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
Human Genome 20th Anniversary—Junk DNA Hits the Trash
The first rough drafts of the human genome were reported in 2001 (one in the private sector and one in the public sector).1-2 Since then, after...

NEWS
Bacterial Proteins Use Quantum Mechanics
Researchers have found a dimmer switch inside a protein. It tunes the protein’s configuration to take advantage of quantum mechanics during photosynthesis....

NEWS
Dr. Bill Cooper, ICR’s Adjunct Professor, Now in Glory
Earlier last month on March the 9th, Dr. William R. Cooper, ICR’s Master Faculty (known to ICR-SOBA’s faculty as “Dr. Bill” since...

NEWS
Inside April 2021 Acts & Facts
How will ICR expand biblical creation education this year? How do fossilized fish and land creatures confirm Genesis history? Does recent research support...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Bees
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Pleasure in Our Purpose
Eric Liddell was one of the most famous athletes of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest that Scotland ever produced. An international rugby player,...

APOLOGETICS
Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations
The sudden falling of some Christian schools can be compared to tiankengs, the geological term used for sinkholes that are at least 300 feet deep.1,2...

ACTS & FACTS
The Painted Desert: Fossils in Flooded Mud Flats
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Painted Desert stretches across 120 miles of northern Arizona. Its sedimentary rocks show bright...

ACTS & FACTS
Does Recent Research Support Human Evolution?
In 1997, the Institute for Creation Research ran an Acts & Facts article on the lack of compelling evidence regarding our supposed evolution from...

ACTS & FACTS
Building a Perfectly Optimal Flying Machine
For thousands of years, people have dreamed of flying because they witnessed birds and knew it was possible. Inspired by a study of birds, the Wright...