I have some pretty smart kids in my Sunday School class, and they ask some very difficult questions. For example, coal reserves are very localised, yet the amount of coal implies that most of the earth was covered in trees. How did the flood manage to carry trees halfway round the world then bury them? I'm hoping this group can provide some convincing answers before it's time to revisit the topic!

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The worldwide currents during the flood could have carried floating debris a very long way before logs and other vegetation became waterlogged and sank into the sediment. Much of the coal we have today probably came from the "floating forest" bog-like biome hypothesized for the pre-flood world, so much of the vegetation that was buried and transformed into coal would have already been adrift on the floodwaters anyway.

Justin, I'm afraid I've tried all the easy answers. Your reply would get shot down on at least 3 fronts. A year isn't long enough for a large tree to become waterlogged enough to sink. Most coal reserves are buried deep underground, implying that they were buried early in the flood, leaving even less time for waterlogging. And floating forests tend to - how can I put this? - float.

 

From: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plsept99.htm

"Wood is composed of the dead cells of a tree trunk, particularly the inner xylem tissue when the bark has been removed. The weight of wood is essentially due to the cellulose and lignin in the cell walls around the billions of individual cells. Lignin, a brown phenolic polymer composed of benzene rings, imparts great strength and hardness to the wood. Since the cell water material has a specific gravity of about 1.5 and is heavier than water, the relative buoyancy of different woods is due to air cavities (lumens) within the cell walls, and the thickness of the walls and the amount of lignin they contain. This is why water-logged soft, porous woods will sink in water when all their air spaces become filled with water. Ironwoods are so hard and heavy because they contain numerous long, tightly-packed wood fiber cells with very thick, heavily lignified cell walls and little or no air spaces."

Also a good discussion here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?45772-Why-Logs-Sink&...

Logs will sink, and rapidly, especially if already filled with water.  (ie fresh, not dried out) - some sink right from being cut (iron woods) - some won't take much.  Expecially after being stripped of all the protective bark by churning/tumbling.  In Spirit lake I believe the trees were observed to sink very rapidly after the eruption of Mt. St Helens.

So far as the depth of the deposits, the trees would sink at different times, and some would be buried in the inital stages of the flood as tsunamis and volcanic eruptions affected different parts of the globe at different times.  Even after the flood waters reached their peak, some deposits would have been made in the receding waters as land masses relenquished their water content to the new ocean basins, some collecting in new valleys that eventually would dry out. 

Regarding the floating forests, they would be able to accomodate some turbulence, but again, with the myriad number of forces at work in the flood year, plate techtonics, volcanoes, 40 days of rain, earthquakes and tsunamis, they would not have been able to survive for long.

Brian makes some good points about the sinking part. As far as transporting trees half way around the world goes, I don't see why the currents of the flood couldn't do this. I think the CPT model for example generates massive global currents as a kind of "by-product" of what was going on tectonically. 

Brian, just out of curiosity, do you happen to know how long it took for the logs to begin sinking in Spirit Lake?
No, all I could find was "rapidly" - though I will admit my search was just online.  If you have Snellings books, they may elucidate further, or perhaps general information about the eruptions.  I am curious though, so will continue looking.
I will look at Snellings books and see what I can find.
Magaret said:

Justin, I'm afraid I've tried all the easy answers. Your reply would get shot down on at least 3 fronts. A year isn't long enough for a large tree to become waterlogged enough to sink. Most coal reserves are buried deep underground, implying that they were buried early in the flood, leaving even less time for waterlogging. And floating forests tend to - how can I put this? - float.

 

 

You must be thinking of dried out timber there Margaret - fresh timber already has a lot of water and shouldn't take so long to sink.

About floating forests, I think it depends on the mechanics of the flood. A floating forest on top of a floating forest on top of a floating forest might not float so well!  This could happen by large waves/disturbances. If sediment was deposited on top of it all by waves or volcanism, the whole lot would eventually sink. Not saying this is what happenned but we need to be open to all the possibilities.............

Making wood sink is simple. Animals know how to do it, and do it every day across North America. Beavers simply pile mud and rock on top of the logs, under water.

Anyone who has any difficulty understanding how forests could be buried by a flood probably could benefit by viewing the Mt. St. Helens Explosion. And anyone who has difficulty understanding how forests could be buried by a flood should look at Mexico mudslides, and others in South America whole hillside forests and villages were buried under mud.

Clearly your dear Sunday School students are missing the global nature of the event, the Mega Tsunamis, the crustal movement, plate tectonics, (the Matterhorn moved hundreds of miles).  Mere local river floods bury forests, and this Flood was a divinely triggered event, specifically designed to destroy every living thing that moveth upon the earth, and would easily bury forests under mud, silt, diluvial sediment, and rocks, under layer upon layer of such strata. Forest piled upon forest, upon forest. This wouldn't take a year, it would take a few hours. No, floating forests would not continue to float if sediment was piled on top of them, and more of the forest was UNDER water than above water.

Magaret, there really was a global flood. Return the students to the them that the Bible is true in all that affirms regardless of the apparent insurmountable objections of any human's puny mind.

Why is it important that all coal reserves be made during the flood? Could all this have been created during creation week? Small details for an all powerful God. Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

Hi Jeff,

 

Of course God could have created coal insitu in creation week - but that means He would have created nearly all the fossils instantaneously too, because many of them are found lower than coal.

But a natural explanation is available for both - i.e.they were buried and produced by the Noahic flood - so there is no need to postulate a miraculous creation for coal and other fossils.

 



Jeff Brace said:

Why is it important that all coal reserves be made during the flood? Could all this have been created during creation week? Small details for an all powerful God. Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

Coal as the remains of biological life was formed in the Flood.

But what if there is a kind of concentrated carbon that is not of fossil origin? I don't think it is impossible, but neither is it necessary since the flood is a perfectly adequate mechanism for the origin of coal as compressed biological life.

Most creationists do not view dinosaurs and fossils as some sort of "in-ground" creation of God. They were formerly living things that perished and were buried rapidly in the Flood Year, and in post-catastrophic residual effects.

 

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