Counterexamples to an Old Earth

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It takes only one "counterexample" to disprove the theory of an Old Earth. Most of the "evidence" for an Old Earth is based on claims that lack testability, as in radiometric dating, and hence would not even satisfy minimum requirements for admissibility in a court of law. As with any logical proposition, one contradiction disproves the proposed rule. If each of 38 counterexamples has merely a 10% chance of being valid -- an underestimate -- then the probability that the Earth is billions of years old is less than 3.8%. In other words, the Earth must be young with a likelihood of greater than 96%.[1]

The motivation for atheists to insist on falsely teaching that the Earth is old is to pull students away from God's immediate presence, and to turn them away from Jesus Christ. Also, atheists are motivated, and biased, by the fact that their evolutionist theories require the world to be an implausible billions of years old.


The growing list of counterexamples to the theory of an Old Earth includes:


  1. The Moon's orbit is a very strong counterexample: the moon is receding from the Earth at a rate[2] that would have placed it too close to the Earth merely four billion years ago, causing instability in its orbit, tidal catastrophes on Earth, and other problems that would have prevented the Earth and the Moon being as they are today. Additionally, the moon's orbit is becoming increasingly and unexpectedly eccentric, suggesting a lack of long-term stability,[3] which further disproves the theory of an Old Earth.
  2. Spiral galaxies appear to be young, and only implausible proposals of the existence of dark matter can reconcile the spirals with a belief in an old universe.
  3. The expansion of the universe is accelerating, which would not occur if the Big Bang were billions of years ago; the acceleration suggests that the Big Bang (or creation) was recent.[4]
  4. The planetary orbits in the Solar System - including Earth's - are unstable and unsustainable over the long periods claimed by Old Earth believers.[5][6]
  5. At least one spiral galaxy spins in the direction opposite to the spin of its tail, suggesting an age too young to have generated the tail and contradicting the theory that the tails of spiral galaxies were formed over a long period of time.[7]
  6. The primary reaction in the Sun is the fusing of hydrogen to make helium, but the ratio of these is too high for the Sun to have been burning for millions of years.


  1. The intelligence of humans is rapidly declining, whether measured by SAT scores,[8] music, personal letters,[9] quality of political debates,[10] the quality of news articles,[11] and many other measures. This means that if one goes back far enough, intelligence would measure at ridiculous heights, if humans were even tens of thousands of years old.
  2. The age of onset of sexual maturity is rapidly changing, suggesting that life is in a short-term rather than long-term equilibrium.[12]
  3. The high observed rate of extinctions of species[13] and harmful genetic mutations suggest a relatively short period for the existence of life rather than a long one.
  4. The age of onset of graying of hair or balding is rapidly decreasing, with many teenagers now experiencing baldness or premature graying (CNN's Anderson Cooper began graying as a teenager and was fully gray long before age 40);[14] many celebrities (such as American Idol winner Taylor Hicks graying in his 20s)[14] and athletes (such as Cal Ripken, Jr. graying and balding in his mid-30s)[15] increasingly experience premature graying or balding.
  5. The age of onset of cancer is markedly decreasing,[16] suggesting rapid changes inconsistent with an alleged long existence to life.
  6. The number of natural, pure-bred bred dogs declines over time as dogs naturally crossbreed; a short period of time is suggested by the fact that there are over 100 different natural, pure breeds of dog thriving today.
  7. Lack of genetic diversity among the Homo sapiens species. Were evolution and the old earth true, the human population would show a much larger genetic variance.[17] Some scientists have calculated that a troop of 55 chimpanzees contains more genetic diversity than the entire human race; this demonstrates that chimpanzees descended from a large initial population while humans descend from a much smaller one, which indeed we know to have been two people.
  8. Frequent occurrences of numerous deaths of birds and fish, which if extrapolated over millions of years would result in little or no such life today.[18]
  9. The separation between salt and freshwater fish, coupled with their inability to survive in the opposing environment, shows a lack of millions of years of evolution to enable them to spread to the opposing environment.
  10. Furthermore, the separation of land and aquatic life and a similar inability for the organisms to survive in the other environment shows a lack of millions of years of evolution to enable them to spread to the opposing environment.
  11. Biodiversity on Earth is declining too rapidly to be consistent with a long-term (Old Earth) equilibrium, with the Living Planet Index (LPI) showing "a global decline of 27% between 1970 and 2005. The terrestrial index declined by 25%, freshwater by 29% (this index is calculated to 2003 due to the lack of data available for latter years), and marine by 28%."[19]
  12. The Bible makes references to the dinosaurs. There is no explanation for this if dinosaurs supposedly lived hundreds of millions of years ago. [20]


