How old is the earth? The inquiry of the period of the earth has developed heated discussions top top internet debate boards, TV, radio, in classrooms, and in plenty of churches, Christian colleges, and also seminaries. The main sides are

The difference is immense! Let’s give a little history of whereby these two straightforward calculations come from and also which worldview is more reasonable once answering the question, "how old is the earth?"

Where go a Young-earth Worldview Come From?

Simply put, it came from the Bible. Of course, the bible doesn’t say clearly anywhere, “The earth is 6,000 years old.” great thing it doesn’t; otherwise it would certainly be the end of day the complying with year. But we wouldn’t mean an all-knowing God to do that kind of a mistake.

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God gave us other better. In essence, He provided us a “birth certificate.” for example, making use of a personal birth certificate, a person have the right to calculate just how old the is at any type of point. The is similar with the earth. Genesis 1 claims that the planet was created on the first day of development (Genesis 1:1–5). Indigenous there, we can start to calculate the period of the earth.

Let’s do a turbulent calculation to display how this works. The age of the planet can be estimated by acquisition the first five days of creation (from earth’s creation to Adam), then following the genealogies native Adam come Abraham in Genesis 5 and also 11, then adding in the time from Abraham to today.

Adam was developed on job 6, so over there were five days before him. If we add up the days from Adam come Abraham, we get about 2,000 years, utilizing the Masoretic Hebrew message of Genesis 5 and also 11.3 whether Christian or secular, most scholars would agree the Abraham lived about 2,000 B.C. (4,000 year ago).

So a straightforward calculation is:


5 days+ ~2,000 years+ ~4,000 years


~6,000 years


At this point, the an initial five days are negligible. Quite a couple of people have actually done this calculation utilizing the Masoretic message (which is what many English translations space based on) and with careful attention come the biblical details, they have arrived at the very same time structure of about 6,000 years, or around 4000 B.C. 2 of the most popular, and also perhaps best, are a recent job-related by Dr. Floyd Jones4 and a much earlier publication by Archbishop James Ussher5 (1581–1656). See table 1.


Table 1. Jones and Ussher

NameAgeCalculatedReference and also Date
Archbishop James Ussher4004 B.C.The Annals that the World, A.D. 1658
Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones4004 B.C.The Chronology the the Old Testament, A.D. 1993

The ofradiation exists that Ussher and Jones were the just ones to come at a date of 4000 B.C.; however, this is no the case at all. Jones6 lists several chronologists who have actually undertaken the job of calculating the period of the earth based on the Bible, and their calculations selection from 5501 to 3836 B.C. A few are noted in table 2.


Table 2. Chronologists’ Calculations follow to Dr. Jones

ChronologistWhen Calculated?Date B.C.
1Julius Africanusc. 2405501
2George Syncellusc. 8105492
3John Jackson17525426
4Dr wilhelm Halesc. 18305411
5Eusebiusc. 3305199
6Marianus Scotusc. 10704192
7L. Condomanusn/a4141
8Thomas Lydiatc. 16004103
9M. Michael Maestlinusc. 16004079
10J. Ricciolusn/a4062
11Jacob Salianusc. 16004053
12H. Spondanusc. 16004051
13Martin Anstey19134042
14W. Langen/a4041
15E. Reinholtn/a4021
16J. Cappellusc. 16004005
17E. Greswell18304004
18E. Faulstich19864001
19D. Petaviusc. 16273983
20Frank Klassen19753975
21Becken/a3974
22Krentzeimn/a3971
23W. Dolen20033971
24E. Reusnerusn/a3970
25J. Claveriusn/a3968
26C. Longomontanusc. 16003966
27P. Melanchthonc. 15503964
28J. Haynlinusn/a3963
29A. Salmerond. 15853958
30J. Scaligerd. 16093949
31M. Beroaldusc. 15753927
32A. Helwigiusc. 16303836

As you will most likely note native table 2, the dates are no all 4004 B.C. There room several reasons chronologists have different dates,7 however two major reasons:

Some used the Septuagint or one more early translation rather of the Hebrew Masoretic text. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, done around 250 B.C. By around 70 Jewish scholar (hence that is frequently cited together the LXX, i beg your pardon is the Roman numeral for 70). That is great in most places, but appears to have a number of inaccuracies. For example, one relates come the Genesis chronologies whereby the LXX suggests that Methuselah would have actually lived past the Flood, without gift on the ark!Several clues in the biblical time-line room not simple to calculate. They require an extremely careful study of much more than one passage. These incorporate exactly just how much time the Israelites were in Egypt and also what Terah’s age was when Abraham was born. (See Jones’s and also Ussher’s publications for a in-depth discussion of this difficulties.)

The first four in table 2 (bolded) are calculated from the Septuagint, i m sorry gives periods for the patriarchs’ firstborn much higher than the Masoretic text or the Samarian Pentateuch (a version of the Old testimony from the Jews in Samaria just prior to Christ). Due to the fact that of this, the Septuagint add to in extra time. Despite the Samarian and Masoretic texts are much closer, they still have a couple of differences. View table 3.8

Using data indigenous table 2 (excluding the Septuagint calculations and including Jones and also Ussher), the average date of the creation of the earth is 4045 B.C. This still returns an average of about 6,000 years because that the period of the earth.


Table 3. Septuagint, Masoretic, and Samarian early Patriarchal ages at the birth of the following Son

NameMasoreticSamarian PentateuchSeptuagint
Adam130130230
Seth105105205
Enosh9090190
Cainan7070170
Mahalaleel6565165
Jared16262162
Enoch6565165
Methuselah18767167
Lamech18253188
Noah500500500

Extra-biblical Calculations because that the period of the Earth

Cultures throughout the civilization have preserved track of history as well. From a biblical perspective, us would suppose the days given for production of the earth to align much more closely come the biblical day than billions that years.

This is expected because everyone was descended native Noah and scattered from the Tower of Babel. An additional expectation is the there must be part discrepancies about the period of the earth among people as they scattered transparent the world, taking their uninspired documents or oral background to various parts of the globe.

Under the entry “creation,” Young’s analysis Concordance of the Bible9 lists wilhelm Hales’s buildup of days of development from many cultures, and in most cases Hales claims which authority offered the date. View table 4.

Historian bill Cooper’s research in after the Flood offers intriguing days from several old cultures.10 The first is the of the Anglo-Saxons, whose history has 5,200 years from development to Christ, according to the Laud and also Parker Chronicles. Cooper’s research likewise indicated that Nennius’s document of the old British history has 5,228 years from production to Christ. The ireland chronology has actually a date of around 4000 B.C. For creation, i beg your pardon is how amazing close come Ussher and also Jones! even the Mayans had actually a day for the flood of 3113 B.C.

This meticulous work-related of numerous historians have to not it is in ignored. Their days of just thousands of year are good support for the biblical day of around 6,000 years, yet not because that billions that years.


Table 4. Selected days for the period of the planet by various Cultures

CultureAge, B.C.Authority noted by Hales
Spain by Alfonso X6984Muller
Spain through Alfonso X6484Strauchius
India6204Gentil
India6174Arab records
Babylon6158Bailly
Chinese6157Bailly
Greece by Diogenes Laertius6138Playfair
Egypt6081Bailly
Persia5507Bailly
Israel/Judea through Josephus5555Playfair
Israel/Judea by Josephus5481Jackson
Israel/Judea by Josephus5402Hales
Israel/Judea by Josephus4698University history
India5369Megasthenes
Babylon (Talmud)5344Petrus Alliacens
Vatican (Catholic utilizing the Septuagint)5270N/A
Samaria4427Scaliger
German, divine Roman realm by john Kepler*3993Playfair
German, reformer by martin Luther*3961N/A
Israel/Judea by computation3760Strauchius
Israel/Judea by Rabbi Lipman*3616University history

* Luther, Kepler, Lipman, and the Jewish computation most likely used biblical texts to determinethe date.


