Evolution in the News - December 1998

The Australian Oil Rock Riddle

This interesting news comes to us from the recent annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, held in Toronto Canada:

Australian geologists, however, have doused the conventional wisdom by finding tiny drops of oil trapped in 3-billion-year-old rocks, nearly twice the age of the oldest known oil. Ö

According to theory, oil forms within sediments chock full of plant and bacterial remains. As more sediments pile up, the biological debris gets gently heated, a process that cracks the long organic molecules into petroleum. Add too much heat, say the textbooks, and the oil will break down.

The rocks in the Australian study had long ago reached temperatures of 200oC to 300oC, enough to degrade the oil in theory. 1

This is important because, according to the theory of evolution, algae evolved less than 2 billion years ago. More advanced plants didnít start to evolve until 440 million years ago. The carboniferous period, when plants flourished, was 363 to 290 million years ago. So, how do you get oil from plants buried in rocks that are 3 billion years old?

The obvious answer is that the rocks arenít nearly as old as evolutionists think they are. Perhaps these Australian rocks (and other rocks that are claimed to be billions of years old) are really just a few thousand years old.

But since the obvious interpretation of the data disagrees with the theory of evolution, the obvious answer is ignored. Someone will get a doctorís degree by writing a fanciful explanation of how this young oil got in those old rocks.

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1 "Squeezing Oil from Ancient Rocks", Science News, November 7, 1998, page 301 (Ev)