Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Another Look at the Uplift of the Andes

For those who still struggle with, and cannot seem to get their mind around, the fact that the Andes Mountains rose suddenly and in the time of man, we submit the following: 
   According to Rollin Thomas Chamberlin, one time managing editor of the Journal of Geology, the leading independent geology journal in the US., and professor of geology at Chicago University, stated: “The rise of the Andes is said to have shaken the whole world. Hundreds if not thousands of cubic miles of the body of the earth almost instantaneously heaved upward producing violent earthquakes which spread throughout the globe...The Rockies as well as the Andes form a chain a third the circumference of the globe, were undergoing simultaneous orogenic movement with deluging waves sent careening over the land...The Andes rose many thousands of feet in the age of Man amid much volcanic activity” (“The Origin and History of the Earth,” found in Moulton’s The World and Man as Science Sees Them, edited by Forest Ray Moulton, Garden City, NY, Doubleday, Doran, 1937, p 80).
    Another celebrated authority, Eduard Suess, an Austrian geologist and professor of paleontology and of geology at the University of Vienna, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London, and author of Das Antlitz der Erde (The Face of the Earth), which was a popular textbook for many years between 1885 and 1901, also wrote in much the same vein as Chamberlin, when he said: “The earthquakes of the present day are certainly but faint reminiscences of those telluric movements to which the structure of almost every mountain range bears witness. Numerous examples of great mountain chains suggest by their structure episodic disturbances of such indescribable and overpowering violence, that the imagination refuses to follow the understanding” (D.S Allan & J.B. Delair, Cataclysm, “Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe,” St. Martin’s Press, 1995).
Site of Tiahuanaco on the south shores of Lake Titicaca. This bustling city along with the lake itself, was once at sea level, and the lake was once part of the ocean waters before being uplifted several thousand feet among the Andes Mountains

In Peru, in the case of Tiahuanaco, the change in altitude apparently occurred after the city was built, and this could not have been the result of a slow process that required hundreds of thousands of years to produce a visible alteration. Major Leonard Darwin, president of the Royal Geographical Society, Chairman of the British Eugenics Society, and later Honorary President until his death, offered the conclusion that the mountain had risen considerably after the city had been built.
    The ruins at the south end of Lake Titicaca, now at 12,500 feet elevation, poses a mystery that has puzzled the experts for several centuries. According to Sir Clements Robert Markham, the English geographer, explorer, and writer, as well as Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society and later President of the Society for 12 years, on speaking of Tiahuanaco where he spent much time in research in 1852-53, “The region is only capable of sustaining a scanty population of hardy mountaineers and laborers, yet the city once held tens of thousands of people, and covers a large area, and was built by highly skilled masons, and with the use of enormous stones” (Markham, The Incas of Peru, E.F. Dutton, New York, 1912, p 21)
    Emmet John Sweeney, The Evidence of Science, stated: “At one time Tiahuanaco was a port: Lake Titicaca was ninety feet higher…the old shore line, still clearly visible, is titled dramatically, obviously as a result of massive earthquake activity. In some places it is actually 350 feet above the present level of the lake” (“The Ruins of South America,” The Evidence of Science, Algora Publishing, New York, 2010, p93)
    “Once Tiahuanacu was at the water’s edge…with numerous raised beaches” (H. P. Moon, The Geology and Physiography of the Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia, The Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, 3rd Series, Vol 1 Pt 1 1939, p 32).
Just north of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley is the Abra Malagra Pass, just east beyond the Nevado Veronica, a pyramid-shaped mountain peak that overlooks Machu Picchu

