Since the "soil" that surrounds the roots of these trees is virtually no different than the strata that buried them, perhaps it isn't a "soil" at all, but rather simply a sedimentary deposit that buried them while (they were) floating upright.
Perhaps more telling is the fact that the above tree in Fig. 2, along with its roots, is: "filled with a fine-grained greyish white sandstone." 77 **
In other words, the sediment inside this tree is different than that which surrounds it. Also of significance is the fact that none of the sediments above the tree consist of greyish white sandstone. This is evident from the list of strata types given above (next to Fig. 2). This also strongly suggests that this tree is not in its original position of growth, but rather has been uprooted and transported to this location where it sank to the bottom and was buried in beds of layered mud and clay. Some may say that since it was filled with sandstone then it couldn't have been transported -- because it would have been too heavy. However, if we look closely at Fig. 1, we can see what appear to be the tops of these trees still intact and attached. This is significant and may explain how such a heavy tree could have been transported by strong currents (see Part 1: Horizontal Shear).
Another reason to doubt that any of the above trees (in fig. 1) are "in situ" because of what Brown said about beds f, h, and g. Consider his comments below:
He also tells us that:
"All the upright stems apparently belong to the same species, and are evidently young individuals, ranging from two to sixteen inches in diameter only." 77 **The fact that oblique stems and leaves were preserved in this strata, and that such leaves were from many different trees, while the trees themselves were of the same type is suggestive of transport. And the fact that the tree in fig. 2 was filled with sediments unlike any that surrounded it strongly suggests that it didn't grow here, but rather was transported. This, coupled with the fact that there are no distinct soil surfaces in sections f--h suggests that none of the upright trees in the above drawing are in situ.
Facts Omitted: The above tree also provides (perhaps) the best example of Dawson's bias, since he used a replica of Brown's drawing of Fig. 2 (above) in an attempt to persuade his readers that the erect trees in the Joggins and Sydney strata are in situ. This can be said for several reasons. First because he made the claim 78 that it was in situ without even providing a specific reference.79 Second, because he didn't give any details: i.e. he didn't mention that it was filled with sediments unlike those surrounding it; nor did he mention that other trees in this strata were inclined; nor did he say anything about the various different leaves that were found under one of these trees. Third, because he omitted (from his writings) various other drawings provided by Brown that clearly show upright trees and plants with their roots missing. And fourth, because Dawson claimed that the Sydney area strata "occur in circumstances very similar to those of the erect trees at the Joggins ..." 80 Also, to be fair to Dawson who is not here to defend himself, it is possible that he only received a drawing of the tree in the mail -- as opposed to the Brown's entire article, or that he perhaps never actually read any of Brown's articles: something that seems unlikely when considering his position and close contact with the London Geological Society.
In other words, since Dawson couldn't find a similar tree with attached roots and rootlets from the Joggins vicinity that he deemed worthy to depict, why not use one from the Sydney area and simply state (as Brown had done) that because it had attached roots, and was upright, that is must have been in situ, and that the circumstances which created the strata in these locations were very similar. This may also explain why Dawson didn't publish any drawings of the numerous drift trees that he observed at various locations in the Joggins strata, for to do so might have given his readers the (unwanted) impression that none of these trees are "in situ."
Note: Although, Dawson did provide a drawing of what he called "drift", it didn't portray drifted trees, but rather what he termed "drift" rocks. However, in spite if his bias, Dawson is to be commended for providing us with a number of very detailed cross-sectional drawings of upright trees and tree stumps -- something which other authors (i.e. Goeppert, 1848) didn't do. He is also to be commended for providing detailed descriptions of a very large section of the Joggins strata, and much additional information regarding the fossils that are found in this area.
Conifers and Drifted Trunk Deposits:
Regarding these deposits Dawson tells us that:
In addition Dawson informs us that:
"From the abundance of coniferous trees in the sandstones above and below the coal, and their comparative absence in the coal and coal-shales, it may be inferred that these trees belonged rather to the uplands than to the coal swamps; and the great durability and small specific gravity of coniferous wood would allow it to be drifted, either by rivers or ocean currents, to very great distances." 83 **
And that such trees:
Leaves Present but Bark Missing: The conifers of Joggins are often found as "decorticated and prostrate trunks." 85 In other words, they are missing their bark. In fact, of all the Corditalean trees at Joggins that were examined by Scott et al., none were found with their "periderm" or bark intact. 86 This was in spite of the fact that fossil leaves occur in the same deposits as these trees.86 Austin proposed that decortication could occur as a result of trees (in the form of log mats) rubbing against each other as they were transported by turbulent waters. 87, 88
Organic Material Intact: In addition to the above, Scott et al. report that the organic cell walls of some trees are still intact. 89 Dawson also reported finding similar organic material in fossil trees at Wallace Harbor. 90 With regard to this Dawson noted that after the calcareous mineral matter (filling the pores) was dissolved with hydrochloric acid, what was left was a piece of wood retaining the same size and shape as the original -- only now it could be bent or burned in a fire just like ordinary wood. See also the unfossilized trees of Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere Islands and Carbon 14.
