Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The myth that won't go away

Rekohu, which translates as 'misty sky', was the name given to the Chatham Islands by their original inhabitants, the Moriori people. Rekohu is also the name of a weblog which provides an irregularly updated but fiercely pro-Moriori account of events on the Chathams.

The author of Rekohu has responded with a mixture of amusement and exasperation to the attemots of John Wanoa to reinvent the old myth of the Moriori as pre-Maori inhabitants of mainland New Zealand. As I noted a couple of months back, Wanoa has been presenting himself as a descendant of a fictional North Island Moriori people, and claiming that he is owed vast sums of money by the New Zealand government and the Queen of England. Rekohu can laugh at Wanoa's absurd claims, but he is annoyed that the basic facts of Moriori history have still not been assimilated by so many New Zealanders:

I concur with the assessment of the gentleman in question. I think he is a nutter! One comment that I feel obliged to reiterate though, because some of the esteemed scholars seem to forget it, presumably because they see it as being so bloody obvious is thus: the whole myth thing, whether perpetrated by the pakeha or by the Maori is actually irrelevant. Get over it for God’s sake! Moriori were. Moriori are! And Moriori will be. That is the important thing and the more that people continue to focus on the periphery of that, the greater creedence is given to bloody nutters such as that other bloke and the less mana, and significance is given to the actual story and reality of Te Imi Moriori.

It is easy to understand Rekohu's frustration. Since the 1920s, when HD Skinner produced his classic study The Morioris of the Chatham Islands, the Victorian notion that the Moriori were a group of Melanesians driven from mainland New Zealand by aggressive, latecomer Maori has been discredited amongst scholars. Major archaeological digs on the Chathams in the '70s filled in many gaps in Moriori prehistory, and Michael King's 1989 book Moriori: A People Rediscovered synthesised a huge amount of research and the oral traditions of the Moriori themselves to create a compelling and accessible account of the history of the tchakat henu of Rekohu.

King showed that the Moriori were the descendants of a group of early Maori who had arrived on the Chathams and had been unable or unwilling to leave. The cool climate, constant winds, and relatively small size of the islands led to important cultural changes, like the erosion of social destinctions, the adoption of a strict pacifism, and the abandonment of agriculture. In recent years scholars at the University of Auckland have put the icing on the cake, by using tests on rat bones to determine that the first settlers of Rekohu arrived from the northern part of the South Island around the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The problem with Rekohu's argument that the old myth of the Moriori as pre-Maori New Zealanders is 'irrelevant', and should not be subjected to criticism, is that the myth has refused to die amongst the Kiwi public. Again and again, it is invoked during discussions of issues related to race and history.

The current controversy over whether the city of W(h)anganui should have an 'h' added to its name has seen the Moriori myth bubble once again to the surface. Maori activists in W(h)anganui have long argued that, under the Treaty of Waitangi, their history deserves respect, and that this respect should extend to the proper spelling of traditional names. In a debate on the website of the New Zealand Herald prompted by the Geographic Board's decision that the name should change, a number of Pakeha opponents of 'Maori radicalism' used the Moriori myth to bolster their arguments.

A commenter with the unfortunate name 'Hopefully Fair' contributed this nugget of wisdom:

Boat people are boat people whether they came here 200yrs ago or 1000yrs ago. What happened to the original people before the Maori arrived, or does that upset the stomach...

'Richard from Timaru' also raised the spectre of pre-Maori settlement, and threw a little Martin Doutresque paranoia into the mix:

People want it changed to it's original name, that's fine, and I support that, but Maori are just one in a long line of people that have occupied this country. So the original names of these places wouldn't even be Maori. Sadly though, much of NZ's real history is sealed for decades by previous governments. History that shows NZ populated long before the maori.

Historic finds are dealed off from public access, and worse, some maori tribes have bulldozed it over to keep the myth going that they are native to this country.


Given the continuing currency of arguments like these, I think that the Moriori myth still needs to be countered publically, even if it is as dead as a dodo within the walls of academe. Rekohu himself seems to accept that the Moriori myth needs to be addressed, when he argues that Moriori history should be taught in New Zealand schools.

It seems to me, though, that there is a complementary argument which can be made against those who invoke the Moriori myth. Invariably, those who invoke the myth, or the related and even more absurd myth of ancient Celtic New Zealanders, identify the indigenity of Maori, and the validity of agreements like the Treaty of Waitangi, with the fact that Maori occupied New Zealand before other peoples.

