byClyde L. WebsterPh.D. Senior Research Scientist Geoscience Research Institute
Very few things capture one's imagination quicker than finding a fossil while on a nature walk or even a walk through a museum. There is an almost mystical drawing power associated with fossils. Questions of What? Where? When? Why? and How? immediately flood one's mind, and in some cases may remain there forever,…
Research in the Yellowstone "fossil forests" includes study of the sediments, purported paleosoils, and paleoecology. Together, these indicate the "forests" are not in situ, but have been transported. Comparison with the effects of the eruption of Mt St Helens and the floating log raft in Spirit Lake provide an example of a possible mechanism for emplacement of the fossil trees in Yellowstone. Published in Origins v. 24, n. 1.
A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 1996, covering topics such as Homo erectus, the Permian mass extinction, mutations in Chernobyl rodents, dropstones, yeast genome, Heart Mt detachment, carbonate cycles, eye development gene, RNA World, Archaeopteryx, Cambrian chordate, turtles, stromatolites, and pseudogenes. Published in Origins v. 23, n. 1.
Study of the Bridgewater "Fossil Forest" of Victoria, Australia shows calcification of plants of two distinct appearances. One group is more superficial and consists of branching structures that appear to have grown in place. At a lower level is a series of layers of larger, hollow stump-like structures for which a suitable explanation is not known. Published in Origins v. 23, n. 1.
The catastrophic burial of plant debris and its subsequent change to coal is not accepted by most coal geologists. However, the dominant "peat bog" theory presents problems that have remained unanswered for more than a hundred years. A Flood model for the formation of coal answers some of these problems and provides a scientifically reasonable explanation for the origin of the vast quantities of coal that exist worldwide.
If we take the view that we are transients in an alien community, then our interest in the long-term welfare of the community will tend to be limited. If we see ourselves as fully embedded in a complex web of life, as an integral part of God's creation, and as responsible stewards of that creation, then our response to challenges such as the environmental issue will take on a distinctly different character.
The oceanic patterns of magnetic anomalies are thought to be one significant evidence supporting the general notions of plate tectonics. Arguments are presented suggesting that important characteristics of the anomaly patterns could be due to the measurement process itself rather than being a direct reflection of geomagnetic reversals and plate movement. Published in Origins v. 20, n. 1.
A collection of short commentaries on scientific papers published in 1991, covering topics such as Permian trees, molecular genetics, epigenetics, inheritance of paternal mtDNA, water and formation of petroleum, water in mantle rocks, impacts, Ordovician volcanism, molecular phylogenies of ratites, termites, cichlids and sabertooths, osteocalcin in dinosaur bones, fossil flowers, origin of life, Precambrian predation, stromatolites, Cambrian Explosion, quality of fossil record, rapid speciation, tree biogeography, Miocene ape, fossil dermopteran, Asian marsupial, dinosaurs, mammal-like reptile. Published in Origins v. 19, n. 2.
The pipes and dikes in Kodachrome Basin have come from the sedimentary layers below, and raise interesting questions regarding the amount of time involved in their formation. Published in Origins v. 19, n. 1.
The unnatural mixture and the rapid stratigraphic shifts of fauna seem to require catastrophic water transport into the area. The large geographic extent precludes a local event. Creationists suggest that a world-wide flood could produce results as seen in the Santana Formation and is a better explanatory model.
The approach outlined in this paper suggests that the radiometric age assigned to the inorganic minerals associated with a fossil is more a reflection of the characteristics of the source of this inorganic material than an indication of the age of the fossil. Published in Origins v. 17, n. 2.
Geologic features of the KT boundary present interesting evidence relating to possible causes of the mass extinction. The widespread existence of the boundary clay has been interpreted as evidence for a worldwide event at the boundary. Published in Origins v. 17, n. 1.
A recent report that the earth's magnetic field must have reversed within a period of several months stimulates interest in the question of multiple magnetic reversals in the geological record and how much time is required for them to occur. Published in Origins v. 16, n. 2.
A few scientists advocate an expanding earth as an alternative to plate tectonics. Although there are some phenenomina not well explained by plate tectonics, the expanding earth theory is not a satisfactory replacement. Published in Origins v. 16, n. 2.