Thousands Or Billions
The ages of the earth’s components and neighboring bodies are additional pieces in the elementary puzzle of evaluating the Bible’s accuracy. While every relevant branch of science plainly supports the existence of life on this planet for billions of years, the Bible undeniably claims that life began only about 6000 years ago. Thus, I included this chapter to reveal the information we have that enables us to place a true age on our planet, its contents, and our celestial neighbors. You should soon understand that there’s no logical way to harmonize the two conflicting accounts respectively provided by science and the Bible. When rendering a verdict on the ages of these objects, I hope you will adhere to observable data rather than succumbing to blind faith. The material contained within this chapter is an expansion of similar ideas offered in Science To The Rescue.
Dating The Earth
Although the Bible doesn’t directly state that the earth itself is only 6000 years old, a moderate amount of common sense will verify this is the position it must take. Expanding on this point, the book ambiguously states that God created the earth “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). However, the earth could not have logically formed prior to the sun (even though Genesis says just the opposite), which is verifiably alluded to be 6000 years old in the Bible. We’re also able to observe planets in other solar systems consistently forming after their celestial anchors. In fact, it’s scientifically impossible for life to thrive on a planet without a proximate location to a star. Thus, Creationists feel compelled to discover evidence for a young planet in order for their dogma to remain inerrant. Even though an overwhelming amount of data suggests that the earth is older than 6000 years, these self-ordained “scientists” are not looking for any evidence disputing their a priori beliefs. This method of research is, to say the least, blatantly dishonest. Those of us viewing all the data from an unbiased perspective can throw out everything we know about astronomy and assume that the earth is a unique case where the planet formed before its star, yet still have more than ample evidence to debunk the young earth claim.
Ironically, Christian geologists made the primary breakthroughs in discovering the earth’s genuine antiquity during the late-eighteenth century. Baron Georges Cuvier was the first to publish observations of a multilayered fossil column, noting that many of the species found in these columns were extinct, settled to very specific layers, and became more complex as he spotted them closer to the earth’s surface. Having no intention to contradict the church’s presumably infallible teachings, Cuvier concluded that there must have been a series of creations and catastrophes omitted from the Bible that were necessarily responsible for creating the physical evidence for these phenomena. Naturally, Cuvier’s discovery is also an important factor for the previously discussed fossil age determinations. James Hutton, another early Christian geologist, found mixed vertical and horizontal rock layers in adjacent areas, leading him to conclude that an exceedingly drawn out natural phenomenon had to push on the earth in order to form the vertical layers. Again, the evidence suggested that the earth was far older than the 6000-year Genesis insinuation.
Only after the aforementioned technique of radiometric dating arrived on the scene could geologists offer such an accurate guess on the earth’s age. Equipped with this knowledge, scientists can now measure quantities of radioactive elements within the earth’s rocks. Researchers have performed this impartial scientific analysis on several thousand rock samples located deep within the fossil columns, and the results are consistently in the billions of years for samples estimated to be this ancient via more primitive dating methods. Although researchers believe that early volcanic activity is responsible for destroying the earth’s oldest rocks, we can still be certain that specimens exceeding four billion years in age are very much in existence. Similar to the rocks on the earth, most meteorites eventually finding their way onto our planet date at four billion years as well.
Those with the futile agenda of proving that the earth has aged only a few thousand years will often point out the uncertainty of how much of the forming isotope was present at the rock’s conception. This much is seemingly true. However, when you consider that every measured radioactive rock just happens to contain the exact isotope arising as a result of the long-term decay of its parent compound, it’s only logical to conclude that the secondary byproduct wasn’t there at the rock’s formation. While some external factors may interfere in a few isolated cases, there are foolproof methods of measuring isolated samples to correct any variance created by such influencing conditions. The only alternative left for young earth believers is to make the desperately absurd claim that God created the rocks thousands of years ago to make them look billions of years old in order to mislead anyone who went searching for truth outside of the Bible. As ridiculous as this hypothesis may seem, I must admit that the scenario wouldn’t be too far removed from God’s motives based on what we’ll study in the upcoming chapters.
