Monday, September 10, 2007

Humphreys' Fourteen Evidences for a Young World Gets Ripped

In this post, I am going to go through Answers in Genesis' "Evidences for a Young World" and dispel each and every one of them. I rely heavily on Talk Origins, but plenty of the links on more interesting topics are from other websites, so check em out!

1. Galaxies Wind Up too Fast
According to Dr. Ray Carlberg of the University of Toronto:
"There is observational evidence that nearby companion galaxies or an asymmetric, bar-shaped concentration of mass can drive a spiral wave in the disk of the galaxy."

2. Too few supernova remnants
Our universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old, and stars formed at an indefinite time after that. Most stars have a lifespan of about 10 billion years, and many are so far away (millions of light years) that we would not see their supernova until long after it happened. Lastly, supernova remnants have been observed (about 167,000 light years away), which contradicts the idea of a young universe.

3. Comets disintegrate too quickly.

It is true that comets have a lifespan of about 10,000 years; it is also true that the Kuiper belt contains them, thus it is not a problem for them to be less than 10,000 years old.

4. Not enough mud on the sea floor.
Apparently Mr. Humphreys is unaware that Erosion and Plate Tectonics can remove mud. Research your claims next time buddy!

5. Not enough sodium in the sea

Apparently Mr. Humphreys figured this up this up without properly estimating the amount of sodium lost in the alteration of basalt. They omit sodium lost in the formation of diatomaceous earth, and they omit numerous others mechanisms which are minor individually but collectively account for a significant fraction of salt. He was contacted about this, yet he has not corrected it.

6. The earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast.
No, it doesn't decay, the earth's magnetic field has weakened, strengthened, and changed polarity many times in earth's history, and real, testable evidence for this exists.

7. Many strata are too tightly bent.

Actually, if these strata were bent quickly, they probably would have fractured. Take a piece of silly putty, for instance, and try to pull it apart quickly. Try this again, but this time slowly. You will find that the quicker you pull it apart, the less it stretches. The principal behind rocks bending over long periods of time rather than instantaneously is the same.

8. Biological material decays too fast.
Two claims are made here that should be addressed:
a)Mitochondrial Eve is 6,000 years old

She's no younger than 120,000 years old.

b) Soft tissue and blood cells from a dinosaur have astonished experts
New York Times reported:
Earlier hopes of finding cells in the dinosaur bone have been dashed. Dr. Schweitzer said she could see no direct sign of cells, although a chemical stain that recognizes DNA picked up something in the holes where the bone cells would have rested. But she said she had been unable to retrieve DNA that could be identified as originating in a dinosaur. She and her colleagues had better luck in looking for heme, the oxygen carrying part of the hemoglobin molecule of the blood.

9. Fossil radioactivity shortens geologic “ages” to a few years. (Radiohalos)

Amateur scientist John Brawley investigated Gentry's claims directly by studying local rock samples, and concluded that there is no good evidence that these "polonium" haloes are actually produced by polonium at all, as opposed to longer-lived radionuclides such as radon or uranium.

10. Too much helium in minerals.

The helium results could easily be due to an aberrant sample. They could be an artifact of the experimental or collecting method (e.g., defects in the zircons caused by rapid cooling) or from just plain sloppiness.

Helium deposits are common in New Mexico, and excess helium has been found just a few miles from where the sample was taken. Source:

11. Too much carbon 14 in deep geologic strata.

New C14 is formed from background radiation, such as radioactivity in the surrounding rocks. In some cases, C14 from the atmosphere can contaminate a sample. Some things that can contaminate the sample: Sulfur bacteria, which commonly grow in coal, Secondary carbonates from groundwater that form on fracture surfaces, and Whewellite, a carbon-containing mineral, that often forms as coal weathers.


12. Not enough Stone Age skeletons.
Estimates that there should be 8 billion buried dead from the stone age, yet only a few thousand are found.

I wonder if he ever considered that over thousands of years the bodies might decay so badly that we wouldn’t have anything to find? Or perhaps some people were cremated (who knows?); or perhaps the grave markers wore away and the bodies are buried some place as of yet undiscovered. In any case, the number of bodies found does not prove the stone age was short.

13. Agriculture is too recent.
Um…. No. Anyone who studies civilization will know that we went through a hunter-and-gatherer period in which there was no agriculture. There is evidence of agriculture from 11,000 years ago, which is a little too ancient for Humphreys’ 6,000 year old earth. There is DNA Evidence that dogs were domesticated 100,000 years ago.

14. History is too short.

You don’t suppose maybe writing had not evolved? Apparently he doesn’t. Australian rock art has been discovered dating from 40,000 years old, which ties in to the DNA evidence that shows Australian Aboriginals diverged from an Asian population 40,000-70,000 years ago.

