Taken from Sunset International Bible Institute Online Studies Apologetics 2: New Discoveries (Ted Stewart, Instructor)
EARTH AND UNIVERSE
A growing number of scientists, including Sir Fred Hoyle, winner of the Nobel Prize in Astronomy, have made new scientific discoveries that indicate the universe and the earth are less than 10,000 years old. This lesson presents many of these new scientific discoveries that confirm the Bible affirmation of a young universe and young earth.
LESSON AIM: To convince the students that the Bible claim, that God created the earth and the universe in six days about six to eight thousand years ago, is scientifically and logically true.
LESSON OBJECTIVES: You will . . .
- Investigate Biblical evidence that the “six days” of creation are literal, twenty-four hour periods and not vast amounts of time.
- Evaluate alternative interpretations of the Bible that allow billions of years of age and find them inadequate.
- Examine new evidence from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens volcano that destroys the assumptions by which geologists date the Grand Canyon and other geological strata.
- See how population growth demonstrates man is less than 7,000 years old.
- Consider significant new scientific discoveries that clearly indicate that the earth, our solar system and the universe are less than 10,000 years old.
THE BIBLICAL EXPLANATION OF THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
A. Five Factors Necessary for the Present Universe in Genesis 1:1
- “In the Beginning (Time)
- God (Intelligent Designer)
- Created (Energy)
- The Heavens (Space)
- And the Earth (Matter)
B. Six Factors Necessary for Life on Earth in Six Days (Genesis 1:2-2:3)
- Day 1 – Light, 1:3-5
- Day 2 – Sky, 1:6-8
- Day 3 – Dry land and seas, 1:9-10; Plants and trees, 1:11-13
- Day 4 – Sun, moon and stars, 1:14-19
- Day 5 – Sea life and birds, 1:20-23
- Day 6 – Animal life, 1:24-31
- Day 7 – God rested from a finished creation, 2:1-3
C. Biblical Evidence for a Literal Six Days of Creation
- 1. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work. . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:9, 11).
- 2. “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female” (Matthew 19:1).
- 3. “The first man Adam became a living being” (I Corinthians 15:45).
D. Alternative Interpretations of Genesis One Permitting Vast Amounts of Time
1. Gap Theory:
a. Explanation: In the beginning (perhaps billions of years ago) God created the heavens and the earth. In verse 2 this original creation “became void” (rather than “was void”) because of the sin of its prior inhabitants, and then God started all over with our present earth, beginning with verse 3, in a new creation of six days.
1) If scientists have “proved” that the earth is actually 5 billion years old, this interpretation could harmonize with such a view.
2) If scientists have “proved” that fossils in the layers of earth were laid down millions of years ago, this interpretation could harmonize with such a view.
3) No one knows what God was doing before He created the present heavens and earth about 6,000 years ago; possibly He created a prior universe.
1) Exodus 20:11 says that in six days God created the heavens, the earth and “everything” in them. This would appear to include all of the fossils in the earth as well.
2) In Matthew 19:1, Jesus said that God created man and woman “in the beginning.” Thus, the beginning did not occur billions of years before Adam and Eve were created.
2. Day-Age Theory:
a. Explanation: Each day is not 24 hours, but an age of long duration.
1) Sun, moon and stars were not created until 3rd day. Therefore, the previous days were not necessarily 24 hours.
2) Harmonizes with scientific claims of millions of years.
1) Exodus 20:11 says that God created everything in 6 days and that man should work for 6 days. Twenty-four hour days are obviously meant in the case of man. Why not God?
2) Most plants cannot survive without insects’ pollination. The plants were created on day 3; the insects on day 5; if millions of years separated these two “days”, the plants needing insect pollination would have become extinct.
3) Plants cannot survive without the carbon dioxide provided by animal life. Since plants were created on day 3, and animals did not appear until day 6, all plants would have become extinct if millions of years separated these two “days.”
3. Six days of revelation:
- Explanation: Moses received the revelation of God’s creation in six days; it actually took billions of years for creation to be complete.
- Weakness: Moses said God created everything in six days in Exodus 20:12, not that He revealed in six days what He created over billions of years.
