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Desert whales mystery tied to another



Do whales really represent a step in evolution from land back to the sea?

The desert whales of northern Chile highlight another, more-enduring mystery: seashells on mountaintops. How did they get there? Whoever can answer that riddle can explain much more.

Desert whales not the first high fossils

The desert whales of the Atacama Desert near Caldera, Chile, were not the first marine fossils on dry land. Paleontologists have known about marine life on mountain peaks for centuries. In 1569, Jan Van Gorp said this:

Nothing is so high, nothing is so far from the sea that we cannot find [shells] of those creatures that only live in sea water.

Alan Cutler (The Seashell on the Mountaintop, 2003) quotes Van Gorp in his book. (Walter T. Brown, in In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, lists this and other book references here.) He thus shows that long before anyone ever heard of uniformitarianism in geology, paleontologists had found marine fossils not only high above sea level, but very far inland. So in fact, the debate about seashells on mountaintops is not part of the creation-v.-evolution debate. Scientists have wondered how the seashells got on the mountaintops since modern science began.

Early attempts to explain

Modern Western science began with Leonardo da Vinci. He was the first and prize example of the “Renaissance Man,” a master of science and art, and of many sciences, not one only.

From 1508 to 1515, Da Vinci wrote extensively about the seashells that he found in the mountains of Italy. (Da Vinci, Notebooks, Vol. 2, ed. Jean Paul Richter; New York: Dover Publications, 1970; pp. 208–218.) He challenged the notion that these shellfish could have crawled to such great heights (either the Alps, or the Appennines, or both) even from a flood that had partially covered them. How, he asked, could slow-moving clams crawl to such a height, even in hundreds of years? Sadly, the mystery defeated Leonardo; he had no better idea of how those shellfish landed so high than did anyone else.


Others suggested something closer to the truth: that originally, flood waters did cover the mountains, until the floors of the present oceans sank to their present depths, while the mountains rose. But no one managed to explain either event.

According to Brown:

Because elevations on earth change slowly, some wondered if sea bottoms could rise miles into the air, perhaps over millions of years. However, mountaintops, which experience destructive freezing and thawing cycles, erode relatively rapidly—and so should fossils slowly lifted by them. Furthermore, mountaintops accumulate few sediments that might blanket and protect such fossils. Some early authorities, in frustration, said the animals grew inside rocks—or the rocks simply look like clams, corals, fish, and ammonites. Some denied the evidence even existed.

The striking mystery of the desert whales

The desert whales of Chile are the most striking example yet of marine fossils on dry land. (See reports of the desert whales from the Associated Press,, and two other sources.) Once again: some 80 adult and young whales, mostly baleen whales but also a sperm whale, two kinds of extinct dolphin (one with tusks!), sharks, and a possible seal) lie buried in a strip of land, 800 feet long by 60 feet wide. (Coordinates: 27°03’13.72″S, 70°48’09.13″W; elevation about 150 feet.)

The Santiago Times yesterday revealed that the scientists are still asking themselves: How did they get there? The Smithsonian’s Nicholas Pyenson made the most honest statement to date:

I think they died more or less at the same time.

The reason: these skeletons lie mere yards apart on a narrow hill.


Brown gives more details:

What concentrated so many different and large sea creatures, and how were they fossilized at the base of the Andes Mountains? A few species (sperm whales, killer whales, and dolphins) sometimes become disoriented and beach themselves, but not baleen whales, and not the other powerful swimmers found in this mass graveyard. (SONAR causes whales to beach themselves, but of course, SONAR did not exist when these whales died.)

More than that: if SONAR did exist when the desert whales died, that would destroy the evolutionary paradigm at a single stroke. According to it, mankind itself did not exist then.

Brown goes on:

Environmental factors might kill a variety of large sea creatures, but that would not lift them up at least 50 feet above sea level, concentrate them in an area the size of two football fields, and quickly bury them in enough sediments to provide excellent fossilization. Instead, the animals would decompose or be scavenged. If this happened over millions of years, why do some fossils overlap? Even if a whale became trapped in a lagoon, why would a shark—a sleek and powerful swimmer? Besides, what would crowd so many different and large sea creatures into a lagoon?

As Brown explains, what trapped the desert whales is part of the larger event we call the Global Flood.  The Andes Mountains are part of a long chain that lines the western shores of North and South America. The Flood began with the breakout of a sub-crustal ocean that formed the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The sudden escape of the sub-crustal water caused the Ridge to build up. The Americas slid down the slopes of the Ridge until they crashed to the original sub-crustal floor. That crash compressed the land and caused the Andes (and the Rocky) Mountains to rise. When they did, they trapped some shellfish on their peaks, too. They also trapped large amounts of water on their western slopes. As this water drained away, what became the desert whales (and the other creatures that accompanied them) fell into narrow valleys. Finally, large amounts of sediment buried them, largely intact. (Twenty of the desert whale skeletons are intact.)

Why were the desert whales in the region?

Vegetation Zones in and near the Atacama Plateau. The desert whales were found in the "absolute desert" region.

Generalized, modern vegetation zones in the region of Quebrada del Chaco. Source: United States Geological Survey

This raises another question: why did some 80 whales and other creatures swim to that region to begin with? Why didn’t they stay out in the Pacific Ocean? The answer: they were escaping something else that frightened them.

Brown explains what that was:


[H]ours before the Andes Mountains rose, the earth’s crust on the Pacific side of the earth was pulled down and crumbled. The ring of fire surrounds the sunken Pacific crust; indeed, that is why the ring of fire is the most volcanically active and earthquake-prone region on earth. These large sea creatures lie on the thin coastline between the ring of fire and the Andes Mountains. Probably, all these animals were fleeing to the east, away from the deafening sounds and shock waves coming from the west. The seafloor beneath them then rose as the compression event began.

What pulled the Pacific Ocean floor down, to create the Ring of Fire? The same thing that created the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. When the sub-crustal water broke out, it created a vacuum directly beneath it on the Atlantic side. Nature abhors a vacuum, so the crust on the Pacific side caved in to fill the void. The volcanism would begin almost at once, as simple gravitational settling would produce a lot of heat. So the desert whales were swimming away from the first volcanoes. Tragically, they fled in exactly the wrong direction. From that tragedy comes further testimony to the greatest catastrophe that the earth has ever known.


