Posted by: rmbrowning | June 6, 2009

Evidence indicates both the earth and the universe are old

In response to this post: http://thebibleistheotherside.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/evidence-indicates-a-young-earth-rather-than-old

Scientists have many different methods of dating our earth and universe. All of these methods give ages much older than those accepted by young earth creationism (YEC). If the earth is only 6000 years old, why does a mountain of evidence contradict this? For me it raises questions about the honesty of the God of YEC. These are just a few brief examples.

  1. Dendochronology or tree ring dating gives us an age of around 11000 years old.

  2. Thermoluminescence: method of dating materials based on stored nuclear energy, can date items more than 80,000 years old.

  3. Radioisotope dating: based on observed ratios between different isotopes of radioactive elements, dates some rocks on earth older than 4.4 billion years (uranium-thorium, potassium-argon). Carbon 14 dating is used on organic samples to gives dates of tens of thousands of years.

  4. Electronic spin resonance: can date samples hundreds of thousands of years old.

  5. Fission track dating is suggestive of an earth billions of years old.

  6. Light from distant galaxies reaching earth indicates the earth is much older than a few thousand, otherwise we wouldn’t see anything past the milky-way.

  7. Red-shifted light from distant galaxies is indicative of the universe of almost 14 billion years old.

More reading:
Chronometric dating part 1
Chronometric dating part 2
Red shift

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Responses

  1. […] Browning responds to young-earth views here. Share […]

  2. So then, you’ve imposed the word of fallible, finite men who weren’t there [and who are admittedly antagonistic to the very idea of God in most cases and whose methods are fraught with assumptions] onto the revealed Word of an infallible, infinite God who was there – and you think that’s rightly dividing the Word of Truth?

    This seems to contradict your belief statement. It seems your ultimate authority is not God’s Word, but rather the word of godless men – so long as it goes by the name of science.

    If you’d like I could answer each of your dating methods. I could also mention that helium found in zircons and C-14 in dino bones completely contradicts the uniformitarian long age view.

    What I’m more concerned with here is that you do not seem to realize that Christ the Savior is also Christ the Creator. More to the point, if Genesis cannot be trusted, the sinner is right to question why he should trust any other part of the Bible, even when it says he must be saved. If Genesis is not trustworthy, then we must question whether Adam & Eve literally existed, whether they literally fell and imputed a sin debt upon all of Adam’s blood that required a literal scarifice from God’s literal Son to save us from a literal hell. Doubting Genesis is to doubt the foundational basis of the Gospel itself, not to mention the reliability of God’s revealed Word. And do you think that these authorities, whom you trust so much when you doubt the historicity of the miracle of a 6-day Creation as revealed by God Himself, do not, in the name of science, also doubt other miracles: that water can turn to wine, that the weather can be controlled at a word, that the sick can be healed and limbs can spontaneously regenerate, that the dead can be raised and that a man might be God Incarnate and also rise from the dead after three days?

    Your position makes strange bedfellows and causes strange fire to be preached from our pulpits.

    Who’s side are you on anyway?

    –Sirius Knott

  3. Hi Sirius,

    Thank you for stopping by and voicing your opinion. I’ll provide mine as best as I can, some of it may be somewhat brief.

    I’d say, that I accept the empirical evidence that science offers, but I also acknowledge a real and vital role for God in the process. I don’t think that science and religion are mutually exclusive, and a lot of Christian scientists would attest to that. Science and religion are cousins, in that they both attempt to seek out and expose the truth. I would compare the current “controversies” surrounding science to what happened with Copernicus and Galileo. A heliocentric solar system was incompatible with a face-value interpretation. Yet that is exactly what the evidence suggested.

    I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. I don’t think that means that it is absolutely infallible or that we can take everything it says at face value. A good post on the subject from one smarter than I regarding Genesis. I can get factual information on natural phenomena from biologists, physicists and geologists. The Bible, however, is concerned with much more than that. The Bible tells us about theology and God’s dealings with men. It stands and falls on what is behind the world we live, and what lies beyond it. Most importantly it tells us who we should be like. Miracles are supernatural events, so therefore they are not examinable by science, unlike other natural phenomena.

    My motives for it was to gives a few examples to show that the evidence does not support a view that the earth is so young. Helium zircons are discussed here. Is the dinosaur bones and carbon 14 about Hugh Miller? I’ve seen it debunked somewhere, I’ll have to remember where I saw it. You can offer your opinion on the list if you like but even if you did manage to poke holes in these methods, it doesn’t automatically make a young earth correct by default. Why don’t YEC’s come up with their own scientific dating methods, rather than just trying to discredit the mainstream and jumping on any finding that seems to support their view?

    Whose side am I on? Science isn’t the enemy and science isn’t atheism. Science is the explanation of natural phenomena and the pursuit of knowledge. I’m a Christian who would like to see honest dialogue between religion and science. I see creationism as extremely unhelpful to modern Christianity. It hurts our credibility with educated individuals and therefore creates a stumbling block for people coming to Christ.

  4. I’m personally committed to a “jot and tittle literal” understanding of Scripture, because I trust in Jesus, and I’d rather take His word on the Word than anybody else’s.

    But…

    Having said that, I’m also committed to a “the heavens declare the glory of God” understanding of Nature, which makes it hard for me to ignore the evidence of the sticks, stones, stars and isotopes.

    So…

    I’m quite confident that there IS an answer to this puzzle–one which turns out to be radically faithful to the text of Scripture, yet which perfectly matches the actual physical evidence.

    If I were a post-millenialist, I’d be pushing the envelope to figure out what that answer was and then tell everybody about it. Having watched the world a while, I’m less than confident that it would do much good to bring out a scientific proof of the validity of Genesis 1-11.

    Having said that, however, I believe it does real harm to bring out an allegedly “scientific” proof of the validity of Genesis 1-11 that can’t stand up to a really rigorous test. A good hypothesis can take some rough treatment. Pseudo-science can’t.


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