CRITIQUE OF A FIVE-BILLION-YEAR-OLD EARTH
A. How Geologists Date the Grand Canyon
- Geologists believe the Grand Canyon was formed by the gradual removal of earth by the Colorado River.
- They measure the amount of debris per year that the Colorado River removes from the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
- They then use this rate to calculate 70 million years as the time needed to remove the earth down to its present depth.34
- Scientists call this method of dating “uniformitarian” on the basis that the Colorado River has always removed earth from the Canyon at the same rate.
B. Refutation of Geologists’ “Uniformitarian” Method of Dating the Grand Canyon
- Steven Austin, PhD in Geology and chairman of the department of Geology at Creation Research Institute, has researched the 1980 eruption of the Mt. St. Helens volcano and found scientific evidence that refutes geologists’ “Uniformitarian” method of dating the Grand Canyon at 70 million years.35
- Dr. Austin found that the 1980 eruption of the Mt. St. Helens volcano formed 5 canyons in 5 days. The canyons averaged a depth of about 100 feet, 1/40th the size of the Grand Canyon.
- The largest canyon was 125 feet deep, 1,500 feet wide and 3,200 feet long, and was gouged out of solid rock laid down by an ancient lava flow.
- The second steam blast leveled a forest of 150 square miles in 6 minutes and deposited 150 feet of land slide and volcanic ash, leaving 65 feet of mud 1/4th of a mile wide.
- The volcano explosion caused 600 feet of strata to form in the different canyons, a phenomenon that modern geologists attribute normally to hundreds of millions of years on the basis of “Uniformitarianism.” 36
- Volcanoes also exist on top and around Grand Canyon explaining how eruptions during the last 5,000 years could easily cause much of the depth of the Grand Canyon, plus many of the layers of sediments found in the walls of the canyon.
- With the added world-wide catastrophe of the Flood of Noah’s days, the present depth of the Grand Canyon and the multiplied layers of sediment in the canyon walls are easily explained.
C. Geologists’ Claim the Rocks in the Strata of Grand Canyon Vary in Age from 10 Million to 2.6 Billion Years
34 Steven A. Austin, Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe, 1994, p. 88.
35 Mt. St. Helens: Explosive Evidence for Catastrophe Video on site, Institute of Creation Research, 1994.
1. Geologists use the following radiometric methods of dating rocks.
- Rubidium-87 has a half-life to 48.8 billion years, decaying into strontium-87.37
- Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.47 billion years, decaying into lead-206, and is “useful for the time period between 100,000 and 1,200,000 years.”38
- Potassium-40 has a half-life of 1.25 billion years and gradually decays into Argon-40 and Calcium and dates rocks from 20,000 to 4.5 billion years.39
2. Geologists used all three of these methods to date the rocks of different strata of Grand Canyon between 10 million and 2.6 billion years.40
3. Geologists thus conclude that the dates of the rocks of these strata confirm the 70 million-year process of the formation of the Grand Canyon by removal of strata by the Colorado River.
D. Weaknesses of Radiometric Dating
1. Different dating methods used on rocks in the same (top) strata of the Grand Canyon differ in their dates by 2.59 billion years.
- The Potassium/Argon method gave dates between 10 million and 117 million years.41
- The Rubidium/Strontium method gave varied ages between 1.27 and 1.39 billion years.42
- The Uranium/Lead method gave an isotope age of 2.6 billion years, 1.26 billion years older than the age indicated by the Rubidium/Strontium method and 2.59 billion years more than the youngest date of the Potassium/Argon method.
2. The rocks in the older (lower) strata (Cardenas Basalt and Diabase Sills) are located one mile below the Uinkaret Plateau. These two strata are both Pre-Cambrian (before life appeared on earth).
- These Pre-Cambrian rocks dated between 715 million and 1.07 billion years.43
- Thus, the top, youngest layer of the Grand Canyon has rocks that are dated older by 130 million to 1.5 billion years than the Pre-Cambrian rocks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
- Geologists tell us that the lowest or oldest strata must contain the oldest rocks and yet the plateau one mile above the canyon contains the oldest rocks.
- These contradictory dates for Grand Canyon rocks demonstrates that radiometric methods are not reliable in dating rocks.
3. Diamonds from Zaire were dated by the potassium/argon method at 6 billion years, a billion years older than the earth is dated, 44again proving the inadequacy of this radiometric method of dating.
