DATING PAGE OF WAS DARWIN RIGHT?
Introduction Coral Dating a young Earth Dating an old Earth Dating gone wrong Dating with fossils DNA survival Radio-active dating techniques Speed of light and dating Suggested reading and videos
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For the theory of evolution to be true, the Earth must be millions or billions of years old. Uranium-lead dating at present puts the age of the earth at 4.5 to 5 billion years old (Ankerberg, 1998a). However, how accurate are the techniques used to date the earth and is there any evidence that the earth could be less than billions of years old?
From a Christian perspective, there are differences of opinion (see viewpoints page of this site for some different views) about whether the days of creation refer to literal 24-hour periods of just to periods of time. If God is beyond time, perhaps it is beyond us to argue the details of this?
Some Christians feel that the Young Earth position is in such conflict with science that it is totally untenable and indeed, to attempt to get people to accept a Young Earth view is counter productive to people accepting the Christian Faith.
Arguments in favour of an Old Earth that apparently fit in with the Genesis account can be seen at the web site Answers in Creation site, which tends to be very critical of Young Earth arguments, claiming that all can be falsified.
This site accepts that Christians have differing views, and the reader must decide. Some arguments against Old Earth Creation science and theology are given in the links as the bottom of the viewpoints page, such as What’s wrong with progressive creation? (from War of the Worldviews).
If one accepts that God did create the world, it is possible that the world was created with maturity just as in the story of Jesus turning water into wine (The Bible, John, verses 1 to 11). In this story, good wine that would normally take months to years to make, was made in an instant. If we believe this story, it is possible to believe that God created the world with some form of maturity. If a scientist were to measure the age of the wine, what conclusion would he have come to?
Below are arguments in favour of a Young Earth. For a more in-depth view of this topic please follow links to other sites at the bottom of this page.
The author of this page admits no expertise in this area, and has relied on quoting available sources.
Dating an old Earth. The principal ways in which rocks are dated are by radioactive dating techniques and by virtue of the types of fossils they contains (Ankerberg, 1998a, Baker, 1996). However, both of these techniques rely on assumptions as illustrated below. To top
Dating with fossils. Three quarters of the earth's continental surface is composed of sedimentary rock, that is rock that has been laid down in water (Baker, 1996). It is this type of rock in which fossils are found. However, radioactive dating techniques can only be performed on igneous rock and only in rare cases can the fossils themselves be dated by radioactive dating techniques (Baker, 1996). However, fossils are used to date rocks. Such dating is based on the assumption that some fossils are of very early forms of life that became extinct a long time ago, thus the rock must be as old as the fossil and vice-versa. However nice such assumptions are, they are not true science but circular reasoning. To top
Radioactive dating techniques. Radioactive dating techniques rely on the fact that radioactive substances are unstable and break down. For example uranium over a long period of time breaks down to form lead, thus we get uranium-lead dating.
Carbon dating will only give dates of thousands of years whereas potassium-argon and uranium-lead can supposedly date things up to millions or billions of years old (Batten, 2002).
Uranium-lead dating is one of the main radioactive dating techniques used to establish the age of the earth (Ankerberg, 1998a). Thus, if a piece of rock contained 6.25% uranium and the rest was lead, using the uranium-lead dating technique, in theory one could calculate the age of the rock based on:-
- The time it takes uranium to decay to lead (4,500 million years half-life!).
- Assumptions about the proportion of uranium / lead in the rock at time zero.
- Assumptions that the decay rate has remained constant.
However, if the assumption about the proportion of radioactive substance in the rock at time zero or the decay rate remaining constant are wrong, then the dating will be wrong!
The DVD (see picture left, click for larger size) "Thousands not millions" from the Institute of Creation Research shows some up to date research on dating using long age techniques such as uranium / lead dating.
"Exciting new developments in RATE projects are confirming our basic hypothesis: that God drastically speeded up decay rates of long half-life nuclei during the Genesis Flood and other brief periods in the earth's short history." Click here for more details.
