Search This Blog

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fossil Rocks and Fossils KILL OFF Evolution - Part 8 - Pollen and Tree fossils put the lie to Darwinism

Darwinists often claim there are "no angiosperms or evidence of vascular trees" from the lower sedimentary rock layers.   This is not true.   They have claimed that fossil forests have been preserved in their living state.   This is also not true with one possible exception that I am checking on for future reference.   The following posts on trees and tree pollen should be informative for those who believe all the propaganda.   There possibly may be one or two places that were far from the most violent portions of the Flood which were buried in situ by the Flood and that is about it.   Everywhere we have studied carefully up to this time has been shown to be a testament to catastrophe rather than a snapshot of an ancient forest.

By the way,  in my childhood I lived in and around South Bend, Indiana, where there were large numbers of very old Beech trees.   



Many large Beech trees grew in the area and a lot of Birch as well.   Many were approximately as big as this one.   You could see signs made by Indians and trappers, later dates and names of early settlers and then, near the base, were the hearts and proclamations made by 20th Century kids and couples.  In the early 1960's there were a number of violent thunderstorms and tornadoes that ripped these monstrous trees from the earth and left them toppled to the ground for us to play on and inspect until park authorities would come to lop off branches and chop up the trunks.   One thing we saw was that the trees would leave their large root systems in the ground and take very little root with them as they gave in to the storms.



This held true for trees that were blown over or even for a tree or two that was picked up and thrown by a tornado. So it is not surprising that a catastrophic global flood would rip trees up in a similar manner.  A global flood covered the globe in sedimentary rock and remade the surface of the planet.   Let's look at tree-related evidence:





       Some point to the obvious vertical order of pollen found throughout the fossil record and suggest that such sorting can only be explained by evolutionary changes over time.21  It is true that pollens are also sorted in the fossil record.  However, to say that this sorting is impossible for a large complex fluvial event or a relatively rapid series of rather complex catastrophic events to explain, seems to be a bit presumptuous. 
       As it turns out, different pollens can be water sorted based on various characteristic differences such as size, specific gravity, density, chemical composition (ie: hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic), and "fall velocity" in water.  For example, most deciduous pollen types sink in water in a few minutes while bisaccate grains (pine pollen) float for much longer times, sometimes years, before they sink."  Pohl (1933) noted that pine pollen could retain its buoyancy for up to four years.
       Hopkins (1950) results show that there is some differential buoyancy between Pinus species.    The grains that sank are those with smaller or deformed/broken air sacs.  When placed on a water surface in a large water tank, over which a breeze of 13km/h was blown, conifer pollen drifts at a rate of 0.16 to 0.32 km/h.  When oak pollen (Quercus palustris) was put through a similar process most of it sank within the first meter.
       Bisccate grains will only sink if the bladders are pierced either by physical, chemical or microbial processes.  They are therefore more likely to be saturated if they enter turbulent flow, or if they have been resident in a position (such as the soil surface) where they are open to microbial attack prior to introduction to the water.
       Many pollen grains have mechanisms to prevent desiccation, but cannot prevent water uptake.  Sporomorphs, many of which have no openings in the exine, have no inlet for water.  Some, such as Lycopodium, also have an oily coat (Balick & Beitel, 1988).  Attempts to saturate Lycopodium in the laboratory have shown that such grains are extremely resistant to water uptake.  Extreme methods have been invoked, such as placing the sporomorphs in a beaker in a vacuum for up to eight hours (own method) or boiling in water (Reynolds 1979).  This means that they are likely to remain afloat in the water, in nature, for long periods of time.  This is consistent with results from the Volga River where Fedorova (1952) found Lycopodium spores over 7000km from their source.
       Several authors have found that water currents can sort sporomorphs.  This was first seen in the field by Muller (1959) who was looking at the palynomorph distribution in recent sediments in the Orinoco delta area.  He noted that the pollen of Rhizophora, which is relatively small, was carried further out to sea than larger sporomorphs from similar source areas. 
       Cross et al.  (1966) also found evidence of sorting in a marine setting as lighter, more buoyant, grains were carried further toward the southern end of the Gulf of California. Davis et al. (1971) and Davis and Brubaker (1973) explained differences in the distributions of oak (Quercus) and ragweed (Ambrosia) in the sediments of several small North American lakes as resulting from sorting.  The smaller ragweed grains remain in suspension for longer periods of time, allowing them to be transported to the littoral areas of the lake by wind generated currents.  Sorting was also used to explain results presented by Chen (1987) from the sediments of lake Barine in Queensland, Australia.  Larger grains are deposited in the littoral areas, while smaller grains are carried to the lake center by these currents.  
       Clearly sorting of sporomorphs can occur in many depositional environments.  The behavior of sporomorphs as sedimentary particles is, however, poorly understood. In a more recent study of alluvial sediments from a canyon stream in the chuska mountains of Arizona, Fall (1987) tested the assumption that the pollen in the alluvium was from local vegetation.  She found that pollen concentrations in general were highest in the fine-grained sediments.  Non-arboreal sporomorph types however were found in higher numbers in the sandy sediments.  Similar results have been reported from Glacio-lacustrine sediments in Alaska (Goodwin, 1988) and braided stream deposits adjacent to the Caribou River in Yukon (Catto, 1985) or they may be due to different source areas of tributaries involved.  These results suggest that the deposition of fine-grained sediments, sporomophs in particular, is related both to the flow conditions of the water and the bed material over which the water flows.
       From the evidence presented here is it suggested that, where water currents drop below 35cm/sec, sporomorphs may be sorted. This sorting is primarily due to size, but sporomorph density is also important." 23 
        

