How old is the earth?

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How old is the earth?

Post by millipede » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:22 pm

How old is the earth? Does anyone know? Of course not.
I love science. I find it fascinating. I also find it quite flawed. Actually, I don't always even know how flawed it is.
I've been frustrated with the scientific arguments about how old items are, and the world, based on their dating techniques. I've always thought they have to be flawed. I had someone explain to me how carbon dating, for example, works. It's based on the (supposedly) constant breakdown or half life of the carbon atom.
The idea is sound. If something decays at a constant rate, you can sort of use that to measure ages. But, there are flaws to that right away, if you ask me.
First of all... how certain are we that the half life is THAT constant?
According to wikipedia, the half life of carbon is 5,730 years. This means that after 5,730 years, half of the carbon is left... the rest has decayed and is just gone. Over the years I have heard of this method as being SO accurate because the rate of decay is constant.
My first issue/question on this is... how do they KNOW for certain that external forces could not influence the rate of decay? Speed it up or slow it down... Thanks for crime tv shows, I've learned that a human body will decay at varying rates depending on conditions... LOTS of variables there... LOTS. We've had supposed asteroids hit the planet, devastating volcanoes, and the real possibility(what I believe) of a world-wide flood... Any of these events and others could change things... couldn't they?
The fact is, we don't actually know. If you were to date something as 50 million years old, how can you prove it? Besides the dating? Why besides? Because we're basing this accuracy on what we know TODAY, what happens over a certain period of recorded history that in comparison with these "ages", is VERY short.
It is 100% impossible to prove how accurate ANY of these datings are. Unless we somehow pull off time travel and compare something we can physically prove is a certain age based on a real # of years...
If a scientists tests something and proves it's 12 million years old, we're basing this off of one thing... the atoms in the object. How can we be sure, completely sure this method is as reliable as we say it is? I don't think that can be answered satisfactorily as far as I'm concerned.
So... is it possible that these things could be influenced by outside forces that we're not aware of? Can we prove it one way or another? Who knows...
Now what I find more interesting comes next.... I have always thought... if you're basing something on the "half life", wouldn't you eventually basically run out of material to test?
Today I did some looking and found that yes, you would. What's funny to me is that "carbon" dating is still the term that I hear most often... Every argument I've ever heard about how old something was has talked about carbon dating. Turns out, this is not the only method... AND with good reason. Turns out carbon dating is only accurate(at best) to about 50 or 60 thousand years. Actually, according to wikipedia... one page says "58,000 to 62,000" while another page says "only up to about 75,000 years" So, which is it? Either way, I have very often heard people on tv shows and in magazines say "carbon dating puts this at about a million years old..." Were those outright lies? Did they use other methods and just screw up?
It seems that they don't use carbon dating for anything THAT old as it would not be reliable, if testable at all. So, why do I keep hearing scientists use carbon dating as a method?
Kind of odd...

At any rate... as I said, there are other methods. From me, these other methods will fall under the same scrutiny, if not more. I still stand with my observation that, we cannot compare a dated item(something that physically says "this was created on _____ date" or go back in time to physically prove the age) to a newly discovered item. We simply can't hold them side by side and compare the half life of ANY atoms and be THAT certain. We also can't be 100% certain that no physical events have altered the rate of decay(our supposed ice ages and such for instance). I suppose we could test those things... does the rate of decay change in any way if we freeze something? Oh, how would we test that anyway?
The supposedly more accurate methods of dating rely on elements with a MUCH longer half life... One that, I call into question. The decay of uranium to lead...
according to wikipedia...
"The uranium–lead dating method relies on two separate decay chains, the uranium series from 238U to 206Pb, with a half-life of 4.47 billion years and the actinium series from 235U to 207Pb, with a half-life of 704 million years"
Just looking at the shorter time frame there... 704 million years. How did we come up with that number? Can we honestly, accurately determine the half life of something that can survive that long? I understand that decay rates are constant, or at least appear to be. What can we base it on? What items can we PROVE without these dating methods, how old are they? I don't believe we can have too many dated items(without scientific dating, simply historical) more than a few thousand years old. So, we can really only, honestly compare the decay of an atom or isotope to something relatively young... to compare the actual rate of decay. Is the half life of something really 704 million years? Based on the science we know today... perhaps... But can we prove it outside of that evidence? No. We cannot.
Wait a minute... This method of dating is used on... rocks?.. hmm, that brings up other questions for me. How do scientists find a skeleton somewhere and(hey, sometimes it's only ONE bone) determine that it's a new link the chain of evolution and it's 3 million year old? How do they prove that? Obviously, carbon dating is OUT because that doesn't work for such a time frame. So... what would they do? They'd test the rocks and minerals near the body for these other things... as that would prove how old the skeleton is right.... A skull buried near a 3 million year old rock must mean the skull is 3 million years old... right?
oh wait... I see a rock in my yard right now... If I get buried near it today... and I'm found 100 years from now... I wonder what the testing on the rock would suggest my age was. ha.
Eh.. science is good, it's powerful, you can learn a LOT from it. It's also flawed and based on theories... many of which cannot ACTUALLY be proven. But, they're still shoved down our throats as fact.

