Dr. Walt Brown
Controversial Features of the Earth, Continued
Major Mountain Ranges
Major mountains are usually folded and look like an accordion. How did they form? What force could push whole mountain ranges and not crush them? How could solid rocks fold, without their stretched outer surfaces fracturing? They were probably folded when they were still soft, after the sediments were laid down, but before they solidified. The question is, what folded them?
Oversthrusts are large blocks of rock that seem to have slid horizontally over other rock for miles. They should have much rubble under them, but many do not. Also, as we have mentioned in Ocean Trenches, if a block of rock is large enough, it cannot be pushed, because the force needed to overcome frictional resistance at the base would crush the end being pushed before movement could begin. Some try to solve this problem by saying that the water in the rocks lubricated the sliding, or the rock slid downhill. But there is not enough water in rocks for this, and oversthrusts are not found on slopes.
Volcanoes and Lava
When lava erupts, its temperature is over 1800°F (about 1000°C). Where does it come from? The earth’s mantle and inner core are basically solid, only the outer core, which lies 1800–3200 miles (2880–5120 km) below the surface, is liquid. Lava supposedly comes from hot magma chambers at depths of roughly 60 miles (about 100 km). But how does it rise to the surface? At these depths the pressure is so great that all cracks should be squeezed shut. Even if there was a crack, lava flowing up through the colder rock would solidify and clog the hole. Another question arises: how did the lava form there?
The two deepest holes in the world were drilled in Russia and Germany to depths of 7.5 (12 km) and 5.6 (9 km) miles respectively. Suprisingly, mineralized and salt water was found deep in these holes, encased in crushed granite, or in cracks. Where did this water come from, if subsurface waters cannot migrate below 5 miles (8 km), due to subsurface pressure?
The outward flowing heat from inside the earth is called geothermal heat. According to a popular theory, the earth was once molten and it cooled to its present state in billions of years. There are several problems with this theory. First of all, the increase in heat with depth, called the temperature gradient, varies greatly in different places. If the earth has been cooling for several billion years the temperature increase should be uniform. Also, if the earth was ever molten, then lighter materials should have floated to the top, and denser materials sunk to the bottom. We should not find such heavy elements as gold near the surface. The granite under the continents is a mixture of minerals and if it is molten and slowly cooled, the different minerals get sorted vertically into a layer-cake pattern according to their densities, and the granite does not reform. Granit reforms only when it is cooled very quickly, in a few minutes. It seems that the earth was never molten.
In many places the earth’s crust is arranged into layers called strata, which have many strange characteristics; for example, they are uniformly cemented. Why are they uniform in hardness? Another feature is that sedimentary rock contains about 10–15% limestone (CaCO3), which is too much based on current processes. Most of this limestone is pure and does not contain the impurities that usually drift in, implying the rapid deposit of the sediments.
When certain rocks are heated and pressurized without melting, they undergo structural and chemical changes and become so-called metamorphic rocks. For example, limestone becomes marble when it is heated to 1600°F (900°C) and the pressure is equivalent to a 23-mile (37 km) high column of rock overhead. Most metamorphic rocks were formed in the presence of water. What could have accounted for the high temperature, pressure and water?
Plateaus are flatlands that have been uplifted at least 500 feet (150 m) relative to the surrounding areas. The largest plateau in the world is the Tibetan Plateau, which covers 750,000 square miles and is uplifted 3 miles relative to the continent. Continents are made of granite which floats in the denser basalt below. Where the granite is thicker than usual (under the plateaus), it sinks deeper into the basalt. To remain in balance, the granite must grow upward and downward at the same time. A hypothesis to explain plateau formation says that rock slowly “flowed” under a plateau, uplifting it and thickening the granite. However, vast amounts of rock are needed to uplift plateaus, for example 2,500,000 cubic miles (10,240,000 km³) are needed for the Colorado plateau, and ten times this amount for the Tibetan plateau. Where this much rock came from, or how it flowed there cannot be explained by this theory.
Large, thick layers of salt can be found several miles underground in many places worldwide, which are sometimes a mile in thickness and thousands of square miles in area. A large salt deposit lies under the Mediterranean Sea for example. It is said that the sea would have to completely evaporate about 8–10 times to deposit so much salt. How do these salt layers form?
Figure 4: Continental Plates on a Globe.
Jigsaw Fit of the Continents
For centuries, man has wondered at the apparent fit of the continents on the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. It is natural that someone would propose that the continents were once connected and somehow they moved to their present locations. But continents do not really fit with each other. The classic fit of Edward Bullard has many faults. To show a tight fit, he shrunk Africa by about 40%, removed most of Mexico and all of Central America, and rotated the continents relative to each other. None of this has any geological justification. The fact that continents extend to the edge of the continental shelf, sometimes hundreds of miles into the ocean, is also often overlooked. By modelling continental plates on a globe, keeping their shape and curvature, and sliding them around, we find they do not match as they are supposed to. However, they fit much more accurately with the base of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (see Figure 4).
Figure 5: The Continental Shelf and Continental Slope of Eastern North America.
The hydroplate theory, which we will discuss in the following pages, proposes that:
a. The continental plates were once in the position shown in Figure 4.
b. They were connected by rock, which was quickly eroded by upward gushing subterranean water and transported worldwide.
c. Most of the sediments on earth were formed from this eroded rock.
d. The continents quickly slid away east and west from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and moved to their present positions.
How did the earth’s fossils form? They do not form today, because a dead plant or animal decomposes long before enough sediment is deposited to preserve its shape. This means that the sediments were deposited more rapidly than proposed by evolutionists. In the following, you will see that the volume of the eroded rock (points b and c above) corresponds closely with the volume of fossil-bearing sediments, and why we find marine fossils on every major mountain range in the world.
Center for Scientific Creation, where you can order Dr. Walt Brown’s book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, or read it online.