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Published: 16 November 2019 (GMT+10)

Difficult to believe that they are all wrong on the age of the earth

Gary D. from South Australia, wrote,


I am a bible believing Christian of many years and one thing that has always fascinated me was the age of the earth. I believe that the 7 days of creation are literal, but I have a very hard time believing that the earth is only ~6000 years old.

Articles in your magazine suggest that dinosaurs were contemporary with many of the animals we have with us today. That being the case then they would have boarded the ark at the time of Noah?

What has happened to them since?

Secondly, I am aware the dating techniques Carbon 14 etc, used by scientists can be questionable as the basic assumption is that “nature” has remained consisted over millions of years as far as half-lives of certain elements are concerned. However, is it not a pretty long bow to draw to assume that ALL the dating techniques used by scientist are therefore incorrect, as one would need to, to debunk the theory of evolution?

CMI responds:

Hi, Gary,

Thanks for getting in touch and for your queries. More than one person was involved in answering this, so it will be from us as a ‘team’. We will from time to time refer to ‘topics’ under our FAQ section for further information – to access them, just go to this link: creation.com/qa, where you will find topics, including any we mention and emphasise in bold, listed in alphabetical order. Each one leads to a selection of articles that will comprehensively further resolve your issues, we trust.

The first issue is of course to establish why one can confidently say that a young earth is clearly what the Bible teaches—for this, see How does the Bible teach 6,000 years? This is so regardless of any perceived difficulties reconciling it with secular interpretations of Earth history. Those difficulties are important to address, of course (which is why we seek to have reasoned answers available), but so are the presuppositions with which we approach them. If one believes that dinosaurs were fighting and killing each other (and suffering the diseases like cancer, abscesses and arthritis we see in their fossil bones) for millions of years before there was any Fall into sin, it causes huge problems for the whole foundational-to-the-Gospel ‘big picture’ of the Bible—a good world, ruined by sin, to be restored in the future through Christ. This is a consistent thread that if it is pulled out, the whole fabric starts to unravel.

So it is no surprise that there are many evidences consistent with and pointing to a young age for the world. See Age of the earth. Radiometric dating may at first glance appear to be the exception, but not surprisingly, there are reasons to doubt it too, including clear experimental evidence; see RATE group reveals exciting breakthroughs! In fact, you mention ‘carbon dating’ in a way that suggests that you think it relates to ‘millions of years’ whereas this is in fact a common lay misconception. Carbon dating is in fact the biblical creationist’s friend. See the articles to that effect under the radiometric dating topic.

Then, re dinosaurs, the brief answer to your question is, ‘They died out’. Just as many other types of creatures continue to go extinct to this very day, and sometimes it just happens to be an entire group. We live in a fallen world with many changing environmental conditions and other ‘natural hazards’ to survival, exacerbated of course in the last century or so with mankind’s increasing encroachment on the habitats of wild animals. With the changed conditions of the Ice Age following the Flood (as a natural physical consequence – see Ice Age and you will find that it solves what is actually a mystery for secularists) and a devastated earth, large numbers of species went extinct. Dinosaurs likely never regained anything like their pre-Flood prominence. If you check the topic dinosaurs, you will find considerable historical evidence, including drawings and carvings, that indicate that there were eyewitness encounters with some of these creatures, which progressively became rarer.

Incidentally, the topic of the evidence for a global Flood is important in all of this, too. The power of this evidence is really quite overwhelming, particularly in the many mysteries (from a long-age perspective) surrounding today’s landforms, that make great sense once one takes into account the receding waters of the great Flood. See Geology questions and answers.

As you suggest, the dinosaurs had to have boarded the Ark, so you are probably aware that the Bible is clear about the global nature of the Flood. ‘Gap’ theories trying to marry a literal Creation Week with an old earth and trying to put dino fossils into some previous creation have been mostly abandoned for good biblical reasons. But just in case that is something that has been proposed to you, please see Creation compromises.

By now I hope you will have found how exciting it is to be able to follow topics like a thread through multiple articles which are there to answer issues that might arise as you are seeking answers to others.

In addition to the topics listing and the FAQ list provided, there is also the powerful search engine on creation.com to help you.

Thanks again for your enquiry, and best wishes as you search for a correct understanding of Scripture’s big picture issues (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration) and how these align with the evidence of the physical world. We hope that you come to see the importance of this issue and can ‘join us’ in the battle in today’s culture.

