A Response to the Penny Setterfield-Fryman Flood Scenario

by J. Meert (June 29, 2002)
Updated July 8, 2002

I have repeatedly chided creationists for their lack of a coherent flood model (with mention of specific strata related to the flood).  A ye-creationist named Penny Fryman-Setterfield (spouse of Barry Setterfield aka Helen on internet BB's) has responded with a model.  In an effort to conserve space on a message board, I am repeating the claims verbatim here along with my response.  Any subsequent response by Fryman-Setterfield will be included on these pages.

The 'model' will be presented in italics and my responses in bold.  One thing that should be noted.  The bible is held forth as a literal document, yet the model below requires a non-literal reading of the bible and stretches the verses in order to 'fit' the model (sometimes to illogical extremes).  Other creationists have told me that Barry's timeline for the flood is rejected by most creationists.  The work strays so far from conventional  geology and creationism that both groups are likely to dismiss the ideas as nonsensical.  One thing to note as you read through Setterfield's hypothesis is how well humans and large mammals were able to escape all of these catastrophes!

A note for those wondering WHO is Barry Setterfield?

    There are a number of young earth creation myths circulating.  One of the most famous is known as 
The appearance of age argument.   Basically, the argument is similar to the one used Phillip Gosse in his 1857 treatise called "Omphalos: Untying the Geologic knot".  The argument states that the earth, like Adam, was created fully formed with the appearance of great age.  One of the major objections to the Omphalos argument is that it requires a deceptive God because although the Earth is really young, God made it look deceptively older.  

     Barry Setterfield is a young earth creationist who has updated the 'created with the appearance of age' argument using something called 'speed of light decay'.  The argument is that all atomic clocks make the earth look 'old' because of a slowing down of c since creation.  The claim that the speed of light has changed through time allows him to overcome the classic argument against appearance of age.   Barry would argue that, yes, the rocks are dated correctly using radiometric dating, but that the decay rates varied with the variance of c (i.e. they would slow down as well).  Thus, the young earth does have the appearance of great age, but does not require a deceptive God because he left evidence for the slowing of c.  The 'evidence' for speed of light decay was contrived by Trevor Norman and Barry Setterfield and 'published' in 1987.  The 'publication' was basically an internal memo of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI).  The memo was put in place by another creationist (then at SRI) in order to then advertise the memo as a 'real scientific' publication.  Basically, the initial model used historic measurements of light speed as support for the claim that the speed of light has decayed.  This 'research' has been debunked by a number of people including a reasonable summary at Talk.Origins.  Nevertheless, Barry has continued to make the claim that c-decay is real and is currently trying to publish this in mainstream physics journals.   



JM: Meert in bold

It is impossible to present a model, which is, in effect, what has been requested here, in a short space. I am hoping the administrators will allow this to take up two posts. I have condensed a section of the rewrite of Creation and Catastrophe below. Some of it I made notes of and some is quoted, but since I am one of the authors, I didn't mark the differences. I can understand the problems in seeing the thing as a whole, so, with Barry's permission, here is the basic model in terms of earth as well as I can condense it:

Gen. 1 – first evidence of strata formation – 1:9-10 suddenly rising land mass. Waters “one place” means land “other place” – one supercontinent.

JM: This is a giant leap with no evidence.  "One place" could also mean a single ocean or lake or river or bathtub!  It could also mean simply 'the ocean basins".  My version of Genesis does not say 'other place' for continents.  It simply says 'let the dry land appear'.  The 'suddenly rising landmass and supercontinent' are an interpretation not validated by those verses.

Rising of supercontinent – one day – vast energy -- washing a great deal of material into the sea, possibly depositing thousands of meters of clays and bedded ores. These earliest deposits may be less evident today after the subsequent processes acting on the earth, resulting in metamorphic activity (or processes which would cause distinct changes in the rocks and strata themselves). The deposition of the original material might be reflected today by what we see when we look at the ‘black smokers’ of the South-East Pacific Rise.

JM: All speculation sans evidence on your part.  The bible does not say anything about clays and bedded ore deposition, black smokers or metamorphism.  It is also interesting because by 'ore deposits' I am assuming you mean BIF's (banded iron formations) and uraninite.  These are both formed in reducing environments suggesting that the 'grass' brought forth on the following day was a hearty variety that could grow amidst low oxygen.  Of course, the bible does not tell us when the earth was oxygenated does it?

Gen. 2:6 – streams or mists from ground watered whole earth – clear evidence of underground pressure. Eden on rise of land – source of four headwaters, four rivers. Another indication of high underground pressure. Noah’s Flood when these ‘springs’ exploded from increasing pressure (Gen. 7:11) and did not stop releasing scalding water until Gen. 8:2.

JM: My bible says 'mist'.  Mist does not imply an underground source nor does it imply an underground pressure.  This is an absurd interpretation of Gen 2:6.  There is also no evidence that scalding water was released during the flood (except through a perverse reading of Genesis).  In fact, how did these stromatolites (blue-green algae) survive the scalding water?  Or are these fossil columns evidence of the massive death of all organisms during the flood?  Seems to me that given your timeline of events, these stromatolites were being built during the time of the flood.

Heat buildup interior earth due to high light speed/rapid rate of radioactive decay of both long and short half-life materials.

JM: This is interesting since Setterfield's c-decay model is used to 'explain away' the heat problem described here.  I guess that c-decay allowed just enough heat, but not too much heat.  This is simply a 'just-so' scenario with absolutely no physical evidence to support it.  

Evidence outside Bible? Yes.
There is a class of meteorites which is considered to reflect the original composition of earth material. These are the ‘chondrites.’ These meteorites indicate that the earth’s mantle may have been comprised of minerals containing as much as 19% water. One of these minerals, serpentine, contains 13% water. When heated by the decay of radioactive elements in the interior, serpentine released that water and became olivine, a major mantle component today. As the earth heated internally, the water and heat pressure built.

JM: Well, if it is outside of the bible, how can you trust it?  After all these studies were conducted by people with an evolutionary bias!  Furthermore, in order to fully accept the implications of chondrites, you must also accept that they somehow represent the earth.  Geologists conclude that these meteors coalesced during the accretionary phase of planetary formation.  This is really at odds with the idea that "God spake it, and it was".  Are you now concluding that God formed the Earth via accretionary processes?  This interpretation seems clearly extra-biblical.  

Critical time for earth. Started cool. Water (Gen.1:2 and 2 Peter 3:5) , then heated up interior. Reason – radioactivity; heat released dramatically.
About 900 orbital years before the Flood, some major activity occurred. … Plugs of molten material from underneath the surface rose. The heat from these basalts and granites changed, or metamorphosed, the original sediments, producing stable craton areas. These areas were later to be the ‘shields’ which were the foundations of the continents as we recognize them today. The melting of the interior rocks resulted in a resetting of the radiometric clock and metamorphosed the basal sediments of the crust. At that time there was also the initiation of a world-wide network of geologically mobile belts bordering the shield areas in that original super-continent. Today the margins of our continents closely follow their outline.

JM: What about the other supercontinents?  Rodinia, Columbia, Panottia? Other than an interpreted verse from the Bible, you've supplied no physical evidence for this supercontinent or its configuration.  Again, you bring in the heat issue?  I thought your model did away with the heat problem, yet here we go again with another 'just-so' story sans evidence!  You should also note that not all isotopic clocks were reset.  That's why we have good ages from these cratonic areas.  Could you give us a picture of your supercontinent?  It's tough to talk specifics when presented with only vagaries.   You also have a problem in calling on essentially contact metamorphism for the formation of cratonic areas.  A majority of the metamorphic rocks in these regions are regionally metamorphosed.  What about all the evidence showing that these continents drifted apart during this same time period?

Did the people before the Flood recognize that there were changes happening? When we look at the names of the antediluvians told to us in the Bible, there may be a good clue that they did know something was going on. For instance, the time of the above metamorphic activity would have roughly coincided with the birth of Methuselah. Interestingly, his name means, “His death will bring it.” Methuselah died the year the Flood of Noah started.

JM: ROTFL! Talking about a stretch!  This means that 900 years before Noah's flood, God knew that he was going to destroy all living things because they were going to disobey him.   I have no idea why you mention this with regard to metamorphism.  Nor do I understand where/how the massively thick Proterozoic cover sequences were developed in your scenario.  But then again, I have always been critical of the vagaries of young earth creationism.  Actually, the name means "When he is dead, it shall come" or 'his death shall bring'.  Incredibly vague.  What will come, the bus? the chariot? A horse?  Many things.  The ages described in Genesis may not be accurate either.  Or perhaps this might explain the ages?

Noah’s Flood ends Pre-Cambrian.

JM: This time-line for the flood is most absurd according to nearly every other creationist.  Such a timeline for the flood means that all the fossils entombed in the sedimentary rocks (used as evidence for the Noachian flood by nearly every other creationist) are all non-flood.  This excludes the 'floating mat' explanation for coal beds and places Setterfield's hypothesis outside of mainstream creationism.   Coupled with the lack of mainstream scientific evidence for any of the above (and below) mentioned events, Setterfield's ideas are also outside of mainstream science.  The sedimentologic evidence also argues against such a timeline.  In fact, Helen, you once claimed that the "global Cambrian conglomerate" marked the onset of the flood.  Although I disagree with your assessment of the basal conglomerate found 'in some locations', I  find it remarkable that this conglomerate would now mark the end of the flood.  How would you explain this sequence of strata in Missouri.  Conventional ages are printed for your use.

Along fracture lines almost a thousand years old at the time, the heated waters exploded upwards with the force of thousands of volcanoes. Jets of water and chewed-out debris would have shot thousands of feet into the air in an episode that outgassed about half the volume of our present oceans (volcanoes today, releasing less pressure, can send exploding material to heights of over 50,000 feet into the atmosphere). Much of this heated water would have evaporated immediately, forming massive storm clouds which started a rain never before seen on earth. The waters that didn’t form these clouds would have fallen back to earth with the pulverized rocky material which had exploded upwards with it, forming a different sort of thick, hot, muddy rain. The results would truly have devastated earth and all life on it.

JM: Have you any evidence for these jets?  All this turmoil and upheaval and yet there are thousands of feet of fine-grained sediments and evaporites with nary a clast larger than a pinhead on many continents.  How much heat was released by this event?  Baumgardner's estimate is enough to fry Noah, the animals and boil away the oceans-apparently you agree.  This is not a scientific description on your part!  It's another 'just-so' or should I say 'just-so you don't delve into details' scenario.  None of this is supported by the Bible.

Evidence for ‘hot rain’ – extra-biblical -- other people have brought down the memory in their ancient stories. Chronicled by Marcus VonWellnitz (Creation Research Society Quarterly – CRSQ – 1979, vol.16, pp 44-46 & 59), there are memories of people left behind being scalded by the hot waster. Memories are recorded that both the water that fell from above and the waters which exploded upwards burned the flesh off bodies and dissolved the land. Noah, his wife, or some member of the family on the Ark must have seen the beginnings of this horror. So many times we simply think of rains like we know them – even torrential, hurricane-force rains, beating down for forty days. It was nothing like that. This would have been something never before or after experienced by men. Under these conditions, almost no fossilization could possibly have occurred. What we have instead are carbon-rich layers which may be the result of life-forms destroyed by the Flood.

JM: No evidence except some mythological hand-me-downs?  No fossilization could occur, people have their skin scalded off and yet Noah and his animals don't even record or notice any of this?  The boiling oceans, the scalding water, the volcanic activity all totally unnoticed by Noah and he was unaffected by it?  Talk about imagination without any physical evidence to back you up.  Exactly what 'carbon-rich layers' do you refer to?  Again, your model is so vague and so utterly devoid of details, that it is difficult to respond to.  However, we do know that there was abundant fossilization during this period including delicate things like stromatolites, Ediacaran fauna and small bacteria and other fossils.  It seems to me that under your scenario, these would be the least likely to fossilize, yet they are apparently the only ones that were!  Not a single fish, amphibian, dinosaur, human or mammal was, but these delicate blue-green algal columns were?  While I am asking, where is the evidence for hydrothermal alteration in many of these Precambrian sedimentary rocks?  Note: Helen later claims that the 'ark' had windows so that Noah could see all this, but not be harmed by it.  However, below she claims this happened when Noah was 'far inland'.  Noah must have pretty good eyesight!

Fossil Stromatolites in India

outgassing waters not in shield areas, but on edges. Shield areas stable. Areas between cratons become mobile belts, later plate boundaries. Flood washed great amounts of sediment into down-warped areas – Pre-Cambrian tillites (unsorted boulders and rocks in concrete-like matrix)
n -- one line of weakness: Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
n -- also earth tilt on axis (possibly due to force of exploding waters over land area whereas ocean area would absorb much of force of any explosive extrusions; possibly due to impact events as other solar system bodies were affected by same radioactive build-up of pressures)

JM: I see, somehow within this global tempest of heat, steam, volcanic activity, earth axis tilt and water flying and boiling willy-nilly, we still manage to get glaciers?  Amazing!  What's even more amazing is that during this tempest, we have reef formation taking place, stromatolite growth and other organisms that exist under extremely narrow environmental conditions doing great?  Now you are also calling on extraterrestrial causes.  Is there no end to the lengths you will go to support your model in light of contrary physical evidence?  Again, I must note the complete lack of supporting material and the complete lack of physical evidence for your 'just-so' scenario.  Please note the best estimate for the axial tilt in the Precambrian comes from Vanyo, S. & Awramik, S.M. 1985: Stromatolites and Earth-Sun-Moon dynamics. Precambrian Research 29, pp. 121-142. Result: They concluded that the obliquity of the ecliptic 850 Ma ago was about 26 degrees, not very different from today's value of 23 degrees.

Time Correlation
Current estimates of the age of the entire universe can run anywhere from 10 billion to 20 billion years old. The data from the redshift curve indicates a maximum age of about 14 to 15 billion years. Lightspeed data agree with the redshift data, indicating a maximum age of about the same time. These estimates would be in terms of atomic years, not orbital years.
With this as a start, we can go to the ages listed in the Bible and coordinate them with geological events and the curve begins to show total coordination with the mathematical predictions made with regard to this model in years past.

JM: What mathematical predictions?  You've only stated "this is how it is" and provided us with no evidence to support your 'this is how it is' story!  Your article is not yet published in the mainstream and has been rejected by a number of reviewers as overly simplistic and flawed.  What we are left with is a series of unsupported atomic and geologic claims.  Science demands evidence, not stories about what 'mighta been'!

… Adam and Eve were created on day 6. Because the speed of light was dropping quite dramatically at first, however, over five billion atomic years had already passed since creation on day 1, and so day six corresponds to about 9 billion atomic years ago.
So why do the earth rocks only date at about 4 billion atomic years (the oldest moon rocks actually date a little older, which is interesting)? If you recall in the preceding section, it was mentioned that there was some major geological activity that occurred about 900 years before the Flood due to the heating of the interior of the earth. This heating had the effect of ‘resetting’ the radiometric clocks, as it separated the mother and daughter elements, not allowing later scientists to measure the original ratios for dating purposes. Thus, we have an atomic date for this resetting event of about 4.35 billion years ago.

JM: Amazing what the human mind can conjure up to support bad science!  Where exactly is the evidence for ANY OF THIS published?  Remember, we have evidence preserved in detrital zircons of rocks existing on earth much earlier than the rocks.  However, metamorphic ages from Precambrian rocks span many different time intervals, there is no 'single' metamorphic event in the Precambrian.   What you are claiming, of course, that all rocks were reset at 4.35 Ga is untestable and therefore unscientific.  

Geologically, there is a division in rock type even closer to the time of the Flood. We see a change in the Archeozoic strata where the metamorphosed material stops. The rising molten material, having metamorphosed (changed by heat) the surrounding sediments, finally cooled and stabilized. This appears at the atomic time of about 2.5 billion years ago and is referred to as the Archean/Proterzoic boundary. -

JM: This is wrong.  There are metamorphic rocks spanning the entire Archean and Proterozoic so I don't know how you ignored all those data.  For example, the Pan-African orogeny shows metamorphic ages ranging from 750-450 Ma.  The Grenvillian orogeny has metamorphic ages spanning from 1.1 to .9 Ga.  There are countless example of metamorphic ages and rocks around the globe (Svecofennian, Sveconorwegian, Kibaran etc) during the Proterozoic.  You are throwing all this out in order to fit your evidence-barren model.

Noah’s Flood dates at about 720 million years ago. That was, however, only about 600 orbital years later.

JM: How interesting that we don't see any evidence for a global flood during this interval of geologic time!  We do see evidence for organisms living through the flood however and being preserved in rather pristine condition (Ediacara fauna).  How did these Noachian-flood fauna make it through the heat, steam and volcanic activity that you said earlier indicated poor preservation potential?  Furthermore, by moving the flood to the Precambrian, you leave yourself a tough explanation for all the Paleozoic sediments claimed by 'mainstream' creationists as due to the flood.  Why are there so many terrestrial deposits (including glacial deposits) found during the global tempest.  Once again, your generalities are destroyed by the specifics!

