A Walk on the Beach Preserved in Stone–How Fossilized Turtle Tracks Refute Young-Earth Fossil Dogma 

Baby sea turtles emerge from their sandy nest and quickly make their way down the beach and into the sea. As they do so they leave tiny footprints in the sand, but the tracks are short-lived.  Blown away or destroyed by the next large wave, they are lost forever. Imagine the footprints you leave during walks on a beach. Of the thousands of tracks you have left, how many do you think remain a year, a month or even 24-hours later?

Now imagine finding the footprints of sea turtles preserved in stone. That is just what some hunters of ichnites (fossil footprints) have discovered in rocks above the coastline of South Africa. The same group of ichnologists who made this discovery have also identified thousands of footprints from other animals such as lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, horses, buffalo, various birds and numerous other smaller vertebrates. They have even found human footprints preserved in the roof of a sandstone cave. Yes, you read that right, preserved in the roof of a cave (I’ve written about these before: Fossils Footprints found on the Roof of a South African Cave).

While millions of fossil footprints have been described from the fossil record (A Fossil Paradox:  Footprints are Rarely Preserved in Stone and yet are very Common), this is the first report of preserved sea turtle tracks formed on land.

Author Martin Lockley working on the surface that contained seven sub-parallel hatchling loggerheard turtle trackways.  Notice the vertical lines on the right side of the sandstone block. These represent the original layers of beach sand that were laid down horizontally.  Photo from an article in TheConversation (see references).  Photo by author Charles Helm

What is the origin of these tracks?

There are three observations regarding these tracks that must be accounted for in any origins model:

  1. The tracks are found on sandstone blocks formed from an ancient beach which lay adjacent to a large terrestrial dune-field that spread inland for many miles.
  2. Those sandstone blocks of that ancient beach are as much as 100 feet above today’s sea level.
  3. Sea turtle tracks from at least two different species have been found at four locations along the coast, one of which is nearly 100 km away from the other three.

In the image above a large block of sandstone has fallen from the cliffs above the South African coast.  Here one of the sea turtle track discoverers is looking at them as they run vertically up this rock. Looking at the side of the large block, it is evident that the block was originally oriented 90-degrees clockwise such that the layers of sand were deposited horizontally.

Conventional geological explanations for the material upon which these trackways were originally made includes multiple lines of evidence that 100,000 years ago sea levels were much higher than today. Sea turtles must have bred here (today, similar species breed over 500 miles further north). Their young hatched from underground nests–there is even some possible fossil evidence of this at one of the trackway sites–and headed out to sea.  A thin layer of fine sand laid down on the tracks suggests that wind blowing dry sand in from the nearby dune field may have covered the tracks and possibly laid down additional sandy layers preserving the tracks. Eventually tens of feet of sediment were deposited on top of the trackways and the sediments gradually cemented together to form the weak sandstone rock we have today.

Over the millennia, sea levels were lowered by hundreds of feet and after the last Ice Age rose again  to their current location d. Erosion from the sea has caused blocks of rack to break from the cliffs above, which  resulted in the present position of the sandstone blocks. These blocks now reveal trackways, as the blocks have fractured along lines of thin sand deposits such as the ones laid on top of the tracks.

Three of the seven loggerhead trackways found at one site. Jan De Vynck. From TheConversation article – see link in references.

You would be right to assume that the chance that any single trackway becoming preserved in rock is infinitesimally small, just like having any one of your own footsteps preserved (for more see: A Fossil Paradox:  Footprints are Rarely Preserved in Stone and yet are very Common). Nonetheless, finding out that such trackways have been preserved is not surprising. In fact. one could say that we expect to find preserved footprints of most types of animals that have ever walked on the surface of the earth.

Why? Because even though the chance of any individual footprint being preserved is incredibly small there are fantastically large numbers of opportunities resulting in high probabilities of some footprints being preserved. In this case let’s assume that a beach 100 miles long existed next to a dune field in South Africa for just 5000 years. Let’s suppose 10,000 female sea turtles used this stretch of beach for breeding during this time and each female laid a clutch of 100 eggs each year (species similar to those proposed to have made these tracks lay about this many). That would be one million eggs each year. Over 5000 years that would be five billion eggs. Many of these would be predated on.  If we were to assume that only one-half end up hatching, that is still 2.5 billion sea turtle trackways produced over a 5000 year period. If these ten total trackways at four sites were all that had every been preserved that would mean only 0.000000004 of the tracks ever made were preserved. There are almost certainly many others hiding between layers of sandstone on those cliffs and many others that used to exist in rock but have eroded into the sea. Even so, the chances of any individual sea turtle track fossilizing is surely only one in hundreds of millions, which is not surprising.

