Best Evidences for a Young Earth, Part 2  

From the September 2012 issue of Creation Answers
Wayne Spencer

    In Part 1 of this article, I provided a list of what I would consider some of the best indicators that the Earth is young.  Part 1 addressed what I called Category 1 evidences, which are arguments that are quantifiable in some way.  A quantifiable argument often has more research behind it and may be clearer evidence.  But, there are many other issues that have been brought up by geologists to challenge young Earth creationists.  So in Part 2 we will consider what I would call Category 2 evidences.  A Category 2 young Earth evidence does not calculate the age of the Earth but it answers a challenge to the young age view or it challenges the old age view in some manner.  

    To review some of what was said in Part 1, we cannot really prove how old the Earth is.  But we can ask which approach to interpreting the evidence is more plausible, an old age view or a young age view?  If a young age view can be supported, this implies there has not been adequate time for evolution to occur.  The Bible is a more certain source than science.  If the Bible is historically accurate, there would have to be indications of some kind that the world’s age agrees with it.  The age issue is one in which people tend to bring their own presuppositions to the evidence and it can lead them to the conclusion they want to come to.  We need to try to deal honestly with the evidence.  What follows are some of the best arguments I know of, but that does not mean they are infallible.  The evolutionary arguments for an old age are not infallible either.  Again I am listing below the best Category 2 evidences, with the best listed first.

[1]  Blood and DNA in Fossils

    Fossils argue for creation and against evolution in a number of ways but there are occasionally fossils found with blood, DNA, or other soft tissue still present in them, though the fossils are generally believed to be millions of years old.  This is very significant and is a very good argument for a young Earth.  These findings tend to be dismissed or ignored by most of the scientific community.  In my December 2005 and June 2009 newsletters there were brief articles about dinosaur soft tissue found in fossils.  I wrote an updated summary on dinosaur soft tissue on my website also (CLICK TO GOTO).  Hemoglobin (which carries oxygen in blood), blood vessels, as well as other important organic molecules have been found in dinosaur fossils believed to be 80 million years old.  This set off debate among scientists regarding whether these materials were really from the dinosaur or were somehow from contamination.  The controversy motivated later research that was even more careful with procedures to verify the results.  The results have stood up to the challenges.  

    There have been some other similar cases with non-dinosaur fossils.  One example was a fossil salamander containing muscle tissue and blood vessels with blood in them, and the fossil is dated as 18 million years old.  Other cases involve DNA extracted from salt crystals believed to be millions of years old.  These crystal samples were collected from locations in Britain, Poland, and Thailand.  A number of cases were studied with careful procedures to be sure.  The DNA extracted was also sequenced and compared to modern bacteria.  It was similar but definitely not the same as modern bacteria.  So this suggests it was not contamination.  DNA and material like blood and hemoglobin are organic materials that decay relatively rapidly.  Biologists tend to ignore the problem or assume there's some explanation for how fragile materials like this can last millions of years.  But chemists tend to be very skeptical that blood or DNA could last so long.  Though there is no way to be exact on how long material like DNA would last inside a fossil or rock, there have been estimates and studies of the problem.  Even if a strand of DNA were isolated from air but were in water, with no other chemicals or heat or other agents to accelerate breakdown, it is estimated DNA would break down completely in 50,000 years.  Even in a few hours after death, DNA breaks down into short molecule chains.  Radiation and other factors can accelerate DNA decay also.  So how can the fossils be millions of years old when soft tissue, DNA, or blood is still present in them?  This seriously calls into question the old age view.  In a Biblical young age view, most fossils would come from the time of Noah's Flood or shortly thereafter, putting them at around 4,000 or 4,500 years old.  This is much more feasible a time for finding intact DNA or blood than millions of years.      

