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My E-mail To Russel Humphreys


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#1 willis

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 02:54 AM

Several months ago I started a thread about the Young earth arguments posted on the Talk Origins archive and the one issue that was discussed was the Salty seas argument. According to Talk Origins the issue was settled by Glenn Morton who wrote a thorough rebuttal of Dr. Austin and Humphrey's findings in a letter to them. However, it is not that simple and the conclusion drawn by Talk origins is a little deceptive.

As I promised I would I contacted ICR to ask about argument and why it was being used if it was fraudulent. The following is my e-mail to ICR and Russ Humphrey's unedited response.

My initial e-mail:
I was browsing through your website when I came across the page that has
the list of young earth proofs. One that caught my eye was the Saltiness of
the oceans argument. Should this argument still be used? I did some research
and I found a letter written by Glen Morton to Dr. Austin and Dr. Humphreys.
In the letter Morton claims that Dr. Austin and Dr. Humphreys ignore some of
the biggest contributors to sodium removal from the oceans. He claims that
when these output mechanisms are included in the data the problem balances
out. Salt input=salt output therefore the saltiness of the oceans is no
longer a problem for evolutionists. Is Glen Morton correct? Should creationists still use this as a young
earth


Dr. Humphrey's resonse:
No, Glen Morton is not at all correct on this, and you can continue using sea sodium as an evidence for a young world. Morton showed you an early letter in his correspondence with us, but not our replies. He also did not show you how he terminated the correspondence - by irrationally screaming (as well as one can do that in print) at us.



Morton thinks the mineral albite would form permanently on the ocean floor, taking sodium out of sea water. But what happens is this: Indeed albite forms in mid-ocean vents and takes sodium out of the high-temperature sea water. But then when the albite gets into cooler water, it decomposes into the mineral chlorite and releases the same amount of sodium back into the sea water. That is why albite (in any significant amounts) is found only at the mid-ocean ridges and nowhere else. So his "albite sink" would change into a "chlorite source", and the net effect on sodium in the sea would be zero.

Find out whether he has published his "albite sink" theory in a peer-reviewed secular geochemistry journal. The foremost one has the Latin title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Such journals would be overjoyed to publish his theory if it Acta were correct, because it would solve the 75-year-old problem Steve and I pointed out, the great imbalance between ingoing and outgoing sodium.

Moreover, Morton would be very proud to have his theory published in such a journal and would be sure to brag about it prominently on his website. Let me know if you find such a citation there. If you don't, then you know Morton is blowing smoke at you.


I don't know if Morton Published his theory in any scientific journal so if anyone knows please inform me.

Any thoughts?
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#2 lwj2op2

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 03:51 AM

Several months ago I started a thread about the Young earth arguments posted on the Talk Origins archive and the one issue that was discussed was the Salty seas argument. According to Talk Origins the issue was settled by Glenn Morton who wrote a thorough rebuttal of  Dr. Austin and Humphrey's findings in a letter to them. However, it is not that simple and the conclusion drawn by Talk origins is a little deceptive.

As I promised I would I contacted ICR to ask about argument and why it was being used if it was fraudulent.  The following is my e-mail to ICR and Russ Humphrey's unedited response.

My initial e-mail:
I was browsing through your website when I came across the page that has
the list of young earth proofs. One that caught my eye was the Saltiness of
the oceans argument. Should this argument still be used? I did some research
and I found a letter written by Glen Morton to Dr. Austin and Dr. Humphreys.
In the letter Morton claims that Dr. Austin and Dr. Humphreys ignore some of
the biggest contributors to sodium removal from the oceans. He claims that
when these output mechanisms are included in the data the problem balances
out. Salt input=salt output therefore the saltiness of the oceans is no
longer a problem for evolutionists. Is Glen Morton correct? Should creationists still use this as a young
earth


Dr. Humphrey's resonse:
No, Glen Morton is not at all correct on this, and you can continue using sea sodium as an evidence for a young world. Morton showed you an early letter in his correspondence with us, but not our replies. He also did not show you how he terminated the correspondence - by irrationally screaming (as well as one can do that in print) at us.



