How do Young Earth Creationists counter claims the Earth is more than 6,000 years old?

The claim that the Earth is about 6,000 years old seems to have gained popularity in recent times, what I’d like to know is how the adherents of YEC respond to claims that Earth is much older.

Specifically, what explanation or counter arguments are used to rationalise plate tectonics, radio carbon dating, sedimentary deposits and ice-cores, fossil fuels, the size and expansion of the universe, the speed of light, tree ring records and the myriad of other things that indicate the world is substantially older.

So far most of my enquiries have met with responses such as ‘just accept it’ or ‘because it is’. However, as a scientist I find such responses to be unsatisfactory. I would prefer considered explanations backed up with rational and demonstrable evidence, and this is where I’m hoping you can assist.

I’ve listed several points, should you wish to just address one or two of them then that will be quite in order. Thank you.

20 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Several users have psted links to various creationist websites such as AIG and I will summarise their arguments in regards to your points for you since the people who consider these websites to be scientific rather than religious propaganda haven't bothered.

    plate tectonics: god did it

    radio carbon dating: chemists are wrong

    sedimentary deposits and ice-cores: god did it + geologists are wrong

    fossil fuels: god did it + chemists are wrong + geologists are wrong

    the size and expansion of the universe: god did it + cosmologists are wrong

    the speed of light: physicists are wrong

    tree ring records: chemists are wrong + biologists are wrong

    everything else: god did it + everybody else is wrong

    I have literally seen lies used by so called scientists to manipulate people into believing the YEC bullshit. EG a "palaeontologist" explaining that fossils are dated by the age of the rock they are found in, and rocks are dated by the age of the fossils found in them. This is a lie because absolute dating uses isotopic (ooh, there's a big word!) ratios to determine the age of volcanic rock and when fossils are found between layers of volcanic rock there is a time frame we know they existed in thanks to the law of superposition. Relative dating can then be used to determine ages of fossils relative to these rock layers and each other as they are found in the strata.

    Everything that is known about atomic physics must be wrong for creationists to be right. Even if SOME things are wrong, eg if the derp who stated that "carbon 14 in coal proves a young earth" was correct about the C14 in coal being due to the estimated half life for C14 (5730+/-40 years) and that the C14 was NOT the result of contamination from the measuring equipment, bacteria in the sample or radioactive decay in the strata; it still doesn't mean the earth is young. It just means that Libby was wrong and didn't deserve a Nobel prize for his observations of radiometric decay in C14. It says nothing about the half life data for Uranium 238 and 235, Potassium-40, and all the other unstable isotopes which can be measured in decay and these measurements used to estimate the rate over long time periods when compared to the products of that decay.

  • 9 years ago

    I think I've only seen the 'It just is!' type responses. Occasionally they'll say something about 'science' being against if 'science' is a noun with a consciousness. and considering that person is using a computer, switches on lights everyday and probably visits the fridge quite a few times per day, claiming to be anti-science is just their way of letting you know how completely unreasonable they are.

    @ Linda, carbon dating can only be used accurately on LIVING organisms that are 5,000-around 50,000 years old. Coal & diamonds do not qualify. How on earth did 'they' determine the erosion rate of Niagara then or the formation of the cliff in Georgia?

    You should spend your energy learning REAL science, not the biased BS of the YECs and also you might want to learn what words mean...let me guess, your ANGRY words are just 'anger' but Trevors words are 'hate' eye roll

    you lose credibility when you 'argue' like that.

    @ atarah, answersingenesis is a joke.

    1. the Flood...where is the world-wide geologic layer that represents when the flood happened? Why is it that there are NO measures that can show how the earth would not be out of balance with the new water weight and be thrown off orbit w/o magic, which IS NOT part of the story (not to mention all the miracles that would have been needed for so many other things wrong with that story) And why do the Egyptians not have such a myth even though they experienced flooding annually by the Nile?

    2. why would you think only southerners think freezing/thawing is an annual thing ? I'm from Texas (south US) and we don't even have freezing weather every year, in fact, as much as I & millions of others want a white xmas-I've only experienced ONE in my 30 some odd years and it only lasted a day....we're very aware that seasonal changes depend on where you are.

