CREATIONISM VS EVOLUTION, (CONT.)
II) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
B) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FROM EARTH WHICH TESTIFY TO A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
8) METHODS OF AGE MEASUREMENT INDICATE A YOUNG EARTH
"Even aside from the Biblical testimony against the radioactivity age estimates for the earth and its formations, there are numerous evidences in geology itself against the validity of these tremendous time durations. The currently accepted figure for the age of the earth as deduced from radioactivity of uranium and other elements is about five to six billion years, with the solidification of the crust dated about 4 billion years ago.
But there are many geological processes which appear to be at least as suitable for geochronometric purposes as the phenomena of radioactivity and which give much lower estimates than this. None of these is sufficiently precise for accurate measurements, and all involve the same sort of unlikely assumptions as the radioactivity methods, but they are nevertheless sufficiently meaningful to cast very serious doubt on the reliability of the radioactivity estimates."
"By all odds, the most important and serious of... ...problems [relative to origins] is that of time. There are many lines of geological evidence apparently implying that the earth and its various crustal formations are immensely older than a straightforward Biblical system of interpretation can allow. The latter, as we have seen, involves a relatively recent Creation and Deluge as the cause of most of the earth's geologic features.
There are many different ways by which geologists have attempted to measure the absolute age of the earth and its various formations and deposits. In each such method, some physical or chemical process is found whose present rate of activity can be measured. The total accumulation of the product of the process must also be measured. [If all of this is true, (and it is not), then it would be] ...a simple matter of mathematics then to calculate how long the process must have been in operation in order to have produced its present results. Some of the processes which have been used as supposed geologic chronometers involve the influx of sodium and other chemicals into the ocean and into lakes from rivers, the erosion of gorges or other areas by running water or wind or glaciers, the building of deltas or other sedimentary deposits, the growth of chemical deposits in soils or caves or other places, the weathering of rocks, the accumulation of annual bands in trees or lake beds or other entities whose appearance may be affected by seasonal changes, the escape of terrestrial gases into the atmosphere, the efflux of connate waters through volcanism to the earth's surface, and various other like processes. There are also various astronomic chronometers that have been used to determine absolute age, most of them base on the rate of expansion of the universe and its various component parts and on the velocity of the light coming from distant galaxies. The most important geologic chronometers are of course those based on the phenomenon of radioactivity. Various chemical elements are in some degree radioactive, disintegrating continuously into another element or isotope. The rate of disintegration can be measured and if a mineral containing measurable quantities of both the parent and daughter elements is found and analyzed, then a relatively simple mathematical computation will yield the time period during which the daughter element has apparently been accumulating by the process. The most important of these radioactivity methods involve the disintegration of uranium and thorium into radium, helium, and lead; of rubidium into strontium, and of potassium into argon and calcium. Of a somewhat different type is the radiocarbon method, based on the formation of radioactive elements of carbon in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation and their subsequent decay to the stable carbon isotope.
There is no question that the vast majority of these geochronometers have given estimates of geologic age immensely greater than any possible estimate based on Biblical chronology. The radioactivity estimates, in particular, (except the radiocarbon method) usually yield age values measured in hundreds of millions of years and some up to three billions of years.
But the accuracy and significance of any or all such measurements are of course based entirely upon the accuracy with which the measurements can be made and the assumptions which enter into their interpretation. Far too little account has been taken of the limitations which these factors impose.
[Marvin L. Lubenow states, (Impact periodical #244, October 1993 issue, in article entitled, 'The Dating Gap)]
"Evolution places several demands upon fossils used to support it. A fossil in an evolutionary sequence must have both the proper morphology (shape) to fit that sequence and an appropriate date to justify its position in that sequence. Since the morphology of a fossil cannot be changed, it is obvious that the dating is the more subjective element of the two items. Yet, accurate dating of fossils is so essential that the scientific respectability of evolution is contingent upon fossils having appropriate dates.
Popular presentations of human evolution show a rather smooth transition of fossils leading to modern humans. The impression given is that the dating of the individual fossils in that sequence is accurate enough to establish human evolution as a fact. However, because of several dating problems which are seldom mentioned, this alleged sequence cannot be maintained. To present the fossil evidence as a relatively smooth transition leading to modern humans is akin to intellectual dishonesty.
