Carbon Dating As Evidence For A “Young” Earth

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It is written:

Jude 14-Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,

According to the Bible, the Earth is relatively “young,” measuring in thousands of years. Remembering that mankind has been on the Earth since the very beginning of its’ creation (cf. Mark 10:6; Romans 1:20), we are able to use the genealogical and chronological records of the Bible to trace mankind’s presence on the Earth (and those arrive at a crude estimation for its’ age). The Book of Genesis (especially chapters 5 and 11) are extremely helpful in this regard.

As Harrub notes:

“For instance, not too many individuals would argue that the time from present back to Jesus is (in round numbers) roughly 2,000 years. Ironically, the old B.C. /A.D. dating system, which most are familiar with is even under attack. This dating system, which used the designation B.C. to stand for “before Christ” and A.D. stood for anno domini (“ in the year of our Lord”), is being phased out. Rather than using the familiar B.C. /A.D. system in textbooks today, which uses Christ’s appearance on earth as the central framework, humanists have been successful in employing B.C.E. and C.E. (which stands for “before the common era” and “common era”). However, a careful observation still recognizes that the central starting point for all of these designations revolves around the life of Christ! We can also use archaeological data to determine that the time from Jesus to Abraham was also roughly 2,000 years. Thus, roughly 4,000 years have passed between man today and Abraham. The Bible also records 20 generations listed from Abraham back to Adam (cf. Luke 3). Since Genesis chapters 5 and 11 provide the ages of the fathers at the time of the births of the sons between Abraham and Adam (thus providing chronological data), one can calculate in round figures that the time expired between Abraham and Adam is also roughly 2,000 years. While it may be true on the one hand to say an exact age of the earth is unobtainable from the information contained within the genealogies, at the same time it is important to note that—using the best information available to us from Scripture—the genealogies hardly can be extended to anything much beyond 10,000 years. For someone to suggest that the genealogies do not contain legitimate chronological information, or that the genealogies somehow are so full of gaps as to render them useless, is to misrepresent the case, ignore the inspiration of the Bible, and distort the facts. T he Big Picture The chart here shows a timeline that flows from Jesus back to Christ with several major events marked on it (adopted from Dr. Floyd Jones). Keep in mind no one presently living was physically around during that time, so these are all approximate dates that take the creation of the world back to approximately 4004 B.C. An easy way to remember it (in round numbers): Present to Christ ~ 2,000 years Christ to Abraham ~ 2,000 years Abraham to Adam ~ 2,000 years Thus we can be assured that according to the Bible the earth is less than 10,000 years old.” (Ph.D. Brad Harrub, Convicted: A Scientist Examines the Evidence for Christianity, 1712-1736 (Kindle Edition); Brentwood, TN: Focus Press)

However, evolutionists often proclaim that the Earth and the universe are much older then the Bible teaches (bordering on a timeframe of millions to billions of years old, depending on which ones you speak with).

Now, the Bible alone is sufficient to sustain the age of the Earth.

Major Premise: The Bible Is The Word Of God.

Minor Premise: The Bible Teaches The Earth Is Thousands (Not Billions) Of Years Old.

Conclusion: The Earth Is Thousands (Not Billions) Of Years Old.

Numerous evidence document that the Bible is God’s Word (such as prophecy and fulfillment, the scientific foreknowledge of the Bible writers, the supernatural unity of the Bible, the phenomenon of equidistant letter sequencing, miraculous and archaeological confirmation, etc.), and we have seen that the Bible puts the age of the Earth as thousands (not millions or billions) of years. So, that settles it!

However, since God has also revealed Himself through nature as well as through Scripture (Job 12:7-10; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:18-20), we should also consider the scientific evidences.

Does the study of science confirm or contradict Scripture regarding the age of the Earth?

