magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this.
For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below. At top, is fossil wood in basalt that includes—from left to right—basalt, wood and siltstone.
The pieces of wood recovered by the miners were examined and photographed, as too was the leaf imprint, but access to the ventilation shaft was not possible, nor were samples of the enclosing basalt available, having long been dumped with all the other rubble and waste rock.
So the results in Table 1 are staunchly defended by the laboratories as valid, indicating an ‘age’ of perhaps 44,000–45,500 years for the wood encased in the basalt retrieved from the drill core.
In stark contrast to the ‘age’ of the wood are the potassium-argon (K-AR) ‘ages’ of the basalt (see Table 2).
Those on-site at the time speculated that there had been two distinct trees, partly standing, still organic in nature, and thus not petrified.
The imprint of a leaf was also discovered within the basalt, which was also regarded as remarkable, remembering that the enclosing rock was once molten lava erupted at 1000–1200°C (about 1800–2200°F).
To young-earth creationists the geological context of these fossil wood fragments in the basalt lava flow clearly indicates that these represent post-Flood trees overwhelmed by a post-Flood volcanic eruption nearby, and thus both the fossil wood and the basalt are less than 4,500 years old.
Nevertheless, within the conventional (uniformitarian) framework of interpretation, a clear-cut conflict can be seen between these two radioactive ‘dating’ methods.When miners were sinking a ventilation shaft for the new Crinum Coal Mine in Central Queensland in 1993 (see map below) they unearthed a rare find.After digging through the thin surface sands and clays, followed by basalt, 21 metres (almost 69 feet) down they found pieces of wood entombed in the bottom basalt flow.Both laboratories use the more sensitive accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) technique for radiocarbon analyses, Geochron being a commercial laboratory and Antares being a major research laboratory.Also, tiny fragments of the initial wood samples provided to us, from the pieces of wood that had been found during sinking of the ventilation shaft, were sent off for radiocarbon analyses—one set of different fragments to each laboratory.Since the nature of the samples require that the wood and basalt are the SAME age, then if we assume non-equilibrium C-14 levels.