4. 200-year old lava flows in Hawaii were dated by the potassium/argon method at 3 billion years old, 2.9999 billion years more than reality.45
5. These enormous differences in radio-active dating demonstrate that the radiometric methods
37 Steven A. Austin, Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe, 1994, p. 113.
38 New Encyclopedia Britannica,1991 Ed., 12.196.
39 New Encyclopedia Britannica,1991 Ed., 9.640-1.
40 Steven A. Austin, Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe, 1994, p. 126.
44 Ibid., p. 128.
45 Henry Morris, Scientific Creationism, pp. 151-2.
are unreliable for obtaining real dates of rocks.
E. Likely Explanation for the Differing Radio-Metric Dates
- God likely created varying ratios of rubidium/strontium, uranium/lead, and potassium/argon, knowing that man would need both the parents and daughters (lead for example) immediately after He created man.
- Man did not need to wait billions of years for uranium to produce lead; God created both uranium and lead simultaneously, knowing man needed both.
- Thus, the abundance of daughter elements (lead and argon) from decayed uranium and potassium, have an appearance of great age, but have a real age of less than 10,000 years.
F. God Could Have Created the Universe Out of Old and New Matter
1. Solomon’s Temple
- When Solomon built the Temple of God in Jerusalem, he used newly cut timbers from Lebanon (1 Kings 5:6).
- Yet, Solomon place a 480-year old ark of the covenant inside the temple.
- Thus, the temple contained both young and old wood when it was constructed.
2. Adam’s body
- The word “create” in Hebrew (barah) means to “form, fashion by cutting, shape out, . . . make, create.”46
- Moses used barah in Genesis 1:1 for the creation of the universe and in Genesis 1:27 for the creation of man and woman in His own image.
- A synonym is yatsa, which means to “form, fashion, carve, frame, devise, plan, preordain”47
- Moses used yatsa in Genesis 2:7-8 to say that He “formed” Adam out of the dust of the ground.
- God used pre-existing matter to create Adam’s body.
- When Adam was only a day old (real age), he probably looked 20 or 30 years old.
3. Possible creation of the universe out of old and new matter.
- God had always existed in Eternity, before He created our present Universe.
- Who knows how many worlds God created before He created our own.
- God could have use preexisting materials from prior creations when creating the present universe, just as Solomon built the Temple and its furniture out of both old and new materials.
- If God did use pre-existing materials to create the universe, we should expect to find evidence of billions of years of age and other evidence for less than 10,000 years of age.
- Also, by speeding up the formation of the universe for the benefit of man, the universe now appears to be billions of years, but is actually only about 7,500 years in age.
POPULATION GROWTH RATES INDICATE A YOUNG EARTH
A. Biblical Dates and Growth Rates from the Dates for the Flood
- The Bible says all, except 8 people, died in the flood; therefore, the population rate should be calculated from 8 at the flood to 6 billion in A.D. 1996.
- Differing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts date the Flood from 4,294 to 5,175 years ago (See
46 New Brown Driver Briggs Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon, p. 134.
47 Ibid., p. 427.
Lesson 11 for proof of these dates).
- Eight people growing to 6 billion people in 4,294 years is .47% growth, very low in comparison to the current growth rate of about 1.6%. The growth rate is only about .37% if the time period is 5,175 years ago.
- This growth rate indicates that all humanity was wiped out c. 4,300 to 5,175 years ago.
B. Biblical Dates and Growth Rates From the Dates for Creation
- Differing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts give a range of dates between 3,955 and 5,441 B.C. for the date of creation (see Lesson 11 for details).
- Adding on A.D. 1996 (the date of this writing), the Biblical age of the earth ranges between 5,951 and 7,437 years.
- On the basis that a flood did not occur, mankind grew from 2 (Adam and Eve) to 6 billion in either 5,941 years or 7,437 years.
- 5,941 years gives a growth rate of .368%, a very slow rate in contrast to the present growth rate of 1.6%.
- 7,437 years gives a growth rate of .2939%, an extremely slow rate in contrast to the present growth rate of 1.6%.
- These low growth rates imply that mankind has not been on the earth more than 7,000 years.