Also, there is an ancient Sanskrit manuscript that tells of a lake that existed in Kashmir. According to modern geological reporting, about 40,000 years ago Kashmir was indeed a lake in the valley of Kashmir in northern India. It was covered by a huge lake and it was blocked on the southern end by a little range of mountains. And at a certain point, something happened and it broke open and the lake drained out. And if it is to be taken literally, then it means that somebody must have seen this lake as it existed 50,000 years ago and wrote about it.


MasterChiefStK said...

Wonderful analysis. Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

It's awesome that you are taking the time to debunk this stuff!

Kent McManigal said...

Thank you for taking the time to read AiG in order to debunk their bunk. I don't think I would have the stamina for such a noble task!

AIGBusted said...

It's actually a pretty fun task... Sort of like fighting a battle when you know you're gonna kickass!!

Anonymous said...

A separate comment about Helium content in minerals. Because Helium atoms (Alpha particles) are the primary discharge during radioactive decay, we would actually expect the Helium content to INCREASE over time rather than decrease.

Check out "Helium Dating." It's not as reliable as K/Ar or other forms of dating, but it would at least explain the increase He content in rocks that can contain it.

The Helium content arguments were cited as a result of the "RATE" (Researching Age of The Earth" or something) team, a bunch of ICR/AiG type folk, who went up to some volcanoes and took samples then ran tests on them. Talk Origins and a few other sites have debunked their findings.

As usual, nice work!

AIGBusted said...

Thanks for the link, Aaron!

Anonymous said...

We New Mexicans, while embarrassed with Humphreys being from our fine state, have not ignored his ravings.

Cheers, Dave Thomas

AIGBusted said...

Hi Dave,

Pleasure to have you here on AiGB. I have referenced your website many a time for the excellent article on the Nylon Bug. I also have 2 grandparents up there, so clearly, we know your state is primarily a rational one.

: D



Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with everything that you have said here in these "articles." You try to disprove things with your dating methods and theories and not succeeding at all. Your "dating methods" of rocks and dogs is fallible. How do you know that the dogs were 100,000 years old? I know you will say that because of where they were found or in what rock layer they were discovered determines how old these bones are but prove to me how old the rocks are. YOU CAN'T!!!! You say that these creationists are dumb and don't know what they are talking about. They are basing their beliefs on faith. And so are you. You can't PROVE anything that you say and neither can they. You both use FAITH. They just chose to believe in something real. GOD.

Anonymous said...

This is a response to the Jan. 4 '08 "anon" post:

Sir or Madam, we *can* "prove" such assertions because of the laws of physics and the fundamentals of mathematics. This is the 21st century, not the 19th. You ask the author of this article for "proof" of what he says. But just as sure as he would give an explanation of the principles behind his rebuttals and assertions, you'd ask for proof of those. Your recursive demands will eventually lead you back to the fundamentals of every disproof of the ridiculous claims of creation so-called "scientists" Namely, the laws of physics and of mathematics. If you want the short answer for "proof" of the author's assertions, it is this: differential equations are nothing new and the fundamentals of thermodynamics, nuclear chemistry, molecular genetics, and geophysics carry the weight of years of failed tests for negativity. "Scientific" claims based upon the presupposition of the infallibility of some religious text(s) are doomed to fail before they start.

- Ash R.
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center,
Menlo Park, CA.

(love the blog Ryan. Keep up the good work)

Anonymous said...

It's such a shame when yet one more creationist insists that there is no proof of a old earth and has to get kicked in the teeth yet again for their willful ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Ash & Velkyn,

Your pride will your downfall. Einstein was not like you. He didn't accept laws as being definitive. If we were all like you we would never have developed the theory of relativity. We would still be locked into the "genius" of Newton. Grow up and realize that you DON'T and CAN'T know everything. You will face your Maker someday and then you will have to answer for your pride.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Pride...
Anon above knows the truth, he knows who the Creator is, and he knows what the Creator wishes, and he knows that all who disagree will be judged and found wanting...
All without evidence!

I'd like to thank Anon for pointing out the main weapon of Creationists: denial.

Sam said...

I'm surprised this article hasn't been taken down yet, as it seems you keep the site relatively updated with new content.

These arguments aren't new, in fact they were around long before Humphrey's created his article. The reason they have stayed is because the arguments against them were long-since dealt with.

For instance, the argument that the helium diffusion data was just poorly done was around long before the RATE team did their research. When they did their research, it agreed completely with previous estimates. They did not even calculate it themselves, it was done through a third-party (who was, in fact, an evolutionist).

The "strata quickly bent would have snapped" argument never was fully dealt with, simply because there is no actual argument. You fail to recognize that the strata would have been laid down during Noah's Flood and bent before being hardened, which is AiG's argument in the first place.

