Coal

WHY IS IT NOT BEING MADE NOW?— (*#20-21/13 Considering Coal /Making Petroleum and Coal*)

A related puzzle is the great amount ofpetroleum and coal in our world. It is generally acknowledged by experts that petroleum comes from ancient animals, and coal from ancient plants. Rapidly buried _plant and animal life at some earlier time in earth's history _ produced both _ petroleum and coal. But neither of them is being _ formed today. This is a great mystery to the scientists.

Coal forms less than one percent of the sedimentary rock strata, yet it is of special significance to those seeking to understand the geologic record.

The rock strata known as Carboniferous contains the most coal, but it is also found in other strata. Coal results when plant remains are compressed and heated by the weight of overlying sediments. Around the edges of coal seams is frequently seen the identifiable plants it came from. Enormous forests must have been rapidly buried in order to produce coal.

The uniformitarian theory (called the autochthonous theory), held by evolutionists, teaches that coal has been regularly made for millions of years (even though it is admitted that it is not being made now). According to this theory, peat bogs were the source of the immense coal beds we now have. It is said that plants which compose the coal accumulated in large freshwater swamps or peat bogs during many thousands of years.

But this theory does not square with the facts: (1) Much of the coal is obviously from types of plants and trees (such as the pine) which do not grow in swampy areas. (2) No coal is being made today in swamps. (3) No locality is known, anywhere in the world, where the bottoms of peat beds are forming typical coal beds. (4) Some coal seams are up to 30 or 40 feet [91-122 dm] in thick ness, representing 300 to 400 feet [122 m] of plant remains for one seam, therefore some astounding conditions were required to produce all that coal!

"Though a peat-bog may serve to demonstrate how vegetal matter accumulates in considerable quantities, it is in no way comparable in extent to the great bodies of vegetation which must have given rise to our important coal seams . . No single bog or marsh [today] would supply sufficient peat to make a large coal seam."—*E.S. Moore, "Coal: Its Properties, Analysis, Classification, Geology, Extraction, Uses and Distribution" (1940), p. 146.

The second theory is called the allochthonous theory, and suggests that coal strata accumulated from plants which had been rapidly transported and laid down during a massive flood that inundated entire continents and suddenly stripped them of their trees.

Here is some evidence favoring this second view: (1) The immense quantity of vegetation that was buried to produce this coal. (2) The way that vegetation was so suddenly laid down and buried. (3) The fact that marine fossils such as fish, mollusks, and brachiopods are commonly found in coal.

"The small marine tubeworm Spirobis is commonly attached to plants in Carboniferous coals of Europe and North America. Since there is little anatomical evidence suggesting that coal plants were adapted to marine swamps, the occurrence of marine animals with nonmarine plants suggests mixing during transport, thus favoring the allochthonous model."—Stuart E. Nevins, "The Origin of Coal, " in Up With Creation (1978), p. 241.

One doctoral thesis detailed how coal could have been rapidly formed as, under conditions imposed by a worldwide flood, floating mats of trees and vegetation sank, producing our present coal beds (S.A. Austin, "Depositional Environment of the Kentucky No. 12 Coal Bed, et. al., " Geology Ph.D. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, 1979).

(4) Upright tree trunks (polystrate trees). 10 to 30 feet [30.5-91.4 dm] or more in height. are often found in the strata associated with coal. or in the coal itself. The sediments forming the coal had to form rapidly in order to solidify before the tree trunks could rot and fall over.

"Figure 24 shows a tree that was buried to a depth of 4.6 m [15 ft]. Because the tree is in growth position and shows no root regeneration, it probably was buried very quickly, cetainly before it could decay."—*R.C. Milici, et. al, "The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian [Carboniferous] Systems in the United States: Tennessee, " United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 111O-G32-4.

(5) Sometimes these upright trees are upside down, and sometimes so much vegetation was poured in by the flood waters, that tree trunks will be found interspersed at different levels in relation to one another. (Just after the big volcanic explosion of Mount St. Helens occurred in May 1980, analysis of nearby Spirit Lake revealed large amounts of vegetation with many vertical floating trees among them. The weight of their roots and girth of their lower trunks caused some of them to float in a vertical or near-vertical position. Yet, even then, conditions in Spirit Lake still did not match those of the worldwide Flood, for rapid burial did not take place— so fossils and coal were not formed.)

(6) The hollow trunks of trees in coal seams will be filled with material not native to the coal—showing that the trees or the coal were carried there from somewhere else.

(7) Stigmaria is the name given to the roots of these trees. Studies by *Rupke in 1969 revealed that these tree roots were carried in from elsewhere (* N.A. Rupke, "Sedimentary Evidence for the Allochthonous Origin of Stigmaria, " in Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 80, 1969, pp. 2109-2114.)

(8) Coal is found in layers, called cyclothem. Between each layer of coal will be some washed-in material: sandstone, shale, limestone, clay, etc.

Each of these layers of coal may be thin,—but it can be amazingly wide in area. Modern stratigraphic research has shown that just one of these coal seams reaches from Oklahoma, Missouri, and Iowa, eastward through Indiana to Ohio to Pennsylvania, and southward through Kentucky. This one coal seam alone comprises 100,000 square miles [258,990 km2] in central and eastern United States. There are no modern conditions that could duplicate such coal production, yet evolutionary geologists routinely tell us that "the present is the key to the past"; i.e., the way things are happening now is the way they happened in past ages.

(9) Under and over the coal seams is frequently found underclays which are not natural soil for swamps or forests. In addition, there is an absence of the necessary soil for the luxuriant vegetation which turned to coal. It is clear that the clay was washed in, then the vegetation, and then more clay.

(10) Large rocks, not native to the area, have frequently been found in coal beds all over the world for over a hundred years. Their average weight is 12 pounds [5 kg], with the largest 161 pounds [73 kg]. (See *P.H. Price, "Erratic Boulders in Sewell Coal of West Virginia, " in Journal of Geology, Vol. 40, 1932, pp. 62-73.)

(11) Lastly, analysis of the structure of coal itself reveals particle orientation, sorted texture, and micro-lamination,—all of which indicate transportation to the site rather than growth-in-place.

Coal and petroleum are only found in sedimentary strata. Fossils are only found in sedimentary strata. All the evidence for a careful study of coal points to a worldwide Flood as the event that laid down those strata!

(12) Both petroleum and coal can be made in a comparatively short period of time. Research scientists find that it is not difficult to make, and could be made by nature just as quickly. The key is immense pressure.

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