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Age of Earth?





Jakob [JaWGames]
According to scientists earth is about 4,5 billion years. According to Christians it is about 6000 years old. Which is correct?
Logically the scientists have the correct answer but I recently this video which points out some lacks of the scientist view:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gs8HlJIP7AM

So, can you confronts his statements in a scientistic way? Or, however how ridiculous it sounds, does he have the correct opinion?

(I put it in the Science forum and not the religious because of that I want scientistic answers, not agrees.)
turbowolf
We all know that the age of earth is far more than 4-5 thousand years. So it's nothing for us to discuss. Just believe science, not religion.
newolder
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/04/18/science-fossil-tree.html

Shows that trees have been around for ~385 million years.

Radioactive decay processes show the Solar system ~4.5 billion years (give or take a few hundred million years).

The 'oldest star' (easy google) is ~13.2 billion years old and will continue to 'shovel on the coals' for a few billion years more.

6000 years is based on falsifiable belief systems. Rolling Eyes
Jakob [JaWGames]
turbowolf wrote:
We all know that the age of earth is far more than 4-5 thousand years. So it's nothing for us to discuss. Just believe science, not religion.

Indeed, but it is nevertheless some interesting statements he comes with. If his statements not are true, can you point out his errors?

newolder wrote:
6000 years is based on falsifiable belief systems.

Yes, it is. But for example, can you explain what he says about if that sun burns that amount hydrogen in one second and it's billions of years old, then would it have been huge and swallowed earth in the beginning?

I am not trying to convince someone with this video, I am trying to get good arguments against his points.
sonicj
turbowolf wrote:
We all know that the age of earth is far more than 4-5 thousand years. So it's nothing for us to discuss. Just believe science, not religion.


There was a time when some "scientists" believed the world to be flat. I find it rather silly to come to the conclusion that because some scientists thought the world was flat that I should discount all science. The same goes for religion.
Tumbleweed
He uses rates of erosion as if they were set in the stone they are eroding, there are many factors that would and have changed all the rates he uses as measures, Glaciation for example
newolder
Jakob [JaWGames] wrote:
...
newolder wrote:
6000 years is based on falsifiable belief systems.

Yes, it is. But for example, can you explain what he says about if that sun burns that amount hydrogen in one second and it's billions of years old, then would it have been huge and swallowed earth in the beginning?

I am not trying to convince someone with this video, I am trying to get good arguments against his points.


No promble: http://www.astronomynotes.com/solfluf/s11.htm Cool
turbowolf
When sun is brought to birth, Earth still don't exist. Scientist always make mistake. But I would like to believe scientists rather than religious believers. This is because scientists will acknowledge their mistake if they really make one. On the other way, religious believers never acknowledge the mistakes in their bible. ^_^

Jakob [JaWGames] wrote:
turbowolf wrote:
We all know that the age of earth is far more than 4-5 thousand years. So it's nothing for us to discuss. Just believe science, not religion.

Indeed, but it is nevertheless some interesting statements he comes with. If his statements not are true, can you point out his errors?

newolder wrote:
6000 years is based on falsifiable belief systems.

Yes, it is. But for example, can you explain what he says about if that sun burns that amount hydrogen in one second and it's billions of years old, then would it have been huge and swallowed earth in the beginning?

I am not trying to convince someone with this video, I am trying to get good arguments against his points.
Psycho_X52
Jakob [JaWGames] wrote:
According to Christians it is about 6000 years old.


"Where exactly in the Bible says 6000 years?"
4000+2000=6000 ?! wt?!
Man some people read a lot of books but still don't understand a thing. I don't want to get into religion, but for God time isn't relevant, so those 6 days of creation where the equivalent of....maybe more than 3mil years (since many like to work with numbers). D’oh.
Jakob [JaWGames]
Psycho_X52 wrote:
Jakob [JaWGames] wrote:
According to Christians it is about 6000 years old.


"Where exactly in the Bible says 6000 years?"
4000+2000=6000 ?! wt?!
Man some people read a lot of books but still don't understand a thing. I don't want to get into religion, but for God time isn't relevant, so those 6 days of creation where the equivalent of....maybe more than 3mil years (since many like to work with numbers). D’oh.

They first count the years from Adam to Jesus which according to the bible is about 4000 years and then counts the years from Jesus to today, 2000 years. It have nothing to do with gods view on time.
Gagnar The Unruly
Is there any particlar statement you are insterested in? If you asked a specific question it would save us all from having to view that file.
Jakob [JaWGames]
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Is there any particlar statement you are insterested in? If you asked a specific question it would save us all from having to view that file.

Yes, thats true.. Smile

The one I'm most interested about is the one about the sun. According to him the sun burns 5 million tons of hydrogene every second which probably is correct. According to the scientists suns age is about 6 billion years. Then he states that if sun have existet for that long it would have swallowed earth only a few million years ago. This would mean that neither earth or sun could be billions of years old. I think that the error in this one lies in how he estimates the size of sun but I can't confirm it.

Another interesting statement is about moondust. According to him the scientists believed that moon would have collected dust for million or billions of years before the first astronauts landed on moon which means that when they landed they would have sink deep into the dust on the moon. When they realised that they had wrong they estimated for how long the moon would have been collected dust and come with the answer about 6000 years.

Yet another statement is also about the moon. The moon is moving away from earth in a certain speed. According to him it can't have done that for very long because of that it have been moving from the earth for a very long time. If it would have done that the tides affected by the moon would have been many times bigger than they are today for millions of years ago. This would have made the earth flood repetly and therefore life on land would not have been able to exist.

Some interesting statements which it would have been interesting to have answered.
newolder
Jakob,

The sums are easy enough.

The current Solar mass is ~ 2x10^30 kg and 'burning' (H to He) at 5x10^9 kilogrammes per second (your reference).

2x10^30/(5x10^9x60x60x24x365.25) ~ 3.2x10^12 years.

Sol has and will continue to shine from ~1/2 a degree circle on the sky (at Earth orbit distance) for many billions of years, eating only comets* and other stray debris as it wanders around the galactic centre. Unless something emerges from the chaos to stop it. e.g. the blast from eta Carinae's next pop or an interaction with a tachyon, or some such.

Hope this helps.

* http://ares.nrl.navy.mil/sungrazer/
mattyj
If christians are right and the earth is 6000 years old - Why is there no mention of Dinosaurs in the bible? Laughing
coolclay
No one can ever know for sure how old the Earth is. Maybe it is 6,000, maybe several million. Does it matter?
Bikerman
coolclay wrote:
No one can ever know for sure how old the Earth is. Maybe it is 6,000, maybe several million. Does it matter?

This is an example of about 5 different logical fallacies rolled into one hugely wrong statement.

I'll explain why very clearly so you are in no doubt...

The key point is that :
Being unsure about an exact value does not mean that all values are therefore possible.

There is a level of uncertainty in any reading and this is properly expressed as a range of error or 'error bar'. This is completely standard science and is the way all 'real world' measurements are used in calculations. The result of such calculations will not be an exact figure, it will be a figure plus or minus the error range. The answer DEFINITELY lies within the error range and, to that extent, the answer is exact and correct.

What YOU have done is equated uncertainty or error range with complete ignorance. That is a silly and completely fallacious line of argument. It is easy to demonstrate just how daft by using another measurement - your height.

How tall are you?
You cannot actually tell me exactly, because your height changes over the day.
If we therefore apply your reasoning we can now say: nobody knows exactly how tall you are so you could be 2 inches high or 267 feet high.....

The argument is obviously fallacious to the point of being ridiculous.

Inexactitude does not mean complete ignorance. We know the earth is at least 4 billion years from various different techniques which all agree. We also know that it can't be more than about 4.6 billion years because the solar system was not formed before then. We have a range, therefore, which the age lies between. The range does NOT go from 0 to infinity.

The most modern work on the error range I have would seem to give the result as follows: 4.55billion years +/- 0.02 billion years.