Using a procedure analogous to the radiometric dating of rocks, we can determine which radioactive elements are still present on and above the earth. If our planet is truly billions of years old, we should expect elements with short half-lives to be absent from the list of those still present in nature, while elements with long half-lives should be the ones to comprise that very list. In other words, elements that transform at a relatively rapid rate should have disappeared, but elements with lengthier survivals should still be naturally observable. We cannot consider any element with a replenishing source for inclusion in the list because its continuous production will always yield a fresh supply of the element. Unsurprisingly, we find that all eighteen criterion-meeting radioactive elements with a half-life in excess of eighty million years are still found in nature, while all others have disappeared. Thus, we can reasonably conclude that any radioactive material with a half-life less than eighty million years has been present for such a long period that we can’t find it naturally unless some chemical reaction is currently producing it. After twenty half-lives, these elements were in such low quantities that they were virtually undetectable when researchers first performed this experiment many years ago. If the earth’s elements had a starting point 1.6 billion years in the past, we would witness the exact scenario I just described. This discovery opened the door for scientists to place increasingly accurate estimations on the age of the earth, currently believed to be 4.3 billion years. Incidentally, the odds that all these elements would line up in this manner by chance are greater than half a billion to one.
Although these are the foremost techniques we have for dating the earth, there are several more indicators telling us that the earth is older than just a few thousand years. While these methods don’t have the ability to directly support a multi-billion year old planet, they do inform us that the earth must have necessarily been present longer than the apologetically proposed length of six thousand to ten thousand years.
The tides of the earth’s oceans are causing the planet’s rotation to slow by one second per day per 50,000 years. Consequently, the relatively accelerated spinning of the earth millions of years ago would have shortened the length of a day and increased the number of rotations our planet was able to make per revolution around the sun. In a complementary discovery, scientists had already observed coral fossil rings exhibiting the notion that they thrived during a time when the year contained nearly four hundred days.
The continuous spreading of the continents
has also provided evidence for our planet’s age. Once continental drifts
separated the Pangea homeland of the dinosaurs into
Ice layers in
In addition to radiometric tests, we can date rocks by measuring the length of their subjected exposure to cosmic rays. The observable aging occurs when a neutrino, a type of subatomic particle, strikes a rock and reacts with certain minerals to form a measurable amount of radioactive isotope. Using this analysis, rocks in undisturbed desert locations are determined to be hundreds of thousands of years old, while rocks thought to be relatively new, based on independent tests, indicate an age of only a few thousand years.
As I mentioned in 101 Reasons Why Noah’s Story Doesn’t Float, we can use DNA as a
timepiece. In addition to revealing that humans had a common ancestor tens of
thousands of years ago, our DNA indicates that we had a much more distant
common ancestor with bacteria billions of years in the past. While there are
several more sources I could reference that would successfully defend the
undeniable antiquity of the earth, such as the evidence for numerous magnetic
pole reversals in the
Dating The Heavenly Bodies
The authors of Genesis would also have their readers believe that God created the stars on the universe’s fourth day (), about 6000 years ago. However, modern observations tell us that the most distant stars are considerably more than ten billion years in age. Astronomers obtained this valuable piece of knowledge by looking through the powerful Hubble telescope and performing complex number crunching over the discoveries. Because we have applicable procedures for measuring distances this great, such as redshift and parallax (too complicated to get into here), we know the approximate location of distant stars. Since we also know the universal speed of light emanating from these stars, we can now determine that it took the light x amount of years to reach the observing telescope, where x represents the distance of the star divided by the distance light can transverse in one year. Therefore, stars must be at least as old as the time it takes their light to reach the earth from the previously measured distance. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see these stars because their light wouldn’t have reached our eyes yet. In other words, if we are able to see a group of stars ten billion light years away, the distance light can travel in ten billion years, we know that the group of stars is at least ten billion years old because it took the light ten billion years to reach us.