It is impossible to give an evolutionary sequence to the human fossils because there is a coverage gap involving the dating methods which evolutionists believe are the most reliable - radiocarbon and potassium - argon (K-Ar). This gap is from about 40,000ya (years ago) to about 200,000 ya on the evolutionist's time scale. It covers roughly the period known as the Middle Stone Age (MSA). This coverage gap lies beyond what is considered the effective range for radiocarbon and prior to what is considered the effective range for potassium-argon. This problem period may be even larger because:
(1) some dating authorities believe that the effective range for K-Ar doesn't begin until about 400,000 ya, and
(2) many of the older fossils are found at sites that lack the volcanic rocks necessary for K-Ar dating and hence cannot be dated by this method at all.
Although young-earth creationists challenge the legitimacy of all of the dates obtained by the long-term radiometric methods, even evolutionists are beginning to admit that this dating gap presents a problem for them. However, the real seriousness of this problem seems to elude them, even when they occasionally refer to it in their writings.
In the past 15 years, the major focus of human evolution has shifted from the origin of all humans to the origin of modern humans, and the very time during which modern humans are alleged to have evolved from their [supposed] more primitive human ancestors is the period covered by this gap. At least 406 human-fossil individuals are placed by evolutionists in this 40,000-to-200,000-time-period gap and hence are questionably dated.
The inability of the radiocarbon and the K-AR methods to cover this time period explains why many alternate dating methods have been devised to attempt to give coverage in this area. However, these alternative methods have serious problems of their own.
Of the 84 anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossil individuals dated by evolutionists beyond 40,000 years, 59 of them (70%) fall into this 40,000-to 200,000-year gap. (Anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossils that are dated more recently than 40,000 years of age are not of great significance for evolutionary purposes and are not under consideration here.)
There are four Neanderthal fossil individuals that are dated more recently than 40,000 years. They are the Amud I and Shukbah remains from Israel and the Saint-Cesaire and Arcy-sur-Cure remains from France. All other Neanderthal remains, some 300 fossil individuals, or approximately 98.6% of all of the Neanderthals, fall into the period covered by this gap. (It is well known that another reason why many of the Neanderthal fossils are poorly dated is because they were found long before the importance of documenting fossils in their geological context was fully appreciated).
The relatively new fossil category created by evolutionists, the 'archaic Homo sapiens'' category, contains at least 64 fossil individuals.
Twenty-eight of them (44%) fall within this time gap. Nineteen of the 222 Homo erectus fossil individuals (9% of the total) likewise fall into this time gap. In all, 406 human-fossil individuals which evolutionists feel are crucial in documenting the evolution of modern humans fall into the gap between radiocarbon and K-Ar dating and hence have uncertain ages.
Creationists have noted an interesting pattern in evolutionist writings regarding the dating of fossils. Shortcomings of a dating method in current use are not generally acknowledged by evolutionists. Only when they feel they have devised a better method for a specific time period, do they publicly admit the weaknesses of the method they had been using previously. The result is that the public assumes the dating methods used at any given time are adequate, whereas the dating specialists working with those methods know that this is not necessarily the case.
The latest illustration of not admitting the uncertainties of older dating methods until newer ones have been developed centers around a new method proposed for dating human fossils in this 40,000-to-200,000-year time period. This new method, announced in the journal, Science, involves racemization of amino acids in ostrich eggshell. The amino-acid method was developed some time ago for dating bone material at archaeological sites. Because bone is porous, it is subject to ground-water leaching. Hence, the method fell into disfavor because it gave questionable dates. However, because ostrich eggshell is thought to be a rather closed system, it is claimed that items found in association with it can be dated more accurately by the amino-acid-racemization method.
The admissions now being made about the dating methods that have been previously used by evolutionists to cover this time period are particularly interesting. These admissions have profound implications for human evolution. In the Science article on ostrich-eggshell dating, the authors state that many of the dates assigned to human fossils in this 40,000-to-200,000-year period based on the older methods were only 'provisional,' and that all such dating is 'uncertain.' These are remarkable admissions.
Anyone familiar with the paleoanthropological literature knows that this is not the way most of the dates for fossil discoveries in that time period have been presented. This time period is critical for human evolution, and evolutionists have consistently claimed a degree of certainty in their dating which now appears to be unjustified. The author does not wish to imply that the ostrich-eggshell-dating method is a legitimate one. The point is that, for evolutionists to claim they now have a 'better' method for dating human fossils discovered in the future does not correct the inaccurate dates of human fossils that were discovered in the past. The dating flaws of the past cannot be rectified because:
(1) many of those fossil sites have been destroyed or altered, so that reconstruction to allow for redating of fossils after the fact is not possible; and
(2) to find ostrich eggshell that can be shown to have been in unquestioned association with those previously discovered fossils is virtually impossible.
