How Science Figured Out the Age of Earth

Reference to a case where the given method did not work This is perhaps the most common objection of all. Creationists point to instances where a given method produced a result that is clearly wrong, and then argue that therefore all such dates may be ignored. Such an argument fails on two counts: First, an instance where a method fails to work does not imply that it does not ever work. The question is not whether there are “undatable” objects, but rather whether or not all objects cannot be dated by a given method. The fact that one wristwatch has failed to keep time properly cannot be used as a justification for discarding all watches.

Google Earth Engine

Abiogenesis and Evolutionary history of life Phylogenetic tree of life on Earth based on rRNA analysis Chemical reactions led to the first self-replicating molecules about four billion years ago. A half billion years later, the last common ancestor of all life arose. The resultant molecular oxygen O2 accumulated in the atmosphere and due to interaction with ultraviolet solar radiation, formed a protective ozone layer O3 in the upper atmosphere. Aided by the absorption of harmful ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer, life colonized Earth’s surface.

This hypothesis has been termed ” Snowball Earth “, and it is of particular interest because it preceded the Cambrian explosion , when multicellular life forms significantly increased in complexity.

The technique gave 90 million years, but took no account of the non-constant erosion rate, or the loss and recycling of salt, or the fact that salt is obtained from other sources as well as continents.

Several Christian ministries promote the idea that the earth is less than 10, years old, which they say comes from the Bible. In reality, the Bible makes no claim as to the age of the earth, although it does establish a minimum age. This page examines some of the history of the controversy—what the Bible actually says and does not say—and the scientific evidence surrounding the age of the earth.

Age of the earth according to the Bible The following is a summary of the biblical evidence presented on this website regarding the age of the earth. For more detailed explanations of each topic, please click on the associated link. History of the age of the earth As indicated earlier, the Bible does not fix the age of the earth, contrary to the claims of Answers in Genesis. Archbishop Ussher took the genealogies of Genesis, assuming they were complete, and calculated all the years to arrive at a date for the creation of the earth on Sunday, October 23, B.


Radiometric dating In , shortly after the discovery of radioactivity , the American chemist Bertram Boltwood suggested that lead is one of the disintegration products of uranium, in which case the older a uranium-bearing mineral the greater should be its proportional part of lead. Analyzing specimens whose relative geologic ages were known, Boltwood found that the ratio of lead to uranium did indeed increase with age. After estimating the rate of this radioactive change, he calculated that the absolute ages of his specimens ranged from million to 2.

The clash between OE dating millions or billions of years and YE dating thousands of years centres on the decay constant K.

February 27, By dating the rocks in the ever-changing crust, as well as neighbors such as the moon and visiting meteorites, scientists have calculated that Earth is 4. How old are your rocks? Several attempts to scientifically date the planet have occurred over the past years. Scientists attempted to predict the age based on changing sea levels, the time it took for Earth or the sun to cool to present temperatures, and the salinity of the ocean. As science progressed, these methods were proven to be unreliable; for instance, the rise and fall of the ocean was shown to be an ever-changing process rather than a gradually declining one.

In an effort to calculate the age of the planet, scientists turned to the rocks that cover its surface. However, because plate tectonics constantly changes and revamps the crust, the first rocks have long since been recycled, melted down and reformed into new outcrops. In the early 20th century, scientists refined the process of radiometric dating.

Timothy Drake (New Earth)

A special kind of radiocarbon dating: Bomb radiocarbon dating What is an isotope? To understand radiocarbon dating, you first have to understand the word isotope. An isotope is what scientists call two or more forms of the same element. But they still have the same chemical properties. Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes.

But it’s not evident how much support this gives to radiometric dating.

By Early Modern English , many nouns were capitalized, and the earth became and often remained the Earth, particularly when referenced along with other heavenly bodies. More recently, the name is sometimes simply given as Earth, by analogy with the names of the other planets. Oxford spelling recognizes the lowercase form as the most common, with the capitalized form an acceptable variant.

Another convention capitalizes “Earth” when appearing as a name e. It almost always appears in lowercase in colloquial expressions such as “what on earth are you doing? The bodies in the Solar System formed and evolved with the Sun. In theory, a solar nebula partitions a volume out of a molecular cloud by gravitational collapse, which begins to spin and flatten into a circumstellar disk , and then the planets grow out of that disk with the Sun. A nebula contains gas, ice grains, and dust including primordial nuclides.

Planet Earth Singles

He became the third Robin at a young age, succeeding Jason Todd as Batman ‘s sidekick. Eventually, he would be forced to give up the identity of Robin and begin wearing the costume of Red Robin when he was replaced by Damian Wayne. As a small boy, Tim was taken to Haly’s Circus , where he met Dick Grayson and the Flying Graysons , the same day of their deaths, which he witnessed and could never forget. Some years later, he saw footage of Batman and Robin apprehending the Penguin and he noticed Robin’s acrobatics, which reminded him of Dick Grayson.

Making use of impressive deductive abilities, Tim learned the truth behind Batman and Robin and he followed their careers very closely.

Volcanism Volcanism is any eruption of molten lava onto the surface.

His calculations did not account for heat produced via radioactive decay a process then unknown to science or, more significantly, convection inside the Earth, which allows more heat to escape from the interior to warm rocks near the surface. For biologists, even million years seemed much too short to be plausible. In Darwin’s theory of evolution , the process of random heritable variation with cumulative selection requires great durations of time.

