A Built on Rock Website
Home Key Points Artwork Articles Resources Contact Events

Home     Key Points     Artwork     Articles     Resources      Contact     Events

About Built on Rock     Useful Links     Book a Talk

Built on Rock Websites

Dinosaurs for Dummies                                  Richard Dawkins                                                   More To Life

Built on Rock ! Exploring Answers to Questions about Life, The Universe & Everything

It is important I believe to show that Creationism as a movement does not just consist of allegedly right wing, radical, fundamentalist evangelical Christians, which is the extremist charge sometimes levelled at Creationists. Catholicism, which tends nowadays to be more considered in its pronouncements, is assumed to have accepted Evolution as a fact and incorporated it into its theology through some form of theistic evolution (God uses evolution). Recent popes have given evolutionary theory the green light which for most Catholics will have settled the matter. But this does not apply everywhere, and there are well qualified scientists professing the Catholic Faith who would not agree with for instance, Francis Collins, the well known Roman Catholic scientist, who headed the Human Genome Project who is a theistic evolutionist.

Quoted below are articles written by Roman Catholic Creationists: a rare but not extinct species.

In my view the two articles quoted in full below on Sedimentology by Guy Berthault are the most damaging to evolutionary theory. They give an alternative flood model explanation to the geology of the earth that does not require millions of years of gradual erosion and sedimentation. To my knowledge Berthault is the only scientist who has troubled himself to perform actual laboratory experiments on the subject of what happens to mixed sediments in flowing water. As most of the geology of the earth is composed of water borne sedimentary rock you might have considered such experiments a vital function for geologists. And yet Berthault was surprised to find that no such experiments had been done. You can see for yourself some video footage of his arguments and the experiments he conducted at Colorado State University. This can be found at the bottom of the page following Berthault’s final article. These experiments are amazing when set against the accepted geological model. Berthault’s research demonstrates that multiple  layers of strata can be laid down by water flow both vertically and horizontally at the same time.


Below is the full transcript of the talk given by these five Roman Catholic Scientists.

“The Scientific Impossibility of Evolution”

November 9, 2009 Libera Università degli Studi San Pio V Via Cristoforo Colombo, No. 200 Rome


1 “The Scientific Impossibility of Evolution”

2 Experiments in Stratification Do Not Support the Theory of Evolution

3 The Second Law of Thermodynamics Excludes Evolution

4 Are Radio-dating Methods Reliable?

5 Did Megafauna and Dinosaurs Live at the Same Time?

6 Impact of Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Experiments in Stratification Do Not Support the Theory of Evolution / Guy Berthault, Meulan, France

The theory of evolution formulated by Darwin claims the fossil record shows that organisms have transformed into different species over the long periods of time expressed in the geological time-scale. This scale, however, is based upon the interpretations of stratified sedimentary rock formations by naturalist Nicolas Stenon published in his book in 1667. He wrote “superposed strata are ancient sedimentary layers” which statement defines of the principle of superposition. It was only relatively recently that the sedimentation process could be observed and Stenon’s interpretations tested. As they had not been tested before, I decided to do so.

Science being founded upon facts, I first examined the reports of deep-sea drilling projects and Hjulström’s research on fluviatile sediments. This was followed by my fundamental experiments laboratory experiments in stratification. The latter showed that laminae or thin strata result from segregation of particles in dry conditions, a vacuum or still water. Two reports were published in 1986 and 1988 by the French Academy of Sciences.

In 1991, I supervised experiments to obtain larger strata under the direction of Pierre Julien, Professor of hydrology and sedimentology at the University of Colorado (USA). These demonstrated that a turbulent current creates strata prograding together laterally and vertically as a result of variations in current velocity. A report was published in 1993 by the Geological Society of France. The experiments showed that neither the lamination nor the stratification produced could be explained by the principle of superposition. The experimental data revealed by this research has yet to be incorporated into present-day geology and sedimentology. A similar situation arose in sequence stratigraphy developed by Golovkinsky in 1868 and Walther in 1894 providing data that was not taken into account in geology until eventually adopted by the Exxon Group in 1977. It showed that systems tracts consisting of superposed strata are isochronous, i.e. the strata formed simultaneously as is demonstrated by our experiments in Colorado.

