Do Millions of Laminae in the Green River Shales Document Millions of Years? | The Institute for Creation Research

 
Do Millions of Laminae in the Green River Shales Document Millions of Years?

The Green River oil shales have provided one of the very strongest arguments for millions of years, or at least one of the most used.

Take a specimen of the shale and slice it open perpendicular to the normal bedding, so that you look at the rock's internal characteristics from the side. You will see a multitude of tiny laminations, like pages in a book, but alternating light and dark. Each pair is called a varve usually interpreted as representing a yearly cycle of deposition, with the darker, coarser layer the summer deposit, and the lighter, finer layer from the winter. In the Green River shale deposits up to 6 million varves are found. Does this prove 6 million years?

Actually, in no location do all the varves exist. The total is derived by correlating sequences from several locations, arranging the partial records in consecutive order. Obviously, conclusions are subjective.

The real question is, does each varve unequivocally represent one year? Definitely not, for several reasons. Studies have shown that varve counts vary between individual locations in modern glacial lakes. Sometimes, the number of laminae covering a historically dated level was more than the elapsed years. One study in a modern lake documented that 300-360 laminae had formed in 160 years. In the Green River Shale a 35% variance in number occurred between two "instantaneous" volcanic ash falls. "All" researchers now recognize that sometimes more than one varve can form in a single year.

There's also evidence it happened rapidly. Numerous fossils are found in the Green River Formation. Catfish in abundance are found, looking much the same as they did when alive. The thickness of their bodies transgresses several layers. Obviously a fish carcass, even if it did get to the bottom of a lake would not remain undecayed and unscavenged for several years, slowly being covered by seasonal deposits.

Even more remarkable are an abundance of bird fossils. In spite of their low density, bird fossils are copiously present here. If these sediments are from the bottom of a calm lake, as required by the standard varve interpretation, how could myriads of bird fossils be present? Bird carcasses don't lie on the bottom of a lake. What happened?

Further evidence against the uniformitarian, calm lake model comes from the nature of the sediments. The dark summer layer is organic rich, a commercial source of oil today. Organic material does exist in modern lakes, but a huge lake without disruptive storms or variable river input, year after year for six million years? Surely some things cannot be.

On the other hand, numerous examples of catastrophic deposits, hurricane debris, 90 mph mudflows at Mount St. Helens, and laboratory experiments, have documented rapid formation of multitudes of "varves." A detailed understanding of past, unobserved events is hard to construct, but in general, the Green River varved deposits support the global Flood of Noah's day model much better than the uniformitarian, long age model.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2003. Do Millions of Laminae in the Green River Shales Document Millions of Years?. Acts & Facts. 32 (1).

The Latest
NEWS
Stasis and More Stasis in Living Fossils
Living fossils have been a challenge to evolutionists ever since Darwin coined the phrase in 1859.1,2 They are members of a living species...

NEWS
Scaly Skin on a Feathered Dinosaur?
Fossil experts from University College Cork in Ireland took stunning images of Psittacosaurus skin. The dinosaurs’ belly shows patches of skin...

NEWS
Florida Fossil Shows Porcupines Have Always Been Porcupines
The porcupine is an animal (rodent) that one does not soon forget. It is armed with formidable quills that deter even the hungriest predators. What...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Discovers Another Record-Breaking Galaxy
Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have recently confirmed that two galaxies are extremely distant, with one becoming the new record holder...

CREATION PODCAST
The Power of Film & Video: Reaching All Ages with Truth | The...
Is there a place for the use of film and video within Christianity? If so, how can we leverage this powerful tool to reach viewers of all ages...

NEWS
New Titanosaur Species Discovered in Uruguay and Argentina
The pre-Flood world had some truly massive dinosaurs, and the largest of them were in the group Sauropodomorpha.1 Within this group were...

NEWS
T. rex Not as Smart as Thought
Have movies and most conventional paleontologists got it all wrong? T. rex and other theropod dinosaurs (the meat-eaters) are often portrayed as intelligent...

NEWS
June 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV) ICR June...

NEWS
A “Just-so” Story About Ancient Genes
An evolutionary website recently published “a groundbreaking study” that supposedly identifies a basic, uncomplicated, “simple”...

CREATION PODCAST
Dinosaurs with Bird Brains??? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Evolutionists claim that birds are descended from dinosaurs. A feature that is often cited as linking these two types of creatures is the brain....