The Global Flood and Antarctica - Can we have both?

by mavie 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlanF

    Forscher wrote:

    : I am going to stick my neck out and let get whacked-off by the mainstream science apologists.

    Indeed you are.

    : I have just a little problem with the ice core dating. That problem comes from something that happened a few years ago. Does anybody remember the group who went hunting for the P-38s which had been abandoned on the glacier in Greenland?

    I saw a cable TV program on this recently. A couple of good websites seem to be "Glacier Girl - The Lost Squadron (Recovery of a P-38 . . .)" ( ) and "Exhuming the Glacier Girl" ( ) Note that the first page of the first site has a map of Greenland showing the crash site. This is important to look at if you want to understand the answers to the questions you're raising.

    : When folks decided to go looking for them thinking that it would be an easy salvage of some very valuable planes, it took them six years to find them and another two years to determine how deep in the ice they were. To there suprise, the planes had drifted about a mile and were 258 feet down, nowhere near where they should've been. It would be about another five years before somebody would commit enough money to actually go down and get one.

    That's a fair summary, according to the web accounts I've read.

    : So it seems that the assumptions for the deposition of ice on the Glacier along with the assumptions for the actual travel for that ice were completly wrong.

    Actually, we'll see that your assumptions are completely off base.

    : Now, what I have to wonder is if the assumptions governing the deposition of ice on the Polar cap are similiarly of base. Would it not be reasonable that they may well be? Could it be that ice accumulates at a much more rapid pace than is currently assumed?

    You've obviously done no research whatsoever on this topic. Within just an hour I found a good deal of information -- enough to answer your questions. How is it that you couldn't manage the same?

    Your basic mistake is in assuming that snow accumulates at the same rate all over Greenland, but that is far from the case. At the southeastern coast, snow accumulates at a rate of about a meter per year, whereas inland, where the ice cores have been taken, it accumulates at rates of under ten centimeters per year.

    First look at the location of the crash site on the map at the website I mentioned above. Next look at the map in Figure 2. at the following website: "Local-scale snow accumulation variability on the Greenland ice sheet from ground-penetrating radar (GPR)" ( ) With just a wee bit of interpretation, it indicates a snow accumulation rate of more than 800 mm per year, and with a bit of extrapolation, probably at least a meter. The text also indicates that the indicated rates may well be off by a substantial amount from their long term averages for any number of reasons.

    Now, the website on "Glacier Girl" that I mentioned above gives a figure of 268 feet of snow and ice accumulated in the fifty years between the P-38s going down and their recovery. That averages to about 64 inches or 1.6 meters per year -- not too far off from the estimates discussed above. The website on "Exhuming the Glacier Girl" gives a figure of 268 feet in 46 years (1.8 meters per year accumulation), with 3 miles of lateral travel.

    Furthermore, we know that heavy objects can easily migrate downward through ice and snow, since ice is actually quite plastic under load, as the flow of glaciers shows so dramatically. There is no information I can find on how much the P-38s might have drifted downward under their own weight during fifty years, but you can bet that they drifted some.

    Other factors can also come into play. For example, the actual lateral flow rate of Greenland glaciers at the coast is extremely variable both in space and time. Until very recently, no one has done careful studies of this, and certainly not of how lateral flow affects how heavy metallic objects behave when sitting on a flowing glacier capped by deep snow.

    As for the 3 miles of lateral travel in 46 to 50 years, that is entirely within normal limits. I have no idea where you got the notion that things were "nowhere near where they should've been" since no one really knew the lateral flow rate of the glacier until it was measured by finding the P-38s!

    The above shows that the available data on snow accumulation in the general region of the P-38 crash site is roughly consistent with the observed depth of the planes after fifty years of accumulation.

    What about snow accumulation where ice cores have been taken?

    The above-mentioned website contains a map (Figure 1.) which shows two locations marked by + signs, "Summit" and "NGRIP". At the Summit site, ice cores were taken by Danish science teams in the early 1990s (completed in 1993) and at the NGRIP site, core taking was completed in 2003. According to the map in Figure 2. these sites have snow accumulation rates somewhere between zero and ten cm per year.

    Thus, comparing just the snow accumulation rates between the high-rate crash site area and the low-rate ice core area is comparing apples and oranges.

    Here are two websites that give some information on these core projects: "The Summit Ice Cores (GISP2 and GRIP)" The NGRIP project

    A simple web search will turn up gobs of information on these topics.

