The Creation Explanation
|The Age of the Earth|
The evidence as it has been presented in this chapter indicates that in general the radiometric and non-radiometric clocks used by scientists to time earth events fall short in one or more of the requirements for the ideal clock outlined early in this chapter. In particular the third and fifth requirements and the section entitled "Time Defined and Measured," and the second and third assumptions listed in the recapitulation of assumptions in the discussion bismuth/thallium system are normally met by the usual methods for measuring geological time.
There is no way to determine whether or not the "timer" was set at zero when it was started. As a matter of fact, if the world was crated, it would be expected to display appearances of age from the very beginning. Attempts to date events in earth history, then, would generally be expected to make the earth appear older that it really is.
Similarly, the requirements that the "timer" run at a uniform rate and that it not be disturbed in any way are not subject to experimental verification. It cannot be proved that these requirements have been met over the years since the earth came into existence. However, several kinds of events which could have disturbed the timer or the rate at which it has run are well known. The development of the industrial and other sources of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere for several centuries, great solar storms, variations in cosmic radiation, and massive volcanic and tectonic revolutions in the earth's crust are examples of such disturbances. Because of such influences, present methods of estimating the age of the earth and earth structures are open to question.
Despite all of the questions and problems which can be raised with respect to the secular great-age chronologies, it cannot be denied that a vast structure of results from numerous methods has been assembled by secular science to indicate a great age for the earth. And for us who believe in a young earth because of our understanding of the biblical data pertinent to this issue, it is very important that we admit to ourselves as well as to our critics, that we do not have the answers to all of the questions which face us in this debate. That Christians always be truth-tellers, honest and candid, both with ourselves and with those who are without, is crucially important to our witness in the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect us Christians to be consistently honest and humble in all of our dealings with them. We must do so and leave the results up to the gracious heavenly Father whom we serve. The most important thing is not to win arguments, but to demonstrate and share the love of God.