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The General Anti-Creationism FAQ

Age of the Earth

by Jim Meritt
Originally formatted for the web by Tedd Hadley
The Meritt FAQ has been replaced by Mark Isaak's extensive Index to Creationist Claims which is superior in almost every respect. It deals with age of the earth issues in its geology section. Many creationists claims debunked in this file are also debunked in How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments? The Meritt FAQ is preserved for archival purposes only and its text will not be updated.


Age (see also The Young Earth FAQs)

Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate.

Exactly what is meant by "inaccurate" leaves much to be desired. Please see the August 1989 Scientific American article on the Age of the Earth. (page 90, by Lawrence Badash, "The Age-of-the-Earth Debate")

Radioactive dating can't be calibrated.

You are in this case Dead Wrong. Dating of ancient rocks by radiometric methods (e.g., Uranium-Lead, Potassium-Argon, Rubidium- Strontium) does NOT, repeat NOT depend upon our having available a sample of known age to calibrate the method. Indeed, this is PRECISELY WHY these methods are so useful. The only calibration required is the measurement of decay rates, which can be done IN THE LABORATORY. Furthermore, these methods can be used in ways that do NOT, repeat NOT depend on any assumptions about the initial amounts of the various isotopes involved. Please read the section in Chapter 17 of Strahler's book, Science and Earth History.

It is true that Carbon-14 dates must be calibrated for variations in the amount of 14C produced in the atmosphere; however, the corrections are small (~10%) and affect only recent ages (~50,000 years). This method is not used to date rocks.

The guy who thought that radioactive dating required knowing the initial amount of lead. He apparently had never heard of isotopes, either. He made a big thing about a science he was a master of: he wrote its name on the blackboard: "numerical analysis". He indicated how this allowed him to "proved" that radiodating was wildly inaccurate. No mention of the fact that the earth was still real old. He encouraged people to go buy a book on numerical analysis: he gave its name. He didn't bother to encourage people to buy a book on dating, perhaps because he hadn't read one himself ?

Radioactive decay rates did not remain constant, so you can't accurately date things

If radioactive decay rates were to change, the structure of stars would be affected. But even very distant stars (whose light has been travelling towards us for very long times) have the structure that is predicted by theory assuming present decay rates. They do not have the structure that would be predicted for them if the decay rates were many orders of magnitude larger.

There are two major kinds of radioactive decay, alpha decay and beta decay. They are due to different physical processes and are governed by different natural constants. If the decay rates were to change in time, this would produce discrepant dates in rocks that can be dated independently by several different decay series. These discrepancies are not observed.

If the decay rates were large enough to produce 4.5 billion years' of apparent aging in only 6000 years of wall-clock time, the decay rates would have had to have been millions to billions of times as large when Adam and Eve were around as now. The heat generated would have melted the earth, which would still be molten. Furthermore, the earth would have been too radioactive to support life then. Adam and Eve would have glowed for other reasons than their nearness to God.

K-Ar dating of Hawaiian lava is wildly inaccurate.

That's why geologists don't pay much attention to analyses of rock samples unless their geological context is well understood. Since Hawaii is built on oceanic crust that is about 80-100 million years old (the age is known more precisely than this; I don't have the references handy), it was immediately obvious that the observed isotopic ratios didn't represent the ages of the rocks.

Our confidence in radiometric dating techniques comes from years of careful comparisons to other radiometric techniques and to relative age determinations from biostratigraphy (fossils in layered rocks). In some cases, there are multiple isotope systems that may be analyzed in the same sample. Since these different systems react differently to the processes that disturb age recording, if the systems disagree with one another the age significance of the data is suspect.

Geoscientists try to use all available tools in combination to make sure that they're not fooled by a single spurious analysis. In some journals, analytical results aren't publishable unless they're backed up by field relations and/or by other analytical methods.