A young earth model of sea-turtle tracks?

The young-earth advocate will cry foul of my description above. They will say, the earth is only 6000 years old and so your estimate of total tracks made by sea turtles and the rate of fossilization must be wrong.  So how then can the young-earth creation apologist explain the existence of these fossil turtle tracks? 

Their first inclination will be to say that trace fossils like footprints can’t be preserved by any processes that we see today (see footnote 1 for a fuller treatment) and that we must seek our answer in a global flood 4350 years ago to provide the mechanism for footprints to be preserved.  They will point to dinosaur tracks that could only have been preserved by dinosaurs running on temporary sand bars away from the rising waters. 

For example, the idea that footprints aren’t expected by conventional geology to be found in the fossil record is even promoted by the top YECs geologist, Dr. Snelling, at Answers in Genesis. Here he addresses dinosaur footprints:

Biblical geologists, on the other hand, say it is the conventional geologists who, in fact, face a dilemma. If geologic change takes place slowly, surely footprints made in mud would be obliterated by wind and rain long before the prints were covered by new sediments and hardened into rock.

But these sea turtle tracks directly contradict Dr. Snelling hypothesis.  His explanation runs afoul of the geological context of this site and even the YEC accounting of the post-flood world. For example:

  1. These rocks are very young. They are not likely to be more than 100,000 years old. Obviously that is far older than would be allowed by YECs.  But even in YEC model of earth’s history rocks such as these were not formed during a global flood but rather in the time after the Flood until present (see Footnote 2).  As a result these fossils cannot have been formed during the flood, but rather through post-flood events.
  2.  For YECs the most important post-flood event was a singular Ice Age. They propose this happened just a few hundred years after the flood and lasted no more than a few hundred years.  During this time they also agree that world-wide sea levels were much lower than they are today.

Given these two young-earth constrictions on earth’s history, when did these tracks fossilize? Since the rocks containing these fossils are found far above current sea levels and YECs believe that sea levels have been either lower or the same since the onset of the Ice Age, that leaves them only 100 to 200 years after the flood for this dune-fields and beaches to have formed and the sea turtles to have nested. It also requires that these 4300 year-old dunes and  beaches became rock within a few hundred years and ultimately formed cliffs in the post-Ice Age period.

This raises an interesting problem for the young earth creationist. How could these fossils have formed in such a small window of time? They claim that conventional geology has a problem explaining the fossil record because of how unlikely it is for footprints to be preserved. How much more unlikely then is it for the creationist who must find a way for fossil footprints to be preserved in non-flood rocks and given only a few hundred years?

Let’s do the calculation again but this time with the YEC parameters. The beach sands preserved in these rocks must have formed when sea levels were much higher. The only time that could happen within the 4350 year chronology would have been within a hundred years  after the Flood. This limit is in place because the beach would only have existed at this location before the Ice Age kicked off which drastically lowered the sea to well below current levels. Let’s grant there was 100 miles of beach available and 10,000 female sea turtles (though this seems wildly optimistic given that most would probably have died during a chaotic global flood.)  If each laid 100 eggs each year then that would be one million eggs per year but, remember, this only would have occurred over a 100 year period. So we have a total of 100 million eggs of which 50% hatched. Therefore, in the YEC chronology of earth history there could be 50 million opportunities for tracks to be preserved. My calculations are optimistic (more time and more sea turtles than could be expected in the YEC model) but result in each track having a predicted preservation rate of 0.0000002. That sounds extremely unlikely but is still 50 times (0.000000004 compared to 0.0000002) the preservation rate that we calculated if the beach had existed for 5000 years.  

