Dover, Pennsylvania has become the scene of yet another heated debate over the origin of life. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Americans United for Separation of Church and State brought a lawsuit before a Pennsylvania judge, last November, against the Dover, Pennsylvania School Board (Boston 35). This was the first legal step in having the theory of “intelligent design” removed completely from all state funded science classes. The origin of life has been an interesting topic for many years. It is a pressing issue among scientist, theologians, and the media, today. For hundreds of years forms of intelligent design were commonly accepted, but in 1859, Charles Darwin suggested a more naturalistic possibility of origin, evolution. This concept quickly became popularized, and today it is the most widely believed and taught theory of origin. Evolutionists believe that over billions of years everything developed from one central item. This would be very plausible if not for the fact that not all studies indicate that the universe is billions of years old. Some scientific evidence on the age of the universe may be the key to unlocking a variety of problems with the evolutionary theory.
The salt in the ocean provides scientists with information to determine that the ocean could not be more than several million years old. As a mixture of salt and water enters the oceans, the content of salt increases, but as water evaporates only small amounts of the salt that entered leaves. This causes the salt content in the ocean to increase. Sir Edmond Haley was the first to propose that if the amount of salt entering, compared to the amount of salt exiting could be calculated, it would be possible to determine the age of the ocean. More recently, scientists have done studies and determined that the ocean is filled with about ‘14.7 million tons’ of salt. Scientists have also determined that about 457 million tons of salt enters the ocean each year, while only 206 million tons leave. Given this information and allowing for some amount of variation, experts have concluded that the ocean is not more than 62 million years old (Sarfati Salty Seas 16-17). Although this is an extensive period, it is not long enough for evolution to occur.
Fossils have been discovered that are not consistent with the proposition of slow formation over millions of years. Discoveries that may cause problems include, whole trees buried up-right underground, throughout multiple sedimentary layers (Hovind Age of Earth). This is a dilemma for evolutionists because, if the layers of soil formed slowly, the top half of the tree would have deteriorated during the time it took for all of the layers to develop (Morris 100-101). Author, Bruce Malone, writes in his book Search for the Truth:
The fossils themselves tell us neither their age nor how they became encased in the rock layers…Many people have been led to believe that the existence of fossils proves that millions of years have passed. In reality, fossils can form quite rapidly…(1)
Geological evidence of rapid formation has also been discovered; a fossilized ichthyosaur ‘freeze-framed’ giving birth, provides evidence that some fossils were formed quickly. They have also discovered multiple areas that are filled with fossilized fish, which is not compatible with the idea of slow formation, because other sea creatures devour the dead fish within twenty-four hours (Wieland 9). Other examples are numerous varying from fossilized pickles to hats, but all indicate quick formation, which is not compatible with the billions-of-years philosophy (Hovind Age of Earth). The fossilization of up-right trees and ‘freeze-framed’ animals denotes the possibility that fossils were formed quickly, and that the earth is quite young.
Evolutionist claim that some special formations would not be possible if the earth was not millions of years old, but this is simply not true. Some believe that stalactites and stalagmite take millions of years to form, but Kent Hovind gives numerous examples of cave formations that were formed extremely quickly in the right conditions, including a natural spring that has formed into an eighteen foot mountainous stalagmite in less than fifty years (Hovind Age of Earth). Mt. Isa, Queensland, Australia is home to a fifty year old tunnel with an abundance of cave formations throughout it. Contrary to typical teaching, a researcher from Australian has also discovered that opal can form very quickly. Len Cram simply combines the proper combination of chemicals in his home laboratory and creates opal that is undistinguishable from opal that has been mined. (Weiland 10)
Geologists have also discovered inconsistencies between slow formation of the earth and the development of varying layers of rock. The layers of rock seen in a variety of places on earth, such as the Grand Canyon, contain smooth swirling patterns, which indicate that they must have formed quickly. If this had been a slow formation, the bumps and bends that geologists have uncovered should appear broken, because the pressure on the solid, rocky layers would have produced cracking, rather bending patterns (Morris 106). Various experts believe that this indicates a young universe.