The particular case of young Hawaiian volcanic rocks is interesting for reasons other than the absurd age interpretations. Since these rocks are very poor in the potassium from which radiogenic argon decays, their argon content is determined largely by the composition of the argon in the rocks from which the Hawaii lavas were derived. The data tell us something about the composition of the mantle down to about 150 kilometers below the surface, where earthquake data tell us the lavas originate.

The example of the Hawaii rocks is a Red Herring, as I will demonstrate momentarily. However, the answer to your last question is very simple. If you can date a rock by a number of different methods, involving different decay series, and if you arrive at the SAME AGE using any of a half-dozen different and completely independent methods, then you can be quite confident that the age you have measured is reliable.

If you wish to dispute these ages, you have to come up with EVIDENCE that they are unreliable. It is not sufficient to wave your hands and express your skepticism. We all know you are skeptical, but saying "how do we know," without EVIDENCE to suggest that there is a problem, is just whistling past the graveyard.

And now for the Red Herring. Creationists often bring up the example of the Hawaiian pillow basalts with anomalous K-Ar ages, but they neglect to mention that geologists already thought that rocks formed under THESE PARTICULAR conditions would give unreliable K-Ar ages because they would trap argon before it can escape. The studies in question were performed to confirm this under controlled conditions, and thus to confirm to the scientific community that THIS PARTICULAR type of rock is unsuitable for radiometric dating. The misuse of this work by Creationists is particularly despicable, IMHO.

Helmholtz's contraction theory says the sun is < 20,000,000 years.

This (suns energy comes from contraction) is decades old and discarded soon after the discovery of radioactivity. See the Scientific American article from August 1989. The German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz formulated this concept around 1869. It has been soundly rebuffed in the last 100 years.

The guy who thought that we were detecting 0 (zero) solar neutrinos, thus proving his theory that the sun was shining due to the gravitational energy released as it shrank. (they are there, and have been detected)

Sun is shrinking by ~5 feet per hour. i.e losing 0.01% per year. 6,000 creation = ~6% shrinkage, but 20,000,000 years ago the sun touched the earth and 100,000 years ago the sun was twice as large (making life impossible)

I am interested in how you decide that this is a steady-state system? A "Sun" that large could not possibly have this solar system.

A brief discussion of this is found in ``Looking Inside the Sun'', ASTRONOMY, March 1989.

Analysis of historical records of eclipses and transits give varying numbers. One result gives 2.25 arcseconds per century, similar to the above figure. Another result gives an upper limit of 0.3 arcsecond per century, but is also consistent with no shrinkage. Two more historical analyses indicate that the sun was a bit larger a century ago than today. Current measurements indicate that the sun is not now shrinking.

The long term stability of the size of the sun remains unknown.

Lunar dust--only 1 to 3 inches, not 54 feet.

The calculation you refer to is given by Henry Morris on pp. 151-153 of Scientific Creationism. It is based on a grossly erroneous figure of 14 million tons of meteoritic dust per year, quoted by Petterson in 1960. Morris misinterpreted Petterson's article. Petterson published a figure of 15 (not 14) million tons per year as an upper limit. In other words, Petterson said that the value is not more than. 15 million tons per year. He was not able to measure an actual value. Morris erroneously chose to interpret it to mean it was equal to 14 million tons per year. Accurate values were measured in the late 1960's. The actual value is much lower than 15 million tons per year. Dalrymple gives the value of 22,000 tons per year, nearly 700 times smaller than your figure. That changes your 54 foot figure into about 2 cm, which is quite consistent with the amount of surface soil the astronauts found on the Moon (it was considerably more than 1-2 mm).

My copy of "Everyman's Astronomy" indicates that the earth collects about 9000 kg per day from meteors of visual magnitude 5.0 or brighter. Assuming a typical rock density of 3 g/cc, this corresponds to an accumulation rate of one inch per 10 billion years. Unfortunately no data is presented for fainter meteors. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the actual rate is one or two orders of magnitude higher, but "1 inch in 8000 years" is off by six orders of magnitude.

A dust accumulation rate of "one inch per 8000 years" should should create a spectacular year round meteor shower, and cause severe pitting of the space shuttle windshields in just a single orbit. My quick estimates give values far higher than have been actually observed.