[2] Rapid Fossil Formation

    This is an important thing to point out to answer a misconception that is very common.  The misconception is that it requires millions of years to form a fossil.  Even evolutionary geologists would often agree that it does not necessarily require millions of years to form a fossil.  Yet it depends on the site and fossil you are discussing how evolutionists will understand fossilization.  Creationists have long pointed out that fossils argue for rapid burial and catastrophic processes such as what would be expected from a global Flood. Evolution and millions of years go together and so long times tend to get associated with fossilization and taught in science even though fossilization can happen in very brief time frames if conditions are right.  Many extraordinary examples of fossils have been pointed out by creationists.  One page listing a number of these is HERE.  There are cases of fish fossilized while still giving birth, or while eating another fish.  There are many cases where many organisms or plants were buried and fossilized together in a manner that shows it had to be very brief.  There is also the classic fossil hat, in which a miner’s hat was buried, fossilized, and later recovered.  CLICK TO SEE THE FOSSIL HAT.  Other man-made artifacts have also occasionally fossilized.  These items would not last millions of years but would decay away before they could fossilize, unless it happened quickly.  When the fossils and the rocks they are found in both show evidence of forming quickly (and they do) this argues for a young Earth.

[3]  Rapid Formation of Rock Layers

    Creationists have done a great deal of geological research on many topics related to how rocks and rock layers can form rapidly.  Layers of sediment can be laid down in water as mud but then turn to stone.  Layers are sometimes counted to estimate the ages of rocks.  But evolutionists can sometimes make incorrect assumptions about each layer or perhaps each two layers as representing one year, for instance.  Then there is an assumption that certain types of rock always form in a certain way, that requires long periods of time.  Many assumptions of evolutionary geologists like this have been shown to be wrong by creationists, often backed up by good geological field work.  In a global Flood there would have been conditions from waves and changing currents that could lay down many layers in a short time.  The Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in 1980 demonstrated clearly many of these ideas.  But many other examples could be listed also, such as creationist research on metamorphic rock formation, or the formation of turbidite layers under water, or chalk deposits.  All these and more can be explained in short time scales that fit in with a Biblical view of history and a young Earth.  Evolutionary geologists have no idea the amount of research creationists have to back up their point of view.  There are better answers to rock formation from a young age Flood geology view, than from the old age view.  One article summarizing some of the geological evidence for young Earth is by Tas Walker CLICK TO GO TO.  An article of mine that explains the Mt. St. Helens evidence is HERE.  

[4]  Polystrate Rocks and Trees

    Rock layers are often assumed to require millions of years to form.  But there are places where something cuts vertically across multiple rock layers.  This shows that all the layers that a cut across had to form in a short time.  There are many examples of this with trees in coal seams, where trees may cut across layers of rock and coal (coal forms from buried trees mainly).  There are also fossil trees that are oriented vertically and they cross several rock layers.  But how could a tree last long enough, without decaying, for the rock layers to form around it?  The rock must have formed quickly before the tree could rot away.  Fossil trees that do this are called polystrate trees.  A picture of one is below.

polystrate tree

There are also cases where one type of rock can cut across other layers of rock.  One really good example from Australia is explained in an article by Tas Walker here.  This is known as a fluidization pipe.  This is a rounded column of sandstone and mudstone that cuts vertically through another sandstone that has horizontal layering.  The column rock must have been pushed up through a rounded pipe a distance of 3-4 meters in a short time.  The column is over a meter in diameter.  The surrounding sandstone rock also has indications of having formed rapidly that Walker describes.

    Another example of one rock cutting across other rock layers is from the area of Rock Wall, Texas.  There are what has been mistaken by some people as a man-made rock wall.  But it is actually a natural rock formation where sandstone was squeezed up through cracks in limestone.  The result like it could be a man-made wall.  This is how Rockwall Texas (both city and county) get their name.  This was investigated by creationist geologist John Morris and written about in his book called “The Young Earth,” from 1994. The rock surrounding the “column” or the “wall” would not have been totally hardened at the time the other material was pushed up through it.  Though the horizontal layers did form first, these layers could not have been totally consolidated when the other rock was squeezed up through it.  This means the whole formation  formed in a short time.  There are many examples of polystrate rocks and tree fossils around the world.  They often occur where there are multiple of them in the same area also, which in-effect ties many rock layers together.  The catastrophic effects of Noah’s Flood would have lead to these structures.