The amount of erosion that the earth’s surface has sustained also suggests that the earth is young. The earth had undergone such little erosions that various sedimentologists do not believe that it could be billions of years old. Water is the most common cause of erosion. Rain washes soil into the streams and rivers, which ultimately flows into the ocean. Sedimentologists have carefully calculated the amount of soil that is washed to the mouths of rivers. They have discovered that about one thousand millimeters of sediment is restrained every one thousand years. They have also determined that the average height reduction for all the continents is about sixty millimeters per one thousand years. Based on this information, researchers can determine that in 2.5 million years ninety-three miles of continent would be washed away, and in ten million years that the entire world would be leveled (Walker 19-20). The continents are eroding at such an accelerated rate that it is not logical to think that the earth could survive billions of years under such extreme conditions.
Due to the erosion that is occurring on the surface on the earth sedimentologist can also determine that were should be loose soil in the bodies of water around the world. Each day eighty thousand tons of sediment washes down the Mississippi River ultimately dumping into the Gulf of Mexico. If indeed the earth was millions of years old, there entire Gulf of Mexico should be filled entirely with mud (Hovind Age of Earth). Each year twenty-five billions tons of sediment accumulates on the ocean floors. At this rate is would take only 12 million years to build-up what is lying of the ocean floor (Humphreys 2). The amount of sediment in each body of water around the world does not indicate the possibility of billions of years.
The earth’s atmosphere provides scientists with needed information to detect the earth’s age. Evolutionists and geologists have used Carbon-14 Dating methods, or radiometric dating, to calculate the age of fossils and the age of layer in which the fossil was found. Carbon-14 is a radioactive form of carbon produced by nitrogen that has been converted by the energy from the sun (Hovind Does Carbon Prove Millions 1). Willard Libby was the first to formulate the C-14 method of dating. He speculated that because plants and animals breathe carbon dioxide, they also have C-14 fused into their bodies. The amount of C-14 could then be measured in the fossils to calculate the age. Kent Hovind describes the process saying:
Extensive laboratory testing had shown that about half of the C-14 molecules will decay in 5,730 years. This is called the half-life. After another 5,730 years, half of the remaining C-14 will decay leaving only one-fourth of the original C-14. It goes from one-half to one-fourth to one-eighth, etc. In theory it would never totally disappear, but after five half lives the difference is not measurable with any degree of accuracy. (Does Carbon Prove Millions 1).
Upon death the plant or animal stops taking in C-14 and the C-14 begins to decay. When fossils are dug up, geologists can determine age based on the amount of decay. This philosophy is not a problem until one considers that not only is C-14 being formed from energized nitrogen, it is also being released from the fossils (Ferrell 190). Therefore, it is impossible to tell what the historical C-14 measurement may have been. Fossilized bones from the same animals reaffirm that the C-14 dating methods are based on unproven facts. Geologists have dated these bones with as much as a twenty thousand year variation. (Hovind Age of Earth) It is understandable that many scientists consider the Carbon-14 process unpredictable and unreliable.
The earth’s atmosphere also contains helium, which can generate another problem for evolutionists. Helium is continually entering the atmosphere due to the radioactive decay of thorium, radium, and uranium. According to evolutionists, this process has been occurring for billions of year. With the rate of decay at which elements are being converted, scientist predict that there should not be any components left in the rocks, yet in some places there is still 58% of the original amount found in the rocks (Sarfati Refuting Compromise 341-343). Creationist, Carl Weiland points out, “Even if God have created that world with no helium to begin with, the small amount in the atmosphere would have taken at most around two million year to accumulate (9)”. Helium provides scientists with some clues to the prospect that the earth may be young, yet many are blind to this possibility.
The earth’s magnetic field provides experts with evidence proving the planets young age. Since 1845, scientists have been monitoring the earth’s magnetic field, and they realize that it is decaying. When experts consider amount of current decay and calculate backwards, they realize that only a million years ago the magnetic force would have been so powerful the earth would have vaporized (Ferrell 141). Therefore, scientists have been able to conclude that the earth could be no more than 6,000 to 7,000 years old.
The earth’s rotation is causing scientist some scientists to investigate that possibility that the earth is young. Studies have shown that the rotation of the earth is slowing down. An average of one second per year is shaved off the clock because of the delay. Although this does not seem like a big deal, when the amount is traced backward a few billion years the centrifugal force would have been unbearable. The earth would also have winds speeding at 5,000 mph, when life began forming (Hovind Age of Earth). At this high speed of rotation, the earth would have flattened like a pancake, and the existence of life would have been impossible (Ferrell 139). The slowing rotation of the earth seems in indicate that the earth may be much younger than some assume.