Biblical Correlation
So, matching the light speed curve with radiometric data and the events of Genesis until the Flood, we have some interesting ‘coincidences.’ The time of the resetting of the radiometric clocks was just about the time Methuselah was born. As previously mentioned, his name means “His death will bring it.” Bring what? There is linguistic evidence here that some were already aware of not only God’s anger with the sin run rampant in the world, but with the geologic changes which seemed, perhaps, to presage something disastrous. Until our own time, names have almost always meant something which was important to the parents. Enoch was Methuselah’s father, and the Bible tells us “Enoch walked with God.” Enoch, close to God, would have been as aware as anyone could have been of God’s wrath with the disobedience and violence in the world of that time. What was evident to those living at the time in terms of geology is impossible to know, but the possible earthquakes and perhaps the appearance of ‘hot spots’ such as Yellowstone (which was not there then), would have certainly been noticed and remarked upon. It may have been that God revealed directly to Enoch something of what was going to happen. We don’t know. But whatever it was that Enoch was aware of, it was enough for him to give his son a name that was a warning.

JM: But of course, other than giving a crytpic name to Methusaleh, there is nothing recorded anywhere of these foreboding events!  In other words, you present us with another unsupportable 'mighta been' scenario without any physical evidence.  Isn't this what you always try to fault conventional science for?

The stabilization of the cratons and the resultant change in the geologic record corresponds roughly with Noah’s birth, which is another interesting ‘coincidence.’ It was now 600 years before the judgment of the Flood, and 1.85 billion atomic years have elapsed between the births of the two men. The Bible tells us Noah received directions from God 120 years before the Flood. This dates to about 870 million atomic years ago. This also marks the beginning of some of the downwarping of some of the mobile belts. This earth movement may have given Noah added impetus to obey God! As a side note, it might be mentioned that when all of this is considered, Noah probably was not building his Ark near the coast, but inland, away from the geologically active areas that would later explode so devastatingly. There is no other way the Ark and its population could have survived the scalding, exploding waters.

JM: What 'downwarping' of the mobile belts?  This time period in Earth history is more known for the beginning of rifting and arc-magmatism than for crustal downwarping!  The incipient rifting would likely cause uplift rather than downwarping.  You have gone outside of the bible to discuss where Noah might have built his ark based on an earlier extra-biblical exegesis!  How odd that someone who holds the bible to be the ultimate truth would twist it so severely to support an unscientific 'just-so' story.  I must ask, if Noah and his family were the only ones that survived the flood, and if they were 'well away from the scalding waters, how did this event get recorded as you mentioned above?  Did documents written by the scalded masses survive the flood?  Did one of the animals enter the ark with a purloined newspaper from the scalded region?  Or did you just forget about this little inconsistency?


Geologic activity continues after Flood. Readjustment of crust; continued internal heating. Later catastrophes generall (not always) confined to super-continent margins and mobile belt areas. This s beginning of Paleozoic Era. Fossilization requires burial and mineral-rich waters. Upwelling waters mineral-rich; continuing activity in draining of flood waters as well as uplifts and downwarping of land areas result in giant burials of associated life. Much activity underwater – big waves wash up on land – local catastrophic effects. First episodes of fossil building associated with immediate post-Flood activity quite dramatic – “Cambrian Explosion” – but processes continued throughout era.

JM: So, Barry is forced to invent multiple catastrophes (extra-biblical) to try and fit the geologic record.  All of this is also odd since according to your biblical exegesis most life (including terrestrial) survived the flood and was killed during the 'second catastrophe'.  You toss out scientific terminology to give your story an 'air' of legitimacy, but it is nothing more than ord-lek.  For example, Cambrian explosion is tossed out sans explanation as if we are to draw meaning from it.  What exactly is the importance of the Cambrian explosion?

Internal heating of earth moderating but still building.

JM: Non-sequiter.  Is it moderating or building?

The massive heating effects took their toll around the universe, with results we are aware of in our own solar system. It is very possible that a planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded around this time, leaving us with our asteroid belt of today. Both Mars and our moon, in particular, show signs of this initial heating and cracking process.

JM: I see, it's building.  ROTFL!  Barry's hypothesis becomes Velikovskian!  Where is all this mentioned in the bible?  Where is it supported by science?

World after Flood: warm, humid, great marshy areas. Vast bodies of warm, shallow waters.
Insects and amphibians, which had been maintained for the flood year on enormous floating vegetation mats, would have proliferated quickly and the spore-bearing plants would have been favored as the waters would have transported the released spores great distances, spreading plant life rapidly. What do we see in the fossil record of the life of this Era? Spore bearing plants such as algae, mosses, and ferns, giant insects, and amphibians – along with multitudes of marine life. The larger life forms, which take much longer to reproduce, would not have been able to recover from the Flood nearly as quickly. The Bible also indicates that this would have been the result, for in Genesis 7:21-23 we read that in the Flood, everything died that was ‘upon the face of the ground (or earth)’, or that ‘was upon the dry land.’

JM: BUT according to creationists (including Helen), these fossils are the result of the flood!  Biblical compromise seems to be part and parcel of Barry's idea.  THis makes me wonder why he claims to be a creationist in the first place.   

How could the amphibians, fish, and insects have survived the scalding waters? The mid-sea waters were not scalding. The original waters remained, to be later mixed with the infusion of waters (and many salts) from the earth’s interior. But even during the height of the Flood, there would have remained large sections of the original seas, not near the cracking vents, which simply experienced a rise of waters and were not directly subject to the intense heat. Here, on these seas, massive vegetation mats would have floated from areas ripped up by the initial water surges and brought together by wave activity. And on these floating islands of rotting and newly seeded and growing plant life was a haven for insects and amphibians especially. Thus the world after the Flood would have been quickly populated by that which survived in the greatest numbers and had the shortest generation times. And that was the world Noah and his family began to populate.

JM: This 'hypothesis" continues to amaze me! The scalding water (from the release of radioactive heat and the dewatering of serpentine rises up from the mantle but 'skips' from the bottom of the ocean to the top without going through the middle?  Amazing, absolutely amazing what compromises the mind can achieve to hold steadfastly to dogma.

-- basically still one super-continent, but it was showing signs of breaking up and the northern and southern sections of the land mass have been given different names. The northern section is referred as Laurasia, and the southern as Gondwana (part of which straddled South Pole)… Moisture-laden air from the warm surface waters circulated down to this colder polar region – colder because the earth’s axis was now tilted… moist air precipitated as vast quantities of snow and ice. Referred to as the Permian Ice Age, this process eventually had a drying effect on the earth’s atmosphere. The rapidly growing ice sheet enlarged to encompass significant portion of Gondwana,

JM: Yes, but which supercontinent? When did the earlier supercontinents break apart?  Columbia, Rodinia, Panottia?  Where is the evidence for tilt of the earth?  Fossil evidence from this time period indicates an axial tilt of ~22.2-24.5 degrees as today.  Actually, the ice sheet fluctuated as Gondwana moved over the pole.

Underneath crust, heating continues. – rocks liquefy – plasticity – building pressure again.
The downwarped areas which had continued receiving so much debris began to rise in response to the pressure of the molten rock beneath them. The final phase of the upthrusting of the Appalachian Range in the United States, part of one of the mobile belts, was a result of this activity. Although this type of activity was in response to the pressure building, it did not release it. When and if this pressure was released, the ‘plastic’ hot rock was ready to become molten and either flow or volcanically explode in the area of released pressure.

JM: The Appalachians show now sign of upthrusting due to release of thermal energy.  They do show clear evidence of forming during the assembly of Pangea.  Where you have them forming during breakup, conventional geology has them forming during collision.  Paleomagnetic, fossil and other evidence is abundantly in support of a collisional model for Appalachian formation whereas there is no evidence of uplift due to thermal pressure.  Does Barry have anything beyond a story to support such a notion?

…massive plumes of hot, low-density, highly fluid material rose upwards toward the surface. Far to the north of Gondwanaland, in Laurasia, there is the area we know as Siberia today. Here we find what are known as the “Siberian Traps.” These are layers of outpoured basalt covering an extraordinarily large area of about 1.5 million square kilometers, with thicknesses of up to 1 kilometer… These flood basalts in Siberia have two possible causes, perhaps even working in conjunction with one another: upwelling and possibly impact (crater hidden by Traps) would crack earth at this point. Traps…appear to have been outpoured in one intense episode unrelated to Noah’s Flood, but rather as the result of ongoing processes.

JM: But Barry earlier claimed the Siberian traps were the cause of the Permo-Carboniferous ice ages in Gondwana!  I'm glad he appears to change his story since the eruption of the traps were younger than the icehouse he thought they triggered (quite a trick!).  At least I will agree with Barry that they are possibly the result of plume activity.  None of this, of course, is described anywhere in the Bible.

