Age of the Earth

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See also Counterexamples to an Old Earth.

The Age of the Earth has been a matter of interest to humans for millennia. This subject still causes debate today, particularly between young-Earth scientists, who see much evidence that the Earth is only about 6,000 or so years old, and Old Earth creationists and atheistic scientists, who show through scientific evidence that Earth is 4.5 billion years old.[1] There is much scientific evidence which points to a young age of the earth and the universe. For example, in 2009, the biblical creation organization Creation Ministries International published an article entitled 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe.

Historical views


For most of recorded history, humans of many backgrounds viewed the age of the Earth to be around 6,000 years.[2]

Similarly, people such as St. Barnabas and St. Irenæus held the Earth to be 6,000 years old.[3]

In 1830, Dr. Hales published a list of 120 historical authorities from various cultures who had decided on a date of creation. These ranged from 6984 B.C. to 3616 B.C.[4]

Included in Hales' list is James Ussher, who calculated the famous date of 4004 B.C. for creation. Young-Earth creationists still consider this date to be close to the actual date.

In 1778 George-Louis Lecrerc, Count of Buffon, proposed that the Earth was about 74,832 years old.[5] James Hutton, whilst not proposing a date, dismissed the Biblical account and claimed in 1785 that there was not evidence of a beginning at all.[5] Charles Lyell supported Hutton's idea in 1830, in Principles of Geology.[5]

In 1854 Hermann von Helmholtz estimated an age of between 20 and 40 million years.[5] Around the same time Lord Kelvin put his mind to deriving an age, and came up with a range between 20 million years and 400 million years. He later refined that down to between 20 million and 40 million years.[5] More recent discoveries of radioactivity and mantle convection explain why the assumptions Helmholtz and Kelvin made resulted in dates that are much lower than current uniformitarian estimates.

The 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica discussed dates up to 500 million years.[6]

By about 1930, J. H. Jeans was arguing for an age of the Earth of around two billion years.[7]

Using circular logic -- assuming that decay rates somehow remained constant despite necessarily changing physical characteristics as time approached the origin -- atheists insist that the Earth is 4.5 billion years based on an implausible assumption of constancy in Potassium-argon (K:Ar) decay rates and other radiometric methods.[8]


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William R. Corliss is a cataloger of scientific anomalies (observations and facts that challenge prevailing scientific paradigms) and has published many works on the subject.[9] He also wrote 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). [10] The science magazine New Scientist had an article which focused on the career of William Corliss.[11] New Scientist wrote regarding Corliss's work: "All I can say to Corliss is carry on cataloging". [12] Arthur C. Clarke described Corliss as "Fort's latter-day - and much more scientific - successor."[13]

Corliss's work on geological anomalies catalogs scores of anomalies which challenge the old-earth paradigm.[14]


External Links


  2. Burnet, p. 258.
  3. Burnet, p. 259.
  4. Batten 2002 quotes from "Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Holy Bible", 1879 8th Edition, 1939, which relates this, and reproduces the selection of the dates from Young.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 INGV
  6. Encyclopædia Britannica, pp 650-651.
  7. Universal History of the World, p.76.
  8. Peck, 2000, p.376.
  9. Science Frontiers (Corliss' web-site)
  10. Corliss, 2002
  11. Adrian Hope, Finding a Home for Stray Fact, New Scientist, July 14, 1977, p. 83
  12. Quoted on the Science Frontiers web-site
  13. Clarke, Arthur C. (1990) Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography. Gollancz. Page 110
  14. Geological Catalogs (Science Frontiers)