Morton thinks the mineral albite would form permanently on the ocean floor, taking sodium out of sea water. But what happens is this: Indeed albite forms in mid-ocean vents and takes sodium out of the high-temperature sea water. But then when the albite gets into cooler water, it decomposes into the mineral chlorite and releases the same amount of sodium back into the sea water.  That is why albite (in any significant amounts) is found only at the mid-ocean ridges and nowhere else. So his "albite sink" would change into a "chlorite source", and the net effect on sodium in the sea would be zero.

Find out whether he has published his "albite sink" theory in a peer-reviewed secular geochemistry journal. The foremost one has the Latin title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Such journals would be overjoyed to publish his theory if it Acta were correct, because it would solve the 75-year-old problem Steve and I pointed out, the great imbalance between ingoing and outgoing sodium.

Moreover, Morton would be very proud to have his theory published in such a journal and would be sure to brag about it prominently on his website. Let me know if you find such a citation there. If you don't, then you know Morton is blowing smoke at you.


I don't know if Morton Published his theory in any scientific journal so if anyone knows please inform me.

Any thoughts?

View Post


I hoped to have something. Spent about an hour looking and as yet, no response fron Morton. The silence speaks volumes.
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#3 willis

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 03:36 PM

I hoped to have something. Spent about an hour looking and as yet, no response fron Morton. The silence speaks volumes.

View Post


Very interesting, if anybody has any info please let me know.

#4 chance

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 02:27 PM

Very interesting, if anybody has any info please let me know.

View Post


From the wikipedia

Ocean salinity has been stable for millions of years, most likely as a consequence of a chemical/tectonic system which recycles the salt. Since the ocean's creation, sodium is no longer leached out of the ocean floor, but instead is captured in sedimentary layers covering the bed of the ocean. One theory is that plate tectonics result in salt being forced under the continental land masses, where it is again slowly leached to the surface

, but I can’t find any info on the mechanisms.

The talk origin page http://www.talkorigi...CD/CD221_1.html
Is also a bit thin on an explanation for the mechanisms, out referencing to http://www.asa3.org/...99606/0051.html

In this later document, the figures posted by Steve Austin and Russ
Humphreys are challenged, and missing of some critical salt reducing processes.

In your email to Humphries he mentions the albite sink yet in talk origins only Humphries uses this figure (set to zero).

Googeling around I found this article http://www.earthscap...1e/chs01ec.html
which states that the salt removal mechinism are not fully understood. You may like to compare this with Humphries.

The total amount of salts and minerals in the world ocean on average is about 5 x 1022 grams, or 55 million billion tons. Using the average runoff of salt from land due to weathering and dissolution of rocks, and assuming that rivers have been adding salt to the sea at the same rate for the past 3.5 billion years, it becomes clear that more salt has been added to the sea than is presently accounted for in the sea. For salinity to remain constant, the input of salts and minerals must be balanced with the removal of these constituents. Thus, there has to be some way by which salt has been removed from the sea.

Since the sources of salts and minerals in the sea are fairly well defined, we'll begin our discussion here. The major mechanisms by which salt enters the sea are thought to be:

weathering and dissolution of rocks by rainfall
weathering and dissolution of rocks by rivers
injection of salts and minerals from hydrothermal vents
outgassing from volcanoes (both aboveground and under the ocean)
recycling of crustal material and ejection by volcanoes (i.e. island arcs)
Weathering and dissolution of rocks by rainfall and rivers add about 2.75 billion tons of salt each year to the oceans, or about 0.000005% of the total salt currently present. The quantities released through hydrothermal vents and volcanic eruptions are less certain, but given that the entire volume of the oceans is thought to circulate through hydrothermal vents once every ten million years, the amounts cannot be insignificant. Whatever the contribution, any additions to the salt content of the sea can only exacerbate the problem of where all the salt is going.

