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    Default New Findings Expose Flaws in Old-Earth TheoryThe age of the earth is a pivotal topic

    The age of the earth is a pivotal topic in the creation vs. evolution debate, one that, if ever concretely proven one way or the other, would probably end the debate altogether. If the young-earth scholars are right, evolution would be completely out of the question because there would not have been enough time for evolution to take place. On the other hand, if the earth were proven to be more than just thousands of years old, a literal reading of the Biblical account of creation and the genealogies of mankind would not hold up.

    The idea of an old earth is based on isotopic methods of dating. Probably one of the most well-known of these methods is carbon-14 dating, but there are many other methods used. However, results from these different methods often tend to contradict each other, making the assumed dates rather confusing and highly questionable. There are many factors that can cause these results to be rather erroneous, and these factors often exist unnoticed by geologists.

    While creationists have found quite a bit of evidence that the earth is less than a million years old, until now, they have not been able to scientifically put a number on the age of the earth. Now, we are finding more evidence that show why isotopic dating methods give such early dates. These new findings suggest that earth's "geological column" (composed of many layers of rocks and sediment believed by evolutionists to represent the different evolutionary periods) formed in merely a few millennia rather than the hundreds of thousands of years originally theorized by geologists. Scientists now believe that their excessively old original estimates on these rocks could be due to an error caused by accelerated decay as they discover that radioactive decay occurred much more rapidly in the past. While these pieces of evidence still don't give an exact age of the earth (not like the evolutionists' theories did in the first place), they do strongly suggest a young earth. In fact, the new evidence is so strong that some scholars are wondering just how much more is needed to change the accepted theories altogether.

    Many of the radioactive dating methods used in this field are based on the presence of two chemicals, X and Y, where X deteriorates into Y in a given time. Formerly, creationists refuted their evolutionist counterparts' excessively old dates by pointing out that there is no way to determine how much of X and Y existed to begin with. For example, a radiology professor at a South Carolina Technical College believes that lead is a product of the gradual breakdown of certain radioactive materials (uranium and thorium) that were present on earth millions of years ago. But who is to say that the lead wasn't just here to begin with?

    The methods mentioned above involving uranium and thorium involve combinations of these elements with substances called zircons. The decay of these chemicals release helium over time. Scientists determine how long the deterioration has been happening by measuring the amount of helium left in the zircons. Ironically, until a study called the RATE Project was conducted in 2000, one of the most important variables in the whole equation, the rate of diffusion, had been ignored. The RATE Project set out to determine this rate, and to their surprise, discovered it to be such that the tests determined the earth’s age to be not 1.5 billion years as thought before, but between four and fourteen thousand years.

    Scientists today are finding that not even Carbon-14 dating is fool-proof. With new developments in technology, they have determined that their former estimates of an old earth using C14 dating have been skewed. Their improved C14 dating methods show the earth to be no more than fifty-seven thousand years old They also theorize that biomass before the flood may have been up to one hundred times its size today, diluting the C14 by one hundred times or more. Since C14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, this would bring the sample’s age down by about forty thousand years to ten to twenty thousand years old. Accelerated decay would make the ages even less. And, since the amount of C14 in the atmosphere appears to be continually increasing, the true age may be even less. The fact that isotopic dates are usually much more flawed than C14 dates (hundreds of millions of years as opposed to merely thousands of years) also supports the idea of accelerated decay since C14 decays faster than other isotopes.

    Yet another interesting dating method looks at the age of mankind rather than the earth. Using this method, scientists were able to give an upper estimate of the age of the human race. By determining how many mutations have occurred in our mitochondrial DNA and the rate at which they occur, they discovered that the common maternal ancestor of the whole human race could have lived no more than six thousand years ago. This study has proven itself consistent not only in humans but in many other species including wolves, coyotes, dogs, ducks, birds, fruit flies, and even E-Coli.

    So, what might have sped up the decay rates? Many creationists suggest a change in some of the basic physical aspects of creation (i.e. the speed of light) early in Creation and during the Flood. This theory has even been supported by secular scientists. Among other things, it is also supported by quite a few highly scientific observations made about many things, from comets to “the correlation between surface heat flow and the radioactivity of surface rocks”.

    There are many other evidences against the accuracy of radiometric dating. First of all, since the rate of erosion is so high, if the earth were much older than creationists believe, the continents would be more eroded than they are, the sea would be saltier, and there would be more sediment on the ocean floor. Evidence of catastrophe in the geological column and sudden burial of mass quantities of fossils also support the idea of a massive flood. This is not to mention the lacking periods in some areas of the geological column and the polystrate (“standing”) fossils. (I mean, c’mon now, what did they do, stand for millions of years as they were being buried in sludge without deteriorating in the process?)

    With all this new evidence and observations, how can one justify evolution? In light of all these questions that have arisen, it is pretty fair to say that, in the long run, it takes more than faith to believe in an old earth. It just doesn’t add up.

