I admit that I have no satisfactory answer for the vast quantities of
biologic material contained in coal which, if all Pennsylvanian coal was
a flood deposit, would have had to be present in the pre-flood earth (a
reasonable assumption but maybe not the only possibility).
I also admit that I cannot refute the differential compaction argument
posted by Glenn. As I stated earlier, I would like to see a tree buried
diagonally through underclay, coal and the overlying sediment to see if
the tree is bent by greater compaction of coal (similar to the
refraction of light as it goes from water to air). I am concerned by the
lack of experimental or empirical evidence inherent in these arguments.
If coal can be shown to be allochthonous (transported by water and then
deposited) rather than autochthonous (an in situ swamp deposit), then
these arguments offered by Glenn will have to be re-evaluated. In my
mind the basic question regarding the Flood (worldwide, local or none)
can be addressed through coal, which still appears to me to be
allochthonous from the exposures I've examined.
There, maybe I'm a little more stable now - "Pride goeth before a fall."