C. Projected Growth of Only .2% over Periods from 10,000 to 1 Million Years
- Starting with 2, growing at the extremely low rate of only .2% growth, would give the following populations in A.D. 1996.
- 10,000 years = 951 million people.
- 15,000 years = 20.472 trillion people.
- 20,000 years = 452,335.0 trillion people.
- 100,000 years = 1,184 with 87 more zeroes after it, thousands of trillions more people than the earth could possibly hold.
D. Conclusion: The Earth Could Not Be More than 7,000 Years Ago
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT INDICATES A YOUNG EARTH
A. Cosmic Dust Deposits Indicate A Young Earth48
- Cosmic dust falls on the earth at the rate of 13 million tons per year.
- If the same amount of dust fell over a period of 5 billion years, the age given to the earth by scientists, there would be a layer of this dust 182 feet thick.
- The moon was found to have a layer of only 1/8th of an inch, in contradiction to scientific prediction.
- This cosmic dust has high concentrations of nickel. The amount of nickel found in the earth’s crust and in the oceans indicates an age of only a few thousand years.
B. Depletion of the Earth’s Magnetic Field 49
1. Dr. Thomas Barnes, Pro. Emeritus of Physics at University of Texas in El Paso, calculated the decay rate of the earth’s magnetic field as having a half life of 1,400 years, meaning that
48 Huse, Collapse of Evolution, pp. 22-23.
49 Bert Thompson, Essays in Apologetics, I.78; Collapse of Evolution, pp. 20-21.
1,400 years ago the earth’s magnetic field was double what it is now.
2. The earth must be less than 10,000 years old; otherwise, the magnetic field would have been
so strong 50,000 years ago that it would have ruptured the earth and cracked it open.
C. Polonium Halos50
- Polonium 218 is considered a daughter element of the natural decay of uranium; but it has now been found in substances that are not in the presence of uranium.
- Polonium has a half-life of only three minutes.
- Polonium halos have been found in granite rock from the bedrock of the earth’s core.
- If the earth is 5 billion years old, this granite was supposed to have been in a molten condition for millions of years before it cooled into its present form.
- Halos cannot form in rocks when they are in a molten condition.
- With a half-life of 3 minutes, the polonium would have decomposed in a few hours and not exist when the rocks cooled millions of years later.
- Dr. Robert Gentry says that these polonium halos are proof that the granite rocks were created instantaneously within minutes and did not exist in a molten condition for even years, much less millions of years.
D. Rotation of the Earth51
- The earth’s rotation rate is gradually slowing down.
- If the earth is five billion years old, the centrifugal force would have slung off much of its contents and its shape would be like that of a pancake.
F. Mississippi River Delta Deposits52
- The Mississippi River annually deposits 300 million cubic yards of sediment into the Gulf of Mexico.
- The thickness of sediment in the Mississippi Delta indicates that it is only about 4,000 years old.
EVALUATION OF THE SCIENTIFIC CLAIM OF TEN BILLION YEARS FOR THE AGE OF THE UNIVERSE
A. The Big Bang and 10 Billion Years of Expansion
- Scientists theorize that the present universe was originally a single molecule which exploded and hurtled the universe outward in lateral directions.
- Before 1995 astronomers calculated that it took the most distant stars 20 billion years to reach their present distance from the center.
- In 1996 photographs from the Hubble telescope indicated that astronomers made a 10 billion-year mistake.
B. Inconsistency of the Big Bang Theory in Regard to the Dating of the Universe
1. The Milky Way Galaxy, of which our solar system is a part, is located generally in the center of the known universe (though not in the exact center).
50 Robert Gentry, Creation ‘s Tiny Mystery.
51 Huse, Collapse of Evolution, p. 25.
52 Ibid., p. 23.
- If the entire universe were encapsuled in a single molecule at the time of the Big Bang, then the material from which the earth is composed is the same age as that of the distant galaxies.
- Yet, the earth is dated by the uranium/lead process at 5 billion years, while the distant galaxies are dated at 10 billion years.
- If the matter of the earth and stars were all in the same molecule and exploded at the same time, as scientists maintain, all matter should be the same age.
- The outer portions of the explosion obviously were only faster, not older, and the inner portions of the molecule obviously were slower, not younger.
- If matter were wrapped around a bomb and detonated, the outer layer of matter would fly out farther from, and the inner layer would fly out closer to, the point of the blast, but the age of both layers would be the same.