The beginning of the Old-earth Worldview

Prior come the 1700s, few believed in one old earth. The almost right 6,000-year period for the planet was tested only quite recently, beginning in the so late 18th century. These opponents of the biblical chronology essentially left God the end of the picture. Three of the old-earth advocates contained Comte de Buffon, who assumed the earth was at the very least 75,000 years old. Pièrre LaPlace imagine an unknown but really long history. And Jean Lamarck likewise proposed long ages.11

However, the idea of countless years really took hold in geology when men like Abraham Werner, James Hutton, william Smith, Georges Cuvier, and also Charles Lyell offered their interpretations the geology as the standard, quite than the Bible. Werner approximated the period of the planet at about one million years. Smith and also Cuvier believed untold periods were required for the development of absent layers. Hutton said he might see no geological proof of a beginning of the earth; and building on Hutton’s thinking, Lyell supported “millions of years.”

From these men and also others come the consensus view the the geologic layers to be laid down gradually over long periods of time based on the rates at i m sorry we watch them accumulating today. Hutton said:

The past history of our world must be defined by what have the right to be seen to be happening now.... No powers room to be employed that room not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted other than those of which we understand the principle.12

This ideology is referred to as naturalistic uniformitarianism, and also it excludes any major catastrophes such together Noah’s flood. Though some, such together Cuvier and Smith, believed in multiple calamities separated by long periods of time, the uniformitarian concept became the judgment dogma in geology.


*

Thinking biblically, we can see that the worldwide flood in Genesis 6–8 would wipe away the concept of numerous years, because that this overwhelming would describe massive amounts of fossil layers. Many Christians fail come realize the a an international flood might rip up plenty of of the previous absent layers and redeposit castle elsewhere, damaging the previous breakable contents. This would certainly destroy any kind of evidence of alleged countless years anyway. So the absent layers can theoretically stand for the proof of either millions of years or a worldwide flood, yet not both. Sadly, by around 1840, even most that the Church had embraced the dogmatic insurance claims of the secular geologists and rejected the worldwide flood and the biblical age of the earth.

After Lyell, in 1899, lord Kelvin (William Thomson) calculation the age of the earth, based on the cooling rate of a molten sphere, in ~ a maximum of around 20–40 million years (this was revised indigenous his earlier calculation that 100 million years in 1862).13 v the development of radiometric date in the beforehand 20th century, the period of the earth expanded radically. In 1913, Arthur Holmes’s book, The period of the Earth, gave period of 1.6 exchange rate years.14 due to the fact that then, the claimed age that the planet has broadened to its present estimate of about 4.5 billion years (and about 14 billion years for the universe).


Table 5. summary of the Old-earth supporters for lengthy Ages

Who?Age that the EarthWhen was This?
Comte de Buffon78 thousand year old1779
Abraham Werner1 million years1786
James HuttonPerhaps eternal, long ages1795
Pièrre LaPlaceLong ages1796
Jean LamarckLong ages1809
William SmithLong ages1835
Georges CuvierLong ages1812
Charles LyellMillions the years1830–1833
Lord Kelvin20–100 million years1862–1899
Arthur Holmes1.6 exchange rate years1913
Clair Patterson4.5 billion years1956

But there is farming scientific proof that radiometric dating approaches are totally unreliable.15

Christians who have felt compelled to accept the millions of years as reality and shot to to the right them into the bible need come become aware of this evidence. It confirms the the Bible’s background is providing us the true period of the creation.

Today, secular geologists will permit some catastrophic occasions into their reasoning as one explanation because that what they watch in the rocks. However uniformitarian reasoning is quiet widespread, and secular geologists will seemingly never entertain the idea of the global, catastrophic overwhelming of Noah’s day.

The period of the earth dispute ultimately comes under to this foundational question: room we trusting male imperfect and an altering ideas and also assumptions about the past? Or room we trusting oh my god perfectly exact eyewitness account that the past, consisting of the development of the world, Noah’s worldwide flood, and also the period of the earth?

