Tag Archives: millions and billions of years

Paralyzed Christianity

Dearest hijas,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t forgotten about you and this blog, mis hijas, but, you know the story. Perhaps this review of Dr. John K. Reed’s “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale” has been a bit overdrawn, no? Okay, perhaps, so let’s sum this all up and move on, right?

How does this boil down to the warp and woof of “your” Christian living? How does the rubber meet the road here? Why, for God’s sake, does this have anything to do with anything?

I hope you know by now, mis hijas, that for the sake of God and His character, this does have monumental ramifications. You live in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. You’ll probably be around, God willing, until the 7th or 8th decade of this century long after your Momma and I are gone. We live in a time where many of your Christian friends, pastors, and leaders are paralyzed. Paralyzed by the fear of looking foolish in the eyes of the world. Paralyzed by prognostications of the secular elite on the nature of reality. Paralyzed by secular critics that claim Christianity (especially young-earth biblical Christianity) is opposed to science.

These Christians are paralyzed because they won’t believe their own Bibles. They won’t believe that their own Scriptures speaks authoritatively about a universal and worldwide Flood in the days of Noah that explains the rock layers and washes away the millions of years (Gen. 6-9). They won’t believe that a ‘day’ is a ‘day’ just like we know them today (Gen. 1, Ex.20:8-11). They are paralyzed by current scientific announcements and purported data that says the earth is millions and billions of years old, not realizing the bias of the scientists that make these claims and the eyewitness testimony of the God who was there and wrote it down for us. They are brainwashed to believe the idea that rocks, acting as the pages of nature’s history book, are superior to the history of the Bible.

Such a state are we in, mis hijas.

But remember this, as Dr. Reed points out:

…Christian compromise has proven completely ineffective in stopping the secular juggernaut. Two hundred years of retreat is enough. Perhaps in the 1800’s, such views were more understandable. Today, they only aid and abet a secular culture by weakening principled opposition–all for the fleeting flattery of ‘intellectual respectability’. Deep time is inseparable from evolution. And both are inseparable from naturalism.

There is a web of deceit woven all through the secular worldview. Man and woman, born in rebellion to God, seek to use their own reason and the logical powers of their mind, to explain the nature of reality autonomously; apart from God and His revelation. Their whole being ‘shouts’ to them that there is a God; and not just ‘a’ god, but ‘the’ God of which the Bible speaks, and yet they fight with all their might to push this away. Paul in Romans 1 is very clear on this.

So the question becomes, “If the true nature of reality, the true history of Earth and mankind, is presented in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, especially in Genesis, why have so many Christians accepted and become paralyzed by secular history”?

Dr. Reed responds:

First, few realize they are compromising their worldview. Christianity was the default worldview of the West for so long that the possibility of a secular rival was unanticipated, especially a secular ‘scientific’ opponent rising out of Christianity’s own intellectual tradition. Second, the early secularists were smart. They claimed that there was no conflict with ‘true’ Christianity. The Bible was true as far as it went; it just didn’t talk about geologic time. Moses was ‘primitive’ and ‘unscientific,’ but he was still a nice guy. This scam worked, and the church was lulled into complacency. As time went by, young people were indoctrinated to not question prehistory and evolution.

However, the Bible, mis hijas, claims to be an accurate record and account of history, back to the beginning. It can’t find common ground with secular history that does not acknowledge God as Creator, all peoples on earth, past and present, from Adam and Eve, a worldwide and universal Flood in the days of Noah, and the incarnate Christ come to save us from our sin problem. Bank on it!

With love,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis hijas

Secular GeoHistory’s Hidden Fallacies: Part 2

Dear hijas,

To continue in our discussion of secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies, and a review of Dr. John K. Reed’s ‘Rock’s Aren’t Clocks-A Critique of the Geologic Timescale’, we’ve already covered secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies 1 & 2 in a previous post. Remember Dr. Reed’s admonition “If Christians are to understand Earth history, they must first understand how it was taken by secular thinkers.”

The four hidden fallacies are:

1) An ignoring of the worldview conflict between Christianity and Naturalism.
2) An assumption of the reality of ‘prehistory’ and its pre-human billions and millions of years.
3) An assumption that natural history is science, and not history.
4) Seeing more ‘history’ in the rocks than is really there.

