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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CC131:

In 1912, Frank Kennard, an electric plant worker, broke apart a large lump of coal, and an iron cup fell from the center, leaving a cast of the pot in the coal. The coal came from the Wilurton Coal Mines and is about 295 million years old, from the Mid-Pennsylvanian.


CEM Online. n.d. The iron cup in coal.


  1. The evidence in support of the claim is so weak as to be scientifically useless. The only evidence is a letter from 1948, thirty-six years after the artifact was discovered. The letter says that the coal was not found in situ but went through an unknown amount of processing between the mine and the discovery of the iron cup after the coal was delivered.

  2. The cup appears to be cast iron, and cast iron technology began in the eighteenth century. Its design is much like pots used to hold molten metals and may have been used by a tinsmith, tinker, or person casting bullets. Without the original pot to analyze, we cannot say exactly how it was used.

  3. The cup was likely dropped by a worker either inside a coal mine or in a mine's surface workings. Mineralization is common in the coal and surrounding debris of coal mines because rainwater reacts with the newly exposed minerals and produces highly mineralized solutions. Coal, sediments, and rocks are commonly cemented together in just a few years. It could easily appear that a pot cemented in such a concretion could appear superficially as if it were encased in the original coal. Or small pieces of coal, including powder, could have been recompressed around the cup by weight.

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created 2005-5-4