From: Dick Fischer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Mar 17 2003 - 09:20:57 EST
>Perhaps someone ought to write a tract (encyclopaedia?) on creationists'
>fraudulent claims. I frankly do not see how someone who is out to discredit
>the faith of other Christians who dare to believe in an old earth can be
We can take a step in that direction. If you all will send me your list of
"claims" and rebuttals, I will be happy to compile them and place them on
our web site under the heading: "Young-Earth Creationists' Claims and
Responses" I know a few myself.
The Young Moon
In 1960, Hans Petterson wished to calculate the amount of space dust
falling on the earth. After collecting samples from a mountain top in
Hawaii, he analyzed the nickel content, and deduced that 14 million tons of
dust fall on the earth each year. Supposedly, a similar amount was falling
on the moon.
According to creationist literature, this figure extrapolated for five
billion years would have put a layer of dust on the moon's surface of about
54 feet. That much dust lying on the surface could have made for a
hazardous moon landing, and NASA scientists were concerned about that.
When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969, they
extracted a core sample of about five inches. Young-earth proponents were
eager to point to this as "proof" that the moon, and the earth by
inference, were young. Subsequent measurements of the moon's surface on
the Apollo 17 mission got a seismic reading of the moon's regolith varying
from 20 to 120 feet. The regolith is a complicated surface containing
dust, ash, and moon rocks. The amount of meteoritic material in the lunar
soil varies from about 1.5% to 10%.
Direct reading of outer space dust done by satellites, coupled with
Surveyor 3 findings of micrometeorite bombardment impacting on the moon
itself, demonstrated that Petterson's initial rudimentary calculations
weren't even close. Howard Van Till reports:
By best current estimates, then, the accumulation of meteoritic dust on the
moon would contribute a layer less than one centimeter thick in four
In other words, the amount of dust found on the moon was about right for a
4.5 billion year exposure. As recently as 1987, creationist literature
continued to flaunt their long discredited young moon evidence.
The Incredible Shrinking Sun
The contention here is that the sun is shrinking at such a rapid rate that
only a scant 20 million years ago the sun's surface would have been
touching the earth's surface! This statistic was based on a 1979 report
by John Eddy and Aram Boornazian who deduced the shrinkage of the sun's
surface at the linear rate of 5 feet per hour from computing the time
required for the sun to cross the celestial meridian at noon.
The Eddy-Boornazian data was challenged from the beginning. For one thing,
the sun is known to oscillate in size, and this has been borne out from
various tests. In 1980, Irwin Shapiro used Mercury transit rates across
the sun's surface, and came up with figures about one-seventh the value
computed by Eddy and Boornazian.
In 1984, John Eddy teamed up with Claus Frohlich and published another
startling revelation. From 1967 to 1980, the sun actually increased in
size at the linear rate of 8 feet per hour! Thanks to the marvels of
science, we now know that 20 million years ago the sun was the size of a
This example is typical of the kind of slapdash science creation
"scientists" will use to prove whatever they need to prove that might
bolster their case. The shrinking sun argument used in creationist
literature continued to be published as recently as 1987 - three years
after Eddy co-published data showing exactly the opposite.
The Magnetic Earth
We all know that the earth has a magnetic field around it. When I was an
Air Force navigator, we relied on "magnetic north" for compass
bearings. The magnetic north pole differs from true north by varying
degrees depending on where you are on the earth's surface since they are
not located at the same place.
The point young-earth creationists make is that the magnetic field is
decaying, getting weaker. This implies that in the past it was
stronger. If we could go back in time, we would see an increasingly
stronger magnetic field.
According to their statistics, 10,000 years ago the earth's magnetic field
would have been "as strong as the magnetic field in a magnetic
star." "Surely our earth never had a magnetic field stronger than a star,"
they say. "That would limit the age of the earth to 10,000 years..."
Their supporting evidence comes from young-earth advocate, Dr. Thomas
Barnes. In 1973, he took 150 years worth of data showing a gradual decay
in the magnetic field. Barnes then plotted an exponential curve to the
data points. The Barnes curve showed the magnetic field to be not just
decreasing, but decreasing at an increasing rate. He then took his 150
years worth of data and extrapolated it to 20,000 BC! Barnes published the
results, but not the data.
Dr. S. G. Brush did publish the data to which he plotted a conventional
straight line through the data points. The difference this made is that
the same magnetic strength Barnes achieved at 20,000 BC with his curve,
took over 100 million years with a straight line. In essence, Barnes
"cooked" the original data to concoct a result compatible with his beliefs.
Miscalculating the rate of magnetic decay was only part of the error. What
we find in reality is that the earth's magnetic field has not decayed
nonstop for billions of years. It has fluctuated through time in sine wave
fashion. Core samples of igneous rocks taken from the earth's surface show
that the earth's magnetic field has gone through numerous reversals,
swapping magnetic north and south poles periodically throughout the earth's
Notice in the three previous examples that creation "scientists" will use
strictly uniformitarian principles to support their claims. They take a
rate, extrapolate that rate into the past, and then deduce that the
resultant figure cannot possibly be true, and therefore, the earth must be
Now, note what they say about geologists' methods. In The Genesis Record,
Henry Morris makes a point about the flood ordering the fossil sequence
found in sedimentary rocks. He then says:
Man's perverse and depraved nature has somehow
distorted both into a system of evolution and uniformity.
"Uniformity" can be defined as a projected continuity. It is the
assumption that the rates and processes we see today are the same as in the
past. This is simply the most conservative stance you could take. The
alternative is to assume that something (who knows what?) caused the rates
or processes to change. Since we would not know whether the rates or
processes changed up or down, the "no change" assumption is as
middle-of-the-road as you can get.
The precautions with taking a uniformitarian approach are that you must
have a considerable number of established data points, and that you not try
to extrapolate too far. For example, on one day in a particular city the
maximum temperature was 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the next day it was 67
degrees. An erroneous uniformitarian assumption would project that a year
from now we will be in another ice age, or that last year we were living in
The important thing to remember, though, is that what makes uniformity
inherently good or bad, from a young earth creationist's point of view, is
directly dependent on who uses it. If they use it - it's good; if
evolutionists use it - it's bad!
Where is the Salt?
Another young-earth argument is that not enough salt or minerals are in the
bottom of the oceans. Here young-earth creationists base their assumptions
on the supposition that if the earth was old, oceans would be 4.6 billion
year-old stagnant basins. They ignore the universally-accepted
documentation of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics that depict the
earth as a vibrant and living surface.
In Science Held Hostage, Van Till makes this point:
"In 1954 Goldschmidt provided data and discussion supporting
the conclusion that the dissolved material in ocean water is in
an equilibrium state, being added and removed at equal rates.
Chemical Oceanography, published in 1965 and revised in 1975,
includes extensive discussions of the processes by which
elements are removed from ocean water, although those parts
of the work appear to have been disregarded by the young-earth
advocates who quote from this book in Scientific Creationism
Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
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