Nicolas Stenon and his successors having overlooked the current as an agent of sedimentation, it was necessary to conduct experiments in the laboratory and paleohydraulic analyses on the terrain of existing stratified sedimentary rocks to demonstrate the omission. The latter analyses were performed to relate sedimentary particles according to their size with current velocity at the successive stages of erosion, transport and deposition. The relationship applies to the lithology of sequences from conglomerates to small particles. Their application was developed in my 2002 publication Analysis of the Main Principles of Stratigraphy on the Basis of Experimental Data in the journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

A team of Russian sedimentologists directed by Alexander Lalomov (Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Ore Deposits) applied paleohydraulic analyses to geological formations in Russia (examples are the Crimean Peninsular and the North-West Russian Platform). In the case of the Platform it is shown that the time taken for the sediments to deposit would have been no more that 0.01% of that ascribed to them by the geological time-scale. This demonstrated the lesson taught by geology historian Gabriel Gohau that “time is measured by the time taken for sediments to deposit, a fact upon which everybody is more or less agreed, and not by orogenesis of biological revolutions.” Evolution cannot, therefore, occur in such a short time.

Mr. Guy Berthault is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, France, a member of the French Geological Society and the Association of Sedimentologists. His experiments have been published by the French Academy of Sciences, the Journal of the Geological Society of France, and the Russian Academy of Sciences journal “Lithology and Mineral Resources.”

The Second Law of Thermodynamics Excludes Evolution / Dr. Thomas Seiler, Ph.D., University of Munich

Physicists recognize that the whole natural world operates according to the “Second Law of Thermodynamics,” which states that for isolated systems entropy, which is a measure of probability, will always increase. Entropy determines the direction in which all processes in nature proceed: from less probable distributions to more probable distributions, from ordered structures to disordered ones and never vice versa.

An example of the operation of entropy is genetic degeneration of a biological species due to negative mutations: for instance, on some windy islands, certain flies have entirely lost their wings. This is explained by the advantage of staying on the ground in an environment where strong winds can carry flying insects far out to sea. A succession of micro-variations that leads to the destruction of complex organs is a natural process of increasing entropy. The opposite—a succession of small genetic variations leading by natural selection to the construction of a completely new organ—is an excluded process of decreasing entropy.

An objection to the above premise is that the constraints of thermodynamics are not valid for biological structures because they exist in open systems. “Open” means that matter and especially energy can be exchanged with the surroundings. In order to test the validity of this objection, we must examine in detail what is possible in open systems.

The limits of an open system can be illustrated by the example of machines that reduce entropy such as refrigerators. They transfer heat from a cold volume (the inside space) to a warm volume (the surrounding room). This highly improbable phenomenon, however, can only be achieved because a complex mechanism that can automatically perform the cooling cycles exists already. Such entropy reducing machines are also found in the chloroplasts of plants. A further example of order increasing in open systems is observable in the formation of crystals, e.g. snow-flakes. When heat is removed, a phase-transition leads to the appearance of macroscopic regularity. Molecules which have slowed down during cooling can condense. It becomes energetically more favourable to arrange them in a crystal configuration than in a random orientation—a typical energy downhill process.

The reason why the proposed evolution of biological organs does not belong to such kinds of processes is that these processes are the physical ways in which a pre-existing order is transferred from one level to another. No really new order or information is generated in any of these open-systems. Either the information content was already present in a complex machine like a refrigerator or the chloroplasts, or it already existed in the symmetry of the underlying molecules, i.e. the directed inter-atomic electromagnetic forces. A further such category would be the feedback mechanism of a so-called “dissipative structure.” Nothing improbable happens in all these cases. It is always an energetic necessity that the pre-programmed ordered structures appear. Therefore, open systems do not create order. They only make hidden order visible.

On the other hand, the bodies of living creatures represent new information. It is not pre-contained in the molecular structure of constituent chemical elements nor is there a machine which is programmed to produce it. There is no physical arrangement which contains the information which is necessary to built up life from non-life or complex creatures from simpler creatures. It is excluded by the second law of thermodynamics because it does not belong to those pre-programmed structures which open systems can create! It follows that the evolution of man from molecules is precluded by the fundamental laws of nature.


Are Radio-dating Methods Reliable? / Jean de Pontcharra, Grenoble, France

Methods using radioactive decay effects are supposed to confirm stratigraphic chronologies and to improve our knowledge of the age of the Earth. In fact, the reality is much more complicated. Fundamental issues must be discussed. For example, what is the importance of the assumptions made for initial conditions in the final result? Is the experimental method applicable to events in the past? And, if the answer is yes, with what precautions?

Reviewing the history of radiodating methods shows the oversimplified assumptions made at the beginning of the XXth century. The extreme simplicity of nuclear models, the lack of knowledge of radioactive decay series, the ignorance of isotopes, the “closed system” hypothesis, but above all, the choice of initial conditions far from realistic, gave rise to contradictory results. We will show that, despite huge improvements in measurement techniques, these weaknesses from the beginning were never corrected. Results discordant with the geological time-scale are systematically discarded. Worst of all, no forum is provided in which scientists can formulate objections to the validity of the initial hypothesis.