In conclusion, creationists have to propose that in their model of earth history footprints like this are minimally 50 times more likely (and probably 100s of times more likely) to be preserved as in the old earth model. This is not what you hear YECs preaching to their devotees. They say that footprints are too hard to form via today’s geological processes but surely could be explained by the animals running from the flood. But these would be “post flood” rocks. So, how can it be that the footprints are too challenging to form, and yet they are found in what would be the most amazing set of circumstances: within 100 years after the flood, before the onset of a singular Ice Age, on a brand new beach, with huge new dunes, covered quickly (but not by global flood sediments!), turned to rock within years to decades, just as the ocean levels dropped by 100 feet.

Just another in a long line of puzzling fossils for young-earth creationists

Sea turtle tracks are but one example of similar challenges that fossil footprints present to the flood geology hypotheses of young earth creationists (YECs). I have written about many of these in past posts such as:

References:

First fossil trails of baby sea turtles found in South Africa  A summary article from The Conversation.

Lockley, Martin & Cawthra, Hayley & C. De Vynck, Jan & W. Helm, Charles & Mccrea, Richard & Nel, Ronel. (2019). New fossil sea turtle trackway morphotypes from the Pleistocene of South Africa highlight role of ichnology in turtle paleobiology. Quaternary Research. 1-15. 10.1017/qua.2019.40.

Footnotes:

Footnote 1: YECs and Fossil Footprints. Countless numbers of footprints made by hundreds of kinds of organisms are preserved in hundreds of individual layers of the geological column. Millions of these tracks have been identified from just the tiny fraction of rocks that are exposed at the surface of the Earth. But how were so many footprints preserved?

In innumerable Facebook comments and personal conversations I have had with young-earth adherents, I have been assured that footprints can’t be preserved as fossils—at least not by any process that occurs today. At an Answers in Genesis conference I attended, a speaker mocked the idea that footprints of dinosaurs could be preserved by conventional geological methods, pointing out that it would be silly to think that footprints on a beach or even muddy lake edge would last long enough to harden into rock and be preserved. Unfortunately, these speakers are usually not experts and are overgeneralizing to try to influence their geology-naïve audience. They create a “footprint problem” that doesn’t exist so that they can provide a “better” solution. This idea that footprints aren’t expected to be found in the fossil record is even promoted by the top YECs geologist, Dr. Snelling, at Answers in Genesis. Here he addresses dinosaur footprints:

Biblical geologists, on the other hand, say it is the conventional geologists who, in fact, face a dilemma. If geologic change takes place slowly, surely footprints made in mud would be obliterated by wind and rain long before the prints were covered by new sediments and hardened into rock.

Dr. Snelling is perfectly willing to allow his audience to believe that conventional geology has no explanation for fossilized footprints even though he knows that many footprints can be and are preserved under conditions that we observe today. He makes what sounds like an obvious point—who would deny that as you walk around you would have no expectation that your footprints will become “fossilized?” Dr. Snelling and other YEC speakers take this understanding about their audience, show long sets of dinosaur tracks and then ask, “How then could these have been preserved?” The answer, they say, is found in the Noahic global flood in which cataclysmic waves of sediments immediately covered the tracks of these animals preserving them in the rock record, even though they offer no specifics as to how this may occur.  By doubling-down on the difficulty of forming fossilized footprints, they unwittingly create a scenario in which footprints, like these, that are found in “post-Flood” rocks, become even more unlikely, and yet they exist!

YECs believe that special circumstances are required to explain footprints but since they believe that all, or nearly all, of them were produced in the span of one year during a flood, the huge number of prints contained in the rocks would require that a large percentage of all of the footprints made by animals running around trying to escape the flood had to be preserved. This is an extraordinarily optimistic scenario, which is not supported by the relatively slow pacing evident in most fossil trackways in things like impression depth, amount of contact between the ground and the foot, the seemingly random direction of the trackways and the amount and direction of material displaced with each step.

In the ancient earth scenario, only a few footprints of the millions made by a single individual of a population of millions of individuals need be preserved every thousand years or more to account for the observed footprints in rock. Even if only 0.000000001% of all footprints left by dinosaurs, mammals and humans were preserved, the geological record would contain billions of footprints. And it does!