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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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Tony Sidaway

An eyewitness in the Bay of Concepcion at the time of the 1835 earthquake (later estimated as having magnitude 8.5 on the Richter scale) writes:

‘The most remarkable effect of this earthquake was the permanent elevation of the land: it would probably be far more correct to speak of it as the cause. There can be no doubt that the land round the Bay of Concepcion was raised by two or three feet, but it deserves notice that, owing to the wave having obliterated the old lines of tidal action on the sloping sandy shores, I could discover no evidence for this fact, except in the united testimony of the inhabitants, that one little rocky shoal, now exposed, was formerly covered with water. At the island of S. Maria (about 30 miles distant) the elevation was greater; on one part, Captain Fitz Roy found beds of putrid mussel-shells still adhering to the rocks, ten feet above high water mark: the inhabitants had formerly dived at low-water spring tides for these shells. The elevation of this province is particularly interesting, from it having been the theatre of several other violent earthquakes, and from the vast number of sea-shells scattered over the land, up to a height of certainly 600, and I believe, of 1000 feet. At Valparaiso, as I have remarked, similar shells are found at a height of 1300 feet: it is hardly possible to doubt that this great elevation has been effected by successive small uprisings, such as that which accompanied or caused the earthquake of this year, and likewise by an insensibly slow rise, which is certainly in progress on some parts of this coast.’

This journal entry was later published by its author on his return to England: The Voyage of The Beagle.

This region of Chile has suffered many earthquakes, including the terrible quakes of 1960 and 2010.

link to

Tsunamis like that described by Charles Darwin in his journal have had a catastrophic effect both on the coastline and on the inland areas.

Donald R Laster Jr

Imagine the same thing happening but everything being covered with water containing a massive amount of sediment being deposited first with the land them rising. This is the description of the process Dr Brown proposes in his Hydroplate theory. Charles Darwin could only see what an earthquake could produce.

The problem with science today, like many things, is people look at facts and the proposals to explain the facts and then refuse to consider proposals that use additional facts that describe things better. Dr Brown’s Hydroplate theory goes a long way to describing how events could occur without having to make assumption after assumption, depend upon extreme periods of time and chains of improbable chance occurrences.

The book is worth reading. But one should take time to read it since it is detailed.

Tony Sidaway

Mr Hurlbutt, no doubt Dr Brown thinks he knows better than others and that none of his objections to modern geological processes have ever been addressed.

It would be silly to say that the tops of mountains are not subject to weathering. Of course they are. The sun, rain, acidification, wind, frost and other processes all take their toll over millions of years and along with volcanism form the landscape we see.

On the “putrid mussel shells”, I don’t understand your objection. Mussels must necessarily undergo putrefaction after death in an aerobic environment. This is not going to help or hinder any subsequent fossilization. The condition of the shells was taken by Darwin as suggestive of relatively recent death, despite their location far from the shoreline.

Of course that’s just one anecdote by a young English traveller deeply immersed in the then-recent work of Charles Lyell. Nearly two centuries later Lyell’s and Darwin’s work still stands as a useful set of observations about geological processes, though they lacked the truly remarkable insights that modern plate tectonics have brought to the subject.

Whether that can shed light on the question of the desert whales I know not. It’s not really clear to me why you should find the idea that sea beds eventually become mountains at all extraordinary. The processes of subduction and orogeny aren’t exactly cutting edge science any more.

link to

Fergus Mason

“Fossils don’t decay. They get buried too fast for that.”

Actually the main reason that fossils don’t decay is that they’re usually bones or other hard body parts. The creationist insistence that rapid burial is necessary for fossilisation indicates either ignorance of teh process or extreme dishonesty.

Fergus Mason

Not a very helpful comment. So, are you aware that rapid burial is NOT essential for fossilisation? Slow burial in an anaerobic environment will preserve soft body parts, slow burial in an aerobic one will still preserve bones and other hard parts.By insisting that rapid burial is necessary for any fossils to form creationists make themselves look either mendacious or badly educated; neither option is going to help win you any arguments.

Fergus Mason

I don’t care if you reject my contention or not, but I do have to wonder if you bothered to read my comment properly.

Slow burial would indeed leave time for disintegration and scavenging. Guess what? Many fossils show evidence of scavenging and many more show no traces of soft tissue; just what you’d expect from decay followed by slow burial. The fact is that by insisting fossilisation requires rapid burial you are displaying either ignorance or dishonesty; fossilisation requires no such thing.

Fergus Mason

“I suspect that much of what you claim consists of misconstruction.”

What are you talking about? Do you or do you NOT accept that many – probably most – fossils are incomplete or otherwise damaged, in a way that is entirely consistent with slow burial?

Do you know how long bones last? If you look at “whale falls” you’ll find out that whale bones survive for decades, EVEN when exposed to marine borer worms. There is plenty of time for slow burial of these bones to occur. The same goes for large land animals; unless there are hyenas around even the bones of a cow will lie on the ground for thirty years or more. Again, plenty of time for slow burial.

Fergus Mason

I’m not asking you to accept it on my word. I suggested that you look up whale falls and see just how long bones last. Have you done this? I also suggested that you look into how long the bones of a large land mammal, such as a cow, can survive in the open. If you research either of these things you will find out that medium to large bones can easily last for decades, allowing plenty of time for slow burial.

Alternatively you can just keep repeating the lie that fossilisation requires rapid burial.

Fergus Mason

“Lyell made a lot of assumptions that turned out to be unsafe.”

So did Darwin. So what? Scientists, unlike creationists, don’t insist that an old book is the truth and can never be changed. Modern science may be BASED on the work of Lyell and Darwin, but it ISN’T the work of Lyell and Darwin. It’s the work of thousands of scientists since then who’ve conducted experiments, collected data and carried out analysis of that data. Even if you could discredit Lyell and Darwin, the impact on modern geology and biology would be precisely zero.

Fergus Mason

“What experiments?” I assume that isn’t a serious question.

Fergus Mason

Oh, I can answer it. What experiments? Well THOUSANDS of experiments are conducted every year around fault lines; rates of movement are measured, stress on rocks is examined, magma temperatures and composition are tested. As for biology experiments, thousands are conducted every DAY. As a colleague of Schlafly no doubt you’ll remember the Lenski affair?

Fergus Mason

Schlafly’s “assessment” of the Lenski experiment is founded on ignorance, and this was pointed out to him numerous times on his own blog. His behaviour was nothing more than harassment, demonstrated by his repeated demands that Lenski turn over data that Schlafly lacked either the intention or the ability to analyse.

Fergus Mason

Schlafly was asked repeatedly on his own blog who he intended to retain to analyse the data. He never answered. He was also warned repeatedly that he was going to make a fool of himself, and he ignored that advice and blocked many of the people who gave him it. The result was that Lenski hammered him, pointed out his ignorance and dishonesty and then offered to make all his data available to anyone qualified to handle it, thus demolishing Schlafly’s claims of fraud.

