From: "The World Peace Prophecies: The Unification of Science,
Religion, and Humanity," donated by its author, Monte Benson
Part 3: 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 2
River Channels and Impact Craters:
What makes the case for young-earth creationism even weaker is the fact that scientists have discovered many river channels within the geologic column. We know these channels were carved by rivers because when oil wells were drilled into them, sand and shales were discovered. These were clearly deposited by the rivers that once flowed through them. In fact, oil wells were drilled to the same level near such ancient riverbeds and only limestone was found, not sand or shales. This is yet another major problem for young-earth creationists, because if they are right, it would mean that rivers formed during the flood, deep under water, and then, for instance, cut into the top of white limestone under what is now Texas (about 1,670 feet down) with about 5,000 feet of so-called flood sediments underneath it. Nonetheless, we know this could not have happened. 1
What about the young-earth creationist claim that there are no impact craters from comets, asteroids, or meteorites in the geologic column? Well, there are, in truth, many impact craters deep within the geologic column, and this is what one would expect if it was laid down over many millions of years. Not only that, impact products and even meteorites have been discovered within it. Yet we know that if impacts by large objects had all occurred during the biblical flood (i.e., in less than one year) Noah and his family could not have survived. 2
Hydrodynamic Sorting and Differential Mobility?
Another young-earth creationist claim is that the sequence of fossils in the geologic column can be explained by hydrodynamic sorting (the idea that the floodwaters sorted organisms according to weight, size, and shape) and differential mobility (the idea that faster animals reached higher ground while slower animals were buried by the flood). There are many reasons though why these two claims are false. For instance, fossil ammonites are found only in the lower part of the fossil record and yet they have buoyancy chambers inside of their shells, and also, even though different ammonite species are of very different sizes (from a fraction of an inch to several feet), they still appear in the same deposit.
What about differential mobility? Consider this. Humans are only found in the very top of the fossil record. But why are not some human fossils found below this? Certainly, there would have been many cripples, very old people, young children, and sick persons who would have been unable to make it to higher ground. And there also should have been many coastal dwellers who were asleep at the moment the floodwaters came upon them. Furthermore, why do we not find pterodactyl or early bird fossils in the upper strata when these creatures could fly? Finally, why are many large slow moving animals found above these creatures in contradiction to young-earth claims?
To attempt to deal with some of these problems, young-earth proponents claim that ecological zone stacking helps to explain the fossil record. This is the idea that huge sections of marine and land surfaces were picked up during the flood and then stacked in a manner to help create the fossil record. However, one reason this idea is false is because geologic layers found deep inland can be traced towards the coast with proper ecological changes present. In fact, volcanic ash is even found in some of these layers in a manner that also indicates there was no such overturning of land.
There is also the fact that low density animals are not found predominantly in the upper layers with more dense animals being found predominantly throughout the lower regions. For instance, distinct species of trilobites with the same size, shape, and weight are all sorted in accordance with evolutionary theory, when, according to young-earth proponents, they should all be found more or less together. Also, clam-type mollusks, which are more dense than trilobites, are only found in the layers above them.
Then there is the fact that plants with flowers are not found until higher in the fossil record, when, according to young-earth creationist theory, since plants cannot move themselves, they should be found from the lower part of the geologic column on up to the higher levels in accordance with the elevations they grew at. Why then are certain species of trees only found in upper strata above other tree species that grew at higher elevations? Certainly, if the worldwide flood actually occurred, one would expect those plants that only grow at higher elevations to be found, for the most part, above plants that only grow at lower elevations. Nonetheless, that is not what is found. And to make matters even worse, the fossils of huge carnivorous dinosaurs, only found in the Mesozoic layer, are always found below certain animal fossils, even though those animals travel at a much slower speed. 3
Another major problem concerns trillions and trillions of incomplete fossils of eel-like animals called condonts. According to the worldwide flood model, most of these animals should have been buried rapidly, and therefore, they should be well preserved. But the geologic record shows the opposite. Virtually all condont fossils found so far are poorly preserved. In fact, it was not until 1983 that a well preserved one was finally discovered. It was found in Scotland at the Carboniferous level. Yet, since these creatures are prevalent in marine deposits all over the earth, from the mid-Cambrian up to the late Triassic, why then have we not found more that are well preserved? There is also the fact that hydrodynamic sorting cannot explain the manner in which condonts and zonal fossils are distributed in the geologic column, nor can it explain the manner in which graptolite fossils, which are found all over North America and have the same hydrodynamic qualities, are always sorted vertically in the same evolutionary series. 4
But this is not all. Planktonic forams, which range in size from 0.1 mm to 10 mm or more, by themselves totally disprove the idea that a global flood caused the geologic column. For according to young-earth proponents, planktonic forams should be found in the same strata, perhaps even nearby, separated out with the largest at the bottom and the smallest at the top. Yet, this is not at all what we find. Genera of these forams, all of similar size and differing only in test decoration, are found throughout vast vertical distances of the geologic column. Not only that, their sequence in the strata are almost completely invariant around the globe. Thus, because of this, they are used as index fossils, which help to define and identify geologic periods.