Kind regards,
The team at CMI

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

David B.
Of course, while it's too late to change things now, things like evolutionism and deducing the age of the Earth do not follow the true scientific method established by early researchers in "natural philosophy" and codified by Sir Francis Bacon.

As to the "so many techniques" and their supposed consistency, I would like to see more articles about the times when those who believe in them showed how INconsistent they can be. My favorite case started with the claim that human footprints in Mexico were 40,000 years old. Since this is tens of thousands of years older than the favored story, other tests were done -- and came up with a date of about a MILLION years! What a difference! Eventually it was decided the marks weren't footprints at all, let alone human, but by then the claim that such techniques are reliable and consistent had been shown to be a lie.

(It started with: “Ancient 'footprints' found in Mexico: Find may push back dates of when people arrived in the Americas.” by Rex Dalton, Nature, Published online 4 July 2005 |doi:10.1038/news050704-4, re: “Geochronology: Age of Mexican ash with alleged ‘footprints’” by Paul R. Renne et al. )
Robert H.
In my opinion, all the cumulative, real scientific, evidence of a "young earth" is the "silver bullet" that completely destroys any semblance of evolution happening. Evolution rises and falls on millions and billions of years. Without them, evolutionary theory is dead in the water. Thereafter, all the other arguments and pseudoscience are superfluous, a waste of time!
Jeff B.
For bible-believing Christians who want to accept deep time, I can only conclude that they don't value science. Either that or they just haven't educated themselves enough.

Thanks to sites like creation.com, I've been able to gather a collection of scientific challenges to deep time and naturalistic processes that are supposedly able to create things like planets, stars and galaxies. The scientific 'baggage' associated with deep-time and naturalism is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than it is for the biblical creation model. I value science too much to believe in deep time.
Don Batten
Thanks Jeff.
They also do not respect the Bible. In writing a commendation for Philip Bell's book, Evolution and the Christian Faith, I said "I don't believe that any person who loves Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and respects His Word but believes in theistic evolution can read this book and remain a theistic evolutionist." There are plenty of articles on creation.com of course, such as 10 Dangers of Theistic Evolution.
Steve B.
The flood was a miracle and not the first from God, six days of miracles were Gods first acts in the physical world. When people understand this then why would they doubt God worked a miracle with the animals on the ark and sustained them during their time on the ark. Why leave God's work out of those months while the earth was flooded, just does not seem reasonable to assume God just set back and watched the ark float around a watery world.
David C.
One of the Creationist text book answers to the possible Dinosaurs eating live stock on the ark dilemma is the cuddly ‘...baby Tyrannosaurus...’ Does this theory apply across the board to all of the other livestock?
Don Batten
"cuddly" baby Tyrannosaurus? Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
The Bible says that God brought the animals to Noah to go on the Ark. It is a reasonable proposition that God would have sent the animals that were easiest to look after, but would be viable once disembarked from the ark. However, that is no stated; no one observed this. It is conjecture. Please see: Were dinosaurs on Noah’s ark? How could they fit?
Michael S.
Gary D, don't make the logical error of assuming it's all about numbers, such as this type of reasoning; "they have LOADS of radiometric dating that fits, what is that compared to one or two examples of soft dinosaur tissue?"

That's the kind of error we make because we forget to use DEDUCTIVE reasoning and we think lazily. But if we think it through if we do find one soft tissued T-rex, and that soft tissue is evidence of youth as it clearly does fit better with youth despite the absurd attempts evolutionists try to argue in order to stretch the date to millions of years, then even if you only find one T-Rex in that age of rock, if that one T-Rex is young, then logically it MUST follow that all animals contained in that type of rock, must also be young. For if the "cretaceous" rock they are in (IIRC) is dated to say 65 million years, and if one soft tissued dino must be young, then because they all had to be contemporaneous, then ALL must also be young.

The same reasoning can be used for other layers where there is evidence of youth. Here in this excellent article by Dr Sarfati, there is evidence of soft tissue in an Ichthyosaur, meaning it follows ALL animals in those layers must also be young;
Jaroslav L.
In case we do not believe what Bible says, we doubt God is omnipotent. In case that God is not omnipotent, our faith is pointless. But it may be that our alleged faith was just sort of arrogance as our knowledge is and will be always limited.

