The age of old things is  most often taught as fact. What teachers and scientists don’t tell us (and often don’t know) is the techniques used to determine the age of old things are often based on assumptions [educated guesses] and can be wrong. Below are some examples of how old things are dated and how the dating can be wrong.

Carbon 14 Dating. This is a classic method for determining the age of old things. How is it done? Carbon 14 (C14) is produced by the sun acting on Carbon 12 (C12) in the atmosphere. Turin_SOBshroud_of turin C14 becomes part of all growing and living things along with the C12. When the life ends, the C14 decays back  to C12 and is not replaced. Scientists know how fast C14 decays (turns back into C12). The scientists measure the amount of C14 in old things like animal skin, bone or cloth. They assume the amount C14 then was the same as today (which  scientists know isn’t true). The scientists then  ”calculate” the age of the item.


SOB grand-canyon

Age of the Grand Canyon. Scientists do experiments to determine the time it takes for running water to wear away the ground (erosion). They assume the rate of erosion of the Grand Canyon by the Colorado River  has always been the same and is similar to their experiments. The scientists then calculate the Grand Canyon to be 6 million years old. But when Mt. St. Helen’s erupted in 1980, it created a large canyon in only 3 months and without water. The river that formed at the bottom of the canyon had nothing to do with creating the canyon. It is the result of runoff water from the land around it. If a scientist didn’t know better, he would look at the size and depth of Mt. St. Helen’s canyon and say it was many thousands of years old. And he would be wrong.

Age of the Moon (and the Earth). We are taught the earth and the moon formed together and are both billions of  years old. Unlike earth, the moon does not have an atmosphere to block out the dust floating through space. The dust reaches the moon’s  surface and has been accumulating for billions of years. Scientists assumed the dust on the moon would be extremely thick. They worried the moon buggy for the first trip to the moon  would sink out of sight. So they built the moon buggy  with balloon wheels to ride on top of the dust. But what did the astronauts find? The picture below is the astronaut’s footprint in the dust. The lunar dust layer is thin. This means the moon, and the earth, are far younger than billions of years.


Not convinced that the dating of old things can be wrong?  Google the facts for yourself.

If you have any comments, including other examples of how the dating old things is wrong, I’d love to hear them. Please post them below.

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