All the evidence points to Maori being the first inhabitants of New Zealand, but even if they Maori were not the first New Zealanders that fact would not, in their eyes and in the eyes of the Treaty, stop them from being indigenous. That’s because Maori understand indigenity as something which derives not from first occupation but from a series of activities - taking possession of the land, naming it, burying the dead there, burying placenta there, and so on (it’s no coincidence that the Maori word for land is also the Maori word for placenta).

If the near-impossible happened, and the remains of a pre-Maori civilisation were discovered, then the Treaty would not have to be torn up and Maori would not have to abandon their claims to be the tangata whenua of New Zealand. Indeed, there have already been Treaty settlements where groups of Maori have been recognised as indigenous, and offered certain resources, despite the acknowledged fact that they were not the first occupants of their rohe.

A good example is the case of Kai Tahu, the iwi which was recognised as the tangata whenua of most of the South Island and given a range of resources in one of the first major Treaty settlements in the early ’90s. No Kai Tahu leader has ever denied that their iwi was not the first to take possession of the southern part of the South Island. The Waitaha and Ngati Mamoe peoples lived in the area before Kai Tahu arrived sometime in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. These prior peoples were either conquered or assimilated, or both, and Kai Tahu became the tangata whenua of most of Te Wai Pounamu. It was Kai Tahu, not Ngati Mamoe or Waitaha, who signed the Treaty, and the arguments about the Treaty concern whether or not the Crown honoured its obligations to Kai Tahu.

If Ngati Mamoe and Waitaha had survived as distinct groups inside the territory Kai Tahu controlled, then the situation would be more complex. In the Chathams, Moriori were conquered by two Taranaki iwi in 1835, but the Waitangi Tribunal found that this conquest did not erase Moriori mana whenua on the islands, because Moriori had retained their culture and traditions. Moriori and the descendants of their conquerors both have rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Those who claim that Moriori once populated the North and South Islands, or that Northland was once crawling with Celts, or that the Chinese built forts up and down the South Islands, cannot point to any person, John Wanoa aside, who claims descent from such phantom civilisations. They cannot show that the Maori groups which signed the Treaty of Waitangi were falsely claiming to control Celtic or Chinese land. They cannot demonstrate that Celtic or Chinese or mainland Moriori populations existed as subjugated peoples within the rohe of iwi which signed the Treaty. How, then, can the pseudo-historians use these phantom peoples as evidence of the illegitimacy of the Treaty of Waitangi?

23 Comments:

Blogger Edward said...

Firstly, great post Maps. Succinct and accurate.
I can sympathise with Rekohu’s position that the myth is irrelevant, as it most surely is amongst academics and SHOULD be amongst the public, but this ‘should’ be isn’t an ‘is’ yet as you point out. Thus I think you’re right to articulate that the myth is still relevant in today’s culture, not because it is inherently culturally important or a useful point of scholarship, but because the public, time and again, makes it relevant in political contexts by the mere act of asserting it. While the myth’s truth value is obviously nonexistent, and its very existence is an embarrassing reminder of Eurocentric times gone by, this doesn’t change the fact that it is unavoidable ninety nine percent of the time in everyday conversation about the Moriori.

The problem with Wanoa and the claims he and several others such as Martin Doutre continue to make isn’t at all due to ‘periphery considerations’, but due to a lack of Moriori representation within the public at large and the subsequent lack of education on Moriori history in the school system (as Rekohu apparently calls for). It isn’t the “esteemed scholars” who are making comment at all. In fact, the usual line of action by archaeologists (for example) who ‘bump into’ people espousing the Moriori myth is to ignore it altogether and hope it goes away. It hasn’t. And in fact, as Maps has pointed out, seems almost to be having a kind of renaissance.

The only logical way to combat such a disturbing growth of such a prevalent and persistent racial-inspired myth is to tackle it head on. Academic silence (including public education), due to the reality that it is ultimately irrelevant, has, to some extent, allowed for a flourishing of the very same ‘periphery considerations’ Rekohu talks about leading to conspiracy nuts such as Wanoa, Doutre and Bolton. Michael King’s mammoth efforts in synthesising the evidence aside, public accessibility to this part of prehistory is poor at best.

Indeed, as you point out:

“The problem with Rekohu's argument that the old myth of the Moriori as pre-Maori New Zealanders is 'irrelevant', and should not be subjected to criticism, is that the myth has refused to die amongst the Kiwi public”.