How can light from a star be billions of years old if God created the star only 6000 years ago? The hilarious apologetic answer to this glaring complication is often that “God created the stars 6000 years ago but created their light in transit for us to be able to see them.” To paraphrase this proposal, God is making us see things that never really happened. This suggestion is a classic example of what has been termed a “how-it-could-have-been-scenario,” which substitutes a painfully ridiculous and nonsensical explanation for the obvious answer in the interest of apologetics. It seems that no complication is too difficult for some Christians to invent absurd justifications and phantom harmonizations even though they will consider these acts to be logical violations when used by other religious sects to justify alternative beliefs.
Thanks to the astronauts who visited the moon and returned with rock samples, we’re able to use radiometric dating on lunar rocks as well. Sure enough, the rocks found on the moon’s surface consistently date around three to four billion years. However, scientists calculated the approximate age of the moon well before specimens were ever available for testing. The number of craters gave astronomers the primary clue.
It’s possible to observe the passing of nearby asteroids and to determine how many travel through our region of space over a set period. Considering the size of the moon, we can then determine the likelihood of a single asteroid striking its surface. If we know how likely a strike is to occur, it’s possible to mathematically derive the average length of time elapsing between impacts. We can then quantify the viewable crater evidence by counting the number of strikes on the surface and determining how long it would take the moon to accumulate enough impacts to present its battered condition. Again, we get a figure in the billions of years.
Yet another clue we have on the moon’s age is the layer of dust present on its surface. Because there’s no real atmosphere on our moon, the dust lays virtually undisturbed. Since we know the depth of the debris and the rate at which it collects, we’re able to derive a third date for the moon using only this information. Yet again, we arrive at a number far in excess of one that would support a young biblical universe.
Dating the sun proves to be a bit less conventional because it’s far too thermogenic to get anywhere near it. However, we still have many clues to go on. First, as I mentioned earlier, we know that the sun is necessary to sustain our viability. Since life on our world has thrived for billions of years, it’s only logical to conclude that the sun has enjoyed billions of years of coexistence with our planet. Second, we know the sun is a star. When we observe the formation of other solar systems, we discover, without exception, that the stars form prior to their surrounding planets. Third, we know stars have life cycles. These enormous bodies of gas start out as semi-organized masses of helium and hydrogen before coalescing to form yellow stars similar to our sun. After ten billion years as a yellow star, the concentration of helium in the center makes the star expand into a red giant. A relatively short while later, the star will imminently explode and collapse. Since we’re able to observe countless celestial bodies in all their various stages of progression, we can determine how long they tend to remain in these contrasting phases. Extrapolating this information to our own star, we know that about five billion years were required for the sun to achieve its present state.
Before radiometric dating, there was the “infamous” Charles Darwin. Scholars consider his 1859 manuscript, On the Origin of Species, to be the most popular, if not the greatest, leap forward toward debunking the Bible’s scientific accuracy. Darwin recognized how species are specifically adapted for their respective environments and speculated on how they acquired this adaptation. He also notes the struggles among members of species that lead to survival of only the fittest members. In other words, only those members of the species that are most willing and capable of adapting to changes in their environment will be among the survivors. Most importantly for our discussion, he correctly noted that these natural progressive events would take an enormous amount of time to occur. In the nineteenth century, his theories were obviously heretical to the church because anything other than a God-directed creation was incorrect according to Christian teachings. In these somewhat more enlightened times, Darwin’s work remains the cornerstone of modern biology and even influences some contemporary Christian thought.
Scientists have located simple fossilized organisms, such as bacteria, within rocks well over three billion years old. According to the theory of evolution, plants and animals both evolved from similar, primitive life forms. Since plants and animals are obviously much more complex than the earthly array of prehistoric microorganisms, we would expect their fossils to appear much closer to the earth’s surface. As you might recall from Cuvier’s work, this is exactly what we observe. Through a battery of analytical techniques, we’re solidly able to conclude that plants and animals began appearing on earth around five hundred million years ago. Furthermore, increasingly complex animals presenting advanced nervous systems appear well after the more primitive, less evolved ones.
Human beings are much easier to date because we’re relatively new to the earth and because our distant ancestors left behind extremely helpful clues. Researchers were almost immediately able to conclude that tools discovered in the late-eighteenth century were much older than a few thousand years. Remains of ancient human-like creatures found in the mid-nineteenth century prompted several expeditions to search for more of these mysterious life forms. These human-like creatures would later become known as the Neanderthal, of whom we are not likely to be direct descendants. Recent fossil discoveries in Africa yielded ape-like human remains dating to around a few million years, while paleontologists uncovered two-million-year-old fossils of beings that evidently used two legs to walk upon the African grounds. Furthermore, modern humans, Homo sapien, began to appear around 100,000 years ago. By the time of modern man’s dominating emergence, fossil remains indicating our migration to other regions of the world become readily apparent. Only 10,000 years ago, humans became advanced farmers and hunters. The aforementioned tool discoveries can now be carbon dated to verify their belonging to this era.
Anthropologists have also positively affixed dates for dozens of additional human discoveries to a time prior to the supernatural birth of Adam. Several examples are the domestication of sheep, goats, turkeys, reindeer, water buffalo, cattle, horses, pigs, and dogs; the uncovering of pottery in Japan, woven cloth in Turkey, astronomical markings in South America, cuneiforms in Sumeria, calendars in Egypt, clay tokens in Mesopotamia, paintings in Algeria, and mummies in Peru; and cultivation of wheat, barley, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, lentils, beans, cotton, dates, peas, peppers, rice, peaches, corn, flax, yams, bananas, coconuts, and avocados throughout the world.
Very recently, archaeologists discovered artifacts of a civilization on the ocean floor from inhabitants abandoning this location due to the pre-Genesis ice age. Scientists long anticipated these findings, even though no similar traces had been previously discovered, because such expectations were simply the product of the known coexistence of humans with the latest ice age. Once again, one cannot honestly ignore the obvious biological complications with the Genesis creation story while maintaining its scientific inerrancy.
The Universe According To Genesis
Speaking of Genesis, all the information we need to place a rough biblical date for the age of the earth’s contents is contained within this book and the first chapter of Matthew. Genesis 5 gives the genealogy and ages of Adam through Noah; Genesis 11 provides the genealogy and ages of Noah through Abraham; Matthew 1 offers the genealogy of Abraham through Jesus. More details on the ages of the Abraham through Jesus lineage are available in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Due to sketchy detail, we cannot place a precise value on the time elapsed between Adam and Jesus, but the period in question is roughly 4000 years. It’s certainly no more than 6000 years. This is a universally accepted number by anyone who does not twist the facts in order to meet an agenda. Add on the 2000 years since the start of the Common Era to obtain the total 6000-8000 years between the purported events of Genesis and whatever’s going on in your world at the present.
The genealogies provide us with a time back to Adam, but what information do they provide for the rest of God’s creations? Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Bible gives no specific date for the earth itself, but as I mentioned earlier, the earth has certain requirements to survive. However, God created the contents of the earth and universe during six consecutive sets of evenings and mornings, starting with light on day one and ending with Adam on day six. We can easily conclude that the earth’s contents and the remainder of the universe were, according to the Bible, made only days before Adam. Therefore, biblical authors also claim the sun, moon, stars, plants, and animals to be only about 6000 years of age. Seeing as how anyone with a decent education in the past century knows that this is embarrassingly inconsistent with the wealth of scientific evidence, the search began to find a way around this complication in order to save the Bible’s credibility. However, you will soon realize that Genesis is far beyond hope.
As I mentioned in Science To The Rescue, the Hebrew equivalent for a day is yom. Technically, yom is used to communicate a short period of time, not necessarily a day. Thus, Creationists have proposed that yom, in these early instances, means millions or billions of years. However, the text unambiguously says, “And the morning (boqer) and evening (ereb) were the [nth] day.” Yom clearly and unmistakably refers to a twenty-four hour day in these passages. While yom may have slightly altered meanings in some other verses, there is no possibility for such variation due to the added specificity of mornings and evenings. Thus, Creationists must alter the length of these mornings and evenings into millions or billions of years in order to accommodate scientific observations into their ancient religious dogma.