The interior heating continued. The release of the superheated waters had been the initial effect. Then, as the rocks themselves became plastic and then molten, large areas of uplift occurred. These uplifts had an additional effect of promoting the fault lines started by the Flood. These fault areas, or fault blocks were rising in some sections and sinking in others.
n -- not enough to release the building internal pressure.
n -- pressure release at time of Bable – massive volcanic activity all over earth.
n -- possibly associated with impact event as well

JM: All of this, of course, does not match the geologic record.  The rifting of Pangea resulted in passive margin development and thermal relaxation and 'downwarping'.  Uplift, due to heating beneath the supercontinent was localized.   Of course, none of this has any biblical support.

many of the flood basalts in the world seem to coincide with the time of asteroid impact events. The Siberian Traps were one possible example. Aside from them, four impact structures have been identified as forming at the Permian-Triassic boundary – the same time as the second catastrophe. The larges of these is the Araguainha dome in Brazil, some 40 kilometers across. Then follows the complex structure at St. Martin in Manitoba, Canada, about 23 miles across. A 15 kilometer astrobleme at Dellen, Sweden and a 5 kilometer circular formation at Kursk in the old Soviet Union can also be added to this list.

JM: Actually, there are three decent examples of flood basalt volcanism occurring at roughly the same time as impacts.  However, it's funny that the bible does not mention a single one of these impacts or their effects!

Another event which happened during this catastrophe, and in response to it, was the dropping of a major fault block in the crust extending from an area we today associate with east of Greece to America, through what we know as the Appalachian area and down into the southern United States. It extended from roughly where England is in the north to about where Spain is in the south. Into this dropped area, the wave action caused by the volcanic activity and associated earthquakes washed enormous amounts of vegetation. This resulted in the major coal seams we see in these areas today. Similar things were happening in other places, although not as dramatically, and they also resulted in the other coal seams which are associated with volcanics.

JM:  Once again, your timing is a bit off.  The Carboniferous coals were formed (according to Barry's time line and conventional geology's) prior to the division of Pangea.  To be sure, there are some younger Mesozoic coal beds that would be in line with the breakup sequence, but there is no evidence of massive tsunamis in the geologic record.  Not surprisingly, there is no evidence of any of this in the bible either.  This is simply another 'tall tale' without any physical evidence to support it.

This massive movement of earth in the Mediterranean area and its surrounds could certainly have been a reason for the panicked rush to escape the area which ended up resulting in the diffusion of peoples throughout the world and the resultant changing of languages as each group endeavored to not only find protection from ashen skies and jolting earthquakes, but to somehow start anew, after what has come to be known to us today as the Permian extinction. Here we see a sudden change in the geologic record of both fossil types and rock types in the strata.

JM: Funny that not a single human was fossilized during this extra-biblical tempest!  In fact, there is no biblical account of a massive exodus from the Mediterranean era during the Permian in either biblical or geologic literature.  What is developing is a constant story relating one event to another without any evidence from either the bible or science! Not a single large mammal was fossilized during this catastrophe?

…As areas of land experienced rapid sinking, or down-faulting, during the multitude of earthquakes that would have resulted from the geologic activity of this time, many of them would have been rapidly inundated with inflowing water, which brought with it sediments washed from the land over which it flowed. …. Thus some of the land life forms, especially those predominant in swamp life and marshy areas, were also being fossilized during the Paleozoic Era. Other fossilization can be effected by the minerals in volcanic ash deposits which are then introduced to remains that are buried there via rains or possibly tidal action if near coastlines. Because humans and the animals not comfortable in marshy environments, and wary of volcanoes, would not have been around these areas, we don’t see their fossils at this time.

JM: Oh, how convenient!   Not a single large mammal was fossilized during this catastrophe?

Other cultures remember this catastrophe:
One that is very clear in associating the elements of this catastrophe comes from the Kukubidaji people of the Palmer river area of Northern Australia. They tell of the worldwide wanderings of Julmbanu, the Kangaroo-Man. Upon his return, he found that his people had gone off in different directions, talking different languages. Legend says the steps of Julmbanu can be traced from the remains of his campfires – white men call them coal.

JM: ROTFL!  You've now abandonded the bible and are relying on pagan mythology to support your ideas?  That's bad science and especially bad theology!  I thought you said coal was the result of floating mats, this story says they are from burning campfires.  I tell you, that must have been one hell of a campfire!  Many of the 'campfires' are near marshy areas which you claimed humans did not occupy.  Now you are claiming that they did!

Time Correlation
The Paleozoic, or ‘Early life’ Era lasted for 350 million atomic years, from 600 million years ago to 250 million years ago. On the orbital clock, this translates into about 300 actual years, from approximately 3536 B.C. to 3230 B.C. (or about 2256 A.C. – after creation – to 2562 A.C.). When the second catastrophe closed this era, the speed of light was about 1.1 million times its current value.

JM: This is wrong.  Conventional geology states that it lasted from 543 Ma to 245 Ma (or ~300 million years).  So despite the speed of light being 1.1 million times present all that radioactive decay was able to produce tremendous amounts of heat?  WHERE IS ANY OF THE EVIDENCE for ANY of this story?

Biblical Correlation
Bible does not mention much.

JM: NO KIDDING!  Geology is pretty much mute on all of this as well!

Goes straight from Flood to Babel catastrophe.
Extra-biblical sources in the form of ancient writings and legends tell us that it was Nimrod, Ham’s grandson through Cush, who coordinated the building of the tower – possibly some kind of temple or minaret – erected in defiance of God.

JM: Extra-biblical myths about large campfires and stories are about all that's left!

World radically changed again. Volcanism yields dry and windy climate. Very destructive to marshy, humid life forms. Formation of Permian ice cap drained atmosphere of much moisture. The result was semi-desert areas with broad river valleys where the ongoing life forms were concentrated and then became predominant. Spore-bearing plants, depending as they did on water, were wiped out in many areas and then concentrated in the few that were left that were environmentally friendly. However because the gymnosperms, such as palms and pines, propagate by wind-blown pollen, this was their time. The conditions were favoring them. This was also the time of the dinosaurs, both small and giant. The broad river valleys and deltas, luxuriant in their new growth, provided both the supportive water environments for the larger animals as well as the abundant vegetation necessary to sustain them.
Extensive migrations during this time – humans and animals. Continuing geologic activity; search for food both impetus for migrations. Genesis 10 – Table of Nations – shows linguistic and cultural/ethnic roots.

JM: A third catastrophe?  Also extra-biblical.  According to the geologic record, North America was very warm and humid at this time.  Of course, none of the above scenario is supported by the geologic record.  All these wandering humans and not a SINGLE fossil.  How odd. Not a single large mammal was fossilized during this catastrophe?

Time of sub-arial lava deposits – cannot be Flood related. New Red Sandstone of England (and similar through Europe); Dakota and Navajo sandstone, USA – all non-marine origin and need time to develop. …In Europe and Canada, eggs from dinosaurs such as protoceratops and styracosaurus have been found in layer upon layer of stacked nests, which are presumed to have been annually constructed. The layers of dinosaur prints in the Paluxy Mesozoic strata overlie thousands of feet of Paleozoic sediments. Their food supply and method of survival is not a problem if their demise was in a disaster that was separate from Noah’s Flood.

JM: According to 'conventional creationism' this is still Noachian flood time!  Why no human fossils? Not a single large mammal was fossilized during this catastrophe?

The Mesozoic strata also provide us with evidence of massive reef structures and their remains which are found above the Archeozoic and Paleozoic strata. …study done by La Trobe University zoologist Dr Alan Marshall in his work with corals [] shows that perhaps the algae are not as beneficial as commonly thought but that they actually inhibit the reef-building processes. Thus if warm waters, conducive to corals, yet absent – at least for a time – of the symbiotic algae, were present during this age, reef-building could have happened much more quickly than normally assumed. An excellent article on the possible rapid growth of coral and coral reefs was done by Ariel Roth in Origins 6(2):88-95 (1979), available online here:

JM: Of course, none of this is mentioned or discussed in the bible which was claimed to be the ultimate source of truth.  Wonder what ICR and AIG would think of all this?

Also standing above the fossiliferous Paleozoic strata is a giant fossilized sponge reef which extends 2900 kilometers across Europe from Spain to Romania and as far north as Germany. It is strong evidence, given the time it would have needed to grow, that it belonged to a different Era than the Flood, and was fossilized by a different catastrophe.

JM: No, it doesn't mean anything of the sort!  How much time would it need to grow?

Geologic activity continues, primarily around rim areas of supercontinent. Rising and sinking of some landforms – tidal waves -- massive tidal action resulted in the burial and fossilization of life forms inhabiting those coastal areas, including some dinosaurs, small mammals, and gymnosperms. We see evidence of dinosaurs evidently trapped in some of the massive, wind-blown sand dunes which were then inundated by the seawaters in some of these areas.
beginning of the Mesozoic, extensive volcanic activity, -- numerous ash layers in the associated strata. The lavas from these volcanoes do not show the effects of chilling by water (pillow lava). In the early Mesozoic, the Palisades of the Hudson River valley near New York were formed as a volcanic lava flow.

