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