The quotes you supplied from the Herald site are, unfortunately the norm. There are times where I feel as though I will be subject to a brain aneurism if I have to go through listening to another white NZ’er spout out their rhetoric about NZ prehistory and indigenous rights, but inevitably have to try and shift through it all with them and educate them of the facts. Tiresome and frustrating as it is (and must be for Rekohu) we who have access to the facts are obliged to at least try.

You make a good point:

“that there is a complementary argument which can be made against those who invoke the Moriori myth. Invariably, those who invoke the myth, or the related and even more absurd myth of ancient Celtic New Zealanders, identify the indigenity of Maori, and the validity of agreements like the Treaty of Waitangi, with the fact that Maori occupied New Zealand before other peoples.”

This raises the issues of custodianship and management as well as the oft overlooked reality in arguing with Myth apologists that Maori are indigenous not only because they were ‘the first’ but because the culture adapted and evolved here and nowhere else. As you point out, the aspect of actions, of a series of activities in relation to the land, makes the culture and the land it inhabits inseparable in this case. Land is experienced in terms of custodianship, of ancestry and origin and life, and is utilized and acted upon by way of management to a larger extent than realized in Maori prehistory. Further, I agree with you that ‘first occupancy’ status does not equate exclusively to indigenous rights. The European/Pakeah (in general) understanding of Maori social organization is rudimentary at best, usually involving notions of different Hapu and Iwi as forming discrete geographical units or boundaries of which are static in both temporal and spatial terms. What is actually the case is an incredibly dynamic and fluid form of social structure chained less to hierarchy and internal forces than it is to situational relationships - political groupings could coalesce and disband repeatedly (Anderson’s ‘transient village’ and Irwins’ Pouto study are good examples).

While I have posted a somewhat lengthy reply to your post (I hope you’ve humored me) I’ll answer the question you pose at the end. They can’t.

4:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are alwsy looking to the past Maps.
What about THE FUTURE?
In a post-capitalist society the distinctions between Maori and Pakeha will quickly fade away.
We will be one.
Marx opposed movements to 'protect' pre-industrial nations from progress.
Where did he ever stick up for Maori nationalism?
He was up the workers!
Your stuck in the past, man. Move on.

4:50 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana.

Anon,
"we will be one" sounds like the One New Zealand Foundation rhetoric which basically equates to indegenous rights and identity being banned.

as for "Marx opposed movements to 'protect' pre-industrial nations from progress." What an incredibly egotistic and ethnocentric view to hold. Sounds like the kind of linear cultural evolution popular in the 19th century..who's living in the past again? hmmmm.

6:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you believed in evolution Edward?
Don't you believe in the evolution of societies?

3:15 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Anon,
Not sure of 'belief' in evolution any more than 'belief' in gravity, but yes, i'm aware of evolution. Also yes in the evolution of societies in that they change and adapt, but not in terms of 'progress' or 'fitness' as this isn't evolution at all but rather social darwinism. :)

4:19 pm  
Anonymous keri h said...

Kia ora Maps & Edward - I've recommended this paticular post to a family member & friend. They brought up the 'but what about the Moriori?' thing last week while staying with me. The family member is a registered Kai Tahu, and the friend from overseas BUT - both are doing degrees that include Maori at Canterbury University...

to which I can only add, Yes, I showed them Michael's book (but since it was a gift from him to me, didnt let them take it away.} I trust the combination of your posts, and "Moriori:A People Rediscovered" will set these young people's minds on a good voyage of discovery-

12:01 am  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

anaonymous - has a point - what about the future? - Jared rightly points to it - so how do we transform?

This stuff about Maoris is getting a bit monotonous.

The future - what of that indeed? The Marxists always go coy and giggly when confronted with actually changing anything (or in many cases actually DOING anything: most of them have never actually worked per se - or at least not as labourers etc as I have) - as do scientists and their supposed enemies the Postmodernists (but the bible bashers aren't much help either of course) who (the Post Mdnsts & the scientists etc) are in many many cases working for the big corporations (or the result of their work is used by same)...all is not well in Denmark...millions throughout the world starve, a 75 year old man gets bashed to death for bumping a BMW driven by a Polynesian in Auckland, the murder rate in NZ is one of the highest in the developed world, the people in the poor areas are getting poorer, the health system is getting too expensive and is failing in general, schools leave a lot to be desired, the environment here is atrocious, the roads are amass with cars, motorways clogged, there are more and more homeless, more and more suffer mental problems, Maori and polynesians fill the jails (per capita they commit the most crimes); P-Labs blossom and proliferate, the police shot a young man the other day, senior police are convicted of rape and get paid thousands of dollars and get a tap on the hand for punishment; tourists get killed more and more, we have one of the highest pedophile crime rates in the world, we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq, workers are starting to be laid off - and we agonise whether artists earn $80,000 a week or $1 million, or we are tormented about the Chatams!!

