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Creation  Volume 33Issue 1 Cover

Creation 33(1):42–44
January 2011

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Evidences for a young age of the earth and universe

Evidences for a young age of the earth and universe

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No scientific method can prove the age of the universe or the earth. All calculated ages involve making assumptions about the past: the starting time of the ‘clock’, the speed of the clock and that the clock was never disturbed.

There is no independent natural clock against which we can test the assumptions. For example, the amount of cratering on the moon, based on currently observed cratering rates, suggests that the moon is quite old. However, to draw this conclusion we have to assume that the rate of cratering has always been the same as it is now. There is now good reason to think that cratering might have been quite intense in the past, so the craters do not indicate an old age at all.

No scientific method can prove the age of the universe or the earth.

Age calculations assume the rates of change of processes in the past were the same as we observe today—called the principle of uniformitarianism. If the age calculated disagrees with what the investigator thinks the age should be, he/she concludes that the assumptions did not apply in this case, and adjusts them accordingly. If the calculated result gives an acceptable age, the investigator accepts it.

Examples of young ages listed here also rely upon the same principle of uniformitarianism. Long-age proponents will dismiss any evidence for a young earth by arguing that the assumptions about the past do not apply in these cases. In other words, age is not really a matter of scientific observation but rather an argument over our assumptions about the unobserved past.

We cannot prove the assumptions behind the evidences presented here. However, such a wide range of different phenomena, all suggesting much younger ages than are generally assumed, makes a strong case for questioning those ages (about 14 billion years for the universe and 4.5 billion years for the solar system).

Such a wide range of different phenomena, all suggesting much younger ages than are generally assumed, makes a strong case for questioning those ages

A number of the evidences don’t give an estimate of age but challenge the assumption of slow-and-gradual uniformitarianism, upon which all deep-time dating methods depend. They thus bring into question the vast ages claimed.

Creationist scientists discovered many of the young age indicators when researching things that were supposed to ‘prove’ long ages. There is a lesson here: when skeptics throw up some challenge to the Bible’s timeline, don’t fret over it. Eventually that supposed ‘proof’ will likely be overturned and turn out to be evidence for a younger creation. On the other hand, with further research some of the evidences listed here might turn out to be ill-founded. Such is the nature of historical science, because we cannot do experiments on past events.1

Science entails observation, and the only reliable means of telling the age of anything is by the testimony of a reliable witness who observed the events. The Bible claims to be the communication of the only One who witnessed the events of Creation: the Creator Himself. As such, the Bible is the only reliable means of knowing the age of the creation.2

In the end, the Bible will stand vindicated and those who deny its testimony will be confounded. That same Bible also tells us of God’s judgment on those who reject His right to rule over them. But it also tells us of His willingness to forgive us for our rebellious behaviour. The coming of Jesus Christ (who was intimately involved in the creation process at the beginning (John 1:1–3)) into the world, has made this possible (see p. 18).

Here are 18 evidences from various fields of science. See creation.com/age for 101 evidences (literally!).

