FWC School of Apologetics An in-depth program that aims to equip believers to give answers for why they believe what they believe Each class you take is worth one credit Credits build up to certificates Bronze Certificate in Biblical Apologetics - 5 Credits Silver Certificate in Biblical Apologetics - 10 Credits Gold Certificate in Biblical Apologetics - 15 Credits Platinum Certificate in Biblical Apologetics - 20 Credits
Certificates will be distributed (and those who’ve earned them will be recognized) at our annual apologetic conference Classes related to the one you are taking today Scientific Apologetics (Creation vs. Evolution) Biblical Astronomy The age of the earth Biological evolution Creation & the Flood Biblical interpretations of Genesis 1-11 Students are graded, but it does not require out of class work (Except memorizing a verse)
Session 1 – Introduction to Age of the Earth & Pt.1 of Radioactive decay Why look at this topic? The Bible takes a stance on it • Exodus 20:11 “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” If we assume that Adam was created on a literal day six of creation, we come to the conclusion that the earth is young (even if you want to push it 10-20,000 years ago)
If this is true, it would disprove: Secular and naturalistic understandings of the origin and evolution of the universe, and the origins and understand of how life came about While important, this should not be a divisive issue within the church In this class we will not touch on astronomy or biological evolution, but only the age of the earth itself (and immediate surroundings)
Most people reject the idea of a young earth without actually looking at the evidence Many reject it because the majority of scientists believe the earth is billions of years old You must understand the different mindset going into the topic! Secular scientists only allow themselves to function and assume purely natural phenomenon, nothing supernatural can come into the equation
If you believe that God created the universe, and that it didn’t have to come about from purely natural forces, the future of your universe (from it’s starting point) can be different Realize that the majority of scientists have been wrong throughout history about different topics, and it’s not impossible for that to happen again Demythologize scholarship and “scientists” a bit, realize that there are some things that you can look at and make decisions on yourself
There are essential elements to the young earth framework that we have to keep in mind The flood is the most essential element to explaining how the earth can be young with several things that on the surface make it look old.
We will start this class addressing the best evidence for an old earth Radioactive dating Understanding how radioactive decay works is essential to understanding the dating method There are three types of radioactive decay: Alpha Beta Gamma
Alpha Decay Many forms of radioactive dating methods use the alpha decay method to derive dates
Gamma Decay Gamma radiation has it’s importance in our world, but is not used for radioactive dating
An hourglass is a useful illustration to help us understand the basic concept On the top you have the parent Isotope (element) that is involved in the decay O the bottom you have the daughter isotope of the parent
The next crucial piece of information that give radioactive dating the ability it has is the existence of half lives Radioactive elements have half lives! - Measuring the ratio of parent/daughter isotopes is the way radioactive dating works!
Assumptions with radioactive dating Assumption 1 - The amount of parent and daughter isotopes have not been altered by anything except radioactive decay Assumption 2 - When the rock was formed it contained a known amount of the daughter isotope. Assumption 3 – The radioactive decay rate has been constant throughout history
Problem with Carbon dating: Atmosphere level of Carbon 14 has not reached equilibrium Which means the amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere today is rising still Which raises the question, if an object died in a different atmosphere than we have today, and we are comparing it to this atmosphere, how can we expect correct dates?
Does that mean all Carbon-14 dating is inaccurate and false? No! We do have ways to look at the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere up to 2-3,000 years ago, which means back until that point it could be accurate The flood would play a role The Flood would have buried large amounts of carbon from living organisms (plant and animal) to form today’s fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc.).
The amount of fossil fuels indicates there must have been a vastly larger quantity of vegetation in existence prior to the Flood than exists today. This means that the biosphere just prior to the Flood might have had 500 times more carbon in living organisms than today. This would further dilute the amount of 14C and cause the 14C/12C ratio to be much smaller than today. any age estimates using 14C prior to the Flood will give much older dates than the true age. Pre-Flood material would be dated at perhaps ten times the true age.
