Contrary to popular belief petrified wood and bones do NOT take millions of years to form. It can be done in a laboratory or hot springs in a few years.
Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus Ohio is a world class research and development company. In July of 2005 they announced through their internal Battelle World magazine that they had available for licensing a process to make a form of petrified wood. This new type of ceramic could be made from natural biological material, which is cheap and renewable and easy to form. As explained in their article the process involved soaking wood in acid infused with either titanium or silicon and baked in an argon filled furnace. Lo and behold instant petrified wood! The original cellulose structure of the wood acts as a template. The ceramic silicon carbide or tungsten carbide take up permanent residence with the carbon remaining in the cellulose. Because the new ceramic duplicates the crystalline form of the wood the new material maintains microstructure and macrostructure.
Most scientists have suspected that petrified wood was formed by materials soaking in hot mineral solutions over long periods of time. This research breakthrough supports the idea of petrified wood being formed in hot mineral solutions. However it does not add support to the dogma that it takes millions of years to form a fossil. In fact it adds credence to the belief that in nature it can happen quite quickly.
Another thing that is so significant here is their claim that the carbon in the wood remains. All the carbon has not been replaced by silicon or titanium. This remaining carbon then can be carbon 14 dated. Since it supposedly took millions of years to form, the carbon 14 test should show a nil carbon 14 content.
We at Paleochronology will as funds permit attempt to extract carbon from mineralized fossil wood and other fossils. We challenge any scientifically minded research facility to do so and then radio carbon date that extracted carbon.
Some RC labs have done so using the AMS method to calibrate their instruments. They have found C-14 in such substances as marble, 0.060-0.932 PMC, A.P McNichol et al. ; anthracite, 0.358 PMC . R.P. Beukins et al ; fossil CO2, 0.0.09-0.13 PMC, A.T. Aerts -Bijma et al. ; and wood, 0.342 PMC, R. P. Beukins et al . The apparent RC ages for the above range of PMC’s [PMC means Percent of Modern C-14 in wood etc] from roughly 35,000 to >49,000 RC years BP [> means minimum age (could be older) and BP means Before the Present]. RC dates for carbon-containing material from the Chesapeake Bay or Chicxalub core samples where asteroids are thought to have impacted would be useful for comparison. References are in our paper entitled: RECENT C-14 DATING OF FOSSILS INCLUDING DINOSAUR BONE COLLAGEN.
Accompanying the Battelle article is an electron microscope photo with an electron microscopic image showing a cross section of wood that was artifically petrified in days. supposedly " mimicking a natural process that takes millions of years. "
Notice the unsubstantiated dogma that petrification takes millions of years. Who proved it takes millions of years? There is no absolute proof of that in the literature You will find that the scientific literature will say that such and such fossil was found in the so and so formation which is 100 million years old. Can they even prove that the fossil sat there undisturbed for 100 million years? Of course they can not. They assume that though and it may be a logical assumption given other circumstances and assumptions.  No one was around to time the mineralization process. No one untill now has duplicated the process. No one has ever watched a piece of wood turn to stone over a million year time span. No one has scientifically observed anything petrifying until recently.   After all if you believe it took millions of years to accomplish, who would ever try to observe the phenomenon in a lab? This is one of the problems in science as a discipline i.e. Assumptions are made which can be totally wrong and are never tested. This leads to wrong theories and wrong dogmas that persist for hundreds of years sometimes. As recently as 1972 the old dogma that wood took millions of years to petrify could be found in all kinds of geological books.(see handbook reference below)
Notice how everyone assumes always that petrified wood took millions of years to form. Now we know how to make petrified wood and it only takes days I submit to you that nature only takes days or weeks to make petrified wood and that it can only be formed in a short time under proper circumstances.
Argon is typically used in furnaces because it is inert gas. Therefore the materials inside the furnace are deprived of oxygen and can not burn. In the natural world we would expect then that wood in a hot silicon rich liquid and deprived of oxygen would form petrified wood over some period of time.
What happens when wood is immersed in mineral rich hot springs over time such as in a Yellowstone Hot Springs ? Sounds like a simple experiment easy thing to do and if any one can report on that being done and the results we would like to know.
Meanwhile another breakthrough in the formation of petrified wood. This report from the journal called Sedimentary Geology. Five Japenese scientists performed research at the Tateyama Hot Spring in central Japan. A hot spring lake 30 meters wide occupies one of several craters of the Tateyama Volcano which is currently quiet except for spouting of hot water. This hot water is highly acidic and has high silica content. The hot spring overflows the lake as a 30 meter high waterfall. It was noticed that fallen wood from trees near the waterfall had become hard and impregnated with silica. This was verified with electron microscopes. The observed woody tissues looked exactly like silicified wood from volcanic Miocene age sedimentary volcanic ash in the nearby Noto Peninsula. They concluded that the same process was taking place as in the Miocene. Being the astute scientists that they were they decided to set up an experiment by putting fresh alder wood from the area tethered with stainless steel wire and immersing them in the hot springs. They then pulled them out once a year and examined them. They were analyzed to determine how much silification had taken place. After 7 years in the hot springs some of the samples had turned into 38% silica by weight. Further analysis showed that tiny silica spheres had passed into the wood through the same vessels and structures that water normally passed up through to the trees leaves and branches. So if water can pass through wood why not hot water laden with silica and other minerals. The surprising thing was it happend so quickly.
