In an article by creation science expert Tas Walker titled Petrified Flour,1 we are told of a group of flour sacks in Arkansas, that was left to the elements, and was saturated by water from a spring. Minerals precipitated in the flour sacks, leaving calcium carbonate crystals filling the air spaces in the flour. Tas Walker calls this process "petrification." Being a geologist, he should know the meaning of the term "petrification."
Petrification, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is "the conversion of organic matter into stone or a substance of stony hardness through the infiltration of water containing dissolved mineral matter (as calcium, carbonate, silica) that replaces the organic material particle by particle with the original structure sometimes retained."
Look back at Tas Walker's article. It states the flour was still present! In petrification, the flour would have been replaced particle by particle with the mineral. What we have here is a deception. The bags of flour are still there, they are just hardened by the calcium carbonate in the spaces between the flour. This IS NOT petrification. However, he uses it to cast doubt on the fact that petrification takes millions of years. He quotes a sign by the sacks that says, "under ideal conditions petrification can take place in as few as three weeks." No, it can't.
You can harden the bags of flour in three weeks with water saturated with calcium carbonate, but the flour is still there. Petrification requires a particle for particle replacement with none of the original material left. If the flour is still there, there is no petrification.
It is amazing that a geologist with a PhD would make such a simple mistake!
Footnote: This misconception about the definition of petrification appears throughout young-earth claims. In a discussion about Yellowstone's Petrified Forests, the authors state petrification of a block of wood occurred in one year. However, the same thing also applies in this article. The wood is solidified with calcium carbonate, and not replaced particle for particle in true petrification.
See also More Petrified Claims
1 Creation Magazine, Volume 23, Issue 1. Published on the web at
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