Deterioration of earth's magnetic field, at present rates, implies an excessive field 10,000 years ago.

(Decay of Earth's Magnetic Field - Result of research by Thomas Barnes during his tenure as Physics Professor at UTEP. Published in Origin and Destiny of Earth's Magnetic Field, 1973. Barnes notes the measured values over the last 150 years and models according to uniformitarian principles.

The decay is not a steady state. In fact, there is considerable evidence for reversals. The atlantic ocean floor as it spreads shown the weakening - reversing - strengthening recorded in its stone as the continents spread from the mid-atlantic ridge.

The field is expected to reverse sometime in the next few thousand years. A time scale on page 78 shows the reversals over the past 170 million years, as deduced from the magnetic patterns in oceanic crust. I counted about 200 reversals on the chart.

Briefly, Barnes took approximately 150 years of data on the Earth's dipole magnetic field and extrapolated it backwards to about 10000 years Before Present (B.P.). He stated that the field 10,000 years ago would, on this calculation, have been as strong as that of a magnetic star, and stated (correctly) that this was absurd. However, there are four fatal flaws in his analysis.

In the first place, Barnes studied only the dipole component of the Earth's magnetic field, In fact, the very same data that Barnes used show that the nondipole component of the field increased during the same period of time, almost exactly cancelling the decrease in the dipole field that Barnes calculated (D. Brent Dalrymple, U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park CA, in Reviews of 31 Creationist Books). This alone is sufficient to destroy the basis of his work.

The second failure of Barnes' study was the idea that one can take data from a short period of time and simply extrapolate it backwards to obtain a reliable estimate at a time remotely removed from the data. Anyone competent in analyzing scientific data knows that extrapolations are good only for a relatively short period of time, if at all, and that the further away from the actual data one goes, the less reliable it becomes. Barnes extrapolated 150 years' worth of data back 10,000 years! In real life, one would be surprised if extrapolation of these data more than a few hundred years back were accurate.

The third failure of Barnes' study was the mathematical model he chose. He decided to fit the data to an exponential. The data fit a straight line just as well (see Figure 1 of Stephen G. Brush's article in Scientists Confront Creationism), but a straight line would have given a much older age for the Earth than the 10,000 years that Barnes, because of his Biblical literalism, wishes to promote.

The fourth failure of Barnes' study was his failure to consider any other evidence than the 150 years worth of data from geomagnetic observatories that he used. There exists, in paleomagnetic data, a long record of the Earth's magnetic dipole strength (extending backwards for millions of years). The data are in agreement with the observatory data Barnes used over their common intersection, but they differ drastically from Barnes' extrapolation when one goes further back in time.

Atmospheric helium should have built up more from U decay.

This statement is false. It falls precisely within predicted limits.

Please read:

Calculations on the Composition of the terrestrial Planets
Reynolds & Summers, Journal of Geophysical Research vol 74, no 10 May 15, 1969 p 2494
The formation of the Earth from Planetesimals
Wetherill, Scientific American June 1981
Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Evolution on the Primitive Earth
Cloud, Preston E., Jr., Science 160, (17 May 1968), pp 729 - 736
The Effect of a Planet's Size on the Evolution of its Atmosphere
Mart, Michael H, published in some conference or another; I got a copy from the author. (ave Allen davea@ll-vlsi.ARPA)
Our Evolving Atmosphere
Is Anyone There? by Isacc Asimov
The Evolution of the Atmosphere of the Earth
Hart, Icarus, 33, 23-39, 1978
Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans
Holland, Lazar & McCaffery, Nature vol 320, 6 mar 1986
Heat and Helium in the Earth
O'Nions & Oxburgh, Nature, vol 306, 1 Dec 1983
The Atmosphere
Ingersoll, Scientific American, Sept 1983

Receding moon would have been touching earth 2 billion years ago.

Check up on your orbital dynamics... Assumes a steady rate of recession. Assumes the moon wasn't captured less than 2 billion years ago.

