Could God Really Create in Just Six Days? (Part 2 of 3: Geological Evidence)

The Rocks Speak

Radiometric Dating

Radiometric Dating

The other seemingly unsolvable enigma is that of radiometric dating of rocks yielding ages billions of years old. According to the popular definition of Wikipedia, “radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a knowledge of the decay rates of naturally occurring isotopes, and the current abundances” (Wikipedia Radiometric Dating 2006). Since these decay rates occur extremely slowly, it is believed that the material being dated is of great antiquity. There are inherent problems involved with this method, thus not making it a failsafe method of dating rocks.[1] The work on Polonium radiohalos by Dr. Gentry and the work on Zircon crystals by the RATE team strongly challenge the accepted assumptions involved with radiometric dating. In fact, their independent research has yielded some “rock solid” evidence that the earth is not billions of years old but only several thousand.

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Polonium Radiohalos

Beginning in 1987, nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Gentry began examining discolorations in minerals. He has since examined over 100,000 of these “radiohalos” found in rocks making his work the foundation of polonium halo research. He describes these “radiohalos:” “Etched within earth’s foundation rocks (the granites) are beautiful microspheres of coloration, halos, produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium, which is known to have only a fleeting existence” (www.halos.com/index.htm).

An example analogous to Alka-Seltzer is given demonstrating the fleeting life of the radioactive polonium. It is this moment in which the radiohalos can be captured that yields proof to them having cooled instantaneously (during time of the flood according to the RATE team, see below) rather than the supposed slow cooling of the earth suggested by evolution.

polonium radiohalos

polonium radiohalos

A speck of polonium in molten rock can be compared to an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of water. The beginning of effervescence is equated to the moment that polonium atoms began to emit radioactive particles. In molten rock the traces of those radioactive particles would disappear as quickly as the Alka-Seltzer bubbles in water. But if the water were instantly frozen, the bubbles would be preserved. Likewise, polonium halos could have formed only if the rapidly “effervescing” specks of polonium had been instantly encased in solid rock.

An exceedingly large number of polonium halos are embedded in granites around the world. Just as frozen Alka-Seltzer bubbles would be clear evidence of the quick-freezing of the water, so are these many polonium halos undeniable evidence that a sea of primordial matter quickly “froze” into solid granite. The occurrence of these polonium halos, then, distinctly implies that our earth was formed in a very short time, in complete harmony with the biblical record of creation (www.halos.com/index.htm).

Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth

An eight-year study began in 1997 that involved seven scientists with the primary goal of clarifying the chronology of the earth by studying, in particular, the properties of zircon crystals, (similar to the work of Dr. Gentry with polonium). The research has now culminated in evidence strongly indicating that the earth is young. The seven scientists gave their research effort the acronym RATE, which stands for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. The findings of their research are available in a two-volume set Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, in a layman’s version (book and DVD) called Thousands Not Billions by Dr. Don DeYoung who offers a partial summary of their research:

RATE research obtained some of the first high-precision data on helium diffusion in zircon. A theoretical model based on this data gives an age for the earth of about 6,000 years. The presence of helium in zircons is a serious challenge to the concept of deep time. The helium also represents compelling evidence of accelerated nuclear decay in the past (DeYoung 2005: 176).

These and many more resources demonstrating that the apparent Achilles’ heel of the Young Earth Creation model is not a fatal blow are available at the Institute for Creation Research’s website (icr.org).

The findings of Dr. Gentry on polonium radiohalos and the RATE team on zircon crystals provide compelling evidence based on thorough investigation, experimentation, and observation that the earth is not billions of years old, but is rather approximately six thousand years old, thus implying that the creation week was six literal days.

The Grand Canyon and Mount St. Helens: Keys to Geology

Strata of Grand Canyon

Strata of Grand Canyon Photo Anna Hamp

The Grand Canyon is certainly one of the earth’s most amazing places. It leaves us in awe of its size and beauty. There are, however, many questions that are raised in relation to it. The most central questions are how did it form and how long did the process take? The answer lies in looking primarily at the canyon walls. There are hundreds of thousands and even millions of layers also known as strata. These layers, when looking from the side, look like many pieces of cardboard stacked upon another. The accepted geological explanation for these strata is that each layer represents an annual or few years’ cycle of deposition of minerals. Then the Colorado River (at its current rate) cut through the canyon exposing the strata that had already been laid down.