[5] Bent Rock Layers

    How do you bend a rock without breaking it?  The answer is either it must not yet have hardened, or it would have to be put under heat and pressure.  There are many sites where geologists generally understand the rock layers to be millions of years old and to have slowly formed over long times.  But, you may find curved or folded layers in sedimentary rock formations. CLICK HERE to see article with rock layers bent into an “S” shape.  These structures show that the layers that bent must have not been hardened at the time they were bent.  If the layers were subjected to heat and pressure that would also be evident and it usually is not the case.  Sediment layers are laid down horizontally, but Earth movements can move them.  If there are Earth movements before they have solidified they can be bent.  In Oklahoma along I-35 in one of the  road cuts there is a clear example of bent strata.  Below is a picture of this from 1996.  The strata slants one way on the right side of the picture, and the opposite way on the left side.  Near the top you can see a bent “corner” in the rock that is close to a right angle.  Below this “corner” are curved layers.  The rocks have cracked over the years from weathering.  Bent layers must have been laid down quickly then bent before they were fully hardened.  This site is near Ardmore, OK.  There are many examples of bent strata, including some very dramatic folded rock in the Grand Canyon.  Bent strata is an example of something that a global Flood would be likely to do.   



[6]  Rapid Granite Formation and Cooling

    When you talk to geologists who believe in an old Earth, one of their most common objections to a young Earth is what are called Batholiths.  Batholiths are very large rock formations that are of igneous rock.  A similar term for these rocks is Pluton, but suffice it to say Plutons are also large but smaller than Batholiths.  These rocks often make up mountains of significant size but they may go deep into the crust as well as what is seen above ground.  A very well known example is the granite in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Yosemite National Park.  Geologists’ old age argument says something like this.  These Batholiths are so large that for them to cool off from the molten state would take millions of years.  Thus they say there would be no way to explain them in a young Earth scenario.  They are believed to have pushed up from the mantle long ago and cooled slowly to make the mountains we see today.  I think an answer to this is extremely important because it has implications for explaining many rocks and mountains across the Earth.

    Creationist geologists sometimes simply point out the best research from evolutionists to support the creationist position.  There is nothing wrong with this because evolutionary research refutes evolution very well.  But creationists have a different way of interpreting the same data.  Creationist geologists have not been limited to just using the research of evolutionists, they have done their own field work and lab tests as well.  An important area of creationist research is about geothermal processes, where water in and around magmas is considered related to igneous rock formation.  It can also relate to the modifying of one rock into a different type of rock (such as how metamorphic rocks form).  There is now evidence that large igneous rock bodies could form in a reasonably short number of years and could cool in a short time also.  So these rocks no longer present a major problem for a young age view.  

    Several factors combine to explain the questions about the large igneous Plutons and Batholiths.  First, dikes or cracks through the crust can allow molten material to squeeze up in a rapid manner.  Second, the presence of water in the magmas in Earth’s crust makes the magmas less viscous so they can move through fractures more quickly, and cool quickly.  Third, granites are often in layers or sheets that can be hundreds of meters thick, though the entire Pluton can be kilometers thick. This means each sheet can cool much faster than once thought.  There is much more on this topic and it is a rather technical subject. But it comes down to this.  Very large Plutons and Batholiths can form in only hundreds of years, cooling and crystalizing in a time frame that fits into a Biblical time scale.  Some of these igneous rocks may have formed in the Creation week and others may have formed as a consequence of Noah’s Flood.  To read a non-technical article summarizing some of this CLICK HERE.  A more technical and in-depth treatment of this is available.  CLICK TO GO TO TECHNICAL ARTICLE.       

    These are some geological evidences that answer old age thinking and support a Biblical age for the Earth.  I have called these Category 2 evidences because they may not be quantifiable exactly, but they answer important issues about the age of the Earth.  Others could be mentioned.  We can indeed believe the young age time scale implied by the Bible.  There is sound evidence for a young Earth that the scientific community does not acknowledge and generally does not know about.  These young age evidences come from years of research by qualified creationist scientists who believe the Bible.


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