Copyright 1995 by the CREATION RESEARCH SOCIETY (CRS), Inc.
                by DUANE T. GISH, Ph.D.
     Received 6 August 1988 Revised 25 September 1988
      Creation Research Society Quarterly 25(4):161
                     March, 1989
Creationist research in the past 14 years is reviewed as it was
in the first decade of the Creation Research Society (Gish,
1975). Part I is a review of geological research and Part II (to
appear in the next _Quarterly_) is a review of biological 
A review published in the _Creation Research Society Quarterly_
12:34-46 described the research that had been published in the
_Quarterly_ through Volume 10. The present review describes the
research published in the _Quarterly_ through March 1988,
completing nearly 25 years of publication. This review has been
restricted to those articles which describe bench-type or
field type research. This restriction has caused the omission of
some extremely significant and interesting theoretical research
by Dr. Thomas Barnes, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University
of Texas, El Paso (Barnes, 1975; Barnes and Upham, 1976; Barnes,
Pemper and Armstrong, 1977; Barnes, 1980; Barnes and Ramirez,
1982a; Barnes, et al., 1982b; Barnes, 1983) and some interesting
and productive mathematical research by Dr. David Rodabaugh
(1975a, 1975b, 1975c, 1976) among others. 
One of the many false charges leveled at creation scientists is
that there are few biologists among them, that the creation
science movement is dominated by engineers. This has been the
consistent claim, for instance, of John Patterson, a bitter
anti-creationist engineering professor at Iowa State University
(Patterson, 1982, pp. 55-8). Actually, the largest category of
membership of the Creation Research Society with advanced
degrees in science are biologists and biological research papers
constitute one of the largest groups described in this review,
followed closely by geological research papers.
While in Europe in the spring of 1975, Clifford Burdick, a
consulting geologist, visited thrust formations near Loch
Assynt, in Northern Scotland, and the Glarus formation, near
Schwanden, Switzerland. Burdick (1975, pp. 155-6) confirmed that
the Scottish formations, the Moine, Ben More, and Glen Coul,
which extend typically over a little more than five miles, are
indeed thrusts. In contrast to these findings, his investigation
of the Glarus formation confirmed Walter Lammerts' assessment
(1972, pp. 251-5) of this formation that it reveals no evidence
of overthrusting. The Glarus formation had been designated as an
overthrust, not on the basis of any physical evidence for
thrusting, but solely on the order of the fossils. Burdick
quotes Billings (1955, p. 131) as saying: 
 "Parts of some of the great overthrusts in the Alps are so 
  devoid of slickensides, gouge, and mylonite, that they 
  passed unnoticed and were for a time mapped as sedimentary 
  contacts. It was only after paleontological evidence was 
  obtained ... that the existence of the great faults was 
An overthrust is claimed because the Verrucano, a coarse-grained
arkosic schist, said to be Permian, overlies slate, described as
Eocene, which evolutionists believe to be about 200 million
years younger than the overlying Permian. 
Although both the Verrucano and the slate are metamorphic,
indicating heating, there is no evidence of sliding or other
such motion. Just above the slate are two rather thin layers of
limestone with a thin laver of water-deposited clay showing no
signs of disturbance. As Billings has pointed out, and as
confirmed by Lammerts and Burdick, there is none of the usual
telltale signs of overthrusting at the sharp contact line.
Burdick concludes his assessment by stating: 
  "I suggest that the Glarus formation shows a complex petrologic
  history of depositions, metamorphism, folding, erosion, fresh
  deposition, and more regional metamorphism. There are marked
  unconformities, but no signs of thrusting; only signs of
  readjustment after the folding." 
Burdick (1974, pp. 56-60) also has reported his reinvestigation 
of the so-called Lewis Overthrust. His original report had 
appeared in CRSQ 6:96-106. On the basis of his research, Burdick 
maintained that the usual evidences for overthrusting - mylonite, 
breccia, and slickensides - were missing. He concluded, 
therefore, that this may not be a true thrust. 