So, let’s now turn to Fallacy #3: assuming natural history is just science. This fallacy stems from naturalism’s theory of knowledge (its epistemology) which makes science the final and ultimate arbiter of truth. Scientists are convinced that their investigations of the past are by definition scientific endeavors. You’ve heard the expression, the ‘facts of science’? This fallacy and expression assumes that when science speaks, it’s speaking true truth; that its truth claims can’t be challenged because they’re proven by science. But wait a minute, how can science study unique, unobserved, unrepeatable past events of history? The answer is that it can’t. No scientist was there to record the events of the deep past, so what naturalism does to get around this inconsistency is to proffer the concept of ‘uniformitarianism’.


Uniformitarianism is remembered by its famous though imprecise statement: “the present is the key to the past.”

According to Reed, ‘uniformitarianism’ works like this:

It works like this. If events in the past were similar to those we observe in the present, then scientists can study present day events and processes, and extrapolate back in time, confident that the sameness predicated by uniformitarianism will make their extrapolations valid.

So, if we change the rules of the game, and couch unique, unobserved, and unrepeatable past events in the scientific term of ‘uniformitarianism’, we’ve effectively moved the goalposts of what used to be the realm of history alone and moved it over to the realm of science. Do you see how easily this was done? And yet this is exactly what has happened. Uniformitarianism, as a scientific term and concept, then becomes unassailable. What a neat trick. The smart Christian should know better however.

You see mis hijas, “Christianity rests upon the Bible. The Bible in turn rests upon confidence in history in general and in revealed history in particular. The fatuous cliché, ‘the Bible is not a textbook of science,’ merely distracts from the fact that it is the only reliable textbook of ancient history'” (John K. Reed, Peter Klevberg, Chris Bennett, Jerry Akridge, Carl R. Froede, Jr., and Thomas Lott, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 – Dec. 2004).

So in essence, what we now have is a natural history, purportedly resting on the supposedly scientific concept of uniformitarianism, against a natural history revealed by God Himself in the pages of Scripture. The two views are diametrically opposed to one another, and can’t co-exist in the mind of the Christian. The secularist believes his version of natural history, resting upon an unwarranted conclusion that ‘the present is key to the past’, and the Christian believes the word of God Himself as revealed in Scripture concerning God’s eyewitness testimony of the events of natural history. The problem is that many of your friends, beloved pastors, and theologians are today accommodating the secularist version of natural history. It is truly a travesty. They ought instead to be reminded of Romans 3:4 (NASB):

Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

From whence comes thy criticism?

Dear hijas,

It is often noted that those Christians who criticize the recent creation and young earth position (the orthodox position of the Church for 1800 years), vying instead for the secular version of earth history and it’s billions and millions of years, almost never offer their criticism from Scripture. The criticism usually comes from unwarranted belief in supposed secular interpretations of astronomical age, radiometric dating, tree-ring dating, varves, ice cores, and the like, ad absurdum.

But very rarely does a criticism come from the Scriptures and from a theological rendering of the Biblical text. The reason is that you can’t find theological support from Scripture for billions and millions of years. It just isn’t there. And if one’s final authority is not in Scripture, then where is it? Obviously in something other than Scripture (man’s autonomous ideas), which for the Christian poses a big problem; a big 2nd commandment problem; a big idolatry problem.

…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…(Ex. 20:5)

Few Christians today who accept an old earth and old cosmos understand this connection. They honor and accept autonomous secular man’s ideas of how old the earth and cosmos are, never investigating and understanding where these ideas came from and the impetus behind them in the first place, and in the same instance dishonor the God they say they have placed their trust in.

They get their knowledge and base their salvation on the words of Scripture in the Gospels concerning Christ’s death and resurrection and solution for their sin problem, yet on the other hand disbelieve and discount these same Scriptures in Genesis when it comes to Creation in six days and a young earth. It’s a sad and harmful intellectual schizophrenia.

Few realize they are dishonoring the Christ they say they love, for He Himself in His work of Creation was Holy, and pure, and blameless. Attributing to Christ the deaths of millions and millions of His very own created creatures, let alone the natural evils of killer earthquakes, asteroid bombardment, mega-tsunamis, disease, decay, and massive destruction against His very own work in Creation over billions and millions of years, and all before Adam sinned, is a charge against Christ that is nothing but unadulterated blasphemy.

