It is hard to open a newspaper, book, or magazine without finding some implication to the earth being billions of years old. Given the overwhelming barrage of these statements, it is understandable why so many people have trouble considering the possibility that the earth might be only thousands of years old. Yet there is an intriguing possibility that the earth may be much younger than ‘billions of years’.
Despite what people have been led to believe, there are no dating methods which give an absolute date for the formation of the earth. All dating methods are based on non-provable assumptions about some event in the distant past. Furthermore, there is a strong bias to reject any dating method which does not allow enough time for evolution to have happened. To understand the validity of any date, the reader must gain an understanding of how all dating methods work. The following illustration should help:
Suppose you were up at 6:00 a.m. and happened to see a friend who lives in a nearby town. You observe that he is walking along at 2 miles an hour and you know that he lives 16 miles away. You can easily use the formula at the top of the illustration to calculate that your friend left home 8 hours earlier. You have just performed a dating method of how long your friend has been on the road. However, something doesn’t make sense. Why would your friend be up all night walking? Although you used the correct formula, your assumptions may not have been correct. Perhaps your friend stayed with someone in town and woke up minutes before for a morning stroll. In this case, you have used the ‘WRONG INITIAL AMOUNT’ in your calculation. Perhaps he took a shortcut which cut 12 miles off his walk. In this case there was ‘CONTAMINATION’ of the total amount. Perhaps since you last saw your friend, he has taken up marathon running and averaged 8 miles an hour (only having slowed down just before you saw him). In this case you have used the wrong ‘AVERAGE RATE’. The point is, wrong assumptions lead to wrong answers.
In all dating methods the initial amount is an assumption, the estimate of contamination is an assumption, and the overall rate is an assumption. The only things which can be known for sure are the present amount and the present rate.
Unless you estimate the initial amount correctly, the average rate correctly, and the amount of contamination correctly, your answer will be wrong. And depending on your assumptions, it could be very, very wrong.
There are actually very few dating methods which seem to indicate that the earth is extremely old. On the other hand there are many dating methods which indicate that the earth is quite young. If the earth is relatively young, then evolution is obviously a myth and creation becomes the only logical alternative. Could this be the primary reason that only those methods which seem to indicate very old ages are acceptable?