All comets would have disintegrated after 10,000 years.

Jupiter and Saturn wreak havoc to the comet orbits. Some long-period comets are perturbed into short period orbits, others are permanently ejected. Comets are believed to have a short lifetime after being perturbed to short periods.

Actually, the Oort cometary cloud hypothesis (published by Jan H. Oort in 1950) was originally proposed in order to explain "the rate of appearance of long-period comets" (i.e. there are a lot of them). It really didn't have anything to do with the age of short-period comets (which the note above refers to). [Long-period > 200 yrs, short-period < 200 yrs.]

The problem that is referred to by the creationist here is that the short- period comets have not occupied their present orbits for very long (in astronomical terms). Each time a comet passes close to the sun, some of its matter is driven off into space by the sun's energy (forming its "tail"). "Short-period" comets are believed by astronomers to have a lifetime of only a few thousand years, because after that all of their "tail-producing" matter would be used up (indeed, astronomers have noted comets to "vanish"; the remaining material only makes its presence known upon entering the Earth's atmosphere; this is likely the origin of meteoroid swarms.)

However, the fact that a comet cannot have occupied its present orbit for very long does not automatically imply that it is young. The Oort hypothesis does explain this problem as well, in that long-period comets -- if frequent enough -- will be moved into short-period orbits by a relatively near approach to a planet (comet loses momentum, planet gains it, comet is now in a vastly shorter orbit, planet is now in a very slightly longer orbit).

In fact, of the short-period comets, roughly half orbit pretty much between the sun and jupiter, leading astronomers to believe that jupiter "captured" them into their current orbits. (Statistically, we would expect the largest planet -- the best "capturer" -- to have captured the most short-period comets).

Finally, nobody really knows about the Oort cloud. Astronomers like the way it explains the frequency of long-period comets, and there is much support for it amongst them. It apparently also explains the youth of the short-period comets, quite nicely. However, until we see a comet get sucked into a short-period orbit (apparently this must happen every 100 years or so), or until we send something out to 10,000 A.U., Oort's proposal remains a hypothesis. (Conclusion: it was not cooked up to explain young short- period comets; this is something of a "fringe benefit". But we aren't very sure that it's true, either.)

[From Strahler, "Science and Earth History", New York:Prometheus, 1987; p. 143]

3000 years was time enough for all languages, religions to develop.

Actually the premise is false. The Sino-Tibetan family of languages is distinct from the Indo-European family of languages, which English seems to have been derived from. Considering how long ago the 50 arguments were written (was it around 1930?), this ethnocentrism is not surprising.

Erosion should've dumped at least 30 times more sediment in the sea. and all the continents would be worn to sea level in just 14,000,000 years.

Ever heard of plate tectonics?

Please read:

On Volcanism and Thermal Tectonics on one-plate Planets
Solomon, Geophysical Research Letters, vol 5, no 6 June 1978
The Supercontinent Cycle
Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988

Top soil--6 inches form in 5,000-20,000 years, but earth averages 7 to 8 inches.

Or erosion.

Your county Soil Conservation Board will be happy to tell you why your topsoil is getting shallower, and what you can do to curb the problem.

Mississippi delta would have formed in 5000 years.

So? You have (given a steady-state system which it is NOT) identified a possible geographic feature less than 5k years old.

Niagara Falls-the rim is wearing back at a known rate and taken ~5,000 years from its original precipice.

That's neat - and the steady-state assumptions are? And how did you get the "original precipice" without deciding up front how old you wanted it?

The Niagara River HAS been where it is for only a few millenia (or tens of millenia). Before that, the whole area was under glacial ice! (And it some millenia after the ice retreated for the land to reach its present level and the drainage paths to reach their present alignment.

I'd love to see what happens in the year the falls erode back to Lake Erie! At the present rate of erosion, I think that's supposed to be ~100,000 AD.

Not enough dissolved minerals in oceans.