Geological counterexamples to an Old Earth include:

  1. The frequency of large earthquakes (more than 6.99 on the Richter scale) doubles roughly every 40 years,[21] rendering long-term stability impossible. Large earthquakes have increased by more than 20% in only the last decade [22] - though according to a recent study, the global risk of big earthquakes has not increased over the last hundred years [23]
  2. The continued existence of fragile natural arches without having collapsed a short time period for erosion and stresses on them.[24][Citation Needed]
  3. An extrapolation of time between the collapse of weaker arches[25] with still-standing stronger arches supports a young earth age.
  4. The massive Great Lakes and freshwater lakes near the equator could not exist for millions of years, and several of these lakes are rapidly receding in volume; the third largest saltwater lake, Oroumieh Lake, could completely evaporate within the next five years.[26]
  5. The existence of inland saltwater lakes at high altitudes, such as Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake, suggest a recent global flood.
  6. The relative purity of underground well water, which should be a muddy slurry had millions of years of erosion taken place.
  7. The plentiful supply of high concentrations of underground well water, which would be expected based on familiar principles of entropy to dissipate over a long period of time.
  8. Earthquakes alter the Earth's rotation several times each century;[27] extrapolating by orders of magnitude in time would have resulted in the occurrence of much larger earthquakes that would have destabilized the rotation[28]
  9. The lack of erosion between rock layers.[29][30]
  10. Levels of contamination in water are rising, as water proceeds through the water cycle it becomes progressively more contaminated. If earth (and life) had existed for billions of years, a limit would have long been reached where water (essential to life) was too contaminated for life to continue.
  11. Paraconformity and unconformity such as that seen at the Grand Canyon disprove the uniformitarian view of earth history.
  12. All carbon dating of water supplies, even the most ancient and the deepest underground reservoirs, result in relatively young ages,[31] and no water has been found suggesting an Old Earth.
  13. The ratio of strontium isotopes in seawater, which should change due to long-term erosion, has varied by only 0.35% throughout history. In fact, its value today is exactly the same as in the oldest samples, which are claimed to be from 500 million years ago.
  14. The interior of the earth is heated by decay of radioactive isotopes, which could not possibly still be persisting in sufficient quantities after 5 billion, or even half a billion, years.
  15. The relatively recent separation of the still-moving continents from one land mass -- denied for 100 years by atheists before they accepted it -- suggest a young earth or at least a relatively recent cataclysmic event.
  16. Fresh tracks of motion by stationary rocks are still visible in some areas, which have baffled Old Earth scientists for more than 60 years; Old Earth magazines refer to them as "self-moving rocks."[32]
  17. Beaches have long been eroding far too quickly for the Old Earth theory; "between 80 and 90 percent of the sandy beaches along America’s coastlines have been eroding for decades," sometimes by as much as 50 feet per year.[33]
  18. Land is sinking into the oceans at a rate of at least 7 inches per century,[34] which would have rendered most of the United States under water if the Earth were not young.
  19. The flow of water in the Colorado River has been declining since the early 20th century, even after usage is considered, and the man-made Lake Mead is at risk of drying up on the next decade.[35]
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William R. Corliss also provides scores of anomalies which challenge the Old Earth paradigm.[36] An accomplished author,[37] Corliss has written 13 books for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a dozen educational booklets for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and a dozen articles for the National Science Foundation (NSF).[38] The science magazine New Scientist had an article which focused on the career of William Corliss.[39] New Scientist wrote regarding Corliss's work: "All I can say to Corliss is carry on cataloging."[40] Arthur C. Clarke described Corliss as "Fort's latter-day - and much more scientific - successor."[41]