Pollen, Spores and Vascular Plants in the Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian

       It is often argued that the pollen or spores of modern plants are limited to the modern or Tertiary (often Eocene) layers of the geologic column.  Despite such common assertions, there seem to be at least a few long-standing problems with this notion. Although the subject of the Salt Range beds is proscribed among Indian and many western paleontologists today, the case rests precisely where it did in the early 1950s (Ghosh et al. 1951). The fossils are modern in aspect ("Eocene" according to Sahni 1944) yet the beds containing the fossils are overlain conformably by early Cambrian sediments (Coates et al. 1945).
        

        In the mid- 1940s there was a lively controversy about the age of the saline series of the Punjab salt range. On the basis of field evidence, geologists like Gee and Fox regarded it as Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian. But on the basis of the microfossils comprising Shreds of gymnospermous and angiospermous woods, cuticle of grasses, etc., obtained from Saline Series by macerating, Prof. B. Sahni regarded it as Eocene. His contension was that angiospermous remains could not have occurred earlier than the Tertiary. To strengthen his argument he cited the absence of vascular elements in the Cambrian strata of the Salt Range which he said were unconformably lying over the Saline Series. Prof. Ghosh and his associates checked the results obtained by Prof. Sahni and his collaborators and found the occurrence of vascular elements even in the Cambrian rocks.

        The controversy over the age of the saline Series could not be resolved due to the sudden demise of Prof. Sahni in1949. But it inspired Prof. Ghosh to further investigate whether vascular plants existed in Cambrian times or not. To collect sufficient evidences, he and A. Bose, his main associate in this study, investigated Cambrian rocks of Punjab Salt Range and Kashmir, Pre-Cambrian rocks of Dharwar and Cuddapah, some Vindhyan rocks and a few Cambrian specimens from North America. From these rocks they obtained wood elements and monolete and trilete types of spores, leading to the conclusion of the fact that their findings were not in agreement with the view of the majority of investigators who did not consider vascular plants to have existed in Pre-Silurian times. Still they had the courage to stand by their own observations, which were also supported by the works of Naumova, Reissinger and Kopeliovitch in Europe and Jacob and his associates in India. In 1969 they again published a paper on the spores of vascular plants obtained from nine samples of Cambrain rocks of North America, further reiterating the existence of vascular plants in the Cambrian.

         Prof. Ghosh's investigations related with the occurrence of earliest vascular plant led him to have a more critical looks to at all the organic remains reported from Pre-Cambrian deposits. This formed the subject matter of the 43rd Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose endowment lecture which he delivered in November 1973 under the title "Life in the Proterozoic". . .  The controversy received global attention and Ghosh became known as "Cambrian Ghosh" worldwide . . . 

