Skip to comments.Deep Core Tests for the Age of the Earth
Posted on 05/01/2009 10:11:09 AM PDT by mnehring
The clash between young-earth and old-earth creationists can seem bewilderingly technical at times. Is there any easy-to-understand scientific data for determining whether Earth is young or old?
In recent months, new evidence has emerged that may be simple enough for everyone to understand, regardless of science background-as simple as counting tree rings.
Scientists are learning much about Earth's past by drilling deep into its surface-both ice and rock-with specialized instruments to remove long cylinders, or "core" samples. Six deep ice cores and one sediment core now provide a clear and continuous record of Earth's history. The ice cores reveal hundreds of thousands of ice layers laid down on top of one another year by year, just as a tree adds one new growth ring per year. Three deep ice cores pulled from Greenland record the past 120,000 years.1 Three deep cores in Antarctica-Dome Fuji, Vostok, and Dome C-allow researchers to look back 340,000, 420,000, and 740,000 years, respectively.2
How do scientists confirm that these ice layers correspond to years of Earth's past history? They can check for telltale markers, such as volcanic ash signatures. The Krakatoa eruption of 1883 and the Vesuvius eruption that wiped out Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD 79 left their specific marks in exactly the annual layers anticipated. Climatic cycles also allow for testing. As it turns out, these cycles-caused by regular variations in the eccentricity or ellipticity of Earth's orbit (period = 100,000 years) and the tilt of Earth's orbit (period = 41,000 years)-correspond perfectly with what's seen in those core layers. Finally, researchers have performed radiometric dating of minerals embedded in the ice to make sure their age corresponds with their annual layer, and in each case it does.
Further corroboration comes from a sediment core drilled off shore from New Zealand's Southern Alps. It reveals the past 3.9 million years of Earth's crustal history.3 Though each layer in this core represents a few centuries rather than a single year, the climatic cycles and events in this core for the past 740,000 years match perfectly with corresponding layers in the Dome C ice core. Such a calibration builds confidence that these cores yield a continuous climatic, geological, and astronomical record for the past few million years at least.
Proponents of young-earth creationism respond to this compelling evidence by pointing to possible problems at the tops and/or bottoms of the core samples as if such anomalies render the entire dating analysis unreliable.4 For example, the bottom 15,000 layers in two of the three Greenland cores are disturbed by ice folding close to the bedrock. Such disturbance (caused by extreme pressure conditions), however, in no way invalidates the 105,000 layers above or the 123,000 layers in the third core (the NGRIP core). The burial of the "lost squadron" of World War II under 250 feet of Greenland ice and snow in only 50 years has been offered as proof that the 10,000-foot-long Greenland ice cores cannot represent 100,000+ years of history.5 However, intrusions into the layers by localized forces and events does not invalidate them. In this case, the lost squadron crashed in a relatively warm area of southern Greenland where, unlike the sites of the three deep ice cores, several melts and refreezings per year can occur and seven times as much snow falls per year.
According to Psalm 19:1-4, God speaks not only through the words of the Bible but also through the record of nature. Since God speaks truth and chooses to reveal Himself, nature's record and the Bible's words can be expected to agree. The ice and sediment cores provide compelling extrabiblical evidence that the earth is indeed ancient. This evidence supports the literal interpretation of creation days in Genesis 1 as six long epochs.6
YECers (and that really bizarre “time changes over time” idea) in 3... 2... 1...
Just because the earth may have existed centuries before man proves nothing regarding human life.
Just because the earth may have existed centuries before man proves nothing regarding human life....correction THOUSANDS of YEARS before man.
>>correction THOUSANDS of YEARS before man.
I think you mean BILLIONS.
A sad day for GodGunsGuts. Reality comes knocking.
Reminder: The belief in the actual passage of time does not mean that we Christians don’t hold Jesus as our savior. G^3 forgets that and damns us all to hell.
The problem is this article starts with the false premise that creationist actually want to understand and want to seek the truth.
The author is forgetting Morton's Demon
I've never really thought of Archbishop Usher's genealogy as "bewilderingly technical."
Creationism hinges on a young (6,000 year old) earth. But proponents rarely address independent evidence of the vast age and scale of the universe beyond earth as shown by simple astronomical observations. They’re just Darwinists with telescopes...
It's only a problem if you consider young earth creationists to be the only creationists, and they aren't.
It's logically consistent to believe in the facts of science and the bible. Many do.
took the words out of my mouth, thanks.
I’ve had that same talk before about the Genesis “day” as defined by godly not man’s 24 hour clock can be easilly interpretted as involving a great expanse of time.
Hence, the old joke:
A man asks God what a million years is to him, and God replies, “a second.”
Then he asks God what a million dollars is to him, and God replies, “a penny.”
So then he asks God if he could have a “penny.” God answered back, “Yes, in a second.”
“It’s logically consistent to believe in the facts of science and the Bible. Many do.”
Count me in on that! I remember my old man years ago talking to a guy he had built a house for and later became friends with. A Dr. Robert Page, inventor of radar in WWII. Dr. Page was very active in Bible studies, etc.. My old man (also a big Bible study guy, etc.) asked him once “So, don’t you ever have problems trying get some of the stuff in the Bible to fit in with your scientific view of the world”.
Dr. Page replied something to the effect of “No. Actually, the more I learn about our world from science, the more confident I am that there is a Creator.”
Although, like me, I’m pretty sure that when Dr. Page spoke of a Creator he was NOT thinking of the 6,000 year type of creation.
Actually, I didn’t know that one and am LOL here! :)