Science & Discovery

  1. A stalemate of significant and valid discoveries in the last several decades.[42]

Biblical testimony

The Bible contains multiples pieces of evidence showing its authenticity including Bible history, Bible archaeology and Bible prophecy. Competent and honest Bible exegesis indicates the earth is approximately 6,000 years old.[43]

See also: How reliable is biblical chronology?

Recommended books

  • William R. Corliss, Anomalies in Geology: Physical, Chemical, Biological (A Catalog of Geological Anomalies), 1989. ISBN 915554-23-2
  • William R. Corliss Neglected Geological Anomalies, 1990. ISBN 915554-24-0
  • William R. CorlissInner Earth: A Search for Anomalies (A Catalog of Geological Anomalies), 1991. ISBN 915554-25-9
  • William R. Corliss, Carolina Bays, Mima Mounds, Submarine Canyons (A Catalog of Geological Anomalies), 1988. ISBN 915554-22-4

External links


  1. The same analysis can be applied to the Young Earth theory, but no valid counterexamples have been found in centuries of atheist attempts. In addition, there are over 100 evidences of a young earth and universe (Please see: Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe).
  2. "Measurements show that the Moon is receding from Earth at a rate of about 3.8 centimeters per year." Measuring the Moon's Distance Apollo Laser Ranging Experiments Yield Results by Fred Espenak, GSFC Planetary Systems Laboratory (LPI Bulletin, No. 72, August, 1994).
  4. Some insist there is hokey, unseen "dark energy" and "dark matter" to try to explain the acceleration.
  5. Newsweek: "An embarrassing little secret of astronomy ....". (Newsweek has inexplicably taken down its article, but it is quoted by Google and other links)
  6. Existence of collisional trajectories of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the Earth by J. Laskar & M. Gastineau, Nature 459, 817-819 (11 June 2009). Believers in an Old Earth speculate that the instability would not result in problems in a billion years, but other computer simulations could be developed to demonstrate multi-body instability for the solar system far more recent than that.
  7. "Hubble Shows Galaxy Rotating In The Wrong Direction"
  8. See, e.g., David G. Savage, "The Long Decline in SAT Scores," Educational Leadership 290 (Jan. 1978). [1]
  9. E.g., Civil War letters.
  10. E.g., contrast the Lincoln-Douglas debates with debates today.
  11. The Federalist was written for the newspaper audience in the late 1780s, but is far too intellectual for newspapers today.
  12. For evidence of a rapidly changing age for sexual maturity in fish, see
  13. One in five species are at risk of extinction
  14. 14.0 14.1
  15. "There's a man, close-cropped gray hair, looks older than 35": Sports Illustrated's description of Cal Ripken at 35. [2] By age 50 he was bald too.
  23. Peter M. Shearer, Philip B. Stark: Global risk of big earthquakes has not recently increased, PNAS, Dec 19, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118525109
  28. A similar analysis may be performed for the likelihood of devastating collisions with meteors as time is extrapolated by orders of magnitude.
  36. Geological Catalogs (Science Frontiers)
  37. Science Frontiers (Corliss' web-site)
  38. Corliss, 2002
  39. Adrian Hope, Finding a Home for Stray Fact, New Scientist, July 14, 1977, p. 83
  40. Quoted on the Science Frontiers web-site
  41. Clarke, Arthur C. (1990) Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography. Gollancz. Page 110
  42. Though there has been some progress in this timeframe, many of the "discoveries" are liberal propaganda, or are scientifically weak.
  43. Should Genesis be taken literally?

See also