Jared - in light of all this - has some very good points.

12:07 am  
Blogger Edward said...

Richard,
yes, it is always important to think about the future. But "this stuff about Maori" is not about entertainment or keeping it from getting "monotonous". It is a race, indigenous rights, and historically important issue. In short, a social and truth issue. It is easy to dismiss something out of hand and say "lets move on to the future" when you are not part of the minority - i.e. who's future do you intend we move on to and at the cost of who else? 'Oneness' merely equates to 'whiteness' in this country at the moment like it or not. What is harder to do but worth more in the long run is to address the issues of the past in order to move on together towards a future where diversity is celebrated rather than condemned.
People like Anon and Jared insight the powerful ideology of "lets all look to and change the future" but they do it without understanding that the present is based on the yesterday. Further, without understanding and addressing the complex dynamics of the past which continue to effect the present, you push forward a future based on ideology alone with the side effects of ignorance and intollerance of those aspects which resist change.

As for the last half of your post you seem to have fallen victim to 'Heralditis' or, as others might put it, 'media generated public hysteria'. The murder rate for example has not increased, it has halved since the 1980's. As for other cases of 'increased crime' these have only 'increased' in the sense that there are more crimes splashed accross the cover of the front page. My partner works at a prison, and I have a friend who is a forensic anthropologist for the police and has been for some time - the work load has been fairly constant. Of course things aren't perfect, and things can and deffinately should be imporived, but the point is that they are slowly. The changing moral zietgeist of generations moves irrefutably towards progressive civil society. Look at the history of humanity - we have come so far and there is more work to do but our societies continue to push harder towards progressive policies.

I agonise over the Chatams because it is real. It is a real issue which needs to be addressed and isn't a phantom hysterical issue spoon fed to me by the NZ Herald or 3 News. I agonise over Afghanistan and the environment and social policies - real issues - not over the disproportionately cited and racial hysteria generated stories of 'polynesians and Maori' going out and killing everybody. To base radicalised and revolutionary movements on such a load of crap is socially irresponsible and unintelligent - just think of that amazing piece of ACT legislation dubbed 'the three strickes your out' law - the result of ideologically driven social aims based on little more than a lack of understanding and media and public hysteria.

9:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Taylor's opinions are like his socks - he changes them every week.

11:16 am  
Blogger Edward said...

I just read through my post and it sounds more aggressive in print than intended - perhaps it will pay to read it in a funny voice ;)

By the way, my assertion that the murder rate has halved was an exaggeration - my bad. Here's a link to the overall crime rate:
http://www.stats.govt.nz/analytical-reports/crime-in-nz/overall-offence-rate.htm

and:

http://www.stats.govt.nz/products-and-services/table-builder/crime-tables/overview.htm

At any rate, public perception of crime rate rises seems greatly inflated. The point was that charging off on a 'post-revolutionary' cruisade without taking into account other factors is reckless. But i've gone far too far off topic now.


Keri,

I hope our posts will be of help. And i'm sure your discussion with your friend and family member will be of great service to them. It is a facinating and worthwhile history as you very well know. I'm not sure where maps is but no doubt he will have further to say.

Cheers.

11:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dinosaur herd buried in Noah’s Flood in Inner Mongolia, China
by Tas Walker

Published: 14 April 2009(GMT+10)
Image from Varricchio et al., ref. 2



An international team of scientists have uncovered graphic evidence of the deadly terror unleashed on a herd of dinosaurs as they were buried under sediment by the rising waters of Noah’s Flood in western Inner Mongolia (figure 1).1

Dinosaur bones were first discovered at the site, located at the base of a small hill in the Gobi Desert, in 1978 by a Chinese geologist. After about 20 years, a team of Chinese and Japanese scientists recovered the first skeletons, which they named Sinornithomimus, meaning “Chinese bird mimic”.

A few years later in 2001, the international team excavated the remains of more than 25 dinosaurs, creating a large quarry in the process as they as they followed the skeletons into the base of the hill.

