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In the past, uniformitarian philosophy taught that clay-rich mudrocks formed by slow settling out of nearly stagnant water. It also held that thick deposits of clay-rich rocks needed thousands and even millions of years of slow, stagnant clay deposition, as is observed in parts of the deep ocean today. “Spontaneous Stratification in Granular Mixtures.” Nature 386 (6623): 379–382. Their article claims that the very large number of Lake Suigetsu varve counts is strong evidence for an old earth.

Furthermore, these experimental results have been confirmed by field observations. Helens subsequent to the well-known May 18, 1980, eruption resulted in the formation of a 762 cm (25 feet) thick deposit consisting of many thin, alternating fine-grained and coarse-grained laminae very similar to varves. They made the same claims with the same example in a subsequent, virtually identical, presentation in a widely circulated Christian journal (Davidson and Wolgemuth 2012). Other old-earth advocates (Morton 2003) also believe this to be a strong argument. This occurs because particles of different sizes have a tendency to spontaneously segregate and stratify themselves. Berthault’s research was published in two papers published by the French Academy of Sciences (Berthault 1986, 1988a), and English translations of these papers were subsequently published in a prominent creation research journal (Berthault 1988b, 1990).

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