1. Conspiracy of Silence

One of the basic platforms of the Young-earth movement is that all scientific estimates of the age of the universe are part of a vast conspiracy of silence. Supposedly, as the theory goes, the world's scientists desperately want to prop up evolution theory (no reasonable motive is ever described, but that obviously won't stop them). In fact, they are supposedly so desperate that they will ignore physical evidence and scientific principles in order to generate the age figures that the "evolutionists" want. But not only is such an idea blatantly absurd, but he doesn't produce a shred of evidence to support his statements. He simply states his claims as facts, and expects the reader not to question him (a common failing among religious zealots, who preach that people should accept their teachings with the "innocence of a child" rather than the critical eye of a rationalist).

The only real "evidence" for a billions of years old earth model is the fact that the philosophy of evolution requires it.

YECs like to pretend that geologists, archaeologists, astrophysicists, nuclear physicists and many others are the scientific lapdogs of "evolutionists", generating arbitrary age figures for the Earth and the universe (or physical theorems which can be used for age figures) at their beck and call in defiance of the facts. They believe this is done for the sole purpose of lending credibility to evolution theory, as if every other branch of science is subordinate to the grand conspiracy. Not only is this plainly ridiculous from a scientific perspective, but it also ignores the historical fact that creationist geologists were postulating an ancient Earth in the late 18th century, more than half a century before Darwin published "The Origin of Species!" They weren't YECs of course, but what rational person could be? At no time since then has the scientific community seriously entertained any age estimates for the Earth below hundreds of millions of years, yet he acts as though any age estimate greater than 10,000 years is driven by "the philosophy of evolution".

The historical fact is that the foolishness of literal pseudoscientific Bible interpretation was at a low ebb in the 19th century, having been soundly trouced with the round-Earth and heliocentric solar system "heresy" controversies of centuries past. By the time Darwin published "The Origin of Species", geological estimates of the Earth's age already ranged from 100 million to several billion years old, even though radiometric dating wouldn't be invented for another half century. Those estimates were generated entirely by examining rates of erosion, sedimentation, continental drift, etc. The famous Lord Kelvin estimated the Earth's age to be somewhere between 20 million and 100 million years, with an upper limit at 500 million years based on cooling rates (although he didn't know about radiogenic heating which pushed the number dramatically upwards again), yet he was a creationist! Creationism was strong in the 19th century but YEC was not, yet our YEC friend acts as though old Earth theories exist for no other reason than to support evolution!

Estimates of the age of Earth (and the universe) have been based on numerous different methods including radiometric dating, biostratigraphy, projections of geological formation processes and the time required for them to take place, models of the timescales required for formation and cooling of planetary bodies and celestial phenomena, time required for the matter in the universe to move outward from its origin point, distances to faraway stars and galaxies, observed erosion in land masses, analysis of the length of the year as preserved in ancient coral fossils when cross-referenced against the rate of decay in the Earth's rotation, plate tectonics, etc. None of that is remotely related to evolution theory. The fact that it all produces compatible dates is something that YECs refuse to deal with, so they have only two avenues of attack:

  1. Pretend that it's mere coincidence that all of these disparate methods lead to estimates which are repeatable, predictable and consistent.

  2. Pretend it's all a big conspiracy. Everyone's lying to help out the "evolutionists".

No one will take the first explanation seriously, so they usually use the second. They act as if both geology and astrophysics are nothing more than a fraudulent support structure for evolution theory, even though both were established well before "The Origin of Species" was ever published. I'm not surprised by that, but I am surprised that so many people actually think this makes sense. I can only imagine that this can be chalked up to the failure of the education system and the power of religious indoctrination.

They "know" that the solar system is about 4 billion years old -- based on the philosophy of evolution, which means they don't really know that.

This is just a repetition of the earlier strawman attack: he says that the age of the solar system was "based on the philosophy of evolution" even though you won't find the slightest mention of evolution in any of the astrophysical or geological derivations of the age of solar systems or the universe at large. The fields of astrophysics and geology are completely unrelated to evolution theory, and students of either aren't required to study any biology at all.

Creationism has no scientific basis whatsoever, but Young-Earth creationism is even worse. Frankly, it's downright moronic. You need to be totally ignorant of geology, astronomy, physics, and for that matter, simple logic in order to accept the stupidity of young-Earth theories.

Continue to 2. Radiometric Dating

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