Dissolved minerals - the stuff moves in cycles, and as such most of the minerals are very close to their balance levels. Remember "carbon cycle"? The same general idea holds for everything else. Remember the space shuttle? Except for the last time, it has been landing on salt. Like from the oceans, remember?

Other "geological clocks" that suggest a "young" earth- juvenile water (from volcanoes), oil deposit pressure, Stalactite Growth (limestone)

Juvenile water is covered in those same computer models, and again nothing tricky is involved at all. Oil deposits themselves require a time well over 6000 years to exist, so try again. Stalactite growth - of some, perhaps. You are still identifying merely temporary features

Please read:

The Formation of the Earth from Planetesimals
Wetherill, Scientific American June 1981
The Steady State of the Earth's Crust, Atmosphere and Oceans
Siever, Scientific American, May 1974
The Evolution of the Atmosphere of the Earth
Hart, Icarus, 33, 23-39, 1978
Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans
Holland, Lazar & McCaffery, Nature vol 320, 6 mar 1986
Enhanced CO2 greenhouse to compensate for reduced solar luminosity on early earth
Owen & Cess, Nature, vol 227, 22Feb 1979
How Climate Evolved on the Terrestrial Planets
Kasting, Toon, & Pollack, Scientific American, Feb 1988
Climatic Changes of the last 18,000 years: Observations and Model Simulations
COHMAP members, Science vol 241, 26 Aug 88, p 1043-1052

Polonium halos indicate granite-producing magma cooled suddenly, not over millions of years.

Gentry's work is of particular importance because it involves actual field and laboratory work followed up by papers appearing in refereed scientific journals, offering some credibility to the field of "creation research."

There is, however, a serious weakness in Gentry's work. It has been devoted almost entirely to the physics of the polonium halos, thereby neglecting the geological setting of the samples in which the halos are found. Because of this neglect, Gentry makes unwarranted generalizations about the nature of the world's Precambrian rocks.


Polonium halos are small spherical "shells" of radiation damage that surround radioactive inclusions within certain minerals in rocks, which Gentry has described in his book "Creation's Tiny Mystery." [1] The halos are formed by alpha particles released during the decay of an isotope. As an alpha particle nears the end of its path and slows, it causes disruption of the crystal structure leaving a small damage track. Over time, repeated decays from the parent isotope will leave a spherical halo of discoloration. The distance that an alpha particle travels depends upon the energy of the decay and that, in turn, is a function of the particular nuclide that decays. Theoretically, then, the radii of a series of halos that surround a radioactive inclusion permit identification of the specific decaying nuclides.

Gentry has claimed that certain of these halos indicate that the granite "basement rocks" of the earth are "the primordial Genesis rocks" and were created instantaneously about six thousand years ago. Essentially, Gentry has found that in certain samples of Precambrian biotite (a mica) the inner ring halos for uranium and other nuclides in the decay chain which should be producing Polonium 210, Po214 and Po218 are missing; only the polonium rings for these three isotopes are present. In addition, Gentry observed little or no uranium in the radioactive inclusion. His conclusion is that the polonium must have been primordial and, because of the short half-lives of the polonium isotopes (138.4 days , 0.000164 sec. and 3.04 minutes, respectively), the granite, therefore, must have been created in the solid state in "only a brief period between 'nucleosynthesis' and crystallization of the host rock." [1, p. 270]

The fact that Gentry has published in Nature, Science and Medical Opinion and Review leads one to believe that there is a fair amount of support for his work, but Gentry avoids making direct creationist statements in these works -- it seems he is only cautiously trying to link the rocks of the Precambrian to the rocks that existed right after the Earth's formation - or creation. His book, however, leaves no doubt on his position:

"Were tiny polonium halos God's fingerprints in Earth's primordial rocks? Could it be that the Precambrian granites were the Genesis rocks of our planet?" [1, p. 32]1