Remarkable excavation
As the team carefully mapped the location of the bones and strata that contained them (figure 2), it became clear that the dinosaurs were all within the same layer of mudstone (i.e. the same bedding plane), generally facing the same direction and remarkably well preserved.2

Image from Varricchio et al., ref. 2


Figure 2. Map of some dinosaur remains at the site in Inner Mongolia. Note the skeletal parts have generally remained together indicating that the animals were buried before their remains disintegrated.
Most of the dinosaurs were buried in a life-like crouching posture and, even more surprisingly, the limbs of the dinosaurs were plunging down into the underlying mud as deep as 40 cm (figure 3).3 Their hind legs were often still bent indicating that they were struggling to escape. Two of the skeletons were found one right over the other where they apparently fell. This fossil find captures in stone how the dinosaurs perished when they became mired in the mud.

The thick layer of mud in which the animals were trapped displayed bedding that was twisted and convoluted4 indicating that the sediment was only recently deposited from flowing water and still soft when it was disturbed. There was an absence of bioturbation (such as burrowing by worms or crustaceans) in the underlying mud,5 which also indicated that the mud was only recently deposited.

Not only was the thick under layer of sediment recently deposited, but the overlying sediments were deposited soon after the animals were trapped, burying the animals before their soft parts had a chance to rot away. Nearly all the fossil bones were surrounded by a drab, blue-gray halo indicating how far the soft tissue extended (figure 3), and that the carcasses had decomposed after being buried, not before. In addition, gastroliths (stomach stones) were found in the fossilized ribcages of some animals, as well as carbonized stomach contents (figure 3).6 So promptly were the animals buried that the delicate bones in the eye (sclerotic rings) of some animals were preserved. The team interpreted the site as a “catastrophic miring of an immature herd”.

Image from Varricchio et al., ref. 2


Figure 3. Fossil skeletons 3 and 4 (see figure 2) recovered from site. Note the bluish-gray halo surrounding all the bones indicating the skeletons were buried with the soft parts in tact. A: Plan view of the two skeletons. Note how they overlap. B: Snout and unusual neck curvature likely indicating death throes. C: Pelvis almost all preserved. D: Gastrolith (stomach stone) mass and carbonized stomach contents within rib cage indicating rapid burial. E: Cross-section of rear leg mired deep in mud and in bent position and F: cross section of foreleg deep in the mud, both indicating catastrophic entrapment. White scale bars are 10 cm.
Noah’s Flood?
When I read of such a large herd of animals being frantically trapped in thick mud that was only recently deposited and then rapidly buried by more sediment I immediately think of Noah’s Flood. The fossil evidence is exactly the sort of thing that you would expect as a result of the global catastrophe described in the Bible.

“The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:18–24.)”
However, Noah’s Flood is not an explanation that came to the minds of the paleontologists who excavated the dinosaurs in Inner Mongolia. Consequently, they struggled to explain what they found. Their main problem was that they were looking for a modern environment that corresponds with the evidence but Noah’s Flood was a unique event.7 There has been no geological disaster in the last 4,500 years that has come anywhere close to what happened during the Flood.

A herd of juveniles
Lead author, David Varricchio, assistant professor of paleontology at Montana State University, USA, indicated his surprise at what the team uncovered and alluded to their inability to explain it with a modern environment. “Finding a mired herd is exceedingly rare among living animals”, he said.


Nearly all the fossil bones were surrounded by a drab, blue-gray halo indicating how far the soft tissue extended, and that the carcasses had decomposed after being buried, not before.

One problem that the paleontologists encountered is that according to uniformitarianism the fossils layers preserve a living environment that existed at that time. Therefore, the team was surprised that the dinosaurs consisted only of juveniles without any adults or hatchlings present. However, that is perfectly understandable in the Flood catastrophe when animals were fleeing. You would expect the hatchlings to have already perished and the adults to have fled and abandoned the youngsters.

In scientific circles these sorts of anomalies are never reported as a problem. Rather, the paleontologists reported this unexpected result as a “new discovery”. They said it was evidence of “distinctive dinosaur sociality” where the immature dinosaurs were left to fend for themselves in juvenile herds while the mature adults were occupied elsewhere with parental care of eggs and hatchlings. What an amazing story.

All that mud
Another problem for the team was the thickness of the mud in which the dinosaurs were trapped. They suggested the area was a low energy lake environment, which is the standard interpretation that uniformitarians invoke to explain muddy sediments.

