T he generally accepted age for the Earth and the rest of the solar system is about 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%). This value is derived from several different lines of evidence.
Unfortunately, the age cannot be computed directly from material that is solely from the Earth. There is evidence that energy from the Earth's accumulation caused the surface to be molten. Further, the processes of erosion and crustal recycling have apparently destroyed all of the earliest surface.
The oldest rocks which have been found so far (on the Earth) date to about 3.8 to 3.9 billion years ago (by several radiometric dating methods). Some of these rocks are sedimentary, and include minerals which are themselves as old as 4.1 to 4.2 billion years. Rocks of this age are relatively rare, however rocks that are at least 3.5 billion years in age have been found on North America, Greenland, Australia, Africa, and Asia.
While these values do not compute an age for the Earth, they do establish a lower limit (the Earth must be at least as old as any formation on it). This lower limit is at least concordant with the independently derived figure of 4.55 billion years for the Earth's actual age.
so, directly and repeatably (your criteria, not mine) the Earth can be dated at at least 3.5 billion years.
Now your problem isn't that the rocks aren't old enough, but simply that you refuse to believe the well-rounded, complete, accurate, well-established, tested dating methods which Real Professionals(tm) spend their lifetime learning about and which, personally, I don't think a schmuck with the one book they've ever read under their arm has any business talking about.
What I love about all these responses is audacity to come across like "we know it all" and that they are even in a position to judge such a thought.
According to science, the universe is HUGE, and we are but a mere speck, trying to look out into it. Shit we don't even know what's on the bottom of our own damn oceans, yet we can sit here and speculate about the composition of worlds lightyears away that cannot be seen with the naked eye with a degree of certainty and clarity which is astounding.
According to theists, their god's creation is a mere 6000 years old, flat, square and surrounded by water both above and below, a bronze-age supersition which has not only been proven wrong time after time but cannot even hope to match the splendour and majesty of what really is out there.
When people in this forum try to downplay the facts we now know about the universe I can't help but think how childish they and their god seems, they have no real idea of the true state of things and instead argue why God created it in so contradictory a way.
I can look at the smallest things, and the largest things, and just be in awe. I think it is a most beautiful amazing way of doing things, and we spend our lifetimes trying to figure it out. This is some of what I see when I ponder the naturalistic ways of creation.
"According to science, the universe is HUGE, and we are but a mere speck."
But then "Science" is no less biased or based on hope and faith than the Pope.
You're saying the pope has impirical evidence on the existence of god, and hasn't shown it to the rest of the world? That's pretty mean spirited of him...
Science has "Faith" that a majority of "lab coats" will agree that they have followed a good process and that all these white coats will agree with the conclusions drawn from the data.
Yup, a few clever people do something extraordinary, and then a whole mass of clever people make sure the first lot aren't pulling the wool over our eyes.
Thanks to them, we have airplanes, electricity, antibiotics, automobiles, food so most of the planet doesn't have to worry about bad crops, computers, ipods, mobile phones and rocket-ships.
But valid conclusions can be swept under the rug and ignored if they don't fit the biases of the majority.
Yeah, that's why we believe the earth is still flat, that it's the center of the universe, that the Sun orbits the Earth and that cats are bad luck and bring the plague.
To suggest we are a "mere speck" is not accurate and shows a huge ego.
really? It's a huge ego to look up at the sky and limitless stars and realise that our star is pretty middling as stars go, that our planet is only one of many around our star, which is one among 400 billion stars in our galaxy, that our galaxy is only one amongst hundreds of billions of galaxies? that is a huge ego?
I thought rather that the idea that a creator who created the whole universe just for you to run around in, and that your sort of person (who believes in and obeys the creator) was the most important (type of) person in it - I thought that meant you had a big ego.
According to "Science" the universe is infinite. That means we are so small that we don't actually exist in the grand scheme of things. In fact, "Science" is nothing and knows nothing about nothing compared to the infinite amount of universe outside of what we know.
I agree whole-heartedly.
Ahh, but that would be going too far. Science isn't ready to admit that we know nothing. That doesn't leave room for the man-ego to boast that science knows just about all that there is to know.
Yet, I just illustrated that we know less than nothing. Especially about the infinite that we don't know. That's why there must be a Creator. Because if there isn't, then we know nothing at all.
But if there is, then we aren't just less than a speck. Then we are actually the reason for the rest to exist. And clearly we still don't know everything there is to know.
But at least we can relax and look forward to being with The One who does.
Now that is ego - you claim science knows nothing, nothing about the universe - but that your sky-daddy does, he knows everything - and by extension, so do you. What a grand seat you have, at the right hand of the most important creature in the universe. How humble your abode, how genteel.
Carl Sagan seems like such a pleasant fellow. I wonder if his three wives have the same opinion? They didn't seem too happy. Being a Pot-smoking Stoner, I would think he'd be easier to get along with. What a great drug-induced smile....eh?
It's nice to see that you had so much of substance to talk about, so many valid, interesting and captivating points, that you didn't have to stoop to name-calling and belittlement.
#1 Creation of matter and energy is impossible. (So a "God" is needed to explain why we see matter.)