To remove nearly 3 billion tons of salt each year, oceanographers have invoked several plausible, but less than satisfactory mechanisms. The major means by which salt and minerals are removed from seawater are:

evaporite deposition (salt deposits on land)
allochthonous salt traps (salt deposits beneath continental shelfs)
adsoprtion and sedimentation by clays and inorganic compounds
removal through hydrothermal vent chemical reactions
biological processes, such as phytoplankton growth and sedimentation
biological formation of reefs, which get buried by tectonic activity
No information is available in your text on the quantities of material removed by any of these processes. As I research this subject further, I will try to get some numbers for you.

The formation of evaporites occurs as shallow seas, such as the Salton Sea, become isolated and evaporate. A giant salt deposit, more than 1000 feet thick, is present in the deepest parts of the Mediterranean Basin. These salt deposits formed as the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic as a result of plate tectonics. Huge salt deposits are present beneath the ocean floor in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. However, these salt deposits alone cannot account for the removal of all the minerals and salts that are needed to balance the salt cycle.

Adsorption of minerals onto clays and particles that settle onto the sea floor as deposits is another possible way that salts and minerals are removed. Clay particles may enter the oceans through rivers and land runoff and probably by atmospheric processes. Volcanic eruptions such as Mt. Pinatubo likely deposit vast amounts of clay-like particles that absorb ions and carry them to the sea floor. Clays appear to bind potassium easily, and may be responsible for sedimentation of this element.

Hydrothermal vents can act both as a source and removal mechanism for salts. Magnesium and sulfate appear to react with rocks in the crust. Magnesium forms mineral deposits while sulfate is transformed to hydrogen sulfide, a source of energy for chemoautotrophic bacteria. Whether these processes actually remove these salts permanently is hard to tell; magnesium could re-dissolve unless buried and sulfur could be recycled to seawater by vent organisms. Certainly, hydrothermal vents play an important part in regulating the composition of seawater. As more is learned about their chemistry, their role in removing salts and minerals will become more clear. One point in their favor: hydrothermal vents are continuously active and widespread through the oceans, unlike the formation of evaporite deposits. Thus, they have a better potential to regulate seawater chemistry than other mechanisms.



#5 willis

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:26 PM

Thank you for your response chance but, I was hoping for some information about Morton publishing his theory about an albite sink in a scientific journal. I should have clarified that in the first place.

The talk origin page http://www.talkorigi...CD/CD221_1.html
Is also a bit thin on an explanation for the mechanisms, out referencing to http://www.asa3.org/...99606/0051.html

In this later document, the figures posted by Steve Austin and Russ
Humphreys are challenged, and missing of some critical salt reducing processes.


That document you posted is the original letter in which Morton criticized Humphreys and Austin. What is not there is their responses to his critique. This is what I sent to Dr. Humphreys for his response, he then sent me the above e-mail.

In your email to Humphries he mentions the albite sink yet in talk origins only Humphries uses this figure (set to zero).

I will see if I can find more information on that. As best I can tell Morton has proposed that theory elsewhere and not in that specific letter.

#6 willis

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:24 AM

Just an update. I sent my question to ICR and then to AIG several months later. They ended up publishing My feedback on there website. They were upset with me for sending the question to both organization and not saying anything about it.

In your email to Humphries he mentions the albite sink yet in talk origins only Humphries uses this figure (set to zero).

I found an article where Morton acknowledges his theory is based albite formation.
Morton's response
Scroll down to the section entitled "2006 comments" Morton uses my question to Dr. Humphreys and Dr. Humphreys response to me as the base for his criticism. Morton says Dr. Humphreys is correct about albite formation. However, he claims that the process takes 13 million years.

And to answer the original question morton has not publsihed his albite theory in a peer reviewed journal.

