Glenn Morton: Mistaken Critic of Young Earth Creationists?

WHY SHOULD BURROWS CAUSE A PROBLEM FOR THE YEC/DILUVIALIST VIEW?

Glenn Morton is a professional geophysicist who is involved in oil exploration for major oil companies. He is also a former YEC (Young Earth Creationist) who has had fairly high level contact with prominent YEC scientists such as John Baumgardner, John Morris, Steve Austin and others. At some point, Mr. Morton decided that the YEC view is wrong and he became an OEC and an outspoken critic of the YEC view. His criticism is quite vehement: he claims YECs are dishonest, hide data and are “cowards.” Here’s a typical example of his strong language …

“Yes, I will make more serious allegations about YEC leaders. I have challenged any of them to come here and debate with me one on one in the gym so that they won’t be swamped. Not one of them will do it. They are all cowards. They play you like a fiddle telling you nonsense and letting you and your fellows go out and take the heat for them. Baumgardner is the only one I have ever seen come out on very rare occasions. And this is only the second time I have seen it in 12 years. Why do you think these cowards huddle out of the light? Like cockroaches, they can’t stand the light of scientific data and so run for cover quickly when it comes their way.” http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=2168510&postcount=482

Morton seeks to promote his view by writing articles and selling books from his website. http://home.entouch.net/dmd/dmd.htm

MORTON IS MISTAKEN ABOUT YECs ADDRESSING THE BURROW ISSUE
In addition to the above, Morton claims on his website that ” YECs have not addressed the burrow problem” (http://home.entouch.net/dmd/burrows.htm) but I don’t see this. It seems that Morton is unaware or is ignoring YEC work in this area. For instance, John Woodmorappe’s paper entitled, “Are soft-sediment trace fossils (ichnofossils) a time problem for the Flood?” (Journal of Creation 20(2) 2006, p. 113). LINK HERE. I pointed this paper out to Glenn at the beginning of this discussion, but he has not responded as of yet. Now Glenn may come back and say that this paper doesn’t really address the issue. In other words, it doesn’t answer all of Glenn’s questions. Fair enough. Maybe it doesn’t, but it seems unfair to characterize YECs as he has and at the same time ignore their attempts to do exactly what he is asking them to do.

MORTON’S IDEAS ABOUT ANIMAL BURROWS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD
1) Morton apparently was not aware of the burrowing shrimp article discussed in the YEC article mentioned above (which Glenn was also not aware of) yet he proclaims that YEC papers are of less value than toilet paper (LINK HERE), and that YECs are dishonest and hide like cockroaches (LINK HERE). So Morton was completely unaware of burrowing organisms that burrow much deeper than his imagined “top 1 meter only” and burrow quite happily under heavy over pressure (several hundred meters of water). Morton points to burrowing studies to support this “top 1 meter only” idea but fails to appreciate that these studies were studying the normal behavior of burrowers, not the response behavior to being buried under tons of sediments. When I pointed out a recent study that acknowledges that this is poorly studied, he missed the point completely–that the burial response behavior of burrowers are poorly studied–and accused me of dishonesty because the study talks about burrowers being buried in millimeters of sediment, not hundreds of meters. Glenn compared the problem of marine burrowers to a human skiier getting buried in an avalanche. He ignored my point that marine burrowers are adapted for burrowing in sediment under heavy over pressure. Humans skiiers are not.

2) Morton thinks that burrowing organisms would have been “sandblasted” and “rock tumblered” to death in the Global Flood. So how, he asks, could all those burrows could have been formed? in an attempt to support Morton’s point for him, Dr. Gary Hurd asserted that the cause of human death in flash floods is being smashed to death, not drowning. Morton defended this idea and ridiculed me for being so stupid. No studies. No explanations. Just assertions and ridicule. I supplied a study which completely demolished this claim, but Morton persisted with his idea and supplied a YouTube video of a mudslide in China. So apparently he wants to change the subject from flash floods to mudslides. Through all this, Morton ignores the obvious facts that a) marine organisms don’t drown in floods like humans do, b) rocks which supposedly would smash these organisms would roll along the bottom of a channel, often much lower than organisms that can swim, c) sand that is carried by water flow would also tend to be at the bottom and would be flowing in the same direction as the organisms, thus the “sandblasting idea” fails.

3) Morton thinks that everything that resembles a burrow in the fossil record is, in fact, a burrow made by an organism. But again, if he had read the YEC study which he a) thinks doesn’t exist and b) if it did exist, would be of less value than toilet paper, he would know that there is significant discussion in the Ichnology literature about the true nature of these “burrows.” Many of them–no one knows yet what %–are probably not of a biogenic nature at all. Gas escape structures are one possibility for many of these “burrows.” Plants root traces are another possibility.

