Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A rebuttal of no new fossils

Claim: Few or no fossils are being formed in the present-day. The process of fossilization requires sudden death followed by sudden burial followed by enormous pressure. They also must lay undisturbed throughout the process.

Rebuttal: Fossils continue to form in the present-day. To claim that the fossilization process is non-existent and extremely rare is merely an arrogant claim made by a person that obviously lives in the confines of their highly, urbanized world. Several places continue to preserve fossils. Geyser deposits preserve insects and plant material; the La Brea Tar Pits have trapped several organisms and a human in relatively recent times and many fluvial systems continue to bury living things each year:

Fast burial is not a complete necessity to guarantee an organism’s fossilization. Bones can last a year or more before they are buried and shells (which are overwhelming common) can last for centuries at the most. There is even fossil evidence showing how an organism or its hard parts have laid out for elapsed periods of time before being buried by sediment.

Pristine preservation doesn’t always necessarily mean fast burial. Some finely detailed fossils can be preserved when an organism dies in an
anoxic lake bottom where little or no process of decay occurs. Lakes also contain fine sediments and silt that preserve fine details in a fossil organism (i.e. the feathered dinosaurs from Liaoning-- see below). Peat bogs are also generous preservatives.

An organism in the process of becoming a fossil is almost always disturbed in some form or another. Scavenging in particular is a common occurrence seen in fossil remains, whether it is the scattering of fossil material or bite marks or both. Burrowing organisms can come into contact with a dead body and its hard parts long before the permanent fossilization of the fossil material.

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