Furthermore, if the flood happened in the manner young-earth creationists believe it did, many more planktonic forams would have been alive at its inception than at its end, and thus the planktonic forams that survived would be the forty-four species living today. Thus these species should appear throughout the flood layers since they would have existed before, during, and after it. But this is not what is found. Planktonic forams do not even show up until the Jurassic period. So this means that throughout half of the global flood’s deposition of sediment these forams do not show up! Therefore, the young-earth flood theory demands the impossible: These forams did not exist in the pre-flood world! It thus becomes clear that the sequence of microfossils predicted by global flood proponents does not exist, and in fact, the same is true for fish and mammal fossils, as well. 5
As if that were not enough to disprove young-earth creationism, there is also the fact that it is absolutely impossible for all of the animal and plant life in the fossil record to have lived during the time before the flood (a maximum of about 6,300 years). The earth simply could not have supported them all. 6
Although I could go on and on with more and more evidence against the idea that a worldwide flood sorted the fossils in the geologic column, I feel this is enough to make the point. For those interested, the website TalkOrigins discusses many other details on this subject, such as how differential escape and ecological zonation cannot explain the fossil record. The following article from the TalkOrigins Archive is one good place to start: “Problems with a Global Flood,” by Mark Isaak.
I want to make it clear before moving on that I believe very strongly in the biblical flood and in the accuracy of the Bible. After extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that the flood was local to the Near East. Because my revolutionary discoveries concerning the reality of the flood are so important, I will be documenting them in great detail in Chapter 6. However, in what follows, I will offer a few more rebuttals to some of the most common young-earth creationist arguments that are used to attack the idea that the earth is billions of years old. There are many other such creationist arguments (erosion rate of the continents and of Niagara falls, rates of stalactite formation, amount of salt in the oceans, etc.), but of course, I cannot address them all in this book. Again, for those interested, I recommend starting at the TalkOrigins website.
Dust on the Moon:
Some creationists claim that the amount of dust on the moon proves that the earth-moon system is only about 6,000 years old. However, this is clearly false, for according to satellite penetration data, the expected depth of dust on the moon during its 4.5 billion year lifetime is less than a foot, which is in accordance with the depth of dust actually found on the moon. Also, the theoretical amount of extraterrestrial dust that should have accumulated on the earth’s surface over its 4.6 billion year lifetime is in agreement with the level of extraterrestrial dust actually measured in earth sediments.
The young-earth creationists claim that the moon is much, much younger than 4.5 billion years old originated in the 1950s (before NASA’s first lunar landing) with Hans Pettersson’s faulty measurements taken on a mountaintop. 7 Young-earth creationists even misquote a 1967 NASA article by G. S. Hawkins and make reference to the International Geophysical Year committee report, claiming that it was published in 1985 when it was actually published in 1958. If they would just take into account the scientific discoveries since 1960, they would realize their error. Indeed, a number of young-earth creationists now acknowledge that the moon dust argument for a young-earth is false. 8
Recession of the Moon:
Many creationists argue that based on the rate at which the moon is receding away from the earth today, billions of years ago it would have been so close to the earth that tides would have eroded away the continents. Yet their main reason for believing this is because of their reliance upon outdated research (i.e., Slichter 1963). The truth is that the moon had a slower recession rate in the past, and, calculating backwards, even billions of years ago it would have still been far enough away from the earth to remain in a stable orbit.
To attack the idea that the moon is 4.5 billion years old, young-earth creationists have to reject the theory that the continents on earth were arranged differently millions of years ago. They must reject this theory because the moon’s recession is related to its tidal friction with the earth, and therefore, to plate tectonics. This friction over millions of years has accelerated this recession. An excellent article by Tim Thompson titled “The Recession of the Moon and the Age of the Earth-Moon System” 9 makes it clear that the moon had a slower recession rate in the past. Today this recession rate is 3.82 ±0.07 cm/year. Extensive study of fossil corals, mollusks, and tidally laminated sediments from 2.5 billion to 650 million years ago gives solid evidence that lunar recession was significantly less then (e.g., at 1.95 ±0.29 cm/year around 650 million years ago, and even less 1 billion years ago).
So, theory is confirmed by physical evidence. And finally, it is worth pointing out that the calculations made by DeYoung in 1992 that indicate a maximum age for the earth of 1.4 billion years are in error because his constant for dissipation and deformation should, in fact, not be constant. 10
This topic continues in Part 4
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Morton, “Young-Earth Arguments: A Second Look”
- Dave E. Matson, “How good are those young-earth arguments?” The TalkOrigins Archive, (1994), Retrieved from: http://www.talkorigins.org/ 18 December 2008
- Babinski, “Creationist ‘Flood Geology’ vs Common Sense”
- Mark Isaak, “Geological Evidence for Noah’s Flood? A look at Walt Brown’s Geologic Claims,” Retrieved from: http://www.geocities.com/ 26 November 2004
- Glenn R. Morton, “Microfossil Stratigraphy Presents Problems for the Flood,” Cited on the Cal State Fullerton Evolution and Creation Page, July 1, 2001, (2000), Retrieved from: http://home.entouch.net/ 24 July 2004
- Hugh Ross, Ph.D., The Genesis Question (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1998), 151-154, 157.
- Tim Thompson, “Meteorite Dust and the Age of the Earth,” The TalkOrigins Archive, (1996), Retrieved from: http://www.talkorigins.org/ 15 July 2004
- Dave E. Matson, “How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?” The TalkOrigins Archive, (1994), Retrieved from: http://www.talkorigins.org/ 18 December 2008
- Tim Thompson, “The Recession of the Moon and the Age of the Earth Moon System,” The TalkOrigins Archive, (2000), Retrieved from: http://www.talkorigins.org/ 15 July 2004
- Isaak, The Counter-Creationism Handbook, Page 178
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/