Creation Science

Creation Science Rebuttal

Technical Journal

Sulfuric Acid Cave Formation


by Greg Neyman

© Old Earth Ministries 

First Published 31 Jan 2003



     Young earth creation science expert Michael Oard has proposed the theory that Sulfuric Acid can cause rapid cave formation (read his article by clicking here).  Why?  The problem is that the young earth creationist must prove that the limestone caves of the world were formed in the short amount of time from the Flood of Noah to today, or about 4,500 years.

     The theory he is attacking is the fact that Carbonic Acid is the material responsible for the dissolving of the limestone into ground water, so that it can form caves, and stalactites/stalagmites.  He attacks this theory as being "old."  But, we can see these processes at work, so we know that carbonic acid is to blame for caves.

     The new theory uses sulfuric acid, and the author claims that sulfuric acid has been primarily responsible for excavating at least 10% of the caves in the Guadeloupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas.  He goes on to say, "What this means for creationists is that cave formation, in at least some cases, was much more rapid, since sulfuric acid is much stronger than carbonic acid. Sulfuric acid dissolution is not only postulated for the caves in the Guadeloupe Mountains, but it is thought that 10 % of known major caves worldwide were carved out by sulfuric acid."

     That's great...what about the other 90%?  If you keep reading his article, he will "jump to conclusions" about the other 90%.  He states, "It is possible that many more than the postulated 10% of caves worldwide were formed by sulfuric acid dissolution, because these types of caves are recognized in dry areas where some of the dissolution products remain in the cave.  However, in humid climates, the reactants may have been washed out of the cave. So, it is difficult to know whether a cave in a humid climate was excavated by sulfuric acid."

     While interesting, this is far from conclusive...unfortunately, a lot of scientific research by young earth scientists use such "jumps" towards their assumption of a 6,000 year old earth.  He claims that in humid climates the reactants may have washed easy cop-out, because nothing can be proved.

     The author concludes with a treatise on radiometric dating.  Please read here for my discussion on dating techniques.  Any radiometric dating must be taken with a grain of salt.  Of interest here, though, is the first reference I have seen to paleomagnetic dating, a more reliable method that I haven't seen critiqued by young earth scientists.  Even taking the youngest date of 750,000 years, the 6,000-year-old earth is impossible to prove.




     While interesting, this article is far from convincing.  When put into the context of the entire creation scenario, you realize that Noah's Flood cannot produce the limestone and other rock layers seen in God's creation.  Knowing that these limestones have been around for millions of years proves their slow formation as previously proposed by geologists.

     In summary, as is typical of young earth creation science, Oard's conclusions are not driven by scientific evidence, but by the need to prove that caves can form rapidly.  He starts with the assumption that they can, and then seeks to justify his position from science.  In essence, he is performing science backwards.  A scientist first looks at the evidence, and then reaches conclusions.  In other words, Oard has already reached the conclusion that the earth is young before examining the scientific evidence.


For additional reading:

Creation Science Commentary: Creation Scientist?



     If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth.  Click here for more.


    Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism?  Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life?  If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.




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