Although the above video gives evidence to suggest that long age isotopes do not give accurate dates, carbon dating is generally considered reasonably accurate.
Interestingly, most of the coal that has been carbon dated still has some level of carbon 14 in it (Batten, 2001). However, according to traditional thinking coal should be millions of years old and therefore not have any carbon 14 in it, since carbon 14 has a half life of 5730 years!
Picture on right from DVD "Thousands not millions."
Rapid Coal, GEORGE R. HILL Dean of College of Mines & Mineral Industries, "A rather startling and serendipitous discovery resulted....These observations suggest that in their formation, high rank coals,....were probably subjected to high temperature at some stage in their history. A possible mechanism for formation of these high rank coals could have been a short time, rapid heating event." [Six Hours], Chemtech, May, 1972, p. 292.
For more detailed analysis of radioactive dating techniques please get the above DVD, or follow some of the links and the bottom of this page or buy a suitable book.
Below are a few interesting links, more at the bottom of the page:-
"Excess Argon": The "Achillies' Heel" of Potassium-Argon and Argon-Argon "Dating" of Volcanic Rocks
Geological conflict: Young radiocarbon date for ancient fossil wood challenges fossil dating
Stumping old-age dogma
The Fallacies of Radioactive Dating of Rocks
What about carbon dating? To top
Speed of light and dating. The second half of Dr Paul Back's (a former Rhodes scholar) excellent book Darwinism And The Rise Of Degenerate Science (Back, P., 2003) is devoted to time and the age of the Earth.
Amongst other topics, Dr Paul Back comments on studies that suggest that the speed of light has been slowing down.
If this is so, this could affect the age of the earth as measured by the speed of light and distances from stars.
Dr Paul Back quotes some work by Setterfield where he applies a correction factor to the age of the earth based on much faster speeds of light at the birth of the cosmos, and interestingly ends up with a earth as young as obtained from a literal Biblical interpretation.
For those who want to read up in more detail, please follow one of the links below, or buy Darwinism And The Rise Of Degenerate Science or see the quote below:-
Below in purple from WorldNetDaily
July 31, 2004
By Chris Bennett
Setterfield expected to see the recorded speeds grouped around the accepted value for light speed, roughly 299,792 kilometers /second. In simple terms, half of the historic measurements should have been higher and half should be lower.
What he found defied belief: The derived light speeds from the early measurements were significantly faster than today. Even more intriguing, the older the observation, the faster the speed of light. A sampling of these values is listed below:
- In 1738: 303,320 +/- 310 km/second
- In 1861: 300,050 +/- 60 km/second
- In 1877: 299,921 +/- 13 km/second
- In 2004: 299,792 km/second (accepted constant)
Setterfield teamed with statistician Dr. Trevor Norman and demonstrated that, even allowing for the clumsiness of early experiments, and correcting for the multiple lenses of early telescopes and other factors related to technology, the speed of light was discernibly higher 100 years ago, and as much as 7 percent higher in the 1700s. Dr. Norman confirmed that the measurements were statistically significant with a confidence of more than 99 percent.
Setterfield and Norman published their results at SRI in July 1987 after extensive peer review.
It would be easy to dismiss two relatively unknown researchers if theirs were the only voices in this wilderness and the historic data was the only anomaly. They are not.
Since the SRI publication in 1987, forefront researchers from Russia, Australia, Great Britain and the United States have published papers in prestigious journals questioning the constancy of the speed of light.
Within the last 24 months, Dr. Joao Magueijo, a physicist at Imperial College in London, Dr. John Barrow of Cambridge, Dr. Andy Albrecht of the University of California at Davis and Dr. John Moffat of the University of Toronto have all published work advocating their belief that light speed was much higher – as much as 10 to the 10th power faster – in the early stages of the "Big Bang" than it is today. (It's important to note that none of these researchers have expressed any bias toward a predetermined answer, biblical or otherwise. If anything, they are antagonistic toward a biblical worldview.)
Dr. Magueijo believes that light speed was faster only in the instants following the beginning of time. Dr. Barrow, Barry Setterfield and others believe that light speed has been declining from the beginning of time to the historic near past.
Links related to the speed of light possible slowing down:-
(c) Speed of light slowing down after all?
Dating gone wrong? Potassium-argon dates 200 year old lava flow at 3 billion years and moon rock at 2 million to 28 billion years (Wysong, 1981)! Carbon dating dates living snail shells at 2,300 years and wood from living trees at 10,000 years (Wysong, 1981). For more detailed analysis of radioactive dating techniques please follow some of the links and the bottom of this page or buy a suitable book. To top
Coral - From "Coral Reefs—Diving for Answers" by Brad Harrub, Ph.D.
"Unlike fossil dating in the dirt, coral cannot be assigned an ancient age by arbitrarily determining what strata it lies in. Using their own dating schemes, evolutionists have been unable to date coral fossils beyond about 5000 years old. The National Institute for Global Environmental Change published in its 1997/98 Annual Progress Report the ages of nine coral pieces. Using conventional carbon-14 dating schemes, these old pieces were shown to be from 333 to 5958 years before present. High resolution sampling was conducted on four of the pieces, with radiocarbon corrected-calendar ages of AD 230, AD 1660, AD 1665, and 3960 BC.— all times that are quite consistent with the Biblical record. The accumulation of corals around great reefs did not, as many evolutionists will tell you, take millions or thousands of years. Evidence demonstrates that coral reefs are quite capable of growing at a fairly rapid rate".
Click here for the original and full article from Apologetics press with kind permission. Apologetics Press,
230, Landmark Drive, Montgomery, Alabama 36117, U.S.A. Phone (334) 272-8558. Top
DNA survival. In view of the fact that DNA degrades on death of the animal (From - ancient bear DNA), and even if preserved should not last more than a few thousand years, it is interesting to note the survival of DNA below, which perhaps brings into question generally accepted dating techniques? It could be argued that such DNA is contamination, but it is likely that the laboratories concerned took great care to avoid contamination.
1. DNA has now been reported in magnolia, leaves that evolutionists claimed to be 17 million years old. [E.M.Golenberg 'Chloroplast DNA Sequence from a Miocene Magnolia Species' Nature vol.344 12April 1990 p.656-658.]
2. Fragments of DNA are also claimed to be in alleged 80 million-year-old dinosaur bones buried in a coal bed. [S.R. Woodward 'DNA Sequence from Cretaceous Period Bone Fragments' Science vol.266 18Nov.1994 p.1229-1232].
3. DNA found in the scales of a 200 million-year-old fossilized fish. [K.Hoppe 'Brushing the Dust off Ancient DNA' Science News vol.142 24Oct.1992 p.281].
4. DNA has also been reported in amber encased insects and plants that are supposedly 25-120 million years old. [H.N. Poinar 'DNA from an Extinct Plant' Nature vol.363 24June 1993 p.677].
5. And what about the protein preserved in dinosaur bones? As with DNA, no proteins should last 75-150 million years. [R. Monastersky 'Protein Identified in Dinosaur Fossils' Science News vol.142 3Oct.1992 p.871-874].
Dating a young Earth. The following are possible indicators that the earth is not as old as we have been led to believe.
The following quotes in favour of a young earth are taken from a web site with kind permission. Page numbers without book references refer to the book, "Age of the Earth" available at the above site (in 2002).
The author of this page can not verify the accuracy of the statements below, and realizes that all will be considered contrary to current scientific thinking. Please feel free to check against other sources, and make an informed decision for yourself. Some additional bits of information and links have been added. To top
Evidence from the globe for a young earth.
