The Real Poop on the Global Flood

Copyright G. R. Morton 2002. This may be freely reproduced so long as no changes to the text are made nor any monetary charges required. One may freely link to this page. (

Young-earth creationism is faced with many difficulties in explaining the real world. One more item which it can't explain is the existence of dried and petrified turtle poop (coprolite, in scientific terms). Young-earth creationists believe that the geologic record is the result of a major catastrophe in which everything (or nearly everything) was deposited within a single year. That leaves certain difficulties.

Consider the turtle coprolite shown below which is from Betsiboka, Madagascar.

This coprolite, from my personal fossil collection, was deposited by a turtle in Eocene rocks. Geology says these rocks are 38-55 million years old. The coprolite today is rock-hard and has no smell. It is the mineralized poop from an Eocene turtle. How do we know it is turtle poop? Because even today, in Betsiboka, Madagascar where this was found, turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, they leave such deposits (only a wee-bit fresher) than what you see above.

Now, how do we know that this feces was not deposited during a global flood? Any guesses from the young-earth creationists?  It is easy. The coprolite, which today is petrified rock, dried out prior to when it was fossilized. You can see the cracks which formed in the soft poop when it dried out. One can see this phenomenon occasionally in dog feces as they dry but not when the feces are fresh.

Now, the real question for the young-earth creationists is, what were turtles doing coming ashore during the global flood, when there wasn't supposed to be any land? If the feces were deposited in the ocean, it would not have the desiccation cracks in it because it couldn't have dried out. The turbulence of the flood waters would most likely have distorted or even dissolved the feces as it was swept against rocks and other objects by the flood currents. The fact that this feces simply dried out and was then petrified argues strongly against the global flood being responsible for these rocks.

For these turtle-fouled Eocene rocks and younger rocks which lie above them, these facts require that they are at least post flood. One can follow the Eocene rocks from Madagascar around Africa and Eurasia and across to India. In the Ocean the link is unbroken.. The thickness of the rocks equal in age or younger (Post Paleocene) offshore India reaches 15 kilometers in thickness (see Curiale et al, AAPG86(2002):4:636). Thus the young-earth creationist, if he/she decides that the sediments I am speaking of are post-flood, must then account for 15 kilometers of post flood sediments offshore India. This is 50,000 feet of sediment. The young-earth creationist must ask himself how it is possible to non-catastrophically erode and deposit that much sediment within the past few thousand years. Clearly this is a difficulty. On the other hand if the young-earth creationist thinks that the sediments are flood sediments, they must explain how the turtles found dry land in the middle of the flood, so that lots of feces could be deposited and then have the time to dry out.

And that is the real poop on the Global Flood.

modified 12-15-02

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