September 14, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

Can the Same Winds Blow for 42 Million Years?

Uncritical dependence on the Geologic Column forces secular scientists into contorted positions.

These deposits are 25 million years old. Whoops; they are now 42 million years old. That’s what PhysOrg is saying about deposits of wind-blown sandstone in China called loess (pronounced “lerse”). The word “upend” comes into play here (meaning, to turn previous ideas upside down):

Earlier studies of the Asian climate’s history used rocks from the Loess Plateau in northwestern China to show dust accumulation began 25 million to 22 million years ago and increased over time, especially over the past 3 million years. It had been believed that these rocks reflected the full history of central Asian deserts, linking them with the rise of the Tibetan Plateau and a planetwide cooling.

But Licht led previous research at the University of Arizona using much older rocks, dating back more than 40 million years, from northeastern Tibet. Dust in those rocks confirmed the region already was already parched during the Eocene epoch. This upended previous beliefs that the region’s climate at that time was more subtropical, with regional wind patterns brought more moisture from the tropics.

Did the scientists actually measure the ages of these deposits? Not exactly; they assumed how old they are, depending on how they are classified in the geologic column by other authors. Interested readers can investigate the assumptions and methods in the paper by Alexis Licht and colleagues in Nature Communications.

But when you upend one thing, often other things are also upended. Now, they have to believe dry conditions lasted twice as long, blowing dust in a westerly direction. “The origin of the dust hasn’t changed for the last 42 million years,” Licht says. What does that mean for climate change?

Understanding the mechanism of those winds is a first step to understand what controls rainfall and drought in this very wide area,” Licht said. “It also provides clues to how Asian circulation may change, since it suggests these westerly winds are a fundamental feature that have persisted for far longer than previously believed.”

A lot can happen in a few thousand years, let alone 42 million. The Sahara Desert formed in a lot less time than that. Early peoples populated much of the region before it dried up. Is it plausible to expect westerly winds to keep depositing sand for 42 million years?

“If we want to have an idea of the Earth’s climate in 100 or 200 years, the Eocene is one of the best analogs, because it’s the last period when we had very high atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Licht said.

But he’s comparing millions of years to hundreds of years. If “understanding the mechanism” of winds is a “first step to understand” climate change, it’s not clear these scientists understand much at all. They just doubled the age of loess deposits in this part of the world, without even worrying about the implications.

The abstract of the paper states pretty much the same thing: “Our results show that dust sources and near-surface atmospheric circulation have changed little since at least 42 Myr. Our findings indicate that the locus of central Asian high pressures and concurrent aridity is a resilient feature only modulated by mountain building, global cooling and sea retreat.” Those last three forces, one would think, should be pretty significant for altering winds and wind-blown deposits, if not stopping them altogether. Yet Licht thinks the winds kept marching along for millions of years, twice as many as previously thought, as if nothing happened.

To secular geologists, the technique for dating the Earth is similar to secular biologists’ technique for inferring Darwinian evolution. The latter follows these rules: (1) Believe in Darwinian evolution with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. (2) Observe a fact. (3) Make up a story to fit the fact into the evolutionary scheme, even if it upends previous beliefs. In secular geology, it goes like this: (1) Believe in the geologic column with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. (2) Observe a fact. (3) Make up a story to fit the fact into the geologic column, even if it upends previous beliefs.

The commonality of these methodologies suggests a common source. What could that be?

Critical thinkers might be willing to consider alternative theories by flood geologists for how these massive loess deposits formed quickly after the ice age. They don’t require millions of years. Here’s one on CMI by Michael Oard. Here’s another by Walt Brown on CreationScience.com.

 

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Comments

  • tjguy says:

    ” It had been BELIEVED that these rocks reflected the full history of central Asian deserts, linking them with the rise of the Tibetan Plateau and a planetwide cooling.
    …. This upended previous BELIEFS that the region’s climate at that time was more subtropical, with regional wind patterns brought more moisture from the tropics.”

    Well, at least he recognized they were nothing more than beliefs!

    What does that say for the reliability and trustworthiness of scientific beliefs?

    In the end, we all have things we believe in, but cannot prove to be true – even scientists!

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