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Kolbe Report 6/18/22

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Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

At this time of year, in the Shenandoah Valley where my family lives, large numbers of tourists flock to the caves that run through the Valley, seeking an entertaining escape from the summer’s heat.  Unfortunately, the tour guides at all of the caves open to the public reinforce the faith of most of their visitors in the production of the caves by the same slow and gradual processes going on now, over hundreds of thousands or millions of years.  In reality, however, the large cave systems all over the Earth bear eloquent witness to the historical reality of the global Noahic Flood and the unique geophysical forces unleashed during that watery cataclysm.

Entrance to the underground river at Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.

Dr. Emil Silvestru: Leading Expert on Cave Formation

One of the leading experts in the world on the subject of cave formation is the Romanian Evangelical Christian Emil Silvestru.  According to the website of Creation Ministries International:

Dr Silvestru earned his Ph.D in geology at the ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University in Cluj, Romania (where he has worked as an associate professor), in karst sedimentology including caves. (Karst is a term which initially referred to barren regions of mostly limestone and dolomite, noted for spectacular and distinctive landforms, and with substantial underground drainage features — caves, underground rivers, etc. It has come to refer more to the entire geosystem, above and below ground.)

A world authority on the geology of caves, he has published 41 scientific papers (see below), written one book (The Cave Book—see below) and co-authored two books. He was, until recently, the head scientist at the world’s first Speleological Institute (speleology = the study of caves) in Cluj. Since 1997 he has been a full-time researcher and speaker with CMI.

His areas of expertise include: Sedimentology of clastic deposits, stratigraphy of limestone terranes, general geology, karst genesis and functioning, cave climate and glaciology, show-cave assessment & designing, ore prospecting and exploration (surface and mining).

After becoming a Christian he quickly realized that the ‘millions of years’ interpretation, so common in geology, was not compatible with Genesis. ‘Once I became a Christian,’ Emil says, ‘I knew I had to “tune up” my scientific knowledge with the Scriptures.’

‘Although philosophically and ethically I accepted a literal Genesis from my conversion, at first I was unable to match it with my “technical” side.’

E-mail discussions with qualified creationist geologists, creationist books, Creation magazine and especially the Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) helped him realise what he calls two ‘essential things’:

  1. Given exceptional conditions (e.g. the Genesis Flood) geological processes that take an extremely long time today can be unimaginably accelerated.
  2. The Genesis Flood was global, not regional.

‘These factors were immensely important in my conversion and my Christian life. I am now convinced of six-day, literal, recent, Genesis creation. That doesn't mean that there are not still some unanswered problems, but researching such issues is what being a scientist is all about.’

He has over 30 years experience in climbing and spelunking, educating many young spelunkers and mountain climbing devotees as well as participating in mountain and cave rescue operations.

In January 2002 he immigrated to Canada from Romania with his wife and two daughters. In addition to doing research and writing for CMI, he now also on staff at CMI Canada as a Seminar Lecturer, and has written a number of articles for the Journal of Creation, Creation magazine and this website, and produced several DVDs.

In 2012 Emil suffered a stroke from which he has not yet fully recovered.

Dr. Emil Silvestru on Cave Formation

As we pray for Dr. Silvestru’s recovery from his stroke and for his complete return to the Catholic Faith of his Fathers, we should thank God for his important contributions to the scientific defense of the historical reality of the Noahic Flood.   To most non-specialists, the existence of enormous cave systems, gradually growing larger through present-day processes of erosion, would seem to be powerful evidence for the millions of years of the standard geological time-scale.  However, as Dr. Silvestru explains:

secular science (karstology in this case) still does not have an acceptable explanation of how water can manage to form large caves hundreds or thousands of feet underground . . . To eat away the limestone, the water must be acidic. How does it get deep inside the rock without losing its acidity? Thousands of measurements show that by dissolving limestone, the water loses its acidity within some 10 metres of the surface.) It is only possible for water to flow deep underground if it follows pre-existing conduits.

But when and how were those conduits formed? I believe it was at the time of the Flood, by hydrothermal solutions (HTS). These hot and chemically hyperactive solutions originated deep inside the earth as a result of the tectonic and volcanic processes associated with the global upheaval. These HTS could eat away enormous amounts of limestone in a year or even less.

A somewhat similar process was documented in the Carlsbad Caverns area (New Mexico, USA). There, sulfuric acid, formed from hydrogen sulphide (H2S) that was produced from the oil deposits underneath, ate away the limestone.

Excavation of the Big Room, a cavern of more than a million cubic metres (35 million cubic feet) only needed about 10% of the H2S of the annual commercial production of the neighbouring gas fields.

After the Flood the HTS from deep underground died away and the solutions linked to water seeping from the surface took over the caves and started to reshape everything. The slow processes we can see and measure today are not the ones that created the caves. They only added the ‘final touch’ to what HTS created quickly at the time of the Flood.

Inside the “Big Room” at Carlsbad Caverns

Caves Shelter Saints and Bear Witness to the Truth of God’s Word

Throughout the history of the Church, saints have taken refuge in caves, finding solitude and safety from the world, the flesh and the devil. St. Elijah fled to a cave after his contest with the false prophets of Baal and encountered God there.  Many Desert Fathers, including St. Anthony of Egypt, lived in caves.  St. Benedict, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, St. Francis of Assisi, and in more recent times, the Carmelite mystic Blessed Francis Palau, dwelt in caves for periods of time.  With the understanding of cave formation provided by experts like Dr. Emil Silvestru, all Catholics should find in cave systems—not a testimony to evolution’s mythical millions of years—but a powerful witness to God’s Divine Judgment upon the whole world by means of Noah’s Flood, by which in His goodness He created places of solitude for his saints—from the days of Elijah and the Prophets until the end of the world!

St. Elijah in a Cave on Mt. Horeb

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

P.S. We have decided to hold our 2022 annual leadership retreat at the headquarters of the Apostolate for Family Consecration in Bloomingdale, Ohio, again this year, from Sunday, August 28, until Saturday, September 3. For more information or to obtain a registration form, please email me at howen@shentel.net.

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