Talk:Rapid erosion in Grand Canyon/en

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Below a stored copy of a post I sent to a news group where I was involved in debate, and where the subtopic (maximum age of Grand Canyon) came up. This was posted after the main article was published. In part this post describes an important point perhaps even more clearly than the main article.

Note: I added title (Dr) for Dr Austin in this version of the text.

The text aligned to the left margin, without any arrows, is mine.

Subject: Austin's erosion rate in Grand Canyon
Date: 2008-02-07 05:20
Message-id: <47aa86fd$> 1202358013 (6 Feb 2008 20:20:13 -0700)
Lines: 175
Link: <here>

The old thread isn't very inviting anymore, so after receiving and reading
a certain source I post my reply in a new thread :

Bob Dawson skrev:
> "Rolf Lampa [RIL]" wrote
>> ... Grand Canyon can be maximum ~70 000  years old, based on current
>> erosion rates. Is there anything wrong with that figure?
> Everything. see

Hm, interesting.

I must admit that I got a bit shocked when I read this article by Mr
Glen R. Morton. I had not personally read the source referred to by Mr
Morton, so I sent for the source (pages 88-89 of Dr Austin's book). It was
interesting reading indeed.

But before commenting on Mr Morton's "debunking" of Dr Austin, I'd like to
make clear that, after having read this source, I do not insist on that
this particular calculation claims the mentioned maximum age of Grand

The reason for not insisting is that I found out that Dr Austin simply doesn't
claim anything such in association to the calculations in the source
referred to by Mr Glen R. Morton.

> The estimate is based on a questionable measurement (the amount of sediment
> carried by the Colorado river),

No. Not so at all.

The mentioned erosion rates are not very controversial at all. It is the
proper use of the measured numbers which is subject for dispute. And I
wrote an article analyzing Mr Glen R. Morton's, um, "incredible claims"
about what Dr Austin is actually saying.

It is obvious, however, that people can misunderstand a text if glossing
it over to quickly (like my friend hinting me about this), but Mr Morton
doesn't "misunderstand" no, instead he goes into great detail fabricating
exactly such claims which Dr Austin explicitly avoids claiming (by being
specific, even precluding exactly such accusations as those presented by
Mr Morton).

In my article (see link below) I point out the details exposing Mr Morton.

> processed through a series of bizarre assumptions,

The only  bizarre assumptions made are those of a seemingly totally
depraved Mr Morton. He openly demonstrates that HE is the one inventing
the "bizarre claim". He says: (first he presents his own straw man) and
then he goes on to say: "... which... is a bizarre claim".

And after having lead astray the mind of the reader, into a state of antipathy,
he finishes his own sentence saying; "if one were to make it [the claim]
explicitly" (!!!)

Woa, this is really evil tactic!

First Mr Morton deliberately creates bad feelings by simply feinting the
mind of his reader, and then, when the disgusting effect is already created,
he retracts by indirectly muttering something like "if it actually had been 
claimed like I just said" (which it of course had not).

It's a sickening feeling to read such "debunking".

In his entire article Mr Morton lied and blatantly and systematically claimed
exactly the opposite of what Dr Austin explicitly claimed in the text.

I marked all the deliberate lies by Mr Morton with bold type in my article.

> and in complete ignorance of basic geologic fact (different
> strata evode at different rate--something plainly visible in the canyon
> itself).

Only an ignorant fool would claim anything such.

The fact of the matter is that today the river flows on top of (mostly)
solid hard bedrock. Which it didn't do back in time, not in /any/
interpretation framework really.

Instead the entire area is full of sediment, and before the sediment
had eroded down to the present levels - by the river - the river reasonably
had a much higher erosion rate (due to the porous sediment higher up). Of

Present reality is that the river bed consists of material of varying
porosity, mostly hard bedrock though. This is part of why the erosion
rate is low today.

Dr Austin'S CLAIM

But the power of even the low present erosion rate was what Dr Austin wanted
to show in the passage. Lets drop the maximum age of Grand Canyon for now,
since according to clear text in the book this wasn't at stake for Dr Austin.

Dr Austin wanted to illustrate the erosive power of present erosion rates
- in this particular river. Dr Austin explicitly pointed out that he meant
the entire river (he later suggested to "shrink" the area, even using
the word "concentrate" the river (by implication: to a smaller area).

All he needed now, in order to "visualize" or facilitate for the reader
to imagine how much VOLUME this erosive power could erode - and how long
it would take - was a pit. He needed a big pit, with a big volume, which
would be known by most readers. Dr Austin chose to let the Grand Canyon
illustrate that big volume / pit.

And now Dr Austin presents the calculation. The erosion rate of the [entire]
Colorado River, would, erode, such a big pit, in about 67 000 years.
That's all.

But hey, this is an amazing insight! The present sleepy river, with
the present very low rate of erosion - compared to what it must have
been while it was still carving its way through the higher levels of
porous sediment in the Grand Canyon - would empty this huge pit in only
a fraction of the time which most people could dream about!

And most important, Dr Austin's example could have used any other huge pit
to illustrate the point he attempted to illustrate. So where did the "problem"
with the calculations come from then?

The problem and the alleged "false calculations" by Dr Austin was in its
entirety fabricated only by Mr Morton!

Mr Morton made up a whole bunch of straw men, and then he lined them up,
and at last he went on to "debunk" them! Hm.

> The closest analogy I can come to <snip>

In my article I explain how people were deliberately fooled by Glen R.

I don't blame you too much, just like me you (probably) had not read
the source which Mr Morton misrepresents. But Mr Morton must have read
Dr Austins book, in order to be able to design his screwed claims the way
he did in your linked article above.

In this article I point out in detail where and how Mr Morton is
deliberately misrepresenting Dr Austin:

I have also hinted the person mentioning this figure to me that -
although Dr Austin most certainly supports the idea that Grand Canyon
was carved out in only a few days, weeks, months or years - *this*
particular passage in Dr Austins book does NOT directly support the
specific claim that "the maximum age of Grand Canyon is only about
70 000 years, based on uniformitarian interpretation".

But the book, as a whole, suggest that it probably took only a few days,
weeks, months or years to carve out the Grand Canyon. I suggest that you
all buy and read Dr Austin's book, it's a very interesting book to read!


// Rolf Lampa 
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