New Model Predicts Where To Find Fossils

This news from EurekAlert, the online news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), should be quite a challenge to creationists. As you know, creationists are forever claiming that evolution isn’t science because it can’t be tested and it makes no predictions. Further, they say that the dating techniques of fossils and geological features are not only flawed, but fossils are often arbitrarily declared to be old, and their fictitious age is then assigned to the rock layers where they’re found — a fraudulent exercise in circular reasoning.

Let’s take a look at some excerpts from New models predicting where to find fossils, which directly challenges all of that nonsense. The bold font was added by us for emphasis:

An international team of scientists have developed a way to help locate fossils of long-extinct animals. Using the estimated ages and spatial distribution of Australian megafauna fossils, the team from University of Adelaide in Australia and Kiel University in Germany built a series of mathematical models to determine the areas in the country most likely to contain fossils.

This is obviously different from the creationist view of things, which claims that wherever you dig, you’ll find the jumbled remains of all species that were drowned by Noah’s Flood 4,000 years ago, which was roughly 2,000 years after all species were created. How can the creationists ignore a challenge like this? EurekAlert says:

Published in PLOS ONE, the models were developed for Australia but the researchers provide guidelines on how to apply their approach to assist fossil hunting in other continents.

This is the published paper: Where to Dig for Fossils: Combining Climate-Envelope, Taphonomy and Discovery Models. You can read it online without a subscription, but we’ll stay with EurekAlert. They tell us:

“A chain of ideal conditions must occur for fossils to form, which means they are extremely rare — so finding as many as possible can tell us more of what the past was like, and why certain species went extinct,” says project leader Professor Corey Bradshaw, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide.

“Typically, however, we use haphazard ways to find fossils. Mostly people just go to excavation sites and surrounding areas where fossils have been found before. We hope our models will make it easier for palaeontologists and archaeologists to identify new fossil sites that could yield vast treasures of prehistoric information.”

Professor Bradshaw is obviously a Darwinist fool! If his model is a failure — and creationists know it must be — then Darwinism is doomed! Let’s read on:

To produce the species distribution models of these long-extinct animals, the researchers used ‘hindcasted global circulation models’ to provide predicted temperature and rainfall for the deep past, and matched this with the estimated ages of the fossils.

“What we did was build a probability map for each of these layers – the species distribution, the right sort of geological conditions for fossil formation (for example, sedimentary rocks, or caves and lakes), and the ease of discovery (for example, open areas rather than dense forest),” says Professor Bradshaw. “We combined each of these for an overall ‘suitability for fossil discovery’ map.”

Here’s one more excerpt:

“Our methods predict potential fossil locations across an entire continent, which is useful to identify potential fossil areas far from already known sites,” says Kiel University’s Professor Ingmar Unkel. “It’s a good ‘exploration filter; after which remote-sensing approaches and fine-scale expert knowledge could complement the search.”

A “good exploration filter”? It couldn’t possibly compare to the design filter developed by William Dembski and the Discovery Institute for identifying the handiwork of the intelligent designer — blessed be he!— see The Discoveroids and Their Magic Filter.

Well, dear reader, what will be the creationists’ response? Will they be boldly confident of their beliefs, and immediately denounce this work as doomed to failure because it’s hopelessly misguided by secular, naturalistic, evolutionist presuppositions? Or will they ignore the whole thing, hoping that it will just fade away? We shall see.

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

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9 responses to “New Model Predicts Where To Find Fossils

  1. I don’t see how a climate scientist can tell a paleontologist where to find fossils. Finding fossils is not haphazard. Finding fossils is inevitable when looking at sedimentary rocks. They’re almost everywhere. I can find fossils at just about every outcrop in Ohio. I can safely predict the same for Indiana and Kentucky, etc. There are some sedimentary rock successions that are apparently devoid of fossils, but considering how ubiquitous life is on Earth, the question becomes “Why isn’t every single post-Precambrian sedimentary outcrop chocked full of fossils?” One doesn’t need to wonder why fossils occur in rocks – one has to wonder why fossils don’t occur in some rocks. Paleontologists don’t need a climate model to find fossils or understand why they occur where they do. Non-paleontologists apparently don’t know much about the fossil record. Before now, I principally applied that observation to creation-cultists. What an odd study.

  2. This model is based on the assumption of Darwinism, and all those ideas about millions of years, death before the Fall, extinction before the Flood, etc.

    What is needed is a model of the world of life which does not take account of Darwinism … mmpf, er, look over there, there’s a …

  3. Derek Freyberg

    James:
    I hate to disagree when this is so much more your field than mine, but I will. As I read the paper, it is not about the likelihood of finding any fossil – I’ll happily accept your statement that you can find fossils at “just about every outcrop in Ohio” – but rather about the likelihood of finding a fossil of a given species. As I understand the paper, the aim is to generate a “likelihood of fossil site” function for a species by considering a bunch of factors, some of which are influenced by climate. If they’re right, this will offer a chance to improve the success rate of fossil finding: if they’re wrong, it will be forgotten – but it doesn’t seem appropriate to criticize the paper because it wasn’t written by paleontologists.

  4. @James St. John: “I don’t see how a climate scientist can tell a paleontologist where to find fossils.”
    This is a logical fallacy called the “argument from ignorance.” Just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean that nobody knows.
    Working with sedimentologists, stratigraphers, palynologists and micro paleontologists, climatologists can indeed work out paleo climatic environments and therefore what faunal assemblages to expect in a given stratigraphic section and area.

    As to your question about why all sedimentary rocks younger than Precambrian don’t contain fossils: briefly, one has to remember that forming fossils generally requires quiet, low energy and anoxic depositional environments. That’s why most in situ fossil specimens are found in shales, mudstones, and some siltstones and finer grained sandstones. Fossils tend to be rare or non-existent in high energy depositional environments such as causes coarser grained sandstone or conglomerate deposition.

  5. If this so called theory is so good why can’t you find fossils on the moon? Silence from the evildemonists.

  6. The fossils were washed all over the place in the flood and are stratified according to a mysterious sequence known only to the designer.

  7. Ooooooops. My bad. I failed to mention another low depositional energy rock that tends to be very fossiliferous — Limestone. . . .

  8. Something outside the Biblical view starting to make sense to you? Do you feel worldly teachings undermining your faith? Well, my young friend, that means Old Satan is working extra hard on you. Proof positive that your faith is the one correct path, or why would he bother?

  9. Yessiree, Ken! Ol’ Satan runs around all night hidin’ them fossils. . ,. .
    By the way, just where does that wiley Satan hide the sun at night?