by Babu G. Ranganathan
Haven't geologists proved from scientific dating methods that the earth is 4.5 billion years old? Doesn't astronomy prove that the universe must, at least, be billions of years old since it would have required billions of years for light from the nearest stars to reach the earth? Don't all qualified scientists, including geologists, believe in Darwinian evolution and a billions of years old Earth and universe? The simple answer is "No".
Both evolutionists and creationists have certain built-in assumptions in interpreting and using scientific data when it comes to the earth's age. The issue many times comes down to which assumptions are more reasonable. Dating rocks is not a hard (no pun intended) science.
For example, many times one radiometric dating method will give a vast difference in age from another radiometric dating method used on dating the same rock! Radiometric dating methods have also been severely faulty when tested with the actual historical age of certain rock. For example, Hawaiian lava flows that were known to be no more than two centuries old were dated by the potassium-argon method to be up to three billion years old! (Science 141 : 634).
The reason for these huge discrepancies is that these methods are based on assumptions that no major changes have occurred in the earth's atmosphere in the past which could have affected the initial amounts and even the rates of decay of the substances involved (Industrial Research 14 : 15). If, for example, a world-wide flood the Bible describes in Genesis had actually occurred then it would have, indeed, altered the initial conditions so as to make radiometric dating less than an exact science, to say the least. The Carbon -14 dating method has been known to have fifty percent accuracy, but it is only accurate up to thousands (not millions or billions) of years and can only be used on things that were once living.
Complicated as the subject of the earth's age may be, a main reason for why evolutionists believe the earth is many millions of years old is because of their belief concerning how the fossil layers were deposited. What one believes about the deposition of the fossils in the earth will, indeed, determine one's view of the earth's age. Contrary to popular belief, the age of the fossils is not determined by radiometric dating.
Fossils of animals, for example, are formed when animals are buried quickly and under tremendous pressure, so that their bones, remains, and imprint are preserved in rock. If living things are not buried quickly and under enormous pressure their remains will decay rather than become preserved or fossilized. Most of the many billions of fossils in the earth are found in rock that has been affected by water (Sedimentary Rock). Therefore, most of the billions of fossils in the earth were formed as a result of the animals and plants being buried suddenly and quickly under tremendous water pressure.
Geologists who are evolutionists believe that local geographical floods over a period of many millions of years deposited these animals and plants and preserved their remains in the earth's crust. This is only one view.
Geologists who are creationists believe that a one world-wide cataclysmic flood, otherwise known as the Genesis Flood, buried most of these animals and preserved them as fossils in the earth. Obviously, if it was one world-wide flood that deposited these animals and preserved them as fossils in the earth it would not have taken very long. But, if the fossils were caused by local and limited geographical floods then it would, indeed, have required many millions of years before such local floods could have produced the billions of fossils and deposited them in various layers all over the earth.
There are many problems, however, with the local flood theory as the cause behind the fossils. Even today local floods are not known to be able to generate the type of tremendous pressure and force necessary to fossilize creatures in rock. Among other arguments, it is difficult to explain how local floods could have carved out such majestic and geographical wonders as the Grand Canyon which is thousands of square miles and packed with billions of fossils and was clearly formed by the cataclysmic action and force of water. Yet, evolutionary geologists are content in believing that the Colorado River merely overflowing its banks, now and then, over millions of years was capable of performing such a feat!
The Bible in Genesis 7 says that much of the water that flooded the whole world came from under the ground. We know even today of vast reservoirs of water that are under the earth. Obviously, if the Genesis account is true, there was much greater amount of water underground in the earth's past. Genesis 7 says that this water burst through the surface of the Earth and, consequently, covered and changed the entire topography of the Earth.
Passages in the Old Testament Book of Psalms describe God as raising high mountains from the earth after the world-wide flood so that the water would recede into the ocean basins. The tremendous velocity and pressure from such receding water is what most likely caused the formation of the majestic Grand Canyon with its billions of fossils.