         On his retirement from ONGC in 1962, Ghosh became an emeritus professor in the Botany Department of Calcutta University where he advised several palynology students, e.g., Manju Sharma, A. Nandi. 84, 85-96
        
        Also, in 1956 S. Leclercq published a paper in the journal Evolution entitled, "Evidence of vascular plants in the Cambrian" that included the following introduction:

        While the information given by palynology agrees with the flora known in the Upper and Middle Devonian, the assemblage of spores found in the Lower Devonian, Silurian and Cambrian plead in favor of a more varied and advanced type of flora than the plant impressions have so far suggested.  The recent discovery of Lycopodiaceous shoots in the Middle Cambrian of East-Siberia appears to confirm the evidence of palynology investigation. 97

        Some researchers have reported finding pollen of higher plants in strata shown by standard dating methods to be extremely old. These findings call into question the whole conventional account of the evolution of plants. In one instance, parties of scientists in Venezuela reported finding pollen of flowering plants in Precambrian rock formations judged to be 1.7-2.0 billion years old. This posed a serious problem, because according to current theory the flowering plants evolved fairly recently, only 100 million years ago. The story is as follows:


        Late in 1963 U. C. K. Dunsterville made an expedition to collect orchids around Cerro Venamo, at the westernmost point on the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana (where this mountain is known as Wenamu Head). He noted some shale‑like beds at the base of a towering cliff of Roraima sandstone and collected samples for their possible paleontological interest. G. Fournier, palynologist of the Mene Grande Oil Company, processed the samples and recovered well-preserved pollen and spores. Subsequently, L. Nijssen and J. A. Sulek, palynologists of Compa-Shell de Venezuela and Creole Petroleum Corporation, respectively, processed other pieces and recovered identical plant microfossils.

        This discovery of pollen and spores in a formation of supposed Precambrian age was so remarkable that a reconnaissance expedition of qualified geologists was organized to verify the facts of the case. During April, 1964, with the assistance of personnel and vehicles of the Ministerio de Minas e Hidrocarburos, the locality was visited by a party which included N. Benain, P. J. Bermdez, A. Espejo, U. Fournier, A. Mendez, J. A. Sulek and F. Wright. They confirmed the salient facts as recorded by Dunsterville. The shale-like beds, being less competent, had eroded away below the massive Roraima sandstone, leaving an undercut extending 10-12 ft. inwards at the base of the cliff. The original samples were loose, weathered fragments from the talus slope below. New samples of unweathered rock were collected from the face of the undercut.

        On their return to Caracas, the three palynologists made independent investigations of the new samples. Utmost care was taken to avoid any possibility of superficial contamination. The rock cleaves along finely laminated bedding planes which are coated with limonite. Every effort was made to avoid these planes and some of the pieces processed were the central nubs left after chipping away the external parts of large blocks of the rock, which was dense enough to sound when struck with a hammer. Nevertheless, microfossils of the same type as before were recovered. . .


Interpretation



        As to interpretation of the significance of the fossil pollen and spores, two sharply divided opinions have been expressed. The writers make no attempt to adjudicate, but state the two concepts impartially.

        One group adopts the attitude that the radiometric dating of dolerites and a hornfels within the Roraima Formation as Precambrian is beyond dispute, hence the pollen (and spores) must have entered as secondary contamination. The improbability that pollen could withstand the baking process, which converted shale to hornfels, is adduced as further evidence that the pollen must be allochthonous. The absence of macroscopic plant remains in the Roraima Formation is also noted, despite its assumed continental (fluviatile) origin. It is admitted that entry of the pollen into its present site defies simple explanation, though some form of washing in by meteoric waters in the geological past via joints in the overlying sandstone seems the most probable cause.

        The second group holds that by no conceivable physical means could the pollen (and spores) have entered the metamorphosed sediments from the outside. They are dense impermeable rocks compressed by an overburden of hundreds of feet of the overlying Roraima sandstones. The undercutting at Cerro Venamo suggests that the cliff has been steadily retreating, hence the face which was sampled must have been deep within the formation until quite recent times. The Roraima sandstones are quartzitic, of low permeability, hence carriage of extraneous pollen through them by percolating water seems highly improbable. Even if this process could occur, entry of such pollen and spores into the nonporous hornfels lacks an explanation. Furthermore, if plausibility of this process be granted, it would have been operative for a long period, and a mixed suite of spores and pollen should be expected.