Based on the radioactive decay series initiated by uranium 238, we analyze the consequences of different initial conditions on the age of metamorphic rocks.

Through some examples, we discuss the validity of the “closed system” concept (no exchange between the rock crystals and the environment), in particular for the potassium/argon method applied to volcanic rocks undergoing hydrothermal conditions, far from standard conditions (supercritical state at deep depths) and never included in models of crystallization. The crystallization occurring in liquid or viscous magma traps gases and crystal outgassing during eruption is not total. Argon 40 in excess is demonstrated in magmatic rocks from recent volcanic eruptions, like Mt St Helens (USA) and Mt Ngauruhoe (New Zealand). The quantity of argon 40 trapped depends on hydrothermal conditions during solidification and on structure of the crystal lattice. These results explain the systematic and erratic ages obtained from material collected at recent eruption sites.

The need of a free, open and wide debate on such subjects, linked with systematic experiments, is vital for the credibility of modern scientists involved in this research field.

Dr. Jean de Pontcharra is the Research Group Head, CEA-LETI (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Laboratoire d'Electronique et de Technologie de l'Informatique). He has a doctorate in solid state physics from the University of Grenoble, France.

Did Megafauna and Dinosaurs Live at the Same Time? / Josef Holzschuh, Sydney, Australia

The discovery of collagen and soft tissue in a Tyrannosaurus-rex dinosaur femur bone was recently reported in the journal Science. Its geologic location was the Hell Creek Formation in the State of Montana, United States of America. When it was learned in 2005 that Triceratops and Hadrosaur femur bones in excellent condition were discovered by the Glendive (MT) Dinosaur & Fossil Museum, permission was asked and received to saw them in half and collect samples for radiocarbon (RC) testing of any bone collagen that might be extracted. Indeed both bones contained collagen and conventional dates of 30,890 +/- 380 for the Triceratops and 23,170 +/-170 for the Hadrosaur were obtained using an Accelerated Mass Spectrometer. Total organic carbon and bio-apatite were then extracted and pretreated to remove potential contaminants and concordant radiocarbon dates were obtained, all of which were similar to radiocarbon dates for megafauna.

A study of radiocarbon literature for dating of both megafauna such as mammoths, mastodons, saber tooth tiger (Smilidon), giant bison and sloths; and, dinosaurs like Acrocanthosaurus, Allosaurus and Hadrosaur show that they all lived at the same time. According to Dr. Walter Libby, the inventor of the radiocarbon dating method, “There is no known natural mechanism by which collagen may be altered to yield a false age.” Other scientists have shown that collagen and soft tissue would degrade within 30,000 to 100,000 years. And even significant trace amounts of C-14 have been found in coal and diamonds where there should be none. There is also paleontological evidence that dinosaurs and humans have coexisted as their footprints have been found together in the same strata at several locations in the United States. There are distinct dinosaur depictions world-wide that confirm the RC data; examples have been found in Israel, Syria, East Africa, Peru, Mexico, United States and Cambodia.

To address these apparent and very serious chronological anomalies, account needs be taken of the evolving situation in geology and paleontology. Experiments in stratification challenging the principles of stratigraphy and hence the geological time-scale could help to provide an explanation. The assumption that dinosaurs are over 65 million years old, for instance, is directly related to ages of rocks determined inter alia by the principle of superposition of strata. If this principle is incorrect, as shown by laboratory experiments, so are the interpretations of ages of the fossils in the rocks based upon that principle. This paper confirms the existence of residual carbon 14 in fossils normally excluded from the RC dating method because of their supposed age. Advances in sedimentology and RC dating of fossils now allow for a systematic reevaluation of the ages assigned to the earth’s sedimentary rocks by stratigraphy.

Dr. Josef Holzschuh has a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Western Australia.

Impact of Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution / Maciej Giertych, Kornik, Poland

Throughout Europe evolution is taught in schools as a biological fact. The main evidence for this presented in school textbooks is based on the assertion that formation of races is an example of a small step in evolution. This is profoundly wrong. Races form as a consequence of genetic drift, selection and isolation. Genetic drift results from the accidental loss of some genetic variation in small populations due to inbreeding. Selection depends on the elimination from a population of all forms not adapted to the particular environment. With this elimination also some gene variants (alleles) get lost. For natural races to be identifiable they have to remain isolated from the main body of the population. The same is true in breeding, where the breeder reproduces the race formation procedure only applying selection pressures of his own choice. Macroevolution requires increase of genetic variants, thus race formation which depends on their reduction is a process in the opposite direction, comparable to extinctions.

