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GUEST,Iona BS: Young Earth Creationism Eureka! (1606* d) RE: BS: Young Earth Creationism Eureka! 16 Feb 12

Since continental drift happens at a rate of one to ten centimeters per year, contemplate how long it took for the North and South American continents and the European and African continents to drift the approximately 3,000 miles apart. Or the Hawaiian Archipelago to form.


Reconcile that with the fundamentalist Christian idea that the Earth is only 6,016 (4,004 + 2012) years old!.

This type of argument has been addressed before between Evolutionists and Creationists. You're proposing that if the rate of continental drift is consistent, and has been so for eons of undocumented time (i.e. before man evolved).
Your illustration of the continental drift is a uniformitarian assumption--the same as the one Charles Lyell made at Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls has four million cubic feet of water flowing over it every minute. *whistles* No wonder it's the most powerful waterfall in N. America! Charles Lyell traveled there in order to find evidence to support the uniformity theory. He tried to find the age of the falls and calculated it to be 35,000 years old. He got this date by calculating the rate of erosion.
One man who lived near the falls told Lyell that the falls had eroded 150 feet in the past 40 years. Divide 150 by 40 and you get 3.75 feet of erosion per year. If we use this method to date the falls, it comes out to the age of 7 to 9 thousand years old. For some reason Lyell did not use this rate, but rather claimed that it was 35,000 years old. But neither date can be correct because of further factors:

Niagara Layers
Like many canyons, gorges and cliffs, we can see multiple layers of sediment at the Niagara site. Lockport Dolomite is the top layer, and is pretty hard. The middle layer is the Rochester shale. Now, as the water cascades down the falls it erodes the softer shale away from under the dolomite, leaving the latter sticking out in a ledge until it eventually breaks off in large chunks. At the current location of the falls, the dolomite is about ninety feet thick. Throughout the rest of the length of the gorge it gets thin, to about 45 feet thick. This means that in the past, the Falls probably eroded faster because of the difference in thickness of the hard top layer, plus the amount of water that flows over the falls will effect the rate.

So there goes the 35 thousand years age. *chucks number out window* Even evolutionary scientists have concluded that the age of the falls is much younger than that. The general consensus is that the falls are twelve thousand years old. But does this date fit? Carry on, my dear Watson. Let us investigate.

Two separate views
Evolutionists divide upon this point into two camps: the Uniformists and the Actualists. The Uniformist says that the rock layers were made only by slow gradual processes.
The Actualist says that the earth's rock layers were made by slow gradual processes plus natural catastrophes.

Most actualist geologists say that the evidence shows natural catastrophes forming the earth and changing erosion rates. However, they still hold to the Uniformitarian views when they try to date the Niagara Falls. Again, they say the date is 12 thousand years. Why? They use carbon dating and look at the general 'evolutionary age' of the surrounding area.

Carbon Dating
Carbon is an element on the earth, just as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen (represented by the letters C-carbon; N-nitrogen; O-oxygen and H-hydrogen). Water, as we all know, is made up of two H's, and an O, giving us the common prefix of "H2O". That's the basics.

Now, all living things take in carbon from their environment. Only living things, not rocks or things like that. This type of carbon is the type that they measure in dating, and is called Carbon 14 or C-14.
When a tree, shell, or bone dies it stops taking in C-14 and the existing C14 begins to deteriorate and become nitrogen 14 (N-14). If we know the rate at which the change from C-14 to N14 happens, we can tell how long the tree has been dead. Easy, right?

Right. As long as we are Uniformitarians!

The problem is that we do not know the amount of C-14 in the environment when the plant or animal died. We can measure what it is at the moment, but what if the amount was different in the past? We already know that there were different C-14 levels in the past environment!

If we guess the wrong amount of C-14, then the log will not be the right age when 'dated' using Carbon dating. Although the uniformitarians have ways to try and correct these 'differences' or 'problems', their dates are still wrong if they do not assume the correct amounts of C-14 in the past.

A second problem with Carbon Dating
Some plants and animals take in different amounts of carbon. This makes them appear older (or younger) than they really are.
there are many unknown factors that may have changed the rate of amount of C-14 in the environment. So we can see that though evolutionists may call themselves actualists, but their reliance on carbon dating is still founded upon the basis of uniformitarianism because they trust that the rate of carbon decay is consistent.

Glaciers and conclusion
Evolutionists say that the Niagara falls area was formed after the melting of the 18,000 year old Wisconsin glaciation (the glaciers that carved the Great Lakes), making the falls area about twelve thousand years old.

Creationists would say that the glacial period took place after the worldwide flood and the falls area is less than 5,000 years old. The current rate of erosion is 1 foot per year (but the historical rate has been about three feet), and the falls have moved back seven miles from their probable starting point. So if we're going to go by the current rate of erosion, it'd take a long time for the falls to get where they are today. But since the Niagara river was carved by the Wisconsin glaciers, there would have been a lot more water going over them than there is now. All factors considered (and also bringing into account the fact that we don't know the entire environmental history of the falls), what once was thought to be a huge blow to Creationism is now a strong proof for it!

The same basic arguments apply to your 'continental drift', Don. I don't deny that the continents look like they were at one time connected. Perhaps they were. I wouldn't be surprised. Your taking a uniformitarian stance on the issue doesn't dissprove me: after all, uniformitarianism doesn't really fit the facts, as I just illustrated.

"Get it? Got it. Good!!" ;)


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