Polystrate Fossils

Since the proposal of the idea of uniformity by Charles Lyell in the early 1800s, geologists have struggled to explain polystrate fossils. A polystrate fossil is a fossil encased not in a single layer of strata but in multiple layers. Uniformity, advocating that the “present is the key to the past,” describes each layer being laid down over extensive periods of time.  The problem with each layer taking so long to form is that most fossils found in these layers would have decayed prior to the forming of the next layer.  Some examples that confirm the idea of rapid fossilization are as follows:

  • Fossil of ichthyosaur, buried and fossilized while giving birth.1
  • Petrified trees are found in scores of places around the world.2
  • Polystrate trees found in France upside down extending through many layers.3

Fossils Found Through Layers of Sediment

Polystrate fossils are found extending through multiple layers of sediment. Many trees have been found fossilized in a vertical position through layers of coal, sandstone, and other sediments. Certainly, the trees would have decayed if millions of years had occurred between the different strata.

Polystrate Fossils running through rock layers

Polystrate Fossils running through rock layers

Geologists fail to accept that the only reasonable explanation of polystrate fossils is that the layers formed quickly around plant and animal life before they had time to decay. Seems to correspond with the biblical account of the worldwide Flood, doesn’t it?


1. Creation Magazine, Dec. 99

2. Creation Seminar Part #4

3. Bones of Contention by Silvia Baker, p. 12

Additional Resources

Rocks Fossils and Dinosaurs

It is interesting to note that absolutely no transitional forms have been found in the fossil record connecting any of the major groups of living creatures before or since Darwin for which “peer reviewed” support can be offered. Most fossils appear very similar to their living counterpart. It is as if they were created yesterday. Rocks, Fossils and Dinosaurs is a fresh look at this age-old controversy, written in a nontechnical way.

“Dr. Tom Sharp has captured a mighty evidence for creation and he has accomplished this task in a highly readable fashion. The fossil record emphatically does not provide support for evolution, but instead points to creation – not very long ago, and by a Designer like the One we read of in Scripture. Students confronted with agressive evolutionary claims would greatly benefit from reading this book. ” Dr. John Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research

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