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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Assuming the Rocks Look Old

"How much more riding do we have, Luke?"

"About two more days. Nice scenery, though."

"Lotsa rocks in nice layers. They sure do look old."

"How do you know that they're old? You need something to compare them with, you know, and there are no tags giving their ages. Now let's get these horses some water."

People say that the rock layers look very old, but this is based on deep time assumptions. They do not really know the ages of rocks.
Credits: Grand Canyon from PIXNIO, run through PhotoFunia
We are told that rocks, layers, and so on look old because people assume that they are old based on deep time presuppositions, but there needs to be a reference point. Rocks are rocks. Radiometric dating? More assumptions, and different methods yield wildly differing ages.

There are people in my experience that look old because I also know people who are young. Here in the Kingston, New York area we have buildings from the Revolutionary War that look old near buildings that were constructed much more recently. (In Europe, you can see structures that are much older and then look at newer ones for a greater contrast.) Do we have any young rocks?

Actually, yes. But when you look at them, they look like the "old" rocks. When looking at geological formations, the appearance of age is not based on objective facts.
Some might argue that Earth’s rocks are obviously ancient even apart from radioisotope dating results. In response to creationist claims, they might ask, “If the earth was created just 6,000 years ago, then why does it look so old?” But does Earth really look old?
To read the rest of this short and not very old article, click on "Do Earth's Rocks Look Old?"





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