Browse Search Feedback Other Links Home Home The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
Previous Claim: CD240   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CD250

Claim CD241:

Varves (layers of silt that show seasonal differences) do not necessarily form annually. Individual varves can form in less than a year. Thus, claims that 10,000 varve layers represent 10,000 years are unwarranted.


Garner, Paul, 1997. Green River blues. Creation 19(3) (June-Aug.): 18-19.


  1. The seasonal nature of varves is sometimes indicated by the systematic variation of pollen from seasonal plants (Morton 2002; citing Flint 1971, 400).

  2. There is at least one formation that contains twenty million varves. That represents more than 50,000 years even if you assume varves were formed at a rate of one per day. And the fineness of the silt precludes the possibility that they could have formed that rapidly.

  3. The 45,000-year varve record of Lake Suigetsu is consistent with other dating techniques, such as carbon-14 dating and the tree ring record (Kitagawa and van der Plicht 1998).

  4. Non-annual fine-grained layers are recognizably different from varves. Layers that form rapidly tend to be much more irregular, reflecting the changes in the weather conditions that cause them (Morton 1998). Annual varves are observed forming today. They produce uniform layers seen also in the geologic record.


Morton, G. R., 1998. Young-earth arguments: A second look.


  1. Flint, Richard Foster, 1971. Glacial and Quaternary Geology. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  2. Kitagawa, H. and van der Plicht, J., 1998. Atmospheric radiocarbon calibration to 45,000 yr B.P.: Late glacial fluctuations and cosmogenic isotope production. Science 279: 1187-1190. See also Kitagawa, H. and van der Plicht, J., 2000. PE-04. A 45.000 year varve chronology from Japan.
  3. Morton, Glenn R., 1998. (see above)
  4. Morton, Glenn R., 2002. Pollen order presents problems for the flood.

Previous Claim: CD240   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CD250

created 2003-6-29, modified 2004-9-12