Contributed by Creation Ministries International
Rapid, catastrophic burial beneath fallen trees, wet sediment, and volcanic ash ... which prevent the normal process of organic decay ... are commonly known to be crucial in the petrification process. However, millions of years are not required to petrify wood. In fact, there is testable and observational evidence which demonstrates that wood can be petrified rapidly under the right conditions.
Real evidence supports rapid petrification
In 2004, five Japanese scientists published examples of rapid petrification in Sedimentary Geology (169(3—4):219—228, 15 July 2004). Curiously, their report in the secular geology journal cited an article by creation geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling (Creation 17(4):38—40, 1995). The team of scientists, led by Hisatada Akahane, had analyzed a small lake in the explosion crater of the Tateyama Volcano in central Japan. A mineral-rich solution springs up from the bottom and fills the 15m deep lake with steaming hot acidic water. This mineral-rich water then runs over the edge as a waterfall. They discovered that the naturally fallen wood in the overflow had been petrified with silica. What surprised the scientists was the fact that the wood was less than 36 years old. As a result, the scientists conducted an experiment in which they fastened pieces of fresh wood in the lake with wire. Surprisingly, after only 7 years the wood had turned into stone, petrified with silica.
Under a powerful microscope they observed that the silica was deposited in the same way in the naturally fallen wood as in some wood found in nearby volcanic ash. Hot, mineral rich water had soaked into the pore spaces in the wood.
During Noah's Flood, recorded in the biblical book of Genesis, conditions would have been highly favourable for rapid petrification. Entire forests ripped apart, felled trees transported by raging floodwaters, significant volcanic activity, large amounts of mineral rich water (Genesis 7:11) and rapid burial by layers of wet sediment would have been a direct result of the year-long global Flood.
Once again, the hard scientific data supports the biblical account. If wood can turn to stone in ten years or less, then the rocks and fossils we find in the sedimentary strata could have easily formed in Noah's Flood and the 4,500 years since.