Evidence points to old earth
I’VE HEARD much about Dr Russell Humphries’ presentation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on September 10 where he argues that the earth is very young, around 6 000 or so years old, but I have a few questions for him and those promoting a young earth.
Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40 000 years by counting annual layers. A new year forms every layer, with evidence of each of the four seasons in each layer, with different levels of oxygen and salinity, and so on, corresponding to each season, showing the completeness of each year. Yet, thousands of meters of ice that have been drilled show over 40 000 years (Alley et al, 1993 Nature 362: 527-529; Johnsen et al, Nature 1992,359: 311-313). How does he explain this?
To say that the layers were layered down faster in the past is to divide 40 000 by 6 000 years, meaning six layers laid down each year – impossibly fast, as that would mean six summers and six winters in one year, every year. At no time in human history has this happened. Why suppose it ever happened?
There are trees that grow one ring around the stem each year to tell their age. Some trees alive today have more than 10 000 rings, showing there are more than 10 000 years old. How does he explain that? (Becker & Kromer, 1993 Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 103 (1-2): 67-71; Becker et al, 1991 Nature 353 (6345): 647-649; Stuiver et al, 1986 Radiocarbon 28(2B): 969-979.)
How do you explain the formation of varves? The Green River formation in Wyoming contains 20 000 000 annual layers, or varves, identical to those being laid down today in certain lakes. The sediments are so fine that each layer would have required over a month to settle. Dividing 20 000 000 by 12 months gives us 1 666 666 years at least.
Not even the flood of Noah’s day could have deposited all the layered fossil forests. Stratigraphic sections showing a dozen or more mature forests layered atop each other – all with upright trunks, in-place roots and well developed soil – appear in many locations. One example, the Joggins section along the Bay of Fundy, shows a continuous section 2750 metres thick (along a 48-kilometre sea cliff) with multiple in-place forests, some separated by hundreds of feet of strata, some even showing evidence of forest fires.
Young earth creationists point to logs sinking in a lake below Mount St Helens as an example of how a flood can deposit vertical trunks, but deposition by flood fails to explain the roots, the soil, the layering and other features found in such places.
So I am more inclined to believe the earth is very old. Not to mention the andromeda nebula is two million light years away, which means it took that light two million years to reach the earth.
Genesis clearly teaches that God created the sun on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). The purpose of the sun and moon was to give us literal days, and seasons and years.
Therefore, we can conclude that the first, second and third days could not have been literal days, since there was no literal sunrise and sunset to give us literal evenings and morning – there was no sun. Just a thought.
– Daley Reece