Carlsbad Caverns removes sign after series of unsubstantiated age claims

Did you know that stalactites can grow several inches within a few days? While old-earth claims abound in the area, the National Park Service at New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns changed the sign that claimed the cave formed 260 million years ago. They replaced it with one that said it formed eight million years ago, and then they replaced that one with a sign that claimed the cavern formed two million years ago. Today you can hear Carlsbad park ranger Jeff Axel saying, "This cave has been watching the world go by for about a million years," yet the NPS wisely took down that old sign altogether.

On a family vacation one of the Real Science Radio co-hosts, Bob Enyart, heard onsite the official audio tour (which the NPS recently removed from the Internet), which states about Carlsbad Caverns that the, "rate of formation depends on the amount of available water." That's accurate of course, and suggests that a sufficiently catastrophic flood on the surface could form the entire cave rapidly. The Carlsbad Caverns: A Walking Tour in 3D video with official audio narration asks about the cave formations, "Do you know how quickly they grow?" And answers, "Nobody knows the answer to that question. For one thing, formation growth is based on the amount of rain or snow on the surface." (In 2016 RSR will try to make that audio tour available online again.)

Carlsbad area native and cave expert with the U.S. Forest Service, geologist Jerry Trout, said that, "From 1924 to 1988, there was a visitor’s sign above the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns that said Carlsbad was at least 260 million years old. In 1988, the sign was changed to read 7 to 10 million years old. Then, for a little while, the sign read that it was 2 million years old. Now the sign is gone." The January 1993 Arizona Highways magazine interview, pp. 10-11, continues: "In short, he  says, geologists don’t know how long cave development takes. And, while some believe that... stalactites take years to form, Trout says that through photo-monitoring, he has watched a stalactite grow several inches in a matter of days." And while even stalactites, which hang from the ceiling, can grow rapidly, Carlsbad's official audio tour acknowledges that, "stalagmites are generally made by faster dripping water." Dr. Walt Brown (Ph.D., MIT) reports this in his book, In the Beginning, and see more at Real Science Radio.

Here's the point: The old-age mindset makes typical knee-jerk claims such as that opals required tens of thousands of years to form, whereas geologists now acknowledge that microbes make them in wet sand on the beach in just a few weeks. Likewise, that old-age mindset claims that countless features on earth, including caves, could not form in the biblical timeframe of less than 10,000 years. However, one-by-one, hard science is disproving these claims of deep time. See for example the dinosaur soft tissue and dinosaur bone and egg shells that are loaded with short-lived left-handed amino acides and especially short-lived carbon 14!

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