According to modern biology, the total evolutionary history from the beginning of life to today has taken place since 3. Huxley , attacked Thomson’s calculations, suggesting they appeared precise in themselves but were based on faulty assumptions. The physicist Hermann von Helmholtz in and astronomer Simon Newcomb in contributed their own calculations of 22 and 18 million years respectively to the debate: However, they assumed that the Sun was only glowing from the heat of its gravitational contraction.

The process of solar nuclear fusion was not yet known to science. In John Perry challenged Kelvin’s figure on the basis of his assumptions on conductivity, and Oliver Heaviside entered the dialogue, considering it “a vehicle to display the ability of his operator method to solve problems of astonishing complexity.

Age of the Earth: strengths and weaknesses of dating methods

This age is obtained from radiometric dating and is assumed by evolutionists to provide a sufficiently long time-frame for Darwinian evolution. And OE Christians theistic evolutionists see no problem with this dating whilst still accepting biblical creation, see Radiometric Dating – A Christian Perspective. This is the crucial point:

If it dates too young, one can invoke a later heating event.

By Christina Holvey 18 November Decorated with the most extravagant plumes and feathers of any group of animals on Earth, the birds of paradise and their vibrant courtship dances have captivated scientists and explorers for more than years. David Attenborough is a huge fan, and so it was no surprise that this family of birds were offered a starring role in his new series Planet Earth II.

But what might be surprising, is that for centuries we have been viewing a number of their performances from entirely the wrong angle, and in doing so, have been missing half the show. Approximately the size of a starling, the male is dressed in an elaborate cape of vermillion, with a turquoise skull cap. Like many birds of paradise, he performs his vivid and complex dance entirely for the benefit of the female, who, incidentally, is a dull shade of brown.

But, crucially, she sits and critiques his concert from an elevated position, directly above him. So what does she see? View image of Male Wilson’s bird of paradise displays to female from a sapling Credit: Why are birds of paradise dating dances so extreme? New Guinea is a relatively new island, having been pushed up from the sea a mere 10 million years ago. There are hardly any predators, since few mammals have managed to colonise it.

The Age of the Earth

Leibnitz reworked Descartes’s cosmogony. Protogea was published much later in An essay toward a Natural History of the Earth. Woodward came down fairly strongly for the view that the flood was an act of God that could not be accounted for by normal physical processes. He also postulated hydrological sorting to account for the ordering of fossils. Whiston added comets to Burnet’s cosmogony as the source of the waters of the flood.

However, the major remaining problem is still the same as that of almost thirty years prior:

See my copyright notice for fair use practices. Select the photographs to display the original source in another window. Links to external sites will be displayed in another window. Terrestrial planets have hard surfaces that can be re-shaped by several different processes: Impact Cratering There are still small chunks of rock orbiting the Sun left over from the formation of the solar system.

Some of them have orbits that cross the orbits of the planets and moons. When they get close enough to a planet or moon, they will be pulled in by the large body’s gravity and strike the surface at a speed of at least the escape velocity of the planet or moon, i. At such speeds, the projecticle explodes on impact and carves out a round bowl-shaped depression on the surface. This process is impact cratering.

How can you distinguish an impact crater from a volcanic crater? Volcano craters are above the surrounding area on mountaintops while the craters from impacts are below the surrounding area with raised rims. The craters on all of the moons except Io, Mercury, and most of the ones on Mars are from impacts.

Welcome to Understanding Geologic Time

By Eric Hovind on May 5, in Articles , Beginner Whenever the worldview of evolution is questioned, the topic of carbon dating always comes up. Here is how carbon dating works and the assumptions it is based upon. How Carbon Dating Works Radiation from the sun strikes the atmosphere of the earth all day long. This energy converts about 21 pounds of nitrogen into radioactive carbon

Holmes focused on lead dating, because he regarded the helium method as unpromising.

Roman poet Lucretius, intellectual heir to the Greek atomists, believed its formation must have been relatively recent, given that there were no records going back beyond the Trojan War. The Talmudic rabbis, Martin Luther and others used the biblical account to extrapolate back from known history and came up with rather similar estimates for when the earth came into being. Within decades observation began overtaking such thinking.

In the s Nicolas Steno formulated our modern concepts of deposition of horizontal strata. He inferred that where the layers are not horizontal, they must have been tilted since their deposition and noted that different strata contain different kinds of fossil. This position came to be known as uniformitarianism, but within it we must distinguish between uniformity of natural law which nearly all of us would accept and the increasingly questionable assumptions of uniformity of process, uniformity of rate and uniformity of outcome.

That is the background to the intellectual drama being played out in this series of papers. It is a drama consisting of a prologue and three acts, complex characters, and no clear heroes or villains. We, of course, know the final outcome, but we should not let that influence our appreciation of the story as it unfolds. Even less should we let that knowledge influence our judgment of the players, acting as they did in their own time, constrained by the concepts and data then available.

One outstanding feature of this drama is the role played by those who themselves were not, or not exclusively, geologists. Most notable is William Thomson, ennobled to become Lord Kelvin in , whose theories make up an entire section of this collection. He was one of the dominant physicists of his time, the Age of Steam. His achievements ran from helping formulate the laws of thermodynamics to advising on the first transatlantic telegraph cable.

How do we know the age of the Earth?