1 - Earth rotation. Because of solar and lunar gravitational drag forces, the spin of the earth (now about 1,000 mph [1,609 kph]) is gradually slowing. If our world were billions of years old, it would already have stopped turning. Or, calculating differently, a billion years ago our planet would have been spinning so fast—it would have become a pancake. So, either way, our earth cannot be more than a few thousand years old.—p. 21.
2 - Magnetic field decay. Earth's magnetic field is slowly, relentlessly lessening. Even 7,000 years ago, the earth would have had a magnetic field 32 times stronger than it is now. Only 20,000 years ago, enough heat would have been generated to liquefy the planet. Therefore, the earth cannot be over 6,000 or 7,000 years old. This is an important matter, affects the entire planet, and has been measured for over 150 years.—pp. 21-23.
See also: The Earth's magnetic field and the age of the Earth, by Dr Andrew Snelling. (AIG article) "As early as 1971, creation scientist Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, then Professor of Physics at The University of Texas at El Paso, drew fresh attention to the fact that the strength of the earth’s magnetic field was decreasing.1 He noted that between 1835 and 1965 geophysicists had made some 26 measurements of the magnetic dipole moment of the earth’s magnetic field. When plotted against time (that is, the year of measurement) these data points fitted a decay curve which Barnes calculated had a ‘halflife’ (halving period) of only 1,400 years. On this basis he concluded that the earth’s magnetic field was less than 10,000 years old, and so the earth must likewise be that young"
Evidence from beneath the surface of the earth for a young earth
1 - Escaping natural gas. Oil and gas are usually located in a porous and permeable rock like sandstone or limestone. Fluids and gas can easily travel through the containing rock, but more slowly pass out through the impermeable rock cap. The rate of gas escape has been found far too rapid to agree with long ages. If the theory were true, all the natural gas would now be escaped.—p. 23.
2 - Oil pressure. When drills first penetrate into oil, there is a "gusher." This is caused by high pressure in the oil vein. Analysis of surrounding rock permeability reveals that any pressure within the oil bed should have bled off within a few thousand years, but it has not happened. These deep rock formations and their entrapped oil cannot be older than 7,000 to 10,000 years.—pp. 23, 26.
Rapid Oil, Middleton, Holyland, Loewenthal, Bruner, "Bottom line - Economic accumulations of oil and gas can be generated in thousands of years in sedimentary basins that have experienced hot fluid flow for similar durations." The Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia No. 24, 1996, p. 6-12
3 - Oil seepage. If much oil seepage had occurred from out of the ocean floors, all the oil in offshore wells would be gone if the earth were 20,000 years old.—p. 26.
4 - Lack of anciently destroyed reservoirs. All the oil in the world must have been placed there in relatively recent times. If long ages had elapsed, the oil reservoirs would be gone, and we would only find the cavities where they had been. But such locations are never found.—p. 26.
5 - Molten earth. Deep within the earth, the rock is molten; but, if the earth were billions of years old, long ages ago our planet would have cooled far more than it now has.—p. 26.
A century ago, Lord Kelvin (from AIG article) calculated an upper limit for the age of the Earth. By estimating how long it would take an earth-sized molten sphere to cool to today’s temperatures, he obtained a maximum age near 100 million years. Some of his contemporaries argued for a maximum age as low at 10 million years.
6 - Volcanic eruptions. There are many extinct volcanoes, but evidence indicates that volcanic activity has only continued a relatively short time since the world began. Otherwise, there would be far more lava than now exists.—pp. 26-27.
7 - Zircon / lead ratios. Lead gradually leaks out of radioactive zircon crystals, and does so more rapidly at high temperatures. Yet very little lead has escaped from zircon found deep in the earth at temperatures above 313oC. This points strongly to a young earth. - p. 27. See also.
8 - Zircon / helium ratios. Helium is a gas and can diffuse out of crystals much more rapidly than many other elements, including lead. Since heat increases chemical activity, there should be no helium left in the zircon in that same deep hole. Yet amazingly little helium has escaped. Therefore the world must be very young.—p. 27. See also.