Positive mutations, as a mechanism leading to new functions or organs, are an undemonstrated postulate. We can demonstrate many neutral and negative mutations, but no positive ones. The claim that the appearance of resistance to man-made chemicals (herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics etc) is evidence of positive mutations is questioned on the ground that it belongs to the multitude of defense mechanisms (like healing or acquiring immunity) which defend the existing life functions of an organism without creating new ones.

Dr. Maciej Giertych holds an M.A. in forestry from Oxford University in England and a Ph. D. in tree physiology from Toronto University, Canada, and a D.Sc. in genetics from the Agricultural Academy in Poznan, Poland. A population geneticist, Dr. Giertych has published more than 200 scientific papers and several books, primarily in the field of population genetics of forest trees.

Sedimentology / A new approach : paleohydraulic analysis by Guy Berthault

Analysis of the Main Principles of Stratigraphy on the Basis of Experimental Data

The initial phase of the experimental program revealed the relative paucity of data available on the subject. Of course, sediments had been examined and flume experiments performed in connection with building dams and other projects, but none with the object of explaining the mechanics of stratification. The data banks provided little. It soon became evident that the basic principles of superposition, continuity and initial horizontality laid down in the seventeenth century had been accepted, albeit with development, virtually without question. There seemed to have been little attempt to examine the actual mechanics involved. Yet a few simple experiments, first with laminae and later with strata showed that the time needed for micro or macro strata form was of quite a different order to that generally accepted. The implications were far-reaching both as concerns the geological time-scale and the fossil record. It was not until 1999 that there seemed to be an awakening to the idea that geological ages are measured by the time taken for sediments to deposit and not by biological revolutions or orogeny. Prof. Gabriel Gohau of the French Geological Society confirmed this fact in his book A History of Geology (1999):

« Ce qui mesure le temps, ce sont les durées de sédimentation, sur lesquelles tout le monde est plus ou moins d’accord, et non celles des orogenèses et des « révolutions » biologiques. »

(Translation: Time is measured by the time taken for sediments to deposit, a fact upon which everybody is more or less agreed, and not by orogenesis or “biological “revolutions”)

Prof. Gohau mentioned in his work how Charles Lyell was influenced in the construction of the geological time scale by his belief in biological « revolutions» occurring over 240 millions of years.

In the 20th century this figure was replaced by radiometric “absolute” dating of 525 million years. Such a figure is based upon the belief that igneous rocks can be dated radiometrically. Criticisms of radiometric dating have been growing over recent years and following the chronology shown by our experiments I have looked at the basic premises upon which such dating is based. There indeed seem to be good physical reasons to challenge it.

In his book “Radioelements” (Masson 1966) Daniel Blanc wrote:

“no variation of the radioactive constant has been observed whatever the experimental conditions, showing that it is independent of the conditions in which the radio-elements are placed.”

This is particularly the case for temperature and pressure which determine the change of state of magma to crystalline rock. Radioactivity would not, therefore, appear to be affected by the change of state; consequently it could not be used to date an igneous rock at the moment of its crystallisation.

Moreover, the elements present in the rock at the time of crystallisation came from the magma in which gravitation determined their position: they need not necessarily, therefore, be parent and daughter from the same radioactive element.

The problem of exaggerated time scales resulted from the work of Nicolas Stenon, originator of geological principles in the seventeenth century. Stenon did not take into account the effect of a turbulent water current on the formation of strata.  His principles were based upon his observations but since no hydraulic laboratories existed at the time his principles were not tested experimentally. (This observation is critical, because on it was built the belief that sedimentary layers / strata were each built up very slowly and gradually. The first and lowest layer would become established before a second, third, fourth or fifth could be laid successively, each one on top of the previous layers or strata. That is how hundreds of millions of years became accepted as the one and only explanation for the geological record. Nicholas Stenon, or Stenno as he is otherwise known has been proved wrong through empirical science: actual flume experiments. Hutton and Lyell were no different to Stenon, they had no guide other than their intuition, philosophical outlook and belief systems. Hutton's 1788 paper is a perfect example. It concludes: "The result, therefore, of our present enquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end." Hence long ages, millions of years and the apparently rock solid establishment of the very life blood and oxygenation of evolutionary theory.)

Our experiments on the formation of strata are fundamental because they demonstrate, ‘inter alia’, that in a continuous turbulent current many superposed strata.) form simultaneously and progress together in the direction of the current; they do not form successively as believed originally. These experiments explain a mechanism of strata building, showing empirically the rapid formation of strata.