Other Uniformitarian approaches for dating the period of the Earth

Radiometric date was the finishing factor that resulted in the belief in billions of year for planet history. However, radiometric dating methods are no the just uniformitarian methods. Any radiometric dating version or other uniformitarian dating method can and also does have problems, as referenced before. Every uniformitarian dating methods require assumptions for extrapolating contemporary processes back into the past. The assumptions related come radiometric dating can be checked out in these questions:

Initial amounts?Was any kind of parent amount added?Was any type of daughter quantity added?Was any kind of parent amount removed?Was any kind of daughter quantity removed?Has the price of decay changed?

If the presumptions are important accurate, climate uniformitarian days should agree v radiometric dating across the plank for the very same event. However, radiometric dates often disagree through one another and with dates obtained from other uniformitarian dating techniques for the age of the earth, such together the flow of salts right into the ocean, the rate of degeneration of the earth magnetic field, and the growth rate of human population.16

The late Dr. Henry Morris compiled a list of 68 uniformitarian approximates for the age of the earth by Christian and secular sources.17 The current accepted period of the earth is around 4.54 billion years based upon radiometric dating of a group of meteorites,18 so store this in mind when viewing table 6.


Table 6. Uniformitarian approximates Other than Radiometric Dating approximates for Earth’s period Compiled by Morris

Number that uniformitarian methods*
0 – 10,000 years>10,000 – 100,000 years>100,000 – 1 million years>1 million – 500 million years>500 million – 4 exchange rate years>4 exchange rate – 5 exchange rate years
2310112300

* as soon as a variety of eras is given, the maximum period was offered to be generosity to the evolutionists. In one case, the date was unsure so it was not provided in this tally, therefore the full estimates used were 67. A couple of on the list had reference to Saturn, the sun, etc., but because biblically the planet is older than these, dates related to them were used.


As you deserve to see indigenous table 6, uniformitarian maximum eras for the earth obtained from other methods are nowhere near the 4.5 exchange rate years approximated by radiometric dating; that the other methods, just two calculated days were as lot as 500 million years.

The outcomes from part radiometric dating methods completely undermine those indigenous the various other radiometric methods. One such instance is carbon-14 (14C) dating. As lengthy as an biology is alive, it takes in 14C and 12C native the atmosphere; however, once it dies, the carbon intake stops. Since 14C is radioactive (decays into 14N), the amount of 14C in a dead organism it s okay less and also less end time. Carbon-14 days are figured out from the measured ratio of radioactive carbon-14 to common carbon-12 (14C/12C). Provided on samples the were as soon as alive, such as timber or bone, the measured 14C/12C proportion is contrasted with the proportion in living things today.

Now, 14C has actually a obtained half-life the 5,730 years, for this reason the 14C in organic material supposedly 100,000 year old need to all essentially have decayed into nitrogen.19 some things, together as timber trapped in lava flows, claimed to be numerous years old by other radiometric dating methods, still have actually 14C in them.20 If the items to be really millions of years old, then they shouldn’t have any kind of traces the 14C. Coal and also diamonds, i beg your pardon are found in or sandwiched in between rock layers allegedly countless years old, have been shown to have actually 14C eras of just tens of hundreds of years.21 so which date, if any, is correct? The diamonds or coal can’t be countless years old if lock have any kind of traces the 14C still in them. This mirrors that this dating methods are fully unreliable and indicates that the presumed presumptions in the techniques are erroneous.

Similar kinds of problems are seen in the situation of potassium-argon dating, which has actually been taken into consideration one of the many reliable methods. Dr. Andrew Snelling, a geologist, points out number of of these problems with potassium-argon, as watched in table 7.22

These and also other examples raise a crucial question. If radiometric dating falls short to give an accurate date on miscellaneous of which us do understand the true age, then how deserve to it be reliable to give us the correct period for rocks that had no human observers come record once they formed? If the techniques don’t work on rocks of known age, that is most unreasonable to trust that they work-related on rocks that unknown age. That is far more rational come trust words of the Godwho produced the world, to know its history perfectly, and has revealed sufficient information in the bible for united state to know that history and the age of the creation.