Footnote 2: Human footprints are found in the same rock formation as these sea-turtles. Another reason why YECs would be hard-pressed to claim these sea turtle tracks are the product of global flood processes is that human footprints are found in the same rock formation as these sea turtles.  I know of no YECs claims that human footprints were formed during the Flood and thus they would propose these rock formations must have formed well after the Flood when humans had migrated from the Tower of Babel to the South African coast. 


Editing provided by MC

A bootprint preserved in hardened sand below sea level in Death Valley National Park.  My shoe for scale. Photo: Joel Duff

Comments

  1. ” If geologic change takes place slowly, surely footprints made in mud would be obliterated by wind and rain long before the prints were covered by new sediments and hardened into rock.”

    This argument would of course apply not only to footprints but to ripple marks and rain splashes such as those observed in billion-year-old sediments below the Great Unconformity in the Grand Canyon. And all of this only scratches the surface (sorry about the pun) of the innate fallacies of Flood geology, including the whole of sedimentology, and the succession of rock types.

    So I am led to ask, how can we undermine such wilful ignorance? Can we simply tempt people, if I can so put it, to simply use their eyes at any cliff face or road cutting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a tough assignment. I’ve been to many talks where the speaker shows footprints in the sand and then mocks geologists for believing that these could become fossilized by “uniformitarian” slow processes. It plays great the audience, of course footsteps on a beach won’t become fossils. But of course the problem is the false dichotomy being created. Either very slow processes of gradual accumulation of sediment over the footprints is the way the world works or there was a global catastrophe which someone could snap preserve footprints. This is why I’ve focused on presenting cases of trace fossils that should be clearly non-flood in origin to create that tweak in the mind of someone who has been told that trace fossils require a global flood. They often require unusual and rare events but those events have not occurred during a global flood.

      Liked by 2 people

    • “If geologic change takes place slowly, surely footprints made in mud would be obliterated by wind and rain long before the prints were covered by new sediments and hardened into rock.”

      Why is this not just as much a YEC problem? It seems equally obvious that tracks in soft sediment would last hardly any time at all in raging flood waters (especially with continents being ripped apart incredibly rapidly, etc, as Robert has claimed).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Mel, how tracks are not erased before burial is an even bigger problem for YECs, since again, they have no time for them to dry and firm a little before being hit with the next wave of Flood waters, even if they could explain how millions of animals at thousands of sites even managed to survive and find lots of dry land on which to make so many tracks (let alone nests), which if course they can’t.
        Again, a few like Robt Gentet acknowledge these huge problems, but his proposal (that the Paleozoic and Cenozoic are pre-Flood, and most of the Cenozoic is Flood-deposited), creates far more problems than it solves, besides being the opposite of what most YECs hold.

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  2. sallyhawksworth says:

    Powerful arguments. I hope YECs not entirely impervious toreason see them and start thinking.

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    • I agree Sally, but would not hold my breath. We almost never see YECs attempting to rebut any comments by Joel or others here, other than Robert and occasionally, a couple other far-fringe YECs. I don’t think that’s because they never read these posts. It’s more likely because they have no substantial counter evidence, and know they’ll get nowhere and only look foolish if they try to trot out the same shallow and vacuous arguments they foist on their lay followers.

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  3. Robert Byers says:

    I hope these posts get on as another thread was sad to see them not getting on.
    Yes everybody must explain how footprints in the sand get hard and fast stuck. it must be sudden.
    so this creationist sees no problem. i do see a post flood great earth event(S) taking place a few centuries after the flood within a few days etc yes by the coasts. likewise in north america everywhere.
    I think it was the coninents moving up/down. anyways it had to be fast and so fine within creationism.

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    • Robert, to suggest that “Continents :moving up and down fast” explains all the evidence described in these posts and referenced articles is absurd, and flies directly in the face of that evidence. No, tracks do not have to be buried “fast” to become fossilized. In fact, they benefit from being made in a calm environment, either on exposed substrates or under at most shallow water, followed by a short period of drying before subsequent gentle burial. Nesting sites clearly need exposed habits, and even more time – and thus make no sense in violent Flood scenarios. On top of that, you and other YECs need to explain how millions of dinosaurs and other animals survived weeks or months during a violent Flood before making tracks and nests, and why the orders we find them in always consistent with body fossil orders and evolutionary expectations, not hydrologic sorting or eco zonation as many YECs suggest. Otherwise, why do we never never seen dinosaur remains or tracks with any large modern mammals, even from similar habitats, or with similar sizes and densities? Why no evidence of any human, horse, hippo, hyena, hartebeast, or howler monkey, with any dinos (and that’s just part of the h’s)?

