Congressman Broun and Creation
U.S. House Representative Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, was attacked earlier this month for his strong stand for the biblical model of Creation as opposed to evolution. LiveScience.com painted Congressman Broun as ignorant of the scientific facts, which according to them, prove that the Universe could not be as young as Broun says it is (i.e., “about 9,000 years old,” Pappas, 2012).
According to geochemist Richard Carlson of the Carnegie Institution, the Earth and the rest of the solar system began to solidify between 4.567 and 4.568 billion years ago. What scientific evidence do Broun’s accusers point to in order to prove him wrong? According to LiveScience.com, “This age range is calculated using isotopes, or variants of chemical elements. For the purposes of dating the solar system, researchers use lead and uranium isotopes” (Pappas). The single piece of evidence used to convict Broun of error and substantiate an old Universe is isotope dating.
The problem with this “evidence” is that evolutionary dating methods, such as lead and uranium dating, are riddled with several false assumptions which cannot be conclusively substantiated. Three prominent examples are (1) no daughter element (e.g., lead) existed in the specimen at the beginning of its decay; (2) the specimen being examined constitutes a closed system; and (3) the nuclear decay rate of the elements being measured (e.g., uranium and lead) have remained constant throughout history. All three of these assumptions (and others) are unsustainable and rather presumptuous. In fact, they have been shown to be wrong in many cases, as we have often pointed out over the years at Apologetics Press. Ironically, the geologists intimately familiar with such dating techniques admit that “violations” of the assumptions “are not uncommon” (McDougall and Harrison, 1999, p. 11).
In reality, due to the nature of catastrophic events throughout history—events which violate the uniformitarian principles upon which evolution and its old-Universe contention hinge—the age of the Universe cannot be determined, except through divine revelation. Science simply cannot give a conclusive answer to the question regarding the age of the Earth. It can only yield theories that are based on certain unprovable (and suspect) assumptions. The Creationist contention—that the Earth is relatively young and most of its geologic features are the product of catastrophic events—is perfectly in keeping with the evidence, and in fact, fits the evidence better (cf. DeYoung, 2005). Bottom line: Congressman Broun’s viewpoint is in keeping with the evidence and reason. Bravo, Congressman, for standing up for the Bible and true science.
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
McDougall, Ian and T. Mark Harrison (1999), Geochronology and Thermochronology by the 40Ar/39Ar Method (New York: Oxford University Press), second edition.
Pappas, Stephanie (2012), “Fact Check: What a 9,000-Year-Old Earth Really Looked Like,” LiveScience, http://www.livescience.com/23872-9000-year-old-earth-creationism.html.
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