The planet, Saturn is well known for the beautiful rings that surround it, but they pose a problem for evolutionary astronomers. Saturn’s rings are composed primarily of solid ammonia, an element that has an extremely high vapor pressure. Extensive studies have shown that it is impossible to ammonia to survive several thousand years in space without vaporizing (Ferrell 130). This is the first clue that Saturn’s rings are young.
These, however, is not the only planet with rings which are problematic. In addition to Saturn, the rings of Jupiter and Uranus create another problem. Astronomers have also realized that meteoroids are continually striking their rings and causing severe destruction and instability (Hovind Age of Earth). This indicates the rings could not be more than 20,000 years old (Ferrell 131). Evaluating this fact provides evidence that these planets may possible be younger than former speculation.
Each planet and moon in the galaxy also provides evidence of a young earth, because of the amount of heat being putting off. Planets radiate the heat that they have received from the sun, but scientists have observed that the planets are putting off more heat than they are accumulating (Hovind Age of Earth). This indicates that if the planets were billions of years old they would have cooled millions of years ago. This however, is not the case. Two of Jupiter’s smallest moons, Io (Ferrell 131) and Ganymede, still flow continuously with molten lava, indicative of a core that is still extremely hot (Hovind Age of Earth). The amount of heat that many of the planets and their moons still have radiate helps scientists to determine that they could not be billions of years old.
The star clusters and individual classes of stars in our galaxy also provide us with evidence needed to determine that the earth is still young. Star clusters are moving apart at rapid speeds, helping astronomers to establish that they must be young. If they were billions of years old, the clusters would have dissipated long ago (Ferrell 126-127). The number and size of the stars also proves a youthful age for the universe. The stars that are scattered throughout the universe are composed of a variety of gases (Malone n. pag). Over time, these gases begin to deteriorate and change colors. Kent Hovind focuses on one particular star, Cereus, in his six part video series. Former astronomers documented that Cereus was a bright red star, redder than even Mars, but today it is known as the “White Dwarf” (Hovind Age of Earth). In just two-thousand years, Cereous has suffered extreme weakening. This is because over time the star has lost mass. Cereus, nevertheless, is not the only star to deteriorate; over time, all stars begin to depreciate and eventually disappear altogether (Ferrell 127). Since there are no new stars being formed, there should not be millions of stars left in the universe, yet there is (Hovind Age of Earth). Both star clusters and stars seem to indicate that the earth must be young.
As astronomer’s search to find more information regarding the universe, they find that supernovas may create a dilemma for evolution. Regarding supernovas Bruce Malone says, “At certain times in the life of a very massive star it implodes upon itself releasing energy exceeding the output from an entire galaxy. This supernova results in a center that is so dense that it cannot collapse further, and the rest of the stellar debris spreads outward (3).” According to physical equations that scientist have formulated the debris that is left behind expands at a rate that can be calculated for thousands of years, until it has scattered so much that research equipment can no longer distinguish it from other space debris (Sarfati Refuting Evolution 42). Astronomers have grouped the spreading stellar debris into three stages. According to their research, the first stellar debris stage takes approximately three hundred years to travel seven parsecs, the second stellar debris stage last 120,000 years, while the remnants travel one hundred parsecs, and the third stage lasts six million years while the remains move five hundred parsecs. With the observed supernova, occurring every twenty-five years astronomers should be able to observe thousands of stage three stellar debris remnants, yet there are none. Experts have also not observed enough first and second stage stellar debris remnants to indicate that the universe is billions of years old (Sarfati Refuting Compromise 347-349). Stellar debris indicates that the earth may be much younger than evolutionists assume.
Comets also add to the abundance of difficulties that astronomers are facing. Comets orbit throughout the universe making frequent passes by the sun. Since the comet are mainly compose mainly of ice, when they pass close to the sun they decrease in size. Over time, the comets will deteriorate completely. Research has shown this could take about one hundred thousand years. Seeing that there are no new comets being formed, opponents of evolution believe comets are an argument for a young earth (Faulkner 264). Evolutionists believe that comets were formed at the same time as the earth. If this is the case there should be no more comets in existence, yet comets are still frequently observed scattered throughout space (Ferrell 128-129). The number of comets scattered implies that the earth could not be millions of years old.
The earth’s moon also contains useful information that helps to determine the age of the earth. Scientists who have done extensive studies on the earth have determined that the moon is moving further away each year. The determined amount of recession is about 1.5 inches per year (Sarfati Refuting Evolution 5). Scientists have used this information to calculate that it would only take the moon 1.31 billion year to reach its current positions if it was at one time attached to the earth. Although this is a longer time than creationists believe, it is not enough time for evolution to have occurred. Creationists, however, have refuted the possibility of the moon ever having been attached to the earth. The gravitational force would have been too great for anything to survive (Hovind Age of Earth). The moon is receding, and because of this scientist can determine that evolution may not be correct.
Research on the surface of the moon leads scientist to believe that it may not be billions of years old. The amount of dust on the surface of the moon is one indication that it may not be billions of years old. Each year about three to four ten-thousandths of an inch of dust accumulates on the surface. If the moon were billions of years old, there would be an accumulation of twenty to sixty miles. This of course is not the case, because when Apollo 11 first landed, the astronauts only discovered two to three inches. This shows that the moon is only six to eight thousand years old (Ferrell 132-133). Little accumulation on the surface of the earth indicates that the moon must not be as old as evolutionary scientists anticipate.
When considering the possibility of a different age for the universe, scientists look to several sources including the shape of the Milky Way. The stars at the center of the galaxy are moving faster than the outer stars, which creates the appearance ‘arms’ that are visible from satellite pictures. Scientific evidence shows that if the universe were indeed ten billion years old like evolutionists claim, the Milky Way would appear to be nothing more than a simple disc (Humphreys 1). This change of shape would be due to the accelerated speed of the inner stars and the desiccated travel on the outer edges, which causes the blending (Hovind Age of Earth). Considering the fact that the galaxy still has well defined ‘arms’ it is possible to conclude that the universe may be much less than ten billion years old.
Problems with evolution have been occurring over many years. Although some problems have been solved, new dilemmas continue to arise. Some of which have remained unsolved for many years. It is clear the universe may possibly be younger than some claim. With the young earth concept does not allot for the time evolutionist propose is needed for the universe to form. This would in turn discredit the possibility of evolution occurring. It is important to contemplate the problems that researchers have discovered involving all areas of the universe. Careful consideration must be given to the possibility that the evolutionary theory is not a proven fact, and intelligent design believers may have a justified case in there belief. Each day researchers diligently work to find the answers. It is important to seek out the truth and establish how the earth truly came into existence.
The Age of the Earth. Dir. Dr. Kent Hovind. DVD. Prod. Kent Hovind. Creation Science Evangelism.
Boston, Rob. “Designed for Controversy: the Religious Right’s New Creationism.” Humanist. 66.1(2006): 35-36. 11 April 2006.
Faulkner, Danny. “Comets and the age of the solar system.” Technical Journal. December 1997: 264-273. 24 April 2006.
Ferrell, Vance. The Evolution Cruncher. Altamont, TN. Evolution Facts Inc. 2001.
Hovind, Kent. “Does Carbon Dating Prove Millions of Years Old?.” Creation Science Evangelism. 5 May 2005. < http://www.drdino.com/print.php?type=article& spec=73>
Humphreys, Russell. “Evidence for a Young World.” Answers in Genesis. 24 April 2006. < http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4005.asp?vPrint=1>
Malone, Bruce A. Search for the Truth. Search for the Truth Publications. 2003. 13 April 2006. < http://www.drdino.com/articles.php>
Morris, John D. The Young Earth. Colorado Springs, CO. Master Books Inc. 1994.
Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Compromise. Green Forest, AR. Master Books, Inc. 2004.
Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution. Green Forest, AR. Master Books, Inc. 1999.
Sarfati, Jonathan. “Salty Seas—Evidence for a Young Earth.” Creation Magazine. December 1998: 16-17. 24 April 2006
Walker, Tas. “Eroding Ages.” Creation Magazine. March 2000: 18-21. 28 April 2006.
Wieland, Carl. “The Earth: How Old Does it Look?.” Creation Magazine. December 2000: 8-13. 24 April 2006.