Taphonomy

Taphonomy is the branch of paleontology that deals with the processes of fossilization. It is like investigating a crime scene to find out the best possible explanation for the evidence. In laymen’s terms, it is attempting to find out what killed the animals in question. In the case of the paleontological dig in Wyoming run by Dr. Arthur Chadwick, it is about finding what cased the death of many dinosaurs.

Art explained: “We’re doing what’s called taphonomy.  Taphonomy it’s like CSI, Crime Scene Investigation.  Our goal is to find out what killed the dinosaurs, what they were doing when they died, and then what happened after they died.  Did they sit around and rot, or were they buried right away?  And then what happened after they were buried to preserve the bones and change them?”

The area that he was excavating for study was over 80 acres in size, and had millions of fossilized bones in it, most disarticulated. This just means that they are found disconnected from the adjacent bones. This indicates some swirling pressure, and some rot (enough to separate bone from connective tissue). Fascinatingly, most of these bones in Arthur’s bone bed are found in the first 3 feet of mudstone. In 80 acres and only a meter thick, we find millions of bones laid out together!

So what is the doctor’s conclusion as to how they got there? He explained: “These animals had to die and then their carcasses had to have time to rot. So we’re talking days or weeks or months during which time the bones and tissue were either eaten away or rotted away. And then the bones that remained were deposited instantaneously in this environment because they’re in a graded bed with big bones at the bottom and little bones at the top, and you can see that here. The big bones are all down at the bottom. When they start digging up here, they start to find smaller bones. So that condition requires a sorting process that can only take place during a catastrophic emplacement.”

“The only way I know how you could develop a graded bed is if you had a catastrophic process that transported these bones and laid them all in as a single event.” – Art Chadwick, PhD

So, take a minute and think about the environment that this must have taken place in. Not the slow gradual environment that they try to teach in school. That would not explain this, nor a plethora of other fossil graveyard sites. In a millions of years scenario, there would not be sorting. They would not all be so close to the surface. They would not be so densely packed, and over so wide a range (if say deposited by an ancient river). How would this occur slowly over time, and somehow carcasses  not be consumed by nature too quickly for fossilization (like we observe in nature today). This, according to tophonomy is best explained by a single catastrophic event. You have many dinosaurs which all died together, swirled in muddy eddies, rotting and breaking apart over weeks or months, and then settled in mud and water. And most of these animals that found themselves in these swirling, violent, muddy deathtraps would indeed be disarticulated.

Picture100Remember, this is a forensic science. Studies current data to explain a past event. We have two events to consider, the slow depositing of animals world wide who all were buried in mud and water (not occurring today), or a recorded world wide deluge, corroborated by the bible, over 270 flood legends, and evidence such as bone-beds like this picture. Could this happen all over the world with slow natural processes? These observations are made, knowing full well the disdain modern scientists have for studying data in light of the reality and authenticity of Genesis. But our education is our own, not someone else’s. You must decide which model makes sense to you.

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Author: J.R. Cooper

Author, Christian Fiction, Apologetics, Creationism vs Evolution, Published with Touch Publishing

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