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No. 17: Fall 1981

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Too Many Pages Missing

The geological record has often been likened to pages in a book, each rock formation being a page, etc. The problem is that this book is not even close to being complete over most of the earth. Woodmorappe has examined the massive geological literature and drawn an extensive (and most impressive) suite of world maps showing just where the ten major geological periods are represented and where they are absent. The statistics are disturbing. Two thirds of the land surface display five or fewer periods; 15-20% of the earth's surface has three or less periods appearing in the "correct" order. Where are all the missing pages? Why, missing pages mean only that no deposition occurred in an area during the period in question or, if it did, erosion wiped it off the record. The "book" of strata forming the vaunted geologic column is really a composite of a few scraps from here and there. The enormity of what is missing is made all to clear by Woodmorappe's maps and statistics.

(Woodmorappe, John; "The Essential Nonexistence of the Evolutionary-Uniformitarian Geologic Column: A Quantitative Assessment," Creation Research Society Quarterly, 18:46, 1981.)

Comment. Do missing geological pages constitute anomalies? Not when taken one by one, for occasional lapses are to be expected. But taken en masse, the record seems so skimpy that one wonders. Woodmorappe turns the knife by emphasizing that most fossils used for dating overlap anywhere from a few to all ten periods, further compounding the uncertainty.

From Science Frontiers #17, Fall 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987