“The lamination and very thin beds of the intervening unit represent slow deposition under quiet, low-energy conditions and an absence of significant invertebrate or vertebrate bioturbation.”
However, recent laboratory experiments have shown that such an automatic interpretation almost certainly incorrect because mud readily deposits from flowing water.8

In order to account for the depth of mud in an area where the animals could be trapped the team claimed the water level of the lake was lowering as a result of drought. That could account for the mud depth in a limited region close to the shore. But it is hard to imagine how, under normal conditions, so many animals could have become trapped together so suddenly in a small area of mud at the edge of a lake.


‘Finding a mired herd is exceedingly rare among living animals’—David Varricchio, assistant professor of paleontology at Montana State University, USA

It is also hard to account for the absence of bioturbation in the mud. If you say that worms and crustaceans had not colonized the sediment because the mud had only been recently deposited then you would have to explain what sort of process would deposit half a metre of mud so quickly. And, how could such a thick deposit have been laid down at the edge of a lake? The authors opted to say that the unbioturbated laminae suggested the mud was situated in deeper water. But deeper water would help the animals escape because water would help to support their body weight.

Another problem is that the team found mudcracks on the mud, which they also interpreted as indicators of drought. Mudcracks form when mud emerges from the water and has dried for a day or so. How could the mudcracks form on the mud surface if it was in deeper water?

This array of evidence that conflicted with their expectations puzzled the team and they once again presented the results as an “exceptional” discovery. However, the thick mud deposit, rapid sedimentation and catastrophic entrapment of the animals are easily explained by the Flood catastrophe. And mud does not need to be exposed above water for mud cracks to form. Shrinkage cracks will form in situ once the overlying sediments have been deposited and the water within the mud is expelled and the mud contracts.9

A desert?
These dinosaur fossils were found in the Cretaceous sediments of Inner Mongolia that were interpreted as being deposited on the continent. More specifically they were found in the Ulansuhai Formation of the Upper Cretaceous, which is interpreted as being a desert environment.

“Through this period the region experienced an increase in overall aridity and a shift from lacustrine [lake] and fluvial [river] Lower Cretaceous facies [rocks] to predominantly aeolian [desert] dune and associated interdune facies in the Upper Cretaceous.”10
What were these herds of dinosaurs doing in a desert? Where did they get the food then needed? How was such a large herd trapped in mud so quickly in a desert? And how were they buried so quickly in a desert, before the soft flesh had time to rot away and before the skeletons had disintegrated? The fact that sediment was able to accumulate to such a depth over the animals (now at the base of a small hill) indicates that the depth of the water was rising on the continent to provide the necessary accommodation, not falling.

So, it was not a desert. Uniformitarian geologists invoke a desert interpretation in an attempt to explain the large thickness of the sandstone strata and the huge sand dunes within the beds. They say it was a desert to hold onto their uniformitarian philosophy that it was like a modern environment and thus try to avoid acknowledging the huge volume of water that must have been necessary, as indicated by the obvious signs of catastrophe within the sand. So they are prepared to propose an explanation where lakes and rivers turn into deserts full of dinosaur herds that become trapped in thick mud and are buried quickly. One wrong interpretation leads to another.

Take off the blinkers

Blinkers change the way a horse sees the world and the uniformitarian paradigm has a similar effect on scientists.

Blinkers change the way a horse sees the world and the uniformitarian paradigm has a similar effect on scientists. Even though they carefully excavate and document the fossil dinosaurs buried around the world the philosophy of uniformitarianism biases the way they look at the evidence, stops them exploring all the options and controls the sort of explanations they promote.

Here in Inner Mongolia in the middle of Asia the historical reality of Noah’s Flood explains the new dinosaur finds elegantly. The herd of dinosaurs was a casualty of the enormous watery catastrophe that engulfed the region during the Flood. They were overwhelmed during the first half of the catastrophe as the waters were rising on the earth, while air-breathing, land-dwelling animals were still alive. Sediment continued to accumulate on the continent during this Inundatory stage as the waters continued to rise. Then, when the waters receded from the continents they eroded some of the overlying material, shaping the landscape, and leaving occasional erosional remnants, such as the small hill where the geologists were able to excavate this dinosaur graveyard.

Further reading
Sensational dinosaur blood report!
Theropod and sauropod dinosaurs sighted in PNG?
Watery catastrophe deduced from huge Ceratopsian dinosaur graveyard
Did a meteor wipe out the dinosaurs? What about the iridium layer?
Related resources

Creation Answers Book, The

by Don Batten, David Catchpoole, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland



The Creation Answers Book provides biblical answers to over 60 important questions that everyone wants to know on creation/evolution and the Bible! Not only does it answer your own questions, but equips you to effectively respond to those that resist the Gospel due to worldly teaching on origins. This important work is a ‘must have’ for anyone’s library! Includes answers to over 60 of the most-asked questions.


Dinosaurs by Design

by Dr Duane Gish

5:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God…” (Job 40:15-19)

5:51 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

wow. yet another creationist. yay. and I see they've brought along the usual tool kit of pseudo science and gullibility. nice.

8:37 pm  
Anonymous keri h said...

Edward, these creepy creationists should not be given the courtesy of any kind of reply. They are insane - in the sense that rationality isnt part of their mental armoury. Can we please just leave their jumbled skewhiff Bronze Age nonsense to fester in their own heads?

8:49 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

[[Noah’s Flood?
When I read of such a large herd of animals being frantically trapped in thick mud that was only recently deposited and then rapidly buried by more sediment I immediately think of Noah’s Flood. The fossil evidence is exactly the sort of thing that you would expect as a result of the global catastrophe described in the Bible.

“The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:18–24.)”
However, Noah’s Flood is not an explanation that came to the minds of the paleontologists who excavated the dinosaurs in Inner Mongolia. Consequently, they struggled to explain what they found. Their main problem was that they were looking for a modern environment that corresponds with the evidence but Noah’s Flood was a unique event.7 There has been no geological disaster in the last 4,500 years that has come anywhere close to what happened during the Flood.]]

So God done it! That bastards's got a lot to answer for!!

9:54 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Good point Keri. I shouldn't induldge them.

8:02 am  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Edward - don't apologise for what you say - you are pretty onto it as is maps - I sometimes throw in some wild cards...

..of course we have to get to the truth of all this stuff...

.....but real crime as I see it... and other issues do press... is rising - I mean since I was young in the 50s and 60s when a murder was huge news whereas now it happens every five minutes...

....and I have worked in all sorts of places (as labourer mostly in my life) with some very hard men - and I can tell you we are only seeing the surface of it all...

...but one can obsess about all that - it doesn't mean these issues of the Treaty / Moriori etc shouldn't be addressed...

10:29 pm  
Blogger Andrew Dean said...

Great post:

Just some more evidence of the old myth remaining behind in public discourse (as if we needed it).

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/2734010/Ancient-wonders-brought-to-life

11:17 am  
Blogger TIDAL ELECTRIC said...

NA ATUA E WA AOTEA LTD
426/2 Tapora Street Post 1010
Auckland Waterfront CBD
New Zealand South Pacific

Tuesday 16rh February 2010

Dear Maps and Aliens Cultural Interferes Intellectuals

Why don't you pakeha leave our Ancestors bones alone and go and scratch around on your own soil in Britain where you all ran away from home!! Look at what you pakeha bastards did to all the MOAI ancestral Bones on Easter Island and ONLY 2009 at the Auckland Airport to make a new runway for flippin aircraft just only LAST YEAR NO DIFFERENT to the 1800's and 1700's when you did the same thing!! Dug up the Bones of our Ancestors?? You would be all CASTRATED if you di this in JAPAN. Now shall I go back to your homelands in ENGLAND and dig your fukin GRAVES up of CHURCHILL and SCALP the living daylites off GORDON BROWN for his fukin ancestors who MURDERED my WANOA people CARVERS of the MOAI STATUES you bastards could never claim is YOURS??? Yet one of my own GODAMMED MOAI is sitting in LONDON MUSEUM where they worship GOD MOAI HULLO!! Pakeha THIEVES Clearly shows here in 1856 when the ENGLISH first set foot on EASTER ISLAND Bold GOD Over and STOOLE Him put him on their PIRATE SHIP and SHIPPED HIM BACK to ENGLAND as PRIZE POSSESSION!! I am afraid for you THIRVES that GOD has some BAD NEWS for you coming now that will SHUT your FACE for ever more!! See the Pakeha now giving MAORI Auckland BACK HULLO again!!! The penny is fallen from HEAVEN above and you lot will get caught in your own DNA cant MATCH MOAI and you TRYING to JUSTIFY your EXISTENCE!! It’s clear you FORCED your WAY onto our LAND and INTO our INDIGENOUS GENES!!! Now where have you put all my COMMENTS that were here on this SITE??? They are meant to SPLIT you UP THE GUTS and OPEN out your FRAUD ALIEN INVASION!! Now go and see the CARNAGE on my WEBSITE and TWITTER you Numbskulls talk a lot of CRAP HISTORY>> MORIORI came out of WANOA Peoples MOAI >>> Go get some EDUCATION from my SITE and see who can SUE ME if I NAME ANYONE. I see how much POWER MANA you all GOT against MOAI sitting in many STATES ENGLAND FRANCE SCOTLAND WALES BELGIUM GERMANY ITALY IRELAND SANTIAGO NEW YORK UNITED NATIONS WASHINGTON NEW ZEALAND JAPAN CHINA SINGAPORE APEC>>>> Would you believe all STOLEN off my WANOA CARVERS TOHUNGA GODS CHILDREN... And no matter how many words you call me ITS always going to be HISTORY of WHITE THIEF STEALS INDIGENOUS GOD MOAI and PUT YOUSELF in place of GOD with a Fukin JESUS BIBLE LAW written by Fukin PAKEHA for PAKEHA and its clear as MUD that CHURCHES MINISTERS CROWN and JESUS STEALS LAND off my MOAI PEOPLE!!!! And it was PAKEHA who made up all the MOAI HISTORY is CRAP STUFF that is now COLLAPSING around your EARS.... How about SUFFERING for 170 years we have suffered while you been settling yourselves on a foreign soil!!! You academics don't have the real WAIRUA SPIRIT!! Interfering with our Ancestors is a MAJOR CRIME EXPOSED on my website NOT A PRETTY PICTURE as this article is! Yo cant stand the HEAT!!

