From: "The World Peace Prophecies: The Unification of Science,
Religion, and Humanity," donated by its author, Monte Benson
Part 2: The Earth’s Age and the Science of Genesis 1.
Science supports an old Earth and Universe (Cont'd).
This essay is a continuation of Part 1
Did light shine everywhere instantaneously at creation?
Another argument young-earth Christians use, which is also disproved, is that, at the creation of the universe, God created light emanating from stars and galaxies so that it instantly shone upon the earth. This, then, in theory would have allowed all the objects that are over 12,000 light years away that scientists have studied in their telescopes to be visible without the need for that light to have traveled from those objects to the earth. 1 This means the light in transit would give images of galaxies, clusters, and so on, that do not yet exist; indeed, this light would even be misleading because it would in many instances contain indicators (gamma rays, x-rays, neutrinos, etc.) of having been emitted from certain objects (e.g., supernovas).
Yet, if God had created light so that it appeared to have traveled from astronomical objects even though it had not done so, then God would be purposely misleading. However, since we know that God cannot lie, we also know that He could not have been misleading—and since that is true, we know that He did not create light instantly in transit. This is also supported by the fact that the further out into space we look the more its light is red shifted. This happens because, as the universe expands, the further light has to travel the more it becomes stretched out by that expansion. The degree of redshift that is thus observed indicates that some of the light in the universe has been traveling for millions of years and most of it for billions. 2
The Fallacies of the White Hole Theory for a Young Earth:
A theory put forward to replace the decay of the speed of light theory claims that, due to gravity, time on earth was slower than elsewhere in the universe during the six days of creation. It is theorized, then, that if a person could travel from the center of the universe to the edge at that time, they would find that as they got closer and closer to the edge time would tick faster and faster. This creationist theory claims that six 24-hour days could have passed on earth, while 13.7 billion years passed throughout the outer reaches of space. Young-earth creationists base this claim upon Einstein’s theory of relativity, which says that the stronger the gravitational field is that acts upon an object the slower that object will pass through time.
According to these Christians, the universe is finite, and therefore, it has a net force of gravity towards the center, whereas in an infinite universe all the net gravitational forces would cancel out. They thereby propose that when the universe began expanding it had an event horizon, and that it was therefore a white hole, or, in other words, a black hole in reverse. They theorize that while it shrank the matter and energy that formed the universe was emitted. Thus, if the earth when it was created had been close to the center of the universe, there would have been a much stronger gravitational pull upon the earth than upon planets and galaxies close to the edge. This means that time would have flowed at a much slower rate upon the earth than at the edge of the universe. 3
As interesting as this theory is, there are many reasons why it is false. For instance, scientists can tell that time flows upon the earth today at the same rate it did throughout the universe billions of years ago—although during the first few billion years of our universe’s lifetime time did pass at a somewhat slower rate. For, when scientists look further and further out into space, they are looking further and further back in time. And thus, as they look back to within the first billion years after the Big Bang, they find that the time dilation effect then due to the high velocities at near the speed of light was not nearly enough to cause 12,000 years at that time to equal 13 billion years on a clock that flows at today’s rate.
Also, if our galaxy existed for billions of years within a gravity well strong enough to almost stop time, the light that now shines upon the earth that has traveled into that gravity well would have a pervasive blue shift. Since no such blue shift has been observed, we know that the white hole theory is false. Furthermore, the earth is composed of heavy elements that could have only come from a star that went supernova. Since stars take millions and even billions of years to form and then die, and, considering the fact that our sun itself must be billions of years old, it is clear that the earth must be billions of years old, as well. Although there are many other reasons why this creationist theory is wrong, I believe that I have given enough information to prove the point. 4
Varves Proven to be Yearly Layers Disprove Young-Earth Creationism:
According to most young-earth creationists, a worldwide turbulent flood occurred in 2304 BCE +/- 11 years. 5 They also believe that this flood deposited most of the geologic column in less than a year’s time. (This duration for the flood is given in Genesis 7:11 and 8:10-13. These verses state that from the time the flood began to the time when its waters dried up almost a year had passed.) 6 The problem with their theory though is that it is contradicted by the fact that scientists have found varves over 10,000 layers thick that they can prove have over 10,000 annual layers.