  1. Lazarus bacteria—bacteria revived from salt inclusions supposedly 250 million years old, suggest the salt is much younger.3
  2. The decay in the human genome due to multiple slightly harmful mutations added each generation is consistent with an origin several thousand years ago.4
  3. Dinosaur blood cells, blood vessels and proteins are not consistent with their supposed age, but make more sense if the fossils are young.5
  4. Thick, tightly bent rock strata with no signs of melting or fracturing. These wipe out hundreds of millions of years of time and are consistent with extremely rapid formation during the biblical Flood.6
  5. Polystrate fossils—for example, broken vertical tree trunks in northern and southern hemisphere coal that traverse many strata indicate rapid burial and accumulation of the organic material that became coal, eliminating many millions of years.7
  6. Flat gaps—where one rock layer sits on another rock layer but with supposedly millions of years of time missing, yet the contact plane lacks significant erosion. E.g. Redwall Limestone / Tapeats Sandstone in the Grand Canyon (more than a 100 million year gap).8
  7. The amount of salt in the world’s oldest lake contradicts its supposed age and suggests an age consistent with its formation after Noah’s Flood.9
  8. Erosion at Niagara Falls and similar places is consistent with a few thousand years since the Flood.10
  9. Measured rates of stalactite and stalagmite growth in limestone caves are consistent with an age of several thousand years.11
  10. Carbon-14 in all coal suggests that the coal is only thousands of years old.12
  11. The amount of helium, a product of decay of radioactive elements, retained in zircons in granite is consistent with an age of 6,000±2000 years, not the supposed billions of years.13
  12. The amount of lead in zircons from deep drill cores vs. shallow ones is similar. But there should be less in the deep ones due to the higher heat causing higher diffusion rates over the long ages supposed. If the ages are only thousands of years, this would explain the similarity.14
  13. Evidence of recent volcanic activity on Earth’s moon contradicts the supposed vast age—it should have long since cooled if it were billions of years old.15
  14. Presence of magnetic fields on Uranus and Neptune, which should be “dead” according to evolutionary long-age beliefs. Assuming a solar system age of thousands of years, physicist Russell Humphreys accurately predicted the strengths of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune.16
  15. Methane on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon—it should all be gone in just 10,000 years because of UV-induced breakdown to ethane. And the large quantities of ethane are not there either.17
  16. Speedy stars are consistent with a young age for the universe. For example, many stars in the dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are moving away from each other at speeds of 10–12 km/s. At these speeds, the stars should have dispersed in 100 million years, which, compared with the supposed 14 billion-year age of the universe, is a short time.18
  17. Spiral structure in galaxies should be lost in much less than 200 million years. This is inconsistent with their claimed age of many billions of years. The discovery of ‘young’ spiral galaxies highlights the problem of the assumed evolutionary ages.19
  18. The existence of short-period comets (orbits of less than 200 years), is consistent with an age of the solar system of less than 10,000 years.20

Related Articles

Further Reading

Related Media

References and notes

  1. See, Batten, D., ‘It’s not science’, 2002. Return to text.
  2. Williams, A., The Universe’s Birth Certificate, Creation 30(1):31, 2007, Sarfati, J., Biblical chronogenealogies, Journal of Creation 17(3):14–18, 2003. Return to text.
  3. Oard, M., Aren’t 250 million year old live bacteria a bit much?, 2001. Return to text.
  4. Sanford, J., Genetic entropy and the mystery of the genome, Ivan Press, 2005; see: Plant geneticist: ‘Darwinian evolution is impossible’, Creation 30(4):45–47, 2008. Realistic modelling shows that genomes are young, in the order of thousands of years. See Sanford, J., et al., Mendel’s Accountant: A biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program, SCPE 8(2):147–165, 2007; www.scpe.org/vols/vol08/no2/SCPE_8_2_02.pdf. Return to text.
  5. Wieland, C., Dinosaur soft tissue and protein—even more confirmation!, 2009. Return to text.
  6. Allen, D., Warped earth, Creation 25(1):40–43, 2002. Return to text.
  7. Walker, T., Coal: memorial to the Flood, Creation 23(2):22–27, 2001; Wieland, C., Forests that grew on water, Creation 18(1):20–24, 1995. Return to text.
  8. ‘Millions of years’ are missing (interview with Dr Ariel Roth), Creation 31(2):46–49, 2009. Return to text.
  9. Williams, A., World’s oldest salt lake only a few thousand years old, Creation 17(2):5, 1995. Return to text.
  10. Pierce, L., Niagara Falls and the Bible, Creation 22(4):8–13, 2000. Return to text.
  11. Wieland, C., Caving in to reality, Creation 20(1):14, 1997. Also Q&A on limestone caves; creation.com/caves. Return to text.
  12. What about carbon dating? Creation Answers Book chapter 4. Return to text.
  13. Humphreys, D.R., Young helium diffusion age of zircons supports accelerated nuclear decay, in Vardiman, L., Snelling, A. and Chaffin, E. (eds.), Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, ICR and CRS, 848 pp., 2005. Return to text.
  14. Gentry, R., et al., Differential lead retention in zircons: Implications for nuclear waste containment, Science 216(4543):296–298, 1982; DOI: 10.1126/science.216.4543.296. Return to text.
  15. DeYoung, D.B., Transient lunar phenomena: a permanent problem for evolutionary models of Moon formation, Journal of Creation 17(1):5–6, 2003; creation.com/tlp; Walker, T., and Catchpoole, D., Lunar volcanoes rock long-age timeframe, Creation 31(3):18, 2009. Return to text.
  16. See creation.com/magfield#planets. Return to text.
  17. Anon., Saturnian surprises, Creation 27(3):6. Return to text.
  18. Bernitt, R., Fast stars challenge big bang origin for dwarf galaxies, Journal of Creation 14(3):5–7, 2000. Return to text.
  19. McIntosh, A., and Wieland, C., ‘Early’ galaxies don’t fit, Creation 25(2):28–30, 2003. Return to text.
  20. Faulkner, D., Comets and the age of the solar system, Journal of Creation 11(3):264–273, 1997. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Allan L., Australia, 28 May 2012