The fossils in the earth are found to exist in various layers of the earth's crust. Evolutionary geologists claim that each layer was formed and deposited by local flooding over many millions of years. However, in various parts of the earth there are fossils of trees that protrude through several layers! This indicates that these layers were deposited and formed almost simultaneously and not over millions of years. Otherwise, the tops of these trees would have decayed a long time ago. The tops of these trees could not wait millions of years to become deposited and fossilized so there is no other explanation except that these layers were deposited in quick succession under cataclysmic forces and conditions.
Furthermore, evolutionary geologists believe that the lowest layers contain only fossils of simple organisms while the higher layers contain only fossils of complex organisms. This, according to him/her, is evidence that complex organisms evolved from simpler ones over many millions of years. As a result of this view, the evolutionary geologist dates fossils according to the layer of rock in which they are found and, in turn, dates rocks according to the type of fossils they contain (circular reasoning!). Thus, the evolutionary geologist simply assumes that rocks which contain fossils of simple organisms must be very old (because of his/her assumption that those organisms evolved first) while the rocks containing fossils of complex organisms must be younger (because of his/her assumption that those organisms evolved more recently) even when there is no actual physical differences between the rocks themselves!
There are numerous examples of layers containing "mixed" fossils where fossils of creatures that are supposed to have existed millions of years apart from one another are found right next to one another within the same layer or stratum (i.e. dinosaur and human foot prints crossing each other's paths!). Evolutionists simply ignore these fossils and continue with their dogmatic beliefs. Some excellent Internet resources to consult for documentation of these facts are: www.icr.org , www.creationscience.com , www.answersingenesis.org , www.christiananswers.net .
Besides the many assumptions involved, there are other problems with this view. First, there are no actual transitional stages to connect the so-called progression of simpler organisms in the fossil record to more complex ones. For example, there are no fossils of fish with part fins, part feet to show that fish evolved into land animals. In fact, the fossils show only complete and fully-formed species. There are no partially-evolved dinosaurs or anything else to indicate macro-evolution in the fossil record. Second, this idea that the lower layers contain fossils of only simpler organisms exists only on paper, in evolutionary textbooks, and not in the real world. There are many areas in the world where fossils of complex organisms are found way beneath layers containing fossils of simpler organisms with no evidence of any shifting of these layers. Of course, if a world-wide flood did occur, then in many cases the lower layers would contain fossils of simpler organisms because these would naturally be the first to be deposited.
Many have insisted that our world and universe must be billions of years old because it would have required billions of years for light from the nearest stars to reach the earth. This is assuming that the stars, galaxies, and universe were not created complete and fully mature from the beginning, with the light already reaching the Earth from the moment of creation. Creationists believe that because God created a mature universe from the beginning, it naturally has the appearance of being much older than it actually is. For example, when God created the first man and woman they were mature adults and complete from head to toe. If we had observed them five minutes after they were created we would have thought from their appearance that they had been on earth for many years, even though they were freshly created from the hand of God.
Highly respected scientist and physicist Dr. Thomas G. Barnes has shown that according to the rate of decay of the earth's magnetic field the earth is only thousands of years old and not billions.
According to evolutionists, the Moon is nearly as old as the earth and, from the rate of unimpeded meteors hitting the Moon's surface over billions of years, there should have been many feet of lunar dust on the Moon. But, when we landed on the Moon we discovered only a thin layer of dust. The Moon has no atmosphere to burn up such meteors as the earth does so such collection of dust was a major concern for scientists before the astronauts landed there.
There is much more to say on this subject, and there are many positive evidences for a young earth and universe not covered in this article. Excellent articles and books have been written by highly qualified scientists, including geologists, who are creationists showing scientific evidences for a young earth and universe. M.I.T. scientist Dr. Walt Brown provides considerable information on the topic at his site www.creationscience.com. Also, considerable information on the subject is provided by scientists of the Institute for Creation Research .
An excellent article on the subject is Evidence for a Young World .
Another site with information on how the most reliable radiometric dating methods show the earth to be thousands and not millions or billions of years old may be accessed at: www.icr.org/rate/
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. degree with concentrations in theology and biology. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's website may be accessed at: www.religionscience.com.