How Old is the Earth?
NCW 69: August 2000 - January 2001
Q. Does NCCG have an official position on the age of the earth? If so, how old do you believe it is?
A. The New Covenant Church of God has always maintained that the earth is young, being thousands of years old rather than millions. If we accept what the Bible teaches literally then the earth is anything from nearly 7,000 to about 14,000 years old (7,000 if we believe each creation "day" to be a 24 hour period - 14,000 if we believe each creation "day" is up to 1,000 "prophetic" years long). If we take the clear, unambiguous scientific data into consideration then it is our contention that the earth is probably no more than 12,000 years old and no younger than 7,000 years old. Thus in our view the earth is approximately 7,000 - 14,000 years old.
Let us consider the scientific evidence. Without going into too much detail about the physical chemistry of radiometric dating it is important to note that isotope dating is notoriously unreliable and speculative. Though we can sometimes calculate with a certain degree of certainty the rates of decay of radioactive elements (usually we have no idea about their half-lives), no one has the faintest idea how much radioactive isotope existed in the original earth. Most of the fantastic dates we find recorded in evolutionary textbooks are just pulled out of a hat though more usually they pick out figures that best support evolutionary hypotheses.
One example, which is typical, should suffice to illustrate the dishonesty and bias of evolutionists and their geological "dates". Dr. A.J.Monty White in his book, What About Origins? (Dunestone Printers, Kingsteinton, Devon, England, 1978, ISBN 0-906511-00-3, pp.153-4) writes:
"There is a report (D.E.Fisher, Nature Physical Science, vol.232, pp.60-61, July 19, 1971) of a basalt rock in Nigeria being dated by the uranium-lead method of dating as 750 million years old. When the geologist measured the amount of helium gas in the rock (i.e. a measure of the alpha particle emission) rather than the lead content, however, the basalt was dated as being 14 million years old. To confuse the issue further, differing results again were given by the potassium-argon method (95 million years) and fission track measurements (less than 30 million years). These ages may be summarised thus:
Geologist : about 14 million years
Fission Tracks : less than 30 million years
Potassium-Argon : 95 million years
Uranium-Helium : 750 million years
Examples such as this show the complete lack of agreement between ages obtained for the same rock by different methods of dating.
"Although the age of the earth is usually quoted as being about 4,500 million years, no reliance can be put on this figure because it is based on invalid assumptions regarding constant half-lives and guesses about the composition of the earth's crust when it formed. The uranium-thorium-lead method of dating can, however, be used to give an idea of the earth's age. As the uranium and thorium decay, alpha particles are emitted. These are helium nuclei, and as they slow down they pick up electrons to form helium atoms. This helium migrates fairly quickly through the earth's crust into the atmosphere. It is possible therefore to calculate the amount of helium being produced by the decay of uranium and thorium because we have an idea of how much uranium and thorium there is in the earth's crust. It is also possible to measure the amount of helium being added to the atmosphere viâ cosmic radiation, and the amount of helium lost from the atmosphere to space. Hence the nett amount of helium being produced per year can be calculated. It is thus possible to calculate the age of the earth by measuring the amount of helium in the atmosphere and dividing it by the nett amount of helium being added to the atmosphere each year. Allowances have to be made for the amount of helium trapped in the earth's crust and oceans. Cook (M.A.Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models, Maz Parrish, London, 1966, pp.10-14) has done such a calculation and has shown that the earth is less than 12,000 years old. This figure is obtained on the assumption that there was no helium present when the earth was created. This is not necessarily correct. God could have created the earth's atmosphere with or without helium. If God created the earth's atmosphere already containing some helium, then the figure 12,000 years would have to be reduced. This upper limit of 12,000 years for the age of the earth is, however, very much in keeping with the Biblical teaching regarding the youthfulness of the earth."
This page was created on 22 January 2001
Last updated on 22 January 2001
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