Reasons to Believe and polystrate fossils?

You have probably seen this video by Potholer54 debunking YEC claims about soft tissue in dinosaur bones and polystrate fossils:

However at 6:20 he has a clip of Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe talking about polystrate fossils. This seemed rather odd to me — I thought polystrate fossils were strictly a YEC, global Flood argument, and Ross and RTB are old-earth, regional Flood.

Does anyone know what he might have been saying here? I’ve tried searching the RTB website to see what they have to say about polystrate fossils, but I’ve drawn a blank — it seems they discussed it in a podcast once, but I can’t find the audio file. Is our friend Potholer54 indulging in a bit of quote mining himself, or does RTB have some opinion on the matter or other of which I was not previously aware?

The Ross clip seems to be a cherry-picked piece mixed with many other YECs making what sound to be the same claims. I suspect - but I don’t know for sure - that Ross was not making the same point that YECs do about polystrate trees. He probably went on to explain how these trees could be found in these strata from a OEC viewpoint. If this is the case, the producer of this video either doesn’t realize that Ross doesn’t think that polystrate trees are a proof of a young earth or he is deliberately misusing Ross here in some attempt to associate him with YECs.

My thoughts exactly. It does seem a bit of a quote mine to me.

On another note, how accurate are Potholer54’s claims about what Mary Schweitzer discovered? He seems to have a point that YECs are exaggerating the state of preservation of soft tissue in dinosaur bones, but is he pushing it too far the other way?

As for RTB, i found this:

Also Hugh Ross talking on them (3 min in)

RTB would definitely agree with Potholer on the standard scientific interpretation at least of the multistrata trees. Potholer is usually very careful in sources and references though I’d say it can be confusing to have anti evolution creationists like RTB who are also Old Earth. I’ll try to watch the Potholer video soon.

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Thanks Matthew – that’s what I was looking for. It seems Hugh Ross does have one or two odd ideas about polystrate fossils, which is probably why he got lumped in with the LSDYECs, but it seems to me that’s more a result of having to come up with an answer at short notice to a subject he’s not familiar with, rather than being completely whacked out. He does say in the podcast that he agrees with the mainstream scientific consensus on the matter, having been told what it is.

By the way, am I right in saying that none of the known examples of polystrate fossils span strata that have been definitively dated as being as much as a million years apart? I’ve never seen an explanation of them that is clear on this point.

That is correct.

They correctly note that geologists do say that some adjacent layers are millions of years apart. What creationists then ignore is the “some adjacent layers” part. They claim that geologists think ALL adjacent layers are millions of years apart, which is silly in the extreme. Once you take that part of their argument away, the rest just falls apart.

They also like to confuse how long something takes to form and how old it is. They will claim that since layers can form quickly then it means they are young. When you think about it, you realize how wrong they are. A building I work next to only took about 6 months to build. However, it is over 100 years old. For some reason, creationists think those two statements are in conflict.

So yes, the adjacent layers surrounding a polystrate tree can form relatively quickly, but that doesn’t indicate that they are young. With these two basic pieces of logic in place, the polystrate fossil argument is completely refuted.


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