how old is the earth

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by grahame, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. grahame

    grahame
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    And how can they justify so many billions of years? Your views please?
    I ask this because of this article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2006/12/29/park-service-cant-give-o_n_37406.html
     
  2. Don

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    What's the point?

    Some people will never be convinced that the earth is less than 4 billion years old, and they'll have lots of scientific evidence coordinated with Christian viewpoints to back their opinion up.

    Some people will never be convinced that the earth is older than 6,000 years old, and they'll have the work of scientists coordinated with Christian viewpoints to back their opinion up.

    Me, I believe that if God said He made the universe in six days, well, seems to me He can do it.

    But the argument could go on for pages and pages, years and years, and neither side will convince the other of anything.
     
  3. grahame

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    What evidence are you talking about? I'm not sure if anything like billions of years can be proved. But I'm only a layman and not a scientist. How can they prove how old the earth is by scientific means? I'm not sure of the process. Can anyone enlighten me?
     
  4. Helen

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    For the earth itself, the general means of dating relies on radiometric dating. This is done by looking at rocks which have some of a heavy mineral which is decaying and some of the daughter known to be the result of that decay. For instance, Uranium 238 will, at the present rate of decay, become Lead 206 in about 4.5 billion years. However not all of it will become lead. If you have a pound of uranium 238 (and this is purely imaginary as I don't think a full pound of pure U238 exists anywhere), then in 4.5 billion years at its present rate of decay, only 8 ounces of U238 will be there and the rest will be lead. In another 4.5 billion years, half of that, or 4 ounces, will be gone lead. In another 4.5 billion years, half of that, or 2 ounces, will be gone lead, and so on. This is called the 'half life' of an element.

    So today geochronologists might find that half of the uranium in a given rock appears to have gone, and half of what would be the uranium bits is now lead. That would indicate that the rock was 4.5 billion years old.

    This can be done with different elements. Two of the dating methods are rife with error potential: carbon 14 and anything with argon -- for different reasons. However an unblemished zircon crystal when dated can give some very reliable results. And the results are billions of years old when taken from what are considered the oldest rocks on earth.

    So why is this wrong? In a sense, it is not wrong. Atomic dating, which is what this is a form of, measures atomic time quite well. The problem is that God, in Genesis 1:14, told us to measure time by gravity, or orbital time -- the motions of the moon around the earth, the earth on its axis, the earth around the sun, etc. This rate of 'ticking' by this sort of clock is steady and has not changed.

    However there are a number of measurements which show atomic rates have not remained steady, and this is where the catch is. This has been the focus of my husband's work for many years, ever since he found a chart showing that the speed of light itself had been measured as changing for about three hundred years. These measurements were a main topic of discussion in the scientific literature until 1941 when a UC Berkeley physics professor (Birge) declared, pre-emptively, that any beliefs that there was a change in the physical constants was contrary to the spirit of science.

    One wonders what spirit of science he was talking about -- certainly not a search for the truth...

    My husband, Barry Setterfield, has found that when mathematics from other changing areas are applied to the rate of 'ticking' of atomic clocks, that a correction can be made to adjust them to orbital time. When this is done -- and this came as a real shock to him -- the three catastrophes of Genesis (the Flood, Babel, and Peleg's time) correspond exactly with the three major discontinuities in the geologic record (the Cambrian explosion, the Permian extinction, and the K/T boundary extinction).

    Because Barry's work indicates that it was impossible for Noah's Flood to build up the entire geologic column (which is also the claim of standard geology due to the presence in the geologic column of things that took a lot of time to grow, such as sponge reefs), the standard creation organizations refuse to publish him. Because his work shows pretty definitively that this is a very young creation -- less than ten thousand years old for the entire cosmos -- secular journals won't touch his work either.

    Most of it is, however, on our website at www.setterfield.org
    The Lord has also made the money available for a series of videos of his material which we have started. If you are interested in his work, the videos will be announced on our website as they are finished. The whole thing will take several years.

    I hope that helps explain a little about what is going on in this field.
     