I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? John 3
Chuck R.
Man is eager to place himself on a pedestal, so proud of our intelligence and accumulated wisdom, many believe we have the ability to answer every question and can decree what God thinks and what He desires, yet Biblically we are confronted with "There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God." (Rom. 3:10-18) and just as Peter noted in 1st and 2nd Peter that of all those who lived before the Flood only 8 were redeemed, "which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. (2 Peter 3:20), we need to remember that even large religious groups, those who supposedly believe they are "Chosen" can drift far from God, as demonstrated in Elijah's lament in 1 King 19:10 "I alone am left", so yes, huge numbers of people can be completely wrong, and it's not a new phenomena.
Nathan G.
Gary D questioned the long shot "that ALL the dating techniques used by scientists are therefore incorrect".

Sometimes focusing narrowly on one line of reasoning is unproductive. Go outside the box and compare results. For example, the rate of decay of the earth's magnetic field is measurable. How many doublings of magnetic field strength would make it impossible for life to exist (an upper time limit for evo)? Answer: only a few doublings, not anywhere near "billions of years". Quadrupling, quintupling, hextupling, etc. worsens negative conditions for life on earth, until life can't exist past a given field strength.

If your oppponent then says: "But you are only ASSUMING that the field decay is constant and reliable!" you reply that radiometric dating methods also ASSUME the very same thing, which is UNTESTABLE in the deep past. So which is it? You can't just cherry-pick assumptions that suit your arguments (which is what evos normally do) and ignore contrary evidence. That's not science.

If you read ICR's Acts and Facts magazine, there is a fine series of articles detailing each of the most common 7-8 radiometric dating methods. All methods are based upon the same four false starting assumptions, but each method adds a few more method-specific assumptions and biases unique to itself. It's a good place to start, if you want to list the flaws of each method next to one another.

Overlapping methods should yield identical ages for identical rock samples. This is never the case. Samples of the same rock sometimes have an age spread of billions of years. In other words, the methods don't even work on rocks where we allegedly "know" the age of the layer. They are statistically meaningless piffle. Errors of magnitude are not <5%. They are trash.
David S.
The almost consensus view that the earth is old does not mean that this view is necessarily correct. After all, during the time of Copernicus and Galileo everybody believed that the sun orbited around the earth until they showed otherwise. Also, everybody believed in spontaneous generation of life from non-life until Pasteur showed that life can only come from life.
Randy E.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I have two questions that may not have an answer, but I can see that the Earth is somewhere between 6 and 10 thousand years old. How much time was Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall? How much time elapsed between the creation and the flood?
I love this site and I visit it every day. It gives me reinforcement of my beliefs, and provides me with the ammunition to gently argue the truth of all things in the Bible. May the light of the truth be your guide and your hope until that glorious day.
Don Batten
As Dr Rob Carter replied to a comment in Who old was Cain when he killed Abel?:
"One reason people believe the Fall happened quickly is because Adam and Eve were commanded to reproduce, but the order of events indicates a sequential Creation->Fall->conception->birth of Cain. Thus, the Fall happened before the conception of Cain."
The time from Creation to the Flood is an easy one, as the chronology is given in Genesis 5 (just add up the ages, and you get 1656 years from Creation to the Flood).
Philippus S.
A Christian that does not believe God's word does not believe in God, and can never call himself a Christian. A Christians believe starts at:Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Once you get to bleive that, you are a Christian, because once you recognise the WORD: Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God. 
Joh 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
Joh 1:4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 
Joh 1:5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 
That is why Paul tells tells us;Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 
Rom 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
Rom 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 
Rom 1:23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 

Just look at Creation, the wonder thereof, and ask you one question who is the CREATOR that it made it all because I want to bring Glory and Honour to such a CREATOR. This is why you do not have faith in creation but the Creator.
The God given Spirit in every Human being is searching for its origin, it is searching for the original it comes from, in the days of Adam and Eve God spoke to them directly, we know it because God's word say so, so why will we bleive only part of God' word.
Don Batten
It is certainly inconsistent with a coherent faith, but disbelieving certain parts of Scripture does not necessarily disqualify someone from begin saved. None of us is entirely consistent. Please see Do I have to believe in a literal creation to be a Christian?

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