Astounding Anomalous Fossil Discovery!

WE recently posted Creationism and the Fossil Record, about an article from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). It was written by John D. Morris, the new head of ICR. John is the son of ICR’s founder, the legendary Henry M. Morris, regarded as the father of modern “creation science.”

This is what we said about John’s article:

Every paragraph — sometimes every sentence — overflows with creationist misunderstandings, distortions, and cognitive disconnects.

John’s article was so entertaining that we are delighted to bring you his latest work, posted at the ICR website: An Amazing Anomalous Fossil. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Fossils are normally found loosely in the order predicted by the geologic column, which maps the earth’s strata. This chart, which can be found in all treatments of the subject, is presented as a column of fossils, with the earliest at the bottom and the most recent at the top. But in reality, it is only a column of proposed evolutionary development.

We’re off to a promising start. Let’s read on:

The fossil order, such as it is, could just as well (or better) fit the progression of encroaching Flood waters. In the lowest levels are found marine invertebrates. Increasing heights (not more recent time periods) bring fossils that lived along the shore, followed by more terrestrial sediments and fossils. The ordering trend is not due to evolutionary development, but to global Flood inundation.

Fantastic! We knew we could depend on AIG. Continuing:

There are some fossils, however, that cannot be made to fit the evolutionary timeline at all. Such fossils, called anomalous fossils, are found in layers totally out of kilter with evolution.

“Anomalous fossils”? Why haven’t we heard of those before? The only search engine hits are links to creationist websites. Oh wait — it appears that Talk Origins has an article debunking several such claims: Creationist Arguments: Anomalous Fossils.

But let’s not spoil John’s fun. Here’s more from his article:

The most startling such evidence is human artifacts, such as the bronze bell shown here. [Picture of a bell at the ICR website.] It was encased in a large piece of coal. Standard dating of the bituminous coal seam from which it was taken dates it from the Carboniferous Period, approximately 300 million years old. Certainly no human artifact could reside in such “ancient” strata. This “fossil” is anomalous indeed.

Wowie! This changes everything! Moving along:

The boy who found it in the 1940s discovered it while shoveling coal into his home’s furnace. One chunk, about 15 inches by 20 inches in area and 6 inches thick, was too large, and when he broke it a metal object protruded. Diligence completely removed all coal from the bell, which had a two-inch stem between the bell and a “human-like” figure on top — a man in a kneeling position, with arms and wings. Records show the coal had been excavated from a shallow mine near his home in Buckhannon, West Virginia.

A kid says he found a bell in some coal, and then he “completely removed all coal from the bell.” His “diligence” is quite understandable. Here’s another excerpt:

The discoverer attended an ICR seminar in the mid 1970s with his amazing find. I asked if ICR could perform some tests on it.

[…]

Nuclear Activation Analysis determined it to be primarily of bronze with a curious admixture of zinc. A micro probe showed no residual traces of coal.

No problem. We believe the boy. On with the article:

A convention of bell experts did not know its place of origin, although some felt there was a similarity to semi-ancient bells made in India. Their suggestion was that some early American dropped a foreign bell down a well, to be incorporated into the coal.

What about the “Made in Occupied Japan” label on the bell? (Sorry, that was uncalled for.) And now we come to the end:

But what about the Flood? While processes operating during the Flood would have destroyed most artifacts, there is a possibility metallic objects could have survived, and people before the Flood did work with metal. Coal comes from land plants, and it would be conceivable that a metallic, human artifact could survive. There have been several artifacts like this one found, but all are poorly documented and therefore unusable. I would never use questionable evidence for creation and the Flood without a disclaimer. I present this one here because the possibility is so intriguing.

Well! This is quite a mystery. We certainly hope the scholars at ICR can figure it out. Until they do, everything we know is thrown into confusion.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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One response to “Astounding Anomalous Fossil Discovery!

  1. Let me get this straight: They claim that the fossil column was invalidated en masse by an “anomalous fossil” of a bronze bell found by a boy in a lump of coal dated to 300 MY?

    Awesome. Literally millions of age determinations and paleontology washed away by:
    — a neat bronze bell (looks more like brass with eventual traces of tin to me, BTW, rather than bronze with traces of zinc… but maybe it’s just lousy color-matching by an incompetent photographer)
    — classified as “possibly from India” by a “conference of bell experts” (how cool — they apparently have conferences of experts handy for anything)
    — who thought it might have been dropped in a well by an “early American” (because, as we all know, coal formed in wells at some point after Columbus stumped over the West Indies…)
    — without asking the opinion of some real expert (you know, archaeologists, art and metallurgy historians, etc.)
    — found by a boy (and we all know boys would never ever invent a story — it’s psychologically and physiologically impossible for young men to tell a lie)
    — determined to be 300 MY old (although all dating methods are an invention of the evolutionist conspiracy, or something along this line, and most medieval artifacts are by far not as well conserved)
    — on the basis on the coal surrounding the bell (coal of which no trace whatsoever could be found)

    Yeah, bulletproof demonstration… Next, we’ll talk about the bolthead that blew up on the Manhattan bridge I have on sale…