We are told to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matt. 22:37), yet few realize what loving God with all your mind requires. It requires an evaluation of one’s intellectual thinking on any matter whatsoever and slicing and dicing it up against the words of God Himself in Scripture. Does it comport, or is there variance? If variance, what warrant is there for believing man’s ideas against the almighty and omnipotent Creator of the universe? Does the creature have warrant and justification for shaking his fist at God and saying to the Almighty he thinks he knows better; that the Almighty doesn’t really mean what He says He means? He does so to his own jeopardy and peril.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Are Rocks Clocks? You are the Geologist

Dearest hijas,

Imagine that you are a geologist sent out to map and gather information concerning the geology of a certain newly discovered area of the earth.

You arrive at your destination hoping to identify the type of rock in the area and determine if you can’t place these rocks into a local geologic column. You spend hours in the field; mapping, studying, climbing, and taking samples of the different rock units. You come to recognize these different rock units and determine their composition and relative orientation in space. You send your samples off for laboratory analysis, but you can generally see a sandstone layer on top of a limestone layer with fossils, on top of a basalt layer. You use their relative positions to create an idealized local geologic column: a vertical sequence of sandstone-limestone-basalt. Between the sandstone and limestone layers is an unconformity: an erosional surface.

But you can’t impress your fellow geologists and move your career along by just describing the strata–you must be able to interpret their history. When were these formations deposited? How long did it take? How many years are represented by the unconformity between the sandstone and limestone layers? You have no idea, so you compare your local column to the global template of the geologic timescale:
geologic timescale
From fossils in the limestone layer and a few radiometric dates that came back from the samples you sent in for lab analysis you determine that all these formations were deposited during the Jurassic; the sandstone in the early Jurassic (about 200 million years ago), and the limestone and basalt in the late Jurassic (about 150 million years ago). Since radiometric dates from the basalt you sent in for analysis range from 150 – 170 million years ago you feel confident this interpretation is sound. You then publish your study. Eventually, it (like thousands of others) is included in the body of work by your fellow geologists around the world and cited by fellow geologists and stratigraphers as an empirical conclusion not only of your local column but of the validity of the timescale itself.

This all seems rather straightforward, doesn’t it? It seems to validate the premise that rocks are clocks. But wait, have you analyzed the assumptions you used to conclude what you have published as empirical reality? We, properly, should ask a number of questions about your assumptions:

1) Why have you assumed there is historical content in the rocks?
2) Why have you assumed there is no other relevant source of historical information?
3) Why have you assumed that the position of the rocks in the field tells their relative ages?
4) Why have you assumed that the formations were deposited slowly over long periods of time, and provide a representative sample of all those years?
5) Why have you assumed that erosion has not removed enough evidence to impede historical reconstruction?
6) Why have assumed that your local column of sandstone-limestone-basalt fits in the geologic timescale?

None of these assumptions are proven by fieldwork–they are simply the context you absorbed in your studies. The timescale is not an empirical conclusion of your study, but only the historical template by which you shoehorned your local column into temporal interpretations. You assumed the timescale was true already, and simply plugged your data into a likely section, the Jurassic.

But wait, there’s still more assumptions you may have forgotten:

1) Why have you assumed that nature is rational and that your mind is rational as well?
2) Why have you assumed there is such a thing as “truth”?
3) Why have you assumed that history is linear, instead of cyclical like some philosophies and religions of the East?

How do you know any of these are true? They are true only on the basis of Judeo-Christian theology. Secular scientists wishing us to believe in billions and millions of years are thieving and using the assumptions that only Judeo-Christian theology can support. Their own secular system of Naturalism cannot support the very basis and foundation of their very own scientific work and conclusions. It’s truly amazing how the most confirmed atheist can be such a good Christian in her most fundamental assumptions.

(Ilustration and analogy above taken from ‘Rocks Aren’t Clocks-A Critique of the Geologic Timescale’, by John K. Reed, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2013, pp.46-48, and all credit for text and conclusions are to him.)

With love, as always,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Are Rocks Clocks? Support for millions and billions of years? Installment V

Dear hijas,

To get to the heart of where the idea of millions and billions came from and how secular elites “found” time, we must continue in our discussions of what transpired during the Enlightenment. It was during the 1700’s and early to mid 1800’s that our world in terms of Earth science and Natural History was shaped, molded, and transformed by the views of these early naturalists. Western culture began to drift away from its Christian roots. The science of geology was beginning in earnest, but it was only part of this cultural trend; the triumph of secular philosophy over theology was seen as well.

