Placers to Go .
Paul Blake and Roger Scott
To avoid a long and boring analysis of Lalomov's latest attempt at defending his creationist interpretation of Placer Deposits1 we are going to try to simplify the discussion in an attempt to shorten our reply (though it is still quite long).
We will start by discussing aspects of the discussion, starting with A below, which we see as the most important claim.
A) THERE IS A VERY IRREGULAR DISTRIBUTION OF GOLD PLACER DEPOSITS IN THE STRATIGRAPHIC COLUMN (86 percent in the Precambrian deposits, 1 percent in Paleozoic and Mesozoic, and 13 percent in Cainozoic and Quaternary)
Firstly, these figures are not actually discussing the amount of placer gold in these deposits, it is discussing the amount of gold that has been extracted from them or are known to occur in them. As we mention below and in our previous response2, exploration companies do not actively explore for placer gold in the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic, therefore it is not surprising that very little has been found and exploited compared to the other eras of earth history.
In the large heading above we list both the Cainozoic and Quaternary since this was done by Lalomov. We are not sure why he did this since the Quaternary is part of the Cainozoic. It would be like saying "all vertebrates and humans". From now on we will use the standard scientific usage of just naming this package of rocks as the Cainozoic.
As we mentioned in our previous response2 a lot of gold has been extracted from the Cainozoic deposits around the world because it is easy to find and cheap to extract.
The peak in the Precambrian comes from the Witwatersrand Supergroup in Africa. Lalomov falsely accused us of trying to prove that the Witwatersrand was not originally a placer deposit. This is not true. We pointed out there is controversy about the origin, with some geologists proposing that all the gold is hydrothermally emplaced, but we stated that most researchers support the model that it is a remobilised placer.
Compare the quote provided by Lalomov1
Today most South African workers (Saager, 1969; Viljoen et al., 1970; Minter, 1970, 1976; Myers, 1971; Pretorius, 1975) favour the fossil placer theory and believe that gold deposited initially in crystalline form has subsequently been transported by metamorphism...
to what we wrote2
Given the obviously non-detrital nature of the gold in the Witwatersrand there is an argument amongst geologists on how it got there. Some insist that all the gold came from mineralising fluids that were sourced from volcanics and that none of the gold was ever placer in origin. Most insist that the gold was originally placer in origin and that metamorphism has redissolved and reprecipitated the gold into economical deposits.
Does it look like we were trying to deny the gold was ever placer in origin as Lalomov has asserted?
Regardless of the original source of the gold, most research on the Witwatersrand Supergroup indicates that the gold has been dissolved, moved and concentrated into the current orebodies. Some of the gold is even extracted from what are called Carbon Seams (carbon is good at extracting gold from mineralised fluids). The fluids that carried the gold have altered the rocks that the gold is deposited in. This association between gold and altered rock makes locating gold deposits relatively easy in the Witwatersrand Supergroup. The concentrating of the gold by metamorphism has made high-grade orebodies that are economical to mine.
Palaeozoic and Mesozoic
As we mentioned in our previous response2 Palaeozoic and Mesozoic placers would be extremely difficult to locate by exploration companies. Most have not been remobilised by metamorphism and thus are not surrounded by altered rocks. Unless they crop out at the surface they are invisible to all standard exploration techniques. As a result of this exploration companies do not actively look for them. The lack of gold extracted from, or known within, the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic is most likely due to the fact that nobody makes any effort to look for them. Why should companies bother when there are much easier sources of gold to find?
B) THE DISCUSSION IS ONLY ABOUT GOLD PLACERS
There is nothing special about gold placers compared to other placers. Lalomov and Tabolitch3 give graphs and formulas explaining some of the physics behind placers. If the flow dynamics of the flood were not conducive to the formation of gold placers then it should not be conducive to the formation of any kind of placer. Therefore, discussing other kinds of placers present within the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic is valid within this discussion.
Lalomov asks why are there no significant gold placers within the Mesozoic and Palaeozoic? But in our previous response2 we pointed out that Patik-Kara4 wrote:
The second half of the Palaeozoic includes significant objects such as the Lower Carboniferous Tomtor (rare metals), Devonian Timan (gold, titanium, diamond, and others), Dveik Group of the Karru association (Ti-Zr assemblages), and many other placers.
