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?
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.
The team at CMI