Most Scientific Dating Techniques Indicate That the Earth, Solar System, and Universe Are Young.
For the last 150 years, the age of the Earth, as assumed by evolutionists, has been doubling at roughly a rate of once every 15 years. In fact, since 1900 this age has multiplied by a factor of 100!
Evolution requires an old Earth, an old solar system, and an old universe. Nearly all informed evolutionists will admit that without billions of years their theory is dead. Yet, hiding the “origins question” behind a vast veil of time makes the unsolvable problems of evolution difficult for scientists to see and laymen to imagine. Our media and textbooks have implied for over a century that these almost unimaginable ages are correct. Rarely do people examine the shaky assumptions and growing body of contrary evidence. Therefore, most people today almost instinctively believe that the Earth and universe are billions of years old. Sometimes, these people are disturbed, at least initially, when they see the actual evidence.
Actually, most dating techniques indicate that the Earth and solar system are young—possibly less than 10,000 years old. Here are some of these points of evidence:
One product of radioactive decay within rocks is helium, a light gas. This helium then enters the atmosphere—at a much faster rate than it escapes the atmosphere. (Large amounts of helium should not escape into outer space, even when considering helium’s low atomic weight.) Radioactive decay of only uranium and thorium would produce all the atmosphere’s helium in only 40,000 years. Therefore, the atmosphere appears to be young (a).
a. “What Happened to the Earth’s Helium?” New Scientist,
Vol. 24, 3 December 1964, pp. 631–632.
Melvin A. Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models
(London: Max Parrish, 1966), pp. 10–14.
Melvin A. Cook, “Where is the Earth’s Radiogenic Helium?” Nature,
Vol. 179, 26 January 1957, p. 213.
Joseph W. Chamberlain, Theory of Planetary Atmospheres
(New York: Academic Press, 1987), pp. 371–372.
Lead and Helium Diffusion
Lead diffuses (or leaks) from zircon crystals at known rates that increase with temperature. Because these crystals are found at different depths in the Earth, those at greater depths and temperatures should have less lead. If the Earth’s crust is just a fraction of the age claimed by evolutionists, measurable differences in the lead content of zircons should exist in the top 4,000 meters. Instead, no measurable difference is found (a).
Similar conclusions are reached based on the helium content in these same zircon crystals (b). Because helium escapes so rapidly and so much helium is still in zircons, they (and the Earth’s crust) must be less than 10,000 years old (c). Furthermore, the radioactive decay that produced all that helium must have happened quite rapidly, because the helium is trapped in young
a. “Taken together, these results strongly suggest that there has been little or no differential Pb loss which can be attributed to the higher temperatures existing at greater depths.”
Robert V. Gentry et al., “Differential Lead Retention in Zircons: Implications for Nuclear Waste Containment,” Science,
16 April 1982, p. 296.
Robert V. Gentry, “Letters,” Physics Today,
October 1982, pp. 13–14.
b. Robert V. Gentry, “Letters,” Physics Today,
April 1983, p. 13.
c. “In fact, considering the Precambrian age of the granite cores, our results show an almost phenomenal amount of He has been retained at higher temperatures, and the reason for this certainly needs further investigation ...”
Robert V. Gentry et al., “Differential Helium Retention in Zircons,” Geophysical Research Letters,
Vol. 9, No. 10, October 1982, p. 1130.
Robert V. Gentry, personal communication, 24 February 1984.
D. Russell Humphreys et al., “Helium Diffusion Rates Support Accelerated Nuclear Decay,” Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., 2003), pp. 175–195.
Excess Fluid Pressure
Abnormally high oil, gas, and water pressures exist within relatively permeable rock (a). If these fluids had been trapped more than 10,000 to 100,000 years ago, leakage would have dropped these pressures far below what they are today. This oil, gas, and water must have been trapped suddenly and recently (b).
a. “It is certain that at the present time large areas of the Gulf Coast are underlain by zones containing water under pressure almost high enough to float the overlying rocks.”
Parke A. Dickey, Calcutta R. Shriram, and William R. Paine, “Abnormal Pressures in Deep Wells of Southwestern Louisiana,” Science,
Vol. 160, No. 3828, 10 May 1968, p. 614.
b. “Some geologists find it difficult to understand how the great pressures found in some oil wells could be retained over millions of years. Creationists also use this currently puzzling situation as evidence that oil was formed less than 10,000 years ago.”
Stansfield, p. 82. [Stansfield had no alternative explanation.]
Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models,
Volcanoes eject almost a cubic mile of material into the atmosphere each year, on average. At this rapid rate, about 10 times the entire volume of Earth’s sedimentary rock should be produced in 4.5 billion years. Actually, only about 25% of Earth’s sediments are of volcanic origin, and much greater volcanic activity existed in the past. No means have been proposed for removing or transforming all the missing volcanic sediments. Therefore, Earth’s sediments seem to be much younger than 4.5 billion years (a).
a. Ariel A. Roth, “Some Questions about Geochronology,” Origins,
Vol. 13, No. 2, 1986, pp. 75–76.“It has been estimated that just four volcanoes spewing lava at the rate observed for Paricutín
[a Mexican volcano that erupted in 1943] and continuing for five billion years could almost account for the volume of the continental crusts.”
Stansfield, p. 81.
More than 27 billion tons of river sediments enter the oceans each year. Probably the rate of sediment transport is diminishing as looser topsoil is removed and as erosion smooths out Earth’s terrain. Even if erosion has been constant, the sediments now on the ocean floor would have accumulated in only 30 million years. No process has been proposed which can remove 27 billion tons of ocean sediments each year. So, the oceans cannot be hundreds of millions of years old (a).
a. Stuart E. Nevins, “Evolution: The Ocean Says No!” Symposium on Creation V
(Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), pp. 77–83.
Roth, “Some Questions about Geochronology,” pp. 69–71.
The continents are eroding at a rate that would level them in much less than 25 million years (a). However, evolutionists believe that fossils of animals and plants at high elevations have somehow avoided this erosion for more than 300 million years. Something is wrong.
a. Nevins, pp. 80–81.
George C. Kennedy, “The Origin of Continents, Mountain Ranges, and Ocean Basins,” American Scientist,
Vol. 47, December 1959, pp. 491–504.
Roth, “Some Questions about Geochronology,” pp. 65–67. “North America is now being eroded at a rate that could level it in a mere 10 million years ...”
Dott and Batten, p. 133.
Rivers carry dissolved elements such as copper, gold, lead, mercury, nickel, silicon, sodium, tin, and uranium into the oceans at very rapid rates when compared with the small quantities of these elements already in the oceans. In other words, far fewer than a million years’ worth of metals are dissolved in the oceans (a). There is no known means by which large amounts of these elements can come out of solution. Therefore, the oceans must be much younger than a million years.
a. “... most metals are markedly undersaturated with respect to their least soluble compounds, and the supply of metals during geological time has been more than sufficient to attain saturation.”
Peter G. Brewer, “Minor Elements in Sea Water,” Chemical Oceanography,
editors J. P. Riley and G. Skirrow, Vol. 1, 2nd edition (New York: Academic Press, 1975), p. 427.
Meteorites are steadily falling onto Earth. This rate was probably much greater in the past, because planets have swept from the solar system much of the original meteoritic material. Therefore, experts have expressed surprise that meteorites are almost always found in young sediments, very near Earth’s surface (a). (Unsuccessful searches have been made for these deep—and very valuable—meteorites, including in the Grand Canyon and along conveyor belts in coal processing plants.) Even meteoritic particles in ocean sediments are concentrated in the topmost layers (b).
If Earth’s sediments, which average about a mile in thickness on the continents, were deposited over hundreds of millions of years, as evolutionists believe, we would expect to find many deeply buried iron meteorites. Because this is not the case, the sediments were probably deposited rapidly, followed by “geologically recent” meteorite impacts. Also, because no meteorites are found immediately above the basement rocks on which these sediments rest, these basement rocks were not exposed to meteoritic bombardment for any great length of time.
Similar conclusions can be made about ancient rock slides which are frequently found on Earth’s surface, but are generally absent from supposedly old rock (c).
a. Fritz Heide, Meteorites (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), p. 119.
Peter A. Steveson, “Meteoritic Evidence for a Young Earth,” Creation Research Society Quarterly,
Vol. 12, June 1975, pp. 23–25. “...neither tektites nor other meteorites have been found in any of the ancient geologic formations...”
Ralph Stair, “Tektites and the Lost Planet,” The Scientific Monthly,
July 1956, p. 11. “No meteorites have ever been found in the geologic column.”
William Henry Twenhofel, Principles of Sedimentation, 2nd edition
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950), p. 144. “...the astronomer Olbers had noticed: that there are no ‘fossil’ meteorites known, from any period older than the middle of the Quaternary. The quantity of coal mined during the last century amounted to many billions of tons, and with it about a thousand meteorites should have been dug out, if during the time the coal deposits were formed the meteorite frequency had been the same as it is today. Equally complete is the absence of meteorites in any other geologically old material that has been excavated in the course of technical operations.”
