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Creation 42(2):56, April 2020

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Candles turned to stone



Petrification is a natural process whereby organic material is gradually changed into stone. In the minds of most people today, the process speaks of eons of ‘prehistoric’ time—yet there are many examples where petrification has been proven to occur much more quickly.

Miner’s candles

Man-made objects can petrify too, and in the Minnesota Museum of Mining1 there is a small bundle of miner’s candles on display that are completely turned into stone. They were found in an underground mine when the old mine drifts and shafts were later enlarged into an open pit mine. The miners of years ago used candlelight to see in the dark, and the candles were left behind when the mine shut down around the time of the Second World War. Mineralized water infused the wax candles in the flooded mine, resulting in rock gradually replacing the wax. All it took was the right chemical conditions and a few decades at most to transform the candles into hard rock.

Petrification is a quick process

The same sort of process occurred with many of the ancient animal and plant fossils we find preserved in rocks. During Noah’s Flood countless animals and plants were deeply buried, and were then infused with mineralized underground water.

It’s important to bear in mind whenever looking at petrified fossils that none of them resulted from a process that needed eons of time. Indeed, eons of time would result in destruction or scavenging of the dead things, so they must have been fossilized quickly. With the right chemical conditions (and the Flood would have provided vast amounts of mineral solutions from all that ground-up rock and water) a few decades at most is all that is needed to achieve a complete transformation from soft organic tissue to hard rock.

The sediments in which the fossils are found also didn’t need eons of time to become hard rock. For example, concrete is a simple example of how the right mix of pulverized rock hardens quickly, and experiments show that certain bacteria can cement sand into hard rock.2 All of this makes sense in the light of the true, biblical age of the earth of around 6,000 years.

Posted on homepage: 3 May 2021

References and notes

  1. Minnesota Museum of Mining, Chisholm, Minnesota, USA. See mnmuseumofmining.org.Return to text.
  2. Catchpoole, D., Speedy stone, Creation 32(3):33, 2010; creation.com/speedy-stone. Return to text.