        In counter-argument against the first group, it is claimed that the assertion that pollen and spores cannot withstand anaerobic baking of their parent shales has never been tested experimentally. As regards the radiometric dating, there is a disquieting overlap between stated ages of the Roraima Formation and the underlying basement rocks. The latter suffered complex deformation and vulcanism, and were then deeply peneplaned before being covered by thousands of feet of Roraima sandstones, and only after these prolonged events were the dolerites intruded, on which age-determination of the Roraima has been based. If the radiometric technique is valid there should be a long and clear-cut time-gap between ages assigned to the basement rocks and to the Roraima beds. Such a gap does not exist in the experimental results published, but this discrepancy is glossed over in the latest summary of radiometric dating in British Guiana.

        As stated, we offer no solution to the paradox. It is clear, however, that botanist Dunsterville in his hunt for rare orchids stumbled on a highly intriguing geological problem. 98

        So, to resolve the difficulty, one group of scientists decided that although the dates of the rock were correct the pollen must have been a recent intrusion, even though entry of the pollen into those layers defies simple explanation. The second group held that the pollen had been there since the rock had formed, but concluded that the dating was wrong and the rock was of recent origin. The two groups thus contradicted each other in their interpretations of the evidence. The real significance of this treatment is that both groups felt compelled to look for ways to avoid contradicting the standard story of evolution, to which they were strongly committed.  An summary of this problem is as follows:

     In the mid- 1940s there was a lively controversy about the age of the saline series of the Punjab salt range. On the basis of field evidence, geologists like Gee and Fox regarded it as Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian. But on the basis of the microfossils comprising Shreds of gymnospermous and angiospermous woods, cuticle of grasses, etc., obtained from Saline Series by macerating, Prof. B. Sahni regarded it as Eocene. His contention was that angiosperm remains could not have occurred earlier than the Tertiary. To strengthen his argument he cited the absence of vascular elements in the Cambrian strata of the Salt Range which he said were unconformably lying over the Saline Series. Prof. Ghosh and his associates checked the results obtained by Prof. Sahni and his collaborators and found the occurrence of vascular elements even in the Cambrian rocks.

     The controversy over the age of the saline Series could not be resolved due to the sudden demise of Prof. Sahni in1949. But it inspired Prof. Ghosh to further investigate whether vascular plants existed in Cambrian times or not. To collect sufficient evidences, he and A. Bose, his main associate in this study, investigated Cambrian rocks of Punjab Salt Range and Kashmir, Pre-Cambrian rocks of Dharwar and Cuddapah, some Vindhyan rocks and a few Cambrian specimens from North America. From these rocks they obtained wood elements and monolete and trilete types of spores, leading to the conclusion of the fact that their findings were not in agreement with the view of the majority of investigators who did not consider vascular plants to have existed in Pre-Silurian times. Still they had the courage to stand by their own observations, which were also supported by the works of Naumova, Reissinger and Kopeliovitch in Europe and Jacob and his associates in India. In 1969 they again published a paper on the spores of vascular plants obtained from nine samples of Cambrian rocks of North America, further reiterating the existence of vascular plants in the Cambrian.

     Prof. Ghosh's investigations related with the occurrence of earliest vascular plant led him to have a more critical looks to at all the organic remains reported from Pre-Cambrian deposits. This formed the subject matter of the 43rd Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose endowment lecture which he delivered in November 1973 under the title "Life in the Proterozoic".

     The presence of fragmentary vascular plant microfossils of the Vindhyans and their correlation with Salt Range could never be reconciled. Thus, Ghosh came in direct controversy with Birbal Sahni whose viewpoints contradicted Ghosh's The controversy received global attention and Ghosh became known as "Cambrian Ghosh" worldwide. (Link & Link).