In the summer of 1973, geologists Malcolm Fargher and Walter
Peters accompanied a field trip sponsored by the Bible-Science
Association. Fargher had reported the existence of slickensides
and other physical criteria in the vicinity of the thrust
contact, suggesting that the Lewis Overthrust might be a true
thrust. In October of 1973, Malcolm Fargher accompanied Burdick
on a reinvestigation of a number of points of contact. Most
geologists assume that the Lewis Overthrust is a true thrust,
because Cretaceous shale is overlaid with Precambrian Altyn
dolomite, which is assumed to be more than 500 million years
older than the Cretaceous. To illustrate the fact that in all
such cases evolutionary geologists would assume that an
overthrust must have occurred, Burdick quotes Nicholson (1897,
p. 40): 
  "It may be said that in any case where there should appear
  to be a clear and decisive discordance between the physical 
  and paleontological (fossil) evidence as to the age of a 
  given series of beds, it is the former that is to be 
  distrusted rather than the latter." 
Burdick reports his reinvestigation of the contacts at Marias 
Pass, Dry Creek, at Two Medicine, Roes Creek, Cut Bank, and 
Crowsnest Pass. At Marias Pass, there is a definite unconformity, 
where the underlying Cretaceous shale has been faulted, with a 
westward dip of about 45deg. Burdick could find no evidence, 
however, of differential movement at the point of contact between 
the underlying Cretaceous shale and the overlying Altyn dolomite, 
such as gouge, breccia or slickensides. At the Dry Creek, at Two 
Medicine contact, the overlying Altyn dolomite had been deformed 
to the point of brecciation. The crushing and brecciation was 
local, however, with no gouge layer or other evidences of a giant 
thrust between the Precambrian and Cretaceous formations. 
Apparently the dolomite had been crushed and brecciated before it 
could be moved, the force required to break it up being far less 
than the force required to move this mammoth block of rock. 
At Roes Creek, there appeared to be no evidence of thrusting
between the underlying black Cretaceous shale and the overlying
buff-colored rock. Burdick agreed with Fargher, however, that
the overlying rock was neither Belt Series Altyn dolomite nor
Cretaceous shale. At the Cut Bank contact, the contact line is
razor sharp, with no gouge or brecciation in the overlying
Altyn dolomite, as had been the case at Dry Creek. At Cut Bank,
the underlying Cretaceous shale had been severely broken and
brecciated, thus providing precisely the reverse of the
situation at Dry Creek, where the overlying Altyn dolomite had
been broken and brecciated. Burdick points out that if the
severe breakage and brecciation of the underlying Cretaceous
shale had been caused by overthrusting of the overlying
Precambrian Altyn dolomite, both surfaces would have been
brecciated, with gouge and slickensides. In the absence of such
physical evidences, Burdick concluded that this contact provided
no evidence for thrusting. 
Crowsnest Pass is located along the highway at the Continental
Divide at the British Columbia-Alberta boundary. Burdick reports
that here the overlying Precambrian Belt Series, Altyn dolomite,
lies conformably over the Cretaceous shale with a sharp contact,
although the beds lie at about a 40deg angle. There is a slight
brecciated seam of an inch or two between the beds, as would be
expected from differential movement due to folding, but there is
no evidence of a thrust-fault, according to Burdick. 
Burdick closes his report with the following statement by R. C.
Emmons, geologist at the University of Wisconsin: 
  "Under-thrusting and upwelling appear to have bypassed the 
  usual period of scrutiny, into one of intransigent acceptance, 
  and are widely invoked, though unestablished in the geologic 
  literature, as for example is overthrusting. Both vagrant 
  concepts have assumed a sacrosanct status under geophysical 
  husbandry that denies communion to opposition.." 
Another alleged thrust fault is the Heart Mountain formation in
Wyoming. This area had been studied by Burdick (1977, pp.
207-10), and he reports that he could find no evidence for
overthrusting. With the so-called Heart Mountain Thrust, Madison
(Mississippian) limestone is found overlying Tertiary limestone,
or dolomite. Since the Mississippian is supposedly more than 200
million years older than the Tertiary, according to
uniformitarian geologists, they must assume that the presumedly
older formation came to rest on top of the presumedly younger
formation by overthrusting. Burdick cites reports of other
geologists who failed to find the usual evidences expected for
overthrusting for Heart Mountain, but who nevertheless persist
in believing in an overthrust on account of the fossil evidence. 
