Monday, 31 August 2015

Precariously Balanced Rocks Defy Uniformitarian (Slow Processes) Explanations

The Mother and Child Rock in Zimbabwe. Image courtesy of Susan Adams, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Joel Kontinen

The basically uniformitarian timescale with its slow gradual processes and a belief in millions of years often fails to account for the facts or geological formations that defy them.

In Australia, one of the 12 Apostles fell into the ocean and is no more. Uluru and the Three Sisters have fared a little better.

Writing in Live Science, Elizabeth Goldbaum explores the gravity-defying rocks of California. Believed to be 10,000 years old, these Precariously Balanced Rocks (PBRs), as they are called, defy old age thinking. She describes them as “giant rocks stacked in seemingly gravity-defying poses.”

Some of them are near active faults in Southern California, but they have not yet toppled despite being beaten by wind and rain for aeons:

PBRs typically develop over thousands or tens of thousands of years, and they can be found around the globe, including in other earthquake-prone spots in the United States and New Zealand…There are more than 1,200 PBRs just in California and western Nevada.”

They can’t be 10,000 years old, as that would make them older than the Flood of Noah’s day – and even older than Adam. But they’re more likely to be able to withstand erosion and earthquakes for, say 4,500 years, than over twice that time that belief in a billions-of-years old Earth would require.


Goldbaum, Elizabeth. 2015. Why 10,000-Year-Old Gravity-Defying Rocks Haven't Toppled. Live Science (7 August).