ICR: Why Are There Still Mountains?

You’ve heard the classic creationist question: Why are there still monkeys? As silly as the question is, we once took the time to deal with it — see If We Evolved From Monkeys, Then Why …?, where we said:

Standard refutations abound — for example: If America was founded by England, why are there still Englishmen? Also: You agree that dogs are descended from wolves, so why doesn’t it bother you that there are still wolves?

In that same post, we informed you that the monkey question is so revealing of creationists’ ignorance that even ol’ Hambo has recommended that it not be used. Nevertheless, it persists. And as you are about to learn, it has evolved!

The creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — have come up with a brilliant new version. They just posted Rapid Erosion Supports Creation Model.

It’s by Frank Sherwin, M.A. (Note that he touts his Master’s degree.) At the end of the article he’s described as “Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here’s his writeup at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. ICR has a bio page on the guy: Frank Sherwin. They say his MA degree is in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Here are some excerpts from Sherwin’s latest, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Recently in Dorset, England, bad weather washed a massive section of a cliff into the sea revealing scores of ammonite fossils. Creation scientists are interested in this cliff fall because substantial erosion was accomplished in literally seconds. It didn’t take hundreds of thousands to millions of years of slow and gradual erosion.

Ooooooooooooh! Creation scientists are interested in landslides — or rather, rockslides. Why? Let’s read on:

The cliff fall at Dorset isn’t the only recent example of rapid and significant erosion. Uniformitarian geologists claim the famous White Cliffs of Dover, composed of calcium carbonate, were formed in the Cretaceous Period between 65 and 140 million years ago.

That expression, “uniformitarian geologists,” is how creationists sneeringly refer to real geologists, in contrast to young-Earthers who adhere to catastrophism and insist that the world was swiftly transformed by Noah’s Flood. Can you guess which camp Sherwin is in? You’ll soon find out. He continues:

But there is evidence of significant fracturing every decade or so causing authorities to urge visitors to stay far away from the cliff edge lest they topple into the ocean when the rocks give way. In 2001, a huge chunk fell into the English Channel followed by another large section in 2012.

These things happen from time to time. What’s Sherwin trying to tell us? Be patient, dear reader. He’s getting to it. Here’s more:

Uniformitarian geologists estimate 0.39 inches of cliff erosion per year. But we’re seeing a lot — far too much — catastrophic erosion of these cliffs over a short time. At this catastrophic erosion rate, the White Cliffs of Dover would disappear in much less than a million years.

Ooooooooooooh! The uniformitarians are in trouble! Then Sherwin switches to another rockslide:

In July of 2015, a huge sheet of granite roughly 200 by 100 feet (about 2,400 tons) fell from the vertical face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park in California. Geologists claim rock falls such as this occur about once per year in Yosemite Valley. This is obviously serious annual erosion. What would be the fate of Half Dome in just a million years of “normal” annual erosion?

Okay, that’s his evidence — all of it. Now brace yourself. Here it comes:

The obvious scientific question is: If the Earth is billions of years old, why do we have mountains and cliff faces today?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And now for the stunning conclusion:

Such rapid changes as described above backs the catastrophic-biblical model which states there can be much geologic work in a short time.

So there you are, dear reader. In addition to If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? we can now expect to hear: If the Earth is old, then why are there still mountains?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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24 responses to “ICR: Why Are There Still Mountains?

  1. If evolutionists evolved from creationists, why are their still creationists???

  2. “If evolutionists evolved from creationists, why are their still creationists???”
    because black scummy mold is always around!!!

  3. michaelfugate

    Did you know the death rate for humans is about 60,000,000 per year? Why are there still humans? Shouldn’t we have died out long ago?

  4. These people aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer but surely they’ve heard of volcanos and plate tectonics?

  5. anevilmeme says: “surely they’ve heard of volcanos and plate tectonics?”

    The word “volcano” doesn’t appear in the King James version. And although I didn’t check, I’m certain that plate tectonics isn’t there either. So no, they’ve never heard of them.

  6. It may be a good time to publish “S.C.’s guide to Why a Cliff Is Not Considered to be a Mountain for Dumbies”. A good followup might be titled “In Celebration of Willful Ignorance”.

    There may be millions of empty heads in desperate need of such a things.

  7. You’d think that all of those Christian geologists in the 18th and 19th century would have thought of making an estimate for how long geological features would last. You’d think that there would books written by them. That there would be books written about them, and they would be famous.
    Nowadays, what with Wikipedia and such making access to the history of geology easily accessible …
    Oh, forget it.

  8. Such arguments are easy to parody. “If people still win lotteries, why are there still poor people?”

    Creationists apparently have no sense of scale, either. The collapse of a cliff face is nothing next to the wearing away of an entire mountain, even a small one. But then, these are the folks who think the mountains were whipped up in a day and then altered in a few months by a worldwide flood which drowned even Mount Everest. (Even the ridiculous Waterworld didn’t go quite that far!)

  9. Rather than just speculate, “I don’t think that it will take too long”, there is a thing called “mathematics”. There are plenty of examples of early geologists who “calculated” how long it would take for processes that we know about to make the changes, and came up with “numbers”. That is why so many people determined that the world is older than 6000 years. This is widely known about, and it is simply ignorant to ignore that.

  10. So by their reckoning the Appalachians have eroded from the height (or taller) than the Rockies in 4000 years without the various peoples who have lived there noticing. Or have the records gone under all that fallen rock?

    And YEC’s wonder why we laugh at them!

  11. Well, TomS, you wrote it yourself. They want to ignore it and hence remain ignorant.

  12. There is no way that erosion of cliffs in Dorset or Kent could fall into the ocean as this loon claims. Simply because neither coastline is on an ocean. But hey, why let simple facts get in the way of…

  13. Richard Bond

    …estimate 0.39 inches of cliff erosion per year.

    Aha! A simple example of the Spurious Significant Figure, and a dead giveaway for pseudo-cience. It has been translated from “10 mm” for the benefit of anybody stupid enough to accept creationism. If Sherwin were mathematically literate, he would have noticed that “estimate” and simply said 0.4 inches.

  14. Recently in Dorset, England, bad weather washed a massive section of a cliff into the sea revealing scores of ammonite fossils.

    Where did those ammonite fossils come from? Rapid erosion doesn’t explain why the rock that is eroding is full of ammonites. Similarly, with respect to the white cliffs of Dover, how did a flood form those cliffs of calcium carbonate? Where did that material come from? If the English Isles were part of the originally created world, thus explaining the weird white cliffs as a whim of god, then the ammonite fossils were formed in place as a joke by god. It seems to me that Mr. Sherman raises more questions than he intends to with his little article.

  15. Entirely off topic, but the glorious news can’t be suppressed! Religious freedom in America has been secured, and Ken Ham is the man every believer can thank for it:
    https://answersingenesis.org/religious-freedom/victory-ark-encounter-federal-court/
    With the tax rebate restored, I guess good old Kenny can progress straight from the Ark to the Tower of Babel.

  16. I’m working on that now, H. K. Fauskanger. Hold your comments until I get it posted.

  17. anevilmeme hit the nail squarely — PLATE TECTONICS!!!

    I found myself shouting those two words at the computer screen as soon as I read the title of this post. J. Tuzo Wilson coined the term in the mid-’60s and at the time it was called “Plate Tectonics Theory.”

    Now, with laser ranging to reflectors on the moon and millimeter-accurate GPS positioning possible, plate tectonics is no longer theory. It is directly observable and measurable. Plates colliding push up mountains.

    And ICR’s resident genius Frank Sherwin, M.A. using the frequency of rockfalls in Yosemite National Park to propose the imminent destruction of Half Dome is laughable. (“Geologists claim rock falls such as this occur about once per year in Yosemite Valley. This is obviously serious annual erosion. What would be the fate of Half Dome in just a million years of “normal” annual erosion?”) The geologists are referring to the entire Yosemite Valley — not just Half Dome! But even at that, Half Dome and the rest of the Valley have only been there since the end of the last glacial period, about 20,000 years or so. So yeah, a million years of normal erosion will do a number on Half Dome, but it is not a good example for ICR to use to debunk “Old Earth.”

  18. Frank . Your tickets to the next American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Houston Texas are now avaialble for purchase at AAPG.com. You’ll likely be burning gasoline and jet fuel to get there which were derived from petroleum found using the science of modern geology. If we don’t see you there, we’ll have to assume you chose to stick with your Bronze Age “geology” and that your donkey got tired on the way and turned back.

  19. Charles Deetz ;)

    10 year old replies, ‘but sir, how did those fossils get there?’ ICR: ‘shut-up kid, you’re bothering me,” ala Foghorn Leghorn.

  20. Ed – I think that an explanation is fairly obvious. The Hebrew god directed that the Ammonites be slain – men, women and children – and that their cursed corpses be gathered and spread over the four corners of the earth. Hence they were transformed and deposited in the cliffs.

  21. James Chapman

    Mr. Sherwin seems to be confused about some basic facts. Mainstream geologists do not say that the cliffs of Dover formed during the Cretaceous; what they do say is that the chalky strata of which the cliffs are composed were deposited during the Cretaceous. That part of England was covered by a shallow sea at the time. The cliffs were formed in much more recent times, after a period of uplift in the Paleogene, and finally when Ice Age flooding carved out the Dover Strait.

  22. Must be a Trump supporter.

  23. I wonder how new this argument is. Emil Silvestru used a similar argument regarding the Himalayas. It went something like, “The Himalayas are eroding at ___ per year. There should be a hole many kilometers deep in Nepal now.” It is embarassing to me personally that he gave this speech in my home district of Muskoka, Ontario. http://creation.com/2011-super-conference-report

    Dr Walter Veith used the same argument, I think in 2009. Silvestru is an actual geologist but did not mention plate tectonics, but Veith, a biologist did.

  24. I’d heard this example: Niagara Falls is being eroded away at such-and-such a rate, which is not sustainable for more than X years.

    And there is an essay by Mark Twain about the delta of the Mississippi River.