In Journal of Creation 29 (3): 50-55, December 2015
The hypothesis of a pre-Flood floating forest biome has been in the creation literature for several decades. The idea was developed as an explanation for the massive coal beds found in Carboniferous rocks globally and was based primarily on paleontological analysis. Surprisingly, this hypothesis was never adequately tested against other geological data. This paper presents three challenges, from a geological perspective, that draw into question the validity of the floating forest hypothesis. First, floating forests are found incapable of maintaining a sizable freshwater lens to supply the plant life, pools, and springs as suggested. Second, tsunami-like waves associated with plate movements would have likely broken up the floating biome earlier in the Flood than suggested, depositing coal beds throughout much of the stratigraphic column, contradicting the rock record. Third, relatively few coal beds are found as a result of the closure of the Iapetus Ocean (‘proto-Atlantic’) early in the Flood as Rodinia began to fragment. It is not until after this pre-Flood ocean was completely consumed that we find extensive coal beds deposited on the adjacent continents. When examined against available geological data, the floating forest hypothesis is found to lack explanatory ability. Instead, a return to studies of pre-Flood paleogeography and plant zonation to explain the coal beds is suggested.
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