Evidences for a young age of the earth and universe
Posted on homepage: 28 May 2012 (GMT+10)
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.
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).
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!).
Lazarus bacteria—bacteria revived from salt inclusions supposedly 250 million years old, suggest the salt is much younger.3
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
Dinosaur blood cells, blood vessels and proteins are not consistent with their supposed age, but make more sense if the fossils are young.5
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
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
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
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
Erosion at Niagara Falls and similar places is consistent with a few thousand years since the Flood.10
Measured rates of stalactite and stalagmite growth in limestone caves are consistent with an age of several thousand years.11
Carbon-14 in all coal suggests that the coal is only thousands of years old.12
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
References and notes
- See, Batten, D., ‘It’s not science’, 2002. Return to text.
- 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.
- Oard, M., Aren’t 250 million year old live bacteria a bit much?, 2001. Return to text.
- 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.
- Wieland, C., Dinosaur soft tissue and protein—even more confirmation!, 2009. Return to text.
- Allen, D., Warped earth, Creation 25(1):40–43, 2002. Return to text.
- 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.
- ‘Millions of years’ are missing (interview with Dr Ariel Roth), Creation 31(2):46–49, 2009. Return to text.
- Williams, A., World’s oldest salt lake only a few thousand years old, Creation 17(2):5, 1995. Return to text.
- Pierce, L., Niagara Falls and the Bible, Creation 22(4):8–13, 2000. Return to text.
- Wieland, C., Caving in to reality, Creation 20(1):14, 1997. Also Q&A on limestone caves; creation.com/caves. Return to text.
- What about carbon dating? Creation Answers Book chapter 4. Return to text.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- See creation.com/magfield#planets. Return to text.
- Anon., Saturnian surprises, Creation 27(3):6. Return to text.
- Bernitt, R., Fast stars challenge big bang origin for dwarf galaxies, Journal of Creation 14(3):5–7, 2000. Return to text.
- McIntosh, A., and Wieland, C., ‘Early’ galaxies don’t fit, Creation 25(2):28–30, 2003. Return to text.
- Faulkner, D., Comets and the age of the solar system, Journal of Creation 11(3):264–273, 1997. Return to text.