September 19, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Geological Dates Adjust Catastrophically to Evolutionary Assumptions

Pick a date for the rise of a land mass: 3 million years or 30 million years.  Either one will work, depending on the current evolutionary assumptions, if one is to follow the logic of an article on the Discovery Channel website.  Here’s how it began:

The geologic rise of the Ethiopian Plateau may have happened millions of years later than thought, and just in time to nudge along the evolution of modern humans, say the authors of a new study.

The old date of 30 million years was accepted for some time, but the human evolution experts had a problem with it:

Some previous estimates of the plateau’s age put its rise at around 30 million years ago – far too early for it to have directly affected the immediate ancestors of Homo sapiens, who arose in the valley just a few million years ago.

Paleoanthropologists needed a more recent date, because their scenario pictured our ancestors walking across a savanna (grassland).  The need to walk upright in wide open spaces, instead of swinging in trees, was supposed to be a driving force in our evolution.

“So (human ancestors) had to walk across that savanna,” said Royhan Gani [U of Utah].  And walking on two feet, as independent studies have shown, is the most efficient way for an ape to cross large distances.

To get the timing of the geological forces in sync with the evolutionary model, some drastic adjustments were needed.  The geologists went looking for evidence to get the savanna formed much more recently, and found some:

Using elevation data collected by the space shuttle, orbiting satellites and radioisotope dating of various rock layers found in the walls of the Nile River Gorge, the researchers believe they have narrowed down the timing of the final phase of the plateau’s uplift to less than three million years ago.
    That’s just in time to cause the drying out of east Africa and the creation of the pedestrian-friendly savannas on which humans evolved.

The University of Utah husband-and-wife team decided it was acceptable to radically overturn previous assumptions:

To arrive at the more recent date, the researchers turned the question upside down.  Rather than dating the plateau’s uplift directly, they studied the effects of the one thing in the region that responds instantly to any change in elevation – the Blue Nile River.

Of course, tweaking one factor by a factor of 10 is bound to cause problems elsewhere in the model.  This means the Nile Gorge – a mile deep in places – had to form much, much faster than earlier thought.  No worries; adjustments can easily be made by mixing in a little catastrophism:

Ultimately, they determined that the Blue Nile eventually carved out more than 22,400 cubic miles of rock from the area, not at a constant rate, but in three pulses that reflect major geologic events.  The last phase, which began six million years ago, may have been caused by foundering of a deep part of the earth’s crust, which let the plateau rise like ship losing ballast.

This got the plateau up 3,000 feet in short order, just in time for evolving humans to come down from the trees and have a place to walk:

A simultaneous drop in the Rift Valley’s elevation also contributed to the drying, said geologist Martin Williams of the University of Adelaide in Australia.
    “The African Rift has been going down and widening,” Williams told Discovery News.  “The real drying out of Ethiopia proper began 3 to 2 1/2 million years ago.”  Just in time, perhaps, to drive the evolution of our ancestors.

So now everyone’s happy: the evolutionary geologists, the evolutionary biologists, the evolutionary anthropologists, and the Discovery Channel animators.

Caught in the act!  You thought geologists knew about the dates of mountains, canyons and plateaus, didn’t you?  Here you just saw them make an order-of-magnitude adjustment to an accepted age just to keep the apeman-to-human myth intact.  This huge fudging operation was blessed by none other than the Geological Society of America.  Now you know why the “Related Links” at the end of the article lists a human evolution website, and “PBS explores human evolution,” and “More on hominids from the BBC.”  Do you really think for a million nanoseconds that these geologists were unbiased seekers of the truth, converging independently on the actual date of this plateau by strict adherence to empiricism?  No; Charlie is backstage calling the shots, and they’re all in this racket together.  If you don’t believe it yet, look at a summary of the GSA paper published by EurekAlert:

More than three million years ago, early hominins evolved the ability to walk upright and in doing so started us along the evolutionary path that eventually gave rise to Homo sapiensIt was Darwin who first suggested that a change of climate, giving rise to vast, arid, savannahs, may have spurred on human evolution all those millions of years ago.  But what caused that change of climate?  Could the formation of one of Earth’s most spectacular landscapes, the Ethiopian Plateau, have been responsible for development of the great African grasslands?  And if so, what were the geological processes that led to the formation of the plateau?  To answer these questions, Nahid DS Gani of the University of Utah and colleagues turned…

There you have it.  The rest of the story is just window dressing.  We won’t even need to unpack the idiotic idea that a geologic event is somehow going to make men out of monkeys.  They had their minds made up: the human-evolution story needed a dry savanna, so the evolutionary geologists cooked one up for them on command.  It didn’t matter that they have to turn their old date upside down and shrink it to 10% of its former value.  Nothing is too costly to offer in sacrifice to Father Charlie.  The summary ended, “The timing of plateau formation coincides with and is therefore probably related to the change in climate that gave rise to the African savannahs and ultimately to human evolution.”  Charlie’s wish is their command.  “Ironically, Gani and colleagues had to turn to outer space to determine that the geological processes that spurred on human evolution lay deep within Earth’s mantle.”  They’ll ascend to the heights of heaven, or descend to the depths of the earth, to honor their idol.
    The only bright side of this article is a subtle confirmation of creationist geology.  The creationists have been saying for years that the Grand Canyon was formed rapidly by catastrophic processes.  We’ve seen the secular geology crowd slowly coming around (09/16/2005, 07/02/2002) and dropping their age estimates like a rock in free fall (from 100 million to 5 million to less than a million).  Now, this story alluded to evidence that the “Grand Canyon of Africa,” the Nile Gorge, was not formed by uniformitarian gradualism, but by catastrophism as well.  Shove aside their moyboy lingo (09/16/2005 commentary footnote), because it is worthless.  They weren’t there, they don’t know, and their ulterior motives are driving the show.

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Categories: Early Man

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