Why does Lalomov ignore these significant objects listed in Patik-Kara's paper? One of them is even a gold placer.
Alternatively, if the initial stage of Noah's Flood was such a good environment for placer deposits, then why is there only one Witwatersrand sized gold placer in the whole world? All of the other Precambrian placers combined would still be less than 1% of the size of the Witwatersrand.
C) PERCENTAGES OF ROCKS
Lalomov discusses the percentages of rocks at the surface; 10% Precambrian, 60% Palaeozoic and Mesozoic, and 30% Cainozoic. He then claims that it is significant that with regard to percentages of mined placer gold, 86% comes from the Precambrian, 1% comes from the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic, and 13% comes from the Cainozoic.
However, the comparison of the percentages here is not significant since the formation of placers requires special environments. In particular, the placer can form only near the original source of the mineralisation. Even Lalomov and Tabolitch3 acknowledge this when they wrote "In other words, accumulation environment must be located not far from the erosion environment".
This sort of environment can only be found at the margins of sedimentary basins, therefore, the area prospective for this kind of mineralisation is only a very tiny fraction of the 60% of the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic rocks. This problem is also true for the Precambrian rocks, but as we have mentioned above, the Precambrian placers have been remobilised and concentrated by metamorphism.
D) HONESTY, INTEGRITY, etc.
Lalomov lists some sentences from us that he reproduces to claim that our arguments have been weak and that we were merely descending into rhetoric. The implication is that we were behaving immorally. However, when you read Lalomov's response you find sentences such as these -
|he [Roger] realized that his knowledge of geology was obviously insufficient|
|Scott and Blake read these books very inattentively or else knowingly distort the data|
|arrogation or misrepresentation of us by our opponents|
|Apparently, Scott and Blake have problems in this area [logic], too|
|Scott and Blake quote selectively to skew the impression in their favour|
They display a dubious degree of
geological knowledge and a distinct lack scientific or logical
consistency or even decency
|thoughtful communists argued their point of view much better than Scott and Blake do theirs|
But this [honesty, qualifications and
logic] does not apply to the idea-mongers of evolution, such
as Roger Scott and Paul Blake
We have a word in the English language for a person who condemns a person for the same behaviour that they themselves display, and that is HYPOCRITE.
E) FLOOD VERSES PRE-FLOOD
Lalomov accuses us of using a barefaced lie when it came to his use of Dr Walkers criteria on Noah's Flood.
We assumed that Lalomov and Tabolitch1 interpreted the Precambrian Placers in question as Old World Era due to the following passage (with reference removed):
Boyle also seems convinced that:
'The principle source of gold in primitive
times was undoubtedly stream placers'
'The statement in Genesis that the gold
was "good", probably meaning relatively pure, suggest a placer source for the
Therefore, we think it likely that the gold mentioned in Genesis 2:10-12 represents the Precambrian gold placers, and that there are pre-Flood deposits.
With these sentence combined it appeared that Lalomov and Tabolitch were claiming that what is now called Precambrian gold placers were being deposited in streams at the time of Genesis 2:10-12, and thus Old World Era. We now see that we are mistaken and apologise to Lalomov and Tabolitch for inadvertently misrepresenting their interpretation of these placers within Dr Walker's model.
However, the fact still remains that Lalomov and Tabolitch incorrectly applied Dr Walker's criteria and therefore demonstrated a lack of understanding about a fellow creationist's ideas. In the end, Lalomov agreed with us that he had misapplied Dr Walker's criteria when assigning a Pre-Flood interpretation to the Witwatersrand Supergroup.
We have written this response to offer the apology to Lalomov and Tabolitch for the unintentional misrepresentation of their view on the Witwatersrand Supergroup with regards to Dr Walker's model.
Also, as can be seen from reading all the above, it is obvious that in answering Lalomov's criticism1 we repeated much of what we wrote previously2. This indicates that he has not substantially addressed any of our previous response. Unless he comes up with something new and original in any further articles we see no need to respond to him again on the subject of placers.
1 "Review of a Creationist Interpretation " by Paul Blake and Roger Scott
A Review of a Creationist
Interpretation of Placer Gold Deposits
3 Gold Placers in Earth History
4 PATIK-KARA, N.G., 2002: Placers in the system of sedimentogenesis. Lithology and Mineral Resources, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 429-441.