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How Old is the Earth?
If you asked the average scientist how old they thought the Earth was, the likely answer would be around 4.5 billion years old (Christman). However, some hold a much different view, called the Young Earth theory. This belief, usually accepted by creationists, states that the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old (Christman).
Scientists can “date” a rock by finding the amount of radioactive decay that happened in the rock (“radiometric dating”).To “date” a radioactive rock geologists must first measure the parent radioisotopes, like the amount of potassium-40 or uranium-238.
Next, they must measure the daughter isotope. Based on the “parent to daughter” isotope ratio, geologists can find the amount of time it has taken for the daughter isotope to get in the rock (Snelling)
This technique may sound fool proof, but it has a few holes in it. To “date” a rock this way, scientists must know the rate of radioactive decay. But since no one was alive for the millions of years that might have passed since the creation of these rocks, scientists can not be sure of the actual rate of decay. Scientists have studied the radioactive decay rate in labs and found it to not have changed with heat, pressure, and magnetic fields, so they just assume it has been the same for “billions of years”. Scientists also assume that there were no daughter isotopes present in the original rocks, but it is very possible that these rocks did contain daughter isotopes right along side the parent isotopes when they were formed (Snelling).
When the creator from Mt. St. Helens was analyzed in 1996, it contained so much argon-40 that its radiometric age was 350,000 years old. This is weird, considering Mt. St. Helens was formed and cooled 10 years before this test in 1996. A story similar to Mt. St. Helens is that of Mt. Ngauruhoe in New Zealand. It was given the radiometric age of 3.5 million years, when it is known to be less than 50 years old. If radioactive dating is based on so many unknowns, then why is it believed to be the only way to “date” rocks (Snelling).
All radioactive elements produce helium as they break down. If the Earth is billions of years old, then much more helium should be present in the atmosphere. When radioactive decay occurs under hot rocks, the helium cannot escape at all. Though the rocks are supposed to be billions of years old, they only contain enough helium to be thousands of years old. Even taking the loss of helium from the atmosphere into account, the atmosphere has only 0.05% of the helium it should have after 4.5 billion years (Humphreys). This reinforces the problems with radiometric dating.
In 2005 a paper was published by a paleontologist Mary Schweitzer which described an unusual femur of a Tyrannosaurs Rex. The outer T-Rex bone was completely fossilized; the interior of the bone was sealed off from fossilizing fluid. Inside the T-Rex bone were fully intact blood vessels and even red blood cells. When the blood vessels were freed from the bones, they could even be stretched and snapped back into place. The bone was estimated by evolutionists to be 68 million years old. If so, how could the blood vessels still be intact? Along with the blood vessels, proteins were found. But, these proteins degraded too quickly (Ross), even in ideal conditions to last more than a few thousand years old (Christman).
This caused some debate from scientist Thomas Kaye. Kaye feels that these so-called “blood vessels” are not blood vessels at all. He thinks they were simply formed by bacteria after fossilization occurred. Kaye thinks the bacteria only looks like blood vessels because it was formed in the holes where blood vessels once were. Although Kaye may have a good point, Schweitzer still claims she has found real blood vessels (Ross).
A similar story exists; in 2009 a duckbilled dinosaur bone with a host of soft tissue was found beneath the Hell Creek formation (Ross). Hell creek is located in North America near Jordan, Montana (“Hell Creek Formation”). Evolutionists claim the bone is 80 million years old. But, that extremely old age does not explain the collagen, elastin and hemoglobin found in the dinosaur’s bone (Ross).
The next few paragraphs show key points that Young Earth theorists make when addressing their argument against evolutionists.
“The common Evolutionary theories for the decaying magnetic field are very complex and inadequate” (Humphreys). If the Earth’s magnetic decay rate has stayed the same, it would make the Earth around 10,000 years old (Humphreys).
Every year rivers and other sources deposit 450 million tons of salt (sodium) into the ocean. Only 27% of this salt manages to get out of the ocean each year, and the rest of the salt remains in the ocean. If the ocean started with no sodium, it would have got its current amount of salt in less than 42 million years. The usual evolutionist reply to this is that the sodium input must have been less and the output greater. Even with this taken into account, scientists predict the earth to be 62 million years old (Humphreys).
According to the Evolutionary theory: Comets are supposed to be the same age as the solar system (Humphreys), or about 4.5 billion years old (Christman). Each time a comet comes close to the sun it looses a lot of its material. At this rate, comets could not have survived much longer than about 100,000 years (Humphreys).
The Cambrain Sawatch of the Ute Pass fault, west of Colorado Springs, is said to be formed 500 million years ago. Geological evidence shows that the sandstone was still unsolidified 70 million years ago when it was said to be exposed during the uplifting of the Rocky Mountains. It is very unlikely that this rock had not solidified during the 430 million years evolutionists say it was underground. It is much more likely that the finding of the sandstone and today’s date are less than hundreds of years apart, (not millions), explaining the unsolidified rock (Humphreys).
Every year, winds and water deposit about 25 billion tons of dirt and rock from the continents and deposit them in the ocean as mud. The average depth of all the mud in the whole ocean, with the continental shelves included, is less than 400 meters. The main way to remove mud from the ocean floor is plate tectonic subduction, (when the sea floor slides, taking some sediment with it). This process only removes 1 billion tons per year. If the oceans are 4.5 billion years old then the ocean should have dozens of Kilometers of mud covering it (Humphreys).
Christians believe that Noah’s flood could have created the Grand Canyon, but geologist will not do experiments to see if the flood waters could have caused the Grand Canyon’s rock layers. Scientists and geologist only accept these two explanations for the formation of the Grand Canyon: Catastrophism, a success of global catastrophic floods or uniformitarianism, a gradual process of sedimentation and erosion. “Either the rock record, (Grand Canyon) is the evidence of millions of years, or it is largely the evidence of Noah’s flood. It can’t be both” (Mortenson).
If Stone Age men made monuments, cave paintings, and kept record of lunar phases, why would they have waited a thousand centuries before using those same skills to record history? According to evolutionists, men from the stone age were alive 100,000 years before they started to make written records about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago (Humphreys).
There is archaeological evidence to show that Stone Age men were as intelligent as we are. Men existed as hunters and gathers for 100,000 years during the Stone Age before understanding agriculture less than 10,000 years ago. It is not likely that none of the four billion people in the Stone Age should discover that plants grow from seeds. It is much more believable that men were without agriculture for less than a few hundred years, if at all (Humphreys).
Evolutionary anthropologist say the Stone Age lasted for at least 100,000 years where the population was between 1 million and 10 million people. In the Stone Age people buried their dead with artifacts. Buried bones should last much longer than 10,000 years and defiantly the buried artifacts. In the ideal evolutionary scenario at least four billion bodies should have been buried. Only a few thousand skeletons have been found, this implies that the Stone Age was much shorter than evolutionists think, a few hundred years in many areas (Humphreys).
Although no one knows the exact age of the Earth, from the information about radiometric dating and the many theories presented, the Earth is 6,000 to 10,000 years old.