A conversation arising

The visiting CMI–US speaker did not mention radiometric ‘dating’ in his presentation to an Aussie church. So guess what two members of the congregation discussed afterwards …

Don Batten (CMI–Australia) chats with Question Evolution tour presenters Gary Bates and Jonathan Sarfati, now of CMI–USA
Don Batten (CMI–Australia) chats with Question Evolution tour presenters Gary Bates (left) and Jonathan Sarfati (right), now of CMI–USA (formerly CMI-Au).


It’s great to have CMI–US speakers Gary Bates and Dr Jonathan Sarfati back in Australia at present. They’re here to do a ‘Question Evolution’ nationwide tour.

Gary kicked off the tour with a presentation at a Brisbane church service last weekend. Now it happens to be the home church of my colleague, Dr Don Batten. After the service, a gentleman (whom we’ll call Jim1) began chatting to Don about things in Gary’s presentation—and things that weren’t. “He didn’t talk about carbon dating,” Jim said. “Isn’t that a problem?”

Don replied, “People say ‘carbon dating’ in the generic sense of radiometric dating. Other techniques are used to give the millions of years. However, carbon dating itself is actually powerful evidence against the millions of years. That’s because carbon-14 decays very quickly. It has a half-life of 5,730 years. So every 5,730 years half of it disappears.”

Jim, knowledgeable in mathematics, quickly understood the problem for the millions-of-years paradigm, not the Bible’s timeline—the reverse of what he’d thought.

Don continued: “So after even only a million years, even if something was pure carbon-14, there’d be no carbon-14 to measure. However, objects which are supposed to be even hundreds of millions of years old, such as ‘Permian’ coal, can be measured to have carbon-14 present. It shouldn’t be there if the coal is hundreds of millions of years old.”

“And this isn’t an isolated example,” Don emphasized. “All coal has carbon-14 present. And this is not contamination; it is a huge problem for the millions-of-years idea.”

Indeed it is a huge problem for the long-age paradigm. And it’s not just coal. Diamonds, supposedly billions of years old, have also been found to contain carbon-14.

Don concluded, “The bottom line is that you cannot measure the age of something scientifically. You can measure the isotopes incredibly accurately in the present, but all sorts of assumptions have to be made about the history to calculate an age. So it’s an incredibly circular process.”

Jim got the point indeed, and was very happy.

You can do it, too!

This example of what can happen following a CMI presentation is repeated many times over in church after church after church, in our experience.2 People attending the meetings want to discuss the questions remaining in their mind afterwards,3 as no 50-minute creation presentation can cover all of the angles of evolutionary bombardment foisted upon society via school and university curricula and television programs day in, day out. This is why CMI focuses on having resources available at its events, as they answer the many questions that arise from the initial presentation.

And while of course our speakers are trained to “be ready to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15), as Don so ably demonstrated, it’s exciting when lay individuals from the congregations can step up themselves to do that for their congregational confreres and consoeurs. And they can! That is, anybody who had already familiarized themselves with chapter 4 of The Creation Answers Book, and/or the contents of the other resources recommended in the right-hand side-bar of this article, or our many articles online on this topic of radiometric dating, would have been able to answer just as Don did.

Published: 26 April 2012


  1. Not his real name. Return to text.
  2. For information on arranging for a CMI speaker to address your church or public meeting, see under ‘Speaking and direct ministry’ on the What we do page. (CMI speaker presentations demonstrate that there are straightforward answers to the common objections and queries people have relating to the creation/evolution issue, which are some of the most frequent objections to faith in Christ.) Return to text.
  3. E.g. see Morality and salvation minus history equals ignorance and unbelief, 10 March 2011. Return to text.

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