Rather than go on, I suggest that you, and everyone, actually read the articles for yourself. Creationists have some wrong science, so show it to the world so that better ideas can come through. Alternately, evolutionists have some wrong science, which should also be shown to the world for better ideas to come about. These arguments of AiG's, though, are not an example of bad science.

AIGBusted said...


"For instance, the argument that the helium diffusion data was just poorly done was around long before the RATE team did their research. When they did their research, it agreed completely with previous estimates. They did not even calculate it themselves, it was done through a third-party (who was, in fact, an evolutionist)."

It has been a while since I read up on the "RATE" project. I don't doubt that a third party dated the samples, but as I understand it (and I watched the DVD about RATE) they COLLECTED the samples themselves, and the scientists at talk origins believe that the samples were collected from places that have a high likelihood of contamination, and are usually avoided when scientists date rocks.

"The "strata quickly bent would have snapped" argument never was fully dealt with, simply because there is no actual argument. You fail to recognize that the strata would have been laid down during Noah's Flood and bent before being hardened, which is AiG's argument in the first place."

Which rocks do you believe are pre-flood and post flood? If you name the rock layers which are pre and post flood, and I am able to find an example of that strata being bent, your "evidence" goes right out the window.

I maintain my first answer:
Take a piece of silly putty, for instance, and try to pull it apart quickly. Try this again, but this time slowly. You will find that the quicker you pull it apart, the less it stretches. The principal behind rocks bending over long periods of time rather than instantaneously is the same.

Bent Strata are not "evidence" for a young earth if they are just as easily explained otherwise.


Laura Swiss said...

Hey Dave,
I must say that even though I disagree with your viewpoint on the age of the Earth, it's impressive that you don't just believe every people say but rather examine the facts for yourself. Despite this, I have a point to bring up and a question to ask. You said in Point number 7 that the rock strata should have fractured, not become bent as AiG says. But, Creationist believe that the rock layers were exposed to pressure, and bent, at the same time. Think of the layers as a soft pancake. When you apply pressure to the pancake, the pancake doesn't break (fracture), it bends. On the flip side (excuse my corny pun), think about a burnt, dry pancake (drying for millions of years), when you apply pressure from the sides, the pancake will crack and break. I hope you read this and consider my argument. Your putty example doesn't make sense when you compare soft rock to rock that has had millions of years to harden. Also, have you ever heard of polystrate fossils? If not, I encourage you to research them.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Laura,

My name is not Dave, but I think your post was addressed to me, as I author this blog.

Anyway, rocks have been observed to fold under slow and steady pressure:

And yes, I have heard of polystrate fossils! I usually hear about them at least once a week!

: )

More or less, geologists accept polystrate fossils as being the result of periodic catastrophes. For instance, these polystrate fossils are usually found in places that are (or were) prone to frequent flooding. A flood comes along, buries the roots in sediment, which deposits the first layer and kills the tree. Over several decades, the tree is becomes petrified and is subject to being buried by more periodic floods.

It has never been claimed that THOSE PARTICULAR layers took millions of years to form. Other layers may take millions of years to form since they are not necessarily deposited by periodic floods and because radiometric dating confirms that it took longer time spans to deposit them.

zbyte64 said...

How do you know that radioactive decay is constant, you can't, you weren't there!! For that matter, how do you know you were not simply created yesterday with artificial memories?

Its funny how some IDers sound so much like stoned hippies. For those that don't trust atomic dating methods simply based on the fact that they haven't lived for 6,000+ years, here's a news flash, you weren't around for when the Bible was written either. Either you accept that historical and scientific evidence can assert a truth value on Evolution as well as the Bible or you accept that your beliefs exist without evidence and you are worshiping the cruelest of all gods.

Unknown said...

Who created the laws you use to determine the age of the earth? Big Bang... Evolution is a religion.

Unknown said...

In addition to these facts, there are dozens of known, observable, physical processes that set limits on the age of the earth and universe. Many books and articles have been written describing these processes in great detail. Overwhelming evidence exists which supports a young, 6000 year old creation, but problem-laden theories are all that exist to support a struggling, secular, billions-of-years old model. The truth is that people who believe in billions-of-years do so because they are intimidated by the opinions of the biased scientific majority, rather than on observable scientific facts. They have chosen to place their trust in the fallible opinions of men who are driven by the ulterior motive of denying God’s existence so they can feel justified living immoral lives[15], rather than placing their trust in Jesus Christ and obeying his Word. In short, they have opted to believe in a false theory that has never been proven right, instead of the Word of God, which has never been proven wrong.

Emmi Grace Miller said...

We will pray for you.

jsjs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kuba said...

Please update this for the soft tissue argument as it has been discovered that iron plays a role in instances where ancient soft tissue is preserved.