They also assume that there were no marks on the moon in the first place. I think God would have made all planets with markings of some kind so we had something to explore and speculate on. AL

Michael S., United Kingdom, 28 May 2012

This article pinpoints the problem with inductive reasoning. When we see a piece of evidence for a young earth, or even an old earth/universe, really that piece of evidence is part of a tally of consistencies rather than any proof positive. As mentioned, Historical science can't give us a full knowledge, there are only consistencies and inconsistencies because of inductive reasoning, which is limited because of a lack of data (full induction ~ 100%).

Logically, the case becomes stronger if there is a prediction in the form of an implication, as such apriori knowledge has more credence than a secondary Hypothesis, which can be regarded as an ad-hoc "excuse" if you like.

(For example, the Hard-Type Hypothesis, the prediction for evolution would have been that there should have been Pre-Cambrian transitional forms but because those forms were not found, secondary hypotheses were then invoked. The problem with such hypotheses is that they are logically WEAK, in that instead of falsifying the initial hypothesis, instead the paradigm is faithfully adhered to through excuses given within the secondary hypotheses. I call these excuses because such hypotheses only seem to exist in order to explain why the evidence that should have been there, was not there, but this is weak reasoning because such hypotheses rely upon speculation, rather than any evidence, as remember, the evidence is still not there!!!).

An amusing example of why secondary hypotheses are inherently weak, is this;

Imagine we have a theory that the cat ate the carpet. If this theory is true, surely we would find some carpet in the dead cat? Surely it couldn't have digested a whole carpet? So we conduct out autopsy and find no carpet remnants. Ergo it is time to invoke a secondary hypothesis. We shall hypothesize that the cat regurgitated the carpet which is why we find no carpet within the cat. Okay then, where did it regurgitate the carpet, since the cat was found dead within the abandoned house? The hypothesis explains that the cat found a way out of the house, to sick-up the carpet. Okay, where did the cat sick up the carpet and why did it come back to the house? Yet another hypothesis, it went out of the house, sicked up the carpet in a river, so that the carpet was washed down the river so that we would find no carpet.

As you can see, we could invoked excuses for poor theories, ad infinitum, as with the amusing example. I hope this highlights why inductive reasoning is very limited. :-)

Don Batten responds

Nice illustration! :-) Actually, all scientific reasoning is inductive (generalizations based on limited observations). However, there is a huge difference between operational science vs historical science. With the former, repeated experiments are possible, making it possible to calculate a probability of a generalization (conclusion) being not real (due to chance). No repeatable experiments are possible with history and so no such 'confidence limits' are possible. It boils down to "Is the story acceptable in the prevailing philosophy/worldview?" This quote from a former President of Harvard University is apt: Fantasia which is neither history nor science.

Alex H., United States, 27 June 2012

1. Why are you surprised that a bacteria species lived 250 million years in suspended animation when Gloeocapsa survived 533 days in space?

2. Both harmful and beneficial DNA is added at each generation, entropy isn't at work in evolution (more outside energy is added via the sun)

3. Has been found to probably be pond scum.

4. I don't think you realize your claims for a flood that moved entire continents are feasible. Do you understand how much force would be necessary for that? And where in the world did all that water come from/go?

5. Coal is often formed from peat, which in turn is formed in bogs and swamps. Got that? Bogs and swamps. Trees exist with their bases and root systems buried under thick swamps or bogs today, so should we be shocked to find an upright tree in a coal seam? Not at all.

Ah, but what about the "millions of years of sedimentation?" Well, when peat compacts into a coal seam, the process is not identical to the formation of, for example, limestone. When creationists say that a tree trunk was found cutting across millions of years of sedimentation, what they're really saying is that the tree trunk was found cutting across what would have been millions of years of sedimentation if it weren't coal.

6. If you had BILLIONS of tons of pressure pushing down upon you from rock above, do you think you would be flat, or retain surface erosion?

7. Again, extrapolating a trend into the past. Is the salt rate always the same? Is it different? Probably the second option.

8. In the end of your cited article, I found that the eventual age was founded upon radiometric dating. A far more consistent and accurate one then anything YEC's have reported. Extrapolating trends into the past (This years rate of change was similar to 1,000 years ago).