F. A. Paneth, “The Frequency of Meteorite Falls throughout the Ages,” Vistas in Astronomy,
Vol. 2, editor Arthur Beer (New York: Pergamon Press, 1956), p. 1681. “I have interviewed the late Dr. G. P. Merrill, of the U.S. National Museum, and Dr. G. T. Prior, of the British Natural History Museum, both well-known students of meteorites, and neither man knew of a single occurrence of a meteorite in sedimentary rocks.”
W. A. Tarr, “Meteorites in Sedimentary Rocks?” Science,
Vol. 75, 1 January 1932, pp. 17–18. “No meteorites have been found in the geological column.”
Stansfield, p. 81. “In view of the connection of comets, meteors, and meteorites, the absence of meteorites in old deposits in the crust of the earth is very significant. It has been estimated that at least 500 meteorites should have been found in already worked coal seams, whereas none has been identified in strata older than the Quaternary epoch (about 1 million years ago). This suggests a very recent origin of meteorites and, by inference, of comets.”
N. T. Bobrovnikoff, “Comets,” Astrophysics,
editor J. A. Hynek (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1951), p. 352.
b. Hans Pettersson, “Cosmic Spherules and Meteoritic Dust,” Scientific American,
Vol. 202, February 1960, pp. 123–129.
c. “Examples of ancient rock slides have been identified from the geologic column in few instances.”
William Henry Twenhofel, Treatise on Sedimentation, Vol. 1, 2nd edition
(New York: Dover Publications, 1961), p. 102.
Meteoritic dust is accumulating on Earth so fast that, after 4 billion years (at today’s low and diminishing rate), the equivalent of more than 16 feet of this dust should have accumulated. Because this dust is high in nickel, Earth’s crust should have abundant nickel. No such concentration has been found on land or in the oceans. Therefore, Earth appears to be young (a).
a. Steveson, pp. 23–25.
If the Earth began in a molten state, it would have cooled to its present condition in much less than 4.5 billion years. This conclusion holds even if one makes liberal assumptions about the amount of heat generated by radioactive decay within Earth (a). The known temperature pattern inside Earth is consistent only with a young Earth.
a. Harold S. Slusher and Thomas P. Gamwell, Age of the Earth, ICR Technical Monograph No. 7
(El Cajon, California: Institute for Creation Research, 1978).
Leonard R. Ingersoll et al., Heat Conduction: With Engineering, Geological and Other Applications,
revised edition (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1954), pp. 99–107.
As tidal friction gradually slows Earth’s spin, the laws of physics require the Moon to recede from Earth. (Edmond Halley first observed this recession in 1695.) Even if the Moon began orbiting near Earth’s surface, the Moon should have moved to its present distance from Earth in billions of years less time than the 4.6-billion-year age evolutionists assume for the Earth and Moon. So, the Earth-Moon system must be much younger than most evolutionists assume. [For details see pages: 501-504
Moon Dust and Debris
If the Moon were billions of years old, it should have accumulated a thick layer of dust and debris from meteoritic bombardment. Before instruments were placed on the Moon, some scientists were very concerned that astronauts would sink into a sea of dust—possibly a mile in thickness (a). This did not happen. Very little meteoritic debris is on the Moon. In fact, after examining rocks and dust brought back from the Moon, scientists learned that only about 1/67th of the dust and debris came from outer space. Recent measurements of the influx rate of meteoritic material on the Moon also do not support an old Moon. [For details see pages: 506-509
Figure 31: Moon Dust and Debris. Concern that astronauts and equipment would sink into a sea of dust was so great that two missions (Ranger and Surveyor) were sent to the Moon for a closer look. The anticipated problem, which turned out not to exist, arose from the belief that the Moon is billions of years old.
a. Before instruments were sent to the Moon, Isaac Asimov made some interesting, but false, predictions. After estimating the great depths of dust that should be on the Moon, Asimov dramatically ended his article by stating:“I get a picture, therefore, of the first spaceship, picking out a nice level place for landing purposes, coming in slowly downward tail-first and sinking majestically out of sight.”
Isaac Asimov, “14 Million Tons of Dust Per Year,” Science Digest,
January 1959, p. 36.
Lyttleton felt that the dust from only the erosion of exposed Moon rocks by ultraviolet light and x-rays “could during the age of the moon be sufficient to form a layer over it several miles deep.”
Raymond A. Lyttleton, The Modern Universe
(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), p. 72.
Thomas Gold proposed that thick layers of dust accumulated in the lunar maria. [See Thomas Gold, “The Lunar Surface,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society of London,
Vol. 115, 1955, pp. 585–604.]
Fears about the dust thickness were reduced when instruments were sent to the Moon from 1964 to 1968. However, some concern still remained, at least in Neil Armstrong’s mind, as he stepped on the Moon. [See transcript of conversations from the Moon, Chicago Tribune, 21 July 1969, Section 1, p. 1, and Paul D. Ackerman, It’s a Young World After All
(Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986), p. 19.]
