How Old is the Earth?

by Dave Johnson

I wanted to share something that came up last weekend while out witnessing.  I was talking to an atheist when the subject of how old the earth is came up.  Not that you should get bogged down with that question, or would even need to directly address it, but for your consideration are some evidences that you could present to someone who may be honestly seeking an answer (I try to keep these tucked in my Bible when out witnessing).  These come from the Answers in Genesis apologetics ministry:

Geology: Radiocarbon in Diamonds
Radiocarbon (carbon-14) cannot remain naturally in substances for millions of years because it decays relatively rapidly. For this reason, it can only be used to obtain "ages" in the range of tens of thousands of years.  Scientists from the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) project examined diamonds that evolutionists consider to be 1–2 billion years old and related to the earth’s early history. Diamonds are the hardest known substance and extremely resistant to contamination through chemical exchange.  Yet the RATE scientists discovered significant detectable levels of radiocarbon in these diamonds, dating them at around 55,000 years—a far cry from the evolutionary billions!

Astronomy: Recession of the Moon
The gravitational pull of the moon creates a "tidal bulge" on earth that causes the moon to spiral outwards very slowly. Because of this effect, the moon would have been closer to the earth in the past. Based on gravitational forces and the current rate of recession, we can calculate how much the moon has moved away over time.  If the earth is only 6,000 years old, there’s no problem, because in that time the moon would have only moved about 800 feet (250 m). But most astronomy books teach that the moon is over four billion years old, which poses a major dilemma—less than 1.5 billion years ago the moon would have been touching the earth!

Geology: Earth’s Decaying Magnetic Field
Like other planets, the earth has a magnetic field that is decaying quite rapidly. We are now able to measure the rate at which the magnetic energy is being depleted and develop models to explain the data.  Secular scientists invented a "dynamo model" of the earth’s core to explain how the field could have lasted over such a long period of time, but this model fails to adequately explain the data for the rapid decay and the rapid reversals that it has undergone in the past. (It also cannot account for the magnetic fields of other planets, such as Neptune and Mercury).  However, the creationist model (based on the Genesis Flood) effectively and simply explains the data in regard to the earth’s magnetic field, providing striking evidence that the earth is only thousands of years old—and not billions.

Biology: Dinosaur Soft Tissue
In recent years, there have been many findings of "wondrously preserved" biological materials in supposedly ancient rock layers and fossils. One such discovery that has left evolutionists scrambling is a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex femur with flexible connective tissue, branching blood vessels, and even intact cells! According to evolutionists, these dinosaur tissues are more than 65 million years old, but laboratory studies have shown that there is no known way—and likely none possible—for biological material to last more than thousands of years.

Anthropology: Human Population Growth
We can calculate the years of human existence with the population doubling every 150 years (a very conservative figure) to get an estimate of what the world’s population should be after any given period of time.  A biblical age of the earth (about 6,000 years) is consistent with the numbers yielded by such a calculation. In contrast, even a conservative evolutionary age of 50,000 years comes out to a staggering, impossibly high figure of 10 to the 99th power—greater than the number of atoms in the universe!

Geology: Tightly Folded Rock Strata
When solid rock is bent, it normally cracks and breaks. Rock can only bend without fracturing when it is softened by extreme heating (which causes re-crystalization) or when the sediments have not yet fully hardened. There are numerous locations around the world (including the famous Grand Canyon) where we observe massive sections of strata that have been tightly folded, without evidence of the sediments being heated. This is a major problem for evolutionists who believe these rock layers were laid down gradually over vast eons of time, forming the geologic record. However, it makes perfect sense to creationists who believe these layers were formed rapidly in the global, catastrophic Flood described in Genesis.