The uncertainty of fossil dates in the Middle Stone Age is just the tip of the iceberg. For evolutionists, the problem is far more serious, but few are willing to acknowledge it. William Howells (Harvard University) states that the dating problems involve the entire Middle Pleistocene (100,000 to 700,000 yr, according to evolutionists). This would involve many more fossils than just those in the middle Stone Age. Howells writes: 'It cannot be too strongly emphasized how much uncertainty attaches to placement of all but a few of the fossils, absolutely or relatively especially for the Middle Pleistocene.' Creationists recognize that the problem is far greater than even Howells suggests. But it is refreshing to know that some evolutionists are speaking frankly about the dating problems involving the human fossils.
Human evolution demands precise dating of the relevant fossils. Evolutionists now admit that the dates for the human fossils in the significant Middle Stone Age period and elsewhere are uncertain. It means that there is no such thing as a legitimate evolutionary fossil sequence leading to modern humans. It also means that evolutionists cannot make accurate statements regarding the origin of modern humans based on fossils discovered thus far. Their continuing to do so reveals that their statements are based on a belief system, not on the practice of a rigorous science."
[Dr. Don Patton, op. cit., tape #1]:
"Many scientists today tell us that the earth is approximately five billion years old. However, that is not the case with all scientists. There are many, competent, credentialed scientists that tells us that the earth is just a few thousands of years old.
And of course, if that is true then the ball game is over when we are trying to evaluate creation and evolution. Obviously, a few thousands of years would not be enough time for life to have evolved here on the earth....
Consider the statement made by George Wald, a Nobel Laureate, regarding the import or the essentiality of time for the evolutionist. He says, regarding the evolution of life - the beginning origin of life - he says, 'However improbable we regard this event or any of the steps which it involves...
[And he says it's impossible for it to start by itself, but then he believes it did]
given enough time it will almost certainly happen at least once... Time is in fact the hero of the plot... Given so much time, the impossible becomes possible, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.' [GEORGE WALD, Harvard, THE PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF LIFE, p. 12]
Well, time becomes the holy spirit of the evolutionist that miraculously takes that which is impossible and makes it probable, virtually certain. I don't think time has that quality or that miraculous power but that's the role that it plays in the thinking of the evolutionist... In fact, time causes things to deteriorate if anything...."
b) RADIOACTIVITY AGE MEASUREMENTS
[Dr. Don Patton, op. cit., tape #1]:
"When I ask people how they believe the earth is old, usually the response that I get involves radiometric dating. [They claim that] scientists have been able to date rocks at millions, billions of years. And radioactive material proves that the earth's old. Well let's examine that assumption. Radioactive material is material that is not stable, that decays, that emits particles from a nucleus of the atom. By emitting these alpha and beta particles it decays to become different elements. And we are supposed to be able to tell time with this process something like you would tell time with an hour glass. Here [in a picture which is being displayed in the videod] we find uranium depicted decaying through radium and finally down to lead which is stable as an hour glass would have sand run down to the bottom.
Now if we are told [that] this is an hour glass we can look at this and tell how much time has transpired. We would probably estimate ten to fifteen minutes had transpired here if we know it took an hour for what's at the top to run to the bottom.
But what could go wrong with this kind of a time telling mechanism? [If] somebody lifted the top and dumped a lot of extra sand in just before we looked then obviously our time telling mechanism would not be accurate. If somebody raised the bottom or lowered it so that a good portion of the lead or the sand at the bottom ran out just before we looked, then obviously our conclusion would be wrong. Or if someone would be able to change the... opening in the center so that it ran fast sometimes and slow the other times, then our conclusions would be wrong. [And] if, just before we looked, the conditions that we observed now were the actual beginning conditions [then] we would find that no time would have transpired, even though it looks like maybe ten or fifteen minutes have transpired. All of these problems are involved in the radiometric dating systems which involve the same kind of assumptions. Notice the acknowledgment of that by Henry Faul, one of the leading experts in atomic dating in his book AGES OF ROCKS, PLANETS & STARS. He says, 'Two important assumptions are implicit in this equation: First, that we are dealing with a closed system...
[In other words, nothing leaked in and nothing leaked out.]
Second, that no atoms of the daughter...