9. Your cited articles failed to cite any published scientifically reviewed ones, therefore I feel no need to outdo pseudo-science here.

10. You claim that everything happened in just six thousand years. Let's assign the variable µ to the current rate of decay of some radioisotope, and let's say it's been steadily dropping since Day One. If a 6,000 year old rock looks like it's 3.8 billion years old, this would suggest that its decay rate started off at more than 1.25 million times µ, and dropped at a rate of 1µ every 42 hours! We have not seen that type of change.

Secondly Carbon Dating isn't the ONLY thing pointing to an old earth.

11. Helium actually gets replaced.

12. Could not find the vague article (I assume he with the name of Don, but do not mean any offense if otherwise) he references to. So cannot rebuttal.

13. In your cited article it (Basically) states that it lasts for a few moments and you need to be lucky to see it. Have it published in a verifiable fashion with peer editing and resubmit.

14. Puhleez, like YEC's know much about how magnetic fields work. Strength isn't determined by spin rate, but by material. (And the moon was formed out of the molten earth, that is why it has a field.)

15. Followed the citations to a 404 error, no need for rebuttal. (Except I will say the way you believe Evolution and Cosmology are in league is hilarious.)

16. Again, more extrapolation! We have observed that the universe is speeding away from each other! that this rate is accelerating!

17. How interesting! If the light took billions of years to reach us... then it is at least billion of years old! (even though it is not billions) :D and things age as they travel too! Hard concept, I know.

18. And, one of the funnier ones, there are replenishing sources for comets!

Although I may have become a little too sarcastic near the end, I hope my comments only open your eyes to what is actually the truth :)

Don Batten responds

1. Why are you surprised that a bacteria species lived 250 million years in suspended animation when Gloeocapsa survived 533 days in space?

DB: Hmmm... let me see, 533 days is 6 billionths of 250 million years! Read the linked article and note the references to evolutionists who recognize that biochemical decay makes such survival impossible. Occam’s razor: the bacteria are not that old.

2. Both harmful and beneficial DNA is added at each generation, entropy isn't at work in evolution (more outside energy is added via the sun).

DB: So, adding energy from the sun creates meaningful sequences of DNA that code for new proteins, etc.? You don’t understand thermodynamics; adding energy without some mechanism to harness the energy to create order actually creates more disorder (think about a bull in a china shop!). The only known mechanism for creating the sort of information we see on DNA involves intelligence. And entropy is at work in everything; it is a universal physical law. You have also not engaged with the published research that shows that the human genome is deteriorating. On the basis of the observed mutation rate, Kondrashev, an evolutionist, reckons we should have been extinct a hundred times over, assuming as he does the evolutionary millions of years. Occam’s razor: we have not been here that long. In other words, the deep-time dating is wrong. Read Dr Sanford’s book.

3. Has been found to probably be pond scum.

DB: Sorry, but pond scum does not have blood and bone proteins, which have been isolated from the dinosaur bones.

4. I don't think you realize your claims for a flood that moved entire continents are feasible. Do you understand how much force would be necessary for that? And where in the world did all that water come from/go?

DB: You are sidestepping the argument (a red herring), which is that the thick layers of tightly-bent strata must have been laid down quickly and bent before any of the layers could have solidified into hard rock. This puts a very short time-frame on the deposition and bending, which clearly contradicts the claimed many millions of years for such features. And no one suggests that flood waters moved continents or caused tectonic movements.

5. Coal is often formed from peat, which in turn is formed in bogs and swamps. Got that? Bogs and swamps. Trees exist with their bases and root systems buried under thick swamps or bogs today, so should we be shocked to find an upright tree in a coal seam? Not at all.

DB: Again, you have not engaged the argument. An assertion does not amount to a reasoned argument. How, pray-tell, did trees with their roots broken off stand vertically in your peat bog swamp over millions of years while the peat built up around them to bury them in the coal that then formed millions of years later? No, it all speaks of catastrophic processes in very quick time, once again undermining the deep-time belief (and the peat bog, slow-and-gradual formation of coal).

Alex H.: Ah, but what about the "millions of years of sedimentation?" Well, when peat compacts into a coal seam, the process is not identical to the formation of, for example, limestone. When creationists say that a tree trunk was found cutting across millions of years of sedimentation, what they're really saying is that the tree trunk was found cutting across what would have been millions of years of sedimentation if it weren't coal.

