January 3, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Precambrian Pods Promoted to Pleistocene (!)

The bulletin of the Geological Society of America started 2007 with a bang.  (Geeks sometimes refer to the exclamation point as a “bang”.)  It’s not often one sees an exclamation point in the title of a scientific paper, but the bang in one by Donald R. Lowe (Stanford) and Gary R. Byerly (Louisiana State)1 conveys something of the shock and awe they must have felt when they had to reclassify a rock formation from one end of the geologic column to the other:

Irregular bodies of goethite and hematite, termed ironstone pods, in the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, have been previously interpreted as the Earth’s most ancient submarine hydrothermal vent deposits and have yielded putative evidence about Archean hydrothermal systems, ocean composition and temperature, and early life.  This report summarizes geologic, sedimentological, and petrographic evidence from three widely separated areas showing that the ironstone was deposited on and directly below the modern ground surface by active groundwater and spring systems, probably during periods of higher rainfall in the Pleistocene…. These deposits represent a remarkable iron oxide-depositing Quaternary hydrologic system but provide no information about conditions or life on the early Earth.

Moving the earliest rocks on Earth to modern times is thus cause for a bang: “Ironstone bodies of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa: Products of a Cenozoic hydrological system, not Archean hydrothermal vents!”  The prior accepted date for the Barberton deposits was about 3.55 billion years.  The Pleistocene epoch is assumed to have begun about 1.8 million years ago.  This means the new date (within the evolutionary geologic timetable) is, at most, 0.6% of the old date.

1 Lowe DR, and Byerly GR (2007), “Ironstone bodies of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa: Products of a Cenozoic hydrological system, not Archean hydrothermal vents!” GSA Bulletin, January 2007, Vol. 119, No. 1 pp. 65-87, DOI: 10.1130/B25997.1.

Astronomy (10/01/2006, 01/16/2001), geology (11/13/2006, 08/08/2006, 04/01/2006) and evolutionary biology (12/13/2006) are some of the only fields where you can be over 99% wrong and still keep your job.  Is there no accountability for the geologists who claimed these rocks were Archean?  Does this give us any confidence that the current dating method is the final word?  Notice how geologists and evolutionists could point to these rocks and weave their stories about ancient primitive life on the planet, only to find out the rocks are so recent, they could be forming today!  (That deserved another bang.)
    Other articles in this month’s Geology and GSA Bulletin continue to propound dates for various formations with the same brazen aplomb with which geologists had told us the Barberton greenstones were billions of years old.  Let this be a lesson to our astute readership, because the geologists and evolutionists are apparently not learning theirs.
Reader Research Project:  Someone should do a literature search on this South African formation and see how the evolutionists have used it in their tales about early life on the planet, now that we know “These deposits … provide no information about conditions or life on the early Earth.”  (Here’s one example from the AGU found quickly on Google, and another on GeoScience World glibly claiming these are 3.55 billion years old.)  Look for the dating methods that were used to claim they were ancient.  Search especially for how the “truth” of their old age was presented to students.  For an advanced project, someone should follow this story and see if there are any retractions as a result.  If you find anything interesting, send it in and we will post it.

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