Not long ago I kind of criticized science just a bit, and how when it comes to space and the age of the universe... they keep making these claims about how old things are... their numbers change all the time... but all the time, they're right and we need to accept it. The fact is, Everything we see in space is SO far away that the light we're actually seeing now isn't even there anymore. In case you don't know what I mean by that... After the sun, the nearest star is more than 4 light years away. What that means is when we look at that star, we're actually seeing the star in the past... 4 years in the past. One light year is how long it takes for light to travel in one year...... So, more than 4 light years away, we're literally seeing the past. When we start talking about objects that are a million light years away... we're seeing something as it was a million years ago. Those objects might not even be there... literally. I do have to wonder how they know just how accurate they are in those measurements... I understand how math works and how a person can calculate angles and such. They measure from different places on earth and different times, etc. Even though I know how precise math can be... when we're talking about a million light years... I do have to wonder if we can be as accurate as we think. To break that down... and to think about how vast that is... There are objects and galaxies that scientists claim are that far away... How far is a million light years?
well the speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. Yes, per second.(a little disappointed that wikipedia and a few others list it as 186,000 even... when measuring such distances, that 282 extra miles per second would make a big difference)
So, light travels 186,282 miles in just one second... (that is, in a vacuum for which space is considered to be)
Times that my 60 seconds in a minute... times 60 minutes in an hour... then 24 hours in a day... then 365.25 days in a year(or do scientists use the rounded figure of 365? We'll use that one)... And you'll find that light can travel 5,874,589,152,000 miles in just ONE year. That's almost 6 TRILLION miles in one year. So... If we're looking at an object that is a million light years away... that's a distance of .... Hmmm... seems my windows calculator will not answer that. Whatever 5,874,589,152,000 times 1,000,000 is. I guess that's easy enough. Just add the 6 zeros to the end of 5,874,589,152,000... that gives us 5,874,589,152,000,000,000 miles. So, some galaxy scientists are looking at is THAT many miles away. One million times more than more than 5 trillion miles. Think about that distance for a minute. Do you think we can measure those distances THAT accurately?
And beyond that... while watching a program on space on the television... while talking about those distances, they also mentioned that they believe there is dark matter out there in space and that this dark matter could distort light... Wait... what? If the light we see it distorted in any way(which, they're not sure of but will still talk like we know what we're doing), what we're seeing isn't accurate anyway... if it's distorted even just a LITTLE... that throws EVERYTHING off.
If I was walking to someone's house 50 miles away using a compass... if I had the exact direction in degrees to go... if I veered from that even just a TINY bit... over that 50 miles... I'd be way off. We're talking about MUCH greater distances with who knows what in between.
And to go further... scientists claim they've seen sugar molecules in a galaxy about that far away. What? I can't see sugar molecules now with my eyes... right in front of me. I know their equipment is great but seeing MOLECULES a million light years away? Hmmm
Anyway... The science and dates and distances and times are always changing. They will say for FACT that the universe is a certain age... a few years later, it's now, for a FACT, a different age.
At any rate...
I once criticized science in this way in less detail and a scientist I know of got a little defensive and suggested that Christians should not criticize the scientific method... that, all science(for him) leads to God anyway.
The reason I am so passionate about these details is... Look at what you've been taught... look at what I just wrote... there's a lot we "know" that is ONLY what we've been taught. The bible calls us sheep and it's not wrong about that. Just like the thoughts I shared about evolution and dating above... people get taught by teachers and just soak it in without question. The reason I'm questioning SO much is because, more people should. The world accepts what society teaches and Christians far too often are no different. More and more Christians are buying into everything they're taught. These "truths" they're taught in schools and in society in general often lead away from what the bible teaches.
And... There's simply not enough REAL evidence to a lot of it.
Beyond that... my biggest question to the scientific community is... Why? Why does it matter.
Bill Nye has publicly said that if you don't teach children that evolution IS FACT, you're hurting them and crippling them for life academically.
HOW? How on earth does that make sense? What benefit is there to believing my oldest ancestors were monkeys? How is my learning, knowledge, and intelligence hindered in any way by doubting such "science"?
This is a big deal to me because these scientific stories/theories are becoming more and more vocal and forceful. There are places in this world where people are not allowed to teach their children that the bible is true and kids are being removed from homes for this. I'm not even talking about 3rd world countries or muslim countries. I'm talking about MODERN societies... and it's a growing trend.
