Polystrate Fossils & Petrified Wood

“And the waters receded continually from the earth.  At the end of the one hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.” – Genesis 8: 3


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The Global Flood was clearly an enormous upheaval on the Earth’s surface

The expression “the waters receded continually” is the closest we have to understanding what is taking place with the water on the earth until it starts to recede

  • The continual receding in Hebrew is an expression that conveys an idea of a constant series of going to and fro (it’s a cyclical pattern of intensity) 1

The amazing thing, is that we find all over the globe within the rock strata, this evidence of “Transgression and Recession” –

  • Water is rising (i.e., racing in) and receding (i.e., racing out) continually over the course of the Flood 2

Such turmoil created enormous Mud and Sediment Tidal Waves

  • This resulted in the layers upon layers of Stratified Sedimentary Rock seen in the world today 3


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Yet, “conventional” wisdom today holds that such layering took place over the course of millions of years

  • Many modern geologists view the Grand Canyon as having been formed over millions of years due to the presence of layer upon layer of stratified sedimentary rock 4

Sedimentary rock is the type that forms when minerals and other deposits are compressed together under pressure from intense water action 5


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Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”  – II Peter 3: 3 – 7

Those who hold to an old-earth view, believe that each rock strata takes a great length of time to form

  • Often such thoughts are based on how long it takes for strata to form today 6

This is called the “Uniformitarian” viewpoint and it holds that “layers of sedimentary rock have always been laid down at a similar rate to what we see today, e.g. very slowly. Thus, a given thickness of rock must relate to thousands or millions of years time, based on today’s rates.” 7


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Yet, the existence of Polystrate Fossils (or Upright Fossils) presents such a view with some real problems

Fossils encased in more than one layer of rock strata are called “polystrate” – this comes from the term “poly” meaning “many” and “strata” meaning “rock layers” 8

  • The petrified tree depicted above (i.e., a tree that has become fossilized) is found in Nova Scotia 9
  • There are a number of fossils that have been found that seem to straddle numerous rock strata
  • This is a strong argument for such sedimentary rock being laid down quickly 10


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This petrified tree (above) is found in Tennessee

  • It extends stratigraphically upward through several layers of rock
  • “Its roots were in a coal seam, and the overlying deposits included bedded shale and thin carbon-rich layers.” 11


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Geologists who do hold to an old-earth viewpoint will admit in light of such finds that a strict uniformitarian viewpoint doesn’t account for Polystrate Fossils

  • They will counter that some layers are rapidly laid down – but the vast majority are not 12

I have a problem with this as the best explanation for the rigidly defined strata we see throughout so much of the world, is the Flood of Noah

  1. The laying down of strata with such pronounced striation lines is not a long-term event
  2. Volcanic and flood activity in our own day has proved rapid burial to often be the cause

Animal (fish) fossils and other plant fossils are also found straddling several layers

  • The image depicted above is of a Palm Tree whose leaves are straddling several sedimentary layers (found in Golden Colorado at Dinosaur Ridge)

You can find Polystrate Fossils throughout the Geologic Column 13