That is not certain because nothing is absolutely certain but we rule things out completely once they get beyond a tiny level of probability - we don't, for example, believe that dropping an object will result in it hovering before flying upwards against gravity. There is, however, a finite chance that all the atoms and molecules of air could suddenly group under the object and force it upwards, against gravity. The probabilities of this happening are mindbogglingly small, though, so we don't really admit that it is possible at all.

By the same token - though obviously to a lesser degree - we rule out the age of the Earth being 6000 years because the probability is so low it is ridiculous to even think about it. We have records of civilisations from before that time, not to mention astronomical cosmological evidence and, of course, radio-dating figures which mean that a 6000 year old earth would have to be the biggest organised hoax in the history of history itself.
You would have to treat most rock on the eath to mask it's real age. You would have to falsify historical and archaeological evidence on a massive scale. You would have to change the chemistry of the Sun so that fusion rates varied massively, or temperature went to wild values. You would have to falsify all the rocks on the moon - how do you know which ones the astronauts might pick up otherwise?
You would have to spend a long time burying a consistent and extensive record of bones and other fossils all over the earth. You would have to bend, squash and distort huge areas of geology to hide erosion and weathering, as well as disguising rives beds, hiding sedimentary rock layers and masking crust variations. The only way to do this last bit that I can think of would be to do a complete 'refacing' job on the earth - whip everything off to a depth of around 5-10 miles and resurface the whole planet with materials designed to confuse or hide evidence of age.

All in all, it's a very very very silly suggestion made by very silly or very misguided people and it is really not worthy of a second thought, let alone serious consideration.

So, yes, we do not have a precise age but no, it cannot be 6,000 years old and the suggestion is, frankly as ridiculous as saying that you could be 2 inches high, since both ridiculous figures are a result of the same fallacious reasoning - which is one of the many many such fallacious statements made by supporters of YEC (or in recent times Intelligent Design).

The earth IS NOT 6000 years old, cannot be and the suggestion that it could is not just wrong, it is completely laughable.

Finaly, you ask does it matter.

Yes, I think so. I think knowledge is good for it's own sake - even if apparently useless. But the age of the earth has many practical uses and is important in many different ways.
Firstly we need to get a feel for age if we are to be able to make sensible predictions about the future. If the YECs were correct, for example, we should be looking out for some pretty catastrophic erosion and flooding scenarios happening quite regularly as massive bodies of water gouge out canyons and gullies many many metres deep in about a day or two. This would be quite important knowledge if you were someone working on the land...someone planning dams or water power systems, oceanographers and other 'water specialists' - and the list goes on already so that we can trace any catastrophic phenomena over time and gauge the likelihood of them happening in future.

There are many other reasons that the age of the earth DOES matter but I think these couple of examples should make the point without me having to go through a huge list...
yfan624
i mean, china has histor is over 3000 years, so my estimates is 10000 years. maybe?-
Bikerman
yfan624 wrote:
i mean, china has histor is over 3000 years, so my estimates is 10000 years. maybe?-


What sort of a stupid answer is 10,000 years? How the hell do you arrive at that? Think of a number and double it or something? Sheer gibberish

Bah!

I've already given the answer and there really is no need for more silly guesses
gibbo
i think the earth is alot more older than what the christians say it is if theres been ice ages and stuff which last longer than what the christians say the earth as been existing for.
Bikerman
Sheez, I was obviously wrong. I thought that most people had at least a feeling for the Earth's age and the evidence to support it. I know a few creationists don't (want to) accept it, but I thought pretty much most others had moved well past this issue years ago. It seems I might be wrong. Wow, what a sad indictment of the state of public knowledge of basic science.

OK let me try to put this to bed once and for all. Here is a collection of material which sceptics and anyone else interested can use as a reference guide. Take your time and work through as much as you can and I am sure it will convince anyone who CAN be convinced - ie anyone who has not completely closed their mind to the possibility that science is correct and that the earth IS 4.55 billion years old -not that it MIGHT be that old, or it is PERHAPS that old NO. IT IS that old).

