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At about the three-foot level (in the center of the yard) the red-brown clay is abruptly terminated by a reddish conglomerate we call hardpan.A few sickly-looking roots, long dead for all I can tell, do penetrate the clay, usually by hugging the surfaces of the boulders, before being stopped cold by the hardpan.This is usually the fate of every plot of land which remains above sea level long enough.Large areas of Canada, for instance, have been eroded down to the Precambrian basement rock!The sediment added to our patch of land may be great for building new soil, but if it accumulates too quickly it will merely bury the existing soil. In any case, the old topsoil, now compressed and deeply buried by sediment and soil, is no longer turned over by earthworms or small animals.It is deprived of oxygen and fresh organic material, such as rotting leaves.Whatever damage is done to the clay by the few penetrating roots may, for all I know, be patched up by clay particles sifting down through the soil.The yard is located, along with much of San Diego, on a plateau, and meandering streams over thousands or millions of years have brought rocks down from the hills and rounded them into boulders.

Those earthworms don't get their calories from rock and clay! Those "scientific" creationists who trot this plum about must be delirious!Do they really believe that we should wind up with x miles of topsoil (or some such nonsense) after billions of years?Fewer roots now reach the parent rock, and, in the bottom layers, the organic content of the soil is greatly reduced.That means less chemical weathering from bacteria and fungi.

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