JM: The Palisades is a sill,, not a flow.  Of course, not a single human fossil was found in any of this.  Presumbaly, these folk were much more adept at escaping volcanism and tsunamis than are their modern counterparts.  Again, it is useful to point out the extra-biblical nature of this story!  Where, for example, is the evidence for Paleozoic and Mesozoic civilizations?  We have good records in Africa and the Mediterranean region, but according to you, people were on the move (building all those giant campfires!).  Where is the evidence from North America for these ancient peoples?

Although the most extensive mountain-building would take place after the catastrophe which closed this Era, some ranges were in the process of being upthrust at this time. This was in large part due to the beginning separation of the northern sections of Laurasia, which would later become the North American continent. However this separation may not have been as evident as it would seem, as a great plug of mantle material – a mantle plume – was updoming the area between the separating sections. This formed what has become known as the Blake Plateau.

JM: Why is it that the mountain chains show levels of erosion consistent with their presumed age in an old Earth framework.  For example, the youngest chains, Alps, Himalayas and Andes are the highest whereas the older chains, Appalachians, Ouachitas are lower and many like the Grenvillian and the East African Orogen are nearly totally eroded?  You cannot argue that they were simply all built at the same time, but to different levels, because it does not then fit your timeline since we have ages from these ranges which you would say are 'correct' atomic ages even though the c-decay would render them into a young earth framework.  Nor can you blame their erosion on the flood since only the EAO and the Grenville would fit your flood time line.  

Era came to a sudden and explosive end with the Peleg disaster, only briefly referred to in Genesis 10:25 -- famous K/T or ‘cretaceous/tertiary’ boundary. There are several meteorite craters associated with this time, the largest known crater being the one in the Yucatan. Evidence for asteroid impacts can be seen in the iridium layer existing in the geological strata around the world at the close of the Mesozoic Era. Iridium in the concentrations found at this point is only normal in meteorites. These strata also contain coesite and stishovite – types of quartz which only form above 200,000 atmospheres pressure, such as would occur with an impact. Furthermore, many quartz grains found in these layers possess laminar deformations due to hypervelocity shock. Such ‘shocked’ quartz is only typical of nuclear or impact explosions. At Zumaya and elsewhere, tiny spherules of meteoritic composition with a high platinum concentration have been found. These spherules are thought to be melted fragments of the asteroid in question. Along with all of this is a carbon ash layer from wildfires which were the result of the impacts. There is an enormous amount of soot found with the iridium later in Denmark, Spain and New Zealand. This cumulative evidence points to impact events as the source of Catastrophe 3.

JM: Yet, not a single human was fossilized during this catastrophe?  Not a single large mammal was fossilized during this catastrophe?

The major impact at Yucatan hit a critical point of weakness on the edge of the Blake Plateau. The crater is 180 kilometers wide. The strategic location of this impact, coupled with its size (comparable to the largest crater on the Moon), tore the crust apart. This initiated a major phase of continental separation on the now highly-mobile mantle. A ‘smaller’ impact formed a 32 kilometer-wide crater at this time in Manson, Iowa, USA.

JM: Pangea (including N. America and Europe) are already well-separated as is Gondwana.  The only corresponding break-up is India from Madagascar.  Yet during all this not a single human fossil was formed and not a single large mammal was fossilized? 

Impacts continued. A 25 kilometer impact crater from that time is in Kamensk, in Southeast European Russia. An 8 kilometer crater can be found in Yakut, in Northeast Siberian Russia. In Algeria, at Tin Bider, there is a 6 kilometer crater, and at Quarkziz another that is 3.5 kilometers. A 5 kilometer crater of the same age is found at Rotmistrovka in the Ukaraine. Thus, in the same way the Schumaker-Levi comet hit Jupiter in a series of closely-times impacts, we can see the same happened to earth. The eastern areas were hit first by the smaller pieces followed by the main meteorite, which then slammed into the Yucatan. The piece that hit Iowa came in close behind. In India we also have the Deccan Traps, which is a layered basaltic lava deposit, similar to the Siberian Traps, but formed at this time, rather than earlier when the Siberian Traps were formed. Like the Siberian Traps, they may be hiding an impact crater. The Deccan Traps consist of over two million cubic kilometers of basaltic lava flows, in some areas reaching a thickness of over 2,400 meters. The Brito-Arctic basalt flows from this catastrophe were outpoured at this time and laid down over a very short time interval. Individual flows covered 10,000 square kilometers, in depths up to 15- meters. It is probable that the Moon also was the subject of bombardment at this time, which resulted in cratering there as well.

JM:Yet during all this not a single human fossil was formed and not a single large mammal was fossilized?  The moon's cratering extends further back in time than earth.

This time of catastrophe resulted in the most famous of all the extinctions – that of the dinosaurs and their world. The actual extinctions could have been a result from one of two causes, or a combination of both. It has been estimated that the formation of the Deccan Traps involved an outgassing of 33 trillion tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide), 6.6 trillion tons of SO2 (sulfur dioxide), and about 66 billion tons of fluorine and chlorine into the atmosphere. This would have had a devastating effect on the environment all by itself, killing much plant life and thus the dependent animal life as well.

JM:Yet during all this not a single human fossil was formed and not a single large mammal was fossilized? Humans had presumably developed controlled environments during all this impact?  They presumably saved all the large mammals in shelters because these don't appear anywhere in the fossil record either.  How far must you abandon the bible and science in order to harmonize with your hypothesis?

The second possible cause was the effect of the series of impacts. Huge vapor plumes would have disrupted the atmosphere. Winds of hundreds of kilometers per hour would have swept around the globe. Massive fireball and lightning discharges would have produced the global wildfires which left the ash deposits evident in the strata at this point. Massive quantities of dust would have blanketed the atmosphere and darkening the skies, while the water vapor added to the atmosphere, especially if in conjunction with the sulfur dioxide extruded at the formation of the Deccan Traps, would have resulted in acid rains as well as greenhouse effects. Giant tsunamis would have disrupted the oceans and torn apart coastal areas. The disruption of the oceans, by both impact and resulting tsunamis, would have introduced cold, oxygen-poor waters from the depths to overwhelm the warm, oxygen-rich shallow seas along areas of the continental shelves, resulting in death to many life forms and devastating reefs and reef builders. Given the combination of both the impact series and the formation of the Deccan Traps happening essentially simultaneously, the massive extinction recorded in the geologic record becomes understandable.

JM:Yet during all this not a single human fossil was formed and not a single large mammal was fossilized? Humans had presumably developed controlled environments during all this impact?  They presumably saved all the large mammals in shelters because these don't appear anywhere in the fossil record either.  How far must you abandon the bible and science in order to harmonize with your hypothesis?

This series of impacts on an earth crust which was now floating on a plastic-to-liquid and heated mantle was the catastrophe of Peleg which resulted in the final division of the original land mass, eventually producing the continents we see today. These impacts, all in the Northern Hemisphere, may have caused an increase in the axis tilt of the earth. There is some evidence for this as, in the same way the initial axis tilt at the time of the Flood resulted in the Permian Ice Age, another ice age was to follow this catastrophe.

JM:Yet during all this not a single human fossil was formed and not a single large mammal was fossilized? Humans had presumably developed controlled environments during all this impact?  They presumably saved all the large mammals in shelters because these don't appear anywhere in the fossil record either.  How far must you abandon the bible and science in order to harmonize with your hypothesis?  There is evidence in the geologic record for normal axial tilt during the Permian.  Where is the evidence for increased axial tilt?

Time Correlation
The Mesozoic Era, or Era of “middle Life’ laster about 185 million atomic years, from 250 million atomic years before the present time to about 65 million years before the present. This only translates into about 225 orbital years in the life of men, extending from about 3230 B.C. to 3005 B.C. (or 2560 A.C. to about 2785 A.C.). This Era ended with the catastrophe associated with Peleg, when light speed was 555,000 times its current value.

JM: Humans and large mammals are so incredibly clever!

Biblical Correlation
impacts ending the Mesozoic Era about time of birth of Peleg. …separate from the Babel dispersion. Importantly, the word used for ‘earth’ in Genesis 10:25, where we are told that the earth was divided in the days of Peleg, is almost always used to describe a geographical unit rather than people or nations. On this basis, Peleg was two generations removed from the Babel dispersion. The time gap between Babel and Peleg is about 225 orbital years. This would allow ample time for human and animal migration to occur before the continuing ‘division’ of the supercontinent occurred, eventually making crossing from one section of land to another an impossibility, thus trapping the various groups in their new localities.

JM: Except most of the continents had split by 65 Ma and we have no record of these civilizations nor do we have records of large mammals and humans in any of these rocks?