Do you know that low grade coal material can be formed in weeks as well?
1. Battelle World Magazine.  July 2005
2. Akahane,H.T. Fruno, H. Miyajima, T. Yoshikawa, and S. Yamamoto, 2004 Rapid wood silicification in hot spring water: An explanation of siilicification of wood during the earth's history, Sedimentary Geology , vol. 169, pp 219-228
3. Siever, R. 1972 Silicon in K. Wedepohl ed., Handbook of Geochemistry, New York, Springer-Verlag, vol. II/3, pp. 241-265
4. Snelling, A.A., 1995, "instant" petrified wood, Creation vol. 17, no. 4 pp 38-40
5. “Improvements in procedural blanks at NOSAMS: Reflections of improvements in sample preparation and accelerator operation,” Radiocarbon 37, (1995) p. 683-691.
6. “Progress at the Isotrace Radiocarbon Facility,” Radiocarbon 28, (1992) p. 229-236.
7. “AMS sample handling in Croningen." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, 123, (1997) p. 221-225.
8. “Progress at the Isotrace Radiocarbon Facility,” Radiocarbon 28, (1992), cit.
Where does oil come from and how is it formed?   The most popular view is as follows. Dead organic marine organisms sink to the seafloor.   This material gets covered by silt and other material.   If enough silt piles up it creates a high pressure , high temperature environment.   A source rock oil shale forms.   In the pores of the rock chemical processes continue until oil oozes forth.   The basic thinking was get it hot enough long enough and you get oil.   Well finally researchers at Exxon realized that this model did not include the latest chemical and biological knowledge.  First they decided to determine the chemical composition of organic materials in rock shale.  This was no easy task.   Organic material decays into a potpourri of moleules that depending on the conditions break up and recombine in different ways. Hydrogen sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen can leave and then rejoin other chains of molecules.   Eventually they form many giant insoluble macromolecules  So how did nature break down these huge molecules and get oil?
In their research they gathered samples of oil shale in different stages of transformation. They took these samples and subjected them to heat and pressure.  With the help of higher heat they could get their transformation to oil in days and hours not the millions of years theorized by geologists.   They found however that heat alone could not break some of the molecular bonds.   Certain groups of atoms key to holding the macromolecules together would not fall apart no matter how hot their pressure chamber was.  So what was the key?   It turned out to be they could only simulate oil formation in the lab if they added HOT WATER to the system.   Yes ordinary water.
As water molecules become hotter they become less polar and are more likely to interact with non-polar organic molecules.  At 360C, water acts like the organic solvent acetone.   Hot water molecules also tend to split apart into positive hydrogen and negative hydroxyl components.  They act like a strong acid and a strong base and are much more reactive.   Keeping it under pressure allows it to act as solvent and as acid base reagents.  They realized that water under heat and pressure opened up new reactions not possible with just having a heated macromolecule.
They stated in the article that"the fact that water plays a role could wreak havoc on established ideas about oil formation.   The results suggest that oil can mature much faster than previously thought.
Back in 1989 it was reported in Scientific journals that oil could form very quickly. I will quote from the magazine Science News which obtained its information from the prestigious journal Nature
"In the standard geologic recipe for crude oil, buried organic molecules must simmer for millions of years before they transform into raw petroleum. But oceanographers have found spots on the seafloor that circumvent such a long cooking time. Near superhot vents, organic sediments turn into petroleum like oil in less than 5000 years, two researchers report. This is the youngest oil we know of on the earth says bernd R.T. Simoneit and Borys Didyk.........Simoneits group removed vent chimneys from the Guymas basin for analysis . Chemical studies revealed that oil in the chimneys contains hydrocarbons closely resembling those in petroleum. Now Carbon 14 dating indicates the oil is extremely young. Simoneit and Didyk report in the November 2 Nature."
1. Science News, Vol 143, pg 121; Water,water, everywhere. by Elizabeth Pennisi
2. Science News, November 4, 1989, pg 295: The quick recipe for a soup of black gold
3. The wichita Eagle, April 24, 1994 P.1F: Waste Resource Recovery Inc. says it can take food, grass clippings, old newspapers,etc, and in 10-15 minutes change it to a burnable oil.