The case for the currently accepted theory that the Earth is 4.55 billion years old (+/- 1%)

General introduction and outline of some of the important evidence
Wikki on the same sort of thing
Radiometric dating - an introduction to it's use here
IPS statement on the matter
A dialogue between C. Gordon Winder(CGW) and Rev. Robert S. Geddes(RSG) on the issue

Now a more comprehensive treatment of the issue in many chapters and some depth by the 'evolution facts' site.

Origin of the stars
Origin of the Solar System
The Creator’s Handiwork - Matter
Origin of the Earth (1/2)
Origin of the Earth (2/2)
Appendices and comment on the above

The dissenters. 1. The Young Earth Creationist view
(this view is shared by other creationists and by many who now call themselves advocates of 'Intelligent Design').[/i]

Some background on YECs

There is no actual scientific evidence to support the YEC view. Their support is openly acknowledged by many of them to be the writings contained in one collection of old books - the Torah (Jewish Bible) which Christians mostly know as the Old Testament. Specifically YECs believe that GENESIS is literal truth from Adam, through Noah's flood and to the present. I really did try to put a scientific case together in support but it's not possible without being very misleading and twisting words and statements - I refuse to do so, but I want to give them fair treatment so if you want to understand why YECs believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old, then reading Genesis from the Torah is the best supporting evidence for their case I can suggest. Here are the first 6 chapters (The creation through to the great flood).

Genesis 1
Genesis 2
Genesis 3
Genesis 4
Genesis 5
Genesis 6

(You can follow the links on the site and read the rest if you are so inclined - I've done so many times and don't want to sit through it again right now).

So that is the first and most vocal case against - I'm not going to comment at all on this 'evidence' because if you believe it to be true, then I'm willing to bet that
a) you probably haven't read my earlier links anyway and
b) you are, frankly, not going to believe anything I can tell you

so let's not waste each other's time.[/b]

If any YECs out there are still reading, and you want to post some real evidence in support of your position, then I will be happy to read it and point out why it is wrong scientifically and HERE'S A CHALLENGE! If I cannot refute your material within an hour then you can immediately have all my FRIH$ (about 1750)[/size]. Obviously the material must be based in truth, not fiction or anecdote - it has to be testable and make the case or support the case that the earth is somewhere less than 10,000 years
(hell - I'll be generous...make a case for less than 1 million years and I'll still honour my pledge above).

Other opponents - Old Earth Creationism and other religious objections.

Old Earth Creationism
The Hindu doctrine (from the Puranas)
Jewish teaching on the matter presented by an orthodox Rabbi

There really isn't any scientifically credible evidence to support a view that the Earth is significantly younger than theory says, and I try to avoid publishing links to propagandist distortion or religious faith dressed as science as a matter of routine. I am stuck, though, since this would almost certainly be interpreted by some people as a deliberately unfair and biased treatment of the opposition case. It isn't, I promise I tried to find some good science to support their views, but I can't. I really MUST, however, present some argument for their case.
Very reluctantly I am going to break one of my own guiding rules, and I am going to publish a link to a site which claims to have evidence for a young earth. In fact this is probably the most convincing material that the YECs could muster so you should get a fair picture. I urge you to try and at least consider that I am right when I say that this is mostly junk-science, pseudo-science and, plain non-science. I don't expect you to accept my word for it so I hope the more gullible, vulnerable, scientifically challenged or overly trusting people out there will treat this link with caution. If in doubt, don't click it at all.
(Those with a healthy level of sceptical thought and a reasonable background of basic science might, however, like to treat this as an exercise in critical thinking and analysis - see how many howlers you can find. (I will also point out here that many contributors on this site are....supporters of Intelligent Design. This adds support to an earlier claim I made. I knew the claim was right since I have debated many of these people over many years - but scepticism can AND SHOULD work both ways - so here is some evidence for my claim).
The Answers In Genesis religious site offers a 'rebuttal' to the theory of the Earth's age and, in so doing, to most of the rest of modern science as well.

I must repeat again - If you think any of that, above, is scientifically credible, then I urge you to take council with the wise quickly. Find someone you trust and who knows at least some basic science, and ask them to show you why it is pseudo-scientific nonsense.

and finally, to cheer myself up, and get the nasty taste out of my mouth, here some humour to finish....

