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Wonders of Creation - Stalactites & Stalagmites

A stalactite grows downwards from the roof of a cave, and a stalagmite grows upwards from the floor. They are formed slowly, drip by drip, as dissolved calcite is brought down by water. When the water is exposed to air, carbon dioxide in the water is lost, which means the water cannot carry as much calcite, and a few grains are left behind as a deposit. Gradually, grain by grain, the calcite forms a solid column, curtain, terrace or straw-shape.
When the drop falls it leaves a little more calcite behind and this begins to form the columns, pans, saucers and other shapes which grow upwards.

The standard text book will tell you that most of the really large formations are many thousands or even millions of years old. This dating is based on two things: the speed at which the columns are growing today, and the assumption that the columns are very old. There are two problems with these points of view. Firstly, present rates of column growth are not proof that speeds were the same in the past, and secondly, it is not scientific to give dates based on assumptions. Good science works on measurable things, observed things, not assumptions.

It is interesting that stalactites and stalagmites usually form in or under deposits of limestone. What is limestone? The encyclopedia says, "Sedimentary rock composed chiefly of calcium carbonate, derived from the shells of marine organisms." Also note that marble is limestone that has been . . .

A stalactite grows downwards from the roof of a cave, and a stalagmite grows upwards from the floor. They are formed slowly, drip by drip, as dissolved calcite is brought down by water. When the water is exposed to air, carbon dioxide in the water is lost, which means the water cannot carry as much calcite, and a few grains are left behind as a deposit. Gradually, grain by grain, the calcite forms a solid column, curtain, terrace or straw-shape.
When the drop falls it leaves a little more calcite behind and this begins to form the columns, pans, saucers and other shapes which grow upwards.

The standard text book will tell you that most of the really large formations are many thousands or even millions of years old. This dating is based on two things: the speed at which the columns are growing today, and the assumption that the columns are very old. There are two problems with these points of view. Firstly, present rates of column growth are not proof that speeds were the same in the past, and secondly, it is not scientific to give dates based on assumptions. Good science works on measurable things, observed things, not assumptions.

It is interesting that stalactites and stalagmites usually form in or under deposits of limestone. What is limestone? The encyclopedia says, "Sedimentary rock composed chiefly of calcium carbonate, derived from the shells of marine organisms." Also note that marble is limestone that has been metamorphosed, and sometimes contains fossils. Consider this for a moment . . . how could a thick layer of marine organisms be laid down and covered by other layers of different kinds of sediment? A flood would do this, a very large flood. The White Cliffs of Dover are enormous sedimentary deposits of limestone, and in many parts of the world limestone is quarried by the millions of tons from enormous deposits. The Bible describes a global flood, in which all life was destroyed. This flood would fit with the evidence we find today, of huge limestone deposits, which are the ?cemeteries? of billions of sea creatures. Perhaps ?limestone? should be called 'marine creature fossil stone? because that is exactly what it is.

How long does it take to grow a stalactite or stalagmite? Evolutionists and naturalists will immediately say 'millions? of years, but does the evidence fit with this? Not at all. Take, for example, the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. A sign over the door used to say that the caverns were at least 260 million years old. That was in 1988. After that the sign was removed and replaced with one that said the caverns were 7-10 million years old. The sign was again revised, down to 2 million, and then it was removed completely, because it was becoming clear that stalactites and stalagmites take only a few hundred years to form.

Stalactites have been seen to grow at more than one inch per year. I myself have seen stalactites in the concrete passages of a hydroelectric dam that grew from the dripping cement in only a few years. I would have laughed if someone had told me the stalactites under the dam were several million years old, because that would make them older than the dam. It is also impossible for a cave to be younger than its own interior!

In the Western world, the popular philosophy is of course evolution, and many sincere Christians have accepted it because it saturates the media, the culture and the education system. Evolution requires vast time scales to operate. Most public school children are bombarded by this theory, and its attachments, regularly at school. Unfortunately the case for creation is hardly ever presented in public, or secular schools, universities or polytechnics, thus stifling one of the tenets of Science - that everything should be open to question and all evidence should be examined.

Another problem with evolution is its amazing flexibility. Details that are stated as ?facts? today may suddenly be discarded tomorrow - replaced by new ?facts?. Evolution is therefore not a single theory, but a large body of opinions, assumptions and speculations, which change and adapt to fit whatever difficulty they meet. But what happens when evolution is shown to be completely wrong? Obviously, if it is totally and utterly wrong when it comes to dating stalactites and stalagmites, it must be utterly wrong in other areas too? Hopefully, the steady drip, drip of truth will eventually dissolve the theory and leave the truth for all to see.

Richard Gunther, Copyright 2006