These years were coined “the Enlightenment”, as a result of secular man and especially the savants and naturalists in Europe, thinking they were “breaking free” of the bonds of religion that had bound them in intellectual prison for so long. They were now “enlightened thinkers”, not beholden to the restraints of some old book like the Bible, and free to discover the natural world without thought or care of its Creator. They had already rejected Biblical history, so it was no stretch to begin to “see” in the rocks and other processes of earth the vast eons of time that supposedly preceded man, and as I have mentioned previously this was well before the development of the geological timescale.

To refresh: deep time rests on the geologic timescale. The timescale rests on a belief that cannot be tested by science. In other words, the timescale is not a ‘proof’ of deep time; but rather an icon of secular history. And as an alternative secular history is in direct conflict with a Biblical history, it is important to understand and see its implications.

Dr. John Reed says it this way:

Despite secular propaganda, the most important issues tied to the myth of deep time are not questions of science. On the surface, they are questions of history. When we begin to dig deeper, we find the basic questions are those of philosophy and theology. As such, they are the legitimate concern of every human being, and are the basis for understanding the truth about history.

You see, all people are philosophers whether they realize it or not. We all ask the same big questions about the meaning of life, our origin, our standards, and our happiness. We want to know such things as what the future holds, and what happens after we die. We’re finite beings, so we don’t and can’t know everything, but we all ask the same big questions. And history is a big question. So realistically, being finite, we can’t and don’t know every detail, but we do need to understand the framework. Is that framework a secular history with millions and billions of years, life from non-life kicked up out of the pond scum by an indifferent and uncaring universe, or is it the framework of a Biblical history with God as Creator and man as created in His image with purpose and love?

The secular history developed during the Enlightenment, with its geological timescale and its millions and billions of years of vast prehistory, effectively decoupled us from God. A creator 4.5 billion years away has little to do with present-day life.

As Dr. Reed further states:

Did that prehistory really exist? Those that think so point to the geologic timescale; those who do not, point to Genesis. One is upheld by a claim to be God’s eyewitness account. The other is supported by the idea that rocks are clocks. Which side has the better case?

As always, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Are Rocks Clocks: Support for Millions and Billions of Years? Installement IV

Dear hijas,

Many professing Christians today, erroneously take a view of the early chapters of Genesis as untrue history. They mistakenly view these early chapters as akin to believing in a fairy tale. Not realizing that Christ and His apostles affirmed the true account of creation and human history in a 6×24 manner, they choose instead to embrace the secular history beloved by atheists and God-haters. This to an undermining of the gospel and to their shame.

Forgetting Christ’s warning to beware of following the crowd (Matt.7:13), they choose instead to sacrifice the Word of God on the altar of man’s ‘scientific knowledge’. Their justification for holding this demonstrably anti-biblical view is that science has supposedly shown the millions and billions of years of secular history to be true as played out in the rocks. Now granted, many of them just don’t know any better, haven’t studied the Scriptures in depth, or haven’t understood and studied the relationships between and upon which the Church and Christendom have stood for millennia. They haven’t understood the philosophical assumptions of the secularists, nor have they investigated the contrary evidence.

You see, the great doctrines of Scripture all tie in together. The doctrine of Creation ties in to the doctrine of Christ and His work. Our doctrine of sin ties back to our doctrine of Adam as an historical man in an historical setting as described in Genesis. There’s a consistency and coherence where if you remove or change one doctrine, the others start to unravel. So how did we get to where we are today?

As Dr. John K. Reed in Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale explains ‘Western history emphasizes chronology. It’s the way we think about the past…If our chronology is wrong, then history is little more than mythology.’ ‘Why is chronology so important, he asks? Reed says that our history in the West is the result of our Christian roots and are truths of God’s works in the past as important reminders of His power and glory. ‘In short’, he says, the Bible presents a view of time–important, intelligible, and linear–that is crucial to a view of history as a vital and comprehensive part of reality.’ So if Biblical chronology and the account of a 6×24 Creation and its timeline of history was believed for the most part by a majority of the Church up until the last few centuries, what changed?

The change, Reed says, was how geologic history came to play an important role in Western culture and our view of history. The change in how we viewed the rocks of the earth’s crust as a result of philosophical and intellectual trends during the Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th centuries is where we must go to see what happened.

He continues,

Historians have shown that science was the child of Christianity, not Enlightenment secularism. In fact, science grew out of the medieval Scholastic tradition…Geologic history, with its millions and billions of years, is closely linked to Englightenment secularism…For many years, secularism hid behind a façade of science. An overly-optimistic assessment of science’s ability to determine truth deflected questions about the underlying worldview. But times have changed. It has become clear that secular faith (emphasis mine) was part of the equation all along. That is a reason to take a long, hard look at how geologic history came to play such a powerful role in society.

Did you catch that? There is a ‘faith’ element involved here. There’s also a ‘worldview’ element involved. Worldviews require philosophical assumptions. Philosophical assumptions are based on one’s metaphysic (theory of being and existence), one’s epistemology (method of knowing), one’s ethics and morality. Now we’re getting somewhere mis hijas. If only our professing Christian friends described above could see and understand this. Secular geologic history with its millions and billions of years originated during the Enlightenment as a ‘faith’ project. It wasn’t science, it was a worldview, and an anti-God and anti-Biblical worldview at that.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Are Rocks Clocks? Support for Millions and Billions of Years? Installment Two

Dear hijas,

To continue in my review of geologist John K. Reed’s new book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale” (Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2013).

One of Dr. Reed’s key points is that the geologic timescale has played a key evangelistic role for the worldview of naturalism, the worldview antithetical to Biblical Christianity. He defines naturalism as ‘the secular worldview opposing Christianity in favor of materialism (matter is all there is), and its logical derivatives: evolution, uniformitarian geology, and deep time.”

The contrast is between Biblical history and secular history. This secular history is believed to be contained in the history of the rocks–the geologic timescale. This geologic history can be distinguished from Biblical history by the use of the term “prehistory”. For secularists, prehistory represents almost the entire past of the planet–billions of years that predate human civilization, Reed says, and the template of prehistory is the geologic timescale.

He defines the geologic timescale (you’ve seen the pictures in my previous posts and studied them in your geology classes), as a linear chronology following a number of distinct ages, through four grand eons–the Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic, and Phanerozoic. The Phanerozoic, which is the most well-known, contains the eras of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. Take a look at any old geology text you may have, and you’ll see these headings clearly delineated.

So, prehistory = the geologic timescale = deep time = old earth. These terms are all somewhat synonymous, and are inextricably linked. In another article (Journal of Creation, Vol27(3) 2013), Reed and Doyle say, “Since the late 18th century, many Christian academics and theologians have embraced an old earth, claiming that it is compatible with Christianity. Even conservative Christians have been swept along. They think deep time and Christianity are like Romeo and Juliet–lovers fated to be together. The process has become predictable; scientists advance the latest iteration of the old-earth paradigm using ‘scientific evidence’ and theologians follow meekly, generating new interpretations of Genesis to accommodate it.”

What’s wrong with the word “prehistory”, you might ask? Well, it embraces the secular worldview, doesn’t it. It’s an icon of naturalism. It’s a confirmation that Biblical history is false. Christians shouldn’t use it, especially as the secularists define it. Think about what it implies, and contrast it to the Biblical worldview of a recent and mature 6×24 Creation. The two are not compatible.

Reed continues in ‘Rocks Aren’t Clocks’ that ‘one of the first issues to address is to decide which branches of knowledge are legitimate sources of truth about the past.’ He argues that ‘natural history does not belong to any one discipline, but is a mixture of science, history, philosophy, and religion. Science provides a forensic analysis, history provides a meta-narrative, and worldviews provide the necessary context for meta-theories such as creation or evolution. In other words, as we try to understand the past, we cannot avoid issues outside science.’

So then, what are the consequences of this secular view of history, this prehistory and geologic timescale, the one of which is the template for the other? ‘Whether there was a vast prehistory in Earth’s past is a question well worth asking because the answer has significant consequences’, Reed says.

Stay tuned, for we’ll pick up our discussion of the consequences of secular geologic history in my next post.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Radiometric Dating: The Novarupta-Katmai Eruption of 1912: Support for Millions and Billions of Years?