Therefore it is believed that since there are millions of strata, it must have taken hundreds of thousands or millions of years to form. Could there be, however, another plausible explanation for the almost innumerable layers?

 

Cataclysmic Change

 

On May 18, 1980, scientists and tourists from all over the world witnessed an event that would provide a much better and almost inescapable model than the standard uniformitarianism model. In that year, Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington erupted so violently that it lost over 1,300 feet of elevation and the entire inside of the mountain fell down the face of the mountain depositing the sediment in the valley below. Trees for miles north of the mountain were leveled and burned. The beauty of the mountain and lake below was altered forever. However, the event that would ultimately challenge the slow gradual change model of the Grand Canyon did not occur until two years later when, in the winter of 1982, another eruption occurred. At that time, due to the accumulation of snow on the mountain, when the eruption occurred, the massive amount of snow almost instantly turned into water and began rushing down the mountain. The huge surge of water carved a canyon ¼ the size of the Grand Canyon.

The Canyon Formed Quickly

 

What is so astounding, however, is that the canyon took only several hours to a few days to be formed. The power of the water quickly cut through the sediment that had been laid down two years prior in the first eruption (an event that occurred over a period of a few hours.) The walls of this mini Grand Canyon exposed almost identical stratification as found in the Grand Canyon. If both the strata from the deposition of the sediment and the deep cutting of a canyon (even through solid rock) can be formed in as little as a few hours, then how do we know that the stratification of the Grand Canyon is not also the product of massive sediment depositions left behind

Little Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens (photgraph by Douglas Hamp)

Little Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens (photgraph by Douglas Hamp)

from a worldwide flood and the cutting of the canyon is not also an enormous release of water which happened shortly after? Austin notes:

The small creeks which flow through the headwaters of the Toutle River today might seem, by present appearances, to have carved these canyons very slowly over a long time period, except for the fact that the erosion was observed to have occurred rapidly! (Austin 1986: 3).

Footprints in the Ash

Drs. John Morris and Steven Austin have written a book, Footprints in the Ash, that deals at length with the overwhelming evidence. The book shows that formation of the Grand Canyon could have occurred quickly as a result of a worldwide flood rather than over millions of years just as things happened quickly on a smaller scale at Mount St. Helens. The evidence of Mount St. Helens provides a better and more consistent model of the age of the earth as being young, which, as we have seen, is the only acceptable conclusion one may come to from reading the Scriptures.

Go to part one here.

Go to part three here.


[1] For detailed results on the dating of a rock of known age, see: answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i3/radiodating.asp.

Could God Really Create in Just Six Days? (Part 3 of 3: The Fossil Record)

The Testimony of the Fossil Record

Charles Lyell predecesor to Darwin

Charles Lyell

One final area to consider is the fossil record because it is considered to be proof positive of an old earth and the transitional forms needed to support the model of molecule-to-man evolution. Just as the traditional interpretation of stratification at the Grand Canyon, which indicates millions of years of age, is not necessarily the best interpretation of the data when compared with the Little Grand Canyon at Mount St. Helens, which happened very quickly, so too the traditional interpretation of the geological column as representing millions of years is to be questioned. The geological column is the supposed order of evolutionary life forms as recorded in the fossils found in sedimentary rocks. James Hutton in Theory of the Earth (1795) and Charles Lyell in Principles of Geology (1830) popularized the idea that the earth was hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of years old based on the study of sedimentary rocks.

As fossils were found in those rocks, the fossils were claimed to have a similar age to the rocks. The geological column was a major source of inspiration and basis for Charles Darwin in the development of his evolutionary hypothesis. Though no “missing links” had been found in his day, he remained hopeful that the fossil record would eventually yield the intermediary fossils so badly needed to support his model. Nevertheless, he notes the conspicuous lack of evidence for his model:

The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory” (Darwin 1902 edition, emphasis mine).

About 150 years have passed from when Darwin penned that statement, and unquestionably, millions of fossils have been found, but none of them are “missing links” needed to substantiate his ideas. This is not only according to young-earth arguments (consistent with six literal days of creation), but also according to numerous evolutionists. The geological column, drawn in detailed tables in text books, is the basis of the dating of the evolutionary stages. Ironically, this column, which is at the heart of the evolutionary time-scale, is merely a construct, a mental abstraction (Encyclopedia Britannica 1985: 779). Derek Ager, past president of the British Geological Association notes: “Nowhere in the world is the record, or even part of it, anywhere near complete” (Ager 1993: 14). The geological column is the primary way by which fossils and rocks are dated. When a fossil is found, the rocks around it are checked to determine the age of the fossil and vice versa, when a particular rock is found, it is compared to the surrounding fossils to determine its age.