“Magnetic field intensity The earth’s magnetic field is rapidly decreasing in strength. Assessing the rate of decrease tells us about the planet’s age. Dr. Thomas Barnes, one of the most respected magnetic field physicists in the world, explains: If we went back about ten thousand years, the earth’s magnetic field would have been as strong as the field in a magnetic star. A magnetic star is like our sun; it has a nuclear power source. Surely our earth never had a nuclear source like the sun. Surely our earth never had a magnetic field stronger than that of a star. That would limit the age of the earth to ten thousand years. 27 Calculations on the magnetic field by other investigators also reveal that it couldn’t be more than about 10,000 years old. 28 • Concentration of ocean salt The concentration of salt in the oceans is steadily growing. Yet the oceans are not nearly salty enough to have existed for billions of years. Even with generous allowances, the salt concentration suggests they could be no more than 62 million years old. 29 • Preserved red blood cells Preserved red blood cells and hemoglobin have been discovered in unfossilized dinosaur bones. Evolutionists dated the dinosaur as living 65 million years ago. However, research shows that such cells could not survive more than a few thousand years. The dinosaur must have lived recently. 30 • Absent supernova Supernova is the name given for the tremendous explosion of a star. It creates a brief light far brighter than any other object in a galaxy. Calculations suggest that the remains of supernovas continue shining for hundreds of thousands of years. Yet observations of our own Milky Way Galaxy do not show any old supernova. This fact suggests the galaxy has not existed long enough for these to have occurred. 31 • Helium concentration Helium concentration in our atmosphere is gradually increasing. Yet the current amount is only about 1/ 2000 of what we’d expect if the atmosphere were billions of years old. The helium concentration suggests a much younger atmosphere. 32 • World Population Growth World population growth is estimated by many population experts to be an average of about two percent per year. To be very conservative, if the population only increased one-half percent per year (allowing generously for plagues, wars, starvation, etc.), in one million years (the evolutionists general estimate of the age of man on planet Earth) there would have been 102100 people somehow stacked on the earth. (That number of people would actually fill countless trillions of entire universes.) Even if an almost zero growth rate of population were assumed, in a million years the earth would have housed 3,000,000,000,000 people up until the present age. There is no cultural or fossil evidence for numbers anywhere near that level. At the one-half percent growth rate, it would take about 4,000 years to produce today’s population from a single couple. This is the approximate amount of time elapsed since the worldwide flood when only Noah’s family was spared. • Earth-moon distance Measurements show that the moon is slowly withdrawing from the earth. Each year, the distance increases by about 1-1/ 2 inches, though the rate was likely greater in the past. Calculations show that even if the moon had been in contact with the earth, it would have taken only 1.37 billion years to reach its present distance. This gives a maximum possible age of the moon—not the actual age. This maximum age is still far too young for evolution to have had time to occur, and much younger than the radiometric “dates” assigned to moon rocks. Since the precise distance of the moon from the earth is critical for regulating ocean tides, the age must be a fraction of that amount of time. 33 • Absent Meteorites Where are the meteorites in the multi-billion-year-old geological column? While most meteors burn up before they reach the earth’s surface, many (up to 60 tons each day) land on the earth. If the supposed geological layers were laid down over millions of years, where are the meteorites in the layers? Few such meteors have been found in the geological layers. 34 • “Short Period” Comets Our solar system has an abundance of “short period” comets, that is, comets whose life span averages only 1,500 to 10,000 years. Yet if the universe is billions of years old, these comets would have disintegrated long ago. Evolutionists have had to scramble to try and explain their existence. 