Counterexamples to an Old Earth

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It takes only one "counterexample" to disprove the theory of an Old Earth.[1] As with any logical proposition, one contradiction disproves the proposed rule. If each of the 25 counterexamples provided here has merely a 10% chance of being valid, which is certainly an underestimate, then the probability that the Earth is billions of years old is only 7%. From another perspective, these counterexamples demonstrate that the Earth must be young with a likelihood of at least 93%. This list has since grown to 28 counterexamples.


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


  1. 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, causing Earth and the moon to be as they are today.
  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 planetary orbits in the solar system - including Earth's - are unstable and unsustainable over the long periods claimed by Old Earth believers.[3][4]
  4. 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.[5]
  5. The primary reaction in the Sun is the fusing of hydrogen to make helium, but the ratio of these remains too high for the Sun to have been burning for millions of years.[Citation Needed]


The Unconformity is readily apparent in the Grand Canyon where foliage and ground cover do not obscure the rock face.
  1. The continued existence of fragile natural arches without having collapsed a short time period for erosion and stresses on them[6].
  2. An extrapolation of time between the collapse of weaker arches[7] with still-standing stronger arches supports a young earth age.
  3. 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.
  4. The existence of inland saltwater lakes, such as Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake, suggest a recent global flood.
  5. 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.
  6. The relative purity of underground well water, which should be a muddy slurry had millions of years of erosion taken place.
  7. Earthquakes alter the Earth's rotation every century; extrapolating by orders of magnitude in time would have resulted in the occurrence of much larger earthquakes that would have destabilized the rotation[8]
  8. The lack of erosion between rock layers[9][10].
  9. Levels of contamination in water are rising, as water procedes 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.
  10. Paraconformity and unconformity such as that seen at the Grand Canyon disprove the uniformitarian view of earth history.
  11. All carbon dating of water supplies, even the most ancient and the deepest underground reservoirs, result in relatively young ages,[11] and no water has been found suggesting an Old Earth.
  12. 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![Citation Needed]
  13. 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.[Citation Needed]


  1. The intelligence of humans is rapidly declining, whether measured by SAT scores,[12] music, personal letters,[13] quality of political debates,[14] the quality of news articles,[15] or any other measure.
  2. The age of onset of sexual maturity is rapidly changing, suggesting that life is in a short-term rather than long-term equilibrium.[16]
  3. The high observed rate of extinctions of species[17] 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);[18] many celebrities (such as American Idol winner Taylor Hicks graying in his 20s)[18] and athletes (such as Cal Ripken, Jr. graying and balding in his mid-30s)[19] increasingly experience premature graying or balding.
  5. The age of onset of cancer is markedly decreasing,[20] suggesting rapid changes inconsistent with an alleged long existence to life.
  6. The oldest direct evidence of life -- written documents, clothing, remnants of civilizations, tree rings, etc. -- is no older than about 3000 B.C.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.[21]
  9. Frequent occurrences of massive deaths of birds and fish, which if extrapolated over millions of years would result in little or no such life today.[22]

Science & Discovery

  1. A stalemate of significant and valid discoveries in the last several decades.[23]

External links


  1. 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 court.
  2. Measuring the Moon's Distance Apollo Laser Ranging Experiments Yield Results by Fred Espenak, GSFC Planetary Systems Laboratory (LPI Bulletin, No. 72, August, 1994).
  3. Newsweek: "An embarrassing little secret of astronomy ....". (Newsweek has inexplicably taken down its article, but it is quoted by Google and other links)
  4. 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.
  5. "Hubble Shows Galaxy Rotating In The Wrong Direction"
  8. A similar analysis may be performed for the likelihood of devastating collisions with meteors as time is extrapolated by orders of magnitude.
  12. SAT scores have been rapidly decreasing in real terms.
  13. E.g., Civil War letters.
  14. E.g., contrast the Lincoln-Douglas debates with debates today.
  15. The Federalist was written for the newspaper audience in the late 1780s, but is far too intellectual for newspapers today.
  16. For evidence of a rapidly changing age for sexual maturity in fish, see
  17. One in five species are at risk of extinction
  18. 18.0 18.1
  19. "There's a man, close-cropped gray hair, looks older than 35": Sports Illustrated's description of Cal Ripken at 35. [1] By age 50 he was bald too.
  23. Though there has been some progress in this timeframe, many of the "discoveries" are liberal propaganda, or are scientifically weak.

See also