  5. tommie

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    I believe the earth was made in 6 days because I believe Jesus can do anything He wants to do. He could have, and probably did, create a mature earth. The analogy I heard on some christian radio is: Jesus at a wedding - when the wine ran out his mother asked Him to make some more wine. He made the best wine and the wedding party was astonished that the bridal party saved the best wine for last. It was mature, aged wine just a few minutes old. God is in charge and when scientist say that the bible is incorrect, I just believe the bible and wait for the real answer. Sounds like Barry is looking for the right answers. In Him, Tam
     
  6. Helen

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    Thanks. the one thing Barry is absolutely sure of is that God has not lied in His creation. Therefore we can examine things carefully. We need not be afraid of the data itself. It is only the interpretations of these data which can get 'interesting.'
     
  7. Jarthur001

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    Indeed..You cannot prove it's age. But you can prove it is not old.

    In the book "what is creation science?" starting on page 288, there is a nice little table of "processes" based on uniformitarian estimates.

    1 Decay of earth's magnectic field would make the earth less then 10,000 years old.....in order for life to be on earth.
    2 Influx of radiocarbon to the earth system would make the earth less then 10,000 years old ...in order for life to be on earth.

    The list goes on to list 65 reasons we have a young earth. The list is old, and i'm sure there are more then 65 on this list now.
     
  8. Scott J

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    Be careful. I think some of those have also been dropped by most creationists as well. That is as it should be though. When ideas are disproven, they are modified or dropped.... except when it comes to evolution. No amount of evidence against the theory will ever be considered enough to declare it unreasonable much less false.
     
  9. grahame

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    Thank you all for your views and contributions. Thank you especially Helen for your most enlightening article. You have explained it to me an ordinary layman and as thick as two short planks, in a very clear and understandable way.
    Kind regards,
    Grahame
     
  10. Helen

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    Jarthur001, I would echo Scott's caution. I have not seen that list in quite some time, but, as I recall, there are a number of items on it which are not defensible as evidence for a young creation. From the years I have been reading and studying in both fields (creation and evolution), it has become very evident to me that popularizers on both sides will exaggerate claims and even fake some. I wish this were not true of creationists, since most claim to be Christian, but it is.

    Be very, very careful and, whenever possible, examine the data for yourself. Not just the interpretations, but the data itself.

    God bless.
     
  11. Salty

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    I suggest we ask Dr Bob, wasn't he there when the earth was created:smilewinkgrin: :saint:
     
  12. MNJacob

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    Helen,

    Just about the time that I started posting on this board, independent of your husband's work, I was playing around with a model timeline that was based on an exponential decline in the speed of light. My own work was somewhat amatuerish, but it did make sense to me. I was just trying to condense 14 billion years into a time sequence that harmonized roughly with Bishop Ushers "biblical" timeline.

    As a geologist, the principal of uniformitarianism was always assumed. Things now are as they have always been. But what if they aren't? The concept of decay in C could not be verified in any present measurements, as we would now have reached a flattening of the curve so to speak, that requires a hugh amount of apparent time to achieve anything that science could "verify".

    But where I really get excited is with the concept of a "unified field" theory. Einstein's theory of relativity hints at it, but the concept of energy and matter being really the same thing just screams out in support of "ex-nihilo" creation. The concept of God speaking the world into existence is just so cool.

    Go Barry!

    Thanks Helen.
     
  13. grahame

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    But is the speed constant? Apparently it travels at different speeds through different substances. What substance is it that slows light down to 38mph?
     
  14. Helen

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    MNJacob: The decline is not exponential, but rather it is the image of the redshift curve. The two identical curves can be arrived at mathematically each by their separate ways, based on known data.

    Also, the age of the cosmos is closer to eight thousand than six thousand years. Ussher based his chronology on the Masoretic text translations. When we go back to the texts before that (found in the Alexandrian LXX, the Samaritan text, and some of the Dead Sea Scrolls), we find that the translators of the Masoretic dropped the cipher for 100 from most of the geneaologies in Genesis 5 and 11. When these are put back in we have an age for creation a little less than 8,000 years. Compared to 14.5 billion years, this is nothing, but it can sure stir up a lot of fights!