       By 2001 at least, this problem had not been resolved.  Here is an interesting presentation given by Michael Cremo in 2001 at the XXI International Congress of History of Science, Mexico City, entitled, "Paleobotanical Anomalies Bearing on the Age of the Salt Range Formation of Pakistan: A Historical Survey of an Unresolved Scientific Controversy"

        "The age of the Salt Range Formation in the Salt Range Mountains of Pakistan was a matter of extreme controversy among geologists from the middle nineteenth century to the middle twentieth century. Of great importance in the later discussions were fragments of advanced plants and insects discovered in the Salt Range Formation by researchers such as B. Sahni. According to Sahni, these finds indicated an Eocene age for the Salt Range Formation. But geological evidence cited by others was opposed to this conclusion, supporting instead a Cambrian age for the Salt Range formation. Modern geological opinion is unanimous that the Salt Range Formation is Cambrian. But Sahni's evidence for advanced plant and insect remains in the Salt Range Formation is not easily dismissed. It would appear that there is still a contradiction between the geological and paleontological evidence, just as there was during the time of active controversy. During the time of active controversy, E. R. Gee suggested that the conflict might be resolved by positing the existence of an advanced flora and fauna in the Cambrian. This idea was summarily dismissed at the time, but, although it challenges accepted ideas about the evolution of life on earth, it appears to provide the best fit with the different lines of evidence. The existence of advanced plant and animal life during the Cambrian is consistent with accounts found in the Puranic literature of India." 108

 










