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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