The ArgumentPeople ask me why I think the earth is less than 7,000 years old when it “looks” so old. Foundationally the reason I think it looks less than 7,000 years old is because that is what the Bible tells me. But, I often answer the question by saying, “well, yes 7,000 years is really pretty old. It is after all nearly 100 human lifetimes old.”

They usually respond, “but doesn’t it look billions of years old?”

My answer to that is that the only reason they would consider the earth to be older than, say, 7,000 years is because they have accepted the word of various deep-time authority figures. In addition, when I look at the surface of the earth, especially from an airplane, what it looks like to me is a surface that has experienced massive flooding.

Let’s consider in more detail the biblical creationist versus the secular differences in worldview regarding how old the earth “looks.” If you divide 4,600,000,000 years (the current secular age for the earth) by 7,000 years the result if rounded is 657,143. So, the secular deep-time view is almost 700,000 times longer than the biblical view. I think we can all agree that is a substantial difference in viewpoints.

The evolutionary view is that the crust of the earth has seen at least 4 1/2 billion years of working that can be seen through various erosional sections through the crust as well as via special deep drilling operations. On the other hand, the biblical creationist interpretataion is that what we see is mostly the result of the Genesis Flood at the time of Noah about 4,500 years ago. In this problem the old age divided by the biblical age is an even one million! 

Most people can relate to distance better than to time when we are talking about large numbers. For example, we can comprehend the distance of a mile from our experiences of walking and 1,000 miles from our experiences traveling in cars, buses, trains and planes. So, think about this: The distance from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida by automobile is about 3,320 miles. That distance is one million times longer than 17.5 feet. So to comprehend just how different the two interpretations are (regarding how old the earth looks), compare walking across your living room to driving from Seattle to Miami. You can walk across your room in just seconds, while most people would take over a week to drive from Seattle to Miami. We can see here that the two worldview interpretations are not possible to reconcile on this point of the age of the earth!

Biblical creationists believe the Bible is true and there is no doubt there was a global Flood. Deep time proponents, whether theistic or atheistic, cannot accept the global Flood. Logically, if there was a global Flood as described in the book of Genesis, then what we see on the surface of the earth can easily be interpreted as a result of that event. So, deep-time believers cannot accept the biblical cataclysm no matter the evidence, and instead cling to uniformitarianism to explain surface features of the earth.

In some cases this secular worldview results in the rejection of the Creator God. In other cases it is the result of having previously rejected the Creator God. Even theists will have rejected the Word of the Creator God, so this is a very serious matter.

[Radiometric DatingAnother thing often brought up during these discussions of how old the earth “looks” is radiometric dating. These same authority figures I mentioned earlier have often convinced many that these methods have scientifically proven that the earth is billions of years old. There are some important facts to keep in mind about radiometric dating at the bottom of this article if you are interested.]

So, biblical creationists have what they believe to be a valid historical document to limit the age of the earth. Secular evolutionists have the doubtful speculations of men previously described.

Next, just how old do geologic features really “look?” Consider these three famous locations in the United States, Grand Canyon in Arizona, Monument Valley on the border of Utah and Arizona and Arches National Park in Utah.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon looks to me like a cut through numerous layers of sediments that were laid down rapidly similar to those layers that resulted from the eruptions at Mount St. Helens. It looks like the main canyon and the side canyons were cut fairly recently (say about 4,500 years ago) because of how vertical the canyon walls are and how little talus exists at their bases. This cutting action looks like it happened rapidly and forcefully because the material that was eroded away can only be found in the Pacific Ocean. The Grand Canyon looks to be the result of lots of water over a short period of time, not a little water over millions of years. The Colorado River looks to be the result of the existence of the canyon not the maker of the canyon over millions of years.

Grand Canyon wall
Grand Canyon wall
Grand Canyon wall
Monument Valley







Monument Valley has numerous beautiful buttes, mesas and spires which have resulted in its name. North of Monument Valley in an area called The Valley of the Gods, are many more of these sandstone geologic formations. In these areas there are no year-long rapidly flowing water courses in existence to cause the obvious massive erosion that has left the monuments. It looks to me like the buttes, mesas and spires are left over from a massive ancient Flood where the softer materials were quickly eroded and washed out to the ocean basin. And, like with the Grand Canyon, there is not enough talus at the bases of the formations to indicate millions of years of slow erosion. I think it looks like most of the talus was formed not long after the Flood and that the rate of talus formation is slower today than it orginally was. The global Flood 4,500 years ago certainly looks to me to be the best explanation for what we see at Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods.

Formation at Valley of the Gods
Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Arches National Park

According to the National Park Service there are over 2,000 catalogued sculptured stone arches in Arches National Park that were formed over a period of 100 million years. Other sources say that these arches currently collapse at a rate of several a century. Some say as many as 100 a century collapse. If it is only a few a century, the deep-time interpretation cannot be true because there would be no arches left standing. Simple arithmetic provides us with this conclusion.

So it looks to me that these arches were in large part formed by massive amounts of water in a short period of time acting on the sediments while they were relatively softer than they now are. While erosion still continues in this arid Utah landscape it is at a much slower rate than when the sediments were first laid down 4,500 years ago.

With biblical presuppositions it is easy to “see” that while these geological features are “old” they are thousands not millions or billions of years old.

Arches National Park

*Radiometric Dating:

  • The radiometric dating methods are based upon unproved and scientifically unprovable assumptions about the past.
  • Radiometric dating methods for millions or billions of years cannot be directly used for fossils because these methods are not applicable to the sedimentary rock layers wherein fossils are found. These methods are applicable to igneous, not sedimentary rocks.
  • Secular paleontologists seldom use radiometric methods to establish the age of fossils. Usually they use index fossils and fossil correlation instead, since they have found that radiometrically determined dates usually do not match up to the expected already “established” dates for the fossils. Of course, creationists have no reason to trust these methods as useful for dating rocks.
  • The results for various radiometric methods do not match each other and never match up to the known ages of igneous rocks. For example, the igneous rocks that resulted from the 1980s eruptions of Mount St. Helens in Washington State were radiometrically dated to be many orders of magnitude older than their actual age.
  • The highly speculative ideas of uniformitarianism, evolution, and millions of years were well established long before any of the radiometric methods were developed. As the radiometric methods were developed they were forced to fit within the pre-existent secular long-ages paradigm.
  • Many uniformitarian dating methods, including radiocarbon dating, indicate the earth is much younger than millions of years. A number of these methods indicate the earth is less than 10,000 years of age. All of the methods that indicate a young earth are philosophically, not scientifically, rejected by secularists and others who accept naturalism and an old-earth view.
  • Dinosaur and other vertebrate fossils have been recovered with original soft tissue inside the bones. Secular science has no logical explanation for how this soft tissue could last even one million years, let along the up to 65 million years generally accepted by evolutionists for the age of this material.

*The material above about radiometric dating is from my book, Guidebook to North American Dinosaurs According to Created Kinds.

J.D. Mitchell

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