Carboniferous Plants Slab... Youngblood Energy Library
CARBONIFEROUS PLANTS Fossilized Slab
Location: Near St. Clair, Pennsylvania
Geologic Age Range: Mississippi strata to Pennsylvanian. Traditionally estimated 345 to 280 million years Before Common Era.1.
Age of the Specimen: Lower Pennsylvanian, estimated 320 million years.1
Donated by Loyce L. Youngblood
Description: Pennsylvanian strata is found in a wide area of the eastern half of the United States, including the source of this large fossilized plants specimen from Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvanian Period was a time of mostly semi-tropical forested swamps and lowlands, commonly believed to periodically have been locally flooded, or occasionally to have been overflowed by nearby shallow seas. Trees, seed and spore ferns, and other lush vegetation flourished in these warm and swampy lowlands.
This 4 x 6 foot (1.2-meter by 1.8-meter) fossilized plants slab from the Llewellyn Formation originated in the "Southern Anthracite Coal Fields" of eastern Pennsylvania which produce hard, clean-burning coal. The formation is composed of a sedimentary shale formed by the compaction of fine-grained silt and clay, which frequently included masses of plant remains, including this exceptional specimen.. Plant fossils commonly found in the Llewellyn Formation include trunks, branches, stems, roots, seeds, cones, and leaves with occasional insects (arthropods). The leaves seen on this slab are seed ferns, not "true" ferns (which have spore cases on undersides of leaves). .
Seed ferns (Gymnosperms) are now extinct, but greatly proliferated during the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods. Some of these non-flowering ferns attained heights up to 40 feet, reproducing by seeds that were only partially enclosed.
Two examples of seed ferns visible in this fossil slab are Alethopteris and Neuropteris. Alethopteris had long, sword-like leaflets that are broader at the base, with a distinctive mid-rib vein, while Neuropteris had oval-shaped veinlets alternating on each side of the stem, with leaves featuring curved veinlets. Both are believed to have flourished primarily in freshwater swamps. Upon burial, the plant tissue was initially replaced by pyrite, and eventually again replaced by a mineralized coating of white pyrophyllite.
These trees and plants provided the primary organic material that formed peat. It has been commonly believed that great time and pressure then converted mud-buried organic peat into coal.
However, peat has recently been discovered to form rapidly under certain catastrophic mud-water conditions. One dramatic example occurred at the Mount St. Helens (WA) volcano when peat was observed forming quickly from the bark of thousands of logs washed into an adjoining lakebed following that recent eruption. The blast and sudden snowcap melt, followed by large-scale, high-speed, multi-layered mudflows, swept millions of trees down the mountainsides, and burying many,2 3 thereby, perhaps, catastrophically accelerating the "coal-making" process.
The "Radioisotope Age of the Earth" (RATE) research project 4 tested ten coal seam samples from eight states (including Pennsylvania), which had been carefully gathered by government researchers in order to avoid contamination, initially determined that North American coal deposits appear to be quite young.3
Using new, highly sensitive accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) testing equipment, RATE researchers discovered that all ten coal samples contained significant amounts of Carbon-14 (an average of 2.47% of C-14) , which has such a short half-life, that it should be "Carbon-14 dead" after less than 60,000 years.3 The Pennsylvanian samples came from two area mines in Pennsylvania (estimated by government researchers at 300 to 311 million years of age) which averaged 1.6% of Carbon-14 (plus or minus 0.02%). "Ancient" African diamonds also contained C-14.3 The RATE project concluded, "With a half-life of 5,730 years, C-14 should no longer exist within 'ancient' fossils, carbonate rocks, or coal. Yet small quantities of C-14 are indeed found in such samples on a worldwide scale." 4
The RATE project concluded all the coal seam samples, ranging from Arizona and Utah to Texas and Pennsylvania tested much younger than 60,000 years of age, inexplicably containing readily measurable short-life Carbon-14.3 The 8-year RATE research project (1997-2005) was the first comprehensive worldwide study of radioisotope dating methods and the age of the earth, including the study of sedimentary, granite, and volcanic rocks and strata, as well as fossils, minerals, the atmosphere, and the earth's magnetic field.3 The RATE team of scientists concluded that, "... there have been episodes of major acceleration of nuclear decay in the past." 4 . More government and private-funded research should follow up on these and many other surprising initial RATE discoveries.
1 Estimated by traditional Uniformitarian concepts (gradual, uniform changes over great periods of time, commonly believed to be similar to the rates of change observed today).
2 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.
3 The Young Earth: The Real History of the Earth – Past, Present, and Future (Revised and Expanded, 2007) by John Morris, Ph.D., Geological Engineering (The University of Oklahoma), pp 48-70. Morris was previously on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, and is currently with the Institute of Creation Research, Dallas, TX, www.icr.org.
4 Thousands…Not Billions: Changing an Icon of Evolution, Questioning the Age of the Earth by Don DeYoung, Ph.D., Physics, "RATE Conclusions" special section, pp 174-183.
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