Many will argue that in different places throughout the word, there can be found layers of forests one on top of each other, with their trees, "in the position of growth" (still standing up).  It is also said that these forests each have their own layer of soil.  So, it is felt that each of these were forests grew over long periods of time on top of previous forests, each of which was buried by some long ago catastrophe.  What is interesting about these places (ie: Yellowstone National Park were up to 65 different layers can be found with trees in the vertical position)13 is that the trees are still oriented in their positions with each other.  Their soil is also found to be water sorted (course to fine), and often is found half way up a tree instead of at its base.  This organic material also averages only 3 cm in thickness and, for many of the "forest" layers it is missing altogether.  In some areas, such as Mt. Hornaday, as many as 43% of the forest layers have no organic layer at all.  The lower layers of Specimen Creek generally do have organic layers (96%), but the upper layers of Specimen Creek have far fewer organic layers.  It turns out that the average "forest" without an organic layer to is about 24%.  It seems rather strange for a forest to grow into full bloom without forming an organic layer.  How is this explained?  
Another strange finding of the organic layers is the fact that they are sorted in various ways.  Take for instance the fact that pine needles and leaves are not mixed together, but are found in separate organic layers despite the fact that there are both pine and hardwood trees "growing" from the same organic layer(s).  Also, the are proportionately less pine needles than there are leaves even in areas that are dominated by conifers.  In a real forest, conifers drop a much higher mass of needles than deciduous trees drop leaves.  And yet, in the fossil forests of Yellowstone, needles are relatively sparse even at the bases of large fossilized conifers.  This interesting fact has been recognized as far back as 1899 when Knowlton remarked about the absence of needles in the organic levels associated with the large fenced petrified tree near Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. 15 One would expect to find great numbers of sequoia needles and some cones, since most of the upright trees are sequoia (70%). However, large numbers of broad leaves and only a few pine needles are seen in the organic levels. Sequoia needles were rare or absent. Although petrified sycamore stumps are not common, leaves of sycamore are the most abundant broad-leaf fossils.  It is also interesting to note that, despite a heavy predominance of sequoia trees, fossilized sequoia cones are very rare in the fossil forests of Yellowstone National Park.  This taxonomic sorting seems quite strange indeed unless one uses a catastrophic model involving flood such as occurred during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.  In water, pine needles become saturated and sink before leaves sink.
  Pollen is another problem.  Trees with wind-transported pollen, such as walnut and sycamore, should have left a pollen record in the forest floor, but little or no pollen of these two has been found.  Modern forest floors contain pollen in abundance inversely proportional to the distance from the source trees especially trees for which wind is the pollen-transporting agent. Research done on four levels of Specimen Creek Petrified Forest showed no positive correlation between fossil pollen abundance and the proximity of possible source trees.18
The organic layers themselves also show no significant decay as one goes from top to bottom.  In a real forest floor, organic material decays.  Evidently, this does not happen in the forests of the past because the leaves at the bottom of organic layers are just as well formed as preserved as the leaves at the tops of these organic layers.  Also, the material between the leaves is sorted, course to fine as one moves upward (Consider the figure at the right).  Evidence for such water sorting occurs in about 70% of the organic layers.  
There is yet another problem with the intermittent burial of forests by volcanic activity and mud-slides.  If a volcanic mud slide buried only the lower parts of the trunks of the trees of a growing forest (as might be suggested by the fact that some of the upright trees penetrate overlying layers), the taxonomic composition of the new forest that grew on this new surface would be similar to the composition of the forest that was buried. The cones, seeds, nuts, and fruits would fall from the unburied branches and foliage and repopulate the new surface with a similar forest. Such correlation between adjacent levels of the Specimen Creek Petrified Forest has not been found.18 
The normal maturation of soil also involves the slow breakdown of feldspar and other minerals into clay.  Out of 65 layers of Specimen Creek in Yellowstone National Park, only nine bands of clay were found among only seven organic layers.  Horizontal sampling of two of the clay bands at 2.5 - 3 m intervals for 30 m showed a constant mineral distribution. Abundant unweathered feldspar is scattered throughout the Yellowstone organic levels, suggesting repeated rapid burials.19 None of the 58 organic levels outside the 9 bands of clay contained detectable amounts of clay. The apparent absence of clay in the majority of levels (implying that normal weathering of soil did not occur) raises questions about the passage of long time intervals between levels. This datum also questions the validity of the assumption that the organic levels (upon which trees with hundreds of rings sit) represent true soils. Furthermore, the sudden abundant appearance of clay in a few horizontal bands that included both organic levels and layers of clay in the associated breccia beds between levels suggests transport rather than in situ formation of the clay minerals.
Despite much study of the Yellowstone Petrified Forests, no animal fossils have been found. Why are animal remains absent from the plant fossil-bearing levels of Yellowstone? Because forests would be expected to harbor a wide variety of animals, some of which would be buried by the successive mud slides, the absence of animal fossils has been a mystery. Volcanic activity could have caused larger forest animals to flee elsewhere, but flight cannot be used as an explanation for the absence of all animal remains because many animals could not or would not leave their forest habitats. Land snails, some amphibians and reptiles, many insects, arachnids, and worms would not escape burial. Immature members of many types would be unable to flee. In addition, bones, eggs, teeth, scales, molted skins, castings, droppings, burrows, etc., would qualify as evidence of animal life. None of these have been found in the fossil forest organic levels during a century of research. Considering that delicate plant parts are excellently preserved, animal remains should also have been preserved if they were present. Only one exception is known. Remains of termites have been found in chambers within the petrified wood.19  If the petrified trees are standing where they originally grew and if the organic levels are the growing surfaces still intact and undisturbed, the absence of animal fossils is difficult to explain. If, however, the trees and the organic debris making up the soil levels were transported by water, the separation of animals from the plants before burial is much easier to explain. 
The volcanic ash found in the various layers is itself is quite interesting.  The chemicals that make up the ash are uniform throughout all the layers.  In fact, there are only four unique chemical patterns to be found in the ash of Specimen Creek.  Spark source mass spectrometry analysis of trace elements in the bands of ash revealed pulses of ash from four source areas for the Specimen Creek Petrified Forest.  The four trace element profiles interweave in an irregular manner up the sequence of 65 organic levels of Specimen Creek Petrified Forest. If these 65 ash layers (organic levels) were laid down over a long time span, the ash that was laid down thousands of years later near the end of the series of ash eruptions would have changed sufficiently to produce a new and different trace element profile (a new "fingerprint"). This has not been the case. The rapid burial of the whole sequence seems to be required. 