A tall pile of tar will slowly flow downhill, ultimately spreading into a nearly horizontal sheet of tar. Most material, under pressure, “creeps” in this way, although rocks deform very, very slowly.
Calculations show that the growing upward bulges of large crater floors on the Moon should occur to their current extent in only 10,000 to 10,000,000 years (a). Large, steep-walled craters exist even on Venus and Mercury, where gravity is greater, and temperatures are hot enough to melt lead. Therefore, creep rates on those planets should be even greater. Most large craters on the Moon, Venus, and Mercury are thought to have formed more than 4,000,000,000 years ago. Because these craters show no sign of “creep,” these bodies seem to be relatively young.
Figure 32: Young Craters. Large craters on the Moon have high, steep walls that should be slowly slumping and deep floors that should be bulging upward. Little deformation exists, so these craters appear relatively young. Similar conclusions can be drawn for Venus and Mercury.
a. Glenn R. Morton, Harold S. Slusher, and Richard E. Mandock, “The Age of Lunar Craters,” Creation Research Society Quarterly,
Vol. 20, September 1983, pp. 105–108.
The above study drew upon the work of Z. F. Danes, which was described as follows: “The history of a circular crater in a highly viscous medium is derived from the hydrodynamic equations of motion by Z. F. Danes. The variation in shape of the crater in the course of time is expressed as a function of a time constant, T, that involves viscosity and density of the medium, acceleration of gravity, and radius of the crater lip. Correspondence between theoretical crater shapes and the observed ones is good. However the time constant, T, is surprisingly short if commonly accepted viscosity values are used.” Geological Survey Professional Paper 550-A
(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), p. A 127.
Since Danes work was published, rocks from the Moon have been returned to Earth and their viscosity has been measured. Their values fall in the range of 10^21 to 10^22 poises. According to the Geological Survey paper just quoted, “If viscosities of lunar rocks were around 10^21 to 10^22 poises, the ages of large craters would have to be only 10^4 to 10^7 years.”
A surprising amount of heat is flowing out of the Moon from just below its surface, and yet the Moon’s interior is relatively cold (a). Because it has not yet cooled off, the Moon is much younger than most people had guessed, or relatively recent events have altered the Moon’s heat flow (b)— or both.
a. “ [The following is] a somewhat surprising outcome considering the size of the Moon and the assumption that most of its heat energy had been lost....These unexpectedly high lunar
[heat flow] values seem to indicate the Moon’s interior is much hotter than most thermal models had anticipated. If the temperature gradient in the lower regolith is extrapolated to great depths, the lunar interior would appear to be at least partly molten—a condition contradicted by other evidence.”
Nicholas M. Short, Planetary Geology
(Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1975), p. 184.
b. The unexpectedly large heat flow may be a consequence of large impacts occurring on the lunar surface at the time of Earth’s global flood. [See Figure 153
As comets pass near the Sun, some of their mass vaporizes, producing a long tail and other debris (a). Comets also fragment frequently or crash into the Sun (b) or planets. Typical comets should disintegrate after several hundred orbits. For many comets this is less than 10,000 years. There is no evidence for a distant shell of cometary material surrounding the solar system, and there is no known way to add comets to the solar system at rates that even remotely balance their destruction. Actually, the gravity of planets tends to expel comets from the solar system rather than capture them (c). So, comets and the solar system appear to be less than 10,000 years old. [For more on comets, see: “The Origin of Comets”
a. Ron Cowen, “Comets: Mudballs of the Solar System,” Science News,
Vol. 141, 14 March 1992, pp. 170–171.
b. Ray Jayawardhana, “Keeping Tabs on Cometary Breakups,” Science,
Vol. 264, 13 May 1994, p. 907.
c. “Many scientific papers are written each year about the Oort Cloud, its properties, its origin, its evolution. Yet there is not a shred of direct observational evidence for its existence.”
Sagan and Druyan, p. 210.
However, Sagan and Druyan believed that the Oort cloud exists, and went on to predict (p. 211) that “with the refinement of our scientific instruments, and the development of space missions to go far beyond Pluto,”
the cloud will be seen, measured, and studied.
d. Raymond A. Lyttleton, “The Non-Existence of the Oort Cometary Shell,” Astrophysics and Space Science,
Vol. 31, December 1974, p. 393.
If comet formation accompanies star formation, as evolutionists claim, then many comets should have been expelled from other stars. Some expelled comets should have passed through our solar system in recent years. No incoming comet has ever been observed with an interstellar (i.e. hyperbolic) orbit. [See Wetherill, p. 470.]