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    • Robert, to more directly answer your question, if tracks in sand (or mud, silt, etc) are to get hard ,and eventually become exposed as fossil tracks, the best way is for them to be made in a calm environment, dry out for a while, and then become gently buried, preferably by a contrasting sediment. The least likely way is during a violent Flood. Even if the animals could survive to leave tracks under such conditions, the soggy and unstable prints would be washed away with the next wave of Flood waters. Likewise for nests, whether of turtles, dinosaurs, or any other animals. In short, you have it upside down and backwards.

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      • Robert Byers says:

        Is this witnessed today? where are tracks being gently dried and covered? I doubt it. Is fossilization of the covering sediment happening?
        Instead I suggest the tracks are made in a moment, then covered instantly and heavily by sediment. that instantly squeezes out moisture. So the image is kept.
        In all this is the fantastic pressure that is the engine of fossilization. its not just the tracks but the whole layers that is turned to stone instantly.
        I don’t see creatures surviving more then a few days, at most, after the flood started. The waters came from below and not just above.
        Nests were instantly fossilized in hours or a few days.
        the continents moving up/down would be a post flood event. very important to me. to explain all fossilization post flood and the origin of the ice age and the ocean levels cutting off the formerly connected land.

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        • Robert asked, “Is this witnessed today? where are tracks being gently dried and covered? I doubt it. Is fossilization of the covering sediment happening?

          Yes, every day millions of tracks of many kinds of animals are left on countless river, lake, and other shorelines, all over the world, and in many cases they will dry and harden somewhat (sometimes for hours, other times for days) before being gently buried. I myself have seen and photographed many such tracks. Granted, I don’t have many thousands to millions of years to sit around watching them become fossilized (lithofied might be the better term), but there is no reason why some would not be.
          In contrast, you and other YECs have never witnessed a violent global Flood, let alone billions of dinosaur of tracks and nests being formed during it, nor do you even have any sensible explanations for how they could be. Again, even if all these of dinosaurs could tread water for months (which is absurd), and even if they managed to find thousands exposed substrates all over the world while (according to most YECs) the Flood was at or near it’s peak (which is also absurd), how would all these soggy tracks and nests not would be washed away as more Flood waves crashed down on them? Where have you or other YEC ever witnessed or documented tracks or nests being made even during less violent regional or local Floods? I’ve answered your specific questions, now try to answer mine.

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        • Robert wrote: “I don’t see creatures surviving more then a few days, at most, after the flood started.”

          You’ve finally got one thing right, but it only further demonstrates why billions of Mesozoic tracks could not have been made in a YEC scenario. Virtually all YECs hold that the Mesozoic represents mid to late Flood sediments, meaning months after the Flood started. Or are you siding with Gentet and his proposal that they are pre-Flood sediments, which creates even bigger problems. .

          Robert continues, “The waters came from below and not just above. Nests were instantly fossilized in hours or a few days.”
          How would water gushing from both below and above not destroy fragile nests, even if you think all these nests and tracks were made before the Flood? Where do you come up with the idea that fossilization occurs in hours to days? I’ve never even heard YECs claim that. You do know that there is a difference between burial and fossilization, don’t you? Moreover, if agree with Gentet’s view that the Cenozoic era represents Flood sediments, why are there no Cenozoic dinosaur fossils, tracks, or nests (excluding birds?). Likewise, why no Cenozoic trilobites, eurypterids, ammonites, belemnites, placoderms, mososaurs, mesosaurs, plesiosaurs, pliosaurs, ichtyosaurs, etc–all of which would have been living in pre-Flood waters. Think before you answer.