The affair also handed Richard Dawkins a great big loaded gun, conveniently pointed right at Conservapedia’s head, which he immediately fired by including the debacle in his book “The Greatest Show on Earth.” That’s where I, and many others, first heard of Schlafly’s blog.

Fergus Mason

“Mr. Schlafly and I must have both missed that.”

Possibly. In that case I’ll reproduce it for you here:

“So, will we share the bacteria? Of course we will, with competent scientists.”

Now, as soon as Schlafly informs Lenski of where he intends to store and work with the samples, and of the qualified personnel who will handle them, he can have the bacteria. Lenski is concealing nothing.

“And Conservapedia is not a blog.”

Oh really? With main page “articles” like “Atheism and obesity”? “Languages ranked by Conservatism”? (By the way that one’s pure parody, created and expanded by RW editors, but Schlafly doesn’t seem to have noticed.) “How the blazing atomic flamethrower of the Question Evolution! campaign will grind up atheist babies into tiny fragments and feed them to the creationist dogs of war belonging to prominent YouTuber Shockofgod”?

It’s a blog.

Fergus Mason

““With competent scientists,” he says.”

Yes, of course. Or is he supposed to post a vial of mutant E. coli bacteria to a homeskool teacher with no storage facilities, no laboratory and no clue about biology?

Fergus Mason

“Mr. Schlafly would expect him to post (we say “mail” here in the States) his sample to an expert of Mr. Schlafly’s choosing.”

Actually Schlafly demanded that he make ALL his data available to teh general public, which was a totally unreasonable request. When asked repeatedly on his blog what expert he was going to get to examine the data Schlafly failed to name one.

“Mr. Schlafly’s request was well within the bounds of pre-trial discovery.”

That might even have been relevant if Lenski was on trial. He wasn’t. As it is, it just shows why science isn’t done by lawyers.

Fergus Mason

“Why is this an unreasonable request?”

Because the data are the BACTERIA. What’s Lenski supposed to do – leave a barrel of mutant bacteria and a stack of bottles outside his lab, so that anyone who wants to can take some home?

“by what right does Lenski to withhold information of this kind”

He doesn’t, and you KNOW he doesn’t. What data do you claim he’s witholding?

“I say that evolution itself is on trial.”

So what? Science doesn’t work that way.

Fergus Mason

“are you sure that Mr. Schlafly actually called for the release of the sample?”

No, he didn’t. In fact he never specified WHAT he wanted, or what he thought Lenski was concealing. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

Fergus Mason

“information that Members of Parliament, Members of Congress, Members of the Knesset, et alti, use to make public policy decisions?”

Name one single public policy decision made on the basis of citrate metabolisation in Escherichia coli.

Fergus Mason

“You actually said, on this comment space, that Mr. Schlafly was recommending the release of an experimental sample “to the general public.” ”

Actually no, I said no such thing. I said that Schlafly was demanding the release of ALL Lenski’s data to the general public. The data, of course, are the bacteria.

“Rather, he wanted access to Mr. Lenski’s records.”

What for? Why should PROFESSOR Lenski release his raw data to an unqualified blogger? Why did Schlafly fail to explain what he was going to do with the data if he got it?

“Those records include measurements, composition of reagents, assay results, et cetera.”

That was all either in Lenski’s paper, is widely available material or wasn’t involved in the experiment. The growth media that Lenski used, for example, are all standard ones. Why did Schlafly ask Lenski to send him such basic information? What was he planning to DO with it? And what do you all think Lenski is concealing?

Fergus Mason

“All of which proved that Lenski was hiding something.”

WHAT was he hiding? He even offered to provide samples of the bacteria!

“you went and said the very same thing again.”

I said that Schlafly demanded the raw data be released to the general public. He apparently wasn’t aware that the BACTERIA were the raw data.

Once again, I have to ask: what was Schlafly planning to do with the data if he’d got it?

Fergus Mason

“Anything that shows that evolution is not a fact”

But evolution IS a fact. It’s been observed many times, including in Lenski’s experiment. Allele frequencies change; new characteristics appear. It’s not possible to deny this with a straight face.

Fergus Mason

“you certainly have not described the kind of massive change that would have to produce a new taxonomic family from another”

Before I get into this, can you clarify what you mean by producing a new taxonomic family from another? I’m not interested in wasting my time with any Hovindite rubbish about cats giving birth to dogs, but if you understand what the theory of evolution actually says we have a basis for discussion.

Fergus Mason

“Suppose you tell me how a single-celled micro-organism could give rise to a multicellular one?”


“Or how a prokaryote could give rise to a eukaryote?”


“why wouldn’t Kent Hovind wonder aloud whether the paleontologists are proposing that the Dog Kind (dogs, foxes, wolves) arose from the Cat Kind”

Because palaeontologists are, in fact, proposing something completely different and have been doing so for decades.

Fergus Mason

“How do you get two species out of one”

Genetic drift or geographical isolation will do it, but that’s irrelevant. We’re talking about getting ONE species out of TWO. Remind me again, is human mDNA the same species as human nDNA?

Fergus Mason

“I asked you how one common ancestor could give rise to every other life form”

No you didn’t. You asked me how multicellular life could evolve from single-celled organisms, and I told you: symbiosis. Are you denying that mitochondria and chloroplasts have different DNA from the animal and plant cells they’re incorporated in? Well, they do, and that’s evidence of symbiosis leading to fusion.

Fergus Mason

“They could as easily have come to be in the same instant as the larger cell.”

Then why do they have different DNA? In any case, has anyone OBSERVED mitochondria coming into existence at the same time as their host cell? Do you have any PHOTOS of it?

Of course not.

Fergus Mason

“because their design requirements are different”

The design requirements of a liver cell and a brain cell are different. Why don’t THEY have different DNA?

Fergus Mason

Ribisomes, vacuoles, Golgi apparati, lysosoles, centrioles and vesicles are also highly specialised organelles, much smaller than a eukaryotic cell. Why don’t THEY have their own DNA?

Fergus Mason

“Those functions are a lot simpler than those that mitochondria and chloroplasts perform.”

I hardly think so. Golgi apparati, for example, sort and package a wide variety of proteins; mitochondria just churn out ATP. So why don’t Golgi apparati need their own DNA?

Fergus Mason

“They’re not even the cells-within-a-cell that the other two are.”