    *For more detailed scientific information, or to check up on my facts, visit Evidences of a Recent Creation.
    Last edited by RansomedbyFire; 09-14-2007 at 09:40 AM.
    By the way, I'm the girl in the picture, lol.... happily married though, so don't even...

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    The idea of an old earth is based on isotopic methods of dating. Probably one of the most well-known of these methods is carbon-14 dating, but there are many other methods used. However, results from these different methods often tend to contradict each other, making the assumed dates rather confusing and highly questionable. There are many factors that can cause these results to be rather erroneous, and these factors often exist unnoticed by geologists.
    Actually, that sounds a bit naive. Geologists are quite aware of the limitations of each dating method (for example, radiocarbon dating is only valid up to about 50,000 years) and actively cross-reference with other dating methods in order to calibrate their processes. The variability of the C-14/C-12 ratio has been known since 1969, but scientists have calibrated it using dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) back more than 11,000 years. C-14 dating has calibrated using U/Th dating on coral, back 30,000 years. But you refer to that later...

    While creationists have found quite a bit of evidence that the earth is less than a million years old,
    btw, this sentence is a prime example why these sort of essays seem uncredible. "Creationists have found quite a bit of evidence" -- what evidence? There is nary a scrap of detail to even challenge or clarify. The phrase "new findings" used in the next sentence -- findings by whom? Under what conditions? Compared to what? There is no detail given. The "radiology professor" can apparently be tracked to somewhere as specific as "SC Technical College" ... but his name remains unknown? Why wasn't his name mentioned? And so on... This selection seems rife with the sort of generalizations and vague arguments that people use when they're glossing over details.

    until now, they have not been able to scientifically put a number on the age of the earth. Now, we are finding more evidence that show why isotopic dating methods give such early dates. These new findings suggest that earth's "geological column" (composed of many layers of rocks and sediment believed by evolutionists to represent the different evolutionary periods) formed in merely a few millennia rather than the hundreds of thousands of years originally theorized by geologists.
    Radiometric dates are consistent with several nonradiometric dating methods.

    - Radiometric dates of the Hawaiin archepelago are consistent with the order and observable rate of the plates moving over a particular "hot spot."
    - Radiometric dating is consistent with Milankovich cycles, which depend on astronimical features such as the tilt of earth's axis. See wiki for more about these cycles. (Milankovitch cycles)
    (What's interesting is that the opening paragraphs explain the early problems with trying to calibrate Milankovich cycles...so obviously the scientists were aware of the weakneses... and then it explains how the cycles were finally calibrated using the eccentric orbit and deep-sea cores.)
    - It's also consistent with the luminescence dating method.

    What I think is important here is that none of this dating is taking place in a vacuum. Many different types of dating are being cross-referenced, so that any errors are weeded out methodically, and known history is used as often as possible to calibrate everything.


    Scientists now believe that their excessively old original estimates on these rocks could be due to an error caused by accelerated decay as they discover that radioactive decay occurred much more rapidly in the past.
    Which scientists? This amounts to the "Everyone says..." argument (where "everyone" usually means, "Well, a few people I agree with... maybe more... but I don't really know.")


    While these pieces of evidence still don't give an exact age of the earth (not like the evolutionists' theories did in the first place), they do strongly suggest a young earth. In fact, the new evidence is so strong that some scholars are wondering just how much more is needed to change the accepted theories altogether.
    Well... apparently a great deal. I don't think that the basic scientific literature supports all of these wonderful advancements. And it seems unreasonable to me to simply assume that the bulk of evidence accepted by the scientific community at large is either being fabricated or is the product of sloppy practice. It seems much more likely that the minority view, already attached to a predetermined conclusion (e.g., a "6000 year old earth"), is misinterpreting the data in their rush to support their view.


    Many of the radioactive dating methods used in this field are based on the presence of two chemicals, X and Y, where X deteriorates into Y in a given time. Formerly, creationists refuted their evolutionist counterparts' excessively old dates by pointing out that there is no way to determine how much of X and Y existed to begin with. For example, a radiology professor at a South Carolina Technical College believes that lead is a product of the gradual breakdown of certain radioactive materials (uranium and thorium) that were present on earth millions of years ago. But who is to say that the lead wasn't just here to begin with?
    Actually, isochron methods of dating *do not* assume that the initial parent/daughter concentations are known... and are calibrated and in turn lend calibration to other dating methods. And for some radiometric dating techniques, the assumed initial conditions are reasonable.


    The methods mentioned above involving uranium and thorium involve combinations of these elements with substances called zircons. The decay of these chemicals release helium over time. Scientists determine how long the deterioration has been happening by measuring the amount of helium left in the zircons. Ironically, until a study called the RATE Project was conducted in 2000, one of the most important variables in the whole equation, the rate of diffusion, had been ignored. The RATE Project set out to determine this rate, and to their surprise, discovered it to be such that the tests determined the earth
    The RATE Project ("Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth") is hardly an unbiased or representative sample of scientists who study geology or earth chronology. It was conducted specifically by scientists associated with the Institute for Creation Research. This doesn't necessarily mean their findings are biased; but I think in any discussion, we do need to note any potential bias with any source of information (whether secular or sacred) so that it can be accounted for when examining the "findings."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    It seemed that the article was incomplete, since it tails off without the end of a sentence, so I was waiting for the second part. Without this 'second part" posted, it seems less likely that there is one.

