New Theory Impacts Crater Site

on April 7, 2007

BBC NEWS: “UK impact crater debate heats up”

Remember that impact crater under the North Sea, the “Silverpit structure,” thought to be “the UK’s only impact crater” and dated at 60-65 million years old? Well, according to University of Edinburgh geologist John Underhill, it is not the vestige of a prehistoric meteorite, but rather “probably the movement of salt rocks at depth.” Underhill cites nine “similar vast chasms in the area” that indicate that the Silverpit structure had no extraterrestrial influence in its formation. Specifically, the BBC reports that Underhill’s theory is that the formation is “the result of movement of a thick layer of salt of Upper Permian (248-256 million years ago) age that lies below the whole area.”

What is dogmatically taught as scientifically law always has the potential of being reversed by new discoveries.

Authors of an earlier study, however, which mapped the structure in 3-D, maintain that the structure was formed in an impact. Among other things, these scientists cite the existence of “undeformed rock underlying the crater” as shown by seismic surveys of the structure.

This debate provides a bit of insight into the shifting foundation (pun intended) of science. One hypothesis may be popularized for years only to be overturned by new scientific thinking or discoveries years later. What is dogmatically taught as scientifically law always has the potential of being reversed by new discoveries. (For a recent example of such a change of opinion, see last week’s News to Note, item #1.)

The Bible provides a solid, changeless foundation for understanding the world around us and the world beyond us. Much of what science teaches as fact today will likely be laughed at by the scientists of tomorrow. But God’s Word (which, yes, may be laughed at by secular scientists today and tomorrow) gives us an account of the universe that we can trust.

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