Dear hijas,

millions and billions

As we’ve detailed in several previous posts, the Judeo-Christian Scriptures provide no place for even a hint of “millions and billions of years”. What we do find and what our Scriptures do provide are genealogical records that result in thousands of years of history, not millions and billions. As we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, we look at the Creation days in Genesis 1, with their self-evident reference to normal, 24-hour days, and see this confirmed in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. We look at Romans 1:20 that “since the creation of the world His (God’s) invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen…” and realize that those doing the ‘seeing’ must be humans and that they were there since the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6).

We understand that the Biblical picture of Creation-fall-redemption-renewal, and geologically, Creation-Flood-Ice Age-Present is built upon the premise that the earth and cosmos are only thousands of years old and utterly falls into theological confusion, chaos, and inconsistency if built upon the premise that the earth and cosmos are billions and millions of years old.very good

When we come to radiometric dating and the decay of parent isotope into daughter isotope we must understand that it is the dominant method used as evidence supporting secular models of earth history and a 4.55 billion year old age for the earth (Radiometric dating involves measuring the ratio of a radioactive isotope to its decay product. The older a rock, the more decay product it should contain). As no observers were present over these millions and billions of years, assumptions are used to extrapolate today’s observed rate backwards into the supposedly long ago past.

When we come to what we ‘can’ observe in the present and to what humans have observed in our not so distant past, we find numerous problems and anomalies with the radiometric dating method. One of those was the Novarupta volcano eruption of June 6-8 1912. Also called Novarupta-Katmai, in Alaska’s peninsula chain, it was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, the largest since Krakatoa in 1883, and 30 times larger than the Mt. St. Helen’s blast of 1980.


Novarupta-Katmai formed a dome after June 8, 1912, and it is this dome that was subsequently radiometrically dated. Since we have recorded human history that this dome is just over a 100 years old, we should be able to confirm this with radiometric dating, shouldn’t we? Several attempts over the years since the dome first formed have been made to do just that, but the results are not what were expected. When using the Ar40/Ar39 radiometric dating method on a sample (deemed to have its “argon clock” set to zero) of the Novarupta dome formed in 1912, it gave dates as high as 5.5 million years old and an integrated age estimate of 2.36 million years old. Can you see the problem here? If the Ar/Ar method were reliable, then this sample would have been below the detection limit levels of Ar*. It should have given an age that couldn’t be detected because the sample was young (formed in 1912).

What we discover (and Novarupta-Katmai is not the only example) is that dates obtained from rocks of known age provide the best samples for demonstrating the method’s unreliability. What should that tell us about the results from dating rocks of ‘unknown’ age?

It should tell us that the Word of God is surer and more trustworthy than fallen, unregenerate man’s attempts to explain his origins and the age of things apart from God’s spoken and recorded directives in Scripture.

With love,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Radiometric Dating: The Biases and Assumptions

Dear hijas,

The concept of a biased scientist may come as a shock to many (they tend to put scientists on a pedastal), but in reality, all investigators come to their studies and investigations with bias. It is with bias that the experiment is chosen, and it is with bias that it is conducted and carried out. The question is, “Which bias is the right bias to be biased with?”

scientist on pedastal

Scripture proclaims an orderly progression of six 24-hour historical calendar days only thousands of years ago during which time all things were created. The earth and cosmos were fully prepared step by step with rocks and minerals, oceans and rivers, sun, moon, stars and planets, plants and trees, a vast biodiversity of animal life, and finally man. They were each formed with creative processes by an almighty and omnipotent God which were quite unlike processes we observe today. Each in its place and each accomplishing it’s purpose. With man as it’s steward it was declared ‘very good’ (Gen. 1:31) from the very Creator’s providential perspective. There is an all-important Creator-creature distinction established right from the beginning that those of us who are the “created thing” – the “creature”, should never forget.

When we come to radiometric dating, we have to remember the assumptions involved in the extrapolation of dates into millions and billions of years. We know that parent elements decay into daughter elements. We’ve got scientific, technological machines that can detect and count the individual atoms. What we need to remember in arriving at dates of millions and billions of years for a particular piece of rock or mineral are the assumptions inherent to this conclusion. They are as follows:

Assumption #1: The rate of radioisotopic decay has always been constant.

Assumption #2: The isotopic abundances in a specimen have not been altered by processes other than radioactive decay.

Assumption #3: The amount of daughter isotopes when the rock was first formed is nil or negligible, or the original isotopic composition can be determined.

