February 12, 2009 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin’s Wrong Turn in Argentina

When the Beagle was sailing the coast of Argentina in 1834, it stopped at the mouth of the Santa Cruz River.  25-year-old Charles Darwin, who had been reading Lyell’s Principles of Geology, got out and explored the area on foot as the crew made camp on the cliffs.  Darwin was impressed by the six-mile-wide canyon with its comparatively small river.  He was led from his reading of Lyell to assume that this was another example of the cumulative power of small processes to produce big changes over vast periods of time.
    Geologist Steven Austin recently visited Camp Darwin at the Santa Cruz canyon.  He examined the basalt cliffs and cobbles with a geologist’s eyes and came to a quite different interpretation.  “What I saw at Camp Darwin utterly shocked me,” he said.  “I saw abundant evidence for a colossal flood that must have rapidly performed significant erosion in the valley.”  His results can be found at ICR, where he explains that the nature of the cliffs, the basalt being on one side and not the other, and the large rounded boulders on top of the cliff (some as big as 15 feet in diameter), and other evidences speak clearly of catastrophism, not uniformitarianism.
    This incorrect assumption, he believes, was young Darwin’s first wrong turn that led him to view the world evolving through slow, gradual accumulations of small changes.  Dr. Austin has posted a 10-minute video on YouTube explaining his findings, with footage shot on location where he points to evidences you can see for yourself.

This is a good example of how the glasses through which you view the world can color everything.  Darwin read the world with his Lyell glasses on.  Because those glasses blocked certain wavelengths, he failed to see evidence that was right in front of his nose.  Watch this short video and spread the link to friends today on the Darwin Bicentennial.

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