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  4. Coincidentally, I had just read the paper about the fossil turtle tracks, and was about to suggest that Joel consider doing a piece on the find, when I found that he had just posted one. As someone who has studied fossil tracks for almost 40 years, I agree with all Joel wrote, and want to mention some further supporting points. First, besides these turtle tracks, there are billions of known fossil tracks of reptiles, birds, mammals and other animals from thousands of Cenozoic exposures. These are all widely considered post-Flood by creationists, and thus starkly contradict their frequent claim that only the global Flood of Noah explains fossil tracks. Second, as hard as many of these including the turtle tracks are to explain in a YEC framework, even more problematic is the evidence the nearby turtle nests, and even more so, the hundreds of large dinosaur nesting sites throughout much of the Mesozoic. I know I’ve made this point before, but it’s ludicrous to imagine that millions of dinosaurs not only were able to tread water for weeks and leave billions of tracks (mostly normal walking ones at that) at thousands of sites, let alone explain how many were able to congregate, mate, build nests, lay eggs, and hatch eggs during the mists of a violent global Flood.
    Likewise YECs can’t begin to explain why we see no credible evidence of any humans or other large modern mammals in the same strata. YECs routinely ignore or deny this evidence, or float incredibly fanciful explanations. Walter Banart goes so far as to suggest that dinosaur nests were built underwater. A few YECs such as Bob Gentet of Christiananswers.net have frankly admitted these problems, saying that “a satisfactory answer has not been found in traditional Price-Flood geology on how such multiple layers of tracks and nests could have been formed during the Genesis Flood Event or post-Flood event.” Astoundingly, however, he advocates what the “Creation/Curse/Catastrophe model” which proposes that all these strata (up to the Mesozoic) are pre-Flood, and most of the Cenozoic Flood deposited- the exact opposite of what most YECs assert!
    See: https://christiananswers.net/q-crs/crs-noahsfloodnewideas.html
    Of course, this fringe “model” creates far more problems (and even more severe ones) than those it purports to solve, which i trust I do not have to elaborate on here. On top of this, we have Brian Thomas of ICR still promoting a pre-1960’s depiction of dinosaurs as primarily swamp-dwelling creatures, and suggesting that they all died out after the Flood because “wetlands around the world were drained or dried up” soon afterward. Of course this makes no sense on several levels. Not only does lots of evidence show that most dinosaurs lived on dry land, we obviously still have lots of wetlands and swamps, plus birds are now considered. See: https://www.icr.org/article/what-happened-to-dinosaurs-after-the-flood/
    If all this doesn’t show utterly impotent YECs are to deal with the massive geologic and fossil evidence against their view, and how desperate they are to grasp at any possible solution, no matter how absurd or contrary to both the evidence and each other, I don’t know what does.
    For a longer summary on the many ways that fossil tracks, nests, and other trace fossils thoroughly refute YECism and leave no place for the Genesis Flood anywhere in the fossil record, see: http://paleo.cc/ce/tracefos.htm

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    • Robert Byers says:

      No problem. Everybody must explain tracks being fossilized. A flood moving sediment does a better job then your slow concepts. if you wre right why not this happening today with hundreds of tracks sudden;y fossilized? Why not in Africa with those great herds?
      Yes YEC needs another great event post flood to explain the cenzoic critters. i propose this did happen a few centuries after the flood and this started the ice age.
      It all works if you follow the footsteps (in the sand of analysis).

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      • Robert, you do have a problem, or rather many problems. Joel and I already explained many reasons why YEC explanations don’t work for fossil tracks, and even more so for nesting sites. As far as modern tracks being fossilized… First,we don’t know how many modern(or recent) tracks may well get fossilized in the future. Second, during the Mesozoic more so than today there were some very large shallow seas that would tend to leave many miles of exposed when tides would go out. But many fossil tracks appear to have been made on river and lake shore lines, and many modern tracks made in similar environments may well fossilized (over time), especially when they have a few days or so to dry out and firm up before being buried.
        At any rate, clearly YECs have a far harder time than mainstream scientists in explaining fossil tracks, and even more so, fossil nests. To recap, you first have to explain how mlliions of Mesozoic animals even survived during months of raging Flood waters. Remember that the Mesozoic is considered mid-to late Flood by most YECs. Were they treading water for weeks or months? Second, even if they accomplished this amazing feat, you’d have to explain they also found thousands of exposed substrates at many places throughout the world, and why they were strolling around casually and making billions of tracks on them (often at multiple levels in the same area) plus in many places also mate and build large nesting sites, all during the midst of the same Flood. Third, you’d further have to explain how all these tracks and nests. made on on soggy Flood sediments, and without any time to dry out and firm up, did not wash away with subsequent waves of Flood waters? Finally, how would millions of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals managed to leave so many tracks and nests, but not a single large, modern mammal? Even if you claim all the latter selectively drowned (why would that be?) then why don’t we find any fossil bones of any large modern mammals anywhere in the entire Mesozoic, (or Paleozoic)? Can you answer any of these specific questions?
        Again, YEC appeals to “hydro sorting” or ecological zonation only makes the problems worse, especially for aquatic animals. For example, we don’t we find any whales, porpoises, etc, with any Mesozoic mesosaurs, ichtyosaurs, and plesiosaurs, even though they had similar habitats, swam throughout the oceans, and in many cases, similar sizes and densities. By the way, according to your “body plan” criterion, wouldn’t ichthyosaurs and porpoises be members of the same “kind”?

