Unreasonable Reliance on Dating Methods

Reason 4: Rock strata, ice cores, and all that

on June 4, 2007
The Geological time scale of the Earth has been accurately known for perhaps 150 years.

This “geologic timescale” is full of assumptions, the biggest one being uniformitarianism. Not to mention this supposed timescale has changed drastically over the past 150 years, as pointed out in the introduction.

The principle is simple, as rock layers are laid down on the surface of the Earth in succession over time.

We agree. The timescale is the real difference. We believe the Bible which reveals a worldwide Flood laying down most of this in about one year around 4,400 years ago.

While the layers are often eroded and distorted, they can have different appearances in different areas. Over the course of 2 centuries geologists have pieced together a completely consistent

As we have pointed out, this “history” is not completely consistent.

history of the planet that agrees with the 4.5 billion-year-age estimate determined by other means, from radioactive dating, astrophysical arguments,

Please see the responses to points “Reason 6”, “Reason 7”, “Reason 8”, “Reason 9”, “and Reason 10.”

and biological analyses. Moreover, the different epochs

Why assume they were epochs? You have instantly rejected that the rock/fossil layers were deposited catastrophically, thus ignoring the Bible (which has been many times shown to be accurate in its history, even by secular sources) and its account of the great Flood of Noah’s day. To claim that there was no catastrophe in the past (a view often called uniformitarianism) means you are claiming omniscience and omnipresence, qualities that no human possesses.

determined by geologists have associated with them different fossil species that not only document the evolution of the diversity of life on Earth, but also demonstrate widely varying climates over periods of millions and billions of years.

So, you assume epochs geologically, and then say this demonstrates epochs of millions of years biologically? Prior to this you said, “history of the planet that agrees with the 4.5 billion-year-age estimate determined by other means, from . . . biological analyses.” Therefore, these are not independent sources of data, but are an example of circular reasoning.

Instead of viewing these layers as records of time periods, one possible alternative is to view them as successive burials of pre-Flood ecosystems as the floodwaters prevailed on the earth.

During these periods there are observed to be layers where there are mass extinctions, when up to 95 percent of life on Earth became extinct. One such mass extinction period occurred 65 million years ago, and coincides with the independently determined extinction era for dinosaur species.

What is the independently determined data? Typically, these conclusions are interdependent and/or speculative. It is difficult to say categorically that an animal became extinct based on the fossil record alone. For example, the coelacanth was thought to have died out millions of years ago because it was not found above a certain layer. Last century, the coelacanth was found to be alive and swimming! There have been many other examples of so-called “living fossils.”

Additionally, we would say “almost extinction.” The biblical Flood accounts for the massive rock and fossil layers, but the Ark kept alive representatives of the land-dwelling, air-breathing animal and bird kinds. Those that were on the Ark survived to repopulate the earth. Of course, there may have been some plants and even some sea creatures that went extinct during the Flood. The Bible does not tell us explicitly that every sea creature and plant survived the Flood, so this leaves room to speculate that some may not have.

The date given for the rock layers is incorrect again, showing that DefCon and RR are holding unreasonable faith in dating methods, as we’ve demonstrated in “Radiometric Dating—Not Infallible.”

This time is well before the earliest hominids were known to be arising out of Africa, some 3-5 million years ago. The physical processes responsible for the generation of these layers and the patterning of the rock are well understood,

Again, this is unreasonable reliance on dating methods. The patterning of the rocks is understood because it is an observable phenomenon in the present. But to lump that together with “physical processes responsible for the generation of these layers” is misleading—especially when lab experiments and natural disasters (such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens) show that layering can happen catastrophically in a short period of time. This can happen in a matter of days or even hours. It’s a wonder why this sort of observable evidence is consistently ignored. Has a layer of rock ever been observed forming over a period of millions of years?

and could not have been created in a single worldwide flood 6000 years ago, or 65 million years ago.

Why couldn’t a Flood lay down rapid fossiliferous layers? Back up your assertions, please. Besides, this shows a lack of understanding of what biblical creationists believe, the Flood was about 4,500 years ago, not 6,000.

On a shorter time scale there are other direct measures of the age of the Earth. Most notable are deep ice cores taken in Antarctica, Greenland, and elsewhere. These all provide a consistent record of climate variations over the earth over the past 400,000 to 800,000 years. As the Earth’s temperature varies, the isotopic abundance of gases, such as deuterium in water that condenses, will be different. By extracting deep ice cores, and measuring the isotopic abundance ratios of the gases in the trapped bubbles in the ice, climatologists can determine much about the earth’s history. Layers are separated by the amount of annual snowfall. As the temperature varies over the year, separate layers are distinguishable, just like tree rings, and ages of the ice as a function of thickness are determinable. In this way one can determine that the deepest ice cores reflect a history in excess of 500,000 years reflecting dramatic variations in temperature, carbon-dioxide abundance, sea levels, etc. In fact, there have been numerous times over the past 400,000 years when global sea levels rose by more than 40 meters, but no time in the past 6000 years has this happened.

It’s interesting that the observed evidence for rapid formation of ice layers is also ignored. This can be seen in the squadron of P-38 Lightning fighter planes and B–17 Flying Fortress bombers of WWII. On July 15, 1942 they had to make an emergency landing on a Greenland ice sheet. The planes were abandoned. Later in 1988 the planes were found buried under 250 feet of ice! Much ice core dating is based on the assumption that one layer equals one year, but we have seen that such layers can form rapidly and more than one per year. Here are some helpful articles:


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