This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

 
Issue Features
  
Reason and Revelation Volume 24 #5

Questions and Answers: Millions of Years to Petrify Wood?

Q.

Does it take millions of years to petrify wood?

A.

Petrified wood intrigues both old and young alike. Finding a rock in the exact shape and pattern as wood brings to mind several curious questions. When did this happen? How long did it take? What caused this situation? While these (and other) questions about petrified wood are interesting, the question that pertains to the creation/evolution debate centers on how long the process takes. Those who believe in an old Earth suggest that wood petrifies over millions of years. A “fact sheet” on petrified wood found in South Dakota has this to say about the situation: “The final condition, necessary for petrification, is time. The mineral replacement process is very slow, probably taking millions of years” (Teachout, 1995).

The idea that it takes millions of years for wood to petrify, however, is patently false. As is usually the case with such geological phenomena, the actual process has very little to do with the amount of time available, but instead demands the right conditions.

Andrew Snelling has documented several instances—in the laboratory and in nature—in which wood was petrified in just a few months or years (Snelling, 1995). He also discussed the fact that Hamilton Hicks was granted a U.S. patent in 1986 for a chemical “cocktail” that can produce wood that “evidently has all the characteristics of petrified wood, including its appearance” (1995).

John Morris commented that “no informed geologist would say it takes an excessively long time” for wood to petrify. He documented one field experiment in which a block of wood was placed in an alkaline spring for a year, after which, “substantial petrification had occurred” (2004).

It does not take thousands or millions of years to petrify wood, and arguments that suggest such cannot be used to bolster the fallacious idea of an old Earth. Wood can petrify quite rapidly—a situation that certainly fits nicely into the young Earth model.

REFERENCES

Morris, John (2004), “How Long Does It Take for Wood to Petrify?”, [On-line], URL: http://www. icr.org/pubs/btg-b/btg-082b.htm.

Snelling, Andrew (1995), “ ‘Instant’ Petrified Wood,” [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/cen_v17n4_wood.asp.

Teachout, Gerald E. (1995), “Petrified Wood of South Dakota,” [On-line], URL: http://www.northern.edu/natsource/earth/Petrif1.htm.



Copyright © 2004 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
U.S.A.
Phone (334) 272-8558

http://www.apologeticspress.org

Web Store

Separation of Church & State? - DVD

Is "separation of church and state" constitutional? Bottom
 Line: The Founders believed that the general doctrines of the Christian religion are the basis of the American way of life. To the extent our nation expels God, the Bible, and Christian principl

Featured Audio

Listen

Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio