CRSQ Abstracts, 2016, Volume 53, Number 2 (Fall)

Cyclostratigraphy Part II: History of the Method

John K. Reed and Michael J. Oard

Part I of this series described the modern stratigraphic method of cyclostratigraphy, which is linked to astrochronology. The latter uses properties of Earth’s orbital mechanics to develop an absolute chronometer back through time. Cyclostratigraphy uses properties of sedimentary rocks as proxies for these orbital cycles to connect the astronomical “clock” to the sedimentary record. In this part of the series, we trace the historical development of these methods, their increasing influence on the geologic timescale, and the implications for a more gradualistic view of uniformitarianism.

An Investigation into an In Situ Lycopod Forest Site and Structural Anatomy Invalidates the Floating-Forest Hypothesis

Timothy L. Clarey and Jeffrey P. Tomkins

The hypothesis of an extinct pre-Flood floating-forest ecosystem has been promoted in the creationist literature for several decades and used as an explanation for the massive Carboniferous coal beds. However, it was recently shown that the idea sharply conflicts with both the available geological data and timing of global coal deposits and with the necessary hydrological criteria to sustain a freshwater lens. In this report, we present additional evidence negating the floating-forest hypothesis based on a well-preserved in situ lycopod biome known as the “Fossil Grove” in Glasgow, Scotland. This site reveals relatively equidistantspaced trees at the same stratigraphic level that would typically occur in a forest ecosystem. The fossilized trees have downward penetrating roots within a lithified clay-rich soil in the same ecological schema as modern-day lowland/swamp trees. In addition, we present evidence that conflicts with the speculation by some creationists that both the aerial trunks and stigmarian roots of lycopods were hollow, a feature required to reduce weight and make the floating forest tenable. Based on data presented in this paper, combined with that given in a previous report, we strongly recommend that the floating-forest hypothesis be abandoned by the creationist community.

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Design Analysis Suggests That Our “Immune” System Is Better Understood as a Microbe Interface System

Randy J. Guliuzza and Frank Sherwin

The immune system is often regarded only as a defense, keeping us free from harmful microbes. What if our immune system today is functioning not very differently than it did in the pre-Fall world? A better understanding of its purpose may emerge if we reframe it (1) via design-based system analysis, and (2) in light of contemporary microbiome research findings. Microbiome research reveals far more harmony than antagonism in organism-microbiome relationships. Systems analysis indicates one design certainty: an interface system must coordinate independent entities to harmonize together. Therefore, design-based creationist research would look for, and find, human-designed interface systems possessing nearly indistinguishable counterpart elements as found in immune systems. When dynamic host system-to-microbe relationships are understood in light of design analysis, the clear properties of a rich, multifunctional “microbe interface system” (MIS) are evident—which is the key link associating us to trillions of microbes in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. Concentrating on the presence of interface-distinctive elements could better characterize what may misleadingly be labeled an “immune” system.

Baraminological Analysis of a Set of Archaea Species Based on Genomic Data

Archie Yaugh

Archaea have not yet been classified in detail by creationist taxonomy. Also, the Bible does not mention archaea or any other kinds of microbes specifically by name. However, clusters of orthologous genes have been determined for a set of 168 archaeal species. In this study an allversus-all comparison of whole-gene content was performed on these 168 species, and eight groups, or tentative holobaramins, were determined based on their whole-gene content by using a new baraminology method that measures the Jaccard coefficient value. The member species of these holobaramins had a high mean Jaccard coefficient value compared to one another and a low value compared to other species from different archaeal baramins and bacterial taxa. This paper presents a holistic way of measuring species distance as compared to phylogenetic trees based on evolutionary methods. Open reading frames also were predicted for three ancient halophile archaea species (H. hubeiense, H. salifodinae, and H. carlsbadense) and compared to these 168 species. These three species may closely represent the archebaramin, or originally created ancestors, of one of the predicted archaeal holobaramins, which consist of extreme halophilic species. On average, baraminic boundaries could be set at the level of order or class for Archaea. Archaeal baramins can also be characterized by the ecological niche that they exist in, due to special sets of genes that are necessary to help these archaeal species to adapt to these sometimes extreme environmental conditions.