Re: Coal and theYEC position

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 06 Apr 1998 18:42:24 -0500

At 12:18 PM 4/6/98 -0400, Bill Hamilton wrote:

>I've been following this exchange with considerable interest. From a
>layman's point of view the question of how coal beds are largely devoid of
>sand and shale as well as tree stumps seems to give both the YEC and the
>conventional geologist puzzles to think about.

As usual when I find something I can't explain, I try to find an answer.
First, one must realize that coal is the metamorphosed remains of plant
material. It doesn't mean that it has to be the remains of trees. Going on
that, I can conceive of several kinds of environments where peat could form
without trees. One could conceive of a marsh with grasses rather than trees
as the source for plant matter. Secondly, one might not even need
macroscopic plant material. I have been rumaging around in some old books
of mine and found the following.

"Likewise, we know of coal beds which are overlain by marine
strata. These must have originated at the bottom of an ocean.
Why then, may not some coals also have been deposited on the
ocean bottom.
"The algal theory is supported by the discovery of a small
coal bed at Neunkirchen in Eifelland, which was apparently built
up of algal remains."~Otto Stutzer, The Geology of Coal,
translated by Adolph C. Noe, (Chicago: University of Chicago,
1940), p. 88,89

Such a coal would not have tree stumps for obvious reasons.


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