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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Mexico and the Flood

I am currently touring New Mexico with a group of junior/senior undergraduates. Aside from the spectacular scenery, we visited the Ghost Ranch museum to look at the dinosaur finds. The Triassic-aged Coelophysis dinosaur was discovered at the Ghost Ranch site in the Chinle formation. The Chinle formation is a series of red (oxidized) and green (anoxic) sedimentary rocks. The Ghost ranch fossil find contains hundreds of coelophysis and other predatory creatures that were buried in some kind of stream setting. If the Triassic encompasses part of the global flood, then this find is particularly damning for any flood model. One of the questions regarding the find is why so many animals were in this small area of the stream at the same time. Our host at the museum then showed us a recent find within the Chinle that contained pieces of burnt wood (not coal), but wood that was burned in a forest fire. The hypothesis is that the dinosaurs and other creatures were trying to escape a forest fire that was burning and were buried either by getting stuck in the mud or during a mudslide near the river. While the creationists may take issue with the sedimentary environment of the Chinle Formation, they will find it hard to explain a forest fire burning in the middle of a global flood!


Joe Meert


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