We humans share Earth with all other life. We do not own her, we are merely tenants. We originate from her, she nurtures us, feeds us & provides for our needs. It is our responsibility to care for her, not vandalise & destroy what has been created. Otherwise we will eventually face eviction.
Most evidence found points to the Earth having been created 4,540 million years ago. Direct data, in the form of the age of solidified rocks etc. is not available since the planet was in a molten, or semi molten state during its early years. Radiometric dating, of the oldest native rocks found, show it is at least 3,900 million years old.
Dating meteorites provides evidence of a greater age, this only works if it is assumed the Earth formed at the same time as the rest of the Solar System. Care is needed, many meteorites may come from older areas of the Universe. There is considerable co-relation between different measurements, giving some confidence.
Some creationists have arguments in favour of a "young Earth", thus they are dubbed "Young Earthers". One of their many proposals, to explain the radiometric data, is that the rate of radio-active decay was faster years ago. Since they calculate Earth's age using a literal reading of Genesis, the proposal has problems.
An age of only a few thousand years means that man & all current animal species would be around almost immediately after the Earth's creation. The required rate of nuclear decay, around a million times greater than today, would have a dramatic effect on chemical processes, including ours. The Young Earther's claims can be quite persuasive, but they just don't hold water.Faster nuclear fission would also mean faster nuclear fusion. The Sun would have had considerably more energy. Probably sufficient to melt the Earth, or at least roast its inhabitants. Another point is the nature of time. It is obvious that this is directly related to the rate of atomic processes. So if these were a million times faster, time would pass a million times faster. So that means 4.5 thousand million years would take just 4.5 thousand years at today's rate. This exactly counteracts the shorter time scale due to faster atomic activity. So four thousand five hundred million years remains the age of the Earth.
The Biblical flood, in which Noah saved his family, together with animal life, is the subject of some argument. Some consider that it was a local event, covering the area known to middle eastern writers of the time, the region of Mesopotamia. Others take the view that it was a global catastrophy.In any case, the Biblical time scale would mean that dinosaurs were around at that time. The dimensions given for Noah's Arc (450 X 75 X 46 feet) is only large enough to accommodate pairs of each kind if they were young. This may of course have been the case, the Bible account does not say otherwise. There is also the problem of fossilised remains. At no site yet discovered are those for dinosaurs in the same sedimentary layer as any modern animals or man.
To be continued...
A case has been made for a young Universe, this I find interesting. One of the proposals is similiar to one of mine, made for a different reason. Stars have to be a certain minimum size, smaller masses won't have the gravitational force required to start nuclear fusion. Once established they will have a certain minimum light output.
A crude measure of a star's distance can be obtained from its visible brightness. Using this, with other indicators, the most distant stars found are thousands of millions of light years away. So it seems they must be at least that age, for their light to take that long to get here. An explanation put forward is that the speed of light was once faster, this also has problems.
Since the required time scale is only a few thousand years, again man must have been around whilst this change was taking place. All atomic processes are governed by the speed of light, all chemcal processes are governed by the behaviour of the atoms involved. So light speed a million times greater means that man was once living a million times faster. With the best will in the World it is hard to be convinced.
A constantly reducing speed of light is central to my explanation of the distant red shift. Slowing over thousands of millions of years is good physics, simply explaining many observed anomalies. If creationists wish to avoid being beaten in every factual argument they should accept known facts. Genesis is a parable, written for an earlier way of thinking about life. Come on now, no-one believes that camels once passed through needles.
Ockham's Razor debunks much of modern physics & can also defeat Young Earthers in a rational argument. The Bible is a surprisingly accurate historical record as well as a blueprint for life. Translation may be imperfect & the order of old testament books wrong. At leasr one book is missing, Thomas was left out because his contribution was inconvenient. This should change, we live in a more open World than the 5th century.
A modern parallel is the writing out of the record of certain major names in physics. Because their brilliant appraisal of many holes in accepted theory is incovenient. Great men such as Oliver Heaviside, James Fleming & Nikola Tesla. They shaped our technological world, yet are mostly ignored in current writings.
To be continued...
The 21st Century
If global warming continues at its present pace, there will be changes in the world map by mid-century. The north polar ice cap will melt, with serious repercussions for us. The Gulf Stream, the Atlantic conveyor, relies on the ice's cooling effect to provide the return flow. As it goes under the ice it is cooled and drops, joining the south bound return stream.
When the ice is gone this effect will be lost, the Atlantic conveyor will switch off. Without its warming effect, Britain's weather will become similiar to Alaska & Siberia. Being a small island the effect will be worse, especially in winter. Farming will be impractical & our current services will not cope, our economy will collapse.
Water from the Antartic ice cap melting will cause sea the sea level to rise. If all the southern ice melts the rise will be nearly 200 feet, many small islands will disappear. The effect on Britain will be dramatic, lowlands will be inundated, most of London will be flooded. The Nederlands will be hard hit, much is already below sea level.
There is however almost no chance of this happening, Antartic temperatures are a long way below freezing, the predicted temperature rise will not melt much of the ice. Loss of Artic ice will not affect sea levels, it is floating & already displaces its own mass of water. An increase in Europe's snow may actually lower sea levels. Melting of Greenland's ice, causing a rise of up to 21 feet, will be devastating for lowland countries & regions.
As can be seen, many of the possible changes will produce different results. It is increasingly obvious that the future of this Century is not within our power to predict accurately. What we can do is make prudent decisions, to help our planet recover from warming. We may not be the sole cause, but what we are doing obviously makes matters worse, although we don't know by how much.
To be continued...
All opinions on this subject are exactly that, opinions, no matter how authoritative they sound. This includes my opinions. For an alternative theory on the age of earth, together with reasoned argument, click on this link.
All theories based on a careful analysis of records & data are valid. Differences between them, often extreme, are not enough to rule one or another out. We know less than many think we know. Everyone must weigh the evidence, study the alternatives, then make up their own mind.
Whatever we choose to call it, science, philosophy, religion, much remains a matter of faith.
He who knows not & knows that he knows not. He is ignorant, teach him: |
He who knows & knows that he knows. He is wise, honour him:
He who knows not & knows not that he knows not. He is a fool, despise him.
He who knows & knows not that he knows. He is asleep, wake him.
An old proverb, still valid today.