The root systems of the upright stumps seems to be a main argument in favor of their in situ growth.  Of course, some of the petrified trees have broken roots; but when were they broken? Even if a permit to collect petrified wood within the park is obtained, excavation of stumps is not permitted; furthermore, digging is difficult in the hard rock. Consequently, to determine if the root breakage seen is pre- or post-petrification is difficult. Several examples of abrupt root terminations from Mt. Hornaday, Mt. Norris, Tom Minor Basin, and Specimen Creek strongly indicate that, at least in some cases, the tree roots were broken before the trees were buried by volcanic gravels and muds. This evidence supports the view that the trees were transported.  However, small rootlets can be located at the bases of upright stumps, and this feature has been used to argue against transport.  Observations in Spirit Lake near Mount St. Helens and of trees uprooted by bulldozing operations show that the small roots and rootlets are usually still intact, but the larger roots are usually broken (See Figure).  The presence of small roots extending from the base of a petrified tree therefore is not evidence for an in situ interpretation unless large roots also extend unbroken. Broken and frayed large roots could be the result of changing stream currents eroding the bases of growing trees, but such activity should leave evidences in the sediments. Furthermore, erosion must be limited; otherwise, trees would be removed or toppled.
If a forest were killed by a mud flow that buried the bases of the trees, the tops of the trees would extend above the new ground surface. They would overlap a new second forest that would commence growing on the new surface. During the time of the growth of the new second forest (before it in turn was buried by another volcanic mud slide) the old first forest snags would have time to rot, to be infested with insects, and to break drown. Even the tops of stumps that reached only to the root area of the second forest level (no actual overlap) would also be expected to experience decay. The soil in which the roots of the second forest grew would not be a good preserving medium for the tops of the stumps extending up from below. One of the striking features of the Yellowstone petrified trees is their good preservation. If pieces of the petrified wood are prepared as microslides, the wood tissue may look nearly as fresh as tissue from a living tree. Seldom do they exhibit any evidence of decay and weathering.19 This suggests that the trees have not been subjected to these processes during the passage of time.
The parallel orientation of the horizontal logs, mentioned earlier, is better explained by water or mud transport. The dip of the beds from which the trees arise seldom exceeds 7 degrees, which is not enough to cause all the trees to fall downhill.19 Prevailing winds or volcanic blasts could align fallen trees, but they would not cause the long axes of the cross-section of the upright stumps to have a similar compass alignment. The asymmetry of the cross-section of a stump, especially at its base, is usually a result of the influence of major roots that cause flare to extend for some distance up the stump. Volcanic lahars (fast-moving volcanic mud slides) or currents of water or mud could be the forces that acted on roots and trunks to produce similar alignment for both stumps and logs. Modern forests do not show the degree of orientation that the fossil forests of Yellowstone show.  This orientation seems to speak for catastrophic transport and against in situ forest growth.
One of the first observations made when research commenced on the petrified forests was the barkless condition of both the horizontal and upright trees. Subsequent examination has revealed some thin layers of bark remaining on a few of the trees. In addition to the trees being mostly barkless, all the branches have been broken off. Even large branches, 25 cm or more in diameter, have been removed. Only scoured stubs remain on the tree trunks. Trees buried and later excavated by water erosion during the eruption of Mount St. Helens did not have all the bark or limbs removed. Trees floating for a period of time in turbulent water would more likely lose bark and branches due to softening of the bark and abrasion.14,15 Considering the fact that modern trees often sink in water in the vertical position, a catastrophic model seems to be the best explanation for these findings.16  A massive flood, burying layer upon layer of sedimentary material in quick succession, seems to be at the very least, plausible.  
The eruption of Mount St. Helens and the resultant flooding in locals such as Spirit Lake might offer some insights into how the stacked forests of Yellowstone might have formed.  The floating log raft in Spirit Lake does in fact provided some insights on taxonomic sorting. Most of the stumps sitting erect on the bottom of Spirit Lake are Silver Fir, Nolle Fir, and Hemlock. Douglas Fir, abundant in the surrounding forests, has only 2.2% representation. Sampling of the trees in the floating raft solved this discrepancy; 48% are Douglas Fir. Apparently this species is more buoyant and resistant to water saturation. Cedar was represented by 2.2% of logs floating in the lake; yet the surrounding forests contained a higher percentage of cedars. Sampling of the broken wood pieces along a transect on the shore gave 11% for cedar. Some of the erect trees floating in the lake or standing on the lake bottom are over 20 m tall. The argument that tall petrified stumps must be in position of growth does not apply to a flotation scenario. The flotation of organic matter (including trees in an upright position) as illustrated in Spirit Lake at the base of Mount St. Helens provides a model for interpreting the upright petrified trees of Yellowstone. Trees and plants will float vertically when there is sufficient water and time. The research at Spirit Lake helps explain the presence of the organic layer at the level of the roots. Saturated organic debris sinks to the lake bottom to produce a layer of organic matter. Upright floating trees also have dropped out of suspension onto the bottom of Spirit Lake in a spacing pattern similar to that of growing forests. They are not jumbled together in log jams as might be expected. 20 
Some have argued that Spirit Lake is not a good analog for the Yellowstone Fossil forests, because the large number of logs accumulating on the bottom of Spirit Lake very different from the more scattered fossil logs and stumps in Yellowstone. However, one important difference between the two deposits is that Spirit Lake has not had adequate sediment input to bury the sinking logs and stumps. If the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption had been followed by a series of volcanic breccia flows into Spirit Lake, spaced long enough apart to bury successive sets of logs and stumps as they sank, it would likely have produced a deposit very similar to the Yellowstone Fossil Forests.19
If this is not yet convincing, these same trees were studied to see if they might have matching patters of growth in a tree-ring analysis.  Matching patterns of growth would be highly unlikely if the trees lived thousands of years apart in time.  In 1991, Dr. Michael Arct presented such a study for his PhD dissertation (building upon research that he had been doing since 1979).  He sampled fourteen fossil trees at different levels in a twenty-three foot section of the Yellowstone formations.  Analysis showed that all fourteen trees matched and that ten of them died at the same time.  The other four trees died seven, four, three, and two years before the other ten died.  The theories of ancient formation no longer seem to match the facts available.7, 8






