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This article is from
Creation 34(3):51, July 2012

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The Natural Bridge has two sides



The formation in Virginia called Natural Bridge has been a popular tourist destination in the United States for more than 200 years.1 A small stream, Cedar Creek, flows beneath the arch. A nearby sign gives some of the arch’s vital statistics including its height, length and weight. These facts are easy to check: just compare its size with someone standing underneath.

The sign also says the arch is “estimated to be at least 500 million years old.”2 Unlike its dimensions, it is impossible to check this age because no-one was there when the arch was carved. It was geologists who deny the biblical account of Noah’s Flood who formulated these ages.

Other geologists do believe in Noah’s Flood, and consider that Natural Bridge formed during this event.3 As the floodwaters were rising on the earth, strong currents deposited the limestone sediment in thin layers across the region. These layers can be seen in the arch and side walls.

While going down, the floodwaters eroded the many valleys, tunnels and caves in the area.4 Some of these caverns are popular tourist attractions. Natural Bridge was initially part of a long tunnel but most of the roof collapsed as it was being eroded, and only the Bridge remains. The receding floodwaters carried the debris away.

The 500-million-year age quoted on this tourist sign is not a fact but a belief. The number affects the way people look at the world. This tourist sign gives just one belief about the past. On such a vital issue the other side should be presented. Imagine what people will think when the sign says, “Natural Bridge formed during Noah’s Flood, about 4,500 years ago.”

References and notes

  1. Presidents Washington and Jefferson visited it, NaturalBridgeVA.com. Return to text.
  2. This was the accepted ‘age’ of the Ordovician limestone when the sign was made, but is different now. Return to text.
  3. Oard, M.J., Many arches and natural bridges likely from the Flood, J. Creation 23(1):115–118, 2009. Return to text.
  4. Williams, E.L., Natural Bridge, Virginia: origins speculations, Creation Research Society Quarterly 39(2):101–105, 2002. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Robert K.
I thought it might be of interest to Dr. Walker that I posted your article on a Google+ group ("Biblical Creationists") and received the following comment from a critic, "Then why aren't there examples of these formations all over the world?"

I guess he was too intellectually lazy to find out that there ARE formations like this all over the world. With Google I found a whole gallery of natural arches.

Thank you for a great article, and keep up the good work!
milt M.
I am beginning to think we should demand that the biblical view be presented when public funds are used or demand that no evolutionary information be presented. I think that position is legally defensible. I just recently learned that evolutionary dogma is being posted on the walls of a public transit tunnel here in Oregon. People who are riding that line have to view that material whether they want to or not. It is there to supposedly "educate" the public about the age of the layers that the tunnel is going through.
Nomore O.
Hmmm... do they actionally mean that the bridge has been standing for 500 million years!? Or just the strata that it is formed from? Either way in one tenth of that time the continent it self would have eroded away!
Chuck J.
Aside from the Bible contradicting this fantasy of 500 million years old, I would think that common sense would tell you that it would have eroded away by now.
John P.
I agree,would also love to see 2 sides in the acedemic world......creation/evolution
Rich W.
We were there in May, and they still have the light show and the reading s from Genesis.
Phil M.
My wife and I visited Niagara Falls last year and I was amazed at the facts they presented as to how far the falls have actually moved back in the last 100 or so years. It's not hard to believe that Natural Falls formed during the flood.
John N.
There are chalk formations in Kansas. Monument rocks, 4 miles east of US-83
25 miles south of Oakley, Kansas. Comparing photos taken 75 years ago, they are noticeably smaller due to erosion. In a thousand yrs they will be gone, they are about 6000 yrs old now. If they were 25,000,000 yrs old, they would have reached the moon.
Mathews Koshy K.
Formation of this "Natural Bridge" during Noah's flood can be a believable fact.

Whereas what is the basis of claiming this natural bridge is 500 million years old ?! This is nothing but utter nonsense !
John D.
When I was younger they had a small light show along with a reading of Genesis there, and I thought that is what your title was going to refer to :D We certainly are privileged to be able to see this structure after erosion has worked on it for 500 million years aren't we ;D
Ron E.
It would be good to rewrite all the signs like this on major tourist attractions around the world from a biblical world view and submit them to the National Geographic Magazine.

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