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        • Robert Byers says:

          Some I already answered.
          there was no time lag. In the first hours or days all tracks,below the k-t line, were made.
          What encased the tracks encased all the sediment instantly and turned all to stone instantly. I think this instantly drew all moisture out.So keeping the intertgrity of the prints.
          I don’t agree there are mammals. Just kinds. so the kinds our present “mammals” come from can be represented by sone dino types or just smaller creatures in trees etc There are no dinosaurs as we talked about before. Its a myth. “Marine mammals’ are case in point of only being post flood adaptations from land creatures.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Robert, just when I thought your comments could not get any more absurd, you’ve managed to outdo yourself . You wrote: “there was no time lag. In the first hours or days all tracks,below the k-t line, were made. ”

            So you think all Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata were laid down in hours to days? Even most YECs (based on a literal reading of Genesis) hold that the Flood lasted about a year, and that the Mesozoic represents mid to late Flood sediments, deposited months after it started. And please tell us how millions of dinosaurs manage to not only leave billions of tracks, but also mate and build nests withing “hours”, or how the violent onrushing Flood waters would have not obliterated them?

            You then write: What encased the tracks encased all the sediment instantly and turned all to stone instantly. I think this instantly drew all moisture out. So keeping the intertgrity of the prints.

            How would soggy Flood sediments draw moisture out of anything, let alone in hours? And again, fossilization doesn’t occur in “hours”, no matter how dry or moist something is. Nor can violent waters preserve the “integrity” of prints, but the opposite. Also, lithificiation of mud over time to preserve tracks is very different from the fossilization process (involving mineral replacement replacement of organic tissues) by which eggs and other fossils are preserved.

            You continue: “I don’t agree there are mammals. Just kinds. so the kinds our present “mammals” come from can be represented by some dino types or just smaller creatures in trees etc There are no dinosaurs as we talked about before. Its a myth. “Marine mammals’ are case in point of only being post flood adaptations from land creatures.”

            So mammoths, hippos, and titanotheres were just modified dinosaurs, or lived in trees? And how did whales manage to arise from land animals in a few hundred years? Most YECs ridicule the idea that it could happen even in millions of years. Even those YECs pushing hyperevolution ideas these days still view whales as created creatures. I’ll give you one thing, your posts are often entertaining, even if they don’t make a lick of sense. .

            Liked by 1 person

            • Robert Byers says:

              i said the tracks were laid in a few hours/days. nothing to do with all the deposition that ent on all year.
              I don’t understand about dinos nesting/breeding point. All the biology was covered instantly within days. No time lag.
              The process for turning the biology/sediment to stone , creatiomnists, would see as happening quickly. i see it as faster then quick. i see fantastic pressure throwing sediment upon sediment including upon water/moisture and everything squeezed into stone instantly. Thus the footprints were encased along with everything. Everything, I say, was turned to stone instantly. So squeezing out moisture/water instantly. Its a hypothesis.
              The creatures point is too off thread. i don’t agree there are dinosaurs but only kinds. So I can see errors being made about these kinds. so just as theropod dinos are just birds likewise some dinos were just creatures from who we get some mammals.
              however thats another subject.

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              • Robert, wrote “I said the tracks were laid in a few hours/days. nothing to do with all the deposition that went on all year.”