DB: This is confused. Are you saying that the pear bog swamp did not take millions of years to built up the material to make coal?

6. If you had BILLIONS of tons of pressure pushing down upon you from rock above, do you think you would be flat, or retain surface erosion?

DB: Again, you have not engaged (understood) the argument. Read the linked material. The flat gaps indicate a lack of the supposed millions of years that are supposed to have transpired between the layers.

7. Again, extrapolating a trend into the past. Is the salt rate always the same? Is it different? Probably the second option.

DB: Read the introduction to the article, where the principle of uniformitarianism is discussed. We using the evolutionist's own approach to show that even with uniformitarian extrapolations, the deep-time paradigm has serious problems.

8. In the end of your cited article, I found that the eventual age was founded upon radiometric dating. A far more consistent and accurate one then anything YEC's have reported. Extrapolating trends into the past (This years rate of change was similar to 1,000 years ago).

DB: Again, read the introduction to the article.

9. Your cited articles failed to cite any published scientifically reviewed ones, therefore I feel no need to outdo pseudo-science here.

DB: This is a cop-out to avoid facing up to the clear eye-witness evidence. As for peer review, see Creationism, science and peer review.

10. You claim that everything happened in just six thousand years. Let's assign the variable µ to the current rate of decay of some radioisotope, and let's say it's been steadily dropping since Day One. If a 6,000 year old rock looks like it's 3.8 billion years old, this would suggest that its decay rate started off at more than 1.25 million times µ, and dropped at a rate of 1µ every 42 hours! We have not seen that type of change.

Secondly Carbon Dating isn't the ONLY thing pointing to an old earth.

DB: Again, you have not understood the argument and presented yet another red herring. Carbon dating, applying the usual assumptions used by evolutionists, provides evidence against the millions of years.

11. Helium actually gets replaced.

DB: Again, understand the argument. You haven’t.

12. Could not find the vague article (I assume he with the name of Don, but do not mean any offense if otherwise) he references to. So cannot rebuttal.

DB: It was published in Science, the #2 science journal in the world. It was not some "vague article"!

13. In your cited article it (Basically) states that it lasts for a few moments and you need to be lucky to see it. Have it published in a verifiable fashion with peer editing and resubmit.

DB: The articles are based on peer reviewed articles (which are cited). Furthermore, the Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) is a peer-reviewed journal. You also overlooked the second part of the argument, which is the ghost craters.

14. Puhleez, like YEC's know much about how magnetic fields work. Strength isn't determined by spin rate, but by material. (And the moon was formed out of the molten earth, that is why it has a field.)

DB: Again you have side-stepped the argument with another red herring. Please understand that evolutionary notions of how magnetic fields on planets persist for billions of years rely on dynamo theories; that is, that a molten core is able to rotate. Without a molten core, there is no mechanism for deep-time persistence.

15. Followed the citations to a 404 error, no need for rebuttal. (Except I will say the way you believe Evolution and Cosmology are in league is hilarious.)

DB: It would not have taken much effort to find the article on the external website, which had generated the broken link (I found it and changed our link to it).

16. Again, more extrapolation! We have observed that the universe is speeding away from each other! that this rate is accelerating!

DB: No, these are stars where the speed is measured and they are not accelerating. These are local events, not the overall universe.

17. How interesting! If the light took billions of years to reach us... then it is at least billion of years old! (even though it is not billions) :D and things age as they travel too! Hard concept, I know.

DB: You side-stepped the argument again with another red herring. Search the website for ‘starlight and time’. While you are at it, you could try ‘horizon problem’ and learn that the big bang evolutionary model for the formation of the universe has its own problem with the time available for light travel.

18. And, one of the funnier ones, there are replenishing sources for comets!

DB: Read the articles. The supposed source of new comets does not work!

Alex H.: Although I may have become a little too sarcastic near the end, I hope my comments only open your eyes to what is actually the truth :)

DB: Your sarcasm is uncalled for because you have not engaged the article in either its overall thrust or the details of the individual arguments. It does not appear that you are actually interested in the truth of the matter at all.

David B., Italy, 28 June 2012

If you are saying these facts are wrong.. When was the earth and planets and stars created ??

I would appreciate a meaningful response rather than beating around the bush.

Don Batten responds

Supposed ages of things based on observations in the present are not 'facts', but interpretations of facts. This article is only one on a website with over 8,000 articles. Using the search engine would quickly answer your question. Try: The earth: How old does it look? and How old is the earth?

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