I promise I’ll write more about dinosaurs soon. For now, let’s talk about how ages are established for their bones. How do we estimate a triceratops skeleton at 68 million years old?
If you remember from Part III, Carbon-14 (C14) dating is only good for dating samples up to about 50,000 years. Dinosaurs are believed to have died out millions of years ago, so routine sampling for Carbon makes no sense to many scientists. After 50,000 -100,000 years, all the Carbon originally in the animal is gone.
These men and women aren’t trying to hide anything by not assessing the C14 levels. Based on their assumptions about the age of the earth (see Truth in the Text Part I), their research methods are sound. They will use a Parent-daughter isotope that decays much slower, allowing ages to be assessed beyond 50,000 years. The Uranium/Potassium isotope is the one of choice, assessing ages into the millions of years. Unfortunately, there isn’t any in the dinosaur bones.
Q: So how do scientists estimate when dinosaurs roamed the earth? Continue reading
How do we reconcile a 6,000 year old earth with all the data showing ancient bones, fossils and rocks at far older ages? I can’t say I ever really questioned it in years past, just assumed God created the earth in an already mature state. Adam, for example, was formed as an adult, and the trees in Eden were mature and fruit bearing. Why not rocks with inherent age? What is that to God?
Lately I’ve been looking into the research, however, and discovering some interesting perspectives. It’s good to question, to search for answers. God’s Word is truth, bottom line, but He doesn’t ask us to believe in a vacuum.
Scientific research relies on assumptions. It has to. There have to be parameters from which to begin hypothesizing. Gravity, for example. Any research on rockets has to assume gravity will continue to fight flight in a predictable and measurable manner. The developer of a new medication has to assume certain chemicals will continue to behave as they have in the past, raising blood pressure, inhibiting infections, etc. These assumptions are based on experimentation that can be observed and reproduced.
When it comes to estimating the age of something formed in the past, assumptions are essential. No one has a time machine. No one can go back and watch it actually occur. This is where the contradictions lie between scientists who believe the earth is billions of years old and those who believe it’s around 6,000 years old. The actual testing isn’t so much a question as are the assumptions the results are based on. Continue reading