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.

Gray Fossil Museum

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Visited the Fossil Museum in Gray TN this afternoon. There is a dig on site from which students and paleontologists are pulling out some amazing fossils. I want to preface this article by stating that I am very proud of the community for honoring the scientific find by dedicating resources to the site, as well as moving the direction of the highway in order to accommodate the dig. There are a plethora of fossil samples being pulled from the ground, two of which have been classified as new species. The exhibits are classy looking, and beautiful, and the facility, labs included, appear to be top notch.

This unfortunately is where my admiration for the project ends, as the whole site is absolutely dedicated to forcing evolutionary propaganda down each guest’s throat at every turn, and on every wall. It was egregious how prevalent the indoctrination was. Granted, I was expecting to encounter the millions-of-years mantra several times, but from the beginning 15 ft 4.5 billion year time line on the wall  at step one, to the ode to Charles Darwin hallway at the end, it dripped with the insatiable need to reinforce the religion of humanism, naturalism, and evolution.

It was never presented exactly how the dates were determined for the dig (between 4 million and 7 million years ago), but it could be deduced by both typical evolutionary presupposition and normal modus operandi that pre-determined index fossils dated the rocks, and of course the rocks date the fossils (a.k.a. circular reasoning).

In a 1979 interview with *Dr. Donald Fisher, the state paleontologist for New York, Luther Sunderland, asked him: “How do you date fossils?” His reply: “By the Cambrian rocks in which they were found.” Sunderland then asked him if this were not circular reasoning, and *Fisher replied, “Of course, how else are you going to do it?” (Bible Science Newsletter, December 1986, p. 6.)

“The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning . . because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales.”—*J.E. O’Rourke, “Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of science, January 1976.

“The charge that the construction of the geologic scale involves circularity has a certain amount of validity.”—*David M. Raup, “Geology and Creationism,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, March 1983, p. 21.

“It is a problem not easily solved by the classic methods of stratigraphical paleontology, as obviously we will land ourselves immediately in an impossible circular argument if we say, firstly that a particular lithology [theory of rock strata] is synchronous on the evidence of its fossils, and secondly that the fossils are synchronous on the evidence of the lithology.”—*Derek V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphic Record (1973), p. 62.

 

“The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism.”—*J.E. O’Rourke, “Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy,” American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 48.

Furthermore, if you will notice the picture I took of one of their displays IMG_6303(sorry about the glare), it states another hard-nosed take on how evolutionists practice science. Let me paraphrase the sign for the laypeople that pass by it. “We here at the Gray Fossil Museum already know that these fossils are as old as we were taught in school, therefore we know we don’t have to use a test that may prove it wrong, despite the fact that C-14 has been found in everything from dinosaurs, to coal, to diamonds (see link here on Carbon dating), and may in fact be found here, which would ruin all of our predetermined expensive exhibits. We would not be able to handle reaching conclusions such as a fossil known to be 4.5 million years old with a C-14 result of 12,000 years for example, and if these conclusions were determined, we would of course throw them out based on the obvious reasoning of either contaminated specimens, leaching, our faulty testing, without once considering a change in our presuppositional position that was determined without any observable, demonstrable, repeatable testing whatsoever.”

This type of “science” has unfortunately become more normal, but is intellectually dishonest. I would be willing to bet C-14 was quite prevalent in these fossils, if one of the local scientists had the integrity and courage to test for it. But as you can see from the picture, they have already informed the public that it is wholly unnecessary.

A final note about the Gray Museum is in regards to the story they present about how these fossils got here. According to their “experts”, water leaked into a cavern under the surface, creating a sinkhole which eventually became deep, and then was filled with trapped wild life from tapirs to snakes to bear, and was then fossilized slowly over time. This conjecture makes me want to take everyone involved and set them on the rim of a sinkhole, toss in hundreds of animal carcasses, and make them camp and watch how quickly nature recycles dead flesh. (Don’t mind the smell, that’s just the rotting away of all your theories). I reiterate what science knows already, which is that fossil formation today is exceedingly rare. Is this sinkhole trap an anomaly that explains the possible thousands of trapped animals? What about the billions of other fossils all over the earth? Perhaps the earth was covered with sink holes? Ridiculous. Fossils are made when organisms are buried quickly by mud and water, and the world is filled with organisms that have been buried quickly by mud and water. Sorry Gray Fossil Museum, but it’s time to take Darwin the racist, incestuous philosopher off your wall, and start to practice real science.