    Besides, I don't remember exactly but I think Trevor is from either a country north of here (Scotland) or one of the northern states-where it's more likely he experiences seasons.

    3. I have no idea why you'd think tree rings have to do with the speed of light...

    4. creationism and YECs are different, some creationists accept evolution but still insist that it was created...some say a singular being...others say multiple, including a mother earth type goddess, Those are different SPIRITUAL beliefs.

    This YEC thing? It's specifically a Christian belief...and one that is not accepted by all Christians so yes, it is a RELIGIOUS belief.

    Proving something real is simple. I'll give you an example.

    Even though I love horses, as a child unicorns & zebra's were both real/not real based on the fact that I had seen pictures of both but had not actually seen one myself. When I was a little older, I saw a zebra and knew it was real. So, I thought well, if they're real, unicorns must be too...there just aren't as many.

    When I looked for proof, I ran into all the same arguments there are for a god...the difference being that it was socially acceptable not to believe in unicorns despite the fact that there were actual photographs AND it would have been least the physical part..

    This nonsense about a male, mono deity 'just creating' living beings he knew would give him grief even though he was supposedly perfect in the first place? And there have been THOUSANDS of years to 'prove' such an unnatural concept but no one has?

    I doubt anyone is going to care if I have a green stick.They're not going to say certain people can be married, or a fetus has more rights than a pregnant woman or that they'll insist it is taught in science class that I have a green stick, or whether they exist. (Actually, that last part is common sense...most people have seen one). Believers in my having a green stick know it can't be proven/not proven using anything related to science so no one will bother.

    YECs want their MYTH taught in a science class even though there is nothing that can be used as anything related to science. All there are, are STORIES.

    @ give a creationist link that's backed up by another creationist link...smirk, eye roll

    edit: although, there is a lot more to perpetrating this myth than I thought...

  • 9 years ago

    Providence Canyon in southwest Georgia created by the erosion of soft, multicolored soils. Often called "Georgia's Little Grand Canyon," Providence Canyon consists of several chasms, plateaus, cliffs, and pinnacles. Erosion has exposed the geologic record of several million years within its walls, and minerals have stained the sediments, creating a display of colors that range from white to various shades of pink, purple, red, brown, yellow, and black. When geologist state a short time they mean millions of years not thousands. The Providence formation, also known as the Providence Sand, makes up most of the canyon walls. One hundred and nineteen feet thick, it was deposited during the Cretaceous period, about 67 to 70 million years ago. The upper layer of this formation consists of very fine sand mixed with a white clay called kaolin. The middle layer is coarser-grained and more colorful, with crossbeds stained yellow by limonite and purple by manganese. The lowest and oldest layer is a black and yellow mica-rich clay. This part of the formation is known as the Perote member and is visible near the bottom of the canyon.

    Although Providence Canyon the appearance of Providence Canyon evokes comparisons to the landscape of the American Southwest, its history is unique. The canyon consists of huge gullies sculpted of soil, not by the action of a river or stream but by rainwater runoff from farm fields.

    Historical accounts indicate that the canyon began forming in the early 1800s as the result of poor soil-management practices. Native forest cover had been cleared so the land could be farmed, and early-nineteenth-century farmers in this region took no measures to avoid soil erosion. Small gullies formed and rapidly grew deeper and more extensive. By 1850 ditches three to five feet deep had been cut into the land, further concentrating runoff and increasing the rate of erosion.

    "In addition, how do people who believe that the Earth is old explain the Carbon 14 phenomena that the scientific community refuses to acknowledge? Carbon 14 in coal, oil and diamonds all show that the Earth is very young."

