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Full Article Title

How Fast Do Rocks Form?

Authors

Kurt Wise

Abstract

Geologists typically maintain that the crustal rocks cannot be formed in less than millions of years. Creationists typically maintain that at catastrophic rates, all the earth's surface rocks could form rapidly. Several rock types are studied to test the validity of the creationist claim. Examples include basalts, granites, metamorphic rocks, shales, limestones and sandstones.

Non-creationist geologists typically maintain that the rocks on the earth's surface could only be created over long periods of time. It is claimed that it would be quite impossble to form all the rocks of the earth in a 6,000 year history. Taking the current rates of formation, for example, it would take many hundreds of millions of years to produce the crustal rocks. Creationists, on the other hand, typically maintain that simply accelerating the current rates of rock formation could account for the entire geologic column in a catastrophic manner. After all, if sediments at the current rate would take a million years to form, then sediments formed at a rate a thousand times as great could form in a thousand years. At a million times the current rate, only a single year would be required. This argument is appealed to by creationists, seemingly without restriction, and confirmed by isolated examples of rapidly forming rocks. If anti-creationists comment on this argument at all they usually claim that either the argument is simply absurd, or that there is no evidence that the entire geologic column was emplaced catastrophically.

What has been conspicuously absent in this discussion is a quantitative analysis of the pros and cons to the creationist position. This paper is a preliminary attempt to analyze a few of the strengths and weaknesses of the creationist argument and to suggest further directions of research. The crustal rocks can be divided into three categories: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Comment will be made on each of these categories in turn.

Keywords

Rocks, formation

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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