Public Large Sabal Palm... Youngblood Energy Library
LARGE SABAL PALM FROND with Diplomystus Dentatus fish*
Location: S.W. Wyoming, from the Green River Formation of the Fossil Basin area
Geologic period range: Eocene Epoch
Age of the fossils: Traditionally estimated at 50 million years Before Common Era1
Donated by Loyce Youngblood
Description: Probably buried near the end of the Paleocene Epoch or the beginning of the Eocene Epoch, traditionally estimated 60 to 45 million years BCE1, and believed to have been deposited in the former Fossil Lake of Southwestern Wyoming. This 245 cm tall by 181 wide limestone slab (apx. 8' x 6') contains two incongruous and pristine fossils, including a Large Sabal Palm Frond and a Diplomystus Dentatus (herring-like fish). Fossil Lake was up to fifty miles wide, and thousands of other fossils, including more than 20 species of fish and large bird concentrations, have been quarried from the former lakebed.
Nearly three hundred feet primarily of laminated microcrystalline carbonate rock (micrite) filled the bed of Fossil Lake, exposed today as the Green River Formation. Although fossil specimens can be found throughout the widespread Green River Formation, most of the specimens collected are from the middle and upper parts of the formation.
An unusual feature of this pristine palm is the presence of a fossilized Diplomystus Dentatus fish in conjunction with this land-based Large Sabal Palm Frond specimen discovered in this 300' thick calcium carbonate (limestone) lakebed deposit, along with vast numbers of unusually well-preserved scaled fish, catfish (some with fossilized skin), and birds.
The "Uniformitarian" Earth Age View of Specimen (Old age of the earth with very gradual and uniform changes, over long epochs of little or no change between the strata):
The Eocene climate of the Fossil Lake area was subtropical, similar to today's climate along the Gulf of Mexico. The nearby valleys contained cypress, palms and many other semi-tropical plants. It is likely that rainy periods may have caused heavy carbonate precipitations, possibly forming protective, thin layers of covering over the bodies of vast quantities of catfish fossils, sometimes with well-preserved skin, as well as more than 20 varieties of scaled fish fossils, often with well-preserved scales.
Additionally, unusually well-preserved plants and great concentrations of birds are present that had died, then fallen or washed into the lake, settled on the lake bottom, believed covered by thin layers of precipitated carbonates inundating the adjoining lowlands with carbonate mud. This burial may have led to the exquisite fossilization of the almost 188cm (6 ft) tall by 4-1/2 foot wide large Sabal Palm frond that dominates this pristine-preserved palmate and fish fossil slab.
Two Competing "Catastrophist" Earth and Fossil Age Views:
"Neo-Catastrophist" Geological View: (Old age to middle age of the earth with long periods of little change between strata, interrupted by catastrophic tectonic and/or large scale local flooding events with great changes in the local environment).
This growing branch of old to middle-aged earth "neo-catastrophist geologists" might postulate that the vast numbers of well-preserved fossils in the Green River Formation, especially with large concentrations of birds and land plants intermingled with fish, is more indicative of sudden, catastrophic burial. They might advocate that these fossils were buried (between ancient inactive geological epochs) in their pristine well-preserved condition by one or more catastrophic mud-water events. Such event/s might have occurred from volcanically-induced snow-cap or glacial melting, or from other local flooding in this frequently tectonic-active region, including the nearby massive super volcanic caldera currently comprising Yellowstone Park. Neo-Catastrophists might also argue that sudden ash or mudflow catastrophes are required to make such mass pristine burials of fish, birds, and plants because they would otherwise be damaged by scavengers, oxygen, etc. before they could fossilize, and that such massive catastrophes also might somewhat alter the estimated age of these fossils.
Young Earth Catastrophist Geological View: (Young to very young age of the earth caused by massive catastrophic tectonic and wide-ranging or worldwide flood events that have, initially, created the "appearance" of an old aged earth which, arguably, is now being refuted by increasing new evidences for a young earth).