Table 7. Potassium-argon (K-Ar) dates in Error

Volcanic eruptionWhen the absent formedDate through (K-Ar) radiometric dating
Mt. Etna basalt, Sicily122 B.C.170,000–330,000 year old
Mt. Etna basalt, SicilyA.D. 1972210,000–490,000 year old
Mount St. Helens, WashingtonA.D. 1986Up come 2.8 million year old
Hualalai basalt, HawaiiA.D. 1800–18011.32–1.76 million year old
Mt. Ngauruhoe, new ZealandA.D. 1954Up to 3.5 million year old
Kilauea Iki basalt, HawaiiA.D. 19591.7–15.3 million year old

Conclusion: just how Old Is The Earth?

When we start our reasoning with oh my god Word, we check out that the human being is around 6,000 year old. When we rely on male fallible (and regularly demonstrably false) date methods, us can obtain a confusing range of eras from a couple of thousand come billions of years, though the vast majority of techniques do not give days even close to billions.

Cultures approximately the people give an age of the planet that confirms what the scriptures teaches. Radiometric dates, ~ above the various other hand, have been displayed to be wildly in error.

The age of the planet ultimately comes down to a matter of trust—it’s a worldview issue. Will certainly you to trust what an all-knowing God says on the subject, or will certainly you trust imperfect masculine assumptions and also imaginations about the previous that routinely are changing?

Thus claims the Lord: “Heaven is mine throne, and earth is my footstool. Wherein is the house that friend will build Me? and where is the ar of my rest? For every those points My hand has actually made, and all those points exist,” claims the Lord. “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles in ~ My word” (Isaiah 66:1–2).

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Previous Chapter room There Gaps in the Genesis Genealogies?Next thing Information: proof for a Creator?

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Footnotes

Some of this old-earth supporters accept molecules-to-man biological evolution and also so are called theistic evolutionists. Others refuse neo-Darwinian evolution but accept the evolutionary timescale for stellar and geological evolution, and hence agree v the evolutionary order of occasions in history.Russell Grigg, “Meeting the Ancestors,” Creation, march 2003, pp. 13–15.Floyd Nolan Jones, Chronology the the Old testament (Green Forest, AR: master Books, 2005).James Ussher, The Annals that the World, transl. Larry and Marion Pierce (Green Forest, AR: grasp Books, 2003).Jones, Chronology the the Old Testament, p. 26Jonathan Sarfati, “Biblical Chronogenealogies,” TJ 17, no. 3 (2003):14–18.Robert Young, Young’s analysis Concordance to the bible (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), referring to william Hales, A brand-new Analysis of Chronology and also Geography, history and Prophecy, vol. 1 (1830), p. 210.Bill Cooper, after the overwhelming (UK: new Wine Press, 1995), p. 122–129.James Hutton, concept of the earth (Trans. That Roy. Soc. Of Edinburgh, 1785); quoted in A. Holmes, ethics of physics Geology (UK: cutting board Nelson & sons Ltd., 1965), p. 43–44.Mark McCartney, “William Thompson: King of victorian Physics,” Physics World, December 2002, physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/16484.Henry M. Morris, The new Defender’s Study holy bible (Nashville, TN: world Publishing, 2006), p. 2076–2079.C.C. Patterson, “Age the Meteorites and the period of the Earth,” Geochemica et Cosmochemica Acta, 10 (1956): 230–237.This walk not typical that a 14C date of 50,000 or 100,000 would certainly be totally trustworthy. I am only using this to to mark the mistaken assumptions behind uniformitarian dating methods.Andrew Snelling, “Conflicting ‘Ages’ of Tertiary Basalt and also Contained Fossilized Wood, Crinum, central Queensland Australia,” technical Journal 14, no. 2 (2005): p. 99–122.John Baumgardner, “14C evidence for a Recent worldwide Flood and a Young Earth,” in Radioisotopes and also the age of the Earth: results of a Young-Earth Creationist research Initiative, ed. Vardiman et al. (Santee, CA: institute for development Research; Chino Valley, AZ: creation Research Society, 2005), p. 587–630.