How Old?

Evolution theory depends heavily on lots of time — billions of years — for things to occur that are never seen in laboratories. That creates pressure to claim that the Earth and species are extremely old.

The claims of enormous ages are not corroborated by ordinary evidence.

The oldest writing, for example, is only about 5500 years old. The dictionary says that humans have been around for 1.6 million years (see “Geological Time”), yet no writing is older than about 3500 B.C.

How about the age of the oldest trees, the ever-living sequoias? The oldest sequoia is only about 6000 years old.

How about human bones? No old examples of those either. The age of human bones are rarely claimed to be older than about 10,000 years, even though evolutionists insist humans have existed for much longer.

Spring water is easily dated, and water companies publicize old ages to demonstrate purity. An old earth would include spring water that is hundreds of thousands, or millions, of years old. Nope — the advertised age of the oldest (and hence purest) spring water is only several thousand years. The advertised ages are all remarkably similar, in fact.

Well, what about mountains? Haven’t they been around for billions of years? No, even evolutionists admit that mountains are much younger, because they often contain marine fossils. Either there was a global flood with the mountains in their current position, or they were flat and magically arose from the Earth after the marine fossils were deposited. Evolution theory opts for the latter, in order to continue denying the occurrence of a global flood.

But mountains erode quickly. Mountains are eroding at such a fast rate that they would lose 90% of their height in 20 million years. According to the Cincinnati Post (12/7/01), scientists are baffled about this contradiction between mountains’ alleged old age and their rapid erosion.

How Age Estimates Are Really Done.

Sensationalism sells, so that is what he hear from pseudo-scientific magazines promoting evolution. A find of some chicken scratches on a rock wall are quickly followed by exaggerated speculation that they are tens of thousands of years old. Nothing sells newspapers and magazines better than headlines like “history is being made” or a “record was broken.” The real details inside rarely support the eye-catching headlines.

Frauds are rampant in this field. For example, a year and a half ago, a reporter quietly hid video cameras among the ruins of a Japanese dig site. On October 22, 2000, the cameras recorded the following:

“Shots taken Oct. 22 show [Renowned Japanese archeologist Shinichi Fujimura] driving up at 6:18 a.m., looking around furtively and removing a plastic bag from his pocket. He then digs several holes, buries stoneware and stamps the dirt down for ‘discovery’ later when his colleagues are presumably around to witness the find.” “Japan Amazed as Archeologist’s Magic Exposed as Sleight of Hand,” November 9, 2000, Page A-1, Los Angeles Times, by Mark Magnier.

The LA Times article continued: “Most of the ‘proof’ for discoveries is determined by the age of the soil in which the items are found. Fujimura simply buried newer items in older soil. And archeology here is a gentlemen’s game. It’s considered offensive to challenge fellow experts directly or demand that their findings be scientifically analyzed.”

The Fujimura fraud occurred because of the way artifacts are dated: by dating the soil in which the artifacts are found, rather than dating the artifacts themselves. This was the same flaw in the initial dating of the fraudulent Piltdown Man, allegedly much older than it really was. Note that a newspaper, not evolutionists, uncovered the above fraud.

We occasionally hear claims that cave drawings are 30,000 or more years old. Many, imitating National Enquirer readers, rush out to buy magazines that make the sensational assertions.

The date estimates for drawings are typically done, if at all, by finding some old material in the vicinity and running some tests on it rather than the artifact itself. This process does not demonstrate the age of the real artifact or drawings.

The methodology and claims of evolution theory are unusually susceptible to fraud, in contrast to real scientific inquiries. From the examples above to the fake dinosaur-bird fossil published in National Geographic, rarely does a year go by without discovery of another fraud in the field of evolution.

Flaws in Sincere Estimates.

There are sincere estimates of age, and it is worth examining their assumptions and weaknesses.

Most current scientific dating techniques, including the popular Carbon-14 test, estimate the age of material by measuring the amount of a key element in it. The accuracy of these techniques is based on three basic assumptions:

(i) we somehow know the initial level of the element in the material;

(ii) there has been no contamination affecting that level over time; and

(iii) rates of decay of the key element have been forever constant.

There is no way to confirm the validity of these assumptions. They can only be accepted as a matter of faith. Conclusions based on these assumptions are no more valid than the assumptions themselves, which are dubious at best.

Science magazine ran a story (6/29/01) about how carbon dating estimates depend on a constant ratio throughout history of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere. That assumption has not withstood scrutiny. Scientists now think there have been extremely large variations in this ratio.

Also, the assumption that the rate of decay of a given element has always been constant is likely to be false. Physicists now concede that laws and constants were different earlier in time. Near the origin of the universe, many physical laws broke down entirely due to quantum mechanical considerations. In addition, a recent experiment confirmed that physical constants change over time. Indeed, there is no reason to expect otherwise.

Errors in Dating Estimates.

There have been numerous errors in dating estimates. Some are comical.

In a report published in the Physiology of Forest Trees (1958), scientists dated wood cut out of living and growing trees. Although dead for only a few days, the scientists estimated its age at 10,000 years old.

In a report published in the Antarctic Journal of the U.S. (1971), freshly killed seals were dated as having an age of an astounding 1300 years. Other seals which could not have been dead more than about 30 years were estimated to have an age of 4600 years.


Age estimates more than a few thousand years are speculative, and are based on untested assumptions. They are generally not subject to falsification, and hence do not constitute real science.