9 - Soil-water ratio. The earth is still in the partially-soaked condition it became at the time of the Flood. This indicates that the Flood occurred only a few thousand years ago.—p. 27.
Evidence from the surface of the earth for a young earth
1 - Topsoil. It has been calculated that 300 to 1,000 years are required to build one inch [2.54 cm] of topsoil. Yet the average depth of topsoil is about eight inches. On this basis, the earth could only be a few thousand years old.—p. 27.
2 - Niagara Falls. Erosion of Niagara Falls is about 3.5 feet [106.68 cm] per year. Since the length of the gorge is about 7 miles, the age of the falls would normally be about 5,000 to 10,000 years at the most. However, the Flood would have greatly accelerated that erosion.—p. 27.
See also: Niagara Falls and the Bible (AIG article). "Altogether, the estimate for the whole gorge is 4,400 years—much less than the 35,000 years Lyell published, and the current ‘age’ of 12,000 years. And we have not yet calculated the age effects of increased sediment load, increased water flow, or the possibility of erosion by ice, etc. Thus, the revised age agrees remarkably with the end of the Ice Age (3,800 years ago), which followed Noah’s Flood (4,300 years ago)".
Evidence from the oceans for a young earth
1 - River deltas. The Mississippi River dumps 300 million cubic yards [229 million cm] of mud into the Gulf of Mexico each year—continually enlarging the delta area. Yet the Mississippi delta is not large. Calculations reveal it has only been forming for the past 4,000 years (4,620 years, to be exact). If the world was 120,000 years old, that delta would extend all the way to the North Pole.—pp. 27-28.
2 - Sea ooze. Soft mud from dead plants and animal life form on the floor of the oceans, at the rate of about one inch (2.54 cm) every 1,000 to 5,000 years. The depth of ooze indicates the earth is quite young.—p. 28.
3 - Erosion in the ocean. We do not find the erosion in the ocean floors that ought to be there if the world were millions or billions of years old. There are ragged cliffs and steep mountains. Indeed, the continents should have eroded into the oceans by now.—p. 28.
4 - Thickness of ocean sediments. If the earth was billions of years old, the ocean floor would be covered by sediments from land, measuring 60 to 100 miles [96.5 to 160.9 km] thick, and all the continents would be eroded away. Instead, we only find a few thousand feet of sediment. Based on known yearly sediment deposition, calculations yield only a few thousand years for our planet.—pp. 28-29.
5 - Ocean concentrations. We have a good estimate of the amount of various elements and salts in the ocean, and the amount being added each year. On this basis, our world is fairly young. For example, the age of the earth, based on nitrate analysis, would be 13,000 years.—p. 29. See also.
6 - Growth of coral. Coral growth rates indicate the earth is quite young. No known coral formation is older than 3,500 years.—p. 29.
Evidence from living things for a young earth
1 - Tree rings. Sequoias are never older than 4,000 years, yet are the oldest living thing in our world. Bristlecone pines are said to be older (over 4,000 years); however, it is now known that some years they produce a double tree ring. Therefore, the sequoias remain the oldest. Only man or flood can destroy the sequoia. It appears that climatic conditions, prior to 600 BC., were erratic and produced difficult conditions, enabling tree-ring counts to provide longer ages than actually occurred.—pp. 29-30.
From: The oldest living things. "Except for men who cut them down for timber or earthquakes, fires and lightning—redwoods and sequoias have few enemies. Scientists have researched the redwoods carefully, and have not found even one that has died of old age, sickness, or insect attack. This latter is a common problem of trees. The Dutch elm disease killed and ruined thousands of the beautiful shade trees of many American small towns".
2 - Mutation load. Calculations based on genetic load (the gradually increasing negative effect of mutation on living organisms) indicate that life forms could not have continued more than several thousand years,—and still be as free from mutational defects as they now are. (The deteriorated atmosphere after the Flood, with the consequent increase of solar radiation, probably increased the rate of accreditation of this genetic load.)—p. 30.