This type of circular reasoning is noted by several evolutionists. J. E. O’Rourke, in the American Journal of Science states: “The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately” (O’Rourke, Volume 276: 51). R. H. Rastal of Cambridge plainly acknowledges, “It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint geologists are here arguing in a circle.” He then further defines what he means by circularity: ”The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the organisms that they contain” (Encyclopedia Britannica 1976: 168). Another evolutionist, Tom Kemp of Oxford, also is aware of the circular reasoning involved in the dating of the geological column. He states: “A circular argument arises: Interpret the fossil record in the terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory” (Kemp 1985: 67). D. B. Kitts of the University of Oklahoma stated regarding the circular foundation of the geological column in Evolution, Volume 28: “But the danger of circularity is still present. The temporal ordering of biological events beyond the local section may critically involve paleontological correlation [the geological column]” (Kitts 1974: 466). Kitts goes on to say “for almost all contemporary paleontologists it [the geological column] rests upon the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis” (ibid). There are many more evolutionists that have made similar statements that are beyond the scope of this chapter to cover. Nevertheless, notice that accepting the geological column rests on the acceptance of evolution and in turn evolution is confirmed by the geological column. All of the evolutionists here agree that using the rocks to date the fossils and also using the fossils to date the rocks is circular reasoning. If one of the keystones upon which the supposed millions and billions of years of evolution is built is faulty, (due to the fallacy of circular reasoning) then the fossil record is not a valid objection to a literal six-day creation.

Six Days Are Enough

We asked whether six days were enough for all the events of creation to occur in light of perhaps the greatest objections to a literal, six-day creation. Though we only scratched the surface of enormous areas of study, we did see that there are excellent answers available. It is possible from a physics standpoint for the earth to be young and for the light from the edge of the universe fifteen billion light years away to have arrived in the span of six earth days. Likewise, the study of polonium “radiohalos” and zircon crystals provides weighty evidence that traditional methods of dating the rocks of the earth may be faulty. The data actually seem to confirm an earth of approximately six thousand years. We also saw that when the Grand Canyon is compared to the Little Grand Canyon at Mt St Helens, Washington, which is known to have formed rapidly, then millions of years are not required. In fact, the evidence points to the Grand Canyon having formed quickly from a cataclysmic event, such as a cataclysmic flood. Lastly we saw that, according to evolutionists, the way in which fossils and rocks are dated is by circular reasoning. While these may not be the ultimate solutions to the four big “scientific” objections to a literal, six-day creation, they do sufficiently demonstrate that excellent answers exist. Thus we can affirm that the Bible is reliable in all that it records, especially regarding creation.



[1] For detailed results on the dating of a rock of known age, see: answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i3/radiodating.asp.

Could God Really Create in Just Six Days? (Part 1 of 3: Starlight and Time)

If we truly affirm that God made the heavens and the earth in six literal days several thousand years ago, we are forced to consider four questions that have a direct association with such a worldview. If the heavens and the earth are young, then: (1) How could light from the edges of the universe, which is estimated to be 15 billion light years away, be here now? (2) Why does radioisotope dating seem to point to the vast majority of the earth’s rocks being many billions of years old? (3) How do we account for the many layers of strata in places like the Grand Canyon indicating that it was formed over millions of years? (4) What about many fossils in the geologic column which are claimed to prove millions of years of evolution? We will very briefly touch upon these enormous areas of study just to see that there are very plausible answers from a literal, six-day creationist perspective.

These four questions have essentially served as the foundation of the evolutionary time scale and provide a dilemma for all who hold the Bible as God’s Word. A solution popularized by Dr. Hugh Ross is to set up the witness of creation on a par with God’s written Word. He says:

God’s revelation is not limited exclusively to the Bible’s words. The facts of nature may be likened to a sixty-seventh book of the Bible. Just as we rightfully expect interpretations of Isaiah to be consistent with those of Mark, so too we can expect interpretations of the facts of nature to be consistent with the messages of Genesis and the rest of the Canon.

