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Friday, March 11, 2011
CNS' Anti-Evolution Op-Ed Ignores Debunking
Topic: published a March 10 op-ed by Dominique Tassot (described as "president of the French Centre d’Etudes et de Prospective sur la Science," which contains "over 500 scientists and academics working to show the compatibility of Christian thought with scientific pursuit") asserting that "Darwinism" is "coming to an end," citing this as evidence:

The Russian Academy of Sciences has just published details of research directed by sedimentologist Guy Berthault showing that sedimentary rocks form very rapidly – two thousandths of the time attributed to them by the geological time scale.

The work spanning a period of 30 years was first performed in France at the Marseilles Institute of Fluid Mechanics and subsequently at the Colorado State University hydraulics Laboratory in the United States. Its application in the field was tested on the Cambrian-Ordovician sandstones of the North-West Russian Platform by a team of Russian sedimentologists.

Their report is published in Lithology and Mineral Resources, a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Details can be found at

Although the volume of scientific evidence against evolution theory has been accumulating ever since Darwin’s theory was introduced, the certainty of its downfall is now confirmed by these recent discoveries in stratigraphy.

Well, not so much. One critique of Berthault's work points out that his research is "thinly disguised and poorly argued pieces of creationist propaganda unencumbered by new findings" and sums up the case against him:

  • His experimental work is not especially original or revolutionary
  • His studies do not support a radical reinterpretation of sedimentology
  • The geological column contains deposition mechanisms that lie outside the processes that Berthault investigated
  • The suggestion that fossil organisms are sorted, not chronologically, but ecologically and hydraulically is not credible
  • Radio-dating supports both the immense age and the chronological ordering of strata.

A separate exchange of views , including Berhault himself, over Berthault's theory that the Grand Canyon could have been created in a single year is pretty much shot down.

And another critique claimed that Berthault's "knowledge of the sedimentology literature and stratigraphic field methods are decades or even centuries out of date." (Berthault responds here.)

This is not the first time that CNS has peddled this theory; it gave space to Berthault himself to write about it in an October 2009 column.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EST

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