A passage in Exodus even reiterates the literal six day creation: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work…For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (20:9-11). Christian zealots inserting their “figurative days” interpolation into the text refute its obvious meaning. Genesis clearly maintains that God created his universe in six days only a few thousand years ago. This is absolutely and undeniably wrong.
An alternative explanation commonly offered for the apparent mistakes in Genesis is that even though the days are clearly ranked as being the first, second, third, etc., the numbering of days wasn’t intended to be consecutive. Letting that factor slide, this baseless hypothesis still fails to consider the majority of problems created by Genesis’ statements. Yet another far-fetched explanation is that the authors meant for the days to be figurative, not literal. In other words, Christian apologists deem passages figurative when they undeniably conflict with external information and deem them literal when they are not disprovable or are necessary for furthering the apologetic cause. I doubt any Christian would like it if a Jew asserted that the resurrection of Jesus was only figurative simply because it furthers the Jewish cause, but Christians are committing the same illogical method of assertion when implementing this defense. Besides, I’d really like to know how blatantly biased apologists of any religion objectively determine what is included in these figurative versus literal classifications.
In all seriousness, these explanations are additional examples of poor “how-it-could-have-been-scenarios” that ignore the obvious meaning of the religious text. The Bible is simply stuck with a clearly interpretable 6000-year-old date for everything but the earth itself. If we are to twist and turn everything the Bible clearly states, we could literally turn it into anything from a romance novel to a war manual. It’s from this inescapable conclusion that Creation “Science” was born. Since there was no rational way to get out of the date set in stone by Genesis, the selective search for young earth evidence commenced.
Well, has anyone discovered convincing evidence for the alternative apologetic position? Let’s just say that the percentage of today’s scientists who believe that the earth is only a few thousand years old equals less than one percent, a distribution yielded almost certainly because the dwarfed minority holds their position out of dogmatic desperation. These self-proclaimed scientists are determined to make all evidence fit with a young earth while ignoring the completely overwhelming juggernaut of counterevidence working against their predetermined conclusions. Such research methods are very unscientific and blatantly dishonest because a true scientist does not start out to prove something one way or another. Such researchers should always remain impartial and undecided before considering all of the available evidence to make a rational and logical decision that is independent of their hopes and beliefs.
The Young Universe Assertion
As I alluded to a moment ago, the field of Creation Science is anything but true science. Those who firmly trust that the earth is only 6000 years old are either ignorant of the facts or have a religious agenda to meet. To reiterate the earlier premise of this chapter, a significant piece of the Bible is flawed if the universe is not 6000 years old. It’s extremely rare to find a scientist who has abandoned the old earth theory in favor of the new earth hypothesis. Those who firmly believe that the earth and the balance of the universe are billions of years old arrive at this conclusion not to intentionally destroy the young earth hypothesis, but because this rational decision makes overwhelming sense in light of all the available evidence.
For brevity’s sake, this section will discuss what I feel are the ten most popular arguments that Creationists use to support a young universe. A brief summary of the reasons why we can refute each erroneous apologetic conclusion will immediately follow each said proposal. More detailed arguments and counterarguments for these statements, in addition to other young earth suggestions, can be found in a variety of sources for those particularly interested in the earth age “debate.” In fact, modern authors have dedicated entire books or articles to each upcoming position. Contrarily, the purpose of this section is simply to provide a somewhat concise introduction to the pseudoscience of Creationism.
The sun is shrinking at a rate at which it would have been too large for life on earth millions of years ago. In 1979, researchers John Eddy and Aram Boornazian published the rate of shrinkage measurements utilized in this argument. Since we knew relatively little about the sun when they recorded their observation many years ago, it was premature for readers to assume that the sun had always been shrinking at the rate calculated. Our lungs also contract at a certain rate when we exhale, but that doesn’t mean they’ll collapse within a few seconds. The sun is a star, and we know that stars go through several phases in their lifetimes. It’s also been demonstrated by a plethora of more recent measurements, including eclipse shadow observations, that our sun exhibits repeated stages of shrinking and expanding. In fact, we now understand that these fluctuations are necessary for the sun to provide its heat.