Some readers might fear I am implying that God’s revelation through nature is somehow on an equal footing with His revelation through the words of the Bible. Let me simply state that truth, by definition, is information that is perfectly free of contradiction and error. Just as it is absurd to speak of some entity as more perfect than another, so also one revelation of God’s truth cannot be held as inferior or superior to another (Ross 1994: 56–57).

Dr. Ross is of course correct in that we expect the facts of nature to be consistent with Scripture. The problem, however, is not with the revelation of nature as a testament of God’s power. Indeed, Psalm 19:1 even supports such a statement: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Paul in the book of Romans (1:20) adds decisively “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” There is no conflict between the Bible and nature, but rather with man’s interpretation of nature and the Bible. God’s general revelation of nature correctly interpreted is always 100 percent consistent with God’s written revelation the Bible.

Dr. Ross is assuming that the evolutionary paradigm is the correct interpretation of nature. He has failed to mention that many of the theories that have provided us with ages of the earth and the universe are based on the evolutionary belief that there is no God. He has also erred because the Bible never changes. The truths contained therein never change and have withstood the testing of skeptics and critics for over two thousand years. However, man’s interpretation of the world around him has done nothing but change as long as man has kept history. By making creation the sixty-seventh book of the Bible by which we can interpret the Bible, he is requiring man’s interpretation of nature (with all of our biases and incomplete knowledge) to be the judge of the Bible. Rather, we need to let nature be subject to the interpretation of the Bible, for only then will the correct interpretation be obtained.

Starlight and Time

The question of how could light from fifteen billion light years away arrive in just six days has been taken up by Dr. Russell Humphreys. Star Light and Time In his book, Starlight and Time (PDF download) (2004), he proposes an answer to the seemingly unsolvable enigma. The foundation of his theory lies in the fact that we know for certain that clocks change based on how close one is to a strong gravitational field or potential. He points out that the atomic clock in Greenwich, England, which is at sea level, ticks five microseconds slower per year than an identical clock in Boulder, Colorado (Humphreys 2004: 12). Because the clock in Boulder is approximately one mile higher in altitude than its counterpart in Greenwich, it ticks five microseconds per year faster. The Boulder clock is further away from the center of the earth, approximately the center of gravity, and is in a weaker gravitational field as a result. Dr. Stan Sholar, a retired aerospace scientist, confirms the reality of this phenomenon:

One should make a distinction between the rate of passage of time and the behavior of clocks, or anything that measures time. If we define time as behavior of clocks then this distinction disappears. Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity shows that lengths change with velocity, and clocks, whether pendulums or atomic, respond to such, but also to gravity. For clocks in GPS satellites, we have to correct for the slightly non-circular orbits where velocity and altitude vary continuously.

For example, near apogee (the greatest distance from earth), the slower velocity causes the clock to run faster, due to Special Relativity. Also here there is a General Relativity effect due to the higher gravitational potential (though lower force) causing the clock Evidence of a young universeto run even faster at the higher altitude. The point being that it is actually an even more profound example because of the fact that the clocks on orbit are much higher than Boulder CO, and relative to Greenwich (Sholar, personal communication September 23, 2006).

Thus, just here on earth we find concrete evidence that the measurement of time’s rate of passing changes according to the proximity of the clocks to a strong gravitational field, as approximately indicated by proximity to the earth’s center of gravity. Humphreys then notes that the mathematics demonstrate that while the earth’s clock was ticking at what he coins “Earth Standard Time” the clock in the outer parts of the universe was ticking faster and hence “the light has ample time in the extra-terrestrial reference frame to travel the required distances” (Humphreys 2004: 13).

I spoke personally with Dr. Humphreys at a conference in Anaheim, CA in February of 2005 after hearing him present his theory. After sharing with him how much I liked his theory, he humbly replied that his was not the final answer, but merely a plausible explanation. Dr. Humphreys presents a theory to solve such a difficult dilemma, but in the end, it is not the answer but a plausible explanation, which is satisfactory because none of us was there to witness exactly what techniques God used. Nevertheless, what is crucial to note is that there are scientifically plausible theories that support the biblical account without seeking to spiritualize, or allegorize, or even dismiss the clear writing of the text.

From The First Six Days: Confronting the God-Plus-Evolution Myth