In Brief—Summary of Technical Article for the Layman

“Radiometric Dating and the Age of the Earth”


Originally published in Creation 5, no 1 (June 1982): 17.

Before 1955, it was popular to believe the age of the earth was only 3 billion years.

4.5 Billion Years

During 1955 an evolutionary scientist by the name of Patterson1 claimed the age of the earth to be the same as that of meteorites. These he dated at 4.5 billion years. He believed that the meteorites were left-over remains of material dating from the time of formation of the earth and other planets. The value of 4.5 billion years for the age of the earth is now the popular belief used by most evolutionary scientists. This is accepted in spite of the 1972 research by a scientist named Gale,2 showing that Patterson’s beliefs about where the lead in meteorites came from, was provably wrong. Gale showed that there was simply too much lead in meteorites to claim that it formed from uranium. Much of the lead had originally been in the meteorite. Therefore, despite the claims in school books, university lectures, and in the media, meteorites and the earth are not “proven” to be 4.5 billion years old.

Edited Data

Such widespread beliefs as the 4.5 billion years of age, and the infallibility of the radiometric dating methods, are unfortunately kept in the public view by two rules agreed upon by many scientists, i.e. if a date disagrees with 4.5 billion years it must be wrong—and if dates do not fit the expected view of evolutionary history, they are simply edited out of any data published.

References to these practices are given in the Technical Article under the headings, Concordant Data and Selective Publication.3


  1. Patterson, C., Tilton, G. & lnghram, M., Science 121 69 (1955)
  2. Gale, N.H., Arden, J. and Hutchison, R. Nature Phys. Science 240 57 (1972)
  3. Chem. and Eng. News, Summary of an Amer. Chem. Soc. symposium, p330 January 23 (1956)


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390