Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cumulative Case for an Old Earth Part 2

Reposted from Debunking Creationism

This is the second installment in a series which reveals the evidence of an old earth. Click here to read the first installment.

Let us turn to one very simple reason the earth is old: Varves. A varve is a layer of sediment which is usually deposited in a lake. Two layers are deposited each year: a light layer in the summer, and a dark layer in the fall. This poses a problem for creationists, as over six million varves were deposited in the Green River Shale! Six Million divided by two is three million. So it took three million years to form this deposit. That's about 2,990,000 years too old for the Bible's estimate of a 10,000 year old earth. Most creationists will respond to this by saying that the varves could have been formed during Noah's flood. But the varves found at the Green River Shale are usually very thin and fine, whereas false varves produced by floods are thick and irregular. (See Geologist Glenn Morton's assessment of this). There are various other arguments creationists hurl against varves, all of which are disproven by Christian (!) Geologist Greg Neyman. For instance, creationists will point to fossils that transgress multiple varves. Yet they do not realize that in deep, anoxic water, the decay process slows down dramatically (click here to see a fascinating webpage on some well preserved "mummies" found in bogs!).


Unknown said...

Ok, as i interpret it, the BIBLE claims to be 10,000 years old because that is probly when it was starting to be written. It gives no real date or time.

Dale Husband said...

Yeah, but look at how the Creationists respond to such a case:


"One of the most obvious problems with the uniformitarian scenario is that the so-called varves are not really varves. They should be more correctly termed rhythmites, which are any repeating unit of sedimentation. The varve scenario is unlikely because of the presence of excellently preserved fossils, especially fossil fish. Such an observation indicates that these thin laminae are not varves since fish will rot in only a few weeks, even on an oxygen-less bottom of a deep, cold lake (Whitmore 2003)."

Must I point out that fossils are of organisms that are already rotted, and that usually only the bones, exoskeltons, or shells are left to be preserved?

AIGBusted said...

Hi Dale,

The anoxic waters of a deep lake provide excellent conditions for preservation. Check out the link on the bog mummies.

As for AiG's claim that the layers are not annular, see the response from the geologist at Answers in Creation (an old earth/theistic evolutionist response to YECism). He says that,

"Since varves are couplets, or two layers annually, twice 160 gives you 320, so this example (300-360 layers in 160 year period) fits the standard geologic explanation for varves. I'm not sure what they hoped to gain with this argument, since it clearly presents no argument for varves forming at more than the two per year rate."

SirMoogie said...

Nick, the Bible doesn't make claims as to its age. Given the suspected dates of events portrayed in the Bible some religious scholars, under the assumption that the Bible is true, date creation 10,000 years ago (sometimes less).

The Bible was most certainly not written at that time, the earliest historical writings of any kind, that we've found are approx. 6000 years old [1]. A better approximation for the writing of the Bible is around 200 BCE [2].

[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_millennium_BC

[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh

SirMoogie said...
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