    Once again you use a false representation. Carbon 14 is only one way of radiometric dating. There are over 50 ways that is radiometeric dating in done and all the other ways tend to agree on the same age of whatever is being measured. Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating. By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change. Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

    It is easy to see that this person has no idea of how science is used to date the earth because all of their arguements have be refuted by science. Please pick up a book and stop using religious websites to counter scientific arguements.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Young Earth Creationists believe that Earth is only 6,000 years old because they haven't figured out that the Genesis passage was written to people who were herding sheep 3000 years ago. These sheep herders did not know about quantum relativity, string theory, Higg's boson or time frames of billions of years. The purpose of the Genesis account is about who (God) made the Universe, not about when or how he made it.

    Young Earth Creationists love to claim that Earth was made to seem old. I don't know about that. If we believe that God will never lie, why is it so tough to believe that the Bible has symbolic passages?

    Isn't claiming that God left evidence that Earth is billions of years old, accusing Him of lying?

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  • 9 years ago


    Like this:

    Bishop Ussher did the math, and came up with the total of the Patriarch's ages, and I have no reason not to believe him.

    There is NOTHING in your second paragraph that has been proven absolutely correct.

    You claim to be a "scientist" - prove it, because I do not believe you.

    The Scientific Case for Creation; From a book entitled:

    In the Beginning by Walt Brown. (just Google to obtain your free copy.

    Part I is a brief summary, in outline form, of 130 categories of scientific evidence that

    support a sudden creation and oppose gradual evolution. As Figure 1 shows, categories

    1–42 relate to the life sciences, 43–93 relate generally to the astronomical and physical

    sciences, and 94–130 relate to the earth sciences.

    Quotations, references, and notes on pages 45–97 provide supporting details for specific

    conclusions. Usually, these details are based on research done by evolutionists who are

    experts in that particular field. Choosing evolutionists rather than creationists will

    minimize charges of bias. (Besides, no testimony is more convincing than that from a

    “hostile witness.”) Most people find the quotations, highlighted in blue type, fascinating.

    For many years, students, teachers, and professors have been unaware of most of this

    information, especially the broader conclusions that can be reached. Those conclusions

    are stated in Figure 1 and in the following pages in large, bold captions. The larger the

    caption, the broader the conclusion. There is one overall conclusion for the life sciences,

    one for the astronomical and physical sciences, and one for the earth sciences. Each has

    three supporting conclusions, for a total of nine. Each conclusion is based upon about a

    dozen categories of evidence. All 130 are summarized in the following pages. Figure 1

    shows the relationships of these 3 + 9 broad conclusions and the 130 categories of


    Scientific information cannot be suppressed for long, so it is not surprising to see a

    growing awareness and excitement concerning this information. Some evidence involves

    new discoveries. Other evidence, discovered long ago, has been poorly disseminated. If

    all this information were openly presented in science classrooms, better education would

    result. Regardless of your age or education, you can learn and help others learn this

    information about a subject that holds great interest for most people—the subject of


  • 9 years ago

    A variety of ways. Pop over to Answers in Genesis for some examples. Search for the following:

    plate tectonics - the flood

    radio carbon dating - how it really works

    sedimentary deposits - the flood

    ice cores - freezing and thawing (it's NOT an annual event, you southerner)

    size of the universe - a science in and of itself that takes into account relativity; mostly a cease-fire zone at the moment

    speed of light - another cease-fire zone, and like the above definitely worth checking out on AiG

    tree rings - mentioned on AiG, but...what about them?

    Edit: Whoops, forgot one.

    fossil fuels - the flood

    @ no: I facepalm at those people. God created the world with a youthful appearance. But few things age something prematurely better than stress and excessive water.

    @ inyaazz: Given that you consider anyone who believes the universe was created by an intelligent being to be "religious," I fail to see how it's possible for us, under your standards, to even present our arguments for a young earth that was CREATED!! You're telling us to prove there is a God by first assuming there is not now and never can be a God.

    So, I'm turning the tables. Say you have a green stick. Prove to me the stick is green. But do so without first assuming the stick exists.

    @ strpenta: "1. the Flood...where is the world-wide geologic layer that represents when the flood happened?"

    Uh, the SEDIMENTARY layers, remember? Especially all that limestone.

    "Why is it that there are NO measures that can show how the earth would not be out of balance with the new water weight..."