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster speak up about Creation

(the link above contains spoof material so anyone with an irony bypass will probably be best advised to avoid this link)
bloodrider
Jakob [JaWGames] wrote:
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
Is there any particlar statement you are insterested in? If you asked a specific question it would save us all from having to view that file.

Yes, thats true.. Smile

The one I'm most interested about is the one about the sun. According to him the sun burns 5 million tons of hydrogene every second which probably is correct. According to the scientists suns age is about 6 billion years. Then he states that if sun have existet for that long it would have swallowed earth only a few million years ago. This would mean that neither earth or sun could be billions of years old. I think that the error in this one lies in how he estimates the size of sun but I can't confirm it.

Another interesting statement is about moondust. According to him the scientists believed that moon would have collected dust for million or billions of years before the first astronauts landed on moon which means that when they landed they would have sink deep into the dust on the moon. When they realised that they had wrong they estimated for how long the moon would have been collected dust and come with the answer about 6000 years.

Yet another statement is also about the moon. The moon is moving away from earth in a certain speed. According to him it can't have done that for very long because of that it have been moving from the earth for a very long time. If it would have done that the tides affected by the moon would have been many times bigger than they are today for millions of years ago. This would have made the earth flood repetly and therefore life on land would not have been able to exist.

Some interesting statements which it would have been interesting to have answered.


1st--- To confirm it, google star evolution.

2nd--- Scientist believed that? Scientist from 18 century? lol
I can't believe a scientist would affirm that!
"Everyone" knows that the moon has a low gravity force, so if something (like a meteorite) interfere, the dust will probably go to the space. The last known impact was on 1953, so, the moon is 54 years old? lol

3rd--- So the moon born inside Earth?...


That guy should have done his homework before he had open his mouth Evil or Very Mad
Anyway, Bikerman explained everything very well Exclamation
mattyj
Yes bikerman explained it all very well, and anyone that thinks the earth is 6,000 years old, can i have some of what youre smokin? Wink
Ennex
Yeah the actual date is a debatable subject, some say up to 4 million years ago, some way 400 million, and then you get those fundamentalists who believe it's between 2 and 8 thousand years old.

It's hard to be certain but i believe it's far older then the fundamentalists think lol

You'd really have to be a hardcore christian (or some other religion) to believe its only 2 thousand years old...seriously, just because you don't understand how it happened, or don't entirely know, GOD IS NOT ANSWER TO EVERYTHING...not stepping on anyones toes but the bible is spoken in metaphors not actual scientific grounds.


Ennex
Gagnar The Unruly
The actual date may be debatable, but not within the range you suggest. There's no legitimate scientific argument suggesting the Earth is younger than about 3.5 billion years old.
Bikerman
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
The actual date may be debatable, but not within the range you suggest. There's no legitimate scientific argument suggesting the Earth is younger than about 3.5 billion years old.


I have to agree. When I started to look for evidence to refute myself I ended up almost snatching at straws in order to find *anything* which was at least plausible. I found nothing I'd want to read, let alone suggest others read. I'm fairly happy to stick to the +/-1 % mark at the moment...the Royal Society, UD Geological survey and others in the know seem to be sanguine about this tight error bounds and I've seen nothing that would lead me to doubt their confidence. The issue seem all to take that range as standard and until I find something credible I'll stick with that one.
Certainly anyone making extraordinary claims (by which I would mean anything more than a few hundred million years from the median age I quoted as being 4.55 by, has to show some seriously good data before I'll even think they might have a point. I'd want to see multiple samples from unimpeachable sources before considering a drastic revision of the stated dates...

Anyone making claims in the high millions or less hasn't got a clue and is clearly basing it on a dogmatic belief and no scientific evidence at all... any less that that would seem to me to be so silly that I probably wouldn't want to get too close lest whatever thay have is possibly catching...

The evidence actually isn't strong, like I said in an ealier thread. Strong is actually too mealy-mouthed in this case. It's somewhere between overwheliming and conclusive.