Further evidence comes from a study of the linguistic roots of the word Peleg, whose brother’s name was Joktan. The word ‘Peleg’ means ‘earthquake’, ‘division’, or ‘channel of water.’ It is the root word for Pelagos, which was the old Grecian name for the Mediterranean Sea. In geological nomenclature, pelagic deposits are those found in the ocean. The name of Peleg’s brother Joktan, means to ‘cut off’, ‘make small’, ‘ to kill’, ‘to destroy’, ‘diminish, or ‘tear off.’ Thus the picture presented is one where the tearing apart of the earth’s landmass in a great earthquake has occurred, with a channel of water coming to separate fragments. It would be illogical to merely name Peleg and Joktan after some tribal migration, or even a small cluster of earthquakes. Naming of children often carried significant meanings, and the naming of these two boys was the same.

JM: Also extra-biblical.  You've no evidence for any of the material you presented above in the time line you've proposed.  This is a great example of how far people are willing to stray in order to rescue a story.  I'm amazed at how sloppy and inconsistent this scenario is and the complete lack of biblical or scientific support for any of it.  

It was this material in Genesis which first led Antonio Snider to propose the continental ‘drift’ idea in 1858 in his book ‘Creation and its Mysteries Unveiled.’ With the publication of Darwin’s book a year later, most people forget much of the other material that was being published at this time.

JM: Snider-Pellegrini's work was not forgotten.  It is mentioned in many textbooks along with the flaws in his thinking. 


The world immediately following the multiple catastrophes of Peleg’s time was dark, sooty, and, needing sunlight it was not getting, becoming colder. Volcanic debris from the Deccan Trap formation, as well as the debris thrown up by the asteroid impacts, darkened the skies, blocking the sun and lowering temperatures. The initial impacts would have killed a great number of plants and animals in the vicinity. The resulting lack of sunlight, and therefore of enough vegetation for food would have starved out many more. Adding the devastating effects of the tsunamis and even the winds, and we can see why there was a terrible extinction event associated with this time.

JM: Humans and large mammals are so incredibly clever to have escpaed this catastrophe so far as we can tell!

The crust, now torn by the Yucatan impact, began to undergo an accelerated process of separation. The separation of the Western and Eastern Hemispheres was not a gentle, drifting process, but was primarily a massive, earth-quake producing series of jolts, producing more devastation geologically and resulting in continuing deaths of animals and people as well. This rapid series of movements, resulting in the collision of continental plates, had the effect of not only dramatic upthrust of some of our largest mountain ranges, but the production of a worldwide series of volcanoes. These appeared primarily along tectonic plate boundaries and over ‘hot spots.’

JM: If we use your time line and the evidence of geology, most of the continents were separated by this time.  Yet, we see not a single human fossilized during these 'catastrophic events' nor do we see any record of their civilizations preserved.  Nor do we have any written record of these events.  One can conclude that these are accurate descriptions of what happened or one can conclude they are invented figments of an overactive imagination.  Given the total lack of evidence for these events, I think 'overactive imagination' is a better conclusion.

Light speed had dropped significantly by this time, and thus the radioactive decay rates were starting to stabilize at a lower level. This reduced the heat buildup in the earth’s interior and so the pressures were no longer building as before. However, mantle temperatures had now reached a peak, close to today’s value, and so remained plastic. The mobility of the uppermost section of this mantle was increased due to a high water content. This area, or ‘layer’ of the mantle is called the aesthenosphere, and it is upon that which the crustal plates float. The presence of water decreases friction, and thus the plates were sliding across it in various directions rather rapidly at the beginning of this Era. This was the time the Pacific Ring of Fire was born. As the plates moved, some colliding with others, the great ranges of mountains resulted: the Himalayas, the Andes, the Rockies, the Sierra-Nevada and Cascade Ranges – these are all a result of plate movement at this time. The Jordan Rift Valley was formed, stretching into the heart of Africa, along a fault line. The Swiss-Austrian Alps and Australian Alps are also a product of this time. The Atlantic Rift was literally ‘unzipping.’ Earth movement would have been dramatic and frightening. This would beget more violent wave action and, at the same time, the skies were still not clear due to ongoing volcanic activity.

JM: You lump a whole series of temporally distinct events into one.  Where is the evidence for doing this?  Remember, we have radiometric ages for all of these things which you 'tacitly' agree are correct even though they are based on errors you claim are due to c-decay.  

Immediately after the impacts and initial volcanism, the earth experienced a greenhouse effect. Incoming heat from the sun was trapped by an atmosphere full of debris and ‘greenhouse gases’ – carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide – in combination with a great amount of water vapor. So once again there was, for awhile, a warm, humid world. This is reflected in the geologic record by a dramatic increased in the amount of fern spores found fossilized at this time. But the world did not stay this way for long. A high axis tilt, new mountain systems, and unstable wind patterns contributed to dramatic seasonal changes, and the world itself began cooling. Fossil shells indicate a cooling trend in the oceans as well.

JM: There is clear evidence in the geologic record for an axial tilt of 23.5 degrees as today (or at least a 22.2-24.5 degree range with Milankovitch 41K cyclicity.  Where is the evidence for a significantly increased tilt?  Presumably, you are referring to the Eocene.  Why no human fossils during this period?  Why no evidence for their civilizations?

The combination in the atmosphere of a high water content and a lot of dust produced a great deal of precipitation. However precipitation is more rapid when the air containing the vapor is cooled. Thus, the high axis tilt, providing temperature extremes associated with seasonal changes, allowed the advance of a second ice age. The northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere continents and the southern areas of the Southern Hemisphere continents, subject to the most extreme temperature changes, started accumulating great amounts of snow and ice. Glaciers began to form. The ice crept down Europe and North America.

JM: No evidence given for high axial tilt.  Look, at some point you need to provide evidence for your ideas.  Heck, I'd even settle for some biblical evidence!

Given these conditions, the animals most able to deal with these extremes were the mammals, with their stable body temperatures. Their size became important, too, as the ratio of surface area to body mass was what would help ensure survival in the increasing cold. The larger the animal, the more mass per body surface, and thus the more easily the animal could stay warm in cold temperatures. This was the age of the giant mammals: long-tusked American mastodons, big horned bisons, giant deer, saber-toothed tigers, and the incredible Megatherium, a towering giant ground sloth, about four times the size of the saber- toothed tigers, in the Northern Hemisphere; and giant marsupials like Diprotodon and the giant wombat in Australia.

JM: Larger animals need more food to maintain their body temperatures, yet you claim global cooling is happening, so where did all the food come from?  Where are all the human fossils.

The extreme temperature changes also favored the angiosperms, or flowering plants, with their hard-shelled seeds and deciduous habit, which allowed them to survive the cold winters. They, then, became dominant.

As the Era progressed, the water content of the atmosphere gradually dropped as it got locked into the glaciers and snows. The atmosphere itself began to clear of the debris from the previous catastrophe and the sun started to warm the earth again. The ice began to melt, and the glaciers to recede. Large lakes began to form, some of which finally breached, their cascading drainage resulting in such magnificent formations as the Columbia Gorge, and perhaps even Grand Canyon. This warming trend marked the end of the catastrophe of the last ice-age.

JM: The bible discusses all of these events in what books?  I thought that most creationists use the Grand Canyon as evidence for Noah's flood!  Heck, even Helen made this claim many times in the past.  Apparently, the Grand Canyon is not the result of Noah's flood at all.  That means we can ignore all of Austin's work on St. Helen's!

Time Correlation
The Cenozoic Era of recent life began 65 million atomic years ago, and was divided by the last Ice Age – the fourth catastrophe – about 2 million atomic years ago. This is about 200 years in orbital time, from 2787 A.C. to about 2990 A.C. About this time, the speed of light had slowed to almost its present value, and was starting to show the effects of an oscillation, or ‘reverberating’ effect, which would become evident later, when the speed of light would actually start rising again a bit and then resume a slight downward trend after that.

JM: No evidence for any of this light decay and speeding up other than a flawed statistical analysis!

Biblical Correlation
The first significant drop in the life expectancies of humans occurred immediately following Noah’s Flood. We see the average life spans before the Flood easily reaching 800 years. Immediately after the Flood, until the time of Peleg, the ages center on about 400 years. This, however, after just three generations, sees another dramatic drop in expectancy at the time of Peleg. Whereas his father, and his father’s father as well as his great-grandfather had each lived more than 400 years, Peleg lived only 209 years. We see a steady but somewhat gradual drop in life expectancies after this until we read that Moses died at the ripe old age of 120 years. This remains the approximate peak life span today.

JM: Yet none of these folks or mammals were fossilized during these catastrophes!  Of course, we have no way of knowing whether or not these 'years' correspond to what we call 'years' or if they are based on a different calendar.

The dramatic drop in ages after both the Flood catastrophe and the catastrophe in the days of Peleg indicates that there was something happening which must have affected human genetics. That is not a subject for this handbook, but the fact should nevertheless be noted.

Biblically this period of the Cenozoic only covers two lifespans – that of Peleg and that of his son Reu. This, however, is also the time of Job, who, it appears, was probably the son of Joktan, Peleg’s brother. We read his name as being ‘Jobab’ in Genesis 10:29. What Job experienced and what he recalls is discussed in the chapter after the “Recent Period”.