Burdick reports that the whole area has been severely folded and
deformed. Southwest of and adjacent to Heart Mountain, the
strata have been so severely deformed that in places they rest
on the edge. The contact of the Madison on Heart Mountain with
the underlying bed is covered with limestone rubble. Some
geologists have interpreted this rubble as tectonic breccia
caused by thrust movement. Burdick noted, however, that this
rubble is no different from the erosional rubble all around the
steep sides of the mountain. Where the underlying sandstone was
exposed, it did not show brecciation or mylonite. Burdick found
definite evidence of fault action at Heart Mountain, but it
involved normal, or vertical fault action rather than
overthrusting. He thus discounted the generally accepted idea of
thrust-faulting at Heart Mountain and interpreted the formation
as a normal fault at the apex of an anticline. 
*Charred Branch from the Paluxy*
Frederick P. Beierle (1979, p. 87) reported the finding of a
charred tree branch in the Cretaceous limestone of the Paluxy
River bed near Glenrose, Texas. This is the site, of course, of
the controversial reports of the discovery of alleged human
tracks near those of dinosaurs. In the company of Wilbur Fields,
Rex Hess, and others, Beierle and his co-workers found the
charred branch embedded in the Cretaceous rock about 200 yards
downstream from dinosaur tracks in the same formation. The
branch was seven feet long and about two inches in diameter.
They are of the opinion that the limb had fallen into soft
limestone, perhaps from a tree that had been hit by lightning,
the limestone hardening after completely encasing the smoldering
limb, leaving the limb half-burned.
*The Thornton Quarry Deposits*
The Thornton Quarry, located in a massive limestone deposit
containing a high concentration of fossil corals, crinoids,
brachiopods, and other shallow marine organisms, is the world's
largest commercial limestone quarry. The limestone is believed
by evolutionists to be about 400 million years in age
(Silurian). Based upon a limited literature search and a few
field trips to the site, geologist David B. D'Armond (1980, pp.
88-105) has published a preliminary report in which he presents
evidence contradicting the generally accepted notion that the
limestone deposit of the Thornton Quarry is an ancient fossil
coral reef. D'Armond suggests that this deposit was formed due
to catastrophic wave-action generated during the Genesis Flood. 
D'Armond's interest in this alleged fossil reef was aroused
during the several fossil-hunting field trips to the site
sponsored by then-existent Institute for Creation Research
Midwest Center. The Thornton Quarry is located just to the south
of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Material Services
Corporation (a division of General Dynamics) regularly allows
field trips and fossil hunts into the area under company
supervision. The Thornton deposit is one of dozens of similar
deposits in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and
Iowa, as well as in several locations in eastern Canada.
Geologists describe these deposits as part of a wedge-shaped
fossil coral reef archipelago positioned offshore from an
ancient shoreline. D'Armond is severely critical of the
description of the Thornton deposit by Jerome Ingels (1963, p.
405), who believed this to be a fossil reef. 
As D'Armond describes, a modern reef exhibits the following
characteristics: 1) distinct and highly ordered growth structure
in the core: no bedding present; 2) shallow dipping, bedded
talus slopes on flanks of the core; 3) a high percentage of
reef-forming algae (50-80%); 4) solid, anchored, hard bedrock as
initial foothold and growth points; and 5) a V-shaped growth
profile of the reef as a whole
D'Armond rejects Ingels' claim that the Thornton deposit is a
fossil reef, for the following reasons: 1) there is no solid
footing for reef growth; 2)the "reef core" does not exhibit
growth structures; 3) red calcareous algae, the main
reef-builder, is totally missing; 4) flank deposits are too
steep for the underwater angle of repose, and the "core" could
not be the source of deposits that are stratigraphically above
the core, nor the dome-like structure; 5) actual exposed reef
shape does not correspond tomodern reefs; 6) similar massive
shallow-water limestone deposits are not occurring in today's
reefs; and 7) the ubiquitous fossil "tar" depicts rapid and
complete burial of animals before they could decay-unlike the
slow processes of a reef. 
