to capture organic prey, I would assume that they might also like organic dead stuff to feed on.  I believe you may have gotten your idea from this:

 

"When they are haploid they are K- selected and are often more competitive in stable low nutrient environments. Most coccolithophores are K strategist and are usually found on nutrient-poor surface waters."

 

This just seems to me to be saying they can compete better against other life forms when both are struggling in a low nutrient environment.  I don't think that means (as you seem to imply) that if there were high levels of nutrients they would reproduce less.  It may just mean other competitors would do better. 

 

Notice:

 

"The increase in agricultural processes lead to eutrophication of waters and thus, coccolithophore blooms in these high nitrogen and phosphorus, low silicate environment."  High nitrogen and phosphorus content would be in waters where dead things were rotting. 

 

Also: "Eutrophication (Greek: eutrophia—healthy, adequate nutrition, development; German: Eutrophie) or more precisely hypertrophication, is the ecosystem response to the addition of artificial or natural substances, mainly phosphates, through detergents, fertilizers, or sewage, to an aquatic system.[1] One example is the "bloom" or great increase of phytoplankton in a water body as a response to increased levels of nutrients. Negative environmental effects include hypoxia, the depletion of oxygen in the water, which may cause death to aquatic animals."

 

I don't think anyone (me OR Roth or Snelling) would say there are no limiting growth factors if you keep adding more nutrients.  Surely other things affect their growth.  One is ocean acidity.  Another might be oxygen (however they thrive well when oxygen is LOW, when other creatures cannot live).  And another is temperature.  It is very possible that the extreme blooms were due to warmer temperature or alkalinity during or after the Flood as much or moreso as nutrient level. 

 

>>

The source you asked for in an earlier post regarding heterotrophy of coccolithophores is here:

https://www.google.c...hophore biology

(look at pdf file)>>

The search I did of the .pdf showed NO RESULTS for the word "heterotrophy."  What is the right source for what you said?  I also (in a brief scan) could find no discussion at all of what they "eat."  As you said, the word means "able to ingest organics" and what I've read seems to suggest that they can.  Or perhaps bacteria must first break down the organics into the chemicals the coccolithophores like and THEN they eat them.  However, there is some sort of "prey" that they are said to eat also. 



#12 indydave

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 06:18 PM

More from Roth:

 

This final accumulation rate is based on the amount of calcium carbonate and/or calcium ion supplied by the rivers to the ocean system. Rivers are the ultimate source of minerals for the oceans. It has been noted that rivers carry only about 10-20% of the carbonate that the organisms are estimated to produce now.

 

Roth, rather than being the trickster Wibble thinks he is, again offers facts which suggest a problem with faster accumulation...that not enough carbonate enters the oceans, even to produce at the slow rates assumed for the past.  HOWEVER, in the HPT model, there would be tons of NEW calcium carbonate ions from the subterranean water chamber (SWC).  This is also what explains the vast amounts of limestone in the continents.  Brown has an entire chapter on how the HPT helps explain that much limestone. 

 

 

>>The discrepancy between production by organisms and river input is explained by assuming that the major portion of the carbonate deposited on the floor of the ocean is dissolved and recycled into the system to form new shells. The discrepancy can likewise suggest non-equilibrium conditions, e.g., the rivers are carrying less calcium to the ocean now than in the past and equilibrium has not yet been reached. If one assumes a balanced steady-state model, it does appear that at present the slow input of calcium carbonate into the oceans from rivers, etc., may be a major limiting factor in carbonate skeletal production and preservation in the ocean.
    While evaluating whether the quantity of carbonate shells on the floor of the ocean challenge the validity of Scripture, one must take into account that any model must be tested using its complete conceptual framework and that implicit in the scriptural model is a worldwide flood which would produce dramatic changes in the sedimentary cycles of the earth. Of special significance would be a major input of calcium ion to the hydrosphere due to erosion of continental and marine environments.

 

Indy: Brown would also say that his SWC would be where much of the calcium came from...not just from erosion. 

 

>>According to most models of the Genesis flood, the carbonate available would be essentially free of 14C, thus giving old dates for the marine sediments produced soon after this catastrophe.>>

 

Indy:  Actually, I believe some of the recent testing of carbonaceous sedimentary and metamorphic layers DO have measurable C14.  This baffles the evolutionists, of course.  I have to wonder if chalk has been tested for C14.  Of course we would expect the ev's to call upon their constant hero..."contamination." 