If creation of matter is impossible then God couldn't have created it and if god did create it then creation of matter is not impossible.
But really, all the energy (of which matter is a part) was present at the Big Band and it simply changed shape and size. It wasn't created ex nihilo.
#2 Everything degrades down. Nothing evolves up to more a more complex system. (Evolution "up" is impossible)
That isn't true. Simply precipitating salt crystal by evaporating the water out of a solution increases the complexity of that system.
And only closed systems must increase entropy, not "everything".
#3 The Cosmos is headed to death, not life.
We don't know that. Odds are that there's another planet out there evolving life right now.
The three laws of Thermodynamics
Those laws are about the movement of heat and are not applicable to the evolution of biological systems.
Catholic, I take it you're actually religious, but I applaud you for your sensibilities in the face of glaring, boiling ignorance.
A lot (a whole smegging bunch) of fundies blurt that "entropy always increases" line, and expect that to be a huge snag in the whole idea of evolution and life - and to have one of the fundiest come out and say that they don't even KNOW about that law (when you put it in straight words) just puts the cherry on top.
for sky, who obviously hasn't done his/her homework, the entropy in a closed system will always increase - this appears to be a solid law for a universe like ours.
If you haven't noticed, sky, the Earth is NOT a closed system. I can guarantee you that if you stay up all night thinking about it, the answer will dawn on you in the end.
then why not start with the big ones (I don't think it's OT for here, forgive me if I'm wrong).
There's this thing called the geologic column - it's remarkably consistent the entire world over. It's been consistently dated such that similar formations are estimated to be the same age wherever these similar formations are found.
Note: you may disagree with the dates, but not with the consistency that all the myriad dating systems give us as answers. If you do, you're a Liar4Jesus.
Back to the question at hand - now, we've got these dating systems that give us an amazingly accurate and concise and consistent dating of all the rocks and layers and fossils and whatnot in the geologic column. There's one intriguing layer (I give! many! geologists don't shoot me!) of iridium which is found at the same apparent point in history all over the planet. Now, iridium is pretty rare - except that in this layer it's relatively plentiful.
We've also got a huge crater that was found in New Mexico I believe - co-incidentally dated to roughly the same time-frame as this iridium layer. Don't ask me how you date a crater, the last one I stalked set a restraining order on me, but somebody has the trick of those things down, again consistently. It's so big that the asteroid that made it must have kicked up a dust-cloud big enough to cover the face of the planet, changing it's weather systems for many years to come, perhaps causing an ice-age.
Another interesting find is that asteroids and meters have lots of iridium in them for some reason (again, it's a fact borne out by observation).
So, these things apparently add up - iridium layer, crater, asteroids.
The final interesting piece is that beneath this layer are all the dinosaurs. After it? None.
So, whether you believe in natural history or think the world is only 6000 years old, why the heck would god do the following:
1) create an apparent crater in the planet to make it look, to all intents and purposes like it was 65 million years old if it wasn't, or allow something that could potentially kill off most of the life on the planet, including his pet project if it was real after all and we just have the dates wrong?
2) presuming you believe in the Flud, he put all the dinosaurs who died in it in the earth beneath this layer that he not only put down to fool the apostates, but set up absolutely every dating method, everywhere, to agree with falsely that the Earth is far older than it really is in a flawlessly consistent manner, for people who wouldn't be born for another 4000 years using technology that wouldn't exist for another 4000 years.
3) not to mention all the other animal fossils and boundaries that he put down in so consistent a manner, so created that the dating methods which otherwise are so dependable could be so easily fooled
4) and yes, he MUST be attempting to fool the apostates because the dating methods all agree so perfectly with one another, with the tree rings, sediment layers, geologic features, KT boundaries and all that are ALL consistent and the math and science is all so consistent that it must have been specifically created to appear old - infact the laws of the universe must have been so created to fool these people during this time.
But lets not pretend that he got stoned like Sagan and dreamed of flying past other planets or galaxies.
no, in the bible we only get sane visions, like ten-headed monsters and whores, and four-headed creatures who can take your heart out, clean it, and put it back. the visions in the bible are sensible ones that deal with everyday occurences like raining blood, seas boiling, plagues, darkness that lasts a thousand years, eternal lakes of fire and the dead rising up.
He was just amazed that the Creator of the Sky and the clouds and the light disks and dots had time for man as well.
I really, really, doubt he ever felt insignificant. Moses maybe. He felt ill equiped. But David felt Honored and blessed. I think he felt very significant.
You will never understand the awe and wonderment somebody like Sagan, Dawkins or Darwin feels about the universe. You will never understand the depth of perception such people have.
They and theirs will inherit the galaxy - as the man himself said, it's not a sunrise but a galaxy-rise, of 400 billion suns.
You've got one planet you're determined to destroy because you feel your sky-daddy has already said he'll get you a better one in your spiritual sweet sixteen.
but that's off-topic - although i would like to know more about just why people who claim to be god's children really don't give a damn about the one planet we have, whilst at the same time telling us that those damned atheists don't give a damn about how important we are.