The Universe Looks Old
From the thread "Anne accepts Aron-Ra's challenge"
Post of the Month: September 2001
Subject: Re: Anne accepts Aron-Ra's challenge Newsgroups: talk.origins Date: September 26, 2001 Author: eyelessgame Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne, you've undermined your position right from the start.
See, you're precisely right.
The universe looks old. *Exactly* like it's old.
Like it has one, specific, consistent history.
Like it has been expanding for fifteen billion years from a single point.
Like light has been traveling through it, lensing through gravitational fields.
Like events hundreds of thousands of light-years away have sent light at right angles to us, hundreds of thousands of years ago, which reflected off of other objects and then came toward us. We can use Euclid's geometry to show how far away they are and how old their light is.
The earth looks old. *Exactly* like it's old.
Like it's been around for four and a half billion years, and was hot and molten for the first half billion of it.
Like the continents have been gradually moving for the entire time.
Like the oceans and rivers and streams and tectonic flows have been shaping it, slowly, for all that time.
Like Africa and South America have been receding from each other for millions of years, as the deposits build up on the continents and the sea floor spreads; the magnetic iron and nickel in the volcanic deposits recording the earth's changing magnetic field, exactly in time with the changes we have been measuring.
Like radioactive isotopes have been here, changing to their stable daughter elements in accord with the laws of physics, changing the ratios of the daughter isotopes in exact proportion to the elements (not the isotopes) found in the rock. Like they've been doing so for hundreds of millions, or billions, of years.
Life on earth looks old. *Exactly* like it's old.
Like it's been here for almost the entire history of the earth.
Like it's been changing all that time, with new species appearing, each similar to something that was here before.
Like coral, dated to three hundred million years ago by the radioactives in the rocks it was growing on, showing four hundred days in a year, exactly matching the predicted slowing effect of lunar tides on the earth's rotation over three hundred million years.
Life on earth looks like it's descended from a common ancestor. *Exactly* like it.
Like it's arranged in a nested hierarchy of similarity, instead of all the infinite other ways it could have been arranged.
Like the junk, noncoding DNA in each animal has exactly the same similarity relationship as the morphological hierarchy.
Like the errors in DNA, shared in the nested hierarchy, like why humans and chimps and gorillas can get scurvy but all the other mammals can produce their own vitamin C.
Certainly God could have created the earth six thousand years ago. Or last week, for that matter. But regardless of when it was created, it was created to look *exactly* as if it had all this history.
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