The first curiosity that Wakefield uncovered was that the sites from which Gentry obtained his samples were not in the older Archean era of the Precambrian, as one would expect, but in fact were in the considerably younger (as dated radiometrically and structurally) Proterozoic era; specifically, the Proterozoic Grenville Supergroup of the Grenville Province, here in Ontario. This misunderstanding came about because Gentry is annoyingly vague on exact sites in his book. One mine, the Silver Crater Mine, is mentioned specifically, while the remaining sites are described only as being in Madagascar, New Hampshire and Norway. This tendency towards vagueness also occurs in his Medical Opinion and Review article, in which he refers to "the Wolsendorf (Bavaria) fluorite." [2]

After some research, Wakefield tracked down the three sites, all near Bancroft in southern Ontario. Regarding the first site, the Fission Mine, it appeared to Wakefield that this was where Gentry obtained his fluorite samples and some of his biotite. Gentry denied this, saying they had come from Germany, but Louis Moyd of the National Museum in Ottawa indicated that samples from the Fission Mine were in fact sent to Gentry. I will break tradition briefly and quote Wakefield exactly,

"it is clear we are dealing with intrusive calcite vein dikes (rocks containing mostly the mineral calcite and other minerals, such as mica) that are small in length and width and cut metasedimentary rocks which still retain bedding planes. Radioactive minerals abound in this locality. Percolating water from the hill the deposit occupies is strongly radioactive and was sold in the 1920s for therapeutic purposes."

The second site, the Silver Crater mine, is related to the Fission mine and is a calcite intrusive of the same origin. Neither of these mines are in fact granites, a fact Gentry gets wrong. In addition, while Gentry claims that "halos occur in many mica samples which have not undergone metamorphism of any kind," the micas of the Silver Crater were indeed formed during metamorphism under the load of moderate-depthed overburden, whch has since been eroded off. Gentry's primordial biotite was in fact metamorphically derived.

The third site, the Faraday mine, I will touch on only briefly. Gentry emphasizes that the oddity of the halos is that there is no uranium or thorium in the nucleus at the center of the polonium halos. Unfortunately for him, the Faraday pegmatite was mined for uranium -- a total of some four million tons of U(3)O(8) ore were mined for a total of 7.3 million pounds of uranium oxide until the mine's closure in 1984. The most common radioactive mineral was uranothorite, hence lots of uranium and thorium.

Gentry's case rests heavily on a "God-of-the-gaps" approach to the halos; that is, it requires that there be no acceptable naturalistic explanation for the halos. Once such an explanation is found, Gentry's case crumbles. One paper that proposes such a naturalistic explanation is by N. K. Chaudhuri and R. H. Iyer [3]. I make no pretense about being able to understand the model they present; perhaps those with the necessary background will help out here. Gentry also has problems with accuracy in his quotation of other scientific sources. In one case, Gentry (p. 71) refers to a paper by N. Feather [4], saying that Feather discusses "clear mica (without any conduits)," but there is no reference to this in Feather's paper. In another instance, Gentry quotes Steven Talbott for scientific support and provides a copy of Talbott's article in the appendices of his book, but Talbott himself states that he has relied on two sources for HIS information: phone calls with Gentry and "the available technical literature", which turns out to be based on Gentry's own articles. What Gentry has in essence done is to reference himself and attempt to pass this off as independent corroboration.

[1] Gentry, R.V., 1986. Creation's Tiny Mystery. Knoxville, Tenn. Earth Science Associates.
[2] Gentry, R.V., 1967. "Cosmology and the Earth's Invisible Realm." Medical Opinion and Review. October, p. 79.
[3] N.K. Chaudhuri and R.H. Iyer, "Origin of Unusual Radioactive Halos," Radiation Effects, 1980, vol. 53, pp. 1-6.
[4] N. Feather, "The unsolved problem of the Po-halos in Precambrian biotite and other old minerals," Comm. to the Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, no. 11, 1978.

And for a more recent:

In the 6 October 1989 issue of SCIENCE magazine (Vol 246, #1 pp 107-109), there is a report on work with Radiation Induced Color Halos (RICHs) in quartz, suggesting a mechanism for the "Po halos" that removes their utility as Creation Science evidence.

