Creation/Evolution Journal
|
Volume
5
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No.
1
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If I Had a Hammer

If I Had a Hammer
Reviewed by
J.R. Cole

Our
topic is basically limited to footprint claims, but the subject matter requires
glances beyond these limits. Carl Baugh has stepped outside his footprints to
claim other anti-evolutionist evidence.

One of his principal pieces of
evidence for human contemporaneity with supposedly ancient geological strata is
an iron hammer with a wooden handle found near London, Texas by others in the
1930s in an "Ordovician" stone concretion "in the scenario" (but not in the Glen
Rose region). "Humanists," Baugh said, claim it is an "18th century miner's
hammer." Noting the appearance of the handle, Baugh said a similar-looking piece
of wood from Michigan had just been radiocarbon dated 11,500 years old. (He gave
no reference and did not blink at the date earlier than his view of creation.)
Apparently this was meant to suggest that the hammer was earlier than the
19th (not 18th) century date other observers have suggested—and to imply
that the hammer itself had been subjected to radiocarbon dating, although it had
not been (Baugh, 1983b).

The stone concretion is real, and it looks
impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. How could a modern
artifact be stuck in Ordovician rock? The answer is that the concretion itself
is not Ordovician. Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object
dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this
case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble. This is analogous to
stalactites incorporating recent objects in their paths as they grow. The
rapidity with which concretions and similar types of stone can form is evident
in soil caliche development. "Rapid formation of limestone has been shown in
coral atolls in the Pacific where World War II artifacts have been found in the
matrix" (McKusick and Shinn, 1980).

Lang (1983b:1) writes

. . . Dr. Baugh
had a laboratory in Columbus test the hammer that was found at London,
Texas. They used a microprobe to examine the elements in the hammer and the rock
in which it was found. As a result of these tests they concluded that the hammer
was made by an advanced process of metallurgy which used the equivalent
of coke rather than coal to develop the metal. They were convinced the iron
formation of the hammer could not have been formed by a meteor. They were also
convinced that the rock itself could not have been formed except where there was
a great deal of water and a great deal of pressure. They seemed to feel that
something equivalent to volcanic pressures was involved here. [Baugh (1983b)
said the presence of kaolin [clay]
is evidence of vulcanism, and vulcanism speeds hardening.]

- page 47 -

Except for the
odd note about volcanic pressures, a sort of Baugh idea fixee, this confirms
what evolutionists have been saying about the 19th century miner's hammer! Why
was there no attempt to date the hammer stylistically (it is of recent American
historical style) or to subject the metal and/or wood to radiocarbon analysis
instead of only doing this to some unrelated stick from Michigan?

Baugh
(Baugh, 1983b, Lang, 1983a) further suggested that the hammer might hold the key
to the nature of the antediluvian atmosphere which encouraged the growth of
giants, because, he said, its chemistry suggested that there was once ten times
as much ozone in the atmosphere than there is today. He did not say why this
would produce giantism. The claim is absurd. An atmosphere with ten times the
current amount of ozone would not produce conditions for a Garden of Eden
or cause people to grow into giants living hundreds of years; rather, it would
be fatal to most trees and cause a massive plague of animal and human cancer and
mucous membrane searing.

Baugh (1983b) implied strongly that as a result
of his tests of the hammer he was on the track of a wide range of other
scientific breakthroughs concerning the early earth's atmosphere and chemical
composition—exciting stuff indeed! (Or was he trying to show people a wide range
of technical-sounding jargon which could intimidate a layman?) His intermittent
Texas research is supposed to be on the track of all sorts of ancient mysteries
without half trying—making a joke out of the hard work of doing
science.

Besides his other efforts, Baugh has discovered a genuine
dinosaur skeleton which he says virtually proves that his mantracks and
dinosaurs were contemporary; he identifies it as a sauropod (Bailey, 1984).
(According to the paleontologist Dr. Wann Langston, it is a carnivorous
three-toed bipedal dinosaur!)

His dinosaur fossil bones are real, however
strangely interpreted. On the other hand, his recent claims to have found fossil
skulls of a child and a saber-toothed tiger are not simply misinterpreted—they
are baseless. Baugh has found odd-shaped limestone chunks or concretions and
called them skulls. As Schadewald (1984) notes, they are merely natural
silicified limestone nodules with a few needle-like crystalline spurs which have
been called teeth. Limestone consolidates and weathers unevenly, yielding
odd-shaped lumps such as the "dinosaur bones" in Emmett McFalls's front lawn and
at the Thayer site, lumps that are nothing but funny-shaped rocks.

"You
just kinda have to use your imagination," said a creationist guide leading
people to trackways in 1982 (Turner 1982:149).

This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
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