RE: Coal and YEC models

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Wed Jul 24 2002 - 09:22:37 EDT

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    Bill Payne wrote Tuesday, July 23, 2002 8:05 PM

    >On Tue, 23 Jul 2002 06:05:55 -0700 "Glenn Morton"
    ><> writes:

    >OK, Glenn, that's a fair question. We know that peat compresses 3 to 5
    >times to make coal. For the moment let's assume that a global flood
    >stripped 100% of the vegetation from the continents and all of the
    >vegetation became a floating mat and eventually became coal on the
    >continent where it originated. Let's also assume that the entire earth
    >had a tropical climate with mature, lush rain-forest growth.
    >If all of the vegetation from an acre of rain forest, including the
    >roots, were piled up on that acre as peat, how thick would the vegetation

    Bill, I did that in my book Foundation, Fall and Flood p. 88. It says:
            "If we further consider the quantity of plant matter which must have
    occupied the single preflood world envisioned by young-earth creationists,
    these results pale in comparison. There are an estimated 15 x 10^18 grams
    of carbon contained in the coal reserves of the world.39 An acre of
    tropical forest contains 525 kilograms of plant matter per square meter.40
    Assuming an 18% carbon content of plant matter41 we have 94.5 kilograms of
    carbon per square meter. Multiplying this by the number of square meters on
    land, we have approximately the quantity of carbon contained in coal, 15 x
    10^18 grams. One can account for all the carbon in coal only by
    postulating a tropical rain forest over the entire world."

    But one can't have a tropical forest all over the world. Why? Because you
    have to have someplace for the buffalo to roam. Antelope, Buffalo,
    Wildebeests etc all need pastureland which isn't tropical rain forest. The
    northern parts of the world don't receive enough sunlight to be tropical
    rain forest. We find desert plants in the fossil record also, so there had
    to be areas of desert. It is unrealistic to think that the entire world was
    tropical forest.

    And what of the fact that nearly 60% of the US is covered by crinoidal
    limestones which are the remains of nothing but dead crinoids? And large
    areas of the southern and central US are covered by chalk, which is the
    remains of dead microscopic animals? Where did the tropical plants live
    when the space they needed to live on was inhabited by deepsea crinoids and
    chalk? Remember in your coal calculation that you need to account for about
    150,000 times more dead animals than exist today also. ONe can't just look
    at plants and say wow I got that solved while ignoring that there are so
    many dead crinoids, bryozoans, chalk, diatoms etc that one can't possibly
    fit it all into the world. You want merely to look at one aspect and ignore
    the rest.

    >> The floating mat theory has another observational problem. All the coal
    >> the world is on the continental platforms. That is not to say none is
    >> the oceans because continental platforms extend a bit beneath the
    >> oceans. There is no coal in the deep deep water >600' water depth. If
    >> vegetational mats were floating around on the waters of the global
    >> why on earth does NONE of the material drop in the ocean basins. What
    >> mechanisms restrict coal to the continents? This has absolutely no
    >> within the Austin paradigm advocated by Bill.
    >You've asked me this before and I offered an explanation, but you (like
    >me) seem to have a propensity to forget things that don't fit with your
    >model. In deep oceans, organic fragments would be disseminated rather
    >than collecting in a bed.

    Bill, that is simply false. Tiny coccolithic rain from dead microscopic
    animals is not dispersed in today's ocean. It all falls down and is
    collected. As I said, I have never received an explanation which made
    sense. I drill in the deep water and I can tell you that things which fall
    in deep water do fall a wee bit further away from the point of origin than
    things in shallow water, but OK, so we spread the material over an
    additional 1/4 mile. That would take a coal seam like the Pittsburgh and
    make it negligibly thinner.

    >Ah, now we're getting somewhere. "It doesn't matter what sedimentary
    >features are there" is another way of saying "don't bother me with your
    >empirical observations, I've got my straw man all propped up." How long
    >did it take you to learn to ignore data? Is that something you learned
    >as a YEC and just carried over into OEC?

    Bill, you misunderstand what I said. If you can't explain where all this
    stuff came from in one biosphere and realistically allow for room for other
    plants and animals, you don't have a case to make for a global flood.
    Explain ALL the animals we find in the fossil record, tell me how they fit
    into the world. There are enough dead. THere are enough diatoms to cover
    the earth to a depth of 20 m, enough chalk to cover the earth to a depth of
    1 meter, enough crinoids to cover the earth to a depth of 1/4 m-- land and
    sea! Here is what my book says:

    " Too Many Plankton

            There are also too many microscopic animals. Most limestone
    is deposited by
    bacteria and invertebrate animals. The Austin Chalk, which underlies
    Dallas, is a 400-foot thick limestone bed made of the remains of microscopic
    animals, called coccolithophores or coccoliths. It is about 70% coccoliths.
    The coccolithophore is a small spherical animal, between 5 and 60
    micrometers in diameter, each having about 16 coccoliths that separate upon
    the death. According to Stokes Law these animals would fall through the
    water at a rate of .1 millimeter per second. To fall through a 100 foot (33
    meter) depth of water would take 4 days.
              The time required to form the Austin Chalk is far longer than one year.
    The coccolith skeleton, when pressed flat, is about 1 micron or one
    millionth of a meter thick. A deposit of coccoliths 400 feet thick must
    represent many thousands of years of deposits. One hundred twenty-one
    million coccoliths could be stacked up like coins across the four hundred
    feet. The length of time necessary to deposit these 121 million coccoliths
    can be calculated by assuming the maximum density of living coccolithophores
    in the waters above. Such measurements can be made during an event known as
    a red tide.
            Occasionally, growth conditions become so favorable that they
    grow beyond
    all reason. As many as 60 million creatures per liter of water grow and
    quickly use up all of the oxygen and nutrients in the water and then die.
    Their decay continues to use any oxygen entering the water and also gives
    off poisons. Fish who swim into one of these areas often die from lack of
    oxygen and the absorption of toxins emitted by the dead microorganism.
    These water blooms last only a few weeks as the microorganisms deplete the
    water's nutrients rapidly and die. However, even at their most dense, 60
    million microorganisms per liter, only 39 layers of organisms are stacked in
    a single cubic centimeter. Thus, to stack 121 million coccoliths would
    require the death of nearly 8 million organisms. A 100 foot water depth,
    filled to the maximum with coccospheres, would only generate a thickness of
    six feet of chalk! The four hundred feet of chalk of the Austin formation
    would require 66 such blooms. If it required two weeks between each bloom to
    recharge the nutrients and one week for the bloom to occur, it would take 4
    years to deposit the chalk. And these values are wildly optimistic for the
    deposition of chalk. This size bloom is not possible.
            The coccolithophores remove calcium carbonate from the water
    to make their
    skeletons. In water depth of 100 feet there is not nearly enough calcium to
    deposit such a volume of chalk. One hundred feet of seawater contains only
    enough carbonate to deposit a little over 1-millimeter of carbonate. Thus,
    no bloom of the size mentioned above can even occur. Using the two-week
    recharge and one-week bloom mentioned above, it would take 7,000 years to
    deposit the chalk. Obviously, the chalk under Dallas would require much
    more time to deposit than merely one year. In southern Louisiana, the chalk
    is 2100 feet (640 meters) thick. I have drilled it. This would take
    considerably more time than seven thousand years.
            Additionally, the quantity of chalk seen in the world is far
    too great to
    have been contained in the preflood world hypothesized by young-earth
    creationists. The Austin Chalk is a chalk deposit that stretches from
    Mexico along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana, a distance in
    excess of 800 km. In Mexico, the Austin Chalk is named the San Felipe
    Formation. A glance at the geologic data shows that the band is about 160 km
    wide and appears to average 120 meters in thickness.43 In the chalk in Texas
    alone there are enough dead coccolithophores to cover the earth to a depth
    of 3 centimeters. But Texas is not the only place on earth that has deposits
    of chalk. In Alabama and Mississippi, the chalk is known as the Selma. The
    Niobrara chalk - 5,000 km long, 1,400 km. wide and 6 meters thick - runs
    through much of the western part of the Great Plains of the United States.44
    The Niobrara would add another 7 centimeters of cover to the earth.
    Throughout Europe Upper Cretaceous chalks cover large areas. The White
    Cliffs of Dover are made of chalk that is as much as 215 meters thick in
    parts of England. This chalk sweeps across southern Scandinavia, Poland and
    into south Russia where it attains an amazing thickness of up to 1000
    meters. It is stopped by the Ural Mountains. The chalks of western Europe
    are enough to cover the entire earth to a depth of 83 centimeters.45 West of
    the Urals, in the Central Asian Tuar-Kyr mountain range, a deposit of chalk
    20 meters thick is found. In Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia,
    an Upper Cretaceous chalk is around 180 meters thick. If all the fossil
    record was the record of the destruction of one preflood biosphere, as
    Morris suggests, it must have been a crowded place. The worldwide quantity
    of dead coccoliths would cover the earth to a depth of one meter.