Palynologists, who study pollen, have discovered that these varves contain spores in a manner that is consistent with the claim that they are yearly layers. For instance, the pollen is always concentrated in the dark part of each layer. This is where it is rich in organic remains consistent with the deposit of leaves and other such organic materials during autumn, winter, and spring. This makes sense because plants release a lot of pollen during those three seasons. The pollen is also stratified seasonally. And it even changes over long periods of time. This is because over time plants go extinct and are replaced by new plants that release different types of pollen. Also, between the dark layers a light layer is consistently found, which is high in calcium carbonate and diatoms (the remains of single-celled algae), which indicates that such layers are made up of sediment that was laid down during the summer.
A record of varves like this that is accurate back to no less than 7,000 BP exists inside Switzerland in a lakebed close to Interlaken. Also, Alan Craig carefully carbon dated varves with over 10,000 annual layers found at Lake of the Clouds in Minnesota, and those carbon-14 dates all match fairly well the dates derived by counting them. This could not happen if carbon-14 dating were not accurate at dating things that were up to about 10,000 years old. But, as if that were not enough to disprove young earth creationism, in Japan scientists have found a site with 45,000 varve layers that each contain a dark and light seasonal layer. As was the case with the aforementioned varves, the carbon-14 dates for these varves, in this case that of the diatoms within them, were close to the dates that were derived by counting them. 7
We also know there was no global flood in the last 45,000 years because, if a series of the varves laid down at these sites had been deposited by such a flood, they would have been less uniform. Thus, because these varves are quite uniform, they must be annual. These facts are all inexplicable using the young-earth flood model. It thus becomes obvious that the biblical flood could not have occurred in the manner that young-earth creationists believe it did. 8 As you will see, a much more realistic explanation for how the flood occurred is given in Chapter 6.
More on Sedimentary Layers: Proof the Earth is Millions of Years Old:
Next, an analysis of other types of varves, or sedimentary layers, which are found in many other types of locations than those just described, will be given. As touched upon, sedimentary layers are formed when sediment dissolved in a lake, sea, or ocean is deposited upon its floor. These layers tell a story quite different from young-earth theories. For instance—deep in the geologic column—tracks, trails, burrows, and borings have been found on the surface of certain sedimentary layers. This is thus evidence that one layer was deposited, sedimentation ceased, the sea floor hardened, and then organisms bored into its surface and grew to adulthood before the next layer covered them. In fact, stones found on the top of some layers had not put indentations into them. This thus indicates that the previous layer hardened before the stones were deposited.
Another argument against a worldwide flood involves creatures that resemble oysters. These oyster-like slow moving creatures live on the bottom of aqueous environments, and yet they are found throughout the geologic column. So how could a worldwide flood have sorted them in that manner? The fact that sandstone usually has no fossils in it, which, according to scientists, is because over long periods of time sand oxidizes and abrades away shells and other fossils, is also a problem. How could this occur in just one year? 9
There is even a location with 20 million varves, which at the rate of one layer being formed per day would have required 50,000 years of deposition. But the idea that they could have been deposited at such a fast rate is ruled out by how fine the silt is. Not only that, known climatic cycles over hundreds of thousands of years are represented at various varve sites around the world. Climate changes that occurred around 17,500 to 13,500 years ago are also represented in the varve record. Mark Isaak, a young-earth creationism verses evolution expert, writes: “There are many different kinds of surface features preserved in the middle of the geological column. These features include soils, mud cracks, evaporite deposits, footprints, raindrop impressions, meteor craters, worm burrows, wind-blown sediments, stream channels, and many others.” These facts, then, establish that the geologic column was not deposited by Noah’s flood. 9
And finally, young-earth creationists argue that only rapid burial of animals can account for the preservation found in the fossil record. Yet, although in some cases that is true, rapid burial is only required when the flesh of an animal is to be preserved. Bones, however, can be preserved over a year before being buried, and shells can last decades and sometimes even hundreds of years before being buried. Thus the worldwide flood proponents’ claim that catastrophe was necessary to create the fossil record is clearly false, for fossils form today in many normal environments. 11
Ice-Core Dating: More Evidence Against Young-Earth Creationism