- Scientists have confused age with distance and speed.
C. Inconsistency of the Time for Light to Arrive at Earth
- Scientists have calculated the age of the universe on the basis of the time it takes for light to travel from the most distant star to the earth.
- If the Big Bang is true, as scientists maintain, it would mean that the light of the fleeting stars would always be seen from its center of origin (where the earth is relatively located).
- The light of the stars were always in sight of the earth, if the Big Bang were true.
D. Present Speed of Light and of Expansion Is Not the Original Speed
- The speed of light and of expansion is slowing down according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
- At creation the stars could have expanded faster than the speed of light, but now has slowed down to the present rate of expansion.
- Scientists have assumed light travels faster than any thing else, but scientists do not know how fast the Big Bang hurtled out matter.
E. Real Age and Apparent Age
- On the basis of the speed of light, the universe appears to be ten billion years old.
- Based on the multiplied speed of God’s creation, the universe is actually less than 10,000 years old.
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR A 7,000-YEAR OLD UNIVERSE
- A. While the Universe Appears to Be Very Old in Some Ways, it Actually Appears to Be Very Young in Even More Significant Ways
- B. The Shrinkage of the Sun53
- The sun is shrinking at the rate of .1% each century.
- At .1% a century, the sun was 10% larger 10,000 years ago, likely producing a tropical climate at the poles and unbearable heat at the equators.
- 20,000 years ago the sun would have been 20% larger than it is now and life on earth could not have survived the unbearable heat.
- 100,000 years old, the sun would have doubled its present size and Mars, Venus and the Earth would have burned to a crisp.
53 Bert Thompson, Essays in Apologetics, I.78-79.
- The sun is presently 864,950 miles in diameter and averages a distance of 92,957,000 miles from earth. 54 The sun would have to double its size (going back in time) 108 times to cover the present distance between the sun and earth: 92,957,000 divided by 864,950 = 108.
- Since the sun doubles in size each 100,000 years, the sun would have extended beyond the earth’s present position 10,800,000 years ago and the distant planets of our solar system would have burned up.
- Therefore, it is impossible that the earth could have existed even 100,000 years ago, much less 10,800,000 years ago.
- The scientific calculation of 5 billion years for the age of the earth is scientifically impossible and ridiculously absurd.
- A 6,000 to 7,500 year range for the earth’s age allows life to have comfortable temperatures for plants to grow and animals and humans to survive; thus, the scientific rate of the shrinkage of the sun is in complete harmony with the Biblical age of the solar system.
C. Hydrogen Converted Into Helium55
- Hydrogen is constantly being converted into helium in space at the rate of 3 x 10 to the eleventh power grams per year.
- However, space is composed almost entirely of hydrogen, with the presence of only small amounts of helium.
- Since no source is known to produce hydrogen in space, most of the hydrogen should have turned into helium if the universe is really ten billion years old.
Because of this abundance of hydrogen and sparsity of helium, Sir Fred Hoyle, who won the Nobel Prize in Astronomy, concluded that the universe is only thousands of years old rather than billions of years.
- Helium enters the earth’s atmosphere by escaping from cracks in the earth’s crust from the decay of uranium and thorium at the rate of 3 x 10 to the 11 power grams per year.
- The amount of helium in earth’s atmosphere is 3.5 x 10 to the 15 power. At the rate helium
is entering earth’s atmosphere, the earth should be about 10,000 years old.
D. Disintegration Rate of Comets 56
- Comets are gradually disintegrating from the heat of the sun.
- The rapid rate of disintegration indicates that their age could not be more than 10,000 years old.
- No comets would exist if our solar system were really five billion years old.
E. Speed of Star Clusters57
- Star clusters contain thousands of stars swarming in different directions at enormous speeds.
- They are moving so fast that these clusters could not have held together for millions of years, much less billions of years.
Many other evidences indicate that the universe and the earth are not more than 10,000 years old and thus within the range of the biblical range of dates for Creation.
54 “The Sun,” New Encyclopedia Britannica, 1991 Ed., 11.387.
55 Bert Thompson, op. cit., I.79-80.
56 Huse, op. cit., p. 28.
57 Ibid., p. 29.