    In addition to the above considerations, the locations where the ice cores were taken were chosen carefully and after much study to determine the areas of the Greenland ice sheet where lateral ice flow was at a minimum. The obvious reason for this was to find a location that had the best chance of having accumulated snow and ice for extremely long periods, without it having flowed away to the coastal regions. The reason that the chosen areas were picked was that they obviously had extremely low yearly accumulation rates of snow. And it turned out that the scientists had chosen well, since layers as deep as about 250,000 years were found. Why do the areas of lowest flow also have the lowest snow accumulation rate? Several factors come into play. First, the highest land areas (e.g., the location called Summit) are the driest, because the high altitude forces snow storms toward lower elevations. Second, the highest areas obviously must have ice flowing away from them in all directions, because ice tends to flow downward. When ice flows outward from a high point, there must be a point of zero flow.Once again, careful searching of the Web, or better, library searches of good science journals such Nature, Science and Scientific American will turn up huge amounts of information on ice cores.

    : I don't think enough time has passed for research to definatively answer those questions if it has been attempted at all.

    On what basis do you not think this? Obviously not on a basis of knowledge, since you haven't even the knowledge to do the most basic of research yourself, which I managed to do in an hour.

    If you can bring yourself to do some solid research, as I suggested above, you'll find that a great deal of definitive research has been done.

    You remind me of the usual lot of young-earth creationists who, for religious reasons, claim that all of paleontology, geology, archeology and anything else that contradicts their pet doctrines is nonsense because it isn't proved. You also remind me of that most stupid of JW apologists on this board, scholar pretendus, for the same reasons.

    : it may well be with the "global Warming" dogma which is currently in vogue that scientist don't think the conditions can give them that answer and they may very well have not attempted the research, that is if they are not in denial and don't think the Greenland thing has any relevance.

    This is gibberish.

    : Now I know that somebody will probably come on here and say I am an idiot for daring to question the pronouncements of the scientists.

    Not necessarily an idiot -- just woefully ignorant. Whether you prove to be an idiot or not depends on what you do with the information and leads you've been given.

    : And they will probably even be able to articulate some reasonable arguement.

    Do tell.

    : The questions I would like to see answered is just how much of the assumptions on the deposition of Ice is actually based on observed data and how much is more in the realm of assumption? How far back does the observed data really go? Ten years? Twenty? Forty? Sixty? And are the observations really statistically relevant enough to be confident in. What is the level of confidence?

    Do the research I suggesed and you'll get your answers.

    : I don't think I am being entirely unreasonable.

    Not entirely, but certainly a bit. Why? Because you could easily have done a bit of research for yourself and saved yourself the embarassment of having easily found pointers handed to you on a silver plate.

    : Now, I will admit that if the polar ice data has been properly adjusted to reflect the data observed in the case of the Greenland glacier, then the dates suggested by the scientists may well have some creditability.

    That is most certainly the case.

    Forscher said to SixofNine:

    : I can do without the gratuitous insults Sixofnine. If you'd stop long enough to read my other posts you'd realise that you are being a first-class jerk. Since I once handed AlanF his guts for garters for that kind of idiocy, I have no need to prove myself to you.

    LOL! You pretended to be a standard braindead Christian Fundamentalist, I accepted that on face value and responded as I do to any such people who tell blatant lies. Assuming you're not actually a standard braindead Christian Fundamentalist, then you certainly fooled me! But if you think that's a big accomplishment, I pity what you're going to do with your life.

    Forscher also wrote:

    :: Greenland ice up to 12,500. How could such a thickness of ice build up in less than 4400 years?

    : Okay. I used the above from what AlanF wrote along with the observed data of a 268 ft. accumulation of of ice in Greenland to run a very simple and crude test of Alan's question. I still came up with a required period of around 20,000 for that much ice to accumulate (If your looking in Alan I am aware of just how crude and simple that test really is

    Actually your math is wrong. (Didn't you once claim that you minored in math?) If we use 268 feet, divided by 46 years, we get 5.82 feet per year. Divide that into the 12,500 feet and we get about 2100 years. Dropped a decimal point, did you? You also made the assumption that the 268 feet of burial of the P-38s was in solid ice, but from what I can see (and realizing that the top tens of feet of must have been snow, not ice), it was probably mostly snow in various states of compression.

    : and some of the factors I didn't/couldn't allow for). That is still a period more than five times longer than biblical chronology allows. That is kind of hard to argue with.

    You've missed a great many other factors, which if you'd do the research I suggested above, should become evident. For one thing, snow accumulation rate does not equal ice accumulation rate. Snow melts and evaporates. Snow sublimates. Therefore, ice only forms from what is left over after the water molecules go off into the atmosphere. Sometimes there's a lot of snow left over after a cool summer, sometimes there's none after a warm summer. It depends on local conditions. For another thing, snow compresses a good deal. A very light, cold snow might compress by a factor of 10 or more. Unless you know the exact conditions, you can't tell how much snow was compressed into a given thickness of ice. However, if we make the reasonable assumption that Greenland's interior, where the 12,500 feet of ice is, gets cold, fluffy snow that compresses by a factor of ten into ice, then we must have had at least 125,000 feet of snow in 4,400 years, or an average of 28.4 feet of snow a year. But as I pointed out above, for reasons of local climate, the interior of Greenland now accumulates only between zero and ten centimeters (or 0 and 4 inches) a year. So something is very much out of kilter with the claims of JWs and their ilk about Noah's Flood. A third factor is that the ice tends to flow away from the area of accumulation, because it's now a flowing glacier.