Another way to disprove young-earth creationism is through ice-core dating. Young-earth creationists like Kent Hovind do claim that the ice-core layers scientists state are annual are actually caused simply by warm days and cold days. But those young-earth creationists show ignorance of the science behind ice-core dating when they make that claim. The reality is that scientists use many reliable techniques to date ice-cores, such as the measurement of isotope ratios—with two examples being (with the heavy isotope listed first): the deuterium/hydrogen ratio and the oxygen-18/oxygen-16 ratio. This dating technique is based on the fact that one of these two forms of each element is heavier than the other. Thus each heavier element evaporates less easily than each lighter element, and then as these isotopes travel to the poles, the heavier ones are also more likely to precipitate. This means that when the remaining vapor travels to the poles and falls as snow, it is more enriched with oxygen-16 and hydrogen in the winter than it is during the summer. Thus scientists can measure the amount of these isotopes in each seasonal layer and can then prove that they were laid down annually. 12
Some other ways that scientists know they are looking at annual layers are: When they find nitric acid, it indicates spring and summertime layers. This is because atmospheric nitric acid is not formed and deposited during the winter. These layers are identified using electrical conductivity. Moreover, the presence of bubbles and larger crystal units indicates summer layers. Dust deposits are usually laid down in the spring and summer, and soot indicates summer layers laid down when forest fires occur. And finally, sometimes volcanic ash is found, and in many cases it can be matched to known volcanic eruptions over the last 11,500 years, and beyond. 13
Like many other dating techniques, ice-core dating does not rely upon radioactive isotopes. There is also the fact that all of the different ice-core dating methods agree well with each other. So, despite young-earth creationist claims to the contrary, ice-core dating is reliable. It has been extended back 160,000 years with an accuracy that goes from 2 percent error at about 40,000 BP, on up to 10 percent error at about 60,000 BP, and then up to 20 percent error at about 110,000 BP. 14 These facts, then, make it clear that the young-earth creationist claim that there was an ice age right after the flood makes no sense, nor is that claim in agreement with many other lines of evidence. 15
Although two planes were found in Greenland with hundreds of layers above them even though they had been buried for only forty-six years, this discovery is still no problem for ice-core dating. This is because sub-annual layers occur much more along the coast, where these two planes were found, than in Central Greenland, where most ice-cores are obtained. And, as already outlined, scientists can distinguish between sub-annual and annual layers. The critics of ice-core dating incorrectly extrapolated the 5.5 feet of snowfall per year at this coastal location, where the planes were found, to Central Greenland where ancient ice-cores are often obtained. At this central location, annual snowfall rates are much less. Also, these planes were buried under snow on an active glacier, whereas ice-core dating scientists only drill into the layers of stable ice sheets. 16
This topic continues in Part 3
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Kent Hovind, “FAQ: If the earth is only 6,000 years old how do we see stars billions of light years away?” Creation Science Evangelism, Retrieved from: http://drdino.com/ 30 January 2003
- Isaak, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, 218
- Ken Ham, et al., The Revised and Expanded Answers Book (Green Forest: Master Books, Inc., 2000), 87-94.
- Isaak, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, 186
- Dr. J. Osgood, “The Date of Noah’s Flood,” Creation Magazine, Vol. 4, issue 1, March 1981, pp. 10-13.
- Morton, “Young Earth Arguments: A Second Look”
- Damien Spillane, “Ice Core Layers Don’t Lie,” News and
- Isaak, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, 166
- Edward T. Babinski, “Creationist ‘Flood Geology’ vs Common Sense,” Bachelor of Science, Biology, Retrieved from: http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/ 27 November 2004
- Isaak, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, 166, 218, 233-234
- Ibid., 137
- Matt Brinkman, “Ice Core Dating,” The TalkOrigins Archive, (1995), Retrieved from: http://www.talkorigins.org/ 26 November 2004
- Paul H. Seely, “The GISP2 Ice Core: Ultimate Proof that Noah’s Flood Was Not Global,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, vol. 55, no. 4, December 2003, pp. 253-255.
- Dr. Roger C. Wiens, “Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective,” Science in Christian Perspective, Retrieved from: http://www.asa3.org/ 18 December 2008
- Isaak, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, 240-242
- Seely, “The GISP2 Ice Core: Ultimate Proof that Noah’s Flood Was Not Global,” p. 258
Originally posted: 2012-OCT-13
Author: Monte Benson
Source: "The World Peace Prophecies: The Unification of Science, Religion, and Humanity," Chapter 4, at: http://www.angelfire.com/