by Brian Thomas, M.S.
Some biologists like to say that massive coral reefs represent more than 100,000 years of growth, supposedly nullifying the Bible’s account of a world that is only thousands of years old. However, many known factors can affect coral reef growth rates. Now, a 50-year study of Caribbean coral reefs confirms the unpredictability of using such growth as a “clock.”
Researchers in the past have assumed that by measuring the rate of growth of a coral reef, as well as the total size of the reef, they can estimate how long it took corals to build it. One big problem with this “natural clock” system is that the growth rate of corals is inconsistent and relies on a host of changing variables.
Coral reef growth rates change with available nutrition, physical weathering, water temperature, light penetration (and therefore sea floor depth or sea level changes), and other factors. Soft corals have soft bodies that do not deposit limestone “homes,” but hard corals can leave behind rocky records if subsequent generations continue to add material. So, since hard corals grow very fast in some conditions and very slow in others, there is no reliable rate of growth to apply when estimating the age of hard coral reefs.
To read more: http://www.icr.org/article/5885/