In fact, one scientific author has stated: “Further investigation into the topography of the Andes and the fauna of Lake Titicaca, together with a chemical analysis of this lake and others on the same plateau, established that the plateau was at one time at sea level, or 12,500 feet lower than it is today…Titicaca and Lake Poopo, lake and salt bed of Coipaga, salt beds of Uyuni, all have chemical compositions similar to those of the ocean” (Polish-born Bolivian archaeologist Arturo Posnansky, Tiahuanacu, the Cradle of the American Man (1945) p 23).
    As Posnansky also stated: "At a higher elevation the sediment of an enormous dried-up lake, whose waters were almost potable, it is full of characteristic mollusks, such as Paludestrina and Ancylus, which shows that it is, geologically speaking, of relatively modern origin.”
    According to H. P. Moon, “There are numerous raised beaches, and stress was put on “the freshness of many of the strange lines and the modern character of such fossils as occur,” (“The Geology and Physiography of the Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia,” The Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, 3rd Series, Vol 1 Pt 1,  1939, p32).
    The foothills of the Andes hide numerous deserted towns and abandoned terraces, monuments to a vanished civilization. The terraces that go up the slopes of the Andes, and reach the eternal snow line and continue under the snow to some unidentified altitude prove that it was not a conqueror nor a plague that put the seal of death on the gardens and towns (E. Huntington, Climatic Pulsations in Hylluingsskrift, 1935, p 578).
    Tiahuanaco--more than 400 acres of ruins, only 10% of which have been excavated. Dirt now covers the ancient civilization to a depth of at least 6 feet. The only explanation for this accumulation is water, and obviously, a large amount of water had to have inundated the city. When it receded it left the silt covering all evidence of an advanced civilization, leaving only the largest statues and monoliths still exposed. It is logical to conclude, therefore, that Tiahuanaco was built before the lake was created, and not as a port on its shore.
    As the waters today continue to recede, we should be able to find more evidence of the city's remote peoples. Scientists theorize that the area of Lake Titicaca was at one time at sea level, because of the profusion of fossilized marine life which can be found in the region. The area then lifted with the Andean upheaval and a basin was created which filled in to form the lake.
    The rise of the Andes and the linkage of the Brazilian and Guyana bedrock shields, blocked the Amazon and caused the river to become a vast inland sea. Gradually this inland sea became a massive swampy, freshwater lake and the marine inhabitants adapted to life in freshwater. For example, over 20 species of stingray, most closely related to those found in the Pacific Ocean, can be found today in the fresh waters of the Amazon. Then the waters worked through the sandstone to the west and the Amazon began to flow eastward. At this time the Amazon rainforest was born. During the Ice Age, sea levels dropped and the great Amazon lake rapidly drained and became a river. Later, the ocean level receded enough to expose the Central American isthmus and allow mass migration of mammal species between the Americas.
In a paper of only three pages, Edward Wilber Berry (left) of the Geological Laboratory, John Hopkins University, announced some remarkable fossil evidences which confirm recent physiographic conclusions as to the late uplift of the Central Andes. (The Age of the Bolivian Andes, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 3., April 1917, pp 233—285).
    He showed that there are fossil plants at Coroeoro (13, 000 feet) and Potosi (14,000 feet), which include a fern and tropical trees allied to those now living on the Amazon lowlands, denote a more humid climate and a far lower elevation, and, Berry also says, “the sea deposited a part of these strata on the Bolivian highlands in late Tertiary or Pleistocene time, and since that time there have been differential vertical movements amounting to a minimum of 13, 500 feet.” He also concludes: “There is, then, definite evidence that parts of the high plateau and of the eastern Cordillera once stood at sea level."
    Referring to Charles Darwin once again, on his travels to South America in 1834-35, he was impressed by the raised beaches at Valparaiso, Chile, as well as “curious rocks at Coquimbo in Chile,” and stated that though the former surf line was at an altitude of 1300 feet, he found that the sea shells which littered these ancient beaches were undecayed. He claimed it was obvious that the land had risen 1300 feet from the Pacific Ocean in a very recent period, as he stated, “within the period during which upraised shells remained undecayed on the surface” (Darwin, Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands and Parts of South America, Part II, Chapter 15, Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1844).
    In various papers in past years Isaiah Bowman, part of the geographic mission in the Yale Peruvian expedition of 1911, has demonstrated the rapid and recent uplift of the Central Andes and more recently in “The Andes of Southern Peru” (Henry Holt, London, 1916) has elaborated a physiographic argument, based on detailed topographic surveys in southern Peru, which concludes that an uplift of at least 7, 000 feet is demonstrable and that it may have been much more. The convergence of the physiographic and the fossil evidence is singularly conclusive, and the full report on the fossil evidence may be expected to form one of the major contributions to the physiographic history of the Andes within the decade.
    There is also much evidence that the Amazon Basin was once a large inland sea that emptied into the Gulf of Mexico in Venezuela, and that the people of the Andes civilization could launch ships in this sea and could carry on trade to Central Aamerica.


  1. I wonder how hard this would be to prove to a Geology or religion professor that believes in MesoAm model at BYU. My guess is impossible.

  2. Thanks Del. Really enjoyed these last 2 posts. Lots of evidence.

    Any thoughts on who/when Tiahuanaco was built?

    Clearly it was before 33 AD. It must have been built by Nephites rather than Lamanites given the quality of building. But Tiahuanaco is about 300 miles south of Cusco. 2 Nephi 5 seems to state that when Nephi fled their landing spot (Coquimbo Bay), they went straight to the city of Nephi/ Cusco. Then, verse 34 indicates that 40 years later, they had already had many wars with the Lamanites. We know the Lamanites were always on the south. So, to me, it seems unlikely that the Nephites would have ventured 300 miles south to build such a large city as Tihuanaco while they were at war with the Lamanites which seems to be almost from the time they arrived at the city of Nephi until 33 AD. The only possibility I can think of is some of the Nephites built the city during those first 40 years?

    7 And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.

    8 And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.

    34 And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away, and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.

  3. At the rise of the Andes, how were mountains laid low like unto a valley? I'm having a hard time picturing how that would happen geologically.

    Helaman 14 23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

  4. Re: who built Tihuanaco. Or am I wrong on the assumption that the Lamanites could not have built such a magnificent city? On the one hand Alma 17:15 says the Lamanites were a lazy people. On the other hand, Alma 21: 1,2 says that the Lamanites, Amalekites, and people of Amulon had built the city of Jerusalem- a great city. (this is all around 90 BC).

    Jerusalem is a city that was flooded in 33 AD per 3 Nephi 9:7.

    17:15 Thus they were a very indolent people

    21:1 Now when Ammon and his brethren separated themselves in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, behold Aaron took his journey towards the land which was called by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the land of their fathers’ nativity; and it was away joining the borders of Mormon.

    2 Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great city, which was called Jerusalem.

    3 Nephi 9:the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof

  5. David, I think the answer would be that mountains were thrust up on either side of a range making a graben valley. I don't think anything would have sank. We are talking about 1000's of feet of displacement in this event.

  6. It's funny how little things that I see and hear from day to day suddenly fit into my new understanding of the BoM lands.

    For example, I was just watching "Planet Earth 2" and they featured a rare breed of fresh water Dolphin that live in the flooded forests of the Amazon. They muse about how these dolphins ended up living so far from the ocean in fresh water. I talk to the TV screen, "Probably because their habitat used to be an ocean until it drained..." Or during their feature on the Andean flamingos, they wonder what drew these birds to such inhospitable heights. Again I tell the TV, "Their nesting grounds weren't always that high..."

    So many of nature's little mysteries solved! Thanks gentlemen.

  7. I'm right there with you Todd. I've loved the journey the last few years of learning from Del's work. If you haven't read all his books, Who Really Settled Mesoamerica and Scientific Fallacies are also both excellent and full of truths I did not know.