35 Age is No Requirement Looking for other evidence of the earth’s age? Petrified objects, the formation of coal, coral reefs, and the Grand Canyon are also said to prove a very old earth. But recent discoveries make these arguments more difficult to support. Instead, they all point toward the probability of a young planet. • Petrifaction The time necessary for wood and other objects to become petrified is said to be on the order of thousands of years. But consider the findings of H.G. Labudda of Kingaroy in southeast Queensland, Australia, who specializes in the collection of petrified objects. Among the articles of his collection is a perfectly petrified orange. Oranges were not raised in the area until 1868.36 • Coal Formation In many places are fossilized trees penetrating through several coal layers. This indicates that the surrounding coal was formed so quickly that termites did not have time to consume the wood! Rather than taking millions of years to form coal, available evidence indicates that coal may form in a very short time, geologically speaking, if conditions are favorable. • Coral Formation Coral is said to grow only slowly, and that reefs take millions of years to form. Yet underwater explorers recently found a five-foot diameter coral growth on the bow gun of a sunken ship. Coral can indeed grow much more rapidly than previously thought. 37 • Canyon Formation Some geologists have declared that, given its depth, the Grand Canyon and other geological strata must have taken more than eight million years to form. However, we know today that some comparatively small “natural disasters” can have the same affect much more quickly. On March 19, 1982, Mount St. Helens’ volcano exploded with a force equal to 20,000 Hiroshima-sized atom bombs. As an aftermath of the eruption, a 140-feet-deep canyon (the “Little Grand Canyon”) was formed in just one day! At this rate, the Grand Canyon could have been formed in only 40 days! Since the eruption, new layered strata of rock (like walls of the Grand Canyon) have also continued to form at the rate of 100 feet per year (in one case 25 feet in one day). 38 Furthermore, the walls of the Grand Canyon reach over 6,000 feet above sea level. The river that supposedly “carved” these walls “billions of years ago” enters the canyon at only 2,800 feet above sea level. Rivers don’t flow uphill! To “carve” those walls, the river would have had to flow uphill over 3,200 feet vertically! Clearly, the river did not form the Grand Canyon! Eastern Washington has its “channeled scablands”—15,000 square miles of steep-walled canyons, gouged out of crystalline lava rock. Researchers initially assumed these canyons were the aftermath of a river eroding the earth over many millions of years. United States Geological Survey, however, published the fact that the scablands were actually formed from the “Great Spokane Flood” in just two days! Wait! There is Still More! There exist many other dating methods we have yet to touch on. The following are examples from a list of 102 dating methods that further suggest a very young earth and young universe: Volcanic activity of Jupiter’s moon, Io Saturn’s unstable rings The solar dust ring discovery Basaltic lunar craters The mystery of Sirius B The field-galaxy mystery Radiohalos Polonium Halos Chorine leaching Chorine influx Dust speed Galaxy mass Galaxy spirals Helium in zircons Lead in zircons Lead influx Sediment accumulation Sediment lithification Sodium leaching Sodium influx Strata unconsolidation Strontium formation Strontium influx Uranium influx39 Evidence from the study of these subjects presents considerable challenge to the idea of a very old earth. It is likely impossible to prove the earth’s age using any one scientific method. This is because it is not feasible to have all the information needed from events that happened long ago. What we must do in these situations, scientifically speaking, is to gather as much data as possible and draw the best conclusions we honestly can. The greatest weight of scientific evidence points toward a young earth. Not one in the “billions of years old” range, but rather consistent with a “thousands of years old” planet.” (Joe White with Nicholas Comninellis, Darwin’s Demise: Why Evolution Can’t Take The Heat, 765-828 (Kindle Edition); Green Forest, AR; Master Books)

