Ok, has anyone heard of this before? Apparently, somebody back 1912 found a iron pot in a deposit of coal that was supposed to be millions of years old. Creationists are heralding this as evidence that coal isn’t as old as scientists thought. Right away I can see that the 36 years between the supposed uncovering and the recording of the event is very suspicious. But does anyone know of a specific debunking of this claim?
Why on Earth should it require debunking? The only evidence provided is (1) one letter making an absurd and outlandish claim about an event that supposedly happened 36 years earlier, and (2) one iron pot. There is not even a statement from the supposed second witness.
If the actual lump of coal had been preserved with an impression matching the pot, that might prompt investigation. But I don’t see the least bit of credible evidence on the site you linked to. I would guess it would be pretty easy to determine if the pot was of modern manufacture, but I doubt if anyone takes this seriously enough to bother with.
I know that the claim isn’t very convincing. However, this was brought up as evidence for YEC over at the Pizza Parlor. I know it is all well and good to explain why testimonials like this do not make good scientific evidence, but I’m dealing with people who don’t respect the rigors of evidence. I’d like to go in with something that specificly debunks this, like an admission that it was a hoax or some information on the actual origin of the pot that contradicts the man’s story (or at least the hypothesis that the pot was there when the coal formed).
Dr Lao – it’s definitely been covered on the Board, maybe 4-5 months ago. I did a few keyword searches to no avail but it is there somewhere in the archive. IIRC, it was a reasonably comprehensive discussion. Sorry I can’t help any more.
WADR and IMHO, you’re fighting a lost cause, Doc. If they “don’t respect the rigors of evidence,” how is scientific evidence of any kind going to convince them?
Incidently the other two “proofs” on that page are clearly bogus. There’s nothing to indicate that the supposed “footprint” was actually made by a sandal (evidently worn somebody strolling blithely along the sea bottom); and the supposed “handprint” was obviously not made by a human hand (as the comparison in the photo clearly shows!) but by a large amphibian or reptile.
A similar thing was discussed here:
and IIRC there are a few other links within the thread that are still alive.
I have “heard” anecdotally of many many things having been “found” in coal deposits, normally espoused by Fundamentalist Biblical Literalists. Not always, but very often. Things like pots, knives, bone tools, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a Linksys Etherfast DSL/Cable Router, etc. All bunk.