Science: New Theory on Coal

Little children should not believe all the long-accepted scientific "facts" that they are taught—hypotheses such as that coal was formed by subterranean heat and pressure when the flooded, lush, swampy forests were buried deep under crushing layers of sediment (which also turned to rock). This particular idea just isn't so, claims Fuel Technologist Walter Maxmilian Fuchs of Pennsylvania State College. The first step had to be taken by bacteria, for except near volcanoes there was never enough heat and pressure on the carboniferous vegetation to transform plants into coal.

The first step in coalmaking, he suggests, was that bacteria, in the underwater...

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