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Indicators of a young Earth, with rebuttals

Indicators 1 to 5 based on Earth observations

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Five indicators of a young earth included in this essay are:

  1. Second law of thermodynamics
  2. Mineral halos
  3. Pressure on oil deposits
  4. Presence of oil
  5. Shape of the earth
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Indicator 1: Second law of thermodynamics:

Henry Morris wrote:

"All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics." 1

Evolution teaches the opposite: that entropy decreases and complexity and order increases. Evolution is impossible because it violates the universally accepted second law of thermodynamics.

Rebuttal: This argument has been around for decades. Scientists have probably repeated a rebuttal thousands of times. However, Creationists continue to ignore it. Creationists often do not quote the full text of the Second Law. In fact, Morris' conclusion is incorrect. All processes do not exhibit a tendency towards decay and disintegration. It is only the overall entropy of a closed system which increases over time.

K.R. Miller writes:

"This means that some parts of a system may indeed become more orderly and complex so long as this increase in order is balanced by an equal or greater decrease in order elsewhere. This, of course, is exactly what living things do -- as they grow and evolve they use enormous amounts of energy (usually in the form of food), producing a thermodynamic balance in the system as a whole. The second law no more forbids evolution than it forbits a tiny seed from growing into a larger, more complex tree. Both processes require energy to proceed, and both are in perfect accordance with the laws of thermodynamics." 2

There are many examples on earth in which entropy decreases and order increases:

  • The formation of snowflakes.
  • Formation of salt crystals.
  • Seeds becoming plants.
  • Eggs becoming chickens.
  • Newborn humans becoming adults.

Evolution of species of life is one more example. Evolution on earth was/is made possible by the rise in entropy in the sun. Talk.Origins has a full treatment of this topic online. 3

Indicator 2: Mineral halos:

Dr. Gentry discovered in the late 1970's countless halos found inbiotite and flourite, which are minerals found within some granites. These "are beautiful microspheres of coloration produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium." 4 P0 214 has a half life of about of 3 minutes. The "Polonium Halos" web site explains these halos by analogy:

"A speck of polonium in molten rock can be compared with an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of water. The beginning of effervescence is equated to the moment that polonium atoms began to emit radioactive particles. In molten rock the traces of those radioactive particles would disappear as quickly as the Alka-Seltzer bubbles in water. But if the water were instantly frozen, the bubbles would be preserved."

Essentially all geologists, who are not creation scientists, believe that these structures took millions of years to crystallize. The existence of the halos thus is convincing evidence that the granite rocks (and the rest of the world) were created instantaneously - a type of flash freezing.

Rebuttal: A number of alternative explanations have been suggested. All are consistent with an earth that cooled down over millions of years, and subjected to hundreds of millions of hears of weathering, - not created during the course of a Genesis day: Some have suggested: 5

  • the halos were created by fluids that carried Polonium into the crystals
  • the halos were created from Po ions in fluids released during the weathering of uranium-bearing minerals
  • the halos were caused by diffusion of beta-emitting lead isotopes
  • the halos were formed by uranium, not polonium.

All of these explanations have been met with counter arguments by Gentry. However, L.G. Collins noted that Po halos only occur in granite rock which contains myrmekite. This indicates that the granite did not form from the gradual cooling of magma. It formed by subsequent, long-term replacement of the solid rocks through cataclasis and recyrstallization. This provided openings for the introduction of uranium-bearing fluids. Radon associated with the uranium "nucleate in the rapidly growing biotite (and florite) crystals whence they are positioned to produce the Po halos." 5

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Indicator 3: Pressure of oil deposits:

M.A. Cook claimed in his book "Prehistory and Earth Models" that if underground oil was as old as geologists claim that its pressure would have dissipated long ago. The fact that oil is found under pressure indicates that it is 10,000 years or less old. Presumably all of the natural gas would have escaped as well if the earth was old.

Rebuttal: Gas and oil accumulate gradually, as pressure and heat work on organic matter over long periods of time. If the rocks holding in the reservoirs of gas and oil were as leaky as creation scientists indicate, then this pressure never would have built up in the first place.

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Indicator 4: Presence of oil:

"They say it takes millions of year to make oil but scientists did it in a lab in 20 minutes." Another visitor to our site referred to a sewage treatment plant in Halifax, NS, Canada. They stated that: "Using heat to turn  Halifax's half-million tons of sewage per year into 700,000 barrels of oil, the entire process takes about 30 minutes!"

Rebuttal: Under normal conditions (those found in nature) it does take a long time for oil to develop. But under ideal conditions (temperature, pressure, catalysts, etc.) it can be almost instantaneous. 

It is useful to remember that oil is formed from plant life that is laid down in sedimentary layers. But by the time that it is found, the oil has typically migrated considerable distances through rock of varying porosities. Such migration typically takes millions of years to accomplish. So, the existence of underground oil is a good indicator of an old earth. 

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Indicator 5: Earth's shape:

The increase of the earth's equatorial bulge would have flattened it out into a spinning pancake if it were really 5 billion years old:

a flat earth

Rebuttal: The shape of the earth (or of any planet or moon) is the result of two opposing factors:

  • Force of Gravity: The earth behaves as a highly viscous fluid. Over a long enough time period,
    "it will flow to relieve shear stresses and to bring normal stress to the hydrostatic state (the case where all normal stresses are equal). In this state, pressure is only a function of depth. Since pressure is the product of gravitational acceleration times the mass of overlaying material, this implies that the planet adopts a spherical shape...Thus, solely under the influence of gravity, we would expect any large planet to flow and eventually adopt a spherical figure." 6
  • Centrifugal effects: Since the earth rotates on its axis, the centrifugal effect pushes the equator outwards, and flattens the polar regions.

The gravitational force is enormously greater than the centrifugal force, so the earth's shape is almost a perfect sphere. The equatorial diameter is about 12,756 km (7,900 miles). The "polar diameter was calculated as about 26.5 miles shorter than the equatorial diameter." 7The force of gravity has been essentially constant over time. It is a function of the mass of the earth which is increasing only very slowly as a result of impacts of meteorites and space dust accretion. The centrifugal force is decreasing with time as the earth's rotation slows. Both effects will work towards a gradual decrease in the equatorial bulging with time. The earth is becoming closer to a perfect sphere.

Measurements of equatorial radius gave 6,378.140 km in 1976, 6,378.137 km in 1980 and 6,378.136 km in 1983. 8 This seems to indicate that the bulge is decreasing with time. However, the decrease is probably not statistically valid; it may well probably due to random measuring errors.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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Related essays on this web site:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Henry Morris, "The remarkable birth of planet earth," Page 14. Out of print. Read reviews or try to get a used copy safely from online book store
  2. K.R. Miller, "Finding Darwin's God,"  Cliff Street Books, (1999). Page 300. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
  3. Frank Steiger, "The second law of thermodynamics, evolution and probability," Talk.Origins Archive at: 
  4. "Polonium Halos: Evidence for earth's instant creation?" at:
  5. L.G. Collins, "Polonium halos and myrmekite in pegmatite and granite" at:
  6. "Gravity and the Shape of the Earth," at:
  7. Integrated Technology Education Learning Center of Jupiter Middle School, Jupiter, FL at:
  8. "Earth: Geodetic and Geophysical Data" at:
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Copyright © 1996 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2012-SEP-21
Author: B.A. Robinson
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