Asteroids, Lightning and Shocked Quartz

A recent article on Science magazine’s website has taken a hammer to evolutionary theories about dinosaur extinction and no one seems to have noticed. In this post, I’m going to rectify that and explain why the prevailing theory of dinosaur extinction took such a hard hit.  For anyone interested in reading the article, I have linked it below.

In order to understand what is going on, it is useful to know exactly what evolutionists have used to explain dinosaurs going extinct. On the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, there is a crater from a meteorite impact. This meteor is known as the Chicxulub meteor, due to where it was found.  Evolutionists have speculated that this meteor, that they claim was the size of the Isle of Wight off the UK, caused catastrophic conditions.  They claim that the Chicxulub meteor strike was accompanied by multiple other strikes around the world at the same time, caused huge dust clouds, blocking all sunlight from the earth for two years. The strikes also ejected huge fragments that flew for hundreds of miles.  The impact also supposedly sparked earthquakes, firestorms, tsunamis and just about every other form of natural disaster imaginable.

Now that we know roughly what evolutionists propose, let’s have a look at some hallmarks of a meteor impact.  Scientists look for certain things when examining a potential meteor impact. One of those things is the metal iridium. Another is the presence of what is known as shocked quartz. A third thing is something called a tektite.   I’ll explain more about those in a moment.   Just know for now that, if any of those things are present, scientists assume meteor impact, even if there is no physical evidence, such as a hole in the ground.

Now obviously no scientist actually observed the Chicxulub meteor strike. In order to determine the consequences of the strike, evolutionists use computer simulations. The problem with computer simulations is that they are only as good as the data they are given.  The saying among computer programmers is “garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, what you put into a program, is what will come out.  When a computer program is fed evolutionary assumptions about what might have happened, is it any surprise when it spits out answers that confirm those assumptions? Thus the computer shows that these various evolutionary ideas, such as massive earthquakes, happened.

Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, let’s look at the various evidence used to identify areas struck by meteors. Number one on the list is iridium. Iridium the second densest metal on earth and is also one of the rarest.  It is found naturally in igneous rock and is believed to be made in the heat and pressure of volcanic reactions.  It is thought that there is a substantial amount of Iridium in the earth’s crust. Iridium is believed to be one of the primary components of asteroids and meteors, which is why scientists look for it at proposed asteroid impact sites.  Iridium is found at Chicxulub.

The second indicator of meteor strike is tektites. Tektites are essentially naturally formed glass shaped objects of varying colors which are believed to be formed by meteor impacts.  They are high in silica, though not as much as glass.  There is a lot more to tektites than I can go into in this article. For our purposes, it suffices to say that tektites are indicators of a meteor impact.

The third evidence of a meteor impact is the one that has been called into question. This is what is known as shocked quartz, which is what you see in the article’s image.  Essentially shocked quartz is quartz that has been pressurized quickly. Scientists tell us that shock waves more than 50,000 times the current pressure of the earth’s atmosphere to create shocked quartz.  Until recently, it was believed that this amount of pressure could only have been applied by impacts from the atmosphere.  However, the study I referenced at the beginning of this article has completely flipped this on its head.  In tests performed by the University of Pennsylvania mineralogist Reno Giere, lightning bolts were found to generate shock waves 70,000 times the current pressure of the earth’s atmosphere. This is more than enough to create shocked quartz. Thus it is no longer possible for geologists to classify an area as an impact zone simply based on shocked quartz.

Based on the above evidence, can we classify the Chicxulub area as an impact site?  The answer is it depends.  Evolutionists are correct in stating that the area does have some indications of a meteor strike. There are elevated levels of iridium in the area. However, there are no tektites there. Evolutionists tell us that tektites are found in the area. There are tektites in the area….if your definition of area is across the Caribbean Sea in Haiti.  That is the nearest place tektites are found.  A meteor impact would certainly toss fragments miles away, but Haiti seems a stretch.  There is some shocked quartz evident at Chicxulub as well, but as we have seen, this could have been formed by an intense lightning storm.  The iridium alone is not conclusive.  There is no visible crater on the surface, though scans reveal what appears to be a crater several miles down. Essentially there is not enough evidence to define Chicxulub one way or the other.

If Chicxulub is not a meteor impact site, then what is it? From a Creationist perspective, it could be a place where the fountains of the deep broke open in Genesis 7:11 to help spawn the flood.  This would explain the iridium quite well, as iridium is believed to be much more prevalent in deeper layers of rock.  It would also explain the lack of tektites.  The amount of pressure exerted by the upwelling of water on the earth’s crustal rocks may have been enough to form the shocked quartz. Alternatively, the lightning storms, which undoubtedly accompanied the massive rainfall that submerged the earth, might be responsible for the shocked quartz. There is no observational science to support this of course, beyond the Iridium being found in the area, but then that’s never stopped evolutionists from speculating either.

Creationists have no problem with Chicxulub one way or the other. If it is a meteor impact, then it could have taken place during, or shortly after the flood. This would have done one of two things, depending on when it hit. If it hit during the beginnings of the flood, it could have helped break open the fountains of the deep which provided much of the water for the flood. If it struck after, which is less likely due to the amount of limestone covering it, it would have contributed to starting the global ice age. If, as I believe is more likely, it was a vent for one of the fountains of the great deep, then we can view it as evidence confirming a global flood. How you choose to view Chicxulub depends entirely on your presupposed worldview, as does so much else in the origins debate.

Lightning and Asteroids


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