Most people I speak to are under the false impression that it takes a very long time for fossilisation to take place. Short earth creationists, like myself, are very quick to point out that it doesn’t.
Rapid petrification isn’t that uncommon, it occurs reasonably easily under natural conditions. What is surprising though is how some anti-creationist sites miss the point and try to discredit the idea that this really does happen. Rapid petrification doesn’t prove a young earth, or anything beyond the obvious, really, creation and evolutionary scientists aren’t in contention as to how long petrification takes, just as to how long the fossils have been there. For those who aren’t convinced of the rapid petrification process, I will provide some examples.
This calcified hat was found in a mine in Australia. The mine had been closed for about fifty years, but the exact time frame isn’t really an issue, the issue is that it probably wasn’t around with the dinosaurs.
The limestone cowboy boot
This boot, with leg still inside, was taken back to the manufacturer (the name is now cast in stone) who identified it as having been produced during the 1950s or 60s.
But periods of 50 or so years are still quite long periods for small objects to fossilise, and we don’t really know how long it took, just that it was less than about fifty years in each case.
The Teddies of Yorkshire
The teddies sold in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, are suspended in the famous “Dripping well” through which subterranean water flows. The water has a high mineral content which facilitates the permineralisation of these teddies in three to five months, according to Answers in Genesis, although I have heard reports of it taking longer. Obviously the size and porousity of the object in question influences the time frame. Interestingly enough, this well has been a tourist attraction since the 1630s, and there are people today who are still under the impression that petrification takes long periods.
Some people still may not be convinced, but there’s no point not being convinced if there isn’t an alternative. I therefore tried to find something.
Aha! That explains it…
An alternative for the teddy, which I found on an anti-creationist site, is that it is the missing link between Winnie the Pooh and Yogi. This explanation is not valid, since the nose is completely the wrong shape to be part of this evolutionary line, but we can perhaps look into other famous teddies, such as Paddington.
As for the Hat and boots, I came up with one, and asked a friend, Danielle During, to do a picture to provide a good example.
As I noted earlier, this only proves that petrification doesn’t need long periods, it does not prove the age of the earth in favour of either side, but it is pretty cool.