Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Humor: Young Earth Creationists And Oxygen Levels

I get responses to my blog posts from students, geology and nature lovers and even journalists asking questions, requesting papers and sometimes just to chat.

Occasionally I get comments like this one recently left on my blog post Early Homo Leaves Modern Footprints:

hasn't anyone ever stopped to think that, maybe when that giant flood happened a long time ago (10,00 years?) that maybe, just maybe, due to the serious compression of heat, oxygen, and pressure, that that is why we have fossils and remains? also, before "the flood" the oxygen level in the air was significantly higher than afterward. so our modern "technology" that measures how much oxygen something has been exposed to, is merely based on the level of oxygen that is currently in the air. not what the levels were long ago. thus, those who claim the earth is billions or millions of years mistaken due to the lack of knowledge of the oxygen levels before "the flood".

Feel free to dissect this nonsense :)

The four glaring problems:

1) There is no evidence of "the flood" which in young earth creationist language means a global flood which deposited all the rocks seen on the surface today.

2) rocks exposed to "serious compression of heat, oxygen and pressure" would destroy organic remains, not provide conditions for fossilization.

3) There is no evidence that oxygen levels a few thousand years ago were much higher than today.

4) We don't rely on the levels of oxygen in the atmosphere to figure out how old the earth is.

One good thing about comments like these is that I get tempted to dig into the literature to read more on the fundamentals. I found two good sources on the geologic history of atmospheric oxygen. Atmospheric oxygen over Phanerozoic time by Robert Berner and a chapter on Oxygen Through Time in Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth's Ancient Atmosphere.


  1. "Hasn't anyone ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe" it might be good to have the slightest clue what one is talking about before one starts yammering?

  2. u can only laugh (and feel sad) at this Lockwood :)