It is quite interesting to note that fossilized trees are not like  one would expect from the normal evolutionary picture of what happened.  According to current popular scientific belief many fossilized trees were buried naturally either as they lay fallen on the ground or as they stood growing.  However, what is unique about almost all fossilized trees is that they do not have roots or branches and little if any bark.1, 3  Also, the ones that have fallen and that are laying horizontally, align themselves in the same direction.1, 3   Also, many fossilized seashells and tree leaves are oriented relative to each other throughout the  fossil record.  The trees in the forests of today do not do orient themselves when they fall.  When they fall, they fall in a fairly random way without a statistical significance  in their orientation. This is not so with petrified trees. Petrified trees all line up.  Even the vertical ones have a particular orientation.1 What could have caused these trees to loose all their roots, branches, and bark and to line up in the same direction as every other tree in that layer?  During the floods of Mt. St. Helen's eruptions, the trees did exactly the same thing.  
They lost all their roots, branches and bark, and were all lined up in the same general direction, even the ones that sank into the lakes vertically.  Fossilized trees can be found throughout the entire world and they all do the same thing.  Scientists at the National Petrified Forest in Arizona freely speculate that the petrified trees of that forest were washed  into their current positions judging from the fact that they generally have no branches, roots, or bark.3   They all appear as though they were in some sort of catastrophe together.  This is clearly visible to all who visit such petrified forests.1 
Such "current" orientation is found throughout the fossil record, with orientation of fossils being observed over vast areas, sometimes hundreds of thousands of square miles.  Although not all fossils show current orientation, a sizable percentage do show such current orientation.  Clearly, such orientation on such massive scales as are found throughout the fossil record are not consistent with slow sedimentation and burial, but rapid burial by the heavily silted currents of a large and sometimes massive fluvial event or series of closely spaced events. 








Yet another interesting finding concerning petrified trees, is that many of them extend vertically through millions and millions of years of sedimentary rock.  How can this phenomenon be explained?  A common explanation is that these do not represent areas of the standard geologic column, but areas of rapid local flooding and sedimentation.  Therefore, the layers that these trees pass through do not represent thousands and millions of years.  However, the pictures shown to the right are of a petrified tree (located near Katherine Hill Bay  next to Flat Rocks Point, Australia) extending up through many sedimentary layers and  through two separated coal seams (See Video Above).4  The tree itself is twelve feet tall, and was uncovered by a coal mining company.   If the two separated coal seams represent long periods of time, how could this tree be extending between them both?  It seems to me that this is a difficulty for the current understanding of science.  Notice also that the layers themselves show no weathering between one layer and the next even though each layer was supposedly the surface of the earth for thousands if not millions of years.  These combined mysteries are more easily explained by rapid underwater burial with quickly forming sediments.  The theory that each fossil bearing layer in the geologic column represents eons of time seems inadequate to explain such problems that are easily explained by a quick catastrophic event. 
All references are found at the original post here.

No comments: