Some creation scientists are attempting to develop a sophisticated Flood model. In this model, it is important
to get the lower and upper boundaries correct. As a first
estimation, it is good to deduce a general boundary by
assuming the geological column. The exact placement in
the geological column can be refined later. Determining the
boundary also affects the amount of animal differentiation
that must be explained after the Flood within the Genesis
kinds, as well as settling controversies on biostratigraphy.
Knowing the amount of post-Flood catastrophism will give
us some idea of the environment in which both people and
animals repopulated the earth at God’s command.
A previous paper summarized seven general features of
the Cenozoic sedimentary rocks that are best explained by
the Flood and not by post-Flood catastrophism.
1 This paper
gives an overview of seven general features of the Tertiary
organic record that suggest a similar conclusion. These are
thick, pure coal seams; amber; oil and natural gas; micro-organism skeletal layers; and the characteristics of Cenozoic
mammal fossils, in particular the lack of mammals
in the Mesozoic, mammal bonebeds, and the order
of the Tertiary fossil mammal order (table 1).
It is estimated that between 12.3% and 28.7%
of coal resources are Tertiary in age.
2 Many early
Tertiary coal deposits are very thick and extensive,
such as those in the Powder River Basin of north-
east Wyoming and south-east Montana (figure 1).
Some of these coal seams are nearly pure and extend
about 100 km north-to-south, 25 km east-to-west,
and range up to 75 m thick in the Powder River
3 Late Tertiary coal beds are found in several
areas of the world, e.g. a late Miocene coal with polystrate
trees in Hungary,
4 and the Miocene Latrobe coal in south-
east Australia that is 100 m thick and covers about 565 km2.5
Can post-Flood catastrophism account for Tertiary coal?
It is plausible that trees and plants left on the surface after
Flood water drainage could be mobilized and buried or
swept into a large lake to possible form coal. It would take
an enormous number of trees and plants and a method
to concentrate them during burial to form a substantial
thickness of coal over a large area. Mass wasting would
tend to mix trees and plants with sediments, so that a thick,
widespread, pure coal seam would be implausible. Then
there is the problem of burial and re-exposure of thousands
of metres of sediment, since it takes deep burial to form coal.
Otherwise, the plants must first grow, which based on
the diameter of some logs in coal could take hundreds of
years. Petrified tree stumps with diameters up to 2 m occur
in a coalmine of early Cenozoic age in Alaska.
petrified trees up to about 2. 5 m in diameter occur in the
Flood processes into the late Cenozoic:
part 3—organic evidence
Michael J. Oard
It is important in any Flood model to locate the Flood/post-Flood boundary, which will help determine which catastrophic
events occurred late in the Flood and which happened after the Flood. The proper location will also determine the
amount of post-Flood differentiation of animals after the Flood. Seven general features of the Tertiary organic record are
summarized, showing that they are unlikely to be accounted for by post-Flood catastrophism. These evidences are thick,
pure coal seams; amber; oil and natural gas; micro-organism skeletons that can be thick and pure; the lack of mammals
that died in the Flood while many millions supposedly died and were fossilized after the Flood; the existence of mammal
graveyards; and the Tertiary ‘order’ of mammals. Although there are challenges, the Flood offers a much better paradigm
for explaining these Tertiary organic mysteries.
Organic Evidences Strength
1. Coal strong
2. Amber strong
3. Oil and natural gas strong
4. Large, pure micro-organism skeletal layers moderate
5. Lack of mammals buried in the Flood but millions afterwards strong
6. Mammal bonebeds weak
7. Fossil order and massive, numerous extinctions moderate
Table 1. Summary of Cenozoic organic evidences best explained by Flood processes.
The strength is based on the comparative likelihood of the Flood over possible