This general warming would have resulted in conditions no longer favoring the giant mammals, with their long generation times. It was now the smaller mammals, with somewhat shorter generation times, which became predominant. The larger mammals may have also been hunted to the point of extinction, or close to it, by the men during the ice-age, as food would have been harder to come by than during the warmer weather.

During this period, the sculpturing of the earth’s surface to its present form was essentially completed. The retreat of the glacial ice resulted in the development of suchgreat river basins as the Misssouri and Ohio rivers in the USA, and the Murray River basin in Australia. The North American Great Lakes were also the result of this glacial retreat. Animals and plants were able to migrate towards the poles. Forest ecosystems spread.

The main segment of the Recent Period ended about the time of an evident change in the earth’s axis tilt. Whether this was due to an impact event or the redistribution of mass within the earth is not entirely clear. However it happened, there is evidence of an axis tilt correction that occurred at this time, bringing the degree of tilt back from about 28 degrees to its current 23.5 degrees. This potentially catastrophic event would have helped moderate earth temperatures. Evidence for the climatological, archaeological and geological changes brought about by this event have been documented by Dr. M.M. Mandelkehr, while evidence for the change in axis tilt itself has been examined by the late Government Astronomer for South Australia, George Dodwell.

JM: Of course, not a single shred of evidence was EVER provided to support a greater axial tilt in the Phanerozoic and the subject is equally contentious for the Precambrian!

Time Correlation
The Recent Period, following the Ice Age, brings us right up to the present and includes today. However, just before the birth of Abraham, in 3488 A.C. (2304 B.C.), the fifth catastrophe occurred. There was a final axis tilt change in 3447 A.C. (2345 B.C.). This occurred about 450 orbital years after the Ice Age.

JM: Why didn't these guys mention this?

About 2600 B.C., light speed reached a temporary minimum and actually started climbing a bit, due to the before-mentioned oscillation. While there had always been evidence of an oscillation, the dramatic drop of light speed in the times before masked the oscillation. Now, however, with drop in the speed of light becoming so slight as to almost flatten the curve, the oscillation became a major factor. The minimum speed of light, reached about 2600 B.C. was even lower than the speed of light today. As the downward direction of the oscillation reversed, light speed actually began rising for the first time in earth history. This slight climb may have reached a peak about 1000 A.D., after which the direction reversed again producing the historic continuation of the drop, although the drop again remained gradual. There is some evidence that we may have reached a plateau around 1980 A.D., which would also be a part of the oscillation effect. Much more study remains to be done for the entire Recent Period.

Biblical Correlation
This last period correlates with the time of Abraham’s great-grandfather, Serug, as listed in Genesis 10:21. Thus the Recent Period takes in the entire Hebrew culture and history as well as most of the rest of written world history. Catastrophes had not stopped altogether, but the size had greatly diminished. Thus, events like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were localized to the Jordan Rift Valley. There is the real possibility that the Ten Plagues of Moses’ time might have been related to ongoing volcanic activity. The parting of the Red Sea and, forty years later of the Jordan River gives evidence that this area was still somewhat active geologically. We see further evidence of this in Numbers 16:31-34 when the earth is said to have opened suddenly and swallowed up the 250 men who had risen in opposition to Moses and Aaron. Not only were the men themselves swallowed by the earth in that incident, but also their families and belongings – indicating that this was no minor crack that appeared in the earth, but a gaping chasm which suddenly appeared and just as suddenly closed up again. The long day of Joshua was a result of the wobbling effect initiated by the last axis tilt change. It was more of this effect, but on a lesser scale as things settled down that resulted in the sun moving ‘back ten degrees’ in the time of Hezekiah.

It must be emphasized here that although these events can be explained in terms of natural causes, the timing and place were entirely miraculous, effecting the Lord’s judgment and provision. In the same way, earth movements of today, as well as other natural disasters which can be explained in terms of natural forces, are still under the complete control of God Himself. God does not ‘look down’ and say “Whoops!”

JM: This sentence should have preceded the entire fairy tale presented.  You present nothing more than a bunch of poorly connected and poorly supported (biblical , pagan and pure imagination) events and conclude that you somehow have painted a cogent and consistent picture of earth history.  I'll let individual readers decide.  If they are able to read this far!




Joe Meert (E-mails always welcome)


Helen Penny Fryman-Setterfield has placed a webpage up attacking (mostly me) rather than the science noted above.  I will respond to just a few things on that page and leave her e-mail response posted below:

This was picked up by Dr. Meert, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Florida in Gainsville (sic). Meert has spent untold hours on the web in the past five or six years ridiculing and mocking those who disagree with his views of evolution, with particular nastiness aimed at young earth creationists. Meert then lifted parts of the post I had presented and put them up for a 'critique' at his website

JM: Actually, it's been more than six years that I have been fighting young earth creationists.  Some on the web and some in my former community of Terre Haute Indiana.  Generally, I argue the science, but I am not afraid to note some of the more ridiculous statements held forth in support of young-earth creationism.  I don't see a need to tread softly around bad science or poor theology.  Creationists are under the mistaken assumption that their science should be taken seriously and that there should be respect given to their alternative viewpoints.   However, bad science is bad science and creationists do not publish their works in the mainstream literature and are not willing (for the most part) to submit to the rigorous reviews of mainstream science.  I would be remiss if I did not mention that Setterfield has, apparently submitted his c-decay to mainstream journals without success (as of today).   In taking this step, Setterfield has my respect because this is how proper science is done.   He will, no doubt, understand the rigors of real peer review as he receives comments from reviewers and editors.  So, yes, many of my 'reviews' of creationists ideas are harsh, but that is because the science is, almost invariably, poor. 

He emailed me and asked if I would like to comment. I looked at the site and saw what he had done in the way of mocking and was going to ignore it. Instead I took a short amount of time to list twenty points of response. I specifically emailed him at 2:15 in the afternoon that he did not have permission to put it on his website but that it was a personal message to him. I received an email at 5:20 telling me it was too late. I had checked his website for two hours after I sent the email and nothing was up. On his response to me, he had changed the time that my email was sent to 5:15, an unethical and dishonorable move. His email said it all in two words: too late.

JM: Actually, this is big charade to avoid scientific discussion.  Accusations of dishonesty, while useful in deflecting attention about the scientific issues, are not supported by any useful data.   

He also changed parts of his original critique of Barry's model so that it looked better for him and worse for us. This included the title.

JM: Of course I modified my original critique and will continue to do so.  I confess to the sin of 'providing updated material' (gasp)!  As new points are raised, I will update the site accordingly!  However, barry's 'model' was copied directly from the site and has never been published in peer-reviewed literature so I have commented on what you provided.

Parts of my email were up. I had listed 20 points. He put up 17.

JM: I left off three because they are not important:  For completeness I will now include them:

I am Helen Setterfield. I was Helen Fryman. There is no hyphenated anything in my name.

JM: Not relevant.  What is relevant is that some people know you as "Penny Fryman", Helen, Helen Fryman and now Helen Setterfield.  The use of hyphenation is to let people know of your previous aliases.

Noah's ark is spelled with a k.

JM: Certainly worth correcting, but not worthy of comment.

However, read Job for a lot of the evidence you say is missing.

JM: Not worth a comment. So, yes I did not include everything, but these points were not worthy of comment (until you insisted).

Since he was trying to criticize us on Biblical grounds, his knowledge, or in his case lack of it, of the Bible is quite relevant. Trying to say there is no Biblical support for Barry's model, and then saying his knowledge of Bible is irrelevant, and then later stating he studied the Bible for years, is a ridiculous combination of things to print on one page.

JM: Well, I stand by these statements.  Science is based on observational data rather than culling and reinterpreting verses of the bible.  However, my criticisms of your misuse of the bible are relevant insofar as they show how willing creationists are to abandon the very document they hold forth as the ultimate 'truth'.  

In his first comment in regard to the model at the top of his page, he said there was no biblical evidence for one supercontinent. When I corrected this he tried to twist the argument saying, "The point is not whether or not supercontinents existed, but how many and how many times did they break apart. The waters gathering 'in one place' can also more accurately be translated as 'in the low areas' or more generally'where land is not'. It does not necessarily imply a supercontinent."

JM: Reread what I said.  All I said was that the bible could be interpreted in different ways and I asked for PHYSICAL evidence.  In fact, you have given only one possible interpretation and this was my point.  Certainly Snider-Pellegrini used the same verses to argue for a large continent but I want to know how, biblical interpretation aside, the physical evidence for whatever configuration you choose!