    Too Many Diatoms

            A deposit that is similar to chalk is diatomaceous chert.
    These siliceous
    deposits are made of little more than dead diatoms. A diatom is a small
    single-celled animal that lives in the sea. As diatoms collect on the ocean
    floor and are buried deeper and deeper, they are compressed and changed from
    a form known as diatomite, which is used in swimming pool filters, to opal.
    Upon further burial, with increased temperature and pressure, the opal is
    changed into chert. The Monterey formation of California is such a deposit.
    It is the light-colored rock that forms much of the landscape of southern
    California. The deposit is 1,200 kilometers long, 250 kilometers wide and
    averages half a kilometer in thickness. This single deposit of dead diatoms
    is large enough to cover the earth to a depth of nearly 1 foot, or 0.28
            But this is not all. There are over 300 such siliceous
    deposits around the
    world. If each one of them is only one-fourth the size of the Monterey, then
    there are enough dead diatoms to cover the earth uniformly to a depth of 21
    meters, or 70 feet! So we now have a preflood world which contains 2,100
    terrestrial animals per acre (none of which are human), a tropical rain
    forest everywhere, 20 meters of dead diatoms over the entire globe and 1
    meter of dead coccoliths. Where is everyone going to live? And we are not

    Too Many Crinoids

            The Mission Canyon formation in the northwestern United
    States is part of a
    truly remarkable deposit. It is largely made of the remains of dead
    crinoids, which are deep-sea creatures called sea lilies. Clark and Stearn

            "Much of the massive limestone formation is composed of sand-sized
    particles of calcium carbonate, fragments of crinoid plates, and shells
    broken by the waves. Such a sedimentary rock qualifies for the name
    sandstone because it is composed of particles of sand size cemented
    together; because the term sandstone is commonly understood to refer to a
    quartz-rich rock, however, these limestone sandstones are better called
    calcarenites. The Madison sea must have been shallow, and the waves and
    currents strong, to break the shells and plates of the animals when they
    died. The sorting of the calcite grains and the cross-bedding that is
    common in this formation are additional evidence of waves and currents at
    work. Even in Mississippian rocks, where whole crinoids are rare fossils,
    and as a result, it is easy to underestimate the population of these animals
    during the Paleozoic era. Crinoidal limestones, such as the Mission
    Canyon-Livingstone unit, provide an estimate, even though it be of necessity
    a rough one, of their abundance in the clear shallow seas they loved. In
    the Canadian Rockies the Livingstone limestone was deposited to a thickness
    of 2,000 feet on the margin of the Cordilleran geosyncline, but it thins
    rapidly eastward to a thickness of about 1,000 feet in the Front Ranges and
    to about 500 feet in the Williston Basin. Even though its crinoidal content
    decreases eastward, it may be calculated to represent at least 10,000 cubic
    miles of broken crinoid plates. How many millions, billions, trillions of
    crinoids would be required to provide such a deposit? The number staggers
    the imagination."46

            In just this one deposit, there are enough crinoids to cover
    every square
    inch of the earth to a depth of 1/4 inch. Where would the vertebrate
    animals (in the Karroo Beds mentioned earlier) live if the whole world were
    covered with crinoids? But this deposit is not the only crinoidal deposit.
    Rocks of the lower Mississippian age are largely composed of crinoidal
    calcarenites - translation: dead crinoids. Further north in Canada, the
    deposit of crinoidal limestones is called the Rundle, and it is called the
    Lisburne limestone in Alaska. Both of these beds contain vast quantities of
    dead crinoids. Farther south, the crinoidal limestone is called the
    Leadville Limestone in Colorado, the Redwall in Arizona, and the Chappell in
    Texas, the Burlington and Keokuk limestones in the Mid-Continent region.
    The Burlington alone contains another 719 cubic miles of dead crinoids.47 It
    is called the Edwardsville Formation in Indiana. This Mississippian
    crinoidal rock unit is called the Ft. Payne in Tennessee, Kentucky and
    Georgia. But this is not the extent of this crinoidal limestone.
            In Australia there is a deposit of crinoidal limestones
    called the Namoi
    and Bingleburra Formations.48 In Libya near the Timenocaline Wells, there is
    a 6 foot bed of crinoidal limestone.49 White crinoidal limestones are found
    along the banks of the Zilim River in the south part of the Ural
    Mountains.50 Belgium boasts a crinoidal limestone that reaches 2,100 feet
    thick.51 Without further documentation, which could have been provided,
    these crinoidal limestones are found in Egypt, Central Asia, and China. A
    Mississippian crinoidal limestone even tops Mt. Everest! With crinoids all
    over the Northern Hemisphere, where did land animals live? Where did the
    tropical rain forest live? Where did the diatoms come from? Where did the
    coal come from?
            When it is realized that almost all of the limestone deposits
    in the world
    are biologic in origin, a problem quickly arises. There are 6.42 x 10^22
    grams of carbon in the limestones of the earth and only 3 x 10^17 grams of
    carbon in the biosphere of the earth. The flood must have buried 214,000
    times more living matter in limestone alone than is currently on the earth.
            There are far too many dead animals to have fit on the
    preflood earth as
    envisioned by the global flood advocates. The fossil record can not even
    begin to be considered the remains of one preflood biosphere. It would have
    been too crowded!" Foundation Fall and Flood p. 88-90

    So Bill, where does this tropical rain forest live? Explain it within the
    TOTAL picture, not in isolation.


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