March 11, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Major Cave with Fossils Found in Arizona

Arizona Central has announced a major cave discovery east of Tucson.  The cave, named La Tetera, was discovered eight years ago but was kept secret till today.  The first human exploration only began New Years Day 2002.  The cave, located within Colossal Cave State Park, is said to rival or exceed Kartchner Caverns in the size and beauty of its formations.  One large chamber has a floor covered in delicate crystal, with huge multicolored domes reaching to the ceiling.  State officials intend to keep the cavern available to scientists only; it will probably never be open to the public.
    Much of the cave still remains to be explored; about 2000 feet of passageways have been mapped so far.  It appears in pristine condition, moist and growing – in fact, vapor rising from an orifice gave it the name La Tetera, Spanish for teakettle.  Unlike Kartchner, La Tetera Cave contains many bones of animals said to have gone extinct 10,000 years ago, including prehistoric horses, camels, rattlesnakes and other animals.  The article states, “Experts estimate that La Tetera is about 10 million years old – compared with less than 1 million years of age for Kartchner.”

Discoveries like this make exciting news.  Only the underground environment provides opportunities for 21st century explorers to discover virgin territory.  Click the photo gallery link in the article to view beautiful pictures of the interior of this cave.  What other magnificent caves on this vast planet remain to be discovered?
    What is uncalled for in such reports is the obligatory reference to millions of years.  If you read the scientific report on nearby Kartchner Caverns (available in the bookstore), you find that the dating methods are compromises of conflicting measurements based on prior assumptions.  Think about it; if there had been 9,990,000 years available for animals to stumble into this cave, wouldn’t it be totally filled with bones?  The long ages that tour guides and reports typically spout are usually stated in a glib, matter-of-fact way, without revealing the many assumptions that go into the estimates, or the many evidences around the world that contradict the dates.
    Ball park figures for cave dates are usually established beforehand from uniformitarian and Darwinian assumptions, so that they fit into the evolution-based geologic column (but see the 03/05/2004 headline).  Furthermore, the dating methods commit the fallacy of extrapolation of current processes far beyond what is justifiable.  Check out the following three articles, two by Ph.D. geologists, that explain how cave and speleothem formation do not require such vast periods of time: Snelling, Oard, and Austin.
    Next time on a cave tour, politely ask the guide how he or she knows the cave is x million years old.  Unless trained in anti-creationist tactics, the guide will usually stutter and stammer, admitting that he/she is just repeating what the script says.  Then, for fun, show the guide this picture.
    Here is a great new DVD to expand your mind about cave formation and geology in general, by a world-class caver and PhD geologist, Dr. Emil Silvestru: Geology and Cave Formation.  It contains stunning photographs and just as stunning facts, by someone who knows caves better inside and out than most people.  Just as good is another DVD by Dr. Silvestru entitled, Rocks & Ages: Do They Hide Millions of Years?

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