Stone Mountain

In Stone Mountain we can see the awesome power of God

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Stone Mountain with geologist Carl Froede Jr.  Mr. Froede is currently the President of the Atlanta Geologic Society and presently works as a geologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  He has published in both secular and Christian scientific journals.  In March 1995, he published a paper entitled, "Stone Mountain, Georgia: A Creation Geologist's Perspective" in the Creation Research Society Quarterly journal.  This publication, started by a group of like-minded scientists in 1963, has been responsible for much of the technical scientific explanations supporting the creation model.

Mr. Froede walked with my daughter and I up, down, and around the mountain showing us evidence of Stone Mountain's rapid formation and evidence against its formation over millions of years of time.  Uniformitarian explanations assume that present processes like erosion, sedimentation, etc. are sufficient to

explain all the geological features of the earth.  Thus, the explanation that we were given on the train ride by the conductor is that uniformitarian geologists believe that the mountain was formed 200 million years ago.  According to the trail guide published by the park, "The mysterious mountain, unique among all mountains in the world, long has intrigued the world's geologists.  They speculate that the amazing rock was a hundred million years in the making.  It had to have been forged by immense heat and pressure during the fantastic upheavals of earth's infancy, and scientists believe it took another hundred million years before steady erosion uncovered the Stone Mountain we see today."

While Mr. Froede agrees with the tremendous heat and pressure necessary to form the mountain of granite, he disagrees with the amount of time necessary to accomplish this task.  One bit of evidence in support of rapid formation are the small-sized minerals which compose the granite.  If it cooled over millions of years then the mineral grain size should be larger and not exist at the same size over the entire surface of the outcrop.

Additionally, the jointing and faulting of surface sheets of granite results in the exfoliation or "sloughing-off" of the surface of the mountain.  Mr. Froede explains that the thin sheets of rock breaking off in this manner is like peeling off the layers of an onion.  Examples of this are seen while walking up the mountain.  The problem with the "millions of years" explanation is that there is not enough of this exfoliation occurring across the surface of the mountain.  If Stone Mountain were millions of years in the making then sheets and/or boulders caused by this exfoliation would cover the surface of the mountain.  In addition, many more sheets of granite would be present at the base of the mountain than what we observe today.

After the granite weathers into sheets and/or blocks it continues to break down eventually forming a soil called saprolite.  The exposure of the mountain over millions of years should result in a very deep soil around the mountain consisting of this saprolite.  Instead the saprolite soil around the mountain is, at most, only eight feet thick.

A better explanation for the exfoliation that we do see is that it is the result of not millions, but a few thousand years of erosion.  The events associated with a worldwide catastrophic flood incorporating a subsequent Ice Age would have produced the exfoliation and soil level that we observe at the mountain today.  This Flood model is further confirmed with other evidence seen at the mountain.

Granite is igneous rock, i.e. rock that comes from magma, a molten mixture of minerals.  The Flood event would have provided the heat and pressure energy necessary for magma in the subsurface to be squeezed into the overlying rocks and be uplifted to form Stone Mountain.  According to the Flood model the floodwaters eroded away this overlying rock and the magma cooled quickly.  The evidence supports this model.

As previously mentioned, the grain size and mineral composition of the granite at Stone Mountain is consistent from the east to the west of the mountain. If it were cooled over millions of years we would expect to observe much differentiation in the grain size.  Also, and interesting feature is observed with xenoliths found in the mountain.  Xenoliths are fragments of the original rock into which the magma intruded.  This magma would eventually harden into granite.  If this original rock existed in the magma for

thousands to millions of years it would partially melt and we would observe a smooth contact between the xenoliths and the granite.  Instead a sharp contact is seen indicating it was rapidly plucked from the surrounding rock and subsequently embedded in the quick cooling granitic magma.

Other examples such as vertical bedding planes seen in the trails around the mountain and the occurrence of diabase dikes can also be explained by quick cooling of the magma.

In Romans 1:20 we see that the invisible attributes of God can be understood in what is seen in what He has made.  I asked Mr. Froede what we could learn about God through this part of His creation at Stone Mountain.  He said that it testifies of the incredible power and awesome energy that only God can provide.  What is even more remarkable is that the incredible power that formed this huge mountain is the result of the judgment of God on the wickedness of man through the event of the worldwide flood recorded in Genesis.

As we look at Stone Mountain we can remember the words of Jesus when asked by the Pharisees in Luke 19:39-40, "'Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.'  And He answered and said, 'I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!'"

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ŠTom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen