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Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter

Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter

Chapter 13 - Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth

1. Does human history offer any evidence for a young earth?

Answer: Yes, there was enough time from the flood for the population to grow to the estimated value at the time of Christ. But the entire solar system could not contain the population that would have developed in a million years.

Estimates of the total human population at the time of Christ center at about 300 million.1 If the Flood was at about 5000 B.C. and if the average length of a generation was forty years, Noah's family of eight people would reach 300 million by Christ's time if each family had an average of just 2.3 children. This is an average annual population increase of only 0.35 percent, whereas the present world population growth is almost two percent annually. Thus the theory that the human race had been multiplying for a million years or more seems farfetched, even considering the fact that modern medicine and technology were not available. For example, with an annual growth rate of only 0.01 percent, in a million years the population would be over 1043 people, enough to fill 3500 solar systems solidly with bodies out to the orbit of the planet Pluto.

This assumption of a simple exponential rate of increase is an oversimplification, however. Occasional population collapses caused by environmental changes or disease could greatly reduce the overall rate of population increase. We should be cautious about any dogmatic assertions, for occasional plagues and other catastophes could greatly decrease the cumulative population increase. Nevertheless, it does seem unlikely that humans could have lived here for a million years without long ago completely overrunning the globe.

2. Does the earth itself offer evidence that it is young, not old?

Answer: Yes. We will list four types of such evidence.

a. Careful studies of the volume and rate of accumulation of the delta of the Mississippi show that it could not be older than about 5000 years.2 This age is obtained by dividing the weight of sediments deposited annually into the total weight of the delta.

b. Petroleum and natural gas are held at high pressures in underground reservoirs of porous rock and sand. These fluids are retained in their reservoirs by relatively impermeable cap rock. However, in many cases the pressures are exceedingly high. Calculations based on the measured permeability of the cap rock show that the oil or gas pressure could not be maintained for much longer than 10,000 years or perhaps a maximum of 100,000 years. (Permeability is a measure of how easily fluids under pressure will seep through the rock.) If these fossil fuel deposits were actually millions or hundreds of millions of years old, they would long ago have leaked out through their cap rocks to the surface.3

c. Meteorites supposedly have been plunging to the earth's surface during the entire history of the earth, and there is no reason to believe otherwise. Therefore, if the thousands of feet of sedimentary rocks which blanket much of the earth required several billion years for their deposition, large numbers of meteorites should be embedded in them. In actual fact meteorites have been found only in the surface or younger sedimentary layers, none being discovered in the deeper, "older" strata.4 These observations fit well with the flood geology model in which the major sedimentary strata were deposited during the creation week or during the year of the flood of Noah. In the course of the flood year only a relatively small number of meteorites could fall to be entrapped in the flood sediments. Many more meteorites would have fallen in the thousands of years since the flood, and some of these would be preserved in the recent surface sediments deposited over that period. The failure to find meteorites in the deeper sediments is difficult to explain on the evolutionary model of earth history. According to the scarcity of fossil meteorites, the earth appears to be young.

d. Lord Kelvin, the eminent British physicist of the past century, was a Bible-believing Christian. He showed that if the earth were once in a molten state, the time for cooling, from the first appearance of an initial solid crust to the present temperature could not have required more than about 22 million years. More recent studies show that even taking into account the heat produced by radioactive decay in the earth's crust, the cooling time could not be more than about 45 million years.5 This is simply not enough time for evolution to occur, in the opinion of evolutionary scientists.

3. Do the oceans speak for a young earth?

Answer: Yes. From the dissolved salts and from the sediments on the ocean floor we can conclude that the earth is young.

a. The concentrations of various elements and salts contained in sea water, when compared with the estimated annual amounts being added by rivers, subterranean springs, rain water, and other sources, uniformly point to a young age for the ocean and thus for the earth. Of fifty-one chemical elements contained in sea water, twenty could have accumulated to their present concentrations in 1000 years or less, nine additional elements in no more than 10,000 years, and eight others in no more than 100,000 years.6 The nitrates in the oceans could have accumulated in 13,000 years, according to one estimate.7

b. The average depth of sediments on the ocean floors is only a little more than one-half mile. If the total weight of these sediments is divided by the estimated annual addition of sediments from the continents, the age thus calculated for the oceans is only about 33 million years. This is less than one percent of the currently accepted earth age of 4.5 billion years. In this calculation a correction has been made for the possible subduction (burial in the crust) of sediments underneath sliding tectonic earth plates. At present rates of erosion the continents should erode down to sea level in only about 14 million years, but there is no proof that they have yet been worn down even one time. Another way to put it is that billions of years of erosion and sedimentation should have loaded sixty miles of non-existent sediments on the ocean floors.8 From another perspective, the present load of sediments was probably mostly deposited very rapidly during the period of the global flood of Noah's time.

4. Does the earth's atmosphere have anything to say about its age?

Answer: Yes, helium gas in the atmosphere points to a young atmosphere and earth.

Just as many dissolved salts are building up in the oceans via drain-off of continental rivers, in a similar manner helium-4, the most abundant isotope of helium(the nuclei of which contain two protons and two neutrons), is flowing into the atmosphere from at least three sources: (1) principally helium-4 produced by radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in the earth's crust and oceans; (2) from cosmic helium raining on earth, mainly from the sun's corona and in meteorites; and (3) from nuclear reactions in the earth's crust caused by cosmic rays. In addition, the earth's original atmosphere may have contained helium-4.

At the present rate of flow of helium into the atmosphere, the content of helium in the atmosphere could have been built up in only a small fraction of a billion years. This difficulty for an old earth has yet to be solved.

Dr. Larry Vardiman's 1990 book, The Age of the Earth's Atmosphere, is the most recent survey of the helium problem.9 The atmosphere now contains about 4.1 billion tons of He-4. It is estimated that about 2400 tons per year of He-4 is released from the crust into the atmosphere. The theoretically calculated rate of escape of He-4 from the atmosphere into space averaged over an eleven-year solar cycle is only about 70 tons per year.10 This is only 1/33rd of the rate of inflow from the crust. If we assume a zero content of He-4 in the original atmosphere, the maximum age of our atmosphere calculated from these figures is only about 1.8 million years. The atmosphere of an earth 4.5 billion years old should contain 2,500 times more helium-4 than it does. Joseph Chamberlain and Donald Hunten at the close of a detailled examination of atmospheric helium concluded, "The problem will not go away and it is unsolved."11 Vardiman discusses three possible solutions considered by secular scientists for the missing helium problem. He shows that these solutions have not yet made the helium problem go away.12 Are we not justified in concluding that the atmospheric helium clock continues to report a young age for the earth?

Dr. Robert Gentry has studied another helium clock provided by radiogenic helium trapped in very hot rocks deep in the earth's crust. The rate of escape and diffusion upward of such trapped gas is greatly increased at high temperatures. These deep rocks are supposed to be billions of years old, yet much of the helium-4 produced in them has not escaped. This suggests that these rocks are not billions of years old or millions of years old.13

5. Does the solar system have anything to say about its age and the age of the earth?

Answer: Yes. The objects orbiting in the space between the planets suggest that the solar system and the earth are not very old.

a. Comets are loose clumps of rocky chunks, dust and frozen gases. Each time one of them swings close to the sun it is warmed up, disturbed by the sun's gravitational force, and loses a small part of its matter. Careful analysis of the effect of this process of dissolution on the short-term comets (those returning every couple of centuries or oftener) reveals that all such comets should be totally dissipated in about 10,000 years. Since there are still many comets orbiting the sun, the solar system must not be much more than 10,000 years old. All attempts thus far to explain away this evidence for a young solar system have failed to stand critical examination.14,15

b. Meteoritic dust accumulates on the surface of the moon, but British geophysicist R.A. Lyttleton asserts that the continual bombardment by ultraviolet light and X-rays produces much more dust.16 He suggests that this energetic radiation would spall several ten-thousandths of an inch annually from exposed rock surfaces. In 4.5 billion years this erosion by radiation would produce a layer of dust hundreds of feet deep. The Apollo astronauts, however, measured only fractions of an inch to several inches of dust and other loose materials on the highlands. The loose material in the lowland areas is estimated to be at most only about 18 feet deep. The absence of thick moon dust has yet to be explained -- if the moon is really billions of years old.

c. Very fine dust particles orbiting the sun are pushed out into space by the pressure of solar radiation. Orbiting objects which exceed a certain minimum size, as a result of absorbing and reradiating solar energy, experience a drag effect which draws them slowly into the sun. Thus, if the solar system were just two billion years old, all objects three inches in diameter or smaller should have been swept out of space all the way to the planet Jupiter. But there are still large quantities of such materials in orbit, so the solar system must be much younger.17

6. Do the stars which declare the glory of God also support Biblical chronology?

Answer: Yes, a number of facts about the stars suggest a young universe.18

a. Some of the very bright O and B class, Wolf-Rayert, and P Cygni stars are radiating energy perhaps 100,000 to one million times as fast as our sun. They do not contain enough hydrogen to continue the necessary atomic fusion energy production at these rates for more than some tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years. This would suggest that perhaps the idea that stars are millions or billions or years old is wrong.19

b. A star cluster contains hundreds or thousands of stars moving like a swarm of bees, held together by gravity. In some clusters, however, the stars are moving so fast that the clusters could have held together only for thousands, not for millions of years.17

c. Binary stars (two stars orbiting around their common center of gravity) are very numerous. Many such pairs consist of two very different types of stars, one theoretically very old and the other young. How could this be if they had to evolve together in order to form a pair? Such problems have frustrated theorists in their efforts to understand how binary stars could have evolved.20

d. The galaxies are vast swarms of billions of stars interspersed with clouds of gas and dust. They supposedly evolved from great rotating clouds of gas and dust over periods of billions of years. However, if they are that old, the spiral galaxies should have their spiral arms all twisted up, wrapped around until they disappeared. Furthermore, the strange "barred" galaxies offer a particular problem which is poorly understood. Explanations of the physical forces which might preserve the barred structure for millions of years are highly speculative.21 Furthermore, it has recently been concluded that the spiral galaxies appear to have the wrong amounts of random and rotational kinetic energy for stability. According to this view they all should long ago have degenerated into the barred form if they were actually billions of years old.22

e. Another difficult problem is posed by clusters of galaxies. The members of such a cluster are moving in different directions like a swarm of bees, and are supposedly held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. However, careful study has indicated that in some clusters there is not enough mass in all of the galaxies and the observed intergalactic matter to hold them together for millions of years.23 In some clusters there appears to be only one-tenth to one-seventh of the required total mass. This suggests that the clusters and their member galaxies were created rather recently and are not actually billions of years old.

7. Is the "Big Bang" a fact?

Answer: No, although the large majority of astronomers and astrophysicists hold this belief, it is not a fact. It is only a belief in a network of complex, unproved and unprovable theories. Furthermore, a considerable number of prestigious scientists have been raising serious criticisms of the Big Bang idea. These have been reviewed by Wendell R. Bird in his 1987 book, The Origin of Species Revisited,24 and by others.25

The main evidence for the Big Bang theory is the fact that the light from more distant galaxies is shifted toward the red end of the light spectrum. This is interpreted according to Einstein's general theory of relativity as a frequency shift caused by the expansion of space since the Big Bang" that supposedly originated the universe. However, a number of eminent of scientists have suggested that the red shift may have other causes. Therefore, the distant galaxies may not be moving away from the earth, and the universe may not be expanding after a Big Bang in the beginning.26 Furthermore, the red shift may not provide a correct measure of distance in the universe. Halton C. Arp, a noted astronomer associated with the Mount Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories, has found many examples in which quasars and galaxies which are obviously associated together in groups have quite different red shifts.27 If they are close together, then, how can their different red shifts all be a measure of distance?

The second principal evidence offered for the Big Bang is what is called the "cosmic microwave background radiation." This is microwave radiation coming uniformly from all directions in space. The intensity of different wavelengths in this radiation corresponds to radiation from a very cold black body at a temperature of about 2.69 kelvins. Scientists believe that the hot radiation from the Big Bang would have expanded and cooled to this temperature. Thus the microwave background radiation is offered as evidence for the Big Bang. However, very prominent scientists have shown that there are other explanations for this radiation than a Big Bang. In addition, the microwave background has been found to be only about 1/1000th as intense as the theory predicts.28 Nobel Laureate physicist Hannes Alfven has for many years rejected the microwave background as evidence for a Big Bang.29 There is as well a cosmic X-ray background radiation which supposedly remains from the hot Big Bang. However, the X-ray intensity from different directions is much too uneven to fit the theory.

Wendell Bird gives a concluding summary of the Big Bang difficulties,24 quoting first astronomer Fred Hoyle:

"...a sickly pall now hangs over the big bang theory. As I have mentioned earlier, when a pattern of facts becomes set against a theory, experience shows that it rarely recovers. Jayant Narlikar, an Indian professor of cosmology, is a leading theoretical physicist who also shares this view."30

That is why [Bird continues] Allen concludes that "the big bang is not needed."31 Bondi suggests that the theory has "been disproved by present day empirical evidence,"32 and many others reinterpret its proposed evidence.33 "The evidence has always been*and will by definition always remain*a borderland between science and philosophy*some would say religion," Alfven adds.34

8. Are scientists forced by the facts to believe that the world and the universe are billions of years old?

Answer: No, it is their commitment to materialism and thus to evolutionary theories that forces them to adopt the great age chronologies. Materialism requires evolution to explain origins, and evolution requires long time spans in order to seem even plausible. Therefore, scientists have been looking for evidence of vast ages of time in earth history. However, the actual facts of science may be interpreted within the framework of biblical creation, a young earth and a young universe. The most recent research on the age of the universe has reduced the estimated age of the universe from 15 to 20 billion years to only 8 billion years.35 If this smaller age for the universe is confirmed, it causes serious problems for the Big Bang cosmology. For example, the estimated ages of some stars in globular star clusters are around 13 billion years. How could individual stars in the universe be older than the universe itself? Thus after more than half a century of Big Bang theory and such age estimations, the subject is still vexing the theorists. The numbers for the age and the size of the universe have bounced up and down about four different times through the decades. A wag might wonder if, instead of an expanding universe, we have an oscillating universe.

9. Is there a scientific theory for a young earth that explains the evidence offered for the Big Bang?

Answer: Yes, Dr. D. Russell Humphreys, a physicist at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has published such a theory in his 1994 book, Starlight and Time*Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe.36 Dr. Humphreys explains how secular scientists built their Big Bang cosmology on the assumption of an unbounded material universe that has no center and no outer surface or edge. When this assumption is fed into the mathematical equations of Einstein's general theory of relativity, the Big Bang theory automatically results. In contrast, Humphreys began with biblical information about the creation of the universe and fed it into the equations. The result is a startling new theory that allows for an earth only 6000 years or so old. At the same time it explains the three principle kinds of evidence that are used to support the Big Bang cosmology. These are (1) the fact that light from galaxies billions of light years away has reached the earth, (2) the red shift of the light from the distant galaxies, and (3) the cosmic microwave background radiation that is observed coming in from all directions.

Dr. Humphreys is careful to point out that his radical new theory must be critically examined, perhaps for years, before it can become established as a scientific theory. He began his eight years of study of this problem by carefully searching the Scriptures to obtain his fundamental scientific assumptions. This is an example of how Christians ought to function in scientific research. It will probably will be a few years before this new theory either gains substantial corroboration or is falsified. This author feels that Dr. Humphreys interpretations of Genesis 1 designed to fit the Scriptures with his theory are a little bizarre. They may have to be modified, but all new theories need adjustments before reaching their final form. In any event, Dr. Humphreys' work does suggest that those Christian creationists who have opted to accept the secular great age chronology may have capitulated too soon.

10. If the world was created in six days as the Bible reports, did not God create things with a false appearance of age? Isn't this deceptive?

Answer: The Garden of Eden was filled with false appearances of age, it is true -- mature plants, full-grown trees, animals, an entire biosphere. In fact, Adam and Eve themselves were created as adults from the beginning of their existence. any created universe must, by the nature of the case, display some false appearance of age. Furthermore, this is not deceptive, since God has in His word told us what He did, and we need but believe what He tells us. It is those who insist that the world made itself who are deceiving themselves.
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1 Coale, Ansley J., Scientific American, 231, Sept. 1974, p. 43.

2 Allen, Benjamin F., Creation Research Soc. Quarterly, 9, Sept. 1972, pp. 96-114.

3 Cook, Melvin A., Chapter 12, ref. 1, pp. 254-262; Dickey, P., et al., Science, 160, 10 May 1968, p. 609.

4 Heide, Fritz, Meteorites, Edward Anders and Eugene DuFresne, translators (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1964), p. 119ff.; Nininger, H.H., in The Moon, Meteorites, and Comets, Barbara M. Middlehurst and Gerard P. Kuiper, editors (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1963), p. 164; Steveson, Peter A., Creation Research Soc. Quarterly, 12, June 1975, pp. 23-25.