That was rather my point, actually: they don’t have their own nucleus and their own DNA.

“No one has found any microfossils of independent proto-mitochondria or proto-chloroplasts.”

No, but as of this February they’ve found DNA evidence of common ancestry between mitochondria and rickettsiae. See the article in the June edition of Nature by Thrash et al.

Fergus Mason

“Correlation does not equal causation”

I know. So what? I never claimed that it did.

Fergus Mason

“Having some features in common does not begin to show that one is the progenitor of the other.”

Two fails for the price of one. I didn’t claim they have features in common; I said (and gave you a reference to a proper paper) that they are phylogenetically linked. And I didn’t say that one was the progenitor of the other; I said that they have a common ancestor.

Fergus Mason

“They cannot measure processes that operated forty-four hundred years ago.”

Of course they can. There are numerous methods that can measure the rate of historical processes.

On the other hand there is NOTHING that can make sense of the idea of a global flood. It didn’t happen. It COULDN’T have happened. Apart froma nything else, where did all the water come from? And don’t waste my time with that hydroplate rubbish.

Fergus Mason

“All of which methods make the cardinal uniformitarian assumption: that the rate today was the rate yesteryear, and the rate the year before yesteryear, and so on ad infinitum.”

No they don’t, and I have explained this to you more than once already.

“Where did the water come from? From underneath the crust.”

Evidence please. Underwater photos of the erosion and debris fields caused by the crust breakup will suffice.

Fergus Mason

“And in so doing you totally robbed the word “uniformitarianism” of any meaning.”

No, I have simply disagreed with YOUR meaning, which (as has been demonstrated to you several times by myself and others) is not the one that geologists use.

“How about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.”

Sure, why not? Now please show me evidence for an eruption of superheated sub-crustal water through the mid-Atlantic ridge. As I said, photos of the erosion and debris will be fine.

Fergus Mason

“It literally fills a book. His book. I suggest you read it.”

I will – as soon as he gets it published in a peer-reviewed journal. Until then, although I may buy his book, I’ll put it on the same shelf as Emmanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Däniken.

Fergus Mason

“Your sarcasm is getting less subtle with every post you make.”

Except I wasn’t being sarcastic. Brown’s hydroplate rubbish belongs in the same category as Velikovsky’s Venusian comet and von Däniken’s ancient astronauts. It’s utter rubbish.

Fergus Mason

“That is a matter of opinion. I’m sure that other readers of this article might think otherwise”

I don’t care what other readers of this article think. I care what GEOLOGISTS think, and they universally reject the hydroplate nonsense for the simple reason that it’s impossible. The energy released by the processes Brown describes would have boiled off the oceans and sterilised the planet.

Fergus Mason

“They reject it because it doesn’t conform to their favorite narrative, and on no other grounds.”

No, they reject it because it’s a physical impossibility. Do you have ANY IDEA how much energy would be involved in any of the explanations given for the flood? The most conservative estimates are that it would be the same as exploding a 10 kt nuclear weapon on every acre of the Earth’s surface. How strong do you think gopher wood is?

Fergus Mason

“that energy was released as heat”

How much heat? Enough to boil off the oceans and sterilise the planet, perhaps?

“to form the earth’s outer and inner cores, and the kinetic energy of the comets, asteroids, and meteoroids.”

Whoah, hang on! You’re claiming that Earth’s core and a whole bunch of cosmological objects were also formed at this time? Congratulations. You just increased the energy release (already sufficient to turn Earth into Venus) by about five orders of magnitude.

“Frankly, you begin to bore me.”

On the other hand, I find you fascinating.

Donald R Laster Jr

Then you, Mr Mason, are like the same people who rejected the “Plate Tectonics” theory out of hand when it was first proposed and savaged the theorist. You should take some time to learn some more history about scientific bias when people proposed theories that challenged prevailing theories and dogma. As the saying goes “what goes around comes around.”. The other term is hypocrite and your comments reek of it. Real scientist are not afraid of new ideas nor are the afraid to change positions based upon real science.

Dr Brown challenges the status quo with a solid science and math based theory based upon available information and you reject it because it does not agree with your predisposed notions. It sounds like you are afraid that if Dr Brown’s theory is correct you will have to accept the premise that someone designed the universe and it all did not happen by random chance. Not even the craziest gambler would put down a bet based upon the idea that random chance created the universe.

Fergus Mason

“Dr Brown challenges the status quo with a solid science and math based theory”

Then why didn’t he publish it instead of writing a book? It isn’t a “theory,” by the way. A theory is well supported and explains the evidence; Brown’s lunacy requires numerous violations of the laws of physics in a tortured attempt to explain what the REAL theories deal with effortlessly.

Donald R Laster Jr

Mr Mason, haven’t you ever stood next to a flow of water, hot air or other gas and not been burnt or harmed by it? You statement

“You just increased the energy release (already
sufficient to turn Earth into Venus) by about
five orders of magnitude.”

is disingenuous. Anyone can stand next to a ruptured steam vent and not get burned. Of course if you step into the flow of the steam you get burned. Maybe you should take a trip to Niagara Falls and go on one of the walks. You can get a real life example of how one can stand next to a powerful flow of substance (in this case water) and not be harmed.

Take the time to read the theory and examine the math and evidence presented. You may actually learn something of interest. It should only take about 20 hours of serious reading. That is if you are open to real scientific thought and reason and are not a closed minded ideologue.

It sounds like if you can not find a way to challenge with facts you revert to the standard Alinksy technique of ridicule. I really think you are scared of the idea that there may be a creator or designer.

Fergus Mason

“Anyone can stand next to a ruptured steam vent and not get burned.”

Yes, but so what? I’m not talking about a ruptured steam vent; I’m talking about terawatts of heat being pumped into the oceans, into the crust, into the atmosphere. Given the scale of geological activity that Brown and Terry are talking about, the oceans would have been BOILED DRY by the energy release. This nonsense isn’t a theory; it’s quackery.

Donald R Laster Jr

You obviously failed to comprehend the example of the steam vent. The forces, based upon Dr Brown’s theory, are heading into and out of the atmosphere. They are not being distributed as an explosion distributes its energy in all direction.

How about considering the example of the thermal vents on the ocean floor. You can be next to these vents and not get burned. If you put yourself above the vent you get burned. The force of the heat and energy is direct up into the existing ocean and is not exploding in all directions.

You should really take the time to read the theory instead of acting like one of the ideologues who trashed the Plate Tectonics theory when it was first proposed. And if you don’t like it then take the theory and disprove it using real science; not claims such as

“Given the scale of geological activity that Brown and
Terry are talking about, the oceans would have been
BOILED DRY by the energy release. This nonsense isn’t
a theory; it’s quackery.”