    Now, the so-called "flood geologists" of the young-earth creationist camp (spearheaded by Henry Morris and company) now claim that there was a single ice age after Noah's Flood, and that the oceans were so warm that massive amounts of snow fell on Greenland and Antarctica within a few hundred years after the Flood, which caused this ice age. They then explain away the year by year layers (you can look up the chemical and physical details of this yourself) by a good deal of hand waving, and claim that it would have been no problem to accumulate. But if we allow, say, 300 years for those 125,000 feet of snow to accumulate, that amounts to more than 400 feet per year -- an outrageous figure. There is simply no evidence whatsoever for this.

    : Alan does make the point in those writings I skimmed through about the statistical relevance of multiple independent dating methods arriving at the roughly the same dates. Once again I acknowledge that to be a powerful point in favor for the ages proposed.

    Indeed it is. You seem to be learning.

    : On a lighter note, I looked over Alan's Bio while I was at it. When I came to the part about his time at MIT, I almost spit my tea all over the monitor! Talk about a babe in the woods, I minored in Anthropology and by the time I did my first paper in one of those course I knew better than to try and do an apologetic paper for anything the WTBTS taught. Ah, the joys of growing up!

    Anyone who grew up in the JW cult was a babe in the woods in a lot more ways than that.


  • Forscher

    Interesting evaluation Alan.
    I'll check out your link myself. If I have a question and can't seem to track down a good answer (Beyond the net I only have the resources of a small community college and you know how small those kind of libraries are) would you mind a friendly PM?

  • AlanF

    : would you mind a friendly PM?

    No problem, as long as you behave yourself.


  • Forscher

    Oh, you posted while I was composing Alan. As I said at the outset, I didn't enter this thread to debate. So I will not rise to the bait at this time. As I said to six, I feel no need to prove myself to you. Thanks for the links. I will check them out.

  • Forscher

    I will behave myself Alan. However, I do expect the same curtesey in return.

  • Forscher
    Dropped a decimal point, did you?

    Ouch! It does appear I did Alan! I am coming off a very painful condition which also affect my eyesight. It is an inherited condition which affects me periodically. It can screw up even simple math like that. Oh, well1

  • Forscher

    I minored in anthropology, not math Alan. I was a C student in math. It was my only consistently weak area. And that despite the fact I like the subject. So you won't find me bragging about my math.

  • Forscher

    Bye the way,
    I am having a time finding certain things on the net. When I firts entered college, the net was still very much in its infancy. Although we did utilise it to some extant, we mainly used the subscription services which the colleges and universities subscribed to. After a lay-off from my education forced by my health and uring which I had no access to the net, I returned to complete my Bachelor's. To my shock, the professors I had vigorously discourage research on the net. It seems that most of the students were being sloppy about there research and were citing sources from the net they should've know better than to use. So the professors pretty much didn't want folks using the net at all.
    So, if it seems that I am a little bit ignorant of the resources for good information in some areas, I am. If it seems that I am missing resouces which many of you consider obvious, that is why. I am working at it, so please be a bit patient. I will get there.

  • AlanF

    Good lord, Forscher! You're giving mixed signals about your abilities! I don't mean to sound condescending, but if you're really sincere about wanting to deal with your JW past, you're going about it in the wrong way. I'm willing to help, but you've got to come down from your high horse. I don't cotton to people who pretend.

    You really want to know how to research on the Net? Use Google: . Spend some time and learn how it works. You can even find a book Google Hacks or something like that (I bought one at Frye's Electronics a year or two ago, very useful) to help you.

    The most important thing with Net resources is to spend the time figuring out how they work and how to filter out the massive amounts of junk you'll find. Experiment with the topics I suggested. I suppose this might be something of a chicken and egg problem, how to figure out what's crap and what's good, but that's where getting hold of non-Net resources comes in. If something seems questionable, delve into it. Get hold of printed resources via Inter-Library Loan or whatever. If you want to find certain books, go to or and look for all sorts of buyable reference material.

    Again, you simply have to spend a lot of time and energy doing this. If you can't or won't, then you've got a big problem with getting proper resources, and I don't know what to tell you. How do you think I managed to write some extensive essays beginning 15 years ago on various JW-related science topics? I spent hundreds of hours in the library, and thousands of dollars buying books. By the time the Web came along, I didn't need it for what I had already written, but believe me, if I had had the Web, my task would have been much easier. You have an incredible amount of resources at hand in the Web. Use them! If nothing else, use them to find pointers to solid printed material.


  • gumby
    would you mind a friendly PM?

    Don't trust him Alan! He tried that crap on me and sent me a pic of a naked mans nutsac......sick bastard!


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