Geoscience Research Institute

IN A FEW WORDS

Origins 8(2):55-56 (1981).

Brief summaries of the main conclusions of the leading presentations are given below for those who may find the complete articles too long or technical.


HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE GEOLOGIC COLUMN: PART I

Editor's note: This article and its companion one in the next issue of ORIGINS review the format and history of the geologic column. The first article covers the early years.

    In the past 250-300 years a major paradigm shift has taken place regarding the history of the earth. It would be safe to say that prior to this time period a large majority of practicing scientists either held a strong belief in a biblical account of origins or at least were not antagonistic to such a concept. Parallel to this belief was the development of geology, a separate discipline or science. Observations that showed similarity of rock and fossil types over large geographical ranges were begun to be appreciated as well as the uniqueness of certain strata with respect to the presence or absence of various life forms.
    These studies resulted in various theories which attempted to explain the geologic picture.
    A major influence early in this time of new models was A. C. Werner (1749-1817). Werner held that the various rock layers were formed by precipitation of materials from turbid seas. Werner and his followers (the Neptunists) presented a major diversion from the traditional interpretation. James Hutton (1726-1799) recognized the true nature of some rocks as being volcanic in origin and overemphasized this source of material in the fossil record. The concept of erosion and deposition was also developed by Hutton with the slowness of this process recognized.
    William Smith (1769-1839) recognized the widespread occurrence of various layers and his work implied major geologic changes over wide areas.
    In addition to the stratigraphic studies, analysis of fossil remains also began. Dominant in these areas was the work done by Georges Cuvier (1769-1832). A comparative anatomist, Cuvier was able to make identifications of fossil fragments and place them into taxonomic groups. With these studies came the realization that fossils might be used as indices in identifying similar but widely separated strata. Cuvier also developed the concept that the geologic record is the result of short catastrophic bursts with long, quiet intervals between. These forerunners provided a milieu in which the future formulators of the geologic column could now work.

A REVIEW OF RECENT DATA FROM THE REGION OF THE ARK-SHAPED FORMATION IN THE TENDUREK MOUNTAINS OF EASTERN TURKEY

    It has been widely believed that creationism would receive a significant advance if Noah's Ark were to be found. A majority of efforts, both exploratory and literary, have been focused on the traditional site — the Ararat Mountains (Agri Dagh). The present article questions the value of searching on Ararat and proposes that the boat-shaped geologic feature on another mountain several miles away be reexamined. Supporting evidence is provided by the description of two large stones which closely resemble stone anchors used by seafarers millennia ago. A case is made for the genuineness of the stone anchors, and the conclusion is that the search for the Ark's remains should be moved to the Tendurek Mountains.


1981

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