Working on the fossil section of my book I realized I hadn’t thought about this question from a Uniformitarian perspective. If you do a search engine query, you’ll soon discover we Creationists are much more fond of answering it than any one else. In fact, it was hard to find a secular page which would tackle the topic at all!
This post at allexperts.com says it beautifully:
That’s a good basic question. I was surprised when I looked in my books and one after another they talked about the processes of fossilization, but no words about how long it takes! So after about 5 or 6 books I thought I’d search the web. Google is my favorite search engine.
This is about the best site I could find that told something of the process, and it only says “over a long time”. [I've dropped the link here]
For what it’s worth my impression has always been that the time is probably on the order of thousands of years, possibly longer, because you do not see fossils of things hundreds of years old - those are still skeletons, as far as I know.
Sorry, I thought this would be easier to answer than it was.
Hmmm, I wonder why they wouldn’t want to talk about this? Maybe because everyone, including themselves, would realize how far from reality their beliefs actually are?
I did find a new blog to add to my roll. It’s called Dark Canopy which is not a typical name, but his motto is “darkness … His canopy around Him” Psalm 18:11, so, don’t be scared. :-D The most recent post is from back in December; it’s not too active, but not an archived blog either.
Here’s the post whose research saved me from more fruitless hunting, so thanks, Benjamin Williams!
Here’s the quote from an evolutionary paleontologist I can use for my book:
We don’t know how long it took for fossilization of the Stegosaurus skeleton to occur. Experimental work I have conducted has shown that the process does not necessarily take very long (Carpenter 2005). Under ideal situations, a dinosaur could be fossilized in only a few years. The rate seems dependent upon the supply of dissolved atoms and molecules in the water available for bacterial use. This in turn is dependent upon the replenishment rate of the water. The rate is faster for bone buried in sand than for bone buried in mud, because ground water can flow more freely around the sand grains than around the clay particles. Kenneth Carpenter
Is this stuff exciting or what?
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14