In a very extensive and detailed analysis of postulated
catastrophic effects that would have been produced by the
Genesis Flood due to the deluge, tsunamis, storm surges, tidal
waves, and earth movements and convulsions, D'Armond synthesizes
a working hypothesis for the formation of the Thornton "reef"
deposit and the underlying strata. According to D'Armond's
  "... the massive Cambrian and Ordovician strata underlying 
  Thornton, including the St. Peter Sandstone formation, is 
  primarily a mid-Flood deposit. Plant and animal materials, 
  along with sediments broken loose by earthquakes, volcanoes, 
  tsunamis, and other forces, were deposited in final form by 
  the massive tidal action of the Flood during the months of 
  deepest inundation. judging from the direction of transport 
  and deposition ascribed by modern geologists to the 
  sediments underlying the Thornton "reef" deposits, it 
  appears that this direction may be interpreted as being the 
  result of tidal wave fronts driven by the Coriolis effect, 
  which created massive tidal currents that swept over shoal 
  areas and Canadian Shield area into deeper basins. Thus the 
  deep underlying massive sediments may be relegated to the 
  action of tidal waves and currents in the CatastrophicWave 
  Action Model. Tidal waves and currents would also be 
  primarily responsible for massive limestone deposits derived 
  from chemical precipitation occurring with rapidly changing 
  temperature, pH and chemical precipitation, while longer 
  periods of deposition would greatly increase the chances of 
  contamination by other materials. 
  "Following the mid-Flood deposition attributed to tidal 
  effects, a rapid emergence of continental land masses 
  started to occur, triggering additional violent crustal 
  movements which, in turn, caused large numbers of tsunamis 
  to sweep over newly emergent shorelines. The newly formed 
  Silurian deposits, being uplifted, became a shoreline area 
  capable of receiving coral reef fragments torn loose and 
  transported by tsunami-type waves. The source area for 
  these reef materials could have been actual antediluvian 
  reefs growing on Precambrian basement rocks in the general 
  area of present-day Hudson Bay. It could also be that the 
  very large area of reef deposits embedded in the Paleozoic 
  sediments on the southern edge of Hudson Bay are actual 
  reefs, with footholds on the underlying Precambrian, that 
  were in place before the Flood. At any rate, the 
  allochthonous reef deposits at Thornton and elsewhere 
  along the archipelago, are most probably the result of 
  tsunami wave deposition. 
  "It is also during this time that the great wind of Genesis
   8 would have been in operation, and thus storm surge 
  deposits also could have been expected in the area. Such 
  deposits might be represented by the material piled on top 
  of the Thornton reef blocks, causing moderate anti-clinal 
  dips throughout the area. The continuing emergence of the 
  continental land masses would have uplifted these deposits, 
  and probably would have caused steepening of the angles of 
  dip to their present attitudes. And finally, a thin layer 
  of Pleistocene sediments covered the area as a result of 
  a brief glacial period." 
I believe that this extensive coverage of D'Armond's working
hypothesis is desirable, in order not only to present adequately
D'Armond's interpretation of the Thornton deposit, but also to
call attention to his Catastrophic-Wave Action Model. Readers
are urged to read D'Armond's paper and to critique his model.
Although D'Armond's study on the possible origins of the
Thornton Quarry deposits is only preliminary, it does establish
firmly that these deposits do not constitute a fossil reef, and
that, while the conclusions of his study are hypothetical, it
should be noted that a satisfying synthesis of the Thornton
deposits can be made from the known facts.
*Palynology Studies in the Grand Canyon*
Dr. George Howe published the initial paper (1986, pp. 99-104)
in a series on Precambrian pollen in Grand Canyon formations.
Interest in this subject was stimulated by a report by C. L.
Burdick that he had isolated pollen grains of various land
plants from rocks of late Precambrian Hakatai shale while doing
graduate work towards a Ph.D. (subsequently denied) at the
University of Arizona under Gerhard Kremp, beginning in 1964.
Burdick (1966, pp. 38-50) finally published the results of his
work without support of Kremp. In his paper, Howe presents a
thorough review of Burdick's work and subsequent work by others
at the University of Arizona and by Arthur V. Chadwick of Loma
Linda University, Loma Linda, California. The latter workers
claimed they could not repeat Burdick's results and attributed
Burdick's results to contamination. Howe's review includes
excerpts from extensive correspondence and the comments of those
involved. It provides an insight into what happens when results
are obtained which are incompatible with current evolutionary
It was decided at a Creation Research Society meeting in April,
1983 that fresh samples from the Grand Canyon should be
collected and analyzed by both the Burdick and the
Chadwick-Doher methods, every possible effort being made to
exclude contamination. A chemist, G. T. Matzko, agreed to carry
out the pollen extractions according to both procedures.
