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18. Evidence for a Young Earth

Time is a most difficult issue in the creation/evolution debate. It is also an issue on which not all Bible-believing Christians as well as active creationists agree. On what shall we found our views concerning the age of the earth? In Creation Essay 1 we showed that behind one's position on questions concerning origins there is a faith decision concerning knowledge. For evolutionists generally knowledge comes only through human experience and reason. For Christians, however, there is a second source of knowledge--divine revelation in the Bible, the Word of God written.

This is our ground for believing that the earth is young, not billions of years old: we believe that the Bible teaches the earth is young. At the same time we recognize that some Christian scholars believe that there is space in the Genesis record of origins for billions of years. While we do not impugn their faith, we must disagree with them on this issue. But in view of the fact that the Bible certainly does not give an explicit calendar of earth history, we do not adopt a dogmatic stance but are ready to be convinced that the Bible teaches otherwise. A convincing interpretation and argument from the Scriptures for an old earth has yet to appear.

This biblically based stance places us in conflict with the entire secular Establishment in science, education and all scholarship. So how do we respond to the evidence advanced to show that the world is old? Our response may be outlined as follows:

1. All of the great-age dating methods involve assumptions which cannot be validated with certainty, and sometimes they are demonstrably incorrect.
2. All of the great-age dating methods have produced numerous results which are either anomalous, disagreeing with other results and methods, or are demonstrably incorrect.
3. There are ways of explaining the radiometric age data other than the assumption of a 4.5 billion year earth history.
4. The data of at least one of the radiometric methods, the carbon-14 method, can perhaps be reinterpreted to yield ages which fit within a biblical young-earth chronology. Much of the data from the uranium/lead methods and with the rubidium/strontium method can be reinterpreted in terms of mixing of two magma sources with no significant geological time required.
5. Methods for estimating the age of the earth exist which give young ages.

The Age of the Oceans

The age of the oceans may be estimated from the total amount of various chemicals in the oceans and the annual amount being added from all sources.

1. The estimated uranium content of the oceans (4 billion tons) divided by the annual amount added by rivers (3,180 tons) gives oceans an age of 1.26 million years. If the oceans were originally created with some content of uranium, the corresponding correction would yield an even smaller age. Furthermore, the global Flood must have added large quantities of dissolved salts to the oceans. The current evolutionary scenarios for earth history make the oceans hundreds of millions of years old.
2. The 250 million metric tons of sodium dumped annually into the oceans by rivers and wind, are reduced 20% by the sodium absorbed by new sediments and about 10% by that blown back onto the land by winds. The annual balance of salt added (175 million tons) accumulates in the oceans. By dividing this number into the total present salt content, one obtains a calculated age for the oceans of less than 100 million years. The evolutionary idea that much salt was deposited back on the land by evaporating oceans and other unknown processes only accounts for 2% of the salt that would have had to be removed from the ocean in 2 billions years.

The Time for Erosion and Sedimentation

The present rate of erosion of the continents and deposition of the resulting sediments on the ocean floors would in 4.5 billion years have reduced the continents to sea level many times over. In an estimate of the age of the oceans the total weight of sea floor sediments is divided by the annual amount added from the rivers (8.2x1017 tons/2.75x1010 tons) to yield an age of 33 million years. In the creation model the global Flood would have produced much of these sediments in a very short time. The necessary correction would greatly reduce the 33 million year estimate.

The Age of the Moon from the Depth of Accumulated Moon Dust

Many years ago British astronomer and geophysicist, R.A. Lyttleton, pointed out that ultraviolet sunlight and X-rays continually spall off surface layers of moon rocks. He estimated the rate of this process to be a few ten-thousandths of an inch per year. If only 1/100,000th inch were produced annually for 4.5 billions year, the result would about 375 feet of dust on the moon. Only a few inches were observed by Apollo astronauts. Thus this lack of moon dust points to a young moon.

The Age of the Mississippi River Delta

The total volume of delta sediments divided by the annual amount dumped by the Mississippi River gives an age estimate of no more than 5,000 years.

The Age of Gas and Petroleum Deposits

The cap rock formations over gas and oil reservoirs, though relatively non-porous, still are sufficiently permeable to allow for slow leakage at the high pressures existing at great depths. The measured porosities of such rocks indicate that gas and ail could not have been retained for more than a few thousand years. Yet the deposits are supposed to be many millions of years old.

The Age of the Solar System

1. Each time a comet approaches the sun a small fraction of its material is driven off into space. The short-term comets, those having periods of 150 to 200 years or less, would all be dissipated in about 10,000 years. Yet large numbers of such comets still remain in the Solar System. A source of new comets cannot be proved to exist. Thus the Solar System appears to be not much older than 10,000 years.
2. The Poynting-Robertson effect of sunlight upon particles orbiting the sun tends to slow them down so that they eventually fall into the sun. In two billion years this process should have swept all particles less that three inches in diameter from the space extending as far out as the planet Jupiter. The pressure of sunlight and capture by planets also tend to sweep away the smaller orbiting particles. The fact that large quantities still remain in orbit leads to the conclusion that the Solar System cannot be billions of year old.
3. Photographs of the surface of the planet Venus reveal rocks with sharp edges and also large craters up to 100 miles in diameter. The heavy, extremely hot atmosphere and the high velocity winds in the upper levels suggest that these features should erode rather rapidly. Perhaps Venus is not billions of years old after all.


The methods presented here for estimating the age of the earth all involve certain unverifiable assumptions, just as do the radiometric great-age dating methods. They do suggest, however, that the earth may not actually be billions of years old. In our next Creation Essay some of the information from radiometric methods is analyzed and criticized.

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