How far could I stretch??
We have to come up from 4 billion as non negotiable (upwards) if we accept Pb/Pb dating as accurate within the stated tolerances, since the earliest rock found is around the 4 billion year mark and if we accept the stated tolerances for Oxygen isotope analysis and the experimental technique of Auzzi Simon Wilde we can push that back even further. He is claiming 4.4 Billion for a small zircon crystal found in WA.
The techniques used are beyond my understanding (he used combinations of rare-earth element analysis, radio-dating, oxygen isotope ratio analysis and a few other techniques I don't even think I've heard of. That is what settled me on the 1% error range as credible in the end because if we have terrestrial rocks from that epoch then I can't see how any sort of case can be made for a younger formation of the planet - certainly not and still remain credible...
You also have to consider the data correlations between the different sources doing different analyses on different indicators..It's actually quite remarkable how consistent the data is and how little variance there is between comparable techniques.

Nope, all in all I'm happy to hang-tough on that upper limit of error and I think less than 4.2by is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary data.
As regards the lower limit. of the error range, to my mind, this is fixed best by the meteorite bottom limits found to date. Here again there is remarkably tight clustering :

Description.....................Technique.................Age (in billions of years)


Juvinas (achondrite)....................................Mineral isochron..................................4.60 +- 0.07
Allende (carbonaceous chondrite)..................Mixed isochron4.....................................4.5 - 4.7
Colomera (silicon inclusion, iron met.)...........Mineral isochron.................................4.61 +- 0.04
Enstatite chondrites...................................Whole-rock isochron .............................4.54 +- 0.13
Enstatite chondrites......................................Mineral isochron.................................4.56 +- 0.15
Carbonaceous chondrites...........................Whole-rock isochron..............................4.69 +- 0.14
Amphoterite chondrites.............................Whole-rock isochron...............................4.56 +- 0.15
Bronzite chondrites...................................Whole-rock isochron...............................4.69 +- 0.14
Hypersthene chondrites.............................Whole-rock isochron..............................4.48 +- 0.14
Krahenberg (amphoterite)............................Mineral isochron...................................4.70 +- 0.1
Norton County (achondrite)...........................Mineral isochron....................................4.7 +- .1


Anything older than 4.8 would seem to me an exatraordinary claim, once again requiring some extraordinary evidence....

I'm certainly no geologist but the evidence to me seems pretty conclusive and certainly is not going to be horribly wrong (by which I mean more than a few tens of millions of years - I don't believe the error could even be as much as 100 million years given the ranges of data I've been looking through.
Gagnar The Unruly
Then I made a mistake, my post should've read: "4.5 billion years."
socialoutcast
Interesting that we can calculate the age of the Earth. However, it seems that a margin of error of 1% seems kind of high statistically speaking. Is that much room for error good enough for science? It seems that that science would try to be as precise as possible.
newolder
socialoutcast,

Hi. The idea of precision does not exist in experimental science. Instead, the accuracy to which an observed estimate of a number is always given: indeed, it's part of the scientific method. The sources of inaccuracy are two-fold: systematic (due to faulty equipment e.g. the HST before COSTAR was fitted) and random or sampling error: one can read a millimetre grid-scale to about 1/2 of 1 mm so the inaccuracy in any measurement with a single such rule is + or - 0.5 mm. That only increases if the observer must move the ruler to finalise a measurement. Rolling Eyes

Similarly with the time constants for radioactive decay...

Anna Frebel et al* use three (or more) radioactive chronologies to age stellar populations and have discovered a star: HE1523-0901, that is 13.2 + or - 0.7 billion years old in the Milky Way galaxy. Now, 7 parts in 132 is about 5% accuracy. Which means that if you, socialoutcast, i or anyone else made the same observations on data from that star, we would arrive at the same answer.

Repeatable stuff, science. Precisely. Smile

* http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0703/0703414v1.pdf
Bikerman
SocialOutcast
The answer to your question : I can't really do better than Ed's reply above, so I'll just add an exemplar..
How tall are you?
What level of precision do you think the question requires?
Would 1% be OK ?

Would 1% be OK if I maintain that you are 2ft tall? Or 26ft tall ?

Enough said?
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