This article is from
Creation 44(4):56, October 2022

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Another one bites the dust


© Collection of Puke Ariki, New Plymouth | © Pat Greenfieldelephant-rock
Figure 1.

As a CMI speaker, I’m used to presenting bad news and good news. The bad news of a creation ‘subjected to futility’ (Romans 8:20) due to Adam’s rebellion, and the good news of a future, perfectly restored creation, to be enjoyed by those who place their faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. On this day, however, I had a little extra bad news to deliver.

Inside the church, I noticed a picture of Elephant Rock, the iconic New Zealand rock formation—located off the Taranaki coast at Tongaporutu (figure 1). Standing about 25 m (85 ft) tall, with easily identifiable front and hind legs and a magnificent head and trunk, the perfectly poised pachyderm was seemingly emerging from the ocean onto the beach.

Sadly, I had to tell my audience that Elephant Rock, a beloved local attraction, was no more. In early December 2016 the head and trunk, succumbing to the ravages of erosion, had crashed into the water. Spectacular as it still was, Elephant Rock was now just another arch (figure 2).

Not a one-off

© Collection of Puke Ariki, New Plymouth | © Pat Greenfieldelephant-rock-no-more
Figure 2.

Other rock formations on the same coastline have suffered a similar fate. On an adjacent beach, the Three Sisters (originally four in the late 1990s) had been reduced to two sisters by 2003. And in March 2017, a cave structure known as the ‘Twin Arches’ also collapsed.

This is despite the common belief that coastlines erode (mostly from wave action), almost imperceptibly slowly—over millions of years. If that were true, then even for relatively soft limestone, it should be very rare to see such a collapse in one’s lifetime. Yet these NZ examples add to the growing number of rock formations to have collapsed from erosion in relatively recent times. This includes Darwin’s Arch in the Galápagos, the Azure Window in Malta, London Bridge in Victoria, Australia, and more.

These are repeated, visible and powerful evidences that belie evolution’s ‘millions-of-years’.1

Posted on homepage: 20 November 2023

References and notes

  1. Walker, T., Vanishing coastlines: Fast erosion means the world is young, Creation 29(2):19–21, 2007; creation.com/vanishing-coastlines. See also Batten, D, Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe, creation.com/age-of-the-earth, 4 Jun 2009. Return to text.

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