The abstract and first two-and-a-half and last one paragraphs of the report, giving a summary of the problem and the authors' conclusion:


"The radii of radiation-induced color halos (RICHs) surrounding radioactive mineral inclusions in mica generally correspond closely to the calculated range of common uranogenic and thorogenic alpha particles in mica. Many exceptions are known, however, and these variants have led investigators to some rather exotic interpretations. Three RICHs found in quartz are identified as aluminum hole-trapping centers. Whereas the inner radii of these RICHs closely match the predicted range of the most energetic common alphas (39 micrometers), the color centers observed extend to 100 micrometers. Migration of valence-band holes down a radiation-induced charge potential might account for these enigmatic RICHs. Such RICHs provide natural experiments in ultraslow charge diffusion.

"In 1907 Joly pointed out that microscopic color halos commonly observed surrounding small inclusions of radioactive minerals were caused by damage produced by alpha particles emanating from the inclusions. Shortly afterwards, Rutherford noted a close correspondence between the radial size of halos and the energies of the alpha particles. A number of workers have described and measured these radiation-induced color halos (RICHs) and, from their sizes, have tried to match them with specific radionuclides in the inclusions. Although it seems possible to relate the sizes of most of the described halos to alpha emitters in the U and Th decay chains, there are many exceptions. Particularly controversial have been two (perhaps artificial) classes of RICHs referred to as Po halos and giant halos.

"The Po haloes are RICHs that have a size and ring structure apparently comparable with the range in silicate minerals of alpha particles emitted by uranogenic Po radioisotopes of mass 210, 214, and 218, although this interpretation has been challenged. Significantly, rings that can be attributed to the other five alpha decays in the 238-U seroes seem to be lacking. That the half-life of 218-Po is 3 min has not deterred some investigators from proposing separation of Po from its radioactive progenitors before its inclusion in minerals. Indeed, Po halos have even been offered as possible evidence of an instantaneous creation.

"Giant halos are anomalous RICHs that have radii extending more than approximately 47 um from the edge of the inclusion..."

[Their proposal is that aluminum inclusions can create a semi-conductive area where beta particles can cause diffusion and discoloration over a very large area]

"...We strongly suspect...that the sizes and structure of giant and Po RICHs in mica are also artifacts of radiation-induced conductivity and their explanation requires neither unknown radioactivity nor an abandonment of current concepts of geologic time."

Oldest living things, bristlecone pines, are younger than 5000 years.

Sure. In fact, if you go for grove instead of individual tree and match similar growth rings (similar events in overlapping lifespans) it goes well over 11,000 years.

Exponential population growth

And by the same exponential growth law we are up to our armpits in roaches. This does obviously not happen, therefore there are other constraints.

What leads Creationists to conclude that the exponential growth constants for a 50 year sample apply to 5000 years? This is known as "extrapolating beyond region of known fit".

The growth curve is exponential. The population origin can be extended back much further in time, and the recent doublings are bunched together.

I love exponential growth when used by those unaware of the basics for the derivation. You can use the same system to show that we are up to our armpits in fruit flies every 3 years or so...

According to U.N. figures, the world population in 1650 was 508 million, up from 200-300 million in 1 AD. This corresponds to a growth rate of 0.032 to 0.057% per year during much of recorded history, far lower than the "sickly 0.5%" used here.

5000 years of growth at 0.057% would increase the population by a factor of 17, much less than the 7*10^10 implied by a rate of 0.5%.

"No people of English descent are more distantly related than thirtieth cousin," which doesn't allow enough time for evolution.

Incorrect argument. The island population of Great Britian might well have interbreeded more than is the case if it were mixed with the rest of the world's human population, if you are inclined to believe Davenport's claim at all.

The animals couldn't have distributed themselves all over the globe.

This is written at the time Wagener proposed Continental Drift for the first time. He is rejected by the geologists of the day, but now Plate Tectonics is well accepted among geologists and is used to construct paleobiogeography that explains fossil distributions.