To this list of scientific evidences of a “young” Earth, we may also include evidence which has often said to advocate Darwinian evolution: the proof of Carbon-14 dating!

“According to evolutionary scientists, radiocarbon dating (also known as carbon-14 dating) is totally ineffective in measuring time when dealing with millions of years. In his 2000 book, Genes, People, and Languages, renowned Stanford University geneticist Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, in a discussion on the theory of human evolution, commented on radiocarbon dating, stating: “The most crucial dates in modern human evolution are unfortunately beyond the range of the radiocarbon method, which has a limit of about 40,000 years” (p. 61, emp. added). Staunch evolutionist Richard Dawkins also dealt with the limitations of radiocarbon dating a few years ago in his highly touted book, The Blind Watchmaker. He was even more critical of this dating method than was Cavalli-Sforza, saying: Different kinds of radioactive decay-based geological stopwatches run at different rates. The radiocarbon stopwatch buzzes round at a great rate, so fast that, after some thousands of years, its spring is almost wound down and the watch is no longer reliable. It is useful for dating organic material on the archaeological/ historical timescale where we are dealing in hundreds or a few thousands of years, but it is no good for the evolutionary timescale where we are dealing in millions of years (1986, p. 226, emp. added). Both evolutionists and creationists stand in agreement that radiocarbon dating, which can be used only to date organic (once living) samples, is totally ineffective in measuring the alleged millions or billions of years of the evolutionary timetable. [In truth, even when dating things that are relatively young, carbon-14 dating is imperfect and based upon certain unprovable assumptions (see Major, 1993).] If radiocarbon dating can measure only items that are thousands of years old, why should evolutionists even consider using this dating method on anything that they already believe to be millions of years old? Creationists would like to see evolutionists apply this method to items believed to be millions of years old, because it might help convince evolutionists that coal, diamonds, fossils, etc. are not millions of years old, but only thousands of years old. Consider that in recent years “readily detectable amounts of carbon-14” in materials evolutionists suppose are millions of years old “have been the rule rather than the exception” (DeYoung, 2005, p. 49). When geophysicist John Baumgardner and colleagues obtained 10 coal samples from the U.S. Department of Energy Coal Sample Bank, one of the leading radiocarbon laboratories in the world tested the samples for traces of carbon. The coal samples were analyzed using the modern accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method. If the coal were really many millions of years old (as evolutionists suggest), no traces of carbon-14 should have been found. “[ A] ny carbon-containing materials that are truly older than 100,000 years should be ‘carbon-14 dead’ with C-14 levels below detection limits” (DeYoung, p. 49). But, in fact, traces of carbon-14 were found. “[ A] residue of carbon-14 atoms was found in all ten samples…. The amounts of C-14 in coal are found to average 0.25 percent of that in the atmosphere today” (DeYoung, p. 53). Diamonds assumed to be hundreds of millions of years old were also tested—12 in all. Once again, traces of C-14 were found in every sample (see DeYoung, pp. 45-62). In June of 1990, Hugh Miller submitted two dinosaur bone fragments to the Department of Geosciences at the University in Tucson, Arizona for carbon-14 analysis. One fragment was from an unidentified dinosaur. The other was from an Allosaurus excavated by James Hall near Grand Junction, Colorado in 1989. Miller submitted the samples without disclosing the identity of the bones. (Had the scientists known the samples actually were from dinosaurs, they would not have bothered dating them, since it is assumed dinosaurs lived millions of years ago—outside the limits of radiocarbon dating.) Interestingly, the C-14 analysis indicated that the bones were from 10,000-16,000 years old—a far cry from their alleged 60-million-year-old age (see Dahmer, et al., 1990, pp. 371-374). What is C-14 doing in coal, diamonds, and dinosaur fossils, if these objects are really many millions of years old? Richard Dawkins declared that C-14 dating “is useful for dating organic material on the archaeological/ historical timescale where we are dealing in hundreds or a few thousands of years,” not millions of years (1986, p. 226, emp. added). Yet, “readily detectable amounts of carbon-14,” even in coal, diamonds, and various fossils, “have been the rule rather than the exception” in recent years (DeYoung, 2005, p. 49). Why? Evolutionists assert that the specimens in every case must have been contaminated by outside carbon. After all, everyone “knows” coal is millions of years old, right? Using C-14 dating on specimens already believed to be only hundreds or a few thousands of years old is considered acceptable. Scientists expect to find carbon in samples they perceive as young. But, if specimens believed to be millions of years old are tested (e.g., coal), and found to have carbon traces, then they “must” have been contaminated. Or so we are told. Informed creation scientists, like members of the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) team, contend that the modern “AMS measurements carefully eliminate all possible sources of carbon contamination. These include any trace of C-14 which has possibly entered the samples in recent history, or C-14 introduction during sample preparation and analysis” (DeYoung, 2005, p. 50). Whereas “unexpected carbon-14 was initially assumed to be a result of contamination…, as this problem was aggressively explored, it was realized that most of the carbon-14 was inherent to the samples being measured” (p. 49). The fact is, significant traces of carbon have been detected in samples that “should not” contain carbon. Since evolutionists are unwilling to adjust their million/ billion-year timetable, they are forced to conclude that radiocarbon dating is always faulty when it comes up with young dates (measured in hundreds or thousands of years) for assumed old specimens (supposedly millions of years old). Do you see anything wrong with this picture? The fact is, coal, diamonds, and dinosaur fossils containing traces of carbon are no surprise. One would expect to find such if the biblical accounts of Creation and the Flood are true.” (Kyle Butt & Eric Lyons, The Dinosaur Delusion: Dismantling Evolution’s Most Cherished Icon, 184-189 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, Alabama; Apologetics Press Inc.)

If the Earth were literally millions or billions of years old, we would not be able to find discernible traces of carbon within the various and “ancient” rock strata and fossils. Yet scientists do find such! Therefore, the rock strata and fossils are not as “ancient” as we have been told, and the carbon in the fossils supports the Bible teaching regarding a “young” Earth.

Isn’t it amazing that the more mankind learns from science, the more we see the Bible (the inspired and inerrant Word of God) confirmed in innumerable ways?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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