Observations: The fact that the periderm (or bark) is missing tells us that something stripped these trees of their bark before they were entombed in this strata -- thus implying that they were drifted in from a distance--as both Dawson and Scott readily admit. The fact that (fossil) leaves are found ( in the strata) along with these trees is suggestive of rapid burial. The fact that organic material is present in any specimens suggests that they are not hundreds of millions of years old but rather (more likely) only a few thousand.
One of the most significant aspects of the Maritime strata are the multiple seams of coal. Joggins alone has about 80 different coal seams -- ranging from thin films to seams that are 2.5 feet thick. Are these the remains of multiple forests that grew in place, or is there a more plausible explanation?
Many geologists believe that coals were formed as a result of multiple forests which grew in stagnant swamps. In the case of the Joggins area, these forest-swamps are said to have been drowned over and over again by flood waters, as the land repeatedly subsided at about the same pace that new sediments were being laid down. 91 They believe that the plant matter found in such coal grew in (or near) that location. This view is called the "Autochthonous" method of coal formation. For example, Lacefield states that:
This belief is still held by many geologists today. It postulates that the plants which grew in such (ancient) swamps, --after many hundreds (or thousands --?) of years-- accumulated into thick beds of peat, which were buried under sediments, and then, after many more hundreds (or thousands --?) of years, as a result of heat and pressure turned into coal. This method of coal formation requires long periods of time simply because of all the time it would have taken for all of those forests upon forests to grow.
Other geologists believe that coal seams were formed as the result of plant material being uprooted, carried off by flood waters, and subsequently reburied by sediments. This view is known as the "Allochthonous" (or drift) method of coal formation. It does not require long periods of time to account for such (multiple) deposits of coal.
Evidence for the Autochthonous (Peat-Swamp) Theory of Coal Formation:
Underclays: In many cases coal seams are resting on top of what is termed an "underclay." Such beds may consist entirely of clay, or, as is more often the case, of shale, or sandstone, or a mixture of these; sometimes they even consist of limestone (ref. 125) However, to properly be termed an "underclay" it must contain rootlets. Underclays are sometimes referred to as "seat-earths," or soils. They are thought to represent ancient beds upon which the swamp/forests grew. Dawson believed that:
"The occurrence of Stigmaria under nearly every bed of coal, proves beyond question that the material was accumulated by growth in situ, while the character of the sediments intervening between the beds of coal proves with equal certainty the abundant transport of mud and sand by water. In other words, conditions similar to those of the swampy deltas of great rivers ..." 94 **
Dawson further believed that the:
Banded Seams: Coal seams are quite often banded or layered. Such laminations are believed to represent multiple forests that grew one on top of one another.
Lack of Upright Fossils:
Instances of upright trees that traverse coal seams are not supposed to occur. This is
because coal is believed to take hundreds (if not thousands) of years to accumulate from beds of peat-
growth, and thus any trees that might have protruded through the pre-coal (peat) should have fallen over
and decayed during the time it took the seam to form. Yet
such trees, though rarely documented, do occur, and will be discussed shortly.
This autochthonous (in situ growth) theory is believed by many geologists today to be the correct
interpretation of how coals were formed. It is also the only view that is compatible with
Absence of Large Roots: Another indication of catastrophic deposition for the Joggins strata is that few "underclays" possess large roots with (or without) intact rootlets. For example, there are only a few beds where Dawson records finding large roots of Stigmaria. One of these is in limestone. Concerning this section of strata Dawson wrote:
"Coal Group 31: Gray sandstone.
He also provides the following details:
"The roof contains Sigillaria, and the coal has flattened impressions of the same. This bed is remarkable as having a roof of sandstone. Its underclay is also peculiar. It is about 9 feet in thickness, and contains Stigmaria and nodules of ironstone throughout. It rests on a bituminous limestone containing Naiadites and scales of fishes, and also large roots of Stigmaria ... This bed gives more colour to the idea of Stigmaria having grown under water than any other bed at the Joggins." 95 **
Here is one of the few instances where Dawson records finding "large roots of Stigmaria" in the Joggins strata; however, in this case they are not in the "underclay," but rather under it in a bed of limestone. In addition, as far as we know, these (large) roots were not attached to trees, nor did they possess attached rootlets.
