Belief, myth and reality in creationism and evolution theory

PART III:   Young Earth creationism

Foreword

In what follows, we will explain why it is not Genesis that should be counted among the fables, but both the dogmatic Darwinian view of evolution and the historical-literal interpretation of this book of the Bible. We evaluate the scientific value of the arguments used and we do not confront them with a hypothesis, theory, or model, but rather with a “vision”. This means an overall picture in which scientific knowledge is integrated in an acceptable manner into extra-scientific basic truths.

Time calculation to the past

The Brahmins of ancient India were convinced that the earth, like time, is infinite. Ancient Chaldean mythology taught that our planet emerged from chaos about two million years ago. Babylonian astrologers believed that man appeared on earth five hundred thousand years ago. Zarathustra thought the earth was twelve thousand years old. Finally, a few centuries ago, it was accepted by many Christians that our planet had only existed for six thousand years. Since then, estimates have risen again and at present, an age of nearly five billion years is attributed to the earth and more than ten billion to the universe.

Creationism turns the clock back and only accepts a time course of a maximum of several tens of thousands of years and preferably only the abovementioned six thousand years approximately. Thus, it gets bogged down in an overly literal interpretation of the Bible. Based on this false premise, creationism gets entangled in a series of dubious arguments and tries to show through alternative calculations that the geological time scale now commonly taught is fundamentally wrong. This implies a collective error of unprecedented magnitude on the part of today’s scientific world.

Let’s succinctly run through some of the “young earth arguments” that are presented. We mention the argument first, and then evaluate it in a brief commentary, preceded by“-Com:”.

Based on measurements over the past 140 years, a curve has been established showing that the Earth’s magnetism decreases exponentially. This curve goes vertically to infinity around 20,000 BP (before the present), from which it is deduced that the magnetic field of the Earth, including the Earth, is younger than that.

-Com: Ocean floor research has shown that the Earth’s magnetic field has already changed direction several times. Therefore, the last polarity inversion is the actual beginning of the current magnetism curve, of which only a tiny period has been measured. This is a period of 140 years, which is therefore almost one hundred and fifty times smaller than the 20,000 years in question. This is by no means sufficient to reconstruct an “exponential” curve. An up and down course of that curve is a much more logical assumption because it corresponds to the intensity variations measured on antique pottery.

The cosmic dust that falls to earth contains a lot of nickel. Based on current measurements of the influx of this dust, the total amount of nickel that the oceans currently contain would have been reached in 9,000 years.

-Com: Cosmic dust falls in the form of meteorite granules of which 75% are less than 0.1 mm. They consist mainly of a mixture of iron, magnesium and nickel and therefore have a significant specific weight, so that they quickly end up at the bottom of the ocean. There, they were distributed over time evenly in the layers caused by other ocean sediments, which reached a total thickness of several thousand meters, according to seismological measurements. The cosmic dust would have left a layer of 56 m thick on Earth over the course of 4.5 billion years. This represents an order of one hundredth of ocean sediments. This percentage seems correct, since cosmic dust is easily recognizable in cores that have been collected in recent decades, via boreholes that have penetrated the deposits up to twenty meters deep. However, if we only consider 9,000 years, cosmic dust will represent only an almost unrecognizable percentage of one in five million. So, instead of an argument against, we have here a strong argument for a high age of the earth. Important question here:  by whom and how was this so-called “total amount of nickel from the oceans” measured??

It was expected that on the moon (since it is about the same age as the earth) would be a layer of cosmic dust tens of meters thick, but there was only a thin layer of dust.

-Com: The meteorites are not pulverized to dust before landing on the moon, as they are on Earth. After all, there is no friction resulting from the passage through an atmosphere and therefore no fragmentation due to the burning of slowed meteorites (which one perceives on earth as “shooting stars”). On the moon, they make craters instead of spreading as “dust”.

It can be calculated how many helium-4 atoms are formed each year as a result of the decay of radioactive materials in the Earth’s crust. The time it takes to reach the current total amount of He-4 in the atmosphere at that production rate is just over 11,000 years.

-Com: Here too the question arises how the total He-4 in the atmosphere has been calculated. Apparently, the “ion exit mechanism” was not considered, that is, the leakage of the ultra-light helium from our terrestrial atmosphere into space.

In a similar way, age calculations are made by dividing the amount of sediment or certain substances currently contained in the oceans by what flows into them each year.

-Com: The results obtained range from 32 million years to 100 years, which is a more than sufficient indication that the calculation method or the basic data, or both, are worthless.

We measure the amount of sediment discharged into the oceans per year and with this figure we calculate the time it would take the continents to wear out to sea level because of this discharge. In this way 14 million years are obtained, which is a lot less than the 150 million years that are assumed as age for the Jurassic strata in the Alps.

-Com: In this calculation, it is not considered that when the altitude decreases as a result of erosion, the erosion force (and therefore the discharge) also decreases (at sea level, this force becomes about zero). The fact that land heights rose and fell alternately over geological times is also ignored. This is the reason why fossils of sea creatures can now be found, for example, in the layers of high mountains. More than 100 million years after the Jurassic era, the Alps were formed by the folding and pushing up of the upper layers of the Earth’s crust (between which lies the layer that was deposited in the Jurassic era). From then on, the intensive erosion of these layers began. The actual height of the land surface is the temporary result of the upward thrust forces from the Earth’s mantle, the depressing gravity, and the erosion due to the action of ice, water, wind, etc.

– A British astronomer concluded that “probably no short orbital comet can exist for more than about 10,000 years”. Likewise for the other celestial bodies.

-Com: The celestial bodies of the solar system, like the earth, are in orbits around the sun that during the formation of our system have reached a state of equilibrium with one another, which can be determined mathematically. Comets, on the other hand, are thrown haphazardly into space because of collisions or star explosions and may then end up in an elliptical orbit due to the gravitational pull. Then, over time, they can crash into a planet (or gradually shrink due to the loss of matter along their tail). In a short orbit, the chances of this increase, but this is not the case at all for planets like our earth, whose orbits have long since stabilized and are in equilibrium with each other.

The dates obtained with C14 measurements are incorrect, since they assume that there used to be as much C14 in the atmosphere as there is now. According to creationist specialists, there was less C14 in the air, so the calculations yield too high ages for dates above two to three thousand years. In addition, it shows that no equilibrium has yet been reached between the continuous production of C14 in the upper layers of the air and their radioactive decay into ordinary carbon or C12, although such an equilibrium is normally achieved after only 30,000 years. It follows that the atmosphere is younger than that.

-Com: By measuring the carbon-14 content of rings, including Pinus Aristata trees (which can live for several thousand years), we can draw a curve showing the percentages of C14 associated with a given year. The fluctuating course of this curve is associated with sunspot cycles and changes in the Earth’s magnetic field (see above). With this curve, the deviations are corrected up to 7,000 BP. As for the smaller percentage of C14 in the past: this is the result of the increasing consumption of fuels, which has led to the release of more and more ordinary carbon into the air. The huge increase in industrial activity has completely disturbed the natural balance and atomic explosions since 1944 have even amplified this effect, so that the C14 dating of materials younger than the Middle Ages becomes very uncertain. The argument of the equilibrium not yet achieved is invalid, because the imbalance is not of natural origin and therefore cannot indicate a young natural atmosphere.

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