|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:
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.
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
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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