[That's what's produced at the bottom. In this case the lead]
were present in the system when it formed. These assumptions furnish the most serious limitations on the accumulation clock. Rigorously closed systems probably do not exist in nature...
[Now that's an amazing statement. Obviously for this 'hour glass' or this system of radiometric dating to tell time you'd have to have a system that doesn't leak - that doesn't have material added or deleted. But he says you don't have closed systems in nature, but continues saying]
but surprisingly, many minerals and rocks satisfy the requirement well enough to be useful for nuclear age determination. The problem is one of judicious geologic selection.'
[HENRY FAUL, AGES OF ROCKS, PLANETS & STARS'. p. vi]
Well, how do you know if this rock is satisfactory?...
[According to evolutionists]: You judiciously select it if the answer comes out to what you assume is was to start with. If it comes out 'wrong' then you judiciously unselect it. Now, that may sound very unscientific and I will certainly agree that it is unscientific, but that is the way it works [in the evolutionist mind]...
2) METHODS OF RADIOACTIVITY AGE MEASUREMENT
a) SUMMARY OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF RADIOACTIVE DECAY
"There are several types of radioactive disintegration that are known to occur in nature. Alpha-decay consists of the emission of nuclei of atoms of helium 4 from nuclei of heavy atomic weight. This is the type of decay initiating the uranium and thorium series, whose disintegration results finally in lead and helium with several intermediate elements in the chain. Beta-decay consists of the emission from the nucleus of a beta-particle (an electron) and a neutrino; this is the decay process involved in the formation of strontium 87 from rubidium 87 and of calcium 40 from potassium 40. A third type of decay is the capture of an orbital electron by the nucleus accompanied by the emission of X-rays. The formation of argon 40 from potassium 40 is of this kind. A fourth kind of decay is nuclear fission, by which the nucleus splits into two discrete parts. This is the action of the atomic bomb, but it also occurs in nature. The uranium 235 isotope is subject to fission by free neutrons in the earth, from whatever source. Uranium 238 and thorium 232 undergo a process of spontaneous fission, whereby occasional atoms, under the pressure of high internal proton charge, spontaneously break into two parts. In this process, the main products are the rare gases xenon and krypton, along with neutrons and other particles."
[Dr. Baugh, op. cit., pp. 11-13]
[Evolutionists maintain that] "There are elements in the rock, such as radioisotopes, which indicate an Earth age of millions and in some instances, billions of years?... There is no data scientifically known which can give a rock a uniform age. All of the processes for dating radioisotopic material and alpha particle decay known to science give a variant in age determination when various portions of the same rock are examined...
When the alpha particle decay rate is examined, which is the interpretive line of measurement, it is found that it takes uranium - 238 over four billion years to lose half its mass. The line of reasoning goes that it had to have been around for at least four and a half billion years to have lost that much mass. This is not necessarily so. It really shows that U-238 was designed to be around for billions of years, and it was designed to be here for a useful purpose...
It is obvious from the work of geophysicists that these isotopes were, at one time, inside the earth. They were expunged, or thrown out, to the surface of the earth. What this demonstrates is that the interior of the earth, at some time in the past, was a perfectly balanced thermonuclear heater. If these isotopic elements are so arranged with moderating elements adjacent to them, the result is simply a controlled nuclear reactor. God designed the interior of the earth as such for the benefit of man."
b) ALPHA-DECAY & THE POTENTIAL BARRIER
"With respect to the alpha-decay process, which is the most important process from the standpoint of geologic time measurement... ...According to this concept, although the energy of the alpha-particle is apparently too small to permit it to escape from the 'nuclear potential barrier' of energy surrounding the nucleus, nevertheless it has a certain small probability of doing so.
'According to classical mechanics, the incoming or outgoing nuclear particles can pass the potential barrier only if their kinetic energy is larger than the maximum height of the barrier. Experimental evidence shows, however, that this is definitely not so. An example is represented by a uranium nucleus, which has a radius of 9 x 1013 cm. and is surrounded by a potential barrier 27 Mev high. Since the alpha-particles that escape from uranium in the process of its natural decay have an energy of only 4 Mev, it is difficult to understand how they get out across the barrier at all... It turns out, in fact, that the wave mechanics of a particle permit it to do things that would be completely prohibited in classical mechanics... Using wave mechanics, we can calculate that the chances of getting through are about 1 in 1038.'
