At 11:45 PM 1/19/00 -0600, Wendee Holtcamp wrote:
>Our church's pastor mentioned an argument for a global flood based on a book
>he'd read that mentioned that there are trees that slice through geologic
>strata, and he doesn't see how that could happen unless there was a global
>flood that laid down all the sediment all at once.
>I am not really familiar with the tree argument, and am wondering if someone
>can fill me in, or point me to some (web) resources including possible
>scientific explanations for why that would happen even without a global
This is the polystrate tree argument. It was first proposed by Nicolaas
Rupke, a Dutch geologist son of a minister. In his early years Rupke was a
young-earth creationist. Within a few years of his publishing this idea, he
was an old earth evolutionist and no longer a Christian.
In some areas, like the Joggins area of NOva Scotia, tree trunks are found
extending from one layer (like a shale) into another layer (like a
sandstone) and ending either within or at the top of the sandstone.
Occasionally the trunk extends through more than one strata.
"Not infrequently, large fossils of animals and plants-especially tree
trunks - are found which extend through several strata, often 20 feet or
more in thickness. A young Dutch geologist, N. A. rupke, has suggested
that these be called 'polystrate fossils' and has documented numerous
remarkable examples of this phenomenon." ~ Henry M. Morris, Biblical
Cosmology and Modern Science, (Nutley, New Jersey: Craig Press, 1970), p.
102 see N. A. Rupke "Prolegomena to a Study of Cataclysmical
Sedimentation," Creation Research Society Annual, Vol. 3, No. 1, May 1996,
The argument goes that a tree can't stand out in the weather for thousands
of years waiting to be slowly and gradually covered. It would rot according
to the young-earth creationists. Thus, they conclude such trees are
evidence of rapid deposition ala the global flood.
Here is what is wrong with that idea. First such trees are evidence of
rapid deposition, but this can be accomplished without a global flood. In
1993 the Mississippi River flooded and dumped up to 6 feet of sand on the
forests and farm fields of the Midwest. This had the effect of killing
millions of trees, whose trunks now are polystrate tree trunks. They are
firmly rooted in the pre-1993 sediments and their trunks extend through the
next layer. If there had been a 1994 flood, the trees, still standing but
dead at that time, would then extend through many layers of strata. So, in
the year 10,000 AD the 1993 trees will be used by future young-earth
creationists to argue that this is evidence of a global flood--yet we know
Secondly, the assumption that trees can't stand for millennia without
rotting is fallacious under certain circumstances. Waterlogged wood will
last millennia. There are forests offshore England today that were
inundated by the rise in sealevel after the ice age. Those tree trunks
still stand. And at a famous site of Mt. St. Helens, the trees in Spirit
lake still exist underwater, 20 years after the explosion.
The YECs are wrong.
Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Lots of information on creation/evolution
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