 

>> The disequilibrium produced by such a catastrophe would be reflected in rapid continental erosion rates for many subsequent centuries as readjustments took place; also, carbonates that would have settled to the ocean floor could be dissolved and recycled through shell-secreting organisms, as is assumed to occur now to account for the greater production rate compared to river input mentioned above.
    One would expect greater rates of production by foraminifera and coccolithophores after such a catastrophe due to the influx of NUTRIENTS from the destruction of the biota and the solution of minerals. At present, as expected, production is GREATER in regions of high nutritional concentrations (Berger 1969, Kennett 1982, p. 462).

 

So Roth also says (as would be expected) that higher nutrient levels (including minerals) WOULD INDEED result in greater production (growth)...and he cites a study as his source. 

 

Also, in the following quote, Roth's honesty and fairness is shown again, by warning that the 100 per liter measurement for foraminifera could be too high.  So I would HOPE that Wibble would retract the charge he made against Roth's honesty. 

 

Roth: >>A few words of caution regarding our present state of knowledge are pertinent to this discussion. We have yet much to learn about the nature and origin of sediments on the floor of the ocean. The estimate given above of an average of 100 m of foraminiferal shells may be generous.>>



#13 wibble

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 04:48 PM

Also, in the following quote, Roth's honesty and fairness is shown again, by warning that the 100 per liter measurement for foraminifera could be too high.  So I would HOPE that Wibble would retract the charge he made against Roth's honesty.


You gave me this statement:

"Now, consider that calculations that assume only 100 organisms per liter of ocean water show that the entire thickness of the White Cliffs of Dover could be produced within 1,000 years. What would a concentration 100,000 times as great do to this time span?"

You didn't provide any caveats to those figures so I was right to be cynical based on that statement. Saying "only" 100 organisms does not give the impression that this represents a super massive foraminifera bloom beyond anything ever observed.

Returning to coccolithophores, the majority component of chalk rock, the creationist argument seems to depend on enormously dense, sustained blooms. I think for now we can discard the 10 billion cells per litre as pie in the sky (unless you want to email Snelling to see if he can back this up). Ten million cells/litre has been observed and the best that Snelling can produce at that density is 100m of chalk ooze in about 200 years, so about a 1000 years for the depth of chalk rock observed (more with compression). Also however, this is assuming that this high bloom density is maintained down to 100m water depth which isn't going to happen due to lack of light penetration as has been discussed. You quoted wiki which states that "coccolith production generally occurs in the presence of light" and stated that perhaps therefore light is not always required but going to the reference in the same wiki article you get this in the abstract:

 

"No coccolith production took place during the dark period"

 

Also there is this paper that states that the globally dominant and most abundant species, Emiliania huxleyi will only bloom in the top 30m or less.

 

Light only penetrates ocean waters down to 200m in normal conditions (this is the entire photic zone where photosynthesis can occur) let alone during a bloom. Coccoliths may be transparent as you mention but incident light won't carry on in a straight line, it gets refracted. The fact that you can see white water blooms from space makes it obvious that albedo is increased.

 

Without light it won't matter how much nutrient is available.

 

So the Snelling claim that the creationist response is satisfactory in explaining 500m of chalk production in a few months is clearly without merit.

 

p.s. the mention of heterotrophy you couldn't find in that pdf is on page 13 (sorry, should have told you that in the first place to save you time)

 



#14 indydave

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 10:03 PM

Did I show you good reason for you to retract your accusation of dishonesty for Roth?  I mean come ON...he VOLUNTEERED several caveats against overestimating.  And you just ignored those. 

 

(more probably later)



#15 indydave

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 10:10 PM

Also you have said little in reply...sort of just taking pot shots, rather than making point by point replies.  I think if I make a decent point it should eventually get addressed.  How about what I said about the original point you made...that a rate of 3x1013 coccoliths per cubic metre being the density of chalk rock was only 3x the reported density in water near the duck ranches.  I did a calc. to show that totals only 1800g...so obviously it had to be an error for how many were in chalk rock.  Do you agree with my math and my argument?  (See my post # 8)  Wouldn't this sufficiently answer your original complaint against Snelling?