The second paper in this series was published by W. E. Lammerts
and G. F. Howe (1987, pp. 151-3). As noted in the first article
in this series, claims have been made that Burdick's recovery of
pollen grains from the Precambrian Hakatai shale was due to
contamination of present-day pollen picked up either during
collection and transportation of the samples or by infiltration
into the samples prior to collection. Lammerts and Howe
therefore undertook to assess the rate at which pollen grains
will contaminate exposed slides in order to determine whether or
not pollen contamination might occur routinely in the laboratory
or in the field. 
Lammerts and Howe used various conditions in their experimental
procedures, using clean ordinary slides, and slides coated with
vaseline, scotch tape, and water; collecting points near
pollinating pine trees on breezy and quiet days, near sunflower
and pollinating corn plants, and under an oak tree; overnight
exposure to an office near pine trees; and on a laboratory table
with 86 hours of exposure. The effect of wind, as should be
expected, was very important. In 10 minutes, on a breezy day, 27
pollen grains were collected near a pine tree on two slides, but
no grains were collected on two slides at the same location a
quiet day. Lammerts and Howe concluded that the chance of
contamination by airborne pollen during slide preparation and
during field work is extremely low. Whatever pollen might blow
into a laboratory on a windy day quickly settles to a desk top
or the floor, where it sticks; therefore, they state, it would
seem that reasonable care in cleaning the table, slides, and
cover slips, would render unnecessary positive pressure and
filtered air supplies. 
The third publication in this series was authored by G. F. Howe,
E. L. Williams, G. T. Matzko, and W. E. Lammerts (1988, pp.
173-82). They reported their efforts to determine whether fossil
pollen grains could be recovered from the Precambrian Hakatai
Shale, as Burdick bad reported, or whether negative results
would be obtained as reported by University of Arizona workers
and Chadwick. Samples were collected from rock exposures of the
Hakatai Shale, Hermit Shale (The Hermit Shale is Permian), 
and Supai Group (The Supai Group includes Pennsylvanian and 
Permian rocks). Hermit Shale was examined in addition to 
Hakatai Shale to see if pollen grains could be recovered from 
other shales and the Supai Formation was included as a control. 
Rock samples were taken after chipping back several inches from
the exposed surfaces of rocks which had no obvious seams or
cracks, and were collected directly into plastic bags, every
precaution being taken to prevent contamination. Samples were
sent to G. T. Matzko for processing and pollen extraction in the
chemistry laboratory at Bob Jones University. Some samples were
given washes with dilute hydrochloric acid followed by water
washes; some were given only water washes; and two samples of
the Hakatai Shale were given dilute hydrochloric acid washes
followed by digestion in dilute hydrofluoric acid, and then were
given two water washes. From samples of loose material of
Hakatai Shale recovered from two different locations, given
either the hydrochloric acid and water washes or just water
washes, fossil pollen grains were recovered on 8 of 15 slides,
and from loose material from two locations of Hakatai Shale 
given the acid wash, hydrofluoric acid digestion, and water 
wash, fossil pollen grains were found on 8 of 10 slides. 
Photographs of the slides, taken by George Howe, and scanning 
electron photomicrographs, taken by E. L. Williams, were sent 
to an experienced palynologist for examination. This palynologist 
was not aware of the source from which the samples had been 
obtained. This was done so that objective analyses could be 
obtained from an expert in the field not associated with the CRS 
group. According to his best judgment, pine pollen, Ephedra-like 
pollen, angiosperm-type pollen, fungal spores, and possible 
algal cells were present on some of the slides. Howe and his 
co-workers concluded that these results support Burdick's 
claims of having discovered fossil pollen grains of gymnosperms 
and angiosperms in the Precambrian Hakatai Shale. This would, of 
course, refute the belief of evolutionists that the Precambrian 
sedimentary material was laid down hundreds of millions of years 
before pine trees (gymnosperms) and flowering plants 
(angiosperms) existed on the earth. 
Howe and co-workers suggest the possibility that the reason
Chadwick and the University of Arizona workers failed to confirm
Burdick's findings was because these workers may have exposed
their samples to prolonged digestion with hydrofluoric acid. L.
I. Doher, who had developed the method used by Chadwick and the
other workers, had pointed out that hydrofluoric acid has a
corrosive effect on pollen and spores, and recommended that the
sample not be exposed to the acid any longer than necessary, and
should be washed with water immediately after disaggregation
with hydrofluoric acid. The CRS group plans to pursue further
research which will involve additional extracts from their rock
samples, with a more extensive examination of the Supai and
Hermit materials.
              ... continued at 25_4a2.txt ...
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