There are many areas of science which cannot be subject to testability, and Meert is an assistant professor in one of them

JM: You need to study some geology.  This is a false and misleading statement.  Geology makes predictions and retrodictions all the time.  This is a typical creationist dodge that in the more general case states "No one was there to see it, so all interpretations should be given equal weight".  A simple non-controversial example should suffice to show the absurdity of the claim.  Suppose we find a watch in a desert.  Creationists would have you believe that explanation (a) it grew out of the sand through self-assembly is equivalent to (b) someone lost it.   

In general, it is a waste of time to try to respond to people like Dr. Meert. They are not interested in facts or in discussion, let alone ethics or honesty. Therefore this reply is short. 

JM: But any chance you get to hurl a very Christian-type of insult is simply too tempting!  I am very interested in scientific discussion, but I am also a fan of the history of pseudoscience and its incursion into mainstream America.  Belief in pseudosciences such as creationism, witchcraft, psychics and UFO's are threatening to undermine scientific thought in the US.  Scientists must stand forward and show the dangers of false doctrine.  Young earth creationism is also poor theology as noted recently by Pat Robertson. 

What is interesting, however, is that he has spent so much time in the writing and mocking of these things that there must be something to them that worries him; something he must refuse to take seriously and is doing what he can to prevent others from looking seriously at them as well.

JM: This is true.  It is important to set the record straight on science so that we don't end up a totalitarian theocracy.  So, I've seen ye-creationists yelling for the banning of textbooks in favor of the creation fairy tale and this is worth some extra effort on my part.  Too many scientists take a back seat in these political debates.  So, you may toss insults, invent stories about 'changing dates' and 'missing points' or invent stories about me in whatever manner you like.  It doesn't bother me as much as my 'outing' of your poor science and theology bothers you.

Update July 5: Penny Setterfield-Fryman offered the following comments on this page:

Some of your response lies somewhere between ignorant and ludicrous.

JM: As does most, if not all of your model!  Anyone can play the name game.  I simply ask for evidence. 

Your knowledge of the Bible is horrid.  Check your Hebrew on 'mists' and see if you can see why other translators use other terms.  Ergo your knowledge of what is supported by Bible and what isn't is negligible.

JM: My knowledge of the Bible is irrelevant for the most part as is yours; however, I have studied the bible for much of my life and will take this as an ad-hominem attack.  You are seeking to demonstrate that your scientific hypothesis is valid.  What you need to show is evidence for the mists as you describe them.  Playing translation games can go on ad-infinitum.

Your logic is absent.  If ALL the waters are gathered into ONE place, what is left?  Only another place..  Never mind.

JM: There was no discussion of what this point referred to; however, my guess is that this is an answer about previous supercontinents.  The point is not whether or not supercontinents existed, but how many and how many times did they break apart.  The waters gathering 'in one place' can also more accurately be translated as 'in the low areas' or more generally 'where land is not'.  It does not necessarily imply a supercontinent.

One thing is right, anyway - yes, Barry's model is different from the standard YEC model.  However he does not stand alone here.

JM: Yes, you stand by him.  However, people who know you by your many pen-names will know that you did not buy into this idea until you became Penny Fryman-Setterfield.!  Most of the rest of the creationist world thinks the Precambrian flood model is heretical.

God's Word is definitely evidence; it is simply evidence you do not accept.

JM: And the evidence that this is God's word is..."I believe it to be".  Circular and unscientific argument!

Why should the beginning world have been low on oxygen?

JM: Because this is something we have evidence for!!  Do you have any to counter this evidence?

Stromatolites are from after the Flood - a lot of what 'seems' to you is based on your ignorance of both Bible and Barry's work.  This shows up repeatedly through your 'response.'

JM: More ad-homs!  The stromatolites pictured above are around 1.6 billion years old.  Definitely pre-flood according to your model.  However, stromatolites grow pre, syn and post flood according to conventional geology.  You should check your facts before posting.  I did.

Your resort to mockery when you lack for any other response is typical of you and not worth responding to.

JM: Well, gee when someone tosses a cookie....

Yes, Barry's model excludes the floating vegetation mats during the Flood as the source of the coal seams.

JM: But Helen, I mean Penny or Penny Fryman-Setterfield held these forth as evidence prima-facie for the flood!!  Are you backtracking???  At any rate, all this shows just how poorly the creationist models are.  A global flood who's beginning, end and consequences are totally controversial.  Such an event should have left an indelible and unequivocal mark in the geologic record.  Don't feel bad, it was just such inconsistencies that drove Christian scholars to abandon the global flood model in the 1800's.

Memories of scalding water exploding from the earth in the Flood are found in a number of old legends around the world.

JM: Generalization with no data.  However, you miss the point!  If they were all killed in the flood and Noah was nowhere near, then who told the tale?  Giraffes? Zebra?  T-Rex?

Science does not demand testability.  It demands data.  Barry has the data; evolution is based on pure interpretation based on wishful thinking that there is no God to be accountable to.

JM: Maybe creation science does not demand testability, but every other science does?  You claimed (or Helen did) that you were a science teacher.  Please tell me you did not teach that science does not demand testability!!  Barry has presented no data and only wishful thinking.  Cite his journal articles please?

I have read enough from other geologists now to know that a lot of the views you espouse are highly suspect and often rejected.  I'm sure you already know that.

JM: Name these views and the geologists?  Name calling, even in the name of Jesus, is of little value without evidence.  Tell me which of my views are controversial and suspect?  Otherwise, this is nothing more than name calling in attempt to deflect attention away from your model.    Nice try at baiting me.

The Flood probably did not fossilize anything.  Neither did the two other major catastrophes.  Fossilization would have taken place in local events between the major catastrophes.  Did Mt. St. Helens fossilize anything?

JM: But, Helen, I mean Penny, or whoever you were at the time claimed that 'all those fossils' point to a global flood.  You also claim that St. Helen's produced coal.  Yes, St. Helen's produced a number of fossils.  You did not know that?  Ask Harry Truman!  Of course all these extra-biblical catastrophes are a smoke screen because Noah's flood left no evidence.

The Bible is NOT a science text or a geological text or a world history text.  To fault it for not being these things is a straw man.  It does, however, provide parameters within which true science may be found. There is no reason it should mention any geological event which did not have to do directly with God's relationship with man, which is what the Bible is about.

JM: Well, gee for someone who touts it forth as scientific evidence I find this revelation refreshing, if not more than a bit hypocritical!

Your presumed rates of erosion of mountains, etc., are based on gradualism, which is pure presumption without any evidence to support it and a great deal of geological evidence to the contrary. 18.   Evidence for the axial tilt changes are in Dodwell's work.  Professor Bernard Brandstater is in the process of readying these for publication.  It has turned into a much more formidable task than anyone first imagined. However, there is a great deal of evidence for a change in axis tilt, more than once, during man's time on earth.  The Temple of Karnak, Stonehenge, and a number of other structures all testify to this.

JM: Actually, I can cite any number of quacks including UFOologists, Hare Krishnas etc to support extra-biblical stories, but what I really want to see is some physical evidence to support Barry's world.  Another paper that's 'trying to be published' is not the same as one that is.

If extra-biblical evidence is worthless, ALL your work is also, Joe.

JM: How so?  I don't claim that the bible supports my view.  I did not reach a conclusion and then start desperately searching for data to fit the conclusion.  Nor, do I, as does Barry, fall back on mythology and legend when the data failed!.

Fossilization is not a normal process where there is fresh water and dry land (i.e. where humans prefer to live).  Fossilization (not imprints) requires highly mineralized water, burial, and reasonably rapid drainage.  I 'm assuming you know this.  Why would animals uncomfortable in these environs live there?  So they could get fossilized for you?

JM: ROTFL.  All these catastrophes and not a single human fossil?  Tell me how does fresh water and land protect humans from asteroid impacts?  How does a global flood leave land exposed?  Where in the bible does God destroy much of mankind several times?  You've not answered any of the salient points raised above.  You've used insult and ad-homs throughout your response, but still no data!.  You can call me anything you want as long as you supply data to back your views.











Creationism Pages by Joe Meert

1. Roasting Adam- Rapid Decay presents serious problems for young earth

2. Crefaqs.htm- Common Questions and discussions with creationists

3. Intelligent Design?- What exactly are an intelligent designer's characteristics?

4. Northrups Failed Flood Model.- Bernard Northrup proposes a flawed flood model.

5. Walt Brown's Pseudodebate: Walt Brown claims no one will debate him.  Is this true or simply a set-up to lend credence to his 'hydroplate hypothesis'?

6. Paleosols and the Flood: A discussion about paleosols present in the midst of a flood.

7. R.A.T.E. Report: ICR's flawed research program in radioactive decay

8. Consistent Radiometric Ages: Evidence that radiometric dating does work well.

9. Depth of the Oceans:Problems with Baumgardner's rapid drift model.

10. A response to the creation model of Barry Setterfield: This one is not only extra-biblical, but lacking in scientific rigor.

10. My Home on the Web