Dr Emil Silvestru

Geologist/karstologist

Biography

Dr Silvestru earned his Ph.D in geology at the ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University in Cluj, Romania (where he has worked as an associate professor), in karst sedimentology including caves. (Karst is a term which initially referred to barren regions of mostly limestone and dolomite, noted for spectacular and distinctive landforms, and with substantial underground drainage features — caves, underground rivers, etc. It has come to refer more to the entire geosystem, above and below ground.)

A world authority on the geology of caves, he has published 41 scientific papers (see below), written one book (The Cave Book—see below) and co-authored two books. He was, until recently, the head scientist at the world’s first Speleological Institute (speleology = the study of caves) in Cluj. Since 1997 he has been a full-time researcher and speaker with CMI.

His areas of expertise include: Sedimentology of clastic deposits, stratigraphy of limestone terranes, general geology, karst genesis and functioning, cave climate and glaciology, show-cave assessment & designing, ore prospecting and exploration (surface and mining).

After becoming a Christian he quickly realized that the ‘millions of years’ interpretation, so common in geology, was not compatible with Genesis. ‘Once I became a Christian,’ Emil says, ‘I knew I had to “tune up” my scientific knowledge with the Scriptures.’

‘Although philosophically and ethically I accepted a literal Genesis from my conversion, at first I was unable to match it with my “technical” side.’

E-mail discussions with qualified creationist geologists, creationist books, Creation magazine and especially the Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) helped him realise what he calls two ‘essential things’:

  1. Given exceptional conditions (e.g. the Genesis Flood) geological processes that take an extremely long time today can be unimaginably accelerated.
  2. The Genesis Flood was global, not regional.
    ‘These factors were immensely important in my conversion and my Christian life. I am now convinced of six-day, literal, recent, Genesis creation. That doesn't mean that there are not still some unanswered problems, but researching such issues is what being a scientist is all about.’

He has over 30 years experience in climbing and spelunking, educating many young spelunkers and mountain climbing devotees as well as participating in mountain and cave rescue operations.

In January 2002 he immigrated to Canada from Romania with his wife and two daughters. In addition to doing research and writing for CMI, he now also on staff at CMI Canada as a Seminar Lecturer, and has written a number of articles for the Journal of Creation, Creation magazine and this website, and produced several DVDs.

In 2012 Emil suffered a stroke from which he has not yet fully recovered.

Interview

Dr Silvestru’s papers published in secular science journals

  • Viehmann Iosif, SILVESTRU Emil, Fabian Calin (1979) La Grotte d'Iza, Monts de Rodna, Roumanie. Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XVIII:201–207.

  • SILVESTRU Emil, Viehmann Iosif (1982) Etude de microtectonique comparée dans le karst des Monts de Rodna (Roumanie). Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XXI:63–67.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1984) The Relationship Between Tectonics and Karstification in the Cave from Izvorul Tausoarelor (Rodna Mountains). Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 1:35–42.

  • Soritau Dan, Nicoara Dorel, SILVESTRU Emil, Demeter Janos, Popa Cristian, Viehmann Iosif (1984) Avenul din Stanul Foncii. Bull."Pestera", Cluj–Napoca, 1:79–88.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1985) Aspects of Karstification in the Crystalline Limestones on the Southern Slope of Rodnei Mountains. Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 2:87–95.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1988) New Ideas on the Cretaceous/Tertiary Extinctions. Evolution and Adaptation, Cluj–Napoca, III:89–97.

  • Mârza Ioan, SILVESTRU Emil (1988)First Mention of the Hydrothermal Karst Phenomenon Associated to Neogene Metasomatic Suplhide Ore deposits from Rodna Veche. Studia Universitatis “Babes-Bolyai”, Geologica-Geographica, Cluj-Napoca, XXXIII:77–81.

  • Cocean Pompei, SILVESTRU Emil (1988)The Role of Magmatism in the Genesis of Isolated Massifs Karst Relief of the Trascau–Metaliferi Mountains. Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XXVII:89–93.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1989) Several Considerations on the Tectonics of the Underground Fossil Glacier in the Cave Ghetarul de la Scarisoara (Romania). Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XXVIII:77–86.

  • Cociuba Ioan, SILVESTRU Emil (1989) Hypothesis on a genetical Relation Between the Actual Karst and the Bauxite-Bearing paleokarst at the Jurassic/Creatceous Boundary in the Piatra Craiului Mountains (Romania). Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti,t.XXVIII, p.87–90.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1990)Propositions pour une classification litho–génétiquedes formes karstiques et apparentées. Karstologia, La Rivoire, France. Nr.15:55–57.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1990) On the Genesis and Evolution of Mirabilite in the Cave Izvorul Tausoarelor (Romania). Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XXIX:79–84.

  • Racovita Gheorghe, Boghean Viorel, SILVESTRU Emil, Petrescu Mircea (1991) Etude thermométrique des substratums de la grotte de Scarisoara. Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XXX:159–184.

  • SILVESTRU Emil, Boghean Viorel (1992) Ultrasonic Investigations on the Underground Fossil Glacier in the Cave Ghetarul de la Scarisoara (Romania). Travaux de l'Institut de Spéologie “Emil Racovitza”, Bucureşti, t.XXXI:151–154.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1993) Karst and Global Climate (a Gaian Approach). Proceedings of the European Conference on Speleology, Helecine, Belgium, 2:125–127.

  • SILVESTRU, Emil (1993) Apusul gigantilor — o poveste cu dinozauri. In Petrescu Iustinian (coordinator) Terra — catastrofe naturale. Editura Dacia Cluj-Napoca, 259p.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1994) Karst and Environment — a Romanian Approach. Geological and Landscape Conservation (O'Halloran, D., Greene, C., Harley, M., Knill, J., editors) London, Geological Society, p.221–225.

  • SILVESTRU Emil, Ghergari Lucretia (1994) On the Paleokarst in the Cave Ghetarul de la Scarisoara (Bihor Mountains, Romania). Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 7:155–161.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1995)Can One Define Poljes? Acta Carsologica, Ljubljana, Slovenia, XXIV:501–508.

  • SILVESTRU Emil, Tamas Tudor, Fratila Gheorghe (1995) Preliminary Data on the Hydrogeology of Karst Terrains Around the Springs of Somesul Cald River (Bihor-Vladeasa Mountains, Romania). Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 8:81–89.

  • Pourchet Michel, Mélieres Marie Antoinette, SILVESTRU Emil, Rajka Géza, Candaudap Froncois, Carbonnel Jean-Pièrre (1996) Radionuclides in a Cave Lake Sediment Core from Ghetarul de Sub Zgurasti (Romania). Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 9:23–28.

  • SILVESTRU Emil, Mátyási Sándor and Bucur I. Ioan (1996) Proposal for a series of formal lithostratigraphic units from the Lower Triassic to the Upper Jurassic in the Central Bihor Mountains (Apuseni Mountains, Romania). Studia Universitatis “Babes-Bolyai”, Geologia, XLI(2):131–136, Cluj.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1997) Stratigrafia si sedimentologia depozitelor clastice din exo– si endocarstul zonei Padis-Cetatile Ponorului. Teza de doctorat (PhD thesis) Universitatea “Babes-Bolyai” Cluj-Napoca, 240 pp.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1997) Dolines in the Padis Plateau (Bihor Mountains, Romania) — One Peculiar Case, Many Questions. Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 10:127–132.

  • SILVESTRU Emil (1998) Lithostratigraphic control of karstification: a Romanian example. Études de Géographie Physique, Supplément au nº XXVII:31–34, Arras, France.

  • SILVESTRU, Emil (1999) Perennial ice in caves in temperate climate and its significance. Theoretical and Applied Karstology, Bucureşti, 11–12:83–94.

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