CEM Research and Polystrate Fossils Print E-mail


“CEM Research and Polystrate Fossils” Abstract: 

Since the discovery and excavation of the Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur along the banks of the Paluxy River in 1984, the Creation Evidence Museum has been involved in researching and excavating polystrate fossils. Recently Professor Ian Juby molded the splendid ten-foot Lepidophloios polystrate near Cookville, Tennessee, then replicated the phenomenon as a pillar display at CEM. Such examples demonstrate rapid and catastrophic sedimentary burial, as opposed to slow sedimentary accumulation as envisioned by the evolutionary community.


“Polystrate” means “many layers.” The term refers to fossils that extend through two or more (often 8 to 10) layers of sedimentary rock. In The Collapse of Evolution, author Scott Huse wrote: “Polystrate trees are fossil trees that extend through several layers of strata, often twenty feet or more in length. There is no doubt that this type of fossil was formed relatively quickly; otherwise it would have decomposed while waiting for strata to slowly accumulate around it.” [1]

 I. Examples of Polystrate Tree Formations… 

In The Creation-Evolution Controversy author R.L. Wysong wrote about an unusual polystrate tree, “This polystrate tree penetrates a visible distance of ten feet through volcanic sandstone of the Clarno formation in Oregon. Potassium-Argon dating of the nearby John Day formation suggest that 1,000 feet of rock was deposited over a period of about seven million years, or, in other words, at the rate of the thickness of this page annually! However, catastrophic burial must have formed the rock and caused the fossilization, otherwise, the tree would have rotted and collapsed.”[2]


Evolutionist William Fritz documented that “Deposits of recent mud flows on Mount St. Helens demonstrate conclusively that stumps can be transported and deposited upright. These observations support that some vertical trees in the Yellowstone “fossil forests” were transported in a geologic situation directly comparable to that of Mount St. Helens.”[3]

  II. CEM and Polystrate Research… 

In July of 1984 the museum Director discovered the 40-foot long Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur and began its excavation on private property along the banks of the Paluxy River. Visitors came from as far away as China to observe the excavation. Most of the fossil bones and claws were deposited in the limestone matrix of the primary rock layer. However, many of the bones extended into the several inches of clay marl, and some of the claws and small bones actually extended into the next rock layer above.


By the late 1980’s our excavations had exposed the compressed fossil of a giant Lepidodendron club moss on private property. The compressed width of the coalified fossil measured 48 inches, and the root system extended 22 feet. Eight inches of the fossil were impressed into the base layer, most of the fossil continued up through the seven inches of clay marl, and four inches of the fossil extended into the rock layer above.


By 1995 our excavation team began excavating in Colorado where the museum Director discovered a dinosaur fossil bed on private property. The landowners gave to CEM a 30-foot Aracaria Pine at the fossil site. The normally “round” pine tree was compressed to an “oval” shape against the structure of its own form. Continuing excavations demonstrated that the numerous layers above the fossil compressed the horizontal tree while it was still pliable.

 III. Explanation… 

The Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur fossil and the Lepidodendron plant fossil are polystrates in the Austin Chalk/Glen Rose Cretaceous sedimentary limestone formation that literally extends to every continent on Earth. This observation is documented in The Nature of the Stratagraphic Record and The New Catastrophism by evolutionist Derick Ager.[4]


The Morrison Formation in which the Colorado pine tree fossil (now on display at the Creation Evidence Museum) extends through Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho (600,000 sq. miles).[5]


The only plausible explanation for such “mud and water” deposition of sediment over vast areas of the globe is a world-wide flood described in the Biblical record. Polystrate fossils attest to this phenomenon, and our new polystrate pillar display demonstrates this dramatically.

[1] Huse, Scott M., The Collapse of Evolution, (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker, 1997), p. 96

[2] Wysong, R.L., The Creation-Evolution Controversy, (East Lansing, MI, Intervarsity Press, 1976), p. 366

[3] Fritz, William J., “Stumps Transported and Deposited Upright by Mount St. Helens Mud Flows,” Geology, 8[12]: 586-588

[4] Ager, D. The New Catastrophism (Cambridge University Press), 1993

[5] Morrison Formation, www.dinosaurs.com/de_4/5ca00c3.htm

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