5 Ingersoll, Zobel, and Ingersoll, Heat Conduction With Engineering, Geological, and Other Applications (Univ. of Wisc. Press, Madison, 1954), pp. 99-107; Slusher, Harold S. and Thomas P. Gamwell, The Age of the Earth: A study of the cooling of the Earth under the influence of radioactive heat sources (Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, 1978).

6 Riley, J.B. and G. Skirrow, editors, Chemical Oceanography, Vol. 2 (Academic Press, London, 1965), pp. 164-165.

7 Martin, Dean F., Marine Chemistry, Vol. 2 (Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1970), pp. 228-263.

8 Nevins, S.E., Creation -- Acts, Facts, Impacts (Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, 1974), p. 164.

9 Vardiman, Larry, The Age of the Earth's Atmosphere: A Study of the Helium Flux Through the Atmosphere (Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA 92021, 1990).

10 MacDonald, G.J.F., "The Escape of Helium from the Earth's Atmosphere," in The Origin and Evolution of Atmospheres and Oceans, P.J. Brancazio and A.G.W. Cameron, editors. (John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1964), pp. 127-182; see p. 127.

11 Chamberlain, Joseph W. and Donald M. Hunten, Theory of Planetary Atmospheres, 2nd Edition (Academic Press, new York, 1987), p. 372.

12 Vardiman, Larry, ref. 9, pp. 24-25.

13 Gentry, R.V., et al., "Differential Helium Retention in Zircons: Implications for Nuclear Waste Management," Geophysical Research Letters, 9, Oct. 1982, pp. 1129-1130.

14 Slusher, Harold S., Age of the Cosmos (Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, 1980), pp. 43-54.

15 Lyttleton, R.A., Mysteries of the Solar System (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1968), p. 147; Joss, P.C., Astronomy and Astrophysics, 25, No. 2, 1975, pp. 271-273.

16 Lyttleton, R.A., The Modern Universe (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1950), p.72.

17 Slusher, Harold S., ref. 14, pp. 55-64; Abell, George, Exploration of the Universe (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1969), p. 364.

18 Slusher, Harold S., Bible-Science Newsletter, 13, Jan. 1975, pp. 1-3; ibid., 13, Oct. 1975, pp. 1-3.

19 Clason, Clyde B., Exploring the Distant Stars (P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1958), pp. 220-227; Bergamini, David, The Universe (Time-Life Books, New York, 1971), pp. 112-113.

20 Flammarion, Camiolle, The Flammarion Book of Astronomy (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1964), pp. 435, 469; Batten, Alan H., Binary and Multiple Systems of Stars (Pergamon Press, New York, 1973), pp. 222-253.

21 Hoyle, Fred, Astronomy (Rathbone Books Ltd., London, 1962), p. 285.

22 Ostriker, J.P. and P.J.E. Peebles, Astrophysical Journal, 186, No. 2, Pt. 1, 1 Dec. 1973, pp. 467-480.

23 Margon, Bruce, Mercury, Jan./Feb. 1975, p. 6.

24 Bird, W.R., The Origin of Species Revisited: The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance (Philosophical Library, New York, 1987), Chapter 7;

25 Narlikar, Jayant, New Scientist, 2 July 1981, pp. 19-21; Horgan, John, Scientific American, 257, Sept. 1987, pp. 22-24.

26 Norman, Trevor and Barry Setterfield, The Atomic constants, Light and Time (Stanford research Institute International, Menlo Park, CA, 1987); Arp, Halton, Astrophysical Journal, 263 (1982), p.54.

27 Arp, Halton and Sulentic, Astrophysical Journal, 291 (1985), p. 88.

28 Hoyle, Fred, The Intelligent Universe: A New View of Creation and Evolution (1983), p. 181.

29 Alfven, Hannes and Asoka Mendis, Nature, 266, 21 April 1977, pp. 698-699.

30 Hoyle, Fred, ref. 28, p. 186.

31 Allen, Foundations of Astrophysics, 6 (1976), p.59.

32 Bondi, Herman, New Scientist, 87 (1980), p. 611.

33 Narlikar, Jayant, ref. 25, p. 19.

34 Alfven, Hannes, Cosmic Plasma (1981), p. 123.

35 Travis, John, "Hubble War Moves to High Ground," Science, 266, 28 Oct. 1994, pp. 539-541.

36 Humphreys, Russell D., Starlight and Time -- Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe (Master Books, Colorado Springs, CO, 1994).

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