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Arguments for a Young Earth and rebuttals

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List of arguments for a young Earth

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This page lists arguments made by young earth creationists that the Earth must be younger than the 4.54 billion year age usually ascribed to it by the mainstream scientific community.[1]

  • The shrinking sun argument: This argument contends that, since the Sun is shrinking at a rate of 5 feet/hour, assuming it has always been shrinking at that rate, the Earth-sun relationship cannot be more than 5 million years old.[2] The argument is based on a study presented at a conference in 1979 by John Eddy and Aram Boornazian, from which the figure of 5 feet per hour is derived. (Some creationists describe the figure as "almost 6 feet per hour".) In the paper, Eddy and Boornazian examined a 117-year time period (from 1836 to 1953) using data from the Wikipedia:Royal Greenwich Observatory.[3] However, it has been pointed out that it is unwarranted to extrapolate a rate measured over such a short period of time, with Wikipedia:Howard J. Van Till writing that "Relatively slow change, either contraction or expansion, extending over a period of hundreds or even thousands of years could also be the consequence of oscillatory or temporary changes in the behavior of the solar interior. But a truly secular shrinkage, that is, a steady decrease in size over an indefinitely long period of time, would be at odds with contemporary models of solar behavior and inconsistent with geological evidence."[4] In addition, Dave Matson has pointed out that "serious flaws in [Eddy and Boornazian's paper's] methodology turned up and the data has since been discredited; the full text of their study was never published."[5]
  • The moon dust argument (also known as the cosmic dust) argument:[5] This argument contends that the rate at which dust accumulates on the moon would have led to much more dust being on the moon than is observed.[5] It is based on measurements made by Wikipedia:Hans Pettersson and reported on in the February 1960 issue of Wikipedia:Scientific American; in the article, Pettersson said that he had measured dust influx from two units at the top of Wikipedia:Mauna Loa, and had measured 39,150 tons of dust accumulating per day, but he thought a figure about two-thirds less than that would be more accurate (though he also cautioned that the true rate might be even lower). He was, at the time, planning to conduct further research in Wikipedia:Switzerland.[6] This figure was an estimate, and was later superseded by actual measurements made by satellite-mounted detectors; for example an article published in Wikipedia:New Scientist in 1976 concluded that every year 200 million tons of dust enters our solar system.[7]
  • The short-period comets argument: other creationists have argued that the existence of Wikipedia:short-period comets proves that the universe is young, because such comets disintegrate over time as they orbit the Sun. Thus, the argument states that, given that comets lose some of their material every time they orbit the sun and should last about 400 orbits, that all comets should have evaporated within 10,000 years of the beginning of the universe.[8][9] However, this argument ignores the abundant evidence for the existence of sources to supply additional comets, namely the Wikipedia:Oort Cloud and Wikipedia:Kuiper belt.[10]

[[Wikipedia:File:Brunhes geomagnetism western US.png|thumb|The Wikipedia:Earth's magnetic field over the past 800,000 years, as inferred from 33 measurements of sediments around the world.[11] Right now, the field is decreasing.]]

  • The magnetic field argument: this argument asserts that the Wikipedia:Earth's magnetic field is decaying, meaning it would have been so strong more than 10,000 years ago that it would have melted the earth.[12] This argument originated with creationist Wikipedia:Thomas G. Barnes, who proposed it in 1971. His argument has since been refuted, as it is based on an obsolete model of the earth's magnetic field rather than the dynamo model that has long been accepted by the scientific community.[5] His assumption that the Earth's magnetic field has been uniformly decaying in strength is also incorrect, since there is much evidence that this field has increased and decreased, and even reversed direction, many times in the past.[13]
  • Creationists' arguments that not enough salts are dissolved in the oceans to account for billions of years of influxes ignore that these salts are being removed from the oceans at about the same rate as they flow in, meaning that the oceans are nearly in chemical equilibrium.[14]


  1. "Age of the Earth". Wikipedia:United States Geological Survey. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  2. Akridge, Russell (1980). "The Sun Is Shrinking". Wikipedia:Institute for Creation Research. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. Snelling, Andrew (1 March, 1989). "Is the Sun Shrinking? Part 2: The Debate Continues". Creation Magazine. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun- A Case Study Comparing Professional Science and "Creation Science" in Action
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Matson, Dave E. (1994-2002). "How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?". Wikipedia:TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  6. Pettersson, Hans (February 1960). "Cosmic Spherules and Meteoritic Dust". Wikipedia:Scientific American. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  7. Template:Cite news
  8. A Response to the Short Period Comets Argument
  9. Newton, Robert (1 August 2002). "Kuiper Belt Objects: Solution to Short-Period Comets?". Wikipedia:Answers in Genesis. Retrieved 3 February 2014. "If the solar system were billions of years old, there should be no comets left." 
  10. Mooney, Chris (24 March 2014). "Yes, "Cosmos" Fans, Creationists Also Deny the Science of Comets". Mother Jones. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  11. Image taken from: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-187, "Preliminary Paleomagnetic Results from the Coyote Creek Outdoor Classroom Drill Hole, Santa Clara Valley, California" by Edward A. Mankinen and Carl M. Wentworth. [1]. The magnetic field data on the right, in turn, is based on: Guyodo, Y., and Valet, J.-P., 1999, Global changes in intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field during the past 800 kyr: Nature, v. 399, p. 249-252, link.
  12. Sarfati, Jonathan. "The earth’s magnetic field: evidence that the earth is young". Wikipedia:Creation Ministries International. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  13. Answers to Creationist Attacks on Carbon-14 Dating
  14. Template:Cite book

Wikipedia:Category:Young Earth creationism Wikipedia:Category:Science-related lists

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