    Geology no longer assumes uniformitarianism, by the way. There is too much in the geological record to indicate violent catastrophes. However the original times estimated by Lyell and co. were based on uniformitarianism and gradualism.

    The reason a change in the speed of light cannot be verified at the present time is because they are measuring one atomic process ('c') by other synchronous atomic processes. If one is changing, they are all changing in harmony and so no changes will be noted. It's like marking inch marks on a piece of elastic then measuring another piece of elastic by it while stretching both. No changes will be noted according to the marks although both will be changing.

    A final point here in relation to your post -- there are two bits of evidence which point to the literal speaking of God at the point of creation -- or, if you will, a literal Word being evident as physical sound. First of all, the pattern which we find in the echo of the "Big Bang" is exactly similar to that produced by sound waves, only, in this case, the waves are about 220 thousand light years long -- this is a VERY low frequency! Say about 50 octaves below middle C.... Some scientists have speculated that there may even be a message imprinted in this background sound echo. They have wondered how many characters might have been employed. We have the Bible...:thumbs: THAT's the message!

    However, the second indication that the Word became physical in this sense is the evidence of something similar to Chladni figures in our photographs of the radiation background of space. Chladni figures are patterns made when a metal plate with small grains of something like sand or salt or sugar or powder is vibrated by a sound source. We see patterns arrange on the plate very much like some of the patterns we see in outer space.

    Information can be found here: http://www.obspm.fr/actual/nouvelle/jan03/riaz.en.shtml

    and here: http://physics.brown.edu/physics/demopages/Demo/waves/demo/3d4030.htm

    ---------------

    [​IMG]

    Here are some examples of Chladni patterns. If you google the term, you will find many more examples.
     
  15. Helen

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    That was a Bose Einstein condensate of sodium atoms.

    No, the speed of light is not constant, and you are right about different substances. You can see that easily by sticking a straw into a glass of water. It appears 'broken' at the surface of the water, and that is because light is being slowed by the 'thickness' of the water as compared to the air.

    So actually, the entire question regarding the speed of light is NOT whether light photons themselves have slowed in their rate of travel, but whether the medium in space they have had to travel through has changed through time. Evidence indicates that it has.
     
  16. Plain Old Bill

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    Well Helen Santa brought me a new computer for Christmas and Barry's site is now on my list of favorites. Thankyou, Bill:godisgood:
     
  17. saturneptune

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    This is one of those subjects that will never be proven either way. There are just some things that man was not meant to know, it is unimportant to know, or the human mind just cannot take it all in.

    When one asks, how old is the earth, there is lots written about decay and changes of various elements. In the first place, how do we know that earth from beginning to now has been under a state of time as we now know it?
     
    #17 saturneptune, Jan 2, 2007
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  18. Helen

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    There are two witnesses to the truth of the age of the earth and the entire universe: the Bible and data. If you say 'we can't know' are, in effect, saying neither witness is reliable. When you say it is unimportant, you are contradicting the Bible which makes a clear statement about how long creation took in three different places and has two entire chapters dedicated to indicating how old the earth is.

    As far as the state of time goes, God told us exactly how to keep time in Genesis 1:14, and since He established days and nights even before that, I think it is fairly clear that orbital, or calendar, time has remained the same since the first day of creation. If not, then in both Exodus 20 and 31, God is really not telling us the truth...not to mention in Genesis 1.
     
  19. saturneptune

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    Your theories are interesting. However, the Bible speaks as to how long God took to create the earth. Only theories and interpretation speak to the age of the earth. As far as the rate of time you speak of in Genesis 1:14, the earth itself was created before that point.

    I think you are right about the age of the earth and the cosmos, just not sure these theories prove it. Before all this scientific knowledge came to light, most people got the 6000 year figure from the age of the OT geneologies.
     
    #19 saturneptune, Jan 2, 2007
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  20. Bro Tony

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    How old was Adam the day after he was made out of the dust of the earth?

    Bro Tony
     

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