The earth's atmosphere is bombarded with cosmic rays thought to originate from our sun. The earth's magnetic field serves to protect us from most of these cosmic rays. When the nucleus of a nitrogen atom (atomic mass 14) in the upper atmoshere is hit by a cosmic ray, a neutron is released and the atom becomes subject to the earth's magnetic field and are seen as the Northern Lights in the northern hemisphere; ionized atoms drift to the north magnetic pole and discharge.
The belief that the earth is billions of years old is an essential foundation for the theory of evolution. This belief was introduced to the Christian world by two events: the first was the exploration of the Americas by the European Christians in the late 1500s and the second was a mysterious “female voice” heard by a brilliant scientist on November 2, 1667.
The chemical elements of matter consist of very stable atoms, such as silicon, carbon, iron, uranium, etc. However, certain elements also have an unstable or radioactive form that, under natural conditions, decays or breaks down into "daughter" products at a very uniform rate.
The carbon-14 method is slightly different from other dating methods. Normal carbon has an atomic weight of 12. Carbon-14 is the unstable form produced by cosmic ray bombardment of nitrogen in the earth's upper atmosphere. The C-14 combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which then takes its place in the great carbon cycle. That is, the carbon dioxide becomes the food for plants and trees, and these in turn become food for animals and humans. The net result is that every living thing contains normal carbon (C-12) and some C-14.
This has been a puzzle to many people. If light from the most distant stars has taken millions of light years to reach us, how can the earth be only thousands of years old? The belief that "light from the most distant stars has taken millions of years to reach us" is based on two major assumptions: (1) the distance and (2) the speed at which light travels.
Photo: Shining brightly in this Hubble image is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Courtesy of ESA/Hubble. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
From a strictly human standpoint, the claim that the earth is young is just so much double-talk. But the question of whether the earth is billions of years old, or just a couple of thousands of years old, occupies a central place in the creation/evolution debate. For some, it is the question of whether there was time for the impossible to happen - life to arise from non-life. In the mind of the Biblical Christian, however, it is not a question of defeating evolution but of what is true, what does the Bible say?
Introduction.The study of early man is known as paleoanthropology and, although scientific techniques are used, this discipline deals with non-repeatable and non-observable events of the past and by definition cannot be considered as a science. The exercise begins by assuming that man evolved from the animal Kingdom then looking for evidence that would confirm it.
Photo: Neandertal skull. Courtesy of Luna04. Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.
When claims are made that certain animals known only by their fossils are "extinct," all that is really meant is that no living specimens have been found. For example, the oceans are the least explored area of this planet and undoubtedly contain many creatures that are passing into extinction without ever having been discovered. The plesiosaur may possibly be one such example. On the other hand, when species once abundant in historical times, such as the carrier pigeon, are no longer seen, it can be said with reasonable confidence that they are indeed extinct.
Since the rise of modern scientific creationism, which received its greatest impetus with the publication in 1961 of The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris, the creationist position has been greatly vindicated in that much of the evolutionary establishment has now moved noticeably away from Neo-Darwinism, thus reluctantly but tacitly acknowledging the constant creationist pressure.
1. Woodmorappe, J. 1978. The cephalopods in the Creation and the Universal Deluge. Creation Research Society Quarterly (CRSQ) 15(2):94-112.
2. Woodmorappe, J. 1980. An Anthology of Matters Significant to Creationism and Dituviology, Report 1
The Babylonian Calendar. The earliest times for which we have archaeological and historical evidences are those of the Babylonian empire. The Babylonians, or an earlier civilization, celebrated the year as 360 days, that is, the time taken for the Sun to complete its cycle. This is known as the "solar year" but today we understand that the Earth takes 365.2422 days to orbit the Sun. The Babylonians divided the circle into 360 degrees - one degree per day. The Moon's orbit around the Earth takes 29.5 days and orbits the Earth just over 12 times a year.
The Source of C-14 The earth's atmosphere is bombarded with cosmic rays thought to originate from our sun. The earth's magnetic field serves to protect us from most of these cosmic rays. When the nucleus of a nitrogen atom (atomic mass 14) in the upper atmoshere is hit by a cosmic ray, a neutron is released and the atom becomes subject to the earth's magnetic field and are seen as the Northern Lights in the northern hemisphere; ionized atoms drift to the north magnetic pole and discharge.
Is the age of the Earth important enough to argue about? It can be said, in a limited and incomplete sense, that it really doesn't matter whether the creation was made 2,000 years ago or 20 billion years ago. Unlimited billions of years won't perform the miracles evolutionists hope to find by multiplying eons by eons.
1. Raymond F. Surburg, How Dependable is the Bible? (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company) 1972, pages 77-79. 2. For more examples see Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House) 1976, pages 43-46. 3. J. Pelican an
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There is an old joke about a novice archaeologist who was terribly disappointed when professional archaeologists refused to accept the authenticity of a coin he had found. He could not understand why the coin, bearing the date of “125 B.C.,” was considered a hoax.
1. Historically, the western mind has, until the beginning of the nineteenth century, considered the earth to be only a few thousand years old and this was based upon the Biblical account and the ensuing genealogies given into historical times. Following European and Elizabethan exploration, questions of race were raised and doubts cast upon the universality of the Genesis Flood.
A preserved coelacanth at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. Courtesy of BrokenSphere. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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1. Neither those who believe in Creation nor those who believe in Evolution deny that there has been an Ice-Age, but opinions differ sharply as to when it occurred, how it occurred and if it happened more than once. There have been many theories, but none have yet adequately explained all the data. In 1815 Mt. Tambora, Indonesia, exploded and in the following year the world saw no summer, there was little food, world-wide starvation and stock markets crashed.
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(Editor's note: Before we landed on the moon, those who believe that the Earth and moon are billions of years old feared that the moon was covered with deep dust that might swallow a spacecraft. They based this fear on measured rates of dust accumulation in our area of space. If dust had been accumulating at measured rates for billions of years, we could have a problem when we tried to land. Creationists at NASA argued that since the Earth and moon were only about 6,000 years old there was nothing to fear. Not enough dust had accumulated to endanger the landing.
Speaking of magnetic fields, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and "geoengineering" brings us to an interesting ongoing topic of creationist endeavors--describing conditions of the world before it was radically changed by the flood of Noah.
The earth has survived some very catastrophic change, and even evolutionists admit that at different times in earth's history climate conditions were quite different from what they are today.
1. NASA Tech Briefs, "Superconductivity at Your Fingertips," Vol. 12, No.4, April 1988.
2. Morris, J.D., The Young Earth, Master Books, El Cajon, CA, 1994.
ICR Director of Research Dr. Jason Lisle has just finished a brand new DVD called The Secret Code of Creation. In it Dr. Lisle explores the amazingly beautiful and complex secret code that God has built into numbers. Using...