I gave a clear cut example of how heat and its carrier can be directed in a specific direction and not effect things nearby. I then pointed out that Niagara Falls does a similar thing with the water. Dr. Brown shows how this amount of energy can be released in a directed fashion in his theory. You just refuse to consider his theory might be viable like the “scientific community” refused to consider Plate Tectonics might be viable.

James K

“Schlafly planned to share this with another scientist, one of his choosing, not Lenski’s”

Sorry Terry, but unless that was a secret Schlafly shared with the other sysops, that’s just not true.
link to

Nowhere in Schlafly’s correspondence does he refer to another scientist. In fact, he states the following:
*Skepticism has been expressed on Conservapedia about your claims,
* Specifically, we wonder about the data supporting your claim
* Please post the data supporting your remarkable claims so that we can review it, and note where in the data you find justification for your conclusions.

“We” in this case clearly means Conservapedia.

In his second letter, Schlafly says:
“If the data are voluminous, then I particularly request access to the data that was made available to the peer reviewers of your paper, and to the data relating to the period during which the bacterial colony supposedly developed Cit+. As before, I’m requesting the organized data themselves, not the graphs and summaries set forth in the paper and referenced in your first reply to me. Note that several times your paper expressly states, “data not shown.” ”

He never said to pass it on to another scientist, Schlafly demanded that the data be sent to him.

Fergus Mason

“Mr. Schlafly wanted the general public to read it.”

That’s not Lenski’s problem. Lenski has said repeatedly that he’s willing to make the data available to anyone who wants to replicate his work, but why should he go to all the expense and bother of making thousands of lab notebooks and other records available to people who can’t even begin to understand them just because some blogger sends him a couple of rude emails? Lenski isn’t concealing ANYTHING, and none of you who are accusing him of doing so have come up with any evidence to support your allegations.

Fergus Mason

Of course it’s in Lenski’s possession. It’s Lenski’s work. Ask him for something specific and I’m sure he’ll be happy to share it. It might be best if the request doesn’t come from Conservapedia though.

Fergus Mason

“to this date refuses to share the evidence with anyone who is not “in on it.””

No he doesn’t. Can you point me to a single example of where Lenski refused to share ANYTHING?

As was pointed out to Schlafly dozens of times during the discussion on his blog, he should have asked Lenski for specific data and explained what he wanted to do with it; Lenski would have been happy to oblige. But to demand all the records from 20 years of work, without having any plan to work with it, is just nuisance behaviour.

Here’s an example. I have an extensive library and study at home. If you emailed me and asked for a list of all the biology books I have and details of my microscopes, and explained that you wanted this to determine how much I know about cell structure, I would happily send you the list. But if you demanded a list of every book and piece of apparatus in the room, on the grounds that you just wanted to have it, I’d tell you to go away and cause extreme distress to a goat.

Fergus Mason

“Lenski lied”

What about? Can you prove this allegation?

“not his entire library”

I was making an analogy, and talking about MY library. Did any of you at CP ever try asking Lenski a specific question, or was it just Schlafly’s arrogant nuisance demand that he turn over 20 years of work to someone who didn’t plan to do anything with it?

Fergus Mason

“his “offer to share” was and remains a sham.”

Prove it. Show me a good-faith request he turned down. Just one will do.

Fergus Mason

“Lenski lied”

What did Lenski lie about? You’ve had 24 hours to find the evidence, and I’d rather like to see it.

Oh by the way, if you REALLY insist I produce a PhD to support me in my (hopefully) upcoming debate with WALT Brown, I name Richard Lenski.

Fergus Mason

“Now that would be quite an amusing event.”

It would, but probably not for Brown. However I’m perfectly capable of debating him myself.

Now, can you give me an example of Lenski refusing a good-faith request for data or not? I suspect not.

Tony Sidaway

“Second: if you bother to read Dr. Brown’s book, you’ll see that subduction is impossible. And he will go into detail on why it is impossible.” -Terry Hurlbutt, December 2, 2011.

Scientific American, December 2, 2011:

‘Although measurements from satellites and seismic ground sensors had indicated the Okhotsk Plate moved after the 9.0 temblor on March 11, the extent of the movement was not clear. Researchers at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology compared new seafloor maps made of the region this year with maps made in 1999 and were surprised by the extent of motion. For example, data along one transect (yellow marker, below) near the quake’s epicenter (black “x” on the map) indicated that the Okhotsk plate moved 50 meters east-southeast toward the trench.

‘Comparison of depth data showed that the earthquake itself lifted the Okhotsk plate 10 meters where the plate dives deep toward the trench (yellow to purple color, at center, below). The plate’s lateral shift also caused it to tip up another four to six meters there. “We think that the additional uplift contributed to the generation of the pulsating pattern of tsunami waves,” Toshiya Fujiwara, one of the lead researchers, wrote in an email.’

link to

But hey, what use is observational data against the cast iron reasoning of Dr Brown?

Fergus Mason

“I just said that one plate cannot dive underneath another.”

You’re aware that this exact process can be observed at many places on Earth, right?

Fergus Mason

“I reject that out-of-hand.”

Tough. There’s plenty of evidence. Subduction has been observed repeatedly. You might as well deny gravity.

Fergus Mason

“No submariner has ever seen that.”

So what? How else do you explain two sets of geological layers, one curving under the edge of the other, and points on each layer getting MEASURABLY CLOSER every year? Because believe me, that’s been observed.

Fergus Mason

“Has any bathyscaphe or bathysphere crewman seen anything like that?”

Who cares? There are far better ways to test it than spending a year in a submarine with a ruler.

OK. I assume that you’re not going to deny that seafloor spreading occurs at boundaries like the mid-Atlantic ridge. If subduction isn’t happening, how come the Earth isn’t swelling up like a balloon?

Fergus Mason

“Don’t tell me that anyone has observed subduction.”

That’s exactly what I’m telling you. If the subducted plates aren’t in fact being subducted, then WHERE ARE THEY GOING at a rate of 2-8cm per year, depending on what boundary we’re talking about?

“The core is shrinking”

No it isn’t.

Fergus Mason

“Pretty soon, you’re going to see some generalized earthquakes all over everywhere.”

Does this tie in with Schlafly’s rubbish about earthquakes doubling every 40 years? Even your fellow creationists at Ameriwiki reject that. They’ve even produced a graph that blows it out the water.

Accidentally posted somewhere else by mistake.

Fergus Mason

“It continues the processes that gave the earth its great internal heat.”

Oh nonsense. If your hydroplate story (it isn’t a theory) produced enough heat IN THE EARTH’S CRUST to melt the core, how come it didn’t boil off the oceans, melt the crust and sterilise the planet?

Fergus Mason

“the mantle insulates the core”

Nonsense. Your hydroplate event would have OCCURRED in the crust. So how come all the heat went inwards to the core and none remained in the crust or radiated out into the oceans?

Fergus Mason

“The heat came from gravitational settling.”

Gravitational settling in the CRUST. Please explain to me the mechanism that directed all that heat – enough to melt a 6,000 mile wide ball of iron – inwards and prevented enough heading outwards to boil off the oceans?

“If the earth were a molten ball, why did the water remain?”

For a long time it didn’t. There would have been a constant cycle of rain and rapid evaporation, lasting millions of years, until enough energy had been absorbed to cool the surface to below boiling point.

Fergus Mason

“Let me remind you that the inner and outer core formed themselves after the flood”

Evidence please.

“The book In the Beginning explains the mechanism that, as you put it, “directed the heat inward.””

Well, why don’t you give me a quick summary to enlighten me?

“where did the water come from in the first place?”

Why are you even puzzled about this? The universe is not short of water. Comets are loaded with it. Any random collection of interstellar medium will contain a fair amount.

“why are gold and silver, to name two heavier-than-iron metals, not part of the core”

You’re assuming that they’ve been on Earth since it formed. Both gold and silver have been found in meteorites.

Fergus Mason

“In the alternative, meteors and meteoroids came from the earth.”

I’m not even going to dignify that rubbish with a response. Please try to stick within the bounds of sanity.

Fergus Mason

“you have not shown how gravitational settling would heat the crust, rather than the core”

Because the gravitational settling (which never occurred, by the way; this whole canard is just an even more demented version of the idea that the Sun is heated by a Helmholz contraction) would have been IN THE CRUST. What ELSE would it have heated? I note that you haven’t even attempted to propose a mechanism that would have directed all the heat inwards. Why would that be?

Fergus Mason

Out of interest, where did Brown get his geology degree?

Fergus Mason

“The heat release is always in the object that something settled into”

So you’re saying that the crust fell onto the mantle, generating enough heat to turn the mantle (a thousand miles thick) into a superheated plastic state and raise the temperature of a 6,000 mile wide ball of iron to 4,000K, but the crust itself DIDN’T pick up enough heat to boil a thin skin of water? Nonsense. Utter, utter bilge. Have you even tried to do the maths, or do you just swallow Brown’s claims without bothering to check them?

Fergus Mason

“He took his geology courses at the University of Arizona.”

Yes, but what university awarded him his geology degree?

Fergus Mason

“Follow the links in the book, and you will see it all laid out.”

How about you give me the quick version rather than me [censor]ing myself with stupid by reading a creationist book?

Fergus Mason

OK, I had a glance at the online version. Now here’s what I mean by bukkake’ing myself with stupid:

“According to the laws of orbital mechanics (described in the preceding chapter), capturing a moon in space is unbelievably difficult—unless both the asteroid and a nearby potential moon had very similar speeds and directions and unless gases surrounded the asteroid during capture.”

WHY does an asteroid (or any other body) have to have an atmosphere to capture a satellite? Is the Moon within Earth’s atmosphere? Has it EVER been within Earth’s atmosphere? That would be no and no. Satellite capture is purely a matter of gravity. Atmospheres have nothing to do with it. Clearly Brown has as many degrees in astronomy as he does in geology.

Fergus Mason

“why don’t we stick to something a bit more relevant?”

More relevant than the fact that a man who doesn’t even have a BSc in geology is throwing out an entire field of science, and trying to replace it with a narrative so absurd that even Answers in Genesis call it quackery?

Fergus Mason

“How many degrees in astronomy have you?”

One more than Walt Brown does.

Fergus Mason

“Anything diving toward a primary…”

…is not a likely candidate to become a satellite of it. Satellite capture happens when an object is on course to fly past a larger object but gets ulled off track by its gravity and enters a stable orbit.

Fergus Mason

“explain to me how a passing body goes from a nearly straight course to a near-circular orbit without any aerobraking or anything else to slow it down.”

I did. Gravity. Aerobraking doesn’t create stable orbits; it creates constant deceleration and an impact. That’s why all the Space Shuttle flights landed rather than becoming expensive moonlets.

“If you’re going to violate Newton’s Laws of Motion, or the First Law of Thermodynamics”

I wasn’t planning to, so don’t worry yourself about that.

Fergus Mason

“Though I suppose you’re going to tell me that you have a degree in everything we’ve been talking about, eh?”

Nope, just astronomy and biology.


Sheep don’t interest me, unless they’ve been turned into döner kebabs. That’s twice you’ve mentioned sheepskin. Why?

Fergus Mason

“the requirement that some impose that someone have a degree to be worthy of someone taking him seriously.”

Well, a degree isn’t infallible and there are lots of self-taught people out there, but let’s be realistic here. Walt Brown says that the asteroids and comets are material that was expelled from Earth during the flood. Without getting distracted by little details like escape velocity and the attendant heat release through atmospheric friction, just how big does he thing Earth used to be?

Fergus Mason

“You’re suggesting that an object would go from having positive specific energy to negative.”

Of course I’m not, and you know it. An object that goes from a straight path through space into a stable orbit has exactly the same specific energy. All that’s changed is its velocity. Note: VELOCITY, not SPEED.

Fergus Mason

“Did Voyager 1 or 2 get captured?”

No. Were they supposed to? No.

Fergus Mason

“Those are PhD degrees you have, I presume?”

Nope, BSc. However as the subject isn’t mechanical engineering I don’t see myself as being at an educational disadvantage, so yes, I’m happy to debate Walt Brown. Any format is acceptable; written, audio or video. If he’s willing to be in San Francisco in mid-January I’ll even debate him live.

Unlike Ken DeMyer I don’t demand a 20 grand donation from anyone who wants to debate me, but I do recommend that Brown buys a drink for the next soldier he meets.

Fergus Mason

“Walt Brown does have his PhD.”

Yes, in mechanical engineering. Next time I want to design an industrial MIG welder I’ll happily defer to his expertise.

In the meantime, I’m happy to debate him on anything to do with astronomy, geology or biology.

Fergus Mason

“he’d ask you to call as many of your PhD friends as you wanted”

No, that’s OK, I’m happy to debate him Mann gegen Mann. I don’t need any help against that quality of argument.

“S’matter? Chicken?”

Not at all. You have my email address, I assume, so give it to Brown and we’ll arrange a debate.

Fergus Mason

“He’ll still ask that you have another of your friends, who does have a PhD”

His problem, not mine. I don’t think I need the help of a PhD to debate Brown. My qualifications in the relevant subjects – astronomy and biology – easily outmatch his, so I’ll allow him to call on the support of any of his friends who have a degree in those subjects.

Of course Brown does have a history of avoiding debates, which I can understand given his lack of qualifications, but I can assure you that after our debate I won’t complain that I was outclassed just because he has a PhD in an unrelated subject. I’m willing to put that in writing before the debate.

Fergus Mason

“If they had aerobraked by brushing through the atmosphere of any of the gas giants, they could have gotten captured.”

No. If they’d aerobraked they’d have crashed into the planet. Do you REALLY not understand this? An object that’s aerobraking in an atmosphere is DECELERATING. There is no way it’s going to end up in a stable orbit, or do anything else apart from impact. Get close enough to a planet that you’re in its atmosphere and the only way is down.

Fergus Mason

“He sets forth his terms and conditions for all to see.”

And very interesting they are too. He’s emailed me them. AT the moment I’m leaning towards a phone debate on the hydroplate nonsense, because the more I read his work the more obvious it becomes that Brown has no idea what he’s talking about and can be very publicly crucified.

Fergus Mason

“Positive specific energy = open (hyperbolic) orbit, or a straight course. Negative specific energy = closed orbit. Zero specific energy: parabola.”

Do you have any idea what specific energy IS? I have to ask this, because from the above quote it appears that you don’t.

Now, you seem to be suggesting that all the comets, asteroids etc were blasted out through Earth’s atmosphere at greater than escape velocity. How much heat would this have released into the atmosphere as a result of friction? How many comets and asteroids show evidence of having been subjected to this heating?

Fergus Mason

“But how could an object the size of the moon fall into a nearly circular orbit around the earth?”

It didn’t. Surely you know how the Moon formed?

Fergus Mason

“And those big rocks that made those impacts, threw the Moon off-balance and turned the “man face” toward the Earth for good.”

Utter nonsense. The Moon is tidally locked to Earth; that’s why one side more or less always points towards Earth. There IS some remaining oscillation, but eventually that will go too.

“Why didn’t the splatted-off fragments simply orbit the Earth in a ring?”

Yawn. Gravity.

“what’s with the “mass concentrations” beneath the great “maria” on the near side of the Moon?”

Who cares? Why do you think they’re a problem for anything?

Fergus Mason

“Yes, the moon is tidally locked. But why? What locked it?”


Fergus Mason

“I maintain that the moon went into tidal lock because the masscons dragged it there”

And I maintain that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Tidal locking occurs because of tidal bulges. That’s why Earth is also slowly becoming tidally locked to the Moon.

Tony Sidaway

‘Fossilization precludes putrefaction.’ -Terry Hurlbutt, December 2, 2011.

“Rotting fish yield fossil clues” –BBC News, January 31, 2010

‘By watching fish as they rot, scientists have discovered “patterns” that could help interpret some of the oldest and most important fossils.

‘The “very smelly” study revealed how primitive marine creatures changed as they decayed.

‘The researchers identified particular patterns of deterioration that should help scientists more accurately identify very early marine fossils.

‘They published their findings in the journal Nature.
Dr Rob Sansom from the University of Leicester, UK, who led the study, said that examining fossils was very similar to forensic analysis – putting together a scientific reconstruction of something that happened in the past.
“Unlike forensics, however, we are dealing with life from millions of years ago,” he said.

‘”What we want to get at is what an animal was like before it died and, as with forensic analysis, knowing how the decomposition that took place after death altered the body provides important clues to its original anatomy.”
This applies particularly to animals preserved as soft tissue remains, which is all that is left of some of the earliest creatures in the fossil record – marine creatures that lived up to 500 million years ago.

‘These earliest known chordates had no skeleton, but, in some exceptional conditions, their soft bodies were fossilised and preserved.

‘What the researchers wanted to find out was exactly how these animals’ forms might have changed after they died and before they were fossilised.’

link to

Fergus Mason

“how do you get a fossil of two fish, one plainly in the act of eating the other?”

Not even hard. One fish could have been buried by a mudslide in the act of eating another. It could have choked to death on its meal and sunk to the bottom.

Fergus Mason

“the eventual Atlantic Ocean floor heaped up as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.”

You’re aware that the mid-Atlantic ridge is actually an active fault that’s spreading at a measurable rate, right?

Fergus Mason

“That’s the break-out point.”

Yes – for magma.

Emerson White

This entire discussion is pure gold.

Tony Sidaway

“Hey, I never said that the ocean floor hasn’t moved, or the Japan plate, either. I just said that one plate cannot dive underneath another.” -Terry Hurlbutt, December 3, 2011.

So you accept that tectonic plates exist, you accept that they move, but you don’t accept that when one meets another there is a tendency for them to meet in a kind of join–known as subduction–where one of the plates gets driven lower and the other gets driven higher.

Here’s a video I’d like you to look at. It’s nothing special, just a middle school level introduction to plate tectonics.

link to

Note that one of the plates discussed–the Juan de Fuca plate, is actually right now subducting underneath the North American Plate.

You may not want to believe it, but that’s what seismology tells us. We also have a record of the last megathrust (subduction-related) earthquake in the region, and of its effects in Japan where a tsunami was recorded, in the year 1700.

Fergus Mason

“Walt Brown gives fifteen different reasons why subduction simply cannot occur.”

And Jenny McCarthy gives 15 reasons why vaccinations are a bad idea. Tailgunner Jenny isn’t a doctor. Walt Brown isn’t a geologist. Who cares what they think?

Fergus Mason

“And also after having gotten the ‘flu anyway, some years, even after getting that bloody ‘flu shot.”

Why do you think a flu shot doesn’t give lasting protection? What happens to the virus that allows it to sometimes beat the vaccination?

Here’s a hint: it starts with E and rhymes with “revolution.”

Donald R Laster Jr

Terry, Mr Mason responses remind me of the descriptions of Galileo’s and other scientist’s trial’s by the Catholic Church back in the Middle-Ages. He can not accept the possibility that the Hydro Plate theory is plausible and can explain things that the accepted, but unproven, theories can’t. That would destroy his world view. So like the ideologues of the Catholic Church of the Middle-Ages he refuses to consider the views and positions he believes in might be incorrect. Thus he refuses to consider what the Hydro Plate Theory states or how it explains things scientist can not explain without making assumption after assumption.