4) Morton wants to do “burrower math” based on unsupported assumptions. I’ve been through this already and explained in painful detail why his assumptions are not supported, but he charges on anyway, “fine tuning” his calculations in response to other posters, ridiculing me about not being able to do math, all the while completely ignoring the fact that he has some serious fundamental issues to address before starting to do math.

MORTON AND FRIENDS CHANGE THE SUBJECT TO AVOID THE PROBLEMS WITH HIS ASSERTIONS
Morton has tried to change the subject on this thread repeatedly with questions to me about everything from Lake Suigetsu to detailed questions about every facet of the Flood scenario. Well the truth is that there are many details about the Flood that we just do not know about yet. But the things we cannot explain about the Flood number far fewer than the unexplained and unexplainable items in the “Deny the Flood” scenario. Furthermore, I will not discuss these items in a thread where a Flood Denier like Glenn Morton issues a challenge to YECs about a single topic–burrows. You picked the topic, Glenn. As the saying goes, “You made your bed. Now you have to lie in it.” And I see that it is very uncomfortable indeed to lie in it. Your erroneous ideas and poor research, not to mention your biased rhetoric have been shown for all to see and it’s not a pretty picture. The honorable thing to do would be to acknowledge all these problems, take responsibility for them like a man and post some retractions on your website. I have done this on several occasions when I was shown to be wrong and you should too.

SUMMARY
For some reason, Glenn Morton thinks the Global Flood of Noah never happened. Never mind the abundant evidence from world literature which describes one. Never mind the clear testimony of the rock record which contains thousands of feet of water-laid sedimentary rock bearing every mark of rapid, catastrophic deposition, not calm, placid deposition. Never mind the oldest living tree, Methuselah, (LINK HERE) which is about 4700 years old, the approximate date of the Flood. Never mind the recent revival of catastrophism and the concomitant repudiation of the Lyellian “present is the key to the past” dogma with which Darwin was so enamored. Never mind all that. Glenn thinks it didn’t happen. I suppose he thinks the descriptions in Genesis refer to a Local Flood or some such thing. And because of his belief, Glenn has attempted to come up with various “insurmountable obstacles” to the Global Flood scenario. I can’t speak for all his objections because I have not yet studied them all, but I can now speak quite clearly about his “burrows” objection.  It seems invalid to me. What about his other objections?

It seems to me that the best explanation for the geologic record is the Global Flood of Noah. Exactly how the Flood happened is a matter of ongoing study. The Institute for Creation Research has built upon the foundation laid by it’s founder, Dr. Henry Morris, and is continuing to build upon this foundation. In addition to the well-publicized RATE project, ICR recently launched the FAST project which stands for “Flood Activated Sedimentation and Tectonics” (LINK HERE) which consists of geological field research to discover, describe, and interpret catastrophic, Flood-activated sedimentation and tectonic processes.

It’s an exciting time to be a YEC! Come join the fun!

SOME LINKS I THINK ARE IMPORTANT TO THIS DISCUSSION
My First Long Post
Glenn Responds
My Second Long Post
Glenn Responds
My Third Long Post
Glenn Responds
My Fourth Long Post
Glenn Responds
Did a Comet Cause the Great Flood?
Glenn Resorts to Name-Calling
Sedimentation Articles from Dr. Gary Hurd

3 Responses to “Glenn Morton: Mistaken Critic of Young Earth Creationists?”

  1. [...] flood, versus a prehistoric local flood, I recently came across a blog I was unfamiliar with, criticizing Glenn Morton for ignoring YEC evidence for the flood.  It seems that about 10 years ago, Glenn Morton wrote Burrows cause problems for the Flood.  It [...]

  2. gareth1206 says:

    Greetings Dave,

    I’ve been reading the forum on coconino sandstone and would like to add a few points in your defense.

    Footprints are common in the sandstone but plants are not. i.e. are the fossils found in the coconino a “snapshot” of a normal ecology?
    Was the sand wet or dry to preserve such exquisite details?
    Rapid burial is essential to cover and preserve the prints. In a dry desert what was the mechanism?
    If the coconino was a desert over millions of years, would we expect the crossbedding to always be in the same direction? i.e. north/south. Do modern deserts exhibit changes in their crossbedding?

    http://paleo.cc/casts/az2.jpg

    Cheers,

    Gareth

  3. porzitski says:

    Dear Dave,
    As you must know, those like lordkalvan and your buddy Glenn Morton refuse to see the facts because it is intended that they not see the facts. Their rejection of real wisdom in the name of scientism is to be expected, and a lot worse too. Please be careful, and stick with the truth. Be a fool to humanity, if needed, in order to be wise in a Godly way. And keep up the good work. God bless all you do.
    Peter P.

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