    What new water weight? Water wasn't added; it was simply moved. Mostly from beneath the surface of the crust to above it. Hence all those scars we call ocean ridges.

    "And why do the Egyptians not have such a myth even though they experienced flooding annually by the Nile?"

    Got me. Same reason you don't believe the flood? Same reason both you and they believed the universe created itself and then evolved to its present state (although they believe some life forms evolved to become divine)? Although the fact that Moses, who was raised in such teachings, should record an event totally contrary to what he was taught as a child, is quite telling. Further evidence that he wasn't merely told, but actually shown. Remember, he was middle aged (for his time) when he wrote Genesis; top education, plenty of life experience, a skilled leader, and the most humble man on earth (humble men are honest).

    "why would you think only southerners think freezing/thawing is an annual thing?"

    Because I don't hear any northerners saying that you can only get two layers of ice per winter. We know full well you can get 50 layers of ice in a single day (and unless you've driven on all 50 like we have, you have no room to disagree). So I'm guessing it must be a southern assumption that the temperature never varies in the north in the winter, and thus the rings on an ice core must be semi-annual events rather than daily events.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Evolution does not disprove the bible or God but only someones theological interpretation. On the idea of whether there is a God or not, good science yet remains neutral. Since God is tracing genes in the bible, doesn't that mean that God new about evolution before science? Does Genesis 30:39 where Jacob is dealing with the flocks of sheep reveals that God had taught him something about genes and how they are passed from generation to generation? It doesn't say that Cain went out to a land and named it Nod but that he went out to the land of Nod. Nod was already named before Cain went there and also so were all the regions surrounding the garden of Eden. God made sure that this evidence remained in the bible not just for a good story but to point out the existence of other human like creatures that were here before the Adamites.

    The things spoken about in Genesis 1 that God did in an instant mentally/Spiritually is still unraveling in the progress of time and Genesis 2:1-3 from the point of view of the physical has not yet happened. It doesn't take time for God to create but time actually is part of the creation. Now Adam was the start of a new segment of time called the Adamic age (of which the bible deals with) within a much older segment of time that could be millions or billions of years old. Adam was something new introduced to this world. Time is actually insignificant to the God. Genesis 6 speaks about Adam's offspring (called the Sons of God) being mixed with the humanoid evolved creatures, that were here before Adam, through their daughters. Noah was mixture and so are we. Adam's offspring introduced language and objectivity to the purely subjective and emotional world of the animal. Adam is the missing link that science has yet to find because of his origin as an angelic genes that were placed in a physical body his bones dissolved after death and so did his descendants that were giant. Because the Giant were not able to breed with the smaller people they became more and more inbred which produces mental and physical problems. Since not all were physical giants though but some were mental and spiritual giants yet of a small size and could breed in a bigger gene pull their traits survived. Adam's genes remain on this planet but only mentally and spiritually.

  • 9 years ago

    Good grief Trevor. There are entire web sites and near libraries full of books on the subject of Creationism and no doubt, on the YEC version of it.

    Seriously, do you honestly expect that such a complex subject can be addressed in a few words?

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Supporters of the old Earth theory cannot explain the rapid development of landforms. An example is Providence Canyon in Georgia. This canyon rapidly developed within only a few hundred years. Other examples include the rapid rate of erosion at Niagara Falls which dramatically changed the geology of that area within just a few thousand years.

    In addition, how do people who believe that the Earth is old explain the Carbon 14 phenomena that the scientific community refuses to acknowledge? Carbon 14 in coal, oil and diamonds all show that the Earth is very young.

    Consider also Lazarus bacteria which has shown that salt is not millions of years old, but in fact thousands of years old. All of this points to the Great Flood and the fact that Earth is a young creation.

    I am sorry that you have been blinded by hatred and the dogma of science, but truth prevails, no matter what anyone hiding behind a "scientist" label says. The truth is there. You refuse to accept it because you're blinded by hatred. John 8:44.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It could be that at one stage in history the Earth passed through a time warp. The time warp somehow made time accelerate and made things go faster so they aged quicker.

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