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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CC363:

Fossilization requires rapid burial, or the organism will decay. This suggests that a catastrophe is responsible for fossils.


Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. <#The Genesis Flood#>. Philadephia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., pp. 128-129.


  1. Bones can survive for over a year before being buried. Shells can last decades or even centuries. In fact, some fossils that have been eroded or encrusted or bored by other animals have been found, showing that long times passed before they were buried, and discrediting catastrophic burial. Only soft tissues need to be preserved quickly.

  2. Rapid burial is not necessary for rapid preservation. Fossils can also be preserved by falling in a peat bog or on an anoxic lake bottom, areas where decay is slow or nonexistent. Other fossils are preserved in tree sap, which can become amber over time.

  3. Rapid burial is common as a result of processes that are local catastrophes or that can scarcely be considered catastrophes at all, such as
  4. Patterns of fossilization are consistent with noncatastrophic processes such as those mentioned above. Fossilization occurs as a result of all those different processes, not as a result of a single catastrophe. And it occurs where we would expect on the basis of commonplace processes. Bison fossils, for example, are found in active floodplains, not in upland areas.


Littleton, Keith, 2002. Fish fossils.
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created 2003-7-23