Commenting on the Green River (Wyoming) Formation fossils (such as this specimen), Young Earth Catastrophist and former O. U. geology faculty member, John Morris, Ph.D (geological engineering), now President of the Institute of Creation Research2, has stated, "But here in the Green River Formation, fossils are often found in 'fresh' condition sometimes giving evidence of having been buried alive.” 3 Morris also advocates that long inactive epochs of hundreds of thousands or millions of years of undisturbed activity between deposited sedimentary strata, instead, should show vastly more disturbance by weather, plant roots growth, and animal burrowings between the strata over such great time periods.3 Morris further espouses that the great majority of fossilizations, worldwide, give the appearance of catastrophic, rapid mud-water burial on every continent, which, he believes "would best fit the geological model of world-wide catastrophism."3 Under this geological model, Young Earth Catastrophists assert the sudden movement of continental plates, perhaps from giant asteroid impacts, might stimulate super volcanoes and lead to the fracturing of great underground water reservoirs and under-ocean sea beds, perhaps opening and closing ocean canyons, and thereby inducing multiple oceanic tsunamis and worldwide flooding over a relatively short period of time. The accompanying superheating of the oceans under such a scenario some claim could produce massive steam clouds that would dump enormous rainfalls throughout the earth.
Young earth scientists further postulate that simultaneous super volcanoes, along with asteroid/meteor showers, would have punctured a "likely" water vapor canopy (they believe to have surrounded the earth creating a "greenhouse effect" that had enabled a tropical to semi-tropical climate believed existing on earth at one time from Canada to Antarctica based on fossil finds). Under that scenario, such a multiple puncturing of that canopy would cause its sudden collapse, creating drastic temperature drops at both poles, and dumping vast rain and snow deposits. They maintain this might also explain examples of the apparent flash-freezing, burial, and fossilization of mastodons in far northern regions discovered with semi-tropical plants still in their stomachs. Such resulting massive flooding and rainfall might then be followed by one or more ice ages over a few hundred years, then followed by the relative climate stabilization seen today. Such massive, concurrent, multiple flood events worldwide might also explain the 40,000' deep sedimentary (mud rock) strata deposits in the Anadarko basin of Western Oklahoma. As an example, These catastrophists might cite hundreds of apparent "strata layers" that were deposited by the recent Mount St. Helens (WA) eruption, giving the appearance of great age in a matter of days.3, 4
These Young Earth scientists further assert that a short series of very massive tectonic events might have extinguished much life on earth, including many species, accompanied by massive fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field and cosmic ray disruptions. They also contend that an accumulation of these events might have greatly accelerated radiometric decay rates, thereby giving old-aged and water-weathered appearance to the earth, but with increasing evidences piling up for a young-aged earth..
NOTE: None of these three versions of pre-historic earth age dating are currently observable, repeatable, and falsifiable (testable). Thus, none, strictly, is true science as defined by the "scientific method". All three dating versions of past events remain contestably unproven belief-based theories, based only on currently observed evidences, with the two newer and competing catastrophe theories both rapidly gaining adherents due to recent evidentiary trends.
NOTE: Also see the Carboniferous Plants fossilized slab on page 9 for additional discussion of alternative earth dating methods.
1 Estimated by traditional Uniformitarian geological concepts (gradual, uniform changes over great periods of time, with strata commonly believed to be at a rate of change similar to that observed today.
3 The Young Earth: The Real History of the Earth – Past, Present, and Future (Revised and Expanded, 2007) by John Morris, Ph.D in Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Pages 48-70 and 105.
4 Footprints in the Ash: The explosive Story of Mount St. Helens, by John Morris, Ph.D. in Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma, and by Steven Austin, Ph.D. in Geology, Pennsylvania State University. Pages 52-54.
NEXT: Large Cephlapod Slab -Youngblood Energy Library on Page 8.
David Wallace, P.O. Box 23901, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 (405) firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2009 David Wallace, All Rights Reserved.