Copyright 1998 G. R. Morton
This can be freely distributed so long as no monetary charges are made and no alteration to the text are made.
"The fish is being served tonight with a delicate creamy mercury sauce," the old woman said to the grizzled and wizened old man sitting at the rough-hewn table in the darkened room. "The boys caught this themselves today right out of the sea!" "Humpf," said the old man with long white locks as he took a breath from his oxygen bottle. He stared at the blue fringed plate with a heaping portion of something buried by a silvery-white sauce. He looked up at his wife. She wore an old camel's hair dress with her long, long hair properly pulled up into a tight but rather large bun. She looked beautiful to the old man, even though she was wearing a gas mask to protect her from the sulfuric acid atmosphere created by the flood. That mask added a certain sexiness that he hadn't noticed in her in the past 300 years. "Do I have to eat it?" he whispered in her ear as six proud and beaming eyes looked at them from the other end of the table. The eyes floated above their broadly smiling faces (covered by their own gas masks) "Yes," she said, "if you don't eat it you will hurt the boys' feelings. They will be crushed. It is there present to you in honor of your achievement. The old-man's eyes sank down to look again upon the silvery white slop covering what appeared to be a deformed fish. A couple of fleshy sores and tumors were now appearing on the fish as the silvery sauce drained off the fish and into the plate. "You know, either the fish just aren't as good as they used to be before this Flood or you are beginning to cook like your mother used to." he muttered. "Shush, old man." she said, "If you hadn't gone on talking to that diety He might not have brought this flood and you wouldn't have to eat this stuff. This flood of yours has made the oceans acidic, mercurious and foul. It is all your fault! Now, shut up and eat your dinner with no more comments about Mama, God rest her soul!"
The point of the above vignette is to illustrate the quality of life in a global flood. This is another in the series on the poisons put out by the global flood. This one will attack the problem a bit differently. It will consider the amount of mercury (element symbol Hg) which must have been released by the erosion of the pre-flood igneous type of rock which was then made into sedimentary rock containing fossils. The YEC paradigm requires that there be very little sedimentary rock prior to the flood. This is because none would have been made at creation (it would be a deception to make rocks appear sedimentary which were in fact not sedimentary). Thus we can calculate how much igneous rock must have been eroded to form the presently observed volcanic rocks. The total of sedimentary rocks can be calculated as 630 x 10^6 km^3.(see R. Morton [this is me] "Prolegomena to the Study of the Sediments," CRSQ, Dec. 1980, p. 162-167) All of this material must have come from igneous rock.
Given that igneous rocks are around 3.3 g/cc (3300 kg/m^3) and sedimentary rocks are around 2.5 g/cc we can correct for this and we find a .75 reduction factor to put the sedimentary rocks back to igneous. Thus 477 x 10^6 km^3 or 4.77 x 10^17 cubic meters of igneous rocks must have been eroded.
An earlier version of this note was criticized for not making explicit an assumption. The assumption is this. Within the YEC model, the prediluvial rock, which mostly would have been granite and basalt, must have been mechanically crushed, and then rapidly altered chemically to separate the feldspar and quartz fractions. Only in this way can the vast quantities of sand and shale seen in the sedimentary rocks be explained. For God to have created the vast quantities of sand and shale on the primeval earth would be a case of God deceptively creating the appearance of age when no such appearance would be needed. On the primeval earth, only a thin layer of soil would be required, not 40-60,000 feet of it. By the process of mechanical crushing and rapid chemical weathering, much of the mercury contained in the rock would have been released. This is consistent with what is known to occur in the weathering of basalts in which 90% of the mercury in the basalts is released to the environment in about a century.
