Re: Coal and theYEC position

Glenn Morton (
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 19:32:57 -0500

At 02:46 AM 4/23/98 -0600, wrote:

>Why not? Because you have empirical data to the contrary or because you
>are philosophically troubled by coal from trees with no roots or trunks
>preserved upright in the coal?

Because most coals don't show any biological material and whatever formed it
is a guess, because we find tree-leaf imprints in the roofs of coal mines,
because Rupke and Snelling cite tree trunks coming out of the coal beds,
and because coal experts have cited other material forming coal beds.
Stutzer writes:

"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

So, yes there is evidence of non-wood coal.

>> Secondly, if you want trees associated with
>> the coal seams surely you wouldn't disagree with Creationist Andrew Snelling
>> would you?
>> he said:
>> "If we go to the Newcastle coalfield north of Sydney, what we do
>> find is tree stumps sitting on top of the coal seam. These tree
>> stumps have their roots broken off indicating that they were
>> ripped up from another location where they grew, transported here
>> where they were buried."~Andrew Snelling, Raging Waters Video
>> from Answers in Genesis.
>I agree with Snelling; I see the same thing in Alabama.

But then there are the trees for the last stage of the swamp.
>> Now, his claim that the roots are broken off may be nothing more than the
>> roots turning to coal while the trunks are silicified by the overlying
>> sands.
>Just because roots and/or trunks are coalified would not require that
>they disappear. The relict structure should still be visible, even if
>it is compressed 10x. If vertical or oblique structure is not visible
>in the coal, I contend that it was never there in the first place.
>> He shows a picture and it looks like the trunks are silicified. A
>> friend of mine saw the same thing in a coal bed in East Texas as a graduate
>> student. The silicified trunk came out of the lignite at an angle of about
>> 30 degrees the upper part was silicified the lower was coalified. Since
>> this was a very immature lignite, he could still see the tree below the
>> sand/coal interface.
>If this is lignite, the age is likely younger than Carboniferous and may
>be from a post-flood swamp. If the observations support a swamp, even
>in the Carboniferous, I'd be willing to grant you a swamp. I just don't
>see the supporting data in the Carboniferous.

What about the meandering channels cutting through the Illinois coals I
mentioned. If the coal was washed in via the flood, there should be no
meandering channels. There is not enough time to form the channel and the

>> Also if you want tree stumps associated with coal then try
>> N.A. Rupke, "Prolegomena to a Study of Cataclysmal Sedimentation," Creation
>> Research Soc. Quarterly, p. 16-37
>> Once again a respectable creationist source. Rupke shows trees coming out
>> of the coal beds. But it is important that he does not give a case of a tree
>> going through another coal bed. Only in this way could you prove that the
>> coal bed was deposited catastrophically. Remember the 1993 Mississippi River
>> Floods? They covered trees with several feet of sediment and produced
>> incipient polystrate fossils. But no coal beds were deposited by this event
>> and no future polystrate trees will go through a coal bed. Coals can be on
>> the bottom of the tree or a new coal form on top of the buried tree in a
>> naturalistic scenario. thus in order to prove catastrophism you must have a
>> polystrate go THROUGH a coal seam and I know of none.
>Multiple thin shale partings in coal covering 1,500 km2 in the Illinois
>Basin or 15,000 mi2 in the Pittsburg Coal won't do it for you, huh
>Glenn? You gotta have a tree trunk punching completely THROUGH a coal

Yeah. Because I can think of no way to form a polystrate tree which goes
through multiple coal seams. If there was the flood which was busy
depositing lots of vegetable material in a short time (so that the tree
trunks couldn't rot), surely there should be one such example on the entire
surface of the earth.

>Let me throw one out for you to explain. William Corliss (Unknown
>Earth: A Handbook of Geological Enigmas, pp 148-153) mentions erratic
>bolders found in coal seams in England and the US. Steve Austin's
>"CatastroRef" provides the following:
>>>294 Branson, Carl C., and Meraitt, C. A., 1963, An igneous
>cobble in an Oklahoma coal bed: Oklahoma Geology Notes, vol. 23,
>no. 10, pp. 235-241.
>"Exotics," boulders or cobbles of composition other than the
>surrounding bedrock, are a common occurrence in coal seams from
>Oklahoma to Pennsylvania.

>Erratic boulders are also found in some Alabama coals. A geologist told
>me of a boulder of pink granite found in an Alabama coal seam. He said
>the closest occurrence of in situ pink granite *might* be South
>Carolina! A coal miner in northwest AL told me of occasional layers of
>"white rocks" which they find in the Mary Lee Coal Seam. He didn't like
>the white rocks in the coal because they have to pick them out by hand
>before they process the coal.
>These erratic bolders are no problem for me, but how would you explain
>their presence within your grass marshes or swamps?

I would object to your logical leap here. You are arguing that erratics must
be carried by tree roots. Then you leap to the conclusion that ALL trees
were washed in. How many trees do you think are washed into the rivers and
into the seas today, carrying roots with enclosed dirt and rock? I would
argue that the rarity of erratics is an indication that not many trees were
washed into the coal beds. Could there be some? Of course, just like trees
are found floating down the Mississippi today.


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