Fast Growing Rocks

August 4, 2022
2 min read

The interior of Grand Central Station is one of the most famous buildings in New York City. Do you want to hear a fun fact about it? It’s hot. No, not the temperature. I mean in terms of radioactivity. Don’t worry, it’s safe to be there. But it’s worth noting that if that level of radiation was detected in modern nuclear plants, it would exceed the maximum allowable dose for its employees.

The reason for its radioactivity is because the architects chose granite for the stonework! Is there anything else you might not have known about this rock? Granite, and its close cousin pegmatite, are igneous rocks and geology students are taught that these rocks take vast amounts of time, potentially millions of years, to finally cool and solidify. Pegmatite takes even more time than granite to form due to its larger crystal size which requires even more time to grow and form.

But a study1 published in October 2020 in the secular journal Nature Communications demonstrated that large crystals in pegmatites can grow in massive sizes in just a few days. The results shocked them, but even they had to admit that small features like trace element distribution can be best explained by accelerated crystal growth. These researchers at Rice University suggest that pegmatites could grow to a meter-size in just a few days.

This is a shocking discovery because pegmatites are conventionally believed to be one of the slowest growing crystals due to their large sizes.

Lead author Patrick Phelps, a graduate student at Rice, commented: “We examined crystals that were half an inch wide and over an inch long….We showed those grew in a matter of hours, and there is nothing to suggest the physics would be different in larger crystals that measure a meter or more in length. Based on what we found, larger crystals like that could grow in a matter of days….We’d done the math and the physics. That part was sound. While we didn’t expect it to be that fast, we couldn’t come up with a reason why it wasn’t plausible.”2

Science confirms the recent time frame as outlined in the Bible.

 

  1. Phelps, P. R., C.-T. A. Lee, and D. M. Morton. 2020. Episodes of fast crystal growth in pegmatitesNature Communications. 11: 4986.
  2. Hays, B. Earth grows large crystals, rare elements in just minutes. UPI.com, UPI Science News, October 7, 2020. https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2020/10/07/Earth-grows-large-crystals-rare-elements-in-just-minutes/4471602075376/. Accessed Feb 28, 2022.

 

I used the following article by Dr. Tim Clarey as an aid for this transcript: https://www.icr.org/article/12515

 

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