                You’re totally missing the point. You and most other YECs claim that Mesozoic deposits are Flood deposits. Yet on these are BILLIONS of tracks on thousands of horizons within it, at thousands of sites around the world, often with multiple track layers at individual sites. So all of them were laid down in a few hours/days? So you still have lots of explaining to do. Don’t forget, you also have to explain how they all found dry land (or even very shallow) during the midst of a violent global Flood, and why we find no modern remains or tracks in the same beds.
                If you claim they were all the tracks were laid down before or after the flood it would not only be just as absurd, but contradict things you’ve said before, and what most YECs hold (that the Mesozoic represents Flood deposits).

                Robert writes: “I don’t understand about dinos nesting/breeding point.”

                Obviously.

                R: “All the biology was covered instantly within days. No time lag.”

                The issue is not just burial time, but the time for millions of animals, during the same violent global flood, to first survive and find dry land. That’s your first giant problem, if you accept the Paleozoic and Mesozoic as Flood sediment, which I believe you have before. Then you have to explain how all these survivors, on nonexistent dry land, also managed to find lots of members of their own species, mate, make nests, and lay eggs, and sometimes do this repeatedly at the same site season after season (since nets are often found on different levels at the same site. So all that sounds feasible to you, or took place in hours or days? Good grief. These are not very complex points, or the first time I and others have made them. Do you really not grasp any of it?

                R: “The process for turning the biology/sediment to stone , creatiomnists, would see as happening quickly. i see it as faster then quick.”

                Yeah, as usual you’re proposing things that make no sense, physcially or otherwise, and which have zero evidence behind them, and which even most YECs don’t hold. I guess in your little make believe world, you can just imagine whatever fanciful things you like, which is fine, except it has nothing to do with science or reality.

                R: “i see fantastic pressure throwing sediment upon sediment including upon water/moisture and everything squeezed into stone instantly. Thus the footprints were encased along with everything.
                Everything, I say, was turned to stone instantly. So squeezing out moisture/water instantly. Its a hypothesis.

                Any sensible hypothesis should at least be consistent with what is already known and well documented about these processes, which your is not. So your “hypothesis” is falsified from the start. You may as well hypothesize that the moon is made of green cheese and ranch dressing.

                R: The creatures point is too off thread. i don’t agree there are dinosaurs but only kinds. So I can see errors being made about these kinds. so just as theropod dinos are just birds likewise some dinos were just creatures from who we get some mammals. however thats another subject.

                Yeah it is another subject… in which you’ve made lots of claims without any logic or evidence, and which conflicts with lots of evidence, you I’m fine not going there again.

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            • [you, quoting Robert] “You then write: What encased the tracks encased all the sediment instantly and turned all to stone instantly. I think this instantly drew all moisture out. So keeping the integrity of the prints.”

              I went through a long thread with Robert over this, back on the last coprolite article. He argues that currently known fossilization processes cannot be right because they would take too long, so there must be an as-yet unknown process to allow for instant lithification – something related to intense pressure instantly forcing water out of soft sediments without deforming anything preserved in the sediments. I had no luck with the conversation because he doesn’t agree that an existing known & understood process is a better explanation than an unknown process that may not even exist.

              Every now & then, he includes a version of his most fundamental rationale: “YEC needs [X] to happen, so [X] is the better explanation.” I don’t think there’s much ground either side can gain when we’re working from such different principles.

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              • I admire your patience, and can only add this; if floods or tsunamis led to instant lithification, we should have plenty of contemporary examples

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                • Robert Byers says:

                  No we would not. The immense pressure from water flows would be fantastic. The option for this is excellent and explains easily how sediment etc is turned to stone without time needed. Your side says the same thing but says time is needed to get that weight squeezing everything.

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                • Are you kidding? I teach middle school – I can do this all day. :)

                  Liked by 1 person

  5. Important clarification: I meant to say that Bob Gentet’s Flood model proposes that all fossil strata through the end of the Mesozoic era (start of the Cenozoic) are pre-Flood, Try to wrap your mind around this. It would mean that most fossils were NOT formed during Noah;’s Flood, and that what the Flood deposited were mainly Cenozoic sediments – the exact opposite of what most “creation scientists” assert.

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