    Jennifer talked about most of the issues in the first post, but one thing in particular stuck out:

    While these pieces of evidence still don't give an exact age of the earth (not like the evolutionists' theories did in the first place)
    Not having an exact answer is at most a very small weakness in comparisons of these ideas. In general in science related areas, accuracy is preferable to exactness, so an approximation that gets close to the real value is better than an exact answer that is farther away. There are actually a lot of problems in science, engineering, and related areas (probably by far the most.) where approximations have to be used either because there isn't enough information or because the math involved causes difficulties in solving a problem.

    In the case of measuring how old the earth is, dating methods will by nature be approximations because people have no way to figure out every single thing that happened in the past, or get every single measurement that can be done today as exact as needed to figure things out exactly. Various dating methods for the age of the earth will probably not get closer than withing a few 10 or hundred million years, if the processes are on the billion year scale, simply because of the lack of information. This doesn't make the information seriously less valuable or important for working out how old the earth is, because if several dating methods are used involving radiation, modern day information about planet and star formation, other astronomy observations, etc. agree closely with each other, that there's a very good chance that the age is about right.

    Edit: For a couple more examples of areas where this sort of incompleteness occurs, in fluid mechanics as it is currently known, it is impossible to solve some equations for momentum and flow in fluids exactly (The Navier-stokes equations), however, with approximations for certain conditions it is possible to solve these equations, and the results are very, very close to what actual flows are like, and as the equations are simply derived from a small section of physics laws and not from fluid flows, there is no reason to not believe the equations describe what is going on.

    Similarly, it is impossible currently to simply use molecular information about liquids to work out exactly how soluble they are in each other, what will change when they mix (Things like boiling points, heat given off, volume of the mixtures, etc.), or what the structure will be, but it is possible to use thermodynamics and related areas combined with information under some conditions, to make predictions of what they will do under other conditions, and these work relatively well.

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    CD015: Helium diffusion from zircons

    Producing a billion years of radioactive decay in a "Creation week" or year-long flood would have produced a billion years worth of heat from radioactive decay as well. This would pretty much vaporize the earth. Since the earth apparently has not been vaporized recently, we can be confident that the accelerated decay did not occur. (Humphreys recognizes this "heat problem" but is currently unable to provide a solution.)
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    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RansomedbyFire View Post
    The age of the earth is a pivotal topic in the creation vs. evolution debate, one that, if ever concretely proven one way or the other, would probably end the debate altogether.
    The debate is over and has been for some time. Science can show the earth is not 6,000 years old through many fields. Genetics, Geology, Atomic Theory, Tectonic Theory and Cosmology. Also the notion the world is young conflicts directly with three minor and obscure fields in science Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

    Evolutionary Theory is to Biology what Gravitational Theory is to Physics, both have gaps in them but neither are going away.

    We've mapped our genome, the other great apes and are currently mapping the Neanderthals DNA. The second human chromosome is a merger of two of the great apes ones, that why they have 24 pairs and we have 23 pairs.

    As we map more and more species we will be able to get a better idea of common ancestors on a genetic level.

    In other news the CERN particle accelerate comes on line in May next year. Yippie. We can gather experimental evidences to push further back to the beginning of the universe.

    CERN - The world's largest particle physics laboratory
    CERN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    I hear a lot of "many scientists" and other generalisations in the OP.

    In true wikipedia form, I'm tagging the OP citation needed.

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    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    There isn't actually an argument in the opening post. It looks like an argument, it reads like an argument, probably smells like an argument, too. The problem is there is no argument.

    That there exists evidence which is consistent with the young-earth theory is trivial, since the existence of a red sock is consistent with young-earth theory and might be said to "support" it.

    Furthermore, that there exists doubt that old-earth theory is true, that there is a possibility that it may be false, is not a criticism or test of that theory. It is again, trivially the case for every alternative.

    The opening post is devoid of any argument.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    It seemed that the article was incomplete, since it tails off without the end of a sentence, so I was waiting for the second part. Without this 'second part" posted, it seems less likely that there is one.
    Grrr.... I don't know what happened there. Maybe the post was too long for the forum to handle or something, *shrugs*. I should've proofread it. Sorry.
    By the way, I'm the girl in the picture, lol.... happily married though, so don't even...

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RansomedbyFire View Post
    Grrr.... I don't know what happened there. Maybe the post was too long for the forum to handle or something, *shrugs*. I should've proofread it. Sorry.
    It's not your fault! There was probably a special character in there somewhere- sometimes the forum decides to ignore everything after a special character. I would just repaste it without whatever character came directly after the place where it ended the first time.
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