And like horses (that man transported), camels, pandas, kangaroos, marsupials,.. In fact, this supports the evolutionary postulates in that the distribution matches transportation capabilities.

What is more interesting is why are not animals everywhere? If they all got themselves originated from one place (did this twice, supposedly - everyone was originally present in Eden for the naming and everything was together again in the ark) why are not marsupials found everywhere? Ibid old world vs. new world species.

The Supercontinent Cycle
Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988
Alfred Wegener and the Hypothesis of Continental Drift
A. Hallam, Scientific American Feb 1975

Geographic Distribution of Quadrupeds

Since the creationists (from the biblical account) would have had EVERY animal in the same place (twice, in fact. Once for the naming in Eden, once again for the rescue in the arc.) why are the quadrupeds distributed so differently? There are a number of large animals that are strictly on one continent, unless somebody moved them (in fairly recent recorded history). They could NOT have gotten there on their own RECENTLY (evolved there, yes), nor could a selective extinction removed every individual of the opposite set. Please explain:

New World Only: Old World Only:

Sapajous (Monkeys)
sagoins (monkeys)
Cougar, jaguar
Stinking weasels

Horse, zebra
sheep, goats, antelopes
wild boar
panther, leopard
hyena, civet
porcupine, hedgehog
apes, baboons, true monkeys
scaley lizard

detached species


detached species


In some places older fossils appear above young ones.

Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana, Glacier Nat'l Monument. Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana including Glacier Nat'l Park Here inorder to explain the problem of much older fossils superimposed on much younger rocks we have a massive sheet of rock 6000 ft+ thick and 100+ miles long moving some 65 (or more) miles with no trace of friction or distortion... EVEN THOUGH THE ROCKS THEY REST ON ARE CRETACEOUS SHALES AND MUDSTONES WHICH WOULD SHOW DISTORTION QUITE EASILY!

In "The Rocks and Fossils of Glacier National Monument", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K (1959) C. P. Ross and Richard Rezak note:

Most visitors, especially those who stay on the roads, get the impression that the Belt strata are undisturbed and lie almost as flat today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished so many million years ago. Actually, they are folded, and in certain places, they are intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the park, it is possible to observe places where the Belt series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs and canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the park to the east.

Ross and Rezak repeatedly show how "crushed and crumpled" the rocks in the thrust fault are:

The intricate crumpling and crushing in the immediate vicinity of the main overthrust, visible in localities like that near Marias Pass, (shown in figure 139), must have taken place when the heavy overthrust slab was forced over the soft rocks beneath...

In some places only a single fault surface formed, with crushed and crumpled soft rocks beneath...

Rocks between these faults were crumpled and crushed in a variety of ways. In some places the zone in which fracturing occurred was as much as 2000 feet thick; generally it must have been at least several hundred feet thick.

The statements that there exists "no indication of friction [?] or structural distortion in either the Lewis thrust plate or overridded [sic] surface!" and "In order to explain the stratigraphic imposibility [sic] of such older rocks over younger rocks thrust model is invoked" is misleading at best and an outright lie at worst. If you'd like to see photographs of the actual thrust fault which we are discussing, may I suggest that you examine the December 1988 issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin? I'm sure your library receives it. While it is true that the thrust fault is often described as being "knife sharp" and there is little structural distortion above and below it, the fault is undoubtedly present. You can walk up to it in places and place your hand on it. The thrust model was not just invoked without any supporting evidence. Geologists, unlike creationists, gather data and use it to support their theories. While the actual mechanics of overthrusting may still be poorly understood, geologists are making progress in understanding it (there have been hundreds of papers published on it).

There are no layers which require more than 6000 years to build up

What about

Plus, at the satellite-measured recession rate of the NA continent, the Atlantic gets a Real Big age. This is consistent with the mag stripes alongside the mid-Atlantic ridge.

All of my statements, past, present and future express solely my opinions and/or beliefs and do not in any way represent those of any of my employer's unless such is specifically stated in the content of the text.

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