I was talking to a friend of mine today about gas prices and I remarked about how expensive dinosaur petroleum deposits were starting to get. It started me thinking about the lengths we go to find oil and drill it up. Which made me think about the age old debate of creation Vs evolution.
I also came up with a question that I doubt many rational people can answer without a leap of faith towards creationism.
If these petroleum deposits are dead dinosaurs and we have to drill sometimes miles and miles before reaching these petroleum deposits. Then where did all this land mass come from that buried these dinosaurs?
I mean if the dinosaurs took millions of years to turn into oil and they were buried under miles of earth then the earth either reshaped itself drastically or land mass was added to the earth to bury these dinosaurs. I am not a geologist so I really don't know how these dinosaurs could be buried so deep within the earth.
Could it be that these oil deposits were placed there in the creation of this planet?
Considering the physical evidence against creation, like dinosaur fossils, and the fact that the date christianity gives for the "creation" and the fact that this time period was not something recorded in the Bible but figured out by Bishop Usher (around 532 AD) by adding up all the ages of the characters in the Bible and calling that the definative age of the planet, I wouldn't call it a leap of faith to assume that these petroleum deposits (which are more plant than animal in origin) were formed in the time that geologists say theywere.
Consider the fact that these religions now accept the layout of the solar system, the galaxies, etc. They didn't at one time.
I would think that eventually, religions will alter their stance on creationism and accept the obvious as they have for so many other scientific assertions.
Dirt is the remains of plant material for the most part. When leaves fall and plants die they break down into soil. Over the years that layer of remains builds up. It then (at least here in TN) turns into a very thick layer of clay once it has been buried awhile and then later, that clay gets squeezed under the wieght of the soil above it. It eventually turns into rock, oil, coal, and other basic substances as time, pressure, and other natural forces act upon it.
Oil is created not so much by "dinosaurs." as the old saying goes. Mostly it comes from where old swamps once where. Those oil deposits where once peat and compressed plant material. I've read reports that places like the swamps of Florida and Louisiana will someday be extremely oil rich deposit in say, 100 million years or so.
The ground has another strange effect. It seems to suck things down. Gravity can slowly pull things down into the earth because the dirt the object sits on is comprised on a large part of air. In a way, it can be considered a fluid of a sort, like glass is. Eventually, if left alone, objects can be completely covered by the forces of gravity and plants dying on top of it. Given time and chance, the ground will sometimes churn the object back to the surface. This I've seen IRL in a field planted year after year. Objects like arrowheads and other dodads would appear sticking out of the surface on a regular basis despite the fact that they would have been shattered by the plow the year before had they been up that high.
There is plenty of scientific evidence out there that explains why the dinosaurs are buried and how they got to the point where they are. I wouldn't say that oil deposits were put there. And besides, as timeenoughforlove said, oil deposits come from swamps and bogs and plant remains.
Uh.. the eart reshapes itself drastically all the time, most of it's under the ocean or way out at sea so we don't see it. Study some basic stuff about how land masses are formed and it's not too hard to figure out. Also, wasn't there a thread on Slashdot about new findings possibly showing that the oil could be methane trapped when the earth was first forming?
quote:Originally posted by Bass
. . . Could it be that these oil deposits were placed there in the creation of this planet?
Bass, I'd like to think that I give credit when and where credit is due. Maybe not always, but I try. Anyway, the question you pose is one presently at the forefront of current inquiries into the source(s) of hydrocarbons. I am not a geologist, nor am I a petroleum engineer, but I have had a good deal of exposure to the industry.
There was a time not very long ago when oil beneath the surface was likened to a wild animal; something that roamed around underground, just waiting to be captured. That view obviously had to be abandoned when the evidence became sufficient to establish that hydrocarbons, instead, were trapped in sands, shales, pockets, etc.
In that regard, you can get a firsthand view of how this works by going down to a dry sandy creekbed and digging a hole in the sand. Unless the creek is absolutely bone dry, you will quickly discover that the hole you've dug is filling with water. By analogy, that's how oil is saturated in sands. Thus, as a well is dug into an oil-bearing sand, casing is cemented into the hole. Then, holes are shot into the wall of the casing at the depth of the sand to allow the saturated oil to seep into the casing.
Sometimes, the pressure in the strata is great enough to drive the oil out the hole. This is what causes the gushers you've most likely seen in pictures. Of course, petroleum technology has increased sufficiently to head off this wasteful and polluting occurrence, at least in most instances. Another prime example, however, of what happens when the pressure is either not controlled, or is removed, occurred during Desert Storm when the Iraqis knocked the heads off hundreds of Kuwaiti wells during their retreat.
For quite some time, it was an accepted fact that hydrocarbons did not exist beneath the granite crust. This granite crust is encountered at varying depths around the world. Hence, any "wildcatter" who drill a hole and hit granite without finding any hydrocarbon zones would call it a day, plug the hole, and move on.
I recall reading a few years ago, however, about some people who challenged that premise and proceeded to drill through the granite somewhere in, or near, Sweden. Drilling into granite is a double-ass expensive proposition because the granite eats drillbits like pretzels. Anyway, I'm not sure, but I think they did find gas, but not in commercial quantities. Perhaps some of you enterprising internet researchers can either verify or correct this information (I'm too lazy right now).
Very recently, however, I encountered an article where it was theorized that hydrocarbons were not all fossil fuels; rather, that they were constantly produced in the magma. This has not been verified, but in reponse to your question, if this theory is ever proved then you will have your answer to some extent.
Oh, one other thing -- I don't recall the exact figure, but every year the earth collect tons and tons of additional matter from space dust.
" Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors, (not the official surface courteousness of the Generals, not the few great battles) of the Secession war; and it is best they should not—the real war will never get in the books." ~ Walt Whitman
Yes i is a good thread. My crusty memory is what I pulled my first post from and I was off on Usher's dates by a 1000 years or so, the early 1600.s being more accurate.
The original question is a good one with a hard answer as one must base their choice on either faith or theory. Although I do believe that the earth is far, far older than Usher calculated, I am also aware that we still have much to learn about both issues.
Thanks to swingfly for the info sent, very interesting.