Re: ICR/AIG claims (coal)

Date: Mon Sep 15 2003 - 23:18:29 EDT

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    On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 13:51:13 -0700 "Paul Greaves" <>
    Now, as for coal being formed by floods or in swamps, the evidence is
    kind of interesting (geologically speaking), but I'm not sure how
    constructive it is at addressing this issue. The point I was trying to
    make is that whether the answer is floods or swamps isn't really
    important in the long run, as either is consistent with an old earth.
    Either model for the origin of coal may consistent with an old earth, but
    only the swamp model is consistent with the bulk of the professional
    literature. And if what we are told by professional geologists is
    exactly backward, then what we are told by those in various fields
    regarding the age of the earth may also be incorrect. At any rate, I can
    tell you that college professors teaching geology generally get very
    upset when they hear that coal is a flood deposit, and, as you saw, I am
    labeled a YEC for attempting to present this concept.

    Since the subject is clear and those not interested can delete this
    thread, I would prefer to stay online. I need and appreciate the
    feedback from the Glenn Morton's out there to point out weaknesses in the
    model. Why don't we begin by discussing the quotes I presented earlier?
    You responded briefly to one or two points, but let's begin again if you
    don't mind. Here are the points from an earlier post:

    "Waterworn pebbles of banded coal often occur in the base of the
    overlying sandstone and, according to a few specimens which were examined
    for microfossil content, they appear to have been derived from the
    Pittsburgh coal itself. It is very difficult to explain how such coal
    pebbles could have been loosened from a coal seam, then so recently
    deposited, and become waterworn and then have been redeposited in the
    first sandstone to be laid down such a short time later. By the time of
    reworking, the peat deposit must have been advanced in rank at least to
    the stage of lignite for the pebbles are normal banded, have well
    developed cleat and usually retained their basic shape even though they
    very often lie at some angle to the bedding plane of the underlying coal
    or shale."

    From: Cross, A.T., 1952. The geology of the Pittsburgh coal:
    stratigraphy, petrology, origin and composition, and geologic
    interpretation of mining problems. Second Conference of the Origin and
    Constitution of Coal, 75.

    If the Pittsburgh coal was an active swamp when buried by the sand, how
    do you explain the coal pebbles in the sandstone?
    " ‘Exotics,’ boulders or cobbles of composition other than the
    surrounding bedrock, are a common occurrence in coal seams from Oklahoma
    to Pennsylvania. Several such occurrences are known from coal seams in
    England. The exotics are frequently composed of granitic or other igneous
    material, although rock types such as quartz and quartzite are also
    commonly reported. The exotics are embedded in coal seams whose
    surrounding bedrock is sedimentary…. It is very likely that the boulders
    were attached to roots of floating trees, therefore indicating they were
    transported in rafts of marine plants. This has great implications for
    the origin of these Pennsylvanian coals."
    From: Branson, C.C., Meraitt, C.A., 1963. An igneous cobble in an
    Oklahoma coal bed. Oklahoma Geology Notes, v 23, no 10, 235-241. In
    Austin, S.A., 1994. Catastrophe Reference Database, version 1.2,
    Institute for Creation Research, 294.
    "Throughout large parts of the mapped area the coal varies only an inch
    or so in average thickness over areas three or four counties in extent.
    The vast area covered by this coal, 600 to 700 mile in distance as
    mapped, and perhaps 1200 miles in possible only on a
    surface whose flatness is probably not matched on the earth today. It is
    probably...that coincidence of topographic smoothness and a favorable
    climate were necessary to provide for coal deposition at so nearly the
    same time over such vast areas."

    From: Wanless, H.R., Baroffio, J.R., Trescott, P.C., 1969. Conditions of
    deposition of Pennsylvanian Coal Bed. In: Environments of Coal
    deposition, GSA Special Paper 114, 134.

    Swamps I have seen are not flat, and compaction (estimated to be 10x from
    peat to coal) will not even irregular peat deposits to within an inch
    over hundreds of square miles. What's your modern analog?

    "...the 'blue band'...parting of blue gray clay...generally ranges from 1
    to 3 inches in thickness and lies a little below the middle of the coal.
    In most parts of Illinois there is an additional parting averaging 1/2
    inch thick 6 to 10 inches below the blue band, and at many places a
    minute dark shale of clay parting averaging 1/8 inch is 1-1/2 to 2 feet
    below the top of the coal. These partings are traceable through a belt
    ranging from 550 miles in linear distance northwest-southeast from north
    central Iowa to western Kentucky and 430 miles northeast-southwest from
    central western Indiana to eastern Kansas. A principal problem to
    explain in any case is how the forest vegetation of a swamp could be so
    completely levelled as to permit accumulation of a continuous layer of
    clay averaging an inch or so in thickness."

    From: Wanless, H.R., 1952. Studies of field relationships of coal beds.
    In: Second Conference on the Origin and Constitution of Coal, 164-167,

    There are actually two problems here: 1) to level the swamp before
    deposition of each parting, and 2) to establish a new swamp on top of
    each parting without disturbing the partings with roots from the swamp
    trees above. What is your explanation?

    If you agree that the best explanation for these features is deposition
    from water, then just say so and I'll present some other quotes.


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