If truth is determined by having a theory in a journal, I would ask where precisely is the journal article for Austin and Humphrey's claim that salt proves the earth is young? They have none. Maybe there is a bit of smoke blowing on their side, perchance?



#7 chance

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 07:32 PM

That’s a lot of material to get through!

However seems you’ve been published in AIG and had Humphries answer your email so that something, not sure why they think it deceitful about using AIG a second opinion however.

It also appears that your ‘feed back’ question directly resulted in and amendment and another round of exchanges on the article http://home.entouch.net/dmd/salt.htm cool!

From the various links I’v managed to extracts some salient points to consider or comment upon.

Humphreys> Morton thinks the mineral albite would form permanently on the ocean floor, taking sodium out of seawater. But what happens is this: indeed albite forms in mid-ocean vents and takes sodium out of the high-temperature sea water. But then when the albite gets into cooler water, it decomposes into the mineral chlorite and releases the same amount of sodium back into the sea water. That is why albite (in any significant amounts) is found only at the mid-ocean ridges and nowhere else. So his “albite sink” would change into a “chlorite source”, and the net effect on sodium in the sea would be zero.


chance> This claim needs to be researched. It would have been helpful if Humphreys referenced his claim, but non was published.

Humphreys> That may seem technical to you. So here is a non-technical way you can judge for yourself whether Morton is right or not: find out whether he has published his “albite sink” theory in a peer-reviewed secular geochemistry journal.


chance> Morton may be referencing such articles, there is no need for Morton to have done the research personally to be either right or wrong.


The last quote box on post #6 is a “tit for tat” exchange.

#8 willis

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:03 PM

However seems you’ve been published in AIG and had Humphries answer your email so that something, not sure why they think it deceitful about using AIG a second opinion however.

I did that on purpose to see if I could get more information from two sources. I had no idea all of it would get back to Dr. Humphreys. No worries, I am glad this sparked some kind of debate.

The last quote box on post #6 is a “tit for tat” exchange.

Where is that located in the link?

#9 willis

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 10:58 AM

I e-mailed ICR again and asked about Glen Mortons latest comments. Here is the response I recieved:

Thank you for contacting the Institute for Creation Research. It is still reasonable to use sea sodium as a young earth evidence. You may be sure that both ICR and AIG will restate our position if scientific evidence shows otherwise. Remember that young earth creationists believe that many things occurred during the Flood that with human reasoning seems to have taken millions of years (such as most of the strata in the geologic column) but only took one greatly catastrophic earth-resurfacing year. Dr. Humphreys answer still stands. You might find the following articles interesting. One is about arguments that creationists should not use, one is a list of other young earth evidences.

http://www.answersin...aq/dont_use.asp

http://www.icr.org/i...on=view&ID=1842



#10 chance

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:34 PM

I did that on purpose to see if I could get more information from two sources. I had no idea all of it would get back to Dr. Humphreys. No worries, I am glad this sparked some kind of debate.

(my bold).

I’ll say, have you noticed the read count, well over 600 have viewed it!




Re post #6 - IMO it a “tit for tat” exchange, it comes from the same link in the ‘2006 comments’.

Humphreys>
“Moreover, Morton would be very proud to have his theory published in such a journal and would be sure to mention it prominently on his website. Let me know if you find such a citation there. If you don’t, then you know Morton is blowing smoke at you.”

immediately is Morton’s comment of >
“If truth is determined by having a theory in a journal, I would ask where precisely is the journal article for Austin and Humphrey's claim that salt proves the earth is young? They have none. Maybe there is a bit of smoke blowing on their side, perchance?”



#11 willis

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:13 PM

I’ll say, have you noticed the read count, well over 600 have viewed it!

Wow! I just saw that.

Re post #6 - IMO it a “tit for tat” exchange, it comes from the same link in the ‘2006 comments’.

Yeah I had already read that section. Very interesting.

Well I hope it continues I still don't see the issue as settled.




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