[George Gamow: Matter, Earth, and Sky (Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1958), pp. 341-342]
The symbol Mev stands for a 'million electron volts,' an electron-volt being the energy imparted to a single electron when it is accelerated by a one-volt electric potential. (Similarly, Kev stands for 'thousand electron-volts, Bev for billion electron-volts, etc). The probability of escape of an alpha-particle through the energy barrier erected by the high nuclear forces in the atom depends on the relation between the energy of the particles and that of the barrier, and these factors vary in some incompletely-understood manner from one nuclear species to another. The nearer the energy of the alpha-particles to that of the barrier, the more probable is the escape of any single particle, and, therefore, the more rapid the general decay of the nucleus. Thus, the 'decay constant' of any given radioactive element depends on the relative energies contained in its nucleus."
c) EXTERNAL ENERGY SOURCES
"Herein lies the reason for the apparent constancy of these decay rates. The energies are so high that any ordinary external energy source, whether physical or chemical, is of entirely too low an order of magnitude to have any effect.
'After Rutherford became completely persuaded that the radioactive decay of heavy elements is due to the intrinsic instability of their atomic nuclei, his thought turned to the possibility of producing the artificial decay of lighter and normally stable nuclei by subjecting them to strong external forces. True enough, it was well known at that time that the rates of radioactive decay are not influenced at all by high temperatures or by chemical interactions, but this could be simply because the energies involved in thermal and chemical phenomena are much too small as compared with the energies in the nuclear disintegration phenomena.'
[George Gamow: Matter, Earth, and Sky, 1958, p. 330]
Rutherford proceeded to bombard his nuclei with high-energy alpha-particles, and the whole subsequent history of nuclear physics has demonstrated the possibility of penetrating the nucleus, through the potential barrier, provided only that a source of sufficiently high energy is used.
It is, therefore, evident that the basic decay relationships could be changed if something were done to change the relationship between the energy of the alpha-particles in the nucleus and the nuclear forces creating the potential barrier... ...some external source of sufficiently high energy level would be required. Pressures, temperatures, chemical reactions, ordinary radiations are all inadequate, and therefore the decay rates seem to be constant. Nevertheless, if an environment of high-energy radiation could be imposed on the elements, it seems certain that the balances, and therefore the decay phenomena, would be altered.
Such an environment may be difficult, or impossible, to impose in the laboratory, and in any case it supposedly could not have been produced at any time in the earth's past history as a geologic environment and so could have had no influence on the decay constants.
But this is an entirely gratuitous assumption. Such an environment does exist, right now, in the earth's upper atmosphere, where a great variety of radiations, including particles of fantastically high energies, exist in profusion. If any very substantial part of this radiation has ever in the past been able to penetrate to the lower atmosphere and into the earth's crust, it must have had some substantial effect on the radioactive decay rates of the unstable atomic nuclei. And, in view of the Biblical record of the Creation and the Flood, it seems likely that a large amount of this radiation may have reached the earth's surface during the creation before the establishment of the earth's... ..blanket...
[i.e., before the creation on the second day of the crystalline/metallic water-hydrogen canopy/blanket which protected the earth in preflood days from outside radiation as indicated in Gen 1:6 - BUT NOT DURING DAY ONE WHEN THE EARTH WAS BEING FORMED.
[Compare Gen 1:1-3, 6]:
(v. 1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(v. 2) And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
[i.e., God the Holy Spirit put structure and shape to the surface of the earth, i.e., its topography]
(v. 3) Then God said, 'Let there be light'' and there was light."
[i.e., radiations of the entire light spectrum emanated throughout the universe. Perhaps other forms of radiation also. Then, skipping to verse 6, we have the formation of the earth's canopy which blocked out much of the incoming radiation]:
(v. 6) Then God said, 'Let there be an expanse...
["an expanse" = "a firmament" = "raqyia" = a solid stretched out sheet of supercold metallic hydrogen]
in the midst of the waters, [i.e., the two layers of stratospheric frozen waters in between of which was a layer of supercold metallic hydrogen]
and let it separate [i.e., be sandwiched in between] the waters from the waters" [forming a crystalline/protective canopy over the whole earth]
...And, in view of the Biblical record of the Creation and the Flood, it seems likely that a large amount of this radiation may have reached the earth's surface during the creation before the establishment of the earth's... ..blanket... ...and during the Flood [before a protective ozone layer was formed in order to block out the radiation], immediately after its dissipation and before the development of the present atmospheric regime."