The rapidly declining magnetic field would also play a role in the formation of C-14 in the atmosphere C-14 forms as we said early from cosmic radiation hitting the atmosphere, but the magnetic field blocks some of the cosmic radiation Since the magnetic field was far stronger in the past, less carbon-14 would have formed which would make dates for material today appear to be much older
Carbon dating is now great evidence for the earth being young Carbon-14 inside a sample becomes undetectable after 100-200k years of decay The problem is, we keep finding C14 in samples supposed to be millions and billions of years old It would be one thing if it happened once, but that’s not what we are seeing
Imagine the surprise when every piece of “ancient” carbon tested has contained measurable quantities of radiocarbon! Pieces of fossilized wood in Oligocene, Eocene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, and Permian rock layers supposedly 32–250 million years old all contain measurable radiocarbon, equivalent to “ages” of 20,700 to 44,700 years
Fossils, coal, oil, natural gas, limestone, marble, and graphite from every Flood-related rock layer—and even some pre-Flood deposits—have all contained measurable quantities of radiocarbon Similarly, carefully sampled pieces of coal from ten U.S. coal beds, ranging from Eocene to Pennsylvanian and supposedly 40–320 million years old, all contained similar radiocarbon levels equivalent to “ages” of 48,000 to 50,000 years
Even fossilized ammonite shells found alongside fossilized wood in a Cretaceous layer, supposedly 112–120 million years old, contained measurable radiocarbon equivalent to “ages” of 36,400 to 48,710 years
But it get’s worse for the Old Earth idea Carbon-14 is found in diamonds too! Creationist and evolutionary geologists agree that diamonds are formed more than 100 miles (161 km) down, deep within the earth’s upper mantle, and do not consist of organic carbon from living things. Explosive volcanoes brought them to the earth’s surface very rapidly in “pipes.”
As the hardest known natural substance, these diamonds are extremely resistant to chemical corrosion and external contamination. This carbon-14 would have been implanted in them when they were formed deep inside the earth, and it could not have come from the earth’s atmosphere. There are even more areas that Carbon-14 is found that we will discuss in other classes
But what will they say to this? The 14C readings in the objects are the result of background radiation in the detector. This shows that the objector doesn’t even understand the method. AMS doesn’t measure radiation but counts atoms. They still maintain that the carbon-14 is “machine background” contaminating all these tested samples.
Among their proposed explanations is that the AMS instruments do not properly reset themselves between sample analyses. But if this were true, why would the instrument find zero atoms when no sample is in it? Another “explanation” says the14C was produced by U-fission (actually it’ cluster decay of radium isotopes that are in the uranium decay chain) This was an excuse proposed for14C in coal
But to explain the observed 14C, then the coal would have to contain 99% uranium, so they would term the sample ‘uranium’ rather than ‘coal’. The last explanation for diamonds specifically: The14C was produced by neutron capture by 14N impurities in the diamonds. But this would generate less than one ten-thousandth of the measured amount even in best case scenarios of normal decay. as Dr Paul Giem points out:
“One can hypothesize that neutrons were once much more plentiful than they are now, and that is why there is so much carbon-14 in our experimental samples. But the number of neutrons required must be over a million times more than those found today, for at least 6,000 years; and every 5,730 years that we put the neutron shower back doubles the number of neutrons required. Every time we halve the duration of the neutron shower we roughly double its required intensity. Eventually the problem becomes insurmountable…
In addition, since nitrogen creates carbon-14 from neutrons 110,000 times more easily than does carbon-13, a sample with 0.000 0091% nitrogen should have twice the carbon-14 content of a sample without any nitrogen. If neutron capture is a significant source of carbon-14 in a given sample, radiocarbon dates should vary wildly with the nitrogen content of the sample. I know of no such data. Perhaps this effect should be looked for by anyone seriously proposing that significant quantities of carbon-14 were produced by nuclear synthesis in situ.”
Carbon dating is the most commonly assumed “evidence” that the earth is old, when in fact it shows that the earth is actually young. Memory Verse 2 Peter 3:3-4: “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”