Notice also that the larger roots were found below the smaller rootlets. This is the opposite of what we would expect if such roots were in situ; for if this were the case then the larger roots should be above the smaller rootlets. They should also have rootlets attached, but, as far as we know, they don't.
Lack of Distinct Soils: An absence of distinct soils around rootlets and under trees suggests that such beds are not "soils" at all. Regarding this, we again note Coffins' remark :
"Only a small number of vertical trees arise from coal. The majority originate in shale or sandstone, which exhibit no change in texture or organic content." 96 **
Over and over again, when observing this strata, distinct soils are missing. For example, in Brown's drawing (1849, p.357) of the stump above the Sydney Main seam there is no distinguishable difference between the layering of the "shale without fossil plants," that is said to be a "soil," from the shale immediately above it.
Dawson noticed this as well. Consider his remarks from the 1868 Edition of Acadian Geology :
In the first paragraph Dawson refers to the surface supporting this tree as a "distinct soil." In the second he tells us that the sediments surrounding its base "cannot be distinguished" from those above or below it. Such assertions cause doubts to arise with regard to Dawson's objectivity -- especially his conclusion that these were "soils." The fact that they are indistinguishable from the strata which buried the tree is a clear indication that they are not "distinct"; if they were, then there should be an observable difference between the "soil" that enclosed the roots vs. the sediments that buried the remainder of this tree.
Note also that although Dawson tells us that this tree appeared as "a sandstone cast, five feet six inches high," he does not say how deep it was buried in the clay. For all we know it may have been several feet.
Vegetation: While the type of vegetation in this coal offers some support for the forest-growth (autochthonous) theory; this same evidence raises questions as to whether such a forest ever was a swamp. This is because Conifers do not grow in swamps, nor do ferns. Regarding this Dawson states that:
And, "with the exception, perhaps, of some Pinnulariae and Asterophyllites there is a remarkable absence from the Coal measures of any form of properly aquatic vegetation." 98
Although there may be a lack of what Dawson calls "properly aquatic vegetation" in these coal measures, there is abundant evidence of aquatic life, such as crustaceans, clams, fish, and marine tubeworms. 99
However, Dawson's statement is questionable for other reasons as well. For example, almost all Coniferous trees in the Joggins strata are found in the form of fossil logs buried in drifted Channel Deposits. 100 With the exception of leaves and (perhaps) bark, their remains are not found in the coals themselves -- except for small pieces found in coal balls. Dawson here takes aim at those who had previously proposed that Sigillaria and Lepidodendrons were aquatic (i.e. that they grew in water). This view was first proposed by Brongniart, 101 and was later espoused by Binney. 102 More recently, Scheven 103 has proposed that such trees were not only aquatic, but comprised what he terms "Floating Forests." Scheven later discovered that he was not the first to propose such a view; for Kunze104 had done so over 100 years prior. Such a view would allow for much larger forest areas than are currently available on the Continents alone. However, since no Sigillarias or Lepidodendrons exist today (other than as fossils), we may never know for certain whether or not this was the case.
Abundance of Fragile Fossils: According to Dawson, 105 56 coals at Joggins contain leaves of one or more of the following types: Asterophyllites, Cordaites (previously Poacites), Cyperites, Alethopteris lonchitica, Pecopteris lonchitica, Lepidophylla, and "vascular bundles of ferns." Dawson also informs us that at least two of the Joggins coals are composed almost entirely of leaves. 106 This is also suggestive of a rapid organic sedimentary deposit -- as opposed to that of fossil soils.
Varying Lamina within Seams: Dawson also records the following details about "Coal Group 12", a one foot thick multilayer "Coal and coaly shale."
If such a seam resulted from a single forest, then we would not expect to find individual lamina with leaves, but rather many. Such fossils would only be preserved if they were buried rapidly, or perhaps slowly if the environment was anaerobic. In this case, however, since it represents a single layer among many different layers, the rapid burial scenario is (perhaps) the most likely. If, on the other hand, these coals resulted from "stagnant swamps" under anaerobic freshwater conditions, then we would not expect to find bivalves with marine tubeworms attached. For example, consider Dawson's account of Coal Group 18--an eight inch thick laminated coal:
"The coal is shaly and laminated. It contains much Cordaites, also Lepidodendron, Calamites, and Alethopteris lonchitica. In one layer there are Naiadites, Spirorbis, and scales of fishes." 108 **This phenomenon was also described by Duff and Walton, who -- with regard to a section of Logan's Division 4 -- reported that:
"A remarkable feature of the coals is their occasional interbanding with limestone of calcareous shale. The boundaries of the coal and limestone are usually sharp; very thin laminae and even isolated shell layers (bivalves) can be seen along parting planes in the coal in thin sections." 109 **
Finding alternating (and/or isolated) layers of limestone and coal--along with fragile fossils of leaves and isolated layers of shells with marine tubeworms is, again, more consistent with the rapid deposition of drifted (organic) matter than with the concept of multiple slow growing forests which grew on mud-flats, limestones, and peat. Also, according to Price, 110 few trees are known to grow on a peat surface, and even those that do must have their roots in an earthy type of soil, as opposed to (only) the peat. However, such may not have been the case with the Sigillarias and Lepidodendrons (that comprise much of the Carboniferous coals), as their radiating roots are typical of modern aquatic plants.
For more on how coal seams were formed see: Upright Trees in Coal.
What About Sydney? With regard to fragile fossils in the strata near Sydney, Dawson makes the following comments:
"The Sydney Coal measures contain not only erect trees, but also numerous with Naiadites, Cythere, Spirorbis, Fish-scales, etc.; though these do not so frequently overlie coal-seams as at the Joggins. The shales at Sydney are also much more rich than those at the Joggins in leaves and other more delicate parts of plants..." **
Upright Tree with Sedimentary Coal:
Coffin discusses a tree which had its interior filled with coal for a distance of three feet.
The tree itself was imbedded in sandstone. Its lowermost portion was filled with
sandstone; however, above this it was filled with coal. Consider his remarks below:
The second instance is between sections 182 and 183 in the same drawing (above). Here we see a large tree with roots that cross a coal seam. Regarding this tree we are told that it is:
"18 inches in diameter..., with strong roots penetrating downwards at an angle of 45 degrees, and piercing through the three-inch layer of mixed coal and shale No 182." 114 **
Note: Brown's number 182 is positioned incorrectly. It should be shifted to the right so that it is next to No. 183 (a 4 ft. Arenaceous shale with erect trees, plants and Stigmaria).
Two other examples of upright trees in coal are reproduced below; the first is from a book by Bölsche that is in German. The author does not tell us where it is from; however, more than likely it is from Germany, since there are many coal seams there. The second is from a book by Williamson on the subject of Stigmaria. Note that in Williamson's drawing there are no visible traces of roots even though the tree is sitting atop a laminated Fireclay.
After Bölsche, Wilhelm, Im Steinkohlenwald; 1906-- (Various Eds.), p. 35
Williamson, William C., A Monograph on the Morphology and
Histology of Stigmaria Ficoides, 1887, p. 13.
"The upper shales and coals are very pyritous, and decompose when exposed to the weather -- an indication that sea-water had access to these beds, while the vegetable matter was still recent."115 **
Gilbing concurs with this view. Consider his remarks below:
"I am pretty sure that marine influence was active at Joggins. In addition to the forams and trace fossils (1995 paper), Sr isotopes on fish bone material are suggestive of marine / estuarine influence (John's 1998 paper). Also, mud drapes at one level include some paired drapes, which is suggestive of tidal activity. The coals are rich in sulphur, especially pyrite -- a marine sulphate source?" 116 **
Further evidence of marine influence is reported by Skilliter, who said that:
"The 1433 m thick section exposed in the cliffs at Joggins, Nova Scotia has long been held to have formed in a fresh-water, continental basin. Recently, the possibility of periodic, distal marine influence has been inferred for... part of the section from the trace fossil and microfossil record. Multidisciplinary data from a further detailed investigation of ... 65 m of strata supports this inference ... Palynological, geochemical, and petrographic data indicate the Forty Brine coal seam originated as a minerotrophic mire of elevated pH; enriched sulphur (up to 19%) is suggestive of marine water influence. This re-interpretation has implications for the accepted paleoecology of the aquatic fauna, and for predictive stratigraphic modeling of similar 'continental' basins."117 **
Structure of Carboniferous Coals: With regard to the "microscopic texture and structure of coal," Nevins makes the following comments concerning a study by Cohen.
Nevins then quotes Cohen as follows:
Note about Underclays: George M. Price, in his book "The New Geology" quotes Arber as follows, with regard to underclays:
Observations: In the opinion of this writer the evidence favors an allochthonous (or drift) origin for the Carboniferous coals -- as opposed to the popular Peat-bog / growth-in-place theory which is still taught in many institutions of higher learning. See also The Origin of Coal, Coal: How Did it Originate, Conifers and the Coal Question, Geology and the Age of the Earth; Brown Coal Mining in Germany, Coal: It's Occurrence and Origin, Appendix A: The Underclays of Joggins
The Fragmentation of Stigmaria:
1. Preferred orientation of Stigmaria axes,
With regard to these roots Rupke stated that:
Rupke also noted that :
When challenged by Ferguson, 121 Rupke responded by providing more details. For example, Ferguson suggested that the Stigmaria fragments in question were perhaps still connected with trees (that were) hidden in the cliff, or that the trees had eroded away. To this Rupke gave the following response:
Other authorities have made similar remarks. For example, in the only book ever published on the subject of Stigmaria, Williamson said:
Williamson makes no attempt to answer it either. He does, however, provide references to other authorities who also noticed this. For example, in his Conclusion he states that:
Lesquereux's own observations were similar:
"All the geologists who have examined the distribution of the carboniferous measures and the composition of the strata have remarked the predominance of Stigmaria in the clay deposits which constitute the bottom of the coal beds. As the remains of Stigmaria are always found in that peculiar kind of clay and also in the intervening silicious beds generally called clay partings, without any fragments of Sigillaria, it has been supposed that these clay materials were merely a kind of soft mould where the Sigillaria began their life by the germination of seeds and there expanded their roots, while their trunks growing up did contribute by their woody matter the essential composition formed above clay beds. This opinion has an appearance of truth indeed. But how to explain the fact that beds of fireclay twenty to thirty feet in thickness are mostly composed of Stigmaria, or filled from the base to the top with remains of these plants, stems and leaves, without a fragment of Sigillaria ever found amongst them and without any coal above? Roots cannot live independently of trunks or of aerial plants ..." 125 **
"Large surfaces of rocks ... are seen in Pennsylvania entirely covered with stems and branches of Stigmaria. The stems, very long, nearly the same size in their whole length, rarely forking, crossing one upon another in all directions, cover the rocks with their leaves still attached to them in their original disposition of right angle. They have evidently the same position and distribution as during their growth, and there, over the whole exposed surface of the rocks, an acre or more, nothing is seen, either in any modification of the size of the stems or in their direction, which might indicate the rooting process or the axis of a trunk. 125 **
"As seen from their fragments, the Stigmaria stems are not exactly cylindrical ... The pith is thus exposed naked on the under side of the stems, and the leaves come out from the sides and upper surfaces only ... This conformation shows that the stems of Stigmaria were floating or expanding at the surface of soft muddy lakes, and independent of the growth of trees. 125 **
Lesquereux goes on to propose a new theory regarding the peculiar aquatic nature of Stigmaria roots. It is summarized below:
Whether Lesquereux was correct in his assessment is uncertain. However one thing does seem to be certain with regard to Stigmaria roots: namely that they are very commonly found as fragments that were buried while floating in prostrate, oblique and upright positions -- as opposed to in their original positions of growth.
Can Trees Be Buried Upright?
Further evidence of this phenomenon is reported by
Evidence of Marine Influence in the
Spirorbis is a marine annelid (worm) that lives inside a spirally arranged calcareous tube -- often referred to as a "tubeworm." It is an extant (i.e. living) species found in oceans throughout the world. It is not known to inhabit freshwater lakes or rivers. 130 At Joggins, Dawson found Spirorbis fossils in 18 different beds of (Logan's) Division 4 Coals. They are often found in the same beds with Naiadites (bivalve mollusks) and tiny crustaceans which Dawson refers to as Cythere (now known as Ostracodes). Dawson was aware that these tubeworm fossils at Joggins looked just like those living in modern oceans. Regarding this he stated:
Dawson's assertion that these annelids inhabited "closed lagoons and estuaries" is a possible scenario; however, is it the most plausible? He also here suggested that for anyone to think otherwise is synonymous to believing that such plants grew under the sea. This is one more example of his unwillingness to consider other scenarios -- especially when they pointed in a direction he did not want to consider.
Dawson's argument rests on the assumption that the Sigillaria on which these annelid fossils are found were entombed in their original growth position, and that their interiors were solid (as opposed to hollow). 133
Are there other possible scenarios that better fit the evidence?
The fact that such plants are found with Spirorbis attached
suggests one of the following:
Let's look more closely at each of these three possibilities.
The First Scenario requires many different species of (known) land plants to have lived in the ocean. This view is not taken seriously--at least not with regard to the Coniferous Cordaites and Ferns. However there is evidence that both the Sigillaria and Lepidodendrons were not only aquatic, but may have supported what has been termed "Floating Forests."
In brief, the idea that these trees grew in water was first proposed by the French Botanist-Geologist Adolphe Brongniart, and later espoused by the English Geologist E. W. Binney 134 These authors were of the opinion that such trees (though in water) grew in the same spot where they were entombed. According to Scheven, it was not until 1870 that the German Botanist Otto Kunze 135 proposed that these trees not only grew in water, but actually floated on the surface. However, he and his theory were forgotten for over 100 years, until Scheven (another German), who -- after coming to this same conclusion -- discovered Kunzes' work.
The Kunze-Scheven scenario asserts that the semi-hollow Lycopod trees, with their hollow roots, supported large "Floating Forests," which, in turn, provided a habitat where other (non-aquatic) plants, such as ferns, could thrive. This would not, however, mean that these trees were submerged under water, but rather simply floating upon its surface.
The Second Scenario: that the Spirorbes of the past were freshwater creatures is possible; however, there is little evidence to support this view -- except the circular argument that the strata of Joggins are freshwater deposits, and therefore, the Spirorbes found there must also have been freshwater organisms.
The Third Scenario: that the ocean swept over the land, requires the least amount of conjecture. I.E. The Spirorbes found at Joggins look just like modern Spirorbes because they are one in the same species. The only "problem" with this is that it strongly suggests that the coal beds of Joggins and Sydney may not have formed in slow-growing peat bogs, but rather as a result of major Continental (or Intercontinental) flooding. It is this author's opinion that this scenario, is by far the most likely. For more on Spirorbis, see Coffin,136 and Schultze and Chorn. 137
Charles Lyell was perhaps, more than any other, Dawson's mentor. Lyell also commented on the subject of finding Spirorbis fossils in the Coal strata. Consider his remarks below:
Unlike Dawson, Lyell considered Spirorbis to be a marine annelid, and readily acknowledged that its presence was evidence of "an incursion of the sea".
Agglutinated Foraminifera: If these were "river" deposits, then why do many sections of this strata have fossils of marine foraminifera in them? For example, Archer, et. al. state that:
"At Joggins, trace fossils are not common, and those that occur throughout the study interval do not generally refute the long-standing interpretations of a basin dominated by nonmarine deposition. One the other hand, the cooccurrence of specific trace fossils and agglutinated foraminifera within the trace-fossil bed indicates that deposition took place in brackish-water, presumable estuarine conditions. This... indicates greater coastal proximity than had been previously considered ... this new information should facilitate reinterpretations of... many additional Carboniferous sections." 139 **
Consider also the findings of Wightman, Scott, Medioli and Gibling with regard to the Sydney Basin-- a setting similar to the coal-measures of Joggins.
These are extinct arthropods found in Cambrian to Permian strata. They reach lengths of up to nine feet. They are (thought to be) related to horseshoe
refers to them as sea-scorpions and Lacefield as "giant
They have been found in the roof strata of Coal- group 8,
in Division 4.
They go on to state that:
And according to Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Eurypterids are:
Gyracanthus is an extinct elasmobranch fish with round sculpted spines similar to a shark or ray. It has been found at Joggins in Coal-group 40 in Division 4. 146
Ctenoptychius is a type of ray or shark; it has been found in the coal of Coal-group 22 at the bottom of Division 3 147 and in the roof strata of Coal-group 6 in Division 4; 148 this bed also contains remains of Spirorbis, Cythere, and Naiadites. 149
Selachians are fish from the family of sharks and rays. Dawson noted that some of the beds at Joggins contain "teeth of Selachian fishes of considerable size." 150
while it is true that finding sharks and rays in the coal measure
strata does not (in itself) prove that these creatures lived in the ocean; however, it does add
weight to the growing amount data which
strongly suggests the presence of a marine influence during the deposition of
(much, if not all, of) this strata.
Ostracodes are tiny crustaceans that look like miniature clams. Dawson refers to them as 'Cythere'.. According to Copeland 151 Calder, 152 and Tibbert and Scott, 153 the ostracodes in the rock formations of Nova Scotia include a wide variety--some of which are believed to be of marine or estuarine origin. For example, in this regard Tibbert has said that:
Echinoderms: According to Moore, Lalicker and Fischer, 156 echinoderms are "exclusively marine invertebrates."According to Skilliter 157 echinoderms have been found in two different limestone deposits above the Forty Brine coal seam (which is part of the Joggins Formation).
Naiadites: "Naiadites" were first discovered, and named, by John W. Dawson.158 These are bivalve Mollusks similar to clams. In the literature they are sometimes referred to as Pelecypods or Lamellibranchia. There are three different species of Naiadites at Joggins. According to Dawson they are often found in association with the coals. They are also often found with "Spirorbis attached." For example, in a table of the "Relative Frequency of Occurrence of ... Plants and Animals in the Coals of the South Joggins" 159 Naiadites and Spirorbis occur together in 16 different beds of Division 4 Coals. When discussing the occurrence of Spirorbis at Joggins, Dawson states that:
And that: "... Naiadites, Spirorbis, and Cythere constantly occur associated in the same beds; and the conclusions as to habitat applicable to any one of these genera must apply to all." 160 **
Dawson goes on to state that Spirorbis shells are often found adhering to Sigillaria and Ferns, and to explain this as follows: "Spirorbes multiply fast and grow very rapidly; and these little shells no doubt took immediate possession of submerged vegetation, just as their modern allies cover fronds of Laminaria and Fucus." 160Note: Laminaria and Fucus are extant seaweeds found in the ocean.
Additional information on the habitat of Naiadites comes from an article by Condra and Elias in which they state:
The fact that Naiadite shells had time to grow around the Spirorbes suggests that they shared the same habitat. The fact that various species of Naiadites and Spirorbis, along with Curvirimula (another bivalve) have been found with Echinoderms in the same bed of limestone suggests that this habitat was marine, and that the oceans swept over the land, and buried freshwater, terrestrial, and marine creatures together in the same beds. In this regard, it is quite likely that the ocean currents came from the West, and were moving in an Easterly direction. This is suggested by the fact that, as we look at the coals of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee we see a much greater association of marine fossils, or marine and fresh water fossils (mixed together) with the coal strata of these areas. In other words, as the ocean waters moved further Eastward, over the land, fewer and fewer marine fossils are found associated with the strata -- strata that was probably all laid down within a very short time period.
Marine Algae: According to Skilliter 162 Dascycladacean algae (a "marine green algae") has been found in the above- mentioned limestones along with Spirorbis, echinoderms, and Naiadites.
Tidal Influences: With regard to the "basin-fill of the half grabens, assigned to the Horton Group", a series ranging from 600 to 1500 m in the Minas Basin, to 3000 m in West Cape Breton, Calder says:
"Characteristically, it comprises marginal thick extrabasinal conglomerates (Murphy et al. 1994) and a tripartite basinal stratigraphy of alluvial strata above and below intervening lacustrine beds (Hamblin & Rust 1989; Martel & Gibling 1996)... The lacustrine component has been inferred by these authors to represent a period of accelerated subsidence during which the basins were underfilled ... Coarsening upward sedimentary cycles have been ascribed to tectonism (Martel & Gibling 1991), but the lacustrine rocks, which record the effects of storm conditions ... doubtless bear witness to climactic cyclicity, yet to be described." 163 **With regard to the laminated shales and heterolithic facies which are "common within the Carboniferous coal measures..." of Nova Scotia, Acher, et al. remark that:
"In general, such facies have traditionally been interpreted as the result of lacustrine and / or floodplain deposition in fluvial-deltaic setting largely because of a lack of benthic marine fossils. Detailed sedimentological analyses of some of these sites, however, indicates a significant degree of tidal influence, which include... cyclic tidal rythmites and a specific assemblage of biogenic structures, both of which are similar to those forming in modern ... estuaries."
Coal Strata from Europe: In this regard, it is worth noting that among the various Coal Measure strata from England and Germany, are found differing amounts and varieties of Marine fossils. For example, Bölsche, has said:
Im Steinkohlenwald = In the Coal-forming Forest,
But Bölsche was likely talking about the strata of his home land of Germany, which may be more like that of Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. In contrast, when discussing the English Coal Measures, Bakewell stated:
And while Bakewell contends that the Coal Plants grew on "extensive tracts of dry land, containing rivers, marshes, fresh-water lakes, and mountains...", such a scenario was challenged by Binney, who, claimed that: "Coal plants must have grown in very marine marshes" (See Ref. 102) or in "salt water" and that: "Recent investigations have shown that several of the plants of the Coal period possessed certain anatomical peculiarities, which indicate xerophytic characteristics, and lend support to the view that some at least of the plants grew in seashore swamps." More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II; Letter 553. to J.D. Hooker. [June 2nd, 1847.] **
Charles Lyell also noted the presence of marine fossils in association with coal seams as follows:
In light of the information presented, it is the author's contention that the coal measure strata from Nova Scotia is very similar to that of Europe, with similar upright fossil trees, roots and fragments thereof, and that they were likely not deposited by rivers that flooded their banks time and time again, but rather resulted by numerous incursions by the sea. The author also questions whether or not any of the upright fossil trees or roots in any of the coal measure strata are the result of in situ burial, but rather believes that such organic remains were transported to their respective locations by a Worldwide Flood. Whether such organic remains were, before their burial, growing on Land, in Brackish or Marine swamps, or even on surface of the open Ocean is a question that is beyond the scope of this paper, and indeed one which may never be satisfactorily solved.
Philosophical Bias of Men:
In other words, no amount of (contrary) evidence was going to stand in the way of his declaring the coal seams and upright trees in the Joggins area strata to be the result of multiple "forests " which flourished upon the places of their burial. With that said, and to be fair to Dawson, it should also be mentioned that this (in situ) interpretation, was the popular view within the "scientific" communities of America and Europe (with the exclusion of France) during his lifetime. For between 1836 166 and 1923 167 few publications advocated for a Catastrophic (allochthonous) origin for the coal strata, while numerous other publications did.
It is further contended by the author that Lyell, Dawson, Brown, Bell, and many others who were influenced and / or indoctrinated by their beliefs have chosen to ignore the 49 (or so) upright trees that are clearly missing their roots or whose roots are truncated, and instead have chosen to focus on the one tree with the longest roots -- which are themselves, more often than not, also truncated. Such men have done so, not because of an objective search for the truth, but rather a philosophical search to vindicate the theory of evolution and an old earth. In other words, a bias which assumes that evolution, from inorganic chemicals (i.e. rocks) to man, really did take place, in spite of strong evidence to the contrary. For if they were aware of the impossibility of the "odds" of that 1st self-replicating (Information - based) living organism coming into existence via some hypothetical (purely imaginary) "slime-pool," or "ocean vent" they would forever abandon such completely unscientific notions, and admit that there must be an intelligence behind the design of living creatures. This, of course, would mean that they must also surrender their Priest-like power and give (at least some) credibility to what the Creationists have been saying for years: i.e. that, based on the laws of probability alone, there must be a Creator / God who was quite involved with the creation of life (in all its various forms) on Planet Earth.
The Author's Bias:
This evidence has been presented here in the hope that others who read it may come to see that it is still possible (from a purely scientific standpoint) to believe in such scenarios as have been clearly described in the book of Genesis. Additionally, in the opinion of this author, it is quite likely that the great periods of Time which comprise today's Geological Time Chart will (in time) have to be greatly revised, if not entirely abolished.
The Absurd, yet Possible:
Whether or not the geological community has the courage to
realize this is another matter entirely. I also realize that this is not likely to happen until a number of
enterprising students get "permission" from their instructors
and the Nova Scotia authorities to conduct more detailed studies of
these trees and publish their findings. However, doing so may (very likely) also be the end of the Geological Time Chart as we have known it
for the past 180 years, and also the end of the
dogmatic parroting by obedient and faithful evolutionists that the earth is
"billions of years old." For an ancient (billions of years)
earth is the last vestige of credibility they have with which to try to convince the naive of the "Boldfaced
(for lack of a better word) that has been propagated to the public during the
past 150 years that we somehow, (against all "odds") got here by purely natural causes, apart from
the aid of an Intelligent
Creator / God. For anyone who is acquainted with the elementary basics
with regard to
living Cells make proteins from
the information contained in their DNA -- via the RNA (mobile copy machine) and transfers that information to
the Ribosome (card reader / protein factory) which assembles all 20 amino acids
into their correct order, knows that such a complex machine could never have
"evolved" by chance. Even if nature had, by some
stroke, produced a half-way formed (pre) self-replicating bacterium,
such natural processes, could never, in and of themselves, finish that process, but
rather only (according to the laws of nature) tear it back down; and no amount of wishful thinking
or parroting by believers in "No Creator Allowed" / (so-called) "scientists" will change this.
Also, the very fact that such a multitude of highly complex creatures did
come into existence is, in itself, strong evidence of a Creator.
I would also like to acknowledge the works of men and women like Dr. Harold Coffin, Prof. N. A. Rupke, Dr. Steve Austin, Dr. Margaret Helder, Dr. John Morris, Guy Berthault, Dr. John Calder, Dr. Deborah Skilliter, Prof. Martin Gibling, Dr. Joachim Scheven, John William Dawson, and Richard Brown, without whose works and/or assistance, this paper would not have been possible. It is also noted that some off the above persons may not agree with the author's conclusions.
Copyright, 2002, 2004, 2005,
2006, 2013, Randy S. Berg;
Radiometric Dating or Propaganda?
Continental Drift for Millions of Years?
Evidence for a Worldwide Flood
Evidence for a Young Earth