If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I promised to report on my recent trip to the USA. Well here goes. The first part of the trip involved field research for the Coconino Sandstone project sponsored by the Institute for Creation Research’s National Creation Science Foundation under its Flood-Activated Sedimentation and Tectonics (FAST) research programme. The second half of the trip was spent attending and speaking at the joint annual conference of the Creation Biology Study Group (BSG) and the recently-formed Creation Geology Society (CGS).
I flew out on 14th July from Gatwick to Phoenix AZ via Charlotte NC, a long journey made longer by a two-hour delay leaving London. In Phoenix I met my colleagues on the Coconino project, John and Ray, and a student from John’s university called Matthew. We spent the next five days studying the Coconino in central and northern Arizona, before John and I travelled on to New Mexico to study correlatives of the Coconino Sandstone to the east and also the gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument.
We’re interested in the Coconino Sandstone because it’s conventionally interpreted as a desert dune deposit, yet it’s right in the middle of the sequence of sedimentary rocks that most creationists believe were deposited during the global flood. I think you can see the problem.
So…for the last few years, we’ve been undertaking extensive field studies, petrographical and other laboratory analyses and reviews of the relevant literature in order to determine the depositional history of this unit. We’ve found lots of interesting and exciting things, many of which have never before been documented from the Coconino Sandstone, and which cast new light on its formation. Summaries of our 2008 and 2009 field research (or at least the parts that I’ve been able to participate in) can be read on the Biblical Creation Ministries website.
From Phoenix I travelled on to Ohio, where I spent a few days with John Whitmore and his family, before heading off to the biology/geology conference in Lousiville KY on 29th July. This annual meeting is really becoming a ‘must’ for anyone interested in cutting edge, peer reviewed creationist research, and the quality of the presentations was even higher this year than previously. You can read a report of the conference talks here. Topics included the formation of caves in Tennessee, the baraminology of ursids and anatids, evolutionary population genetics, the origin of liver toxins in Lantana, and the status of Odontochelys as a transitional form. If you’ve never attended the BSG/CGS conference before, you’re really missing out and ought to get along to next year’s meeting at Truett-McConnell College. Mark the 28th to 30th July 2010 in your diaries now!