( Superposed is the principle that in a group of stratified sedimentary rocks the lowest were the earliest to be deposited. The experiments referred to above prove that a series of layers can be laid down simultaneously, therefore not Superposed.)

The important advances in sequence stratigraphy that have been taking place during the period of our research harmonise with our experiments. For instance, systems tracts composed of several strata are considered isochronous by sequential stratigraphy; a fact that we have demonstrated in the laboratory.

My note: (A sequence of events is isochronous if the events occur regularly, or at equal time intervals.)

The paleovelocity of current below which particles of given size are deposited and the corresponding capacity of sedimentary transport of the current can be determined experimentally. These two criteria ascertain the time required for sequence deposition. Consequently, recent paleohydraulic analyses undertaken by our colleagues in Russia confirm the shorter time for sequences to deposit than the geological time attributed to it.

As reported in the latest  publication (G.Berthault, A.Lalomov, M.Tugarova., Lithological and Mineral Resources. Vol.1, 2011) the time of sedimentation of the St. Petersburg sequence represents only 0.05% of the time refered to by the geologic time scale.

Importantly, Marchal (1996) has demonstrated that mountain orogenesis (mountain building) provoked a shift of the axis of rotation of the Earth triggering large marine series. It is significant that, in the geological column since the Cambrian period,   eighteen marine series, or systems, are inter-bedded between nineteen orogeneses, which occurred in different places around the Earth.

As reported in the Bulletin of the Museum of Natural History of Paris (1996-97), the North Pole in the Eocene, before the Himalayan orogenesis, was off the mouth of the river Ienissei in Siberia, by 72 degrees latitude (cf. Marchal, 1996) After the orogenesis, it was near to its present position resulting in an eighteen degree polar shift.

My notes: (Orogenesis, the process of mountain building, occurs when two tectonic plates collide – either forcing material upwards to form mountain belts such as the Alps  ...)

The direction of transgressions and regressions following each orogenesis corresponds to the succession of resulting sequential facies, such as sandstone, shale and limestone as seen from the surface of the deposit. An example was given in Berthault (2004) The Tonto group is assigned to Cambrian. It proceeded from the Cadomian orogenesis, at the beginning of the Cambrian; and resulted from a transgression going from the Pacific Ocean in the west to New Mexico in the east. Other directions can be determined from other orogenesis which occurred elsewhere around the Earth.

Contemporaneous marine fauna vary according to depth, latitude, and longitude and such ecological diversification exists in the geological column. The apparent change of fossilized marine organisms from one series to another following an orogenesis can result from different fauna, transported by water flows from different locations resulting from successive orogeneses. What has been attributed to biological change could be ecological in nature explained by fauna coming from different orogeneses, taking into account the short time of sedimentation.

In conclusion, a relationship can be established between cause and effect. Orogenesis, which can result from periodic mantle plumes (Rampino & Prokoph, 2013, causes shifting of the polar axes, which then leads to consecutive marine series and sedimentary deposits.  The duration of the latter is much shorter than given by the stratigraphic time scale and so calls for a serious revision of the foundation of historical geology (Berthault, 2012).

We believe the foregoing shows the need for a fundamental revision of geological chronology integrating the new data and based upon observation checked by experiment.

Guy Berthault.

The presenter of this four part video has taken his script from the writings of Guy Berthault. He has, at least to me, a slightly irritating high blown delivery that makes the content seem heavy going. He is upper class, elderly and very English. Very much like myself apart from the upper class. However the content is excellent, easy to follow, and features in large part the work and experiments of Guy Berthault and colleagues. This is Geology stripped of its requirement of billions or millions of years, and proved to be a reasonable hypothesis by tested and repeatable processes. In other words good old empirical science.

Tales of the Unexpected:Catholic Creationist Scientists

Physical Evidence versus Evolutionary Speculation

You may have noticed that all the actual physical evidence is stacked on one side of the argument and all the speculation and hypotheses on the other. Evolutionists can parrot all their objections, such as their convictions regarding millions years and their long age dating methods, but no deductions drawn from these methods can be proved or calculated with any degree of certainty. And the reason is simple: no-one was present at the beginning to either observe or measure the initial rates of isotope decay or to calculate whether these rates have remained constant or whether they have been subjected to influences that could have ever altered or stopped the processes that are being measured today. The measurements used by evolutionists are based on data collected over the last hundred years! A micro-blip in terms of geological time, a blip which takes no account whatsoever of any uncalculated changes that may occurred during ages unknown to us. Asteroid strikes, local or global floods, huge volcanism, environmental blackouts and so on. Against all this is the kind of evidence supplied and demonstrated by the examples given above.