Uniformitarian scientists believe that most strata were laid down very slowly over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. The rate of deposition may have been on the order of 1 cm per thousand years. Creationists, on the other hand, believe that most strata were laid down very rapidly in the one-year Genesis Flood.

Polystrate fossils demonstrate rapid deposition. Polystrate fossils are fossils that span more than one layer of strata (Rupke, 1970; Morris, 1974; Coffin, 1975; 1983) as indicated by their name; “poly” means many. Most are petrified trees that are perpendicular to the bedding. Polystrate trees commonly are just as well preserved at the top as at the bottom, indicating that the whole tree was rapidly sealed from decay or organism consumption before petrification (Rupke, 1970).

Several locations that display polystrate fossils will be described. The uniformitarian response to polystrate fossils will be analyzed. A study of polystrate fossil trees from open-pit coal mines in Alaska also will be presented as evidence of the weakness of uniformitarian explanations. The article will end by showing that polystrate fossils, as well as coal, can be explained by the log mat model.

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