Utah’s famous Arches National Park is one arch short this week, after the collapse of one of its largest and most photographed arches—Wall Arch.
The forces of gravity and erosion finally brought down the natural spectacle.
No one was around when the arch collapsed sometime early last week, the forces of gravity and erosion finally bringing down the natural spectacle. “They all let go after a while,” commented Paul Henderson, the Arches National chief of interpretation.
And it’s exactly the interpretation of Henderson and others that we disagree with! The popular view of the park’s 2,000 or so arches is that they were formed through millions of years of slow erosion carving out each arch. (For example, the park’s website reads, “Throughout the park, rock layers reveal millions of years of deposition, erosion and other geologic events.”)
As one News to Note reader pointed out, if these arches take millions of years to form, but collapse at a rate of several in a century, there’s no way there would be any remaining for us to see! (According to the Wikipedia article on Arches National Park, 43 arches have collapsed since 1970; however, no source is cited for the information and we could not verify the number—or any other number—elsewhere. The AP article names the (partial) 1991 collapse of Landscape Arch as the most recent.)
This simple math, which corresponds with other calculations, indicates that—even starting with uniformitarian assumptions—the facts just don’t support millions of years of earth history.
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