Do Earth's Rocks Look Old? | The Institute for Creation Research
Do Earth's Rocks Look Old?

Some might argue that Earth’s rocks are obviously ancient even apart from radioisotope dating results. In response to creationist claims, they might ask, “If the earth was created just 6,000 years ago, then why does it look so old?” But does Earth really look old?

Many people see rock layers like the ones in Grand Canyon and immediately assume they’re millions of years old. But does anything about the rocks themselves indicate vast ages? If you think the answer is yes, take a moment and try to explain why you think that’s the case. Saying “Well, everyone knows the rocks are old” is not a good answer because then you have to ask “How is it that people ‘know’ this?”

The answer is indoctrination, plain and simple. Growing up, we’re taught this repeatedly through books, television shows, movies, and the educational system. So, it’s hardly surprising that many people reflexively think it’s obvious that rock layers are millions of years old. But is that conclusion drawn from scientific data, or is it a conditioned response to years of evolutionary claims?

Think about it. If someone is told since childhood that Grand Canyon rock layers are millions of years old, at some point this person mentally associates those rocks with “millions of years.” Later, when he is shown pictures of Grand Canyon, it seems obvious its rocks are extremely ancient.

However, this conclusion is based on circular reasoning: “Grand Canyon is millions of years old. And because it’s millions of years old, its rocks are also millions of years old. Therefore, Grand Canyon rocks look that old because they are that old!” The person thinks the rocks look old because he’s been told they’re old. At no point did anyone make an argument for why millions-of-years-old rocks look like Grand Canyon rocks—this was simply assumed.

Creation scientists would argue that clues within these rocks strongly suggest their water-deposited strata were laid down quickly and catastrophically, not slowly over millions of years. These clues include fossils embedded through multiple rock layers, lack of erosion between flat rock strata, and tightly folded layers.1-3

The carving of Grand Canyon is also best explained as a rapid, catastrophic process that didn’t take millions of years.4 Even recent erosion of the freshly deposited sediments in nearby Lake Mead resemble a miniature Grand Canyon, with vertical cliffs and slopes. These cliffs formed just in the last few decades.5

Many scientists claim radioisotope dating methods prove Earth’s rocks are millions of years old. However, these are calculated ages based on assumptions about the past. Creation researchers have shown that many of these assumptions are flawed. Different radioisotope dating methods give different ages for the same rocks, and age estimates often contradict both eyewitness testimony and common sense.6

Creationists have long pointed out that Earth doesn’t really look old. It is covered by a relatively thin layer of water-deposited rocks over much of its land surface, and more than 70% of its surface is underwater. Earth looks flooded, just as it should if the worldwide Flood described in Genesis was a real, historical event. Earth’s rocks don’t look old because they aren’t old.

References

  1. Morris, J. D. 2013. Soft-Sediment Deformation: Recent Flood Evidence. Acts & Facts. 42 (10): 16-17.
  2. Morris, J. D. 2009. A Classic Polystrate Fossil. Acts & Facts. 38 (10): 15.
  3. Thomas, B. 2019. Does Palo Duro Canyon Show Deep Time? Acts & Facts. 48 (9): 20.
  4. Clarey, T. 2018. Grand Canyon Carved by Flood RunoffActs & Facts. 47 (12): 10-13.
  5. Clarey, T. 2019. Observations Support Grand Canyon Flood Origin. Acts & Facts. 48 (11): 9.
  6. Cupps, V. R. 2019. Rethinking Radiometric Dating: Evidence for a Young Earth from a Nuclear Physicist. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.

* Dr. Jake Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Cite this article: Jake Hebert, Ph.D. 2020. Do Earth's Rocks Look Old?. Acts & Facts. 49 (1).

The Latest
NEWS
Inside December 2021 Acts & Facts
How can we understand Christ’s role as our mediator from a scientific perspective? Why was ICR's first dinosaur excavation significant for...

APOLOGETICS
Christ’s Providence Is Clearly Seen in Bird Migrations
Just as monkeys can’t accidently type Shakespeare texts, birds can’t migrate by evolutionary luck, despite imagined eons of time for “lucky”...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Snowflakes
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
The Gift of God Himself
Each Christmas we remember how deeply God loves us. His wondrous plan of salvation—first set in motion in the Garden of Eden—was miraculously...

ACTS & FACTS
Early Land Plant Evolution?
In a recent Science article, two evolutionists consider land plants (embryophytes) to have evolved from stoneworts (charophyte algae).1 A...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Creation and Intellectual Foolishness
In a recent interview discussing his new book In Quest of the Historical Adam, philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig acknowledged his...

ACTS & FACTS
Are Birds “Cousins” to Reptiles?
Are today’s birds genealogical “cousins” to today’s reptiles due to a shared evolutionary ancestry? No. However, birds and...

ACTS & FACTS
Haleakala National Park: One of Many Young-Looking Volcanoes
You can start the day atop the cold peak of Mt. Haleakala and end it on a warm beach on Maui. The sprawling volcanic mountain rises 10,000 feet above...

ACTS & FACTS
The Oceans Point to a Young Earth
by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* Over 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, most of which is marine and contained in...

ACTS & FACTS
Jesus Christ Is Our Perfect Mediator
We’ll never get bored throughout eternity. There is always something wonderfully new to learn about our precious Lord Jesus, the uplifting Holy...