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Sandstone and shale layers are too extensive for normal deposition (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Sandstone and shale layers are too extensive for normal deposition (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CD202:

Sandstones and shales cover large areas, larger than we observe being produced today. This is consistent with deposition by a global flood, not with uniformitarianism.

Source: Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 102-103.

CreationWiki response: As written this claim is not an accurate representation of what Henry Morris wrote. His main point is this data is more consistent with Flood geology than Uniformitarian geology. He is not saying that it is totally inconsistent with Uniformitarian geology.

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Sandstones, shales and other formations often do not have uniform ages. For example, the extensive St. Peter Sandstone of central North America was deposited at different times in different locations.

All this shows is that there is a uniformitarian interpretation of this data, not that it is the best interpretation.

2. Shales form mostly from mud on the ocean floor, which does cover large areas. In the late Ordovician, much of North America was covered by a shallow sea. Much shale formed there over millions of years, to be exposed when the sea level lowered.

Sands occur mostly along shorelines. When a shoreline recedes gradually, sands can be left covering a large area.

This is just the uniformitarian version of what Morris was saying. He said "It would seem that only a continent-wide flood." In its essence, Talk Origins response #2 is agreeing with Morris' conclusion. Morris said that it would take a continent-wide flood and what Talk Origins is describing is the uniformitarian version of a continent-wide flood.

3. A catastrophic flood would not be expected to produce such large amounts of shale and sandstone.

Talk Origins is erroneously looking at the Flood in an overly simplistic way. The Flood was a complex event and all the details need to be considered in what to expected from it.

The particle sizes in these sediments is uniform; the gravel, sand, and mud have been sorted apart into different areas. The high energies in the flood would mix everything together.

Yes, eruption of the fountains of the great deep did mix things together, but even before they stopped, there would be areas of water calm enough for hydrological sorting to occur. It is this hydrological sorting that would make these sediments uniform such that the gravel, sand, and mud got sorted into different areas. The fact is that both deposition and erosion occurred during all stages of the Flood, so uniformly layered sediments would have been a natural result of such a Flood.

At best, a flood could redeposit sands or muds that already existed,

This is correct, but that is irrelevant to the validity of the model.

and it would take millions of years for such quantities to form.

Only, if it were formed by natural means. If on the other hand it was created by God, the time needed would be zero, but this is irrelevant to the validity of the scientific model of rapid flood deposition.

Furthermore, shales are sometimes found atop sandstones. A single flood could not deposit both.

Actually it is no problem for a single flood. The particles that make up shale are finer than sand, and as such when shale is mixed in water with sand, the shale tends settle out on top of the sand. So this is actually predicted by the global flood model.

Even more impossible for a single flood, we also see multiple layers of sand or shale interleaved with other materials, such as volcanic ash.

Once again contrary to Talk Origins's claim this is actually predicted by the global flood model. Hydrological sorting in flowing water would produce such interleaved sediments if the different materials; including volcanic ash; were in the water together.