 

(I have written him to show him the possible mistake...haven't heard back).



#16 wibble

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 02:04 AM

Now, consider that calculations that assume only 100 organisms per liter of ocean water show that the entire thickness of the White Cliffs of Dover could be produced within 1,000 years.3 What would a concentration 100,000 times as great do to this time span?    
 
INDY:  So with only 10 million (not 10 BILLION) per liter, it seems the quantity could be produced in 3.65 days.   
[


Ok, fair enough, I've looked back and seen that I misattributed the quote - it was creationist Sean Pitman in your link, not Roth. Will you agree that the statement (which you propagated)is misleading though ?

#17 wibble

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 02:13 AM

Also you have said little in reply...sort of just taking pot shots, rather than making point by point replies.  I think if I make a decent point it should eventually get addressed.  How about what I said about the original point you made...that a rate of 3x1013 coccoliths per cubic metre being the density of chalk rock was only 3x the reported density in water near the duck ranches.  I did a calc. to show that totals only 1800g...so obviously it had to be an error for how many were in chalk rock.  Do you agree with my math and my argument?  (See my post # 8)  Wouldn't this sufficiently answer your original complaint against Snelling?
 
(I have written him to show him the possible mistake...haven't heard back).


Not taking potshots, just trying to concentrate on the most salient points as I have limited time for this. If there is a particularly important point that you think I've missed then let me know and I'll try my best to answer it.

With your maths for coccolith density for chalk rock, I would agree that that stated concentration seems too low. The main issue though is the feasibility of the enormously concentrated densities of live cells that you require.

#18 indydave

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 10:27 AM

Not taking potshots, just trying to concentrate on the most salient points as I have limited time for this. If there is a particularly important point that you think I've missed then let me know and I'll try my best to answer it.

With your maths for coccolith density for chalk rock, I would agree that that stated concentration seems too low. The main issue though is the feasibility of the enormously concentrated densities of live cells that you require.

 

I believe this means you agree then that at least the point about the number of 10 billion 'microorganisms' per litre is not a bad number due to that being only 1/3 what chalk rock has...was invalid.  So now what about my other point, which showed you that that number results in less than 1/1000th the weight of one liter of water?  Is it so incredible to you that 1 liter could have less than one gram of coccoliths in it...under an extreme bloom situation?



#19 indydave

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:57 AM

I got a reply back from Snelling saying he was too busy right now to address my question, but that he just relied on Woodmorappe and Roth's reporting and calculations. 

 

I believe my calc was enough to refute Wibble's main challenge about why the extreme bloom of 1013 per cubic metre was 1/3 of the amount in chalk rock.  It is because someone (Woodmorappe?) made an error on how many are in chalk rock.  Less than one gram per liter of water (see my post #7) is NOT an impossibly high amount, as Wibble wants us to believe.  Maybe I'll write to Woodmorappe about it.



#20 indydave

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 01:15 PM

"Now, consider that calculations that assume only 100 organisms per liter of ocean water show that the entire thickness of the White Cliffs of Dover could be produced within 1,000 years. What would a concentration 100,000 times as great do to this time span?"

Wibble:>>You didn't provide any caveats to those figures so I was right to be cynical based on that statement. Saying "only" 100 organisms does not give the impression that this represents a super massive foraminifera bloom beyond anything ever observed.>>

 

I do agree that Pitman's remarks leave the impression (wrongly) that the 100 number is a low one and that the same creature (foraminifera) COULD possibly go to as high as 100,000 per liter, and I don't think that is true.  Had I noticed that, I would have given my own objection.  His footnote indicates he got the 100 number from Roth...and Roth certainly does not seem to do the extrapolation to 100,000.  Since forams are in the visible 1mm or so range, there's no way they would be packed as close as 100,000 per liter.  I doubt Pitman intended to deceive but he certainly left a wrong impression. 

 

So Wibble...do you ever make direct replies to my attacking comments?  Why not?  It sure SEEMS like pot-shotting, and I don't stay in discussions for long if my arguments are just ignored.  What is your explanation for the rapid burial of whales in chalk?  I think this is a very good example to test if the YE idea is valid.  What AE explanation for that do you have?






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