"If Kilauea lava typically cools with about 1,000 [micro]g/kg of mercury and proceeds to release 90 percent, then this still constitutes only a minor source of the element. The 1840 eruption produced about 400 x 10^6 m^3 of lava weighing perhaps 16 x 10^9 kg. Thus this lava contained a total of 16 x 10^6 g (16 tons) of mercury, of which about 14 tons was released in about a century. In contrast, Halemaumau yields 260 tons annually when it is not erupting." ~B. Z. Siegel and S. M. Siegel, 1987, "Hawaiian Volcanoes and the Biogeology of Mercury," in R.W. Decker et al, ed. Volcanism in Hawaii, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1350, V. 1., p. 827-839, p. 833 What is the mercury content of the crust of the earth? .1 ppm (p. D15, Table 20, Parker, R.L., 1967, Composition of the Earth's Crust, in Fleischer, Michael, ed., Data of Geochemistry, Sixth Edition: U.S. Geological Survey Prof. Paper 440-D) Using the very conservative value of .1 parts per million (ppm) we find that the flood would have ground up and released
.0000001 * 4.77 x 10^17 cubic meters x 3300 kg/m^3 x .9= 1.4 x 10^14 kg or 1.4 x 10^17 g or 1.4 x 10^23 micrograms. I place this in all 3 units because of the need below.
All of this would have been released into the oceans for the fish to ingest. The volume of the ocean is 1.4 x 10^21 liters. So the amount of mercury in a liter is:
1.41 x 10^23 micrograms/1.4 x 10^21 liters = 100 micrograms per liter of water.
How bad is it? Consider this:
"Typically, plant-cell damage takes place with aqueous solutions containing as little as 10 [micro]g/L of Hg ion." ~B. Z. Siegel and S. M. Siegel, 1987, "Hawaiian Volcanoes and the Biogeology of Mercury," in R.W. Decker et al, ed. Volcanism in Hawaii, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1350, V. 1., p. 827-839, p. 830
An expert might question the relevance of this fact to the flood since the above refers to plants growing in mercury-rich ground water. Since plants were not taken on the ark, they must have survived by floating on the surface of the flood waters. And many young-earth creationists have suggested that such vegetable mats were responsible for the coal bed formation. Thus, the damage which mercury laden waters would cause to these floating plants is something that must be addressed by global flood advocates.
The EPA does not allow more than 2.4 micrograms/liter, which is the EPA's Critical Maximum Concentration for fresh water discharge from an industrial site. This was set up to protect aquatic life from deleterious effects from mercury. (John E. Gray and Richard F. Sanzolone, "Environmental Studies of Mineral Deposits in Alaska," U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2156, (Washington: U. S. Gov. Printing Office, 1996), p. 5
How about for animal ingestion? This was found on the internet:
"The EPA has set a limit of 2 parts of mercury per billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb= 2 micrograms/liter). The EPA requires that discharges or spills of 1 pound or more of mercury be reported." http://atsdr1.atsdr.cdc.gov:8080/tfacts46.html
For those who don't know, 100 micrograms per liter is 50 times more than the EPA would allow for an anthropogenic releas. I guess the EPA would initiate regulatory action against Noah's flood for polluting the oceans.
In order to avoid a creationist objection that the mercury might escape to the atmosphere, I would point out that rainfall effectively removes mercury. And given that the Flood is envisioned as a major rainfall event, mercury would probably not pollute the atmosphere. An experiment that monitored mercury in the atmosphere over the Ord mine in Arizona showed that after a rainfall, the atmospheric mercury content was reduced to zero. (J. H. McCarthy, Jr., J. L. Meuschke, W. H. Ficklin and R. E. Learned, "Mercury in the Atmosphere, "Mercury in the Environment, U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 713, (Washington: U. S. Gov. Printing Office, 1970), p 38)
"Experiments using nanogram amounts (1/1000 of a microgram) have shown inhibition of immune function. One study showed that 16 tiny amalgam fillings in the mouth of a monkey induced a significant increase in mercury and antibiotic resistant bacteria in mouth and intestine. Another study showed 12 amalgam fillings in sheep caused a 50% reduction of kidney function." http://www.ephca.com/ci&cme.htm
What this means is that the global flood would be very harmful for Noah, the fish and life on earth. Belief in the global flood makes the Bible which is God's word, look foolish and wrong. YEC advocates would do well to realize the problems their viewpoint adds to God's word.
I would like to thank Steve Smith for his gracious critique and help in rooting out errors in my original post. Any errors remaining are mine.