Think of an hour-glass as an illustration of these points:


The grains of sand in the top of the glass represent the parent element (uranium in the 2nd hourglass), and the grains in the bottom represent the daughter (Pb-or lead). Over time, the parent element decays into the daughter element. Seems rather straightforward, doesn’t it? If we start with no grains of daughter in the bottom and only grains of parent in the top and start the clock (let the grains of sand start flowing), we should have a reliable chronometer, shouldn’t we?

But what if the grains of sand were sped up and were falling faster at some point in the past, or unbeknownst to us the top of the hourglass was removed, and someone had added more sand and closed it up again without us knowing, or somehow got more sand in the bottom part of the glass and we didn’t start with it completely empty? Would that affect our time estimate calculations? It most certainly would!

So, here’s the deal. When we come to ancient rocks where no one was around to see them form, we’re basing our conclusions on assumptions that can’t be verified in an absolute sense. We’re taking today’s measured rate of decay, and assuming that #’s 1, 2, & 3 above are correct. By assuming that 1, 2, & 3 are correct, scientist’s extrapolate the rate out to come up with the millions and billions of years. But wait a minute. What does the eye-witness testimony of the One who created all things have to say? Shouldn’t we consult the Creator’s handbook to see if He has something to say about it?

Lo and behold, God has not left this question ambiguous. While there isn’t a verse that says the cosmos and earth are x number of years old, God has given us enough clues to infer an approximate age, and enough information to calculate a starting point. What we find, from Scripture, is that the entire cosmos, including the earth, are on the order of thousands of years old, not millions and billions of years old. So, who are we to believe: the scientific unregenerate man who in his rebellion against God has no use for Scripture nor any desire to see and understand what his Creator has said, or the very Creator Himself who said He did it all in six days?

With love I remain,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas!

Radiometric Dating: The Geologic Column

geological time scale

Dear hijas,

Did you realize that the geologic column came before and preceded radiometric dating and the counting and extrapolating of parent and daughter isotopes into millions and billions of years? Radiometric dating as a science didn’t come to fore until the early 1900’s, yet the geologic column and it’s eons, era’s and periods were established in the 1800’s.

Why is this significant? It was Nicholas Steno, a Christian and creationist, who in the late 1600’s introduced the idea of superposition; that rock layers (or strata) are laid down in succession, each layer representing a ‘slice’ of time, and that any given stratum is probably older than those above it, and younger than those below. The principles were simple, applying them to real rocks wasn’t.

Steno believed that those ‘slices’ of time were a result of the universal and global judgement of God in the Flood of Noah. He believed that the sediments laid down in ‘layers’ came from and were a result of this global year-long Flood. Read Genesis 6-9 again and pay special attention to the dates given in the text. Take note of when the text says a particular year, month, and day. Add up the dates. It’s a simple exercise, and yet you’ll find the floodwaters upon the earth were not just 40 days and 40 nights.

It was others then, who came after Steno, like Hutton and Lyell, who took these ‘slices’ of time, not dealing with the Biblical text which indicated a massive and global tectonic event like Noah’s year-long Flood, and inserted the idea of millions of years into the rocks. They believed that an older layer like the Cambrian must be millions of years older than a younger layer like the Pleistocene. They used present processes observed at their time for deposition and erosion of rocks and extrapolated unwarranted into an unseen past. This might seem logical to do, but this is not science, for rates may have not been the same over this unseen period of time, and there may have been one or more events that catastrophically altered these processes that they can’t and are unable to see. One of those major events was a worldwide global flood.

From a starting point of no Flood, (a wrong starting point), men like Hutton, Lyell, and others came to wrong conclusions (millions and millions of years). An incorrect starting point that there was no act of God in judging mankind on the earth with a global and universal Flood, gave wrong conclusions that there were millions and millions of years in each of the layers of the geologic column. And remember, all this before the advent and discovery of radiometric dating.

One might ask, “But doesn’t radiometric dating prove that these men were right in their millions and millions of years assumption? Who cares if radiometric dating came afterwards? It proves today that they were right”.

Not so fast. Radiometric dating is fraught with assumptions and discordances that throw the whole effort into a tizzy with questions about its reliability. Different pair elements give different dates for the same rock. But more on that in my next post.

Vaya con Dios mis hijas,

Dear ol’ Dad