The depth and rate of collection of moondust tell us that the moon is only a few thousand years old. The methodology used to determine how much dust would collect over time was severely flawed when Hans Pettersson first carried out the referenced study in 1960. A series of better-controlled measurements, beginning with one by J. S. Dohnanyi in 1972, arrived at collection rates about 0.1% of the original expectation. In other words, the dust collected at a much slower rate than researchers originally believed. Consequently, we would anticipate much less dust on the surface of the moon. Because of these more representative undertakings, the thin layer of lunar dust provides the moon with an age far beyond 6000 years.
The moon has Uranium-236 and Thorium-230 that should have decayed billions of years ago. You’ll need to recall what I mentioned earlier about radiometric dating. Th-230 is a byproduct of U-238. Of course, if U-238 still exists, Th-230 will as well. Indeed, U-238 does still exist; and as long as it exists, Th-230 will be created as its byproduct. However, lunar uranium ores continually produce U-236 under the right conditions. If we can presently observe the creation of certain isotopes, such as the case for lunar U-236, measurements using such isotopes are invalid for determining an object’s antiquity for the previously mentioned reasons. Thus, U-236 and Th-230 are inapplicable choices for measuring the moon’s age.
The earth’s magnetic field is decreasing at a rate that wouldn’t have allowed life tens of thousands of years ago. Thomas Barnes, the Creationist who published this conclusion in 1973, used an incorrect model of the earth’s interior, measured only one component of the magnetic field that doesn’t decay in correlation with the rest, and ignored the earth’s polarity shifts. Taking notice of any of these factors would have greatly improved his findings. Thus, the foundation of such an argument is as flawed as Barnes’ research. Like the sun’s diameter, the earth’s magnetic field is continuously undergoing a series of fluctuations. The overwhelming majority of other studies, beginning with those cited by T.G. Cowling in 1981, debunk these apologetically referenced calculations.
The depth and rate of formation of topsoil proves that the earth is only a few thousand years old. This is somewhat similar to the moon dust theory, but unlike the moon, the earth has a dynamic surface. Topsoil isn’t going to collect in one place for billions of years, and it’s erroneous to assume that it will if you take the time to make note of its constant erosion. However, topsoil has collected undisturbed for millions of years in isolated regions of The United States. Even though the thickness of topsoil has no direct relation with the true age of the earth, it ironically assists in debunking the young earth hypothesis.
The fossil layers had to be deposited quickly because of the lack of meteorites contained within them. Most meteorites disintegrate while in the earth’s atmosphere. Of those that survive the scorching journey, the impact often causes them to shatter into fragments. A state of tranquility then subjects those fragments to millions of years of natural erosive forces and chemical decomposition. Considering how scarcely a meteorite strikes the earth, it would be foolish to assume that there should be an abundance of meteorite fossils readily found deep beneath the surface of the earth. We can’t even spot more than a handful of craters when they’re unobstructed on the surface. Why, then, would anyone anticipate an abundant discovery of meteorites in hidden places that we can barely examine?