Our schools and government are increasingly taking over what YOUR children MUST learn and accept.
I'm passionate about all of this because I want more people to wake up and stand up for truths. To not sit silently...
More and more Christians are finding their children learning things they don't want... and unless you homeschool, there's nothing you can do about it. Kids are impressionable. You can teach them the truths you know at home but if other things are hammered into them day in and day out everywhere else they go... and the children aren't REALLY taught to seek truth and to question... they WILL be misled. EVEN brilliant people can be misled. Plenty of misinformation is shared and accepted by people in authority. I was taught in elementary school that daddy long legs were the most venomous spider in the world. That was more than 20 years ago and that myth is STILL being shared by millions.
People need to question and learn to use their brains and yes their "guts" as they say. The bible tells us to question things, even test what we learn IN CHURCH against actual scripture. I'm taught things in church that aren't always accurate... The greatest example of this is the catholic church. I'm not sure how a religion started that worshiped Mary and focuses so much on praying to her. The bible says she was blessed among women. Nowhere in the bible, at least none of the ones I have, even HINT at her having any kinds of powers that I might pray to her. In fact, Jesus said that HE was the ONLY way to the Father... NO ONE could approach the Father except by Him. Jesus is THE only way.
But... the catholic church is quite powerful and influential... and millions of Americans do pray to Mary and other "saints" because that's what they've been taught. They've been misled. By people in power, people of knowledge, etc... And these people that are misleading... many of them are not even aware they are doing so. The priest that tells you to say 5 hail mary's is simply telling you what has been taught them... just as the science teacher sharing the "truth" about evolution is only teaching what they've been taught. In either case, more and more people accept it... and, many accept it JUST because others accept it. People DO go with the flow.
MORE and more Christians are accepting everything the world teaches them... This science stuff is a BIG part of that.
I'm not going to say ALL my questions are right. These scientists technically do know a lot more than I do. I'm a simple man. I flunked out of college twice(for lack of caring to put it simply). I don't have degrees or any real training in any of this. I just somehow learned to really question things and not take them as they're given me. To analyze...(sometimes too much, ha)
Kids and grown ups alike... a big scientific organization gets on the tv and says they have PROVEN that this or that happened... the general public, the masses, the majority of people simply says "wow" and believe it just as it's presented.
In fact, our society is raising people up to live like this. To just accept whatever the "norm" is... whatever truth they want you to believe.
Free thinking seems to be fading in this country.
I think I already said this... When I was younger, kids were encouraged to question things. That's actually the very basis of science. Questioning things. You can't have science without questioning things. Seems today the only things that science and society question are Christianity and faith in God... oh, and morals. :/
Anyway... Don't be afraid to question things. I could be further from the truth in all this than I think... But the absolute truth is in all of this "science", evolution, the universe, age of the world... in all of these things, we honestly are dealing with limited information. And, I do wonder why it is SO important for scientists to study and "prove" these things to the public. Why does the scientific community care if MY children are being taught evolution or not? I've asked these questions quite a few times and haven't had anyone give an answer yet. We literally spend billions of dollars proving all this stuff. Space science is interesting, and there's a lot we can learn that would be useful... but, how old the universe is and how big it is and all that info... I can't think of a practical way that's beneficial to us or how we justify the money spent on figuring it out.
Outside of some hidden agendas... I can't think of any reason why it matters if my kids believe we evolved from monkeys or not. I honestly can't think of any reason OTHER than to try and take away from the truth and power of the bible. Hmmmmmm
Sorry this is so long... had lots on my mind and once I get typing, it's difficult to stop sometimes.
In case anyone is interested AND actually read this far... This is on my mind often enough but apparently Bill Nye and some creationist guy debated recently... and, Bill Nye is just a very arrogant and angry person when it comes to these subjects. As I mentioned, I've seen him say that it was harmful to children to not believe in evolution. I just can't figure out why it's that big of a deal that kids be brainwashed that information... information that is flawed at best.
If we don't question these things... more and more will just accept them blindly. And to me, that is going to be harmful to children.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
- Job 12:7

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