Continue on next page Comments>>>>

JOHN WANOA and MOAI

8:32 am  
Blogger TIDAL ELECTRIC said...

Now go and look in the mirror while you read your History of WHITES BATTERING NATIVES on my WEBSITE.. And for you information YOU will never be like ME and I will never be like YOU... I would NEVER do that to YOU>>> Go and DIG UP MY PAST and EXAMINE ME!!! You have a BLOODY NERVE and a DAMMED CHEEK to go and TOUCH MY ANCESTORS... For that you get HIT!! Because it is TAPU STUFF you interfering with LOOK at TONGA SAMOA and HAITI!! Now wait for the BIG BANG in WELLINGTON!!! If you PLEASE>>> You wouldn't even UNDERSTAND how MOAI moved themselves around EASTER ISLAND just as you would never understand why I am WRITING ABOUT you and wasting my ENERGY ON YOU to CORRECT all your PAST CORRUPTED HISTORY and you can KISS JESUS and your BIBLE GOODBY!!! He was not around on EASTER ISLAND and NEW ZELAND!! You BASTARDS brought home here and sitting around waiting for him to come BACK!!! Well I got some BAD NEWS for YOU>> But I will KEEP THAT to MOAI and ME and LEAVE YOU MUZZLED PUZZLED and DISTRAUGHT at the thought of your INTELLIGENCE needs RE CONDITIONING and a HEAD PLANE and VALVE GRIND and your CYLINDERS BORED out OVERSIZE!!! At least that’s my MECHANICS IMPRESSION OF YOU... SO Here go and look and take your MIRROR with you!!

John Wanoa

Native Customary Legal Advocate Royalist Land Investigator Assignee (International News Reporter)

MOAI UFO SONG INTRO EASTER ISLAND http://bit.ly/ahMfkr
MOAI ON FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/MOAIWANOA?ref=nf
MOAI IN CONCERT SYMPHONY http://bit.ly/blxV89
MOAI GOOGLE WEBSITE http://picasaweb.google.com/home
MOAI WORLD NEWS ON TWITTER http://twitter.com/tidalelectric
MOAI WORLD NEWS GOOGLE BUZZ https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#buzz
MOAI SOVEREIGN STATE established in 50+ International States MOAI STATUES sits on his GODS LAND!

8:34 am  
Anonymous Honora said...

Hmm...if the flood of Noah mired a bunch of dinosaurs, I would have thought there would be similar and multiple evidence of fossils of herds of critters who had enjoyed the same fate at the same time.

8:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this and I also agree that the Moriori myth continues in the public mind and should be corrected. As a Maori teen it definitely becomes tiresome having to defend Maori people as being indigenous to NZ.

This is very informing and I will share it.

So I just wanted to put my 5 cents in, and show my support.

Nathan

4:44 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Great to hear from you, Nathan - and sad to hear about your experience of the persistence of ignorance. My e mail is shamresearch@yahoo.co.nz if you ever feel like chatting about these issues...

12:43 am  

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