Just to be sure that you know where I am coming from, please allow me to give you a very quick YEC lesson on creation. God's word tells us that He created the "heavens" and the Earth first,. Gen. 1:1. On day one we see God moving on the face of the “already existing” Earth and making light visible from down here, and so on. If you keep in mind that everything is being told from the point of view of someone standing on Earth and observing, and not from outer space, then you won’t get confused with the so called “creation” of light and then the later creation of the sun. The sun the moon and stars would have already existed, being created with the creation of the “heavens” which existed before God's Spirit moved on the face of the waters. From an earthly perspective they only become visible as God peals back the layers of dense cloud cover. At the point that light appears on Earth it does not say that God “created” the light "then," it just says that He said “let there BE light.” This is likely just the point when light was first became visible from Earth's surface as several layers of cloud covers dissipated. Then as the week progresses we are told He creates all life and finally man and woman. In all of this, I want to point out an often overlooked fact. Even though many of these created things are just newly formed, God did not create them in their infantile state. That is to say, He did not make a male child and a female child nor did He create baby trees or baby whales. All living things are created in an adult state because of obvious practical reasons. And likewise In many cases it was necessary to create structures that have the "appearance" of age, for practical reasons. I stress this because some try to say that this then means that the Creator was being deceitful. No He was not being deceitful, He was being practical. My point is that things such as your tree rings are not a good gage to go by if the trees were created adults.
Some will protest that this is like invoking "Last Thursday-ism." Which is the claim that if God created certain features to "look old," then who's to say that God did not just create everything last Thursday, complete with vivid past childhood memories and all? Well in answer to that I reply, yes that is exactly what this is LIKE. I stress the word "like" because if in fact we could prove God, and know that He is, then we should accept whatever He tells us. If He told us He did in fact create all of us last Thursday, and we knew Him to be all knowing and powerful, then who are we to doubt Him? Well, God didn’t tell us He created us last Thursday, but He did actually tell us that it was within the last 6 to 10 thousand years. Of course this invokes the question, "Is the Bible the word of God?" and we know that is not what this threads topic is about, so I won’t trespass with that topic. Now let me pause and make something else very clear. I am not saying that tree rings and star light and other processes that some use as age clues wouldn't help support an old Earth scenario if all the other more internal processes actually agreed with them. But there are many clues that tell a very different story, and there are also some big glaring problems with a lot of the processes often touted to be evidence of an old Earth.
Example, you mentioned the varves of the lake in Japan,Lake Suigetsu. But there are 5 big issues that cast serious doubts on this "age evidence." First, Glacial Geologist Dr. Quigley seems to think that the so called varves are actually only multiple turbite sequences that have nothing at all to do with seasonal controls. Second, Further studies of a third sister lake revealed that the original "seasonal" driven interpretations of the layers was wrong. The study revealed that the layers were not annual as previously described, but were event driven. Thirdly, in the two key papers that use the "varves" to date a 40,000 year chronology, one starts at 1664 or earlier, and the other in 1729. Which calls into question, If the laminations are annual, then why are they no longer still forming? Fourth, geologist Glenn Morton points out that the laminations are not what you would expect in still water deposition, and are more likely laid down by turbidity currents. And fifth, the fact that two separate core samples taken from the same lake and close to the same area did not match up. They were not even close. This is not evidence of still water annual deposits, but rather of deposits laid by tsunami like weather or earthquakes or by periodic heavy rain. All are conditions that Japan is well known for.
Likewise are similar problems with many of your old Earth date scenarios, but the key I should point out is that many are making big assumptions from the start. Suppose you walked into a mess hall and observed a soldier pealing potatoes and you wanted to know how long he has been at work. However his Sgt. has given him orders not to speak a word to anyone. You could try to figure out how long he has been at work by seeing how long it takes him to peal one potato and then measuring how many pealed potatoes there are already. Sounds pretty straight forward right? Except for the fact that you have to make several assumptions. A) The soldier has been working at the same pace since he started. I mean you have no way of knowing if he is speeding up or slowing down. B) You have to assume that he started with no potatoes already pealed to begin with. C) You have to assume that at no time prior to your arrival did he have any other help. Can you see how such assumptions can lead to faulty measurements?
I mentioned above, other processes that tell us a different story about the Earth's age, for example, the existence of C-14 where it should never be found. C-14 dating is of course, as you are probably aware, useless when trying to date extremely old things. That’s because it has a half life of 5,730 years, which means that after 57,300 years (ten half lives) there shouldn't essentially be any C-14 left. And it for sure should be useless in dating anything over say... 100,000 years old. So something that supposedly takes millions of years to produce, like diamonds, should of course be C-14 free. A team of scientists joined forces recently and conducted a series of tests with regards to Radioisotopes and the age of the Earth. The team became known as the "RATE" team. They C-14 tested numerous geological samples, substances thought to be much too old to have any remaining C-14 such as coal, and marble, and also used AMS tests (accelerator mass spectrometer) which have routinely revealed C-14 to be present. Many other tests were run to see if there was a reason to suspect possible contamination, and none was ever found. The RATE team was sent geologic samples from every government research collected, and tested them in the RATE lab. Surprisingly, C-14 was found in samples thought to be of great age and expected to yield zero readings. Everything from fossils of shells of invertebrate to whale bones, and yes even diamonds yielded the presence of C-14. Check it out at ask a scientist c-14 and diamonds.
Or consider human development. According to an evolutionary perspective, humans split off from their "ape" cousins somewhere around 3 million years ago and then slowly developed more and more until we passed through our stone age, on to our bronze age, and eventually into the modern age. Most mainstream scientists will tell you that current modern big brained, thinking humans have existed for close to a million years. However one puzzling fact is, if our not so distant ancestors had the same mental capacity that we have today, then why did it take them so long before any substantial development? I mean archeology shows that complex civilizations with advanced language, sophisticated culture, agricultural knowledge, impressive technological skills (in some cases equal to or more so than today), all sprang up suddenly only within say the last 10 to 20 thousand years. My point is, if we’ve been around for almost a million years with the capacity to do all these things why did we never achieve anything like this until the very last portion of our existence? Interestingly this is exactly what you would expect if we had only been around for 10 thousand years as the Bible says.
Now consider simple population growth rates. If modern man were around for one million years, at present growth rates of 2% per year, then there should be 10 to the 8600 power number of people alive today. Instead we have only around 6 billion. Why is that? Interestingly, at present population growth rates a single pair of humans could produce 6 billion people in only around 1,100 years. If we are only talking ballpark figures here, you tell me if it is closer to a recent flood survival scenario than it is to one million years of human history scenario? I know that you may be thinking that this is making an awful big assumption of a stable growth rate. But you have to realize that that growth rate is derived from the last few centuries that have seen some of history's worst famines, plagues, wars, and brutal genocides.
Along this same line of reasoning is another line of evidence for a young earth which is simply the rapid accumulation of mutational defects and disease. If you consider the current rate of accumulation of these defects, the human race as a species should have long since gone extinct had we been here for a million years.
Or consider just the pure numbers of fossils themselves. Marine invertebrates make up about 95% of all the fossil record. Algae and plant fossils make up around 4.5% of the fossil record. Other invertebrates and insects make up .2375%. Fish and some land vertebrates make up about .0125%. So as discussed earlier regarding the human growth rate of 2% per year, lets say for the sake of argument that that growth rate were a hundred times smaller and were only .002%. In one million years at even that low growth rate, the number of people to have ever lived would have easily filled the entire volume of the earth. So where are all the bones? Why are human fossils so scarce? And we are only talking about human fossils. This same argument applies even more so for plants and animals that has supposedly existed for several millions of years.
Next consider the decaying magnetic field of the earth. The magnetic field is believed to be formed by electric currents being generated deep in the earth's core. This magnetic field has been closely monitored since 1835 and has weakened by a total of 7% since that time. Scientists have calculated a half life of 1,400 years. This means by 10,000 A.D., for all practical purposes the field will be completely gone. But if you take this in the reverse order and go back in time, the field should double every 1,400 years. Of course if that's true then that means that only 100,000 years ago the earth would have had a magnetic field with the strength of a neutron star. And that would mean the heat generated would have made life impossible. There are some scientists that believe that the magnetic field increases and decreases in cycles and every so often even shifts poles. And that's an interesting theory, but if that is true then there would be something else dramatically effected. Cosmic ray bombardment is what generates C-14. A dramatic change in the magnetic field would also decrease or increase the amount of C-14 being generated dramatically. If this has occurred regularly in earth's history, then we have just rendered all C-14 tests for dating purposes to be completely meaningless.
Or consider helium studied from rocks taken out of the Precambrian, which show that their actual age can not be older than 4,000 to 14,000 years old. Until a few years ago nobody had done the experimental and theoretical studies necessary to confirm this conclusion quantitatively. There was only one (ambiguously reported) measurement of helium diffusion through zircon (Magomedov, 1970). There were no measurements of helium diffusion through biotite, the black mica surrounding the zircons. In 2000 the RATE project (Humphreys, 2000) began experiments to measure the diffusion rates of helium in zircon and biotite specifically from the Jemez Granodiorite. The data, are consistent with data for a mica related to biotite (Lippolt & Weigel, 1988), with recently reported data for zircon (Reiners, Farley, & Hickes, 2002) and with a reasonable interpretation of the earlier zircon data Magomedov, 1970). The evidence shows that these data limit the age of these rocks to between 4,000 and 14,000 years. These results support the hypothesis of accelerated nuclear decay and represent strong scientific evidence for the young world of Scripture."
Also consider how helium amounts in the atmosphere highly suggest a young earth. Helium 3 atoms are trapped in the earths crust and escape at an average production rate (to the surface) at around 13 million helium atoms per square inch per second. The most commonly accepted theoretical helium escape rate, into outer space is a maximum of only 0.3 million helium atoms per square inch per second. Of course a simple division of known amounts in the atmosphere, by accumulation (taking escape into consideration) yields a maximum time laps of 2 million years. Of course we are also assuming that accumulation rates have remained constant in the past. But if you consider the possibility of a geologically recent global flood, the rate of accumulation would have been much greater during that time. The turmoil of water over the entire surface would have released helium from the rocks much easier. This is also assuming that no helium already existed in the atmosphere at the time of creation. Again I realize that 2 million years is a far cry from 10 thousand years. But it is a much further cry from the billions of years that conventional thinking holds. The lack of abundant helium amounts in the atmosphere, while the abundance of helium in the earth's crust, strongly points to a much younger earth. An old earth (billions of years) would have long since lost most if not all of the helium in its crust.
Many other examples could be given, but I think this is enough to point out that something just doesn't mesh.
You make a lot of points there - not all of which are on-topic (Some of them belong in the PRATT's topic like the magnetic field decay argument and the ludicrous population growth argument).
Perhaps it would be best to pick out one or two for more detailed discussion in this thread and go to other threads for some of the rest that don't belong. What do you say ?
Wow you guys really split hairs on this forum don't you? I was already asked to come to this thread from another thread because the topic of the age of the Earth came up. Razd wanted me to come here and express my reasons for believing in a young Earth...which I have done. I am not really wanting to split off from my original topic any further. I'm too "one track minded!"