For instance he can not even see that the theory of evolution flies in the face of common sense and the Law of Thermodynamics. Nor does he consider that over the last 60 years the so-called tree of life has been sliced and diced so that it is no longer a tree but a set of unconnected sections. Cells are complex machines – much more complex than anything man has ever created. And that complexity implies a designer. So he deflects and resorts to insults and name calling. A true scientist always is willing to reconsider he might be incorrect and that his theory or theories may need to be altered when new information becomes available.

Mr Mason is an ideologue and Dr Brown’s Hydro Plate theory challenges the status quo.

Fergus Mason

“He can not accept the possibility that the Hydro Plate theory is plausible”

That’s because it isn’t.

Fergus Mason

“Instead, the protection didn’t last more than three weeks”

Evolution’s fast, isn’t it?


Please post a certificate from an independent doctor that you were aflicted with the same flu strain that you were vaccinated for.


“I got the ‘flu when I wasn’t supposed to”.

“They got the wrong strain”

Those two quotes point out the fallacy in your premise, Terry. There are many strains of the flu, and unfortunately you got one that wasn’t covered by the specific vaccine formulation.

That doesn’t make flu vaccinations pointless or dangerous – they provide a degree of protection rather than a fail-safe certainty, and for many people, especially the elderly, that protection is far better than rolling the dice each year and hoping not to get gravely sick.

No one’s being forced to get flu shots, and if you prefer other approaches to staying healthy, that’s great. It’s the general anti-vaccination rhetoric that’s troubling – as someone with a medical background I’d have hoped you’d see the issue as one whether the statistical benefits of certain vaccinations are worth the extremely rare complication.


Research circa 2007 shows that the reason flu season is in the winter has nothing to do with us being bundled up and therefore being low on vitamin D – it’s because the virus itself is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season.

Here are some references:

link to
link to
link to
link to

Nothing bad about keeping your vitamin levels up, though.

Donald R Laster Jr

Adaptation not evolution. The two are not the same.

We see adaptation all the time in the biological world. The species does not change. Classic survival of the fittest.

Fergus Mason

“Adaptation not evolution. The two are not the same.”

Yes they are. No creationist has EVER proposed a credible mechanism that would restrict change to within modern species boundaries, and somehow I doubt you’re going to be the first.

Fergus Mason

“show me a viable cross between a cat and a dog—or between a leopard and a wolf. I’m certain you won’t be able to.”

I’m certain, too. So what? Do you think this proves anything?

Fergus Mason

What “kind” do hyenas belong to?

Fergus Mason

“They’re in a kind by themselves.”

Are they? really? Why aren’t they part of “cat kind” like all the other Feliformia?

Fergus Mason

So do cheetahs. Are they in “cat kind”?

Fergus Mason

“And they blend in quite nicely with the other Big Cats”

How exactly is a cheetah more similar to a leopard than it is to a hyena? Come to think of it, how is a lion – a social animal that hunts in groups on open ground – less similar to a hyena than it is to a tiger (a solitary jungle ambush predator)? You’re now making up arbitrary “kind” boundaries to try to explain away inconvenient facts, such as that hyenas are feliforms and no more closely related to dogs than a jaguar is.

Fergus Mason

“There are no magnetic reversals on the ocean floor, and no compass would reverse direction if brought near an alleged reversed band.” – Walt Brown

I’m going to enjoy debating this guy. He doesn’t understand ANYTHING.

Donald R Laster Jr

My basic reply to you would be show me some evidence of one species becoming another. Every attempt to show it happens has failed. And to say adaptation is the same as evolution is ridiculous. The premise of evolution is one species becomes another species. Adaptation is one species adapting to its environment, not becoming a new species. Just like the moths in old smoky London. Black moths became prevalent in London due to natural selection. They were able to hide better from predators. The were always able to have black as a color. But the species stayed the same.

In the southwestern US the native Americans have problems with diabetes. The reason is natural selection due to their prior food supply. Now with the foods richer in sugars, the native Americans due to the adaptation their bodies did over the years, make this group of people prone to diabetes. They are not a different species.

DNA is adaptable. Otherwise we would not see the variations we see in just a single species. Just look at the variations we see in humans. All a single species.

DNA in related species are adaptable. Consider the result of mating with a donkey and a horse – the result is a sterile animal – a mule. The DNA is only partially compatible even though the animals have a common form. Or look at dogs – breeding of dogs produces not a new species but different breeds. The smallest dog can still be mated with the biggest dog and produce viable offspring. Adaptation not evolution. The definition of adaptation is

Biology .
a. any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment.
b.a form or structure modified to fit a changed environment.
c.the ability of a species to survive in a particular ecological niche, especially because of alterations of form or behavior brought about through natural selection.

The restrictions are built into the DNA itself – it does not lend itself to the type of change evolution requires. The DNA of a cat is not compatible with the DNA of a dog. The vary nature of DNA, which is a complex machine beyond our construction, restricts itself. Otherwise we would see examples all over the place and we don’t.

Fergus Mason

“show me some evidence of one species becoming another.”

There are dozens of examples. Just Google “observed instances of speciation.”

“The DNA of a cat is not compatible with the DNA of a dog.”

Of course it isn’t. Why would you expect it to be?

Fergus Mason

“DNA, which is a complex machine beyond our construction”

Actually DNA has a findamentally simple structure and people have been making it for years. Google “Craig Venter” for one example.

Tony Sidaway

I suppose I should be happy that you’re not so far down the rabbit hole that you reject all common descent out of hand. You recognise that some “kinds” as you call them go back millions of years and form quite a descent shrub of modern animals with common ancestors. You balk at the clear evidence that humans are apes and you might have problems agreeing with the basics of cetacean lineage from land animals, but you’re not completely ignoring the facts.

I can see, though, why you really are determined to ignore practically all of modern geology. If you accepted the geologic column and the succession of fossils it shows, you’d be forced to do some reasoning about the world that might just convince you of common descent.

Fergus Mason

“Noah took specimens of every land-dwelling creature aboard”

Let’s have some clarity here. Are you claiming that Noah took specimens of each “kind” on his barge, or each SPECIES? For example did he take a pair of “cat kind” or did he take a pair of tigers, a pair of leopards, a pair of pumas, a pair of lions, a pair of lynx, a pair of margays, a pair of fishing cats, a pair of European wildcats, a pair of sand cats, a pair of ocelots…