Evidence from civilisation for a young earth
1 - Historical records. If mankind had been living on earth for millions of years, we should find records extending back at least 500,000 years. Evolutionists claim that man has been here for a million years. But, instead, records only go back to about 2000-3500 BC. When writing began, it was fully developed. The earliest dates are Egyptian (Manetho's king lists), but should be lowered for several reasons. Well-authenticated Egyptian dates only go back to 1600 BC.—pp. 30-31.
2 - Early Biblical records. Bible records carry us back to a Creation date of approximately 4000 BC., with a Flood date of about 2348 BC. Scientific facts point us toward the same dates.—pp. 31-32.
3 - Astronomical records. Prior to 2250 BC., we have not one record of a solar eclipse ever having been seen by people! Because it is totally accurate, that earliest recorded astronomical event is a significant date. It comes only about a hundred years after the Flood. We have reason to believe the sky was darkened with volcanic eruptions for years after the Flood ended.—p. 32.
4 - Writing. The oldest writing (pictographic Sumerian) is dated at about 3500 BC. The earliest Western script (Proto-Sinaitic) somewhat before 1550 BC.—p. 32.
5 - Civilizations. No really verified archaeological datings predate the period of about 3000 BC. More ancient dates come from radiocarbon dating, which, prior to about 600 BC., is known to be much less accurate. In every instance, our earliest aspects of civilization (crops, animal husbandry, metallurgy, building, cities, etc.) go back to the Near East. This agrees with the Bible record (Genesis 8:4).—p. 32.
6 - Languages. Records of ancient languages never go back beyond 3000 BC.; yet, beginning in the Near East, there are language families which have spread all over the world since then.—pp. 32-33.
7 - Population statistics. Estimates, based on population changes, indicate that, about the year 3300 BC., there was only one family.—p. 33.
See also Billions of People in Thousands of Years? "After 32 doublings, which is only 4,800 years, the world population would have reached almost 8.6 billion. That’s 2 billion more than the current population of 6.5 billion people, which was recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau on March 1, 2006". To top
Books - These do not all focus specifically on the contents of this page, but all will have some content of direct relevance to this page. Most these books can be bought on line at the "Was Darwin right store".
An Ice Age Caused By The Genesis Flood, by Michael Oard.
Darwinism And The Rise Of Degenerate Science, by Dr Paul Back - A chapter is devoted to the age of the Earth.
Dinosaurs and Creation: Questions and Answers, by Donald B. DeYoung
Evolution, The Fossils Still Say No, Dr Duane Gish.
Genesis Flood, by J. C. Whitcomb and H. M. Morris.
Grand Canyon: Monument To Catastrophe, by Dr. Steven Austin.
In six days, by fifty different scientists.
Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study, by John Woodmorappe.
Sea Floor Sediments And The Age Of The Earth, by Dr. Larry Vardiman
Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe, by D. Russell Humphreys
Studies in Flood Geology, by John Woodmorappe.
The Fossil Book (Wonders of Creation), by Gary Parker, Mary Parker.
The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved! by Ken Ham
Thousands not millions, by Professor Donald DeYoung
Weather and the Bible, by Professor Donald DeYoung
Dating in conflict
"Excess Argon": The "Achillies' Heel" of Potassium-Argon and Argon-Argon "Dating" of Volcanic Rocks
Geological conflict: Young radiocarbon date for ancient fossil wood challenges fossil dating
Radiometric Dating Questions and Answers
Stumping old-age dogma
The Atomic Constants, Light, and Time by Barry Setterfield and Trevor Norman.
The Fallacies of Radioactive Dating of Rocks
The way it really is: little-known facts about radiometric dating
Tree ring dating (dendrochronology)
What about carbon dating?
Cosmic Evolution: The Big Bang and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
The Origin of the Solar System
The Anthropic Principle: Is the Earth Fine-Tuned for Life?
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