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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CG020:

There is time enough in 3,000 years for all languages and religions to develop, consistent with a young earth.


  1. The fact that something can happen in less than 3,000 years is not evidence that the earth is young.

  2. Religions can indeed develop quickly. Witness Scientology, which arose in much less than one generation. Languages also can develop quickly, in just a few generations. American Sign Language is an example.

    However, the evidence indicates that languages and religions (not to mention the earth itself) are substantially older. For example, all the language families from North and South America except Eskimo-Aleut are distinct from Old World languages, and North America was not settled until 12,000 years ago at least. The earliest candidate for written language is about 8,000 years old (Li et al. 2003).

    Coincidences between archaeological and linguistic evidence lead to the conclusion that Austronesians living in Taiwan 6,000 years ago had pigs (Diamond 1997, 342-345).


  1. Diamond, Jared, 1997. Guns, Germs and Steel. New York: Norton.
  2. Li, X., G. Harbottle, J. Zhang and C. Wang, 2003. The earliest writing? Sign use in the seventh millennium BC at Jiahu, Henan Province, China. Antiquity 77: 31-43.

Further Reading:

Coulmas, F., 1989. The Writing Systems of the World. Malden, MA: B. Blackwell.

Stassen, Chris, 1997. The age of the earth.
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created 2003-5-7