The oldest living tree on the planet is 4300 years old, the era concurrent with Noah’s ark. This desperate proposal doesn’t prove anything because the tree in question will eventually die and have its title given to one of its newer counterparts. This, of course, doesn’t mean that the earth will decrease in age when it happens. Nevertheless, the irony of the apologetic suggestion is yet again on the side of reason because different trees share ring formations provoked by their common environment. Consider two trees in a yard: one was born in 1750 and died in 1950; the other began growing in 1850 and is still living. They will have a common ring pattern from 1850-1950 due to the environmental phenomena that they simultaneously experienced over that period. With this knowledge, researchers were able to find fossilized trees that shared a ring system in their last days with the currently oldest living trees in their youngest days. In other words, the fossilized trees had rings dating back thousands of years before the commonalities began with the currently oldest living trees. Thus, we are able to determine that the now-fossilized trees lived a millennium before the 6000-year-old date placed on the mythical Genesis creation. Additionally, these fossilized trees should have exhibited some degree of damage caused by the global flood. And speaking of the flood…
The human population growth rate can be traced back to the size of Noah’s family. While it’s true that the human population has been growing exponentially in recent history, it’s erroneous to suggest that it has always grown at this magnificent rate because advances in health and technology are the primary contributing factors for this recent boom. Exponential multiplication of species requires nearly ideal conditions, such as those humans enjoy now. We even know that disease kept population growth steady or in decline around the fifteenth century. Furthermore, using such foolish Creationist logic, bacteria would fill the earth in a matter of days due to their extremely high rate of reproduction. Since bacteria don’t have an inexhaustible supply of resources, they are in competition with one another to survive. Thus, they don’t have the means to grow at an exponential rate and cover the entire earth, which would theoretically happen in a matter of days. We can apply the same limitations to humans living thousands of years in the past because their environment was anything but ideal for rapid growth. Two children per two adults kept the population steady for a lengthy historical period. An additional problem with this proposal is that no manufactured wonders surviving from Noah’s era could have been constructed if there were only a handful of people left alive after the alleged global flood.
Historical records only go back thousands of years. This is partially true, but it’s probably because people didn’t have both the capacity and the desire for historical records. In essence, people would only keep written accounts once two conditions were satisfied: important events came along, and people learned to write. While the public may commonly believe that these two conditions were met only a few thousand years ago, we’re fortunate enough to have cave sketches depicting life tens of thousands of years before Genesis says the mystical creation took place. Perhaps if people had learned to write a lot sooner, apologists might be able to make a better case for the Bible in this regard.
Carbon dating is flawed, inaccurate, and unreliable after 50,000 years. We can check the accuracy of carbon dating by calibrating it with the tree ring data mentioned earlier. Only on rare occasion does the discrepancy ever extend beyond 5% within the first several millennia. Because of the ability to synchronize this technique with the long established dating method of counting tree rings, we can confirm the reasonable accurateness of carbon dating. However, it is true that carbon dating isn’t reliable after 50,000 years. For this very reason, no sensible person uses carbon on objects believed to be that old. Due to the small mass of carbon left in an object after ten half-lives, about 0.1% of the original amount, a tiny error in the quantity measured can throw the determined age of the object way off. For example, consider a rock with 100.000 grams of Carbon-14. After one half-life, about 5000 years, it will only have 50.000 grams remaining. If we measure only 49.999 grams due to human error or slight variation in the decay, we’re off by 0.001 grams, yielding a difference of one month in age. This variation should not be of any appreciable consequence. After 50,000 years, the rock will have approximately 0.100 grams of Carbon-14 remaining. If the same circumstances cause us to be off by the exact same amount of 0.001 grams, we will measure the sample as having 0.099 grams, which will put us off the mark by about 100 years! This is why we need to use slowly decaying elements to measure older objects. Carbon is simply the standard for measuring modern objects since it decays faster, thus yielding a smaller margin of error on these samples.
The earth, sun, moon, and stars are billions of years old. Plants and animals have been around for hundreds of millions of years. Man first appeared tens of thousands of years ago. Every piece of falsifiable evidence from every relevant branch of science tells us that these statements are undeniably accurate. The fallible authors of the Bible unambiguously purport that God created all these objects about 6000 years ago because they didn’t have access to the technology utilized by contemporary scientists. The only individuals still hanging onto this outdated superstitious belief are the ones who desperately cling to dying apologetic agendas. Others have unsuccessfully sought to rectify the Genesis account with preferential scientific discoveries.
The erroneous biblical claim of the earth’s creation is yet another reason why many Christians have now turned their backs on a literal interpretation of the creation tale. If we allow other religions the same amount of leniency, could we ever possibly determine which one is making the legitimate claims? Due to the overwhelming amount of observable, testable, and falsifiable evidence, we can comfortably denounce the proclaimed authenticity of the Bible solely on its erroneous, pseudoscientific claims.