coral growth

From: bivalve (
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 13:29:36 EST

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    >> This week's "helpful YEC missive" from AIG says:
    >> "Q: Doesn't it take millions of years for coral reefs to form?
    >> A: If Noah's Flood occurred only about 4,500 years ago, as the
    >>Bible indicates, then the coral reefs, such as the famous Great
    >>Barrier Reef in Australia, must be less than 4,500 years old.<<

    Error #1: The Bible does not say that the Flood occurred about 4,500
    years ago. Adding up numbers in genealogies can give you a number
    close to that, but the Bible itself makes no such assertion.

    >> At one of the Barrier Reef's underwater observatories great
    >>clumps of coral are already growing on the large anchor chains! <<

    Not a very good quantification. Besides, the corals on the ships at
    Truk (sank during WWII) are probably bigger, if they want a more
    impressive example.

    >> Also, there's some fascinating research on coral growth conducted
    >>by Australian scientists. They found that the average growth of
    >>certain corals was over a half an inch per year. Now, the deepest
    >>part of the Great Barrier Reef is around 180 feet. At this growth
    >>rate, the entire reef could be explained in less than four thousand
    >>years--which fits the Biblical date of the Flood!"<<

    >> Anyone know the obvious answer to this one?<<

    The most obvious answer is that the reef does not consist of a single
    branch contantly growing straight up at its maximum rate.

    180*12*2=4320; not knowing how much over half an inch limits more
    precise calculation, but even under their totally unreasonable
    assumptions, they are barely able to fit it into their time
    framework. If coral ever grows at an angle, slows growth (e.g., due
    to inadequate food, crowding, putting energy into reproduction
    instead, or dying), gets broken or eroded, or otherwise fails to
    match this optimum, then the margin of safety is gone. The entire
    reef does not consist of a single species, either, and deepwater
    corals are generally very slow-growing.

    Again, they are presenting their own claims as Biblical truths.

         Dr. David Campbell
         Old Seashells
         University of Alabama
         Biodiversity & Systematics
         Dept. Biological Sciences
         Box 870345
         Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    Droitgate Spa

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