Dating A Young Earth: Part 1
How do you date the age of rocks? How do you a date the age of the earth? Hasn’t it already been done? According to the currently generally accepted theory of the earth the earth is 4.5 billion years old. But there was time when it was believed that the earth was only 6000 years old. Then it was proposed that using only processes observable today (at that time the 1700s) the earth must be millions of years old. Some time later radioactivity was discovered and the age of the earth was pushed back to 4.5 billion years.
In the 1950s an hydraulics engineer (a specialist in water flow) noted that what he was seeing in the field do not match with what he had been taught in historical geology. The processes that can be observed today are erosion from wind, rain, river flow and wave and tidal action. There are dynamic geologic forces which cause the uplift of land and the sinking of land. From observation of these we are supposed to be able to determine how things worked in the past. But in addition to these we can observe geological forms which no present processes can explain.
Coal beds exist all over the world in all sorts of climates. The ruling theory of coal formation suggests that coal was formed in swamps as the vegetation in these swamps died and was buried. An examination of swamps that exist today shows that no coal is being formed in or under any swamp.
There are huge deposits of limestone also found all over the world. The most famous of these are the “White Cliffs of Dover”. To form these it is suggested that microscopic sea creatures died over millions of years, settled to the bottom of the ocean until they accumulated in large beds to form large layers of limestone. An examination of sea beds the world over fails to reveal such an accumulation happening today. It would appear that things in the past may have been different then they are today.
Found throughout the world are fossils of creatures that are now extinct. These fossils are found in sedimentary rocks, rocks that are formed from the eroded sediments of earlier existing rock and then deposited on top of the bodies of these creatures. Were they alive or dead when they were buried?
Most dead things are scavenged and decay quickly. Aquariums are sometimes given as an example of how dead things are dealt with by nature. A fish dies, whether it floats to the surface or sinks to the bottom, if there are other fish in the aquarium they will eat that fish and within a few days there is nothing left of the dead fish. A friend of mine had a horse die while on a hunting trip. The hunting party continued on leaving the carcass behind. When they returned three days later there was not much left of the horse carcass, scavengers had reduced it to scattered bones.
The observed process of what happens to things when they die shows that they are quickly scavenged leaving little behind to be buried and form fossils. Even when there are large fish kills or large bird kills the process of decay is more rapid than that of burial. Yet there are fossil beds that cover hundreds of square miles. An entire whale was fossilized in diatomaceous earth, a process that should have required thousands of years.
Within the fossil record can be found fish that were buried while eating, an ichthyosaur buried while giving birth, dinosaurs buried while fighting. All of these are examples of rapid burial. There are fossil footprints, these footprints were made in mud, some on the seashore, and observation of footprints at the seashore is that they will be washed away quickly, if not by the waves or tide, then by eventually by the wind. There are fossil raindrops, actually the crater made by raindrops as they hit the ground. There are fossil sand ripples. All of these require rapid burial rather than the slow accumulation of sediment.
There are also polystrate fossils. These are fossils that cross several sedimentary layers. These are different from intrusions as intrusions differ in composition from the layers they intrude through. Polystrate fossils match the composition of the layers they cross. They can be found crossing more than one coal layer, as each coal layer is supposed to take millions of years to form these represent a conundrum for the prevailing theory of coal formation.
Radio-isotope dating is supposed to provide a less subjective method of dating, one that is also more absolute. There are several isotopes that are used to date igneous rock (this method cannot be used to date sedimentary rock), the most popular being Argon-Argon, Potassium-Argon and Rubidium-Strontium. It is assumed that a radio-active element is present by itself in the igneous rock when it cools, in the cases mentioned, Argon, Potassium and Rubidium. Over time these will decay into other types of elements, so Argon 40 becomes Argon 39, Potassium decays to Argon 40, Rubidium decays into Strontium. With a known decay rate the ratio of daughter element to parent element should provide an age for the rock the element was taken from.
The difficulty with this procedure is that it gives discordant dates for volcanic flows. Lava flows from recent eruptions have been tested for these elements and provide old dates for recent flows. Eruptions from the 20th Century date at being hundreds of thousands of years old. Older eruptions when measured by all the methods available differ by billions of years. What we should learn from the ratios of different isotopes is that the geological chemistry has different amounts of different isotopes.
A brief survey of the assumptions of the ruling paradigm for geological dating shows them to be suspect. The processes that can be currently observed do not support an old earth. The geological forms also show that the earth must have had a catastrophic past rather than a uniform one, that there were processes at work in the past that have not been observed today.
A young earth perspective proposes that most of the geological forms we see today are a result of the Flood of Noah. A world wide flood resulting from massive tectonic displacement would cause massive rapid large scale burials of many creatures. There would be large scale displacements of creatures from their habitats causing creatures from diverse habitats to buried together. Large scale sedimentation would be found over the globe with examples of large scale erosion, such as the Grand Canyon.
An old age for the earth is not a requirement of the evidence. A young earth for the earth is a closer fit for the evidence.
- Tas Walker's Biblical Geology - Home
Tas Walkers biblical geology interprets geological evidence using a geology model based on Noahs Flood and biblical history, Geology of Pyramid Rock on Phillip Island Victoria, Self-guided booklet of the geology of Phillip Island, Victoria.
- Chapter 6: Geologic Column - Answers in Genesis
Modern examples of canyon formation and rapid erosion provide models to explain how many geological formations can be described by the Flood and its aftereffectsand all within a few thousand years.